Life Afterwards(2)–EPISODE 15

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‘’I never knew you could cook so well.’’ Scarlett praised accepting the glass of red wine hand over to her by Josh while settling unto the couch beside him. in her wildest dreams, she had never suspected Josh as a better cook.

The alarm bells in her head had gone off immediately she decided to come over to his place for dinner.

“so you don’t mind about the change of plans that we’re having dinner at my place?’’

“I like it here.’’

“then why don’t you move In with me?’’

Scar found it hard to swallow. Move in with Josh Riley? He was asking Her to move in with him. this was so against what she believed in.

But hadn’t she permitted it all in the first place? She was the one meant to be pulling him towards God but He was doing a good job moving her away from him

But wasn’t this what she wanted, what she’d dreamed of in the past?

She shook her head. ‘’I cant. Gabe…’’

He looked into her eyes then. ‘’if you loved him, you wouldn’t be here with me.’’

She closed her eyes and felt the conscience prick her again. ‘’I can’t believe I’m doing this with you. I have to go.’’

She stood up immediately and headed for the door when he placed his hands on them making her trapped right under him.

“we’re selfish, and what we’re doing is so wrong. Gavin needs you now more than ever, and I’m his teacher who should be helping him in all ways possible. He loves you so much and that’s all I want to witness. But this thing that happened between us, if we continue like this, it’ll ruin everything.’’

“Gavin loves you…’’

“I know. But I haven’t been living up to my reputation.’’

‘’when are you going to tell Gabe about us?’’

Scarlett’s eyes widened. ‘’us?’’

Josh frowned. ‘’is there no us?’’

“I cant. I’ll break his heart.’’

“and so you’ll rather break mine?’’

“you came late Josh. Right when something could have worked between us, you walked away. Right when you should have stood up for me, you didn’t say a word and right when I was humiliated in high school and expected you to do something, you just acted like you knew nothing.’’ Her eyes were beginning to mist but she didn’t struggle to wipe away the tears when they came strolling down. “and now you tell me you love me when you have a girlfriend and a son and moved on ahead in life. don’t you care that I want to be happy too, that I want to live life too, and life doesn’t revolve around you alone?’’

“baby, I’m so sorry.’’ He tried holding her hands but she broke free. ‘’I would never hurt you and when that thing happened back In high school, I called you, I tried everything I could, I searched for you. I opted out of the football team and forfeited the scholarship all because of you. I felt everything was my fault and I wasn’t myself for days. Your parents wouldn’t even allow me near your house and my parents didn’t make things easier. I never knew what we had was Love till now. I felt it was just my heart playing tricks on me but you are the only woman who has this strange effect on me I can’t explain.’’

“I never knew you opted out of the football team…’’ she felt guilty. Sheila had done all she could to separate them and the kiss they’d shared, she thought he was in all of it.

And she had left hating him and hating herself knowing she would never fall for his type again.

And here he was looking broken and wanting her so badly. Why couldn’t she give herself to him when that was what they both wanted?

He began kissing her tears away and she weakened when his lips finally found hers, claiming them for his own gently at first and then deeply till she broke free for air.

She knew the wine had little or nothing to do with the way she was feeling presently

“we cant do this here, Gavin…’’ she managed to say before she went into his arms willingly.

He was strong enough to carry her upstairs.

Two hours later, Josh lay exhausted beside Scarlett and kissed her firmly on the lips. She didn’t resist this time but rested her head and her hands on his bare chest loving how solid he felt against her.

“I don’t know what you’re doing to me Scarlett, but you’ve got me falling head over heels for you.’’ He played with her hair absent mindedly. ‘’I don’t know how I’d survive the rest of the day without you.’’

She looked up at him and her eyes began to mist. This was wrong but it felt so good. He broke her walls and shattered every obstacle she’d created and she knew he had her right in his palms. Right now, he could crush her or he could mold her presently.

Josh Riley had the key to her heart and as they lay together, she knew this was just the beginning of something deeper between them.

“tell me about Gavin’s mum.’’ She propped her head on her elbow to be able to look fully into his eyes. His hand slipped away from her back and she was glad for the less distraction. That way, she could realize the truth in time.

“she was a colleague.’’ Was all he said

“and you don’t feel I deserve to know so much more about you and how much you’ve moved on.’’

“I don’t want to fill your head with something that never really happened. It was just a case of two adults fooling around.’’

Scarlett sat up pulling the sheet to her body. ‘’so what are we doing now?’’

Gavin looked at her then, the feeling of trepidation crawling up his spine. Scarlett had come to him whole keeping her word to remain a virgin and he’d taken that from her whereas he didn’t wait. He knew she was bound to ask him how much he’d been faring without her.

“its much more than sex you know that.’’

“so you forgot all about me and moved on.’’ she managed to get the words out though the tears were already stuck in her throat.

He rose to move closer to her. ‘’not for one second did I forget you Scarlett. For a while, I thought I couldn’t do without you. If you know how hurt I felt, how I tried looking for you, how I even came over to your house the day before you moved out and tried to hold you and comfort you, but your parents thought I was the one who had hurt you and wouldn’t even let me get close to you. And then I heard you had gone just like that.’’

“whatever happened between Ashley and I wasn’t meant to. It just happened cos I was trying to move on without you. And then she wanted to get rid of the baby but I couldn’t allow her do that. I felt like I had a responsibility and was gonna stick by it even if she didn’t want to. I got her to sign a contract that she wouldn’t try anything funny in the future against Gavin and she was more than ready. She’s no more in my life.’’

