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Thursday, July 25, 2024


“One more chance,” I whispered again, still shutting my eyes as I felt the plane go lower and lower. “Oh no! We’re going to crash!” I immediately felt a sharp slap on my legs, and I jumped, waking up suddenly.”Stop shouting things like that! You’ll frighten the other passengers,” Nonso scolded. I looked at him, I was still confused and frightened, but he seemed as calm as ever. He wasn’t panicking. Instead, he was looking at me like I was crazy.

I looked around at the other passengers. They minded their businesses as if nothing had happened, although those sitting close to me gave me the same ‘are you crazy’ look that Nonso was giving me.”I thought we were about to crash,” I stammered.”No, we’re not,” Nonso replied, looking at me suspiciously, “the plane is about to land. You’ve been sleeping the whole time.”

“Oh my!” I gasped, feeling rather stupid. I had fallen asleep while thinking about my mum and had started having nightmares on the plane. I was relieved and happy that it was all a dream. I made a promise to myself at that moment that I would never jump any queue again as I looked out of the window and watched the plane slowly descend on the runway.Luckily, it had been a short flight, so it didn’t matter that I hadn’t done any leg exercises during the flight.

I always did leg exercises on the plane, especially if it was a long flight, to prevent the risk of having Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT happens when a blood clot forms in the deep veins in the leg. One of its causes is situations where a person remains in a position without moving around for a long time, such as during long flights or following surgery. Other risk factors include pregnancy, cancer, obesity, oral contraceptive pills, and old age. DVT can be life-threatening if the blood clot formed in the leg travels to the lungs, blocking a blood vessel supplying it. To prevent it from happening on extended flights, wear specialty socks called compression stockings, exercise your legs while sitting down, drink plenty of water, and walk around whenever possible.

“Calabar, here I am,” I whispered to myself. “We made it,” I said to Nonso, giving him a peck on the lips. One would have thought I had just arrived in America the way I was so excited.After waiting endlessly at the arrival lounge, luggage finally started coming out on the conveyor belt, and as usual, mine was one of the last to appear. It was like I had been jinxed; it didn’t matter what time I checked in or whether my suitcase was big or small—it always came out last.

Eventually, we could get a cab to take us to our hotel. When we arrived, I noticed the receptionist was unusually friendly toward Nonso. I’d heard stories about Calabar girls and their cooking and bedroom skills. There was no way I was letting any of them steal my Nonso. I came prepared. The receptionist insisted that Nonso put down his phone number on the arrival card he filled for us at check-in. She stated that it was an essential requirement for check-in according to hotel policy. A part of me wanted to demand to see a written copy of the policy, but I just snatched the pen out of Nonso’s hands and put my number instead. I could tell she wasn’t too happy about it. Nonso, on the other hand, didn’t seem to mind; he had been unusually well behaved since the night I made him sleep outside my house. If I had known that was all it took to tame him, I’d have done that long ago.

We were lodging in a hotel resort on the ranch, so we had enough time to explore as we liked. I wanted to start checking everything out immediately, but Nonso said he was too tired and needed rest. I was too excited to sleep, so I decided to explore the hotel and ranch alone.

I couldn’t help but notice that there were numerous older men paired with girls young enough to be their daughters in the hotel restaurant. Seeing them made me sick because I knew my dad belonged to their atrocious club.I’d seen enough and was just about to head back to our room when I heard someone shout my name.”Sonia, is that you?”

Indeed it is, I thought, wondering who it could be. Who could be calling my name in Calabar? I was shocked at the thought that there was someone who knew me. After all, I had never lived there before. The chances that any of my friends also decided to come on a vacation that same weekend were slim.

When I turned back, I saw a guy walking toward me. I recognised him immediately. It was Tim, an old colleague; he looked even more handsome than he did the last time I saw him. He was wearing a sleeveless body-fitting shirt with shorts and a pair of trainers; the shirt fitted so well that I could see a complete six-pack right beneath it.

Admittedly, he was way sexier than when I last saw him. And back then, I still thought he was incredibly sexy. I knew I might face temptation in Calabar because I’d heard Calabar men were very handsome. I’d prepared my mind to resist the temptation, but I wasn’t ready for the temptation that stood before me. I’ll confess, I lied when I said Tim and I were just colleagues. Saying we were colleagues would be putting it mildly. We were much more. Tim and I had history. He’s also a movie producer and director and worked on a couple of projects in the past.A little over a year ago, while we were working on a TV show together, Nonso cheated on me with some random lady, and when I found out, I was mad and heartbroken. I broke up with him, and our breakup lasted almost a month. It was the first time I’d ever caught him cheating on me. At that time, I didn’t have any shoulder to cry on. Seun had travelled out of the country on a training course. And I didn’t want to tell any of my female colleagues because I knew they’d probably laugh at me as I’d bragged to them in the past that Nonso would never cheat.

