The air hostess smiles at him as she passed him rolling her cart on the plane, he returns the smile and sips his cup of tea.
”Oh Darren, I swear this is exactly the dress I wanted to get, there are like only two of this in that boutique and it was so expensive I didn’t mind selling my car for it, the details were out of this world my God, see the gold shimmering… look at the glow on her face” she says beside him causing him to face her.
He stares at the picture ”You would have looked ravishing with that dress”
”I know right?” She smiles, she leans in and then kisses him lightly on his cheeks. Then she looks at him
”Do you think they would love me?”
”They would love you” He says reassuring her
”You don’t know that”
”They are family, my best friends..they would love you”
”When last did you see them? Their tastes and preferences would have changed”
He takes her face in his hands ”They would love you”
She smiles, leaning in to kiss his cheeks again ”How much longer?”
”An hour, christening don’t start before 11.” He stares at hos watch ”Hopefully if I make it there on time, I won’t be leaving in a body bag”
She laughs at his comment ”She gonna kill you if you don’t show up right?”
”She would bury me, I kept promising I would come see them but it’s been two years, I never did, partly for selfish reasons but now… I know if I do not, it would be over between us and I can’t risk that… she is like a smothering mother that one and he is a grumpy father” He laughs, she smiles at him
”You miss them don’t you?”
”Alot, can’t wait to see them”
”Okay, phew. Hungry? I am hungry” She turns away.
”Let me get a hostess to give you a snack, don’t worry Dee..stop fidgeting as though you are going to see the parents”
She laughs ”I would have liked to see the parents”
”Yes…they would have liked to see you too” he rubs her arms and leans backward staring out the plane. His mind zoning into his thoughts .
Two years ago today..he left this city running away from the pain in his chest..
Two years ago today, he boarded that boat of the ship and didn’t look back, got to his office, took the offer to head the finance firm out of state. Left same day, second flight and didn’t bother to wait for their cruise ship to end to say a proper good bye to his friends.
Two years ago today…the ache in his heart remains.
Two years ago today, he wonders if he would ever see her again and if she would blow him away now that he had moved on.
Two years ago today… he walks back to face his demons… the pain in his chest. He hopes he never sees her again.
”Thank you for sharing your life with me”
”Thank you for agreeing to be part of my mess”
He kisses her knuckles.
”I will kill him I swear I will kill him, I swear it” Tonia says staring at the clock above the priest’s head.
”Relax Tonia, don’t be dramatic. Two years and you still act like a smothering mother”
”I am a smothering mother damnit!”
Tom smiles ”Oh dear Lord, I feel like a grandpa”
She smiles under her chin.. ”You are a grandpa, father to Darren and this little bundle of joy”
Tom laughs silently ”And you love this grandpa”
”Madly, crazily and insanely!!” she flutters her lashes ”He is my world”
”As you are to hims” he kisses her forehead.
”And would be Father and Mother please step forward as we Christine their son..?”
Tom gets up, carries his son while his wife walks behind him to the pulpit while friends and family members remained seated in the congregation.. Tonia turns to look behind her and catches a another familiar face in the crowd.
Lucy waves at her and blows her a kiss. Tonia smiles back turning away.
”And the God-father?” The priest raises his head to look at them.
”He is being held up, he is on his way from the airport and you know how that can be and if we can please wait just a little while longer–” Tonia pleads joining her thumb and her index finger together slightly touching.
”We have three other families here in present , we cannot wait any minute longer, come forward and let me have the child so we ca begin the ceremony” The Priest beckons to them. Tom hands their son to him.
Tonia is muttering under her breathe as she looks behind her, willing him to show up. she turns back to the Priest as he takes her son closer to him.
”I will kill him, I swear I will kill him..” Tonia kept muttering.
”Rise everyone as we Christine this son and give him into the hand of the father…”
Annalisa is seated in her car.
She had been seated outside the church for the past one and half hour, deciding whether she should go in or not.
Lucy had invited her for Tonia’s son christening three weeks ago, knowing that she would be in town. Tonia too had extended an invite but ever since that day two years ago.. things had never been thesame.
Tonia had tried to be civil but, she felt that she blamed her for making her friend Darren to leave the city, far away from them.
Well, it was her fault; if they hadn’t met, she wouldn’t have turned his life upside down in a sense and maybe he wouldn’t have made her turn hers too.
Maybe they were both a mess.
The remaining two days on the ship passed like she never existed. Tonia preferred to be anywhere but close to her, Tom was still nice, Lucy was mad at her, Daniel didn’t stop trying to get with her, His wife harassed her and Bella snubbed her all through. The surprising turn out was Natalia who clinged to a girl all through till the cruise ended. She seemed to had forgotten about Darren, but she didn’t relent in trying to make her feel like s–t for making Darren leave.