‘what about your new girlfriend?’’

“she can’t even stand a chance in places where you’re concerned.’’

He started to kiss her and she surrendered to him. when he pulled away, it was to smile into her eyes with desire.

“I have something for you.’’ He mumbled against her lips.

She smiled. ‘’really…’’

He stretched his hand to his bed table and snatched the velvet box that lay beside him.

Scarlett’s heart beat wildly in her chest and her eyes widened on full realization of what was about to happen.

“I know I’m meant to plan the perfect proposal for you, being the special woman in my life but I just can’t hold it in anymore.” He opened the box and got down from the bed to get on his knees. ‘’Scarlett Rose Ruby, please do me the honour of being my wife.’’

She covered her mouth and let the tears flow easily. This was what she’d ever dreamed of and it was happening presently.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s all too much for me right now.’’

“I can give you time. I’m a patient man, and I can wait.’’

And she reached for him and kissed him passionately.

“I love you Josh Riley.’’ She managed to say as he rose to join her on the bed once more, forgetting everything else apart from their passion for each other.

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For a while, Scarlett found it difficult to say anything to Gabe but the tension In their relationship was palpable enough to detect that something was wrong and not as before anymore. She kept postponing the date but Josh didn’t mind most especially since they spent almost all their time together and sometimes Gavin joined in the fun, making Scarlett wish he was hers.

Josh dropped hints on how to make that possible and so she knew she most definitely had to tell Gabe.

Most Fridays were spent in his place after their poetry reading at the café or sometimes after dinner. She told him she couldn’t invite him to her place since she didn’t live alone and didn’t want Rea to get mad at her.

“that would be a good idea, y’know.’’ He said jokingly one time when they were in the kitchen together and she’d been preparing dinner for him, wearing only his Shirt.

She cocked her eyebrows. ‘’oh really…’’

He came close and slid his hands around her waist pulling her close nuzzling her neck in the process. ‘’in that way, she’d send you packing and you could come over my place. Then you can answer my proposal question in time.’’

“you’re not gonna give up are you?’’

“I can’t lose you again.’’

She smiled remembering the second surprise he’d given her the night after he proposed to her. He’d come to snatch her away from the house with the pretense that he just wanted to take her out.

But when they drove closer to the harbor, she knew it was much more than a lunch date.

He got down from the car and he urged her to come out and join him.

It was when she stepped out from his car she saw the surprise and gasped, covering her mouth in shock

“oh no!’’

She looked at him and saw him grinning like a boy in love. The boy she’d fallen in love with years ago and looked at the big boat her name was boldly scripted upon.

“The Scarlett.’’

“Josh, this is all too much.’’

He came and pulled her close to his side, kissing her hair. ‘’anything for you baby.’’

They walked into the boat together while Josh greeted the engineers behind the whole ordeal. Their rapport had been so natural and then she saw the captain smiling at her and excusing them as they looked around.

“wanna check out the cabin?’’

She could only nod as he reached for her hand and led her inside closing the door behind him.

“it’s beautiful Josh, I don’t even know what to say’’

“anything to make you make up your mind about marrying me.’’

‘’you’re serious aren’t you?’’ she looked into his eyes then.

He came closer to her and caressed her face with his fingers, raw desire in his eyes. ‘’ I want you to be mine.’’

She swallowed when he traced his fingers on her lips. How in the world did he have so much authority over her this way? ‘’I’m yours already.’’

“we could take time out and set sail on this baby when you’re ready. And then when we get married, we could spend time at my beach house together.’’

‘’hmmmn..’’ she closed her eyes when his lips settled on hers and could do nothing else when he peeled off her clothes.

And now, she couldn’t figure out how many times she’d allowed him into her body and into her life but she didn’t care anymore.

With time, she couldn’t hear her conscience speak again.

She laughed basking in his scent and not wanting him to let go ‘’I’ll give you an answer at the right time and I bet you it wouldn’t be a no.’’

‘’you smell good, delicious in fact.’’ He trailed kisses down her bare shoulders.

“you’re distracting you know that don’t you?’’ she tried to stop him but didn’t succeed and gave up.

The food had gotten burnt with Demi had walked in on them and the look on her face was enough to remind Scarlett of where she’d placed her before she had been reduced to Josh’s bedmate.

One afternoon while he was still away and she was teaching Gavin his lessons, she interrupted rudely and told Gavin to go to the neighbour’s house sweetly while she had a talk with Scarlett alone.

“I don’t need to be a rocket scientist before I know what you’re doing with my nephew.’’ She began looking right into her eyes. ‘’and the fact that you’re sleeping with him without any guilty conscience when you read those stories to Gavin amazes me.’’

Scarlett blushed and tried averting her gaze. The woman knew where to hit her

“I know I don’t have the right to judge you or anything, but I expected so much more from you than this. I trusted you and brought you into my family. I told you everything about us hoping you would work your way into his heart and bring him to Christ but it seems to me like you’re working your way into his bed instead.’’

“Demi…’’

“you’re not the first woman he’s going to have sex with, but for your sake and mine, I hope you qualify being the last cos you’d be losing on both sides.’’

And she was gone.

And for the first time in weeks since she’d been going out with Josh, she began to see what she had been doing and broke into tears.

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When Scarlett started throwing up and feeling queasy, she didn’t know what to pin it to and thought it was probably something she’d eaten and took a sick leave. When she noticed a little awkwardness in her sleeping habit and her irritation for things she normally liked, she grew scared.