I was carrying the hurt and anger with me everywhere I went. It had begun affecting my work, and Tim noticed and confronted me about it one day. I shocked myself at how easily I broke down in tears and told him everything. He comforted and consoled me, and from that day, he developed a soft spot for me.

There’s something about when your heart is broken. It’s always so easy to fall for the guy that offers a shoulder to cry on. I’ve noticed over time that many men, especially the wolves amongst them, usually take advantage of women in that state because they are most vulnerable when they are nursing a broken heart.I started to fall for Tim with time; circumstances made it easy for that to happen. He was handsome and single, while I was heartbroken and desperately trying to move on from Nonso.

Tim and I spent much time together since we were working on the same TV show. Of course, it didn’t help that he started falling for me too. The force of attraction between us was so strong that one thing led to another; before we knew it, we were almost having sex. I say almost because we did everything you could do in bed. But I never let him reach the promised land because part of me still loved Nonso. I had promised myself that the man who deflowered me would be the only man I ever slept with and would eventually marry; that’s probably one of the reasons it’s difficult for me to break up with Nonso or even cheat on him. Tim was a very patient man. He didn’t want to force me into doing anything I’d regret. He wanted me to do everything of free will, so he waited until I was ready. Unfortunately for him, Nonso returned to his senses and started fighting to get me back. It was a tough decision for me to make, but I returned to Nonso, breaking Tim’s heart.

Nonso and Tim have been sworn enemies ever since then. If Nonso saw me talking to him, there’d be a massive fight between him and Tim, after which he’d probably stop talking to me for days.I had to cut off all communication with Tim just to please Nonso. He eventually gave up trying to reach me after some time when he figured my mind was made up. “What a pleasant surprise! What are you doing in Calabar?” He asked with a big smile on his face. He looked like he had just found his long-lost jewel. “I just came around to escape from the noisy hustle and bustle of Lagos,” I said with a chuckle. Although, I intentionally didn’t mention that I came with Nonso because I didn’t want to bring back any bad memories. I figured he’d probably never find out Nonso was around, seeing as we were only there for two more days.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, giving him a playful punch on the shoulder.”This is a location for the movie I’m currently shooting,” he replied, “what a crazy coincidence! Who’d have ever thought I’d bump into you again in Calabar of all places?” he asked, still looking like he couldn’t believe his eyes.

I didn’t know how to respond, so I just laughed. Then, he offered to show me around, so we chatted for a while as we walked around. He insisted I go to his room with him to see some unedited clips of the movie they had finished shooting. He wanted my opinion on them, and I figured his request was harmless. It was the least I could do to make up for everything I had put him through in the past.

He excitedly led me to his room which coincidentally was on the same floor as ours, although further down the hall.”After you,” he said, ushering me in with a smile after opening the door.

I walked in and sat on the bed. There was nowhere else to sit. The only chair in the room had been buried under a heap of clothes. He closed the door behind him, unplugged hislaptop from where it had been charging, then sat on the bed beside me and started showing me clips.

I have to admit; I was impressed with his work, Tim had always been one of the best in the industry, so I wasn’t too surprised at how well the movie was turning out to be.

After watching the clips, he offered me a drink, but I declined politely. Then he held my hands and looked into my eyes, “I still love you, Sonia,” he said. He looked so cute and handsome in the dim light of his room. Hearing those words took me back to the good old days when we spent time in each other’s arms, he suddenly leaned forward and kissed me on the lips, and I found myself responding. It was a long passionate kiss.What are you doing? A small voice in my head suddenly said, are you out of your mind? That must’ve been the voice of reasoning or my guardian angel snapping me back to reality. I immediately pulled away from him and got up from the bed. What was I thinking, accepting to come to his room when he looked so handsome and sexy? I knew the attraction between us had always been powerful, but I thought it would have died by then. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Did I just cheat on Nonso? Was kissing considered to be a form of cheating?My head was pounding, I didn’t know what to think anymore, so I ran for the door.

“I’m so sorry,” he said when he realised what he had done, but by then, it was too late; I was already outside the door. So he got up to follow me but stopped right behind me outside the door when he saw I wasn’t running anymore.Walking down the corridor towards the staircase was Nonso. He must’ve been on his way down to look for me. It immediately dawned on me that I hadn’t switched my phone on since we landed at the airport. So he must’ve been trying to call me and probably got worried when he couldn’t reach me and decided to look for me. Only to bump into me running out of another room close to the staircase with his worst enemy following closely behind me. “Sonia?” he called as if trying to confirm that it was me; I hung my head in shame as I saw him look behind me almost immediately. He noticed who was standing behind me and shouted, “You again!” pointing at Tim, who seemed very surprised to see him.

I knew convincing Nonso that nothing happened between Tim and me would be impossible. Things were about to get messy.

Once again, I began to wish I hadn’t jumped the queue; if I’d just allowed us to miss our flight, this would never have happened. “Lord, I’m sorry again for jumping the queue earlier today,” I prayed under my breath, “if you’d just let me come out of this alive, I promise I’m never jumping any queue again.”

Find out what happens next in Episode 12

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