Akudo put her phone on mute and sniffed.
She wiped her tears, sniffed once more, then cleared her throat before taking it off mute mode.
She did not want her mother-in-law to know she was crying.
“Thank you so much Mama Jay. You really didn’t have to.” She said.
“Nonsense!” Came the cheerful voice on the other end. “They are my grandchildren, and I miss them.”
Another tear fell, Akudo wiped it away quickly as though Mama Jay could see it.
“I know you do. I only wish I could have brought them sooner.” Akudo said, grateful her voice had not failed her.
“That’s okay. I understand. You had to do it in your own time. I am just happy it’s finally here. When did you say their school gets out again?” Mama Jay asked.
“School closes at the end of May.” Akudo said.
“Really? Then why did you tell me June? We could have made their trip longer!”
“Remember I have a job Mama Jay? I was lucky that my boss even approved three weeks leave for me.” Akudo said, rolling her eyes but keeping the smile on her face.
“Ah yes, that’s true. The shackles of the corporate world.” Came her flat response.
Akudo chuckled in spite of the tears.
She still could not believe her mother-in-law had paid for the plane tickets for her sons. Nigeria to the United States was an expensive ticket when it was just one person, but two? The woman was a Professor, not a billionaire. She had a mortgage, family she was sending money to in Nigeria, and day-to-day expenses. She did not particularly have large sums of cash lying around.
Then there was the fact that she lived in California; Lagos to New York was certainly a cheaper ticket but California?
“I suppose I will just have to make the best of it then.” Mama Jay said, her voice livening up again.
They spent the rest of the call talking about activities that Mama Jay was planning for the boys. By the end of the conversation, the tears were all gone but the smile lingered.
She was certainly looking forward to the trip, and not just for the boys’ sake. She desperately needed a vacation. She had needed one for years now but there had not been an opportune time until now.
First, she was beside herself with grief; then she was focused on fending for her boys. There was simply no money to go frolicking in the United States of America. Even now, she did not particularly have a large nest egg, so Mama Jay’s decision to cover roughly two-thirds of the ticket costs was a welcome relief.
Akudo opened up the WhatsApp application on her phone and started to type a message to Timeyin, then stopped.
What was she doing? She was supposed to be staying away from him.
She erased the half-composed message and sighed.
A new message popped into her phone.
It was from Ifunanya, and she was asking if Akudo had given more thought to what they discussed.
She was grateful that her phone allowed her to view a message outside of the application – that way, the sender was still under the impression that she had not read it. She was not quite prepared to deal with her sister at the moment.
A piece of her regretted calling Ifunanya the night of the Reunion. She was besides herself with all the emotions that were swarming in her, and had to speak to somebody. Ordinarily that somebody would have been Ronke, but Ronke was not an option at the time.
She had nobody to blame but herself for the predicament she was in. She had to go to the one person who not only already suspected she had feelings for Timeyin, but would be in support of her doing something about it.
Ifunanya was never going to let it go.
Akudo sighed and sat down on one of the couches.
She did not really have feelings for Timeyin, but even if she did; what was the point of it?
She had finally got to a point where things had stabilized in her life.
She had a handle on her finances, got a decent routine going for her and the boys, and had even started to improve on her social life. She was not going to ruin all that by getting entangled in a relationship that would lead nowhere. She had come to accept and like her life as it was, and she was content to keep it that way.
She had loved, married, and he had died.
Her priority now were her boys; there was just no room in her heart for anything or anyone else.
So when Ifunanya told her to open her heart to the possibility of dating, her response was a clear and unwavering “no.”
Besides, Timeyin had not indicated any interest in her so she did not understand why her sister was being persistent.
She got up to check on her sons.
Nnamdi, her eight-year-old, loved to read. As much as this made her proud, she was none-too-pleased when she discovered that he sometimes stayed up well past his bedtime to read his story books.
She looked downwards to see if there was any light streaming out from underneath their bedroom door.
There was not.
Satisfied, she turned back towards the living room, and helped herself to a glass of wine before collapsing onto a couch.
She let her mind wander back to the night of the reunion.
What had she been thinking of when she kissed him? Sure, it was only a kiss on the cheek but she was not going to delude herself into thinking it was platonic. There was absolutely nothing platonic about that kiss. If anything, it seemed more like the early stages of a seduction.
