David noticed the brand new red Nissan Murano parked on the spot in front of the house where Rain’s Hyundai should have been, but it didn’t bother him too much. The owner was probably visiting with one of the neighbours and if Rain got back before the person left, then he’d help her knock on the doors of the other eleven tenants in the compound until he located the driver of the vehicle and get him or her to move it somewhere else.
As he searched for his key ring in the pocket of the brown sweat pants he wore, D3 wondered aloud why some of the residents didn’t use their heads by simply instructing their guests to stay off parking in front of other people’s houses, when there was ample space in the area within the estate designated for visitors’ parking.
Finding his key ring, David looked at the time on the phone. It was thirteen minutes past eight in the evening and he was surprised his girlfriend wasn’t back home yet. She usually got in from work between six and seven o’clock, and those were on the days she worked really long hours in the office or she accompanied her boss back to his house. On those occasions, it was either because there was some errand he wanted her to deal with over there, or his wife was hosting some business associate of his to dinner and her presence was required.
D3 let himself in. Seeing how quiet the house was, he felt guilty about staying away for so long when he should have been home with Rain, helping out with cooking, cleaning and other chores.
In the sitting room, he noticed Rain’s laptop and a ton of files on the centre table. Knowing her as well as he did, David instantly assumed she had worked on them all night and then hurried off to work in the morning because she was late, without glancing at the table.
Since it wasn’t unusual for her to forget her laptop, office documents or even her cell phone at home sometimes, he assumed that the items strewn on the table were forgotten. More so, her car was conspicuously missing from the parking area. Furthermore, there was no sign of another presence when he entered the house.
David was happy to have the house to himself. He turned on the TV, and MTV Base Africa was showing the music video for PDA, a Scott Helman’s upbeat song he had in his gym playlist.
The lyrics of the song reminded him of Rain in a way he didn’t expect because she had introduced him to that kind of music. Thinking about it brought back guilt feelings.
David acknowledged to himself that it wasn’t easy leaving Annie for a couple of hours, after weeks of hanging out in her apartment, to take care of important business in his own home.
Afraid he might meet with Rain and change his mind about her, Annabel cried and begged him to stay for a few more days before the big confrontation with her friend.
When that didn’t work, she screamed and called him names, but still he didn’t budge. It wasn’t as if he was tired of her and whatever it was they had going on; all David wanted was a day or two with Rain so he could tell her the real reason he hadn’t been home and why he thought it best not to communicate with her.
His plan was to go back to the house and have a candid conversation with Rain about their relationship status, get his things, and return to Annabel. He didn’t see the point in stringing Rain along, or leaving things hanging between them, when he had made his choice.
Things between him and Annie intensified really fast, and now breaking up with Rain had become inevitable. Still, he had to do it nicely. The two of them had been together for such a long time, and in all that time, Rain was good to him. She was kind and supportive of all his plans and ideas. He was the one that strayed and betrayed her trust with someone she liked and trusted.
Annabel wanted him to end things with Rain immediately and move in with her. D3 was prepared to do exactly that but he also knew that Rain deserved an explanation for his decision.
He knew it would be cruel letting her find out from somewhere or someone else that he hadn’t been in Warri all these while, but was instead staying with her best friend in Yenagoa. His only hope was that Rain understood that Annie was prepared to give up everything for him.
Annabel put him first. With Rain, he was a distant second after her job.
Whereas Annie was contented with being his girl, taking care of his needs and starting a family once he found a job to complement what she earned as a teacher in one of the private schools in the city, Rain, on the other hand, was all about her career and impacting the world.
Rain had big dreams. She wanted to be the next Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Annie had dreams too, but they were smaller – she just wanted to be Mrs. Somebody and have eight bridesmaids dressed in crimson chiffon and taffeta gowns on her wedding day. Rain had rules. Her husband must never stray or sleep with any other woman. Annie had rules too, but hers weren’t as stringent. Her husband could sleep around every now and then, just as long as he was discreet and took care of the bills. Rain had targets. Before she turned thirty, she wanted to occupy a key position in her job. And at thirty-five she wanted to have a degree in Management from Harvard Business School. Annie had targets as well, but they were flexible. Her ambition was to own a nursery or primary school someday, but if that didn’t happen, she’d still be content being Mrs. Somebody.
