“You know I grew up with a lot of money. I’ve never known lack. Never had to manage.”
It was incredible to share fears and secrets on a plastic chair, and after I was done weeping in Aaron’s arms, he left me to buy a beach mat with pillows, and pushed the chair and table aside so we could lay together.
I liked touching his face, his groomed moustache and beard, thick eyebrows and thin lips, chiseled cheeks and crooked nose. Aaron was such a good-looking man, and I felt blessed to have him.
“I know.” I murmured.
“I can’t say I have secrets either. Just a terrible track record.” He wove his hand into my free one. “I was reckless, right from my secondary school days. I had rich friends, and we would go out and pick girls off the streets, just for the fun of it. Though we had girlfriends.”
“Your girlfriends didn’t know about that habit?”
He snickered. “If she complained, we dumped her. There were too many willing girls.” He took my hand to his mouth and pressed kisses on it. “You were the first girl to give me such a hard time. Those days I tried to get you back. As a kept girl.”
I closed my eyes. If only the past could be erased.
“Your friend, the one you picked me up with?” It had continued to haunt me. What if the guy came around. He would recognize me surely. “Are you still friends?”
“I can’t even remember who I was with that night. But all those friends of mine are no longer in my circle.”
I was a little relieved. Though it didn’t take away the fact that the man could show up one day, and remember me.
“When I graduated, I was so out of line, my brothers and I, Dad disowned us, and threw us out of his company.” He sighed. “Only my sister did well. I’d spent eight years in university for a four-year course. Dad put me on the company board, but I was totally useless. Booze, babes and bings revolved around my existence.” I twisted his facial hairs around my fingers, and he turned his attention to my other hand. “You were the first thing I wanted and couldn’t get. And then Dad called this meeting about a year after we first met, when I was still licking my wound at your rejection, and for the first time, really trying to stop my wayward living.”
“Was I the reason you tried to stop?” It was good to hear it even if it wasn’t true.
“You know you are. You remember you told me you were not a prostitute. And couldn’t imagine being with someone who thought you were.”
I giggled. “Sounds like me, alright.”
“You said so. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” He sighed. “So my dad called us boys, and with Mum present, asked us to pack our bags and leave his house. Mum couldn’t even plead because she’d had it too. Endless parties, and late nights, drunk and dozed.” He smirked. “Luke was very angry. Despite being the oldest amongst the three of us, he was least repentant. Jacob and I got a place together but Luke refused to join us. He just went more wayward. I got a job, for the first time in my life, and then I gave my life to God.”
He turned my face to him. “And started praying about a wife. I wanted to prove to my dad I could be responsible.”
“You thought about me?”
“Well, I remembered you, and only wished. But time had passed. I’d given up on you. I just wanted to meet a good girl and marry her.”
“What kind of job did you get?”
He laughed. “I was a sales guy. Wore branded T-shirts and did roadshows with the company.”
“Yeah. You should see me. We sold phones.”
I gasped. “It would have been interesting to see you like that.”
“Hmm. Exactly what my mum said.” He breathed. “I just thank God I never got anyone pregnant. I don’t have kids out of wedlock.”
“I don’t either.”
“I wonder how you could have gotten?” He cupped my face and kissed me on my mouth. “I’m glad I found you again.”
“Me too.” I tucked my face in his chest. “Do you have any fears?”
“Of course. That I won’t make heaven.”
We burst into laughter.
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