“Eat up” Andy growled referring to the left-over food, looking pointedly at Jessica. “You need to gain back the weight and strength you had. You are nearly as light as a feather” he murmured. Jessica frowned. “I am trying” she said and swallowed some more food. She still could not believe that she was staying with Andy. The whole world had already tagged her as a gold-digger, but she still could not leave the man she loved. Running away had given her a taste of what it would be like to leave Andy and she was not sure she wanted to relive that moment of pain. She had been happy at bit when her uncle and his wife, whom she now saw as her parents, had come, looking very relieved and worried. Florence had cried with relief and she could see that her uncle, ‘Funsho’, who had been very furious with her at the party was also deeply worried. He apologized for his irrational behavior but also scolded her for running away without thinking about how worried they would be. She had been so happy, even though she was being scolded. They wouldn’t scold her if they didn’t love her. She missed the little children: the stubborn Jake and the sweet and lovely Theresa. The two children of her uncle were at school and Jessica thought of bringing them over for their long vacation holiday; if Andy agreed of course. Jessica still could not bear to think of Andy’s dad and Sonia. She had nothing but hatred for Sonia now but her father-in-law? Could she blame him? He was thinking of his own son’s well-being but she still could not get rid of the hurt she felt. Since she had arrived back in the house about three days ago, Andy had made her feel like a queen. The fun she had with Andy, both indoors and out was mind-blowing. She remembered some of the nasty things she did with her husband and her cheeks flushed at the remembrance. “You are not going down memory lane, are you?” Andy winked at her and her blush deepened. How can Andy know what she was thinking just by looking at her? She wondered. Of course, he is the master of his game. “Do you want us to talk about your thoughts or act it out” Andy asked grinning widely. Jessica lowered her eyes and swallowed. “Oh” he breathed. “My shy wife. Don’t worry; we can go over your thoughts later. Eat your food, we are going out. I need to show you something” he kissed her cheeks. “What is it?” Does my voice sound croaky? Jessica wondered. Andy smiled, melting her heart, obviously hearing the edge in her voice. “It is a surprise baby”. He sauntered off, towards the study and Jessica followed him with her eyes. He turned his head and met her eyes. Her cheeks flushed with embarrassment but she covered it by sticking a tongue out to him. He grinned and blew her a kiss ********** ********** Sonia walked around the tastefully furnished apartment she had just acquired. It had everything she ever dreamt of. The house was up to her taste, with all that she could imagine. The kitchen had all the accessories she needed with a microwave and a freezer, which she purchased at a second hand market to reduce the cost, although they both looked new. The kitchen was filled with food stuffs and fruits; she took out an apple from the fridge and chewed as she surveyed the house again. It had taken a few days to make the apartment look like this but even at that, she never got tired of looking at what she owned. The bedroom was looking ravishing and welcoming, with purple and pink colours scattered at strategic places. Her wardrobe was still filled with her former clothes and she told herself that she needed to go for shopping. There were thousands of clothes, shoes, bags, jewelries and so on that she had been dreaming of buying; now, she had been tossed the chance to explore for as long as she could. She had spent roughly three million naira out of the ten million naira she was given by Andy’s father. Since she still had about seven million naira left, she decided that she would set up a business with four million naira. Thinking, she decided that a jewelry store would be perfect. She loved jewelries and anything that had to do with it. She wasn’t about to spend the entire money until it vanishes, she told herself. The remaining three million would be used for miscellaneous. She needed a car, to match the class she was trying to build for herself. She smiled at the thought. She also needed better phones; maybe an apple and a tab, she mused. Proper and classy clothes. She gave a delighted squeal but there was no one there to pounce on her and share her joy. She swallowed as she thought of her friends. How lovely would it be to have her friends with her, celebrating her success? How great would it be if she had gotten this money from the right source? Her friends had been with her through it all, through her challenging times but now, now that she had something tangible, she had no one to share her joy with. Joy? Could she describe this feeling as joy? As happy as she was that she finally had real cash in her hands, she could not quench the shaky feeling that this money would vanish as quickly as it had appeared. She hadn’t worked for the money; she had sabotaged her best friend in order to get it. She shivered. Maybe, if she had asked Andy for a loan of the same ten million naira, he would have given her. He might have even dashed