Akudo shook her head as if to shake away the thought.
She was on a high that evening, that must have been it. She felt beautiful, and bold; and everyone there made her feel even more beautiful than she thought she looked. Her school daughter, her old classmates, Femi, and even Nonso! They all looked at her like she was some drop-dead gorgeous being. It was more attention than she was used to. Even Timeyin, who never seemed fazed by her, noticed.
A small smile appeared on Akudo’s lips as she remembered that he did not finish his sentence. He managed to say “you look”, then trailed off.
It had made her self-conscious, but in a good way. There was also something about the way he looked at her – not like a piece of meat to be devoured, but like…something special. She could not quite explain it, but something in her had warmed.
Akudo rubbed her forehead with the heel of her free hand.
The man did not even want her, so why was she so attracted to him?
Even when he had called her beautiful, he said it like he was just stating a boring fact – like the sky being blue or a boat being a mode of transportation.
She had expressed frustration at Ronke’s insecurities by saying Ronke was gorgeous and had nothing to worry about. He had said “so are you”, then went on to explain why her opinion of Ronke’s looks in relation to her insecurities did not hold water.
Who did that?
He called her gorgeous with a straight face and no emotion. How was a girl supposed to react to that?
What’s worse, even though it was embedded in an explanation, it had still made Akudo’s heart lurch. She realised now, that it had been her undoing.
Thank goodness she had the common sense to guide her lips to his cheek. She would have been enormously embarrassed if she had gone for his lips and he pulled away, or politely told her he was not interested in her. He seemed very much like the kind of person who would have no problems doing that.
Akudo downed the contents of her glass in one swig, and got up.
She did not know if it was her heart or loins, but some part of her wanted him and that was dangerous.
She had to keep her distance. It had been about two weeks since the night of the reunion when she last saw him. Their communication had been sparse at best. It seemed even Timeyin was not keen on making anything out of that night – which was just as well because she did not trust herself around him.
Since her friendship with Ronke was troubled, the likelihood of Akudo running into Timeyin was slim.
She went to bed smiling at her good fortune. With any luck, by the next time she saw him, the feelings, whatever they were, would be long gone.
Akudo clinked glasses with Ibukun from HR and smiled.
When she had been invited for drinks by Clara, the Facilities Manager whose cubicle was one over from hers, she was sure she was going to be bored.
She never exchanged more than polite pleasantries with her, and was sure they had very little in common. However, she accepted the invite because aside from the fact that she needed to do more socialising, she was down a friend and could use some more. Then there was the fact that she was surprised Clara had even invited her. Considering she was more or less a friendly recluse in the office, it made her feel good.
The ‘gang’ comprised of Clara, who seemed nothing like the serious person she saw on a daily basis when mildly inebriated; Ibukun, HR business partner to Supply Chain who turned out to be a self-proclaimed man-whore; Dooshima, the Procurement Manager who built robots in her spare time; and Ojochide, the Payroll Manager who boasted of being able to hold her liquor among seasoned male drinkers, then went on to add that she did not bloody care who knew about it.
The venue was a restaurant that took on the ambiance of a lounge on Friday nights. The music was still at a moderate volume such that they could still have conversations without screaming, but the lighting had dimmed and disco lights were flashing various colours all over the main room where they sat.
“Finally! Somebody that agrees with me!” Ibukun said, putting his glass down after clinking it with Akudo’s. “This is a proven fact.”
“How?” Dooshima asked. “I have not seen any scientific research to back it up.”
Clara nearly choked on her drink, a little bit of it coming out of her nose.
“Are you okay?” Akudo asked, jumping to her side and patting her firmly on the back as she coughed.
When Clara raised her head, she was laughing. Slowly, her tempo rose as she tapped the table with her right hand, and held her stomach with the other.
Akudo sent confused looks to the others; she was not sure what was so funny.
Ojochide shrugged and said “just give her a minute.”
Apparently, this laughter was commonplace in their hangouts.
“Scientific research” Clara said in between laughter. “Scientific research on top Okafor’s Law?”
Akudo relaxed and smiled. She suspected Clara may have had a little too much to drink if she found what Dooshima said that funny.
She patted Clara’s back one last time before going back to her seat on the other side of the table.
“Seriously though,” Dooshima continued. “How can you even think that so-called ‘law’ holds any water? It implies that we are ruled by our sexual organs and have no control.”
