What is fate? What is destiny? Is a person fated to repeat his/her mistakes? Are they destined to change the hand fate has dealt them with? Or are both our way of accepting or explaining our situation?
It came out like a whisper from Eva’s lips.
I am engaged? To marry Ebuka? Really?
Eva stared at Ebuka’s face in disbelief. As if noticing her skepticism, Ebuka responded.
‘Is it that hard to believe we were… are engaged?’
His eyes were sorrowful as he stared back into Eva’s. She felt conflicted.
‘No… it’s not that.’
She rubbed her face with her hand as she sat up in bed.
‘It’s just… everything is so muddled up. I don’t understand… I wake up with no recollection of the last four years of my life and now you tell me we are engaged? My last memory of you was when we were in secondary school together.’
Ebuka remained silent.
‘And now not only are you saying we are engaged but that I almost cheated on you with another man?! You have to understand how that doesn’t make sense now.’
Ebuka rested his palm gently on Eva’s cheek.
‘Mi amor, that is why I didn’t want to tell you all this now. It is too much for you to absorb. You don’t need to understand everything immediately. Why don’t we take our time. No need to rush. I will help you remember.’
He inched closer and placed a kiss on Eva’s forehead.
‘I’m here with you every step of the way.’
Eva smiled softly.
Ebuka relaxed on his seat, his eyes facing downwards.
‘You know, I had a crush on you while we were in secondary school. It really hurt me that I wasn’t able to tell you before my family relocated. I thought I would never see you again. And then two years ago I attended a conference concerning Shipping and Trade and there you were.’
Eva’s attention was fixed Ebuka as he spoke.
‘Looking gorgeous and sophisticated. That was when I knew I just had to make you mine.’
‘Was that how we reconnected?’
‘Yes. We went out on a few dates, caught up and then I proposed.’
Eva’s eyes sparkled like she was listening a classic Disney fairytale.
‘How did you propose?’
Ebuka laughed and squeezed Eva’s hands gently.
‘That will be a story for another day.’
Eva frowned and then shook her head.
‘I’m sorry but that doesn’t trigger any memory. It doesn’t seem personal. I just can’t remember and it’s so annoying and frustrating.’ She said looking away in frustration.
‘Eva… Eva look at me.’ When she finally did he continued, ‘We don’t need to focus on the past. While you recuperate we can create new memories.’
‘Eva, do you love me?’
Eva rubbed the back of her neck, a worried look appearing on her face.
‘Ebuka. You have to understand, to me, you’re my secondary school classmate that I haven’t seen in what… ten years?’
Ebuka slowly got up and walked to the window, staring out of it.
‘Love is a big word. It’s not something I just want to throw around because you said we were together and are engaged.’
After standing there for a few seconds, he resumed his seat beside Eva.
‘Give me time. Allow my head to catch up with my heart and then I’ll give you an honest answer. Right now I can’t. I don’t want to lie to you or say what you want to hear. If I do say it, when I do say it, then know it’s real and it’s how I feel.’
Ebuka stared into Eva’s eyes and she stared back at him.
‘Ok mi amor. If that’s what it takes to have you back, I’m willing to wait.’
Eva smiled at him.
‘Thank you for understanding. I’m sure if my heart found a way to you once it’ll do so again.’
Ebuka’s smile faltered for a fraction of a second but he quickly hid it.
‘Can I kiss you?’
Eva’s eyes widened in surprise at his request.
‘Uh… I… Uhm…’
‘Eva. It’s just a kiss.’ He said, slowly moving closer to Eva, his hands caressing her cheeks.
‘You can’t be scared of a little kiss from your secondary school crush and fiance hmm?’
Without waiting for a response from her, Ebuka closed the gap between them. Surprised at his boldness, Eva unconsciously tried to push him away but relaxed as Ebuka deepens the kiss. Lost in its intensity of it.
Remembering the Doctor’s warning about taking things easy with Eva, Kosi decided to knock on the door before entering. After waiting a few seconds without getting a reply, he decided to peep.
Wondering if she’s ok, Kosi opens the door and is shocked to see Ebuka kissing Eva.
‘What the fuck? What the actual fuck?!’
Surprised, Eva pushed Ebuka away from her.
Kosi was fuming. After listening to the Doctor’s advice, he felt so sure and confident that he could help Eva remember their lives together. Only for him to enter her room and see Ebuka kissing Eva!
The anger and pain from the last few months build up in his head.
Eva looked between Ebuka and Kosi, embarrassed at being seen kissing Ebuka.
‘I’m sorry, it just happened and I…’
Eva stopped herself from saying more.
Why am I apologising to this man? I don’t know who he is. I shouldn’t have to apologise to anyone for kissing my fiancé. Right?
