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I Can't Love And Be Wise

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Title: I Can’t Love and Be Wise: a personal story of Diana. Blurb: After the demise of Diana's father, she finds herself in hell...but keeps going. The mother turns her back, becomes a fiend instead of a friend and swears she would not be alive and watch her marry a mere cook -her supposed soulmate.  The crisis just begun, and in her passionate desire to turn her stumbling block (mother) into a stepping stone, she lost her to the cold hands of death.  Holy Moses! What if she is the one that killed her mother to be free to marry the love of her life? If true, then love here stands questioned and we shall know how and why ??  .

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The usual thing. 

He had done it many times. In so many ways. On different occasions.

And today wasn’t just different. 

I acted like it didn’t bother me. But it did. 

“Why would you ogle other women when I am here with you?” I wanted to ask him but was silenced by a sudden discovery. There was nothing between us. Nothing romantic. Not yet.  

I only fancied him and his way of life. But I don’t think he had the same feelings for me. So, I kept quiet and thought of putting up a conversation that would distract his eyes from wandering. 

From wandering… 

From wandering and dwelling on the curvy bums of these desperate chicks, loitering around as if they were sent on purpose to tempt my guy. 

I saw one shake her buttocks seductively when she sensed my guy was stealing some glances at her. She had a good backside, as men would say, but her head was too large to fit into her small neck. Not too ugly, though, but if I were Alex, I wouldn’t be tripped. 

I quietly shut my imagination up when I realized I had slipped into some judgment. There was nothing this lass had done to me personally. I was only making up things in my mind. Things that would ruffle Alex’s feathers, indeed, if known. 

He didn’t like it when one talked down on people. He hated to see people dehumanized. And most importantly, he thought every woman was beautiful, and the last time he checked, beauty was still in the eyes of the beholder. 

I had to distract him now; this was unbecoming of him. And I said this in my mind so loudly that it nearly slipped through my tongue. 

That was it. When you can’t endure some ailment either in the body or in the mind, you must find a way out. And one of them was breaking out of it by telling someone. Because words had power and could heal, hence, the victim stood a chance of survival or recuperation.

In this case, I wanted to tell Alex to stop pleasuring his eyes…to stop looking at these lasses, and focus on our walk. Telling him would dampen my jealousy and heal my wound, my passion. 

But I wouldn’t tell him, though, that would reveal my advances too openly and make me appear desperate. Instead, I rested my hands on his shoulders as someone seeking comfort in her lover’s arms.

And I aimed to start a conversation as immediately as I pressed my hands against his. We were tired of walking with our lips closed as if we were in a long silence for the dead. We gotta talk. 

I knew that a touch could do so many things for one and so when I touched him, there was a vibration in his body. I say this because I felt it myself. It seemed he had lacked that kind of touch for a very long time. 

It was that affectionate touch of a mother. So calming and relaxing. 

“So, tell me, what are those things worth pursuing in life?” I asked him. It came to him like a volcanic eruption. And if he had the power—probably he had— he would have evaded it. His mood right now was in contrast with my question. He looked like a baby who only wanted to eat, and nothing else mattered. 

I was not so sensitive to discover that until he looked at me quizzically and said, “This is not my problem right now,” he rubbed his hands against his hair as though an elusive fly was dinning on his head. 

His hair was cut short, that was always the style he liked to carry: higher at the front and gradually reducing in an arch until it got to the back of his head, where there was little or no hair. 

“I wish we are there already; I want to eat,” he said. “Besides, we are late.” 

“That hunger can be cured right now,” I made to say playfully but I didn’t. I wanted to tell him that if he could stop and kiss me, his hunger would vanish in a twinkle of an eye. After all, my father had endured hunger throughout the day just because he kissed my mother in the morning before going to work. 

There was something so memorable, passionate about kisses…to whom you like. It made one forget all the days of one’s life and struggles, at least for the moment. Hunger, inclusive. 

I wanted to tell Alex that…to stop and kiss me even though we were on the road. It didn’t matter so far we were not intruding on anybody’s affairs. It didn’t matter as long as we would shovel ourselves inside a corner so that we would not obstruct the pedestrians’ movement.

