I'm really sorry this is coming in this late guys...had to travel
I grabbed the edge of the seat as the plane bumped onto the tarmac. I peeped out of the window and my heart fluttered.
Somewhere in the airport, Gloria was waiting for me but I was not sure what to expect. We did not break up when I went to Finland but the relationship was not exactly a smooth one. Sometimes I felt like it was better if she broke up with me, I hated the uncertainty.
The plane stopped and I stood to grab my bag.
“Could you help me grab my bag please?” It was Inka. She smiled and rubbed my arm.
I tried to return the smile and handed her the bag. My boss sat a few seats behind me and thankfully he had no hand luggage, I did not have to wait for him. I hurried off the plane to get my bags, I could not wait to see Gloria. What if she did not come? What if she felt disconnected like I did and was with Tunji now? I looked behind me and saw my boss coming, I was supposed to carry his bags too but I could not wait, I had to see Gloria immediately.
I walked as fast as my heavy bags would allow me into the arrival lounge I scanned the sea of heads but I did not see her. Maybe she was sitting somewhere, I walked towards the seats looking around as I walked. She wasn’t sitting. I looked around again, she was not here. I had my answer. I sighed and headed for the exit. I knew I would be in some trouble leaving Inka and my boss at the airport but I did not feel like talking to anybody. I just wanted to get home.
I hailed a cab and in thirty minutes, we pulled up in front of my house. I dragged my bags up the stairs to my house. I removed my key and inserted it in the door. I turned it and the door slid open.
Was it open? I walked in slowly and looked around, something was wrong, things were missing. Did I leave my door open when I travelled? I dropped my bag and walked deeper into the room. I heard a movement to my left and I turned sharply, there was nothing. I heard a clicking sound behind me and music started to filter through my speakers. And turned to look at it and the light bulbs which I did not notice were on, became dim. There was definitely someone in the house.
I moved forward and stepped on something, I looked down and saw a flower and then another; it was a line of flowers leading inside my room. I smiled, Gloria was waiting in my room? I ran to the door, and barged it open. I entered the room – it was dark and empty. I flipped a switch and light came on. I looked around, Gloria was not in the room. I turned around to leave when my eye caught something on the bed. It was a bag. I opened it and smiled. It contained a white shirt and black trousers. I knew it was Gloria doing all of these but still I had no idea where she was.
I rushed into the bathroom, hurriedly took my bath and put on the clothes left on my bed. I had no idea where Gloria was going with all these but I was loving every part of it. I hurried into the living room and stopped.
Inka was standing in front of my door.
“You did all of these for me?” She asked, grinning from ear to ear.
I was confused. “All of what?”
I followed her eyes and saw that my dining area had been cleared. There was a tall table with a bottle of wine and two glasses sitting on it. A red rose sat next to the bottle.
“I just came to see if you were okay, you left the airport in a hurry.” She said.
I looked back at her. “I’m sorry Inka, but I think you should leave.”
“What?” She said, pointing to the table. “That wasn’t…”
“No,” I said. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”
She covered her mouth, turned around and walked out. I sighed and closed the door behind her.
“Hello Sweetheart.” I heard the voice call from behind me.
I turned around slowly and there she was. I opened my mouth but nothing came out. She wore a short black dress and was barefooted. I could not see the colour of her lips but somehow they called to me.
My knees grew weak the longer I looked at her. I did not realise how much I had missed this girl. She looked even better than she did a month ago.
“Gloria…” I said, when I finally found my voice.
I ran to her, lifted her up and hugged her tightly. She wrapped her legs around my waist and I buried my face in her neck. We clung to each other for a couple of seconds before I released her. She looked up at me and smiled.
“Welcome back my dear.” She said.
All doubts I had about us flew out the window. I had never felt more in love with Gloria than I did at that moment. She held my hand and led me to the table. She picked up the rose and handed it to me. I held it to my nose for a few seconds, the scent was great. It was going to be a perfect night.
I opened my eyes to the sun filtering in through my window. I rolled on the bed for a couple more minutes before I rose. I checked my phone, it was almost twelve o’clock. It was a good thing I had the day off. I had some missed calls too. Gloria had called twice and my boss had called four times. There was no way my boss expected me to come to work just a few hours after such a long flight. I knew who I wanted to call first but I knew how my boss reacted to not getting his calls returned.
I dialled his number.
“Good morning sir.”
“I called you several times, are you avoiding my calls?” He said.
“No sir, I was asleep.” I said, then added. “You know I just returned from a long trip yesterday.”
“Are you being sarcastic with me Jude?”
“I’m so sorry sir.” I should have known better. “I’m just a little cranky this morning sir.”
He kept quiet for a while then said. “I want you in my house whenever you can today, I need to discuss some things with you.”
“Okay…is there a problem?”
“I’m not sure yet, when you get here we’ll find out.” He said and ended the call.
What was that all about? Was he angry I left him at the airport the night before? He could be but that was something he would normally handle in the office. I knew I could not do anything productive until I found out what the problem was. I headed for the bathroom, I had to be in boss’ house immediately.
