Thursday, 3 May 2018

MARRIED Episode 6-8


Jessica had her mind set to disobey that order and her hand stayed poised in the air but Miss Bolu smacked her hand which was already on the phone
“Hello” Miss Bolu said, knowing that the person speaking was at the gate. “Yes, this is the Adams’ residence… ok” she dropped the intercom and turned glaring eyes at Jessica. “I don’t want to see you outside, do you hear me?”
“But why?” Jessica pouted with puppy eyes.
“Just do what you are asked to do young lady”
Jessica nodded with a meek smile, only she should have remembered that the ever stubborn Jessica doesn’t listen to anyone.Miss Bolu stepped out and opened the main gate. “Good afternoon” she greeted the man in front of her, who was looking like someone who just left the battle front. “Please, how may I help you?”
“My name is Tony; I came to deliver information.” He became silent. Miss Bolu urged him on, feeling dread creep into her system.
“Actually, there was an accident along the express and after checking the valuables found on the victims, we noticed that they are the Adams Family”
Miss Bolu had frozen as her pale face stared at the equally pale face of the reporter. She did not hear the gasp behind her as she grabbed the pedestrian gate for support before she fell from the blow. An image caught her eye and she spun with alarm as she stared at Jessica who stood rooted to the ground.
“Jessica…” she gasped.
The words Jessica had heard continued to echo as she stared ahead, seeing nothing. It was until tears had slipped out of her eyes that she again saw the bad news bringer and Miss Bolu. She wiped the tears instantly and marched forward, standing in front of the man before Miss Bolu could even think of what to do or say.
“Where is my Mummy?” she demanded. The man looked totally at a loss. “Where is my daddy and my brother? Their snacks are inside. Where are they?” she yelled.
The man bent down to her level, the way her dad usually did, holding her hands. As Miss Bolu placed her hand on her shoulder, she lost it. She snatched her hands from the man and grabbed his shirt with her small fists. She was shivering. “Where is my mummy?” she yelled, shaking the man with all her strength. “I want to see her. I want to see my daddy.” She gasped. “Where is Mark? Where is my brother? I still have not beaten him at the computer game yet, where is he.” She wiped her tears furiously because it was hindering her from seeing the man clearly. Miss Bolu tried all she could to detach her from the man who just stayed with sorrow written all over him, without touching the child but she did not succeed. When Jessica discovered that shaking the man was not working, she started pounding her tiny fists on his chest the way she had seen in all those movies she watched with her parents.
She had noted that it always produced results. Finally, the man held her firmly with his strong hands.
“Ok, let me take you to them.” He said, smiling faintly but tightly. “Go and put on your shoes.” He said gently.
You see? She knew it always produced results. “No. I can go like this. Let’s go” she wiped her eyes again. Miss Bolu could not even get a grip on herself, not to mention, console the child. Mr. and Mrs. Adams had been like parents to her. The man insisted until Miss Bolu went in to get Jessica’s shoes, and locked the door.
When they got to the car that the man brought, Jessica’s hand was shivering so terribly that she could not hold the handle of the car. The man opened the door for the ladies and went being the wheel. He could not even think of any word of consolation to use. He hadn’t exactly told them the worst part of the news but he knew that they had already drawn up their own conclusions. He would have been able to handle it if the little girl hadn’t been involved but seeing the girl tearing apart had almost driven him crazy. For the hundredth time, he thought of quitting his job. He sorely hated being the bearer of bad news
When they got to the hospital, he hesitated but Jessica pushed through the door, he hurriedly went on. Before he left the hospital minutes ago, the little boy had been alive, though in grave danger. He hoped and prayed that the boy was still alive but immediately they got into the hospital he knew that the prayer hadn’t been answered. There, Jessica’s life became altered. Without being told anything by anyone, due to her age, she was still able to fathom what the news was. A trailer had collided with the car; she heard someone say. Suddenly, the smell of blood and drugs hit her like a slap. She imagined that the blood of her parents and her brother was what she perceived. She grabbed her expanding head and screamed…..
PRESENT…
She clutched her purse tight as the scene of over 18 years replayed over and over again. She had cried and cried secretly but never in the presence of others. She quickly wiped her brimming eyes and blinked. The driver was watching her now and she realized that they had stopped moving.
“Are you alright ma’am?” he asked softly with worry.
She smiled. “I am fine. Thanks.” She stepped out of the car and walked towards the shop, hoping that her friend would be able to lift her spirit. It was like life always threw her battles.
“Who am I seeing?” Lizzy yelled immediately she saw Jessie.
“Jessie baby” she hailed. “The sexiest S.U bride in town. My sweet peperenpe”
Jessica frowned at the endearment but internally, she was glad. If there was someone who could make her feel extremely happy with words, it was Lizzy. “Na who be S.U?”
