Blemi$h£d Love Episode 7
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Th£re laughter could reach every corner of th£ bar. Those @r0vnd th£m couldn’t tell exactly why th£y were laugh!ng on top of th£ir voices.
‘That rem!nds me Tom.’ Mike chipped !n still with a broad smile on h¡s face. ‘Have you asked your ch£at!ng wife ab©vt th£ night at th£ Seattle h°tel?’
Th£y were almost done consum!ng half of th£ beer !n th£ crate. Tom was mute for a few seconds clutch!ng h¡s [email protected] togeth£r t!ghtly.
‘Wait dude. Your wife ch£ated?’ Aust!n asked turn!ng to Clive and Mike’s direction.
‘That was what happened and it seemed our man h£re couldn’t [email protected] it but rath£r decided to force h¡mself on h¡s wife on th£ir wedd!ng night.
‘Wow, too bad but why am I now h£ar!ng th¡s.’ Aust!n asked no one !n particular.
Everyone was silent while gulp!ng th£ir beer.
Tom hadn’t said anyth!ng ab©vt what Clive told h¡m a week to th£ir wedd!ng because h£ knew Grissel wouldn’t ch£at on h¡m. h£ was so sure ab©vt it wh£n $h£ confirmed runn!ng !n to Clive at a h°tel wh£re $h£ was meet!ng up with Adam for bus!ness.
Though Clive’s allegations sounded genu!ne to h¡m and h£ trusted h¡s wife especially after $h£ told h¡m ab©vt bump!ng !nto Clive but th£n Mike’s call that night after th£ir wedd!ng with th£ same allegations turned h¡s world upside d©wΠ.
Tom didn’t want to believe all that Mike told h¡m that night but Grissel gave h¡m no choice wh£n $h£ wouldn’t let h¡m touch h£r on th£ir wedd!ng night. h£r behavior made h¡m furious and suspicious.
h£ committed a despicable s!n and have to leave with it even if it meant pleas!ng h¡s wife every time $h£ was wrong and h£ was right. Tom knew that was th£ only th!ng left to keep th£m both go!ng. h£ realized Grissel wasn’t th£ only one who needed to forgive h¡m, but h£ also needed to forgive h¡mself.
h£ wasn’t a staunch Christian but h£ knew ab©vt forgiveness because Grissel never stopped preach!ng that !n th£ past which always secured h¡m a free pa$$ wh£n h£ misbehaved towards h£r.
Tom wanted that for h¡mself now and had to get it anyway h£ can because wh£n Grissel h£ld h¡s [email protected] and knelt before h¡m signal!ng h¡m to do same while th£y prayed togeth£r after th£ir first quarrel, h£ knew h£ was safe and want it never to end.
Despite th£ir love and bond, h£ wasn’t so sure what th£ future holds for th£m.
Tom was still !n h¡s thought wh£n Aust!n spoke up.
‘Okay, I get it. $h£’s my friend doesn’t mean I go ab©vt tell!ng h£r everyth!ng we discuss.’ Aust!n glared.
‘We get it but anyth!ng can happen.’ Mike said.
‘Oh come off it. I’m not a snitch.’ h£ yelled.
‘That’s enough guys.’ Tom f!nally said.
‘Sorry,’ Aust!n replied.
‘Clive, I’m sure you were mistaken. I asked my wife ab©vt Aubrey and $h£ seems to have no idea ab©vt Aubrey.’
‘And who is Aubrey?’ Clive asked surprised.
‘Mike?’ Tom called ©vt to h¡m with a glare.
‘Wait, I never mentioned Aubrey.’ Clive quickly clarified.
‘What is go!ng on with you two?’ Tom asked confused.
‘Mike probably got th£ name wrong. Th£ receptionist after some brib!ng told me h£ registered under th£ name Andre.’
‘Sorry man, I didn’t get it right th£n.’ Mike apologized.
‘That still doesn’t expla!n who Andre is.’ Tom asked confusedly.
‘I only saw h£r at that h°tel’s restaurant twice !n an awkward manner.’ h£ was exam!n!ng th£ir faces while h£ spoke.
‘But you said $h£ saw you.’ Mike asked.
‘Yeah th£ first time but each time $h£ happens to be with a different guy and Tom didn’t want to pursue it th£ first time because Grissel had already told h¡m ab©vt h£r meet up with Adam th£re th£ first time we bumped !nto each oth£r.’
‘And what were you do!ng spy!ng on Grissel.’ Aust!n quickly chipped !n.
‘I wasn’t spy!ng on anyone. I went th£re with T!na and I was surprised to see h£r th£re a week and a night before h£r wedd!ng respectively.’ Clive was on th£ verge of los!ng h¡s cool.
‘So?’ Aust!n questioned rudely.
‘What was so important that couldn’t wait till after h£r wedd!ng?’ Clive muttered annoy!ngly. ‘Especially meet!ng a stranger !n a h°tel a night to your wedd!ng. For Adam I understand h£ is family but what ab©vt Andre.’
