(My heart desire)
BY BLESSING SILVER
“Um Mr Dave I-
“I prefer to be called Dave” he said.
“Okay. Dave, I’ll really love to have lunch with you but I already have plans for lunch. Sorry” she said and he nodded, an unreadable expression taking over his once curious one “But if you want we can hang out on Monday after work for a cup of coffee” she said with a shrug.
“I guess that’s fine too. I’ll see you on Monday then” he said. “Goodnight” he walked back to the car and got into it. Leona sighs and watch him drive off before heading to her apartment.
“Leona,” Damien walked up to her and she stopped
“Damien, were you waiting for me?”
“Yes,” he shrugs “I saw you come in from the Window. Did I see someone drop you off?”
“Yes. That was my boss”
“The one that took you all out for barbeque?”
“Yes, he gave me a lift since it was already late”
“Oh.. okay. So tomorrow’s outing is still on, right?” He asked.
“Yeah. What time?”
“Okay. I’m damn sleepy right now, I’ll see you tomorrow” she says and he nods. She flashes him a small smile and walked to her house. Taking off her shoes and leaving them in the living room, she walked to her room.. Changed to her nightie and halfway to lie on the bed, she slept off..
The next morning, Leona took the trash outside in a big disposable nylon bag, she dragged it along to the big trash box outside..
“Let me help” Damien walked to her and collected the bag from her while Leona wiped her brows with her palm.
“Thanks” she smiled at him.
“It’s nothing” he said “You’re still up for the date, right?”
“Yeah, Totally” she said.
“I’ll pick you up by twelve” he said and she nod before walking back to the house. She sighed and pulled off the bandana she has used earlier to keep her hair in place while she did the cleaning. She had a pair of flabby chiffon trouser and a small top..
She walked to the kitchen and grabbed the corn flakes pack and a bottle of milk from the fridge, taking a bowl and spoon she walked back to the living room and used the couch rather than the dinning. She turned on the TV and poured the cereal into the plate, added enough milk and stirred before crossing her legs together on the soft cushion, she took a spoonful of the meal into her mouth and chewed, watching the movie on TV. She was in the middle of breakfast when her doorbell rang, with a mouthful of the meal, she stood up and walked to the door before twisting the knob and pulling it open.
“Amelia!” She said amidst chewing, with a smile on her face.
“Swallow that mush up first” Amelia replied her and made her way in, brushing her in the process. Leona closed the door and turned to her.
“It’s so good to see you, I’ve missed you” she said before giving her a small hug that she reciprocated to.
“I’ve missed you too best” Amelia says. “That’s why I’m spending your free day with you” she says raising the small traveling bag she brought and Leona smiled. “And I brought some movies too” she said and Leona nods. Taking her plate of corn flakes again.
“Want some?” She asks, raising the plate up..
“Already had some before coming. Have any milkshakes in here?”
“Yeah, it’s in the fridge.
Amelia stood up and head to the kitchen “He’s okay. He actually dropped me off, he’ll pick me up tomorrow as well and he asked me to say ‘hi’ to you before he left” she said.
“Oh..okay” Leona said.
“Did your boss visit the company as you said?”
“Yes” Leona answered, gulping down her food. “And he took us out for barbeque and wine”
“Whoa.. your boss’s pretty cool. I had pictured him as one mean guy when you described him yesterday” Amelia says, coming out from the kitchen with a glass of milkshake in her hand.
“That was how he was described to me too, I thought he was one fierce guy but he’s pretty cool and friendly”
“Friendly?” Amelia repeats “That means you both conversed”
“We did. He also brought me home yesterday since we were both heading toward the same direction” she says.
“Mmh..so he’s into you, huh?” Amelia asked and Leona almost choked on her food.
“Into me?” She repeated “no he’s not, he’s my boss Amy.. Or is it wrong to drive one of your staff home since you’re both heading towards same route?”
“Not if he didn’t drop you off by the roadside or something.. he drove you home Leona, what else can that mean?”
“Oh please Lee, I’m pretty sure that isn’t what it meant to him. You’re both adults, he doesn’t have to say it before you see it, you know it when he acts it”
“Yeah, alright” Leona says dryly.
