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Ruby's Search For Romance - Literature (8) - Nairaland

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by heemah(f): 7:34am On May 20
Hello dear.. Hope you are okk?

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by yettielicious(f): 12:54pm On May 20
Hi Cythialinlin I really do hope you are okay?
This is really unusual of you not to update for 5 days now.
Kindly let us know if you are fine.
Thank you

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Blesstar(f): 11:36pm On May 20
Cynthialinlin are you okay dear?

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 2:09am On May 23
I apologize for the late update. I'll resume normal updates this week. Thank you again for reading my story smiley

EPISODE EIGHTY-SEVEN

“How did the interview go?” Justin’s voice echoed from the speakerphone.

It was Wednesday evening. Ruby massaged her feet in the living room. Her legs hurt like mad. “It went well. Anthony told me that I would be getting it. He says I’m one of the few people that qualified for the position. He became more amiable when I told him I was going to get an accountancy qualification. He got almost his certifications abroad. He said I could come to him if I needed help.”

“I’m glad it went well. So when are you starting?”

“Next week.” She groaned. “Mrs Oyena told me it was better to start working towards my resignation earlier. But now, I don’t know. I already sent her a message on WhatsApp but she hasn’t replied yet. I think I will quit tomorrow, so I can take off time to rest before resuming at the new place on Monday.”

“I don’t think it should matter. After all, you already have another place to go. By the way, what about the location of the place? Is it far from where you live?”

“No. Luckily, it’s in Ikeja. Not far from here. I can take the BRT bus direct, and then just take a keke to the office. Maybe twenty minutes. Even if I take a cab, it’s not that expensive. It’s not as stressful as this current place.”

“Why don’t you use Rose’s car, then let Patrick pick it up from the office. That way, you won’t have to trouble yourself with public transport.”

Ruby didn’t like driving. The other day, she had gotten enough insults that would last her life when she almost crashed into someone’s car. Even being a slow driver came with its wahala. “I don’t know yet. I’ll consider it.”

“You think I don’t know what you’re thinking?” Justin laughed. “If you don’t drive often, how will you get used to Lagos road?”

“Those drivers are scary, I swear. Any small thing, somebody wants to break your head. No o. I still like my head.”

He guffawed. She could hear him slapping his thigh. “Sweetheart, nobody will break your head.”

She smiled. “Ehen, yesterday you were giving me updates from that man and his pregnant sidepiece drama. What happened again? What did the wife say?”

“You and gossip eh, Ruby!”

Ruby scrunched her face. “As if you don’t like it when I pressure you for more gist.”

“She wants to take the children with her and go abroad. She wants the man to sponsor everything. They’re at a standstill now. The sidepiece doesn’t want to get rid of the baby; the man doesn’t want her to give birth to the baby; his wife just wants to use this opportunity to go abroad.”

Ruby burst out laughing. “Omo drama. The man should just allow the woman to go abroad na.”

“The sidepiece said if the wife goes abroad, she too, she would go.”

“See guts o. On top person husband.” Ruby shook her head. “Things dey happen sha.”

Justin agreed with her.

“You said you wanted to take the weekend off to relax, right?” he asked after they made small talk on the side-chick drama.

“Yes.”

“Why don’t we go to Abuja together?”

“Hmm?”

“Did I say we will go to Abuja when I come back from SA?” She made a noise of agreement. “We can go this weekend. I was worried that you wouldn’t have time because of your work, so I didn’t mention it earlier.”

“Works for me.” She stood up and head into her room, to begin choosing the clothes she would go with.

“My mum is also coming back from Switzerland this weekend. You know she has been travelling to and fro to help my sister with the baby. I’m sure she would love to meet you.”

“Isn’t it too soon?” She paused in between looking at one of her jean trousers. What was that whitish stain on the black fabric?

“I already told her about you. She’s really nice. You don’t need to worry.”

“I mean, we’ve only been dating for what? Like three months?”

She heard Justin take in a deep breath. “I don’t think it matters. But if you feel it’s too soon, we can wait until you’re ready.”

Ruby was quiet for a while before she said, “Okay. I’ll think about it.”

It wasn’t awkward between them for too long. Ruby playfully asked him what type of clothes to pack for the trip, and the rest of the conversation went in another direction, with Justin saying “Just your underwear. It’s not like we’ll be doing anything much outside the room.”

***
The next day, Ruby went to the company with her already typed and enveloped resignation letter.

“I’m sorry, Mrs Oyena.” She stood beside Mrs Oyena’s desk with the expression of a child waiting to be queried. “The company that employed me wants me to start work immediately.” She explained that she also wanted to take some time off to rest before she resumed work.

Mrs Oyena looked at the letter in her hand. It was only a few minutes past 8:30 am, the usual time they resumed work. Mrs Oyena had just settled down at her table before Ruby came up to her.

She sighed. “It’s alright. Go and submit the letter. If any problem arises, you can come and get me.”

“Thank you ma,” Ruby revealed a toothy smile and went to HR to submit the letter. It wasn’t a difficult process nor was she given a hard time. Only that the personnel at the HR queried her thoroughly, advising her that even though her employment contract didn’t state repercussions for resigning without early notice, she still couldn’t do that as she was giving the company problems.

She kept on muttering, “I’m sorry, ma” as the woman spoke. Even though she had a number of comebacks in her mind, she thought it was better to keep them to herself until she got her salary.

After assuring her that she would be paid the rest of her salary within the next week, Ruby left HR with light steps. On her way back, she stopped at Ama’s office and informed her of her resignation.

“That fast?” Ama looked at her in surprise. “I thought you were resuming next week? There’s still tomorrow.”

“I want to rest, Ama. I cannot go from one highway to the other without stopping for fuel na. Besides,” she lowered her voice. “We are going to Abuja for the weekend. Me and Justin.”

Ama couldn’t hold her squeal, attracting curious stares from the people inside the office. “Sorry.” She pulled Ruby out into the corridor.

“Really? Babe, that’s so cool. The guy is treating you really well. I’m happy for you.”

Ruby shrugged. “Thank you.”

“Are you leaving now? Can’t you wait till lunchtime so we can go out to celebrate? I’m sure some of our colleagues wouldn’t mind.”

Ruby had suspected something like this would come up. She’d worked in the company for almost 5 years. Even though she wasn’t extremely close with her co-workers, they still shared a level of familiarity and closeness. It didn’t seem right to leave without doing anything.

“What about in the evening? I’m going to arrange it and send the address to you.”

Ama rolled her eyes. “Don’t worry babe. I’ll arrange it myself. You’re the one leaving, not us.”

Ruby gave her an uncertain look. “I’m not…”

“No. I mean it. It’s not something big. I’ll ask the others and get their opinion. Maybe we’ll just find a chill place and relax.”

Ruby let out a sigh of resignation. “Alright. I’ll just listen to you.”

She went back to her office to pack her things. When she told her office mates that she was leaving, they revealed different expressions. She listened to their well-wishes as she packed, expressing her gratitude.

“Are you leaving immediately?” Mrs Oyena asked.

Ruby nodded. She didn’t see the sense in staying any longer when she was no longer being paid.

“You cannot wait till afternoon? Let’s have lunch together then you leave?” Gina stated what was on Mrs Oyena’s mind.

“It’s true,” Bayo put in. “We don’t often have lunch together. Why don’t we share one last meal together? We don’t have to go far, just at Iyabo’s place opposite.”