In all, it was hell. There was no sweet face Darren so reassure her that it wasn’t because of here. There was no more fun, just..sadness.
He had said they would talk in the morning, how was she to know he was telling her goodbye, and by morning he was gone. Literally gone. No forwarding address, no number, nothing.
She had gone by his office to ask; Bella had had a field day telling her to fxxk off. She felt bad, she felt horrible…she wished she could tell him how really sorry she was and didn’t realize how it all affected him that he had to move away from the city.
Sighing, she rubs her temple.
He had asked her what she wanted..Happiness she thought. Happiness to her before Darren was Daniel.
But …if only he had allowed her tell him what she told Daniel, a man she loved at some point in time, he would have seen that..there was no way she was going to date a married man even if she loved him insanely.
Yes! she wanted happiness, and she wanted it so badly she yearned for it. Maybe, maybe she should have picked him, maybe he would have been here still. Maybe he would have been her happiness..maybe not.
And there was the possibility that he may bot be her happiness too.
But then again, she didn’t know what she really wanted.. he was right. When he said she needed to sort herself out. He was right too. She needed to find herself, still the storms and the current without and be at peace with herself, without influences and distraction.
And she did.
It took a while to really forget the man she loved. It took time, it took healing and it took purging. Six months down the line, they met again and this time, she felt nothing, not a blink, not a shiver and most definitely not jelly. It was the most beautiful feeling to be free. She even congratulated his wife on being heavily pregnant and walked away. She was genuinely happy for them and wished them well.
What did she do after then? She made something out of herself.
She became head at Madivas magazine firm in two years, big promotion and a fat check. Yes! she was doing better than good for herself for a twenty-nine year old woman.
A twenty-nine year old single woman, with a great job, good prospects, a bestfriend and a few friends and no love interests.
Life was great. it was.
Until she got the text message from Lucy and another from Tonia.
Yes, two years ago today…she had laughed with these people, enjoyed their company and wished they had remained. They were nothing more than ”hello” ”hi ” ”friends” ” And how is work and all that.?”
It had never been thesame since the cruise. Lucy and Tonia kept being great friends, and maybe if she too didn’t pull a way out of guilt, they would have remained better friends..
But she too needed to heal, find herself and not drag anyone into her chaos.
Yes! she listened to Darren, she healed…and she was great.
She stares at the church..
She had been out of town for three months, got in yesterday and then Lucy had texted her
” Yay! My girl is coming to town. I miss you Anna, welcome back, girls night out to celebrate another milestone in your career, meet me at the christening forTonia’s son..she asked about you and said she was going to send you an invite..did she?”
Anna looks at her phone and then reads the message Tonia had sent ”Hi Anna, been awhile. I hope you are great. Lucy told me you are out of town, sorry I haven’t checked on you, hope you are great. You must have heard… I got a boy!! Yay!!”‘ she smiles reading the message ”Christening is in two weeks from now… I know you are not in town so… say a prayer for my boy since you won’t be attending. Bye. Tom sends his hugs”
She drops her phone in her bag and then opens the door . She sighs
‘Maybe she shouldn’t go in. Tonia was probably tying to be nice.. and didn’t exactly want her there. they had hardly had a long conversation since the day she ran out of Darren’s room with tears in her eyes, They didn’t talk for five months after then till Tom and her ran into each other, and then invited her and Lucy for thanksgiving and then after then, a month later when she ran into Tonia in the gym, four months later when they saw at a friend’s party and then two weeks ago when she got this message.
She wondered if she would be happy to see her, if they would be? . She knew Lucy would be thrilled she had moved back to town. And besides, It was Tonia’s baby Christening…she has to come right?.
She alights from the car and then straightens her dress, carrying a bag with baby items in it.. ”Here goes” she mutters bracing herself as she walks into the church and finds her way to Lucy who hugs her ..
”Oh Anna, look at you..oh my God!”‘ she hugs her ”Three months and you look like someone who just walked out of a Forbes magazine, one word ”Wow!” She stares at Annalisa who smiles
”That good huh?”
