Sade woke up with a start, beads of sweat breaking out on her forehead defiling the cool breeze from the air conditioner in her bedroom.
“Not again,” she said as she set her feet gently on the ground. She’d had that dream again. The same dream that haunted her time and again, for years.
“This has got to stop,” she said as she walked to the bathroom. Flipping on the switch in the bathroom, she turned on the tap and splashed some water on her face. She looked into the mirror that rested above the sink and cast her mind back to the dream.
She was her ten-year old self in her room playing with her favorite doll. Suddenly, out of nowhere, her father stood before her. He grabbed her hand tightly, shook the doll from her grip and pushed her against the window. She remembered kicking his leg and biting at his hand causing him to let her go. She ran out of the house and down a path she could not describe.
Her father chased after her laughing. His croaky voice sending chills down her spine. She hadn’t run too far from the house when she saw her mother smiling at her from a distance. She stopped running and felt a sudden calm within her. She turned around and saw her father had stopped running too. He had also seen her mother.
In her dream this time, as she faced her father, she felt an urge to chase after him and that she did. She chased him all the way back to the door of her home and woke up.
“Well it was about time I put up a fight too” she said out. She loved that she was able to chase her father away this time after many episodes of running from him.
Talking about running, she had also been running away from Gozie ever since they met at a coffee shop in Lekki. Even though she loved him she’d pushed him away in many ways than one, just like last night when he proposed to her.
She cast her mind back to the conversation they had the previous night before he got angry and slept in her guest room. Gozie had proposed marriage to her for the fourth time and she had refused him just as she did the first, second and third time.
“Not again Sade!” Gozie shouted as he rose to his feet “why are you doing this?”
“Please don’t raise your voice,”
“Is there someone else?”
“Then what is it?”
“I don’t know,” she said bowing her head “you can’t understand”
“Sade, you know I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Please stop playing this game and marry me,” he begged lifting her head gently with his hand
“I want the same thing you want Gozie, just give me some time,”
“How much time?”
How much time? She couldn’t even answer that. Though she loved him too much to hide it, she couldn’t bring herself to say ‘yes’ to him. Not yet.
She stepped out of her room and went to the guest room. Turning the door knob slowly and quietly, she opened the door. He was still asleep, his face turned towards the door. She admired him as he laid in bed shirtless, looking as perfect as ever. His chest heaved gently as he breathed, she could almost swear hers moved in sync with his. He had a beautifully carved face and a well-built torso. He was handsome. Perfect. Flawless. He could easily pass for an A-list model.
If he knew exactly what she was thinking right now he would definitely pop that question again or on the flip side get upset with her for the night before.
She quietly closed the door of the guest room and walked down the stairs into her beautifully decorated living room. Being one of the best and highly sought interior decorators in Lagos, she had put in her very best to make sure the apartment Gozie bought for her in Gbagada exhibited great taste in home decor.
She turned on the TV and the DSTV decoder and sat on the couch while the decoder booted.
“Boring, boring, boring,” she sulked as she switched between channels to find something interesting to watch after the decoder had finally booted.
“Let me see what Lauren Imoni’s blog has for us today,” she said dropping the remote beside her and picking her phone instead. She opened her browser and typed in the URL for Lauren’s blog.
“There you are,” Gozie said as he walked into the living room
“Oh Gozie,” she said shifting her gaze from her phone to him “you’re awake”
“Yeah, I got up after you shut the door,” he said sitting by her
“Sorry I woke you up, I thought I was being quiet.”
“Its fine,” he held her hand “I’m sorry I walked out on you to sleep in the guest room.”
“You don’t need to apologize for sleeping in the other room. It’s not like we’re a couple yet,”
“Okay,” he said “I need to tell you something. I hope you don’t get mad at me.”
“What is it?”
“I think you need to see a shrink.”
“A what? Wait. You think I’m crazy?”
“Sade! Seeing a shrink doesn’t mean you’re crazy. I really think you need help.”
“Wow.” She let go of his hand. “Funny how you moved from being sorry to me seeing a shrink”
“Listen. I have my reasons for saying so.”
“It had better be good.”
“You love me, I see it in your eyes but you’re fighting it. Maybe it’s something from your past, I don’t know but you really need to fix what’s broken so you can have a good future”
“So I can have a good future? What happened to ‘We’?”
