A NIGHT WITH HIM
“Wait! Travis Noris is your father?” Mr Marshall asked and his spoon dropped from his hand when she nodded.
“What!” He exclaimed.
Everyone looked at him anxiously wondering why he did that.
Irene was the most anxious, she knew her father wasn’t a bad person but her heart couldn’t help but beat fast in fear.
The expression on Mr Marshall’s face was inexplicable.
“Come here darling” He said to Irene and she felt relieved alongside everyone else.
She went to him and he surprisingly hugged her tight.
“I’m so sorry about Travis’s death, it was a year after his death that i was informed ” Mr Marshall said and Irene looked confused.
Mr Marshall had known her father?
“How did you get to know him?” Harold asked.
“You know i was once based in San Francisco and i have my paper company here. Mr Travis used to make wears for my employees and seeing how good he is,i started letting him make my wears, i even had to make him my personal fashion designer and he did not only become my personal designer but my friend” Mr Marshall smiled sadly.
“He’s the most honest man i’ve ever seen, righteous, incorrupt,selfless. Despite being my friend,he never asked for any favour, he turned me down many times whenever i wanted to give him money. He’s the reason i still have my paper company till date, he told me how my employees were planning on taking over the company and i quickly took action against them. I’ll forever be grateful to him” Mr Marshall said.
Irene’s eyes were filled with tears already and everyone else looked emotional.
“He stopped coming to the company all of a sudden, i called him, he never picked,i didn’t even know his home address by then. Suddenly,his number stopped connecting,i had new employees then and none of them knew so much about Travis,he’s a very private man,he rarely divulges information about himself or his family, though he told me he had two children and he named his fashion store ‘daire’ after them. I visited my old employees one after the other and no one knew his home address, I learned he was dead a year later when one of my old employees told me he came across his wife” Mr Marshall was fighting back his tears as he spoke and Harold could see how much Irene’s father meant to him.
This is one of the few times he’ll see his father close to tears.
“I know i opened up an old wound in you,I’m sorry” Mr Marshall said to Irene and she nodded.
Mrs Nola had passed her a handkerchief to wipe her tears.
“I’m so sorry about your father’s death Irene” everyone said in unison.
“Thank you” Irene sniffed.
“May Travis’s gentle soul rest in perfect peace ” Mr Marshall and they all chorused Amen.
A minute silence was observed for him before Mr Marshall continued.
“You don’t know how happy i am to meet you, everything i wasn’t able to do for Travis,I’m gladly do it for you. Daire fashions is gonna go worldwide like your father always wanted, you’ll have the most prominent customers, i was told you have a little workshop in my son’s garden. I’m gonna transform it into..”
“Dad,stop” Harold suddenly said.
“What? Why?” Mr Marshall asked.
Harold sighed…”I didn’t plan to reveal this, this way but i have plans for Daire fashions already. I’m going to handle it dad”
“We both can handle it” Mr Marshall said.
Irene was still stunned…she couldn’t even process everything, she was still sad in remembrance of her father’s death and tears won’t stop streaming down her face.
“Can i le..ave? I need to,i need sometime to myself” Irene said.
“Yes you can leave, will you be fine?” Harold asked and she nodded.
“I’ll take care of Ivory” Allysia said and Irene muttered thanks before walking to her room.
“Dad, we all know there’ll be nothing left for me to do if you step in. ” Harold said.
“I want to do something for Travis” Mr Marshall insisted .
“Me doing it, is the same as you doing it, I’m your son and Irene is Mr Travis daughter,leave it for me to handle Dad,i have so many plans already, please” Harold said.
“Alright,there are other ways i can help too, I’ll think of other things to do for them” Mr Marshall said.
“I feel sorry for her, she must have gone through a lot” Mrs Marshall said.
“A whole lot” Harold said, knowing where he had met Irene, she had to that impure work for her brother and mother to survive.
She even dropped out of school to give her brother a good education.
“You won’t believe Irene is insisting on paying me back the money i spent on her stepmum’s surgery” Harold said.
“Really?” Mr Marshall asked.
“Isn’t she just like her father” Mr Marshall wondered.
“She is, Dad, now i know where she got that rare behavior from” Harold said.
“You aren’t going to accept the money back from her, are you” Mr Marshall asked.
“I wasn’t going to. I would never do that” Harold said.
“Good!” Mr Marshall sighed. He’s so happy to have met Travis daughter and knowing she has the same behavior as her father made him happier.
“Purity is yawning already” He Marshall smiled at his granddaughter.
“Let’s get you to bed Ivory” Allysia said and everyone kissed Ivory goodnight.
“I should go check on Irene also” Harold said and got to his feet.
Irene stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel,she wrapped it around her body and walked to her room.
She just finished having her night shower after crying in remembrance of her father.
She felt a little better now and she proceeded to wear her pajamas.
She let her hair down her back after wearing her pajamas and then got under the blanket.
She heard a knock on the door and somehow knew it was Harold.