”That good, look at you, I am almost jealous of my best friend, d–n, even your a-s got bigger and you glow… tell me, who is hitting that up these days?” Lucy whispers
Annalisa rolls her eyes ”Every woman’s glow has nothing to do with a man Luce”
”Well, whatever is giving you that glow…more of it baby”
”Good job, peace of mind, great check..and an amazing view out of my crib and a new fab car… convertible..it’s a ford”
”Oh dammit girl!! I hate you” Lucy says, Anna smiles
”I love you and I miss you” she leans into her
”I miss you more, glad you are back. We are going to have so much fun today, after the christening and all…girls only, I no boys”
”I second that” then she stares at Tonia and Tom with their son ”Hmmph!! he is so handsome” Anna says viewing the child from her seat
”I know right, such a cute baby.. I wish I can kidnap him. You know, I should get me a baby” Lucy says ”I would go now I get me a baby”
”Like Adopt one?”
Lucy scoffs ”No, get laid without condoms and get me a baby…so envious of those locs of hair, see how he smiles…so adorable..” she gushs, Anna laughs ”I want all that cuteness and more, d–n..babies are fxxking angels”
”Oh I missed your crazy too…” She hugs her friend who laughs returning it
”Yes, what would the world be without my crazies right? Hey! That for me?” Lucy eyes Annalisa’s bag.
”No, for Baby Tonia” Anna moves the gift bag away
”Hey..” Lucy laughs ”I am a baby too!”
”No you aren’t. Whats the commotion about?” Anna c—s her head to the side
”I think they are waiting for someone” Lucy says with a slight frown.
”Well, they have to hurry, I hear the other mothers muttering that the first mother is taking forever to Christine her son” she looks behind her and then back at them.. ”Who are they waiting for anyways”
”Okay, but I am happy to be here to share in their joy, I hope she doesn’t toss baby milk on me though” she thins her lips.
Lucy laughs ”Water under the bridge, tons of years ago… she likes you still”
”Oh well if you say so.. I came with baby proof just in case” she smiles ” it’s okay…so tell me…how have you been? Tell me you gonna say yes to him soon?”
Lucy smiles ”Oh Adam is just divine i can’t wait to say Yes, but I wan him to beg” she laughs
”You are wicked”
”I know, he loves me even more”
”Father, if you can wait just a second more before you go on I would appreciate it” Tonia stops the priest, a few people mutter behind them, she ignores them.
The priest who was about to take water from the fountain shakes his head ”The ceremony goes on or would you rather go back and wait..and with the time now, we would have to shift it to next week”
”Tonia, he is not coming okay, so let’s go on” Tom leans to whsiper
She bites her lips”But he promised”
”He has made alot of promises and he has broken them since he moved away, He probably could not get off work or the flight cancelled or something, we can’t keep waiting Tonia, common”
”Fine, carry on” She says with a sigh.
”I baptize this boy in the name of the father-”
The church door bursts open and a lady dressed elegantly rushes in, followed by a man dressed in a black suit rushing to the pulpit. They held hands.
”Oh my God Anna!!” Lucy exclaims
Annalisa who was fiddling with her bag looks at her friend ”What Tonia, why do you have that face?”
”See who just walked into church”
Annalisa followed her eyes and then her heart catches in her chest ”Darren!” she breaths.
Tonia bursts into large smiles as she claps in excitement ”I told you he was going to come” Tonia says to her husband.
He turns smiling ”Yeah you did, handsome mudafxxker!!”
”Language please, this is the house of the Lord”
”Sorry Father, sorry God” Tom looks to the priest and then to the heavens.
”Well hurry up!!” Tonia beckons to him.
Darren leans in and places a kiss to his lady friend’s cheeks and then lets her go, he rushes to the Pulpit.
”Here here, take him…”Tonia grabs her baby from the Priest and shoves it into Darren’s hands like a proud mother ”You can go on Priest..” she laughs
Tom shakes his head ”The family is complete” he nods.
”Shall we then, step froward with your God son..Mr?”
He takes water from the fountain and then begins to pour on the child’s head…
“…I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
”Amen”. The congregation replies. He continues with the christening which lasts for an hour. When he was done, he says to them having returned the child back to Darren after taking him briefly..
“…People of God will you welcome this child and uphold them in their new life in Christ?”
“…With the help of God, we will.” they replied
”And you, the god-father, would you care for this child as your own, love him, nurture him and bring him up in the name of the Lord?”
”I will” Darren says
”Would you seize from doing anything that is not of God around him, ensure that he stays on the right part and step in when needs be to be a guardian is needed?”
The priest takes anointing oil and then anoints the boy by placing a drop of it to his forehead and doing the sign of the cross.
“…Christ claims you as his own. Receive the sign of the cross.”
The priest offers prayers for the child, his family and that of his friends and loved ones. A candle was brought forward, this the priest hands to Darren as he places his hand on the boy’s head.
“…Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God.”
