She had first been to a restaurant to have dinner all by herself. She’d seen Jeremy and the so-called Purity Theodore. What did Jeremy see in her? She was so green with envy. How could Jeremy be so happy with another woman? And she, she’d been crying over him. The anger she felt pushed her to follow Purity, as she trailed behind, a vehicle was ahead of her’s, it went the same direction as Purity’s. And it belonged to this man who wouldn’t let her go. He too had followed Purity, hadn’t he?
He poured the non-alcoholic drink into the two glasses. He pushed one forward. For the lady sitting before him. Nathan had left already. “Lets take things slowly. First things first. I’m Ernest. Ernest Turner. And you are?”
“Listen, I’m not going to harm you. If I was going to, I’d have one that a long time ago. Just be sincere and free with me.” Ernest assured her.
Hmm. There could be no harm talking with this guy, she reasoned. “Well, I’m Tricia.”
He broadly smiled. “Nice to meet you.”
“We didn’t meet under normal circumstances. What do you want me for.” She was trying to be at ease with him.
He took a very deep breath which lasted for several seconds. “What is your relationship with that woman?”
What was his business with that? Is he a cop or something? “I don’t know her. Simple.”
“I don’t believe you. You were spying on her. Its possible you wanted to harm her.” All he needed at that moment was patience.
She folded her arms. “I was there for a reason.”
“I want that ‘reason’!”
Tricia wasn’t stupid. She was not going to let a complete stranger know that jealousy drove her there. That the woman is engaged to her ex boyfriend whom she loves dearly. It’ll make her feel rejected. “Don’t want to talk about it.”
“Come on. I could really use your help. I need to know.” he pleaded, his eyes joined the plea.
She smiled in contentment. Now, this was the kind of attention she loved. For men to keep begging her, like she owned their lives. Jeremy never begged her. She was the one that always went back to him. She only told him what to do. Now that she had it, she should enjoy it. Enjoy it while it lasts. She unfolded her arms and placed them on the table. “I’m going to help you in one condition.”
He shot up a brow. This was good. She was ready to talk. “And that is?”
“You tell me your own side of the story. I saw that you followed her too. You are as guilty as I am. Then, you threatened me with a gun. What was all that for?” She was getting the upper hand.
He had to surrender. He didn’t even know who she really was. “We have met before. ‘Twas a long time ago. I followed to see if she could recognize me. I don’t think she did.”
“Where did you meet her? And how long was it?”
“This very place we are. Nine years ago.”
Her eyes dilated with shock. “What? At a bar?” She looked at her surrounding with a treacherous smirk on her face. The virgin visits a bar like this? Yet she was acting so holy. Jeremy was gonna hear this. Her interest had intensified. She wanted to know more. “At a bar.” She repeated herself. “Nine years. What do you care? She’d have forgotten you by now. Unless you two shared something?” She was grinning now. Yeah, yeah. She wasn’t a virgin, but she was definitely not a liar.
“Its your turn.” He tried his possible best to ignore her rude question. He knew they almost shared something till she…. He frowned, didn’t like remembering that. “I’ve told you all I know.” That was a lie. A miserable one at that.
“Okay.” She was going to answer him truthfully and find out more about this virgin. It’d so much interest Jeremy. “Like I said before, I don’t know her. I only got to hear about her when my boyfriend broke up with me just to marry her. They are engaged. Curiosity plus anger made me trail her, just to know more about the b—h who had stolen what is mine.”
Not a single word did he believe. His Melisa engaged? That wasn’t possible. Had she changed that much? Nine years was enough to do that. Was it the man he was with her? Did she love him? NO! He had to stop that. She belongs only to him. “What is her name?”
This man must be crazy. “How do you not know her name? You two -” She hated the way he glared at her. She sighed. “Purity Theodore.”
Episode Thirty Seven.
The shock she felt when she met with Ernest a second time hadn’t gone. She still felt it. She recalled everything. Ernest Turner. Her night wasn’t so good. She’d bad dreams of both Ernest and Jeremy. Both of them fighting over her. Jeremy had lost, Ernest won. She hated that dream so much. She’d choose Jeremy over Ernest. Ernest wasn’t her dream man, he never was. Jeremy was the kind of man she wanted, she wasn’t sure, but he could take care of her. Ernest couldn’t. He was a drunk. A really bad one. He played a significant role in getting her drunk that night. Why did she do it? She felt remorse over that. It wasn’t gonna repeat itself. She hoped that one mistake wouldn’t ruin her life.
The ringing of the telephone on her desk jolted her back to reality. She swore as she picked it up. “What!” D–n! Her mood was something else.
“You have a visitor, ma’am.”
