Blemished Love – Episode 31

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BLEMISHED LOVE EPISODE 31

© Loudest Thoughts 2018

All Rights Reserved.

 

Melisa paced around. She was nervous and had no idea what to do. ‘Of course it’s Dani, she couldn’t be lying about the pregnancy.’ She said loudly and heard a screech behind her.

 

‘Pregnancy?’ Julia came in from behind her.

 

‘Huh!’ She exclaimed. ‘Oh it’s just you.’ Melisa said with a throbbing heart. She had no problem telling Julia about Grissel’s pregnancy but she wasn’t sure who the father is yet.

 

‘Yes it’s your aunty but that doesn’t answer my question.’

 

‘Which question?’ She asked busily going through her medicine cabinet.

 

‘Are you pregnant and what are you busily looking for?’

 

‘Pregnancy test Kit.’ She looked back at Julia for a second and continued to search. ‘I know I kept one here.’

 

Julia’s eyes nearly popped out since she kept her eyes steadily on her.

 

‘I have one up in my cabinet, if you wan…….’ She was saying when Melisa stood up and grabbed her old bag full of some kits and rushed off before her aunty could finish her statement.

 

She paused when she came down after grabbing the kit from her Aunty’s room.

 

‘Thank you aunty,’ she smiled sheepishly. ‘By the way why do you need a test kit?’

 

Julia gave her a stare. ‘Why do you also need one?’ She shot back at her.

 

‘Never mind, see you later.’ She smacked her teasingly and picked up her car keys on the table in the hall.

 

Julia slumped on to the couch and wondered where she rushed off too. ‘Why won’t she do the test here if she is pregnant?’ Julia was speaking to herself when Gina joined her.

 

They both had a good laugh and analyzed Melisa’s earlier behavior.

 

***

 

After what seemed like forever, Melisa was knocking on Stella’s door as if she owed her money.

 

Stella’s mom opened the gate and was leading her in when Stella met her at the door.

 

‘Lisa?’ She called and signaled her mom to give them privacy. Stella was cladded in her favorite pink short and white tank top.

 

As soon as Mrs. Medts left, Melisa pulled her aside. ‘Where’s she?’

 

‘Huh.’ Who?’

 

‘Don’t play dumb with me? I know you are in contact with Grissel.’

 

‘Grissel?’ Stella pretended to be naïve about the topic because Grissel asked her to.

 

‘Yes, you two are like five and six and I know she must have reached out to you.’

 

‘No, I haven’t heard from her. Trust me.’ Stella stared at her with a straight face.

 

‘Come on, cut to the chase Stella. She’s pregnant.’

 

‘Pregnant?’ She asked surprised because Grissel didn’t mention it when they spoke the last time and her phone has been off for a while now.

 

‘Yes, Dani called me earlier and I’m just worried Dane is giving her a tough time right now.’

 

Stella suddenly laughed with a relief. ‘Dani called and you believed her.’

 

‘Of course, there was no reason for her to lie and besides Dane snatched the phone from her before I could get further details.’

 

‘You are right? Shirley is smart.’

 

‘Great, can you call Grissel right now.’

 

‘Her number has been off for a few days now but let me try and see.’ She took out the phone from her shorts pocket and dialed her number.

 

‘Well?’ Melisa asked when she seemed to be unsuccessful.

 

‘Both lines are still off.’ Stella told her with concern.

 

‘Gosh, Grissel is just one hard woman to find.’ Melisa lamented.

 

‘Wait here.’ Stella said after a few minutes of silence rushed in hurriedly as if she remembered something.

 

She came back after five minutes and rushed towards the main gate after throwing a paper to Melisa earlier.

 

‘What’s this?’ She asked unfolding the paper.

 

‘A map to Seattle Groove.’ She looked back at Melisa who hadn’t made an attempt to move yet.’

 

‘Hold on. They are still in Seattle?’

 

‘Yes, she called me a week back to check on Tom.’

 

‘Why didn’t you say anything when you knew how worried I was?’ Melisa said with disappointment.

 

‘She asked me not to. Now, let’s go already.’ Stella said reminding her it’s a long drive from her end.

 

‘Sure, you are driving.’ Melisa gave her the keys to her car since she knew that place better than her.

 

They got in and Stella sped off.

