Did I say Collins fell in love with me after that night? Well, we started a serious relationship with every effort to keep Vera out of it. She never knew it was Collins I was dating. I had to show her an imaginary picture, or rather a random picture I took from the internet as my boyfriend and had to follow the guy up on Facebook to keep stealing his pictures and front him as my boo to Vera.
When I returned, she was acting strange and became too inquisitive. She wanted to know everything going on in my life. I kept my cards and played them well. She gradually forgot about Collins and was doused in Desmond’s love. He had turned out to be a great guy after all, very caring and a perfect gentleman. Each time I envy her, something at the back of my mind told me I had a greater guy in my Collins.
I’m not totally heartless as many would envisage. I always took justification from the fact that I wasn’t part of the reason Collins left Vera. I was just the lucky one to have him for myself. Vera would never have let me have him anyway, so no need telling her about it. My love for Collins overshadowed my conscience towards my friend Vera. But still, I needed her to tell me why it didn’t work out between them. Somehow, I was worried. I didn’t want to ponder over if I was really towing the right path. But then, the popular phrase ‘much ado about nothing’ would just creep into my mind and stay. It didn’t work out between them because they were never meant for each other, perhaps it was simply divine. Collins was meant for me while Vera was simply the instrument used to make it happen. I smiled at this revelation.
Days turned to weeks and weeks to months and we both drew near to graduation. Desmond was now engraved in Vera’s heart and sung on her lips everyday. How I wished I could sing Collins in the same manner. Thank goodness we were graduating and soon we’d go our separate ways, then I’d be free to visit Collins and do as I like with him.
Few days before we left the school finally, Vera returned home excited and threw herself on the bed.
“Babe, this one you are jumping about like this, what’s up now?” I asked.
“Guess what?” She beamed.
“You know I’m not good at guesses, just go ahead and tell me.” I urged her impatiently.
“Okay, Desmond just got a new job in Shell Petroleum.” She announced in a hushed voice. I cupped my mouth with my hand to muffle a scream and we rushed to hug ourselves on impulse. She told me he’d be coming to pick us up for dinner that night.
Desmond, the graduate driver, now a Shell worker? Soon he’d be driving pick up jeeps like the many other colleagues of his. This was going to be a complete turn around. I didn’t know how to feel at all. I even thought I felt nauseous at some point. We dressed up and waited for Desmond to arrive for the outing. We had planned to have dinner at a very cozy and expensive restaurant before heading to Silverbird to see a movie together. I don’t feel like going but I couldn’t find any tangible excuse not to. My stomach churned from displeasure. Not because I didn’t like Desmond getting the job but mainly because I had written him off not more than once before, and even advised Vera against dating him. No one would have wished to be in that situation.
“Vera,” I called her name lowly.
“Yeah,” She continued preening and perfecting her blushes.
“Something just came to my mind and I felt like asking.”
“What is it baby?” She shot a quick glance at me and continued her art; she was good at it though. “Shoot.”
“What really happened between you and Collins that night when he came to visit?”
She paused and arced her brow thoughtfully, “Which Collins?” She asked innocently.
Like seriously? What was she feeling like? She had moved on this much; over Collins? Her sleepless nights and nightmares? I couldn’t hide my astonishment.
“Like seriously? You’ve forgotten Collins? How many Collins do you know again that came visiting and had a ‘night‘ with you?” I emphasised on the night with an ‘okay‘ gesture high above my head with both hands.
“Oh that.” She paled and withdrew from the mirror to look me in the eyes, squarely. “Babe, don’t you think this is the wrongest time to ask me this question?”
I could see the pain in her reaction. She just feigned to have forgotten, she wasn’t totally over him yet.
“I’m sorry, but like I said, I’ve been wanting to ask but keep forgetting. I’m really curious.”
“Well I thought I told you that day what happened?”
“Yeah, but I feel it’s way beyond that. Look, that story was too cheap to make me believe it.” I gave a no-nonsense look. “Although I did at that time but come to think of it, a friendship and dating that lasted that long online to just snap and end in one brief, holy night that was supposed to cement it.” I explained using my two hands as if one was the brick and the other was the cement. “Oh baby, that’s a cheap pill to sell.”
Vera heaved a sigh and obviously looked exasperated by my persistence. “So, what’s the sudden interest in Collins after all this time?” She enquired, searching my eyes.
“I told you, just curiosity. Sorry I brought it up at the wrongest time like you put it.” We stared at each other for awhile. “You know what, just forget it if you don’t want to tell me. It’s okay.” I did as if I wasn’t interested anymore.
“Okay fine, I’ll tell you.” She sighed and looked downward. “Collins is a great guy… was a great guy.” I finally won, I thought. “You know I loved him so much. Yeah, so so much, but I discovered a side of him I couldn’t put up with.” She continued with her usual sad face. “I said some things to him that night that made me feel so bad afterwards. It’s the guilt of the things I said that have made me always call his number. But to date him again, never.”
The last word left me in shock – NEVER.
“What was it you discovered about him?” I wanted to know by all means.
She sighed again and was about to speak when the door bell rang. “He’s here! Desmond!” She gave a light shout.
Oh no! She didn’t wait another second before scurrying to the door to let Desmond in. She was all frantic and excited again. I’d never seen my friend in that mood ever. The remaining part of that night was tormenting for me.
To be continued…
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