“Who else my dear?” Lizzy hugged her fiercely then suddenly pulled back. “Hold it. What are you doing here? You shoul d be on your smoking hot honeymoon, lying on your back while Mr. Handsome spoils you senseless. Don’t tell me you guys got fed up of each other’s company this fast. You both seemed so much in love that you got married barely two months after meeting.” They sat down on the chair.
No one was in the shop except clothes.
“He had to quickly fix some things at the office so I decided to visit you”
“Wait” Lizzy raised her hand in surprise. “You are trying to say that your honeymoon was put on halt because of work? That Andy is really something; I knew he is a workaholic but didn’t think he would go this far.”
“No, he had something very important to sort out at work today and I advised him to go. Besides, we still have the rest of our lives together, right?” she lied.
Lizzy tried to think about it then shrugged it off, as her face brought on a ladylike smile. “Forget that! Tell me babe, give me the gist. How is your honeymoon going, most importantly… how was the wedding night?” she winked at Jessica. “Give me the smoking hot details”
Jessica doubled up and almost threw up at the question. She looked pale. Jessica realized that it had been a very terrible idea to come to Lizzy. Lizzy was always direct and it was increasingly difficult to lie to her.
“OH… I had forgotten that my SU friend can’t divulge that information. In fact, pardon me, it was inappropriate. It was not like I actually wanted you to tell me, precisely, just wanted to see your reaction, and I got it” Lizzy said, misinterpreting Jessica’s reactions.
That was the lifesaver that Jessica needed. “I won’t tell you. See you, it is a secret between married folks” she grinned too -brightly. “But you can follow me to the beach. I guess Andy won’t be back until it is almost dark. You have been to the beach, you can teach me how to play in it and possibly swim”
Lizzy’s eyes widened and she stood up instantly. “You don’t have to ask me twice”
“What about the shop?” Jessica asked, laughing.
“You are forgetting one thing sweetheart, I own the shop. It can do without me today” she closed the shop and they both went into her apartment where she fished out some beach-fitting smug clothes.
Jessica and Lizzy arrived Eko Tourist Resort and for the first time, Jessica knew that she would be having a lot of fun. They had both talked endlessly on their way there, even though almost all the references Lizzy was making were of the gossips she had heard ever since Jessica got married. She talked about her own sudden popularity as the friend of Andy Williams’ wife and how trul y, her Twitter handle had skyrocketed with amazingly new followers.
When they got to the beach, Lizzy looked longingly at the wide expanse of water. She wore small shorts with a tank top with a dark sunshade, looking like a real beach babe. Surely the beac h hasn’t been graced with anyone prettier! She wanted to play in the water but one glance at Jessica had her frowning.
“You are not entering that water in this flowing gown, are you?” she said, giving Jessica a thorough scrutiny.
“What is wrong with this dress? I just knew you would begin another lecture here again” Jessica sighed. Lizzy was obviously the wrong choice today.
Lizzy smiled. “No honey, I am not giving you a lecture here, I am giving you a dress-up. You are the most beautiful SU I have ever seen, once I am done, you would be as good as new” Lizzy grinned. “You would be the queen of this beach” she declared, spreading her arms wide as she looked around the beautiful scenery again.
“Did you bring a full wardrobe with you?”
“I am sure I could use scissors and blade to bring out a new design from your clothes. Let’s go”
They entered the beach house and Lizzy opened her mouth in astonishment. “This place is heavenly Jessie” she gasped with wide eyes. All the while, Jessica had been thinking of how to stop Lizzy from entering her room. She knew that with one glance, Lizzy would know that Andy never slept in that room.
“Why don’t you wait here Lizzy, while I go in and change?”
“And have you change into another mother in Israel gown? No honey, let’s go”
“Lizzy, the room is meant for Andy and I only, stay here, I promise to put on something you would like” s he flashed her teeth in a grin.
Lizzy snorted. “I doubt that very much but what can I do, right?
Even if you have to change fifty times, you would wear what I approve today. Now, go on” she ordered, giving Jessica’s buttocks a playful swat.
“Ouch” Jessica moaned, the finally moved towards her room.
“Yes, your majesty”
Jessica was gone for some minutes while Lizzy took in the beautiful sights before her. She brought out her digital camera and started snapping pictures. Inside the room, Jessica stared at a large number of clothes, most of which she hadn’t worn in a very long time. she knew Lizzy enough to know that she would not rest until she had her way. What harm can come of it anyways, she wondered. It would just be for a few hours!
Lizzy was busy snapping the beautiful parrot she sighted at the balcony when the door opened. She turned with the mind of condemning whatever Jessica was putting on but her mouth dropped open when she stared at the figure in front of her. She walked towards Jessica slowly and Jessica had a knowing smile on her face.
“Snap out of it woman, it is a crime for a woman to be looking at another woman like that” Jessica dropped with a grin.