Gozie paused. “There can’t be any ‘we’ till you’ve sorted out whatever issue you have. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be here waiting for you, to support you through all your sessions if you do agree to see a shrink but if you insist on living life the way you’re living it, darling you won’t see me around anymore.”
Sade stared at Gozie. She wanted to argue with him, to question him but she knew he was right. She had a lot of broken things to fix but deep down she’d been fighting fixing them.
She turned the other way hoping he’d think she was angry and apologize but he didn’t. He just stood up and walked back to the guest room. She would have to take his advice, there was no other choice.
Sade already had a couple of relationships that ended sourly and wasn’t ready to start another over again. She loved Gozie more than she ever loved any other man and she couldn’t afford to lose him like she lost the rest. Just like Gozie, they too wanted her to overcome the commitment phobia she had but they didn’t understand that she couldn’t just give her heart out to any man so easily. Now Gozie had just suggested a shrink to her.
She buried her face in her palms and took a long breath. If she really didn’t want to lose Gozie, she had to do something about her fear of commitment. She raised her head and got up from the chair. She had come to a resolve. She was going to face her giant back home.
Femi made his way into the popular Tim & Tim’s pub.
He was extremely tired and he could feel his soul crying out for a chilled mug of beer like a hungry child yearning for its mother’s breast milk. Other frequent visitors to the pub nodded to him in greeting as he made his way to the counter but he was in no mood to greet anyone, he just stifled a smile at them.
Tim, the bartender cum owner, had spotted him the moment he walked into his pub and already had a mug of beer waiting for him. As soon as Femi reached the counter, Tim placed the beer in front of him and smiled.
“You know just what I need Tim,” Femi said drinking some of the beer.
“Of course I do,” Tim said feeling good with himself “how are you Femi? It’s been a while since you came around”
“Yeah, it’s been a while. I’m fine though, just went out of town for some business,”
“Business uh?” Tim asked raising a brow “since when did you start going out of town for business sake Femi?”
“For as long as I can remember,”
“I see. So what kind of business did you leave town for?” Tim asked leaning forward
Femi looked away.
“Or was it to see a lady? Come to think of it, since Toyin left you I’ve not seen you with any other lady.”
Femi turned to Tim. How could he bring up Toyin’s name? The name of the lady who left him after she met a man richer than he was. He loved her with all his heart and everything he had. He still did. He wished he could forget her but it hadn’t been easy.
“Did I say something wrong?” Tim asked as Femi gulped the last of the beer and dropped the mug on the counter with a five hundred Naira note.
Femi ignored his question and walked out of the pub wishing he hadn’t stopped for his usual mug of beer. Tim knew everyone living in and around Albert Estate, Abeokuta, as long as they visited his pub for drinks. He loved asking questions too. That was how he got himself acquainted with his customers.
Femi hissed as he remembered Tim’s words and Toyin. Why did Tim have to spoil his evening?
Just as he got to the end of the street where Tim & Tim’s was located, the sky darkened and rain started to pour almost immediately, without warning.
Damn it! He cursed under his breath, wishing he had driven to the pub. There was no way he would not get drenched. The rain was already pouring down heavily and there were no cabs in sight. Knowing that running home wouldn’t stop the rain from pouring down and drenching him, he began to walk slowly and hoped for a miracle.
“This is not what I need right now” Sade said in exasperation as she tried to start her car one more time. Her car had stopped right about the time when the rain started and she was already getting impatient. She left Lagos that afternoon with the hope of getting to her father’s house before it became too late but the usual hold up in Lagos didn’t grant her desire and with the rain pouring heavily, there was no hope of her leaving the spot where she was stuck any time soon.
She looked out of the window hoping to find someone passing by, someone she could ask help from. There was no one in sight not even the roadside mechanics.
“Who am I kidding? No one is crazy to walk in this rain.”
She looked at the time from her wristwatch. It was already 8pm. She concluded within herself that she was going to spend half of her night if not the entire night on the road. Tired and angry, she began blaring her car horn hoping to ease out the negative emotions creeping in through that.
Femi heard the horn from a distance. Whoever was blaring it had been doing it for the last two minutes and it was rather loud and annoying. He had gotten to the T-junction very close to his house at the time and stopped for a moment to be sure if the sound was coming from the right or the left.
