BEING MRS SPENCE
“Do you remember this place? Maxwell asked her.
“Yes, like yesterday…I remember everything. Memories of here is still fresh…
“Same with me. You made me fall in love with this place. Is filled with nature… everything about it speaks of God’s awesome creation. I came here twice before finally traveling to Germany and only ones since I returned back. Anytime I thinks of this place I think of you.
Florence smiled, she breathed deeply.
“Indeed, it speaks of God’s glorious artistical work. Faraway from the crowd, echos and noise of the world. I find a perfect peace…real peace whenever I’m here. Although things has really changed around here, a little bit added humans coming and going but despite all that it still holds it’s nature tight.
Florence said gazing around the field.
Maxwell nodded as he looked at her and quickly looked away.
Florence have not changed much. Even with the years that went by and being a married woman she was still looking radiant except for a dark circle beneath her eyes. Which clearly shows she has not been sleeping well and obviously stressed out. She tried to used a little makeup to cover it but a closer look at her will reveal it all.
He was surprised when she chat him up after warning him to stay off few months ago because she was happily married.
He thought she will turn down the invite but she surprisingly agreed to hang out with him here.
Seeing her again brings back lots of memories.
She was around twenty five years when she met her Coleman and immediately ended their over two years relationship.
Her reasons for breaking up appears genuine but he wish she never left.
He was a traveler and was mostly on a journey but he tries as much as possible to explain the nature of his job to her understanding.
Florence love for him started growing cold when he traveled to Uganda for research.
He was too busy and couldn’t speak with her for two months.
That period he lost his phone and has to also get a new phone which was another reason why their communication was breeched.
Florence called almost everyday, send messages without reply.
When he traveled back he was afraid that his girlfriend was probably fed up but she listened to his explanation as he also promise to get better.
But it was never better, he traveled again to Madagascar, stayed for just five months.
The communication went cold, things weren’t as they used to be.
When he retuned Florence told him that she was moving on, she was in love with another and she can no longer cope with the cold communication and constant travels.
He knew her mind was made up.
The fault was from him. Florence has been patient enough but he only wish she could have exercise more patient with him to round up with all the projects he was running around for.
Florence ended things and moved on with a guy she called Coleman.
She was really in love with this new guy and didn’t hide it.
When she announced that she was getting married.
It was a painful news.
He has wished to make Florence his bride some day.
He has imagined how the future will be like having a kind, God fearing beautiful Florence by him side.
He congratulated her and wished her the best.
She was twenty six years when she moved on and later got married to the man she truly loved.
He also moved on, traveled to Germany stayed there for years. Had a daughter with a German lady. He planned to get married to the lady but it didn’t work out.
He later retuned home.
He tried not to pry Florence, to know how many kids she has with her husband and why she suddenly was giving him audience.
Deep down he knew all is not well with her and only hope she will open up whenever she wants to.
But if she chose not to tell him anything then is fine.
They will just enjoy the breeze, the serenity of the field and each others presence.
They sat on a long bench, Maxwell turned and looked at her. Florence was staring at a couple sitting on a distance bench on the far left side.
Maxwell followed her gaze and saw what she was watching keenly.
The lady was relaxing on the man’s arm, as he cuddle her up.
He said something and she chuckled, looked up at him and kissed him fully on the mouth.
The distance couple were having a beautiful uninterrupted moment.
Maxwell try to say something to draw Florence back to reality.
She can’t stop watching the couple
He cleared his voice loudly but Florence didn’t flinch.
“Uhmm…so Flox.. your husband, has he ever brought you down here before, maybe alone or with the kids?
She didn’t reply immediately, she remained silent.
Maxwell tapped her shoulder a little.
She turned and looked up at him.
As Maxwell tries to repeat what he said, Florence interrupted.
“I heard you clearly the first time Max. My silence only means that I don’t want to talk about my private or family life. I just want to enjoy the serenity of this place.
“I’m sorry… sorry for bringing it up. Maxwell apologiezed.
Maxwell and Florence sat for sometime before deciding to take a walk around.
Florence deliberately walked pass the couple she was staring at before.
They were married to each other as their wedding band reveals it.
Florence thought of Cole but quickly waves it off.
“The beauty of this place is undiluted. It makes us appreciate nature more. I think why people haven’t filled up here is might be because of the entry fee attached. It’s high price is very suitable and kept remnants away.
Maxwell said as he walks around with Florence.
Florence nodded in agreement.
“…I remember one of our time out here, I sat watching you move to the lake side. You spread out your hand, with your face raised to the sky and eyes shut. The sun kissing your face brightened up your beauty and you appeared like an angelic being. I couldn’t get enough of such precious moments. It was a rare sight stored in my memory. Flox, If I ever forget everything about you which is impossible though, I will never forget that picture you created on my mind eight years ago. I have a similar oil painting hanging in my sitting room…
“Oh really. Wooow! You personally asked an artist to paint it…?
Florence exclaimed smiling.
“No, I was driving and sighted it an art gallery. It wasn’t exactly but almost. It still speaks of the true beauty of nature. I asked of the price, expensive but it was worth every dime. I bought it with extra two but that particular one stood out as my best.
Florence looked up at him and smile.
“We had similar passion for nature before we separated, I got married and some things didn’t appeal to my senses anymore. Well, so I thought until this moment. Probably because the man I married wasn’t a nature freak like I used to be. I miss a whole lot of things in my five years of marriage but I blame no one for that. Marriage has always comes with different baggage… you know…
She swallowed hard before breathing in deeply.
