BLEMISHED LOVE EPISODE 21
© Loudest Thoughts 2018
All Rights Reserved
Grissel has been extremely happy these past week. She laughs at the little thing her husband says and she hasn’t been her moody self since her truth came out. Though Tom was glad about her new behavior, he couldn’t help but worry she was hurting all over again.
‘Is everything okay?’
‘Yes Tom. Why did you ask?’ Grissel continued knotting the edges of his tie.
‘Because you are fixing my tie.’
So? Can’t a woman fix her husband’s tie anymore?’
‘Grissel you hate fixing my tie and you are humming my favorite song which you dislike.’
‘There you go.’ She stopped humming the song and patted him on the chest.
She reached for his suitcase from the couch and dusted it with her morning gown.
‘I will see you in the evening.’
‘Grissel?’ He called out.
‘Yes, wait.’ She rushed to the kitchen and came back with his lunch box.
‘Egg sauce and plan…’
‘Plantain for lunch. I get it but are you alright.’
“Tom I’m just one happy and lucky woman.”
‘Okay but you would tell me if there’s an issue right?’
‘No more secrets and you are late for work.’ She replied grinning.
‘You are right.’ He grabbed the lunch box and rushed to the door and came back giving her a kiss.
‘Be home before seven.’
Tom waved her and left hurriedly.
‘Hey, I’m hitting the road. See you on Monday.’ Tom peeped into Stella’s office.
‘Wait up, happy birthday.’ She picked up a bottle of wine from her table drawer.
‘What?’ Tom seems to have forgotten it was his birthday.
‘Anna told me today is your birthday.’ She said and snapped her fingers.
Anna and some few workers he thought had left after the hectic day, they had trying to save their jobs came in with a cake and wine glasses.
‘What is all this?’ He asked looking towards Stella’s direction.
‘Don’t look at me?’ Stella said smiling.
‘But you planned this?’ He questioned.
‘No, we did.’ Jones walked towards him.
‘Yes we all did Tom. You did well standing up for us today and it’s your birthday at least drinking with your coworkers after work isn’t against the company’s rules.’ One of his colleagues replied.
‘Actually it is, Steven.’ Tom responded to his other colleague’s question.
‘I guess the boss here can pardon as for tonight.’ Anna asked looking at Stella who hasn’t stopped smiling since Tom came in.
‘That’s fine Tom, so far as no one drives home drunk.’ She finally stopped smiling.
‘Cheers.’ Jones popped the champagne he took from Stella earlier startling everyone.
‘Aunty that chicken is for Tom.’ Melisa cautioned.
‘I don’t see him here Lisa. I can’t come to a party and inhale chicken flavor when the host is nowhere to be found.’
‘We don’t call it host but celebrant.’ Melisa teased.
‘Whatever, he will come and meet empty plates.’ Julia picked up another chicken.
‘Your aunty is right you know.’ Jessy chipped in.
Grissel got his family and friends together for a surprise party.
‘Grissel, did you call him?’ Adam asked.
‘Yes, he’s on his way.’ She replied with a sad tone and walked away to the kitchen knowing she just lied.
Grissel started crying as soon as she was out of sight.
She sat on the kitchen floor sobbing. ‘Not again Tom.’
‘You lied out there.’ Melisa said standing at the door.
She quickly wiped her face and stood up.
‘Do you need anything?’ Grissel asked pretending not to have heard what she said.
‘He is not coming right?’ Melisa asked again.
She paused wiping her face and sat on the chair abruptly.
‘I don’t know Lisa. I did all these for him and he’s not even picking up my calls.’ She sobbed.
‘Did you call his friends?’
‘They are all here and haven’t been able to reach him either.’
‘He’s probably still at work.’
‘I doubt because I told him to come home before seven and his office line wasn’t going through earlier.’
‘I’m sorry about my brother’s behavior but I’m sure he’s probably with one of his coworkers celebrating.’
‘Don’t apologize for him?’ She stood up towards the door and signaled Austin who was standing with his friends by the stairs.
Austin hurriedly walked over.
‘Call your girlfriend and tell her to allow my husband come home.’ Grissel said angrily.
