No Valentine’s

“Five more minutes, please.” He says.

“I need to go, Lawrence.” She says to him, turning to give him a brief kiss on the cheek.

“I know. You said that ten minutes ago.”

They are lying on his bed. On the red duvet with the Juventus print, his favourite team. He runs his hand softly on her left thigh, well exposed in a white polka dress.

“You know I love you, right?” She asks him, breaking the silence. A common silence they often share when they are together. You might confuse it with a peaceful one, but deep inside existed raging waves of emotions. Especially his.

“Yes. And I love you too.” He responded. “Why can’t I spend quality time with you Stacy? Is it always going to be like this?”

“Babe, you know I don’t do this intentionally.” She turns and sits on his lap as he lies down. He moves his hands from behind his back and grips her thighs.

They stare at each other for a second. He smiles. Her eyes always make him soft even when he is mad at her.

“I will make it up to you after the picnic, sawa?” She rubs her soft hands on his bare chest.

“Well, hope you don’t cancel on this one again.”

“Babe, let’s get over that okay? I told you, I was called back to work. After the shitty job, I didn’t fancy a picnic, okay?” A frown starts forming on her cute flawless face.

He notices and stops it mid-way, “Ooookay. Can I get a kiss then? Before you go?”

“Yes my Lord, haha.” She leans in and they kiss passionately, but she is in a hurry. She springs up and sits on the side of the bed.

He sits up too. Grabs a t-shirt lying on the bed and puts it on. “Can we get lunch before you go?” He says with a teasing tone.

“Very funny, ha-ha-ha,” she fakes a laugh. “No way.”

 

Outside the apartment court, he hugs her before she enters the Uber cab. Then waves back at her as the cab drives off. He takes a few minutes longer in the warm sunlight before walking away, thinking; I wish Stacy stayed longer today.

He heads towards Crave Kitchen, his favourite restaurant for a drink and lunch. As he enters, he scans briefly at the counter to see who’s serving him today. Then walks towards it.

“Hey, karibu.”

“Hey,” Lawrence responds.

“What will you have today?”

“Uhm, what’s on the chef’s special list?” He turns towards the board and makes up his mind before the lady responds. “I’ll have that one, number 5.”

“Cool. Any drink?” The lady at the counter asks him.

“The usual.”

“Sawa, give me like five minutes.”

“No problem.”

He sits on the seat with the rustic glass coffee table piled with the day’s newspapers. Flips through and stops to look at a waiter walking his direction then passes. He checks around the restaurant as if looking for something or someone then gets back to flipping through the Daily Nation, skimming through a sports article.

The lady at the counter waves at him to signal the order is ready. He walks up to her, yanks his wallet off his pocket and draws two notes out of it.

“Here you go,” she says, handing him the brown bag.

He grabs the bag with the meal and mint lemonade then says with a smile, “Keep the change.”

“Oh, thank you.” She smiles too.

 

Back at his apartment, he walked to the kitchen to warm his meal. His phone alerted an incoming message, ‘Bing!’ It was Stacy; [Hey Babe, did I leave my fuchsia scarf there?]

He turned towards the living room and saw it lying on the couch. Then texted back. After warming his meal, he walked to the couch and placed his plate on the table.

He sat down and held the scarf in his hands, closed his eyes for a second as he drew it for a sniff. Taking in her sweet seductive scent. Holding the scarf so delicately as if he was holding her in his arms. Something he always seemed to long for more than she did.

At that moment, he heard words escape his lips, almost as a surprise whisper. “I wish you loved me as I do Stacy.”

 

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