Kingsley looked at Clara as they climbed the rock, he was seeing her from another angle entirely for the first time. Her gait, her hair colour, the smell of her hair, the way she turned her head to speak with him each time she tried to show her excitement or defensiveness, he was amazed at the way her gap teeth showed each time she mustered a smile. Beneath Claras fears and uncertainties which were so glaring to Kingsley was an epitome of beauty whose self-worth had been devalued to almost nothing she had built a thick wall around her heart and no matter how much he tried to make her laugh, she slipped back into her wall like she was guarding her heart carefully. Her cheek turned dark each time he tried to hold her hand or waist in a bid to help her climb, she seemed lost in thoughts several times especially when family was mentioned.
Clara sighed severally like she was facing a panel for exam malpractice, her cheek were arched at both sides each time she got too carried away with laughter and excitement. She knew she had to stop this before it gets out of hand” but how”? She thought within herself. She couldn’t get the thoughts of Kingsley deserving better off her mind, she devised a way of letting her hand off Kingsley just to pass the message across faster and better but Kingsley maintained a happy look on his face like a smiley. Clara’s heart pounded on her chest, it was so loud she felt even Kingsley could hear it. The day ended with Kingsley jumping and running down the hill like a battle had just been conquered holding Clara’s hand like a child being held by her father. The journey home posed, even more, problems for Clara as Kingsley opened up his entire life history, family background, and failures to her. Clara’s tongue glued to the floor of her mouth as she kept looking at the speedometer hoping her eyes could make the car move faster.
Kingsley got Clara home safe and sound, followed her to her door, gave her a hug and a peck, turned around saying nothing more and took his leave. Clara wasn’t used to that kind of arrangement, she had feared he would ask to be let in and probably asked for sex. She wanted so very much to have a reason to be angry with Joy for bringing Kingsley home but Kingsley’s action got her even more confused.
The weeks that followed were extremely filled with surprises for Clara, she had never in her entire life had a man take so much interest in her or matters that concerned her, Kingsley never mentioned anything about Clara’s past anymore, he called her by her christened name Chinyere ( God’s gift), Clara was God’s gift to him indeed even though Clara refused to accept any special effect given to her by him either by words of mouth or by physical giving. Kingsley gradually became a friend to Clara, he hanged out severally with Joy and Clara asking her nothing about her life again except just being a friend. It took several months of earning Clara’s trust in him and when he least expected, he broke into her.
– Bunmi Olaoke