Lizzy stood up and paced thoughtfully. “Jesus, I can’t believe this. Andy?” the full memory of the past evening returned with full force and she swallowed as pain overshadowed her. “What did they both say?”
“What else would Andy say? He said it is not what I think”
she laughed slightly. “Sonia said he was trying to rape her.
It is so disheartening Liz, my friend almost got raped because she visited me” she remembered something. “That was when Sonia surprised me by mentioning the one year contract between Andy and I”
“Yes. I was terribly shocked. She said a whole load of crap”.
Jessica went ahead to narrate everything that was said the previous night, even including Andy’s bewildered responses.
Lizzy sat down and looked thoughtful.
“Something is fishing. I am not sure I trust Sonia”.
“Lizzy! How can you say that?”
“It is true Jessie, I don’t trust quiet people. Come to think of it, she said she would be in your house in two hours time and you got back after one hour only to meet her there”.
“It happens all the time Lizzy. She might have anticipated traffic when she said that but met with a clear road”.
“But she knew you were at the saloon and could have gone earlier to meet Andy” Lizzy looked thoughtful.
“Why would she want to do that?”
“Everyone loves a rich man”.
“Stop it Lizzy, I can’t believe you doubt your own friend.”
Jessica was surprised.
“I am just trying to be the reasonable person here; I mean, if you can doubt your husband, I see no reason why a friend cannot be doubted. Besides, I cannot fully trust someone who is too quiet, just like Sonia. I can still remember how much she lamented on the beauty of your house and how much you must be enjoying”
“Everyone did that, even you. I can surely doubt my husband, or contract husband but I have known you girls for a long time now, I trust you”
“The same way you trusted that best friend of yours and she stole your first man? You can deny it but deep down, you know that what is between you and Andy is beyond just a mere contract” Lizzy countered. Jessica did not have to answer when they heard a knock.
Jessica was still processing everything when all of a sudden Andy was standing before her. She did not know when Lizzy opened the door, all she saw was Andy, standing at the entrance, looking directly at her. As usual, his presence was so powerful, she could almost touch it, but she still noticed his anxiety.
“I would leave you two alone” Lizzy said.
“No Lizzy, don’t you dare” Jessica yelled.
Lizzy was never known to be an obedient child; she went outside and closed the door. Jessica breathed deeply. “What do you want?” She folded her arms across her chest.
“I just want you to hear me out Jess. Don’t sentence me without giving me a fair hearing” Andy said.
“What do you have to say? More lies?”
“The truth. Jess, Sonia was forcing herself on me”.
“I was sitting shirtless in the sitting room when I heard a knock. I felt it was you so I did not bother putting on the shirt. Sonia came in when I opened the door so I went for my shirt but she flung it. She came up with a story that she does not know what I saw in her S.U. friend and that I should have come for someone like her.
She jumped on me before I could even think and we both fell on the chair. It was while I was trying to detach myself from her that you entered” Andy landed.
Jessica smiled and laughed. She clapped her hands slowly.
“Bravo. Did you spend the entire night coming up with that story?”
Andy groaned. “Come on Jessica, I know we just became intimate and that it must be hard for you to believe me, but trust me Jess, I can’t hurt you” he paused. “I love you”.
Jessica swallowed. “Wow… the three magic words. Is that what you tell every woman you sleep with?”.
Andy swallowed. It had taken being in that traffic to finally admit that he was madly in love with Jessica. It was something he had known for some time but never admitted to himself, much less someone else. “I have only told Wendy that”.
“Oh, the woman at Convy Hotel?”
Andy hated the way Jessica goaded him. “No, my ex.” He paused. “She was my fiancé”. she swallowed. He sat on the chair at the dinning for some minutes without talking.
Jessica was done goading. She saw the pain that raked through him and was deeply touched. “She is the reason why I could not love any other woman. She was my first love”.
“What did she do?” Jessica’s voice softened.
“She died” Jessica gasped. “A day before our wedding” Andy swallowed. “She was asthmatic, I knew that and made sure I always got her inhaler. I was not rich then and getting the pump at times was difficult. She was caring and understanding. When her pump finished she did not tell me; heck, she should have. She was so d–n stubborn, wanting to buy things by herself.” He inhaled. “She got an asthma attack and the people in the house found an empty pump.
They rushed her to the hospital but before they got there, she was already… already dead” she swallowed hard and breathed deeply. Jessica could not move a muscle. “I was busy expecting the next day so that I can be joined with my wife. I was at the bachelors’ night that was organized by my friends when my friends called me. They were told to tactically deliver the news to me. How tactically can they deliver that? Tell me”.
Jessica went and hugged him tightly. “It is OK Drew” she wanted to take away the pain she saw in his eyes. Andy was not the extremely emotional type but he needed that hug.
“That was why I dived into work. It paid off because I am successful today but I didn’t have time for p women. I had some women after that but it was not anything serious.”
The feel of Jessica drove his pain away. He pulled back and stared into her eyes. “I would never hurt you Jessie. You were the reason why I became obsessed with work. I thought about you every time and I was using work to substitute you in my mind” he kissed her head. “Do you have feelings for me Jess?”
“Please, don’t say no.” he paused. “You know what, I would be back. Please think about it” He kissed her cheek, stood up and walked out slowly……..
To be continued.
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