PROMISE TOMORROW (Eiba Family Saga Book 2)
Modele was in high spirits the following morning. At the morning devotion, she shared from Rom. 14:22b “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” She spoke at length on pursuing your goal in life, as long as the goal was Christ-centred.
Buki avoided her gaze, but doubted she noticed. Ever since he got to the house, she had led the morning devotion only once. Then, she had spoken briefly, as though she knew very little from the scriptures. But this was a far cry from that day. At the end of the devotion, she admonished everyone to have faith in God, and pursue every godly desire in their hearts without hesitation.
Buki was not as excited as his boss. He had had a restless night. He had slept little, and prayed most of the night. After leaving the main house, he had felt so miserable. He parked the car and then done his nightly fifty press-ups, taken a shower, tossed, and turned for over an hour before sleeping for a miserly two hours. When he woke up with a start, sweating profusely, he had done another hundred press-ups, showered and then prayed until it was time to get up. His bones felt sick and he was emotionally ill. He could not remember the last time he felt so condemned. Well, ever since he found his new life!
Throughout the day, he asked why! Why had he given in to his emotion? Why had he kissed his own boss? Why had he made a fool of himself? Why? Why? To worsen the whole matter, she had not responded. He felt like a real fool. She had only politely waited him out! What a disgrace.
He had very little to do in the garden, apart from his routine work; weeding and watering. He went back to tending the nursery for the fruit orchard. He had four fruits started and considered placing an order for four more. Already, he had avocado pear, orange, pineapple and guava. If he could transfer this in a week’s time, he could order for the next set, mango, lemon, cashew and probably pawpaw or local cherry. He was planning to have a small palm hedge around the fruit orchard. He had plans for a coconut palm hedge but he had considered the other palms too. A nice palm tree that will supply good palm wine!
As he sat, lounging on the soft grass in front of his garden store, a small thatched room he had constructed by himself, Modele approached. It was late in the afternoon, and the sun had gone down. He had been grateful the day had gone by so fast and he was just relaxing, and dozing. He had not felt up to much throughout the day.
“Hello,” she whispered into his face.
He jumped. Struggling to focus, he looked at her. She wore a lemon body-hug top over white flared skirt, with her bedroom slippers. Her face, bare of makeup, smiled down at his.
She kicked him at the side gently. “Sleeping on duty. You’re fired!”
“I’m sorry.” He sat up, wondering what she wanted, trying not to notice how she affected him. His throat gone dry, his pulse doubled, his heart pounding, his palms sweating. He felt like a silly schoolboy.
She gathered her skirt together, revealing slender, straight legs, and sat beside him. He shifted impulsively. He had left the first three buttons of his coverall open, revealing his hairy, muscled chest. Subconsciously, he buttoned up.
“I couldn’t sleep last night,” she said, avoiding his gaze. “In fact, I wrote three legal articles in the night before I could catch one hour sleep. I haven’t been able to do that in months.” She looked at him then. He looked away. “I also picked up my novel this morning, and ideas have been flowing,” she said excitedly.
“I’m happy for you,” he mumbled.
He felt miserable. How could she carry on so normally when he was burning, in pain? Did someone say women’s hearts were made of ice? Definitely, he was seeing yet another one.
“I…I wanted to ask your opinion about the novel I am writing,” she said hesitantly, studying him.
“I’m privileged if I can contribute,” he said quickly, pushing his waging emotions back.
“It’s about four little girls who are friends, you know, living together in the same city, or village, I’m not yet sure. They all believe in God, and then an epidemic hits their town, village, whatever.” She looked at him. He stared back, consumed by her presence. “I’m thinking one of them should die from the outbreak. Would that be fair for a children’s novel?”
He frowned. “Is the novel meant to send the kids to bed crying?”
“Oh no!” She smiled. “They should be put to a sweet night’s rest.”
“Then let’s not kill any of the girls. Hit two of them. Maybe one gets healed as soon as they pray but the other doesn’t and then their faith is put to the greatest test. Maybe that one will be the most adorable and faithful of the four. But let her live, maybe with a permanent scar or something. What age are you targeting?”
“Ten to thirteen.”
“Right, fair. They won’t hate you or think horror things about you when they put down the novel.”
She giggled. “I knew you would have a brilliant idea. City, town, village?”
