Most people grow up religious or as believers in certain faiths because they were born into religious families. And they continue in the faith as long as they live with their families but things begin to change when they leave home.
When the teens grow up and leave home for college or move out to look for jobs, they lose contact with family and hence the fellowship. They become more occupied with surviving on their own and making it that they busy themselves trying to fit in among their friends instead of trying harder to get closer to God.
It is easier to walk with God when you have a family who supports and encourages its members to walk steadily with God. Children pick up godly habits like praying, giving, forgiving from their parents and older siblings. They learn to have hope and faith in God when they see their parents still smiling and in confident even in the face of difficult times.
So I believe that it is imperative for parents and older siblings to instil the fear of God into the kids before they become youths. As the Bible rightly puts it, train the child the way he should go and when he grows, he will not depart from it. We all have younger people who look upon us to show them the way. Let’s make it a point to teach them the Way before they become independent and leave home.
Some people lose touch with their faith probably because they were not firmly grounded in the principles of God’s Word in their growing days so a little temptation from the world shakes their faith and within a twinkle of an eye, he has lost his way so far that it is almost hopeless for him to turn back.
Be a pillar for someone; hold someone’s hand and help them grow in the Lord before the darkness of this world snatches him or her away.
Lucia went over to her parents’ house to spend time with her mother. She helped her mother out with lunch in the kitchen. Mrs. Baker watched as her daughter brushed the back of her hand across her forehead.
“Are you okay, honey?”
“Yes mother; it’s the vegetables. The onions are getting to me, that’s all,” she said, sniffing.
“No, you look tired. Do you feel sick, dear?” She asked as she walked to her and felt her forehead with her palm.
“You have a slight temperature. Are you stressed out?”
“Yeah a little; work and managing the home isn’t as easy as you made it seem, mum. You deceived me.”
Mrs. Baker laughed and urged her to sit down. She got her a glass of water which she drank gratefully.
“Are you expecting?”
“Me? No. Why would you even think that? We haven’t been married for long, mother.”
“And who says you have to be to get married? Some people conceive on their wedding night.”
“I sincerely doubt that.”
“Google it. But I’m serious, you should check it out. I think I might have some pregnancy test kits in the bathroom.” Lucia chuckled in disbelief.
“You, why would you still be having some of those? Were you planning on conceiving again?”
“Well, some years back, I felt a little bored so I thought about it but your father was busily traveling around and we never found the time.”
“Aww…I’m sorry to hear that, mum. I would have loved to have a younger sibling and watch you make his or her life a living hell just like you made mine,” Lucia said with a smile, brushing her palm across her back in a consoling manner.
“And that is why you should get pregnant as soon as possible before history repeats itself. I need at least three grandchildren.”
“Three, huh? That is a lot to ask from me, mum. Combining work with…”
“You can always work from home like I do.”
“You’re a stay-at-home mum; you only work when you feel like it.”
“And that can be your life too, honey. You wouldn’t have to worry about money; you know you’ll never have problems with it.”
“You’d never know.”
“Come on…just talk to Ted about it.”
“Now go upstairs and take the test.”
“Seriously mother? I can do that at home.”
“This is your home too, honey. Go on!” Lucia conceded with a smile. She went upstairs to her parents’ room and entered the bathroom. She found the kit and took it out.
“Please don’t be pregnant,” she pleaded with herself.
After waiting a few minutes, she took the stick and gasped.
She came back downstairs.
“Well?” her mother asked her.
“I think it’s broken. I’ll go get myself one and…” she quickly added when her mother was poised to interject, “I’ll let you know the results.”
Lucia was in deep thought as she drove home. Of course she wanted to have a baby. But not now when that night with Mitch was all hazy that she was unsure what exactly happened. She would have been more at ease if she knew the coast was clear; like three months away from now. Then she could be absolutely sure. What should she do?
When she arrived home, Ted was already there. She greeted him with a kiss and headed to kitchen for a glass of water. She suddenly felt oddly uncomfortable. She went to the bathroom. She realized she was bleeding. She did not know to feel about it; she was sad that she just might have lost the baby before Ted even knew about it but she was also happy that the least chance that it could be Mitch’s has been flushed out. Ted knocked on the door.
“Hey honey, are you okay in there?”
“Yeah, I’ll be right out.” She opened the door to find Ted leaning on the wall with crossed arms.
