A Northern Affair Chapter 12 Part 2

“It’s been almost three months now. That’s too long for anything. I lost him before he could even be mine.” She could not hide the sadness in her voice as she added, “he is probably back with the worker’s saviour.”

“The what?”

“The woman who cooks for the workers. They had a thing in the past.”

“Hussein did not sound like the kind of man who would jump from one woman to the other so quickly.”

“I don’t know if he wants me back.”

“There is only one way to find out. Call him.”

“He changed his number, remember?”

“Then call Jessica and ask to speak with him.”

“I haven’t spoken to Jessica since I returned. I don’t know if she will answer.”

“She is your friend and she is a good woman. She will understand.”

“I don’t know.”

Mabel whipped out her phone. “Use mine.”

Kimberly did and the call was answered on the second ring.

“Hello, ma.” Jessica’s cheerful voice streamed from the phone. “How are you?”

Kimberly took a second to answer. “Hello, Jessica. It’s me. My mum is fine.”

There was a long silence and Kimberly checked to make sure the call was not ended. “How have you been?”

“Fine. Why are you calling on your mum’s phone?” Jessica asked, never one to mince words.

Kimberly opted for the truth. “I didn’t think you would answer if I used mine.”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“Because I have been a jerk for not calling for so long.”

“You have been worse than that, if I should say so myself.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You broke my cousin’s heart,” Jessica said simply.

It took Kimberly a while to find her voice. “I’m sorry,” she said. “You don’t know how sorry I am. I was scared,” she added.

“I know,” Jessica said. “I explained it to him. It’s bad, Kim. I’m supposed to be hating on the woman who so cruelly broke my cousin’s heart, and not explaining why she did it to him. I still don’t know if he accepted my explanation but hopefully he will get over you sooner or later. We Mubaraks do not wallow for long.”

“Will he truly get over me?”

“If you still maintain your stance and want him to then yes, he will,” Jessica said seriously and almost as an afterthought she added, “In fact, I think there may be another woman in the picture.”

“I don’t want him to,” Kimberly said quickly, her heart pounding at the thought of Hussein with another woman. “I love him.”

There was a short laugh at the end of the line. “Girl, get your butt over here before he leaves again.” The line went dead.


“Do we have enough fuel to get to the hangar?”

Mabel smiled. “More than enough”

“I’m going to Mapungi to claim my love”

Mabel laughed. “That’s my girl.”

He was looking outside a window with his back turned to her. Kimberly took her time to watch him, to drink in his sight. Oh how much she had missed him. She had missed his smile, his deep baritone laughter and how the muscles in his face laughed with him when he laughed. She missed how he made her feel special and warm inside just by looking at her. She even missed his frowns which had always been the veneer of a smile and a kind heart.

Kimberly badly wanted to touch him. She wanted to feel his warmth when he was close. She almost lost her courage but she had come so far and gone through so much. She would not give up now.

She cleared her throat to speak or to get his attention, she did not know which. He took forever to turn, but in reality he whipped around in less than a second. For a moment he looked lost, as if he was staring at a ghost. Then when she thought he was about to close the distance between them, he stayed and his expression became unreadable.

There is no hope, Kimberly thought, but she had to try. Even if the result was rejection, she owed it to herself to try. If only she could find her voice quick enough.

He stood stiff as rock, only his eyes, harder than rocks, bored holes into her. She took a step forward and then another. His gaze hardened even more and she froze in place. The atmosphere was charged with electric tension.

“Hello,” she said with a small smile.

Hussein did not know if he should be happy to see her or if he should curse himself for the sudden crazy beat of his heart upon seeing her.  What if she was not here to make up with him like he hoped. What if that little silly hope that had inspired him to go ahead and furnish and decorate his house with her in mind was just that, a silly hope?

Kimberly waited for him to reply or say something. He took forever to reply as if debating with himself whether to do so or not. When he finally did, it was a stiff and curt hello.

He was not making this easy for her. She had not expected him to. “Yes,” she said. “My answer is yes, I will marry you.”

He schooled himself not to jump and scoop her into his arms. “Why now?” he asked coolly. He had to know that she was here for all the right reasons.

“That night when you proposed,” she said slowly, replaying the moments in her mind like she had done for many nights and days, “I wanted to accept. You don’t know how badly I wanted to say yes.”

“But you did not.”

“No, I could not because I was scared by all the possibilities. I was so sure that I could never have a happy ever after. And if I couldn’t have one with you, then I did not want to try at all. I did not want to get hurt and end up lonely.”

“I was never going to leave you.”

“I know that now.”

“What changed? What is different now?”

“Now, I know that I deserve happiness. I know that I want to be happy and I want to love. I have learnt that even though I ignored it, I always had love in my life. God loved me even at the lowest points of my life. I know that he still does and forever will and that is more than enough to keep me going. But I also want to experience a different kind of love. The kind that happens between a man and a woman. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but it is a risk I’m willing to take.”

