The Last Kiss begins…
THE LAST KISS
Alicia is standing in front of the mirror with a smile on her face.
She takes a long look at herself and her heart warms up with joy.
Her long flowing wedding dress hugs her body perfectly, showing all the curves in the right places. Joyce Senyo, her make-up artist has done an incredible job with her face, bringing out the beauty that has been the envy of many women.
She touches her veil and smiles proudly. She is really impressed with how she looks.
“Today, I marry the love of my life,” she mutters and pushes off a strand of hair that had strayed onto her forehead.
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She is happy beyond measure. Finally, their dream to be united as man and wife is here.
She slips down memory lane and recalls how she met Curtis who had swept her off her feet with the speed of lightning.
Alicia remembers their first encounter as if it happened just yesterday.
She remembers waking up that day feeling on top of the world. She cannot pin point a particular reason for her mood. Alicia reasons that the commencement of her National Service is the reason for her happy mood that day.
She showers quickly, takes her breakfast and takes off to the northern part of the small town she lives in.
The journey by foot takes nearly twenty minutes, and she arrives at her destination anxious to see what is in store for her.
The office is situated in a beautiful location close to the beach and is surrounded by a lot of palm trees.
Alicia walks briskly to the entrance of the office to Brandson & Sons, a Management Consulting Firm, with apprehension.
Suddenly, she is nervous and is overcome with anxiety. She prays whoever she will work with will be tolerant and easygoing.
Before she can open the door, it flies open and a nice-looking young man stands in the doorway with his eyes, which were sexy and warm, fixed on her. He also has a sweet infectious smile on his face, making him incredulously attractive.
He holds her gaze for a while. Time seems to have stopped in those moments as they gaze at each other.
“Good morning,” Alicia manages to break the spell that seems to have been cast on them.
The young man is still dazed in his scrutiny or whatever he is thinking of her. He is so occupied with taking in her beauty and presence that nothing else matters to him at that particular moment.
The look on his face says it all.
Alicia blushes at the thought and asks him if the Managing Director is in.
It is just a few minutes to nine in the morning. Alicia is to report for work at nine that morning since it is her first time. She hopes she will make a good impression if she arrives a little early.
He still does not answer.
Alicia is getting uncomfortable under his scrutiny of her. She feels he is undressing her with his eyes and as much as the thought makes her tummy tingle with a little bit of happiness, she feels angry. Angry that a total stranger is having such an effect on her.
“Don’t you think you are being a little too rude by looking at me like that?”
“Do you blame me if your very presence totally eclipses my whole being?” he manages to say, still with his eyes fixed on her. “You know, I was thinking you must be God’s favourite creation because you have all the looks you need to knock out a hundred men just with your presence.”
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The Managing Director comes out of his office and rescues her from the stranger’s scrutiny right at that moment.
He takes her round and introduces her to the team including the stranger. He is also a National Service person.
Mr. Cofie, the Managing Director, together with the two national service persons, draw up a schedule for the trainees as he preferred to call them. He assigns them to different desks that morning and dispatches them from his ultra-modern office.
The two interns step into the main office.
It is a long open office with over six people in it. The desks are lined up in a roundtable setting with spaces in between the tables for easy movement. It looks really beautiful with the flowers arranged around the office, and other beautiful silver fittings on the walls.
Alicia’s desk is a few meters from Curtis’ and every time she looks up from where she is seated, she finds Curtis looking at her.
She enjoys the attention the stranger is giving her but she is getting uncomfortable with what his stare does to her outwardly.
Her heart always misses a beat when their eyes meet and she yearns, quite irrationally, an urge to be hugged by those strong and masculine hands of his. She found herself fantasizing about how his lips will taste and how comforting it will be just to stay in his embrace…which is quite unnerving because it is so unlike her to indulge in such blatant thoughts which are not in tandem with her character.
Curtis’ Supervisor is losing his patience over his lack of attention and concentration. He is still wearing the infectious smile Alicia had met him with earlier in the day.
“Why do you keep looking at the lady when I’m talking to you? Is this the first time you are seeing a woman?” the supervisor roars and everyone giggles.
Alicia’s discomfort is getting to a head. She feels her walls of steel tumbling over just by looking into his sexy warm eyes. She is sure she can drown in those eyes of his if she does not reinforce her walls.
At lunchtime, Curtis walks over to her desk and asks if she will join him for lunch or some fruits around the staff canteen.
Alicia usually turns down lunch invitations from guys she barely knows but this is an exception. She is intrigued and wants to know more of the perfect stranger who can stir up her innermost feelings with just his eyes and a smile.
He leads the way and they arrive at the canteen in no time.
Alicia settles for some pastries and drinks.
Curtis orders the same and the two eat in silence.
There is a little more time left after they are done with the snacks so they walk down the path to the beach.
It is a sight for sore eyes with its splendid setting.
Palm trees line both sides of the path providing shade all through to the beach. They watch the sea from a distance whiles Curtis tells her a bit of himself interspersed with jokes.
Alicia admits he is fun to be with.
It soon becomes a ritual for them to go out every day at lunchtime.
Most times, they just move from one royal palm tree to the other playing fetch or talking.
Curtis surprises her a month into their service with a kiss at the beach one lunchtime. A kiss that seals everything and unearths all the pent-up feelings they both had fought to keep at bay all the while.
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“Do you have a boyfriend?” Curtis asks after breaking off from the kiss which can top the Guinness Book of Records for the longest kiss ever.