“And besides, it’s been a while since you last opened this big heart of yours to date.. It’s been over four years since your last boyfriend. You need a guy in your life Lee, especially now that you live on your own”
“Yeah but it’s hard to differentiate the good guys from the bad ones”
“True but you can’t know unless you give someone another chance, can you?. Like your boss, why don’t you ask him out for tea or something?”
“Tch,” Leona scoffs “why will I do that?”
“Cos he’s nice and he’s rich and you need a boyfriend” Amy said, matter-of-factly.
“I’m not that desperate, Amelia”
“Okay fine. How about you just ask him out first, if he agrees then you know he’s into you”
“And if he doesn’t?” Leona asks.
“Then..you just try someone else”
“Thanks but no thanks. It might be okay with you to ask guys out on dates or meet ups but it’s not with me and Dave already asked me out for lunch yesterday but I refused” Leona said and stood up, taking her empty plate to the kitchen.
“What?” Amelia shrill voice reached her “Why would you refuse?”
“It was just a friendly offer Amy, don’t get too shocked”
“A friendly offer that you could’ve turned to something better. How could you refuse it, Leona?”
“Cos I already accepted someone else’s date offer. I don’t want to hangout with two guys at the same time”
“Ooh.. so there’s someone else, huh? Is it someone I know? Another one of your manager’s brother?” Amelia asked with a curious scrunch up nose.
“No Amelia. It’s Damien” Leona answered and for a moment, Amelia gives her a speechless blank look..
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. I’m going on a date with Damien and you can help me pick out what to wear”
“But why him? You rejected your boss’s offer for Damien?”
“No. Damien asked first. I couldn’t ditch him cos of my boss”
“Ugh Leona, what’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing. You were just talking about me dating again and now you’re acting all different about it?”
“I said date someone, not your neighbor”
“So Damien isn’t someone? Listen Amy, to me Damien is a whole lot different from other guys and I owe him a lot and besides what’s wrong with going out with him?”
“Are you positive that it’s just ‘going out?'” Amelia asks, using her fingers to gesture. “You’re not in love with him?”
“Um.. I don’t know, maybe I’m not or I am” Leona said before walking past her “And that’s enough talk for the hour, I need to have my bath now” She says, heading to the bathroom. .
She heaved a loud sigh; good thing she didn’t tell Amelia she had agreed to go out with Dave tomorrow. . She’ll make so many talks about it.
Amelia rolled her eyes and sighs as her friend walked out.
Why can’t she be more like her?
Leona settled for a dress that stopped above her knee, she grabbed her clutch and applied small makeup. She wore a flat shoe and walked out of the room.
“How do I look?” She asked Amelia who was still on the couch. She demonstrated an ‘okay’ with her palm.
“C’mon Amelia” she cooed.
“Really Lee, why exactly do love that guy?”
“I didn’t say I love him” she defended.
“So you’re going on a date with someone you don’t love?”
“Well,” Leona shrugged “I do feel something for him but.. I’m jusy not sure”
“Is that what you’ll say if he asks you?”
“Ask me what?”
“To date him. Come-on Lee don’t tell me you don’t know he’s taking you on a date to pop the question”
“it’s a friendly date, Leona-
“But you know that he’s inlove with you, right?”
“Well..I’ve seen the signs but I’m not sure” Leona said.
“Well just be sure before you give him an answer. Think it over and over again” she said.
The doorbell rang and Amelia gave Leona a lopsided grin.
“Your date’s here” she said.
“How do I look?”
“You look like you should have worn this for someone better” Amelia said and Leona gave her a frown before dashing for the door.. she pulled it open and truly, Damien stood in front of her..
“You look really pretty” he commended.
“I feel like I overdressed”
He laughed “it’s actually perfect” he said and Leona blushed.
“Shall we?” He asked, stretching his palm out and she nodded before taking it and they started the journey.
They took a bus and sat, Leona sat close to the window while Damien sat beside her.
“So where are we going to?”
“A restaurant that serves Italian and local dishes” he said.
