Strangers in Love
"Do you believe in true love?" the lady beside me asked me as the aircraft began its cruise enroute Lagos. I looked out the aircraft window at the beautiful art nature was painting with the clouds, the sky and setting sun. I was an unapologetic nature lover, and nature was vast.
"Yes" I answered, turning to face her.
"Hmm... I think I've lost faith in its existence" She answered. That was not the type of conversation I wanted to have, considering I woke up in the morning to a breakup text from the one I thought was "the one", the umpteenth time.
"Oh well! Different strokes, different folks" I answered with a shrug, and looked out the window again, not wanting anything to come between me and the beautiful view I was seeing outside.
"It's beautiful!" the lady said. I looked at her, and she pointed at the window.
"Oh yeah" I answered, letting a little smile through.
"I love sunrises and sunsets, especially at the beach, you know, that glow with the reflection on water, awesome stuff!" she added.
"Nature makes the best art" I answered.
"Where's the lie! I love nature" She said gleefully.
"Why do you love nature?" I asked, turning to face her, and noticing the bespectacled and dimpled pretty dark-skinned lady beside me.
"What's there not to love? You and I are products of nature, that view out there is too, trees, flowers, birds, and on and on" She answered.
"Hmm. Very correct! So have you been disappointed by nature?" I asked.
"Uhm! Nature never disappoints" She answered with a chuckle.
"Oh, is that right? Never been beaten by the rain, or stranded by a sudden downpour or felt so hot you, or the first time you tasted strawberries.." I was saying.
"oh! Wait! If it's that one, nature has disappointed me very well oo. Very very well" She said, with a hearty laugh.
"Yet you still love nature, yeah? I mean even with the stories about Tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, you still love nature?" I asked.
"Oh well, nature may have its other side, I don't want to say bad side, but there more than a million more reasons not to stop loving nature" she answered.
"So it's safe to say there's true love between you and nature, yeah?" I asked with a smile.
"Oh yes!" She answered with a smile, that quickly turned into a bewildered expression.
"Yeah! That's it! true love is wide, and apparently, you still believe it. If you can love nature and what you may call its flaws, you can extend that principle to nature's products, including men" I added.
"Wow!" was all she could say. It seemed to get her thinking, because she was quiet for the rest of the flight, till we touched down at Lagos.
"Thank you! You've just done something to my chain of thoughts about this whole love thing. Thank you." She said as we stepped out of arrivals.
"Always a pleasure" I answered with a smile.
"Okay, I guess this is where we say our goodbyes. Thank you once again, I learned something new and huge" She said.
"You've thanked me enough to last a year. It's nothing really." I answered with a wink. We said our goodbyes and went separate ways. My friend who was supposed to come pick me called to say he was stuck in traffic- yeah, I was back to the madness of Lagos. I went to grab a bite at the KFC store, and as I ate I went through the breakup text I received that morning. After investing all of me into a relationship for 3 years with the hopes of popping the "will you marry me?" question soon, she just upped and decided that even though that was her best relationship ever, she still felt I was too good to be true, and she also didn't think she was good enough for me.
As I read the text over and over again, I wondered why she would decide for me whether she was good enough for me or not, considering I had never complained about anything, not even her flaws or her past. I mean, who was I to talk about her flaws or dark past when I had mine too.
I sat back and thought about the beautiful memories we created and the beautiful future we intended to build together. We had everything planned out, and were just a proposal away from upgrading our relationship bouquet to begin a future together. I hadn't replied the text since I got it, because I had no idea what I wanted to say. I read the text one more time, and began to type an epistle as a reply. When I was done typing, I read what I had typed, thought for a minute, deleted everything and just typed "Okay, all the best" and sent. It felt like with each breakup, it had become so easy for me to not dwell so long on the pains of a breakup, and the reverse should have been the case, because with each new relationship, I became a better man who loved harder than the previous relationship.