“It also excuses bad behaviour. Somebody can just repeatedly have sex with an ex, could even cheat on a partner in the process, and claim ‘Okafor’s Law made me do it.’ Abeg abeg!” Ojochide added.
“I can’t believe you even think it’s real.” Clara said to Akudo, the hint of laughter still playing on her lips.
“It is real. Sex is an act that transcends the physical, otherwise you wouldn’t be drawn to an ex. I mean the person is an ex for a reason right?” Akudo responded.
“What if they still had unfinished business? Or the breakup was not a choice like…maybe two sickle cell carriers that found out late and had to break up?” Dooshima countered.
“Then what good is it to have sex? What would the sex change? If anything, the sex would remind them of what they lost and make them brokenhearted all over again. Common sense says you should stay away from someone in that situation because no good can come of it, but you end up in bed together. What is that if not Okafor’s Law?” Akudo finished.
“So actually, I saw Okafor’s law as the reason a man can always bed any woman he has previously bedded. You have given it an even deeper meaning.” Ibukun said to Akudo, before turning to everyone else at the table and adding “I like her. Why are we just hanging out with her for the first time?”
“Inviting her would have never occurred to me. Wives always give the excuse of husband and children.” Ojochide said simply.
“Am I not a wife?” Clara said, her head snapping to Ojochide playfully.
“I am starting to think your husband is imaginary sef, with the way you hang every Friday.” Dooshima joked.
Clara burst out laughing at that. Another long, drawn-out laughter.
Akudo silently resolved to ensure that Clara did not have any more alcohol after she emptied her current glass.
“It makes sense actually.” Akudo said, speaking up for herself. “I tend to keep to myself in the office so I don’t think anybody would have thought I would be up for drinks.”
“And,” she continued, giving Ojochide a pointed look. “Motherhood is like a job all on its own so if a mother can’t hang, you shouldn’t hold it against her.”
“Are you minding her? I have told her that I am waiting for her to give birth. I pray we are still friends then. I will so rub it in her face.” Clara said, sounding serious for a minute.
“Like Ojochide, I intend to be a funky mum. I must have a social life oh.” Dooshima said.
Ojochide raised both hands as if to say Clara took the words out of her mouth.
“Let me know how that works out for you.” Akudo said, smiling into her glass as she sipped.
When she put the glass down and lifted her eyes, what she saw nearly made her choke.
Walking into the restaurant with another man in tow, was Timeyin.
Akudo told herself that perhaps the pounding in her chest was panic at seeing him sooner than she had wanted to, and had absolutely nothing to do with how effortlessly handsome he looked.
The man was wearing a long-sleeved buttoned-down shirt over jeans for crying out loud. There was obviously nothing sexy about that.
She was seated at the edge of the table, with no way to crouch low without attracting the attention of her table mates. She did not know them well enough to embarrass herself like that; and from the little she knew, she would be pressured into divulging why if she did.
She had opted to put her hair in a high poof today, so there was no hair to hide behind. She was still thinking of how to make herself blend with the furniture when she noticed he was approaching them, his eyes meeting hers.
Of course he would.
She found herself giving her ensemble a quick once-over, and smoothing out the edges of her hair.
“Hey you.” Timeyin said, as soon as he got to their table.
“Hi.” Akudo said, standing up to give him a light hug.
“It’s been a while.” He said.
What did he mean by that? He stayed away just as much as she did.
Akudo mentally smacked herself, realising she was overthinking his comment.
“Sure has. Lagos and it’s stresses.” She responded, praying he would say something else because her mind was drawing a blank and she hated awkward silences.
“You remember Osas?” He said, angling his body so that the man that walked in with him became visible.
“How can I forget?” Akudo smiled, relaxing. A look passed between her and Timeyin briefly before she smiled at Osas and extended her hand. “Good to see you again, Osas.”
“These are my colleagues. Dooshima, Ojochide, Ibukun, and Clara.” Akudo pointed to each person.
“Timeyin.” He said, shaking hands with all present.
“Osas.” Osas quipped, removing a hand from his bomber jacket, and waving in their general direction.
“I’ve never seen you here.” Timeyin turned his attention back at Akudo.
“It’s my first time. The colleagues invited me for drinks, and I said ‘why not?’” She responded.
“That’s good.” He said it in that older brotherly protector manner.