“Holy mother of Jesus” Lizzy exclaimed. “Look at our SU… babe, turn around, let me see you”
“C’mon stop that and let us go” as she made to go, Lizzy pulled her back. “Stand here, let me give you some shots; I must show the girls. They surely would never believe this!” Jessica had no choice but to stand like a statue while Lizzy snapped away. Jessica was putting on a three-quarter army green trouser which clung to her legs like a second skin and a butter coloured sleeveless top. Lizzy had always known that her friend was gifted with a perfect body that any woman would kill for. She almost found herself being jealous of her friend’s curves and narrow waist – and the narrow waist was really narrow. Even the wedding gown hadn’t brought on this effect.
“I think my next line of action would be to burn up all those 1975 clothes you have in your wardrobe”
“In your dreams. Now, let’s go before I change my mind” Jessica was already feeling creepy.
“Of course honey, we can’t waste this cloth… I just wish Andy were here. Anyways, he has seen something more glorious that this, if you know what I mean” she winked suggestively.
Jessica snorted, shaking her head as she walked out.
*****
Jessica had a very nice time playing in the beach but men were constantly disturbing her. Her irritation towards men increased when she realized that their only appeal towards her was her body. They could almost strip her naked with their eyes. Even though Lizzy was receiving her own fair share of admirers, she had come to Jessica’s rescue by warding off the advances of men, telling them that she was married.
“Men are so stupid, the only thing they are after is s-x” Jessica murmured with anger.
Lizzy smiled and bent to pick up a shell. “Then I guess you are lucky to be married to someone who does not have s-x as his priority”
“S-x is not even on the list” Jessica said without thinking and almost bit off her tongue.
Lizzy laughed slightly, turning towards Jessica. “You must be kidding; every man wants s-x, unless he is impotent”
Jessica swallowed. “Yeah, of course. I was just saying that s-x is not Andy’s priority” Love comes first.
“I am of the opinion that love comes along with attraction; and I mean physical attraction”
“Of course”
Lizzy looked at her directly and Jessie felt uncomfortable. “Are you hiding something from me?”
Jessica thought of a safe landing. “We all have got things to hide Elizabeth”
“True, but is there something you feel I should know?” Lizzy pried further.
“Like what?”
“I don’t know… Maybe like ‘why you don’t look like a newlywed’”
Jessica paled slightly. “What? I was married four days ago, besides, how am I supposed to look?”
Lizzy was about to say something, then she shrugged it off. “I was pulling your legs girl.” She looked up and suddenly grabbed Jessie’s hand. “See that wave? I won’t miss it” The tension oozed out of Jessica as she raced with Lizzy towards the water, even though she knew that Lizzy was not merely pulling her legs.
*****
“How could you do a thing like that son?” Mr. Williams was yelling on the phone. Andy had been postponing this call but now, he didn’t have to. He had done the wedding without his father’s consent. His father had been in Germany on an important business trip when he got married. He had intentionally fixed the wedding for that time. Mr. Williams had been preaching marriage to Andy, ever since he became thirty because he said it was good to ‘make hay while the sun is still shinning’ but Andy was not ready for any commitment. Everything had become complicated when his father introduced him to a girl on his thirty-fourth birthday. The girl was the spoilt daughter of one of his rich friends and they were already talking marriage. When they would not yield to Andy’s refusal, he decided to take a step. Hiring a bride had been the best solution to his dilemma and he had been so happy when he found someone who was also opposed to marriage. He knew that if his dad were present, he would know that the marriage was a farce.
“I did what you have been asking me to do dad”
“You got married behind my back? Do you know how happy a man is when he sees his son getting married?”
“I am sorry dad but I had to do it. I felt that if I told you, you would object to the wedding. I can’t get married to Sylvia dad” The very idea horrified him.
“Still you sho uld have told me, I am your father, I had to watch my own son get married on the television, like everyone, since you couldn’t tell me until the last minute. I had to cover -up every time my friends asked me why I couldn’t attend. If your mother were alive, she-”
“Please don’t go there again dad” Andy sighed. They had been arguing this issue for almost an hour. Andy’s mum had died while giving birth to Andy. Andy was the second child and the only son of his parents. His sister was married to a Ghanaian guy and they had two strikingly beautiful girls to show for it.
“All the same son, I am so happy for you. I would be in Nigeria soon so you’d better be prepared to face me. ”
Andy smiled. His father could never stay angry with him for long. Andy was exactly like his father; they were both stubborn and always had a way of having what they wanted, no matter the cost. Andy knew that he needed to get a very convincing story for his father, if not; the elderly man would see his ploy instantly.
*****
Jessica had sent the cook back to her house in order to see to the cooking herself. She had changed back to a long skirt and a small top after Lizzy left and she really wanted to do the cooking herself. She knew that if she had spent those hours in Sonia’s company, she would have not been this happy. Lizzy was so perfect when you need a good time.
