THE WORRIED GIRL
BRENDA DAVIS was very worried ever since she received the call from Adam. She was hoping the reason for his sounding strange on the phone would not be what she was already suspecting. She could say that she was properly experienced in matters concerning relationships and therefore could tell when a guy was getting fed up with a relationship. But right now, she didn’t want to believe her instincts. She couldn’t stand the thought of losing Adam now. Her world would shatter. In fact, she won’t be able to survive it this time around.
Adam Walter had called her earlier in the day, telling her that he would like to discuss something important with her. He had gone ahead to tell her that the discussion would be for her own good, hence she must come to his house as soon as possible.
Sitting on a stool in front of the two-bedroom apartment, which she shared with her friend Jane, Brenda was oblivious of the cool and beautiful atmosphere the evening created. She was remembering and analyzing Adam’s behavior towards her in the past few weeks, which was obviously the reason for her suspicion.
He had deliberately avoided her, giving her flimsy excuses for not being around as often as before. Whenever they were together, he would seem absent-minded and uninterested in her concerns. If she sought his opinion concerning any issue, he would laconically answer as if he was being bothered.
Although Brenda suspected that Adam was fed up with the relationship and could be calling it off soonest, she still hoped her suspicion was wrong. She wanted to make herself believe that something else could be the problem; something she may not have guessed in the past.
She looked at her wristwatch. It was almost 5:00 p.m. She must prepare for the meeting with Adam. Moreover, Jane would soon be back from work, and she wouldn’t like her roommate to meet her sitting around and looking all gloomy.
She stood up and gracefully walked into the building. Going straight to her room, she took off her clothes and prepared herself for a shower. She was about to put on her bathrobe when she caught a glimpse of her image in the half-sized mirror on her dressing table. At twenty-three, her youthfulness was radiating like the sun. She was average in height and light in complexion. The curves of her body and its features were proportionate enough to attract the opposite sex.
“I am beautiful,” she said to herself and tried to smile. Many people had told her this in the past and she was very much aware of it. She had a very charming smile, which was strong enough to make any man’s heartbeat stop for some seconds.
“I am alright; why should anyone reject me?” Brenda thought, running her hands down her body. She knew she had so many female qualities that most girls didn’t have. And one special characteristic was her gentle nature; a kind of peaceful aura that she carried with her everywhere she went. Something that usually encouraged most people to easily talk and associate with her.
“But why are things not going my way? What is it about me that turn men off after some time with me?” she suddenly whispered to herself after some deliberation.
‘No!’ she thought. Maybe she was getting it all wrong. Maybe Adam had some other personal problems and needs. She should be thinking of how to help him instead of suspecting his motive for wanting to see her. Perhaps she was letting her experience with men get into her present relationship with Adam.
She hurriedly left the room and entered the bathroom. She looked forward to seeing Adam. She would be there for him, no matter what she was going through. She won’t let it affect her blissful relationship. She must stop being selfish.
She mustn’t keep him waiting.
* * *
Brenda met Adam Walter fourteen months ago when she was in her final year at Star Gate University, Lupe. She had gone to a nearby restaurant with her best friend and classmate, Jane Damascus, to share a treat together.
It was their first week as final year students and Jane had suggested that they take themselves out. Rosy Restaurant seemed the best choice since it was nearby and affordable for them at the time.
Brenda had noticed Adam the moment he walked into the restaurant. He was a bit taller than her and good-looking. She was quick to notice his neat sense of dressing and his well-trimmed moustache and it all appealed to her. Jane had noticed her friend’s eye movement and decided to follow them. She immediately understood why her friend had been distracted.
But they quickly forgot about Adam as soon as their orders were served.
Brenda was just getting over her breakup with Derek Brown and believed within her that she wasn’t ready to embrace the opposite sex again, but when she looked up, the fine young man was approaching them.
“Oh my God. He is coming towards us,” she quickly notified Jane.
And Jane, a skinny pretty girl, looking back, could easily tell that he was attracted to Brenda.
“Hi, girls!” he greeted, in a gentle but masculine voice. His eyes were fixed on Brenda.
“Hello,” Brenda briefly replied. She was the more polite of the two.
“I hope you girls won’t mind if I lunch with you?” Although it was meant to be a general question, Brenda could sense that it was directed at her.
“As a matter of fact, we’d really prefer it if we lunched alone. This is a special occasion and it is just for the two of us,” she politely answered.
Adam didn’t seem to be listening; he was already making himself comfortable on an empty chair by their table. It was obvious that he wasn’t going to allow himself to be turned off by her words.
“I won’t be fair to you girls and even to myself if I allow you to lunch alone. Don’t worry, I promise to be a perfect gentleman.”
Brenda and Jane were short of words. They had no choice but to allow him to stay; they remained silent and tried to anticipate his next move.
“I am Adam Walter; please may I get to know your names?” he asked, concentrating on Brenda.
Brenda didn’t want to open up at first. She really wanted to keep off men. She looked at Jane and saw a look of approval on her face. Hence, she reluctantly answered, “I am Brenda and this is my best friend, Jane.”