 

‘It’s been a long time since I visited that cabin.’ Stella said about thirty minutes into their drive.

 

‘I remember Dane mentioned his dad had a cabin in Seattle.’ Melisa paused and glanced at Stella who was driving and at the same time stealing glances at her. ‘He wanted us to move in there when we se….’ She was saying further and sadness filled her throat.

 

Stella cleared her throat after two minutes of silence. ‘You know its okay to miss him.’

 

Melisa shyly fumbled with her hands. ‘I don’t only miss him, I want him Stella.’

 

‘It’s fine to want him too.’ Stella encouraged.

 

‘Isn’t that some stupid feeling?’

 

‘No, you are just a woman in love with a broken man who happens to be in a bad place.’

 

‘Broken you say? All I see is a man full of himself and wouldn’t listen to advice.’ Melisa added and smiled through her sadness.

 

‘Dane used to listen to me but I don’t understand why this time he wouldn’t.’

 

‘As you said, he’s in a bad place now and though I want him I can’t put Grissel through another trauma by letting him into my life knowing he would always remind her of the past.’

 

‘You know one way or the other, Grissel is always going to be in his life so it doesn’t matter if you decided to be with him.’

 

‘It matters to me, I can’t be with him knowing he hurt my brother.’

 

‘I understand but Tom would eventually learn to accept him once he’s happy with Grissel again.’

 

‘Happy with Grissel?’ Melisa asked with a hundred thoughts on her mind.

 

‘Of course with this pregnancy I’m sure she would want to come back home.’

 

‘How sure are you Tom is responsible for the pregnancy?’ Melisa asked with a confused stare.

 

‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ Stella asked trying to focus on the road.

 

‘Though, I know she would be a fool to be pregnant for Dane a second time, I also know it’s very possible.’

 

‘No way, when she called the last time, trust me she missed Tom and wished she could come back.’

 

‘That’s a relief.’ She sighed. ‘I need a nephew badly so I could get busy and forget all about Dane.’

 

‘Well, I’m sure it’s a girl and I know you are just bluffing about not wanting Dane.’ Stella smiled.

 

‘No, I’m sure I don’t want him anymore. I already told him the last time he came to my house and I chased him out with a baseball bat.’

 

‘Oh wow.’ That must be funny.

 

‘Yeah it was, Julia and Gina teased me the whole night.’

 

Stella laughed, ‘but I’m glad you have that so much effect on him. The Dane I knew wouldn’t take that crap from anyone.’

 

‘You mean the heartless Dane.’

 

‘Yeah but he really loves you. I can tell.’

 

‘He loved Grissel too but see how hit turned out.’

 

‘Not as much as he loves you. I don’t know you but I know Dane and Grissel, what they shared was not close to what you both had briefly.’

 

‘There was a screech of tires in front of them and Stella forcefully stepped on the brake. They looked up on the road and was lucky, they didn’t bump into the car in front of them.

 

‘That was close. Now look on the road.’ Melisa muttered.

 

‘Sure, check the map for me once we get off the high road.’ Stella told her. Melisa nodded and they drove off again when a message came on Stella’s phone from Grissel.

 

They both looked at each other and smiled but when they tried calling her phone it was off again.

 

‘At least, with this message we are assured she’s fine.’ Melisa relaxed back on the seat and looked on the road with a worried grimace. Stella turned on the radio in then car while driving off the high way.

 

***

 

It was a long drive indeed because it took them hours to locate the place and it was already afternoon.

 

They knocked on the door since there was no gate to the cabin. Melisa was looking round admiring the environment when Dane opened the door.

 

Their gazes met and Stella watched them staring at each other. She managed to walk pass them in search of Grissel when luckily she came out with Shirley who run into her arms for a cuddle.

 

‘I miss you so much Princess.’ Stella said putting her down slowly and smiling at Grissel.

 

‘I miss you too but did Lisa send you.’

 

‘Why would Lisa send her?’ Grissel said grabbing her attention.

 

‘I’m fine Grissel.’ Stella responded when Grissel hasn’t greeted her yet.

 

‘I know you are fine that is why I didn’t ask but don’t avoid my question.’

 

‘Lisa is at the door in some kind of a trance, she will explain when she gets here.’

 

‘Lisa is here?’ Both mother and daughter chorused.