Kosi’s anger quelled a little at Eva’s apology but it rekindled when he saw Ebuka’s smirk.
‘You bastard! That’s my wife you were kissing!’
Eva’s eyes widened in shock as she stared at Kosi and then Ebuka.
‘Ebuka, what does he mean by his wife? I thought… didn’t you say that you… that we are engaged?’
Kosi saw red.
‘What the fuck have you been telling my wife?!’
In a matter of seconds Kosi was at Ebuka’s side. He grabbed him by the front of his shirt.
‘It wasn’t enough for you that you tried to seduce my wife and almost cost us our marriage, but now, now you’re trying to take advantage of her! Again!’
Ebuka stared at Kosi, unfazed by his outburst. Annoyed at his calm demeanour, Kosi released Ebuka and threw a punch at him but Ebuka swiftly dodged and returned his punch with one of his own. Kosi wasn’t as lucky and it connected with his face causing him to crash to the floor.
‘Stop it! Stop it!’
Ebuka immediately took a step back from Kosi and adjusted his shirt. Kosi got up off the floor, his hands cradling his throbbing face.
‘Mi amor, I’m sorry I offended you.’ Ebuka began, gently stroking Eva’s cheeks. ‘But he attacked me. I was only trying to defend myself.’
Kosi was fuming.
‘Eva please, don’t tell me you’re going to listen to what this asshole is saying.’
‘Enough! Please. I’m… I’m just trying to understand what’s happening. Both you and Ebuka claim that I’m in a relationship with either of you but unless I was playing you both, I’m sure I was in a relationship with only one person.’
Ebuka reclaimed his seat next to Eva’s bed. Kosi stood at the foot of her bed, watching her.
‘Ebuka…’ she began, looking at him. ‘…I’ve known you throughout my secondary school years and I see no reason why you would lie to me about something so important.’
Ebuka smiled at Eva and Kosi frowned. She took a deep breath before continuing.
‘On the other hand…’
‘…yes Kosi. I don’t know you. I didn’t even know your name a few seconds ago. But you claim we are married. I find it very difficult to believe you and I’m not sure I could forget something as important as my wedding day.’ Eva said as she let out a tense laugh.
Kosi hung his head and sighed.
‘But I can’t help but wonder… would a stranger really go through all these lengths if he really is a stranger? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Ughhh!’
Eva bent her head and smacked her face.
‘Why can’t I just remember?! It’s so frustrating! I feel like a part of my life has been erased. Blanked. Wiped out and no matter how hard I try I can’t get it back.’
‘Eva, please, don’t work yourself up too…’
‘Kosi. What do you have to gain by lying to me? Why would you go through all this?’
The look of pain Kosi sees all over Eva’s face made his heart ache.
He stretched his arms towards her and tried to move closer to her but the confusion and fear in her eyes stopped him.
‘I’m sure you’ve figured it out. I have absolutely nothing to gain. Nothing. But I have everything to lose and I can’t keep repeating my past mistakes. That’s why I’m pushing this hard, it is why I’m doing all this, because to me…’
He says this while inching towards Eva. Their eyes are locked together. This time, there’s no fear in Eva’s eyes instead, they are filled with warmth.
‘…you are the best thing that ever happened to me.’
At this moment, Kosi, who is on the other side of Eva’s bed, rests his palm on her cheek and she unconsciously leans into it. Kosi’s eyes soften at her instinctive reaction, glad that he was able to reach her, his Eva, even if just for a moment.
‘Mi amor. Haven’t you hurt me enough? I allowed you to speak your mind to this man because I understand you’re confused and I allowed him to say his peace, so as not to seem ungentlemanly, but I draw the line at him caressing the cheek of my soon-to-be wife!’
Eva jerked away from Kosi’s palm at the mention of wife and looked away. Kosi palms form fists.
‘For Eva’s sake, and hers alone, I’ll not push this further but believe me when I say, this is not over.’
He glares at Ebuka, the room is buzzing with tension.
‘Eva will remember me, you and everything that happened and I’ll be right beside her when she sees how despicable and manipulative you are.’
Ebuka returned Kosi’s glare with his.
‘As will I.’
Then Kosi turned to face Eva.
‘Eva, baby, I’ll prove to you that Ebuka is a liar.’
Kosi turns to leave the room and just as he’s about to close the door behind him, Ebuka holds it and joins him outside.
‘I too am impatient to see the look on Eva’s face when she remembers how insecure, childish and inconsiderate you were to her but until then…’ He stops and leans a bit closer to Kosi. ‘…I’ll enjoy every moment I spend thoroughly ravishing Eva.’