"Oh! What are the odds?" A voice behind me said. I turned round to find my seat mate on the plane. She had her glasses off, and chances were I would not have recognized her if I had seen her the next day.
"Well, nature has her ways" I answered.
"Yeah, correct! So are you expecting someone?" She asked.
"Yeah, my friend, but he is currently chilling in the smoky arms of Lagos traffic" I answered.
"Same story. Lagos is an extreme sport" She added.
"An extreme sport we have chosen to love unconditionally" I answered with a laugh & sipped my Pepsi.
"hmm! Love & its many dimensions"
She added. A minute part of me just wanted to be alone, to set my thoughts & priorities straight, but the greater part of me was beginning to enjoy the company of the lady seated before me. In no time I had forgotten about the fact that I was supposed to be brooding on a breakup
"....and that's how hard girl like me, a whole mis prim & proper, my skirt ripped while I was komoleing at the party oo" She narrated, & we laughed. She was good company.
"I think an embarrassingly funny moment for me was when I erroneously displayed my love notes PowerPoint at a business presentation. I had intended to send it to my girlf- my ex...." I narrated.
"Oh dear! What was their reaction like?" She asked.
"Let's just say after that, each time any colleague wants to attack me, that's the first reference." I answered.
It didn't sound funny, but she laughed so heartily that I thought maybe it was actually funnier than I thought it was.
"Now I'm so curious! I have questions about why you had to have a PowerPoint presentation of love notes for your girlfriend" She said, still laughing. I munched on a popcorn chicken, and sipped my drink before I answered.
"You know, there are a million and one creative ways to spice your relationship up and make it interesting and comfortable for both of you. Yeah, that was just one of the many things we did." I answered.
"All that, and she's your ex now?" She asked.
"Oh well, I was a happy boyfriend yesterday, and then woke up single." I answered and happily tore my chicken with both hands.
"You're kidding, yeah? Is this some Lagos bobo prank to lure a single unsuspecting sister like me?" She asked with a raised eyebrow. I looked at her with intent for a while, and then pushed my phone to her.
"Slide to open" I said, and continued to open.
"Why would I want to open your phone?" She asked.
"Because I want you to see something, and my hands are busy with this delicious chicken. I should get the recipe" I answered.
"Okay, uhm, I don't like going through people's phones though." She answered.
"Miss prim and proper, just slide to open already" I said.
"Alright, if you insist" She answered, and reluctantly opened my phone.
"Read what you see" I said, & continued eating. She looked at me, the phone screen & back at me. I nodded my approval, & she read the text.
"Wow! Y'all had no quarrels or issues?" She asked.
"Nope, none at all" I answered.
"And you're acting so not bothered. Did you love her?" She asked.
"As much as I love God, nature, my mother, & food" I answered.
"You won't demand closure?" She asked.
"All the closure I need is in that text." I answered.
"You're so casual about it. Probably a few months old, yeah? I mean the relationship" She asked.
"Well, if 3 years and 4 months is a fee months old, yup that's it" I answered.
"My God! How are you so calm? How do you even still have such nice things to say about true love?" She asked.
"No matter how many heartbreaks I experience, it will never change my views about that beautiful thing called love, the onus is on us to make it true" I answered.
"Sensei, teach me thy ways! School me!" She answered.
"What do I know? I'm just a regular fellow trying to live a less complicated life" I answered.
We talked about different things from relationships to work to skills to stereotypes, till her driver buzzed to tell her he was less than a minute away from the airport.
"You sure you won't hitchhike with us?" she asked.
"Nah, I'm good, thank you for the company" I answered.
"Thank you for the knowledge. I think I had this whole love thing wrong before." She said.
"I have done nothing" I answered. I walked her outside just as her driver approached.
"Ermm! Not that I'm shooting shots, but I would really uhm love to do this again" She said.
"Travel again? Wait for your driver again?" I feigned ignorance, and she laughed.
"No, I meant hang out, you're good company" She said.