 

Dani left them talking and rushed to the door. ‘Did you come because of my text message from earlier?’

 

‘No, I mean yes but we also came because of something else just wait for Lisa.’

 

‘Lisa, you came.’ Dani said loudly when she got there and saw them both staring at each other.

 

Stella and Grissel stopped talking when they heard Dani’s voice and moved away to a comfortable area.

 

Her tiny voice rang in her ears and grabbed her attention. She pushed Dane slightly off the way and opened her arms for an embrace with her medicine bag hanging on her arms.

 

They heard Dane calling after her but she ignored him and went to meet the others who were already seated around a table behind the balcony.

 

‘Hey, so I heard you are here on request.’ Grissel said once she sat down.

 

‘Where are your manners?’ Melisa asked smiling.

 

‘I left them at your brother’s house.’ They all laughed at her joke.

 

They said their pleasantries and was okay without Juice and water when Stella prompted Melisa to spill out the reason they came there.

 

‘So I heard you are having a baby.’ Melisa said without hesitating.

 

‘Gosh, Shirley.’ Grissel turned to her daughter because she knew she was the snitch.

 

‘Yes mommy.’

 

‘Can we not tell everyone?’ Grissel gave her a worried and sad grimace.

 

‘But, Lisa is not everyone mommy.’

 

‘Yes, she’s right. Stella chipped in. ‘We were supposed to be family.’

 

‘I know but not in this situation.’

 

‘Okay, so I’m assuming you didn’t tell Dane about this.’ Melisa asked smartly.

 

‘No, why would I do that when he’s not the father.’

 

‘Thank God!’ Melisa exclaimed and sighed heavily.

 

Grissel examined her face. ‘Wait, you two thought I’m that dump to sleep with Reed again.’

 

Stella quickly covered Shirley’s ears with her hands. ‘Watch your words Grissel.’

 

She glanced at her daughter scornfully.

 

‘Don’t say it mommy, I know it already.’ She walked away sadly.

 

She breathed in and relaxed back on her chair.

 

‘What was that about?’ Melisa asked.

 

‘We came to an understanding that anytime she misbehave which I think it’s inappropriate she would be grounded by reading a book for three hours.’

 

‘Three hours? Why do you want her to run mad?’ Stella asked.

 

‘You think that’s unfair? Gina did the same to me and I think it’s only fair I meted out the same punishment to my daughter.’

 

‘But that’s to the extreme.’ Stella was still complaining and making funny utterances.

 

‘It’s better than yelling at her. What do you think Lisa?’ Grissel asked Lisa who has been quiet all this while.

 

‘Is it Tom’s?’ Lisa asked ignoring Grissel’s earlier question.

 

‘What is Tom’s?’ His name introduced some kind of coldness to her body.

 

Melisa pointed to her stomach.

 

‘She meant is she going to be an aunty.’ Stella muttered.

 

‘Oh that, I think so.’ Grissel replied rubbing her belly.

 

‘Really, you think so.’ Melisa asked nervously.

 

‘Yes, besides I’m not even sure if I’m really pregnant.’

 

‘Good. Take this and I’ll wait for you.’ She opened her bag and gave her the pregnancy kit.

 

‘Jeez, you are too bossy. I don’t need this but I’m sure you would be an aunty in about nine months.’

 

‘Thank you but just do as I said earlier.’ Melisa ordered and stared.

 

‘Okay, just wait here.’ Grissel picked up the test kit and went away to the washroom while they waited.

 

She came back after about twenty minutes and shoved the result in their faces and Melisa continued to check her pulse and blood pressure with the equipment’s she brought while they talked.

 

‘This is good, so what do you want to do now.’ Stella asked.

 

‘I thought I was clear with my text message when I didn’t even know you were coming here.’

 

‘Yes.’ Both Stella and Grissel chorused.

 

‘So why should you be asking me what I want to do.’ Grissel asked them with outmost certainty.

 

‘You do know this is going to hurt a lot of people.’

 

‘I know but what other choice do I have Lisa.’ Grissel said sadly.

 

‘There are other ways to go about it.’ Melisa muttered.

 

‘Not for me.’ Grissel said and noticed a shadow pacing around and waited for it to come from behind the pillar.