Ruby looked at their expectant faces and gave in. “Alright.” She didn’t pause in packing her things though. Rose’s car was outside and Patrick was on his way to pick up the car for the daily Uber business.

Initially, she planned to spend the whole day at home. She would first arrange her wardrobe and get rid of the work clothes that were either old or the ones that she no longer wore. And then, she would spend the rest of the day sleeping or scrolling through social media. Now, she had to change her plans.

When Patrick arrived, she took her things down and placed them in the booth of the car. “When you finish for today, just take the car home.”
She sent a message to Justin informing him of her change in plans.

Why don’t you come to the dealership in the afternoon, after lunch with your colleagues?
I haven’t shown you around yet.


She stared at the message for a few minutes before typing a reply. I wanted to go home and sleep.

His message came in almost immediately as though he’d expected the reply.
I will drive you home after.

She smiled to herself and sent a smile emoji. Her afternoon was gone, just like that.

The rest of the morning in the office was a relaxed atmosphere. Even though her colleagues still worked, they threw banters at each other unlike before when the office was usually a silent zone during work hours. Ruby joined them in the banters. Ruby was tying up some loose ends of the work in her head, forwarding them to Mrs Oyena. It had seemed like a small task, but as she worked, she realized why Mrs Oyena wanted a week’s notice before she resigned. It wasn’t something that could be done in four hours, but she gave it her best.

“Don’t worry,” Mrs Oyena said. “They can handle the rest.” She gestured at Bayo and the other two people in the office.

At lunchtime, Ruby walked out of the company with her colleagues. It would probably be her last time in the company, but she didn’t feel nostalgic. Even though a huge percentage of her time had been spent in the cream-painted building, she didn’t have any feelings toward it. But she would miss the restaurant opposite. It was one place that left her with happy memories.

“You can still come around here to eat,” Gina said when she expressed her feelings toward the restaurant.

“I’m sure she will find a better restaurant at her new workplace,” Bayo retorted. He reduced his voice and said, “The restaurant near that supermarket, is it not better than this place?”

Gina nodded. “That’s where most of us eat.”

Ruby had eaten in the restaurant they talked about. It was a new restaurant, open for about four months now. Ruby didn’t like the food there. The size of the meat didn’t appeal to her as well.

Mrs Oyena paid for their meals. Ruby expressed her thanks to her. She reminded herself to buy the woman a gift when she returned from Abuja. Mrs Oyena had been so helpful to her throughout her stay in the company. It wouldn’t be nice to leave without so much as a gift.

After lunch, she bade her colleagues, now ex-colleagues, goodbye and took a cab to Justin’s office.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by yettielicious(f): 12:29pm On May 23
Finally…

Welcome back.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 5:01am On May 24
EPISODE EIGHTY-EIGHT

Ruby had always known that Justin’s dealership was huge, with even branches in other states of the country, but it was only when she went to where he worked that she understood the extent of his business. She found her way easily through the showroom, admiring the new cars that were lined up. A young boy came toward her asking what type of car she wanted to buy.

“I’m just looking around,” she joked, attracting a funny look from the young boy. She had sent a message to Justin that she had arrived, so she didn’t hurry to look for him. The boy didn’t stay very far from her, observing her as she looked at the cars, peering into the inside and knocking on the glass windows lightly.

“Which one do you like?” Justin’s voice came from behind her, startling her.

She had been focused on trying to see past the dark window and get an interior view of the car. “You scared me!” She hit him lightly on the shoulder.

He put his hand around her waist and gestured to the young boy. The boy left immediately. Justin kissed her on the neck. “So which one do you like?”

Ruby shrugged. “They are all cool. I didn’t know your business was this big.” She stood on her tiptoes to look around. “And you say you have showrooms in other places.”

He led her through the line of cars into an office. “I’m still building. How was lunch?”

“Great.” She sat down on the couch in the office and started telling him about her day.

Justin poured her a glass of juice and sat beside her. “She sounds like a nice person,” he said when she talked about Mrs Oyena.

“She really is. If you take one look at her, you might think she is harsh and unfriendly. But she is so cool. I’m really going to miss her.”

Justin rubbed her back in comfort. “The other day you were asking me which clothes to pack on our trip to Abuja. Have you sorted it out?”

Ruby eyed him. The call had gone from asking which clothes to pack to her on the bed, having phone intimacy. “I’ve sorted it out,” she said haughtily.

“My angel,” he teased, pinching her waist. “You don’t need to pack a lot of things. We’ll go shopping in Abuja.”

“Really?” Ruby leaned on him.

“Aren’t you starting a new job? You’re also going to need new clothes,” Justin continued.

Ruby pouted. “I can just get them here in Lagos instead of running all the way to Abuja just to buy clothes.”

“We can go now if you don’t mind?”

“EH!” Ruby widened her eyes.

“Of course babe. It’s best to go now. You see, tomorrow we’ll be in Abuja and we’ll return on Sunday evening. You have to resume work on Monday. There’ll be no other time before then.”

Her heart was beating faster. She wasn’t going to say ‘no’ to this. “Okay.” She swallowed.

It was not up to twenty minutes that she sat down in his office and they were already heading out. Justin gave some orders to the boys in the showroom and walked out with her.

“Do you have any place in mind?” Justin opened the door and she got into the car.

She thought a while as he walked around the car to get in the driver's seat. She tucked in her seatbelt as she spoke, “There’s this place. It’s not far from here. The owner of the boutique is Rose’s friend. Her clothes are really nice.”

Justin knew the place so he didn’t have to use the GPS navigation. They talked about music as they drove. They shared similar tastes, although Justin also enjoyed listening to traditional Igbo music.

It was a short drive to the boutique, only about twenty minutes. The traffic on the road was not hectic as it was still quite early. The owner of the boutique recognised Ruby as soon as she saw her.

“Wow, it’s been a long time, Rubs. How far? You’re looking really good.” Tonia hugged her as she gushed. A gust of heavy perfume overcame her nose. Of course, Rose said one of the things people didn’t like about Tonia was the way she poured perfume over herself. Not just one, sometimes she mixed even two or three.

Ruby held her breath until they separated. “You too. Oh, I love your hair.” Ruby returned her compliment with one. Tonia’s wig was long and from the feel of the hair she got while they hugged, she could tell it was of premium quality.

“You know, we never see you around since Rose left. How is she, by the way. She is not always online on WhatsApp.”

Ruby sighed. “Time difference. And you know how difficult things are for her there.” Ruby didn’t reply to her first statement. They were Rose’s friends. Most of the gatherings she went to was only because of Rose. Now that Rose wasn’t around, she didn’t feel the need to stick to a circle that she wasn’t familiar with.

“My dear!” Tonia moved her eyes to Justin who had been standing beside them all through their exchange of courtesies. “Your boyfriend?” she asked Ruby in a whisper.

She nodded. “Justin, my friend, Tonia. Tonia, Justin.”

Tonia greeted Justin politely and then turned to Ruby. “Let me show you around. You came just at the right time. My new arrivals came in yesterday. I just put them up this morning.”

Ruby turned to Justin. He nodded at her that he wouldn’t be far.

“Since when?” Tonia asked curiously when Justin was out of hearing distance.

“Three months.” Ruby took out a red skirt to look at it.

“This one is good,” Tonia said. “You can try it on.”

Ruby shook her head and returned it. “The colour is too stark.”