"Oh! Sure, who are me to not want to hang out with a dimpled you? Who are me really?" I said, & again she laughed so hard. I began to wonder if I was really funny, or she was laughing out of pity.
"That's right, never say no to a dimpled woman." She answered. We exchanged numbers
"Is this yours?" I asked, pointing at the Wrangler that just parked beside us.
"I think so" She answered with a smirk.
"This is the 2019 Jeep Wrangler. Who are you again?" I asked, admiring the car.
"Correct! I tuned this one though" She answered. I called my friend & told him to take the nearest detour back home as I had gotten another option.
"I have just canceled my ride, I hope that offer of hitchhiking with you is still open?" I asked with smiles.
"You're such a clown, but yes!" She answered cheerfully.
"Again, I ask, who are you?" I asked.
The ride home was all shades of interesting, not because I was riding with her, but because I was being driven in one of my dream automobiles.
"You need to see my lifted truck" she said, as we talked about cars, and I realized we shared similar views about cars.
"Love supercars?" I asked.
"Oh yes! Been to the Nurburgring a couple of times. You?" She said excitedly.
"Wait you race?" I asked.
"I have done a couple of unofficial drag races though, hoping I get a chance to race a supercar some day. You?" She answered.
"I just love the sights & sounds of them speed monsters, and if I'm gonna drive one- I never want it to be a race." I answered.
It was an interesting drive home, and she was even more interesting than I thought. I was dropped off at my place, while they continued their journey.
I had barely stepped inside when my phone began to ring, I smiled because I thought it was my new friend, but the smile faded off when I saw the caller ID.
"Yeah" I answered.
"Hey Babe, I uhm I saw your reply, I don't know, is that all you want to say?" My ex asked
"oh! Okay, okay. No fights?" She asked.
"You already made a pivotal decision for both of us, what would I be fighting about? Plus you know I'm not that person" I answered.
"I know, and I'm not blaming you for anything, I've always been a damaged emotional wreck & couldn't fathom why you would love me. You're a very good man, I love you really, but you deserve way better. I just thought you would put up a fight against the breakup. Your reply made me feel worse than I already felt about the breakup" She said, and I could hear her try not to cry.
"I told you if I had to fight to be loved, then the relationship was already too damaged to be involved. So, I wish you all the best. I just got home, I'm tired and need to relax" I answered. She muttered how sorry she was amidst tears and whimpering, before hanging up. I stood there for a while pondering whether or not I hadn't become evil by not reacting with emotional drama, because I remembered the previous breakup, I had wept terribly over the phone, and was so broken that I almost became a junkie. It was so bad that everyone noticed something was most definitely wrong with me. But there I was fresh from the oven of breakup, and I wasn't really moved, like all the previous breakups had made my heart morph into something that was impervious to heartbreaks. Good for me! I shrugged & went to attend to my plants. As I watered and tended the plants, I thought about how it felt like with each breakup, the next one that came along seemed to be more "perfect for me" than the previous one whom I thought was the most perfect one for me. I always thought if it ended I would never find another as good or better than the one it ended with, but everytime there was a breakup, there was always someone better coming into the scene. The parts I used to dread about getting into a new relationship was the "getting to know you" and opening up part, but with each new relationship prospect, the vibe was usually so good that every other thing fell in place spontaneously and without struggle. One interesting part about breakups for me was the part where I constantly daydreamed about who the next one would be and how it would happen.
My phone buzzed again, snapping me back to reality. I ignored the first ring 'cause I thought it was my ex, but on second ring, I looked at the caller ID and saw I was wrong.
"Hey stranger" my Wrangler owning new friend said.
"Hi stranger. Are you home?" I asked.
"Oh yes! Thank you for making my day" She said.
"Do you thank people for walking by?" I asked amusedly, because I didn’t see how I made her day.
"You have no idea what my typical day is like. It rarely ends happy for me. Our short time together made me realize there's a lot about me I need to work on." She answered
"Well, if you ever want to talk, I'm only one call away" I added.