Was she suddenly having allergic reactions? That was so odd.

But she suspected it was so much far from allergic reactions when after the second month, her period stopped visiting.

Oh no, this was all too much to bear and she prayed it was something else. Something far from what she suspected could be the reason.

She couldn’t handle another surprise in her life right now while she was still trying to sort her life out.

Rea was suspicious but tried not to show it most especially when Scar didn’t mention anything about herself and Josh, never talked about the weekends she didn’t sleep over, and the reason why he’d brought her home so late at night some weeks ago.

She knew it right from that moment that her friend wasn’t the same anymore and she grew worried for her.

But she decided to go with her to the hospital to confirm her suspicion and look Scar in the eye to start spilling out everything if it was true.

She didn’t know who her friend was anymore. She felt more like a stranger lived in the house with her.

When Scar was told she was six week’s pregnant, she was in shock for a while and didn’t speak. And then she burst into tears after the doctor left the room

Rea did what she could do best. Comfort her.

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For a while, Scarlett was confused and didn’t know what to do or who to tell her predicament to as her wedding day shifted closer and she carried another man’s baby. She’d promised to keep herself till her wedding night but one man had been able to break that resolution and that man had been Josh Riley.

The first guy she’d fallen in love with and the guy who she’d told to wait for her years ago.

He was the same man who had gotten access to her and she’d put her guards down wherever he was concerned.

But now, she carried his baby and he was so ignorant about it and hoped he wouldn’t know anything about it yet, because if he did, she would do as he told her to, most especially now that she didn’t know how to think on her own anymore.

Rea didn’t gloat but tried offering her whatever help she could offer and Scarlett couldn’t be more grateful for a friend like Andrea. She had developed a new relationship with this Mike of a man and he seemed to be a nice man. Rea made him know his limits though and Scarlett knew Rea was far better than her.

She had been so foolish to allow herself to get carried away.

So what if she’d been married to Gabe? She thought.  Was this how she was gonna be having an affair with an ungodly man outside marriage? Was this how much she was capable of unfaithfulness? Had she pretended all those 10years to be over Josh whereas, it lurked somewhere in the hidden part of her heart.

She needed time alone and she needed to talk to her mother, but what would she tell her parents who had tried helping her all through her years in college to forget Josh. All the money and love they’d shown her when they moved away from Naperville only to return back to square one

Josh wanting to marry her wasn’t the issue because as much as she loved him and was crazy about him, she wasn’t going to marry him just like that.

But firstly, she knew she had to tell Gabe that they couldn’t go on with the wedding and she was so sorry.

She just hoped she had the courage to tell him at their next outing.

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Rea tried as much as possible to look composed when Mike sat beside her and Ryan and Emilia sat opposite them.

This double date wasn’t a good idea but she didn’t want to sound weird to Mike. The poor guy didn’t have any idea about how much she still had feelings for the guy sitting opposite them who looked too good to be true. He wore a black blazer and a tieless shirt inside making her wonder why he didn’t opt for a modeling career. His dirty blonde hair was neatly trimmed and combed while his blue eyes just stood out in his magnificent body.

Who would have known she could still feel this way even after giving her life to Christ.

She had to caution herself and her thoughts or she would have a sleepless night.

His finely chiseled face stared back at her when Mike asked what she would have on the menu and she hoped he would remove her piercing gaze but he didn’t.

Didn’t he mind that Emilia could suspect there was something between them?

“same thing you’re having.’’ She resigned inhaling deeply knowing she wouldn’t enjoy a single bit of this dinner date at all.

The waiter took their orders and Rea shifted closer to Mike, hoping that would make him realize she wasn’t in the mood for eye contact games or footsie either.

The last time they had played footsie, it was at an annual dinner where his uncle had been given a humanitarian award. He’d invited Ryan and Ryan had brought Rea along as his date. And then he knew trouble was brewing when she began teasing him with her toes.

She snapped out of silly thoughts that made her suddenly feel uncomfortable in the restaurant.

Rubbing her palms on her skirt nervously, she tried to focus on something else apart from the distracting figure sitting before her.

‘’so Rea, Mike tells me you went to Evergreen high school.’’ Ryan chiped in with an air of confidence not taking his eyes away from her. ‘’if I do remember clearly, i attended the same school.’’

Rea cocked her eyebrows. He was putting the ball in her court and she wished she could slam it against his face hard! He wanted to play games…, well she was up to it!

“wow!.., you were?’’ she faked a confused look. ‘’and what set was that?’’

‘’same set as yours I believe. Football team’’

“hmmmn, so what role did you play in the football team?’’ she added with spite. ‘’water boy?’’

Mike choked on his water and Rea could only smile when she saw the amused look on her boyfriend’s face, whereas, Ryan’s eyes were filled with anger.

Well, he had started it all in the first place.

“that’s Rea for you, you need an extra pair of sneakers to keep up with her.’’ Mike chipped in still laughing at her previous response to his best friend.

“it’s okay.’’ Ryan’s lips curved into a smile. ‘’I heard you dated someone in the team. You must have known how to pick guys.’’

Emilia’s eyebrows were raised. ‘’why do I think you two know each other so much more than hi and hello?’’

Rea ignored her.

“well, at that time, I didn’t know he was a block head till he proved to be one.’’ Rea smiled at Ryan sweetly and turned to her boyfriend. ‘’you know how it is for a guy to date a bimbo, I guess that’s how it was for me. you never know what you have with you till the true colours start revealing itself.’’