No. She didn’t want to talk with anybody. She wanted to be all by herself. Talking would do no good. Also, she didn’t look presentable. She was all weary. “Tell the person to come another day. I’m not taking in any visitors.”
“He’s insisting. I don’t have the strength to fight with any man. Please.”
Oh, God. What was Jeremy doing here? He’s got more important things to do. It wasn’t a bad idea all together. She might get to tell him the truth. She let out a breath. “All right, Heather. Let him in.”
There was a clanking sound as she dropped the receiver. She relaxed on the chair and swivelled it to the back door. She faced the window. He could come in any moment. He had to. She was expecting him. The few seconds it took seemed like forever. Then the door creaked. She smiled. “Jeremy, why not call when you want to come see me. I don’t want another scene with Heather.” At last. She was delighted.
“What a pleasant way of receiving your guest.”
The smile on her face melted into a shock. That wasn’t Jeremy’s voice! It was…. It belonged to…. She turned the chair to face him and she was him again. The third time. “What are you doing here?” She sounded tense and angry. She got up from the chair.
He grimly smiled at her. “You didn’t invite me to sit. I’d invite myself. Please, sit its your office.”
This was serious. No jokes. No lies. No games. “Get out of my office! Leave at once?” She ordered. Her eyes were blazing.
“I came to ask about Melisa.” she had guts.
She placed both hands on her desk and met his gaze. “I do not know who Melisa is. It was just last night you asked about her and I do not know her.”
“Will you stop pretending and speak the truth? I hate lies.” Could she be the Melisa? She was so different in character. The woman glaring at him was full of herself. His Melisa wouldn’t do that. Nevertheless, the resemblance was there. Her eyes, lips, voice-all similar with Melisa. It had to be her.
“So do I. I do not know her. Wait a minute. How did you even get here? How do you know I work here?” If he had found things about her, she needed to know. Things must not get out of hand. She had to handle him.
“Who hasn’t heard of the all mighty Purity Theodore-”
She had lost it. “My name! How-” She was short of words. Oh, man! What has the past come back? She felt frightened.
He laughed loudly. “‘I don’t give my name to strangers.’ The same statement you made after I told you mine at that bar, nine years ago. It was your prom night.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” she denied furiously. “I will contact you when I find your Melisa.”
Great liar. The best. “How nice of you to give me a fake name, Melisa. I love that name and I’m sticking to it. You never loved that name, ‘Purity’, you wanted something sexy, that will endear men to you.” His eyes danced with laughter.
Purity was trying to hold herself. This man was tempting her, making her lose her mind. He should quit trying to make her recall the past she’d forgotten and buried. She wanted to have nothing to do with it. She had to deny it. “Stop this rubbish. Stop this nonsense. Stop-”
“We drank alcohol together. We danced so romantically. You were all over me. You didn’t want to let me go. You clung on to me. We almost made lo-”
This was it. All her manners were sent to hell. “Will you shut up! You lying, disgusting b—–d. Who gave you the right to bring up my past? Who gave you the right to judge me? I want you out of my office and life for good!”
Episode Thirty Eight.
He hauled himself off the chair. “You promised to come back.”
“I was drunk for crying out loud! I didn’t do those things on purpose. You know I never wanted to do that. I was so naive. You got me drunk and attempted to kiss me. You started those nonsense. I hate you for that!”
His eyes were now cold and blank. “Who wouldn’t want to? What man would have that opportunity and not want to try to have something with you? That’s the past. I have come for you. Been searching for you for nine years. Be my wife.”
She snickered. “You are too late for that. I am engaged to be married.” she proudly informed him.
“I don’t see an engagement ring on your finger,” he remarked, staring at her let hand.
Oops! She didn’t see that coming. “You’re gonna see it soon. Accept defeat, you have lost.” The sad look on his face told her something. He was disappointed. He must be surprised at the change. She was no more sixteen; she was twenty-five and could maker her decisions. Right now, she decided to marry Jeremy for him and not because of his father or anything. “I’m done with you. Walk away or I’d call security.”
“Do you know who I am?” he asked, he too had wealth and power.
She tossed her head, right and left. “Nope. I don’t care to know. Its my property you’re standing on and I have every right to kick you off it. I will find great pleasure doing so.”
D–n! She was extremely rude. What happened to her? Was it the alcohol that changed her that day? If he’d met her like this, he wouldn’t be crazy for her. It was too late now. He’d already given his heart to her and she must accept it. “You think the man you’ve chosen is good enough for you? He’s a man, like the rest. We all want the same thing-your body. Come with me. I’m gonna take care of you. I’m honest. He’s just lying.”
She smiled. “He’s different and much more better than you.”
“You hate them.”
“And I hate you too.”
“Do you love him?” A very stupid question to ask. She mustn’t love any man.