David didn’t realise when the music video changed from Scott Helman to Lizzo. He didn’t care very much for whatever it was the African American entertainer was singing about truth, so he flipped to the food channel on DSTV even though he knew he wouldn’t be sitting down long enough to watch anything Chef Gordon Ramsay was doing with pots and pans.
Happy to have the house to himself, David turned down the volume of the television completely and contemplated his next move.
Since he hadn’t been around in a long while, David didn’t know what Rain’s new schedule at work was, or when to expect her back home.
However, suspecting she’d be home within the hour, David decided to hold-off gathering the things he came to get until after they spoke. If Rain let him stay the night, they could make love one last time and then in the morning, he’d say his final goodbye.
Satisfied he had everything figured out, D3 turned off the TV and strolled into the bedroom to await Rain’s return.
Rain’s voice startled him. He hadn’t expected to see her lying on the bed when he turned on the bedroom light.
“I didn’t realise you’re home,” D3 garbled, masking his shock with a half-hearted smile. “I didn’t see your car outside.”
“It’s parked out front,” Rain replied. “They gave me a new car in the office today.” Rain sat up straight, leaning back against the headboard so she could establish eye contact with him.
“The Murano I saw outside is yours?”
“Yes, it is.”
“You mean Edozie Express bought you a brand new SUV?”
“It came with my new position. I got a promotion at work.”
“Oh wow! Congratulations,” David said, pretending like he was just hearing about it for the first time. “I’m happy for you.”
“So where’s the old car?”
“Mr. Waks says I can keep it, but I left it in the office. I’d figure out what to do with it in the morning. Maybe I’d give it to Uncle Kalku or something.”
“This is awesome news. You seriously mean your company gave you a brand new Murano?” David couldn’t hide his shock.
“Well, I would have said seeing is believing, but you’ve seen it already.”
“At this rate, it wouldn’t be long before they ask you to move to a bigger house in a nicer neighbourhood,” David said, ignoring the derision in her tone.
“In fact, Mr. Waks mentioned the other day, that I should move to the staff quarters at Opolo. I have been assigned a 3-bedroom duplex there. The building was recently vacated by one of the HR managers that have relocated abroad with his family. I hope to pick up the keys next week and then I can begin to make arrangements to leave this place.”
“Wicked!” David exclaimed. “So much has happened in such a short time, it’s unbelievable.”
“God hasn’t deserted me.” This time, the sarcasm wasn’t lost on David.
“Indeed. God has been faithful to us. Rain, I’m really happy for you.”
“Thank you,” Rain’s response was bland. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming home? I could have made you something to eat.”
“That’s fine. I already had supper.”
“Oh Okay. I hope you don’t mind, I came home early to park and catch some rest. My boss and I would be travelling to Dubai tomorrow evening.”
“Rain, we need to talk.”
“Can it wait until I’m back from my trip? If you notice, I brought some work home I have to finish off before leaving for the office in the morning.”
“Okay then. I’ll let you rest. I’ll be in the parlour if you need anything.”
Sometime around 1am, David stood up from the couch in the living room and crawled into bed with Rain. He knew she was awake because when he spooned her, her breathing became heavier.
She didn’t push his hand away when it started caressing her breast, and when he slid his fingers between her thighs she moaned. The kiss was long and passionate, and when he pulled away, she whispered his name. Rain waited for David to get a condom from the bathroom cabinet because she wasn’t safe. By the time he was ready, she was ready too.
She wriggled with each thrust. His strokes were fast and desperate and they performed wonders. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen…until the number became infinite.
David stopped Rain just as she was about to open the front door.
“You’re leaving without saying goodbye.”
“I thought you were sleeping. I didn’t want to wake you up.”
“I know you don’t like being late to work, but we really need to talk.”
“David, can’t we – ”
He didn’t wait for her to finish. His right knee was on the ground and even though he didn’t have a ring, he asked:
“Rain, will you be my wife?”