“Go, have your bath. I’ll go and get you something to eat.” Carl said to the depressed Shirley.
She made a sound and rested back in his arms. He held her waist and her arm. They’d been that way since they arrived at Sun rise, Sun shine, he had to even drag her out of the car. She’d cried her eyes out on the ride back home, she was pitiable.
“Shirley, come one, please.” Carl shook her.
“No Carl, I don’t wanna do anything.” The way she spoke was as if it took a lot of energy for her to let out a word.
Carl gently swept her off her feet and laid her on the bed. “All you need is a warm bath, good food and a good night rest. And I’m gonna make that happen.”
Shirley sighed. “You’re not making me do what I don’t wanna do.”
He smiled. “You’re weary and all smelly.” He laughed at what he just said. She smiled.
He stood up. “I’m leaving now, when I get back and you’re not washed, I’ll take you in there and clean you up like the baby you are.” He didn’t believe he just said that.
She smiled again. Carl was satisfied with that. He left.
Shirley exhaled. Carl’s right. She needed to wash up, eat and sleep well but she couldn’t believe Jess’s uncle who wants her dead. She felt weak, really weak both in and out. “This isn’t a time to be weak,” she said to herself, “I’ll be strong, be strong for Jessica and finish what I came here to do. She’d be amazed.” She concluded and smiled to herself. She closed her eyes and thought of Carl. It gave her goose bumps to think of him bathing her. She giggled and was gradually lost in thought.
Carl was back. He opened and closed the door quietly. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Shirley hadn’t bathed. He dropped the things he bought on the sofa and went to her. He shook her.
She murmured some few words and opened her eyes.
He was poised, staring at her with a blank expression on his face.
“You’re back!” She exclaimed sitting up. She’d been lying in the same position Carl had left her.
He shook his head frowning. “You want to dare me?”
“Of course not.” She sounded casual.
“I’m going to take you in there,” he pointed at the bathroom.
“Alright, alright! I’m going.” She smiled, got down from the bed, took her night wear from the closet and went in to the bathroom.
Carl sighed and sat on the bed. Had he really wanted to bathe her? Or it was just a threat? Hmm, I get like that when I’m around her. What is happening? Hands on face.
What really is happening to Carl?? Does Shirley have a hand in what’s happening to him??
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Evan finally agreed to take Jessica home after she’d given him reasons why she didn’t want to spend the night at his home. She had said that she didn’t want to get her mum worried about her, she wasn’t safe without her mother especially at night. Worry would kill the poor woman. She aslo told him that it wouldn’t be lady like to spend the night at a guy’s house the first time she was there. Jessica also needed to speak to Shirley. For her to know everything happening in her life. She kept no secret from her best friend and she was already missing her.
“Mum, I’m home.” Jessica called out as she got home. She smiled walking into the sitting room.
Beauty had been very worried. Jessica hadn’t called her during the day, she hadn’t come home for lunch and when she called her, she wasn’t taking her calls. She feared something bad must have happened to her, that night came into her thoughts. She called Shirley, Shirley and Jessica were an insepearable pair. Shirley’s mobile had been off, it wasn’t going. She couldn’t think of who to call, Charles was out of town and Dominic rarely hanged out with Jessica.
Jessica’s mum almost ran mad till Evan called at her house. Jessica was the first person she asked after. Evan had been careful not to tell the mother Jessica stormed out of her office to God knows where. He had told her she was with Isaac and asked about certain things. Of course, Mrs. Beauty didn’t hesitate to tell Evan all that happened. She trusted him much to take care of her daughter.
“My love!” Mrs. Beauty ran to Jessica and gave her a hug. “I’ve missed you. You could do this to me?” Mrs. Beauty released her daughter and looked her in the eye. Jessica only smiled and embraced her mum again.
“I missed you too. I’m sorry, Evan took my time.”
Jessica freed herself from her mum and looked into her eyes. “Did you cry?”
They burst into laughter. Jessica had made her mum laugh, she always looked like a baby when she did.
Mrs. Beauty playfully drew her daughter’s cheek. “You naughty girl. Of course, I cried.” She pulled Jessica to herself again and wrapped her hands round her. “Baby, I missed you so much.”
Jessica only smiled.
Beauty turned to Evan. She welcomed him into her arms. “Thank you.”
Evan smiled. Her arms were worm and he enjoyed the embrace. His mum had long been dead and no one to hug him that much. He cleared his throat. “She’s my responsibility. I’ll take care of her.”