“You just said I hate him, all men.”
“You aren’t scared of him? Not scared of loving him? You are not afraid?”
Her feelings really didn’t matter. Dealing with this man was more important. “The hate I feel for him is not as much as what I feel for you and other men. I love him.” She was shocked at the revelation herself. Was she in love with Jeremy? How come she said it? It really felt good saying it. This man must feel really, really bad.
It was late. Just too late. She’d given her heart to another man. Just who was this man? He had to find out more about him; he definitely would. Melisa belonged to him. That marriage wasn’t gonna work out as long as he was still alive. He still had points to prove. “He knows about your prom night? You gave him every detail?” It was his turn to make her feel bad.
Oh, no! He shouldn’t be going there! He shouldn’t. God!
“I can just imagine how hurt he’d feel when he hears what happened that very night.”
He really got her this time. He was gonna tell Jeremy? Had he seen his the previous night? She had to act fast, really fast. “I don’t keep secrets from him. We love eachother that much.” She ruffled her hair. “Besides that, you don’t even know him.”
He smiled mockingly. Love indeed. “I found you, didn’t I?” he asked rhetorically and stormed out of her office.
Great! A single, stupid, foolish mistake could ruin one’s life in a moment. This man wasn’t gonna ruin her life. She’d have to get to Jeremy first. No b—–d was gonna come between them. Especially not one like Ernest. He deserved to be in jail. She hated him more and more.
Her cell phone buzzed in her purse. She dug around her purse for the cell phone. She found it. Jeremy was calling. “Hi, Jeremy.” She tried to sound as cool as she could be.
“Purity, could we have dinner tonight?” his husky voice said over the phone.
Phew! Ever since she’d met him, every night had been a dinner date. She couldn’t refuse. She could tell him all about Ernest tonight. It wasn’t a bad idea. “Alright. The address?”
“Thanks. I’ll text it to you, later.”
He didn’t sound his normal self. “Are you okay?”
“We’ll see tonight.”
Episode Thirty Nine.
She had dressed her best. She faced the perfect reflection of herself in the mirror staring back at her. A silver, heeled sandals adorned her feet. Bright red, sparkling sleevless gown decorated her body. From the front view, it stopped few inches above her knee. Viewing in from the back, it was a floor length. It revealed all her unique features and curves.
Adorning her neck was a beautiful diamond neck-lace. Her ears, dangling diamond ear-rings. This time she went for a pink lip stick. Black eye shadow and a mild blush on both cheeks. Just a bracelet adorned her left wrist. Her hair was parted deeply by the some. It fell past her shoulders.
She took a deep breath. She was going to tell Jeremy the secret she’d kept to herself for nine whole years. It was going to be so difficult, however, she had to do it. It would be left to him to carry on with the marriage or not. She got to admit that she was going to be so heartbroken if he ended their courtship. She hadn’t lied to him. Only that she kept things from him-her private life, her business.
Turning to her bed, she took her purse and went out of the room. She locked the door with her keys.
“Melisa.” Prudence called, she was excited.
Purity froze on hearing that name. That was the last name she wanted to be called by. It was already bringing her troubles. Only thing is that ’twas her mama that called her. “Don’t you call me that again!” she scolded her mum, turning to face her.
The surprise of Prudence’s face was clear as crystal. “You love that name, don’t you?”
Purity disagreed. “Not anymore. I am fine with ‘Purity.’ Call me that.”
She had started again. Prudence had to please her if she wanted peace. “Alright, darling. Purity. You are looking good.”
Purity smiled at the compliment. She was instantly sorry for yelling at her mother. It wasn’t the woman’s fault that the name-Melisa was giving her troubles. It wasn’t even the name; it was her. “Thank you. Mum, I’m sorry for shouting at you that way.”
Prudence nodded. She understood her daughter. “Its okay, dear. Your father and I wish you a very happy evening. Enjoy it to the full. We love you.”
“And I love you both, too.” Purity replied and plodded out of the house. She left her mother astounded. She grinned to herself knowing that her mother must be thinking if she was the Purity they knew. She had begun to change. She needed to fix her life, before it was all too late. She arrived at the garage, unlocked her car and got into it. Silently, she cruise out of her father’s compound. Slowly, she joined the highway off to the address Jeremy had texted her.
She arrived safely at ‘Golden foods eatery’ down Dowing street. The eatery was perfectly lit. There was no single soul. That place was deserted. She heard no sound either. She was scared to get off her car. She brought her phone out of her purse and scrolled through her messages, she tapped the one Jeremy sent and read it again. It was the venue. She was there. Why is he not here? Her vehicle was the only car there. She was starting to worry. She dialed Jeremy’s number. “I’m at Golden foods eatery. There’s no one here.” She complained as he answered.