He turned to his left when the horn was blared again. He knew it was late and turning right was the right thing to do as that was the route that led to home but he wanted to find out who the person playing with his horn, in the rain, at that time of the day was.
He wiped his face with his hand to get a clear vision but it was almost of no use. The more he wiped his face, the more water got on it. He wished the rain would just stop, he had been walking home in the rain for the last twenty minutes and he was a little distance from home. He sighed as he walked further towards where he heard the sound coming from. It had already stopped and he wondered if he heard the sound in the first place. He knew he wasn’t crazy, he had surely heard a car horn and he would find out which of the cars parked on the road had someone in it.
There were four cars on the road, all parked on the left lane and parked closely one to the other. He checked in the cars starting from the one closest to him and found no one in the first three he looked into. He looked into the last car and saw a lady head bent on the steering.
He was scared. Was she in trouble? He knocked the car window and was relieved when she moved. He motioned for her to wind down the glass and she did.
“What in God’s name are you doing here?” he asked
“Well I could ask you the same”
“I happened to be on the road when the rain started” he said “Now tell me, what are you doing here? The car horn got my attention and I wanted to know who was crazy enough to be blaring a car horn in the rain, at this time too”
“I parked my car here just before the rain started so I could answer a phone call. When I was done, my car refused to start and I don’t know why.” She looked at him, he was completely drenched “come in, you really shouldn’t be out in this rain. You could catch a cold”
“Thanks, you’re very kind but…”
“Come in,” she insisted
Femi turned around, opened the passenger door and got in. The car was warm, he needed it. He couldn’t thank her enough. He knew deep down he really didn’t want to decline the offer she made him. He would be shooting himself in the leg if he did. He still had some distance to cover.
“You said your car just stopped working,”
“Yeah, bummer right?”
“I can tell you it’s not as bad as walking in this rain,” he said smiling “thanks again, I really appreciate this shelter”
“You’re welcome,” she smiled back “I’m Sade by the way,”
“My name’s Femi,”
“Nice,” she said “so do you know anything about cars?”
“Well, I know a few things. Let’s hope this rain stops soon and I’ll take a look at your car,”
“Haha, I haven’t even done anything yet,”
“There’s a ray of hope there at least. I’m just glad the horn got your attention.”
“Good. So where are you headed?”
“I stay at Albert Estate. It’s about fifteen minutes from here,”
“Oh wow, that’s where I’m headed too. My father stays there. You might even know him since it’s a small estate.”
“What’s his name?”
“Wait. You’re Sade Olurin?” Femi said giving her a once over
“Yeah, I am.”
“Wow! Who knew we would meet again,”
“You know me?”
“Of course I do! Do you remember Femi Lawrence from secondary school?”
“Yeah! Are you Femi Lawrence?”
“Oh my! You used to be really short and skinny now you’re really tall and buff!”
Femi laughed as she looked at him in surprise “Well life and the gym happened”
“This is really good. I’m glad I met someone I used to know today,”
“So what made you come back after all these years?”
“Long story Femi,” she sighed “in summary I came back home to clear my head and find myself again”
“Find yourself again? That’s deep”
“I guess,” she said and looked out the window “look, the rain has stopped. We can finally get out of here”
“Yeah finally. Let me take a look at your car and see what can be done”
“Okay, I’ll open the bonnet”
Femi opened the door and got out of the car. Lifting the bonnet, he held it in place with the metal prop rod located on the inside of the engine bay and examined the battery. “Got a spanner in your car?”
“Yeah sure, it’s in the boot. I’ll get that for you” Sade got out of the car and fetched him the spanner. She watched him tighten the bolts on the battery and wished she knew a thing or two about cars.
“Start the car.” He said calling her back from her thoughts
She obeyed quietly and turned the key in the ignition. She let out a scream when her car started. Femi closed the bonnet and dusted his palms feeling accomplished.
“I’m so grateful! Thanks Femi”
“And you’re welcome my lady,” he said taking a bow
“You’re funny, come on in and let me drive you home”
Femi pulled his towel off its hanger as he got out of the bath tub and patted himself dry, smiling as he did so. He was thinking of Sade. She looked really pretty, prettier than she did when they were in secondary school. How time flies and makes things beautiful as it does, he thought. Even though everywhere was dark, the source of light from her phone gave him the opportunity to see her perfectly. He couldn’t wait for another opportunity to see her again.
