“You dont know what you have got, until it’s gone” Unknown
“I told you to go to hell,” Kate hissed at Phil, she stood still staring at him. Her eyes blazing fire.
“That’s why am here,” he said calmly as he took a seat, “In hell.”
Kate took a second to compose herself. She had vowed that she will never allow Phil to get her emotions all riled up. After years of emotional turmoil from the man she once loved, she had promised herself to be in full control of her emotions and reactions to situations. A minute passed as the former lovers stared at each other.
Phil was softly tapping his fingers on Kate’s desk .She was standing leaning on the wall next to the door. They continued staring at each other. There was another endless minute of silence. Kate folded her arms. Phil adjusted his tie. The soft tapping continued.
“I come in peace,” Phil broke the silence.
“Ok, so what do you want?” Kate asked calmly
She knew he was playing into her emotions and she was determined not to let him win. She knew the man too well. In the previous years since they broke up, Phil had tried severally to contact Kate. Severally she had declined to see him. When he was running for parliament, Phil approached Kate to be his public relations campaign manager. He had tried to convince her that he needed her services; he had said that he was sure he will not win without her. She had graciously declined the job offer. When he won, he had invited her to his homecoming party, she trashed her invitation card. The day his divorce was finalized, Phil had sent white lilies to Kate’s office and attached a card that read, free at last love with a smiley face at the end. She had sent back the flowers.
That was the last time she had heard from him. And now, here he was, uninvited, in her office. She didn’t like the idea of being in the same room with a man who had caused her a lot of grief. Over the years she had done a pretty good job of building herself up that she had no time to worry about him. She had focused on her career and creating a name for herself in the business world. She excelled at what she did and she loved her new life..
“Remember the first time we met?” He asked her softly.
Kate laughed sarcastically.
“You were wearing a yellow dress and you had these well done black braids. I still remember the way you smiled at me when I said hi to you. You had just cleared your undergrad,” he gave out a hollow laugh.
“I remember the day I found you in our bed with her,” Kate mimicked his voice. “Oh, and I remember a whole lot of other things too,” she rolled her eyes at him.
“Yeah,” fingers tapping. “That,” his voice trailed off, “was regrettable.”
“Is there something that you wanted? I really need to get back to work,” Kate said sternly.
“Yes.” He stood up and moved closer to her.
She straightened her back. He was so close that she could smell his after shave. She took a step backwards but she hit the wall. She was trapped. He put his right hand on the wall just slightly above her left shoulder, he was almost touching her, then he leaned his face towards hers. Her heart started racing, she hated herself for that. She could feel the heat that was now generating between them. She was sure he would try to kiss her so she was bracing herself to push him back. But he didn’t. He rested his eyes on hers. His breathing was soft and regular. He looked at her lips then back to her eyes. At that point she became aware of his masculinity. She bit her lower lip.
“Forty looks good on you,” he whispered against her right ear.
She wanted to move, if she did she was afraid their bodies will touch. She also didn’t want to push him either; she reminded herself to stay calm and not give him the satisfaction that he was at that minute arousing her. She chose to remain still. I am in control, she told herself. He breathed softly down her neck and put his left hand on her right arm and left it there. He felt the warmth of her skin with his fingers. He smelled her perfume. Its scent was sweet piercing right into his nostrils he inhaled deeply and deliberately exhaled slowly as he inched himself closer to her. Their bodies touched. He now had her under his arms. Standing tall above her, she had nowhere to go. His breathing has now shifted to a fast paced rhythmic beats.
“Have dinner with me tonight,” he said softly as he moved his left hand up and down her arm.
She shook it off. He didn’t persist and neither did he move. Instead he lowered his head towards her face; she raised hers and held his eyes with her own. She could feel his heart thumping against her chest. It was like it was calling out to her and that’s when she knew it was coming; he was going to kiss her. Her legs felt numb and her heartbeat accelerated. Her inner self wanted to push him away but her heart was too weak to obey. He slightly parted his lips and moved an inch closer his hot breath against her own. She braced herself for the inevitable. He moved right for her lips.
