Love In Times Like This (Episode 8)


Harry closed his eyes, his lashes resting like a fuzzy caterpillars on his scratched cheek. He'd fallen asleep or passed out on the sofa.
He had been on the sofa since the previous night. Atimma had left him to the bedroom. 
Harry didn't deserve her compassion or her empathy anymore. He needed to start looking for jobs so that he can help his mother survive.

Atimma woke up with a slight headache. She turned to the other side of the bed, but didn't find Harry. She stood and swayed with unexpected dizziness.
She pulled her cell phone and nudged it open with her chin. She pressed a fast-dial button and leaned against the wall. 

She heard Harry's phone ring from the sitting room, and sighed...
She took a shower and prepared herself for work. She had disposed all the cheap perfumes Harry had bought for her from Ariaria market, and took out the Victoria secrets cologne that she had bought the previous day from Nicon supermarket. She wrapped Harry's perfumes and threw them in a bin bag.

"Why are you putting the ones I bought for you there?" Harry's voice became professionally crisp from behind her. He walked in unnoticed. His guess roamed over the room and the wardrobe.

"They smell like goat shits. They make me want to puke all the time. Next time, you should get me something like this." She pointed at the Victoria secret cologne.
"That's expensive. You know I can't afford it now."

"Then don't bother buying them. Until you can buy these ones." She said wryly.
Harry stared at her as she pasted a deep red lipstick on her lips.
"Have you thought of what I asked of you yesterday?" Harry asked.
Atimma grinned stiffly and held up her handbag tight. She counted money from it and handed it to him.

"That's two thousand. I don't have money. What I have here is for my ante-natal and hospital card. I am suppose to start buying baby's things." She said, looking him over.
"Thank you. I know this won't be enough, but I will try and hustle for more money. I am sorry for the inconvenience my love, always remember that things weren't this bad, until the shop got burnt...."

"How much came out from that shop daily Harry, how much? You keep talking about the shop as if you were contributing to anything." 

She interrupted in an oddly quiet but compelling voice.
She slowly picked up her wedding ring, and fixed it on her finger. A wave of remembered desire streaked through her, making her legs feel like jelly.
"I am off to work." She said.

Harry shook his head lightly and winced. He was still counting the two hundred naira notes countless times, until Atimma slammed the door. He shrugged and tried to grin, but a grimace of pain crossed his face. His eyes closed and his legs buckled and slid down the wall.

Atimma got to the office that morning with a broken heart. She had thought of how her salary was going to pay all what she got herself Into; Harry and the baby.
She pushed the thoughts to the back of her mind and concentrated on the computer screen.
There was a knock on her door, and it was the office receptionist.

"ma'am, Miss Iinda is here to see you." She said shrilly.
"Itoro, don't let her in here." The bitterness of her voice surprised the receptionist. She was shocked that Atimma said that about her best friend. She still stood by the door.

"What are you waiting for?" Atimma asked.
"Madam, I want to be sure."
Atimma giggled and then paused for a while.
"Let her in." Her eyes lit with amusement.

Moments later, she could hear foot steps of stiletto heels walking towards her office, she knew that Linda was getting close. 
She breathed a sigh of relief, ignoring the tiny inner voice that told her to be rude.


Credit: Vicky Bon
Love In Times Like This (Episode 8) Love In Times Like This (Episode 8) Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on June 05, 2017 Rating: 5

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