He got out of the bathroom and sat on his bed looking into space. He remembered Toyin and imagined being with Sade. He shook his head in a bid to shift his imagination to something else. Mr Olurin was a well to do man and his daughter certainly looked like she was doing well just like her father, her expensive car and perfume said so but he wasn’t like them. His bank account wasn’t smiling at all.
He would try to see her again. Thankfully, she was going to be at her father’s house till she was done finding herself. What did she mean by that? He wondered.
James Olurin sat in his favorite chair in his moderately large living room reading the day’s newspaper. He had been busy with many other things during the day, he couldn’t read the newspaper in the morning as he would have loved.
As he flipped through the pages of the newspaper, he heard a knock on his door. He wondered who the person could be. No one usually came to see him during the day much less at night. He ignored the knock on his door and continued reading the newspaper.
The knock came again, continuously, each one harder than the previous one. He got up angrily from his chair and went to see who was at the door.
“Who are you?” he asked the stranger standing before him.
Sade stared at him in surprise. Was he trying to play games with her or was he just being his old callous self? She brushed the thought aside. It had been a while since he saw her, he obviously couldn’t recognize her.
“Cat got your tongue?” he said frowning. He never liked the idea of strangers knocking at his door.
“I’m Sade, your daughter.”
“I don’t have any daughter, I never had a child.”
“What are you saying? Rose, your late wife had a child for you and that child is me.”
“Leave my house you liar. You’ve come to claim my properties too?”
“Claim what property? I came here to see you! It’s been a long time since I saw you and I drove all the way to see you again.”
“I know you may not recognize me anymore and I also know having me standing here saying I’m your daughter is awkward for you but if you just let me explain myself, you’ll remember me even before I’m done talking”
“Leave my house right now or I’ll call the police.”
“I’m sure you heard me. Leave my house! I don’t have any daughter and I have never been married. Never!”
Sade fought the tears that welled up in her eyes. What was wrong with her father? How could he say he had no daughter? She knew he was really mean to her and her late mother when she was little but did he really hate her that much to deny her?
She wanted to make him see reason with her and beg for him to let her into his house just as she begged to be a cherished part of his life years ago but the little pride in her won’t let her. She raised her shoulders high and walked down the porch to where she parked her car without looking back, hoping he would call her back and say it was all a joke. He didn’t.
She sat in her car for a while wondering where to go to. Abeokuta was a big place and she wasn’t familiar with that part of Nigeria anymore. She left Abeokuta when she was twelve with her mother, ten years before she died. Her mother had refused to take her back home to her father because of the abuse they both received from him.
Coming back home, her father still didn’t want her. She couldn’t go back to Lagos and thought of lodging in a hotel.
“Which direction do I go? Would I really have to start looking for hotels around?” she said out loud “I don’t have any friends around here again.”
She suddenly remembered Femi as she mentioned the word friend. She could go to him and beg to spend the night there since she was already familiar with him. She shook her head at the thought. She hadn’t seen him in a long while and didn’t even recognize him the instant she saw him. Would it not be too risky to stay with a stranger? She thought.
“For all I know, he could have a wife at home. Wait. If he actually does have a wife at home, I would feel safer having a like gender around.” She made up her mind to go to Femi’s house and started her car.
Femi’s house was only four blocks away, there was no stress getting there. It was an easily identifiable small bungalow on the street. She parked her car and walked to his door leaving her box behind. If he wasn’t going to have her stay in his house too, she wasn’t going to go through the stress of wheeling her box back to her car.
She rang the doorbell and waited for a response. When she didn’t get any quick response, she rang the doorbell again. She walked to the side of the house to peep into it but couldn’t see anything. Femi had pulled his curtains down and turned off all the lights in the house. Was he out again or already asleep? she wondered. He had to be home, she concluded. She dropped him off only a while ago. He couldn’t have gone out again.
She went back to the door and rang the doorbell again, this time she heard footsteps.
“Who’s at the door?” came Femi’s voice
“Sade. Sade Olurin.” She replied.
Sade? Femi was surprised. Why did she come to my house? He asked himself. Did she miss her way? He asked again. He walked quickly to the door and unlocked it. And there she was, standing there, right before him looking sad.
