The hotel was very quiet, one could easily mistake it for a residence but they are a good number of boutique luxury hotels like this in Abuja. Abuja people love privacy and the wealthier you are in this town the more privacy you want. Abdul told me about this hotel a long time ago, said it was the place he liked to come to whenever he wanted to get away from everything and I bet Kate did not know about this.
I entered the reception thinking if I was going to ask for his room number or walk in like a hotel guest and knock on every door in the hotel. The latter could be done because it was a small hotel. “Excuse me, may I help you?” the receptionist didn’t even give me a chance to choose.
“I’m here with someone, Abdul Kareem Balami” I heard myself lie, what was she going to do to me? Beat me?
“Oh, Mr. Balami just had breakfast. You can catch him on his way to his room” she replied with a pleasant smile; and with gratitude I disappeared into the stairwell. Hopping over two steps at a time and just as I entered the second floor I noticed a guy ahead of me and moved even faster. There he was, in flesh and blood. Mr Balami himself
I took a few seconds to collect myself and catch my breath; in the act of straightening my dress, I lifted my head and saw him looking at me. I could tell that he was surprised to see me but not unhappy about it “what are you doing here?” he asked moving towards a door nearby, I figured it was the door to his room when he fumbled with the keys in his hands.
“Your wife is looking for you” I replied keeping a reasonable distance from him; if you ask me why I kept that distance, I don’t think I will ever know. Abdul looked at me, then opened the door to his hotel room “she is not my wife” he disappeared into his room.
“You coming in?” he asked sticking his head out of the frame and without an answer I entered the hotel room. It was a small and very beautiful room; you could tell that it was decorated for a rich person who wanted to be by himself in a small space. It was a very fancy room, fancy but simple. His hotel phone rang and I could hear the person on the other line address him as Mr. Balami
“They call you Mr. Balami here?” I asked when the call was over. He looked at me and shrugged “It’s my name, isn’t it?” “It is” I replied trying to control my racing heart to slow down.
“It’s good to see you. After the last time we saw, I was afraid that I will never see you again” he said putting his hand on mine, by now my heart was in my throat about to jump out my mouth. To be honest, I didn’t know that Abdul’s presence would still have this effect on me; I thought that since I had stayed away from him for so long that I was now immune to his touch
“I came here because of Kate. She came to look for you at my place” I was desperate to change the topic. The last thing I wanted to hear at that moment was “I love you”. “At least call her and tell her that you are fine, she deserves that much. Doesn’t she?” “She does… and I will. I just needed some time” he replied his hand refusing to let go of mine
“I also wanted to make sure you were fine, that is why I came here and now that I can see that you are fine. I will be on my way” I stood up and he followed suit tightening his grip on my hand.
We stood there for god knows how long looking at each other; I kept thinking what would have been, what could have been, what should have been. We are suited for each other but we let our fears, insecurities and a little bit of pride get in the way of something special.
“You should let go now” I said, we both knew that I wasn’t only talking about my hand. I was also talking about everything. It was time to let go of each other forever and move on. The tiny hope I had of us getting back together was gone. It was indeed time to let go “Goodbye Asari” he said letting go of my hand “Good bye Mr. Balami”.
That was it. I left and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel hurt or heart broken. I guess everything that happened was meant to be; perhaps there was a big lesson for me to learn from this experience. Whether I have learnt that lesson, it remains to be seen.