Purity could hear him laugh over the phone. Was he mocking her?
“Just go inside. I’ll meet you there. Please don’t be scared.”
Those words assured her. “Okay.”
She hung up and got down from her car. After making sure her vehicle was securely locked, she moved towards the entrance to the eatery. The door easily. She had thought she’d struggle with it. She stepped in and closed the door behind her. The place was elegant. Different rows of dinner tables, two chairs clustered each of these tables, a servet and glasses turned upside down were on the tables too. The curtains were crisp cream color, adding beauty to the eatery. The floor was tiled. The whole place glittered. Yet, there was no sign of anybody. Jeremy had advised her to go in, which she obeyed. He also told her he’d meet her. Does that mean he hadn’t reached? She stood at the doorway without moving an inch. She had to wait for Jeremy.
A faint sound from inside distracted her. She couldn’t discern where exactly it came from, but she had to check it out. Jeremy wouldn’t put her in any danger. He wasn’t evil. Bracing herself, she took an unsteady step forward.
Taking a handkerchief from her purse, she mopped the perspiration forming on her forehead. She folded the handkerchief in her right hand and moved. A gentle step at a time, she found herself at a doorway. Carefully, she turned round to be sure is she was the only one there. Seeing no one, she proceeded to open the door. Slowly, the door creaked open. She entered and closed it. She hesitated before turning to see what was in the room. When she finally turned her back to the door, she gasped in amazement. Her left hand covered her slightly opened mouth.
Everything about this room was so magnificent. The tiled floor glowed. The walls were painted orange. The cream curtains were transparent, they billowed on the walls. Right in the middle of the room stood a round, majestic dinner table. A lovely silver material ran all over it. On it were different bottles of wine and lots of delicacies. From where she stood, she could see baked lemon sole with lemon and caper paste, flambed chicken with asparagus, one-pan duck with savor cabbage. The aroma filled her nose and made her mouth water. And there was Jeremy, settled on one of the two dining chairs that stood opposite eachother. He smiled gleefully on seeing her. He left his chair and walked over to meet her.
Purity’s heartbeat increased as he took each step to where she stood. Jeremy was looking so good. He was a very attractive man. He was dressed in a black tuxedo and his foot wear was a classic sneakers. His smile melted her heart. For a moment, her breath was taken away. She kept staring in awe till he approached her. Then, he did the unimaginable.
As he was very close to her, he took her by the hand, and flung her into his arms. He embraced her. Purity was startled beyond all reasonable doubts. Gradually, she settled in his embrace. This had never happened. She held on to him. The scent of his cologne and after shave filled her nostrils. He really had good taste. The scent was nice. She smiled as she rested her head on his shoulder.
Jeremy was pleased to see her. Very pleased. Her dressed was so sexy, he so much loved it. She looked very gorgeous. Feeling her soft feminine body on him got him excited. She was really something. He was glad she didn’t resist him. “Thank you for coming,” he whispered.
She didn’t respond.
He released her from his arms. “Lets have dinner.”
He walked her to a dining chair and settled her in. He want back to his and got in. “Do you like it?” he was grinning.
She smiled back. “I love it. You went through all these trouble for me.”
“You deserve it because you are special. Lets eat.”
She blushed. * * * “Why did you call me here?” Tricia queried.
“I want you to tell me everything about your ex!” he demanded.
She sniggered. “What for? I guess, Purity doesn’t want to come back to you. She is in love with him. Every woman falls head over heels in love with him.”
The thought of his Melisa in love with another man infuriated him. This woman was making him imagine what he never wanted to imagine. He could drain the life out of her if she made one more sound. “Hold it! Melisa won’t ever love him. She belongs to me. She can never love a man.”
That intrigued her. “You seem to know much about this Melisa. Is she the same as Purity?” She thought for a while. “Oh, I’m beginning to get it. The name she gave you wasn’t her real name. That’s why you asked for her name last night.”
He nodded in agreement. This woman got brains.
“What do you intend to do?”
“Make her mine. Ruin that relationship.”
She smiled devilish. “I want him too.” * * * “You sounded worried when you called this morning. What was the problem?” She was concerned about him.
He wiped his mouth and held her gaze. “Its nothing. I’m a lot more better now.” he smiled reassuringly.
“Okay.” She tapped the table. “I-I have something important to tell you.” her heart began thudding, again.
Was she going to break his heart. Tell him that she couldn’t marry him again? She was not interested in being with someone she didn’t love? He had so many doubts. The previous night, he had vowed to his father to make Purity his wife forever. He had never taken aother woman seriously- not even Tricia. He was going to make her love him and he’d love her to. What she wanted to tell him must wait. “I have something more important.”