"Oh I want to talk, I have a lot to talk about. I'll be in Ghana from tomorrow to be back by Friday. It's a women development conference" She said.
"Boss Boss! Who are you again?" I asked, and she laughed.
"We should hang out as soon as I get back. I heard there's one new fancy restaurant around" She said.
"Get back first" I added. We said our good nights, and hung up. I went upstairs to my bedroom and looked out the window at the night lights reflecting on the lagoon. I had gotten the property in anticipation of my proposing and getting married to my ex, she had never been to the new place because it was supposed to be a surprise to herald a new phase in our relationship. I even got the property beside & had an architect and landscape design expert come up with a beautiful garden with an unobstructed view of the sea. The flowers of the garden lined the railings of the short bridge where you could relax in the evenings or to take the speedboat for a ride. I had seen myself and my ex starting a family in there, but she had no idea how deep I had gone into planning our future. Oh well! I guess the planning was for someone else. It was almost 12 am, but sleep wasn't near, so I did what I always did- took a midnight walk, & enjoyed the sea breeze; the perks of living in a beautiful estate by the lagoon. I stepped out, and the second track to come on my earpiece was Onyeka Onwenu's "You and I", and I laughed at the irony, considering it was my ex that sent it to me. "You and I will live as one..." I sang along as I began my walk. One thing I did was blank out thoughts about the my ex and the breakup. I had better stuff to allocate brain power to, like the properties I had just acquired in Abuja and needed to renovate before reselling, and startups where I was an angel investor, plus I was also monitoring the American stocks I invested in, among other pressing issues- no space for dwelling on a breakup. My smooth walk was interrupted by a call. I picked the call without checking the caller ID.
"Oh I didn’t think you would still be awake at this time" the familiar voice of my ex said
"Well, I am" I answered.
"What are you doing?" She asked. I rolled my eyes
"I'm taking a walk" I answered.
"You & this your midnight walk" She said.
"So?" I asked.
"I-I just wanted to-to check on you" She answered. I was trying hard not to overreact.
"Alright thank you" I answered.
"I-I don't know how to explain what's up, it's like guilt eating me up" She said.
"Okay" I answered.
"The fact that you're so cool about it is like a dagger piercing through my heart, not like I knew what type of reaction to expect though, maybe a show of desire, you know..." She was saying.
"Goodnight" I hung up. I was not going to allow anything come between me and the walk I was enjoying. I had become a changed man, because the me of previous relationships would have been somewhat dramatic, and even begged her to reconsider, but there I was without the intention of going back on my decision to move on - without her.
I was that one ex who didn't mind being friends with exes, not for any ulterior motive, but for friendship's sake. I mean, we don't have to be enemies because we broke up, seeing as we were mature enough to accept the breakup in good faith, and not let it cause enmity. However, I believed there had to be a transition stage of less communication between us before getting back to the friend zone. That was what I was expecting from the fresh breakup, and not some call at midnight to talk about my reaction to the breakup.
I walked back home, took a shower & slept even better than I had in a pretty long while.
I woke up to missed calls and texts from my ex, and without thinking twice I did what I thought I would never do. I sent her a goodwill text, told her it would be best we maintained radio silence for a while, & then blacklisted her line & blocked her on all social media accounts. We all needed to be at peace.
Interestingly, the rest of the week was too busy for me to even think about the breakup, plus my new friend made sure we communicated every day, because according to her, I was a very good listener.
Finally, the weekend came, and I was looking forward to tennis with some estate people and every other form of refreshment to enjoy.
"Hey stranger, guess who's back in town?" She asked.
"President BuBu?" I teased.
"What!?" She laughed.
"Well, he was out of town too" I answered.
"So, you wanna hang out tomorrow?" She asked.
"I'm game!" I answered.
"Yaaay!!! So you'll send your address for me to pick you up?" She asked.
"Ermm, I'll be at that busstop beside the estate" I answered, because I had something up my sleeves.
"So, is 6pm good?" She asked.