“You frequent this place?” Akudo asked. She made a mental note to talk her colleagues out of this location if his answer was “yes”.
“Well, we have several places we hang; this is just one of them.” Timeyin said, casually.
Great. Just great.
“Oh okay.” Akudo said.
“Anyway, it was nice meeting all of you.” Timeyin said, turning his head to her colleagues.
“You are welcome to join us.” Dooshima said.
If Akudo were not too busy being mortified at Dooshima’s suggestion, she may have noticed that her tone had changed.
“That’s not necessary.” Timeyin said, offering a smile.
“Seriously, we don’t mind. Right guys?” Dooshima said, turning to everyone else.
“Nope!” Ojochide said.
“Not at all.” Came Clara’s response.
“Lord knows I could use the male company. These women are killing me.” Ibukun said, feigning distress.
Timeyin looked over at Osas, who merely shrugged.
“Alright then, since you are begging. I, personally, cannot stand to see men being oppressed.” Timeyin said with a smile, as he raised his hand to get a waiter’s attention.
Moments later, the waiter got an extra seat and placed it at the head of the table.
Osas took it, while Akudo scooted over to the empty seat between her and Dooshima so that Timeyin could sit at the edge of the table.
This is great. Just great. Akudo thought to herself. She could have stepped out so that he could sit in between her and Dooshima. Why had she scooted over?
Of course she knew why. She was too busy being mortified that he was here that she was not thinking straight. She needed to keep distance between them, not sit beside him.
“So what was the topic?” Timeyin asked, after he placed his order and handed the menu to the waiter.
“Okafor’s Law.” Said Ibukun.
Timeyin glanced at Akudo, and burst into laughter.
The next hour was probably the most fun Akudo had experienced in a long time. The topics were varied, the opinions even more so. Through it all, Timeyin kept everyone entertained. Akudo was too busy being surprised at Timeyin that she had not realised how relaxed she had become. He was a completely different person.
She knew he was friendly, but he seemed more like the reserved friendly type. The kind who only let that side of him show when he was among close friends or family. Yet here he was, at a table filled with strangers, and he completely had them eating out of the palm of his hands.
The waiter stopped by, and another round of drinks were ordered.
Akudo asked for water, and Timeyin asked why.
“I suspect she cannot handle her liquor. She has been drinking soft all evening.” Ibukun said.
“I just assumed she didn’t drink.” Ojochide said, shrugging.
Timeyin kept his eyes on her, no doubt because he knew she did drink, but he remained quiet. Akudo realised it was because he was not going to say anything if she was uncomfortable saying it herself.
That was thoughtful of him.
“Oh I do.” Akudo said, using her straw to stir the ice in her glass.
She was thinking of how best to explain herself, when Timeyin suddenly let out a “wooo.”
The volume had gone up, and the DJ had switched to music from the 90s and early 2000s. The Notorious B.I.G’s “Mo Money, Mo Problems” had just started playing and Timeyin started to bob to the music from his chair.
The others on the table had also started to chant words of appreciation as, they too, danced. Osas was not as dramatic as the others, but he moved his head to the rhythm.
“See ehn, anybody that does not know this song cannot call me by my first name. Prefixes allowed include ‘Sir’, ‘Brother’, ‘Uncle’, ‘Mr.’” Timeyin said, standing up and continuing his dancing.
“You forgot ‘oga’.” Ibukun yelled above the music, joining Timeyin in a standing position.
Timeyin pointed in his direction, a confirmation that he agreed with him.
Akudo could not remember the last time she heard the song, but it certainly brought back fond memories. She remained seated, bobbing her head to the song.
The DJ had a wonderful selection going. Each song made her happier, and shed more layers of her inhibitions. By the time Wyclef’s “Thug Angels” came on, Akudo was on her feet and singing every line word for word. The action surprised even Timeyin, who sent a raised eyebrow followed by a look of approval her way as he sang along.
Next came Snow’s “Informer”, and everybody including Osas was up on their feet singing along.
When the opening lines to Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” started playing, it felt like the entire restaurant let out a loud chant of glee.
Akudo walked around the table to the open area in front of it where Timeyin stood dancing. It was not until the song was coming to an end that Akudo realised that she had been dancing with Timeyin.
He must have noticed when she realised it because he quickly grabbed both her hands and kept her in position as she continued to dance, albeit a little more self-consciously.