 

It turned out it was Dane and they had no idea how long he had been standing there and if he heard their discussion.

 

‘What is he doing there?’ Melisa asked looking back at him.

 

‘Waiting for you Lisa.’ Stella chipped in.

 

‘I don’t want to talk to him.’ Melisa blushed.

 

‘Why are you blushing when you don’t want him anymore?’ Grissel asked and Melisa forced a frown on her face.

 

‘Let’s not go there Grissel.’ Melisa turned her seat around so she wouldn’t have to see him again.

 

They laughed at her when Dane stopped pacing and kept staring at Melisa.

 

‘I forgot to say, he apologized and trust me he’s been trying to be nice these days.’

 

‘Wait a minute. My brother apologized.’

 

‘Of course, you should have seen him in tears, I nearly fell for his apology.’

 

Grissel continued to narrate everything that happened starting from his father in law down to the very end.

 

‘Wow that must have hurt Grissel.’ Melisa rubbed her shoulder.

 

‘Yeah, but it gave me the relief I needed. Knowing Shane would have died whether that night in Connecticut happened or not gave me the strength to sleep that night.’

 

‘I’m sure it was the same night I chased him out of the house.’

 

‘Oh my goodness.’ Grissel laughed. ‘How were you able to do that?’

 

Melisa told them both how the drama unfolded. They teased each other for a while and it seemed they had nothing else to talk about.

 

‘Is he still there?’ Melisa asked after some few minutes.

 

‘Yes, I think he’s trying to call you.’ Stella replied.

 

‘No,’ she hurriedly said and picked up her phone dialing Tom’s number so she could keep her number on busy.

 

‘Hey, it’s your sister.’ she said immediately Tom picked up on the first ring.

 

‘I know it’s you so what do you want?’

 

‘Don’t be mean Tom. Do I only have to call you when I need something?’ She feigned anger.

 

Grissel’s heart skipped and she relaxed back on the chair.

 

‘I’m sorry, how is everyone.’

 

‘We miss you.’ Melisa responded.

 

‘I would come around soon, I just have an overload of work these days.’

 

‘You mean Stella is giving you a tough time at work?’ Melisa said loudly glancing at Stella while Grissel sat back eager to hear his voice.

 

Stella made a gesture indicating she hasn’t done anything wrong.

 

‘No, I’ve been slow with work and it got piled up.’

 

‘Okay, but you were right earlier.’

 

‘I knew it. You need help.’ He said literally jumping up from his end.

 

‘Yes, I’m getting married next week.’

 

‘What? To whom.’ He asked with a surprise tone.

 

‘To a human being Tom. You don’t need to rub it in my face that I may never find love.’

 

‘I’m sorry, so what do you need.’ He asked calmly.

 

‘A loan Tom.’

 

He went mute on the phone and kept scratching his head. ‘Can’t you ask Aunty to help?’

 

‘I could ask aunty but I came to you as a sister.’ She feigned sadness.

 

Don’t cry on me now? How much do you need?’

 

‘Yaay, just five thousand dollars.’

 

What? That’s too much Lisa besides shouldn’t the man be paying for these expenses.’

 

‘Bryan doesn’t have money right now.’

 

‘Bryan?’ He sounded surprised. ‘Come on. You still want to marry that loser?’

 

He is not a loser Tom. Or do you want me to end up alone?’

 

‘No, but at least if he has agreed to marry you, he should be a man.’

 

‘Are you helping me or not? I could sell mommy’s car.’ Melisa muttered sternly.

 

‘No, that car is an artifact.’ Tom said. He loved his mother’s old Benz and have prevented her sister and Julia from selling it all these years.

 

‘So?’ Melisa asked hoping for a yes.

 

‘Emmm, alright. I would wire you the money once we are done here but you have to pay back.’

 

‘Okay boss.’ Melisa answered cheerfully. ‘

 

‘I have to go now, my friends are around right now.’

 

‘Make sure to get a new suit because you are walking me down the aisle.’

 

‘Morris would do that.’

 

‘No, I want you and invite those your friends as well.’ Melisa stressed.

 

‘I will madam.’ He replied teasingly and hanged up laughing.

 

‘You are manipulative Lisa. You think Tom would pay for a wedding he is not interested in.’ Grissel said once she hanged up.

