Tadala sipped the wine fast, wishing she could drown in that glass. She had been listening to Tony talk, go on and on about his life and the mistakes of women he’d come across. She was tired of listening to him whine about his bad luck.
He had called her to join him for dinner, he was going through a phase. She had no choice but to go listen and pat his back while he offloaded.
This was girlfriend number four, he bragged about how he found the one when he met her. Wanda was her name, working class, from a good home and knew how to cook. For a man who loved his food, he fell so easy and hard that their chats changed completely to Wanda the perfect girlfriend.
“I gave her everything you know. Tell me Tadala, did I do something wrong?” Tony asked.
His voice so soft, a lullaby to every woman’s ear. His voice matched his medium height, thick arms, flat chest with trace of abs developing from his evening workouts. His hair so dark giving a way to his brown eyes to glow. His lips mildly dark, he would bite them as he relaxed and started to speak.
Each time he spoke, she would use that chance to wonder off into a fantasy where she was princess Cinderella and him her Prince charming. How silly could she get, he was her best friend.
They grew up together, from kindergarten to college. She had been the first one to turn to during puberty, every change he went through he would tell her. Fussing and ignorant he would tell her about his wet dreams. And so did she turn to him when she first visited the moon. They saw each other through innocence and child games to two sophisticated citizens.
She always found him hideous looking when they were adolescents, she never looked at him beyond friendship. He was like a brother.
“You did your best Tony, she is just too blind to see that.” She responded wearily looking hard into the glass of red wine she held closely to her chest.
“Then why? Why nag and cheat on me blaming me for being so busy? I made time didn’t I? She actually had the guts to accuse me of having a thing for you.” He laughed and leaned back.
Did he really? How wonderful would that be?
“You are my best friend, like since forever, how could I?” He said, not looking at her.
She wanted to look into his eyes as he said that. Maybe she would know where she stood in his heart, if she was only his best friend and more.
“That’s ridiculous,” she forced a smile. “Her excuses were so lame, she could have done better.” She proceeded, chucking the wine to the bottom of the glass.
She raised her hand signaling the waiter to bring her another glass. She was going to drown her madness in those glasses, drive back home and sleep her feelings off.
“Tadala, that’s a fourth one.”
“I know, I’ll have a fifth one too.” She looked firmly into his eyes.
He had that worried look on his face, the one he gave her whenever she drank too much.
“It’s only a Thursday, you have work tomorrow.” He leaned forward.
“I’ll drink lots of water.” She said calmly, avoiding his eyes this time.
“Tada, no more. Are you alright? Did James call again? Is he being mean as usual? That son of a….”
“I’d kill him first before he messes with my emotions again. I blocked him, he can’t call me or SMS me.” Tadala assured him.
It was not her ex, it was the man sitting across her that made her drink so much. She had to find a way to get him out of her head.
She was in denial, she wanted him. How could she be so protective of him each time he dated someone? Check on him every hour each time he was away, pack him lunch, make his favourite meal for dinner whenever he couldn’t cook from a long day at work, pick a shirt or pants for him when she saw something fancy in the shop. She was jealous of every woman he came across, even his other female friends would annoy her. She wanted to be the only woman he talked to, took to lunch, have dinner with, took to work parties, family gatherings. The only woman he wakes up next to every morning after a long night of passionate love making.
“I’ll drive you home, finish that so we can go.” He was now serious.
How could she drink like that? She didn’t have to be so reckless, he was not going to allow that. He respected her decisions but she was a little childish sometimes. Ridiculous but he liked it when he had to take care of her. He didn’t mind at all.
“Tony, I will drive myself home. If you feel the need to go first be free to go honey, I’m old enough.” Tadala said, chucking a full glass to half.
Tony stood up, walked round the table and stood beside her. He stretched out his arm and reached for hers, took her hand and helped her up.
She felt like a child whenever he did that. His tender arms so warm on her skin she closed her eyes and caught a breath. She slowly surrendered into his arms, submitting. Why would she fight him? This strong man rendering her weak and defenceless was meant to touch her like that. Only her, no other woman.
He led her out of the restaurant to his car. Such a gentleman, he took off his jacket and covered her, opened the door and helped her climb into the car.
They drove silently, she started to doze. A few minutes later she woke up when the car slowed down.
“And we are home, let’s tuck you in.” He said helping tipsy little Tadala out of the car.
They entered the house, he made her sit on the bed.
“I run you a hot tub, wait till you bath and I tuck you in.”
“I can do that myself Tony,”
“But I’m here, I’ll help you with it. Now slip into your bathrobe as I run the tap.” he smiled.
She could have died to see that smile next to her when she woke up. He was so sweet to her, she wanted all that to herself, selfishly and hungrily.
She slowly undressed wondering what reaction she would get if he came back from the bathroom and saw her naked body. Would he be tempted to touch her and bed her? How would it feel to have him kiss her slowly his hands around her waist.
She slipped into her bathrobe and slippers, entered the bathroom. She had hoped he was undressed waiting for her to join him in the tub and do things while they bathed.
“I’ll leave you to it, I’ll be watching TV while you release your stress love.” He warmly said, patted her back and left the bathroom.
“You could join me you know, it would be so good,” she thought, sighed loosening the bathrobe. “I hope you never know.”
He sat quietly on her bed staring at the TV, he did loved his soccer. That’s all he watched when he visited her, only changed when she noticed she was bored.
“There is the princess, let’s get you to bed so I can go knowing you are fine. I’ll use my spare key to lock the front door.” His voice sent chills to her spine.
He tucked her in, kissed her forehead and bid her good night.
She wished that was her lips he kissed. She sighed and settled into the dark when he turned the lights off and closed the door behind him.
How can love be so painful, so one sided? Is it that he didn’t see or he simply ignored it? She had to find a way to get over him.
(To be continued next week…)
*(For previous entries on Weekly Dose, click here)