Blemished Love – Episode 22

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BLEMISHED LOVE EPISODE 22

© Loudest Thoughts 2018
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Austin needed to tell Grissel about his encounter with Clive before she finds out. He went by her office and she decided to take him out for lunch across the road.

‘Grissel, I did something which I need to tell you.’

‘Oh really?’ Did you kill someone?’ She joked.

‘Yes, nearly.’ Austin replied her.

She stepped on the brake and pulled over.

‘Is the person okay?’

‘Yeah, he will live for now.’

‘Great then. I wished it was Clive.’ She smiled weirdly and focused on her steer.

Austin kept glancing at her.

‘It was Clive.’ He finally mentioned.

‘Wonderful. I’m tired of that guy in your lives.’

‘You resent him that much and you forgot to tell me he tried to touch you?’

‘Huh!’ She exclaimed.

‘I knew the moment you told me last night to warn him. I confronted him by running him over.’

‘Good news, I hope he cracked a few bones.’

He smiled. ‘Trust me.’

‘I didn tell anyone because i know he won’t try it anymore and besides the man I married is only patience with me and not with his friends.

‘Are you sure, it was the right thing to do?’

‘No but Tom is in a fix right now, I don’t want to complicate things.’

‘Emmm, I also heard about your other life.’

‘Your sister must have overheard when she came over to the office the other day.’

‘Exactly, but you should have told me and I would still be there for you.’

‘Why would you want to do that for me?’

He managed a sigh and glimmered at her.

‘I knew you were in love with me Austin.’

‘Really?’ He sounded uncomfortable.

‘Yeah, in fact even Tom figured it out.’

‘OMG. Why hasn’t he killed me yet?’

‘You are a good man Austin. He’s aware you out grew that kind of love when he asked your permission to date me.’

‘Great, tell him I’m still on standby so he shouldn’t mess up.’ He smiled and Grissel laughed.

‘’You are calling for another fight between you two right?”

‘Not really but how is he holding up with the whole other marriage stuff.’

‘Better than I imagined. Kindly thank him for me when next you see him.’

‘I will but can we go for lunch now.’

‘Of course.’ She shoved her hand into his hair and focused on the steer after a minute.

*****

‘Paige?’

‘Uhmmm.’ She responded with her mouth full of sausage.

Melisa had asked her out that afternoon so she could find out about Shirley. For some reason she was not so comfortable when Grissel mentioned Shirley last night.

‘Do you know Grissel?’ Melisa suddenly asked.

‘Grissel? She repeated. ‘Yes I do.’ Paige picked up the ketchup in front of Melisa.

‘You do? How?’ She asked quickly.

‘Is she not your sister in law. You mention her all the time.’ Paige clarified and Melisa sighed heavily.

‘Oh yeah, I thought you knew her from somewhere else.’

‘No, I haven’t even met her before. Why did you ask?’

She scratched her face slowly. ‘Nothing I just felt like asking.’

‘Alright, but I miss you the whole week Lisa.’

‘Have you ever met Shirley’s mom?’ Melisa suddenly asked instead of answering Paige’s question.

She paused and wondered for a while. ‘Ermm, not really. My brother just dropped her with me when she was young with the story her mother left.’

‘So he doesn’t take care of her?’

‘He comes home once a while to see them.’

‘Michael is also his son?’

‘Yes, but different mothers.’

‘So you don’t know where she met Shirley’s mom?’

‘No, it’s definitely not in this our state. But why are you suddenly interested in Shirley.’

‘Nothing, I just felt meeting you was a twist of fate.’

‘I feel it all the time and those two are my world.’

‘God bless you for being a mother to these kids.’

‘You know God?’ Paige teased.

‘Of course, I do. I pray every time.’ She replied.

‘And you still sleep around?’

‘That’s unfair, besides I’ve been trying my best since I met Dane.

‘Yeah I noticed but i also need prayers to get hooked up soon.’ Paige laughed so loud.

They were still talking when Henry appeared before them from nowhere.