“What about this one? It’s white.” Tonia took out another skirt to show it to her.

Tonia was the perfect seller and the perfect gossip. In between gushing about how this blouse or that trouser would look great on her, she talked about how Lota finally got married after giving the man that wanted to marry her unnecessary headache. Rose had told her about it. She had also seen photos and videos of the wedding on social media. But there were differences between the version she got from Rose and the one Tonia was relating to her.

“This one would look good on you,” Justin cut into Tonia’s rambling about how Freda was giving up a lot of things to appease her overprotective husband.

Ruby looked at him with gratitude. Tonia was talking too much. With the way she gossiped, Ruby wondered if she would be the next topic of gossip when Lota or Freda or anyone that knew her called Tonia on the phone.

At least, Tonia could understand hints. She left almost immediately to attend to another customer.

“You looked like you needed help,” Justin said.

“Yes,” Ruby sighed in exasperation. She said in a low voice, “Rose always told me she was a ruthless gossip. Whether it is true or not, she will talk about it. They’re all afraid of her mouth.”

“I thought you liked gossip.” Justin brought out a cream blouse and held it out in front of her.

She stretched out her hand obediently. “Not this type. This type of gossip can ruin somebody’s life o. I’m not that heartless.”

He laughed. “Have you picked the ones you want?”

“They’re all really good. I don’t know which one to choose.” She held out a black dress and the cream blouse Justin picked.

“Let’s try all of them, then you can take the ones you want. Don’t worry about the price.” He kissed her on her forehead. “I’ll handle it.”

In the end, they spent almost two hours in Tonia’s boutique. Customers came and left, some came as couples. Justin and Ruby left the boutique with clothes enough for Ruby to wear for the next few months.

“Come again next time.” Tonia bade them goodbye with a broad smile on her face. She must have gotten a lot of profit from this single sale.

“I can already imagine what she will tell her friends,” Ruby groaned as Justin pulled away from the front of the boutique.

“What?” Justin grinned. “That you have a rich boyfriend that spends money on you.”

Maybe worse, she thought to herself. Even Rose was careful to not share a lot of details with Tonia. It could be twisted into something else.

“Don’t mind her.” Justin briefly squeezed her thigh then returned his hand to the steering wheel. “After all, it’s not her money that you are spending.”

Ruby laughed. “What time are we leaving tomorrow?”

“I already booked an afternoon ticket. I’ll send someone to pick you up at 2 pm. It’s not too early, right? I know you wanted to sleep today.”

It was only now that she remembered the get-together with Ama and her other colleagues. “My God. I totally forgot about this evening.” She looked at her phone. Ama had already sent her the details for the get-together. If she went home, she wouldn’t meet up.

“Where is the place?” Justin asked.

She told him.

“We can go to my office and wait. The place is not far from there. I’ll drive you there when it’s time.”

“Really? I don’t want to take up much of your time.” She suddenly realized how Justin was always making out time to accompany her whatever she did, especially during workdays when she was sure he would have been busy with work.

He winked at her. “I’m the boss. You don’t need to worry. I know how to arrange my time. And most importantly, you are worth my time.”

He drove back to his office. While he worked, Ruby relaxed on the couch, munching on the snacks he bought for her and scrolling through social media. As the time for the get-together drew closer, she followed him out and into the car.

“Are you going to join us?” she asked as he drove.

He shook his head. “I’ll just let you guys do your thing. I’ll just wait for you.”

She didn’t say anything. She felt so lucky, to have a man like this, a man willing to wait that long for her. Justin, Justin, J-U-S-T-I-N, she repeated the name in her mind, spelling the words out. Justin. She had fallen for him, completely, wholly, without any reservations. His actions had swept away whatever doubts, whatever fears she had over their relationship. And now, she was all in—her heart, her mind, her head, and her body were all buried underneath the sea of Justin. She looked at him as he drove, admired his clean-shaven jaw, his wide ears, that nose that settled perfectly on his face. He was not the most handsome man that she’d come across, but he was her handsome prince. He was her boyfriend, her handsome boyfriend. He was Ruby’s boyfriend, she thought to herself. Ruby’s boyfriend.

“If you look at me like that any longer, I’ll just drive straight to my place,” Justin cut into her inner musings with a mischievous smile.

She looked away shyly. “Who said I was looking at you?”

He laughed. “Look all you want. It’s all yours.” He winked.

She couldn’t withhold her laughter. “Concentrate on your driving, before we land inside gutter o.” Yes, this was her boyfriend.

***
It was a simple gathering of just six people including Ama and Ruby. The four others were the closest to her during her time at the company. Ama picked a small, classic bar for the gathering. They ate grilled fish and drank wine, talking about their experiences in the company. They laughed. They toasted to Ruby’s future endeavours. They toasted to their own successes. It didn’t last for long. They still had work tomorrow and it was already late.

“You know how Lagos traffic is,” one of them joked, in case Ruby felt bad about their leaving too soon.

But Ruby was glad that it ended quickly. She didn’t feel comfortable knowing Justin was waiting for her. Ama was the only one remaining when they left.

“Why didn’t you invite him to join us?” Ama asked when Ruby told her that Justin was waiting for her.

“I invited him. He said I should just do my thing.” Ruby sent him a message to Justin.

“I’ll be on my way too.” Ama saw the message she sent to Justin and stood up. “There’s this nice restaurant behind. The atmosphere there is quite cosy. You guys can have dinner there before you go home.”

Ruby smiled at her in gratitude. She hadn’t eaten much especially knowing that Justin hadn’t eaten either. When she walked out of the restaurant with Ama, Justin was already waiting for her by the entrance. The introductions were short. Ama left almost immediately after they exchanged names.

They had a simple dinner at the restaurant. Justin drove her home. He didn’t stay long at her place. He still needed to sort out some things before their trip. So he left as soon as he helped her offload the bags of clothes into her house. She decided to leave the new clothes until she returned from Abuja. It was an exhausting day. She said goodbye to her former life; one without dreams, without struggles, without love. It was going to be a fresh start for her. And she looked forward to it all.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 5:02am On May 24
yettielicious:
Finally…

Welcome back.
Thank you.
Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Kiddogarcia(m): 5:57pm On May 24
Time to add a lil bit of vawlence,the continuous smooth sailing is not it

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by queentener(f): 7:07pm On May 24
Kiddogarcia:
Time to add a lil bit of vawlence,the continuous smooth sailing is not it
haba!!! Please Ruby deserves all the happiness don't be a spoiler.

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Kiddogarcia(m): 8:43pm On May 24
queentener:
haba!!! Please Ruby deserves all the happiness don't be a spoiler.
just little vawlence,new twists and turns needed

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:26am On May 25
EPISODE EIGHTY-EIGHT

It was her first time in Abuja, she admitted to Justin as they walked out of the airport. Everything looked and smelled different. She took pictures. “One more,” she said to Justin, her boyfriend/photographer. He gazed at her affectionately as he took the pictures, indulging her as she changed poses. They took a cab to a hotel, thirty minutes away from the airport.

“Do you always stay in hotels like this when you come here?” she asked as they entered the hotel room.

“My parents live here, Ruby,” he reminded her.

“Look at me,” she slapped her forehead. She kept forgetting about his parents. “Your mother…?” She remembered him asking her if she wanted to meet his mother.

“We can have lunch with my parents before we leave on Sunday. They’re really nice. You’re going to love them. If you want.” He rubbed her arms.

