Lovers, Pair, Young, Woman, Man, Together, Love                                                                 Read Parts 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Pristine series herehere  Here Here here hereherehere Here  here here  here and here


She tried to forget Uju’s words, but they rankled. She might have even believed them the year before, but not after the camp, the way David had looked at her and the way Chika had held her. Men wanted her. What was Uju talking about?!

“If you were to describe me in one word, what would it be?” Dara asked Tayo the following weekend after surprising him with a visit. She had told him over the phone that she wouldn’t be available for the day, only for her to have shown up at his doorstep some minutes later.
Tayo grinned as he tossed a can of drink at her from the fridge. “Cute.”
Dara’s heart sank visibly. “Cute. So you don’t think I’m attractive.”
He took a seat beside her on the couch, and asked, puzzled, “What’s this about?”
She shrugged. “Just wondering what makes me cute and some other women sexy or attractive.”

Tayo smiled. “Dara, you know you’re beautiful.”

“You never tell me. We spend so much time together, extremely comfortable with each other, and you’re not even my family. Isn’t that strange?”

He got up without a word, walked into the kitchen briefly, then went back to sit with her. Raising her chin with a finger so her eyes could meet his, Tayo told her, “I wanted you the very first time I saw you. I liked you even more after spending time with you. It’s been hell trying not to show you how much I want you, and that’s because I’d hate to hurt you.”

“Show me. I’m not an egg, Tayo.”

“You’re sure about this?” he asked, searching her eyes.
Dara nodded, eyes shut.
Without hesitation, he cradled her face in his hands and met her lips with his. She wasn’t too sure of how to respond at first, but the deepening of the kiss as she met his growing urgency with her eagerness, assured her she was doing something right.
She shivered slightly as the kisses trailed down her neck, but froze entirely when she felt his hand stroking her thigh under the dress.

“I want you so badly but I really shouldn’t,” he said, his voice hoarse in her ear and his hand on her thigh no longer moving.
It was the farthest she had ever gone with a guy. Perhaps he had sensed her fear. He wasn’t only mature, witty and smart, he was sensitive and attentive too! Dara couldn’t believe her luck. Suddenly, she didn’t mind him going all the way, but was grateful for his better reasoning. Her idea of her first sex wasn’t on a sofa, but at least Uju had been proved wrong.

“Come. Let me hold you.” One of his legs was on the floor, the other leg along with the rest of his body on the chair. Dara leaned in to him, both of them wordless, at war with their raging hormones.
They must have cuddled for ten minutes, when his phone rang. She felt him tense as soon as he saw the caller, so she sat up to give him some space.
“Are you serious?!” He jumped off the chair at the same instant a gentle knock was heard at the door.

“You didn’t tell me you were coming!” He angrily hissed, cutting off the call and heading for the door before remembering Dara, who was staring at him, wide-eyed.
He quickly walked back to her, whispering, “My fiancée is here from Abuja. I had no idea she was coming. I’m so sorry.”

“You didn’t tell me you were involved with anyone!”

Tayo  ran a nervous hand over his head and then ran back to open the door.

“Hello, darling. You wouldn’t come home, I got tired of missing you and hopped on the next available flight—” the fiancée, fair, pretty and heavyset, was saying as she walked through the door. She paused on seeing Dara and arched a perfectly drawn brow.

Dara realized she had been gaping, and quickly bent to throw her phone in her bag, hands shaking. “I was just on my way,” she mumbled, not looking up.

“Christy, meet Dara, a friend,” Tayo said, but Christy was already headed for the bedroom, wordless.

Dara dashed out of the house. “How dare you! What do you take me for?!” she yelled, trembling, when he followed her outside.

He tried to explain or apologise, but nothing he could say would ever make sense to her. Dara was just grateful she hadn’t wasted her virginity. She would never have forgiven herself.
She had no right whatsoever to be so angry at Tayo, Dara scolded herself often. He had never asked her out or lied to her, he had merely not told her. He had conveniently left his engaged status out of their frequent conversations, which she now missed. Why he had done that, she would never know. She knew she couldn’t have liked him any less if she had known about Christy, but at least she wouldn’t have made herself so available, spending so much time with him, hoping a real relationship could come out of it.
Christy. Dara felt her own eyes turn green at the thought of Tayo’s stunning wife-to-be. He had loved her but had wanted Dara, but not as much as Christy—or what? What exactly had he hoped to achieve? Ladies were thought to be complicated, but apparently men were just as confusing! And Christy’s calmness that day had been even more puzzling. What woman didn’t cause a scene on seeing her man with someone else on a surprise visit? Perhaps she was used to seeing him with different women, but Tayo really didn’t strike Dara as a womanizer. She had known him for about three months and had no record of inappropriate behaviour against him. Even when he had the chance, he still hadn’t lost his head. He had obviously cared, but to what end?
At the next CDS meeting, there was an issue of shortage of funds to carry out the group project of providing more desks for five under-equipped schools. All it took was Dara’s intensive roadwork suggestion to get everyone’s creative juices flowing. Even Uju was actively involved and actually made useful contributions. They might never be friends, but still it warmed Dara’s heart to know Uju could be positively inspired. And so Environmental CDS members gathered every Thursday morning at major roads to sweep and get paid by willing passers-by, volunteered to clean companies to earn sponsorships, and made almost as much money as they needed by August.
The very first set of desks was delivered on a particularly sunny September afternoon to their PPA, and Dara and Uju presented them to the school together. During the overwhelming speech of gratitude by the headmistress, Uju sighed and muttered, “It kinda feels very good to be good.”
Dara, standing beside her in front of the HM’s office, whispered back, “All I’ve been trying to tell you” and ignored the smirk that followed.

To be continued….

Morountodun is a writer and a microbiology ‎ graduate of University of Ilorin.
Twitter: @Morountosweet

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