Lizzy woke around past six as she was used to and sighed happily when she noticed that Jessica was still asleep. She had given Jessie some drugs which she usually used after a really stressful day and seeing Jessie sleep peacefully told her that the drugs were effective. She was not used to bathing so early, so she just washed her face and brushed her teeth. Moving about quietly in order not to rouse the sleeping Jessie, she went into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. She checked the rice she had cooked the previous night and was happy that it was enough for two; the stress of cooking another food was out. She heated up the rice and stew but also boiled water to use for tea. The weather was very cold, considering the heavy rain that fell throughout the night.
While she waited for the food to steam up, she went to the sink and started washing the plates from the previous night. She was happy that she was on her own and not with her parents, if not, they would be ranting about sweeping the entire house, and she would not be able to ask for food until she had worked her bones sore. Some liberties come with living alone!
“Tunji, I believe you should be able to handle the office without my assistance” Andy said as he conversed rather reluctantly with Tunji, his best friend, over the phone, driving at the same time.
“Well, thank God you finally noticed that. Hope there is no problem? I mean you never miss a day at the office but today would make it three days”
“Well, that is the difference between a married man and a single man”
“Don’t tell me that. Did you just get married? You even came running to the office during your honeymoon so cut it out. Andy, are you on the road?”
“I have not got time for this now Tunji, got to go” Before Tunji could respond to what he said, Andy hung up. He dropped the phone and swallowed. He knew it was too early but he could not stay in the house for another minute. The thought of Jessica was almost driving him mad and he needed to make her believe him. He just could not sit back and do nothing.
He encountered a little traffic and was instantly angry that he lived in Lagos. Lagos was a state that he had always known for its overcrowded nature. Though Lagos was a beautiful place, he was not happy that today of all days he was being delayed by traffic, so early in the morning.
“You should have woken me up Lizzy, I am not a baby” Jessica said. Even though her head was still pounding, she did not like being the last person to wake up, only to find all the work already done.
Lizzy smiled. “You are my baby for today sweetheart. Just wait, Paulina would be here soon”
“Oh no”, Jessica groaned. “I don’t need a motherly intervention right now”. Jessica stared at the food in front of her, she had no appetite whatsoever and her head ached terribly. She drank the tea slowly.
“I am all ears Jessica” Jessica did not need a long speech to know what Lizzy was referring to.
Jessie sighed and decided it best to talk about it. “Andy is a womanizing cheat”
“Wow Jessie, that is a really strong statement. I assumed that Andy was the subject matter but needed confirmation. Andy does not strike me as a womanizer, though I can’t dispute that he looks seriously like a ladies’ man. Women would always be attracted to him, there is no stopping it but I don’t think Andy is someone who jumps from skirt to skirt”
It hurt Jessica that Lizzy was defending Andy. “Well, he turned out to be a womanizer”
“I don’t like people feeding you with lies. You are married to one of the most famous men in this country; people want to take your place. Come to think of it, even if this were true, should it bother you? I mean, you don’t have feelings for him, do you?” Lizzy knew that she was intentionally goading her friend.
Jessie swallowed and glared at Lizzy for some seconds. Would she even let her land? “Of course I don’t, and it does not bother me”
Lizzy’s knowing smile annoyed Jessica. “I am serious Liz, the only thing that bothers me is what happened” she paused. Talking about it seemed much worse. Now that she thought of it, she could not imagine Andy raping anyone but common sense never makes sense to people when faced with a situation like this, does it? “He almost raped Sonia”
Lizzy choked on the tea she was drinking and started coughing. She coughed and coughed for some time and breathed in deeply. “Ok Jessie” she coughed. “I think you are imagining things. Are you sure you don’t feel dizzy? The drugs I gave you last night are strong and you should still be asleep by now.”
“Cut it out Liz, I am not crazy. I got a call from Sonia yesterday evening and she asked of what I was doing. I told her that I was home with Andy and was going to make my hair. She then told me that she was coming over and should get to the house in about two hours. I decided to go over to the saloon, leaving Andy at home, since everything I needed to do there would just take about an hour. On getting home, I saw Andy with Sonia, struggling with each other on the chair. The sight was…” she trailed off.
Lizzy was looking with wide eyes and open mouth and for almost a minute, nobody talked. Lizzy stood up and paced thoughtfully. “Jesus, I can’t believe this! Andy?” The full memory of the past evening returned with full force, clouding Jessica’s senses and she swallowed as pain overshadowed her. “What did they both say?”
“What else would Andy say? He said it is not what I think” she laughed slightly. “Sonia said he was trying to rape her. It is so disheartening Liz, my friend almost got raped because she visited me”
she remembered something. “That was when Sonia surprised me by mentioning the one year contract between Andy and I”Sonia paused.
“Yes. I was terribly shocked. She said a whole load of crap” Jessica went ahead to narrate everything that was said the previous night, even including Andy’s bewildered responses. Lizzy sat down and looked thoughtful.
“Something is fishing. I am not sure I trust Sonia”
“Lizzy! How can you say that? She is our friend for heaven’s sake” Not to mention my best friend!
“It is true Jessie, I don’t trust quiet people too much. Come to think of it, she said she would be in your house in two hours’ time and you got back after one hour only to meet her there”
“It happens all the time Lizzy. She might have anticipated traffic when she said that but met with a clear road” Jessica defended.
“But she knew you were at the saloon and could have gone earlier to meet Andy” Lizzy looked thoughtful.
“Why would she want to do that?”
“Everyone loves a rich man”
“Stop it Lizzy, I can’t believe you doubt your own friend.” Jessica was surprised.
“I am just trying to be the reasonable person here; I mean; if you can doubt your husband, I see no reason why a friend cannot be doubted. Besides, I repeat: I cannot fully trust someone who is too quiet, just like Sonia. I can still remember how much she lamented on the beauty of your house and how much you must be enjoying”…
To be continued….