I’ve come to notice that comparisons almost always end badly. It leaves you sad, unsatisfied and in a constant state of ‘What ifs’.
Eva shifted uncomfortably on her seat. His eyes were focused on hers with an intensity she found disconcerting. They both sat opposite each other.
Chukwuebuka was relaxed on his seat as opposed to Eva. She placed her left hand on the table while supporting her head with her right.
‘Uhmmm… so and so.’
‘So and so doesn’t mean anything. Come on, I’m dying to know what my crush has been up to.’
He sat up and quietly covered her left hand with his. She tried to snatch it away but he held it tight.
‘I’m married. I haven’t been called Chukwu in 2 years.’
The deep throaty sound that emanated from him was oddly sweet.
‘Now we are getting somewhere.’ He replied, casually removing his hand from hers.
Eva felt a twinge of regret but she refused to dwell on it.
‘You just told me you’ve been married for two years but who’s this lucky person that snatched you away from me?’
The waiter came at that moment, causing them both to relax on their seats. He placed two glasses of drinks on their table before leaving them alone once more.
Neither said a word. Eva decided to take a sip of her drink.
‘OMG! This tastes divine! What did you order for us?’
‘Sex on the beach.’
Eva almost choked on her drink.
‘It’s a really nice drink I’ve come to love. I can see you weren’t immune to its charm as well.’
Their eyes were locked in a static embrace. Neither said anything for some seconds.
‘What do you mean? I’m fine.’
‘That’s just it. You’re fine. The Eva Chukwu I knew wouldn’t accept being just ‘fine’. She was a force to reckon with. Impulsive, fun, had a way with words…’
‘I still have a way with words, I’m a lawyer.’
‘That’s the most boring thing I never imagined would escape your lips.’
Eva got up immediately from her seat.
‘We haven’t seen in years, the last thing I want from you is insult.’
Chukwuebuka stood up as well.
‘And that’s the last thing I would do to you. Eva.’
He rushed towards her with quick steps and caught up with her before she got to the door.
‘My wish from the moment I saw you today was indeed to catch up. If I insulted you in any way, I apologise but you have to ask yourself this, why would my statement upset you this much if there wasn’t truth in it?’
Eva stood, torn between leaving and staying.
Was he right? Did I really become boring?
‘I had to grow up. I finished school, got a job, got married. Life has a way of forcing you to put aside certain things, certain desires.’
She refused to look at him as she said it, preferring rather, to stare at the sea.
‘Let me tell you something I told myself when life tried to force me to grow up, NO.’
That’s when she looked at him. Gently, Chukwuebuka wiped a tear that had, unknown to her, escaped from her eyes.
‘Let’s try this again but without the drama.’ He smiled, bending to kiss her cheeks.
‘Where’s your house? I’ll drop you off.’
Despite Chukwuebuka insisting, Eva succeeded in discouraging him from dropping her at her house. He asked for her number as his only condition and she agreed. It’s just a number. What’s the worst that could happen?