”Amen” everyone mutters.
”May the Lord go with you all, may you never neglect the gathering of the brethren and may you always show love and kindness towards each other. Go in peace” The Priest finishes
”Thank you Father” Tom shakes him, Tonia appreciates him and Darrem thanks him.
They leave the pulpit as their friends gather them to gush about the baby, they exit the church and stand outside and soon they leave for the reception.
Annalisa is already on her way to her car, pulling Lucy with her in a hurry.
”Anna, psst wait!” Lucy stops her ”Wait girl, heels aren’t meant to be running in, wait damnit”
Anna stops ”I gat to leave”
”No you don’t gat to do nothing, why are you running?”
”Because I can’t be here.. I mean he left because of me and he is back i don’t want him to be reminded of the girl who didn’t want him or was too messed up and bla bla bla”
‘That’s just stupid, it’s being two years girl.. he won’t hate you”
”Well, you don’t know that and besides you did saw him with a hot cheek right? He won’t even remember your face girl, we came for the christening and we are going for it”
”Ir’s finished, you go on to the reception and I go home and we meet up later” she opens her car door.
”Hell nah baby..you coming with even if I have yo drag you. Come on..no one is going to want to go back down memory lane okay..besides you were invited”
”That invite was shortsighted, I swear I believe Tonia didn’t think I would show..and she wouldn’t miss me girl…”
”Are you running away because you scared he gonna hate or you are running away because there is a tendency you going to get jealous seeing him with another woman?”
”Please Luc, not even close… I just don’t want bad blood okay”
”How about you do this. You drop me off at Tonia’s and you can go ..good?”
”Come here let me plaster your handsome face with Kisses” Tonia pulls Darren to her and kisses him all over, he was laughing as he places a kiss to her forehead
”That how much you missed me mama ?”
”So much so so much!” she pulls his cheeks ”Two fxxking ears and you haven’t aged abit, you look even way handsome, what are you a vampire?”
”I think so, see my fangs?” he shows her his teeth
”Yeah, faintly…d–n boy, two years, don’t ever do that again” She nudges him
”I won’t I am sorry, needed to clear my head ”
”Yeah, I did.
”When you moving back here then?’ she smiles, he laughs
”Well, still not sure”
”You got a son now, so you better be making move back here else ama come drag you myself” She pinches him
”I don’t doubt that.” He stares at the baby with his father ”Darren Griffin Jnr, i love him already”
”So cute right?”
Tom is walking towards them ”Try not to teach my son how to break the ladies hearts though, he is going to be the best and perfect gentleman”
”Scout’s honour!!” Darren salutes. Tom and him hug as Tom places his head to him ”I missed you bro, too fxxking d–n much, I almost took a plane out once but the storm cancelled it..I hate you for leaving but i don;t blame you, glad you came..really and if you didn’t i would not be getting some for atleast a year, she is mean like that”
”What?” Tonia hits his shoulders as the boy’s laugh..
”Just saying” Tom turns and perches on the table with Darren, they watch the crowd coming in and greeted a few. She walks past, smiling at Darren who smiles back.
”So, what’s her name?”
”Tammy, manly name. But she beautiful” Tonia says
Darren smiles ”Yeah she is”
”You happy?” Tom nudges him
”She is nice?’ Tonia says
”Yes she is”
”Are you settling?” Tonia stares at him
”Come on Tonia, I am not..she is great”
”How great is she…I mean..?” she pokes her jaw with her tongue
”Oh gross!!” Darren shakes his head, Tonia laughs
”I swear I did not pollute her mind with naughty things, Tonia was rotten even before I married her” Tom says in his defense
”Come on, if it were Tom you would tell him if you screwed her already”
”Because he is a guy and guys talk about such things but..I don’t kiss and tell”
”Aha, I see”
”But…if you must know, we haven’t” Darren says
”Oh really?” Tom asks
”Yes really” He takes the boy from Tom and then plays with him
”Why? How long is this ship?”
”Three months” Darren says smiling at little Darren
”And you haven’t tasted the cherry?”
”Giving it time and …being busy”
”You have been dating fro three months, you havn’t boinked her and you bring her all the way to see your family…and you say you have been busy, what the fxxk is the matter with you, you like this girl or what?”
”I do, she is nice..just taking my time”
”And what does she think about it?” Tonia turns around and seats with them
”Well, she understands that..I was in a bad place, i was in a good place and then it didn’t last and that I need time”
She stares at him ”You talked to her about the Exs?”
”Wow!” Tom exclaims ”And she don’t mind waiting?”
