The Men She Loved (9)

Ada looked at her in shock, and then pain flashed across the features of her best friend. But it was only for a second, before they were contorted into a combination of anger and disgust.

“When he leaves you broken, and weeping, don’t call me,” she hissed, as she spun her huge stomach around and stormed out.

The door slammed shut behind her, leaving two figures frozen and silent. Dayo returned to his seat, but Lola remained where she was, staring at the door. Tears filled her eyes. This was all wrong. Ada was right. Everything was going smoothly before Dayo came back.

“I think you should go too.”

“What?”

She turned to face him, “I’d like you to leave.”

He stood up, slowly; then said, “No.”

“What?”

“You heard me. I’m not going anywhere. This is what you do. As soon as there is any hint of trouble you turn tail and run!”

“Seriously?! I stayed with you through 5/6 affairs, and those were the ones I knew about!”

“And after that?”

“I would hardly call your jail time – a hint of trouble!” she shouted at him.

“You never even asked if I was guilty!” he shouted back.

“I had come to the conclusion on your guilt a looooooooong time before you were accused of committing a crime! You were guilty of cheating on me, you were guilty of playing with me –“

“I never played with you. I loved you.” He had stopped shouting. He seemed deflated “I loved you Lola. I love you still.”

His words had a calming effect on her. Her anger was replaced by an immense sadness. She started crying again. He walked over to her and pulled her into his arms.

“What was it like?” she whispered into his chest.

“In jail?”

She nodded

“Dull.”

“Just that?”

“Dull. Repetitive. Monotonous.” He lifted up her chin “I’m glad you asked me. No one else has.”

“They are probably afraid of what your response would be.”

“And you weren’t?”

“I was. But not knowing wouldn’t mean the bad stuff didn’t happen, it would only mean I wouldn’t be able to offer you comfort.”

He stepped away from her

“I needed comfort when I was rotting away in jail. Where were you then?” she looked away. She tried to smother the guilt rising up within her. He was the one that betrayed her! Wasn’t he? He was breathing hard, trying to control his burst of anger and she stood quietly waiting it out.

Dare was arrested in the last term of her final year. She had spent those last months in a daze, avoiding everyone. His sentence was pronounced just before her graduation. Her parents had been there to celebrate her achievement and to swoop her back home, back to Nigeria, away from boyfriends that had less than favourable backgrounds. She hadn’t even fought them, she had left him to his fate and he knew it.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?”

“No.”

He grabbed her by her shoulders, and shook her hard. She looked up at him, “Why should I have been the faithful loyal girlfriend? You certainly expected more than you were ever prepared to offer.” She said this to him quietly and he dropped his hands.

“I would not have abandoned you in that situation.”

“I would never have been in that situation.”

“Semantics. In a similar situation, then.”

“Maybe you wouldn’t have, but I would never have cheated on you. So I guess we both have our weaknesses.”

They stared at each other and Lola admitted to herself that this was the most alive she had felt in a long time. This bubbling crackling anger mixed with a lavish serving of desire.

“Do you want to take this to the bedroom?”

She burst out laughing, “Err…no.”

“Ok, I think I’ll go finish my food then.” She followed him to the dining table and momentarily regretted her harsh refusal of his offer.

They sat together in companiable silence whilst Dare finished his food. She knew he was thinking about their conversation the same way she was.

“So, what now?” he asked, rubbing his altogether too flat, too sexy stomach.

“Well, we could watch a movie? I’ve got all the Xmens, all the Lord of the …”

“No. What’s next with us?”

“Us?”

“You and I, babe. I think we should get back together.”

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