It was difficult to think of anything else. As I hastily escaped from Mark, my heart pounded against my ribcage. I kept on turning to check if he was following as I walked through the crowd in the living room . All I could think of was that I was in a spot with no one around but him. What if he had raped me again? No one would see it, nor hear my cries. My mother had warned me.
I kept on walking till I got to the balcony. It was a few feet wide, enough to take ten people across. Aluminum bars arced round the terrace with a smooth cemented top that was wide enough to serve as an arm rest. The night sky was pitch black and starless. I stood just at the corner close to the entrance that led back to the living room. I didn’t want to talk to anyone but I didn’t also want to be in a hidden place.
He could have done it again, I kept on telling myself. The place were he had grabbed hold was a bit sore. I touched my face, hoping I was not crying again but instead I felt all my face muscles tensed. Suddenly, I felt a cloth over my shoulders just at the same moment I smelt the perfume. I jumped away in reflex.
“Hey. Calm down. It’s just me,” Kunle said. His voice was low and reassuring but I only glowered at him, His jacket was in his slightly outstretched arms, inches away where I had been standing a few seconds ago.
“You were shaking, so I thought you were cold. Harmless gesture again.” He put his hands down and moved to rest his back on the railing a few inches from where I stood. I looked back at the party, everyone was occupied with conversing or eating or drinking. I couldn’t find Juliet. My eyes returned to Kunle, who was still staring at me.
“You are still shaking. Are you sure you are not cold?” he asked.
I hadn’t felt myself trembling.
“What do you want from me? Do I look pathetic to you?”
My words shocked him. I could tell by the way his eyes widened and his mouth parted for a faint gasp to escape.
“Why would you think that? You are beautiful and not pathetic at all,” he said with alarm.
“So what if I am beautiful? So what?” I was hating that I liked he called me beautiful. I was having that he smelled so good. I was hating the way my heart kept on fluttering. I temporarily forgot about Mark and what had transpired.
Kunle paused, obviously not knowing what to say in response. He looked at me for what seemed like a long time, then said, “I admit it. I have involuntarily developed feelings for you.”
To be continued…