There are certain mistakes we make that no matter how hard we work to forget or move past them, they always manage to find a way back.
Kosi repeated her name slowly. As if waking up from a slumber, he quickly got up from his seat at the dining table in a rush to meet her. Hope stood up awkwardly from her seat.
‘What…? What are you doing here? Not that I’m complaining.’ He quickly added when he noticed Eva’s off expression. ‘It’s just that after everything that happened at the hospital… I wasn’t sure… I didn’t know if you wanted to see me.’
Eva said nothing as she walked inside the house. Kosi quietly closed the door after her.
‘I wish you told me. I could have come pick you up from the hospital. You didn’t need to stress yourself.’
Eva’s continued silence unnerved Kosi. He quickly glanced at Hope but she looked away. Eva walked straight into the bedroom. She paused at the door for a few seconds, taking in the scattered look of the bedroom, her face hardening.
‘I’m sorry. The room is a mess and I haven’t cleaned up yet. If you can wait a bit I’ll quickly tidy it.’
Eva quietly closed the door to their bedroom and walked into the spare bedroom. She turned the key that was sticking out of the keyhole, opened the door and walked in, closing it behind her. Kosi only allowed himself to let out the breath he was holding when he heard the familiar click of the door.
‘Thank you for stating the obvious, Hope.’
They were both silent for a bit longer.
They spoke at the same time. Kosi sighed.
‘Look, Hope, thank you so much for this morning.’
‘You don’t need to thank me.’
‘You’re right but I want to.’
Kosi was silent for a while. His gaze moving from Hope to Eva’s locked door contemplating what to do next.
‘Come with me.’
He took Hope’s hand in his and led her to his bedroom before locking the door behind them.
She stared at Kosi pointedly.
‘Do you understand how this looks?’ She asked motioning between them and the locked door.
‘I have to ask because from where I stand, it doesn’t seem like you do.’
‘We need to talk… in private.’
‘In your bedroom? When your extremely pissed off wife is in the very next room? Come on Kosi.’
‘Let’s just talk. She’s probably wants to rest or have her bath. I doubt she even wants to see me.’ He added solemnly under his breath. ‘We at least have a few minutes before she comes out.’ He finished.
Hope said nothing and just looked at Kosi. She shook her head at him and let out a sigh.
‘Fine. What do you want to talk about?’ She asked folding her arms.
Kosi left Hope to pace about the room before coming back to face her.
‘What happened between us.’
‘I don’t want it to be a problem.’
Hope raised an eyebrow.
‘Aren’t you already late for that bus? It is a problem. Your wife knows.’
‘I know, I know. I just mean…’
Kosi left Hope and continued pacing the bedroom. Hope calmly sat on the bed and patted the space next to her. He stopped pacing and looked at Hope before joining her.
‘Now talk to me. What’s eating you up like this?’
‘Asides the obvious reason?’
Kosi sighed again then he chuckled.
‘I’m doing that a lot.’
‘That’s because you have a lot on your mind.’
‘It’s just… I thought I would have some time to win Eva over. To make her see that I’m still the man she married, that she loves. Try to convince her to stay with me but now that she just dropped by and isn’t even speaking to me, I’m so confused. I don’t know what to do.’
Hope was quiet for a while, calmly studying Kosi.
Kosi looks at Hope, puzzled.
‘Am I what?’
‘Are you really still the man she married?’
Kosi sat up straighter, his brows furrowed.
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘I have to ask. I love you and all, but the Kosi that Eva married would never act this insecure and would never cheat.’
She said it so matter-of-factly that Kosi just sat there, stunned.
‘Yes? You know I’m right.’
‘But… it was with you.’
‘Does that make you feel better knowing it’s me?’
‘Hopie, why would you say that?’
She just shook her head.
‘It’s the truth and it needs to be said. Why did you sleep with me?’
‘Because I was in pain and…’
‘Bull the fucking shit. Don’t lie to my face. You feel something for me!’
Kosi stood up angrily.
‘I don’t know why you’re saying this all of a sudden. It was a moment of weakness and I indulged.’
Hope got up too, annoyed.
‘Maybe for you! Even though I doubt that, it definitely wasn’t for me!’
Kosi stood facing Hope, too stunned to speak.
‘What?!’ He finally spoke. Genuinely confused.
They were standing face to face now.
‘I’m saying, that I am glad we had sex. I wanted it.’
‘You don’t mean that.’ Kosi began moving backwards.
‘Fuck you I do! I’ve had to be happy for you and Eva for years! Years!’
‘But… but you were a groomsman at my wedding.’
‘And I wanted badly to be the fucking bride.’
Kosi just stared at her.
‘But you never said anything. All these while I’ve known you, we’ve known each other, you never once mentioned it.’
‘Oh Kosi.’ Hope began, her palm resting on his cheek. ‘I tried so many times but you decided to be blind about it. Then you met Eva and I felt it would be best to let sleeping dogs lie. To be content with being your friend.’
It was Hope’s turn to sigh.
‘Then you told me about how Eva was cheating on you with Ebuka, then we had sex and I just thought… I hoped maybe, somehow, you felt something for me too. That things would be different you know.’
Kosi’s mouth opened and closed like a fish.
‘Hopie, I… I love my wife. I want to be with her.’
‘Yeah, I know but I doubt she’ll take you back after everything that’s happened… after what you did to her. You both hurt each other.’
‘Don’t say that.’
‘It’s the truth. And deep down in here…’ Hope continued placing her palm on his chest right above his erratically beating heart. ‘You know I’m right.’
Slowly, she looped her arms around Kosi’s neck.
‘When we first had sex, you were an emotional ball of pent-up energy. What do you say we try this again, but this time, slow.’
Hope said, her lips a hair’s breadth away from Kosi’s.