Mike responded. ‘’True’’ And continued proudly. ‘’but my friend here was the hot one in the team. That reminds me, I need to check out your year book. I missed out on so many old friends when I traveled to France.’’

“sure. At least you’ll get to see lots of pictures of my high school years, including the girl I took to Prom.’’ He smiled at Rea

Rea swallowed knowing he had her right where he wanted her. she had been the one he took to Prom, she had been the one he dated in their final year in high school and so many pictures including graduating ones that they had both snapped together.

She still even had the pictures back at home.

She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply jerking from her seat. She couldn’t hold it anymore, neither could she pretend anymore. ‘’you can tell him if you’re up to it, at least you’re best friends, but I can’t.’’ she turned to look at Mike and the tears came down. ‘’I’m sorry. You deserve someone better than me and I don’t think I can stay here one more second pretending everything is okay when it isn’t.’’

She picked her purse and set out to leave the restaurant. She noticed it had begun to rain and didn’t hesitate to step out not caring what was gonna happen to her or if she was getting soaked. She pulled off her four inched sandals and started walking with her bare feet hoping she would get a taxi that would drive her home.

All she wanted to do was go home and cry into her pillow, telling God she had tried all she could but didn’t succeed.

“Rea!’’ she heard her name in the rain but didn’t look back. She just kept on walking

Someone pulled her by the arm and at first instance, she thought it was Mike but her heart raced faster when she saw it was Ryan.

“baby…’’

“just let me go.’’ The rain mixed with her tears and she doubted Ryan noticed how weak and vulnerable she felt right now.

But instead of releasing her, he lowered his lips on hers and she hesitated. When he deepened it and lifted her off her feet, she couldn’t object and surrendered completely to him.

When he broke free, she looked into his blue eyes, his wet hair and the fact that her sandals still dangled in her hands.

“I love you.’’ He mumbled and she could say nothing more when he kissed her again.

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Gabe Morrison looked at Scarlett for what seemed like hours and couldn’t bring himself to mouth any words that wouldn’t hurt her. For seven years, he’d imagined her as the woman of his life. the one who he’d spent his life loving and serving. The one he could go extra miles for even without her asking. The girl who had been an angel the first time he met her. the sweet girl who had told him she was keeping herself for her husband.

That woman was the one who sat on his couch presently, looking like a stranger. Like a whore who prostituted herself to another man’s fantasies and he hated her so much. All she even had the guts to tell him presently was that she couldn’t go on with the marriage but with everything her colleague dished out to him not to talk of the suspicions he’d had about her ever since she moved back to her hometown, he knew there was so much more.

He’d been stalking her, no doubt and whenever he saw her going out with a particular guy, he turned away knowing he couldn’t bear to watch her rip his heart out.

And then it was worse when she spent the night at his place almost every Friday.

It took him self-control not to strangle her even though she sat crying beside him and begging him that she was sorry.

What would he tell his family and friends? All his college friends and colleagues who’d envied him that he was marrying Scarlett were going to make fun of him and confirm such a loser that He was. His company would offer their pathetic sympathy for his cancelled wedding and he would return to his lonely and miserable life.

He didn’t know when his hand cracked across her face and her body jerked hereby making her land on the floor.

He stood up and reached for her hair while she screamed in tears. “Gabe please, I’m sorry.’’

He hit her again and she struggled to get back to her feet but that was before he pushed her to the floor again but she crawled to the door while he reached for her legs and pulled her underneath him.

“where do you think you’re going huh?!’’ he cried angrily and reached for her blouse. ‘’you think I don’t know how you made yourself a cheap little whore every Friday night! You think I’m gonna let you go that easily.’’

“Gabe!’’ she screamed fully aware that if he raped her, she would lose her baby. He wouldn’t care less if she mentioned it. in fact, he would most definitely want her to lose the baby with the way his anger took over him

Never had she seen this side of Gabe before

The struggle was intense and when she managed to poke his eyes when he tried covering her mouth, she was able to break free but not for long as she felt her head bang against the door.

And then she sank to the floor unconscious.

“Scarlett?’’ he touched her but she didn’t budge.

“Scar?’’ Gabe grew scared and tapped her face but there was no response. He pulled her close to himself but she didn’t respond. ‘’oh my god!’’ he muttered and hurried over to the phone. ‘’what have I done?’’

He called for an ambulance and hoped they were not too late by the time they got to the house.

image source:www.trulygraphics.com

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Life Afterwards(2)–EPISODE 13

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Rea was beginning to enjoy her new relationship that was just starting to bloom just after four weeks. It wasn’t the perfect relationship and she would have wanted more but she was content with what she had presently. He wasn’t the perfect guy either and he wasn’t as handsome as Ryan had been, but he was amazing in his own way. He was a liberal guy. He wasn’t a Christian but he respected her views and told her he didn’t mind at all, even her decision not to have sex yet even though they were adults in a relationship. He was funny, had an amazing accent proving he’d spent most of his life growing up in France but his English was wonderful.

He took her on dates, spoiled her with gifts, called and sent her texts , dropped her off at home after dinner dates and confessed to her how much he liked her spunk and her sense of humor.

What else could a girl wish for?

She was very grateful to God that she could move on, and Sue for setting her up with a rare guy like Mike who liked her for the idiot that she was.

He made her forget about Ryan…, or was she the one trying so hard to make herself forget about Ryan?

But something else nudged at her heart and she knew it wasn’t God’s will for her to just move so fast with Mike. It was like she wanted to take the bull by the horns and help God out. Ever since her growing relationship with God, she had come to realize that most things didn’t work that way and surrender was important.