She finally had a chance to look at everyone else and noticed they were doing the same. Ibukun was dancing with Clara and Dooshima simultaneously, while Ojochide was gyrating with a serene Osas that was doing something that resembled the simple two-step.
She was still trying to think of a way to weasel away, when DMX’s “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” came on and she lost all sense of awareness, as she started singing and rapping.
As if they had planned it, everyone at the table took turns saying the “what” at the end of each line in the verses while the rest rapped the words.
By the time the song was over, they all settled back into their seats, smiles and hi-fives going all around.
Akudo was still reeling from the euphoria of it all when she glanced down at her watch and sighed.
She announced that she had to leave, and a mild uproar went up around the table. Ibukun and Clara tried to convince her to stay, but she insisted on leaving. She did not particularly enjoy driving really late.
She hugged everyone, and made to leave.
Timeyin offered to walk her to her car, and fell in-step beside her.
“So, I saw Ojochide cozying up to Osas.” Akudo said as soon as they were outside and the music was dulled out by the closed doors behind them.
“I told you. Every single time. I don’t know what that guy’s secret is but I want it bad.” Timeyin made fists with both hands raised in front of him for emphasis.
“Anyway, let’s hope there is no heartbreak after tonight. I can’t imagine how awkward that would be for you at work.” Timeyin said, bringing some seriousness to his tone.
“They are two consenting adults. If anything goes wrong, that’s their problem.” Akudo quipped.
Timeyin stopped walking, and gawked at her.
“What?” She asked, looking back at him.
“Who are you and what have you done with Akudo?” He asked in disbelief.
“Oh don’t be so dramatic.” Akudo laughed. “My days of taking painkillers for someone else’s headache are gone.”
“Good.” Timeyin said, then resumed walking beside her.
“Thank you, by the way.” Akudo began. “I know that sound you made when the oldies came on was to distract everyone so I would not feel pressured to answer the question about why I did not want to drink.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about, I was just reacting to some good music.” Timeyin said, the corners of his mouth twitching.
“Nevertheless, I don’t think people should be made to discuss things they don’t want to.” He added some seconds later.
“I actually had no problems answering the question, but my answer would have dampened the mood at the table and I didn’t want it to.” Akudo kept her face straight ahead.
Timeyin stayed quiet, his silence urging her on.
“Edozie, my husband, was killed by a drunk driver.” She let out.
Timeyin’s head snapped up at that. “I’m so sorry to hear that.” He said, glancing at her.
“It’s okay.” She said, meeting his eyes, before returning her eyes to the path ahead. “I have had five years to come to terms with it.”
“It was a Friday night, and he was on his way home from work. The drunk driver ran a red light. He died before the ambulance made it to the hospital.” Akudo sighed deeply, then continued.
“Anyway, as you can imagine I bore hatred for the drunk driver for a while. When the day for his sentencing came, the look on his face as he begged me for forgiveness haunted me for days. It made me realise that even though I had lost my husband, he had lost his peace of mind. He would likely be in perpetual torment because his carelessness led to the death of another human being. I cannot even begin to imagine his anguish.” She paused.
“You see, so many of us drive while intoxicated. It’s worse when we are tipsy, because we are still somewhat lucid, we think we can handle it. I used to think there was nothing wrong with it, and Edozie used to tell me it was dangerous – he grew up in America, it’s a much bigger deal there than it is here. I used to think he was making a mountain out of a molehill. Ironic that it is the man who never drank when he planned to drive that died right?” She glanced briefly at Timeyin, a sad smile on her face.
“Anyway, since I have not figured out how little alcohol I can take before I get tipsy, I decided not to take any at all when I’m outdoors – especially if I am driving myself home.” Akudo ended.
They were at her car now, and leaning against the driver-side door.
“Wow.” Timeyin let out.
“I know.” Akudo breathed. “Now you see why I did not want to answer.”
“Yeah.” Timeyin’s hands were in his trouser pockets, his legs crossed at the ankles.
“So, I saw another side of you today.” Akudo said, changing topics.
Timeyin smiled. “Believe it or not, that’s what I’m usually like.”
Akudo’s brows went up in surprise. That Ini lady must have done a number on him.
“I find awkward silences uncomfortable, and developed a knack for avoiding it by engaging people in conversation. Soon, it became a part of me. However, I can go back to being my quiet self when I need to.” Timeyin finished.