‘Girlfriend?’ He queried confused.
‘I told you I’m not interested in Stella.’
‘Whatever, just call her already?’ She snapped while Melisa looked on.
Austin and Stella has been on a few dates but he wasn’t so attracted to her. She’s not answering, he was saying when Stella said Hello.
‘Let me speak to Tom.’ He didn’t finish before Stella passed the phone on.
The others were done with the drinking and was long gone but Tom walked Stella to her car and they stood there chatting and lost track of time.
‘Man, what is it?’ He said immediately he took the phone from Stella after she told her it was Austin.
‘Your wife is furious as you just ruined your party.’
‘Which party?’ He asked and gasped as if he just figured it out.
‘Just come home already.’ Austin hanged up.
‘He’s on his way. Do you need anything else?’
‘Yes, tell Clive to stop smiling at me else he would receive another wine bottle on his head.’ She said quietly and Austin left without making much of what she said.
Melisa kept staring at her moving about helplessly.
‘You know, I’m here to listen, if Tom is not treating you right.’
‘I’m fine Lisa. He probably didn’t figure it out this morning when I told him to come home before seven.’
‘Okay, let me help you warm up the rest of the food as he’s on his way already.’
‘Thank you.’ She feigned a grin.
Tom dropped the call and couldn’t stop hissing.
Julia couldn’t stop chewing on the chicken so they decided to have their starter while they wait for Tom. It took an hour before his car made the screeching sound.
‘Finally!’ Clive exclaimed.
Grissel gave him an ugly look. She was angry at Austin when he brought Clive to her house after she specifically told him not to.
‘Let me get the gate.’ Grissel muttered.
‘I will get it, just relax.’ Adam offered.
Within some few minutes he came in looking scruffily dressed.
‘About time.’ Julia screened him with her eyes.
‘I apologize for keeping you all waiting. I had some emergency at work.’ He said walking towards where Grissel sat while shaking his friend’s one after the other.
‘Isn’t that the same excuse they give always?’ Julia teased.
‘As if they have a manual for it.’ Jessy chipped in while Adam shook his head.
Grissel stood up when he was almost closer.
‘Let me get a few more of these.’
She pointed to the chicken while Tom stood half way with a foolish look on.
He followed her when she walked away towards the kitchen.
‘Hey, hold up.’ He said rushing after her and disappeared into the kitchen.
Grissel wasn’t so sure if that was the time to get angry unnecessarily but she focused on what she came to the kitchen for.
‘Don’t love me?’ She snarled.
‘I forgot it was my birthday and you didn’t give me any clue.’
She dropped the spoon loudly in the bowl in front of her.
‘Do you mind? I’m really busy here.’ She yelled.
Julia wasn’t so comfortable with that noise. She made an attempt to stand up when Melisa tapped her to relax.
‘Okay, but I wasn’t with Stella if you care to know.’
‘This isn’t the time to lie Tom.’
‘Maybe i was with her but a few colleagues were around for a surprise party.’
‘I don’t want to hear it. Just let it go.’
‘Okay, but at least smile for the rest of the evening. We have guests and you don’t want them thinking I don’t care about my wife.’
She angrily dropped the ladle louder this time.
‘Do you care? At least our guest will be getting the right impression.’
‘What is that supposed to mean? I stay out all the time and you never complain. What’s the difference this time?’
‘Seriously, do you even need to ask me that? We have guests Tom.’
‘I’m no magician to know we would be having guests so cut the nagging and let’s get out of here.’
‘You think I’m nagging.’
‘Yes, your silence is uncalled for.’
‘If you think I’m over reacting when you came back dressed this way,’ she pointed to his left side of the shirt that was hanging, ‘then don’t come back at all next time you decide to spend the night with her.’ Grissel hadn’t noticed their argument was reaching the hall.
‘Ooh this is about your friend right?’
‘Ella is the least of my problems right now.’
‘Okay then you should know, I’m not your ex-husband to be home all the time just because you want me to.’ Tom said without even realizing he just did the one thing he promised last night not to do after Grissel had sat him down to tell him about her previous marriage.
