The Mishap (2) (A Short Story) by Damore Alli

Continued from here

__

I am a blog maniac. That time of the year, just two years back, I had been reading random blog sites, and stumbled across Dare’s Dare to read blog space. I became enchanted, that day and night, I was all about Dare; and if I’d talk to anyone, in every two sentences, I would quote a line from Dare. It was crazy. I knew I had fallen in love with a witty writer’s mind. And I would read all of his posts and drop my two cents everywhere possible. I never nurtured the thoughts of seeing him in person, but I knew he knew he had found a stalker in me. Soon though, beyond my expectations, he picked interest in me and we began to chat off his blog space. Then, I told him about my best friend, who happened to be a writer too, Kemi, and how she was jealous that I didn’t even talk about her articles as much as I did his. Months after, we decided to meet. I thought it was going to be fun, so I invited Kemi too, and he promised to bring a friend of his along as well. That was the mistake, and undoing. The beginning of my folly.

So we met. Myself, Dare, Kemi and Tade…

I fell in love with Dare anew the moment I recognised him stepping into the restaurant that Friday night. He had a Ralph Lauren cap on, a black polo shirt adorably hugging his well structured body to life, and a pair of jeans. I couldn’t be bothered about what graced his feet any longer, he looked fine enough already. I didn’t notice the person he was coming in with until they stopped by our seat and Dare introduced Tade as the friend. Dare sat beside me, thankfully, just opposite Kemi, and Tade beside Kemi, just opposite me. I made the rest of the introductions and we ordered goat meat pepper soup and a bottle of red wine. We talked about books, and I made sure to impress Dare with my scholarly mind… and I think I did, until out of the blues Kemi started on about sports. It didn’t take two seconds for Dare to shift his attention to her, and surprisingly, Tade who had been quiet all along, joined in too. So it was just me from then on, looking askance, lost on what to say or how to steer everyone’s attention back to me. That was how I lost Dare that night even before having him, and I am still contemplating who to blame for it- myself for inviting Kemi, or Kemi for trying to outwit me before my crush. It was a surprise, and a big blow to my breaking heart that just months after, Kemi announced to me that they were dating. I felt betrayed. In a bid to make him jealous, I started dating his friend Tade, who had not stopped sending me flowers and calling me every other day for another meet up since that hazardous dinner night, and to my folly once again, he fell in love with me!

**

Why? Why oh why?

I know Dare likes me. We share a bond, a chemistry… the one between a writer and his number one reader. I understand Dare more than he understands himself, and see way more than he chooses to share with words on his blog space. That feeling is something no one else can share with him or understand, not even another writer. And It is not fair that I have to lose a man I love because I cannot write, or because I don’t love sports, or play computer games, or watch cartoons. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friend Kemi and I am happy that she is happy. But I am not happy, and it is sad that she doesn’t even seem to be aware of it.

Adele’s take it all comes to a wrap on my earpiece just in time for me to hear Tade’s persistent knock at the door. I feel the urge to go let him in and discuss my hearts dilemma with him but it’s too late, or is it not? I should have done it this morning before we left for church but we were running late, and he seemed in too good a mood… or yesterday when we went shopping for some decorations for ‘our-house-to-be’ but Kemi and Dare were shopping with us too, so I couldn’t… or the day before that when he proposed, if only he didn’t do it in the presence of everyone at my office just before we closed. No time just ever seemed like the right time, and now it’s too late to make things right.

Or do I just tell him now?

Quickly, I run to the door to let him in. He is stunned to see me still fully dressed with my eyes red and swollen, but he is calm and gentlemanly as he pushes past me to sit on the bed after carefully shutting the door behind him, leaving me in shades of guilt and doubt. Soon, he beckons on me to join him, and after a second of silence, he begins…

“Gbemisola Blessing, it’s a pity I love you the way I do, but my heart feels better this way. I might even cry if you break my heart, but I will be happy that I once loved someone like you. Now, I don’t know for sure what happened in the church, and what’s happening now, and if my gut feelings that you’re not excited about this marriage as much as I am are real or just an echo of my own fears… but i’ll like to hear it from you here and now if you’re not okay with us getting married. I won’t hate you, or love you less… i’ll even always remember that blessed dinner night and how you swooned me to speechlessness with your intelligence, wit and the might of books you’ve read in your lifetime_” he smiles now, and I cry more “_ just… just tell me you don’t want this, and i’ll walk out of your life for as long as I can keep my two feet apart from each other.” he laughs shortly, then continues “well, you get the point, i’ll try. I’ll try to stay away. I promise.”

I feel abashed. It isn’t that he can’t get someone else, but he has chosen me over every other option there might be. Will I ever get a man to love me like this again? I don’t know, I can’t see the future. But I can see now, and it seems like the best I may ever get. I hug him now, and I am not totally sure what that gesture means, except that I certainly am not telling him off tonight either.

Maybe I don’t love him now, but i’ll learn to love him soon. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next, maybe never even. But he loves me, and he cares about me, and I think that’s enough. He hugs me back now, and I feel his smile on my hair. He is a fine man, and what’s more, I am sure he will make a fine daddy… Besides, there’s the saying that sometimes in life, what matters is not what’s right or wrong, but what’s left.

He is all I have… now. And maybe, always too.

**
Quote by Zayta Kamal: Sometimes in life, what matters is not what’s right or wrong, but what’s left.

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