I had to help Charlotte collect her money from Andrew because Charlotte was too busy with her personal life. I parked my car in front of Andrew’s house. I was silently praying that he was not in so that I could simply tell charlotte that the only day I had some free time, Andrew was unavailable. It would be the perfect excuse. I walked to the front entrance with Calmstorm firmly by my side. I took a deep breath and knocked on the door and sadly, Andrew was the one who opened. He was dressed in jeans and a floral shirt; he also used his favourite cologne. I knew for a fact that he only used that cologne when he is on a date or trying to impress someone. My curiosity was officially piqued.
“Hi. Hope I am not interrupting anything. I can come back another time if it isn’t convenient.”
“Wow, Katherine this is a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you” he said while standing at the door blocking my view so I could not see inside, it made me very curious as to what he was hiding inside?
“Wouldn’t you invite me in?”
“My house is a bit messy right now.”
“Andrew honey, who is it?
A female voice floated from within the house. At this point, I was completely consumed with curiosity, so I swiftly opened the door wider while Andrew was distracted. Standing in front of the staircase was a beautiful lady wearing an expensive flowing black gown and her lipstick was smudged, her hair was completely disarranged, she looked like she had just been thoroughly kissed. I could not avoid giving him a sarcastic smile.
“I can see how your house is really messy. Hello. I’m Katherine”
“Hi, I’m Deana. Deana Smith. It’s good to see you.”
“Are you by any means related to a Daniel Smith?”
“Yes, I am his one and only sister.”
“I wouldn’t have imagined.”
“Sometimes, I can’t imagine it myself. He can be a lot.”
“You took the word right out of my mouth.”
“You must know him pretty well. That’s not something you know from a one or two interactions.”
“Yes, I think I do. So, Deana, what do you do for a living?”
“I am into designing. I majored in fashion. I am even considering going into interior decorations.”
“Wow that is amazing. Then it seems like we have things in common, I organize events and it involves interior decorations often.”
“I hear that you are the best upcoming organizer in town, and you have the best connections. I’m extremely impressed with your capability and trust me your reputation precedes you anywhere and everywhere”.
“Thanks a lot, I’m honoured. Speaking of events, Andrew, Charlotte sent me to you to collect the balance of her fee. She stated that the agreement was that you will write a cheque and she will pick it up this evening. I’m sure that you must have forgotten that you owe her some money plus bonus as per your agreement.”
“Oh yes, I cannot believe that I almost forgot that. Silly me! Deana, please excuse us. Katherine and I have some business to complete.”
“Sure. I will be in the garden. I can’t still get my eyes off the wonderful view, it is splendid.” I watched her as she went out of the house, and I heard the door subtly close. She was like a beautiful princess visiting a neighbouring Prince’s castle.
“Katherine, I must tell you something, it’s not what you think.”
“I am not thinking anything, Andrew besides you said we have business to complete, I want to believe that this business is the outstanding fees of Charlotte?”
“I am not in love with Deana.”
“Thanks for sharing that piece of unsolicited and highly unnecessary information but what you do in your personal life is your own business and it is none of mine.”
“Katherine, I know you are stubborn, and you can do anything once your ego is bruised and I know that right now, your ego has been terribly bruised.”
“Really, then it seems you know me more than I know myself because I don’t feel like my ego has been bruised at all.”
“Katherine, I love you.”
“Really, I thought you were having a glorious date with Deana, I apologise again for interrupting, it was honestly not my intention and may I say that the both of you look like a handsome couple.”
“Katherine, I know that being with Deana is a mistake, but I felt rejected and alone.”
“Then you need Religion or a hobby. What do you know? He did find a hobby in Deana.”
“Katherine, I need you. I love you. Katherine, you are the reason why I am running after other women, I really want you to believe that you are my life, my happiness, my joy. Remember the good times that we had. Remember that you made a promise to me that you would love me forever!”
“Yes, I did. Thank you so much for bringing that up because that was before you left me hanging and left the country without even looking back. Without writing or trying to find out how I was fairing. You hurt me. You left me and now you come back, and you start saying that you cannot live without me, I do not think so. I think that you believe me to be a person that you can have and throw away anytime you wish. I have never and would never be a fling. Give me the money so that I can take my leave and you can continue to enjoy your date with Deana.”
“I have an idea. I promise you that I would never disturb you again about love or continuing from where we left off if you just do something for me. I want you to look at me in the eye and tell me that you do not love me anymore. I promise you that if you can say that I would never bring up this topic again and we would be civil to each other. It’s just 12 letters and 5 words.”