“…I will love to see the painting but I don’t know how possible that…
She paused, folded her hand in akimbo style.
Max saw the sadness in her eyes. He wish he can comfort her and take away whatever that was troubling her.
“Do you want to come around to my place some time? Please let me know whatever you decide and it will be a honor having you under my roof again.
Florence nodded, she told him probably next weekend but she will let him know if she can make it or not.
They become quiet, Maxwell picked up a peddle, he began throwing it towards the water side.
“Do you remember one comedy show we attended one evening, it was during an Easter period? Max asked her
Florence nodded without looking at him. Maxwell continued
“… there will be a live show next weekend. If you are interested, I can book down our tickets ahead of time…
Florence was quiet. Maxwell continued
“…is okay if you don’t feel like it. Or you can come with your loved ones too. I will pay for all the tickets just let me know ahead of time. Is that okay by you, do you want to think about it or you aren’t interested?
“I dunno yet. I can’t really tell.. give me from now till morrow… let me check my schedule.
“Alright then. There’s no problem. By the way… how’s your elder sister Susu? She nicked named me journey walker because of the way I’m always on the road and air travelling. I remember she saying if we happen to get married, you will become Mrs Walker or Mrs journey…
Florence started laughing, Maxwell joined her.
“I Remember that too. She will always ask me, “Flo, is Mr Walker back or he’s still journeying” I will tell her that you were still journeying. My sister can be super funny… she’s doing great by the way. Mother of two boys, if I include her husband then it will three boys. She usually say “my boys are out, my three boys are in the game room playing tennis or soccer…
Maxwell laughed out.
He was happy to watch Florence laughing.
They stayed talking about many other things.
They later went to the cafeteria and ordered for food and drinks.
The day was getting dark.
After they were done, they stayed up talking some more before Maxwell said.
“I guess is time to head home. I don’t always feel comfortable with a lady driving late at night. If not that you came with your car, I would have love to take you home first..to make sure you are home safe.
“I don’t feel like going yet, I want to stay a little more before thinking of entering the road again.
Florence didn’t want to tell Maxwell that she was lodging in a hotel. Going back to her hotel room will be so lonely and quiet. She may start thinking of her present predicament of which she doesn’t want to. Staying out will take her mind away from certain things.
Maxwell did not want to argue with her but he wasn’t comfortable with the fact she wanted to stay out late when is already 9:40pm.
Her husband and probably kids maybe worried about her.
Driving alone, late at night is quiet dangerous for a vulnerable lady.
“…i feel like taking some liquor, i want to get intoxicated a little before leaving or better still take it along with me to my hote…to my house..
Maxwell knew she was about to say hotel but quickly change it.
He has many things running through his mind. He wondered if it was a mere slip of tongue or Florence was actually lodging in a hotel.
At same time he tried not to pry.
“, You can’t take a liquor tonight. you will be driving remember and is 10pm already. Maybe next time you can have enough of alcohol as you like but not tonight…. alright?
He gently took her hands into his, pat it gently and try to remind her that she is very important, not just to him but to many others who wouldn’t want to see any harm come to her.
Florence withdraw her hands from him.
She stood and told Max that she was going.
Maxwell walked her to the car and asked her to drive safe.
After she drove off, Maxwell retuned to his own car and drove away.
Cole searched frantically, he opened several cupboard, bags, lockers, lifted the bed, on every corner and even on the roof.
He rushed down from the stairs to the gym house where Marina was doing a pregnant lady’s work out.
Cole was shouting her name as he rushed towards her.
Marina sat up, drank deeply from her filled smoothy juice. She looked unbothered as Cole approached her.
“I’m looking for my money, did you take it…or happens to see it?
Marina sighed before saying
“How much is even the money that is making you scream my name as if the entire house was on fire?
Cole mentioned and it was thousands of dollars which he kept away safe.
“How can you even accuse me of taking your money, how… just how Cole? Do I look like a thief to you. How can I go to your bag and take such a huge amount? What do you take me for. Is probably Florence that stole the money the last time she came. This accusations is a huge disrespect to me…
Cole stood not knowing what to do or say anymore.
Florence has been gone for over a week. All his five years of marriage to Florence he has never looked for anything, mostly cash.
Florence was careful, articulated, neat and many other great attributes that Marina lacks.
He could have agreed with Marina that Florence probably took the whole money due to the fight they had but after Florence was gone, he still saw the money on the second day.
Florence has never returned ever since, so how come the money went missing.
He frowned at the way Marina was already throwing tantrum.
She was mad at him for accusing her of stealing instead of Florence.
He has no choice than to quickly apologies.
And blames himself for the carelessness as he promised to go back to search again.
Marina sighed out her relief as she relaxed back and continue sipping her smoothy.
Cole sadly climbed up the stairs to the main house, he angrily punched the wall out of frustrations and held back his hand in pain.
He went to the master bedroom which he presently shares with Marina. The room was in a total mess.
He doesn’t even know where to start from in cleaning the room.
Marina’s stuffs were everywhere. He was tired.
Even though Marina has asked him not to employ a female help, she does not want any lady to start competing with her over her man and the house.
He has to look for somebody who will cook, wash and clean because he was tired of doing it and the mess kept increasing everyday.
He was fed up from cleaning the house every time while Marina goes on messing it up.
Cole sat hard on the bed, he held his head in his hand sadly.