“Wow.. I didn’t know there’s one around here” she says “do you visit there often?”
“Not really. I got a recommendation online and I only went there once to try it out before I bring you there”
“And now that we’re going there, I guess their meals are good?”
“Of course. I’ll leave you to bring up a better name once you try it” he said and she laughed.
“So do they like speak Spanish or something?”
“A little but they major in English, it depends on what you understand better” he said.
“So, do you speak Spanish, like fluently?”
“Yes. Apart from English and French, I’m also good at Spanish” he said.
“That’s good. I’m not really good at Spanish though, didn’t pay much attention to it in school, back then it was like a gobble-de-gook to me. I’ll say I’m an amateur at it”
“I can teach you if you want”
“Really?” She asked and he nodded. “So I’m going on a date with someone that’s ready to teach me how to cook, speak Spanish and is also hardworking, funny and supportive. Should I just marry you right now?” She joked and he laughed.
“I’m interested but I don’t think my Gran will like the rush” he said with the same humor. Leona gave him a small nudge at his arm and looked away.
The bus stopped at the station in Jackson’s height and they alongside other passengers got down..
“It’s over there, a little walk from here. Should we board a cab?”
“Since it’s just nearby let’s walk to it” Leona said and he nodded. As they journey to the restaurant, Damien takes her palm in his.. She faced him with a smile and entwined their fingers and they continued walking.
They got into the restaurant, which was already filled with people eating.
“Sorry but we’re full at the moment, you can check again later” a security at the door told them.
“I’m Damien. I already booked a table for two” Damien told him.
“Oh..please come with me” he said and they followed him to one of the servers head.. She recognized Damien at once.
“We already kept your reservation sir, it’s in the VIP section. Come with me please” she said politely and they followed her, She led them to their table. They took seats..
“I’ll send someone to take your orders. Our Italian menu is over there as well” she tells them and Damien nod to her, she left.
“This place looks quite expensive, you even booked us a table. Have you planned this the whole time?”
“Yes. I want it to worth your presence and I have enough to settle the expense so don’t worry about anything and just eat what you want”
“Damien, You don’t have to prove anything to me by spending money. I’ll still be very much okay if we had just gone to a smaller restaurant”
“No Leona, I have to make it worth your approval. I’ve saved up enough for it, trust me” he says and Leona gave him a small nod.
“Okay then,” she picked up the Italian menu, seeing the price of each meal and drink, she looked back up at Damien and he nodded, urging her to go on and choose. She was about telling him that the price for each meal is pretty high but a waitress came, a pad and pen in her hand, ready to take their orders..
“Italian or local?” She asks and Damien gave Leona a questioning look.
“Italian” Leona answered and Damien nodded.
“Have you decided?”
“Yes. Um I’ll take spaghetti and clams” Leona says, peering into the menu list.
“And you mister?”
“I’ll take mine with broth”
She wrote it down.
“And for the second course?”
“Um.. I’ll have poached fish”
“I’ll have same” Damien agreed and she wrote them down in her pad.
“And for the side dish, I’ll have sautéed zucchini” Leona says.
“I’ll go for fried potatoes”
“What will you drink?” She asked.
“White wine is fine” Damien suggested and Leona nodded.
“Just a minute, I’ll get your meals” she said before walking away. She caught Damien staring at her and when she looked back, he stared away. Leona knew he was nervous and it made her wonder if it’s his first time on a date with a lady.. An awkward silence followed as they waited for their foods. The waitress came later with their food and they took their cutleries. Leona took a forkful of her spaghetti and clams and moaned in delight.
“Really good” She replied and Damien smiled.
“I told you” he dug into his own food. They finished their meals and their plates were packed. Leona took the cup and took a sip out of the wine.. No one saying anything..
“Um.. Nice weather, isn’t it?” Damien asked, trying to start a conversation.
“Yeah. And you’re nervous” Leona told him and he let out a small smile.
“I..just don’t know what to say, it’s been a long while since I last went on a date”
“So you’ve been on dates? How many?”
“Uh.. A lot” he replied.
“So you’re mostly into short relationships?”
