Hi everyone, as promised, this is a second part of Karla’s story… I hope you like it! If you missed the first part, you can find it here.
Akwei woke up with a start. The lights outside had all been turned on, so Karla was definitely still around. He knew she’d be mad. Even he would be if she’d do this. But why hadn’t she woke him up? It was almost 9pm! He half-run, half-walked to the kitchen. He saw the covered plate of food, and then the note. This wasn’t good. She must have been really upset. She wasn’t one to be quiet over the things that upset her. She would speak her mind, and then have it over and done with. This was new.
He called her phone two times, and got no answer. There had to be something wrong. He found his car keys, locked up, and drove to her house – all the while, wondering what kind of apology would appease her. She was overly forgiving, that he knew. But it looked as if his luck had run out this time!
When he got to the house, Mr. Arthur was on the phone in the front garden. He smiled and waved Akwei into the house. No one was in the living room, so he knew she’d be up in her room. He knocked on the door, and walked in when she didn’t respond. She was fast asleep on the left corner of the bed. She always slept that way. Balled up in a tiny bundle. He found it cute. She said it was practical – she could sleep well even if she had half a student mattress!
She had her laptop open, and a pen and paper on it. It looked like she had fallen while writing him a note.
He missed that – her notes. In the first year and half of their relationship, she’d written him so many notes. There were the really deep, sometimes naughty love letters that surprised him at the time, (because he had thought her to be a very naïve and conservative girl), and there were those random ‘I saw a spider with 7 legs today – why would someone cut off one leg and leave the rest?’ or the ‘don’t you think I’d look good as a peacock’ notes – even the ‘I really wish you hadn’t said this to me/done that’ notes were quite cute. He also remembered with a tightening chest why she’d stopped writing them.
He’d gotten an ‘urgent call’ one evening while they were together, she had just handed him the note, and was watching him read it when the call came in. He didn’t realise that he’d tossed it aside and rushed to get dressed to leave. He needed to get back to the office to prepare for an unplanned appointment the next morning. She insisted that he could go earlier than usual in the morning to work on it, or work on it later from home. But he wasn’t having it. ‘Karla I’m not like you. If I want to make headway with this job, I have to work my ass off. I don’t see why I should sit here reading silly notes when I have something this big to work on – the note will always be here, I’ll read it later.’ She didn’t say a word. Just watched him dress up and leave, and that was the last time he ever got a note from her. He’d apologised many times, and she forgave eagerly. Yet there had never been another note!
This was probably going to be an ‘I can’t believe you ditched me all afternoon and then fell asleep afterwards’ kind of note
He smiled at himself. He really couldn’t thank God enough for bringing her into his life. She was a storm once in a while, a great thunderbolt on a few occasions, but more often than not, she really was his sunshine!
I’m writing this to you, as a final step in getting rid of my own guilt. This a note to let you know that I don’t blame you.
When we became friends a couple of months ago, I honestly enjoyed your company. You seemed like the kind of friend that would always have my back! We could talk about any and everything, and we could argue over pretty much everything. You made time for me – although now I can’t tell if all that was just a build up to you trying to get into my pants.
He couldn’t believe what he was reading. His heart was beating so fast, and without realising it, he’d clenched his hand into a fist.
I’ve seen all of the messages you’ve been sending me since the incident. Truth is, I didn’t have the heart to reply any of them. I couldn’t really understand you. I couldn’t understand how in one minute, you could become the brute you became. I was literally screaming from the pain… I felt hurt and betrayed, and there was so much fear… but you didn’t listen. I don’t think I can ever get that morning out of my head! Do you know that it was the first time I’d had an asthma attack in 6 years? And on all those nights when it comes back to haunt me, I wake up coughing, and breathless, and wishing I had stabbed you that day!
I have a boyfriend that loves me, and he’s a lovely man. You already know this – we discussed Akwei so often! He’s not perfect, no man can be. There’s often a communication lag between me and him, and then there’s the whole work and busy schedule thing. But he loves me, and I love him a lot more. But now I fear that you’ve ruined me for him!