“Harold I’m fine” She said.
“Are you sure?” He asked outside her door.
“Yes, i need to sleep now” She said.
“Good night” Irene said.
She wasn’t even feeling sleepy, she only stared blankly into space and made the memories of her father occupy her head.
Tears started streaming down her face before she knew it.
–Irene, you need to be better than i am. I want you to be one of the most famous designers in the world, do not bother about how you’re gonna do it. I’ll teach you everything,all you need to do is just focus okay?– Her father’s words rang in her ears and she smiled.
The ringtone of her phone jolted her from her thought, she sat up and she checked the caller ID.
She sighed and allowed it stop ringing before switching off her phone, there’s no how she’ll pick that he wouldn’t sense that something is wrong with her.
She was finally starting to feel sleepy, she got out of the bed and walked into Ivory’s room through the adjoining door,she was sleeping beautifully and Irene smiled as she saw her stir in her bed.
She covered her properly with her blanket and walked back to her room.
“I called Irene yesternight but she didn’t pick,i guessed she was asleep” Damien said to Marlene after she asked what Irene said about Allysia.
“Ohh” Marlene said.
“If she doesn’t come to school today,then something is definitely wrong” Damien said.
They were yet to see Allysia.
“She must have been so affected by what happened…i understand” Marlene said.
“Uh…She’s here” Damien said and Marlene raised up her head.
Allysia walked into the class and there was silence for a while before the students started murmuring and mocking her.
No one greeted her like they used to but she looked like she didn’t care.
She dropped her backpack in her locker and headed to her seat.
Surprisingly she wasn’t on make up and she still looked flawlessly beautiful.
Her hair was packed in a simple ponytail and she didn’t even had that arrogant look anymore.
Her eyes met with Marlene’s and Damien’s as she sat down.
“Woah” Marlene said.
“I’m wowed too, this is the first time i’ll be seeing her without make up” Damien said.
“And she looked so beautiful still” Marl said and Damien nodded.
“Didn’t you see she’s changed a little…there’s something about her face that looked calm, did you noticed?” Damien asked.
“Of course i did, i hope she has really changed though..for better” Marlene said.
“I’m glad nothing seems wrong with her” Dam said.
“Me too” Marl said.
“Damien,come with me, Mr Natalie wants to see you” Mrs Gina Said as she rounded up her class.
Damien got up and followed her.
Marlene started going through the subject all over again.
Mrs Gina has a way of explaining so fast.
She was halfway through it when she heard a familiar voice.
“Hi” Allysia said and Marlene slowly raised up her head.
Allysia was standing before her, and Marlene wasn’t surprised.
“Hi” Allysia repeated.
“Hey” Marlene said.
“I know i should have waited till lunch break before doing this but..i just have to do it now that i have the courage to. I’m so sorry” Allysia said.
“For?” Marlene asked.
“Everything” Allysia said.
“I’m not pissed at you over anything, Damien is the one who deserves your apology” Marlene said.
“I know, I’m gonna apologise to him too but do you think he’s going to forgive me?” Allysia asked and Marlene smiled.
“Did you purposely waited for him to leave before coming?”
“Well..yes” Allysia admitted, she’s so ashamed to face him.
“You think he might yell at you or something?” Marl asked and Allysia nodded.
“He won’t, he forgave you already. He doesn’t hold grudge. I’m glad you finally snapped out of your oblivion Ally” Marlene said.
“All thanks to you on that” Allysia said.
“All thanks to you too cause i feel no matter how much i speak to you,if you don’t want to change,you wouldn’t have. Change is a personal decision” Marlene said and Allysia thought she speaks so intelligently.
” I’m so happy i made you consider changing cause i couldn’t even imagine you going that way forever” Marlene sigh.
“I must have been such a bad girl” Allysia said.
“Yeah,you should be called bad girl Allysia” Marlene joked and they chuckled.
“Thank you” Allysia said and Marlene nodded.
Damien walked into the class and was surprised to see them together, not only him was.
The whole class was.
They’ve been monitoring Allysia’s every movement and they were so pained she didn’t seem to mind them.
Irene had actually told her not to mind them at all.
“So..” Allysia cleared her throat and rubbed the back of her neck.
“Do you still want to be my friend?” She asked Marlene nervously.
She would understand if she says no though.
“I have to go” Allysia said when she saw Damien approaching and she had gotten to her seat before Marlene could stop her.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Damien asked Marlene as he sat down.
“She came to apologise to me and she’s worried you might yell at her or not forgive her if she comes to you” Marlene said.
“Ohh…is that why she walked to her seat when she saw me approaching?” Damien asked and Marlene nodded.
She noticed there was a different look in his eyes though,like he just discovered some piece of news he’s not happy with.
“And she asked me if I’m still interested in being her friend” Marlene said.
“Are you?” Damien asked.
“Of course, she realised her mistakes already, she has turn a new leaf plus she’s so lonely. I wouldn’t want to make her feel bad by turning her down” Marlene said.