I checked my laptop for the sunset time of the next day.
"We're going to that fancy restaurant, yeah?" I asked.
"Yup, I heard the food's good $ the ambience is surreal" She answered.
"Can we do 5pm?" I asked.
"Any engagements?" She asked.
"Oh no, just more time for us" I answered with a smirk.
"Oh! Perfecto. See you tomorrow at 5" She said. Tomorrow did come quicker than I anticipated, I played tennis in the morning, attended to mails at noon, and got ready for the hangout in the evening. I left some instructions with my steward before I left the house.
I drove to the estate's gate, and had my neighbor take the car back home.
I had barely spent a minute at the bus-stop when the Wrangler parked in front of me, it was even more beautiful than I thought it was when I saw it that night.
"Hey stranger" She said as she got out & came round to where I stood.
"Wow! She's gorgeous!" I said.
"Me or the ride?" She asked.
"Wow! You're so breathtakingly beautiful" I added, to avoid a 3rd world war.
"I thought I was the only one that loved her so much." She answered.
"Oh no, I'm so getting this too." I said.
"We can stay here all day talking about cars though" She said.
"Ah nah. Let's go" I answered, & made to open the passenger door.
"Wait, don't you think you want to drive?" She asked, dangling the key fob. I felt like a child who had just gotten a toy that I had looked forward to for years.
"You'll let me handle your baby? I could hug you for this." I said cheerfully.
"Well, even though it's tuned, at least you have an idea what it's like, to help your decision about getting the ride. You owe me that hug though." She answered.
"Who are you again?" I asked
The drive was smooth, interesting and enjoyable. It was nice to listen to her sing along to some songs, she had a sonorous voice that was pleasant to the ears.
"We should do a duet" I said as we drove down to the restaurant.
"I'm game! What song are we doing?" She asked gleefully.
"Hold Me, by Whitney Houston & Teddy Pendergrass? Know it?" I asked.
"Oh my God! That's one of my favorite songs and duets. When & where are we doing the duet?" She asked happily.
"There's something in your eyes I see..." I sang.
"I won't betray your trust in me.." She responded
"Hold me in your arms tonight, Fill my life with pleasure..." We sang together. I had grown to become one who lived in the moment and loved creating pleasant memories where I could, and that moment where we sang together was one pleasant memory I was never going to forget.
We got to the restaurant; words cannot do justice to the ambiance of the place. Before we sat down, I heard a familiar giggle that made me turn round. Right there in that restaurant, was my ex giggling to the tickles of another man. I could see the smile fade away as she saw me,
I smiled and looked away. Well, she was an ex, and like Pumbaa advised, I was putting my behind in my past.
"There are so many people in here" My new friend said.
"Yeah, including my ex, what are the odds?" I said with a laugh.
"Sorry I didn't get that" She said.
"For real?" She asked.
"Yeah, that's her." I answered.
"Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!" She said.
"That's three wows in less than 5 seconds, ambulance?" I teased.
"I still don't understand how you've been so relaxed with the whole breakup thing though" She said.
"Shall we order?"
"Nah, let's go someplace else." She answered."But we just got here" I said.
"You have no idea how hard I'm fighting the urge to go cause a scene at her table." She answered.
"Why would you do that though?" I asked.
"I know her" She said.
"Okay, that's it, we move!"
As we stepped out, I looked at my watch and smiled.
"Let me show you something" I said to her as we drove out of the parking lot and back to my estate.
"I didn't know there was a restaurant in this estate" She said as we got into the estate.
"Oh the best!" I answered with a smile
We got to my crib, I stepped out of the car so my guard could see me and open the gates.
"Here we are." I announced.
"It doesn't look like a restaurant to me." She said as she got out and looked around.
"Just trust me" I said with a wink.
"Wait! Is that? That's a Brabus G63!"
She almost screamed.
"You do know your cars." I answered.
"I need to meet the owner, I have questions. Wow!" She said excitedly.