But how long was she going to keep waiting while God kept silent

The next day when Mike suggested they go for a stroll, Rea didn’t hesitate and took her jacket along with her trying not to remember nights upon nights when she loved snuggling in Ryan’s jacket that carried his scent. she would pull it so close to herself and after the night was far spent with eating, laughing and talking, she would cuddle up to him and allow him whisper into her ears while he played with her hair. Sometimes, if they didn’t make love, they would share intimate kisses and embrace each other talking about college life and the challenges they faced.

She shook her head of those thoughts that made her feel filthy and guilty and smiled when Mike kissed her briefly on the lips before finally heading out.

She hoped the work would do her good. She accused Scarlett whereas; she was still secretly hurting inside.

For crying out loud, it was already three years they’d gone their separate ways, although now, he seemed to have found way back into town to taunt her with his new relationship status.

“God help me.’’ she prayed and wish she could really understand everything that was going on In her life.

 She noticed Mike was quiet as well and asked. “You okay?’’

He nodded.

“You don’t look okay to me.’’

He stopped to look at her then and touched her cheeks slightly. ‘’you’re beautiful do you know that?’’

Rea scoffed. ‘’well, Yea! I know that…, but that’s not gonna make me forget the real question I asked.’’

He laughed and took her hand in his, raising it to his lips.

“there’s something I want to confirm from you before we move on and I really need to know where I stand.’’

“okay.’’

“I feel you’re holding out on me’’

Rea was quiet.

“you don’t like talking about your last relationship and I feel you’re still in love with your ex-boyfriend’’

“no, I’m not. It’s been three years anyway.’’ She laughed nervously.

“I just want to tell you that I’m ready to listen to you if you wanna talk about it. I want to take this relationship to a whole new level and I really need to know where I stand.’’

“He broke up with me. the only thing that matters is that he had his reasons and I cant crucify him for it.’’ she tried to sound non nonchalant and shrugged. ”He was my first and we dated for about 6 and a half years. It wasn’t easy for me but I survived.’’

Mike smiled and squeezed her hand. ‘’I love your honesty and the fact that you’re not so bitter about it.’’

“well, he wanted it to end and I couldn’t object neither did I want to be his stalker. I’m getting too old for stuffs like that don’t you think.’’

“I can tell you liked him a lot.’’

Rea got frustrated. ‘’look Mike!.i don’t understand this whole talk about my ex and me. it just doesn’t add up. I’ve been going out with you and its not like I ever discussed about him…, okay.., except for that time in the bar when I got drunk and I apologized. I didn’t know what I was doing. But right now, I’ve made a choice that I wanna be with you and that settles it.’’

“okay…, I’m sorry.’’ He raised his hands in surrender.

“its okay.’’

“I’m having a barbeque party tomorrow night. Would love to introduce you to my friends. would you be up to it?’’

She blinked. ‘’why not?’’

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When Scar finished with Gavin’s lesson, it was already evening. 6pm in fact and she knew she had to leave immediately since Josh was home today. It was Friday night and so Gavin kept telling his father today was the slumber party at his friend’s house and he most definitely wanted to go early.

And so Demi had packed his things while Josh insisted He wanted to have a word with Scar before she left.

“will you take anything?’’ he began heading to the fridge. ‘’I have loads of Juice and lemonade if you want..’’

“no thanks.’’ She smiled knowing he was trying as much as possible to make her feel comfortable by not offering her any type of beer or wine.

“look…’’ he faced her squarely this time around. ‘’I know we began on the wrong foot and I apologize and you don’t need to stop being angry at me if you wanna, but please, for Gavin’s sake, lets put the past behind us okay.’’

She nodded slowly. ‘’okay.’’

“Good. So what will you have?’’

“a glass of ice tea would do.’’

“Coming right up.’’ he smiled at her and her heart did the galloping effect again. “so, how have you been holding up with my son?’’

“He’s an intelligent kid, I must say. Sometimes I get scared he might even out run Me.’’ her laughter reached her eyes and it was at that moment Josh knew she loved the boy. “he has a beautiful soul and even if he tries to hide it sometimes by playing tough, it’s still obvious.’’

“You can guess who he got that from.’’ Josh winked at her but she lowered her head once more as if afraid that his eyes always did a good job of exposing her true feelings for him which was still there in one side of her heart and she had never begun to realize it till now.

“I saw a piano in the living room the first day I came over here.’’ She decided to change the topic. ‘’do you play?’’

‘’sometimes.’’ He gestured towards the living room. ‘’you wanna try?.., I could learn a few notes from you”

 She laughed and received the glass of ice tea from him while heading to the living room together. he went over to open the instrument and told her to settle

Soon they were sitting together and Josh watched her running her hands on the instrument smoothly that he wondered if she had been doing this for a long time.

Well, who knew, ten years was a pretty long time.

And then he suggested they play together and their rhythm flowed simultaneously and Josh had never felt happy all his life. here was a woman who knew not only the right keys on his piano but she knew the right keys to his heart and yet didn’t want him because she was getting married to someone else in about four months’ time.

They stopped at the same time and Scarlett giggled and her shoulders sagged in resignation revealing their time together was over and she was bound to leave.

He could sense part of her wanted to stay.

The mistake she made was looking into his eyes. ‘’I have to go. It’s getting late.’’

“yea.’’ He swallowed. ‘’you should.’’

But neither of them moved.

And then before she could say anything further, he was already kissing her and she didn’t object. His hands went to her dress and she broke free.