She looked at the ingredients in the small shelf and decided to cook jollof rice. She fried the chicken first, enjoying the delicious aroma that filled the kitchen. She rinsed some fresh tomatoes, onions, green beans and carrot in order to add colour to the food.
Melodious tunes escaped her lips as she sliced the tomatoes and the other condiments into bits.
Andy cleared his throat and Jessica shrieked, almost hitting her finger with the knife. He tried unsuccessfully to hide his grin as Jessie put her slender hand against her heart. “Did you have to startle me?”
“I never knew you could be frightened by anything” he walked towards her. He had been standing at the entrance for some seconds, watching and listening to Jessica as she worked and sang. He never knew she could sing or that she had a lovely voice.
Jessica turned back to her work, taking out the brown chicken from the pan and replacing them with fresh ones. She did not like having people sneak up on her; it was always so frightening and unnerving.
“How was your day?” Andy asked her even though he was staring hungrily at the chicken in the perforated bowl.
“It was fun”.
She saw his hand go out slowly to touch the inviting chicken and she smacked it, raising her finger in warning. When he tried to take it again, she blocked it with her body and faced him, but she instantly knew that she had made a horrible mistake. She had to bend her head backwards in order to look at Andy. He was standing devastatingly close and he put his hands on the cabinet on either sides of her, successfully trapping her. “What are you doing?”
His eyes held a level of laughter and amusement. “You are the one who put yourself at my front”
“Let me go”
“Are you frightened” He moved closer, making it very difficult for her to breath.
Jessica shook her head. “Of course not, You would not do anything improper, so I am safe with you”
“Nothing I do with my wife would be improper Jess” he took his hands off the cabinet and they dropped to her waist, giving her a measured level of panic.
“Drew” she gasped and he lowered his head instantly. His lips were just a breath away from hers and Jessica’s eyes dropped shut.
Their breath mingled and Jessie’s heartbeat quickened then Andy dropped a kiss on her cheeks and stepped back. Jessica’s eyes flew open and it settled on Andy. He held out a fried chicken and put it in his mouth for a bite.
“Hmmm… Delicious” he murmured and walked slowly out of the kitchen. Jessica stood, shaken and stunned by what just happened as she tried to regulate her racing heart.
To be continued…

Episode 7
Two months into the wedding and Jessica was already feeling extremely frustrated. Ever since they left the beach after the pathetic honeymoon, Andy had gone from bad to worse, leaving the house at seven and arriving a little before midnight when she would have been fast asleep. At first, it did not bother her because she was overtaken by the massive and tastefully furnished house, but after spending a week in the house and was already used to its beauty, the house bored her.
The maid and the gateman in the house were the only people she talked with; asides that, she talked with herself alone. When she had said ‘Yes’ to Andy, she never imagined it would be this bad. Bad? The word didn’t even do her situation justice. The way Andy had been behaving, it was like he could not even stand one second of being in her company; he even always looked for one reason or the other to go out on Sundays. Somehow, she wondered if her stay would have been worse than it already was if Andy had stayed at home more. It was a Saturday and Andy was obviously at work so Jessica decided to spend the time with her friends.
The three women decided they would all come over to Jessica’s house since they hadn’t visited her since she got married. Jessica was happy about a little fun even if it would last for just a few hours.
She entered the kitchen feeling some level of excitement. “Well done Ada” she greeted the maid.
“Thanks ma” the young girl responded, smiling.
“Uhmmmmnn… I love this aroma”
The girl grinned. “It must be the chicken” she said.
“I think it is the combination of rice and chicken. What is yet to be done?” Jessica asked, needing something to busy herself with.
Ada looked critically at everything. “I think the only thing left undone is your appearance ma” she smiled. She had become friends with Jessica and now she felt comfortable chatting with her madam the way she would normally chat with her friend.
Jessica frowned. “What is wrong with my appearance?”
“You need to look like the hostess ma. You are not dressed yet”
Jessica put her hands on her hips. “Now you sound like Lizzy. What is wrong with what I am putting on? I am not going anywhere”
Ada let her eyes roam over the body of her boss and tried hard not to grimace. The gown Jessica was putting on was specifically for someone who was twice her size and Ada wondered why Jessica was always trying hard to look unattractive when it was not even working. Despite the shabby dresses Jessica wore, she still looked exceptionally outstanding with her spotless round face and a lengthy hair to die for.
“Anything would look good on you ma’am” Ada said.
“Hmmm, why the change of tone now? Don’t worry, I would change the clothes”
Two hours later, Jessica was waltzing down the staircase in a beautiful but similarly big gown. Ada saw her and shook her head. She sat in the sitting room and put on the TV, relaxing her back as she waited for her friends. She was hungry but she wanted to eat with her friends, so that they won’t be eating and she would be looking due to an already filled stomach.
She heard the doorbell and went there happily before Ada could even think of leaving the kitchen.