"I'll get him for you, but first I need you to see something." I said and held her hand. I led her through another gate to my garden. I loved the expressions on her face.
"Who owns this place? I could come do a vacation here for weeks." She said excitedly.
"Please follow me" I said, as I looked at my watch and then the red glow im the sky. We climbed a platform with a large window and a balcony.
She stopped & her mouth was agape.
"This has to be one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen! My God! Can we go down there?" She asked, pointing to the platform that led to the small bridge. I smiled.
"Yes we can, this way please" I said, and led her through another gate to the platform.
"Wow!" was all she could say, and even I marveled at the beautiful sight. I led her to the gazebo where we could eat and enjoy the scenery and each other's company.
"I hope you like the food and wine" I said.
"Okay! I think it's my turn to ask who are you?" She said.
"I'm just me" I answered.
We ate, we drank, and then we talked.
"You don't want to know how I know your ex?" She asked.
"Nope, I'm not interested, I'm putting my behind in my past" I answered with a smile.
"It's past in - hey wait, Pumbaa said that in Lion King, you clown." She laughed.
I looked at the shimmering waters beneath the fading glow of the evening sky.
"I really don't want to know what she did, if she thinks she's not good enough for me..." I was saying.
"Oh, yeah she really isn't good enough for you. I'm sorry I'm saying that, but it's the truth" She said.
We were quiet for a while, enjoying the cool evening breeze.
"Looking me always looking for, and begging to be loved, and there's someone else throwing her love away. This life!" She said.
"You know, many of us make that mistake of looking for love, I don't think love should be looked for. When you start looking for love, there's that tendency for you to fall for anything with the semblance of love. Just bare an open mind and be ready to love and be loved" I said.
"You keep unlocking new love truths for me. Who are you again?"
She asked, and I laughed.
"I'm your love doctor" I teased.
"Yeah I really really need a love doctor in my life right now" She said, and I could sense she was burdened.
"Well, here I am!" I answered.
"I looked for love to the point where I tried it with women" She said. I needed to tread with caution with whatever I said next.
"Hey stranger..." I was saying.
"Even the women I had anything to do with were just as terrible as the men I had been with. Your ex was getting down regularly with my ex, & also doing it with her husband behind her back" She said.
I processed what I had just heard.
"Wait, I'm not being judgmental here, it's not my place to judge people and actions. I just need clarity. Your ex was a woman?" I asked.
"Yes" She answered.
"And she had a husband?" I asked.
"Yes, and I didn’t know she was married" She answered.
"And my ex was serving your ex and her husband behind both their backs?" I asked.
"Yes, & she wanted us to get down too, but I didn't want to." She answered. I held on to the bridge's railing tight as I pondered.
"Hmm" I said.
"I'm sorry, I know you said you didn't want to know" She said. I suddenly realized that the signs had been there all along, but I had been too in love to pay attention. She had told me about her past and sexual fantasies that she hoped to satisfy. All I wanted was a comfortable relationship where she would forget the abusive relationships she had been in.
"It's okay, it's more closure than I anticipated" I said.
"I felt demoralized and angry when I saw her at that restaurant, but had to stay co. If I didn’t tell you, it would have killed me inside out. I'm so sorry I messed your evening up" She said.
"Nah, on the contrary" I answered.
"I'm so messed up. I just want to be loved deliberately and spontaneously, by someone who knows and understands love in its simplest and complex forms. I want a..." She was crying. I held her hands and pulled her close for a hug.
"Shush! Pretty ladies with dimples don't cry." I whispered in her ears, and she laughed. We were in locked in embrace for minutes without saying anything else.
"I've never been taken out by a partner on a date in all the 12 relationships I've been in, can you believe that?" She asked.
"Hey stranger, be like me and Pumbaa, put your behind in your past. Love will find you, and you won't have to struggle for it." I said.
"Hmm. My love doctor" She answered.
"Hey stranger, may I have this dance?" I asked.
