Undeniable Part 16
Keesha's nerves were on edge as she heard the sound of the key turning in the lock. "Today is D-day," she said. "I just pray God gives me strength to get through this and let AJ down as easy as possible."
"Hey babe," he said, giving her a warm hug.
"You look good," she said. "Being in London has done wonders for you." Noticing he didn't have any luggage, Keesha sensed this conversation was more serious than she anticipated.
"Did the airport lose your luggage?" she asked.
"No, the airport didn't lose my luggage, I dropped it off at my parent's house," he said trying to avoid her gaze.
"Your parent's house, but why?" she wondered. "AJ, what's going on?"
"Let's sit down," he said. "Keesha, you know that I love you right? I mean if it weren't for your faith and encouragement, I'd still be an incompetent, self-loathing alcoholic."
"Oh no, say something, she silently screamed to herself. Don't let this go any further."
"AJ, before you go on there's something I need to say," interrupting him.
"Keesha, please let me finish before I lose my nerve."
"I don't think we should get married," both of them speaking at the same time.
"What!" AJ said, unsure if he heard her correctly.
"Did you just say, what I think you said?" Keesha asked with a look of surprise.
"I don't think we, should get married, " he stated hesitantly, waiting for her reaction.
"I feel the same way," Keesha said somewhat relieved.
"Really?" he asked.
"Yes, really." Caressing his face with her left hand, "When Jason came out of that coma with no memory, you and I were two lost souls trying to find their way. We were able to lean on each other for strength, friendship, encouragement and love. But during that time, I think we confused loving each other with being in love. Now that we've both had time to heal and move on with our lives, the reality of it is becoming clear.
He took hold of her hands; " I guess you're right. This time in London has been an incredible experience for me. Working with Dara on this merger, being from under my families thumb, it's just been a wonderful growing period."
As his eyes averted her gaze, Keesha realized what he was diplomatically trying to say. "You're in love with Dara, right?"
"How did you know?" he said surprised.
"Maybe neither one of you realized it at the time, but your body language spoke volumes at your parent's party last month.
"I never saw it coming, but somewhere in my subconscious...I knew," he said, still surprised by the turn of events within the last month. "But if you knew, why accept my marriage proposal?" he asked.
"I suppose for the same reason you proposed. We were both in denial and neither one of us wanted to hurt the other. Besides, I thought we could still make the marriage work. But that would've been unfair to both of us."
"Keesha, I know this is bad timing, but I hope we can still be friends."
"Of course we can. AJ, I will always cherish our time together. I would have been a basket case, if you hadn't been there to lean on," she said.
"But, it was my fault," he said. " If only I hadn't gotten drunk, Jason would still be here." Tears filled his eyes as he squeezed her hand. "I live with that guilt every day and the thought that I'll never have my little brother again. But those same feelings, keep me from taking a drink."
"We all played a part that night AJ. I live with the guilt too," she said wiping the tears from her eyes. "I still miss him. But, thinking about the good times now gives me comfort."
"So what are your plans?" he asked.
Taking the engagement ring off her finger, "First, I believe this is yours," she said handing the ring to him.
"That ring belongs to you," he said pushing it back in Keesha's direction.
"AJ, I couldn't possibly keep this ring," she protested. "Dara's the one who should be wearing it."
"I refuse to take the ring back, so you might as well keep it," he stated. "Why don't you sell it back to the jeweler, take the money and invest it. It should be worth at least $500,000."
"Five hundred thousand dollar!" she said in amazement. "Damn!"
"Hey, only the best for my Keesha. Besides, how would it look, if I gave my current girlfriend, my ex-finance's engagement ring?"
"Will you and Dara be staying in Port Charles?" she asked.
"Actually, Dara's still in London. I'll be here for another two weeks to tie up some loose ends, before heading back, to run the ELQ division. It'll be our home for a while.
"You never told me what about your plans."
"Let's just say, I'm keeping my options open for now. But, I'm really happy for you," she said.
"Thanks. Well, I'd better get going," he said. "If you ever need anything, just call. Opening the door to leave, "Oh there's one more thing," pulling an envelope from the right inside pocket of his blazer. "This was going to be your engagement present. But, I want you to have it anyway," giving Keesha the envelope. "Wait until I leave, before opening it."
"What is AJ?" she asked, shaking the envelope.
"Call it, security." Giving her one last hug. "Good-bye Keesha."