The memorable day of my life. I won the award for the third ever time continuously and I couldn’t even ask for anything more. It made me so happy and top to that I had Juliette witnessing the moment when I got the award. I wanted to know how she was feeling about it. Just as I thought, she was happy with my achievements even though she congratulated me after I got the award only for once still, from the smile on her face anybody could decipher that she was happy for me and only by knowing it I was happy too.
The rest of the night went in talking to some of my business investors, meeting new people, people congratulating me and everything was just going great with a person beside me. Juliette...
I knew I made her disappointed when I didn’t acknowledge how she looked but then right before me I saw many people even my business investors complimenting and acknowledging her beauty and she even smiled and then it made me think she must not be disappointed because judging by a number of compliments she got for looks what difference would it even make if I do compliment her? Probably nothing.
So, I ignored the topic and concentrated more on the people before and tried to build contacts for my business. But I could see the discomfort in Juliette’s face on those heels. Finally, she excused herself and I did have an idea that she was going to sit somewhere and would want to rest her feet. After she was gone, I had some discussions with a man who was my teacher when I was in school. His son is also a knowable businessman and for that, together with their family, he was attending the function. I was very happy to see him after a long time. We talked and discussed about his son’s and my business and when I felt somebody’s arms circling my back. I turned around to look at that person but soon regretted even looking at the woman who was Ms. Loana Ularu.
“Zackie” she whispered into my ears which made me shiver in disgust.
“How have you been? I heard that you got married. I know it’s just a rumor right Zackie?” I looked at her right hand to see a glass of wine. And what in the world was she wearing?
“Ms. Loana Ularu. It’s pleasure to meet you. Yes, I did get married. Now, will you please excuse me? I’m an important discussion with this man over here” I pushed her away from me as politely as I could. The woman is really clingy and I just dislike her not only for her inappropriate clothing sense but also for the way she speaks with people.
“What? Oh my goodness! You are really married?” she tangled her arms with mine and clung to me even more. I looked back at my former teacher as he just looked with dislike at the woman and I knew it that currently because of Loana clinging to me, people must be talking about us.
“Yes! I am” I said slowly.
Did she not get the point?
“So where is she? I don’t see her though” she looked every direction searching for Juliette.
“Zackie you are such a liar! Don’t joke with me” she laughed, a throaty laugh.
“It’s Mr. Sullivan for you!” I said as I felt the patient limit of mine decreasing with each and every second she stood beside me. I was only tolerating her because her father was like a mentor to me and my former business partner. I seriously don’t understand how her father who is a disciplined and man of principles man doesn’t oppose to the way she behaves. She purposely clung to me pressing her chest to my arm and rubbing against me and might I add I didn’t like it even for a bit.
Inappropriate way to act with a married man in public.
“Aww c’mon Zackie why the formalities? Everyone knows we had a-” I cut her off.
“Enough!” this time I glared at her and she unwrapped her arms from mine.
“Excuse me! I need to find my wife” I told my teacher to which he nodded smiling at me, understanding what I meant. Without even glancing Loana’s way I walked towards the direction where I last saw Juliette. I wonder what has taken her so long to come back to me. Where is she?
I looked for her from the group of ladies and even near the food stalls, she was nowhere to be found. But then I saw Cosmina and asked her if she knew where Juliette was. She told me that she saw her going towards the beverages. I thanked her went in that direction searching for Juliette and then I found her.
What the heck?
There she was sitting on a bar chair before a small counter where she was having alcoholic drinks. I marched up to her side and watched as she laughed, giggled and talked with the bartender. The guy was enjoying serving her. She was going to have another shot when I interrupted her from drinking it and held her forearm stopping her from drinking. She looked up at me angrily because I interrupted but then when she saw my face she smiled. Even though I knew what she was doing still, I felt the need to ask her.
“What are you doing?” I asked through gritted teeth.
Ignoring my question she patted on the seat next to her and asked me to sit down and even asked the bartender to serve me drink.
“No!” I objected and leaned closer to her to smell her breath.
“Gosh! Idiot! You are drunk?” I couldn’t help but get angry at her. What is wrong with her?
“Spoilsport!” she muttered rolling her eyes at me and raised the shot in hand to drink it but again abruptly I interfered stopping her from having even a single drop of alcohol.
“Enough! You had enough! Get up now!” I snatched the glass from her hands but then she used her other free hand and a like a bolt of electricity snatched it back and before I could even stop her, she gulped it down.
“Juliette!” I snapped at her and pulled her up holding her arms. She swayed in her place and I had to hold her closer to me. I was scared that if I didn’t hold her then she would end up hurting herself. Her slurry voice and strange actions clearly gave me the clue that she was tipsy and her behavior was unusual. She stayed closer to me, even asked me to dance with her and even confessed that like me, she also didn’t know how to dance. She irritated me the whole way in the car, she pulled my cheek, pinched me and even tried to jump off from a running car. At some points, I was so irritated by her action and at another, I was amused. I couldn’t understand what to do with her.
As the driver pulled before our house, he got out and opened the door for us to get out. I was the first to slip out and then I asked Juliette to come out.