 

‘Relax, he would and that reminds me I have to call Bryan.’ Melisa was saying when she got the alert of the exact amount she asked from Tom.

 

She smiled and tossed the phone to Grissel who recognized the account number. She kept staring at the phone for a while and decided to hand it over.

 

‘Is he okay?’ Grissel finally asked the one question on her mind.

 

‘Yeah, he sounded cheerful.’ Melisa said sadly.

 

‘Don’t you think you need to come with us when we are leaving?’ Stella rubbed her hands to grab her attention.

 

‘No, I’m not done here yet and besides Melisa hasn’t given me the wedding date.’

 

‘Sunday and you should be there early enough if you really want to have a talk with Tom before anything else.’ Her sister in law stressed.

 

‘I would try and please, your boyfriend has been standing for long Lisa.’ Grissel cautioned.

 

‘I don’t know what you want me to do. Hand over the phone.’

 

She dialed Brain’s number and he answered after the third ring.

 

‘Get yourself ready, we are getting married on Sunday.’

 

‘Huh. Lisa.’

 

‘Yes it’s me and you heard me right. I would send you the address of the venue.’

 

‘I don’t understand you right now.’

 

‘Do you still want me or not?’ Melisa asked him.

 

‘No, yes I mean I do want to be with you but you are rushing this whole marriage thing.’

 

‘I can see you are not ready,’ she said with frustration written on her face. ‘I would find someone else.’

 

‘Wait.’ Bryan said when he noticed she was going to hang up.

 

‘I’m listening Bryan.’

 

‘How does this work?’

 

‘You just come to the address I would be sending you and my dad would take care of talking to your people.’

 

‘Okay, but don’t you think, my family should be talking to yours rather.’

 

‘Alright, have it your way but just come on time.’

 

‘Thank you Lisa for giving me another chance.’ He mentioned happily.

 

‘You were a victim so I understand but can I call you back later.’

 

‘Sure.’ He said and hanged up.

 

Melisa breathed deeply and heavily.

 

‘Lisa, you don’t have to do this just to get back at anyone.’ Grissel registered her displeasure.

 

‘Yeah, I agree with Grissel. Just don’t make the poor guy suffer anymore.’

 

‘You two should leave me alone right now. I liked the guy until I heard the truth.’

 

‘And you think that calls for revenge?’ Grissel asked.

 

‘You are doing the same thing here with Dane, besides I just thought I could help you this way.’

 

‘No, there are other ways to deal with my situation.’ Grissel mumbled.

 

‘Just tell me, you would come for the wedding.’

 

‘Definitely, I want this but not your way of handling it.’ Grissel affirmed.

 

‘Hey ladies, your boyfriend would collapse if you don’t stop arguing.’ Stella interrupted.

 

They all glanced towards his direction.

 

Dane was pacing from the far end of the balcony stealing glances at them. He had a pathetic look on which they kept laughing at.

 

‘Reed.’ Grissel waved her hands inviting him over.

 

When he heard Grissel mention his name, as if that was the best thing that ever happened to him, he smiled and picked up his phone by the table.

 

‘What are you doing Grissel?’ Melisa asked quietly, while Dane walked over.

 

Dane scratched his jaw when he got there. ‘Emmm, you called me.’

 

‘Yes, your girlfriend here is hungry,’ She said and winced in pain. Melisa had kicked her under the table with her foot.

 

‘Are you okay?’ Stella asked Grissel who gestured towards Melisa. She had a sheepish smile on her face and at the same time avoiding Dane’s gaze on her.

 

Grissel nodded to answer her question while Dane kept looking at Melisa who was avoiding his eyes all the time.

 

‘I can take you ladies out across the street to eat.’ He watched them with their funny expressions and shifted his eyes on Melisa.

 

As if on cue they all glanced at him. ‘No, that’s unethical. You can make her some sausage sauce here.’ Grissel said with a teasing face.

 

Melisa tried to hit her again under the table. This time around she was expecting it so she withdrew her legs quickly.

 

‘Okay, give me about twenty minutes.’ He announced and left quickly.

 

Melisa who was holding her laughter bust into a hilarious one. ‘Goodness what just happened. Was that Dane?’

 

‘Of course Lisa.’ Grissel responded.

 

‘What did you do to him?’ Melisa further asked.

