The American

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CHAPTER 12

It feels like it was yesterday everyone was telling each other happy new year, but now we can see posters of happy valentine everywhere. I can’t believe January is almost over and February is already around the corner. It’s been three weeks since Ethan and I started seeing each other. I don’t know if I should say we are dating because we have been on a lot of dates, but Ethan has not asked me to be his girlfriend. Surprisingly I am dying for him to ask me to be his girlfriend. My feelings for him have grown in these three weeks that we have shared.

Ethan has been an angel throughout these three weeks. He kept to his promised and has done his best in not touching me. Ethan has not touched me since the last time we kissed. I am happy he kept his promise, but I am also sad because I can’t believe I am saying this, but my heart craves for his touch. I don’t know how it started, but I know anytime I see him, I want to feel him close to me. I am also careful not to touch him even though my heart craves it. I wish he would ask me to be his girlfriend because I really want to be his girlfriend.

I am at Wal-Mart shopping for groceries for both Ethan and I. Grace is not feeling too good, so she asked Ethan to buy his groceries. I told him I was coming to Wal-Mart, so he asked me to please help him buy his groceries too.

I finish from Wal-Mart and drive to Ethan’s house to drop off his groceries. I arrive at his building after a few minutes of driving. I use the elevator up to the 5th floor where his apartment is. I step out the elevator and walk to his door. I ring the bell and wait for him to open it.

“Hey, amore (Love)” Ethan says once he opens the door for me.

“Hi, please could you help me with some of the bags. They are really heavy” I say while I struggle to hold them.

“Yeah, sure,” Ethan says, taking the heavy ones off my hands while walking to the kitchen.

“Thank you and how is Grace feeling today,” I say following behind him.

“She is feeling better, and hopefully, she would be able to come to work tomorrow.”

“Alhamdulillah, I wish her quick recovery,” I say and drop the shopping bags in my hands on the kitchen worktop.

“Me too, and what does that word mean,” Ethan says, curiously asking about what I said in Arabic while he drops the shopping bags on the worktop.

“It means Praise be to Allah.”

“Oh, that’s nice and amore please could you do me a favour.”

“Sure, what is it?”

“The guys are coming over, and usually Mrs Grace always makes little snacks for us, so I was wondering if you could do the same”

“Sure, I can, right after I observe my prayers,” I say, and the bell goes off at the door.

“Thank you, you are the best, and they should be the ones at the door,” Ethan says and walks to the door. True to his words, his friends are the ones at the door. Three of them walk in, which I have come to know since Ethan and I started seeing each other.

“Hey, Adina” William and James say, walking towards the living room.

“As salamu alaykum, Adina” Abdul says to me and also walks into the living room.

“Wa alaykumu salam Abdul and hello guys,” I say with a friendly smile.

“I will be in the living room if you need me, see you later,” Ethan says before he also disappears into the living room.

I walk into the guest room to pray Dhuhr. I perform my ablution in the bathroom and walk out to observe my prayers. After I finish praying, I walk back to the kitchen to make some snacks for the guys. On my way to the kitchen, I hear someone say my name from the living room, and my ears pick up interest to know what they are saying. I know it’s wrong, but curiosity is getting the best of me right now.

“Hey, Ethan is Adina, your girl?” James says.

“Yes, and why are you asking,” Ethan says with a lot of confidence.

“You have a good one there man, she is sexy,” James says, and the next thing that happens leaves me stunned. Ethan throws a pillow at James’ face.

“If you look at her one more time with those eyes of yours, I won’t be sorry if you don’t leave here with them,” Ethan says, threatening his friends. It brings a smile to my face because I know he will always protect me from lustful eyes. He is so amazing.

“I was only joking man,” James says chuckling while lifting his hands in surrender.

“Good, perché è la mia (Because she is mine)” Ethan says smirking and turns back to look at me. His beautiful deep grey eyes lock with my dark brown eyes. I see a lot of admiration in his eyes for me. I can’t believe these are the same eyes which were filled with hatred for me last year. He winks at me before I advert my glance and walk to the kitchen with a blush on my face.

