They had been seeing each other regularly since they went out for drinks. They had spent Christmas and New Year’s holidays with each other. Chioma and Dushan were back from Bratislava where they had spent the holidays. On Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, she had spoken to them.
She had received two texts from Aamin–the first was a wish for a Merry Christmas and the second was a Happy New Year. She felt sad hearing from him and she hoped that he would find the happiness he deserved with another woman.
Merrick had called his parents over the holidays and he promised them, “I’ll visit in summer.”
“Your family will be thrilled to see you in the summer,” Adaeze said after he ended his call.
“Yes, they will be. How do you feel about visiting Denver?”
Adaeze had looked at him. “Denver?”
“Yes. I would like to take you with me, Adaeze.”
“Yes. I promise you will love it. In the summer, the humidity is low so the days are beautiful and sunny and the evenings are cool and comfortable.“
“How long do you plan to go for?”
“At least two weeks. Can you get away from the car shop for that long?”
“Yes, I can.”
“Then, it’s settled. You and I are going to Denver for two weeks in the summer.”
Adaeze’s thoughts were interrupted when the doorbell rang. She went to answer it. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw Merrick standing there in his blue suit. He looked very handsome. She saw the way his eyes traveled over her in admiration and appreciation. “Good evening,” she greeted him breathlessly.
“Good evening. You look lovely.”
She went and got her coat and he helped her on with it. After turning off the light in the foyer, they left her flat and walked side by side to the lift. He took her to an elegant French restaurant. For the appetizer, they both had Mushroom filled Pasta with Fresh Wild Mushrooms, Pumpkin & Madeira. For the main course, he had the Half-Cooked Salmon Pavé, Kohlrabi, Miso and Salmon Caviar and she had the Half-Cooked Salmon Pavé, Kohlrabi, Miso and Salmon Caviar. “So, did your sister and her husband enjoy their holiday in Bratislava?”
“Yes, they did. Chioma said she loved the place. She posted photos on her Facebook page and emailed me a few as well.”
“Bratislava is where her husband is from.”
“His family is from there but he was born here.”
“You mentioned that his family is Jewish.”
“Yes, but he’s going to be baptized as a Christian.”
“How does his family feel about that?”
“I don’t know. His parents died a long time ago. I’m not sure if they would have approved of him leaving the Jewish faith for the Christian faith.”
“Hopefully, they would have wanted him to do whatever made him happy.”
“What about your family? Do you think they would have a problem with us dating?”
“Well, they didn’t have a problem with Aamin and they don’t have a problem with Dushan so, I don’t see why they would have a problem with you.”
“They might think that I’m the reason why you and he are no longer together.”
“And would they be right?”
“Yes. After meeting you at the shop, I knew that I was in trouble and flying off to Dubai wouldn’t have been a wise decision. I would have been physically there with Aamin but but mentally here in London with you.”
Merrick reached over and covered her hand. “And I would have been devastated if you had moved to Dubai.”
“If you and I hadn’t met, I would be there right now.”
“Things worked out the way they did for a reason, Adaeze. You and I were destined to meet.”
“Yes, we were.”
“Are you going to have dessert?”
She nodded and opened the menu when he removed his hand from hers. “Yes.”
He looked at his menu. “I’ll have the Vanilla and Blackberry “Cheesecake”, Shortbread and Lemon Cream.”
“And I’ll have the Tropezienne with Pears, Vanilla and Caramel.”
After dessert, he took her for a drive around the city before taking her home. He drove up to the front of the building and got out of the car. He opened the door and she got out. “Thanks for a wonderful evening,” he said.
“I should be thanking you.”
“I wish I could walk you to your door but I’m afraid that it wouldn’t be a good idea.”
“Why wouldn’t it be a good idea?” Adaeze asked, surprised.
“I may be tempted to kiss you goodnight.”
“And what’s wrong with that?” Her breath had begun to quicken.
“I’d want much more than a kiss, Adaeze but you told me the last time we were together that you were a born again Christian and that you wanted to wait until you were married to have sex.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“I want to respect your decision. So, the best thing for me to do is to say goodnight here.”
“Goodnight, Adaeze. I will call you during the week.”
He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek before he turned and walked briskly around the car to the driver’s side. A muscle throbbed in his cheek as he started the car and drove off. It took every ounce of will power not to kiss her on the lips. That would have been his undoing.
Adaeze watched him go and then, she turned and headed quickly for the entrance. She knew that if he had seen her to her door and they had kissed, she would have invited him in and they probably would have ended up in bed. And in the morning, she would have felt terrible. How in the world did Chioma do it? How did she manage to resist getting into bed with Dushan before they got married? Maybe, she should talk to her about it–get some pointers.