“Open this heavenly door Jessie” she heard Lizzy say and she smiled. Paulina’s ‘Comport yourself’ was not lost on her too as she opened the door with a big smile on her face. The ladies screamed and cooed in delight as they fussed over Jessie.
“See this small babe of yesterday ooo, your face is so fresh and your cheeks are fuller” Lizzy said with delight.
“Oh please” Jessica giggled.
Sonia kissed Jessica’s cheek. “I have missed you honey”
“Me too dear” Jessica said truthfully and stared at Paulina. “It is only proper that I greet the mummy of the house last right? I have her to thank for making the rest of you look so dashing”
They laughed.
“If I don’t take care of them, who will?” Paulina asked dramatically.
“We are old enough to take care of ourselves mummy” Lizzy and Sonia chorused and they all laughed.
“Well, get your little butts inside before you drill holes into the entrance” Jessica said and they all left the entrance.
“Oh my God, this house is dynamite” Paulina exclaimed as they all murmured one thing or the other about the house.
“Comport Yourself” Lizzy said to her and Sonia laughed at them.
“Babe, you are enjoying ooo, this house is amazing. You are the luckiest babe on earth” Sonia said.
“Lucky” Jessica muttered silently under her breath as they all sat down.
Ada came to the sitting room and greeted everyone before whispering something into her boss’ ear. Jessica nodded and Ada left.
“Well ladies, let’s eat first before we have a nice chat or we do both at the same time”
“Neglecting your table manners?” Paulina asked with a raised eyebrow. Sonia and Lizzy rolled their eyes and Jessica almost did the same.
“Maybe. How does fried rice, salad and fried chicken sound to you guys?”
Everyone jumped out of their seats and headed for the dinning.
“I think we can forfeit the table manners for today” Paulina said.
*****
They had all eaten and were busy sipping drinks. The food had been so delicious that they all ate their fill and even more. It was even more delicious, filled with their happy chatters. Jessica had missed this.
As they sat in the sitting room, they talked about everything that came to their minds.
“How is life as a married woman” Paulina asked after some time. Jessica swallowed slightly. “Life is beautiful. You should all get married”
“Yeah, we are working on it” Sonia said, focusing her eyes on the decorations on the wall.
Lizzy was in thought and Jessica was curious as to what she would say. Lizzy was the one who always saw deep into things and people; that was one of the reasons why Jessica always tried not to spend so much time with her alone, especially when she had something to hide.
“How are you coping with Andy’s work schedule?” Lizzy asked pointedly.
Jessica swallowed, thought of lying then decided that it may not be a good idea. “It is my cross but I am coping. It can be hard not to have him around most of the time but it is fine, we understand each other” Jessica said with a smile.
“I only wonder why he has to go to work every time. I mean, he is the owner of that money-making company which already has its wings spread across the country, why should he work himself half to death when he has more than enough employees?” Lizzy continued.Like I have not asked myself the same question, Jessica thought.
“He has shareholders to answer to and he is already used to the office, you can’t blame him”
“Well, to me, if his going to the office is what brought about this beautiful house, he should continue his workaholic routine” Sonia said.
“Sonia” Paulina called. “Money would not kill you. Banker”
“Is it easy?” she retorted.
“Jessie, are we expecting Andy junior?”
Jessica choked on her drink at Paulina’s question. She coughed as the drink clung to her throat and made it impossible to talk. The ladies muttered apologies until she became calm but she caught Lizzy’s curious look. “Most times I forget the type of friends I have” thinking of a way of escape, she faced Lizzy. “Liz, have you settled your dispute with Alex?” It worked because everyone started talking at once.
“Don’t mind this stubborn girl, she refused to apologize to him o” Paulina said.
“Why should I apologize when he is clearly at fault? He did not remember my birthday and he wants me to just forgive him when he has not begged properly? Abeg free me jare” Lizzy said and hissed.
“I agree with her, the guy should take off his pride and apologize” Sonia said.
“I think Sonia should apologize nonetheless, I mean, men are scarce these days, we should hold on to ours firmly” Paulina pointed out.
“She is right” Sonia said again.
Jessica heaved a sigh, happy that she was not the subject matter again.
Andy sat on the chair in his office the next day doing absolutely nothing. He should have gone home hours back when there was almost nothing for him to do but he could not imagine going home. Although Jessica always dressed like a saint who was still living in the era of his forefathers, he felt drawn towards her. That day in the kitchen during their honeymoon was a day he had desperately tried to get out of his mind. Standing so close to her that day had made him aware of her perfume which was totally feminine. He had always known that she was beautiful because he would never have picked someone less beautiful to be his wife for a day, not to mention a year, but that day, he had come to the full realization of her exquisite beauty. He had noticed that she did not have black pupils but instead had dark grey.