“What if I say no?” He had to ask. He wanted to be sure. “You would have come all this way for nothing.”

“My heart will be broken. I will cry for a few days, maybe months, or I might never get over you but I will live knowing that I tried. And I will have wonderful memories of a wonderful man. But most importantly, I will live because there is more to live for. I will not be like my mum was.”

Hussein was careful to hide his smile. He longed to take her in his arms and kiss her till they were both out of breath but he schooled himself to stand still. She had said that she was willing to take the risk, but she had never once said that she loved him. He wanted more than a risk taker.

“So,” she asked hopefully, “will you give me another chance?”

He breathed in deeply. He could admit that this was better than how he had envisioned their reunion which had mostly involved him begging or kidnapping her. He could teach her to fall in love with him if that was what was required. He would lead her and show her the wonder of being in love. He had waited for nearly three months for this day. He could face anything head on.

“Hussein?” Grace emerged from the adjoining room. In her arms was a box of china. “I can’t decide where to keep these,” she complained. “Come help me out.” She saw Kimberly then. “Oh, hello, Kimberly,” she smiled warmly like an old friend.

Kimberly’s gaze riveted on the woman standing beside Hussein. She wore an oversized t-shirt, obviously one of Hussein’s and her tied hair looked as if it had been quickly done for lack of time. What would she be doing in Hussein’s house at that time and dressed like that? Had her worst fear already materialised without her knowledge. In fact, I think there may be another woman in the picture, Jessica had said but she had only taken it as a joke. She felt a piece of her die and fall away. How foolish she must have sounded spilling her heart out to a man who already had his life figured out. The awkwardness lasted only a fraction of a second before the searing pain reached her heart. She fled in the direction she had come.

Hussein had completely forgotten about Grace, whom he had paid extra money to help him get his house ready in anticipation of Kimberly’s return. He had lent Grace one of his old T-shirts because she did not want to get her new pink blouse dirty, and he had put her to work in the adjoining room.

“Are you going to let her leave again just like that?” Grace asked. “Go after her.”

Hussein sighed. This was definitely not the reunion he had envisioned. “Maybe I’m just chasing after the impossible,” he said softly.

“If you were not paying me for this, I would say you wasted my time big time.”

“I’m sorry,” Hussein said.

“It’s okay.” Grace put down the box. “You are paying me after all. She will want you to come after her. I know I would too.”

It took forever for Kimberly to get out of the kitchen. The blasted tears blurred her vision and she very nearly tripped over a box of tea. The same tea that she had prepared for Hussein the morning after their first date. She finally made it to her car and started the engine. As she drove away, the words she had said to him came back to taunt her. I will live, she had said. And I will have wonderful memories of a wonderful man. But right now, she did not want to live. The pain was too much. She remembered the box of tea. It would be Grace, not her, who prepared tea for him every morning. It would be Grace who shared his canopy bed. How foolish she had been to think that she could live with that. The pain of that knowledge was already killing her. She could not drive through the tears. She stopped the car and wept.

I will live knowing that I tried. Those had been her words exactly. Yet, she had not tried at all. Instead, once again, she had fled rather than fight. But she was no coward. What is it that her cousin had said? We Greenes don’t give up without a fight and we always fight to win. Her father had fought for what he loved, and so would she. She would fight first, then she would know that she had truly tried. But most importantly, she would fight to win. She put the car in reverse and sped back to the house.

The two were still in the bedroom when she returned. She ignored the woman completely. “I will not give up so easily,” she said to Hussein. Grace instantly excused herself. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Hussein Mubarak. I want to be the only one who makes tea for you in the morning. I want to be the only one to share your bed. I want to be the first person you see in the morning and the last before you fall asleep.” She furiously wiped away the tears that suddenly streamed down her cheeks.

She was desperate and scared out of her wits that she had already lost him, but she continued bravely, moving closer with every word. “I want to have more dinners with you under the stars,” she said, “and I want to be the one to carry your children in me. Only your children. I will have as many as you want.” She stopped in front of him. Her voice wavered but she did not stop. “I want to grow old by your side because I love you. Only you and no one else. And I’m willing to fight for what I want. Do you hear me, Hussein?  I will fight tooth and nail for what I want.”

Hussein smiled. He felt like the world had finally been righted. At that moment, he could have faced a stampede knowing that Kimberly loved him. Only him.

He took her in his arms, and she felt so right between them. “Say that again,” he said.

“I’m willing to fight –”

“No, before that. You said you love me. Say it again.”

“I love you Hussein Mubarak Daniels.  I love you to the skies and back.”

He laughed and then he kissed her. Slowly. He had never been so complete in his life. She had never been happier in her life. They kissed slowly, each taking time to enjoy what had been denied them for so long. It was a moment charged with love and passion.

“I love you, Kimberly Greene,” he said. “Never ever doubt that I love.”

“I won’t,” she said breathlessly. “I love you.”

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