She nodded. “Alright.” She thought about it. His eagerness for her to meet his parents was infective. She had seen pictures of his parents and also wanted to meet them. From Justin’s character, she could tell that they would be as pleasant as they looked in their pictures.

Later that evening, after they had rested, Justin took her to dinner at a five-star restaurant. After dinner, they went to a cinema. When they returned, Justin took her to the swimming pool in the hotel and taught her to swim. The rest of the night was spent in bed. Justin didn’t let her rest even when she complained that she was tired. His hands worked well, making her forget her tiredness to wrap her legs around his waist and pull him again inside her. As a result of the intense night exercise, they ended up spending half of the next day in bed. Ruby’s muscles felt so sore that she didn’t want to move.

“I should have stopped earlier,” Justin apologised when she complained of how he almost caused her to faint.

She slapped his chest lightly and adjusted her weight, throwing one naked leg over his thigh. “What about today’s plans? I don’t think I have the strength to do any other thing.”

He kissed her forehead. “We can stay in today. I wanted to take you to this nature park. It’s especially lovely in the afternoon. But we can go next time. In the evening, we’ll go to the Jabi boat club. The view at night is lovely.”

“Okay,” she mumbled and buried herself into his arms. “We can still go to the nature park.”

“I thought you said you were tired, eh?” He pinched the skin of her back, causing her to wiggle.

“Stop it.” She moaned. “If you continue like this, we’re not going to go anywhere in the end.”

“I’m not worried. After all, we still have a lot of time to explore everywhere in Abuja.” He laughed. “Maybe the next time we come, we’ll stay at that resort I told you about. Even if we spend the whole weekend there, we won’t explore the whole area.”

“Abuja is so nice,” she said.

“We can relocate later if you want,” he replied softly.

She kissed his chest. His certainty was appealing, this certainty about their future together. She loved it. “But I’ll always prefer Lagos.”

He pinched her nose. “Just say you don’t want to leave Lagos.”

She brushed his hand away and scrunched her nose. “I’m used to Lagos. Abuja is not for me.”

They listened to music in bed as they talked. Just like that, her first afternoon in Abuja passed with them holed up in their hotel room. They had an exquisite lunch in their room. She finally understood why Justin said she would be needing only her underwear. Even though it felt weird, she was dressed in single-piece underwear as they had lunch. Eventually, she got tired of slapping Justin’s roaming hands away. He was extremely touchy all through the meal.

That evening, Justin took her to the boat club. It was easily the most exquisite place that she had been to (not like she had gone to many places like that). The site was lovely, a perfect combination of man-made attractions with the natural world. They had dinner on a boat, with soft lighting. The fresh air caressed her skin as the boat floated on the water. They drank wine and looked out of the boat. They were not the only couple out in the night. Justin kissed her. His mouth tasted strongly of the wine. The day ended with another tumble on the bed. This time, Justin didn’t push her too much. He was also tired, stopping after the first round. After they cleaned up, they relaxed in bed, lazily watching the movie that was showing on the TV.

And like that, the weekend was gone. The next day was Sunday. The weekend getaway was over before Ruby could even enjoy it. Somehow, it didn’t even feel like a getaway, not with her body feeling drained and tired. She blamed it all on Justin.

“It’s not as if we cannot have sex in Lagos. Why do you have to jampack it all on this short weekend?” she complained as she dressed. They were about to head over to his parent's home.

“As if you didn’t enjoy it.” Justin helped her out with the buttons of her blouse, pecking her lips when he was done.

“Even though,” she mumbled. “I feel as though a truck ran over my body. Everywhere is so sore.” It was an understatement.

He tickled her waist. “How about a massage after lunch?”

“And our flight?”

“We’ll leave my parent’s place early. It’s just lunch. What do you think?”

“Hmm.” She pretended to be indifferent even though she was already screaming “Yes! Yes!” in her mind.

***
Justin’s parents lived away from the liveliness of the city centre in a quiet estate. From the type of houses in the estate, Ruby could guess the calibre of people that lived in the area. Anxiety racked through her bones as the car drove into one of the houses. On the outside, it was simple and elegant. There were fresh plants decorating the angles of the house. The security man that had opened the gate for them greeted them with familiarity and politeness, complimenting Ruby.

“He has been the security man for a long time now,” Justin told her. He led her into the house, calling out as they walked in, “Mum, dad?”

“In the living room,” a deep voice replied.

“My dad,” he said and walked with her to the living room.

Justin’s dad was a huge man, tall and thick. He got up when they went into the parlour, giving his son a wide hug. He smiled politely at Ruby, complimenting her looks. “You’re just as pretty as Justin said.”

His mother came into the living room. She was also tall, though her height only stopped at the shoulders of his father. When she looked at Ruby, she had a warm smile on her face. “Welcome. Ruby, eh?”

Ruby nodded. She was stiff with nerves. What if his parents decided she was too short and would undermine the passage of tall genes to their grandchildren? What if they didn’t want someone that wasn’t Igbo?

“The food is ready. Justin said you both still have to go back to Lagos today? Why the rush?”

“Mum, I told you Ruby has to resume at her new place of work tomorrow. You were not listening again,” Justin complained.

His father laughed. “She was looking at her account books. Do you think anything will enter her head at that time?” They walked to the dining, his parents continued exchanging banters.

The dining table was filled with different plates and jugs of juice. Ruby sat beside Justin, his father took the head of the table and his mother sat beside him. His mother led in a short prayer of thanksgiving before they started eating. They talked as they ate. His mother talked about her recent trip to Switzerland and how Justin’s sister and her husband were doing. “Ijema married a good man,” she extolled. Justin’s father engaged Ruby in a conversation. He didn’t ask her about herself, it seemed more as though he was trying to confirm everything Justin told him.

“You’re from Kogi eh? Which part?”

“Okehi.”

“An accountant? That’s good.”

It was a cordial meal, the atmosphere warm and welcoming. His parents didn’t press to know a lot of details about their relationship. After the meal, Justin told his parents that they needed to make one stop before heading to the airport, so they would have to leave early. They didn’t make any effort to make them stay longer. His parents invited Ruby to visit them the next time she was in Abuja (Ruby laughed about this in her mind. What would bring her to Abuja apart from Justin?) It was only as they left that Ruby realized that the man that had driven them to the house was his father’s driver.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” She pinched Justin’s arm at the back of the car where they sat. She spoke in a low voice so that the man wouldn’t hear.

“Like it matters.”

“So he’ll drive us to the massage parlour?”

Justin nodded. “It’s not necessary to look for another car. It’ll just waste our time. Don’t worry.”

Ruby still felt a little uncertain. She wasn’t sure why. Was he going to rattle to his parents that he’d picked them up from a hotel? If he did, what would his parents think of her? Spending nights with their son in a hotel? She didn’t think that his parents must have already made the assumption. Their son came to Abuja with his girlfriend but didn’t sleep in their house. Where else could they have been?

Justin must have thought this way but decided to keep it to himself, knowing how distressed Ruby would be if she thought his parents saw her as a loose girl.

Ruby enjoyed a full body massage before she left Abuja. She wished she could stay longer, maybe get her nails and her hair done.

“Next time,” Justin consoled her. “Even though I also want to indulge you, I wouldn’t want you arriving late at work tomorrow or looking for another job because you missed work on your first day.” He pecked her lips. “I’ll take you to this cool spa on Friday. You’re going to love it.”