“Is anything the matter?” She asked.
“No; I was just wondering what was up with you considering how you rushed up here.”
“Oh it’s nothing. It’s just a small bleed.”
“You’re bleeding? Ouch.”
“I noticed you were late this month so I was hoping that…” He said, pulling her towards him, “we were pregnant.” Lucia smiled.
“You want us to?” He nodded.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Well, I know how much our company means to you and how you want to do everything you can to see it grow and asking this of you might sound a bit selfish.”
“Don’t be silly, Ted; of course not. I’d love to have a baby. Since you were checking up on my cycle, I might as well go see the doctor tomorrow. Who knows, right?” He smiled excitedly.
“You’ll do that?” She nodded.
“Thank you.” He kissed her forehead.
“But let’s not raise our hopes up, okay? If there’s no baby, we can always try again.”
“Sure. I can’t wait for us to be a family.” He kissed her.
Lucia opened her eyes when the door opened. She sat up.
“So I’ve good news for you, Mrs. Bourbon. You are pregnant. The bleeding sometimes happens and it’s normal so there’s no need to worry much about it.”
“Okay. How long is it?”
“Just three weeks.”
“Huh. Thanks, doctor.” She bit her lower lip.
“Where did you say Monique had gone to again?” Mrs. Bourbon asked her son.
“Um…just checking up on a few things. She’ll be here soon,” Ted replied, checking his watch. A few minutes later, the doorbell rang and Ted opened the door.
“Hi. Am I late?” Lucia asked, coming inside. She kissed his cheek.
“No, they are setting the table. So, what did the doctor say?”
“Is that why you were standing watch by the door awaiting my arrival?” Lucia asked with a laugh.
“Uh huh; I’ve been anxious the whole day. Come on.” Lucia smiled.
“Congratulations Ted Bourbon, you succeeded in knocking me up.” He gasped and hugged her. He lifted her off the ground. She giggled. He put her down.
“Okay, what about the bleed?”
“The doctor says it’s normal. It will stop any time soon.”
“Okay; I am so happy to hear this news, Lucia. You have no idea.”
“I know; I feel the same way.”
“She’s here now, mum,” Ted announced.
“Good; come to the table, everyone. Dinner is ready.”
The whole family sat down and held hands as Mr. Baker said grace.
“I want to make a toast,” Mrs. Bourbon said, raising her glass. They all raised theirs.
“I want to toast to the love, unity and prosperity of our one big family.”
“You can’t take that,” Ted said to Lucia, stopping her when she had brought the glass to her lips.
“Come on, it’s just for tonight,” Lucia said.
“What’s going on?” The couple exchanged a glance. He held her hand.
“We have some news to share with you all,” Ted announced. They all put their glasses down and looked at him in anticipation.
“Well, we are pregnant!” The mothers gasped.
“Congratulations, son!” Mr. Bourbon said.
“This is really good news,” Mr. Baker said.
“So I was right,” Lucia’s mother said. Lucia smiled.
“I think you were.”
“This calls for a toast. Could you let her take just a little sip for the moment?” Mrs. Bourbon asked her son. Lucia glanced at him with pleading eyes. He smiled.
“Sure; just a sip.”
“And now to the heir or heiress of our joint empire.” They clinked their glasses and sipped. They had a hearty time at dinner that night.
Lucia and Ted arrived home exhausted.
“I must say, our parents seem more energetic than we do,” Lucia remarked as she threw herself on the bed.
“I guess our good news inspired that energy. They are going to be grandparents. It is every parent’s dream.” He took off her shoes and hovered over her. She held his tie.
“You’re going to be the best mother for our son, Lucia; I know it.”
“A son, huh? How do you know?”
“It just came out naturally. I’d love to have a daughter too; a toddler version of you running around the house, causing trouble.” She giggled. They kissed.
The office phone rang. Ted answered it.
“Okay, let him in.” He put the phone down. The door opened. Ted raised his head.
“Mr. Bourbon?” Ted stood up.
“Ted? Oh my goodness, I had no idea it was you.”
“Wow! How long has it been, five years?” Ted walked to him and they hugged it out.
“Yeah, kind of. Mr. Wilson sent me here. Wow, we have a lot to catch up on.”
“I totally agree. You should meet my wife.”
