******** Rodgers Bar ******** *phone rings* “So… are you going to pick that?” “Erm.. no.. it’s really not important.” “Charles Charles. It’s good to see you as always and I can see you’ve been doing good for yourself.” “Bukola Smith just complimented me. Wow. Something isn’t just right here. Have you totally gone soft on…
“So… are you going to pick that?”
“Erm.. no.. it’s really not important.”
“Charles Charles. It’s good to see you as always and I can see you’ve been doing good for yourself.”
“Bukola Smith just complimented me. Wow. Something isn’t just right here. Have you totally gone soft on us? Or has the good Lord finally moved into your heart?”
“Well, maybe he has and maybe it’s high time you paid him a visit too.”
“Maybe?… You know, I must say I was really surprised when you agreed to meet up with me, not after our last encounter. You just seemed to vanish after that. Noone heard anything from or about you and for Bukola Smith, that is just all kinds of strange.
“What can I say, I needed some space. I needed to find myself. I took some time away from the lies and the deceit of this world. And yes, you were right. On that journey I met God and it’s because of him I came back.”
“How come? I don’t understand?”
“The only reason I agreed to meet with you Charles is because I need to make peace with my past. I need to resolve the past so I can move on.”
Bukola broke off into a speech about friends, friendship, family and the recognizing the people who truly matter in peoples’ lives. She must have been talking for about fifteen minutes when it suddenly hit Charles. That wasn’t where he should be. He had issues from his past that also needed resolution. A repentant Bukola was certainly more than a hint for him.
Charles took out his wallet and pulled out some money. He dropped it on the table, stood and proceeded to give Bukola a forehead kiss halting her mid sentence. “Thanks for meeting me. I’m really sorry but I have to run.” With that, he stormed out of the building and dashed into his car. It was almost 11pm and he had only one destination in mind.
“Charles? What are you doing here? Are you ok?”
“Interrogation at the door? Can I at least come in?” Jade stepped aside and watched with a puzzled expression as Charles walked into her apartment. “You do know it’s almost midnight right? So don’t look at me like a crazy woman when I ask you if everything is okay.” Charles remained quiet. He had a smile on his face as he started walking round the living room area. He stopped at a furniture piece beside the flat screen TV and bent over to examine some of the pictures in the frames. He picked up one that had him, Jade and Kemi in it and smiled again as he examined it closely. Jade had had enough of his silence. The look on her face clearly stated she was getting impatient with Charles’ quietness but deep within her, she was concerned.
“Oh, your date. Bukky. How did that go?” Jade finally asked. Charles turned to look at her; he replaced the picture frame on the furniture piece and then responded. “Do you remember the day we took this picture?” Charles smiled again as he resumed his slow pacing round the room. “I remember that stupid party, Kemi’s crazy crazy car…. What was it’s…
“Tyler” Jade responded, also smiling. Charles looked at her then and they both laughed together, memories floating across their minds. “Who on earth names their car Tyler? Kemi is just so special.” Charles paused again. The smile on his face was now a permanent one and Jade watched him closely rooted to the same spot she had been standing close to the door. “We stayed in that ridiculous excuse for a hotel. I still don’t know how they believed Kemi and I were actually married.”
“And I was your sister. The one that had been in the UK for so many years.” Jade added. Charles continued walking. Now making his way towards Jade, he ran his left hand across the top of one of Jade’s pink leather sofas, shook his head and then smiled again. “You know, I owe you a confession from that night.” He looked up at Jade who now had her hands wrapped around herself in an embrace. She returned his gaze with a look that said “Go on…”
Charles continued walking slowly. Towards the door, towards Jade. “That night at the hotel when Kemi went downstairs to see the manager and I was asleep in bed. Well, I wasn’t. He paused again. “You came in from the bathroom after taking your bath.. I remember you took one look at the bed and then you let your towel fall to the floor. Jade remained quiet, the expression on her face not clear even as Charles moved within a few steps from her.