School started a few weeks ago, and I am happy it has, and I am not. I am glad because I am going to be graduating from university this year, and I couldn’t be happier. I am not excited because school means work and work means stress and I don’t like stress, but that’s life for you. I am on my way to class when a masculine perfume I am starting to get familiar with and addicted too fills my nostrils.

“Ehi bella (Hey beautiful)” Ethan says whispering in my ears, causing shivers to run down my spine. How he causes these effects on me is still a mystery to me.

“Hey Ethan,” I say in a dull tone

“What’s wrong love,” Ethan says with concern

“Nothing serious, other than the fact that I have this test on Friday and the course is not one of my favourites,” I say feeling very comfortable to share my little problems with Ethan.

“Oh, its oracle database right.”

“Yes, and I don’t know what I am going to do. I can’t fail the test. It is going to affect my final score at the end of the semester if I do.”

“Then I will make sure you don’t fail it.”

“How are you going to do that?”

“I will tutor you,” Ethan says, surprising me. If there is anything Ethan does not like, it is tutoring someone. He says he is not patient enough to help someone understand something they don’t know while he does.

“You hate tutoring people,” I say surprised he would offer to do something he hates.

“I do hate it, but for you, I will do it in a heartbeat,” Ethan says, smiling.

“Thank you, Ethan,” I say, smiling.

“Anything for you love, and I wanted to know if you are free this Saturday.”

“Yes, I am. Why are you asking” I say feeling curious if he wants to ask me out on another date. It’s been a little while since we went on a date, and I won’t mind going on one any time soon.

“I am having family dinner this weekend, and I want you to come with me.”

“Family dinner,” I say thinking to myself if it would be right for me to come along. I have met Ethan’s family twice, and both times they were lovely people, but I don’t know if now would be the same. We were not seeing each other during those times, and we are now. I am kind of scared to go. I don’t know if they might be so keen on Ethan and I dating.

“Yes”

“Maybe you should go without me,” I say not feeling too prepared to meet Ethan’s family yet with our new relationship

“No, I want you to come with me. It would really mean a lot if my dad meets you” Ethan says pleading. It feels like ice-cold water has been poured over me as realisation drowns on me.

The two times I met Ethan’s family, his dad was not around. I am guessing he travelled or something, but that is not the problem. Ethan’s dad, Mr Federico Mantone, is my brother’s business partner. I don’t know if he would be so keen on Ethan and I seeing each other. What if he thinks I am dating Ethan to influence him to sign more deals with my brother? Ya Allah, I hope he does not think such things of me because that is not the reason I am with Ethan.

“Ethan......” I say finding it hard to say no to those lovely grey eyes of his

“Adina I know you are scared to meet my dad, but you shouldn’t. The man loves you” Ethan says, and it surprises me how he knows what I am thinking without even saying it out loud. During Mr Federico’s dinner, he and I got along pretty well.

“Ethan, I know your dad likes me, but he might not anymore when he finds out about our relationship.”

“He would trust me.”

“Hmmm,” I say thinking if Ethan might be right about his dad.

“Please come with me; it would mean a lot if you do.”

“Alright, fine I will,” I say praying Mr Federico approves of our relationship.

Saturday came faster than I wanted it to. I am so nervous about meeting Mr Federico later today. I just finished praying Asr; I made sure to make a lot of duas for tonight to go well.

“Babe you need to take a chill pill, everything is going to be fine tonight. I am sure Ethan’s dad is going to love you” Khloe says while sitting on my bed.

“I wish I could calm down, but right now, that is going to be very difficult. I can’t even remember where I kept the outfit I chose for tonight” I say searching through my luggage and closet.

“You won’t find them there because you kept it in my closet. I never thought I would see this day.”