“No, Thank you I think I’ll pass the offer” she crossed her arms across her chest and behaved as if she was sober now. Clearly, she wasn’t.
I rolled my eyes at her and gave her my hand asking her to come out.
“Are you deaf? I said I am going out for shopping” she whined and leaned against the window and turned towards my direction, keeping her legs on the seat.
“Juliette” I sighed and took in a deep breath before as politely as I could I said: “We are already in the mall. Come out now” I cringed at my own lie.
“Really?” came her slurry voice.
“Let’s go now!” I told her and watched as she put her legs down and slipped towards my direction. Finally, I held her arm and pulled her out.
“Good morning!” she greeted to the driver who just smiled at her in response.
“Good night ma’am” he replied and closed the door after I pulled her out and wrapped my arm around her waist and made her walk into the house.
“Listen! I want to buy a neck-klace” she hiccupped and pulled my suit “just like the one you-r mother gave t-to me” as she said that I stopped in my track and looked at her.
“Then you can you have the one which she gave,” I told her and remembered the day when she returned it back to me.
“No! No!” she shook her head no.
“It’s yours. It belongs to you and your fa-family” she said and leaned her head on my shoulder.
I sighed and closed my eyes then dragged her towards the staircase when my phone rang. I thought it would ring and stop but it didn’t. It kept on ringing and finally, I stood near the stair with Juliette leaning on to me. I pulled the phone out and read the caller Id to find it as Mr. Stephen, Juliette’s dad.
“Good evening Mr. Stephen,” I said once I picked it up.
“I will walk up on my own!” Juliette said with her slurry voice and tried to take a step on the stair but I pulled her back and held her tightly.
“Ugh! Let me go! I want to use the bathroom” she said and tried to move.
“Just excuse me for a second Mr. Stephen,” I said on the phone and kept the call on hold before I looked back at Juliette.
“Will you please stand for a second? I’m talking to your dad. Let me end the call” I said and she muttered something and I went back to the call.
Being the stubborn woman she is, she struggled and even dragged me on the stairs. Finally, I let her go and watched her moves as she swayed and holding the rail for the support she made it up to the floor. I sighed once I saw her reaching the top. I assumed she would reach the room and would directly go to sleep. Meanwhile, I had a conversation with Mr. Stephen and he told me that he would be arriving tomorrow in the afternoon with his family. He called to inform me about this. After the call, I hurried up skipping a step and walked towards the bedroom.
As I opened the door and walked in, I looked towards the bed to find it empty.
“This woman!” I muttered and looked the other side of the room to find it empty as well. Hoping that she must be in the bathroom, I walked that direction and knocked before opening it.
“Juliette?” the bathroom was empty as well.
“Juli-” I cut off in the middle when I saw her. There she was in the shower but on the floor. She sat on the floor while the shower ran on her making her soak.
“Juliette!” I said and immediately got rid of my suit jacket and tie and walked towards her. I looked at her as she sat on the floor, with the shower water running on her. She had pulled her legs to her chest and has sleeked her already wet hair to the back as she closed her eyes and sat on the floor calmly letting the water soak her.
“Juliette!” I called her and she opened her eyes and looked up at me.
“My head hurts,” she said and I wondered if she was sober by now.
“Come out now! You will catch a cold!” I said and forwarded my hand for her to take.
“I don’t want to talk to you,” she said and closed her eyes leaning her chin on her hand which was on her knees.
I looked at her and then crouched down to her level right on the open glass doorframe and watched as she didn’t look my way.
“Why?” I asked.
“Nothing!” she replied but still didn’t look my way.
“Why did you drink in the party?” I asked and saw as she clutched her soaked dress but still didn’t look my way.
“I don’t know” she replied.
“You don’t know why you drank to point where you couldn’t even stand straight?” I asked with amusement clear in my voice.
“Yes, I don’t know. Now, leave me alone!” she had a sudden uproar in her voice and she glared at me squinting her eyes whenever the water went into it.
Okay! I guess, she isn’t sober yet!
“Leave me alone!” she said and looked the other way.
“You know I can’t do that!” I said truthfully first time ever letting her know what I truly meant.
“Well, then what do you want? You can’t leave me alone, you can’t stick up to me! Then what?” she snapped at me and then before I could open my mouth she started crying.
“Leave me alone!” she cried and hid her face using her hands as she wept and wailed wiping her face and she looked the other way.
She confused me. What did I do? And why is she crying all of a sudden? I got up from my place and walked in even though the soaked me as well, but I didn’t mind it and walked in as I crouched down next to her and made her look at me. She squinted her eyes and closed it shut stubbornly not wanting me to see her eyes.
“Hey, Juliette” I called her and held her arms and pulled her and thankfully she allowed me and we stood up.
“Look at me!” I said slowly more like a whisper.
“No!” she sobbed.
“Look at me,” I said and caressed her cheeks with my knuckles.
She turned her head my way and finally opened her eyes letting me see her beautiful blue orbs which were sad and kind of dark. The shower water drenched us and I moved to stand before her stopping the water coming her way. She looked up to me and held my hands which were on her cheeks and I couldn’t when stop myself when I leaned in and planted my lips over her.