“Naked. That was the first and only time I’ve seen my … Bestfriend naked despite all the talk, all the accusations. I watched you that night as you slowly worked your moisturizer on your milky skin and I just wondered. It felt completely logical, heck it just felt right but why had it never occurred to me. To us.” Charles was now standing right in front of Jade looking straight into her eyes.
“So this is the part where I slap you and call you a perv? Jade broke the silence. She unfolded her hands and was about to turn away when Charles stopped her. He pulled her close to himself and his lips found hers. Jade held Charles in a tight embrace and kissed him back. Slowly and then like reunited lovers hungry for each other’s touch, the kissing became more intense.
Their tongues continued to dance to music only Jade seemed to be able to hear. She had waited for this moment for ten years. Just when she thought it would never come; just when she had almost given up hope, he kissed her. Charles kissed her and what a kiss it’s turning out to be. Stars collided and the moon fell in Jades world as Charles’ hands began to explore her body. “So this is what it feels like’ Jade thought to herself. Finally, she wouldn’t have to be told how it went, she would do the telling. She briefly pictured the expression on Kemi’s face as she told her but her thoughts were cut short. Charles lifted her off the floor in one swift move and moments later, they were in her room but Jade was in paradise.
Her eyes fluttered open as her nostrils tingled with the smell of freshly made coffee. He was there, sitting by her bedside holding out a tray grinning from one ear to the other. “I made you breakfast…” Charles started… “… in bed? Oh wow… So this is how you woo all your victims.” Jade completed his sentence. “Oh will you shut up and take jo.” Jade took the tray, which had a cup of coffee, a sandwich and a bowl of grapes on it. She then placed it beside her and drew into him to kiss him.
The kissing continued for a long time until Charles pulled away from her.. “Your coffee…. It will get cold.” Jade was adamant. She tried to kiss Charles again but he pulled back. “Look at her… so much for you not being horny…” Jade pulled away and then rolled her eyes. “Well good morning Mr. Freaking Ego.” She finally said. Charles responded with a soft laugh and watched as Jade took a bite from her sandwich. “I know, I know… It’s good. You don’t have to tell me.” She shot a sarcastic look at him and continued with her meal.
“Look, we have to talk…” “Ok.. I’m listening” She responded with a mouthful of the sandwich. Charles moved closer to her on the bed and held her free hand. “Jade. Last night was… ” He paused as if for effect and let his words hang. He took a deep breath and then continued. “Last night was all kinds of amazing… “
“But? There’s a but? What’s with all this drama Charles, what?
“Look, I just think it’s best we don’t explore this. I think it will…”
“It will what? What Charles? You’re going to give me that clichéd speech about how it’s going to ruin our friendship. How it’ll all be good for a couple of weeks and then we’ll turn and go at each other like a frustrated married couple?”
Charles tried to speak but Jade continued. “Well, here’s some news for you Charles, I invented that freaking story and I’ve been telling it to everyone for the past ten years so except your version has some sick twist at the end, please save it.” She pulled her hand away from his and pushed aside her tray. Charles took a deep breath and tried to talk. “It’s just… we just… you just mean so much to me as a friend and we really don’t know if this is more than the physical”
“Oh no … no no no Charles. You didn’t just say that.” Jade got off the bed dragging the duvet along with her. She made the duvet into a wrapper and cover herself before she turned to Charles. “You know, maybe you are the selfish egotistical dude some people make you out to be after all. You need to speak for yourself because even a blind man could see my feeling for you a mile away. You know what, never mind. I should have known.”
“Jadesola… just calm down and listen to me…”
“Listen to what Charles? Listen to what? Uhn uhn.. I’m done. You know what, can you please leave. I can’t handle this right now.”
“Seriously, Jade. You want me out?”
“Yes Charles. Get out of my house.”
Hey people. just two more to go… If you haven’t been following the series, use this link here to read the previous episodes. OBFW is jointly written by @cikk0 and I and we’d like to say a huge thank you to the guys at Barows 21 for sponsoring it. Now to today’s magazine giveaway.
Which episode did Charles declare the following to his friends: “The search is over!”? The first person to give the right answer wins. Please remember to comment with an original email address. Also, past winners are not allowed to participate in the competition holding the week after theirs. Good luck.