Aust!n sigh£d. ‘Tall, mid-forties, broad Ch£st, Half cast and with a dimple even from afar?’
‘Exactly, you saw th£m too?’ Clive asked happily.
‘I don’t need to see th£m Clive. Andre is one of h£r old bosses at th£ firm.’ Aust!n expla!ned.
‘You are sure ab©vt th¡s?’ Tom asked immediately Aust!n landed with h¡s speech.
‘Yes very sure but very disappo!nted !n you Tom. Grissel was avoid!ng me for weeks and I couldn’t figure ©vt wh£re I went wrong.’ Aust!n muttered pa!nfvlly while Clive grabb£d anoth£r bottle.
“I’m sorry.’ Tom gave h¡m an apologetic look.
‘Marriage is ab©vt communication, j√$t do that next time !nstead of listen!ng to Clive and h¡s fairytales.’
‘Thank you Aust!n.’ Tom h£aved a sigh of relief and grabb£d h¡s next bottle.
‘Clive you need to apologize to Grissel.’ Mike told h¡m.
‘That’s not happen!ng because I knew what I saw that night.’ Clive rubb£d !n aga!n.
‘What ab©vt a week before th£ wedd!ng. Did you happen to see th£ same man with h£r?’ Aust!n sarcastically asked.
‘Tom already confirmed $h£ was with Adam besides I saw from afar that time so i can’t confirm th£ !ncident of that week but I’m sure ab©vt th£ awkwardness th£ night before th£ wedd!ng.’
‘Okay, so th¡s is j√$t ab©vt th£ night before th£ir wedd!ng.’ Aust!n seemed to be defend!ng Grissel too much that night.
‘Sure, it was awkward man. I wouldn’t say what I haven’t seen. Hope you understand that.’
‘That’s okay Clive, we were all not !n support of how h£ treated h¡s wife so I th!nk h£ should j√$t talk to Grissel to clarify th!ngs.’ Mike chipped !n.
‘Thanks guys.’ Tom smiled weirdly.
‘Let’s celebrate th£n.’ Aust!n ch£ered while th£y h£ld th£ir bottles toast!ng.
Aust!n happens to be th£ only level h£aded one among th£m.
Grissel wiped h£r face with a fresh neatly folded paper towel and dumped it !n th£ b!n. $h£ carried th£ bowl of vegetables and salad accompaniments to th£ d!nn!ng.
Melisa who was munch!ng on a packet of biscuit $h£ found !n h£r bag after call!ng h£r aunty to !nform h£r $h£ might not come home that night felt h£r sister !n law’s shadow [email protected]||!ng on h£r.
‘What do you want now?’ $h£ asked calmly th¡s time @r0vnd.
‘D!nner is ready and before you turn it d©wΠ, remember you are !n my house so it’s eith£r you eat or get ©vt before you starve yourself.’
Grissel didn’t know wh£re all that courage from earlier and now came from.
‘I’m not hungry?’
‘Suit yourself, I j√$t have to ch£w th¡s sausage all by myself.’ $h£ muttered and walked away.
Melisa who was [email protected]¢k!ng h£r turned @r0vnd to be sure $h£ h£ard h£r right wh£n $h£ mentioned sausage but Grissel was already gone. $h£ looked up and saw h£r seated at th£ d!nn!ng and decided to jo!n h£r.
Grissel seated at th£ table alone kept try!ng Tom’s number. $h£ hanged up for th£ sixth time and h¡ssed wh£n Melisa spoke up.
‘Was that Tom aga!n?’ $h£ asked ₱v||!ng up a chair to sit.
Grissel nodded and tried once m©r£ with©vt luck. Melisa could s£nse th£ frustration !n h£r voice wh£n $h£ h¡ss and th£ worry written all over h£r face.
Melisa doesn’t know why h£r speech earlier had that much effect on h£r so $h£ decided to jo!n h£r sister !n law at th£ table.
$h£ picked a plate and di$h£d ©vt th£ spagh£tti and sausage sauce. Th£n added th£ vegetables to it while Grissel focused on h£r own food which $h£ barely touch£d.
‘Maybe h£’s ©vt with h¡s friends, don’t you have th£ir numbers.’ Melisa asked obviously worried too because Tom even as an adult [email protected]¢k th£n with Julia always did call to !nform th£m wh£n h£ was runn!ng late.
$h£ smiled and tapped h£r foreh£ad as if Melisa j√$t rem!nded h£r of someth!ng though on a normal day th£y both would have been at each oth£r’s throat.
Grissel dialed Aust!n’s number and after th£ second r!ng th£re was f!nally an answer.
‘Is my husband th£re Aust!n?’ $h£ asked.
‘Th¡s is your husband.’ Tom let ©vt a h£avy sigh.
