Visiting Jeremiah’s Little Cottage
At 8:01am the next day, Lisa called me to say she was outside my house. As I stepped into her car, I hoped in my heart that I was doing the right thing.
After so many turns and losing our way a couple of times, we got to a small but exclusively looking cottage.
“Here it is” Lisa said “It hasn’t changed much”.
I got out of the car and went ahead to press a button by the side of the gate while Lisa waited. After a brief interrogation with the security guard who called in to confirm if Jeremiah would like to see me, I signaled to Lisa that she could leave as Jeremiah seemed to be around.
She nodded and drove off, leaving me at the gate while I waited for the security guard to let me in.
Finally, I was led into the house. This was really a hideout, even I didn’t know there was a secluded place like this in Lekki.
I was let into a living room, small but cozy. Lovely paintings on the wall. Yes, this was Jeremiah’s place of a truth. He definitely didn’t lie about loving arts.
As I looked around at the paintings, admiring such taste he had, I heard a voice call my name softly.
No mistakes, that was the voice of the man I love.
I turned to behold Jeremiah. Our eyes locked and we stared on for what seemed like ages. I wanted to run into his arms and tell him how much I had missed him and how sorry I was that I didn’t tell him about the affair between Patrick and Lisa.
I wanted to tell him he would get through all of these and I was ready to fight for him.
“How did you find me?” He whispered
“Lisa brought me” I whispered back.
I couldn’t miss the surprise on his face. He looked on at me, expecting answers.
“She wanted to help and she remembered you brought her here once and figured you might be here”
I could sense the disgust he felt hearing Lisa’s name. He sat down and looked down. I walked up to where he was seated wondering what I should do next.
Finally deciding to sit beside him, I let myself slide into the sofa close enough to create an impression of comfort yet far enough to maintain a distance to give both us some space.
For what seemed like forever, we were both silent. He kept on looking down while I kept looking at him. Finally, he asked.
“Why are you here, Isabella?”
‘Jeremiah, I know I need to apologize for…” I began to say but he cut me short.
“Apologies accepted. I came here to be alone and I would very much like to be left alone.”
I wanted to get up and walk away. What an egocentric man! I wasn’t going to let him speak to me in such a manner.
Anger took hold of me but then I got a hold of myself. Somebody had to do something about all of these mess and I won’t let Jeremiah’s hurt get in the way.
“Listen Jeremiah, you will need to get over whatever grievances you have against me, much more than coming here to apologize, I also have some information for you and I suggest you take your thumb out of your mouth and quit acting like a baby” I said, all in one breath.
He looked up at me and his face softened. I continued,
“Lisa asked to see me yesterday and she said a number of things about her father, Patrick and Pentagon House” I began and narrated everything to him.
“I knew Patrick was betraying me, but I didn’t know it was this deep.” He said, putting his face in his hands after I had finished speaking.
Never had I seen a man been hit this way.
“Chief Momoh had always been in between, he came to me and made some demands which I refused. Guess he went to Patrick who saw it as an opportunity to give him what he wanted and in turn bring me down. But why would Lisa come to tell you all of these? Does she want to be in my good books, after what she has been doing with my cousin” He asked looking confused.
“She is genuinely sorry, I think she feels very guilty for betraying you this much and also very disappointed in her father and Patrick. She cares about you and Edgewood and she is ready to help you win. She came to me with the impression that I am the only one you trust.” I reaponded and quickly added “I didn’t know where she got that from”
He looked up at me.
“She is right, Isabella. You are the only one I trust. That’s why it hurt me so bad that you kept such a thing away from me. I am hurt by Lisa, Patrick and Chief Momoh but not as much as I am hurt by you.”
Now we were looking into each other’s eyes.
“I am sorry, Jeremiah. I just didn’t know my palce in all of this. I didn’t want to interfere and spoil your relationship. I didn’t want to …” I began but was cut short midway.
“What relationship? The relationship that had been destroyed before it began? It was never going to work from the start even though I tried so hard to make it work, but she kept on making it hard with infidelity. The day I was entirely sure I wasn’t going to marry Lisa was the day you forgot your bag in my office.”
It was my turn to be surprised.
“I am in love with you, Isabella. In as much as I am swamped with life’s plenty issues and I probably can’t offer you a rosy relationship. Damn! I may even be out of a job soon, but I am deeply in love with you”. He said looking straight into my eyes.
I kept blinking, speechless. I never thought this day would come. I never thought I would ever come face to face with Jeremiah telling me he loved me.
How was I to handle this information? It was huge. I thought of Lisa and Edgewood, I thought of Patrick and Chief Momoh. I had always dreamt of being in Jeremiah’s arms and now this was an opportunity to have him all to myself and yet I am so scared.
“Jeremiah, you are probably overwhelmed and emotional. I am sure when we get everything back on track, you would forget you said this” I responded wondering why my voice was shaking.
“Isabella, there is nothing to forget. Either I get out of this mess or not, I love you. Its okay if you don’t feel the same way. Thank you for this information. I don’t know what to make of it yet but I am sure I would wrap my head around it soon enough.”
He sighed deeply and continued.
“I would return to work very soon. Thanks for coming, Isabella. Means a lot to me.” He said, leaning back into the chair with his head up.
I wanted to grab him, hold him, bury his head on my chest and rock him to sleep but I couldn’t. A lot had gotten messy. I couldn’t allow this get in the way of reasoning. I needed to be strong, regardless of how I felt.
I stood up and straightened my gown.
“Jeremiah, I would begin working on my end concerning this information about Patrick and Chief Momoh. I assure you that all hands are on deck as regards the law suit against Pentagon House and I am sure we will pull through. I would be on my way now.”
When he didn’t respond, I decided to see myself out and began walking toward the door I came in from.
Hanging on the wall just by the door was a work of art that caught my attention. This was the same painting I hung on my kitchen wall. The same painting Jeremaiah commented on shortly before we kissed. This was the same painting that brought memeories for me like it was bringing now.
I stopped in my tracks and stared.
So, he got this painting. I couldn’t move from where I was. Emotions got the best of me.
Then I smelled him from behind me. His presence filled my senses. I remained speechless. He placed his hand on my shoulder. Like a zombie, I turned. Now we were standing face to face, he was looking down at me with so much unmistakeble love in his eyes.
“You got the painting” I managed to say.
He nodded, closed his eyes and opened it again.
“Took me a week to find it. I checked every art store in town, none had it. Then I called an art dealer who showed me a dozen before getting the exact one I wanted’ He smiled
“But why?” I asked, confused.
“Because I wanted to feel you close. The memories of the kiss in your kitchen never left me. I think about it every day Isabella” He replied.
“Me too” I whispered not believing myself.
“That day you waited for my kiss… the day you forgot your bag in my office. I wasn’t sure if I should because I didn’t want to get entangled in a messy relationship as I wanted to stay faithful to Lisa but obviously she kept proving she didn’t deserve it. Isabella, I didn’t mean to disrespect you that day in your kitchen but I couldn’t help it, you looked so good in your mess.” He let out a short laugh and then looked serious again.
“Isabella, I want to kiss you, but only if you want it too, can I?” He whispered ears.
Right there and then, the time stood still.
“Yes…yes…yes!” I whispered back and this time, when I closed my eyes, his lips met mine.
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