Two months into the wedding and Jessica was already feeling extremely frustrated. Ever since they left the beach after the pathetic honeymoon, Andy had gone worse, leaving the house at seven and arriving a little before midnight when she would have been fast asleep. At first, it did not bother her because she was overtaken by the massive and tastefully furnished house but after spending a week in the house and was already used to its beauty, the house bored her. The maid and the gateman in the house were the only people she talked with; asides that, she talked with herself alone. When she had said ‘Yes’ to Andy, she never imagined it would be this bad. The way Andy had been behaving, it was like he could not even stand one second of being in her company; he even always looked for one reason or the other to go out on Sundays. Somehow, she wondered if her stay would have been worse that it already was if Andy had stayed home more. It was a Saturday and Andy was obviously at work so Jessica decided to spend the time with her friends. The three women decided they would all come over to Jessica’s house since they hadn’t visited her since she got married. Jessica was happy about a little fun even if it would last for just a few hours. She entered the kitchen feeling some level of excitement. “Well done Ada” she greeted the maid. “Thanks ma” the young girl responded, smiling. “uhmmmmnn… I love this aroma” The girl grinned. “It must be the chicken” she said. “I think it is the combination of rice and chicken. What is yet to be done?” Jessica asked, needing something to busy herself with. Ada looked critically at everything. “I think the only thing left undone is your appearance ma” she smiled. She had become friends with Jessica and now she felt comfortable chatting with her madam the way she would normally chat with her friend. Jessica frowned. “What is wrong with my appearance?” “You need to look like the hostess ma. You are not dressed yet” Jessica put her hands on her hips. “Now you sound like Lizzy. What is wrong with what I am putting on? I am not going anywhere” Ada let her eyes roam over the body of her boss and tried hard not to grimace. The gown Jessica was putting on was specifically for someone who was twice her size and Ada wondered why Jessica was always trying hard to look unattractive when it was not even working. Despite the shabby dresses Jessica wore, she still looked exceptionally outstanding with her spotless round face with a lengthy hair to die for. “Anything would look good on you ma’am” Ada said. “Hmmm, why the change of tone now? Don’t worry, I would change the clothes” Two hours later, Jessica was waltzing down the staircase in a beautiful but similarly big gown. She sat in the sitting room and put on the TV, relaxing her back as she waited for her friends. She was hungry but she wanted to eat with her friends, so that they won’t be eating and she would be looking due to an already filled stomach. She heard the doorbell and went there happily before Ada could even think of leaving the kitchen. “Open this heavenly door Jessie” she heard Lizzy say and she smiled. Paulina’s ‘Comport yourself’ was not lost on her too as she opened the door with a big smile on her face. The ladies screamed and cooed in delight as they fussed over Jessie. “See this small babe of yesterday ooo, your face is so fresh and your cheeks are fuller” Lizzy said with delight. “Oh please” Jessica giggled. Sonia kissed Jessica’s cheek. “I have missed you honey” “Me too dear” Jessica said truthfully and stared at Paulina. “It is only proper that I greet the mummy of the house last right? I have her to thank for making the rest of you look so dashing” They laughed. “If I don’t take care of them, who will?” Paulina asked dramatically. “We are old enough to take care of ourselves mummy” Lizzy and Sonia chorused and they all laughed. “Well, get your little butts inside” Jessica said and they all left the entrance. “Oh my God, this house is dynamite” Paulina exclaimed as they all murmured one thing or the other about the house. “Comport Yourself” Lizzy said to her and Sonia laughed at them. “Babe, you are enjoying ooo, this house is amazing. You are the luckiest babe on earth” Sonia said. “Lucky” Jessica muttered silently as they all sat down. Ada came to the sitting room and greeted everyone before whispering something into her boss’ ear. Jessica nodded and Ada left. “Well ladies, let’s eat first before we have a nice chat or we do both at the same time” “Neglecting your table manners?” Paulina asked with a raised eyebrow. “Maybe. How does fried rice, salad and fried chicken sound to you guys?” Everyone jumped out of their seats and