”I was open and honest, she is great yes and she still wanted the relationship and so we are taking it one day at a time, no rush, no fuzz..its great.”
”Welcome home son!” Tom grabs his head and then hits it, Darren laughs
”Yeah, good to see you too.”
”Anna, come inside”
”No!” She remained in the car ”Give me my keys” She gives her hand to Lucy who shakes her head
”Come out now!”
”Fine, enjoy your car” Lucy turns and walks into the house.
Lucy greets familiar people and then walks to them.
Tonia turns and breaks out in smile ”Hi Lucy, you came, thank you so much. See Aunt Tonia Darren. See your aunt who is going to buy you nice things and teach you how to look all dapper checking out chicks”
”Haha , very funny!” she leans in and kisses Darren jnr’s forehead and hugs Tonia. The she higs Tom who thanks her for coming,
”Where is Adam?”
”Trip, he sends his love”
”Okay, he owes me the next games, he told you i won right?”
”Yes he did, smooth Tom, really smooth” She turns to Darren
”Lucy, i never got your last name”
”It’s Micheals” She smiles ”You look great”
”I do infact look great. ” he smiles ”Come here” he pulls her to him and then hugs her ”Mehn, my world was boring without this crazy person in it, how have you been and Adam? same Adam?”
”Yes same Adam, girl got him hooked on her punani line and sinker he is singing the blues and then the white song” Tonia says to Darren
”Wow, he proposed?” he has surprise on his face
”He did, but I am making him sweat it, for a week or two before i say yes” she laughs
”That’s what she said” she said
”Who said?” Darren asks
Annalisa ”Er..so…” she stutters ”You moved back or you just passing through?”
”Passing through, but be here for a little while, on vacation”’
”Ah, I see”
”Babe?” They turn to see her coming towards them ”You should try this cake, it’s amazing” she comes with a a fork and saucer with cheeried cake on it , spoon feeding Darren
”Hmm” he groans
She smiles to Tonia and Tom ”Thank you both for having me and I am sorry I am such a glutton”
Tonia laughs ”Don’t worry about it, eat, enough to go around and feed a community”
She is staring at Lucy who is still being hugged by Darren and who is staring at her , then she clears her throat, Darren swallows another cake ”Oh sorry, Lucy meet my girlfriend Tammy, Tammy meet…Lucy” he releases her and brings Tammy closer to him.
”Hi Tammy, nice to meet you” Lucy gives her her hand
”Nice to meet you too Lucy, you the Ex?”
Darren chokes on his drink, om and Tonia laughs
”Nooooooooooooo, at all” she laughs nervously ”That would be my best friend..who is outside right now”
”Annalisa is here?” Tonia looks at the door, Tom too, everyone does.
Darren looks away, Tonia doesn’t miss that ”I thought she was out of town?”
”She was, came in last night and you sent an invite so…”
”I didn’t think she would show..”
”Oh so it was a formality?” Lucy clarifies ”She was right”
”Don’t be like that, it was an invite and..oh never mind, why isn’t she coming in?”
”You know… big elephant in the room” she c—s her head to Darren
He shakes his head ”It’s fine really, that was tons of years ago… it’s fine, she should not lock herself away because I am in town, it’s fine”
”Se, its fine” Tonia smiled relieved ”All is right in the world. Unless the new girl don;t want her here?”
”Me?” Tammy asks ”Nonsense! I would love to see the girl who got away, it’s the way he describes her”
They laugh, Darren doesn’t let it reach his eyes.
”Well, don;t worry, she isn’t coming in, I have her car keys so she isn’t leaving either”
”Baddass!!” Tonia exclaims
”You know it!” They smile
”Hell, she can’t be there all alone because of a misunderstanding, let me go get her..” Tom excuses himself. Darren takes his wine to his lips, Tammy leans in whispering into his ears, his eyes didn’t leave the door.
”I am not going in, I am not going in and I am not going in, I am not…
”Aahhh!!” she screamed covering her face and then dropping her hands ”Damnit Tom!!”
He laughs opening the door, and then pulling her out and into a hug ”D–n girl, you went on and got sexier, what kind of job they got you doing”
She laughs as she pulls away ”I missed you guys” she hugs him again
”So you say and you disappeared too, showing up like the star every once in a while. Not nice”
”I am sorry, I thought you guys hated me”
He scoffs ”No one does, Tonia can be touchy and sentimental but she doesn’t hate you, just camouflage, come”
”No no no, I can’t” she pulls away ”Darren and-”
”Girl, he already knows you are here”
”He does?” Her eyes grows big ” And?”
”And nothing. girl don’t seclude yourself, water under the bridge, come..”
