The following morning, i had to apply make up because i had a black eye and my left cheek was slightly swollen. Joe sat on the bed watching me intently, he was very remorseful and promised never to hit me again. He drove me to work. When my colleague Paul came to the office later, he narrowed his eyes and he leaned over my desk,
”Diana, your face is swollen, has this anything to do with your boyfriend?”
”No, i am fine.”
”Diana, tell me that idiot did not lay his hand on you.”
”I told you i am fine, if you will excuse me, i have work to do.”
”I am not leaving this office until you tell me that he did not hit you.”
Truth is, i was scared that Paul was going to confront him about it, i was also very embarrassed about the whole ordeal. I let a man hit me.
”Paul, he did not hit me.”
”Then why is your face swollen? and the black eye beneath your layers of make up?”
”What do you want?”
”I just want to know what happened?”
”Nothing happened, okay. I appreciate you being out here trying to look out for me but Paul, I don’t need you to do that. I can take care of my self, okay?”
”Not another word, please.”
”Oh okay, i will not talk about it.”
Just then my phone rang, i had a delivery at the reception. I asked the receptionist to send the delivery guy to my office.
It was a bouquet of flowers, chocolates and an apology card from Joe.
I cleared my throat and looked at Paul,
”If you will excuse me, please.”
”Uh okay, lunch today? It is on me.”
”I will let you know.”
I could not look him in the eye because i was pretty vulnerable at the moment.
My phone rang as i picked up the handmade card,
”There are not enough flowers in this world that can show how sorry i truly am.”
”It is okay Joe, let us forget that the whole thing happened.”
”My queen, Diana, you are my queen and it is my duty to protect you.”
I felt a fresh wave of tears well up but i was not going to cry anymore. I fought the tears back.
”Diana, are you still on the line?”
”Yeah, i am just a little emotional right now. By the way thank you for the flowers. They are beautiful.”
”I know i hurt you and for that i am very sorry.”
”I will get really upset if you say sorry one more time.”
I managed a small laughter, it actually lightened my heart. Joe laughed too and at that moment i knew just how much he mean’t to me.
”I love you, Joe.”
”Diana, you said you love me.”
”yes, because i really do.”
”Wow! This has got to be the best day of my life. I love you so much babe.”
”I have to get back to work now.”
”Okay, okay, i will let you get back to work now. See you at lunch, i know just the place to take you.”
When the call disconnected, i felt a sudden wave of sadness wash over me. Something at the back of my mind that i had been burying tagged on. Joe had hit, he had no right to hit me. I should end things between us. It didn’t matter how many flowers or chocolates he sent to me. It didn’t matter how many memories he created with me. It didn’t matter how many lunches we had together or how awesome and crazy our love making was. It did’t matter that we really had a connection, something i had never experienced before. He had hit me and that was reason enough to walk out. The more i thought i thought about it, the more i was drawn to him, the more i felt attached to him. Maybe, just maybe, he was truly sorry. I had conflicting thoughts as i thought about it.
He was outside waiting for me when i went down for lunch. As usual, he opened the door for me. I saw Paul watching me from his office window and my heart skipped a bit. He knew this guy had hit me yet here i was going for lunch with him. I brushedhim off my mind and turned my concentration on the guy seated next to me.
”Your eye looks better. anybody notice at the office?”
”Yes, everyone noticed including my boss.”
”And your colleague Paul?”
”I haven’t seen him today.”
He turned to look at me, there was no anger in his eyes.
”What did you tell them?”
”Nothing, i don’t have to explain anything to anyone.”
He took a deep breath, like he had been holding it in for a minute or so.
”So, where are we going?”
”What time do you have to get back to the office?”
”By 2, i should be back but my boss is not in so i can go back at 3.”
He turned towards uhuru park to a place i had never know existed. It was a small joint just at the heart of Uhuru park. He took my hand and led me to a shade where we sat looking at the city, birds, trees, the famous dias and traffic. a beautiful scenery, fresh air and even better food, if what i was seeing was anything to go by.
”I didn’t even know this place existed.”
”Now you do.”
”I love it.”
”I knew you’d love it. Wait until you taste their fish.”
The fish was just as i had imagined it to be. Fresh and well done. I didn’t want to leave yet but i had to go back to the office. Today, i was going to see my son and my parents.
“In the evening i am going to my brothers’ place.”
”I need to see my son.”
”You can talk to him on phone or face call him.”
”it is not the same as seeing him, i miss him.”
”But I thought you were going to spend the whole week with me.”
”i have an idea, i will take you to your brothers’, spend time with your son then we go home.”
He did not understand. As much as i had fallen in love with him, I needed my son. Especially now that i was feeling vulnerable. I just needed to cuddle up with him and watch funny videos on my phone, and sing daddy finger and baby shark with him. He was my therapy when I felt this way.
”Joe, as much as i would love to go home with you, i really need my son today.”
He took another deep breath and closed his eyes for a minute as though battling with something.
”Okay then, i will drop you.”
”My brother will pick me up on his way home.”
There was that forced smile again.
”Okay then, no problem.”
The rest of the drive back to the office was silent. None of us wanted to prode what was on the other person’s mind.