“Where is she?” Mitch asked.
“She’s running some errands for her father. She does that from time to time. You’d be the first friend to be introduced to her so far.”
“I see; I used to be your best friend, remember?”
“Uh huh, until you snatched my crush away from me.” Mitch laughed.
“Yeah, that was fun.”
“Anyway, I’d love to invite you to dinner at my place tonight.”
“It would be my pleasure, Ted. So tell me, what have you been up to?”
Lucia arrived home early to prepare dinner after Ted called her, telling her about bringing an old time friend over. This would be the first time; he rarely talked about his friends. She even thought the only friend he had was Anita. It would be nice to meet one of his buddies.
“Honey, we are here!” Ted announced when they entered the house.
“A minute, sweetie.”
“You have a lovely home, TB.”
“Thanks, Mitch. Please make yourself comfortable.” Lucia walked in.
“Hi sweetie…” Her voice got caught in her throat when her eyes fell on Mitch Tudor. She froze in her tracks. Ted walked to her and kissed her cheek.
“Hi darling; this is the friend I was telling you about. He is…”
“Mitch Tudor, we worked together when I went over to Mr. Wilson’s company,” Lucia said, her gaze still locked on Mitch.
“Oh you did; I hope you didn’t try anything funny Mitch because I won’t be forgiving this time,” Ted said jokingly.
“You were never the forgiving type, TB. Nice to meet you again, Monique,” Mitch said, shaking hands with her.
“Likewise. So exactly how close were you two?” Lucia inquired.
“We were best of friends actually,” Mitch replied.
“Then how come you didn’t invite him to our wedding, Ted?”
“We kind of had some falling out. He stole my then girlfriend from me,” Ted said.
“Just to correct his statement, she wasn’t his girlfriend. He just had a crush on her. It was…silly and I apologize. I shouldn’t have taken our friendship for granted like that,” Mitch said.
“But I’m telling you now: stay away from my wife, Mitch or else I’ll kill you.”
“And I believe you.”
“You didn’t make any advances towards my wife, did you Mitch?”
“If I said I didn’t, I’d be lying. You know I lose control around beautiful women,” he replied with a wink at Lucia. Lucia looked away. Ted wrapped his arm around his wife.
“And we are pregnant. How awesome is that?” He said proudly and kissed Lucia’s cheek.
“Already? That was fast,” Mitch remarked, sending a curious glance at Lucia. She flinched.
“Let me attend to the kitchen. I’ll announce it when dinner is ready.”
“Sure, honey.” Lucia excused herself. The men sat down to chat. Lucia exhaled deeply when she got to the kitchen. She didn’t even realize she was holding her breath the entire time. How small could the world be that the guy she ran away from come re-enter her life with full access? And the look he gave her when Ted announced her pregnancy had brought chills down her spine. Did it confirm what she feared? She was in deep trouble.
Life like a buffet has a lot to offer;
Some things look appealing; others not so much;
Some sweet on the outside but sour inside;
Some bitter outside but sweet inside;
All cards are laid on the table for you to choose.
Whatever you choose whether by preference or influence;
It becomes your responsibility;
Quantity does not mean as much as quality;
You can take as much as you want but if you do not know what to do with it;
It will all waste away because it takes just one bad nut to mess up all taste buds.
All things are permissible but not all things are worth it;
Do not go after things not meant for you because you were not made for them;
Do not take what you don’t need to deprive someone who actually needs it;
Pursue things which look good on you; whatever you struggle to keep is not yours;
Let it go and find what is meant for you.
We all cannot be the same people with the same occupations;
We all cannot be in the same social class;
Just as all the fingers cannot have the same length;
Just know your stance and be the best at what you do;
Be the best that the world has seen and not a failed attempt of becoming like someone else.
Lucia’s eyes slowly opened. Her mind was blank. She blinked hard, trying to remember where she was. Every blink reminded her of something: that she was here on business, that she was sad enough to drink herself to bed…
“Good morning.” She startled when she heard the unexpected voice and sat up. Mitch paused.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to scare you,” he apologized, still confused about her reaction.
“What are you doing here?” Lucia asked in an alarmed tone.
“I was here last night and you said, no you insisted that I stayed so I did,” he said, giving her the mug of coffee he was holding.
“I did.” She sipped her steaming coffee, wondering what else she might have done.