“Josh..’’ she swallowed. ‘’please…’’

But he was too blind to notice how much she resisted him and he kissed her again.

‘’what about Gavin or Demi…’’ she continued when he began nuzzling her neck and she felt she would melt if he continued. Her hands were splayed on his chest and she could feel the strong rhythm of his heart beating profusely the way hers was. Her resistance weakened and she dropped her hands to his side pulling him closer to her.

“they took the back door.’’ Was all he could mumble before his lips found hers again.

“I’m getting married.’’ She managed when she came up for air but gave in to him when he kissed her again and allowed his hands roam over her blouse

“you love me, admit it.’’

“oh Josh….’’ Was all she could mutter when she saw she couldn’t fight their passion anymore.

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When Scarlett opened her eyes, she saw Josh smiling down at her and she smiled back thinking it was a dream.

“hello sunshine.’’

She felt his finger stroll down her cheeks and she realized it was real.

She jerked from the bed and realized she was naked and this was as real as it could get.

“oh no!’’ she shook her head and sat up, covering her face in shame. ‘’this isn’t happening to me.’’

Josh was confused and shifted closer to her underneath the sheets. She didn’t need to ask if he was naked as well.

She could remember fully well what had happened between them.

“hey…, its okay.’’

Scarlett turned and tears had already started streaming down her face. ‘’its not okay Josh. Its so not okay.’’ She tried as much as possible to cover her shame by pulling the sheets around her to prevent him from seeing her again and hurriedly started picking her underwear and her clothing from the floor since they were scattered everywhere.

“Scar…’’

“don’t touch me!’’ she cried when He came close to her and tried to hold her.

“its midnight Scar, where are you going by this time of the day?’’

She didn’t listen to him and hurried into the bathroom to complete her dressing. “just leave me alone.’’

“Scar!, there’s no way I’m letting you out of this house by this time.’’ He knocked on the bathroom door but she obviously ignored him.

“I’m sorry.’’ He resigned. ‘’if it’ll make you feel better, then I’m sorry about everything.’’

After an hour had passed and he was sure she’d cried sore, she came out of the bathroom and sank into the bed.

“it was my first time.’’ She barely spoke but Josh was smart enough to understand what she meant. He’d known it was her first time when they started but they were just too engrossed in each other to stop.

“if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll drive you home.’’ He offered.

She nodded and sniffed turning to pick her bag.  He came to hold her and she fell into his arms weakly. ‘’I didn’t bargain for all of this.’’ She sobbed.

“its my fault.’’

“no, it was mine. I’d always dreamed this would be a special night.’’

He cupped her face in his hands then and looked into her eyes. ‘’well, it was for me.’’ And he kissed her tears away. She sighed and released herself when she saw it was of no use and since Josh didn’t understand how she felt.

How could he? She was the one at loss. She was the one who’d claimed to be a Christian and had indulged in pre-marital sex. She was the one who had cheated on Gabe and was having sex with a different man. She was the one who would bear the guilt afterwards if they got married.

And she was the one who had her heart for someone else.

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Scarlett didn’t tell Rea or Sue about what had happened and hoped she could face Gabe.

Rea would gloat that she told her so and she dreaded hearing those words after her friend had warned her about the whole Josh parade. But why did she feel so connected to him in such a strong way? Why did she feel He had her heart right in his hands and he could leave her begging for mercy?

She knew she shouldn’t feel this way but she couldn’t even help herself anymore.

Most importantly, she didn’t know how to face God and so she kept the guilt inside and continued like nothing had happened and still went on dinner and Lunch dates with Gabe.

Josh was proving stubborn and She wished He wouldn’t call her or come over to the school to check on her as she was already getting curious glances from colleagues and a little gossip was passing around that she was dating her student’s father.

Josh understood things like this and stopped coming for a while but Gavin missed his classes most especially now that she informed him she couldn’t take him his classes anymore, be it in school or at home.

Her mind could not contain it. she felt like she had betrayed the kid too. How could she sleep with his father and pretend like everything was okay? How could she even keep teaching the bible stories she did when she wasn’t in right standing with God. The boy saw her as good and loyal which she was far from now that she’d given in to Josh.

Gavin wasn’t happy, no doubt, and although he still did well, Scarlett knew it wasn’t his best. He had even gone as far as asking if she was angry with his father but she would smile briefly, rub his hair and tell him No. He would try making conversation with her but she would look for a way to prevent them from having their usual time together and after a while, the boy was smart enough to notice and kept his distance.

Scarlett felt terrible.

 She was through for the day and was on her way to catch the Train when she saw Josh’s car parked outside the school. She pretended she didn’t and hurried off but he caught up with her in time.

“can we talk, please?’’

“there’s nothing to talk about Josh.’’

“please, even if its not for me, but for Gavin. He’s getting worse at home and He feels I’m responsible for everything.’’

Scarlett closed her eyes and sighed. This wasn’t going to be easy for her but she had to be strong.

She finally gave in and headed to his car while they drove to a place far away from school.

He began. ‘’Scar, why are you doing this to me. It’s been weeks and you won’t even pick my call or give me a glance. And you’re taking it out on my son. I thought you were better than this.’’

“you’re right!..’’ she tried to prevent herself from shaking. ‘’I’m not a better person. I’m just a woman who sees it fit to sleep with her student’s father.’’

Josh closed his eyes. ‘’Scar, why do you keep doing this to yourself?’’