Grissel stared sadly at him and finally gave him the leave me alone look and got hold of the chicken bowl from the microwave. She forgot when she placed it in there a few minutes ago, her intention was to get it warmed.
Tom realized his mistake so he reached out to her and hugged her tightly whiles she kept struggling to be free from his grasp.
‘Do you two want to finish eating yourselves before your guests eat?’ They heard Julia by the kitchen door.
Seems she was loud at the door so everyone at the table laughed while Tom and Grissel jumped up like kids.
‘Aunty, sorry. She’s just getting the chicken warmed up.’
‘And you were giving her motivation right? Get out of the kitchen.’ Julia said jokingly.
Grissel feigned a smile and walked away while Tom followed.
They had a quiet dinner as everyone was hungry especially Julia who had more than enough.
Mike checked the time and prompted his friends it was almost eleven pm.
They all stood up excusing themselves from the family while signaling Tom.
‘Grissel, thanks for a beautiful meal.’ Austin said.
She smiled to her friend.
‘Yes, you cook well.’ Clive interrupted.
She nodded with her unhappy face.
Clive knew she hadn’t told anyone about their encounter so he was relieved.
The guys asked permission to leave and Tom escorted them out.
‘Man, what kept you that long.’ Clive asked when they got to their car.
‘My Coworkers wanted to have a drink up with me. I couldn’t exactly say no.’
‘Stella or your coworkers.’ Mike asked obviously not comfortable.
‘Not you too Mike.’ Tom cautioned.
‘You could have called you know. Grissel was in there alone not knowing where you were.’ Austin chipped in.
‘Come on, She wasn’t alone. My family was there.’
‘Trust me Tom, she wasn’t so comfortable in there tonight. I don’t know if they had a fight before we came but everyone was ignoring her.’
‘True, except for Adam who initiated a few conversations?’ Clive confirmed Mike’s observations.
‘I forgot to call and besides I didn’t ask her for a party.’
‘But you got one and ruined it. That’s what women do. So you got to prepare for it anytime.’ Austin replied.
‘You three should go already. I’m not sure I did anything wrong tonight.’
‘Sure, see you around.’ Clive shook his hand.
‘Clive you never told us what happened to your head the last time.’ Austin asked suddenly.
‘Emmm that, I told you guys, a lady hit me with a bottle.’
‘Oh yeah, a wine bottle I guess.’ Austin winced.
‘Yes, spilling all the wine.’ Clive said studying his friend to find out what he knew as he was so sure Grissel hasn’t told anyone yet because he was still alive. If she had, Austin alone would have killed him.
‘I’m sure that woman really despise you.’ Austin said with contempt.
The others looked at him with a spill it out look.
‘Austin, do you know something we don’t?’
‘No Mike, I’m just sympathizing with our friend here.’ He lied and feigned a smile.
They all laughed and got into their respective cars. But Austin was holding back.
Austin drove after Mike had left. He followed Clive until he noticed him behind him and stopped. Clive came out his car while Austin slowed down holding on to his steer.
As Clive was walking closer, he started the car and drove off hitting him when Clive tried to give him way to pack. Austin made sure he didn’t give him any permanent injury. He got out of the car and saw him lying on the floor holding his waist.
‘What was that Austin?’
‘That was for Grissel. The next time you even mention her name you’ll end up at the morgue.’
Clive raised up his head. ‘Who are you to threaten me?’
‘I’m nobody but I won’t allow you hurt any woman ever again.’
‘Any woman or just Grissel?’ He shot back.
‘I’m glad you understand me.’ He raged.
‘What is it with you and her anyway?’ He examined his left leg and tried to raise himself up.
‘That’s none of your business.’ Austin flared up.
‘Wait a minute.’ Clive tried to read his facial expression.
‘What?’ Austin asked angrily.
‘You love her too, don’t you?’
Austin took off his gaze quickly.
‘It’s true then.’ He confirmed for him when he was mute.
‘What if it’s true?’ He smirked unawares. ‘Grissel is everything to me. Put that at the back of your mind the next time you try touching her.’
‘Oh wow. The golden boy has finally agreed he’s in love with his friend’s wife.’
