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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Flora forever (4)



The trip to Ghana was supposed to last for a week but due to an unforeseen situation, we had to stay an extra one week. The organization had a guest house in one of the housing estates in Accra and that's where Flora and I stayed. We were very busy most days as we had to visit several locations where my outfit had ongoing projects in some suburbs of the city like Osu and Jamestown and even some communities many miles from the city.
Then a few days before our return home and with most of the work done, I took some time off so Flora could do some sight seeing as it was her first visit to the country. She had worked really hard and I believed she deserved a treat.
We visited several tourists sites including the popular Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. A wedding reception was taking place in the spacious garden of the centre when we arrived. Inside the mausoleum, we stood silently surveying the final resting place of the late Ghanaian leader. Close by was the grave of his Egyptian wife who the guide informed us had directed her children to bury her close to her husband after her death.
"Her body was brought from Egypt and buried here according to her wish," the guide explained.
"Their love must have been really strong that even death could not separate them," Flora commented as we went outside towards the fountain...
The following day Ronnie Blankson, a very good Ghanaian friend of mine called to invite me to join a group of friends that were visiting a beach resort on the outskirts of the city that weekend.
"I won't take no for an answer. Most times you come to Accra, do your work and run back to Lagos. You need to take a break, man, learn to relax from all your hard work," he stated.
"Alright," I conceded, not in the mood to argue with him. "When are we leaving?"
"Around 10. I'll come and pick you," he said. "And Bari," he added before hanging up. "Make sure you come with that sexy secretary of yours. I want to see her again."
"See her for what? And she's my P.A, by the way," I corrected him. He had met Flora the couple of times he had come to visit me at the guest house.
"Whatever. I like her and I want to be close to her," he stated.
To a chronic womanizer like Ronnie, that meant one thing and I put my foot down.
"No way, dude! She's my staff, that makes her off-limits to you. Look elsewhere for your fun and games," I stated firmly. Whenever, he saw a lady that he liked, Ronnie, who at 33 was the same age as me, often behaved like a child in a toy shop instead of a grown man.
"Thank God, you said staff and not your wife. So, why are you fencing me off? Or are you interested in her? Are you two...?" he said before I cut him off.
"Nothing of the sort. It's just that, that girl has been through a lot and I don't want her to be hurt again," I explained.
"Who's going to hurt her? Not me! In fact, I think she will enjoy what I have in mind for her," he stated with a chuckle.
"Ronnie! You will never change!" I stated in an admonishing tone.
"You know me now! Alright. I get the message- no messing around with your precious P.A. Just come with her, though. I will just chat with her, be on my best behaviour..." he vowed.
I laughed and hung up.
Ronnie's friends were already there when we arrived at the resort that Saturday. It was built close to the oceanfront with a beach nearby. It was a popular spot for holiday makers, weekend revellers and foreign tourists. Several of these were already at the beach when we arrives.
"Aren't you joining us in the water?" Ronnie asked Flora who had gone to sit under a canopy with the girlfriend of a guy in our group.
"No. I didn't come with a swimming suit," she stated.
"That shouldn't be a problem. I can always go back to town and get one for you," he offered.
She gave him one of her radiant smiles.
"Thanks for the offer. But I'm fine. I will just sit here with Efua and watch you guys have fun," she replied.
"Ah, you'll miss a lot. Let me..." said Ronnie.
"She said she's ok so let's go," I said, taking his hand and dragging him towards the sea.
"Hey, man! Take it easy! Na which kind bad belle be this as you people love to say in Nigeria..." Ronnie protested, running to join his friends in the water.
After the swim, we played a game of beach volleyball which was keenly watched by a large number of the resort guests.
We later had lunch after which we sat at the open-air bar under some coconut trees to drink and chat. Flora and the other ladies in our group had gone to the gift shop at the resort to 'browse' the items as Efua had put it.
"Women and shopping! They never miss an opportunity to buy stuff," said Ronnie, taking a sip of his cold drink.
"And we always end up picking up the bills!" George, who was Efua's boyfriend, grumbled.
We all laughed.

Moonlight rendezvous
"Hope you are having fun," I said to Flora later that evening. We were taking a stroll on the beach after watching a live band that performed at the resort regularly. Ronnie and the others were still there dancing and grooving.
"Yes," Flora replied as we walked along the nearly deserted beach. "I love this place. It's beautiful. And it has such a soothing, calming effect on the mind," she added.
She was right. The soft sea breeze which gently rustled the coconut trees, the moonlight and the sound of the waves of the sea lapping at the shore, created an ambiance that could soothe the most troubled soul.
"It's magical!" she noted enthusiastically, spreading her arms wide. I took a peek at her, noting how the soft moonlight playing on her face, added an extra glow to her radiant looks.
"Oh!" she said suddenly, looking down on the sandy ground.
"What is it?" I asked.
"It's like one of my bangles fell," she stated.
"I'll look for it," I said, bending down to search for the ornament. She did the same too and we ended up colliding into each other, falling down on the soft sand.
"Oh! Sorry!" she said, laughing as she tried to get up.
But I held her hand to stop her and drew her to me. I caressed her face as my lips slowly searched for hers. I kissed her and for a while, she was unresponsive. Then she sighed and kissed me back, holding me tightly in her arms. Her soft body, the sweet scent of her, got to my senses and I kissed her like a thirsty man who had finally found water on a hot day.
I unbuttoned her blouse as my lips trailed down her neck towards her bosom. As my fingers reached inside her blouse, my mobile phone which was in my pocket rang. I ignored it at first but it kept ringing incessantly and it broke the spell.
It was Ronnie, asking where we were and that a hot new artiste had arrived from Accra and we would miss his act if we didn't hurry...
A few days later, we returned to Nigeria. Life went on as usual but things were no longer the same. Before we left Accra, I had apologized to Flora about the incident on the beach, blaming it on the booze I had taken. She was quite understanding about it.
"It's not your fault. The ambiance in that place is something else- it can turn any one's head," she stated quietly.
Deep in my heart though, I knew that was not the case. My actions that day had nothing to do with where we were. She was the problem. It was clear to me now that I was in love with her and after that night on the beach, I just could not get her out of my mind or head. Remembering the sensation of holding her in my arms made me realize that that was where I wanted her to be now and forever. By my side. In other words, I wanted her for keeps.
And there lay my dilemma. For by this time, I had already got engaged to Nikki and we were already planning our wedding. But how could I marry one woman while in love with another?
"Dude, you have a serious problem," my friend, Abel said bluntly, after I had discussed the matter with him.
"You can say that again. I love Flora, yet engaged to Nikki," I said.
"But one thing is clear. You can't go ahead with this wedding," he noted.
I looked at him askance.
He continued to speak. "Marriage is a serious affair. It's not something you jump into when you are not sure like you are right now. Doing so can make you jump out quickly and end up divorced. You are obviously confused now. But let me give you a tip that will help you decide. Which of these women fills your heart with joy at the mere sight of her? Whoever it is, should be your choice."
I took his advice and my heart chose Flora. As a result, I intend meeting Nikki soon to call off the wedding. I know she will be hurt but I can no longer deceive myself. Much as I care about her, it's Flora that I'm in love with. The woman I want to be with, to be part of my life. I don't know yet what she feels for me but from her reaction to my caresses that night on the beach, it was obvious she liked me.
I know my family might not be too happy with my decision to call off the wedding or my choice of Flora for that matter. They might have objections to her being a divorcee with two children. But she's my choice, the one after my heart. For me, its Flora forever.
And since I don't care about her past, I don't think it's anyone's business to do so. Or what do you think? I will like readers views on this. Thank you.



The End!
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