"Where's the music?" She asked.
"The waters, the breeze, and our hearts" I answered, as we hugged and moved about slowly like it was a couples' dance.
"I'm gonna cry again" She said.
"Why?" I asked
"This is my best evening ever.." Our embrace was disturbed by my phone's ringing. I was going to ignore it, but I remembered I had blacklisted my ex's number. I looked at the caller ID & saw it was one of the personnel at the estate gate.
"Hello" I answered.
"Sorry to disturb you sir."
"Yeah, what's the problem?" I asked.
"Are you expecting anyone sir?"
"No, why?" I answered.
"Okay, a lady has been here for over an hour, she mentioned your name as the person she wants to see. We told here there's a protocol & to call you, but she said she couldn't reach you." He explained.
"Not expecting anyone, can you describe her?" I asked. Deep down, I felt I knew who it was, but I waited for the personnel to finish describing her.
"....she said she's your girlfriend Sir" He said. I let out a sigh.
"She's not. Please give her the phone." I said.
"Okay sir." He said.
"Hello" the familiar voice of my ex said.
"I-I know this may not be a good time, but can we talk, face to face?" She asked.
"About?" I asked. I looked at my guest as she stared at the sky, and that was the first time I was really taking a good look at her from her head to her toes. I realized she was even more beautiful than I thought.
"The breakup, us, you know...." She was saying, but I interrupted.
"What's there to talk about though?" I asked, and there was a pause from her end.
"I-I saw you with a lady, who's she to you, have you moved on?" She asked.
"For real? You're asking that?" I asked.
"I just... I know her, she-she's.." she was saying.
"You see that info you want to leverage, just tuck it back in. She has been more honest with me in one week of being her friend, than you've been with me through the years we dated." I said.
"But.." She was saying.
"But what? See, I hold no grudges, you made the decision. Radio silence between us is very important for your healing. Have a nice life, and I pray you get the one you deserve. Good evening" I hung up.
I looked at my guest, she was seated on the floor with her head in her hands, crying.
"Hey! What's the matter?" I asked as I sat beside her on the floor.
"Memories, terrible memories. You think God will forgive me? I mean I've done some really nasty stuff just 'cause I just wanted to experience true love. Love like the movies." She said.
"Hmm. You know the thing about God and forgiveness is repentance. If you've talked to him about it, I'm pretty sure he has forgiven you, but you see that dude called the devil, he always wants to use our past to torment us when he sees God's on our side." I answered.
There was silence for a while, save the sound from the lapping of the lagoon, and trees whistling.
"You are amazing. I know you're not perfect, but..." She was saying.
"I'm far from it. My past is filled with dirt, like black dirt...." I shared some of my past with her, some I had never shared with anyone.
"Wow! You evolved and put your behind in your past" She said.
"Exactly, you're catching on fast! You see, no matter how difficult it may seem, the choice to be better, the choice to be happy and unbothered, they are all personal decisions." I added.
"Happiness is fleeting, especially when there's no one to make you happy." she said.
"No one has the power to make you happy if you decide not to be happy. Happiness becomes fleeting when you allow it. It's all about what we wrap around our minds." I added. There was that silence again.
"We should get you some turtlenecks and suits, cameras and all. You motivate effortlessly" She said, and I laughed. She lay on her back on the floor and looked at the stars.
"The moon and stars came out to play tonight" I said.
"You come here often?" She asked.
"Uhm! Yeah, I guess" I answered.
"Little wonder you have clarity. I'll be coming here often. You should link me up with the owner, so I'll know how much to pay for access" She said.
"er! Okay, that can be arranged" I answered.
"Would you take your ex...." she was asking.
"Nope" I answered before she finished.
"You didn't even allow me finish. So you know you can see the Andromeda galaxy with your naked eyes?" She asked, pointing at the stars.
"You're a stargazer too? Who are you again?" We laughed.
"I can show you the world, shining, shimmering...." She sang.
