Forever Your Love Episode 13 is now rolling…
FOREVER YOUR LOVE
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Tonita walked into her apartment and was alarmed to find a suitcase in the living room. She went back outside to see if she had missed anything on her way inside the house. She went back inside and examined the suitcase critically.
“Is anyone here?” she asked almost in a whisper.
There was no response.
“Is anyone in here?” she repeated, getting really scared now.
She walked cautiously to the bedroom. Just as she parted the curtains to go in, someone grabbed her from behind and turned her to face him and kissed her passionately before she could get the chance to resist.
“Who the hell….” she tried to say after she was released from the man’s powerful grip but realized it was Reggie, her long lost fiancé.
“Reggie? What in the name of God are you doing here?” she managed to say, fighting the shiver of pleasure that ran down her spine as a result of the kiss.
“Why? Don’t tell me you are not happy to see me? This is no way to welcome a lover, is it?” he asked.
“Who says you are my lover? Aren’t you supposed to be….”
“In the States? The important thing is I am here now, sweetheart, and that is all that matters. I know I behaved badly when I left without a word. I want to assure you that I meant well and now I’m here to make it up to you. My love, I want to take you to the place you rightly belong; with me,” he explained.
“Why should I believe anything you say? Are you in some kind of trouble? Is that why you are here?” Tonita asked, still confused.
“Wow, what makes you think that? I am here because I love you and don’t tell me you’ve forgotten what we shared. I know that deep down in your heart you still love me fervently.” Reggie uttered confidently.
“Reggie, I don’t know what to believe anymore. You told me you loved me and would never do anything to hurt me, yet you travelled without so much as a goodbye. I had to hear of your trip from my brother. Do you think you were fair to me?” she asked, embittered
“Sweetheart, sit down with me and I will explain everything to you,” he said pulling her to the sofa.
“I knew how you felt about me travelling abroad and somehow I understood you. So, I forgot completely about it. Then my sister got me a chance of a lifetime. Her fiancée agreed to sponsor my education and my stay in the U.S. My whole family was thrilled about it. I wanted to tell you but you always threatened you would leave me if I ever travelled outside without you.
I was happy and confused so I confided in your brother. He advised me to find someone you respected and trusted to tell you. So, I begged him to tell you for me. I waited till he told you before I left. I love you, Tonita, I really do.”
Tonita was quiet for a long while. “So, you and my brother planned it all? Why didn’t you confide in me? I would have understood you,” Tonita said.
“That is my Tonita. Does that mean I’m forgiven?” Reggie said, hugging her.
“Not so fast Reggie. Why didn’t you write to me? Was that part of the plan too?”
“No. When I got there things turned into something else since my sister’s boyfriend broke up with her. I was left with no one to help me. I had to work from dusk to dawn to make you proud of me. Indeed, I thought of writing but I couldn’t tell you what was happening with me. I didn’t want you worrying about me. Besides, there was the possibility that I wouldn’t make it and I thought it would be better you found someone else. I am sorry I didn’t write but I didn’t want to burden you.”
There was a momentary silence.
“By the way, who was that guy who brought you home?” he asked.
“Kobby,” Tonita answered.
“Kobby who? And why did he kiss you like that? Is it what I think it is? Are you sleeping with him?” Reggie spat out bitterly.
Tonita didn’t respond.
Reggie grabbed her and shook her vigorously.
“Are you sleeping with him?” he repeated with blind fury.
“What if I am, you fool? Let go of me. Who are you to walk in here and question me after treating me like that? What did you expect, end my life because you left me?” Tonita shot back angrily.
“I know I behaved badly. But my feelings for you never changed. I still love you. You are my life, the only one for me. Tonita I want to make you my wife. Don’t tell me you are in love with him!” Reggie said plaintively.
“Look, things are happening too fast. I need time to absorb all this. It’s been two years since you left unceremoniously. You show up in a day and you want to marry me. I still don’t know if I could trust you. There are still unanswered questions between us. I need to find answers to all the puzzles in our life,” Tonita explained.
“If you need time, time you will get, but I swear to you, if you are sleeping with that man, I’ll kill him with my bare hands,” Reggie said, very embittered.
“You’ll do no such thing. He is a gentleman and a very good friend who helped me in my greatest despair. And if he had slept with me in the process I wouldn’t have regretted it one bit,” Tonita said.
“Are you saying that to hurt me, Tonita?” he asked, very hurt.
Tonita turned to him and smiled warmly at him.
He pulled her to him and kissed her passionately.
Tonita managed to break free from him.
“You, stop that right now. You think you can leave me like that and do this to me?” she said smiling.
“Tell me you didn’t like the kiss. You are mine, Tonita, mine only. You can deny it for all I care but I know you still love me. I know I still have that special hold on you. I’m not going to allow another man to come near you, that’s a promise,” Reggie said, kissing her again.
Tonita walked to the window.
He tiptoed after her secretly and swept her off her feet.