her something more than that because frankly, the guy is worth billions. But no, instead, she had shattered her own friend’s happiness. She regretted her decision but there is no going back now. She had to live with the current reality. She swallowed and the thought of making new friends came pleasantly to her mind. She grabbed her credit card and thought of how perfect it would be to have a car. She already knew how to drive. Well, her carless state would change now, she thought. ‘Let’s go and spend some cash’ ********** ********** “You don’t want to go back to being a doctor?” Andy asked as he drove. Jessica still did not know where they were headed. Jessica shook. “No. It is frightening. After spending months attending to patients, trying to cope with the situation, I have realized that I hate hospitals. I hate them and the memories they invoke. It was because of what happened to my family that I decided to study medicine. I wanted to prevent people from dying and prevent people from experiencing what I experienced but after I got what I felt I wanted, I could not do it. The heady smell was maddening and I could not keep up because I kept remembering all the bad things that happened years back: the smell of drugs; the nauseating smell of blood that I thought was my parents and brother’s; the wheels of sick people being pushed; the unnerving and scary rush of nurses” Jessica shivered and Andy placed his palm on her lap, squeezing in a comforting manner. “I could not take it. Whenever we experienced a casualty in the hospital, the tears of people nearly drove me mad. Their wailing” she breathed. “It got stuck in my head and I just could not do it anymore. I left as fast as I could” Andy moved his hand from her lap to her hair, controlling the steering with his other hand. “I am glad you did” he murmured. She smiled. “I should have gone for law” Andy raised his brow and laughed. “Right. Being a barrister would suit you; it is in your blood” Jessica frowned. “A subtle way of saying that I am stubborn right” Andy grinned. “I married a stubborn woman. I would never win an argument with you if you went for law. Do you still want to pursue it?” “No, that dream is gone. I like independence so I would like to be on my own without having a boss to scream all the way down his throat at me, just like Lizzy. It is really cute and womanly” Andy nodded with appreciation. “Yes. Owning a boutique would be perfect for you. Your dress sense is impeccable; it is a wonder you were able to hide it for a while. Anything you do would suit you perfectly. Frankly, I was worried that you would want to work for someone; can’t imagine another man screaming orders at my wife.” He frowned at the thought. “Selfish, aren’t u?” Andy grinned, “I won’t share you with anyone honey, you are mine” She blushed. “Where are we going Drew?” she hated suspense. “Be patient my love” he grinned. ********** ********** “Andy, this is a seaport. What are we doing here?” Andy held on Jessica’s hand as they moved along the port environment. Jessica’s curiosity had been on the high level when they had arrived at the port. “Patience, honey, patience” The sea was now clearly in view and Jessica could not hide her curiosity anymore. She glanced at Andy, who smiled down at her. She was busy admiring his facial structure when Andy came to a halt, stopping her as well. “We are here”. He murmured and she turned. She had been seeing several passenger ships but here, she was faced with a strikingly beautiful ship which was very small like… she turned a stunned face at Andy. “Is that a… a…” “Yacht” Andy offered. “It is so beautiful. It looks new too. I have never been on water” she said with longing, staring at the beauty before her. “I noticed and decided to change that.” Jessica turned to him suddenly. “Hello Mr. Williams” someone greeted and they turned. “Oh, Paul. Afternoon. How is she doing today?” Andy responded. Who? Jessica wondered. “She is good to go sir” Another man appeared onboard and greeted in the same manner. Jessica turned to Andy. “Why do they seem to know you so well?” she asked and when he smiled softly, realization slowly dawned. She gasped and looked from his face to the water craft. “It is not yours, is it?” His smile widened and her eyes widened. He placed his arm around her waist and drew her close, though she was still frozen. “This is my wife, Jessica” he said loudly to the men. Their eyes widened and they greeted shyly. Jessica wondered why they seem to know her. Is it because she is married to a very famous man or is it that Andy had told them a lot about her? Her eyes inspected the Yacht, appreciating the structure then she saw the scribbled name. She gasped again and turned to Andy. He grinned. “Lady Jess” he murmured. “You… you named it after… after me?” tears streamed down her eyes. “Who else would I name it after, if not the woman I love?” “Oh Drew” she hugged him tightly as tears coerced down her cheeks. He pulled her slightly away and mopped off her tears. He kissed her forehead and smiled. “How would you like a cruise?” She jumped up and down like a two year old at the mention of ice-cream. Andy grinned, feeling happiness oozing out of his pores as he walked with Jessica onboard ‘Lady Jess’.
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