‘At least I’m better than you Clive.’
‘Come on, we are both fighting for the same thing.’
‘No we are not Clive. She’s with somebody else and you need to respect that.’
‘You know Tom doesn’t deserve her after all the hearts he has broken in the past.’
‘Grissel made her choice and I think she has made Tom a better man.’
‘So you want me to stay out of it.’
‘Yes, or next time, I might hit you hard.’
‘Have you told Tom?’
‘You think you would still be alive if he knew. I figured it out myself this evening and you confirmed it when we were leaving.’
He tried to say something but realized Austin was being serious so he closed his mouth.
Clive watched him walk back to his car door without another threat. He picked up himself from the floor and could barely walk.
Grissel was convincing Adam and Jessy to sleep over as it was already late.
Melisa and Julia had no problems sleeping over since that wasn’t going to be their first time.
She was still talking to them as they were seated by the TV.
‘That’s a beautiful Shirt. I should get one for Adam.’ Jessy pointed out which drew everyone’s attention to Tom descending from the stairs.
‘Yes, you got a good color too. I need one for a friend, did you get it online?’ Julia smiled.
‘I just saw it on my bed. I guess it’s my birthday gift.’
‘Aah, it’s obvious Grissel got this.’ Adam announced.
No one spoke again as Melisa was behind them pressing her phone.
Tom noticed they all suddenly went mute when Adam mentioned Grissel.
‘Okay,’ he sighed, ‘I didn’t want to do this, but it’s about time and I would be blunt here.’
He walked up to them and brought the coffee table to where they sat.
Julia screened his face to be sure he was okay.
‘Tom, you look scary with that look on your face.’ Adam said.
‘Adam forgive me but I’m going to step on your toes and Jessy you two are sleeping over.’
‘Is everything alright?’ Julia sounded concerned.
‘Yes aunty, I can see how you all are ignoring my wife here. She had kids and was married before so what?’
Jessy relaxed back and Julia gasped.
‘Does that make her any less of a woman? Don’t you all have things you regret doing?’
He watched them sternly as they all kept mute after their initial reactions while Grissel was already near tears.
Melisa’s phone burl and she quickly hanged up.
‘Sorry, I will turn this off.’ She whispered.
‘She betrayed your trust and I get that. But I didn’t expect you grownups to treat her like an outcast.’
Adam scoffed to get his attention.
‘You are a good man Tom. Now I can relax knowing our sister here is in good hands.’ He shook his shoulder gently.
‘Thank you Adam, I heard everything you did for her.’ He tried to reach out to Grissel who quickly withdrew her hands. Tom got the message and took off her gaze watching Julia closely.
‘Sorry son, I handled it wrong.’ Julia finally found her voice.
‘Yeah you all did.’
‘We just wanted her to tell you the truth as it wasn’t right keeping you in the dark.’ Julia clarified.
‘Well she has, so can we put this aside and have our sleep over in peace.’ Tom replied.
‘Grissel are you okay?’ Jessy asked to break her silence.
‘Sorry I treated you the way I did. I just wanted you to wake up before you lose your marriage and yourself.’
‘I get it Jessy and i know you were just looking out for me.’
Jessy gestured her and Grissel understood she needs to apologize to Julia again.
Anytime she had an argument with Adam, Grissel always gave her that look, now it was her turn to do the needful.
She carried herself beside Adam and walked to where Julia sat.
‘I’m sorr..y to ha..ve disapp…ointed you.’ She stuttered a little and sat beside her.
‘It’s okay, I knew you would do the right thing. You just needed a little push.’
‘Tom, what’s the plan now.’
‘There’s no plan, and the guy just want attention. He wants her back.’
‘But they are no more right?’ Julia asked to satisfy her curiosity.
‘Of course, I made sure of that.’ Adam interrupted before Tom could answer.
‘Good but I’m not sure I even heard the real story.’ Julia mentioned turning to Grissel.
‘Emmm, I can summarize.’ She closed her eyes sharply and opened it after a minute.
‘Are you sure you want to do this again.’
