Head 10 – At Long Last!
PS: This brings us to the end of the roller coaster life of Funke.
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Well, hello there Mr. I am at your service. You just captured my heart with your elegant intro.
I couldn’t help but smile at Denzel. He smelt like fresh air. There was something peculiar about his voice. It was soothing and reassuring. It was our first interaction but I could already feel a connection. It felt like we had known each other for centuries.
‘That was an impressive presentation you gave at the Town Hall two months ago. I wasn’t present in person to congratulate you but I decided to do so upon my return from my business trip.’ He explained.
‘That’s thoughtful of you.’ I smiled.
‘Congratulations Miss Neita.’
‘Call me Funke.’
‘That’s a beautiful name.’
‘Thank you, Denzel.’
‘I was hoping we could have lunch this weekend and get a bit more personal.’ He said confidently and took out his phone. ‘Let me save your contact.’
‘Absolutely.’ I like this guy already. I mean this is a man who comes out in confidence making clear his intentions to a woman without the fear of being rejected. He’s won my heart!
‘I cannot wait for the lunch date. See you soon Funke. And, you look lovely in your outfit.’ He smirked before turning around to leave. Walking majestically towards the elevator. He looked so good in his tuxedo but I bet he’d look better in a t-shirt and a pair of shorts.
‘I can’t wait for the lunch date too.’ I murmured before heading out.
I lay in bed pondering over my love life. Months ago, I was the single unemployed lady who seemed invisible to every man. But my life took a different turn in the twinkling of an eye. For some reason, I felt becoming employed unlocked the dating door. With three men on my menu, I had to opt carefully for my choice lest I eat the wrong meat and throw up or fall sick and die. I am too young to die. I have so much to live for.
For weeks, Gerald and I hung out. And I noticed that he handled his divorce better than I had thought. Instead of womanizing or drinking as I’d supposed, he busied himself with meetings and research. But he made time for me too which I loved.
Instead of inviting Mr. Ashton over, I frequented his place. Don’t blame me, I was playing safe. And throughout the funeral preparations and burial service of his wife, I stuck with him and got to meet his pretty nice kids. They seemed to be warming up to me and once they started calling me ‘mum’, it felt different. It felt like I had a responsibility. I knew Mr. Ashton was preparing to make things more official between us but I was beginning to panic. Don’t get me wrong. I have always dreamed of becoming a wife and mother, and most recently, the next Mrs. Ashton but now it dawned on me that I was going to be a WIFE and a MOTHER without leave! There will be no breaks from these roles.
I wasn’t going to lay in bed all day as I used to as a single lady. I wouldn’t be able to go clubbing and return late with a box of pizza and a bottle of red wine. Because now, the onus would lay on my head, and I’d have to be a role model for the kids. Now, there’d also be homework, more cooking, mummy talks, PTA meetings, hospital visits, and more. Actually, being married sounded tedious! But it felt good to wear a gorgeous diamond or golden ring and be called ‘Mrs.’ in public. What was I thinking?!
Am I ready to be someone’s partner and for that matter, a second wife and a stepmother? Would I quit working and become a housewife waiting on my husband as if I’ve no life?
My phone buzzed for a second. I snapped out of my thoughts and reached for it. It was a text message from Denzel. I smiled stupidly at his message. He had a way of triggering my emotions with his words. Our lunch date was amazing. I felt like the first lady of the republic. Denzel was a proper gentleman and that made me fall in love with him a million times. Trust me, I have never fallen for a man so fast. Once he was in the country, he’d arrange to meet with me and we’d hang out for hours at his apartment.
Come to think of it, I cannot explain how I managed to dribble three men without getting caught. I realized I’d make a good footballer. Lol!
Denzel just texted he’d be back in town the following day and would look forward to seeing me. It was always lovely to hear from him. And a thought came to mind right away. It was weekend.
Gerald was away for on a business trip. He wouldn’t be back until Tuesday.
And Mr. Ashton was visiting his kids in Mauritius leaving me with so much time for myself.
I threw on a loose t-shirt and my favourite leggings before heading over to Denzel’s apartment. I had won myself his spare key and decided to cook him something lovely. And probably spend the night there just to see him the next morning.
God knows how much I love Denzel’s apartment. It was cozy. It smelt like an alpha male’s cave and I loved it there. I was pretty surprised when he handed me a key to his apartment just after weeks of dating. But I barely use his end once he’s out of town. Today felt special. I wanted to surprise him. Even though I was into Mr. Ashton, I was willing to say ‘yes’ to Denzel if he happened to pop the question – ‘Will you marry me, Funke?’.
Why? Because we are both young and single. We haven’t been married before, we’ve no kids to worry about now. Just us, starting a happy life together. Makes sense to me.