3 Likes

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by heemah(f): 12:06pm On May 25
Thanks for the update.
Pls nobody should pour sand inside Ruby's Garri ooo. She deserve all the happiness coming her way right now. Girl has suffered enough

5 Likes

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Ann2012(f): 10:07pm On May 25
Well done OP

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 4:04am On May 26
EPISODE EIGHTY-NINE

The next Monday morning, Ruby resumed her new place of work. Unlike at the previous place of work, where she had to only deal with the account of just one company, this new place worked with different companies. Because of her specialization, she had to deal more with the internal financial reports of different companies. It had been easier working with the reports of just one company. But while the new job came with its difficulties, it allowed her to broaden her level of expertise. Working with the accounts of one company made her over-familiar with the topic, and reduced the novelty of the work, but with her new position, she could come across newer cases, broaden her knowledge and get better at what she did.

She didn’t pause her accountancy courses because of the new job and its demands. Rather she learned how to manage the two. The weekends were spent either in Justin’s apartment or at her place studying. During weeknights, she spent about two hours reading on her laptop and making notes. She enjoyed the benefits of working at a place that was not far from where she lived. She didn’t need to wake up early so that she would get to work on time. It took her a while to get used to the new life she was creating for herself. She no longer had enormous amounts of time to lie on her bed and scroll through social media, bemoaning that her mates were leaving her far back, getting married and making headways in their careers. Freelancing took the brunt of her new schedule. In between her new job and studying, she had little time to work on freelance contracts. She became extremely selective with the type of work she would do, often going for the high paying ones and those of her loyal clients.

Justin was supportive all the way. When she didn’t spend the night at his place, there were days he would drop by her apartment with suya or grilled fish or shawarma. During the weekends, he took her out on dates. He pulled her along to the gym with him when she stayed at his apartment. “Just once a week is enough,” he would say when she complained that she couldn’t keep up with daily exercise. He prepared a table for her in his study room so she could study when she came to his place. He replaced the snacks that she munched on while she studied. He knew to switch off the music when she entered study mode. He only disturbed her to eat or to take a rest. “You have been staring at the computer for too long. Rest a little.” Then he would give her a massage that was as amateur as they came and only tickled her. They would make love and listen to music together. They cooked together, both in his kitchen and in her kitchen. And he would joke, “We should just have one kitchen.”

It was only a joke but she couldn’t help but about it. There was no guarantee that living together for a while would strengthen their relationship or make them realize they were not perfect for each other. When she shared her thoughts with Rose, she advised that it was too soon to make that move. “Why not wait for a while? Till he engages you. We both know that even engagement is not a guarantee these days, but I won’t advise you to move in with him.”

“I’m just thinking about it,” she told Rose. She was not even sure what Justin meant when he said they could just have one kitchen. It might mean marriage. But it was still too soon. In the end, she gave up thinking about the matter. On one hand, her job would suffer if she moved all the way to Justin’s apartment and on the other, Justin himself seemed just okay with their current mode of interaction. They were still getting to know each other. They were still making uncertain steps towards their futures. Justin was busy trying to open another branch of his dealership in Enugu. There was no need to rush.

***
“Whose wedding is it?” Ruby asked as Justin helped her to draw her zipper.

Justin ran his hand over her curves. The red gown was fitted, enhancing her curves. “One of my secondary school classmates.”

Ruby admired herself in the mirror. Her exercises with Justin seemed to be paying off. The stubborn pouch around her abdomen was slowly disappearing. She and Justin had been together for close to six months now. They had become more familiar with each other.

“You look freaking hot, babe.” He encircled her waist with his arms and pulled her closer so her buttocks rubbed against him.

She smiled at the image they made in the mirror. “Thank you.” He had bought the gown for her. It was what he did, giving her random gifts without reason. It took a while for her to get used to his generosity and only recently did she learn to return his generosity, giving him gifts of her financial capability. He didn’t lack anything, but it was the intent that mattered.

“You should wear the pearl necklace,” he said when she reached for a gold necklace. “I think it matches the gown better.”

They were not living together but a good number of her clothes and jewellery were in his house. It wasn’t an intentional move. She just woke up one morning and realized that the blue sandals she wanted to wear to work were at his place or that she’d left the new clothes she bought at his house because she ended up spending the night there. Justin liked it. “What if we have to go for an occasion from my house, is it not better to be prepared for something like that?”

And it was such an occasion that met them this Saturday. Justin wanted her to go with him to a friend’s wedding. The red gown was the latest addition to the gifts she got from him.

“Are we not going to be too late?” Ruby looked up at the wall clock, it was a few minutes to four. The time on the invitation card had been 2 pm.

“I bet you the wedding is not going to start until 5. It’s like you’ve forgotten that you’re in Nigeria abi,” he teased.

She put on her earrings and stuck her tongue at him. “I’m just saying. Then why did you keep rushing me before?” An hour ago, she’d been laying on the bed, watching comedy clips on Instagram. It was after Justin urged her continuously to start dressing that she came down from the bed and went to take her bath.

“I thought you were going to spend a lot of time on your makeup.” He sat down on the bed.

She shook her head and continued dressing. Almost an hour later, Justin drove to the venue of the wedding. They were neither too late nor too early for the reception. There were already a lot of guests seated in the beautifully designed hall but it had not yet started. Justin took her around, greeting a number of people and introducing her to them. “Ruby, my girlfriend.” The words were said with both familiarity and warmth. She returned their curious gazes with a warm smile and a breezy “Nice to meet you.”

The table that they were given was seated by familiar faces—Justin’s friends and their wives. Ruby felt comfortable as soon as she saw Lotachi. She exchanged greetings with the other occupants of the table and took the empty seat beside Lotachi. Justin sat down next to her. They asked about her, her new work, and how she was preparing for her exams. Ruby talked to Lotachi about her pregnancy. She’d gotten the news from Justin three weeks ago. Even though she’d sent her congratulations over the phone, this would be the first time they would talk face to face.

Not long after they sat down, Justin and the men stood up to talk with their friends. Almost as soon as they left, Blessing said loudly, “That woman is here again o.”

Lotachi eyed her. “What is your business with that one?”

Ruby followed the sharp eyes of Blessing and the other two women to a lady that was standing some distance away from their table. She was wearing the purple asoebi gown. “Who is she?” she asked.

“Don’t mind Blessing.” Lotachi didn’t forget to give Blessing another warning glance. “She’s just one of those girls.”

Before Ruby could ask “Which girls?” Beatrice was already saying, “The girl likes your boyfriend o. She has had eyes on him since forever.”

Ruby looked again at the girl. She was light-skinned. With so much make-up on, it was hard to tell if she was naturally beautiful or if it was just the make-up. But with her full chest and wide hips, Ruby was certain that her looks wouldn’t matter so much to a lot of people.

Lotachi placed a hand on her shoulder. “You don’t need to listen to them. Even though she likes Justin, he has never paid attention to her.”

“Exactly,” Beatrice said with a scratchy voice. “The other day, Lucy told me that she saw the girl with a married man. She only likes that type. The ones that already have partners.”

At first, Ruby only had a slight aversion towards Beatrice. It was difficult to like a woman that seemed to pick quarrels over little things, especially with her husband. Now, she simply disliked Beatrice, with her big mouth and lips that extended too far from her face. It must have grown that long and wide from talking too much. But if Beatrice wanted to cause trouble, she had succeeded in doing it. Now, Ruby could barely take her eyes away from the girl, ordering her in her mind to stay a thousand meters away from her boyfriend.

