BITTER_LOVE episode 12
“Oh no, d–n it! You’ve just ruined my suit.”
Curtis wasn’t yelling, but the message had been conveyed. He was mad at me for accidentally dumping my cocktail on him.
Diana tugged at his arm and shook her head. “Relax, Curtis. It was an accident.”
“You bet my ass it was. Dee, where did you find this drunk lady and what’s she doing standing here before me clad in fake and cheap clothes from head to toe?”
“Yoh buddy, there’s no need to go that far,” said Baison defensively, he was still holding my arm.
Curtis chuckled. “And who the hell are you?”
“I’m an officer who’s going to arrest your sorry hypocritical ass if you don’t apologize to Alicia for the hurtful words you’ve uttered.”
“You’re very funny,” Curtis suppressed a laugh. “The only person who should be arrested here is this Alicia girl who’s wearing fake heels. Come on, she’s misleading people and is a danger if let loose. As it is, she just ruined my expensive tuxedo. I bought this suit in Paris, France. You two ever left this pathetic country before?”
I sighed and shook my head when Baison attempted to speak.
“I’m the one that’s at fault here,” I sheepishly said. “Mr. Curtis L. Maliti, I’m sorry for the cocktail and all. I didn’t know my heel would break at such a juncture cause had I known, I wouldn’t have even bothered to come here. Am also sorry for ruining your suit which you seem to care so much for. If it pleases you, I might buy you a-”
“Oh please. I bet your boyfriend’s salary for a year can’t even buy me the sunglasses I’m wearing.” Curtis was pointing at Baison and then at me as he said this. “You people are pathetic.”
“Curtis!” it was Diana speaking. “Please, you’ve said enough.”
“It’s fine, Diana. My boyfriend as your cousin puts it, and I will be on our way. But before I go, let me say something. Tonight has taught me never to judge a book by it’s cover.”
“Whatever that means, I don’t care. Just get lost already, will you?” Curtis sounded irritated to the core.
“Why don’t I just punch out your front teeth right now?” Baison angrily said.
“I’d like to see you try.”
Baison attempted to lurch himself at Curtis but I held him back. “There’s no need, Baison. Trust me,” I said and took off my other heel so that both the broken and normal one were now in my hands. “Baison, let’s go.”
Baison merely nodded and together, we shamefully left the hotel lobby.
“You should have let me beat the shit out of that pompous idiot,” snarled Baison as we headed to the parking lot. “Ali, I told you that man is not a good person.”
“Oh please, Baison. I don’t remember you saying that. The last thing I remember is you saying Curtis’s books are as boring as hell but I find them interesting though I doubt I’ll ever read his work after what just happened back there. My God, the guy is rude that his rudeness’ almost contagious.
Who does he even think he is to say such trash about me? Hell, he doesn’t even know me.”
“Just forget about that loser, Ali. You should simply move on with your life.”
“I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Even though I was acting this unfazed by what had just transpired, deep down I was hurting. I had always wanted to meet Curtis and at least get his autograph but both those wishes were now a thing of the past. The bastard’s words had gotten to me pretty bad and I didn’t know what to do to shake them off.
We were at the parking lot when I heard someone calling out my name.
“Alicia! Wait up.”
Baison and I turned in unison just to see Diana headed our way. In her hands were two copies of Curtis’ latest novel.
“What do you want?” Baison asked Diana, not bothering to be polite at all.
“I’m here to apologize on my cousin’s behalf.”
“There’s no need for you to do that. Your cousin’s an adult and I assume he knows exactly what he’s doing so there’s no need for-”
“Baison!” I cut him short. “Let Diana speak.”
Baison opened his mouth as if to say something but shut it again.
Diana was pleadingly saying, “Alicia, I know you didn’t spill that drink on Curtis on purpose, it was an accident. I’m not going to justify Curtis’s reaction but I’ll assure you of one thing, that’s the first time he was that rude to his fans.”
“Point of correction,” geez, Baison just couldn’t seem to keep his mouth from yapping, could he? “There’s only one fan here and that’s Ali. And then about your cousin being rude for the first time, I can tell from your tone that’s a rehearsed line. How many people have you fed that lie to so far?”
“For a man, you do have a sour tongue,” sighed Diana. “Anyway, Alicia, I just wanted to hand you these books. Take them as a gift from me for spending some time with me and also as an apology for Curtis’s hurtful words towards you.”