“What’s the matter? Did you miss your way?” he asked her
“I think I did.”
“How’s that? Mr Olurin’s house is that duplex painted in brown four blocks away.”
“With the beautiful flowers decorating its porch?”
“Yes, you’ve been there already?”
“Why did you turn back?”
“May I come in?”
Femi hit his forehead “I’m sorry. Forgive my manners, do come in.”
Femi opened the door and stepped aside for her to enter. He closed the door after her and offered her a seat in his living room.
“Tea or coffee?” he offered.
“None, thank you.”
“Are you sure?”
“My father asked me to leave his house. Can you imagine that?” she said changing the topic.
“What? Why?” he asked surprised. He took a seat in front of her and looked at her waiting for an answer.
“He doesn’t have a daughter, so he said.” She sniffed “how can he not have a daughter? I’m alive for crying out loud!”
“He said that?”
“I’m sorry about that.” He said feeling really sorry for her
“I came here to ask if I can stay the night and I’ll leave for Lagos first thing in the morning.”
“You’re free to stay for as long as you like Sade. I stay alone and so no one can send you out of here.”
He stayed alone? No wife? She thought as she looked at him in surprise. He was a very fine man and definitely old enough to have a family of his own.
“What are you thinking about?”
“You’re not married?”
“Why is that?”
“That’s a story for another day. Where did you park your car? I didn’t see it when I opened the door.” He changed the topic.
“I parked it away from here. I wasn’t even sure driving to the front of your house was a good idea just in case I get rejected here too”
“You’re funny. Give me your keys, I’ll drive into my compound and get your bags.”
“Thank you but I’ll prefer we go together.”
“No, take a rest while I go get your things.”
Sade thanked him and handed him her car keys. He left immediately to do all he said he would while she stayed back in his living room. She looked round the room taking note of her environment.
His living room wasn’t big but it was well organized and decorated. She being an interior decorator, appreciated what he did with his living room. Just as she was about standing to examine the beautiful pieces of art he used to decorate his living room, Femi walked in wheeling her box behind him.
“Thank you.” She said
“You’re welcome. I wanted to ask you something.”
“You said your father said he doesn’t have a daughter”
“Yes, I said so. Why’d you ask?”
“Before I can answer that, I need to know when last you saw him”
Sade bent her head not willing to answer. She hadn’t set her eyes on him since she was twelve and he hadn’t even asked after her since she left with her mother. Telling Femi she met her father that night for the first time in years would make her seem like a bad person. Her mother had her pulled out of the secondary school they both attended back then when they were in Senior Secondary School One and Femi hadn’t seen her since then. She didn’t want him to judge her.
“You’re not saying anything,” he said touching her shoulder
“I haven’t seen him since I left Abeokuta years ago.”
“Please don’t judge me, I have my reasons.”
“I won’t. I’m only surprised” he sat beside her “that means you don’t know about his accident?”
“After you left Abeokuta, your father remarried and one day while returning from an outing with his new wife, they had an accident that claimed her life and his memory. He doesn’t even know he was married twice. The funny thing is, he burnt every photo of him and the new wife. He claimed that she placed them in his house in a bid to steal his properties.”
“Steal his properties?” she laughed. “Well now I understand why he doesn’t remember me.”
“It’s really sad. He’s been a grumpy man since he got back from the hospital and he doesn’t have any friends. I have no idea how he even managed to secure and keep his job.”
“Grumpiness is in his nature. A leopard can’t change its spots.”
“What are you going to do now?”
“I don’t know. I came because of him and now I’m finding out this.”
Femi looked at her. She said earlier that she came to find herself now she was saying a different thing. He sat back in his chair trying to understand her.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” Sade asked
“Why exactly did you come back Sade?” he asked her
She looked him in the eye and sighed. She wanted to hide everything from him but thought against it. Maybe he’d be her shrink after all.
“I came home to ask my father some questions. Questions that had me bothered as a child and even till now. Do you know why I left Abeokuta with my mom?”
“No. Word in town then was that your dad sent her packing for committing adultery. He never refuted any of those things so we believed they were true.”
“James Olurin. Can he ever change?” she said shaking her head “my mother was very gentle, too gentle with him for my liking. He never appreciated her. He beat her at every opportunity. I wasn’t left out either. I got the beating of my life now and then.”