‘Henry, what are you doing here?’ Melisa frowned.

‘This is Henry?’ Paige asked.

‘Yeah, the one and only.’ Melisa responded staring at him.

‘The friends with benefit guy, I never got to meet.’ She still asked to confirm.

She nodded.

‘Wow, that was all I was to you Lisa?’

‘Come on Henry, you know we never had anything special. I was clear on that and aside that we were great friends.’

‘Were? What happened to us?’

‘Nothing, I just don’t want to be in the middle of you pursuing my brother’s wife anymore.’

‘But you know I could just walk up to Tom and tell him about what you planned with Amy right?’

‘Go ahead Henry. I’m so tired of that secret anyway besides I’m not so sure that would get you Grissel so good luck.’ She rolled her eyes at him.

Henry has become a pain in her ass lately. Dane however wasn’t making it easy for her at all. She just want to cut ties with him which is so difficult to do.

‘I’m sorry, if my blackmail angered you but what would you have me do.’

Paige who was watching the drama folded her hands now after munching on her sausage.

‘Henry, leave Grissel alone. That’s all I want now. I brought her into your life and it’s my responsibility to make things right so stop stalking her.’

‘So if I stop we can go back to hanging out?’ He asked.

‘No, I’ve moved on, if you want us to have a few drinks I could manage that but not ending up in your bed.’

‘Alright, I get that Lisa. But I actually followed you here to help you with your brother and Grissel’s situation.’

‘What situation?’ She asked surprised.

‘Don’t tell me you’ve not heard they are not legally married and have been subpoenaed.

‘What?’ She shouted drawing everyone’s attention at the restaurant.

‘Are you alright?’ Paige asked.

‘I’m not sure but we have to go now.’ She dropped what she owed in the menu book and dragged Paige along leaving Henry to himself.

***

‘Where’s your boos?’ Grissel yelled at the reception that afternoon.

Anna recognizing her as Tom’s wife was pointing to Tom’s office.

Grissel ignored her and walked to Stella’s door fuming while Anna run after her.

‘Why didn’t you tell me the truth?’ She yelled when she entered.

Stella reading the expression on her face knew exactly why she came to her office.

‘I tried to stop he….’

‘Leave us alone Anna.’ Stella gestured with her hands and stood up from her seat.

She knew how furious Grissel would be when she found out what she did.

Grissel stood in the middle of the room with her two hands on her waist.

‘Are you happy now?’ She picked up the brown envelope from the bag she dropped on the floor earlier and threw it at her.

‘I’m sorry, I just wanted to be of help.’

‘Help? You ruined my life Ella.’ She was still yelling when the door opened.

‘What is going on here?’ Tom stood at the door with Anna.

It was obvious Anna went to call him.

Stella sighed and Grissel rushed into his arms.

‘Ella ruined our lives.’ She sobbed.

‘Okay, calm down.’ The fact that she wasn’t talking to him the previous night and that morning prompted Tom to tread carefully.

He disengaged from the embrace and looked into her eyes.

‘Do you know where you are?’

She nodded. ‘Your work place.’

‘Great, then we can’t cry here.’

‘Okay but she sig……’

‘Can you drive?’ Her husband quickly interrupted.

‘I drove here by myself.’

‘I’m not asking you who drove you here.’

‘Yes, I can drive.’

He wiped her face with the edge of his shirt as it was almost his closing time so he doesn’t care if he had to soil his shirt.

‘Can I have your phone?’ He demanded.

She pointed to her bag on the floor. He walked to where she dropped her bag, picked it up and took out her phone.

‘You can have my phone but you have to go home now. I’ll be late tonight.’ He pulled her closer and kissed her while glancing at Stella who quickly took off her gaze.

Tom handed her the bag after the kiss and walked her out as Anna quickly gave them way.

When they walked out the other staffs were murmuring how Tom has been cheating on his wife with Stella and Grissel came to the office to make a scene.

He escorted Grissel to her car and watched her leave.

