They say ‘Almost cannot kill a bird.’ But could it possibly save a marriage?
Kosi’s heart was beating erratically in his chest.
What’s going on? Did Hope just confess that she has always had feelings for me? That she still does? Shit! This complicates everything. What am I going to do? His mind raced.
‘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.’
Her lips were a hair’s breadth away from Kosi’s. His eyes quickly glanced down at them before tearing his eyes away from them.
‘Hope, please, I can’t do this to Eva. Not again. I’m… I’m trying to make amends for my past mistakes. For cheating on her.’
Kosi pleaded as he gently pushed Hope away but she only gripped him tighter, pressing her body against his.
‘Come on, Kosi. Kay. We both know what we have isn’t just on the surface. It’s deeper than that. We are…’
Kosi stated, trying to extricate himself from Hope’s hold.
‘Turned lovers.’ She finished.
‘Please what?’ Hope continued, watching and enjoying the way Kosi struggled against his urges. ‘You want me to touch you there….?’
Kosi gasped as he felt Hope’s hand fiddle with the band of his sweatpants.
‘I can do that. Just relax.’
Kosi stood still as Hope slowly slipped her hands under his shirt. The feel of her skin lightly touching his tantalized his senses. He felt her hands on his waist as they went lower and lower…
Immediately, Kosi pulled Hope to himself, halting the downward movement of her hands. Surprised, she gasped in delight as Kosi lifted her up off the floor and threw her unceremoniously on his bed.
Hope laughed giddily as she bounced on the bed, her arms outstretched, waiting for Kosi to join her but he didn’t. He just stood at the foot of the bed watching her.
‘What are you doing? Come join me.’
But Kosi said nothing. Releasing a sigh, he sat down on the bed, his back to her.
‘Kay, come on. Let me help you forget.’
Hope said as she moved closer to Kosi.
‘That’s what landed me in trouble in the first place. I wanted to forget.’ He said regretfully. His hands were supporting the weight of his head.
Hope hugged him from behind while kissing his neck.
She ignored him and continued peppering kisses down his neck, her hands going under his shirt to his chest.
‘Damn it Hope! Stop!’
Surprised at his outburst, she finally stopped and removed her hands that were assaulting the skin under his shirt. Kosi turned to look at Hope, his eyes were filled with pain.
‘Hope, I can’t. I just can’t. I love Eva too damn much to hurt her again. Especially after everything I’ve said and done to her.’
‘But Kosi, Kay…’
‘No. Hope, listen to me. I’m flattered that you’ve thought about me this way for years but there’s nothing that can be done about it. I love and I’m still in love with Eva. I’ve loved her from the very first day I met her.’
Stung, Hope slowly stood up from the bed and walked to stand in front of Kosi who was still seated on the bed. Kosi watched, wandering what she planned to do next. His guard went up in anticipation.
Without warning, Hope’s hands went to the hem of her top, grabbing it and calmly pulling it up over her head. Kosi stared, unable to move, his mind went blank. His eyes fell to her hands as she worked on the buttons of her trousers and pushed them down until she stood before him in her red lacy bra and panties.
‘Ho… Hopie whu… what are you doing?’
But she said nothing in reply. Her hands moved coyly to unhook the clasp of her bra from behind. She let it fall on the floor in front of them. Kosi’s eyes glanced at the discarded bra and then up at Hope.
‘Hope I…’ he began, motioning to stand up, averting his gaze but Hope quickly straddled him.
‘Oh God! Fuck!’
She smiled seductively.
‘What’s the problem Kosi? I thought you felt nothing for me?’ She said coyly.
‘Hope please. Don’t.’
His voice sounded strained to his ears. It took every cell in his being not to touch her. He forced himself to look at everything in the room except Hope. Noticing his hesitation, Hope took Kosi’s hand in hers and placed it on her right breast. Kosi immediately pulled his hand away as if he had just touched a hot pot of beans.
‘Come on Kosi, let me make you feel better. You have first hand knowledge of how great I am as a lover.’
As she said this, she took his hand and placed it on her belly guiding him lower… past her navel…
Kosi roughly pushed Hope away. She had to hold on to the bed to keep herself from falling off.
‘Damn it, Hope, no! I can’t do this with you! Never again.’
Hope stood up and used her hands to cover her breasts.
‘Well, fuck you!’
She was breathing heavily, anger radiating off of her. Kosi shook his head at her and made for the door. He quickly unlocked it about to leave when Hope’s words stopped him in his tracks.