headed for the dinning. “I think we can forfeit the table manners for today” Paulina said. ********** ********** They had all eaten and were busy sipping drinks. The food had been so delicious that they all ate their fill and even more. As they sat in the sitting room, the talked about everything that came to their minds. “How is life as a married woman” Paulina asked after some time. Jessica swallowed slightly. “Life is beautiful. You should all get married” “Yeah, we are working on it” Sonia said, focusing her eyes on the decorations on the wall. Lizzy was in thought and Jessica was curious as to what she would say. Lizzy was the one who always saw deep into things and people; that was one of the reasons why Jessica always tried not to spend so much time with her alone, especially when she had something to hide. “How are you coping with Andy’s work schedule?” Lizzy asked pointedly. Jessica swallowed. “It is my cross but I am coping. It can be hard not to have him around most of the time but it is fine, we understand each other” Jessica said with a smile. “I only wonder why he has to go to work every time. I mean, he is the owner of that money-making company which spread across the country, why should he work himself half to death when he has more than enough employees?” Lizzy continued. Like I have not asked myself the same question, Jessica thought. “He has shareholders to answer to and he is already used to the office, you can’t blame him” “Well, to me, if his going to the office is what brought about this beautiful house, he should continue his workaholic routine” Sonia said. “Sonia” Paulina called. “Money would not kill you. Banker” “Is it easy?” she retorted. “Jessie, are we expecting Andy junior?” Jessica choked on her drink at Paulina’s question. She coughed as the drink clung to her throat and made it impossible to talk. The ladies muttered apologies until she became calm but she caught Lizzy’s curious look. “Most times I forget the type of friends I have” thinking of a way of escape, she faced Lizzy. “Liz, have you settled your dispute with Alex?” It worked because everyone started talking at once. “Don’t mind this stubborn girl, she refused to apologize to him o” Paulina said. “Why should I apologize when he is clearly at fault? He did not remember my birthday and he wants me to just forgive him when he has not begged properly? Abeg free me jare” Lizzy said and hissed. “I agree with her, the guy should take off his pride and apologize” Sonia said. “I think Sonia should apologize nonetheless, I mean, men are scarce these days, we should hold on to ours firmly” Paulina pointed out. “She is right” Sonia said again. Jessica heaved a sigh, happy that she was not the subject matter again. ********** ********** Andy sat on the chair in his office the next day doing absolutely nothing. He should have gone home hours back when there was almost nothing for him to do but he could not imagine going home. Although Jessica always dressed like a saint who was still living in the era of his forefathers, he felt drawn towards her. That day in the kitchen during their honeymoon was a day he had desperately tried to get out of his mind. Standing so close to her that day had made him aware of her perfume which was totally feminine. He had always known that she was beautiful because he would never have picked someone less beautiful to be his wife for a day but that day, he had come to the full realization of her exquisite beauty. He had noticed that she did not have black pupils but instead had dark grey. The realization had stunned him. But most of all, he had been thrown off balance by how slim her waist was. He could not remember how his hands had managed to get to her waist but he couldn’t have been more surprised when he noticed the slim waist she had. The dresses she always wore were big enough to hide her waist and hips but ever since that day, he kept on imagining what was beneath that cloth. His eyes had never even seen her legs before. He had decided to use work as a good distraction and it worked to a certain extent. His phone rang and he frowned when he saw the caller. His dad? The number proved that he was already in Nigeria. “Dad?” he said immediately he picked up. “Yes son, how are you doing?” “Are you in Nigeria?” Andy stood up from his chair. “Yes I am. Get ready to receive me in your house tonight because I would be having dinner with you today” The alarm sounded in Andy’s head. Trust his father to always put them on the spot. “What? I mean… why didn’t you tell me you have arrived Nigeria? When did you arrive?” Andy was pacing. “This afternoon. I would be at your house in three hours time. I need to see