“Most of my friends are boys, if that’s what you are asking,” Alicia teases.
“You know what I mean, Alicia. Like a special someone.”
“Yea, my Dad is very special to me.”
“I’m serious. Stop playing with me. I really want to know.”
“Why do you want to know?”
“Because I know no one will love you as much as I love you. It’s just not possible.”
Things are going too fast for Alicia. She loves Curtis with all her heart but there is a little problem.
She is with someone. Someone she’s known for a while and they have plans of marrying in the not very distant future.
Life with Richie is nothing extraordinary. It is comfortable but she has always known the spark of true love and passion are missing in their relationship.
She needs time to break off with Richie. She does not know how to go about it since he has done nothing to merit any harsh treatment from her. Richie has cheated on her with his ex-girlfriend once but that is a long time ago. Alicia has forgiven him in no time. It is when the incident happened that she had known she doesn’t really love him as much as she thinks she does. Instead of being angry and bitter, she realizes she is relieved. She should have left him then.
She just needs a little more time to put things in their right perspective. Basically, she does not believe in rushing things and she does not want to hurt Richie’s Mom who had been nothing but an angel to her.
On the other hand, she feels alive, loved and at peace with Curtis. With him, she feels like she can fly. When he looks at her, Alicia feels she can touch the sky. Curtis has become the centre of her world.
He is the only one who can set her heart on fire and fill her with so much love. With him, all her worries disappear. Thoughts of him stay with her every minute of the day. He is the first thing she thinks of when she wakes and he is the last thing on her mind when she goes to bed. He has become like her lighthouse. And he is simply irreplaceable in her life.
She is not ready to push him away by telling him there is someone in her life. She doesn’t want to lie to him, so she just ignores the question. The reality is that she needs time to sort things out. She needs time to be very sure of Curtis’ true feelings for her.
“What will you do if I tell you there is no one?” she asks.
“I will go to Church on Sunday and give all the money I have as offering in appreciation of God’s miracle to me. I do love you with all my heart, Alicia,” he answers.
“And what will you do if I tell you there is someone special?” Alicia pushes.
“I will tell you to leave him because he can’t love you as much as I love you.”
Alicia is very touched by his answer. She can see his feelings for her in his deep brown eyes. She feels his sincerity and love in his soothing deep voice.
Alicia begs him not to push her for an answer and tells him she just wants to be with him. That should be enough for the meantime.
Curtis is hurt but being the gentleman that he is, he lets it slide till another time. He tells Alicia he was with someone but things did not work out. He jokes that he is super available if she is interested in dating him.
Curtis explains that he has not met anyone he feels that connected to until he met her. And then he tells her he feels the lost piece in his life’s puzzle has finally surfaced when he looks at her.
He tells her he wants to court her and make her his woman for eternity.
Alicia fights the joy she feels when he tells her all that. The thing is she loves him too. More than he can ever imagine. She does not want to scare him off by telling him about Richie just yet.
She knows she will be helpless without him and it will only be a matter of time before things get to a head with Richie. It is not like there is much to tell anyway. Alicia has suspicions that Richie is sleeping with his lecturer’s daughter whom he is tutoring. She has had no proof yet but she can feel it in her bones. And she always sees the looks of guilt on their faces when she chances on them.
There is always something unspoken between them. What surprises her most is her reaction to all that. She expects to feel acute jealousy and agonizing pains in situations like that but somehow, she feels relieved that soon Ritchie’s charade and cheating will come out and she can finally leave him without hurting his Mom.
She wants so much to be sure of Curtis’ love for her that she puts him to the test. Alicia challenges him to a year without sexual intimacy. It starts off as a joke but Curtis takes it seriously and does whatever is in his power to keep it.
It is not easy especially because of how deeply they feel for each other, but Curtis always manages to keep his desires in check. That is the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for her and she knows then that he is the one.
Eventually, Alicia breaks off with Richie when she finds him in bed with his lecturer’s daughter when she pays him a surprise visit. She has been devastated by his blatant lack of respect and love. They have a long talk, and break off by mutual consent, making her free to give her hundred per cent to Curtis.
Life after their mutual discovery is one of total bliss. They have gone to movies, taken pleasure trips and spent most of the time in each other’s arms.
There is a persistent knock on the door, breaking Alicia’s reveries, and her Dad walks in.
“We need to get going, Sweetheart. Curtis needs not wait for too long or he will lose his mind. You’ve really made me proud today. You have honoured me and that makes me very happy indeed.”
“Thank you, Dad, for everything you’ve done for me. You have been the best Dad ever. I’m most grateful for your love and care for me.”
“Take good care of your husband. I know a boy in love when I see one!”
He takes her by the hand and leads her to the car.
Alicia is so impressed with what the decorator has done with the car.
It is simply stunning.
The decorations are simple but truly unique and beautiful.
She uses their purple and white colours to mould two hearts with their initials in it and places them on the front number plate in such a manner that the two hearts are intertwined.
She uses petals from flowers to make a line from the hearts to the side mirrors and finished it off with small heart shapes on the handles of the car. A plate with the words “Here Comes the Bride!” is secured on the back bumper where the number plate is. It is really a heart-warming sight to behold.
Alicia gently enters the car with her Bride’s Maid as a companion and starts her journey to perpetual bliss with Curtis Owusu-Ansah.
She is so happy, she feels like she is airborne, flying without wings!
The drive to the Church takes less than thirty minutes.