The Hanging Vine episode 5

*The Hanging Vine*

(episode 5)

When Love happens, you won’t see it coming neither will you be able to stop it no matter how much you try. Love doesn’t need permission before invading your heart and that’s how come you can find yourself falling for someone you once wrote off and never pictured in your future. Never in my lifetime did I imagine Oscar and I being best friends. Despite not disputing the fact that I low-key liked him as a person, I just never pictured our friendship going beyond it’s present reality at the time but here I was, staring deep into the eyes of his man that has somehow managed to sneak into my heart and get my attention. I’m not saying I was in love with Oscar already but the undeniable truth was that he was gradually making his way into my heart.

As I stood there looking at Oscar with no reply yet to his request to dance with me, he gently crossed his hands behind my back and pull me more closer to him. At that point, my breathing ceased and my palms began to get sweaty. There was a millions reasons to resist his subtle charms and advances at that moment and walk away but I just couldn’t move an inche. Instead of resisting him, I found myself liking every bit of the attention and affection his was giving to me. However, regardless of how much I was beginning to fancy Oscar, I still had my senses and willpower intact; there was no way I would be with a man that had a reputation for womanizing and being a playboy. It was just never going to happen, or so I thought.

While still looking into Oscar’s eyes, I finally summoned the strength to speak. “I don’t want to dance with you, I’m sorry. I have work to tend to and didn’t come here to dance. By the way, you didn’t tell me you would be coming here too even after I gave you hints that I would be here tonight” I calmly said as I tried to free myself from his grip. On seeing that I wasn’t going to consent to the dance, he further tried to talk me into accepting his request. “Sophie it’s just a dance and just so you know, I came because you told me you would be here. Even though my dad was the one invited, he accepted my request to represent him since he would be busy today. I couldn’t let go of a golden opportunity to see your beautiful face again. I miss you Sophie, please take my hands and dance with me” he said.

By that time, I honestly had no reason as to why I shouldn’t dance with Oscar. Fine, I admit I was trying to play hard initially but after he was done speaking, I had no reason to deny him this dance. Without the need to prolong the talk any further, I agreed to dance with him.

As we held unto each other and swung ourselves from one direction to the other, the atmosphere began to get heated up. Oscar couldn’t stop staring into my eyes as we dance. He occasionally ran his fingers through my hair and smiled often. At first, I was uncomfortable with the subtle Intimacy exhibited by Oscar towards me by as we got deeply engrossed in the dance, I began to feel something deep for him too.

With every beat of my heart, I longed for more affection from Oscar. He really did seem gentle, pure and genuine towards me but that was just too good to be true. I was still fighting to hold my guards up and not give into the fire he had lit in my heart. “Oh Lord, he smells so good” I muttered to myself as I held unto this complicated man that was bad for me. Despite being aware that Oscar contradicted every good morals, values and standards I stood for, I just couldn’t stop my heart from falling for him. Trust me, I tried my best but it wasn’t just good enough to stop the fire in my heart for him.

For over ten minutes, Oscar and I danced in each other’s arms and at last, the dance came to an end. As we loosened our grip from one another, I instantly became shy. Oscar could see through me to know that I was shy at that moment. Before he could say a word, I excused myself and walked away to the bathroom.

While inside the bathroom, I tried as much to catch my breath. I stood in front of the mirror trying to calm myself down as much as I could. The emotions I felt that moment was a lot to handle so I needed some time to digest everything. After spending close to 5 minutes in the bathroom, I left and went back into the party.

Immediately I walked back into the party, I went to the bar to get a drink. When I was done getting another glass of champagne, I sat down on a chair and began to survey the whole party indirectly looking for Oscar but couldn’t catch a glimpse of him. Despite being worried that he might have left the party, I quickly brought back my focus to the party and tried to round up so I could leave too. After meeting the organizers to thank them for inviting my company. I said my final “goodbye” to a few partners of ours before taking my leave.

As I stood at the main entrance awaiting my Uber ride which was four minutes away, a car I had never seen before drove and parked in front of me. Before I could move away a little to make way for whomsoever the car was there to pick up from the party, the window wined down and Lo and behold, it was Oscar seated in the driver’s seat.

“Hey mama, get in let me take you home” Oscar said with a smile on his face. Despite being a bit happy to see him there after I thought he had already left, I didn’t let my excitement show one bit. “Thanks for the kind gesture but I sadly can’t join you in your car, my Uber is already on the way to come get me. Have a goodnight rest” I casually said.

When I was done talking, Oscar chuckled and smiled because he knew I would turn down the offer. I believe at this point he was beginning to get used to the kinda person I was so my rejections weren’t getting to him like it used to. He knew I was scared and didn’t trust him so at this point, he was more focus on proving to me by actions that he meant well since mere words wasn’t getting the job done.

On seeing that I was still bent on being stubborn, Oscar alighted from the car and walked to where I was standing. He folded his arms and looked into my eyes. “Sophie, please just let me take you home. It’s getting really late and I would be more at peace knowing you are safe in my car than in the car of an unknown driver. I know you don’t trust whatever comes out from my mouth, neither do you trust my intentions or motives towards you but please, don’t let your doubts about my personality or character stop you from seeing that I’m not a monster wanting to devour you. Just let me do certain things for you once in a while, I believe that’s what friends are for” he calmly said.

Truth be told, I was tired of judging and blacklisting Oscar at this point and really wanted to give our friendship a chance. Despite suspecting that he might have strong feelings for me, I didn’t want to assume anything he hadn’t said to me and also, I began to pray that whatever friendship we had wouldn’t supersede the friendship level because honestly, Oscar wasn’t my spec: I usually preferred calm, cool headed and reserved guys, those were my spec.

