My Hustle

Chapter 2

Alexiss house was nicely decorated for Christmas. Every time in this time of the year she would be reminded of the Christmas ten years ago when she had been anticipating Tinayes return. He had lied to her. It was still strange to her how much she was still upset with him for not showing up even after promising her and getting her hopes up.

She sat on the swing at the back of her yard as she slowly swung herself, drowning in her sadness. Over the past ten years Mia had tried to make her date again and because they had become almost like sisters she could not bear to disappoint her so she went on blind dates but she always found herself comparing all those guys to Tinaye.

She sighed thinking of her past. She pushed herself back on the swing and swung higher. Her hair flew in the air making her feel refreshed.

Just a few steps behind, Tinaye watched her and he could not get his emotions in check. Without a doubt he had missed her so much and there was nothing he could think of other than hugging her. He walked towards her sturdily and stopped the swing from behind before taking the girl in his arms from behind.

Alexis froze for a moment. She knew that feeling so well and still reacted to it just as before except that feeling wasn welcome anymore.

He still smelled the same except now he used more luxury brands but that natural refreshing scent was still there. Tears glistened in her eyes. Today was the fifteenth of December and Christmas was in ten days. She got to her feet and turned to look at him. He looked so much better in person than on TV.

He smiled at her, ”Im early. Didn I promise to return to you on Christmas? Aren you excited that I came ten days before that? ” There was mockery in his voice and it made her tense. The butterflies in her stomach died down when he added, ”So tell me, am I good with surprises or what? ” his smile turned into a cold smirk.

Alexis wasn about to let him step on her either. She had hurt him before but did that give him the right to treat her like this? She sneered with attitude, ”Well, you
e ten years late. I have to admit that I am very surprised that you came to my humble home just to surprise me. ”

Tinaye nodded looking around. It was no humble home though. Her yard was huge and the house was big but one thing was right, it was slightly humble compared to his. Still compared to where they used to live when they were young after their parents died, this was heaven. The man nodded, ”One can never forget their first love but I didn just come for that surprise though. ” He smiled taking out a small red velvet box from his jacket inside pocket along with a red envelope. He handed them to her, ”This is what I owe you. Read it. ”

Alexis was surprised at how calm and composed she was in front of him but deep down she could not fool herself. She was really shocked and felt extremely uneasy. She wanted to laugh when she realized just how life had hardened her. She used to wear her feelings on her face and her heart on her sleeve but now she was able to hide everything. She had become a mystery even to herself.

She took the box and the red envelope from him feigning calmness. There was a card inside and blood drained from her face as she saw the two words on it.

MARRY ME.

She looked up at him and saw a sly smile tagging at his lips. ”Whats the meaning of this? ” she demanded.

Tinaye shrugged, ”Didn you always say that you will marry me ever since we were children? I have come to collect on that promise and fulfill our childhood dream. ” he looked at her up and down, ”Didn you always fight for our dreams? ”

Her jaw dropped, ”You are crazy, Tinaye Muza. This is craziness. ” She threw the ring box and the card at his chest. and was about to walk away when he held her back by her arm.

”Are you sure? Oh, by the way this is not a proposal or a question. This is an order otherwise Ill make everything you love disappear. ” he smirked, ”You know what Im capable of now, don you? ”

Alexis laughed derisively, ”You didn used to be like this. ”

The man shrugged, ”That was ten years ago… you changed back then. At least Im only changing now. ” he scoffed, ”Alexis, you were the only person I had. Your relatives hated me. I was lost without you and you knew that I only had you in my life yet you were so mean. Did you think I forgot that? ”

Alexis looked away. Just thinking of her history with Tinaye made her unable to recognise the man in front of her.

Fourteen years ago…

The sun was nowhere to be seen and the clouds hung heavily above like a black blanket ready to cry out its tears. With the darkness it was impossible to tell that it was already morning as it seemed like it was almost dusk. In one of the rooms a muffled weeping sound could be heard along with a soft consoling voice.

A tall teenage boy had his arm around the teenage girls shoulders as they stood by the window. His eyes were bloodshot confirming how hurt he was by the words he was hearing outside from the Nhira family as they decided his and her fate. Even he had been thinking of the same thing. What was to become of him and Alexis without his mother and her parents?

With that thought he tightened his embrace and the girl buried her face in his chest and cried some more wetting his chest with tears and snort. ”Its ok, Aly. ” God knows how he wished that was true. After the death of her parents and his mother they had no one other than each other. After having lived their whole lives in the US and having had just come here for Christmas with grandpa Nhira, the teenagers knew nothing about Zimbabwe. What they were hearing was a cultural shock to them.

God knew Tinaye could not separate from her. He would never be happy without her. She was his best friend ever since she was born two days after his second birthday. After his mothers death she was his only family but it was most likely that since he did not have relatives of his own anymore they were going to be separated. He thought Alexis would probably go and live with one of her relatives in another country while he returned to the US probably at an orphanage or foster home. That was his biggest fear.

He bend down even more as he buried his face on her neck and cried his eyes out. He wondered when he started obsessing over her. But what could he do? He was just a boy. He was just in his youth going through puberty. Youth and puberty, whats that without a bit of passion and first love?

When Alexis was six she would do all she could to get out of socializing when her parents pushed the introverted girl to have more friends. She would confidently say that she was going to marry Tinaye anyway. Her parents took it as childs play but those words stuck in Tinayes mind for years until it turned into real feelings. He pulled away and wiped her tears before lowering his head and placed a kiss on her lips.

That was their very first kiss ever. It was an innocent and honest kiss that happened without even thinking. Since then, he knew he could never be without her.

******

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