I looked at Andrew in the eye totally intending to say those simple words but surprisingly the words could not come out of my mouth, I tried but I could not bring myself to say those words, all the emotions I have been locking up for years just came crashing down and I started to feel choked. I started to cry uncontrollably, how can I love and hate a man so much. I realised that I never stopped loving him even though he deeply hurt and crushed me, and I hated all that and I promised myself a long time ago that no man would ever have the power to hurt me like that ever again. I did not even notice when Andrew came to my side, he kept his hands around me and pulled me close to him and we shared a hug but much more we shared a moment. After the hug, he kissed me on my forehead and he loosened his hold on me a little, enough to see my face and planted a kiss on my lips, I did not pull back neither did I protest. He gave me another hug. I tried to release myself after I had calmed down, I finally allowed myself to feel every emotion I had I had buried for all those years, I just knew that I needed to allow those emotions flow. I would never heal if I did not start the process.
He continued to hug me so tight that if he tried to tighten his hold, he would partly cut off my supply of air and I might suffocate. I started getting uncomfortable and I tried once more to remove myself from the embrace and after a few seconds of struggling, he finally released me.
“Why did you not release me sooner?”
“I’m not sorry at all, I was enjoying the embrace very much. I didn’t want it to end.”
“I hope that you have not forgotten that you have a date outside, I can’t imagine what rumours would surface if we were seen together in such an uncomfortable situation. You know I hate gossips and think of my deeply religious parents.”
“I also know that my Katherine is not concerned about what people would say or what church demands.”
“That was then, this is now. Then they could blame it on my being a child but now I am a young woman and I have my family’s reputation to uphold. Elizabeth is already trashing the family reputation, and they are saying she is a child but if I allow myself to do what she does, my mother would be blamed for not training me well.
“Ok, I’ll send her on her way.”
“Please don’t do that. We can see later, You could come over to Alfred’s house, I am almost always there. What do you think?”
“I think that is a splendid idea. I’ll see you there very soon. I’ll bring dinner along when I come. You better get going so that I can swiftly end my date with Deana.”
“What about Charlotte’s pay?”
“Let me get that for you. You can come into my room if you want.
“I don’t want to do that. I would prefer to wait here, please hurry up.”
“Ok, give me a few minutes. I’ll be back.”
He gave me a kiss on my lips, and I watched him as he walked up the stairs, he glanced at me once more before he finally disappeared up the stairs. I went to the window, and I looked at Deana outside sitting beside the bed of flowers, all kind of flowers, that was the first time I noticed that all the flowers form the word ‘welcome’. As I was completely enchanted by the breath-taking view of the garden, I felt strong hands holding my waist. I froze and turned back to find out that Andrew was the one holding me, silly me, who else was in the house besides the two of us, I should have known that it was him.
“I’m sorry if I startled you, darling”.
“Oh, it is nothing. My mind was elsewhere so I was unprepared.”
“And what was on your mind?”
“I was admiring your garden and how Deana looks in it. It seems like she needs a garden like yours”.
“I’m glad that you like my garden. This is the balance and the bonus as agreed with Charlotte. Please, do help me tell her that I am extremely sorry for not delivering the cheque according to our initial plan and that I appreciate her services very much and that I hope we would be able to work together again.” He gave me the money.
“I would deliver your message to her, and I am sure that she understands that you are a very busy man, and you have a lot of responsibilities that you must carry out and you definitely forgot about the money.”
“Thanks. See you soon.”
“I’ll be expecting you. Bring something along as an ‘I’m sorry for dumping you when I left the country’.”
“I would, I’m really sorry. Now I know that leaving the country might not have been so bad if I were not scared of what you would say to me. Maybe if I had had enough courage to talk to you, it might have made all the difference.”
“Can we stop talking about it? I want to allow myself to heal and move on from all those emotions so don’t ruin it with issues of the past. Let us face the present and hope for the best future.”
“Then I’ll be with you on a spectacular evening, and it would be special for both of us. I’ll see you then.”
“Let us see what tomorrow brings. Bye” he gave me one last firm kiss on the cheek right before I left his house. I ensured that I said my goodbyes to Deana, she seems like a very likeable person, I called out for Calmstorm who was busy sniffing around in the garden and we both returned to my car and drove off without a backward glance at the house.
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