 

‘Nothing, I already told you earlier about his confession.’

 

‘Yes, but he has become too soft.’ Melisa complained.

 

‘You haven’t seen anything yet. If I tell him to bath me he will.’ Grissel bragged.

 

‘Dane has always been soft though strict sometimes and he’s a good cook too.’ Stella who knew him best said.

 

‘Yeah, unlike my Tom.’ Grissel said sadly as she wasn’t sure what lies ahead of her.

 

‘Wow, I like this new Dane but……’ Her hands flew to her mouth quickly. Her intention was to dissuade Grissel from her sad thoughts but it seems she’s going to get teased all over again.

 

‘It’s alright Lisa.’ Stella chipped in. ‘He’s all yours now.’

 

‘No, I still don’t want him.’

 

‘We live to see.’ Grissel teased just that moment Dane came out bearing a tray of glasses and wine.

 

He dropped it on the table and glanced at them. ‘Help yourselves, lunch would soon be ready.’

 

Everyone was quiet watching him stare at them.

 

‘Thanks, I would prefer juice. Just give the whole bottle to Shirley.’ Grissel notified him.

 

‘Don’t worry I would bring it. She said you grounded her so she’s busy reading.’

 

‘Oh yeah, I forgot. Thanks.’ Grissel said nonchalantly.

 

She knew Dane must be excited seeing her talk to him since all she does to him these days was to yell at him.

 

He walked away knowing all eyes were on him. Then Melisa stood up to leave.

 

‘Where do you think you are going?’ Stella asked.

 

‘To get Grissel that juice.’

 

‘He would bring it Lisa.’ Grissel said.

 

‘I know but I don’t like the way you are treating him.’

 

‘Oh wow, finally. Just say you want to talk to him and don’t use my juice as an excuse.’

 

‘You do know I’m getting married next week to Bryan right?’

 

Grissel scoffed. ‘Okay Madam Bryan.’ They both teased Melisa and waved her goodbye.

 

She shook her head and sat down. ‘Let’s wait for him then.’

 

Dane came back later with mango juice and rushed back to the kitchen.

 

There was noise coming from the kitchen and that moment Dani came out frowning.

 

‘Mommy, why is Daddy nervous and making noise. I’m trying to read.’

 

Grissel looked back at her and smiled. ‘Lisa, can you take her away for a few days?’

 

‘I could until after the wedding.’ Melisa smiled at Dani who rushed back in and came back with her hands behind her back.

 

Everyone was wondering why she went back in.

 

‘Mommy, I want to tell you something.’ She brought a white envelope from behind her.

 

‘What is that you are holding?’ Grissel curiously asked.

 

‘I need something first.’ Shirley grinned childishly.

 

‘What did we say the last time?’ Grissel asked sternly.

 

‘No blackmailing.’ She said moving a step back.

 

‘Good, so let me have the envelope.’ Grissel demanded sternly.

 

‘Lisa,’ Shirley glanced at her and then to Stella. ‘Can you tell mommy to get me a phone?’

 

‘Is that all?’ Stella who was quiet watching them suddenly asked.

 

‘Yes, I miss my friends in Dallas.’

 

‘It’s settled, you can have mine.’ Stella offered avoiding Grissel’s gaze on her.

 

Dani rushed on the phone smiling.

 

‘Ella? This is a mistake.’ Grissel cautioned.

 

‘Relax, the phone is just for today besides you shouldn’t deny Shirley her friends.’

 

’That’s true especially when she’s in the midst of all these problems.’ Melisa added.

 

Grissel kept quiet watching them and smiled.

 

‘Alright, for just a few hours. ‘She sternly told her daughter. ‘Now let me have the envelope.’ Grissel reached out.

 

‘No, it’s going to make you sick.’ She said with a sad tone.

 

‘Alright, give it to Lisa then.’ Grissel responded.

 

She handed the envelope out and was rushing off. ‘Lisa, Daddy needs help with that food. He’s messing up the whole kitchen.’

 

Grissel gave her a stare and she rushed off. Melisa tossed the envelope over to Stella. ‘Whatever is in there, I know it’s no good news.’

 

‘Why should I be the one to open it?’ Stella said dropping it on the table in front of them.

 

Grissel looked at them both and picked the envelope off the table while they looked on.