“Not me, the ladies, maybe. I’ll say I’m not really a ladies guy cos they all walk away in the end” he said, tapping his finger lightly on the table as a sense of déjà vu erupted in his head at his words.
Leona gave him a small pity look and picked up her glass, taking another sip from it.
“And you? I guess you must’ve been on a trillion dates” he said and Leona laughed.
“No, just few- mostly when I was in college. Haven’t really had the dating time after I graduated”
“Ooh.. Then I should feel honored for having your time”
“You should,” she laughed “but you know, I go out with guys I know, if not all, most things about” she said. Realizing that Damien knows so much about her, at least the important things.. Like her complicated family, her full name, her best friend, her everyday life, her parents and their work life, her future plans.. He practically knows everything about her.
“What would you like to know?” He asked her.
“Anything worth knowing. The important ones.. Let’s start with your full name?”
“Okay, my name is Damien Montes, I’m still saving up for law school and I stay with my grandma” he said.
“What about your parents?”
“Well, my dad’s dead, died in an accident and my mom stays in America, we talk on phone a lot” he says and Leona nodded.
“So do you have a best friend or some other friends?”
“Yes, his name is Alex but he’s not in this country, he in America”
“Looks like most of your life is in America, why are you in new York?”
“Um.. To stay with my grandma” he said the first lie that popped into his head.
“Okay. So I guess you’ll be going back to America?”
“Yes but not yet” he says “And-
His ringing phone interrupted his words and he took it out of his pocket.. Seeing the caller ID, he exchanged looks with Leona before leaving the phone aside, letting it ring.
“Why don’t you answer it?”
“It’s Betsy and I don’t want anything to interrupt our date” he said. The phone stopped ringing and started again.
“You can take it, it’s okay” Leona said and he picked the call with a sigh.
“Yes Betsy?” He said into the phone.
“Hi Damien, are you at home?”
“I’m not. I’m with Leona” he said.
“OK. When will you be back?”
“I don’t know but not anytime soon”
“Okay then. I’ll just wait for you at your porch”
“No, don’t wait for me. I don’t think my Granny will like a stranger on our porch”
“Um.. Okay, I’ll just call you back later” she said and hung up.
Damien dropped the phone and looked at Leona, who was just dropping her cup.
“I guess she wants you both to meet up?” She asked and Damien nodded.
“I didn’t know you both were that close and it’s surprising on Betsy side because she doesn’t normally hang out with guys that are not influential or wealthy” Leona said.
“We don’t normally hang out cos I’ve not been really up for it so we just talk on phone”
“If Betsy’s really into you then she’s totally a different person now and it’s shocking”
she said honestly.
“What about you, Leona?” He asked her and she gave him a questioning look.
“Are you into me?” He asked and Leona gave him a blank stare.. “I mean..not completely of course, there are many guys out there that are far more better than me that you should be into but I was just wondering, at least if there’s a little space for me?” He rushed his words but Leona still maintained her blank stare, except that her heart raced faster than it should.
“Cos I’m totally into you, Leona. I’m probably not worth half your level and I might just be a guy that hangs around a restaurant selling cupcakes for a living while you’re..well, an influential lady that deserves someone in your class and way better than a cupcake guy but..I can’t help it. I’m in love with you and I’ll really try to be the guy you want if you give me a chance”
Leona’s throat dried up and she quickly wet it with her drink. She had expected him to ask, seen the signs but now it sounds shocking. She hadn’t expected him to be so straightforward. She gulped before talking.
“So..what if I say I want someone that’ll take me all over the world in a magic carpet?”
“Then I’ll have to find Aladdin’s carpet to be that guy” he said and Leona smiled.
“I’ll think about it” she said, gulping again. “Now I feel like the nervous one” she said and he laughed.
The taxi dropped them in front of Leona’s house.. Damien got down and Leona followed, he settled the bills and followed her to residence.. They stopped at her doorpost and Leona turned to him.
“I know this might not have been your best date but I hope you still enjoyed it?”
“A lot. Honestly, this is the best date I’ve ever had” Leona said.