“You were pretty wined up and you sounded depressed so I thought it a good idea to stick around just in case.”
“Just in case of what, that I hurt myself?”
“Who can tell? Women handle issues variedly. But you do look better this morning,” Mitch said with a smile and gently touched her face. Lucia froze.
“Why don’t you go freshen up? We need to be at the company’s premises in the next hour and half.”
“Sure; what about you?”
“Oh I already have. See you,” he said and walked out. Lucia blinked and shook her head just to clear her head. She slapped herself on the forehead.
“What have I done?” she muttered to herself.
Lucia cleared her throat. Mitch was humming to the tune being played on the radio.
“I want to say thank you for staying the night when I asked you to,” Lucia said.
“Don’t mention it; it is my pleasure. I’m glad I did. We did share some intimate moments,” he said with a smile. Lucia’s eyes widened at the statement.
“I’m honoured that you’d confide in me, Monique.” Monique forced a smile.
When they arrived, Lucia excused herself and dialled Ted’s number. He did not answer. She sighed and entered the building. After the meeting, Mitch approached Lucia.
“So what’s it going to be tonight? Dinner outside or at my place? I promise you a very well done meal prepared by yours truly,” he said smoothly.
“Um…that sounds inviting but I need to head back home today.”
“Today? I didn’t know you were scheduled to fly out today.”
“It wasn’t on schedule. There’s something urgent I have to see to back at home.”
“About your husband?”
“Among other things, yes. I appreciate your company since I got here. Each minute has been worth remembering. So I’ll head home right away.”
“Let me drive you home.”
“No, thanks. There are some documents that the secretary has to fax me before I leave. Could you see to it that he does that? I need to show them to my husband when I get back.”
“Thanks, Mitch.” She walked out.
Lucia dragged her suitcase out of her bedroom. She heard a knock on the door. She opened it.
“Mitch!” She called out, unable to disguise her surprise.
“Hey; I saw to it that the documents you requested were worked on and upon a second thought, I decided to deliver them to you personally before you left.”
“Oh, thanks. Please come in.” He did and she closed the door.
“I can see you are almost on your way out.”
“Yes I am.” Lucia put the brown envelope he gave her in her handbag.
“Yeah I think so.” He went for the suitcase.
“What are you doing?” Lucia asked.
“Taking you to the airport.”
“What? You don’t have to do that. I can go by myself. I’m sure you have other important things to do.”
“None is as important as spending the next hour by your side.” Lucia swallowed.
“I do wish we could spend more time together but sooner or later, we would have to snap out of fantasy land and return to reality. You have to return home to your husband and me, continue with my life here. I just want you to know that I cherish every moment we spent together. It was something real-something I haven’t experienced in a while. Thank you, Monique.” She nodded.
“Since you arranged for me to get this place, I should hand over the keys to you, right?” Lucia asked.
“Yes; maybe I’ll hold on to it for a while,” he said as they walked to the door.
“Why?” They stepped outside. Lucia locked the door and gave him the key.
“Just in case you decided to come back here,” he said hopefully.
“I wouldn’t bank my hopes on that.”
They arrived at the airport. They both got out of the car. Mitch took out her suitcase from the car.
“I guess this is where we say goodbye. It was really nice meeting you, Mitch Tudor.”
“Same here.” They hugged. When they drew apart, he kissed her forehead.
“I do hope we meet again…sooner than later.” She smiled.
“I do hope so too. Take care of yourself.” He held on to her hands for a moment and slowly let go. Lucia waved at him and walked on.
Lucia gave a huge sigh of relief when the plane took off. She couldn’t wait to get home and throw herself in the arms of her husband. She couldn’t believe she was careless enough to let things go way out of line with Mitch. If she had stayed any longer, she was sure Mitch would end up falling for her and she couldn’t take on that headache especially when she had Anita to contend with. Why didn’t Ted pick up her call or even call back?
“Are you going to answer that?” Anita asked when Ted’s phone rang. He looked at the phone. It stopped ringing.
“I will call her back,” he said dismissively, putting the phone down.
“You might give her the wrong idea, you know.”
“Not in the mood, Anita. I need to finish this before I get home and I intend to go home early today.”
“Why is that? Monique isn’t back yet.”
“Yeah but I’d love to spend my evening in my house and not in the office stuck with you.”