The realization had stunned him. But most of all, he had been thrown off balance by just how slim her waist was. He could not remember how his hands had managed to get to her waist but he couldn’t have been more surprised when he noticed the slim waist she had. He hadn’t really paid attention to it when he had held her close on the beach, his anger hadn’t allowed him that much. The dresses she always wore were big enough to hide her waist and hips but ever since that day, he kept on imagining what was beneath every beige cloth she wore. His eyes had never even seen her legs before. He had decided to use work as a good distraction and it worked to a certain extent.
His phone rang and he frowned when he saw the caller. Dad? The number proved that he was already in Nigeria.
“Dad?” he said immediately he picked up.
“Yes son, how are you doing?”
“Are you in Nigeria?” Andy stood up from his chair.
“Yes I am. Get ready to receive me in your house tonight because I would be having dinner with you today”
The alarm sounded in Andy’s head. Trust his father to always put them on the spot. “What? I mean… why didn’t you tell me you have arrived Nigeria? When did you arrive?” Andy was pacing.
“This afternoon. I would be at your house in three hours’ time. I need to see my daughter in law face to face and not some unclear picture, although she looked stunning in those wedding pictures and tapes.”His dad ended the call and Andy stared at the phone in agitation.
Three hours! The words echoed in his head. How was he going to convince his ever suspicious father that he and Jessica were in love?
Jessica was a strong headed girl, how was he going to convince her to act like a loving wife, perfectly enough to convince his father? Does she even know how loving wives behave? He wondered. He took his car keys and his suit jacket and left the office instantly. He dialed his best friend and assistant to tell him that the office was in his care. He had a feeling that he was in for a long night.
*****
Jessica lay on the chair, reading a novel. One thing she loves about the house was the study which was filled with all kinds of books. She had found a novel which looked interesting and was occupying herself with it. She was surprised when she heard Andy’s car horn. He never arrived around six and she knew that something was out of place. She stayed where she was, even though she was curious.
Andy entered and she lifted her head with a nonchalant look on her eyes but the look faded when she saw him. His suit jacket was in his hand along with a nylon and his car keys were on the other hand. His shirt which her eyes focused on was buttoned halfway down, leaving his muscled chest partly visible. She swallowed and looked at his face.
To be continued

Episode 8
“Good evening Drew. You are early”
“It is necessary. My dad would be here soon”
“Your dad” she muttered as the realization slowly dawned on her. Her eyes slowly widened and Andy fought back an amused smile.
“He is coming here?”
He nodded with a faint smile and Jessica jumped to her feet at once. “My dad is one man who can’t be fooled easily. I don’t know if you can act like a love-struck woman.”
Jessica frowned. “I believe I can be or do anything if I decide to. The question is, ‘can you act a love-struck man’?” she smiled slightly.
“We don’t have enough time to act a proper rehearsal so I guess we would both find out the hard way. It is either we both are poor actors or we are both meant to be in the movie industry”. He smiled and remembered what he was holding. “I got you a befitting gown” he said and stretched the nylon to her.
“Befitting” she muttered, hating the word.
“Well, you refused to go shopping every time I mentioned it and I can’t have you meet my father in one of those gowns you always put on.” Why was she making this harder than it should be? She collected the nylon and removed the cloth inside. It was a multicolored gown which had ‘expensive’ written all over it. She removed the nylon that was used to cover the gown and let it fall to the ground.
“I noticed that you love clothes that goes all the way down to your feet so I got this which has a long hand to go with it, but it is still elegant and speaks of class” he explained nervously as she quietly scrutinized the cloth.
The cloth was beautiful, very beautiful, she admitted to herself.
“It is beautiful, but I can’t put it on”
“What? We are not going to argue about this again!” His frustration was obvious now.
“I don’t mean to be rude but your dad is going to know that something is fishing if I put this on. This cloth is meant for an important event and not just an indoor dinner. What I need to put on is something simple but also classy.”
“Well, we don’t have time, let’s go for it. My dad would be here any minute”
“I have what I need.” She said.
Andy’s eyes turned round. “You do?”
Jessica refused to let his infuriating gaze annoy her. “Yes. I would go and freshen up, tell Ada to make the food ready for three” she turned and left Andy standing there.
Andy grimaced at the thought of what Jessica would put on. And who was she to give him orders? He should be the one dishing out the orders. Fuming, he went to tell Ada what to do. After an hour, Andy still did not see Jessica. He wanted to inspect the cloth she would put on to see if it was fit. Even though he did not really think much of classy dressing and the likes, he knew that his father would expect his daughter-in-law to dress like a ‘William’. He wondered which oversized dress Jessica would choose to put on; he already had a number of them imprinted in his medulla. The car horn he heard almost made him jump.
He called Jessica’s name but heard no response. Knowing that he was doomed, he went to the door and opened it. Seeing his father after more than five months shouldn’t make him nervous but he was not sure how the evening would turn out. He saw his father step out of the car and he walked up to the elderly man with a cool smile.
“Dad” he called.
Mr. Williams turned with smiles. “Son.” He hugged Andy, patting his back. “I have missed you. How is Nigeria?”