“That’s true, I forgot, and what do you mean?” I say walking over to her room to get my clothes

“I mean, I never thought I would see the day you would be meeting the father of the man you are dating. The fact that you are dating is so surreal and to top it off, Ethan is the guy you are dating. Never in my whole life did I see that coming”

“I know right, like who would have thought I would ever like Ethan even to end up dating him. Sometimes I feel like it’s a dream.

I don’t know if to say if it’s a bad or good one, but it feels like a dream.”

“It’s a good dream because since you started dating Ethan, I have seen you in your happiest days.”

“You feel so,” I say smiling actually surprised at that fact.

“I know so, and I am happy for you.”

“Thank you.”

“You are welcome.”

Khloe helps me with my makeup and ties my turban. It’s funny how Khloe who hardly ties a turban knows how to tie it better than I do. She did a very simple makeup for me. I am wearing a silk tile green wrap dress with ruffles at the bottom and a white scarf for my turban. I picked out a pair of silver sandals, diamond stud earrings with a couple of silver bracelet and a small black bag to finish my look. I hope I look presentable enough for Ethan’s dad to approve of our relationship.

Ethan picked me up a few minutes ago, and my hands have not stopped shaking throughout the whole ride. I am deep in my thoughts when I feel something warm touch my hands.

“Mi amore, I know I shouldn’t be touching you, but I had to so you could calm down,” Ethan says, placing his warm hands around my trembling ones. They stop shaking once the warmth from his hands fills mine. Its amazes me how such a small thing can cause such a significant effect on me.

“Everything is going to be fine, trust me,” Ethan says, staring into my dark brown eyes with those beautiful grey eyes of his.

“I do, let’s go,” I say, taking a deep breath before walking out of the car.

Ethan and I step out of the car and walk to the front door of this beautiful mansion he has brought us too. He parked his car at the front yard. There are beautiful flowers all around, and a water fountain in the middle. I wonder why we did not go to the same house we had his sisters birthday party. Maybe that was his grandparent’s house because they were present during the party. The front door opens, revealing a lady who I am guessing is a maid due to her attire. She looks a few years older than me.

“Good evening Ethan, everyone is waiting for you in the living room,” The young lady says with a soft smile on her face.

“Thank you, Alice,” Ethan says, stepping into the house with me following behind.

The foyer is a beauty, with white adorning all the walls, and a crystal chandelier in the middle. There are two stairways with black bannisters leading all the way up. Ethan walks towards the left and stops at the entrance of the living room. The living room is painted white with cream couches, and there are three people seated already, but I only recognise one person.

“Hey son,” Mr Federico says, smiling while walking up to Ethan and pulls him into a hug.

“Hello Dad,” Ethan says, smiling while hugging his dad back.

“I am so happy to see you, son; it’s been awhile since we last met”

“Dad, we saw a few days ago. I doubt it has been that long.”

“It has been long for me.”

“Whatever dad and I would like you to meet my girlfriend, Adina,” Ethan says, and my heart starts beating 10x times faster than they should for two reasons. Ethan just called me his girlfriend, and also said it to his dad. I am mentally screaming right now. I can’t believe he just called me his girlfriend to his dad. This feels so amazing, oh my God. I am overwhelmed with joy right now.

“Good evening Mr Federico,” I say praying hard he approves of our relationship.

“How are you doing dear, and please drop the formalities, you are family now,” Mr Federico says with a soft smile.

“Am doing good and you.”

“I am also doing good because both of you are here,” Mr Federico says and someone clears their throat from the couch. A beautiful dark-skinned lady looks to be around 5’7 feet tall, has pitch black eyes, black straight hair and the body of a model. She walks up to where we are standing with a man who looks like the male version of her.

“Adina meet my stepmom and her son,” Ethan says not as excited as he was to introduce his dad. Stepmom, I did not know Ethan had a stepmom. This finally explains why I never see his both parents together. They must be divorced. I never knew I could have never guessed it, but it explains a lot now.

“Hello Dear, I am Patricia, and this is my son Austin,” The lady says, putting her hand forward for a handshake.