She ignored her husband and proceeded to tell her story all over again. Grissel managed without a single drop of tear this time but Jessy kept wiping her face.
‘You were young and I totally understand but what kind of a man does that.’
‘He was just hurt when he nearly lost both kids.’
‘Talking about kids, have you decided on anything yet?’
‘No, Shirley is better off with her dad.’
‘Did you say Shirley?’ Melisa who was quiet all this while asked.
‘Nothing.’ Melisa said with an uncomfortable tone.
‘But you are her mother Grissel. She needs to know you exist.’
‘I’m not sure I can be a good mother.’
‘Why do you say that?’ Julia sympathized.
‘I killed one already, what if something goes wrong.’
‘You are matured now and you found love.’ Julia encouraged.
‘Yes, you have it in you. If you took care of my two kids while I was away for weeks then you can do same for yours.’ Jessy suddenly cut in.
‘I still don’t want her besides I live with one big kid already.’ She said and everyone laughed.
Tom didn’t find it funny as he was so quiet earlier and it seemed to him, Grissel would never have his children which he was trying to adjust to.
‘I love her and that’s what matters.’ He thought quietly.
‘What’s wrong Tom?’ Melisa noticed he was murmuring to himself.
‘None of your business.’ Tom answered rudely before realizing he wasn’t alone.
‘Sorry, I interfered.’ She said and focused on her phone.
Julia showed her displeasure especially when they were not alone but in the midst of Grissel’s family.
‘Lisa, so I heard you got a guy doing your shopping now.’ Tom asked after a few seconds probably hoping to take his words back.
‘You mean, she got a boyfriend?’ Their aunt corrected.
‘Yeah, that’s just by the way. So when are you going back to being a doctor. It would be good to have one around when my wife and I decide to have little Tom’s.’
Melisa paused pressing her phone as she wasn’t sure Tom was actually talking to her.
‘Lisa, your brother is looking out for you.’ Julia encouraged her to speak up.
‘I haven’t thought of it yet.’ Melisa quietly pinched herself to be sure, she was talking to Tom.
‘You should, I can pull a few strings for you so you get a hospital closer to home.’
‘Thank you Tom.’ She smiled, and quickly pushed her tears back.
Grissel noticed that and stood up interrupting them.
‘I’ll get the rooms sorted out in five minutes.’ She announced.
‘Do you need help?’ Tom asked hoping she wouldn’t disgrace him.
‘No, please.’ She responded and walked away while Melisa quickly rushed after her.
‘Do you think Tom is really happy with his decision to still be with me?’ Grissel asked after they sorted out the last room.
‘Come here.’ Melisa led her to the bed they laid earlier. ‘I was surprised he made that decision but yet again my brother adores you and I guess being with you for this short while changed him.’
‘But I’m scared Lisa. What if he wakes up one day and decides to leave?’
‘You can’t know that right now but dwelling on the negatives would rather break you two apart.’ She muttered. ‘He made the decision, trust him, talk to him about your fears and continue to love him. That’s all it takes to keep a man.’
She suddenly felt tears running down her cheeks. ‘Sorry about the tears.’ Grissel wiped it with her palm.
‘That’s alright and I’m really sorry for how I treated you in the past.’
‘Thank you Lisa and it’s okay, I go everywhere with my baggage and people don’t have a choice but to be mean towards me.’
Melisa studied her for some few minutes. ‘Does he stay out late that often or it just started after he found out about your past.’
‘I’m not even sure anymore Lisa.’
She drew her closer in a hug when a knock came on the door.
‘Lisa, what are you doing to my wife in there and why is the door locked.’
They both looked at each other and realized they hadn’t noticed the door was locked.
But since they were already done with the rooms, they quickly stood up and went out. They met knock staring at them.
‘Did she make you cry again?’ He quickly asked after studying Grissel and noticed she must have been crying.
‘Tom, I di…..’ Melisa struggled with what she wanted to say.
‘No you made me cry Tom.’ Grissel cut Melisa off when she was struggling with her words.
Tom frowned and reached out to Grissel. ‘Come with me.’ He carried her away in his arms without looking back while Melisa looked on smiling.
To be continued