‘What’s so wonderful about her? Why Eva and not me? After everything I’ve done for you? I’ve always been there for you. I’ve always supported you. Just when I thought something could happen between us, you stand here and tell me it was a one-night thing. You just used and discarded me like a used-up roll of tissue paper.’
Kosi cringed at her words.
‘Hopie don’t. Don’t say that. You were the one that said it meant nothing when I was beating myself about it. You have always known how I felt about Eva’ he said as he started walking towards her but she held up her hand to stop him, using her arm to cover her breasts.
‘You’ve done enough as is.’
‘Hello? Dr. Audu? It’s Eva. Eva Ogbonna.’ Eva said, speaking into the phone.
The sound of spoon scraping against the plate could be heard before he finally answered.
‘Eva! How are you doing?’ Dr. Audu said over the phone. He sounded cheerful.
‘I’m not so good.’
‘What’s wrong? Are you having headaches? Do you need to come back for some checkups?’
He sounded worried and Eva smiled. Dr. Audu treated her like she was his daughter and it warmed her heart to think she had someone who cared that much for her.
‘No. Nothing of the sort.’ Her voice became solemn. ‘Nothing medical at least.’
Eva heard the sound of a spoon dropping on a plate and then the scraping of a chair against the floor.
Eva took a deep breath and then let it out.
‘Hope was here.’
‘Hope! The damn woman my husband cheated on me with!’
It took a few seconds for Eva to calm her breathing.
‘Eva. Eva. Breath in.’
‘Listen. You need to keep your heart rate steady unless you want to have a heart attack?’ Doctor Audu said calmly over the phone.
After a few more seconds.
‘Are you calm?’
Forgetting that she was on the phone with him, she nodded her head.
‘Yes. I’m calm.’
‘Good. What did you say about Hope?’
Eva closed her eyes and let out her breath.
‘After putting my contact address for the hospital as my house address, I left the hospital. You weren’t on duty when I left so I wasn’t able to tell you before leaving.’ There was a pause on his end and Eva took it as a sign to continue. ‘On the way to my house I kept thinking about what to say to Kosi. After Ebuka dropped that bomb, I… I’ve been so confused as to what to do and how to act around Kosi. Then we talked and I decided to do things differently. Instead of shutting him out like he did to me, maybe we could talk and lay down everything, bare ourselves to each other, you know? trash out the issue and maybe move forward? Arghhh!’
Dr. Audu’s silence was broken by a soft hum in agreement.
‘My mind is filled up with all these thoughts all the way from the hospital to the door of my home and then when I got to the door, I opened it with my spare key and saw Hope and Kosi standing so close to each other. I’m furious! This man who claimed to love me, who begged me to forgive him in the hospital after cheating on me with his best friend still had the guts to bring her into our home?!’
Eva heard Dr. Audu sigh over the phone.
‘It took everything from me not to say anything because if I had opened my mouth, I would have said things I’m not entirely sure I would regret.’
‘Where are you now?’ Dr. Audu asked when he finally spoke.
‘I’m in a spare bedroom in the house.’
‘What about Kosi?’
‘I don’t know. I left him in the parlour. I just didn’t want to see either of them.’
‘If it’s too much for you to handle, I have a guest house you can stay in until you’re calm enough to talk to Kosi. Your health is paramount and anything that would compromise that will not be tolerated especially since you’re still recovering.’
Eva smiled. ‘You’ve been so kind to me Dr. and I’ve been nothing but a burden to you.’
‘It’s fine. Besides, I wouldn’t mind the company. Things have been quiet since my wife passed, I would appreciate the company.’
‘I appreciate the offer Dr. Audu but I don’t want to keep pushing this issue. I would rather settle things with Kosi as soon as possible.’
Eva felt she could see Dr. Audu smile over the phone.
‘That’s fine. My guest house is open to you whenever you need it.’
‘Thank you Dr. Talking to you really helped calm me down.’
Eva got up from the bed she was sitting on and opened the door.
‘I think i’ll go talk to Kosi right now.’
‘That’s great. I hope you guys are able to settle your issues.’
After hanging up the call, Eva checked the kitchen and parlour for Kois but she didn’t see him. She stood at the door of her bedroom. A feeling of foreboding came over her but she pushed it away as she opened the door. Kosi and Hope both turned at the same time. Eva stood gaping at a half naked Hope and a sad looking Kosi a few feet away from Hope.
Kosi’s face paled when he saw Eva staring at them and he thought to himself, ‘It’s finally over. I’ve lost her.’