I would not tell him that because he wouldn’t be interested, too. He never looked at me so passionately. If he had, I was yet to know, anyway. But I knew a chunk of girls he had been admiring. Those he confided in me two weeks ago that he liked them and would want to get them. 

Each time he told me this, I burned with jealousy.

 But I had always succeeded in hiding my passion, offering him advice on how to go about those girls.

Advice, I think, was borne out of covetousness. 

“We are almost there, buddy. Don’t worry,” I said in that pacifying tone. He felt it. I knew it was enough to bring him back to his senses so that he would continue our conversation and never worry about his stomach or wave my questions off.  

“But you should have eaten before coming,” I added. That wasn’t relevant. If I could, I would have withdrawn my words. Resorting to blame now had spoiled my former sympathy. It was like administering death after you have cured a patient.  

“I should have…yeah. But I was already late. I didn’t want to keep you waiting,” he said and immediately shoved me off the coal tar. 

“Jesus!” I shouted. The timber of my voice was distinctive. I don’t think I had ever shouted in that manner. All my energy dropped momentarily.   

I had unconsciously altered my steps and was walking on the main road and there was this motorcycle so near me that if not for his clever intervention, the car would have rammed into me. But thank God for this Alex. 

“Diana, come this way,” he shielded me. I imagined what he was thinking. That he should have been the one to protect me, not the other way round. That he shouldn’t have allowed me to be at the edge of the main road by his left hand. I knew his thoughts; it was loud and clear from his reactions. 

Just a moment later, I was back with excitement. We were already a stone’s throw from the wedding ceremony. But somehow, I managed to ask him the same question, even though he wasn’t in the mood. 

I should have cared more about his mood, but I couldn’t. I wanted to know this…I wanted to know him better. I knew that would take time but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 

“Alex, you haven’t answered my question,” I said in a prideful tone. It came off so improper that he would have thought if I was okay. I should have been more cajoling but I was impatient. 

“Oh. What was that?” he asked. Like seriously. He had forgotten so soon? 

I wanted to tell him that he was a tabla rasa; that he was too forgetful for my liking. I wanted to say it so playfully that it would never occur as an insult. I paused and tried to see things through his lenses.

His memory might have been blurred from hunger, I laughed at him in my mind and then chuckled out in a way that agreed with his surprise. 

“Why are you looking at me like that?” he said. He was a bit startled I was surprised at him. He thought it was normal to forget and that I shouldn’t be bringing up some kind of strange looks. 

“You mean, you can’t remember the question,”

“Yes, I can’t. Throw it again,” he smiled proudly. He didn’t think he offended me for forgetting. Anybody could forget and he was not an exception. 

For the first time in our long walk, I saw Alex’s countenance shine through his yellow face. 

His smiles were thick and obvious. 

And this made me wonder if he was grinning because of this, or if he just remembered something or someone so dear to him. The former came close to the reason, I thought, because he had hardly smiled not when we had not said anything humorous. 

I returned the smile and asked the same question, now with fewer words: “Things worth pursuing in life?” 

“Well, for me, it is achieving your goals,” he started so fast. He didn’t think about this point. He rushed it as if it had been in his mind since time immemorial. He didn’t just say it, his tone carried the emphasis. It was highlighted as if it was the first and the last. As if nothing else was worth pursuing in life.  

But after he said this, he slowed down. And was thinking of placing another point. 

“One,” I counted and waited for more. I knew saying ‘achieving your goals’ was complicated or to put it more clearly, ambiguous. It wasn’t defined. I would say something about that later so that I could learn what he meant by goals. Some goals were not worth pursuing, honestly, I would tell him. 

His thoughts flew to different imaginative states, I sensed. But while thinking, I stole some glances at his lips; it was a nice opportunity to see those pink lips again.

If I had no control over myself, I would have rushed to kiss them. 

And why was I always thinking about kisses? 

I knocked on my head gently, as if I was shaking off every sinful thought. Was that gentle knock enough punishment to stop me from those thoughts? I wondered.

I was still waiting for the second point. It was like a herculean task to him. As if the question was as hard as a quadratic equation. A problem, Alex, found difficult in Mathematics.   