“Hi, I am so honoured to be in your house,” I say, shaking her hand.

“The pleasure is all mine,” She says with a fake smile plastered all over her face.

“If we are done saying hello, please could we all move to the dining table. Dinner is served” Mr Federico says, and we all walk towards the dining area.

We are seated for dinner, and I must say the dining area is also a beauty. Once we start eating, Patricia speaks up.

“So Adina if you don’t mind me asking, how do you and Ethan know each other”

“We go to the same university” I answer politely.

“Oh, that’s nice and where are you from.”

“I am from Nigerian.”

“How old are you?”

“I am 20 years old.”

“What does your father and mother do for a living.”

“My both parents are Entrepreneurs.”

“That’s good and what types of businesses do they both deal with.”

“My dad has a chain of hotels around the world while my mom deals in trade of our traditional attire.”

“Oh, so that will mean you come from a wealthy family.”

“All I can say is Alhamdulillah my family is doing okay.”

“That’s alright, and I guess we don’t have to worry about you been a gold-digger.”

“Excuse me,” I say totally taken back and offended by her statement.

“Patricia!” Ethan says, dropping his cutlery hard on the dining table. I can already feel the anger coming off him. “Did you just accuse my girlfriend of been a gold digger, when you are the only one worthy of that title on this table?” Ethan says, glaring at her with so much disgust and hate. Similar to the way he used to look at me when he hated me. Patricia is about to speak, but her son beats her too it.

“Did you just call my mother a gold digger?” Austin says, getting angry himself.

“I think you have ears Austin; I don’t need to repeat myself. Patricia apologise to my girlfriend for accusing her of what is rightfully yours.”

“Ethan, what did you just say to me.”

“You heard me right,” Ethan says, and it feels like with each passing moment he is going to keep getting angrier. I know how Ethan can be when he is fierce, and I don’t want to see that right now. I can see Ethan putting his hand in a fist, trying his best to control his anger.

“Ethan, it’s fine, I did not take it offensively,” I say to cool him down.

“No Adina you did, and she is going to apologise for it. Patricia, I am waiting.”

“You must be nuts to think my mother is going to apologise after the way you just insulted her”

“Austin, who is talking to you, will you shut that thing you call a mouth.”

“You better watch the way you talk to me, boy. I won’t let you insult my mama and I because of this damn bitch here” Austin says getting up from his seat in anger

“What the fuck did you just say,” Ethan says, getting up from his seat with so much anger the chair falls down with a loud thud.

I can’t believe I have been insulted twice tonight. I never imagined tonight going this way. I can tell this family has a lot of issues between one another.

“You damn well heard me, boy,” Austin says

“I think that’s enough both of you,” Mr Federico says

I totally forgot he was here. He has been quiet throughout the whole conversation.

I see Ethan’s hand about to punch Austin in the face. I am not going to allow Ethan to beat up someone again because of me, and most importantly, his stepbrother. I quickly grab his fist before he hits Austin in the face. His deep grey eyes lock with mine, and I plead with him to not do what we are both thinking. He removes his eyes from mine; I still hear his heart beating very fast, meaning he is still furious.

“Ethan,” I say, grabbing his attention away from his thoughts “It’s okay, I am alright,” I say whispering into his ears. He starts cooling down as his heart rate decreases. I slowly bring him back to his seat. Alhamdulillah, he did not hurt anyone.

“Adina I am truly sorry for everything that just happened. Please forgive my family for their behaviour” Mr Federico says once Ethan and I take back our seats. Austin also seats back down.

“It’s fine, Mr Federico; you don’t have to apologise.”

“Thank you for understanding, dear,” Mr Federico says with a soft smile.

“You are welcome,” I say, sending back the same smile.

We all go back to eating in silence, but I catch Ethan and Austin glaring at each other once in a while. I would have never guessed tonight turning out like this, but at least no one got punched in the face. Ethan and I spend the rest of the evening with his dad before leaving later at night.

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