Aust!n realiz!ng Grissel was th£ one call!ng pa$$ed th£ phone to Tom earlier.
‘Tom it’s late and what happened to d!nner?’ $h£ called ©vt.
‘OMG, forgive me Grissel. I forgot to tell you I planned on dr!nk!ng with th£ guys tonight s!nce it’s a Friday.’ h£ expla!ned while th£ oth£r guys looked on.
‘Alright, drive safely.’ $h£ replied and was ab©vt to hang up wh£n Tom asked h£r ab©vt d!nner.
‘Did you manage to get d!nner with©vt me?’
‘Yes but would you m!nd fried egg !n place of meat. We had sausage sauce th¡s even!ng and I’m too tired to get that done th¡s late.’
‘It’s okay, I will have th£ sausage sauce.’
‘Are you sure becau…?’
‘Grissel, it’s f!ne and do you th!nk you can wait up for me?’
‘You know I’m an early bird but I will try. j√$t wake me up !n case I slept off.’
‘Lisa is @r0vnd too.’ $h£ said and quickly hanged up before h£ could ask h£r to drive h£r ©vt of h¡s house.
$h£ knew Tom that well.
Melisa j√$t shook h£r h£ad and focused on h£r food !n front of h£r while Grissel left to th£ kitch£n with h£r plate due to loss of appetite.
Grissel picked up h£r plate of food.
‘You can eat all that and I have m©r£ !n th£ kitch£n !n case you are not [email protected]!$fied.’ Grissel knew Melisa loves food especially wh£n its sausage sauce unlike h£r broth£r who loves fried chicken Melisa prefers anyth!ng made with sausage.
And earlier $h£ had to choose b£tweeΠ h£r husband’s favorite and h£r sister !n law’s favorite. $h£ smiled to h£rself watch!ng Melisa eat with so much delight and th£n smacked h£r ch£eks happily.
Melisa avoided h£r gaze and tried not to smile even though it came flash!ng h£r face.
‘I made th£ right choice.’ Grissel wh¡spered silently and walked away briskly with©vt anoth£r word as Melisa looked on.
‘Is $h£ always th¡s accept!ng?’ Melisa asked h£rself while ch£w!ng on th£ sausage.
$h£ shook h£r h£ad and focused on h£r food happily. ‘Th£ fewer th£ merrier.’
Grissel’s footsteps [email protected]¢k from th£ kitch£n few m!nutes after drew h£r attention to h£r walk!ng woozily upstairs. Melisa felt a cold wave run through h£r b©dy. $h£ remembered h£r mom was always that way even wh£n th£ir Dad didn’t treat h£r right sometimes after $h£ had spent h£r wh0l£ time !n th£ kitch£n cook!ng h¡s meals. Though $h£ was that young, $h£ had some memories locked up.
‘Is Tom not treat!ng Grissel right or it’s th£ oth£r way round. No, it’s def!nitely Tom because Grissel def!nitely would have s¢r**med h£r h£ad off wh£n $h£ called h¡m earlier.’ $h£ wh¡spered to h£rself yet aga!n.
Melisa scooped half spoon of spagh£tti !nto h£r m©vth and munch£d on it while reach!ng ©vt for m©r£ vegetables from th£ service bowl. $h£ had forgotten to use th£ fork !nstead of spoon.
$h£ shook h£r h£ad cont!nuously.
‘$h£’s not that bad as I was led to believe.’ Melisa thought aloud.
Melisa barely spent up to an hour togeth£r !n th£ same room with Grissel !n th£ past. Grissel always made it a po!nt to avoid h£r wh£n $h£ visited Tom wh£n th£y were dat!ng.
$h£ picked up h£r phone dropp!ng th£ spoon $h£ was us!ng earlier and comb£d through th£ files $h£ had on it and hit th£ delete button.
‘Maybe $h£ had good reasons for marry!ng my broth£r th£ way $h£ did and a second look at h£r th¡s even!ng confirms why aunty love h£r that much.’ $h£ wh¡spered to h£rself.
‘Guys let’s call it a night.’ Tom declared and everyone agreed.
Th£y had earlier called th£ driver who would drop Tom home while Mike’s driver followed !n order to get th£ guy driv!ng Tom as well to h¡s house after h£ had dropped h¡m.
Grissel came [email protected]¢k after ab©vt ten m!nutes and Melisa was done eat!ng because $h£ had cleared th£ table and wa$h£d up th£ plates. $h£ di$h£d ©vt Tom’s food and kept it !n th£ microwave.
Melisa who was glued to th£ Tv turned d©wΠ th£ volume wh£n Grissel came ©vt of th£ kitch£n to th£ hall.
‘Th£ b£d is already made and I left a night wear, change of cloth£s and towel on th£ b£d. I’m an early bird so j√$t call me if you need anyth!ng.’ $h£ announced and walked away quietly.
Melisa turned th£ volume up wh£n $h£ realized Grissel had left.
To be cont!nued