I passed by the mart and shopped for some groceries as well as his favourite cologne. I couldn’t wait to see how lit his face would be upon seeing me at his end. I bolted to his end and unlocked his front door. I set the groceries on the kitchen table and proceeded to his room with the perfume. Unfortunately, I came to a halt in my tracks. I heard someone moaning from his room. It sounded strange and unfamiliar. As I got closer to the door, my heart skipped a beat. As I grabbed the door handle, the moaning became more audible. Should I go ahead and open the door?
If Denzel was away, then who was using his bedroom at this hour? Who could be in his room if he claimed to live alone? I grabbed the door handle and slowly opened the door. Surprisingly, it was unlocked and I dreaded the sight that met my eyes. Oh, Lord!
The door flew open. Lord have mercy! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had to cover my mouth with one hand to keep from shouting and support the rest of my body with the other hand, which was gripping the nearest table. My conscience told me to flee since I wasn’t safe there. I hurried out of the apartment with nothing but my purse, filled with newfound strength. I was done with Denzel!
After all these months? How could I have missed such a specific aspect of his life? I began to panic at the prospect of him coming over to my place and attacking me in the process. So I rushed over to Gerald’s apartment with a few of my belongings. It could be my temporary haven, and I was confident Gerald wouldn’t object if I stayed for a few days.
Denzel phoned me later that evening, but I refused to answer. I knew he’d come over to apologize shortly – apologies accepted, but we’re done, boy! However, when I heard him banging on my door for the zillionth time, I freaked out. Through Gerald’s window, I kept a stealthy eye on him. He lingered for several minutes until I texted him to leave.
Our Phone Conversation
Denzel: I am sorry babe. 🙏 I can explain.🥺🙏🙏
Me: Just leave me alone.😡 I am not opening the door anytime soon.😡😒
Denzel: I know I haven’t been honest with you but I can explain.🙏
Me: Keep your explanations to yourself. You disgust me. We are done!😡😒
Denzel: Funke please.😢 💔💔
And that was it. I let Denzel off the hook. I didn’t deserve a man like him. I’ve come of age to understand that marriage is more than just pretty faces and soothing words. It is a serious endeavor that needs imperfect persons willing to make sacrifices and help each other evolve. I was not about to settle for a lie. Hell no!!
The weeks passed quickly, and life returned to normal. I never heard from Denzel again after blocking him, which was a huge relief. Whew!
Friday was the day. And shortly after work, Mr. Ashton treated me to a lavish dinner, and I knew he was going to propose to me. My heart was racing so fast at the prospect that I feared I’d pass out. I had been waiting for this moment for a long time, and it had finally arrived. The night seemed young as we sat at the table for two, surrounded by sparkling lights. It seemed like a movie scenario, yet here I was, seated – living in the moment.
‘Funke, we have come a long way. And heaven knows how much I love you. You’ve been there for me and the kids throughout a tough season in our lives.’ Mr. Ashton smiled as he gave his ‘speech’.
He rattled on and on, and when he got to the question, I froze. It was time to say yes, but there was a part of me that was hesitant. I suddenly found myself not wanting to be with him. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be Mrs. Ashton. It hit me that all I’d felt for him these months had been pity, not love. I tried to convince myself that he had a nice mansion and a waste of cash, but it didn’t work. I didn’t love him. I slept with him out of sympathy, despite the fact that he mistook it for love.
‘I am so sorry for leading you on, Mr. Ashton, but I cannot marry you. Forgive me.’ I stood up quietly. I could no longer look him in the eye. I knew I had hurt his feelings and he would take time to heal. I grabbed my purse and ran out of the place.
I was soaking wet when I got home. I banged on Gerald’s door. And he opened the door with a bamboo stick in his hand.
‘Funke?’ he sounded shocked.
‘I am sorry to worry you at this time of the night, but I thought deeply about your question. I will marry you.’ I swallowed hard as the words left my lips.
He stared at me for a while without uttering a word.
‘Baby? Who is at the door?’
A feminine voice questioned him. That voice rang a bell. I went completely still. His wife had returned? I thought they’d divorced and Gerald was moving on? Did he play me?
‘Really?’ I stared hard at him. Without another word, I walked straight into my room and cried myself to sleep. This wasn’t the end I expected.
Now, I had to worry about facing Mr. Ashton at work. It was not going to be easy but I figured I’ll cope.
Oh and about Denzel, he is gay. He was in bed with his partner. That was the unforgettable scene I chanced upon. 😡
As I lay on the hospital bed waiting for my artificial insemination procedure to begin, all I could think about was raising my children whether there was a man present or not. Marriage might not be for everyone. And that’s okay with me. Cheers!