“Put me down!” Tonita kept crying out.
Reggie ignored her cries and carried her to the bedroom. He lay her down gently and reached into his pocket and brought out a parcel.
“I bought this with my first pay-cheque. This should tell you I never forgot about you. I love you too much,” he said and gave the parcel to her.
She lay there and turned the parcel round and round.
“What’s this?” she asked.
“Go ahead, open it,” Reggie urged.
Tonita took a long look at him and tried to unwrap the parcel but couldn’t get it unwrapped. Reggie snatched the box from her hand and opened it to reveal her dream engagement ring.
“This is a symbol of my love to you, Tonita Akosua Darko, will you marry me?” Reggie asked.
Tonita looked at the shining diamond-studded engagement ring and was speechless. She looked up at Reggie who was waiting for a reaction to his gift.
“So, what do you say? Can I convince you with that? I love you with all my heart.”
Tonita was quiet for a long while.
“Come on Tonita, I love you and you know that. At least say something,” Reggie said in a worried voice.
Tonita continued to stare at him in silence.
“How do I know you bought this for me?” she finally asked teasingly.
“I gave it to you for Christ’s sake. I wouldn’t give it to you if it were not intended for you. Besides, there is no one else but you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me, Tonita?”
Tonita was quiet for a long time staring at the ring that glittered beautifully in the dimly lit-bedroom. She threw her arms around him and kissed him fervently.
“Yes, Reggie, yes, I will marry you,” she said and kissed him again. “I love you, Reginald Simpson. I love you with all my heart.”
Reggie smiled with relief and kissed her again and again and again.
Nana Ekua woke up with diverse feelings.
She felt very lonely, lonelier than she had ever been her whole life.
She walked to Junior’s room and saw the precious boy still sound asleep. Deeply emotional now, she caressed his hair gently and thought of how handsome he looked. She thought of how much he looked like his father. He was the best thing that ever happened to her in all her anguish. Her son was her sunshine, the light in all the darkness that engulfed her life.
Junior was growing up very fast.
At ten months he looked like a one-year old. He had already taken his first step and was busy learning to talk. The thought of how fast time was flying unsettled her greatly. She had hoped Junior would grow up around his father. Now the hope and desire to have her son and husband under one roof seemed almost impossible.
Apart from the occasional calls she received from him, Kobby seemed to be drifting farther away from them.
She stretched herself beside her son and closed her eyes in deep thought.
Her mind went back to the wonderful times she had shared with Kobby, the man she had loved the very moment their eyes had come into contact and whom she would love forever. She remembered the plans they outlined to ensure that they would be good parents. She remembered the numerous books they bought and read together just to make sure that their goals as far as parenting was concerned were fully achieved. And she thought of the window-shopping they engaged and the things they noted to buy for their children.
She remembered the numerous pleasant arguments they had had over the choice of schools and careers for their wards. Kobby had always insisted that his boys would go to Boy Schools and the girls could go anywhere they wished. Nana Ekua on the other hand had opted for the mixed schools for all her children. They would argue for hours over this, each one trying to convince the other of his or her choice.
Such arguments always ended up without consensus but with no hard feelings. They understood and respected each other’s views. She recalled how much Kobby wanted his girls to be Doctors and his boys Bankers. She recalled the time they had spent arguing about the names they would give to their children. Kobby wanted his children to have only local names. He wanted all his boys named after him. Nana Ekua, on the other hand wanted Christian names as well as local names for their kids.
Her mind came to the present and tears filled her eyes. She turned and looked sadly at the innocent boy who was caught up in the middle of all the injustice. Was she being selfish? Was she doing the right thing for her son by keeping his existence from his father? These and many other questions plagued her mind as she drifted off into sleep.
“Madam… Madam… Please, Madam,” Mansa called repeatedly. Mansa slowly patted her on the arm and she sat up with a start.
“What?” Nana Ekua shouted angrily and sat up.
The shout woke Junior who began to cry. Nana Ekua picked him up and planted a kiss on both cheeks.
“Did you sleep well, my little Angel?” she asked her son and turned to Mansa.
“Is something wrong, Mansa?”
“Dr. Roselyn is on the line asking to speak to you,” Mansa said reluctantly.
“Okay, tell her I will be there shortly,” she said, getting up and hoisting Junior on her left shoulder. She walked briskly to the living room and picked up the handset.
“Good morning, Roselyn,” she said drearily.
“Good morning, Mama Bear. You don’t sound too good this morning. What’s up, Nana?” Roselyn asked concerned.
“Everything’s fine. It’s just one of those days. To what do I owe this early morning call, Mrs. Aidoo?” she asked bluntly.
“You of all people should know why I called you. I …”
“Wait a minute, you didn’t call me to remind me of my responsibility of seeing to it that the interior decorators get to work, did you?” Nana Ekua cut in.
“I want to make sure nothing goes wrong tonight. It means that much to me,” Roselyn said.
