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Episode 35.

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I wake up to embrace the familiar scent that filled the house.
it’s been a long night, and I’m glad it’s over.
I quickly tidied up my little bed and rushed into the bathroom to have my bath.
I spent not less than an hour in the shower trying to scrub off everything.
After bathing, I applied my lotion and wore a short flair gown and slippers. I tied my hair into a ponytail and left my room after taking one satisfactory look in the mirror.
Mom was making breakfast and she didn’t need my help cause in her own words “I don’t want you to stress the baby.” so I sat down on the couch in the living room as I flipped through some old magazines lying on the table.I got to a part which the headlines was about entertainment and suddenly, I missed my job pretty bad.

I was still seated when Ben dashed out of his room, looking confused and at the same time struggling with the button on his shirt.
“Ben you’re still here? I thought you’ve left” I said glancing at wall clock.
“I’m trying to be as fast as I can Ciara. My boss is coming to work today and I have to be there on time but this stupid button won’t work” he says and just then his buttons snapped.
“Oh my talk of a bad day”
“now I’ll have to look for something else to put on. can this day get any worse”
“Don’t worry I’ll help you. just a needle and thread will do the trick in less than five minutes don’t worry” I say taking the box containing a needle and other sewing materials.
I put the button In place and set out to sew. just then my mind flashed back to when I helped Brian sew his button to his shirt.

I raised up my face to look at Brian but surprisingly, the only face I could see was Brian’s. and he was staring at me with his beautiful eyes.
I couldn’t help but smile back at him. I’ve missed him so much. I don’t know how my hands got to his face.
I was almost tearing up.Just as I was about to hold his hand, a voice brought me back from my reverie.
“Ciara are you okay”
That’s when I realized that it was Ben not Brian. my mind has been playing tricks on me.
“I’m so sorry Ben. I’ll be done in no time I promise” I say and started on the button.
I finished and cut the thread with a pair of scissors.
“thanks Ciara” he says kissing my cheeks “you just saved me from ransacking my things. you’re the best” he said before heading inside to take his briefcase.
“here’s your lunch” mom said handing him his lunchbox.
“thanks mom. I love you” he said kissing her cheeks.
He did the laces on his shoes and immediately left the house to get a cab straight to work.
“It was nice of Brian to give Ben a job isn’t it?” she asked but I didn’t respond then she turned to face me “Come and have breakfast”
“OK mom” I said heading to the dining room to have my meal.
After eating, I took my meds and sat down to rest since no one wants my help around the house anymore.
mom said not to work, including dad, Ben and even Brian. they just want me to sit down all day long doing nothing but come to think of it, I do love the special treatment.

I watched her get dressed into a pair of black jumpsuit and slippers. I pretended to be sleeping so she won’t suspect a, thing. this lady is up to something and I need to find out what!
“should I make you breakfast?” she asked and I shook my head no.
“don’t bother I’m not hungry”
“Um.. is there anything you would like me to get for you? I’m heading to my friends please so… ”
“I’m fine Janelle. I don’t need anything coming from you thanks” I snapped.
“I’ll be on my way then” she announced
“where are you going?” I asked again as if not listening to all she said up until now.
“to my friend’s house. she invited me over” she explains
“will you go out today?”.
” yes to the office. I have work to take care of so I might come home late. don’t wait up for me ” I tell her. she didn’t say anything. she only picked up her clutch and headed out the door.
I waited for her to leave the house first.
Immediately I heard screeching, I jumped right out of the bed and grabbed my car keys on the dresser.
I quickly entered my car and drove off too. She’s hiding something and I’m going to find out what it is today.
I followed her, giving her quite a distance. she took a left turn and I did same. we arrived at a house and I noticed her alight the car, walking towards the big gate.
“Maybe I was hallucinating. maybe she really came to meet a friend.”
She came out minutes later with a young lady dressed up in a white nurse attire. Who could this lady be?
Janelle doesn’t have a friend who’s a nurse. I watched in my car from a distance.
The lady was nodding her head occasionally while Janelle kept saying words I couldn’t understand at the same time making gestures with her hands. they both got into the car and like a flash she zoomed off.
I quickly chased after them only to arrive at a hospital.
They both got in.
Janelle doesn’t have a friend who’s a nurse talk more of working in a hospital.I didn’t know anyone to talk to so I couldn’t even ask any question.
I quickly picked up my cell phone to make a phone call.
“Hello Jerry” I greeted
“Oh hi Brian. it was nice of you to call. I thought you’ve forgotten about me already” he said at the end of the line.
“sorry I couldn’t call Jerry. I’ve been busy”
“that’s a first. the great Brian is apologizing. who burst your bubble? cause I’m pretty sure it’s not Janelle” he teases me.
he has a loud mouth and is fond of talking too much.
“Can we talk about that some other time cause right now, I need your help”
“With what?”
“I just followed Janelle to the hospital… ”
“And why would you do that?” he cut me off “she could be sick for all you know”
“Would you please listen to me” I half yell
“Go on”
“I think she’s up to something. she’s hiding something from me. about a week ago she told me she was pregnant but I doubt that she really is”
“I’ve never really liked that girl to begin with” he hissed
“So what do you want me to do?”
“that’s where you come in. right now you’re the only one i can trust. I want you to come over to the hospital and look into matters discreetly”
“you know that’s my job”
“And please no one should know about it. I’ll text you the nurse’s address and the name of the hospital”
“Don’t worry Brian. I’ve got you covered. consider it done” he tells me and terminated the call.
I texted him the name of the place I met them first and the hospital.
I’ll get you soon Janelle and that’s a promise.