Soon, the reception began, some minutes past 5. Justin and the other men came back to the table.

“What is wrong?” Justin asked as soon as he sat down. “See how you’re drawing your mouth.” He raised his finger to her mouth and massaged it lightly. “I’ve told you to stop drawing your mouth like that when you’re unhappy. It’ll make you have wrinkles.”

“Says who?” She pushed away from his touch but softened the muscles of her face. "You'll ruin my make-up." She took out a mirror from her purse and looked at herself in it.

He smiled. “Later, we’ll talk.”

That was not the end of it though. During the reception, while the parents of the couple danced, a lady came up to their table and called out in a syrupy voice. “Emy!”

Ruby recognized the lady as soon as she looked. Jasmine. Justin’s first girlfriend. She did not look so different from the picture she’d seen in one of Justin’s old albums. The wide afro in the picture had been woven into tiny braids that extended down to her buttocks. And she called Justin by the shortened form of his Igbo name. It was hard to deny the familiarity and affection embedded in the appellation.

Justin stood up to give her a hug. Feeling nauseated, Ruby reached for her glass of juice and took a huge gulp.

“Wow! It’s been really long, Emy. How have you been? You just stopped taking my calls and deleted my contact, eh?” Jasmine asked. She pulled an empty chair from the next table and sat down. "How many years now? You're still angry with me?"

“I’ve been good. Well.” He grimaced.

Ruby felt a little pinch in her waist. It was Lotachi. “Who is she?” she mouthed when Ruby looked at her.

“Ex-girlfriend,” Ruby whispered.

Justin heard her and looked at her with a smile. He took her hand and rubbed them with his. “Jas, this is my girlfriend. Ruby.”

Ruby’s eyes had been on Jasmine since her “Emy!” so she saw the smile on her face turn a little cloudy when Justin made the introductions. Hmm, she thought to herself. She gave Jasmine the brightest smile she could muster and stretched her hand for a handshake. “Hi.”

Jasmine ignored her hand, settling for a half-hearted “hello.”

Justin took Ruby’s ignored hand and held it on his lap, drawing small circles on them. Jasmine didn’t leave immediately. She continued engaging Justin in conversation, asking him about his life, telling him how things had been for her. Even though Justin continued holding her hand as they talked, she couldn’t help but feel a little disheartened when Justin promised to unblock her number as they both hadn’t changed numbers since the break-up.

As soon as Jasmine left, Ruby pulled her hands away from him and scoffed. “She is beautiful.”

Justin reached for her hand again. “I’m not going to unblock her contact,” he said.

“Hmm,” Ruby said coolly.

A man called out to Justin and after promising to be back soon, Justin stood up and walked toward him.

“Don’t worry. I’m sure nothing will come out of it,” Lotachi said.

“Justin is a hotcake. It’s no wonder that many women are after him. You should be ready for things like this,” Beatrice said.

“Beaty, keep quiet,” Rita said in an authoritative voice. She’d been talking with her husband but her attention was also on the table. “It’s not every time choo-choo-choo, without any control.”

Beatrice looked away, a chided expression on her face. “Sorry.”

“She argued with her husband again. The day before yesterday,” Lotachi whispered in a very low voice.

“Are they not always quarrelling?” Ruby mumbled. She couldn’t help but glare at Beatrice, not caring to hide her expression.

“This time it’s serious, very serious. Rita said she found some chats on her husband’s phone and she confronted him. Can’t you see the way they have been since today?”

During most of their gatherings, Beatrice and her husband never seemed to be on good terms. So it was normal for them to ignore each other with Beatrice making snide comments. Otherwise would be more noticeable to Ruby.

“That’s why she wants to ruin someone else’s happiness,” Ruby quipped. Justin was now shaking a man in blue agbada, laughing widely. Even in the noisy hall, she could clearly the bass of his laughter.

“She’s like that, don’t mind her. Most time, they ignore her when she starts talking like this.” ‘They’ meant Rita and Blessing, and other female friends.

The wedding ended uneventfully for Ruby. By the end, she just wanted to go home and cuddle with Justin even though she was angry. It suddenly seemed as though Jasmine was everywhere. Ruby noticed her every movement, smiling with the bride’s parents, dancing with the other bridesmaids, exchanging words with one of the ushers. As they left, Jasmine came out to bid them—no, not them, just Justin—goodbye.

“Don’t forget to unblock my number o,” she said in that annoying, sugary voice.

Ruby repeated the words in a mocking voice as Justin drove out of the venue.

Justin chuckled.

She scowled at him. “I’m angry with you, you know? I thought she broke your heart? Why are you still smiling at her?”

“I was just being polite. That’s all.”

“Hmm. I don’t believe it. Everything she did today is just screaming "let’s get back together." Can’t you see it? Or you still like her?” Ruby looked at him pointedly. Justin was a loyal person, she knew. But while she didn’t feel threatened by younger girls that were after men with partners as Beatrice said, someone that Justin had loved and even wanted to get married to was a bigger threat. What if he still had an inkling of love for her? That inkling could be easily reignited.

“Like who?” Justin returned her look with one of surprise. “What we had ended ages ago. I totally forgot about her. I’ve not seen her in like ages.”

“If you say so.”

The rest of the ride to his home was quiet, the only sound in the car was from the stereo. When he parked the car in the basement of the apartment, he took Ruby’s hand. He could see that the doubts and fears he had struggled to get rid of were slowly coming back.

“Babe.” He called out.

No answer.

“Sweetheart.” He kissed her hand. “Look at me.”

Ruby obeyed reluctantly. Her lips were curled in a pout.

“I can only have one woman in my life. And it’s just you. Jasmine is my past. She is not coming out of there, neither is her phone number going to leave the list of blocked contacts on my phone. I love you, Ruby. You know that, right? You’re it for me. Not Jasmine or anybody else. Don’t doubt that fact, okay?”

Ruby nodded.

“So, stop being angry with me, alright?” he coaxed.

She nodded.

“And don’t think about Jasmine. Or any other woman, okay? I’ll also get jealous.”

She couldn’t withhold her laughter. “Okay.”

“That’s my girl.” He kissed her.

That night, they didn’t make love. They cuddled and breathed in each other’s scents. The knot in Ruby’s heart loosened. She drifted off to sleep listening to his deep breathing over her head.

5 Likes

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by yettielicious(f): 4:35am On May 26
Well done Cythialinlin.

Can’t access your other stories from your website, is there anything that could be done?

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Girlyy: 9:31am On May 26
Thank you OP

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Heartstrings: 11:29am On May 26
Well,it probably won't end well for Ruby.

I did not trust that Jasmine and the other lady,one of them can go to any extend

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:35am On May 27
yettielicious:
Well done Cythialinlin.

Can’t access your other stories from your website, is there anything that could be done?
I've been unable to update the payment for the site, so it's currently on hold. When it's starts running normally, I'll inform you all.

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:46am On May 27
EPISODE NINETY

The next few days after the wedding, Ruby didn’t get a good night’s rest. Jasmine might have disappeared from her sight, but her voice continually pierced through her lovely dreams about Justin. Like a nightmare. She did not mention it to Justin, even during their night calls before she went to sleep in her house. As though Justin knew what was going on in her mind, he kept up his reassurances that she was the only one he wanted. Sometimes subtly embedded in his words during their calls, sometimes more conspicuously, like in the messages he sent at irregular times of the day. It made her feel that she was being too insecure. Especially when he told her about his day with explicit details. It also made her feel ill at ease. What if he was telling her so much to avoid telling her just one thing? This question was enough to send her into another episode of overthinking.

