“So tell me Maria, if you are in my shoes, would you still remain here?” Austin asked.
“No. I will go but please don’t just go. I have something to tell you.” I said.
Every single thing he did brought him closer to leaving my place and at the same time, made my heart skipped.
It wasn’t really about Austin leaving that night, it was because i had other plans about him.
I had been thinking on how to get him to Edo State. My hope was raised when he worked on me inside the room, i had thought that i had him where i wanted until Juliet pushed everything down with that single act.
“Ok Sweetheart, i am all ears” Austin said.
Gawd, he called me Sweetheart, despite what was going on.
That was what i liked about him, he seemed to know how to throw everybody off mentally.
“Something happened here some days ago. A guy came to visit me and his Wrist Watch was stolen. We searched for it everywhere but couldnt find it. When i asked Juliet here, she denied ever seeing it. Tony was angry. He accused me of being part of the plan to steal his wrist watch. I got angry and told him to leave my place. Today, after seeing what just happened, i have come to conclusion that Juliet took the watch and first thing tomorrow morning, she will leave this place. I understand you are very angry and wanted to go but thank you for catching her for me. But before you leave this place, i want you to know two things. First of all, always remember that i am not part of this. I personally have more money than any wallet can contain. Secondly i own this place and i invited you here, not Juliet. If you wish to leave me in this situation after everything we have been through, then go in peace” I said.
I was crying and forcing the words out of my mouth.
All through my little speech, Austin stood there and looked me in the face. His face changed from being hard to soft. I could see that his heart was being touched slowly. His breathing was slowly reducing and i could see that he was going to change his heart.
Austin held my hand and brought me up slowly from my knees. He hugged and held me for several moments; i was still crying and he was asking me to please stop.
As soon as i calmed down, i walked over to where Juliet stood and landed three hot slaps on her cheeks.
“This is it Juliet. You have just disgraced me for the last time. Where did you keep the watch?” I shouted.
She held her cheek and walked into the room, brought out the wrist watch and kept it on the table.
“First thing tomorrow morning, you are leaving this place” I said.
She was crying softly.
I pitied the poor girl, she was definitely possesed by the spirit of stealing.
It wasn’t easy for her.
That was a girl i promised to take to Europe. That promise alone was enough to make her stay away from things that belonged to my visitors, even other people’s things.
She might have been possesed quite alright but i wasn’t going to let her problem cause problems for me. She was leaving My place as soon as the day broke.
Austin seemed to have been thinking along the same line with me because he asked me to stop shouting at the poor girl.
“She might not know when she does all this things” He said.
But i didn’t want to hear any of it. “Whether she knows or not, its time for her to stay away from me. She chased the first guy who came into my life in this country and now she almost chased you away too if not that you are matured enough to believe that i am not part of her evil plans” I shouted.
Austin and I returned to the room but before that, he had walked to the exit door, checked to make sure it was locked, then he removed the keys from the lock and took it with us to the room. When i asked why he did that, he said that Juliet could sneak away in the middle of the night and set us up with the area boys. I didn’t seem to understand him properly but whatever he did that night was right. I didn’t want to say anything that could upset him again. It was by luck that he agreed to stay back in the apartment. Secondly he seemed to be a clever and intelligent person, he must have had a reason for whatever he did.
I had watched him closely enough since the day before and i found out that he liked to stay at a corner where he could monitor every movement at all times.
I was able to know that because i lived like that when i was running from Ano in Milan.
We ended up making love that night. It was sweet but it would have been better if it happened when it was initially supposed to happen.
The eventual love making seemed more like a reconciling act. It made me to love Austin more but i knew i would have preferred it earlier.
As early as 6am, Juliet had finished packing and was standing in the middle of the sitting room.
I had walked out to ease myself and stumbled on her.
“I want money for transport” She said.
“Look Juliet, i know i was very angry with you but if you promise not to steal again, i will let you stay” I said.
Back in the room, Austin had asked me to forgive Juliet since she never stole my own things. We had argued about it but i eventually agreed to give her another chance.
However, Juliet had other plans.
“I am going. Just give me money for transport” She said.
Everything i said to persuade her not to go fell on deaf ears. I had no option than to return to the room and tell Austin what was happening.
“If she insisted on leaving, let her go” Austin had told me.
When i returned and gave Juliet 5000 Naira, i opened the exit door and allowed her to leave. That was how Juliet left my place.
The foodstuff we bought was still in the house. The food she already cooked was also there. It had become apparent that i was going to the kitchen whether i liked it or not. I was going to miss Juliet so much but somehow, a part of me agreed that it was good that she left. I was going to start to restore my dignity by sending the wrist watch back to Tony.
It was the first thing i decided to do, only that Austin wont know.