I arrived home, to get dressed for work. I met Penny in the kitchen cleaning up the dishes.
“Penny” I called and rushed to hug her.
“Oh my baby. how’ve you been? I’ve missed you so much and, you couldn’t even call me not once” she whined
“Sorry Pen. I wanted to but it skipped my mind”
She smiled and continuously arched her brows.
“Well I figured you were busy and that’s why I didn’t bother. I never wanted to disturb you”
Penny is so full of drama.
“So where is Ciara?”
“She isn’t here at the moment but she’ll be with us sooner than you think”
“why? is there a problem?” she asked
“no Penny. it’s fine” I lied.
“Wow. so you think you can lie to me? I practically raised you Brian, so if there’s anyone who should lie then it shouldn’t be you” she said tilting her head left and right as she spoke.
“I’m sorry Pen but I’m just really stressed” I tell her”Have you discussed the issue with your parents yet?” she ask as she led me to the living room.
“I haven’t Penny. they’re expecting so much from me and I don’t want to disturb them about anything. at least not yet” I said falling on one of the couch.
She sat down next to me.
“I’m here for you Brian. I’ve always been so you can talk to me about anything” she persists
I close my eyes for a minute before I finally said “Ciara is pregnant Penny”
She excitedly shut her mouth with both hands trying to control herself from squealing.
“Really Brian. oh my goodness. I want to see her Brian”
“You will Pen but not just now, I’ve got other issues to deal with”
She gave me a quizzical look”Other issues? like what?”
“It’s Janelle Penny. She’s back claiming to be pregnant with my child as well. and you know Janelle is obsessed with me. if she ever finds out that Ciara is pregnant then, there’s no telling what she might do. she might result to kill my baby or worse.” I heaved then continued “I’ve really let Ciara down penny and I don’t want to do that again. I promised myself that I would bring her back here but first I have to get rid of Janelle but please don’t let her find out in any way what I’ve just told you”
“I understand Brian. But is so
Janelle really pregnant?”
“that’s what I don’t know. I doubt it. ”
“Just do what you have to do Brian. I trust you and if you need help then I’m here for you too” she said.
I hugged her.
“thanks pen”
“So you’re going to be a dad soon?” she asked and I blush “how does that feel?”
“It’s better than any news I’ve ever heard. to be honest penny, I can’t still believe it. I’m thrilled, excited and scared at the same time. but I’ll try to put it all together for Ciara’s sake. I’m sure she’s going through worse. she’s even more scared than I am.””Just do what you can and bring her home”
“Sure Penn.”
just then, my phone rang.
“I’ll take this” I say before standing up and heading out the door.