Ted entered his house. He turned around at the smell of the aroma. Where was that coming from? He walked into the kitchen but the place was clean and looked undisturbed or at least it seemed so. He proceeded into the bedroom. When he opened the door, a fragrance which he loved flooded his nostrils. He entered, his eyes wandering around the room. Lucia turned when he closed the door.
He exhaled when his eyes fell on her. She smiled knowingly, understanding how he must be feeling because she felt the same way. She walked towards him and hugged him. He hugged her back tightly.
“Feels so good to be back home. I miss being in your arms,” Lucia said and kissed his shoulder.
“I missed you very much,” Ted said and looked into her eyes.
“I’m sorry for leaving the way I did. I shouldn’t have taken off like that.”
“The good news is that you’re back. Are you done with the formalities?”
“I don’t know and honestly I don’t care. I just woke up today and I knew I couldn’t spend another night without you so right after the meeting, I ran back.”
“And I’m so glad you did. I guess my prayers worked.”
“I’m sure they did. And besides, if there is any unfinished business, we could always do it virtually or via fax. I don’t have to stay there till every i is dotted and every t crossed, right?”
“I guess so. I thought I smelled something in the kitchen.”
“Yeah, I wanted my night back to be special so I prepared us something.”
“Oh thank God! I was wondering what I’d eat tonight. I didn’t know deciding your own meal was such a headache.” She laughed. He kissed her.
“How is Anita by the way? I do know she was here yesterday.” Ted was stunned.
“Never mind; it doesn’t matter. You didn’t do anything silly, did you?”
“Good boy. Why don’t you take a shower and then we head downstairs?”
“Sure.” He kissed her. “I’ll be right back.” He entered the bathroom. Lucia threw herself on the bed and sighed. She closed her eyes and gave a short prayer of thanks for her safe trip back home to her husband. Nothing felt much better than to be back at home no matter how fun a vacation was.
As they snuggled in bed later at night, Lucia asked, “So what did you miss about me the most?”
“Your presence because this house felt very empty without you. Even Anita mentioned it.”
When Lucia raised an eyebrow, he quickly added, “I’m sorry; I know she is a forbidden name here. I just wanted to prove a point. I hated being alone here, in the kitchen, in the hall, in bed. I missed you in every room.”
“I missed being your wife. You know people say you’d miss being single when you get married, I think they are wrong. After spending these past months with you, I don’t ever want to return to being single again. Being single does have its perks but being married to you is the best thing that ever happened to me. Just letting you know where I am at each moment as well as what I’m doing gives me this sense of worth of belonging to someone amazing. I miss being here with you, Ted,” Lucia confessed. He kissed her hair.
“Did I mention I missed your cooking?” She laughed.
“You must have been miserable without me.”
“Oh you have no idea.” He held her tightly.
The next morning, Mr. and Mrs. Bourbon entered the office hand-in-hand.
“Good morning,” Ted greeted the secretary.
“Good morning sir and madam. Welcome, madam.”
“Thank you.” They entered the office. Anita got up when the door opened.
“I wanted to give this to you personally…” Anita stopped when she saw Lucia.
“Good morning, Anita. How have you been?” Lucia asked sweetly.
“Good; welcome back, Monique.”
“Thank you, Anita. I heard you took good care of my husband when I was away. Thanks for that.”
“Any time,” she said, handing over a file to Ted. He took it.
“Excuse me,” she said and left the office.
“Now I feel that I’m back home. My reality couldn’t be made complete without a cold face-off with Anita,” Lucia said, sitting down.
“I could try talking to her again about working somewhere else.”
“Nah, don’t worry; we shouldn’t talk about it anymore. Sooner or later, she herself will show herself out. We just have to make this place unbearable enough for her to stay.”
“Hmmm…I like the sound of that.”
Allen opened his door. Anita entered, fuming.
“I can’t believe she’s back!” He closed the door.
“You can’t believe who’s back?”
“Lucia, who else?!”
“Why, she traveled?”
“She went out of state for two weeks. She was supposed to stay there for a month at least.”
“So why did she come before time?”
“I don’t know! Just when Ted and I were bonding again.”
“Bonding again, huh? Is that why I haven’t heard from you in the past two weeks?”