 

She realized it was already opened. Grissel hissed when she realized what it was.

 

Melisa snatched it from her while Stella shifted her seat over to read. ‘Grissel, I thought you told me your proceedings are still pending and that was the main reason you are still here.’

 

‘As you can see he had it all along.’ Grissel responded in a slow tone.

 

‘Why would he do that?’ Melisa was starting to get jittery.

 

‘Probably he figured out I would leave once I found out we got an approval because I know he had no idea about his dad giving me custody yet.’

 

‘This guy is heartless.’ Melisa said angrily and stood up.

 

Stella held her down since she was the closes to her at that moment.

 

‘Let it go, Grissel isn’t complaining.’

 

‘Yes, let him be. He’s just selfish but I know he’s confused too.’ Grissel sounded unsure.

 

Just then Shirley came out again with her numerous questions.

 

‘Hey, where did you get this from?’ Stella asked Dani when she walked closer with yet another frown.

 

‘Daddy’s safe. I saw him crying and locking it up the last time she and mommy had a fight.’

 

Grissel looked up at her daughter. ‘Why didn’t you say anything?’

 

‘I thought he would stop yelling at me but he didn’t.’ She complained.

 

‘So you decided to pay him back.’

 

‘Yes and don’t get angry because I know was wrong.’ She said sadly.

 

‘I’m glad you know. Come here,’ Grissel took her on to her laps.’ I’m sorry, you have to witness a lot of quarrels but it would be over soon.’

 

‘I trust you mommy but why is the food taking long?’

 

‘Your dad should be done by now.’ Just then there came a loud bang from one of the rooms as if someone dropped a plate.

 

They all questioned each other with their eyes. ‘I thi..nk I should check o…….’

 

Melisa said when that was all she wanted to do since Dane came back with the mango Juice.

 

‘Yes you should.’ Grissel concluded for Melisa who stood up heading towards the kitchen.

 

Grissel picked up a copy of the custody letter and the divorce paper they signed. She kept a copy in the envelope and instructed Shirley to keep the envelope at where she found it and keep the other copy in her bag.

 

Shirley rushed off after poking her mother’s nose playfully.

 

‘Make sure daddy doesn’t see you with it.’

 

‘Okay mommy but can I call my friends now without your supervision.’

 

‘Emm, yes but for only today.’

 

‘Got it mommy.’ She said and vanished inside.

 

***

 

‘Was that your sister earlier? Clive asked Tom. The guys decided to go to his end and cheer him up.

 

‘Yes, ‘He responded checking his laptop where he made his transfer earlier.

 

‘The only lady in your life I haven’t succeeded in sleeping with yet.’ He laughed mischievously.

 

Mike joined in the laughter and Austin was irritated.

 

Tom raised up his head slowly as if what he said hit some nerves. ‘What did you say?’

 

‘I mean every lady that came into your life I have made a move on but your sister is different.

 

Tom gave him a hot slap on the face. Clive repeated himself earlier because he felt Grissel wasn’t in the picture anymore so it was alright blabbing about it.

 

‘Ouch, man. What was that for?’

 

‘Don’t disrespect me in my house?’

 

‘But I haven’t done anything wrong here.’ Clive retorted.

 

‘Keep talking about girls around me and I would give you another slap.’ He relaxed back on the couch while the other two friends watched them both and later busted into a hilarious laughter.

 

Clive kept touching his face. ‘What are you two laughing at?’

 

‘Nothing. You deserve it Clive.’ Austin replied him while Tom coiled back on his couch.

 

‘Keep laughing, you will get your own slap when he finds out you like Grissel.’ He said angrily. Clive hates to be teased.

 

Tom raised himself up and stared at them one after the other. ‘I thought I made it clear I don’t want to hear that name in this house.’ He said angrily.

 

‘Tom relax, I’m sure Clive didn’t mean what he said.’ Mike decided to end the war approaching.

 

‘Why I’m I the only one at fault here when you both were laughing at me earlier?’ He asked yet with rage.

 

‘Because you are a coward Clive.’ Austin chipped in.

 

‘What did you say?’ Clive stood up when Tom hit his shoulder and pinned him down.

 

‘Allow him to come closer. I should have killed him when I found out he tried to rape Grissel.’ Austin suddenly said out of rage.