”’Argh!! I really shouldn’t” she says grabbing the gift bag.
”You really should, come come say hello to my cute son, just don’t steal him away”
They laugh walking back into his house.
He felt it racing as soon as she appeared at the door with Tom, their eyes meet. He couldn’t breathe, he quickly turns away.
Oh my God! Oh my God oh my God! Breathe Annalisa, Breathe.
Annalisa says within herself as she walks to them, holding onto Tom.
”Hey Tonia!!” She says raising the gift bag ”Peace offering”
Tonia smiles taking it and giving her a hug ”Accepted! How are you?”
”Thank you, I am awesome. and you…baby looks good on you, a mother, wow!!”
”I know right, still sexy hot too” she winks
”No doubt there..thank you for inviting me”
”Thank you for the gift, see Darren Jnr..so got so much love” she rubs her baby cheeks and smiles.
They stare at each other, so does everyone stare at them.
A stretch of one minute passes.
”Awkward!!” Lucy mutters under her breath.
”Hi, I am Tammy , Darren’s girlfriend and you must be ..the girl who got away”
Annalisa frowns slightly taking her hand ”That what they call me now? It’s Annalisa” They shake
”You are a beauty!” Tammy says ”Wow!”
”You are beautiful as well”
”Nonsense! I pale in comparison to you. I am just a lucky gal to have this hunk of a man” she says leaning in and kissing Darren full on the mouth.
Annalisa smiles ”Nice to see you Darren!”
”You too Annalisa”
”You want a drink? I do?” Lucy asks
”Let’s go!” she pulls Annalisa away.
”Oh babe, I would be back” Tammy kisses him again, taking her phone to her ears to answer a call. Darren’s eyes follows her.
”You have that look in your eyes” Tom says as Tonia goes to feed their son
”That.. I am still not over you look ”
Darren breaks his staring and looks at Tom ”I am over her Tom”
”Was that before you came back into the city or now that you see her do you say so?”
”Over year a year ago”
”Then why do your eyes follow her like that, and your hands her shaking slightly” Tom looks at them, Darren folds them
”I am over her”
”Yeah. That’s the lie you tell yourself to believe it”
”It’s been two years” Darren says closing his eyes
”And I could literally hear your heart racing, God, she got you bad. Did you ever tell her?”
”That you fell in love with her?”
He shakes his head ”I left Tom. I couldn’t bear not being with her, seeing her with another or being happy without me being the source of it Tom. I had fallen madly in love with a girl I met on St. Valentine’s day, had sex with and wanted to date her all in three months… it was crazy, a new feeling for me…and..it hurt, that cruise it did and I had to be selfless knowing that she needed to find herself and I am glad I let her go and allowed her to let herself go… it was painful but it was the right thing. I do hope she did find her happiness and the love that give her butterflies, i do”
”And you, did you find yours?”
”Tammy is a great girl”
”You did not answer the question”
Darren is quiet ”It’s been two years, let the past remain the past” he sips his wine
”A littel advice, follow your heart and it it’s Tammy. great! But if you want to sail down that road again with Annalisa, iI give my blessing. I am a sucker for a good love story Darren and if I remember correctly, you helped me find my love story..you gave Tonia, she was your best friend…and when it was about to hit the rocks you told me something which I am going to repeat to you ..”Never let a good thing die if you can make it work a second time. Take the chance that presents it self and baby make it go fireworks, never settle… if you find that love that causes your heart to beat fast ad slow at the same time even after so many years, it may just mean you have found the one who is your soul mate”
”Two years Tom. She has a life, I moved on”
”If this is what is called moving on, you are definitely dumber than i thought. Two years she walks into the room you can’t tell you have been drinking water instead of wine”
Tom c—s his head to the side, Darren follows his eyes and sees that he indeed was drinking water from a cup instead of his wine ”The hell, whose cup and water is this?” He drops it
”My thoughts exactly bro!”
Tonia comes back to them ”What are you guys talking about?”
”Nothing!” They say in unison, Tonia eyes them both
”You have got to be kidding me!” She exclaims
The boys play innocent.
”Wow!!” Anna exclaims
”You okay?” Lucy nudges her ”I know it was kinda unexpected but..you okay?”
”Hmmhum, I am awesome, why you think I wouldn’t be?’
”Darren? Seeing him again and then…the new girl”
She scoffs ”What about it, he has a girlfriend now, big deal. It’s great, he looks happy and she is beautiful”
”Yeah, so all is good?”