“You seem like a nice person, Diana. I’m really grateful for the books.” I got both copies and opened one to the first page, there was Curtis’s signature on the inside of the front cover.
Diana smiled. “You got your autograph.”
“Thanks.” she and I shared a brief hug.
“I’d like to have your line,” Diana offered.
“I’d I’ve loved go give it to you but I just can’t.”
Baison hadn’t come with his car to the hotel as apparently he’d been low on gas. So this found him driving my Spacio, headed to my place.
The drive home was characterized by awkward silence and I don’t know if it was the cocktail at work or what but I began recalling all that I’d gone through in the past 11 years. From the divorce, to the fleeing of my ex husband with my child to my sister’s death and then to the embarrassing moment I’d just experienced at the hotel.
All this left me in tears. I was sobbing loudly. Why was my life such a mess? My love life to be precise, why was it so bittersweet?
When Baison noticed my tears and heard my sobs, he parked by the roadside.
“Ali,” he cupped my face and looked straight into my eyes. “What’s eating you up, huh? Don’t tell me it’s that Curtis.”
“My life’s a mess,” I blurted out.
“What do you mean?”
Yes Baison and I were friends but he knew nothing about my past but tonight, I was so sad I ended up pouring all my problems out to him, re-opening my wounds which had been almost healing. The only thing I hid from Baison was the fact that Faides wasn’t my biological daughter. This truth wasn’t relevant to him anyway.
“No man should do that to their wife,” was the first thing Baison said when I was done telling my tale. “Ali, I’m so sorry Bob did all that to you. I’m now guessing that’s the reason you’ve built a wall round your heart and have shunned love. Ali, you’ve moved on with your life and I believe you should completely let go of the past. By this I mean you should fall in love and be happy.”
“I’m guessing you suggest I fall in love with you?”
“No, Ali. That’s not what I’m saying. There’s no way you can choose whom to love so it’s fine if you don’t feel the way I feel about you. I’ll tell you something that I last told someone years ago. I love you.”
I wasn’t taken aback by Baison’s confession. I’d seen it in his eyes that he was falling for me but to me, he was only a friend and I wasn’t seeing myself falling in love with him anytime soon.
“You don’t need to give me a response,” said Baison hurriedly. “I can wait. I’m that patient.”
“Sshhh,” I placed a finger on his lips and then out of a feeling of obligation, I planted my lips on his.
Baison let me kiss him for half a minute before pushing me off him. “We can’t do this, Alicia. You’re currently experiencing mixed emotions and I don’t wanna take advantage of that. Believe me I don’t always fantasize about sex.”
“I’m sorry,” I raked a finger through my Afro wig. “I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
“It’s fine,” he revved the engine. “Let me take you home, it’s been a long night.”
Three weeks past without Baison ever asking for a response from me though I felt guilty of maybe leading him on. To be honest, I didn’t love the guy one bit.
Well all in all, my life was moving at a normal pace with me going for work, hanging out with Faides and Monde and attending social gatherings. And then what shocked me the most was that I had managed to finish reading Curtis’s novel, after Monde had convinced me of course.
We had been at Melissa shopping mall when Monde had said, “Alicia, the book you handed me, it’s Curtis’s best book so far. I just couldn’t seem to put it down at all. It was so refreshing to read such a fine piece of art.”
“Good for you,” I had nonchalantly told Monde. “I’m even shocked my copy of the book hasn’t hit the trash bin yet, Monde.”
“I know his words had hurt you, bae, and I understand. But maybe his cousin had been right. From what you had told me, the guy could have been having an episode or something. We all have our own issues, don’t we?”
And that’s how I ended up reading the book but that didn’t mean I wasn’t still mad at Curtis. What had amazed me the most was that in the novel, the lead couple consisted of a policewoman and a writer. I’d laughed my lungs out at the thought of Curtis and I developing a romantic relationship. That was obviously impossible. We were so different in character and thus were worlds apart.
Curtis aside, I was going home one night from work at past 23:00hrs when I found a BMW parked in the middle of the road, blocking my way.
I got out of my car and went to check what was going on. There was no one in the car. Puzzled, I glanced around and only saw bushes almost everywhere. I got my flashlight and lit it, in the other hand was my pistol.
“Hello, anybody out there?!”
I saw some bushes ruffle and I immediately headed towards the spot, flashlight still on. There was a pathway which I followed and the scene it led me to left me shocked, disgusted and then infuriated!