“So you developed a ‘life of the party’ persona because you hate awkward silences?” Akudo asked, one eyebrow raised.
“Yes, feel free to laugh.” Timeyin said, folding his arm and feigning annoyance.
Akudo’s phone buzzed. She pulled it out of her purse and sighed.
“What is it?” Timeyin asked quietly.
“Oh nothing. Just this certification that I need to take.” Akudo groaned.
“You sound like you don’t want to take it.” Timeyin said.
“Oh I do. Aside from the fact that it will make me more marketable, the knowledge will be helpful in my current role. It is also instrumental in my chosen career path; I can’t quite get where I need to be without it.” Akudo explained.
“So…what is your hesitation?” Timeyin’s brow went up.
“I don’t know…I don’t have time. Sure I can carve out the time to write the exam but when will I have time to study for it? I can’t study at home when the kids are around, and the exam schedule is such that it doesn’t fall within their school holidays. The summer exam does, but we are spending this summer in America with my mother-in-law, so there goes my chance to study. The next exam is in less than two weeks after we get back!”
“Well why don’t you try to study as much as you can before the trip to America? Then when you return, you’ll spend the time you have left reviewing.” Timeyin suggested.
“Sounds like a great idea but even finding time to study at all is a challenge.” Akudo was exasperated.
Timeyin pushed off the car and stood in front of her. “Take me through what a typical weekday looks like for you.”
Akudo blinked. When she saw he was serious, she cleared her throat. “Okay, em..I wake up, make their lunch while Roselyn gives them a bath. I take them to school, and head to work. They return with the school bus and I get home at about 6:30 to 7:00PM. I review homework with them, and put them in bed by 8:30PM.” She finished.
“Okay, so what time do you go to bed?” Timeyin asked.
“Okay, so that gives you about two and a half hours of study time. We can work with that.” Timeyin said, sounding encouraging.
“Well, ordinarily – yes; but I am usually too exhausted after tucking the boys in to do much brain work.” Akudo said, bowing her head in shame.
She was a mother, mothers were perpetually tired; it should not shame her to admit it but it did because she knew working mothers that utilized every waking moment to the benefit of growing their careers. Why could she not be like them? Instead she collapsed into a heap on her couch and watched reality television till sleep took her.
“Okay, so let’s look at your routine again.” Timeyin said, not noticing her countenance. “You work on the mainland, so why do you get home at 7PM?”
Akudo straightened. “Actually, I can come home earlier, I just get carried away working on stuff and lose track of time.”
“Well, set an alarm to go off at 4:45PM everyday. Leave your desk at 5:00PM on the dot so you can get home earlier. Getting home earlier means you review homework earlier. Then afterwards you can lock yourself up in your room and tell Roselyn to tend to the boys so you can study.” Timeyin ended.
Akudo put her index finger to her chin thoughtfully. “As long as the boys are awake, they won’t let me study in peace. However, if I can finish homework review early, I can just move up their bedtime. It’s technically supposed to be 8:00PM but I never get home on time to finish reviewing their homework before 8. If I leave the office at 5PM, get home at 5:30PM, do homework till 6:30PM, hang with them till 7:15PM, put them in bed by 7:30PM, I will certainly have time to study!” Akudo ended with a smile.
“See?” Timeyin said, smiling back. “So, tomorrow you will register for the exam, and start working on your study materials.”
“Okay. Thank you.” Akudo beamed up at him. “I imagine you will keep me accountable?”
“You will not be able to get rid of me even if you tried.” Timeyin said, mischief dancing in his eyes.
When Timeyin left after she got into her car, Akudo shook her head at herself.
Here she was, planning an elaborate scheme to keep her distance from a man who was not romantically interested in her, but interested in helping her.
Aside from the way her heart thundered in her chest when she saw him – which she attributed to panic, her body had more or less behaved itself the rest of the evening, perhaps she was just horny the night of the reunion. Maybe the compliments she had received that night had sent her body into ‘this should end in sex’ mode.
Whatever it was, she was glad it was over. If Timeyin was able to keep her focused on this new plan to study for her certification exam, he would be doing her a monumental favour.
As she put her car in ‘Drive’, she told herself that she could be just friends with him; she just had to keep her hands and mouth to herself.