Thinking about this affected her week so much that by the end of the week, she was sure that she was going to break down. She poured all her attention into work and studying to avoid thinking and envisioning things that were unlikely to happen. She knew if she kept up like this, it was her health that would take the brunt of it all. By the end of the week, she couldn’t keep it to herself and called Rose.


“What are you afraid of?” Rose asked when she told her. “That he will cheat on you? Or that he will get back with this Jasmine girl? Or-”

“I don’t know, Rose.” She was sitting on the floor in her room, hugging her knees to herself. Even though it felt uncomfortable sitting on the cold and hard surface, she needed the physical discomfort to distract her from the sting in her chest, especially hearing Rose voice out the fears that she had been harbouring.

Rose’s deep sigh was loud through the phone. “Ruby, are you alright? You’ve never been like this before? Did he say anything or do anything to make you feel this way?”

She dug her fingers into her palm. “Nothing… it’ll kill me…he didn’t say anything.”

Her sentences were disorganized but Rose understood. “Babe, listen to me. Ruby, I understand that you love him. I think he loves you too, in the same way. But do you realize what you’re doing to yourself? This is something that might never even happen and see what you’re turning yourself into, an insecure woman radiating doubts towards a man that loves you. This is enough to ruin your relationship with Justin, you know right?”

Ruby was quiet. Tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Listen, no relationship is easy or free of problems. I’m sure you know that. What you have with Justin is great. Even though I was also doubtful at first but after everything you’ve been telling me—Ruby, I hear the happiness in your voice, I see it on your face every time we have a video call—I have to admit, the guy is good and I don’t want you to ruin what you have with him. Because of what? Because of one girl that appeared from nowhere? Ah, this is not the Ruby I know na. Where is the Ruby that stayed with Boye even through all his girlfriends? You still trusted him even with his nonsense-”

“Justin is not Boye,” Ruby had to cut in with a petulant tone.

Rose laughed. “It’s good that you know. I was wondering if I have to come and flog you before you stop your stupid thinking. Ruby, life is not thinking “what if this happens”. No, babe. I don’t want you to lose what you have with Justin because you’re worried about what will or not happen in the future. You said you guys have talked about marriage, then where is all this nonsense coming from?” Rose ended the last sentence in a harsh voice.

The tears had dried on her cheeks. Ruby sat upright defensively. “Rose!”

“Good. Use that energy and banish thoughts like that from your mind. Stop behaving like one ajebota that has not been in a relationship before.”

“You’re annoying you know, eh?”

“Annoying but I’m the only person you called,” Rose sniggered.

She had to admit that Rose had become a little more honest since she left the country. Ruby assumed it was because she didn’t need to look at her face while she made her sometimes snide but candid comments. Even if Ruby got angry, the least she could do was to end the call and post a snarky comment on her WhatsApp status. But she also liked this part of Rose. It made their friendship seem even more real, not the kind that avoided the truth to maintain their intimacy.

“Thank you,” Ruby muttered. The fears were still there. That “Emy” in expired honey voice was still echoing in one part of her mind. What Rose did was to help her whip up the courage to face them.

“About the rent? You know it’s expiring next month, right?” Rose asked after she replied to Ruby’s words of gratitude.

Ruby groaned. She had been so consumed with work, studying and thinking that she’d forgotten about it. Rose had been kind enough. She didn’t ask Ruby to return the other half of the rent that she didn’t use. But the annual lease would soon be over. Rose wouldn’t join her to pay the other half.

“What do you plan to do? You want to move to another apartment or get a flatmate?”

“I don’t know yet.” Ruby wasn’t sure if she was willing to share the space with someone else.

“The rent has increased o. Don’t forget. The money is too much for you alone. You can get a flatmate,” Rose said.

Ruby calculated her account balance in her mind and the returns she might get from the agriculture investment that she had made. Rose was right. It would be too much if she wanted to pay for the whole thing by herself.

“Or you can ask Justin,” Rose prompted. “I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.”

Ruby sniffed. “You don’t say! I don’t want to spend his money.”

“What if he wants to spend on you. Biko, tell him o. He might prefer you to have the apartment to yourself. Who wants one stranger to be pouring sand in their garri. Make person no spoil our market.”

“You and who dey go market!” Ruby’s legs were numb as she got up from the ground. She sat on the bed and massaged them.

“Okay o. I still need to go back to work. My break is over.”

“Alright.” Ruby yawned and looked at the time. She still needed to call Justin before she went to bed.

***
She didn’t want to, but she ended up talking to Justin about her week and her crazy thoughts when he called later. She couldn’t help it. After trying to bottle everything up and keep them to herself, she gave in and talked to someone; first to Rose and then to Justin. She wondered how people kept things to themselves for years. It was only one week and she couldn’t control herself. She could only sigh at herself.
Justin was hurt when she told him. “I even forgot about her. I didn’t know you were still thinking about it.”

“It’s not just Jasmine,” Ruby admitted. “It could be anybody else.”

A helpless sigh. “You have to trust me.”

“I trust you. I really do. It’s just ...”

“I’m glad you talked to me about it. I’ve told you before, I don’t like you keeping things from me, especially things like this.”

“I’m sorry.”

“There are words that don’t need repeating every single day. At some point, they would become fake. I want you, Ruby. Just you. Not Jasmine or any other woman. You’re the only woman in my life. The closest to me besides my mum and sister. And I want it that way. I want to marry you and I want us to raise our children together. You’re it for me, alright? I want you to understand it.” He said the words slowly, enunciating them clearly, deliberately.

Ruby’s heart was beating rapidly. “I understand.”

He lowered his voice. It thickened with emotion. “I also have my fears. Like you. You’re attractive, don’t you know? Do you remember the other day when we went to the cinema? I just went to park my car and in just that short time, a man approached you.”

Of course, Ruby remembered. They’d laughed it off. But that night, Justin insisted that she spend the night at his place even though she had work the next day.

“I know you don’t have eyes for any other man except me. Just the way I no longer notice other women except the one with her smiling face on my phone screen. And I want it to remain that way.”

“Me too,” Ruby said in a small voice. She hugged her pillow to herself and buried her face in it. Her face hurt from smiling too much. What a sweet mouth. She could literally feel the sugar pumping into her blood vessels.

The call ended with sweet “goodnights” and “I love yous”. While she slept, there was no annoying “Emy!” disturbing her dreams. Instead, it was Justin’s “I want you, Ruby. Just you” that echoed in her dreams. And it was a sweet, erotic dream.



Authors Note: kiss This episode was not an easy feat to write, especially the single-pringle that I am. As I wrote, it was just "God When!" that was on my mind. Even with a silly smile on my face. Even though it's fiction, I wish all my readers find that special person for themselves. Love is beautiful. And if when you do find that person, cherish them. It's difficult to find someone like that in this age and time. But we all deserve love. I know that. One day, I will tell my own love story. And you too. grin

Enjoy your reading.

9 Likes

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by yettielicious(f): 6:09am On May 27
Thank You.