“Please don’t start whining, Allen. It doesn’t suit you. Can I get a drink? I need one.”
“Coming right up.”
Mr. Wilson raised his head when he heard a knock on his office door. Mitch entered.
“Good you’re here. Have a seat.” He sat.
“I hear Mrs. Bourbon has returned home.”
“Yes she has. She sent me a text informing me she had arrived safely.”
“Good to know. There were a few loose ends that need tying up and only her signature or that of her husband would suffice and since she’s not here…”
“I’ll be more than glad to go deliver it to her company, sir.”
“Great. And this envelope contains everything we’ve agreed on so she can review it with her husband. Make sure she gets this.”
Mitch sat in his chair and sighed as he looked at the two envelopes in his hand.
“I guess I’ll be seeing you sooner than we both expected, Monique,” he said to himself, smiling.
We have all heard the saying ‘do not put all your eggs in one basket’. It is safe when planning to always have a back-up. When choosing schools, we consider more than one. When seeking employment, we usually send out more than one cover letter and CV. It makes us feel better when we cover all the bases and leave no stone unturned with the hope that at least one of the options would work out.
But faith happens to be an exception to the rule. There is nothing like a back-up plan when it comes to faith. It is either you are all in or you are out, white or black-no shades of grey and nothing in-between. Why, because faith doesn’t encourage doubt and it certainly doesn’t like to be second-guessed. Faith expects you to put all your eggs in its basket, not a little, not some, not almost but all of them. If you can’t trust faith, then you have no business trying to have a deal with it.
You receive according to the level of faith you have. If you do believe that you will reap a tenfold of what you’ve invested in whatever work or talent you have been entrusted with, then so will it be. If it is a hundredfold or even more, so will it be. But as the Bible bluntly puts it, a double-minded person shouldn’t expect to receive anything from God. Why, because such a person is like a fallen leaf, and follows wherever the wind leads him. He cannot be trusted with faith and faith is the only ticket you can use to walk with God.
Faith catches God’s attention because when you go before Him in faith, what you’re saying is that He’s all you’ve got and you know that He will come through for you. And if you know Him the way that I do, you would know that if He has brought you this far, then He is definitely not done with you. Just speak in faith and your answer will meet you at your greatest point of need.
Lucia sat quietly, staring at her phone blankly. Staying away from home now felt more unbearable than she imagined. Every hour felt like a day; a very long day. If only he would…
“Hey.” Lucia raised her head, snapping out of her daydream.
“Hey; I didn’t hear you come in.”
“Yeah, you seemed absent-minded. Are you expecting a call?” Mitch asked.
“Because I noticed you were staring at your phone; like you’re expecting it to ring any minute now.”
“No; I was thinking; my gaze just happened to be glued onto the phone. That’s all.”
“Are you ready for the meeting?”
“Sure, yes. Let’s go,” she said, getting up and picking up the files in front of her. They left the office.
Ted’s eyes popped open when he heard the doorbell ringing. He looked at his watch. Who could it be at this time? He reluctantly got up and walked towards the door. He opened it. There stood a smiling Anita.
“What are you doing here?”
“Good morning to you too, sleepy head. I came to get you to work since it seems you’ve decided to sleep the day off.”
“Which I have every right to do.”
“Not at the detriment of your company, you don’t.” She entered. He closed the door and yawned.
“I’ll get you some coffee whiles you go freshen up, okay?” Anita offered. He nodded and walked away. Anita walked into the kitchen. She winced when she saw the dirty plates in the sink.
“Wow…” she said to herself.
Ted walked into the living room after he had showered and sat down. He took the remote control and started flipping the channels. Anita walked in holding a tray.
“What is that?” He got his answer when Anita put the tray on his lap. Ted gasped in shock.
“You didn’t have to do this,” he said when he finally found the words.
“Never mind; besides it looks like you do need a homemade breakfast. This place really looks empty. So the saying that it is a woman who makes a home complete must be true. You must really miss Monique.” Ted sipped his coffee quietly.
“And I saw the mess you have in the sink. You were not planning on leaving them there in wait for Monique, were you?” Anita asked. Ted looked at her innocently.
“I guess you’ll take care of that for me.”
“I am not your house help, Ted.”
“I wasn’t asking you as my house help, Anita.” Anita smiled.
“I’ll be right back.” She came back with a mug of coffee and sat down beside him.
