“Hi, Mrs… I guess I’m in the right place…. Impeccable Stitches,” he said to me.
I rose from my chair and I took in his extended hand. “Yes, you are,” I replied with a smile as I racked my brain to place his face. He was of average height, fair in complexion, with the nicest dimples I had ever seen. I struggled to accept that he was handsome. I had signed out of men’s business.
“A friend of mine, Mrs Coker, from the Ministry of Health, referred me here. I need to sew some materials for my kids and…” Two girls ran into my shop interrupting him. They were the most adorable identical twins I had ever seen.
“Dad, Damita pulled my hair,” one of them said.
“No, Danielle started it,” the other protested. Both of them pulling their father.
I smiled. Almost immediately, I felt a grip in my heart when I remembered that I couldn’t have such lovely kids.
“Lovely kids you have,” I couldn’t help but compliment.
“Miss….. Funmi,” I corrected.
“Ouh. Sorry. Miss Funmi. Go get the clothes from the car, girls.”
The twins whom I correctly presumed to be 5years old, dashed out of the shop.
“There are about five of the clothes. My mother bought them. Please just sew something on them. I’d love that you sew the same styles for both of them or else….”
The girls returned. I had so many questions in my heart. Where was their mother? Were they divorced or separated? I knew something was definitely wrong somewhere, but finding out wasn’t part of my job description, hence, I concentrated on my business. I told him to come in two weeks for the clothes.
“Miss Funmi.” I heard someone call behind me as I stepped out of the shopping mall few days later. I looked back to see the owner of the voice.
“Mr Pedro, how are the twins?” I gave him my broadest smile. He promised to come for the clothes the following day.
Pedro never stopped calling me even after he had retrieved the twins’ clothes. I couldn’t probe him, after all, he was my client. Exactly a month later, he asked me out on a date. He said he liked me and just wanted us to be friends. I was reluctant because I didn’t want to commit myself to any relationship only to be left heartbroken. But I had many questions about him begging for answers. So, my curiosity swallowed my reluctance.
I got to know that he was a widower. He lost his wife during childbirth and had been the one taking care of the twins since their nanny left when they were two years old. I really felt for him. He asked why I was still single. I smartly evaded the question. It was too early to air my dirty linen to him. While he drove me home after the date, he confessed that he wanted more than friendship. After five years of widowhood, he wanted to love again. He was 35years old.
I wondered if I was the right woman for him to love. But to be true to myself, I liked him. I was scared to admit that I had also fallen in love with him. My curiosity led me into the den of love.
Love! I realized that I had suffered! I never knew love was beautiful. Within eight weeks of knowing him, I smiled and laughed more. My face radiated with a glow I hadn’t seen in years. I looked more attractive. He brought the twins to my shop twice and I couldn’t help but agree that children are the joys of motherhood.
I told my parents about him. They encouraged me to give it a try just like I desired to. But when exactly would I tell him about the dark side of my world? We had become great friends, and we relished each other’s company. He said he wanted marriage very soon, and didn’t want to wait any further. He was serious and sincere about us.
I liked him and the twins. They’ve become part of my world. How would he feel if I told him my past and predicament? Wouldn’t that amount to heartbreak for me and for him too?
During a weekend, I invited him to my house after days of intense meditation and told him all he needed to know.
“So, do you still wanna marry me?” I asked, my heart palpitating. Better to get hurt when we hadn’t gone deep.
He let out a deep breath. After five minutes which seemed like forever, he cupped my hands in his.
“Funmi, I’d love you to carry my baby, if just one.” I tried removing my hands from his but he tightened his grip and continued. “But that is not the major reason why I love you. I need your love, company, care, and affection. I need the touch of a woman. I’m glad we both have kids already. We have a complete family. More so, we don’t need any form of family planning…”
I laughed my heart out. He pulled me into his embrace and kissed me passionately. Tears flowed without restrain wetting his shirt. I moved from grass to grace. It was too real to be true.
And Ben? I threw my resentment for him into the bin of my past. Revenge might be sweet but forgiveness is sweeter.
(c) Olubunmi Mabel