Tom came back to his office as though nothing happened earlier.

Stella on her way home decided to explain himself as Tom didn’t drop by after Grissel left.

‘Hi.’ She greeted shyly.

‘You are done for the day?’ He asked.

‘Tom, I’m really sorry.’

‘I should be apologizing to you Stella. Grissel had no right to confront you at your work place.’

‘I’m sure she had no other choice.’

‘Yes she does Stella. What happened to calling me or waiting at home?’

‘But still I was at fault. I had no idea this would happen.’

‘That’s fine, I had a call in the morning about the subpoena before she even got here.’

‘You did?’ Stella was surprised he never mentioned it. She had the chance to read the file Grissel brought earlier.

‘Yes, I was hoping to talk to her once I get home.’

‘But we had lunch and you never mentioned it neither did you tell me you knew everything.’

‘I got to know that morning we were to leave New Jersey. He was the reason I was acting weird?’

‘He was there? You should have said something.’ Stella walked over.

‘Friendship and marriage is two different things. If I have a problem as big as that, my wife would always be my first point of contact.’ He frowned. ‘That is why I’m so mad right now that she came over to my work place to make a scene when we could have talked at home.’

‘Take it easy with her. She’s frustrated and lost reliving her past all over again.’ Stella advised.

‘I know that and I told her I wasn’t going to leave but she’s making it difficult for me to breathe.’

‘That sounds like my Grissel? She can give you a tough time but the sweetest and gentle person I’ve ever known.’ Stella blushed.

‘I love that woman Stella but I feel like she’s drifting away and I’m the only one holding on.’

Stella just stared at him. ‘You are one weird but awesome man Tom.’

‘Call me crazy but instead of being hurt, I rather want to protect her and her tears cut me deep.’

‘Grissel has that kind of effect on people.’ Stella clarified.

‘I know right, but she’s still holding back.’ Tom complained and Stella can see the hurt in his eyes.

‘Just give her as much patience as you can. You chose her for a reason and your kind of love is rare.’

He smiled at her words. ‘Your cousin on the other hand is very useless to me right now.’

‘I agree, but I promise to fix this Tom.’

‘Don’t bother. What could you possibly do now which you couldn’t do eight years ago to help your friend.’

‘I was simply a coward eight years ago and I regret leaving Grissel to take the fall for both our mistakes.’

‘She doesn’t hold any grudge against you but I would appreciate if you stay out of it. I’ll handle it.’

‘Okay, feel free to ask for help if you need it.’

‘I will Stella and by the way, do you mind if I don’t come to work tomorrow Saturday. I’m picking my mother in law at the airport this evening.’

‘Aunty Gina, is coming over?’

‘Yes, I wanted to surprise Grissel but as it stands now I’m not so sure what I’m going back to.’

‘You’ll be fine. Have the weekend off.’ She handed him the file Grissel dropped earlier.

‘Hey, thank you. You’ve really helped.’ He called after her when she was almost out of the door.

She nodded. ‘And that Kiss earlier made me jealous.’ She whispered and went out of the door before Tom could reply.

He smiled and shook his head.

***

Grissel was sleeping on the couch covered in a blanket when Tom entered with Gina.

‘I’m sorry Tom, I sh…..’

She spotted her mom when she raised herself off the couch.

‘Mom.’ She rushed hugging her and her tears begun to flow.

Gina led her to the couch and patted her back like a baby.

Tom brought them Juice as it seemed they were not going to end their talk anytime soon.

He had to eat his portion of dinner and when he was done, mom and daughter were still talking.

Tom heard Grissel apologizing several times and a few cautions from Gina which he felt was too harsh but at the end of it all they were smiling.

Since it was late, they had to continue the next morning.

Gina had dinner with Grissel and was going to bed when Grissel followed. She forgot Tom was around.

‘You have to go to your room Grissel. Your husband is pacing up and down in front of my room.’

‘Mom, as it stands now we are not legally married. I would have to start distancing myself from him.’