”All is perfect. Tonia seems genuinely happy to see me, Tom is everly great, they have a cute baby boy named Darren, my best friend would be getting married soon..and Darren is hooked..yes, all is perfect,everyone is happy” She smiles
”Glad. What about you?”
”Baby, with the kind of job I got and the money flowing in, who won’t be happy, I am. I was a bit nervous about seeing them again but all that is gone, we cool.”
”Okay, so drink, cake, anything?”
Lucy smiles. They grab what they could and head out.
For the rest of the reception for Baby Darren, they hardly looked at each other much less said anything to each other because they were in different places at different time and talking to different people at different times.
Soon the crowd was thinning out and it was getting late, Anna looks at her time, she was yawning.
”Lucy, I have to head home”
”Already?” Tonia stares up at her from breastfeeding her soon”
”Yes, I would come by during the week to visit if you don’t mind”
”Ofcourse, I like gifts, lots of baby girls” she smiles broadly
”I would not forget, see you Tonia” she hugs her sideways and then plays with the cheeks of Darren jnr.
”Bye Tom!!” They hug
Darren is watching her while drinking from his glass, Tammy is whispering things into his ears he was trying hard to grasp. But he couldn’t. He swears and turns away from Anna and faces Tammy.
He says to himself.
”Bye Darren, nice to meet you Tammy”
”It’s my pleasure”
”Bye” He manages trying to spare not more than a few seconds glance her way.
”Goodnight guys, need to go pick up my car anyways, byyeee” Lucy waves and they are out of the door.
”It’s getting late though, wanna go?”
Tammy pouts ”I wish I could stay”
”Yeah, you would be around for a bit yes?”
”Just for tonight, I have a meeting in the morning so i have to fly out ”
”Oh, but I would be back by weekend though”
”Great, well save trip then” Tonia smiles at her. They walk them to the door, and waving.
Tonia watches them leave, with Darren pulling away, she bites her lips and thinking hard.
”Spill it wife, you don’t do well keeping things in”
”Is it just me or Darren seems he would rather be with someone else than Tammy”
”It’s just you” Tom says walking away, she frowns turning to him while trying to make Darren Jnr burp
”Tom, I know you and we see things eye to eye, what were you both talking about?”
”Nothing okay, some things are just guys stuff”
”Well … I am your wife”
”He is my best friend”
”You are just a manipulative litte sexy mama”
”I know, spill”
”I think” he says pulling her to seat on him ”Our boy fell inlove with Anna before he bailed ”
”Aha!! Makes alot of sense, while hide yourself if it was just a thing, he probably didn’t want us to see him break down again and stuff”
”Okay so… is that what you guys were talking about?”
He places his index finger in his son’s hand and watches him squeeze it, he smiles as love fills him for his little boy ”With the way his eyes followed her today seeing her after two years, my boy is stuck on glue with this one, he forgot Natalia within a month, he dated her for three years Tonia, he loved her ..but this girl he didn’t get a proper date till the cruise and dated her, this girl he barely knew, two years later, his heart is racing and he couldn’t tell he was drinking water instead of wine” he smiles
”Oh boy!!” She frowns
”You don’t sound pleased”
”I don’t want him to go down a road he lost. Tammy is nice, i like Tammy”
”I like Anna”
”Yeah, she is great but, let sleeping dog lie and Darren is sweet soul, i think it’s just nostalgia. Its just a ..oh my God surprise feeling of running into someone you had a thing for, in a day or two it would be gone”
‘You think so?” He stares at her , ”I am a man, and we guys knew when we have been hit hard in the heart, I knew when it was you, you think he doesn’t know that?”
She bites her lips ”For all we know she is seeing someone, or maybe with that Daniel guy..”
Tom shrugs ”I told him to follow his heart”
”No Tom,. tell him to build whatever love interests he has with Tammy and forget the past. I don’t want him going away again if it doesn’t work out”
”Don’t be selfish” he says looking at her ”If he decides to go after her again, we are not going to advice him otherwise, he deserves to have a beautiful love story, just because it didn’t work out the first time doesn’t mean it won’t work out again”
”And if it doesn’t, it breaks him even more”
”He would heal and he would move on. That is life, we win some and we lose son, but it is better than trying and failing than not trying at all and wonder what could have been. He is inlove with her Tonia, his eyes says it all, his body movement but he is being the perfect man, respecting his girlfriend and stuff…he won’t disrespect her, you know Darren, but i told him..he should follow his heart and he would do the right thing, for his happiness…
I would pick you over and over again Tonia, even if we go sour at some point, girl I would fight for you because I love you, that is what I want for him, to fight for what he wants, at least try… if it’s Anna… then he should be encouraged to do so..if he says Tammy, then he should work it to the fullest, my two cents”
”Sometimes you are so deep Tom”
‘That’s why you married me, now… how about I bath my two favorite people yes?” He lifts her up with the baby
”Oh my man so big and strong” she chuckles
”So big and strong, speaking off…how about we play a little game while Darren sleeps.” he winks at her
”You naughty man” she laughs
”We can name baby 2… Anna”
Darren is by the window, staring out of the city, lost in thoughts when he felt hands slipping through his and wrapping him.