They freed themselves.
Jessica bent her head and smiled shyly as her mum and Evan turned to look at her. “I’ll be going to bed now. Evan thanks.” She walked to her mum and kissed her good night.
“I’ll see him off,” said Beauty, “Good night.”
With confused feelings, Jessica walked to her room. Evan’s a great guy, at least he knows how to treat a lady after pissing her off. But Isaac’s nicer, cool, caring and passionate. Everything about him, she loved, right from the first day she met him. Her feelings for Isaac was stronger, but she still couldn’t believe she’s having feelings for two different men. She wanted the two for herself. D–n! She was being selfish.
She opened the door wide and walked in. The bedroom was the same way she’d left it that morning. The room still smelt of fresh rose flowers. She took her cell from her purse – Evan had earlier returned it to her – dropped them on the bed and collapsed on it without taking off her heels.
She sighed. “I need to talk to Shirley.”
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Shirley, out of the bathroom, sat on the sofa bed eating the Brunswick stew Carl had bought for her. She was already prepared for the night. Carl on the other hand; was putting on a shirt and plain trouser. He sat on the bed, recalling the conversation they had with Mr. Simon. He had his record books and files at hand, which the P.I handed over to him. Something just wasn’t right. But he wasn’t sure.
Sighing, Shirley said: “I need to speak with Jessica. Its been like forever.” She turned to face Carl. “Where’s my cell?”
He only gazed at her for some seconds before passing the cell from the night stand to her.
As she switched it on, it began ringing, she smiled, “Best friends forever.” she answered.
“Sweetheart, its been really a long time.” Jessica said over the phone.
“I’m missing you so much.”
“Same here. Come back, please.”
“I will soon. I promise. How are you?”
Jessica rolled on the bed, giggled and continued.
Shirley remained steady, not wanting to miss anything that Jessica says.
“Yeah,” Shirley felt sad. “The guy you wanted me to meet.”
“That’s him! The day I met with him, I saw his bodyguard, Isaac. I melted for him on first sight. I have no idea if he felt that way for me too. But I love everything about him, the way he speak, walks, drives, stands and especially the way he looks at me. I just go crazy.” she giggled.
Shirley was happy. A broad smile lit her face, her grey eyes twinkled. “She’s in love.”
“Yeah, I do like him, but Evan. I think I like the two of ’em.”
“You gotta be kidding. I like Isaac.”
“But Rich says its Evan I must know. Isaac really isn’t important. They didn’t bother to introduce him to me, I had to ask them to. Isaac really is nice, Evan messed up this afternoon, it was Isaac that helped me. We kissed. Evan surprised me. He even made lunch for me, you know how I admire guys who cook. I even got to know he’s handsome today. Nevertheless, Isaac still remains in my heart.”
“Jess, which of them do you want?”
“You’ll think I’m crazy.”
“C’mmon. Let it out.”
Jessica remained mute.
“Babe, you there?”
“Yeah. I want them both.”
Shirley laughed. “Sure, you’re crazy.”
“What do I do?”
She laughed again. “I get the feeling you like Isaac. You love him. What you feel for Evan is just attraction, something that’s going to fade away sooner or later. It seems you want to like him for a reason. What could that be?”
“That Richmond brought us together?”
“Exactly. You wanna like him to show your appreciation for Richmond. You don’t want to let him down.” Shirley thought for a while. “Does your mum like him?”
“That’s the ultimate reason. My dear, follow your heart. You know what’s best for you. I recommend Isaac. I haven’t seen or met him, but I like him.”
Jessica got to see Shirley’s point. She smiled and felt good knowing her bestfriend likes him. “Thanks, best friend. What about you, what’s up with you?”
Shirley stammered, “Ehm, …. I’m…. I’m just here doing things with my parents.”
“How about your job? How could you leave it? You never joke with it.”
“You’re right, I left it for something very important. I’ll tell you all about it by the time I’m back.”
“Must be pretty important. Don’t you think about yourself or imagine yourself in a courtroom?”
“That’s all bullshit for now.”
They both laughed.
“Shirley, when are you getting married?”
“What?” she chuckled. “Like you’re married.”
“C’mmon. No guy at all?”
Shirley was silent for few seconds. She turned to look at Carl, he was already asleep. She loved him. She cleared her throat.
“There is but we’re so not compatible.”
“Ca-,” Shirley almost called his name.
“Tell you some other time. Good night.”
“Sweet dreams, dearie.”
“Bye.” Shirley was in tears.