 

The whole room went quiet all of a sudden and before they knew it Tom was holding his laptop. He zoomed on him and hit Clive so hard yet again in the face.

 

‘Get out now?’ He yelled when Mike held him back.

 

‘Calm down. Who knows maybe Austin is bluffing.’ Mike looking at Clive whose face was battered with blood.

 

‘Mike you know me, I don’t bluff. You remember the lady he said hurt him with the wine bottle.’

 

‘OMG that was Grissel.’ Mike gasped.

 

‘I confronted them both and Grissel was just trying to prevent Tom from hurting Clive.’

 

‘This douche bag took advantage of my absence to abuse my wife and you didn’t think it was necessary to let me know.’ Tom raged, obviously referring to Austin.

 

‘As if you haven’t raped your own wife before.’ Clive said from where he sat nursing his bleeding face.

 

‘What did you say?’ Tom struggled to be free from Mike’s arm but he was not going to let that happen.

 

‘Austin, you caused all these. Come and help me hold him down.’ Mike asked of him.

 

‘Clive started it.’ Austin replied him while standing up.

 

‘I know but right now isn’t the time to say all these.’

 

‘When is the right time? It’s too much a secret to keep anyway.’ Austin answered angrily.

 

Tom who was in Mike’s arm yelled. ‘Everyone should get out before I lose it.’ He managed to sneak out of Mike’s grasp and walked away from them.

 

The guys advised themselves and left before he came back with a knife. When he didn’t find them, he dropped to the couch clasping his hands on his head crying.

 

After a few minutes he reached out for his phone and dialed Stella’s number but it was busy as Dani was on conference call with her friends at that same time.

 

He knew calling Melisa would be a mistake. He stared at the knife and the whole room went dull all of a sudden.

 

***

 

Melisa leaned against the kitchen door and watched him struggle to cook and clean the mess on the floor at the same time. She stood there for a while unnoticed then she decided to scoff.

 

‘’Hey,’ Dane said and took off his gaze.

 

Melisa did not move an inch neither did she utter a word. He ignored her and went about what he was doing for a few minutes before she walked closer.

 

‘Let me do that.’ She said asking for the knife to cut out the vegetables when he seemed to be tired or nervous because she was around.

 

He looked back at her and used the napkin on his shoulder to wipe his forehead which was drenching in sweat. Dane knew he needed help because he has never been that nervous with cooking especially when Dani started growing up without her mother he was the one responsible for her meals.

 

‘Okay, I will just wash up while you finish the garnishing.’ He said and gave her the knife with shaky hands.

 

Melisa laughed in her head which he was fumbling and at the same time she pitied him.

 

She chopped the vegetables just the way she liked them and quickly added it to the sauce while Dane kept stealing glances while washing.

 

‘I’m sorry I hurt you.’ He said quietly.

 

Melisa decided to ignore him but she also knew he needs to know she has moved on.

 

‘D, I’ve moved on so let it go.’

 

‘Alright but you should know I’ve made things right with Grissel and she’s free to leave anytime.’

 

‘I know about all that.’ She told him and went about fetching plates for their lunch which he took forever to cook.

 

They ignored each other until they were both done with what was necessary at that point.

 

‘I miss you.’ He drew her closer in an embrace all of a sudden from where he was earlier which seemed liked he was not going to let go anytime soon.

 

Surprisingly, Melisa held on as well. Dane thought she was going to push him away but she didn’t.

 

They held on to each other for a few more minutes until their heads were knocking each other and they found their lips.

 

Melisa knew she had to stop after a few minutes but she missed his touch. Their lips were clenched to each other and just when they were enjoying their moments Grissel came knocking.

 

‘I’m hungry, can I have my food first while you two continue where you stopped.’ She said laughing while Melisa felt embarrassed.

 

‘Emmm it’s done. I would serve now.’ She walked away from Dane who was smiling as if he just won a lottery.

 

Grissel smacked Melisa and left smiling. Melisa quickly got the food ready and left him still smiling.

 

They had their lunch and left when it was almost late in the evening as they had a few wedding plans to sort out. Dane was hoping he would see Melisa before she left but she left unannounced without Dani because she slept off after lunch. Dane convinced himself what happened in the kitchen earlier would save their broken relationship.

 

To be continued

 

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