“That’s cool” Damien said.
“And it’s time for me to also have a female friend, you have Blaine already” Marlene said and Damien laughed.
“You have to stop getting jealous Marl” He said.
“I’m not” Marlene said and Damien arched a brow in disbelief.
He looked cute and Marlene felt her inside flutter.
“Anyway, i still remain your best friend, remember that” Damien said and it was Marlene’s turn to laugh.
“You’re the one getting jealous here” She said.
“I’m not” Damien said and Marlene shook her head in disbelief.
“Did Mr Natalie discussed anything with you?” Marlene asked and Damien hesitated for a while before speaking up.
“Marl, is there anything you aren’t telling me about you?” He asked and Marlene felt instantly alarmed.
“W..what made you ask that? Did Mr Natalie told you anything?” Marl panicked inwardly.
“Not really…he only told me to protect you and i keep wondering why he said that” Damien said.
“Could it be because of my phobia? He might be asking you to protect me from other students so they won’t find out and…ahh” Marlene sighed. She hated lieing to him but she has no choice here.
She doesn’t want anyone to know about her identity yet.
Damien’s look showed he didn’t believe her and she felt so bad for lieing to him.
“Anything it is, you should tell me soon,i might get pissed when i find out myself. We’re friends and i told you everything about me already,it’s not nice to hide things about you from me when you already know everything about me ” Damien said and all Marlene could do was nod.
He was obviously starting to suspect.
“I even asked you severally why you don’t have a last name but you refused to tell me” Damien said unhappily.
“I’m sorry, I’m going to tell you everything once I’m ready to” Marlene said and he nodded..
“Hey, smile” She said and the frown left his face but he didn’t smile.
“Com’on” She whined and then starter tickling him.
“Okay..St.op ” He said in between laughter.
” I feel so ashamed to come to you Damien but i must apologize, I’m so sorry for everything,for the pains I’ve caused you,the embarrassment..the..” Allysia was saying.
She had finally summoned courage to approach him.
Students were leaving the class to the cafeteria already.
“You’re forgiven Ally, for everything” Damien said.
“Really?” Allysia asked.
“Yes” Damien smiled.
“Thank you” Allysia smiled shyly.
“I apologized to Irene also and she forgave me,she promised to make beautiful dresses for me” Allysia added, her face full of smiles.
She loves dresses.
“Woah, lucky you” Damien smiled.
“And Mr Marshall is around,will you come over during weekend to see him?” Allysia asked.
“Wow, he’s finally around. I’m not sure i can come over by weekend though” Damien said.
“I promise I’m not gonna throw things at you, you’ll leave the house in one piece” Allysia said and they laughed.
“Okay, I’ll try to come over then” Damien said.
“Alright” Allysia said and turn to Marlene,
“I..i asked you a question before leaving earlier” Allysia picked her fingers anxiously.
She has no friends anymore and coming to school and leaving without having anyone to talk to would be so terrible,not when she’s used to having people around her.
“Yes Ally, We’re friends” Marlene smiled.
“Oh..my! Thank you” Allysia was touched, she had thought Marlene would refuse.
“Why thanking me? I’m the one happy here to have a beautiful and intelligent girl as a friend” Marlene said as she got to her feet.
She stretched out her arms for a hug.
Allysia’s eyes glistened with tears and she tried to sniff back her tears before hugging Marlene.
Her tears dropped on Marlene’s clothed back and Marlene felt it, tears rushed to her face too but she did a good job in stopping it.
Damien wondered how easily females cry.
It’s just like they have a pool of water in their eyes, ready to pour out anytime.
They disengaged from the hug and Allysia cleaned her tears.
“Aren’t you gonna ask me to be your friend too?” Damien asked.
“Hey! Stick to Blaine” Marlene said sternly and he laughed.
“Punch your phone number in here” Allysia handed her phone happily to Marlene and Marlene gladly punched her number.
“Yours too” She said to Damien and he did the same.
“I’m going to the cafeteria, you both are going to wait for me when school’s over right?” Allysia asked.
“Of course, we’ll talk some more and get to know one another” Damien said.
“Why don’t you join us for lunch break, I’m afraid of how you’re gonna be in the cafeteria” Marlene said.
“Ohh..yes, the students can be silly” Damien said.
“You mean..i can join you?” Allysia was awed. She also wasn’t ready for what she’s gonna face at the cafeteria.
“Yes” Damien and Marlene said in unison.
“Thank you so much.. but, Mr Natalie” Allysia said worriedly.
“No problem, i told you to join us right? You don’t have to be worried” Marlene said.
“Mr Natalie’s daughter” Damien joked and Marlene rolled her eyes at him.
“Are you related to him?” Allysia asked Marl.
“No,but you’ll know who i am to him soon” Marlene smiled.
Few minutes later, Marlene and Allysia were chatting like long lost friends.
“Arrgh!” Damien groaned.
“I’m gonna ask Blaine to start attending Ivy Royals” He added and they laughed.