At that exact second she turned her head away from him, he missed and brushed her cheek. Ouch, he thought. With his ego bruised he let her go. Without a word, he took a minute, adjusted his jacket and turned around and took a seat. The same seat he was sitting on when she saw him.
Trying to hide a triumphant smile she said, “I would like you to leave, now.”
“No,” he said firmly trying to rise above the disappointment, “Not until I tell you what I wanted.”
“No,” she responded back as she took her seat, “You already have.”
He ignored her.
He turned his seat and faced her, he chose carefully his next words, “I want you back.”
“What!” She almost jumped out of her seat.
“Look,” he quickly added, “I was a jerk, ok.” He sounded almost apologetic if it was another life she thought she would have believed him.
“Listen,” she said curtly, “One, am working. Two, I will not have this conversation. Ever.”
Phil knew that Kate will not agree to meet him outside her office. He had tried severally before to have her meet him but he had failed miserably. He knew this was the only chance that he will ever get to have her listen to him. He had promised himself before he came that he will not blow it up. He had to tell her what had been in his mind for years now.
“Please hear me out,” he humbled himself. He swallowed hard, this is going to be difficult than I had thought. Aloud he said, “I am sorry Kate for everything. From the bottom of my heart I am very sorry for putting you through all that I did.”
He waited for her to respond, she didn’t. He continued.
“I was young, I was stupid, and I was foolish. I am sorry for the lies, the deceit, the unfaithfulness, for beating you.” He inhaled deeply. “Please forgive me. The truth is, I have never been happy in my entire life since you and I broke up. Over the years I have come to respect and appreciate you. I love you. I want to marry you. Please forgive me.”
Kate said nothing.
“I messed up big time,” he reached out for her hands across the table. She pulled back. “I am a better man now. I want to be the best man that I wasn’t for you. Please give me another chance.”
Still, she said nothing.
“Look, am growing old. I want a family with you. Let’s try again. Let’s get married.”
Kate had never seen him look like that. Like a defeated man. He looked tired, like he was at the end of the rope. A part of her heart knew he was telling the truth. But some part of her suspected he was playing his old tricks on her again. She remembered how in the past she had been in the same place reading the same script. They had broken up severally before and he would came back to her with an almost similar story of being a changed man and she would take him back and he would go back to his old ways almost immediately.
That cycle had wrecked her emotions and broken her confidence in him. It had been over seven years since they went separate ways. So much had happened in their individual lives. Watching him from across her desk, Kate couldn’t help but wonder what if he is genuine? We after all, are not getting any younger. What if?
“I need to tell you something else,” Phil was saying
“Ok,” she pursed her lips.
“I am putting my bid to run for governor next year.”
It was almost another election year. Kate was surprised at how time ran out so fast.
“Congratulations,” she managed to say.
“That’s the thing.” He said almost silently
Usually he would have answered in a cocky manner and said something that would go like, yeah, am born to lead or am going to win you know or something like, the presidency is my next stop. Maybe the man had changed after all, Kate thought in amusement.
“I want you by my side, Kate,” he added somberly. “Not as my campaign manager, but as my wife. I want us to win this together.”
“Oh, Phil, you never cease to amaze me,” Kate said, “What makes you think that after all these years I will just let you walk back into my life?” She stood up and put both her hands on the desk and leaned forward, “Who do you think I am? A woman on hold just waiting for you to show up and go as you please?” She was now getting angry. “No sir!”
Phil stood up. He was calm and collected, than he usually would have been in such a situation, thought Kate to herself.
“No Kate, I don’t,” he straightened his jacket. He does that a lot, thought Kate. “I hope you will think about it.”
He turned to leave, “I want us. I want you,” he smiled. “Please.”
And just like that he was gone.
Kate was left alone. She couldn’t comprehend what just transpired in her office. She was angry at Phil for just buzzing into her life like that. Who the hell did he think he was? She was puzzled. Had the man really changed? Why now when Tim had just come back to my life? Why am I even thinking about Phil?
Things were suddenly moving too fast for her. She decided that would be a perfect time for tequila and work would have to wait.
She grabbed her handbag, car keys and bolted out of the office.
To be continued …….