"Tell me Princess, now when did you last let your heart decide..." I responded. We did a beautiful duet of Regina Belle & Peabo Bryson's A Whole New World.
"Aladdin was one of my favorite cartoons as a child, well it still is, I can't outgrow cartoons" She said.
"I'm still looking for something that we don't share in common." I answered, & she laughed that hearty laugh I loved to hear.
"Well, everyone loves sea food, & I don't, I only like fish." She said.
"Another similarity" I answered.
"Oh! I hate onions" She said.
"Me too" I answered
"I love video games like CoD, Uncharted, GTA, NFS, and FIFA/PES. You probably cannot relate" She said.
"Marry me already, so I won't have to continue playing alone." I answered.
"Oh my God! You're a gamer too? Awesome!" She clapped.
"What else?" I asked.
"I love Nigerian music" She said.
"Oh thank God! I don't." I answered, and we laughed. We talked some more, and from our conversation, I realized she had never really experienced what it felt like to love deeply & be loved in return. Her ideas of perfect dates prior our meeting were based on stereotypes
"How many years before you get in the game again?" She asked.
"In the game?" I asked.
"Yeah, before you fall in love again. You know you just broke up, and some people take months and years to move on." She answered. I looked at the moon's reflection on the lagoon, & then at her
"Well, some years ago, I would go back into my shell and pretend like I was enjoying the single life, but who was I really deceiving taking all that time to heal? Myself! I can't be wasting time crying over spilled milk again. We move!" I answered.
"Hmm! Sensei!" She said.
"If some people want to take forever to heal, good for them, I'm done doing that. What am I healing from anyway?" I added.
"I can stay here all night, let me go home before I forget I have a house." She said as she stood up.
"Mi casa es tu casa" I answered with a smile. She hugged me tight.
"Thank you for the best evening in my life, for the best hangout in my life, for the best date in my life, for insight, & for helping me lift several weights off my mind. I hope you stay with me forever."She said. I thought about the last thing she said, and then thought about the possibilities of our becoming an item- my mind gave us a 90% compatibility score.
"Thank you for everything, including helping me not feel the pangs of what would have been a rather painful breakup. Thank you for owning a Wrangler & letting me rock her" I said.
"Clown!" She said and laughed, as we walked back to the house. She stopped suddenly!
"Wait a minute, you said mi casa es tu casa! Wow-wow-wow!!!" She exclaimed, and her expression was so funny I laughed hard.
"Still want to meet the owner?" I teased.
"Who are you again?" She asked.
"Your who are you again is gaining momentum with mine." I answered.
"You have a Brabus G63, and you made me brag about my ordinary Wrangler & the other toys I have. Sly!" She said.
"I shall not condone any Wrangler slander" I said.
She got into her car, I got into the passenger seat.
"You're following me home? Awesome!" She said excitedly.
"I'm seeing you off to the gate" I answered.
"Oh! Still awesome. So what's dating you like?" She asked. I thought about the question, and my answer would always be the same.
"True unadulterated friendship" I answered.
"Such an uncomplicated human you are" She said.
"Yeah, I'm trying to live a less complicated life." I added.
We said our goodbyes at the estate's gate.
"I'll call you when I get home" She said. I waved at her and walked to the estate's welcome center to be sure my ex asn't still there. Satisfied that she wasn't, I took a cool leisurely stroll back home, reliving the beautiful memories of some hours ago. I told myself I wasn't going to overthink anything, & just go with the flow.
I liked my new friend, and there were a thousand & one reasons why. Our budding friendship soon grew into something deeper than friends and besties. Our hearts had found several strong connections and vibes, latching on to each other like our lives depended on it. We were two strangers in love.
"Hey stranger! Will you marry me?"
"Now that we are married, the Brabus is mine, the Wrangler is yours." She said.
"Who are you again?" I asked.
"Oh, your loving wifey. Better accept the deal or I'll take both & the others." She answered.
"No powerpoint love notes!" I added.
"I have you already!" She said