“Nigeria is still the same old busy place. Why didn’t you inform me of your arrival? I could have picked you up”
“That is why I have a driver. Where is my daughter-in-law?”
“She-”
The door opened and he turned. When he saw the person at the doorway, he blinked and froze altogether.
Even if the heavenly trumpet sounded three times in a row, Jessica was certain that Andy would not have heard anything. He seemed to be glued to the place he was standing beside his father, as he gazed with disbelief in his eyes. Her normally bold personality instantly became self-conscious as she fidgeted beneath his gaze, which was penetrating, despite the distance. The dress she had on was totally modest and good for the occasion which was nothing spectacular other than meet her father-in-law whom she should have met a long time ago. That fact alone made the occasion more spectacular to her in an odd kind of way.
She was putting on a short gown for the first time in a very long time. The short gown was slightly above her knees, though it was not the clinging type; it was sleeveless which left her shoulders and hands bare. She suddenly felt exposed as Andy’s eyes bore into her. Noticing that they had been staring at each other for some time, she quickly moved forward, and notice d the elderly man which was clearly Andy’s father, was looking at them with amused curiosity. Great! And the evening is yet to begin! That Andy got his height and good looks from his father was not to be denied. The man was still very attractive at his age. Andy looked a bit different from him facially and Andy wondered what his mum looked like.
“Sir”, she moved forward quickly, not knowing the proper way of greeting one’s father-in-law.
“Good evening dad” she bent to kneel down but the man held her back.
“C’mon, give your father-in-law a hug” he pulled her into his arms, enveloping her in a bear-like hug and Jessica remembered her father.
“I am so sorry sir” she said as she pulled away. “I feel like I have done something terribly wrong. We never should have gotten married without your esteemed presence” she hurriedly said. “I told Andy severally that we should wait for some time until you are back from your trip before we get married but he refused” Andy was still lost in trance and it bothered Jessica as she was trying her best to cover up.
“Do I blame him? He is a William; we grab opportunities when we see them. Frankly, if I were in his shoes, I would want to take you off the market as soon as possible because you are a rare commodity”
Mr. William was making her look like a product which was for sale but the funny thing is that she did not feel insulted, in fact, she felt flattered.
“I always wondered where Andy got his good look s from, now I know” she smiled.
The man adjusted slightly, seeming pleased with the compliment. “Well, he is a combination of his mum and I, he is one selfish boy, right?”
Referring to Andy as a boy was strange to Jessica’s ears. Andy was not doing anything to help her and she didn’t know if they would be able pull this farce through if he continued to gap at her like a deaf mute. “Yes sir, he can be so selfish” she nudged Andy with her leg.
“Yes, tap him, he seems to be lost in cloud nine” His father said. Jessica hadn’t thought that her father-in-law saw her. The man’s eyes seemed very alert and that alone unnerved her.
She smiled nervously. “He is always like this when I put on this gown, I don’t know why” she shrugged with a strained smile.
The man laughed. “Then make sure you put it on when there is a quarrel, it might save you the stress of apologizing.” Jessica laughed and was relieved when Andy seemed to be back in their midst.
“Come daughter” Andy’s dad put his hand around Jessica’s shoulders as he walked inside, leaving Andy to tag along. “Tell me about yourself”. Jessica noted with alarming clarity that she would be dealing with her temporary father-in-law by herself.
*****
Andy had never been so shocked in his entire life. Jessica had landed him a heavy blow which knocked away his senses. When the door had opened, he had had a mental picture of what he was expecting. He had expected a lady in a long oversized gown with long hands; never in his wildest imagination did he think that she would appear the way she did. It had taken a few seconds to fully accept the fact that he was staring at Jessica.
Her skin glowed under the evening light, everything about her was different. Her hair was not packed the way she used to; she packed half of the hair at the front, leaving the ones at the back to fall of their own accord. The length of the hair was more pronounced and the rich black colour called him to have a touch. Her shoulders and hands were bare before his prying eyes and it glowed like she had just moisturized them. The smoothness was so obvious and it took so much effort to take his eyes off them. He shuddered when he stared at her body. He wondered how she could effectively hide all she had beneath those God-forsaken clothes. Her waist was even slimmer than he had been imagining for weeks, he was sure that his two big hands would circle her waist perfectly. He swallowed hard, blocking his mind to the battle that was going on in him. His eyes skimmed her slim long legs till he got to her feet and almost groaned. It was too much to take in. He always knew she had a very beautiful face but now, it was striking even though she had no makeup or jewelry on. As she talked with his father, he heard nothing as he gazed at her with amazement. She was smiling widely. He couldn’t pinpoint when she ever smiled, apart from the time he had seen her at the beach with that slim guy. He was angry that she was not smiling at him, and that he was not the cause of her laughter.