‘I know but you two need to talk and he’s been out there for some minutes now.’

‘It’s just standard procedure, he should be able to live without me for a few days while I think of what to do though I’m not so sure my marriage can be saved.’

‘Believe in yourself Grissel. You lawyers always have a way out but right now take it as tonight is the last time you would have to be with Tom.’

‘Okay, since you are sacking me, I would go.’ She gave her mom a hug and got out of the room meeting Tom sitting on the floor.

‘Let’s go to bed. Tomorrow is another day and we can figure this out.’ Grissel said reaching out to him on the floor.

‘How do you feel?’ He asked when they got to their bedroom.

‘I don’t know. Lisa and aunty are coming over tomorrow morning.’

‘You called them?’

‘I had to when you chased me out of your office.’ She announced weakly.

‘You know coming to my office wouldn’t have changed our marital status right?’

‘Yeah and don’t worry I called Ella to apologize.’ She replied.

‘That’s a great step and did she mention why she signed the annulment papers instead of her brother.’

‘Forget Ella. She was still in Mexico when Adam reached out and since i needed it urgently she couldn’t wait. She had to choose between whether I should leave you on the altar or she could take the risk.’

‘It’s a great risk and a favor she did for you.’

‘You think I don’t know that. I would have accepted canceling our marriage than what we are facing now.’

‘Come here, I need you tonight which may probably be our last night.’ He whispered into her ears while leading her to the bed.

‘Thank you for bringing my mom over.’

‘Shhhh.’ He kissed her softly and after a few minutes deeply.

‘Ahuh.’ She murmured.

‘I apologize for ruining my birthday party and thank you for the shirt.’ He laid her gently on the bed and kept looking into her eyes.

‘Can you stop talking?’ She whispered and raised her head up to meet his face.

Tom reached out for his phone by the side drawer on turned on a slow music ignoring her attempt to kiss him.

‘We have company and if indeed today is going to be our last night together I would want it to be memorable.’ He caressed her face.

‘You know my mom can still hear us right?’ She had her hands in his hair.

‘Do you plan on bringing the roof down?’ He teased while undressing her.

***

‘What did you do to your wife last night?’ Julia asked.

They came a while ago and noticed Grissel was still asleep. Tom didn’t want to wake her up as she spent the whole night crying in his arms hence slept late.

Paige tagged along as she was to drop Melisa over at the airport for her flight later that morning to Dallas.

It was obvious that wasn’t the only reason why she brought Paige to the house.

‘Nothing, I guess she’s just too tired to have noticed we have a full house.’

‘I don’t believe you Tom.’ Julia smiled sheepishly.

‘She was up all right working.’

‘Working with her voice I guess. Gosh you two were too loud.’ Gina chipped in smiling.

‘So I was right. Let me even go and check on her for proof of life.’ Julia teased and stood up when Tom’s phone rang and he picked up.

‘Hello, Stella.’

They exchanged pleasantries and she made him aware she was outside.

‘Huh, you are outside my gate waiting for me?’ Tom realized everyone was watching him so he toned down.

‘Relax, I didn’t come to make a scene.’

‘I know you wouldn’t do that but you know your friend is still fragile.’

‘What if I have a solution to your problems?’

‘Is that Ella?’ Gina interrupted their conversation on the call.

Tom nodded to her. ‘You can come in, I’ll wait for you at the door.’

He hanged up and Julia was watching him sternly.

‘Aunty, it’s not what you think. She’s Grissel’s friend and her ex-husband’s cousin.’

‘I remember Ella. I spoke to her a few times before Grissel left Ghana and when she got here we were in contact. She’s a good person but they both never told me what their deep relationship was all about.’ Gina was still talking when the door opened and Stella stepped in.

Stella exchanged pleasantries after hugging Tom. She took off her dark shades and walked to Gina.

‘It’s been long Ella.’ She reached out for a hug when there came a sound as if someone dropped a glass.

They all turned to the direction the sound came from.

To be continued

 

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