“Hello Jane.” He turned his attention to Jane. “I am really sorry for barging into your special occasion. I don’t intend spoiling it, rather I will add more flavor to it. What are you girls celebrating?”
“We are celebrating our first semester as final year students,” replied Jane.
“Oh, that’s cool. Congratulations, girls.”
“Thank you,” they both responded.
“Brenda. What a name.”
This statement caught Brenda’s attention. “What is wrong with the name?”
“I like it. I like you also. I will also like to be your friend,” he confidently replied.
And all through lunch that day, Brenda had tried to politely turn him down, but he didn’t allow her to drive home her point. Jane was at the other end, giving her signs of encouragement. It was clear that Jane approved of him, and that was the beginning of a blissful relationship between Adam and Brenda.
He never relented in showing her the best side of him. He was twenty six years and had just gotten a job with a communication company. He used all the resources within his reach to shower her with gifts. He made sure he called her every night to tell her sweet words that would nudge her to sleep.
At first, Brenda wasn’t confident that he was for real, but his persistent attention towards her did a lot to convince her. After four months, Brenda believed that she had finally found for herself the right man to date. Brenda was the type of girl who, at any slightly perceived interest from the opposite sex, quickly formed an emotional attachment, which would eventually be difficult for her to break.
She felt like she was on the top of the world as Adam continued to prove his love for her as days turned into weeks and weeks into months. She gave him her heart. She believed in him and in the future. He proved to her that he was capable of doing all the good things, which she’d initially thought he could do. He was exciting to be with, strong, caring and very handsome. What more could a girl ask for?
Anytime he happened to be away on a business engagement, she would sit alone and reminisce on the times they had shared together, and the perfectness of these moments would gladden her heart and set her mind at peace.
She loved him.
And she was very sure he loved her back then.
Eight months later, Brenda and Jane had graduated and Jane had immediately secured a job in a new generation bank. She had asked Brenda to come and stay with her while on job hunt, and Brenda had gratefully accepted since she didn’t want to stay at home with her poor parents in her jobless state. Her desire was to go for her masters immediately after her degree, but the circumstances surrounding her made it necessary that she secured a job first so that she could sponsor herself all through her masters’ program.
Doing this with just her degree wasn’t easy for Brenda. After writing a series of job application letters and submitting her curriculum vitae to various organizations, she had accepted a teaching job in a nearby primary school while she waited to be called for interview. Brenda knew she deserved better and given her qualification, she was confident she would soon be called for an interview. Therefore, she had patiently waited.
Adam also contributed to Brenda’s confidence, because he made her feel secure. She was also hoping that he would come up with the idea of marriage since the look of love in his eyes always told her that she would soon be his partner.
Now though, Adam was acting strange when she thought the relationship should be at its peak. For no reason that she could remember, his love for her seem to be declining, and she couldn’t seem to figure out the problem.
Therefore, she had been living in fear of losing him all this while. Of course, she had complained to Jane, but her friend seemed not to have any solutions for her problem. Jane had only encouraged her to be patient with him. That he would soon change, with time.
Therefore, she thought the best thing to do was to pray, pray and pray, for she won’t be able to withstand heartbreak an umpteenth time.
Something she’d done for a long time now and for no fault of hers.
The bathroom was elegant in an economic way and she involuntarily admired its white, oriental, marble-like tiles before slipping out of her bathrobe and turning on the hot water faucet. A mirror stood to the door’s right and she stopped before it to admire her stature and nude figure. Were those slight creases below her lower eyelids? Of course, she hadn’t been sleeping so well of late due to the state her life was in, but she also knew this was not good for her health. She prided herself in keeping fit always and she wasn’t ready to let go due to some relationship difficulties. Even if she’d never faced a tougher situation than this in the past, she wasn’t going to lose her fitness as well as Adam if it comes to that. Unconsciously, she laughed at her joke and turned away from the mirror.
With the bathtub half-filled, she stopped the running water and tested its warmth with a quick right-handed swipe down and into the white tub, and this was when it happened . . . .
* * *
Adam Walter was fed up with his relationship with Brenda and he certainly knew why he felt this way. It was very glaring that Brenda was a nice and beautiful girl; most men would do anything to have her as a wife or girlfriend, but he was fed up. He didn’t want her anymore.
He knew he was doing the right thing and was sure she deserved the decision he was about to take. Right now, he wasn’t feeling guilty at all, since there came a time in a man’s life when he just had to do what he had to do without caring about the consequence of his action or even how others concerned would feel about it.
It was time for him to lay her off and stop wasting her time, as well as his, since there was no hope for the future between them.
Of course, he could still remember that day.
The day he realized himself.
The day he finally decided to let go of her.
And it still chilled him, like it’d happened a few minutes ago.
An involuntary shrug swept through him and he chided himself for remembering. Besides, he’d had enough of her; and there was a new girl in his life. A girl he met a couple of months ago at his workplace.
He smiled as he remembered her beautiful name.