“I really don’t know, I can’t explain it. It seemed liked he really enjoyed doing it. He was always angry. One afternoon, my mom saved me from being sexually abused by him. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She left him for good and took me along with her.”
“Wow, I can’t imagine how terrible those times would have been for you.”
“You can’t. Don’t try to.”
“There’s something I still don’t understand. You said you wanted to find yourself, what did you mean?”
She sighed deeply. “Femi, I haven’t been able to commit myself totally to a man as I should. I’ve had different men propose marriage to me but I just couldn’t say yes. Whenever I find myself getting too close to a man, the fear of going through what my mother went through with my father haunts me and I just begin to drift away so much that they get angry and leave me. This thing is killing me softly.”
“Sade, even though I haven’t been in your shoes, I understand everything you’ve told me.”
“I’m glad you do.” She forced a smile “I have someone in Lagos who truly loves me. His name is Gozie. He has proposed marriage to me four times now and I said no on all occasions.”
“What?” he shouted, his eyes widening
“Yeah, I know it’s terrible but I’m just scared”
“Sade let me be honest with you, I won’t even ask you to marry me after the second time. I’m not that patient. You’ve got someone who loves you that much and you want to throw it all away?”
“I don’t know what to do! I came here to see my father for explanations on why he decided to destroy my life. I’ve been having nightmares of him chasing after me in his meanest form since I left here and that in itself kills me.”
Femi looked at her with pity in his eyes. She looked like she really needed help. Her father had marred in her any interest in marriage. “Can I advise you?”
“Forgive your father, go back home to Gozie and let him know all these things you’ve just told me. When he knows what you’ve been through I’m very sure he’ll help you through it and you two will be happy together as you should. Trust me.”
“The journey might be rough but you’ll scale through it, believe me. You have a lot of daddy issues and I must say, you need to see a psychotherapist.”
“Gozie told me that already. He said there would be no ‘us’ if I refuse to see one. I didn’t tell him anything about my dad. In fact, I lied to him about my father being dead.”
“You shouldn’t have lied Sade. You’ll only make matters worse when you lie, lies are not good.”
“Your father doesn’t remember you anymore and it doesn’t look like there’s any hope of him recovering from his memory loss. I won’t advise you stay here just to help him recover at the expense of your happiness. What you need now is to go home to Gozie and tell him everything. The two of you can come back to take him away from here to get help, only after you’ve gotten help yourself I must warn you. You need healing Sade. You need it.”
Sade looked at Femi, tears welling up in her eyes. He was right in everything he told her. Staying back to ask questions from her father would be useless. He wasn’t his old self anymore and couldn’t even recognize her. She smiled knowing she had received the help she came home for from someone else.
“Thanks a lot Femi, God bless you.” She smiled. “You don’t know what you’ve done for me. I’ll take your advice and speak to Gozie when I get to Lagos.”
Femi smiled “You’re welcome Sade.”
Sade beamed with smiles as Gozie lifted her veil. The Priest had given him permission to kiss her, the bride. She closed her eyes as Gozie leaned forward to kiss her, recalling the events of the last six months as she kissed him back.
She had taken Femi’s advice and spoken to Gozie about her past and her fears for the future. Just as she prayed, Gozie didn’t reject her but only loved her the more. He found for her an experienced psychotherapist to help her heal her wounds. She didn’t fight his help but opened her heart to accepting and going through her healing process and now she was standing kissing the man who loved her and who she loved in return before all who came to witness them exchange marriage vows.
Sade pulled away from Gozie and blushed as everyone cheered loudly. Being married to the love of her life made her feel like the happiest woman in the room. Well she was, thanks to Femi and Gozie for being her support.
At the reception ground, she looked round for Femi and spotted him standing alone and sipping wine. She excused herself from the midst of those she was with and walked up to him.
“Thank you Femi for what you did for me. I’m grateful to God our paths crossed in Abeokuta. Who knows, I could still be single” she laughed
“I’m happy you took my advice.”
“I know all that happened in my past can’t be erased just like that but I’m definitely not being chained by it anymore. Look at me, I’m married!” she said excitedly, showing Femi her expensive ring.
“Oh Sade, you deserve to be happy and I pray you remain happy for the rest of your life”
“You’re my angel” She said and hugged him tightly.