“Relax, will you, everything’s going to be perfect. You’ve worked too hard for anything to go wrong. You are a wonderful person. And don’t worry on my account because I intend seeing the decorators as soon as Junior and I take a shower,” Nana Ekua assured her.
“Talking of Junior, how is he doing?” Roselyn asked, relieved.
“Oh, you should see him, he is doing great. Did I tell you he took his first step?” Nana Ekua said, excited.
“Really! I am so happy for you but that should also tell you the clock is ticking and you can’t keep his father’s identity hidden from him for long. I think it’s about time you told Kobby about him. He has the right to know.”
“Please don’t start that again. I am in no mood for arguments this morning. For now, let’s concentrate on the homecoming party for Eben, your beloved husband. We will think about my problems after that. Now, I have to get going if I don’t want to miss the decorators.” Ekua said trying to change the subject.
“Okay, see you soon,” Roselyn said with a sigh.
“Yes, I will see you soon, and don’t worry,” Nana Ekua assured her.
“Okay, Nana Ekua. Thank you,” Roselyn said.
“Don’t mention it. I am just happy to be of help. See you later on in the day.”
Nana Ekua played with her son for a while after the call.
She leisurely fed him and took a long bath.
When they were both dressed, she walked into the kitchen to see the unhappy Mansa chopping carrots.
Ekua knew she had hurt her by snapping at her earlier. She was that sensitive emotionally.
She walked over to her and patted her gently on the shoulder.
“Mansa, I am sorry about what happened earlier. I didn’t mean to snap at you,” she said slowly.
“It’s nothing, Madam. You don’t have to apologize,” Mansa said without looking up from what she was doing.
“Either way, I am sorry. I am running some errands for Roselyn and I am taking Junior with me. I will be back soon,” Nana Ekua said.
“Yes, Madam.” Mansa replied.
Nana Ekua walked out of the kitchen.
She walked to the car enjoying the wind as it caressed her bare hands.
She secured Junior into his car seat and planted a kiss on his forehead. Junior always responded to her kiss with a giggle.
Nana Ekua took the longest route to the decorator’s shop. She pulled up in front of the shop, got down and walked over to the other side. She undid the seat belt and picked up her “Sunshine” who was still wide awake.
And then she walked into the shop to meet the owner and her apprentice ready for her. She walked back to her car with the decorators to meet a gentleman leaning against her car.
“Excuse me, that’s my car,” she said.
“Hi, Nana Ekua, I thought I saw you. You look incredibly good,” the stranger said smiling.
Nana Ekua took a long look at him and gave a smile of recognition.
“Jesus Christ, Stanley, is that really you? You look so good I hardly recognized you,” Nana Ekua said, shaking hands with her sixth form classmate.
“You thought some of us were ugly back then so you never looked at us even when we begged you to. It’s been a very long time since we saw each other. I must say you look even more beautiful than I remember. And what are those things I see on your finger, does that mean you finally softened up to some guy and settled down in marriage? God, this is unbelievable,” Stanley said, amazed.
“Oh, stop kidding, would you? You make it sound like I was an anti-guy person. I never gave the impression that I wouldn’t marry, did I? Just look at you, you’ve changed so much. That tells me you are not doing badly yourself. So, what are you into now?” Nana Ekua asked.
“I went into medicine, and you are looking at a paediatrician to be precise,” Stanley said impressively.
“That is wonderful. I never knew you liked kids,” Nana Ekua stated.
“Yes, there were a lot of things you didn’t know about me,” Stanley said, his tone a little piqued.
“I went into engineering and specialised in refrigeration,” Nana Ekua said.
“I know. I’ve heard and read a lot about you. What I didn’t hear about was your marriage. It looks like marriage suits you very well. I was …”
Junior giggled on his mother’s shoulder and Stanley’s attention was drawn to him. He took one of his little hands playfully.
“Hello, little one, how do you do?”
The little boy chuckled.
“Is he another surprise?” Stanley asked, looking at Nana Ekua, still playing with the boy.
“Yes, he is my son,” Nana Ekua answered, getting the drift of things.
“God, you’ve been blessed. You have all you need in life: a good job, a husband, and a wonderful son. What wouldn’t I give for a life like that?” Stanley said, vaguely.
The decorator cleared her throat.
“I guess I am keeping you from your friends. I would like to see you again, though. Is it possible to see you tonight? That is, if your husband wouldn’t mind,” Stanley said.
“Oh, he wouldn’t mind. Actually, he is out of town but he wouldn’t mind me having an old friend over. Coincidentally, a friend of mine needs me at a party tonight. Maybe you can come with me,” Nana stated.
“I would love that. Just tell me when and where and I will be there,” Stanley replied.
Nana Ekua secured Junior in his seat and brought out a card from her handbag.
“This is my address. Pick me up at 7.00 p.m. We can catch up on our way to the party,” she said handing him the card.
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