While Oscar and I were still going back and forth with the ride offer, my Uber arrived and I had to speak to the driver on the phone. “I am here” the driver said and I told him that I was standing at the entrance. Few seconds later, he drove into the entrance. “I have to go now, would have joined you if I hadn’t already booked my ride home” I said as I walked towards my Uber ride. Unable to take ‘No’ for an answer, Oscar walked towards the Uber driver to speak to him. Before I knew it, he paid him off and told me it’s been settled.

As I stood there looking dumbfounded as to what just happened, Oscar held my hands and walked me into his car. He tuck me in the seatbelt before walking across the car to take his seat.

While seated in Oscar’s car for the first time ever, I was really uncomfortable but had to act cool. When he got in and started the car, I stopped him from driving. “I don’t trust you, that’s the truth. I can’t act like everything is ok and that we can be friends when I literally saw several photos of you with many ladies in a club. They weren’t only caressing you but you were also rocking them on the dance floor. Different ladies in all photos and you expect me to believe all is fine and that you are suddenly this angel that has changed. If there’s something I know, it’s that people don’t just change out of the bloom. Don’t pretend to be a changed person because I have heard so much about you and these accusations are recent. I don’t know what you want from me but please leave me alone. Don’t think you can make me one of your trophies because your motive is dead on arrival. I thought I could seat here and pretend like all is fine but that’s not happening” I angrily said and tried to forcefully open the door but he was fast to lock it from the master control lock on his own side of the car.

Immediately I turned to ask him to open the door, my eyes jammed with his and for the first time in my life, I could feel a man’s heart hurting. Oscar’s eyes spoke a million words as to how broken he was within. The fact that I said all those things without considering his feelings made me feel bad. Just when I wanted to apologize for being insensitive, he spoke up.

“Sophie, what else do you want me to do to show you that I mean well for you?. Do you think I don’t judge myself more than you judge me? Do you think this is the life I want for myself? Do you know what it is to be the black sheep of my family? Do you know how it feels to be constantly compared to my siblings? Do you know how much I have cried? Do you know the mental and emotional damage my parents has caused me since the day I was born? Do you think I like my wayward life? Why can’t just one person ever see the light in me? Why do you all choose to condemn, detest and judge me every chance you’ll get?. Sophie, I’m trying to be a better man but you keep making me question my efforts. I need you in my life because I feel you are just the right kind of person I need now in my life whether as a friend or anything else. Please stop judging me, I beg you. Be the only person in my life that can look beyond what mere eyes can see in me. The truth is that I Love you Sophie; I always have and always will. I’m not asking you to be my girlfriend just yet, all I want from you is your genuine friendship. You are free to take as much time as you want to think about accepting me into your life, I don’t want to rush you into anything. Please don’t leave my car, let me just take you home” he sadly said.

At that moment, my heart was equally broken. I felt horrible for everything I have put Oscar through. When he was gone speaking, I began to cry. “I’m so sorry Oscar, can I hug you?” I asked with tears falling off my eyes and without hesitating, he wrapped his arms around me. We hugged for a really long time before we loosen our grip from one another. I was still shading tears and he used his palms to wipe my tears away. “Please stop crying, nothing is your fault. Let me take you home now” he said and drove off.

In no time, we arrived at my house and said “Goodbye” to each other. He left shortly after dropping me off and I was now alone with my thoughts. It was tough sleeping that night but I tried to catch some sleep regardless.

Days turned to weeks and weeks to months and It’s officially been two months since Oscar and I became good friends and technically besties. We saw each other almost everyday and had each other’s back through anything. With my influence, he began to quite smoking, staying out late at night, clubbing and being entitled. He still had a long way to go but this was a good step in the right direction and we were seeing good progress. I knew he still had some skeleton in his cupboard when it came to being intimate with ladies. He was extremely sexually active so I knew he was definitely getting satisfaction from somewhere even though he never told me about that area of his life.

As Oscar’s friend, I didn’t want to cross my boundaries and invade deep into his personal life. He had a really long way to go in becoming a changed man but the baby steps were celebrated. I just wanted to be there for him as much as I could as his best friend but still guided my heart not to fall for him. Oscar was just too complicated for my kind of person but that didn’t mean he wasn’t generally a great guy.

For all these while Oscar and I were friends, my best friend Dora was still not aware and it killed me every passing minute to know that I was keeping something like that away from her. We usually talked about everything so it was unfair to keep her in the dark.

The reason why I was keeping the truth away from Dora was because I knew she won’t be in support of me being friends with Oscar. I felt she would be disappointed in me and probably judge my decisions so I decided to keep that detail about my life to myself but not until the truth came out unplanned one fateful day and ruined everything.

It happened that Dora and I were supposed to link up together at a restaurant to have brunch one Saturday but I had to shift our outting to Sunday because Oscar and I already made plans to have brunch same day. I felt horrible for shifting our ‘girl time’ outting but I had to do so because Dora and I see each other almost everyday in school but Oscar just returned from a one week trip out of the country. On a normal day, I wouldn’t have chosen him over my best friend but sadly had to because both of them were now my besties from different gender.

Unknown to me, Dora also had other plans to meet up with someone at the same restaurant we were having brunch. While Oscar was gisting me about all that happened while he was away, my heart skipped several beats when I saw Dora walk into the restaurant. She was quick to sight us because we were seated close to the entrance. Immediately she saw me with Oscar together in one space, she instantly filled in the gaps.

The way in which Dora looked at me broke my heart into tiny pieces. I could see the disappointment and betrayal she felt towards me in her eyes. While still contemplating on what to do, I got up and said “Dora it’s not what you think, let me explain”.

But before I could finish my sentence, Dora walked away.


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