A love to hold (2)

Lenny looked and sounded so sincere that I relented a bit.
He had about a month to go on his contract with my company. I told him if he was still interested in me some time after the expiration of the job, then...
I left the rest unsaid, but he got my drift.
"You will give me a chance then?" he said, looking excited.
I nodded. 
"Let's see what happens then," I said. I was not sure I was doing the right thing by giving him hope about us being together but it was the least I could do in the situation. My thinking was that by the time the job finished and we were no longer seeing each other regularly, his feelings for me might wane. 

'Out of sight, out of mind,' I thought.
But I had reckoned without Lenny's tenacity. By the time the job finished, he was still coming to the company a few times a week 'to check on the systems' he told me but I knew it was simply an excuse to see me.
When he could not come physically, he would phone or send messages. It was obvious my strategy was not working; instead it had had the opposite effect, making him more crazy about me.
So, one day, about a month after his contract ended, I called him and we met up. I had closed from work for the day so we drove to a restaurant not too far from my office.
After we had eaten, we sat in his car chatting for a while.
I told him how I felt about him and that though I liked him, a relationship with him would be too complicated.
"Complicated? How?" he asked turning to gaze at me. Before I could say anything, he added:
"I can see you are still bothered about the age thing. Well, if it doesn't bother me, I don't see why it should be a problem to you."
"Even if I'm ok with it, what will other people say? Your family, for instance. Do you think they will be happy to see you with someone like me, an older lady?" I argued.
"You see, that's the problem with a lot of people, they worry too much about what 'others' will say or think. Look, Rosa, what matters is what we feel about each other. What others think about us being together should not be our problem. Besides, what makes you think my family won't like you? Anyway, when we get to that 'bridge', we will cross it," he stated reassuringly.
That evening, he was so convincing in his arguments that he broke down my defences. I finally relented and decided to give him a chance. 
Later, as I lay in bed that night, the last thought on my mind before drifting off to sleep, was the look of joy on Lenny's face when I finally agreed to date him. He had hugged me tightly to himself as if he would never let me go...

The gathering storm...
A few days later, a Saturday, Lenny came to pick me up for an outing. We had a nice time and we saw regularly after that. With time, we became a couple. Being with Lenny was a different experience for me. You see, I've had some really terrible relationships in the past and had in fact reached a stage where I had almost given up hope on men and love. That was until Lenny came into my life. It was like, in him I was being compensated for all the 'ugly frogs I had kissed' in the past. He lavished love and attention on me and treated me like a princess. What more could a lady want?
He put my happiness above every other thing and always wanted the best for me. I was very happy with Lenny and even my friends noticed the change in me.
"You look so radiant these days, Rosa. This new guy must be taking very good care of you," Maria said one day at my home. She was on a visit with another friend, Anna. 
"Who's the new guy?" Anna asked, turning to me.
"Ask her now! Na she sabi!" I said sarcastically, going to the kitchen to get more drinks for them.
They were leaving some time later when Lenny came.
"How's my sweetheart today?" he said, as he embraced me.
I smiled, telling him I was fine. He had already met Maria so I introduced him to Anna.
"Let me see them off. I will soon join you," I told him.
"That your guy is really cute. Does he have a brother?" Anna asked as we stood by Maria's car, chatting.
"Why are you asking?" I queried. 
"Because I want someone like him," she declared. 
"Thief! Go to the shopping mall and you will get one to buy! Ole!" Maria said teasinglyand we laughed.
Before they left, Maria drew me aside. She wanted to know what Neenah, Lenny's cousin thought about our relationship.
I shrugged before saying:
"She has seen us together a couple of times. She doesn't seem to mind."
"That's good. I was worried she might not like you hooking up with him," she said. Then getting into her car, she waved before driving off.
If Neenah did not object to my dating her cousin, the same could not be said of his family members.
One weekend, I was in his house one morning when his mother and younger sister arrived. It was my first time of meeting her so I was a bit nervous and anxious as well.
I greeted and welcomed them warmly. Lenny was taking a shower so I went to get them some drinks. 
Lenny came out later and introduced me to his mother.
"Mum, this is Rosa, my fiancée," he stated. That surprised me because he had not formally proposed to me. In fact, we had not even discussed marriage yet in the six months or so we had been together. So, why was he calling me his fiancée, I wondered.
His mother looked at me up and down, an annoyed look on her face, then said in a displeased tone of voice.
"Fiancée? Since when? You never told me you were engaged!"
"Well, I'm telling you now, Mum," he said. He then told me to prepare some food for his mother and sister so I left for the kitchen.
From there, I could hear their voices. I knew they were talking about me so I went and stood by the kitchen door.
His mother sounded upset from her tone of voice. She was telling Lenny that she was not happy with his choice of a wife stating:
"Of all the ladies in this town, you went and chose someone like her! What were you thinking? Has she bewitched you or what?" she demanded.
I heard Lenny laugh, before assuring her that he was in his right senses. 
She then said in a commanding tone:
"Well, whatever you have with her must stop. Now!"
To which Lenny countered:
"I can't Mum. She's the one I love! The one after my heart!"
I could see a great storm gathering over our heads and as I went back to preparing the meal, I wondered what the future held for Lenny and I...

What next? Details later

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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