• Magic Romance

    Pretend Engagement – 12

    “It is shocking, is it not?” Mario said, only half smiling because he too was shocked at his own confession. “It is the truth nonetheless.”

    His eyes held their usual sincere light despite his faint smile. Still, Callista couldn’t shake off the the feeling of astonishment. “You are tempted to kiss me?”

    “It is crazy, and I frankly can’t explain the reason why,” Mario said, and shrugged, determined to say only what was true since she had demanded it. “But I am tempted to do so. I am tempted to lean in and sniff your scent.”

    “You want to sniff my scent?”

    Her eyes had gone wide, and without him understanding why, they too tempted him. “The truth, if we keep telling it to each other, is that for some reason, I am now seeing you in a way I never before saw you since we began this pretend game. I notice things about you I never before noticed and I find myself wanting to do things I’ve never before wanted to do to you.”

    “You want to do things to me?” It was crazy indeed. And more than crazy because she wanted him to do things–specific things–to her. “Why? Why do you now notice me? Why do you now want to do things to me?”

    “Truth again, I don’t know. I don’t know, Cally. I only know I have this inexplicable desire to kiss you.” It wasn’t a desire. It was an itch. An itch that bit and burned holes in him.

    Callista stared at him, her skin tingling at the way he stared back at her. “It is sex. You too want to have just sex with me.”

    It was the only explanation she could think of, and while it hurt to say it, she accepted its reality. Chukwudi had only wanted her for sex, and now, Mario was doing what he’d taunted her he would do, wanting sex from her before he would dump her.

    “I too? You mean like Chukwudi wanted from you?” If he was to be compared to any man, Mario hated that it was to that pompous fool. “Don’t belittle me, Cally, for you know I would never lie to you, and I would never use you. I might not know why I have this odd desire pumping in my veins, and it might be that lust is the reason behind it, but I will never use you. You will never be for me a thing for pleasure only.”

    “Stop it, Mario. We are friends and we need only be honest with each other.”

    “And I am being honest with you,” Mario said quietly. It hurt that she would doubt him, but he understood her wariness. “Look in my eyes and tell me you do not see the truth in them.”

    She did, and it baffled her. It scared her that this feeling of desire might not be real; that it might only be momentary.

    “What will I be to you then if not a thing for pleasure? We are only playing a game, and it is that game that has prompted this feeling inside of you.” It had to be. A false relationship was raising false feelings inside him. And possibly inside her too. “But the game is no longer necessary. I have finally put my feelings for Chukwudi in the right perspective and no longer under his spell, so we can stop now to lie to people.”

    “And you are thinking that if we stop pretending, this desire growing in me will stop too.”

    “It should, shouldn’t it, because it’s not real.” Callista swallowed the constriction in her throat, inhaled to calm herself. “It is our little game that opened this door, when we end it, as we should now, the door will again close.”

    “Cally, there are doors you open and can never again close. This might be one of those doors, I don’t know, but I want to find out.”

    “You want to find out, why?”

    “Because I am curious. Because I want to understand my feelings. Because I want…”

    “Because you want…?” Callista prompted when he stopped speaking, her heart beating fast. “What do you want, Mario?”

    “I want to give you what you never had, a man who truly wants you.”

    “You want to give me a man who truly wants me? And that man would be you?”

    “I’d like to find out if I am meant to be that man.”

    “Are you feeling sorry for me, Mario?” She wanted what he was offering to give her, but she was never again going to surrender to her desperate desires. “Is that what this is about, you feel pity for your poor friend, Callista?”

    “Do you see pity in my eyes?”

    “No. But–“

    “There’s no but if you do not see pity in my eyes, Cally. Why is it so hard to believe the truth I am telling you when you know I will never lie to you?” His eyes intent on hers, his fingers skimming back to her lip, Mario wondered if he should succumb to one temptation. “Is it crazy that I keep thinking, repeatedly and all of a sudden, that I should kiss you?”

    “I don’t know.” She was quivering, and struggling not to. “No man had ever wanted to kiss me before.”

    “What? Chukwudi…”

    “He never did. Not even once. I wanted him to, but he always said kisses were more intimate and he preferred to save it for marriage.” Callista shrugged. “I knew he was making excuses, and I figured he did because he didn’t want to kiss me. Maybe I wasn’t…am not the kind of woman men like to kiss.”

    “If you’re not, I wonder now why your lips, particularly the fuller bottom lip, are tempting me so much.” He heard the horn of his father’s car, felt Callista’s jolt, and Mario let out a sigh of regret. “Unfortunately, I will have to bury this temptation and we will postpone this conversation to another time as my folks are back. But Cally, if you ever let me, I will kiss you. And no, we are not putting an end to our game. Not yet.”

    “Why? I won’t fall again for Chukwudi, I know it.”

    “No, you won’t. I too know it. But this won’t be for him, but for us.”

    “For us? How do you mean?”

    “We are going to do what we told your mother we are doing. We are going to find out if we feel more than likeness meant for friendship for each other.”

    “But we lied to her when we said that was what we were doing.”

    “Yes, we did. But we won’t be lying anymore. I want to understand what is going on with me, and I sense you need to understand your own feelings. Or, am I wrong in my assumption?”

    “No.” Callista took a breath as she admitted that truth. “You’re not wrong. But it’s puzzling why we should suddenly feel anything for each other other than likeness and mutual respect.”

    “It is indeed puzzling, but we will unravel the puzzle.” He heard his name, shouted out by his mother, and took her hand. “Come, let’s go welcome the family. Oh by the way, don’t forget you’re my girlfriend, so put a sweet smile on your face.”

    “Stop telling me what to do, I know how to behave,” Callista said crossly, then chuckled at his mischievous wink. “You know what, Mario, I am glad you’re my friend.”

    “Boyfriend, Cally. I am your boyfriend.”

    “So you are.”

    Smiling, and weirdly happy, Callista followed him to welcome his family. Later, she would think about all he’d said, and she would decide what to do.

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  • Reply Patience January 4, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Callista has got herself a real man!

  • Reply Iyke David January 4, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Cally think fast
    No time to waste time
    Good morning TM

  • Reply Tolulope January 4, 2020 at 10:35 am

    I love how everything is turning out, am happy for cally

  • Reply Omotola January 4, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Like play like play o… Mario haf catch feelings.
    Thanks TM, have a great weekend.

    • Reply Madyv January 5, 2020 at 9:19 pm

      Is it weird that I think my heart was beating in sync with Callys’??

  • Reply Datoks January 6, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    I love this Mario guy, a real guy indeed lucky Cally

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