I was seated on the couch, doing nothing in particular. I was just bored of everything.
Mom won’t even let me go out, insisting that if I was really bored then I should visit the gym.
I didn’t want to argue so I just remained quiet, staring at the ceiling occasionally trying to count the lines and designs. stupid!
Mom dashed out of her room holding a pile of laundry.
I glanced at the clock.
“Aren’t you gonna make dinner? it’s getting late” I tell her
“Don’t worry about that. Ben said not to. he’s bringing a visitor for dinner and he said he’s going to order on his way home” she explains
“Visitor? who could that be?” I was forced to ask
“He said a friend at work. at least that’s what he told me and that’s why I’m trying to put things in order”
“And you’re doing a very good job”
“Sometimes I wish you weren’t pregnant so you can help me around here” she blurts out
“Sometimes I’m so happy I am. especially with these kinds of reasons”
“Anyways” she took a quick pause “I told Ben to get you your medicines from the hospital on his way back from work.”
“thanks mom”
“now go and shower. You’ll need to look nice to welcome our guest and since its a friend of Ben. let’s make a good impression OK?”
“OK whatever”
I quickly rushed inside my room to get ready for dinner.
I had my shower and changed my outfit then set out to get the table ready.
By this time, it was already 7:45pm.
I put on a new table cover, a vase of flower, plates and cutlery.
That’s when we heard the screeching on a car.
and few minutes later, the door flew open and Ben walked in.
“Hi Ben. good evening, how was wo–” I paused when our eyes met.
There he was, Brian standing handsomely tall in his tux.
I hugged Ben.
“Evening Ciara” he greeted
“Hi” I said casually.
I took the bags from Ben and Brian offered his, touching my hands in the process.
I walked into the kitchen and mom followed me.
“please tell me you had nothing to do with this?” I asked mom. she shrugged
“Simply because you’re having problems with your husband doesn’t mean we should too. he’s part of the family. believe it or not he’s my son in law and he’s not at fault here” she defends him
“I know but–”
“He only wanted to have dinner. so I let him. cause I know you won’t go even if I asked. it’s just for Tonight okay” she said kissing my cheeks.
She left to join them on the table. and very soon, dad and the rest of the family was seated as well. they reserved a spot for me, next to Brian of course.
My family is really good at match making.
I sat down beside him, occasionally trying to catch a glimpse of his face.
I didn’t say much on the table although everything indulged in one conversation or the other. the laughing and squeaking could be heard round the table.
I felt something slide up my bare legs. I almost choked splashing the water on my clothes and on the floor.
I turned to see Brian smiling Mischievously.
“I’ll go and clean myself up” I said standing up from the table.
I slipped on the water and almost fell down but luckily, Brian caught me.
I love his smell.
“You’ve got to be careful Ciara.” he tells me and I loosened myself from his grip.
“I’m fine thank you”
I entered the kitchen and wiped myself dry with a cloth, then proceeded to join them on the table.
“Ben did you get me my meds?” I ask
“Brian did”
“Here you go” Brian said handing it to me.
I hesitated but still took it.
“I’ll just take this to my room” I say going to my bedroom.
I sat down on the bed.
I don’t have any plans of going back there.
The door flew open and he walked in.
“Um… let’s go back. I guess they’re waiting for us” I said heading out the door but he prevented me from doing so by shutting the door.
I gulped.
“you don’t want to have dinner with me? it’s like you don’t even miss me Ciara. I’m trying to come closer but you keep pushing me away. why didn’t you tell me you were almost out on your medications?”
“I forgot”
“Don’t forget it’s my baby too. I don’t like reminding you of that fact”
“I get it. let’s go” I say but he only comes closer to me until I hit the wall.
“Brian, this is madness.”
he, wasn’t listening.
He went on one knee and gently placed his head on my tummy.
“How are you baby Kiara. I know you’ve missed me. don’t worry daddy will be with you forever OK. we both know your mummy can be so stubborn but I’ll handle her. sleep tight. daddy loves you” he said and kissed my stomach.
I was smiling but didn’t realize it.
He stood up and faced me.
my hands went to hold my stomach in place.
“Please tell your daddy that I love him and I can’t keep the two of you apart forever no matter the circumstances we find ourselves. I’ll only love him more”
“I love you Ciara” he said and trailed his fingers down my cheeks and kissed me on the lips.
“I’ve missed you Ciara” was all he said before hugging me.
I let myself enjoy the moment. even for a short while. I’ve missed him so much.
“Mr Salter”
“Yes Mrs Salter”
“control yourself please” I beg
“I’ve been away from you for so long and you want me to control myself.”
“I’m sorry I pushed you away Brian”
“it’s okay Ciara. you don’t have to explain or feel guilty. I love you”
he kissed me again.
Just then his phone vibrated.. he picked it up And instantly his mood changed.
“Hello Jerry” he replied. I couldn’t hear the rest but all Brian said was “OK. I’ll be with you shortly.He quickly put his phone inside his pocket and turned to cup my face. “Is everything OK?” I ask
“Of course”
“who were you talking to?”
“Um… just a, friend”
“then why did it suddenly change your mood?”
“I promise I’ll let you on it later but right now, I’ve got somewhere else to be” my suddenly became sad.
“Hey I’ll call you okay. every minute I get. it’s just that its very important–” “it’s okay I understand. you can go”
“You’re not mad?”
“not at all”
“I love you” he whispers and I smile.
“you too.”
“what should I tell mom?”
“don’t worry I’ll handle it”
“make sure you take your meds okay?”
I nodded.
“I will now go”
He kissed my cheeks and we both exit my room. He quickly kissed mom and dad goodbye and left for wherever he said he was going. The minute he left the house, I shut the door and turned around only to find everyone staring at me. Now what?

To be continued….

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