“Thank you for coming.” My boss said as I sat.
Something was definitely wrong. He was waiting for me when I got to his house; I was the one who usually waited. He was acting all formal and he’d never thanked me for coming.
I sat cautiously at the edge of my seat.
“Okay, what I want to discuss with you is none of my business. For now, at least.”
“Okay…” It’s something personal? Gloria?!
“I want to discuss Inka.” He said and I froze.
“What a..ab…about her?”
“Is there something happening between you two that I should know about?”
I swallowed. “No sir, there’s nothing.”
“I was afraid you would say that.” He said. “Two days before we came back from Helsinki, the night after we met the President’s chief of staff, we were all celebrating. Remember that night?”
I nodded, I knew where he was going but I hoped I was wrong.
“Most of us left the office but I forgot something and came back. I opened the door and… I’m pretty sure you know where I’m going with this.”
I sat back in the chair and shut my eyes. Oh God, it was a mistake! What was supposed to say to this?
“So, given what I saw that night, you can understand why I assumed you two have something going on.” He paused and looked into my eyes. “It was none of my business until she came here last night, devastated. She didn’t say what happened but she hinted that you were the source of the problem. So Jude, be honest with me, what is going on?”
What was I supposed to tell him? I’m dating your niece but I cheated with your business partner? But I didn’t cheat, did I? I was confused.
“I’m waiting Jude.”
“Okay, I want to say that what happened with Inka was a mistake. What you saw was all that happened – it never happened before and it didn’t after.”
“One kiss, that was it?” He raised his eyebrow. “Inka is a charming lady and beautiful too, I’m not judging you, I’d totally understand if you are dating her. You are single, she is single, there is nothing wrong as long as you don’t treat her badly and jeopardize our partnership.”
I sighed. “I’m not single sir.”
He gasped then laughed. “You are not single? You’re seeing somebody? How long as this being going on?”
“A few months.”
“A few months? Are you dating your phone? When do you have time to see this girlfriend of yours?”
“I manage sir.”
“Who is this magical girlfriend of yours and where did she come from?”
I had a decision to make now and it was the worst time to have to make it. If I told him about Gloria right after he told me about catching me with Inka, I would lose his approval. If I did not tell him the truth now and he found out later, it could even be worse.
“So, are you going to tell me who is she or not?” He asked.
“Tell you who what is?”
We both turned around at the voice, it was Gloria.
“See who finally decided to show up.” My boss said. “What were you so busy with last night that you could not come welcome me?”
“I’m sorry Uncle, you know only something important could have stopped me from coming to raid your bag.”
She looked at me and I looked away.
“You remember my assistant…”
“Jude, of course I remember him. So what were you asking him before I came in?”
“Well, apparently he’s had a secret girlfriend for months now. I wonder how he managed to keep her from me for so long.”
“I wonder.” She said and smiled. “Well, whenever he decides to tell you who she is, I hope you won’t be angry at both of them. They probably thought keeping it a secret was a good idea.”
She kissed him on the cheek and hurried off.
“What was she saying?” He asked with a wry smile. “It’s not like she knows who your girlfriend is.”
“She does sir.” The time for secrets was over.
He was shocked. “She does? But how?”
“Gloria is my girlfriend sir.” I said.
He sat still and looked at me. I waited for him to say something, but he didn’t. I wondered what was going on in his mind – was I going to get fired or would he welcome me to the family. Even I knew the former was more likely. Still he said nothing.
“I’m really sorry sir, I’ve wanted to tell you from the beginning, I just could not find the right time.”
“You cheated on my niece!” He said and stood.
“No… I’m sorry sir.” I was confused.
“Gloria!” He called out. “Gloria!”
“Sir, please don’t tell her.” I jumped to my feet.
“I’m sorry but some of us are not treacherous secret keepers like you.”
“I’m not asking you to keep it as a secret, I just think it’s better if I tell her myself.”
Gloria came in and saw us both on our feet.
“Is there a problem?” She asked.
“He just told me.” My boss said. “Gloria, how could you? Why would you think I would disapprove?”
“I’m sorry Uncle.”
“Well, it’s your lives but Jude, you tell her the truth or I will!” He said and walked out.
“Tell me what?” She asked. “What is he talking about?”
“I need to tell you something but I can’t do it here. I’ll pick you up tonight, we’ll go for a drive.” I said and walked out.
I knew since that night in Helsinki I was going to have to tell Gloria but I was hoping it would not be this soon.
I looked up into the dark sky from the hood of my car where we were sitting. I could feel Gloria’s eyes bore into my head.
“We had just closed a meeting with the President’s chief of staff and it was a major success, we were all celebrating. They served us this really nice drink and I got a little tipsy.” I started.
“Where are you going with this?”
“Something happened that shouldn’t have. I promise you it happened only once and it was a mistake and it meant nothing.”
“What are you talking about? Just go straight to the point!”
I saw the fear in her eyes, but I knew I had to tell her the truth. But still I could not lose her, I could not afford to.
So I asked.
“How much can you forgive Gloria? How much do I have to do before you throw me out?”