my daughter in law face to face and not some unclear picture, although she looked stunning in those wedding pictures” His dad ended the call and Andy stared at the phone in agitation. Three hours! The words echoed in his head. How was he going to convince his ever-suspicious father that he and Jessica were in love? Jessica was a strong headed girl, how was he going to convince her to act like a loving wife, perfectly enough to convince his father? Does she even know how loving wives behaved? He wondered. He took his car keys and his suit jacket and left the office instantly. He dialed his best friend and assistant to tell him that the office was in his care. He had a feeling that he was in for a long night. ********** ********** Jessica lay on the chair, reading a novel. One thing she loves about the house was the study which was filled with all kinds of books. She had found a novel which looked interesting and occupied herself with it. She was surprised when she heard Andy’s car horn. He never arrived around six and she knew that something was out of place. She stayed where she was, even though she was curious. Andy entered and she lifted her head with a nonchalant look on her eyes but the look faded when she saw him. His suit jacket was in his hand, along with a nylon bag and his car keys were on the other hand. His shirt which her eyes focused on was buttoned halfway down, leaving his muscled chest partly visible. She swallowed and looked at his face. “Good evening Drew. You are early” “It is necessary. My dad would be here soon” “Your dad” she muttered as the realization slowly dawned on her. Her eyes slowly widened and Andy fought back an amused smile. “He is coming here?” He nodded with a faint smile. “My dad is one man who can’t be fooled easily. I don’t know if you can act like a love-struck woman.” Jessica frowned. “I believe I can be or do anything if I decide to. The question is, ‘can you act a man in love’?” she smiled slightly. “We don’t have enough time to act a proper rehearsal so I guess we would both find out the hard way. It is either we are both poor actors or we are both meant to be in the movie industry”. He smiled and remembered what he was holding. “I got you a befitting gown” he said and stretched the nylon to her. “Befitting” she muttered, hating the word. Well, you refused to go shopping every time I mentioned it and I can’t have you meet my father in one of those gowns you always put on. She collected the nylon and removed the cloth inside. It was a multicolored gown which had expensive written all over it. She removed the nylon that was used to cover the gown and let it fall to the ground. “I noticed that you love clothes that goes all the way down to your feet so I got this which has a long hand to go with it, but it is still elegant and speaks of class” he explained nervously as she quietly scrutinized the cloth. The cloth was beautiful, very beautiful, she admitted to herself. “It is beautiful, but I can’t put it on” “What? We are not going to argue about this again” “I don’t mean to be rude but your dad is going to know that something is fishing if I put this on. This cloth is meant for an important event and not just an indoor dinner. What I need to put on is something simple but also classy.” “Well, we don’t have time, let’s go for it. My dad would be here any minute” “I have what I need. I would go and freshen up. Tell Ada to make the food ready for three” she turned and left Andy standing there. Andy grimaced at the thought of what Jessica would put on. After an hour, Andy still did not see Jessica. He wanted to inspect the cloth she would put on to see if it was fit. Even though he did not really think much of classy dressing and the likes, he knew that his father would expect his daughter-in-law to dress like a William. He wondered which oversized dress Jessica would choose to put on. The car horn he heard almost made him jump. He called Jessica’s name but heard no response. Knowing that he was doomed, he went to the door and opened it. Seeing his father after more than five months shouldn’t make him nervous but he was not sure how the evening would turn out. He saw his father step out of the car and he walked up to the elderly man with a cool smile. “Dad” he called. Mr. Williams turned with smiles. “Son.” He hugged Andy. “I have missed you. How is Nigeria?” “Nigeria is still the same old busy place. Why didn’t you inform me of your arrival? I could have picked you up” “That is why I have a driver. Where is my daughter-in-law?” “She-” The door opened and he turned. When he saw the person at the doorway, he blinked and froze.
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