Ebere felt the chill run through her as he held her face and pulled her mouth to his. The kiss was hot and enticing as he dug deeper into her mouth and she felt his tongue teasing every corner of it, searching. He pulledhimself closer, closeenough for her to feel the rising and falling of his chest and she felt her breath cut. Her eyes were shut andshe felt her groin tighten with need pleading for release. She pulled her legs closer trying to hide the embarrassment shewas feeling and somehow she knewshe had to stop this, stop it before their clothes begin to come off.
“I can’t do this”, Ebere jerked off, pulling her blouse back as she stood up from the bed. She knew she didn’t have to end it, as a matter of fact she didn’t want to but she just couldn’t. She just couldn’t.
“What’s wrong? Did I do something wrong?” Kenneth, her fiancé asked dejected.
Ebere shook her head as she stared at her reflection, pondering on what was wrong with her.What was it that she couldn’t get pass?There was nothing she hadn’t been able to get pass…but this,she couldn’t do it.The night of the robbery sprung up in her head. It had been nine years ago when her parents got killed. Three gun men had attacked their home in Maitama, Abuja. Of course she had thought she would never survive the incidentbut she had paved right through it,hadn’t she?It was the only thought ofbringing the same suffering to the man who pulled the trigger on her parents that had got her going. She had lacked tears even at her parents’ funeral. Her relations had considered that strange. Most of them had even concluded she was the perpetrator of their deaths and so no one took her in and fortunately for her that served her purpose for literallyonly one thing, the cold sting of revenge. Revenge on the man who pulled the trigger and also violated her, getting the other two would only be an added bonus. She could still remember his face, every feature of it. Why wouldn’t she when it was all she could see when a man tried to makeout with her? Now, she was twenty-four years old and still couldn’t even kiss a man without the image of the beast blurring her senses.
“Ebi, I don’t understand. I thought we’ve moved passed this. I thought we are better now and It was cool” Kenneth wondered totally perplexed by her reaction.
“No, no, don’t get me wrong.I want you, I really do. It’s just that…” Her voice trailed offas she continued tostare at herself on the mirror.
“Just that what, Ebi?” Kenneth interjected.” For God’s sake, we’ve been dating for a while now and God knows I’ve been patient trying to beunderstanding but each time I come this close, you push me away” Kenneth lamented. He stood up and walked to her. Holding her still to get her gaze, he looked into her eyes, “I understandthat it’s gonna be difficult but trust me, I will never hurt you”
“I know that Ken, it’s just that I can’t seem toshake the images out of my head”, Ebere replied biting back the sobs in herthroat. She loved Ken, she knew that.He’d been patient with her and most all he’d been fun since her arrival at Lagos. They had met at the airport when their luggage were switched because they had carried the same type of luggage bag. It had been a coincidence that heated into something more endearing and eventhough she knew it would come to nothing, she encouraged it mostly for the fun of it all. But love wasn’t a luxury she could afford, she reminded herself. She wanted to be alone, at least she had been so, for most part of her lifeand frankly, she’d gotten used to it.
“But Ebi, that was a long time ago. You aren’t the first girl to be raped so I don’t see why you haven’t grown passed it” Kenneth blunted out. “Honestly, I’m tired…How long has it been? …”He paused as he tried to remember. “Three years and you are still keeping me out? All I can say is, it’s not fair. It really isn’t”
“Oh Ken, please don’t talk like that. I’m trying, I really am and maybe I thought I was ready, obviously I am not” Ebere answered quietly bracing herself for the inevitable.
“Alright, no problem…yea, it’s obvious and, you know what else is obvious to me? He asked moving away from her. “You aren’t ready for a commitmenteither”, He continued as he picked up his keys from her dresser and headed for the door. Just before slamming the door, he stared hard at her and said “Grow up Ebi, grow up” and with that he was gone.
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CHAPTER TWO

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