Dushan Shows Chioma His Tattoo

“What’s wrong, Dushan?” Chioma asked. She could tell right away that something was on his mind. He seemed distracted. Was he still upset that she had to cancel their plans for last night? She had been bitterly disappointed that she couldn’t see him but she had a last minute assignment–the Women’s International Forum.

She had to attend the event and write about it. She had managed to line up a few interviews with some of the attendees as well. However, she would have preferred to be with Dushan. As soon as she got home that night, she had called him and they had spoken for hours. He invited her to have dinner at his flat the following day which was Sunday. She readily accepted because she was anxious to see him.

She showed up at his flat a half-hour early and when he opened the door, they fell into each other’s arms. After exchanging passionate kisses, he drew her into the foyer so that he could remove her coat. When she had removed her boots, she followed him to the living-room. They sat down on the sofa. He looked at her and said, quietly, “We’ll have dinner shortly. Would you like something to drink now?”

She shook her head. “No, thanks,” she said. “I’ll wait until dinner.”

“The weather is warming up. It hasn’t been that cold these past few days.”

“Yes, spring will soon be here. I can’t wait to put away the winter jackets, scarves, gloves and boots. No matter how long I’ve been living here, I will never get used to the cold weather.”

He smiled. “I know what you mean. I envy the people who live in countries where the climate is warm year round.”

“The weather in Abuja is always warm and that’s why most of my friends couldn’t understand why I would leave there to come here.”

“I’m glad you left Abuja and came here.”

“Me too.”

Dushan covered her hand with his. Yes, he was glad that she had left her home in Nigeria to come to England. Her decision had changed his life forever. He hadn’t begun to really live until that day when he met her. It was hard to remember what his life had been like before he met her or perhaps, he didn’t like thinking about it. It had been filled with betrayal and infidelity. But, that was all over now. His marriage and subsequent divorce were in the past. His affair with Ruth was also in the past. His present and future were wrapped up in Chioma.

And yet, there was something between them now–something which could threaten their happiness…

“What’s wrong, Dushan?” she asked again.

Releasing her hand, he rose from the sofa and went over to the fireplace. He stood with his back towards her for a few minutes and then, he turned to face her, his expression tense. His hands were shoved deep in the pockets of his trousers and his heart was pounding. He was extremely nervous and scared. “Chioma, I have something to show you.”

“What is it?” She was very curious because whatever it was it was eating him up inside.

His hands trembled slightly as he raised them to slowly unbutton his shirt. He removed it so that he was standing there, half-naked. He watched her as her eyes traveled over his torso.

Chioma felt her mouth go dry. What a gorgeous body he has, she thought. How she longed to run her hands over the broad chest, down the flat stomach and grip those muscular arms…Then, she saw it. Her gaze fixed upon it. The tattoo. It started on the right shoulder and covered half of his arm. That’s what he wanted to show her. That’s what was weighing on his mind. Her eyes met his. “You have a tattoo.”

“Yes. I got it when I was in my teens.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about it?”

“I was afraid to.”

“Why were you afraid to tell me about it?”

“I was afraid that if I did, you wouldn’t want to be with me anymore because you’re a Christian and many of the Christians I know said that they wouldn’t date or marry anyone who had a tattoo.”

“Oh, Dushan. I’m not one of those Christians. I don’t like tattoos and I would never encourage anyone to get them but, your tattoo doesn’t change how I feel about you.”

“You mean it doesn’t matter?”

“No! I love you, Dushan, tattoo and all.”

In a split second he was standing in front of her and staring down into her face, holding her by the arms. “Oh, Chioma,” he muttered. “You don’t know how relieved I am to hear that.”

“You’re stuck with me, Mr. Krasnova,” she said teasingly.

His response was to hug her tightly and close his eyes. He felt as if a heavy weight had been lifted off him. Chioma put her arms around his waist and pressed against him. They stood like that for several minutes and then, he released her to grab his shirt from off the floor and put it on. After buttoning it, he said, “I’ll be right back.”

Chioma watched as he hurried out of the living-room and smiled. He was his old self again. Minutes later, he returned. Her heart leaped in her chest when he got down on one knee. In his hand, was a small box which he opened. Her eyes widened when she saw the ring. It was exquisite. Tears sprang to her eyes. “Oh, Dushan,” she murmured huskily. He had shown her the tattoo so that based on her reaction, he would know if she would accept his proposal.

“Chioma Lawal, I’m madly in love with you. Will you marry me so that I can spend the rest of our lives making you as happy as you have made me?”

She nodded and said a teary, “Yes, I will, Dushan Krasnova.”

He took out the ring and slipped it on her finger before rising to his feet to take her in his arms. They kissed and then, hugged. “Let’s celebrate with a glass of Manischewitz wine,” he suggested.

Holding hands, they went to the dining-room where he lit some candles before pouring the wine so that they could make a toast. Afterwards, they had dinner. It was a joyous evening for them both.

Source: Jewish Unpacked

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