It might not have been so wealthy and adventurous like others but it was with someone she likes and really wants to hang out with, to her it’s perfect.
“Really?” He asked and she nods. “That’s a relief. So..I guess I’ll just see you tomorrow” he said but she didn’t respond, instead Leona took a step toward him, she stood on her toes since he was a little taller than her and kissed him.. It was a slow yet inviting kiss and Leona didn’t feel like pulling away but her toes couldn’t stand it anymore so she broke the kiss.
“What does this mean?” He asked her.
“That I already have a reply to your proposal but I’ll say it in words tomorrow” she said and he smiled in excitement and caught her off balance when he crashed his lips on hers, holding her waist to prevent her from falling.. He pulled away.
“I’ll be waiting” he said and Leona nodded, moistening her lips, she pulled close to him again, tipping her heels up to reach his face.
“If you both do that one more time out there then I’ll be forced to push you both to a room” Amelia said from the window and Leona quickly pulled back. Her cheeks flushed, Damien laughed.
“I’ll see you tomorrow” she said, walking to the door.
“You too” Damien returned the smile and walked away.
She reached the door and was about opening it when she heard a heavy breathing nearby. She quickly turned and saw Betsy standing beside a wall.. Leona’s brows furrowed.. Has she been there the whole time? How come neither she nor Damien saw her?
Betsy angry expression quickly gave way to a faux smile as she saw Leona staring at her. She didn’t need any soothsayer to tell her that she and Damien are a thing now or would very soon be. It burned her heart as she watched them kiss.. She had thought she could get Liam’s attention before her but the bitch won.. She can only imagine her sister’s face when she delivers the news to her.
“Betsy?” Leona called “what’re you doing there?” She asked and Betsy walked to her.
“I came to see you but Amelia wouldn’t let me in since you were not home and since I don’t have money to go and come back later, I decided to wait” Betsy said.
“Why do you want to see me?”
“I want to ask for a favor”
“Can we go in and talk about it?” She asked and Leona gave her a wry look before opening the door.
They walked in and Amelia was on the couch, watching a Nickelodeon series and eating a cup of yoghurt.
“Betsy?” She called when she saw her “you didn’t leave?”
“She didn’t. I saw her on outside”
“Cos Amelia wouldn’t let me come in” she chipped in, much to Amelia’s irritation.
“What should I have done? Leona didn’t tell me she was expecting a guest and I don’t trust you at all.. so, that settles it” Amelia said, unconcerned.
“Sit down Betsy, I’ll go change first then we talk” Leona said and Betsy sat down. She left for her room.
Amelia didn’t spare her a glance so she looked around and finally saw what she wanted. The coffee mug was resting on the dinning table.
“Um..do you mind if I have some coffee?” She asked Amelia who gave her a ‘whatever’ brush off. She stood up and walked to the dinning table, she took the coffee mug and poured the hot liquid into a coffee cup. Looking back at Leona whose attention was still on the TV, she quickly reached into the pocket of her dress and took out a small bottle of poison, she emptied quarter of the portion into the coffee before quickly hiding it back. She took the two cups and head to Leona’s room. She got there and knocked, Leona opened the door a little, popping her head out.
“Are you still dressing?”
“Yeah, but I’m almost done”
“I thought you changed your mind and want us talk in your room since you were taking time so I brought coffee” she said, showing her the cup.
“Uh no. We’ll do it in the living room, I’ll be out soon”
“Okay, just take this then” she gave her the cup and Leona took it.
“Thanks” she gave her a small smile and closed the door. Betsy smirked to herself in success. She walked back to the living room and paused in shock when she saw Amelia holding the bottle.. Her hand unconsciously moved to her pocket and she realized the bottle was no longer there.. Amelia opened the bottle and sniffed it, her eyes almost popped out of their sockets when she looked at her, a suspicious look on her face.
“I saw this fall from you,” she said in utter suspicion, making her Betsy go completely still, a bile rose up to her throat but she was too shocked to gulp it
This is called caught in the act😀. You all should leave your thought on this chapter.
after your rate, comments and shares.
BY BLESSING SILVER.