He didn’t want to start comparing her to Brenda, though. It was just that he anticipated a brighter future with her. And he even thought Tracy was prettier than Brenda, but he couldn’t deny that Brenda had lots of qualities that would make her a better choice for a wife, although Tracy was hotter, and every man desired a hot girl . . . .
He hated the burden of guilt he’d earlier felt about his decision to leave Brenda. It was surprising how guilt could make one feel so heavy and uncomfortable, how it kept haunting one, and funny enough, how one couldn’t stop doing those things that made one feel guilty in the first place. So the best thing to do, Adam had thought, was to go with his conscience. He must make himself believe that he was not the right man for her, that she deserved someone better, or just as weird! She must go before she ruined his life. He was not going to miss her for sure. Even his internal tap, which used to overflow with feelings for her, had stopped flowing, and no matter how wonderful, pretty and perfect she was, he did not want her anymore.
She would be there any moment from now. It was almost 6:00 p.m. and he knew she was probably on her way to his house. Adam lived in a beautifully furnished, three-bedroom flat on Stream Street. Brenda had been there the day he rented it. She had even assisted him in decorating the house to such a satisfactory state.
A nice young woman she had been, and a nice companion, too. He sometimes even wondered whether she would ever realize in the days ahead why he’d decided to end this relationship, because he still doubted her presently knowing his main reason. Of course, she was a wonderful girl, and . . . oh, hell . . . he wasn’t going to start regretting what he was about to do now that it was almost too late.
He was trying to slot a DVD plate into his DVD player when he heard a knock on the door. He knew she was the one.
“I am coming!” he called out.
He gave himself some time by carefully switching on the television and allowing the DVD to play for some seconds. He knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy task.
He opened the door and was looking directly into Brenda’s beautiful and innocent face. She looked wonderful in her body-hugging white top and sky-blue jeans. Her hair was neatly parked, giving her face a perfect shape. She was trying to force a smile but that didn’t stop him from noticing a trace of worry on her beautiful face.
He instantly felt more guilt, wondering if he would ever be able to tell her what he wanted to tell her.
“Come in,” he said, and left the door open while he walked back to the seat that was directly opposite the television.
Brenda gently walked in and closed the door behind her. She didn’t like the look on his face. Something was definitely wrong.
“Adam, I hope it is nothing serious, I didn’t like the way you sounded on the phone,” she said as she sat on the seat very close to him.
“Why don’t you relax first, we have a lot to talk about. You can take some drinks from the fridge.”
“I am okay; I don’t want to drink anything. I am just worried, that’s all,” she said. There was silence in the room for sometime; Brenda was not comfortable with that. “Adam, I said that I am really worried. Why don’t you tell me what you think is so urgent that you requested I should see you instead of keeping me in suspense?”
Adam sighed and continued to focus his attention on the television. ‘God!’ she thought, ‘he is so handsome. Please, let it not be . . . ’
“Brenda,” he gently called her. She loved it when he called her that way. “I have been going through a series of personal problems for the past few weeks. It has affected me at my workplace and even my relationship with people. I . . . I don’t know how to say this . . . I am going through a phase in my life and I have been thinking about us.”
‘This is it,’ she thought, ‘he said ‘about us.’’ She remained silent, though, her heart beating loudly. She allowed him to continue.
“I found out that hanging out with you will only make you a victim and that is not what you deserve,” he said.
“A victim of what?” she gently probed.
“You won’t understand, Brenda, but I want to go through this alone. I want us to stop seeing each other . . . let’s watch and see . . . maybe things will get better and we will start all over again, but for now, I don’t want to be involved with anyone. I want to be left alone. I just hope you will understand,” he concluded.
Her whole body began to shiver. “Adam, I am not worried about being a victim or being involved with your problem. All you have to do is share it with me so that I can be part of it. Together we will come up with a solution. But please don’t push me out of your life,” she pleaded.
“I am sorry, Brenda, I have already taken my decision, there is no point deceiving you,” he maintained.
“Perhaps I have done something wrong, just tell me. I will make amends, whatever you want.”
“This is not about you; I really want you to believe me when I say it is for your own good. Well, I really don’t expect you to understand. You know what? I have to go to my room. I want to be left alone and I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”
Brenda thought she was going to die or at least faint. She couldn’t understand. Isn’t this her loving Adam? All the happiness she had ever known was suddenly coming to an end. The look on his face told her that this was really over for sure. She had seen that look before, and this wasn’t the first time a man was giving her that look. Begging him would actually make no difference.
She felt weak. She felt foolish and worthless. Yes, maybe she was actually worthless; that was why men always used her and dumped her like a piece of rag. Maybe she was just a piece of shit.
She managed to stand up and leave his apartment with her last strength. She didn’t know what else to do; maybe she was in some kind of dream. As she walked along the street and thought about what just happened, she suddenly felt dizzy. She knew she was going to faint since everything was becoming blurred, but she kept on walking; she must not faint. Not on Stream Street. God, perhaps it was better to die right away.