The only reason I never said a serious no to your advances, was because I enjoyed them. I won’t lie. I liked it when you looked at me, or gave me lingering hugs. I liked how you’d look me straight in the eyes whenever I talked, and how you’d pay attention to every little thing I said. You made me feel wanted again.
I should have seen your advances as danger signs and ended the friendship – or whatever it is that it was. But I allowed myself to fall into a trap.
For a long time I thought that you broke me – you took away something that I can never have back. Nonetheless, I don’t blame you. I could have stopped it, but I didn’t. I was the enabler, and my guilt has been beyond this world ever since. It’s made me into a shell of the person I was. But definitely, I’ll rise!
I just want you to think about me every time another vulnerable ‘friend’ comes into your life. You have it in you to be a good person – I don’t doubt that. But that pride… it needs to go. And I pray you never prey on the weakness of another woman, because maybe with her, the fear won’t overcome the rage. Maybe she’ll actually stab you with a kitchen knife!
I want you to know that much as it’s taken me a while, I have forgiven myself for allowing this to happen. I can’t say yet that I have forgiven you – but then I’m only human, I am a work in progress. Who knows, one day I may be able to pass by you somewhere and hear your voice without having a panic attack. I may even be able to say hello, without reliving the past. That day might come.
But until that day, I want you to know that I have found a way to be able to look at myself in the mirror without wanting to throw up. I hope that your guilt – if you had any, changes you. I hope it takes away the pride that I failed to acknowledge in you. I hope that it teaches you to treat a woman with respect, no matter how much weakness she shows you.
Thanks to you, I’ve learnt a lesson – a couple of lessons actually….
None of it made sense to him. Karla slept with Kobby? Wait, Kobby hurt Karla? He was so confused. Why didn’t she say anything? Why did she enjoy his hugs? Didn’t he hug her enough? Did he kiss her?
Why wouldn’t she when you’re constantly working? When was the last time you just hugged her?
He felt a pang of guilt.
No this was not his fault. He wouldn’t go feeling guilty over his girlfriend’s infidelity. She had to be at fault. Probably why she became so withdrawn a couple of months ago. And that would definitely explain why she had run off when they met Kobby in the supermarket. And she really didn’t bother him about making time for her anymore – she was having a good time in someone else’s arms!
He was livid! Why didn’t she just tell him to hug her more, if that’s what she wanted? Was he supposed to be a mind reader? Humph!
Don’t kid yourself, Akwei. You wouldn’t have listened. Can you count the number of times she’s had to literally beg you to reply your emails later when she’s not around, to make a little more time for her?
He didn’t know what to think. He sat on the bed with a thud, and looked at her. She startled, but didn’t wake up. It was 10.28PM. He had work in the morning. He should probably leave. They’d sort this out in the morning. Or whenever.
As he made to get off the bed, she made a sound, and started breathing very fast. She looked like she was struggling. Then she started to cough.
Akwei was scared. She looked pale suddenly. He shook her awake, and she seemed to be trying to say something. She was pointing on the table. He looked and found her inhaler. So this is what her attacks looked like? 2 puffs, and she seemed to be calming down. She was still coughing. Another puff, and a few more less violent coughs. Her eyes were puffy. And she looked smaller than she normally was. She was still in her jeans and T – shirt from earlier.
“Akwei what are you doing here?” She asked him with narrowed eyes. Then she looked down and saw the letter. She instinctively picked it up and placed it on the drawer behind her. She couldn’t tell if he’d read it. She really hoped he hadn’t. This wasn’t how he was supposed to find out – Maybe he wasn’t even supposed to find out.
“K, I think it’s high time you told me what’s going on with you…”
She didn’t know how to react. Didn’t know if he’d already read the letter or if she should just blame some stress at work, or maybe she could feign anger at his attitude earlier today.
“I read the note you wrote…”
Her breath caught in her throat, and she coughed once more.
“You had an affair with Kobby?? And you didn’t bother telling me?”
To be continued…