”Hey!” he whispers
”Coming to bed?”
”In a bit” he says.
She holds him still, hugging him tighter . She walks infront of him, wearing nothing but a thin see-through nightie. She caresses his face. Going on tip-toe, she kisses him softly on the lips.
He kisses her back. She wraps her hands around his neck and pushes herself closer to him, deepening the kiss. He savours her lips, drinking from her as she pushes him back to the bed.
They sink in, she climbs ontop of him and begins to grind..kissing him still,he rolls her over and places her on the bed, sitting up and placing his head in his hand ”I can’t Tammy, i am sorry”
She groans ”I want you so bad, it’s been three months, you have not even touched me. Do you know like me, for real Darren, because I am burning for you”
He stares at her , ” I do like you and I do want to make love to you but I can’t force it, I can’t rush it and ..I simply can’t make myself do it… I need time”
”Three months is alot of time not to touch your girlfriend Darren, I mean you are a great guy, you take care of me and stuff, must i need to be cared for body and soul too..I want you, want to know how you feel inside of me, touch you, kiss you, suck you…and have you do all that to me, come on, relax and I would take care of you” she kisses his shoulders again and pulls him backwards, climbing him again, kissing his chest and trailing her tongue down to his novel and going before , he stops her..
She doesn’t understand, no one does. He closes his eyes and he sees her face, he kisses her and he sees her face. It’s been two freaking years..
Why can’t he get her out of his head.
”I can’t Tammy, and I have always been open and honest with you.. it has to pass”
She sits up ”I think it’s even worse today, seeing her?”
He gets up ”It would pass okay.” he pulls her to him and lays on his back with her on his chest ”It would, and you can have all of me” he kisses her lightly, and then closes his eyes.
He slept off, he couldn’t. His thoughts were plagued with Annalisa.
The one who got away.
”I hope you get the contract signed” he tells her at the airport, just when she is about to board”
”Yeah, I will. You know I am a bad-a-s lawyer” she smiles at him ”I am good at being persuasive. I always have a strong argument to swing things my way”
”I know, that’s how you got me to date you, cornering me and using your tactics on me… I had no choice than to surrender”
He smiles pulling her to him , they hug, they kiss..”Take care of you Darren, I would see you by the weekend, right?”
***Two weeks Later**
”Who you bringing ?” Tom hands him a bottle of bear and turns the Tv station to ESPN. They had been out all day.
”Tammy can’t make it, had to go see her parents..”
”I see, so you would be a lone ranger?”
”Yep! Flying Solo had always been my thing”
”Great, see you at the church?”
”Yes..Gatto run though, need to take care of some things before tomorrow”
He gets up leaving, stopping by the nursery to see Tonia and his godson..”Bye son, don’t believe anything they say, I am your real daddy” he smiles, Tonia nudges him. He kisses her forehead, his forehead and waves..”See you tomorrow”
Tom enters the nursery , ”Did I not tell you”
‘Tell me what?”
”That it was just a thing, he looks better, does he not?”
”yeah, maybe you are right, he has not brought her up since he came back two weeks ago.”
”yeah, take D..need to go make dinner” she leaves him with his son,
”Hey handsome, hey my little superhero..daddy is here, daddy is here” he pecks his cheeks.
He drives into the supermarket and then alights, entering the store going to the back to pick out some house supplies..
Going back to the counter, he drops his items and waits for the cashier to bag them
”A two hundred and fifty” she told him, a wide smile on her face, he returns it..
”Here you go” he hands her his card and waits for her to swipe it.
He steps away a second , looking through a pack of movies stacked at the shelve, going through them he picks two and heads back, someone was already in his place..
”Oh sorry, Ma’am , give me a second while i finish bagging up his supplies and I would attend to you” The lady at the counter tells the customer who is standing before her
”No, it’s fine, I would wait” Darren tells her, ”Finish with her, not in a hurry”
The lady turns , their eyes meet.
”Anna” He breathes
TO BE CONTINUED
The air hostess smiles at him as she passed him rolling her cart on the plane, he returns the smile and sips his cup of tea.