“Heard from her?” Ted stuffed his mouth with pieces of sausages to avoid the question.
Anita changed the subject to current issues on the news. After Ted was done with his breakfast, they sat at the dining table together.
“Come to think of it, I asked my secretary to bring me the files of my unfinished work. How did you get your hands on them?” Ted asked. Anita shrugged.
“Did I really just ask that?” Ted said with a chuckle.
“I wonder myself. I wanted to check up on you too. You seemed a little distracted for some time now.”
“Anyway thanks for bringing it over,” he said, avoiding the subject. Anita let it slide.
Lucia continued to stare at her phone, biting her fingers in anticipation. When she couldn’t take it anymore, she dialled Ted’s number. It kept ringing but he did not answer. She tried again but he still didn’t pick up. She sighed in frustration.
“You didn’t bring the file I asked the secretary to work on yesterday. I kind of need it. Let me call her,” Ted said and started looking for his phone.
“What is it?” Anita asked.
“My phone…I must have left it on the bed. I’ll be back in a minute,” he said, about to get up.
“Don’t bother; I have her number. Let me call her,” Anita offered. He sat back down. Anita called her and instructed her to bring over the file Ted needed over to his residence.
As the secretary was preparing to leave the office, the phone rang. She took it.
“Baker Bourbon Company, how may I help you?”
“Hey, it is me, Lucia. Is my husband in his office? I’ve tried calling him on his cellphone but he isn’t picking up.”
“No, madam. He is at working at home today.”
“Oh I see; so you’re there with Miss Morgan?”
“No, she’s over at Mr. Bourbon’s. She just called me to come over with a file they need to work on.”
Lucia’s heart missed a beat.
“What did you say?” The secretary realized she was treading on dangerous grounds. She swallowed.
“They are working together at home, madam.”
“I see; thanks. I’ll call you when I need anything else. Bye.” The line went dead. The secretary scolded herself for being so loose with her words. She left the office.
Lucia opened her apartment door when she heard a knock.
“Hey you,” she said lightheadedly with a smile.
“Hey you; what happened to your phone? I tried calling you several times but you never answered,” Mitch said as he entered and closed the door. Lucia emptied the wine in her glass.
“Yeah…about that, I decided to give my phone a break today.”
“Are you okay? You seem a bit…”
“Drunk? Nah, I’m not there yet but it is my goal at the end of the day,” she said and giggled.
“Okay; I figured you’d be indoors the whole day so I got us some Chinese…I hope you don’t mind.”
“It’s perfect, Mitch.” Lucia threw herself onto the couch and filled her glass. Mitch watched her worriedly. He went to sit beside her.
“Tell me, what’s going on with you, Monique?”
“I’m fine; I just feel like spoiling myself today, that’s all.”
“We both know that’s a lie. Come on, whatever it is, you can count on me. I do believe we are more than business associates. You can count on me as a friend.”
“How is it possible that guys can love two women at the same time? Because women don’t do that. When we commit ourselves to one guy, we give it our all but how do you guys do it?”
“Is this about your husband?” Mitch asked. She sipped her wine.
“Let’s eat, Mitch. I can feel my tummy grumbling.”
Mitch cleared it all up after they were done eating. As they watched a sitcom on TV, Mitch watched Lucia drift into deep thought. He gently hooked some stray hair behind her ear. She looked at him.
“I look pathetic, don’t I?” She asked him.
“No, you don’t; you look beautiful.” She smiled.
“Yeah, but sometimes being beautiful isn’t enough for a guy, is it?”
“Are you having problems with your husband, Monique?” She chuckled.
“I came here to have some time alone to think things through and now looking back, I think I’ve made the biggest mistake ever. I might as well have just offered him to her on a silver plate,” she said to herself.
“What are you talking about?” Mitch asked, confused. Lucia glanced at him.
“What do you see when you look at me, Mitch?”
“I see a beautiful person, not just in looks but in heart. You are kind-hearted and you like to see the better part in everyone. Your smile brightens the room and your sad countenance breaks the heart of the beholder. I don’t know what is going on with your husband but I do know that he is a fool to look past you and see someone else because you’re every man’s dream woman. You deserve all the care, affection and attention that a man can give because you are one kind of a special lady,” Mitch said sincerely. Lucia blushed and emptied her glass.