“Village seems more appropriate if we want the outbreak to be impacting.”
“Right. And urm, what kind of scar?”
“Have you thought up the disease?”
“Well, you have to do a thorough research on epidemics and the resulting consequences. Web MD should help you. Or better still, if you have a doctor-friend.”
She squinted. “You know so much.”
“I try.” She does not understand what her presence does to me, he thought wearily.
She smiled. “Thanks for your advice. I’m going right back to continue the novel.”
He was glad he had helped, and even more she was leaving.
She stood and turned to leave, and then turned back to face him. “About last night…”
He jumped to his feet. “Please, let’s not talk about it. I behaved so foolishly.” His gruff voice hardened.
“I’ve never … I wasn’t offended, really. I just didn’t expect you to ur… well,” she stammered.
“I took advantage of you. I knew quite well you were just trying to drive that guy away and I leapt in. I gave in to emotions that should never have been permitted.” He shoved shaky hands into his pocket. He didn’t want to talk about last night. As it was, he still struggled to calm his nerves. More importantly, he didn’t want to hear her condemn him, and detest him.
“You make this sound like a taboo. Yes, what you did was quite wrong and I don’t expect it to be repeated but honestly, I take part of the blame.” She stared at his rigid stance. “I worked you up. I took you for granted…”
“And that’s what makes it more painful. I’m supposed to be a pro. I’m supposed to protect you, and defend you,” he said, unable to look at her. “I failed in my duty.”
She took a step toward him. He tensed. She moved closer and touched his shoulder, gingerly at first and then spread her fingers. He sucked in his breath.
“I liked the way you acted,” she whispered. “I knew it was more than an act for you. I knew it.”
“Don’t do this to me, please.” He swallowed hard. “Don’t put me to this test. Go back into the house. Now, please!” He was trying to control his desires with all the strength he could muster.
“You behave as if you’ve never seen a woman before,” she said teasingly and moved back to sit on the grass. She placed her hand on her chest and heaved a heavy sigh.
He turned to look at her. She was now lying down face-up, her eyes closed and so peaceful. Had she completely acted last night? He wished he knew.
“You are doing this on purpose.’’ His voice trembled. “You play with me, my emotions as though I am nothing!” She kept her eyes closed. “You feel nothing for me but you enjoy teasing me. This is all a game to you, isn’t it?” She did not respond. “You want to take out your revenge on me? I would never treat a woman the way he treated you!” He limped toward her. “I never have, and I never will.”
Her eyes flew open and she stared at him. “Are you trying to pretend or it’s beyond you that I might not have been totally acting last night?” she asked softly.
He fell to his knees beside her, the jutting in his throat shifted with such force, she involuntarily reached out and touched it.
“Mo!” he whispered. “Mo, there’s no future for us!” His hand reached out to caress hers on his throat.
“Then why do you behave the way you do around me?” She pushed his hand away. “Why do you blink, and gasp and swallow each time you are around me? If there’s no future, why can’t you control yourself?”
His head dropped and he battled his emotions. He had felt like this once for a woman and it had not worked. Maybe this would not work either. Or maybe he needed to take his time. Push this as far as he could. Hope this would work. If he did not try, he never would know.
“When I got this job, I never knew I would be working for you. I never knew I would even be a gardener.” His hands hung loosely beside him in defeat. “All I hoped for was to work as security personnel in your father’s company. But I understand what it is like to be deployed and redeployed in any establishment. I came here for the sole purpose of working. I never envisaged any of this,” he said softly, longing for her.
“Then keep working. Ignore me.” She pushed to a sitting position. “You’re doing exactly what you said you would never do to a woman! Exactly like Jude!”
“No. No way! I love you.” He covered his face and rested back on his heels. “Things can’t be normal anymore, because I love you.” He looked at her, and swallowed. She glared at him.
She whistled, and burst into laughter. “Mr. George… Buki?”
“I am a gardener. I have nothing to offer you. But I know I love you. No one can take that from me. I may never marry you. Your friends and family may never accept me. You may never accept me…But I know I love you.”
“Sshh. Don’t say that anymore.” She placed her forefinger on his lips and pulled him into a hug. “Don’t say anymore,” she mumbled into his chest.
They stayed together on the grass, just holding each other.
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