I sat back in my chair, my eyes lingering on the package on my desk. It was still as attractive as it had been almost two years ago.
Reaching out, I stroked it like I expected to see a genie appear in the room.
The problem was, it occurred to me that there was a story revolving around those earrings and I couldn’t decide who had sent it. I had fallen in love with them a few months to the wedding at about the same time Mr. Abel, a German instructor arrived at our school to conduct seminars for the teachers.
Mr Abel who had taken a special interest in me and whom I found myself nursing a strange attraction for. Our closeness grew like wildfire over a few weeks, he made it his duty to drive me home after work.
I recall a point during that short time when I felt a twinge of guilt. I didn’t even have to lie to Austin to be with Abel; we spent five days a week working in close proximity.
I never told Austin about him because I wasn’t sure what to say. “Hey baby, there’s this thirty-three year old German dude at work who I enjoy spending time with”?
I was with Abel when I first saw the teardrop earrings. He asked me to accompany him to go shop for jewelry for his sister.
I gasped the moment I set eyes on the teardrops.
“What is it?” he’d asked.
“Those are beautiful!” my eyes widened in admiration.
And just like that, two days later he presented them to me at school.
“What?” I was flustered. “Why would you…they must cost a fortune! I can’t accept them!”
“I want you to have them. You deserve a fortune. Call it a wedding gift.”
It was then I knew I couldn’t accept it. I couldn’t accept something that expensive as a wedding gift from a man my fiancé knew nothing about.
“I can’t, Abe…I’m sorry.” my lips were saying one thing but my heart was screaming with longing.
“Have dinner with me…tonight, then. If you want me to forget you turned down a gift from me…”
I knew I should say no, but everything about Abel was charming. He had a sleek way with words, a way that made me feel precious. And he was just a friend. It was going to be like having dinner with a friend besides he did know I was engaged.
Thinking back now, I realized I should have told someone about it. But there was something exciting about flirting with danger and I knew Ronke would disapprove. So would Austin.
There were moments after Austin walked out on me that I wondered if he’d somehow found out about Abe. My guilt came from the secrecy of it all.
Dinner that night had gotten intense. It had been fun at first until it was time for him to drive me home. That was when he tried to kiss me and I almost let him.
I blushed as I recalled the details of that night. It was the first time in my three year relationship with Austin that I’d contemplated cheating.
It was after that day I began avoiding Abe.
Few days later, Austin and I went into the same shop and I sighted the teardrop earrings.
“I want those for my wedding,” I cooed. “They’re beautiful, babe. They’d go perfectly with my gown”
“And they cost… a fortune.” he glanced at the price tag. “Shebi you want us to drink garri after our wedding, babe?”
“I can drink garri for a month if I can get to wear those on our wedding day.” I laughed.
He didn’t get them.
But what if he still remembered? What if…he was trying to…apologize to me by getting them for my birthday?