“What?” I managed to choke out.
“It wasn’t intentional,” Kunle said. “I saw you that day, staring at that jewelry, and I just felt pulled to you for some reason. Though, me getting you a present and offering my jacket are not gestures due to my growing attraction to you. They are actually harmless.” He shrugged. “I am getting married to Juliet. She’s a great lady and you are her friend. I am making effort to just be your friend. Just that and nothing more.”
I stood there looking at him, not knowing what to say. Conflicting emotions of anger, irritation, joy and sadness were all swirling around chaotically within me.
“Was that why you were smiling at me earlier on?” I asked.
“Oh, that. I overheard Juliet trying to get you to dance and saw the petrified look on your face, so I decided to get her off your hair. No need to thank me,” he said with a laugh.
So, he had done all that show for me.
“I still have your gift with me, Gift,” he said, looking intensely at me. “Whenever you are comfortable with accepting it. I’m not trying to get you to like me, if that’s your reservation. Just forget I said anything about liking you.”
I had my back turned to the entrance, looking from Kunle to the night sky behind him with the corner of my eyes. As he kept on talking, trying to make light conversation, I was turn between running back into the living room and going over to have him hold me. It was a very alien feeling to me and I didn’t know how to react to it all.
“There you are,” Juliet’s voice sang out behind me. I turned with widened eyes like I had been caught stealing. “Kunle, you are here too,” she said passively at him, locking arms with me.
“Hope you are having fun?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, almost inaudibly, willing myself not to look at Kunle where he still stood. I instead focused on Juliet’s dress. She had changed into a small champagne gold dress, that clung to her voluptuous body and revealed a generous amount of cleavage.
“You changed your dress,” Kunle and I said at the same time. I looked over at him and flushed. Juliet giggled.
“Yes, I did. The other one was sweeping the whole floor.”
“It’s lovely too,” I said. Juliet was gripping my arm tightly. I winced and whispered to her about it but she only smiled, while still looking at Kunle.
A sharp scream tore through the air. It had come from inside the house, far from the living room. The music was killed as everyone asked amongst themselves who that could be. Kunle pushed past Juliet and I and went in search of what was going on. I, with Juliet still clinging to me, hastily walked to join the rest in the living room . Kunle had disappeared into the corridor with a few other men and women. We heard more gasps and shouts.
Juliet pulled me with her in the direction of all the noise and there on the ground by the toilet was Mark. He was dead.
To be continued…
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