He struggled to hear what they were saying and could not hear anything because his mind was so preoccupied with her body to even entertain other thoughts. He started hearing what was being said towards the end and he received another round of torture as he walked behind them into the house. He had to endure her perfect back view without groaning.
*****
Jessica was surprised that she had enjoyed the evening. Andy almost could not take his eyes off her, making it difficult to concentrate on keeping up with the charade but Mr. Williams was a very down-to-earth man, and she found herself relaxing, forgetting the pretense.
When they finished eating, they went to the sitting room to relax. She was about going to sit on the single-seater when Andy pulled her to sit with him on the long couch. At first his touch shocked her, then, remembering that they were not alone, she relaxed.
Andy could not keep his hands to himself, and he was becoming jealous of his father, who seemed to have the ability to make Jessica laugh. The small curved couch was small and when they sat down, they were so close to each other in a disturbing way. Their bodies practically pressed together and Alex wished he could be left alone with his wife.
“You two seem like you just met yesterday. I am almost invisible” Andy’s dad murmured.
“It certainly feels like yesterday” Andy said looking at Jessie who did not look at him. The idea of his dad becoming invisible was becoming more appealing by the second.
Mr. Williams looked at them curiously. “Tell me how you two met”
Jessica stopped short. “Why don’t you tell dad the story Drew?” she gave Andy a dazzling smile that turned his heart.
“No, you tell him honey” he said, too distracted to think about a convincing story.
She placed her palm tenderly on his chest and his heart raced.
“Oh, c’mon now, you are a better story teller”.
That moment, Andy knew that whatever she wanted she would get. He couldn’t stomach denying her anything at that moment. His dad was looking at them with curiosity.
“I was sitting with Jeremy at the balcony of his house when I saw her taking a stroll. She was dressed in this disgustingly big dress that was big enough to fit into an elephant” he grinned.
Jessica frowned and moved, leaving Andy’s arms. “That is the sexiest thing you ever said to me” she looked hurt. He tried to pull her back into his arms but she did not allow him. “You never told me you hated my cloth. I am flattered”.
“C’mon baby, those clothes do nothing to attract the opposite s-x”
“So what attracted you then?” It was Andy’s father that spoke.
Jessica raised her eyebrow, expecting an answer. Andy swallowed and almost said ‘desire to be free from a planned marriage’ but caught himself in time.
“I can’t pinpoint what it was. Maybe it is her striking face” he looked into her striking eyeballs. He swallowed heavily. “Or her long black midnight hair which makes my fingers itch with desire at the sight”. Andy was gazing so intently into Jessica’s eyes until she was almost fidgeting. He raised his hand as if he couldn’t quite stop himself and touched the hair at her nape. The room suddenly seemed too suffocating as heat washed over Jessica. Andy really was an outstanding actor, Jessica thought, finding it hard to look away from Andy’s capturing gaze.
Andy’s dad coughed loudly and they both jerked. “My son is in love; that is a miracle. I guess I have you to thank Jessica”
Jessica almost laughed at the statement. Andy, in love with her -Jessica – it was so hilarious.
Andy’s father looked at his wrist watch and stood up. “Wow, it is so late. I should go home”.
Jessica felt the daughter-in-law instinct grabbing her. “Why don’t you spend the night dad, you had a long journey and must be tired.”
“You are right. I am fagged out”
“Let me get the room ready sir” she said and turned. It was as she arranged the bed that the implication of what she had just done dawned on her. The room she usually slept was just few steps from the guests’ room. Her father-in-law would definitely get suspicious if she was sleeping in any room apart from the masters’ bedroom with Andy. She regretted her suggestion now and tried to look for a way out. She could sneak into her room very late and wake up very early, before anyone. She groaned.
After ensuring that her father-in-law was fully settled in the room, she walked into the sitting room, where Andy was.
“You do know the implication of what you just did right?” Andy asked instantly.
She exhaled. “It was out of my mouth before I could think but it does not change anything. I would still sleep in my room and wake up very early”.
Andy shook his head. “It won’t do. If I still know my dad well, he accepted staying over so easily, meaning, he might still have doubts. He is cunning when he feels suspicious. He knows I have given up on love and won’t easily take the fact that I am in love” Andy was sure of it.
Jessica thought she and Andy had a thing in common at last; they had both given up on love. “So what do you suggest?”
He swallowed. “You would have to sleep with me in the masters’ bedroom” he dropped.
Her eyes widened. She had been terribly aware of Andy for hours, the last thing she needed was to stay locked up in a room with him. “You can’t be serious. We could work out a story if he discovers that we are not together. We could say that I am indisposed and needed to be alone. Something”. She searched her brain for what that ‘something’ could be. “Anything”. She said again.
“It won’t work. He would know that something is fishy. We have come this far, we can’t spoil it all now. I promise to be a perfect gentleman. You can take the bed while I take the floor. That is the only reasonable solution.”
She looked at Andy like he was a three headed monster. “You’ve got to be kidding me!

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