It took him a few seconds, though, to come up with the second bullet, but it appeared to me like I had waited for ages. It took forever to arrive. 

“Travelling. It is worth pursuing in life, Diana,” he said. 

I wanted him to stop calling me Diana and use pet names instead. I liked my name but Alex calling me some sweet names would bring my illusion to reality someday. It might not be achieved at the moment, but in the long run, it would make him feel something for me. 

There was power in words and repetition, I learned early in life. So, I wanted him to call me sweetheart, baby, my love, or all the other ones he used to call his classmates. 

Especially ‘my love.’ 

No. ‘My love’ would be too obvious. Baby could do. He calling me baby would mean a lot to me. It would do a lot of things to my psyche. No doubt. 

“But why don’t you call me by…” I stuttered and stopped. I wanted to tell him to call me by my short name but remembered my name was already short, ‘Diana.’

If I had said that, though, I meant he should call me sweeter names, even if it was longer. I meant he should address me with names that would spur me to fall in love with him more. Names that would open my heart and keep it ajar for the rest of my life…for him. He needed nobody more than me, I fantasized. Hoping this fantasy could be true someday. 

It was my silent prayer now and then. And I would spend all resources available to me to pursue this dream. 

“Oh. Traveling. Yes, traveling is good,” I stuttered. Traveling was good, truly. I would invest in it in the future. And no wonder I had heard my dad say it several times. 

He said that one who is well-traveled is more experienced than one who has gray hairs…who is older, he meant. 

Even wiser, my dad had added, with pride stretched across his plump face. I couldn’t have doubted him because he was well-traveled, indeed, only that he usually didn’t include my mum. 

That was the issue. Husband and wife should enjoy both pleasure and pressure. Either way, they should accept and dine with it. Because they had been bound by the Universe, God, through some conduit, the pastor or priest, or court, to spend their life together. 

In misery and happiness, in tough times and good times, let’s not forget. 

“Someday, I will travel to the Bahamas…yeap. Traveling is worth pursuing in life,” Alex said. I wanted to ask with whom? Or politely add with me. Yes, with me. I wished the Lord that had brought such thought into his head should also bring the right damsel, like me, whom he would travel with. 

I wished the Deciders of Fate, could tell him point-blank, here and now, to travel to Bahamas with me ‘that someday.’    I seriously wished. But wishes were things. Not likely to come by.

So, I hoped. It was the safest place to dwell while I awaited things to unravel. 

“Then third,” I said. I wanted him to mention at least five things worth pursuing in life.

It would create an enabling environment for me to thrive in knowing him better. For by their likes and choices, you could determine where a man is headed in life.

“Let’s talk about this later; I am still hungry. Don’t forget.” 

I had learned one or two things from him. Or about him, to be honest. So, I wasn’t bothered when he put an end to our dialogue abruptly over my daddy’s wedding ceremony.

I knew Alex would wonder why I insisted we trek when I had enough money to transport us. I knew he would wonder why I didn’t follow the family car to the wedding. But insisted he went with me. 

But I did what I did because I had to. I loved him so much that I wanted to spend some time with him, talking, and laughing about nothing. 

Hopping onto a bike would have defeated the purpose. 

Besides, only the noise and smell of passengers in a cab would be strong enough to make us uncomfortable. And I didn’t want that. 

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Dad had got another woman for himself.

He was excited and I could sense he was nearly mad. You know that kind of excitement that made one go gaga. 

It all shone in his face. He had got another woman for himself, not considering the impact it would have on my mum. 

Nearly, my mum wouldn’t have attended the ceremony. I saw her on that day, she was sitting right beside her mother. While I was sitting next to Alex, my one and only.

I saw her, with her lips decorated with some pink lipstick. It was too much that one thought she must be crazy. If I had seen her earlier, I would have told her to clean some. That was not my mum. I was shocked when I saw her in that appearance. 

She wasn’t the one being married to Andrew, my father, she was only a witness. So why the flowery appearance? I would have not dared to say this to her, though. 

Yes, she was there, life and direct, even though she nearly missed it…she wouldn’t have graced th

Heroes

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