“because I’m not meant to feel this way about you.’’ The tears strolled down to her neck. ‘’I’m getting married to someone else…’’

“but you don’t have to marry him.’’ Josh blurted out suddenly reaching for her across the passenger’s seat. ‘’I love you Scarlett. I’ve never stopped loving you and I’d be a fool if I let you go this time.’’

Scarlet could only stare back at him in shock and she was lost for a while before he brought her back to the present. ‘’Scar?’’

“we can’t do this. It’s wrong. So wrong. Our beliefs are different and I feel like I betrayed Gabe.’’ She looked at her palms nervously. “that night, I didn’t know what I was thinking…’’

“but now, you know and you cant deny you love me too.’’

“oh goodness, this is hard.’’ She sighed and closed her eyes and before knew it, Josh was kissing her again. When she didn’t object, he pressed further till it was intense and she broke free again.

“I have to go.’’ She gulped and quickly reached for a Kleenex before stepping out into the street.

Josh could only watch her walk away.

Life Afterwards(2)–EPISODE 11

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Scarlett thought she would feel better when she left the house with the intention of taking Bernie for a drive as it was something her dog had come to love. At least, he could stick his head out the window and let his tongue hang out. When she found the perfect spot, she took him for a walk and sat quietly trying to clear her head.

But she found it hard to. Right here in this town and she wondered if it was because the thought of Josh being in the same town with her that scared her so much.

She had given in to him two days ago. What if they had been alone?

How was it possible her blood still stirred when he looked at her, held her or kissed her? how could she still feel something for him after 10years?

‘It was probably her.’ she concluded. She got nervous because he was her first love and he’d even confessed he knew nothing about the whole ordeal back in high school.

Well, she could forgive him but she really had to move on without him breathing down her neck.

She closed her eyes and her daydream betrayed her bringing memories of the passionate kiss they’d shared two days before and how strong he felt against her. How his hands had held her head in place and how her flesh had caught fire as he deepened their kiss.

She remembered his boyish look back in highschool and how she’d adored him and her mind drifted again to “what if”…

What if they had been together till date? Would they be married already with a kid like Gavin, or would she even have the strength to keep herself with the way he handled her?

Her mind drifted further to “if they were married.’’ Vacations they’d spend together, nights they could share together, and kids they would raise together. Conversations they could have together just like old times and how she’d love to rake her hands through his thick dark tousled hair.

She snapped out of her day dream and realized how hot she’d become. Oh no, this wasn’t what she’d come here for. she had come to clear her head but it seemed the memory of Josh haunted her and she found it hard to let go.

Standing up immediately, Bernie’s ears perked up in response and he rose to his feet and found his way into her car, taking his position on the passenger’s seat and waiting for Scarlett to start the engine.

It took a while.

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Rea noticed something about her best friend immediately she came back inside and she wondered if the walk did her any good at all.

“you okay?’’

“yea, sure.’’ She tried to smile. ‘’what’s for lunch?’’

“Sue’s get together party is today. How come you’ve forgotten so soon?’’

“my bad.’’ She tried not to feel embarrassed but a little pink had stained her cheeks. Josh had been the one occupying most of her thoughts for a while now.

Rea’s eyebrows cocked automatically. ‘’it seems to me you didn’t get to clear your head afterall’’

“why do you say that?’’

“you don’t look refreshed to me. you look sort of tight and tense, like you’re trying so hard to put it all together.’’

“I’m fine.’’ She managed

Rea bent low to rub Bernie’s head while the big guy wagged his tail and stuck out his tongue in response.

She looked at her friend again. ‘’He kissed you didn’t he?’’

Scarlett blushed red this time. The way Rea had found out before she told her, she couldn’t decipher it but she knew Bernie couldn’t have been the one to reveal her secret

“I didn’t know how to talk to you about it.’’

“well, here I am Scarlett. Talk to me.’’

She settled unto the couch, her hair already growing back in length and looking so disheveled hereby giving her a childish look.

“we were talking and all of a sudden, I don’t know what happened.’’

Rea was quiet.

“you don’t know how much I wish I could have resisted him but everything was just so overwhelming and I…’’

“its okay.’’

“I feel so ashamed. Gabe would never do that to me and here I am, longing for another man’s kiss.’’

“hey, don’t beat yourself over it. you just have to keep away from him. He’s bad news.’’

Scarlett nodded. ‘’okay. I’ve got to. I know I’ve got to.’’

“but you cant deny you still have feelings for him can you?’’

“I don’t. I think its just the fact that everything is happening all at once and 10years and he’s the first guy I’ve ever fallen in love with, but it’s okay. I can handle it.’’

Rea smiled and hugged her friend. ‘’better. Just know that whatever happens, I’m here for you. We can talk together, pray together and do all sorts of crazy stuff that we did together years ago.’’

Scarlett smiled and released herself.  ‘’and you…, what about Ryan? You ready to move on without him?’’

“very much. Sue even tells me she has a cute surprise for me at her parent’s get together.’’ Scar could tell her friend sounded hopeful and she so wanted the best for her.

“let’s hope for the best.’’

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“what is Ryan doing here?’’ Rea squeezed her friend’s fingers in anger that she had excluded this part.

“hey, you’re hurting me!’’

“you didn’t tell me…’’

“well, should I start taking a mental list of names coming forthe little get-together party my parents throw just because my friend Rea is too childish to ignore someone like Ryan?’’

“hey, I’m not childish.’’

“tell that to yourself every morning and I’ll be impressed when you change.’’

“you’re such a pain in the ass!’’

