Welcome to the new Novel on the blog. This is a sequel to When Love Finds You. You can decide to read that or just jump unto this one. When Love Stays makes sense totally on its own. We’ll be continuing to dig into the lives of most of our favourite characters from When Love Finds You. I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds. I hope you enjoy this as much as I know I would as I write it. Please drop your comments after every chapter and remember to invite your friends over to read; you get my work into the hands of new readers and also get to share the journey with someone as well. There will be a chapter every week God willing. Welcome again and yeah, let’s head right into it. It’s chapter one and I’m so excited. Happy reading!
Sule sat weighed down in traffic. He wanted to stay happy – to be happy. It was two days before his wedding anniversary. He was supposed to be. Except there was a lingering nostalgia in the air that made him itch inside. There was something about the day, about the way it began that seemed like he has been here before. He heaved, dropped the go-happy act and took the Madina turn at Okponglo. His phone’s notification beep went off, he glanced at it. Then as if in a dream, he blinked twice, got out his lane and parked at the sides. His facial muscles slowly began to tense. His throat started to dry. A sudden coldness settled over him. Glancing now at Tara’s WhatsApp, it all made perfect sense. All the unusuals in the day began to fit perfectly; the way he was almost too weak to wake up, how he had to bully his appetite to be able to gulp down ten teaspoons of the Koko Dzidzor made for breakfast. Today is Sessy’s anniversary. He sat back in his seat, his body seemed to weaken under the news from the text. He could already picture Sessy on that stretch bed being pulled along. He could see himself as well. Hiding in the shadows, not looking her way, avoiding any eye contact. He never told her he loved her. Instantly, he felt feverish. He felt sick to the stomach. He was sure he’d throw up the perfect breakfast Dzidzor worked so hard to make him. He rushed out of his car and let all out into the nearby gutter. He kept his eye down, pumped water from his bottle into his mouth, spat enough to clear his tongue off the puke, poured the rest of his water out into the drain and sped off back home.
The drive back home was torturous and slow. Every turn before reaching home at Adenta Estate was a display of buried memories. Memories he’s wrapped and embalmed and laid to rest. What are you going to do now Sule? The question bugged him. Of course, he didn’t have an answer. He wasn’t sure he wanted to have one. He got himself inside, went straight to the bedroom and laid down. Images of Sessy flooded him. In one, she was with Tara, smiling like there was no care in this world outside the National Theatre. Another scratched at his heart. She was in his graduation gown, clowning. Her hands were in the air, she was mouthing something and looking squarely at him with a careless laughter. One of those ones that get everyone else you didn’t intend watching and you don’t give a care. It was after that picture that their whole lives… He stopped the thought from forming. The images kept running through his head like a slideshow had been set. He gave himself to them, drawing out of each shot the stories of that day. The stories he thought will eventually lead them into each other’s arms for a lifetime. But hadn’t it. He sniffed, got up and re-lived the horrific day in his entire life.
He was in his gym, having a meeting with the co-owner when Tara called. Sessy needs you. She hadn’t even bothered to say a hello. Her speech was hurried and she sounded out of breath. He had taken about five steps away from his co-owners hearing and asked the ultimate question that had turned the moment into a nightmare. Tara. He had called her, his voice turned down with worry. What is wrong?
She’s considering killing the baby, Sule. Tara was already sobbing. Sule never asked whose. He knew. He had only asked where she is, jumped into his car and drove with every nerve standing on his skin. They met at the hospital. Sessy was already on a stretcher, ready for the theatre. Tara rushed to her side, held her hands, kissed them like he was supposed to and only withdrew when the nurses forced her to. He, he had stayed put, avoided her eyes enough to only catch a glimpse of the full smile she shot his way. He had stayed put, hadn’t he? Wasn’t that why he couldn’t gaze at her corpse longingly like every lover should the woman of his dreams? He took the phone out of his pocket again, found his chat with Tara and read the message. As if he was seeing it now for the first time in his life. Then a question he had not considered came to him. But he didn’t give it thought. He rather went into his Google Photos app and searched for 2012. After scrolling down three blocks of pictures, he found her face. Sessy was never without a smile. He watched her, wondering why he was so foolish. So unlucky. They could have been married now. Their child would have been 5. He caught himself from straying into forbidden thoughts.
He freed his soul to cry to the only one who’ll know what to do.
Son. You are a new creation. The old is gone. All things are new.
Oh, Lord. He cried inside again. The words had carried with them a sense of some unspoken words he’d rather he didn’t have any knowledge of. He put his pillow up on the bedrest and lay back.
“Honey.” Dzidzor stood by the door. A questioning smile tugged at her lips. “I horned many times. I finally let myself in. Were you truly that busy?” She crossed the room and sat on the bed, peeling her heels off her tired feet.
“No.” Sule shut his phone screen and took Dzidzor’s face in his palms. He turned her to him and kissed her. “I was lost in thoughts.” He sat beside her. “How was your day?”
“I enjoyed being back with my Dad and TARGET but I’ve been thinking maybe it’s time.”
“For the babies?” He let the words sit on the guilt that wanted to creep into his heart. He grinned, keeping his eyes on Dzidzor’s face. He held on to the love they share. The love he would never have with anyone else. “That.” Dzidzor kissed him and moved to the wardrobe. She dropped her earrings into a jewellery box and slid her dress off. Sule walked to her and held her from the back.
“They’ll be here before we know it.” He smiled and touched her shoulders, kissing her from the neck. Dzidzor turned and kissed him, allowing her lips linger on his. “I’ve missed you but I’ve to get lunch.”
“You do?” Sule held on. He kissed her again. Then he let go and looked into her eyes, begging to see to the part of her soul that assures him he loves her too much to slip back into Sessy’s hands somehow. “I love you Dzidzor Fadi.” He said the words more so he would believe it than for her. Dzidzor laughed. “I like being married to you.” She stepped away from him and slipped into a big T-shirt. “I’m thinking we should start trying.”
“Of course.” She stopped halfway to him. “Are you here? Listening? You still look distracted.”
“I’m here.” Sule sat on the bed and leaned backwards. “I just don’t want us worrying about babies. We may get worked up.”
Dzidzor snug by him, lifting her eyes enough to see his. “I think you’re right. I should go get lunch.” Sule’s eyes met hers. “What?” Dzidzor giggled. “I love you.” Sule whispered. Dzidzor’s face heated up. Like it always would because of Sule’s love. “So how was your day?” Dzidzor sat up. “My day was…” Sule remembered the text from Tara, Sessy’s pictures, how he started dreaming about the future that never was and changed his mind about answering his wife’s question. He drew close to her and cupped her face to his. “Before we talk about my day and lunch, I miss my wife.” He kissed her as desperately as he can and with every touch hoped the love he has for Dzidzor will wash over him and help him forget Sessy, his past and facing them. Yet he knew he had to. But for now, he was going to forget about the life he wishes he never lived and live the one he has with the only woman he had loved beside Sessy.
This life with the woman he loves.