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Ann2012(f): 6:37am On May 27
Well done OP

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by heemah(f): 3:36pm On May 27
Thanks for the update

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Gloriagee(f): 7:58pm On May 27
You write well

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Teddybliss: 2:35pm On May 28
Great work Op

So many lessons learnt

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by kimannie08(f): 9:15pm On May 28
Punctuations well used, no grammatical errors whatsoever... OP, keep it up!!! I'm in love with this story.

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Girlyy: 8:50am On May 29
Thumbs up OP

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by yettielicious(f): 9:48pm On May 29
Hi dear, hope you’re good?

Please try and make the next update lengthy to make up for the days you didn’t drop anything.

Thank you.

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:35am On May 30
kimannie08:
Punctuations well used, no grammatical errors whatsoever... OP, keep it up!!! I'm in love with this story.
Thank you smiley
Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:35am On May 30
yettielicious:
Hi dear, hope you’re good?

Please try and make the next update lengthy to make up for the days you didn’t drop anything.

Thank you.



Alright. I'll take note.
Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:38am On May 30
EPISODE NINETY-ONE

For the past few Saturdays, Ruby was going to one wedding or the other. Sometimes, it was that of a friend or client of Justin’s. Most times, it was one of her friends, friends that she didn’t talk to often but needed her to buy their asoebi and show up as one of their dancing bridesmaids. The latest wedding she’d attended, the only one that she was genuinely willing to buy an asoebi for was that of Ama. After ups and downs with her husband’s family members especially his spoilt sister, they finally tied the knot. She even travelled to Ama’s village in Ebonyi state to attend the traditional marriage. During the white wedding, she also met Gideon. 

After they exchanged awkward greetings Gideon said, “I heard that you have a boyfriend now. And you left the company?”

Ruby frowned. She could guess that he had seen it through one of her social media accounts. During her fourth month with Justin, she posted their pictures together online. Two times more since then. It was not a surprise that Gideon would come across it. “I’m working at an accountancy firm now. In Ikeja,” she replied blithely. “And you? What are you up to now?”

He shrugged, folding his blue agbada. “Just here and there.”

She quirked her eyebrows at the vague reply and reminded herself to ask Ama what was up with him later.

“So you’re doing well now?” he asked.

“We thank God.” She shrugged. She looked at his face and realized how unattractive he was, especially compared to Justin. How did she ever think he was fine? His dark lips were a little too broad for his face; his eyebrows were too bushy and unkempt for her liking; even the long eyelashes that she’d formerly thought were a fine quality suddenly seemed bristly, ready to pierce anyone that came too close. She wasn’t keen on talking to him. Couldn’t he feel the tense air between them? Things hadn’t ended well with them, so why was he talking as though they were still friends?

He wanted to say something but Ruby cut him off, making an excuse that she had to go help the chief bridesmaid. Ruby didn’t know what he wanted and didn’t care. She had never been certain of her feelings for Gideon even when their relationship took an affable turn. It might have grown into something else, but whatever good feeling she had for him was halted with that phone call between them. She was back to having a dislike for him. 

***
She went to visit her mother in Kogi State after the wedding. She spent only a night as she needed to return back to work the next day. She told her mother about Justin and told her that they were already planning on marriage.

“When?” her mother asked, peeling the yams she would use to prepare dinner.

Ruby was sitting on a stool, cutting the vegetables. “Maybe next year.” She’d also thought about the ‘when’ a number of times. She was certain that she wanted to write the exams for the accountancy certificate before that, so she put a lot of effort into studying, not wanting to make Justin wait for too long. When she shared this thought with him, he’d accepted, saying he was willing to wait for her.

“You’re sure he is serious about you?” her mother asked. She put the peeled yams into the pot and placed the pot on the stove.

“Yes. I have met his parents.” When his mother came to Lagos some weeks ago, she’d invited the both of them to dinner. Since then, they had been in regular communication.

“That is good. When is he going to come and see me?” 

Ruby looked up in surprise. She didn’t expect her mother to be willing to do anything except what was traditionally expected of her. Besides, when she’d mentioned Justin to her, her mother had remained quite aloof. “I…may…maybe next month?”

Her mother sighed. “When you’re ready to bring him home, tell me. I’ll handle your father's people.”

Ruby wasn’t exactly sure how the relationship between her mother and her uncles was, especially following her father’s death. She knew that there had been an intense argument among them following the death. It was after the quarrel that they moved from the old family house to their current house. After then, there wasn’t much communication between them and their father’s side of the house. But if Ruby had learned anything from all the weddings she’d attended, especially Ama’s traditional wedding in the village, that was one of the few times that these relatives appeared from nowhere to partake in the wedding feast.

She hesitated for a while before she asked, “What happened?” This was a question she’d been curious about all through her life. Why all of a sudden most of the uncles that visited them when her father was alive, the ones that her mother cooked for, ate chicken and drank beer in the wide parlour of their former house suddenly disappeared not long after her father did.

“What?” Her mother took the bowl of cut vegetables from Ruby and placed it on the kitchen table.

Ruby looked at the expression on her mother’s face and kept quiet. Instead, she asked, “What about Eni? I thought they are on holiday now?”

Her mother sighed. “He came back and left almost immediately. He said he got a job back in school. He just came to pack all my foodstuffs and left.”

“Which job again?” Ruby groaned. The last time she called him, he’d assured her that he was going home to help their mother with her provision store.

Her mother shrugged. “Allow him. Every time he comes back, I won’t have peace of mind. He carried one carton of Indomie from my store.” She shook her head.

Ruby didn’t say anything. It wasn’t as though she didn’t do the same thing when she was at the university. Even though her mother complained, it just ended at that. If she didn’t want them to take anything from her store, she could as well change the keys or hide them where they wouldn’t find them. But it was always on the fridge in the dining room. Ruby couldn’t imagine all the loss she must have suffered from their reckless acts. 

As she thought, she sent a message to Justin. I want to renovate my mother’s shop. Turn it into a supermarket.

His reply was quick. How much do you need?

She chuckled to herself. I want to use my money for this. I just wanted to let you know. She added the rolling eyes emoji.

We can do 50-50. She’s going to be my mother-in-law, don’t forget. A wink

Ruby didn’t reply. She knew the conversation wasn’t over. Though she didn’t mind spending Justin’s money, this was something she wanted to handle by herself, something she wanted to do for her mother. Later after they talked about it, Justin conceded to her. “I can always replenish the money for you,” he said.

In the end, after talking to her mother about the issue, her mother preferred to reconstruct their old house. And turn it into tenant housing. She told her that she didn’t have the energy to look after a bigger store than the one she currently had. This time, Ruby didn’t refuse Justin’s help when he offered it. Revamping a provision store was one thing, but constructing tenant housing was a different thing altogether. The construction of the new house only began after Justin came to see her mother. Her mother treated him with warmth. They quickly got along and soon, her mother was referring to him by his Igbo name. It happened so fast before Ruby knew it. For a while, she thought she was already married to Justin, especially with the familiarity between him and her mother. But she didn’t complain. She liked it. It was left to make the union between them an official thing. Even Ruby wasn’t certain how long this would take.

6 Likes

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Blesstar(f): 5:11pm On May 30
Thanks for the update dear OP
Your story always puts a smile on my face cheesy

Can't wait for the grand wedding...
Pls, how much is the asoebi?
I want to buy o grin

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Graminyte9(m): 8:23pm On May 30
I just got my popcorn and zobo....
Booom, the update is finished? Op abeg drop another one, no vese undecided

1 Like

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