“thank you.’’ Susan smiled sweetly and broke free from Rea’s grip to greet her husband who had been expecting her.

Scar could only smile and beamed when a waiter offered her a finger food on a tray. Sue called out to her and she walked up to the little gathering that she suspected consisted of Her husband, her parents and another young couple.

“Dad, mum, this is Scarlett Ruby. We went to high school together and she’s a counselor and teacher at Sunnydale.’’

“nice to meet you.’’ Mrs Brews gave her a warm hug and kiss on both cheeks before releasing her. ‘’Sue won’t stop talking about you and the amazing things you do with kids.’’

Scar blushed. ‘’oh, its nothing.’’

“and I hope you have been coping well to the environment since you’ve been away for so long?’’ Mr. Brews tried contributing to the conversation.

“yeah, I never got to go round as a kid but now that I have the time,. I can’t wait till school’s session is over so I can get my camera and see places I’ve read about.’’

“wow, such enthusiasm! I love that in a young woman. Sue tells us you’re getting married this Summer. You don’t know how she’s excited to be a wedding planner for your wedding. That’s all she talks about and I wonder if that’s what she feeds her patients.’’

“Mum!’’

“the guy must be a lucky man. Such rare beauty in those eyes.’’ She continued taking her hand and already leading her away for more conversation.

Scar had a feeling this night was going to turn out well after all and couldn’t be more grateful to the two new friends she’d had in just a few weeks she moved to Houston.

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Rea pulled her jacket closer when the wind blew across her face and tried not to feel too much.

Too much thinking made her exhausted and that was the last thing on her to-do list today. She had thought she was going to have a good time and she did, but just a little.

Now she just wanted to be alone.

Most especially when she knew Ryan was in the party and he seemed to be having a good time with the pretty brunette that held unto him like a possession not excluding family and friends while she kept hurting. He would be used to these kinds of gatherings. At least, He had dated Sue in the past and the last time she visited his family, it had been a huge party like this one.

At that moment, she prayed to God to let those feelings of hatred melt and that she just wanted to forgive him and move on with her life.

What would happen to her when Scar finally got married and Sue had a child?..maybe she would move to a smaller apartment, a condo in the busy side of the city where the noise would make her forget about her relationship status and face other part of her life like a job and the rest.

She really needed to move on, and she might move to the city soon most especially if her job permitted her to.

Life was so different from what it had been back in high school. She acting like a boy but loving Ryan like a girl loved a guy. She wanting to have her own way all the time but never really got it.

Even the wish drama didn’t give her chance to, rather it made it worse and Mil had told her making wishes had a price.

The memory of the pretty brunette holding unto Ryan’s arm in the party disrupted her thoughts again and she knew

“hey…’’

Rea jumped at the sudden intrusion of her thoughts and saw a young man strolling towards her but not close to her.

“hi.’’ She pulled the jacket closer.

“it’s pretty cold out here isn’t it?’’

“Yeah, it is.’’ She mumbled and looked away not sure of what to say now that she wasn’t alone anymore.

“I’m Michael Bailey by the way. A friend of the family.’’

“Hello Michael.’’ She forced a smile

“You know you shouldn’t be out here’’

‘’sometimes I like to be alone.’’

“and that excludes me?’’

She shrugged. She was in one of those moods where she got too numb to say anything reasonable and so watched life unfold before her face. Tomorrow morning, she might slap herself that she hadn’t made any move or made nice conversation with the goodlooking stranger standing before her.

So why not give him a chance, who knows, it may lead to something. And if she wasn’t leaving the party now while Ryan was still obviously hanging around, then she had to do things that would take her mind off him

“Sue told me you two attended the same school and I’d need an extra pair of sneakers to keep up with you.’’

So this must be the guy Sue talked about. Good job girlfriend!!

She laughed realizing he was trying to create an atmosphere for the both of them. Wait till she had her hands on the woman!! If not for her present state.

“well, what can I say? It runs in the family.’’ She pulled her hair back behind her ear in the same old fashioned way. “and I have my moods and moments.’’

“and does your present mood mind leaving this place and going someplace else?’’

She sighed and looked around, knowing this was a deliberate invitation for a beginning.

“why not.’’

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When Rea woke up the next morning, she looked disheveled and a recurrent one sided headache nagging at her.

When she glanced at the time, she jerked from the bed and screamed

Oh goodness, this was going to be a bad day.

She hurriedly rushed to the bathroom and took a quick brush and shower and hurried out to glance at her phone. Just as she had predicted, missed calls stared back at her.

She didn’t bother checking Scarlett knowing fully well she would have found her way to school unlike her who had ruined the only chance she had with her new date.

A stupid stupidimmature girl who ruined every chance she had with men.

She was probably going to end up old and alone if she continued like she was competing for a razzy award.

Now she had even ruined her chances with him, she couldn’t hate herself more.

She wondered how she got home in the first place, most definitely, she didn’t drive herself.

And then she had gotten drunk due to everything including Ryan, her life in the past and she wondered how pathetic she would have sounded talking about her Christian life and how she feels bad drinking.First time she drank and her life was getting ruined. Alcohol never did her good and it was never going to do her good in future. She had to keep reminding herself about that.

She desperately needed aspirin.

She didn’t even bother getting coffee but bought one for herself on the way while trying as much as possible to do her hair in a neat bun when stuck in traffic.

When she finally got to work and realized she wasn’t as late as she ‘d initially proposed, that was only when she could relax weakly into her chair.

The adrenaline drive had phased out and she was back to her normal self.

image source: http://www.wattpad.com

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