“It’s rather unfortunate that we didn’t meet sooner,” Mitch said softly. She looked at him.
Ted sighed heavily. Anita entered the living room and sat down beside him with a bowl of chips. He took some and popped them into his mouth.
“You know you shouldn’t be here, right?” Ted asked.
“I know but you’re here all alone and I don’t like to see you like that. So I’m going to keep you company. Don’t worry, I’ll leave before it gets too late,” Anita said. He chuckled.
“Dinner will soon be ready.”
“Everything. If it weren’t for your help, I wouldn’t have finished what I was supposed to.”
“And for clearing out the sink.”
“And for your company.”
“You’re welcome, Ted Bourbon. We have had one hell of a relationship Ted but fate has a funny way of drawing us back together. Don’t you wonder what it all means?”
“It means we had our fun and then I moved on but you didn’t. You’re still holding on to what we had which doesn’t exist anymore.”
“Are you sure about that?” Anita asked.
“Yes I am and do you want to know how I’m so sure? Because the first person that comes to mind when I wake up in the morning is not you, Anita and I don’t think about you before I go to bed.”
“And during the day, who do you daydream about especially now that she’s absent?”
“You know the saying that says ‘absence makes the heart fonder’?”
“What about the one that says ‘out of sight, out of mind’?”
“Doesn’t apply to me. I know Lucia is thinking of me right now just as I am thinking of her. Our hearts beat for each other. You have to find the one to experience what I’m talking about, Anita.”
“I did find him; he left me for another.”
“We didn’t gel like that Anita, and you know it. Our marriage would have been one of convenience for me and of financial security to you and such an arrangement is bound to crumble down any day.”
“I did love you, Ted; I do love you.”
“I believe you but I don’t. I’m in love with someone else.”
“Why don’t you check on what you put on fire, Anita?” Ted said. Anita stared at him for a moment and got up. Ted closed his eyes as he leaned his head on the couched and whispered his wife’s name.
“You seem like a great guy, Mitch; just like my husband. Charming, smooth and a complete gentleman. But great guys like you always have psychopathic ex-girlfriends,” Lucia said. Mitch laughed.
“Is that the kind you’re dealing with right now, the psychopathic type?”
“I think only the Queen of the England can find the right words to describe the leech I’m dealing with,” Lucia said and sipped her wine.
“I think you’ve had enough,” Mitch said, taking the glass from her. Lucia laughed.
“What are you, my babysitter?”
“Nope but I’m definitely taking you to bed.”
“Whoa!” Lucia said as Mitch helped her up.
“You’re so drunk.” He led her to the bedroom. He lay her down and covered her with the bedspread. She held his arm when he turned to leave.
“Please don’t leave,” she begged.
“You’ll be fine, Monique. You’ll soon go off and by the time your pretty eyes open again, it will be morning.”
“No, please don’t leave,” Monique insisted, sitting up. She pulled him to her such that, he knelt in front of her. She held his face and looked at him intently.
“Where were you a year ago?” She muttered.
Ted escorted Anita to the door when she got ready to leave. He opened the door.
“Thanks again for passing by, Anita. It was fun,” Ted said gratefully. She nodded. She hugged him and when they drew apart, she kissed him. For a moment, Ted didn’t stop her. He gently held her back.
“You can’t tell me you didn’t feel anything because I did. We still feel something for each other, Ted; just admit it.”
“You just confirmed what I said earlier. I moved on, you still held on to me. I’m over you, Anita. I didn’t feel anything because your kiss doesn’t speak to me like Lucia’s.”
“You may never know; she might be in another man’s arms right now.”
“I choose not to think along that line and even if she is, my love is strong enough to forgive her.”
“Whatever. See you in the office tomorrow.” She walked away. Ted closed the door.
He entered his bedroom and saw his phone. He took it and saw the missed call from Lucia. He called her back.
Mitch glanced at Lucia’s phone when it began ringing. He switched it off and turned to look at Lucia who had fallen asleep. He sighed.
Started life crawling before taking the first step;
Then took to walking when I had mustered the skill;
Accelerated to running when I knew I could do better;
And how fun it was to find myself on top of the world;
Now I find myself at the crossroads;
Not too sure which turn to take;
Each path promising something I’ve always desired;
But I cannot have both; one would have to be let go and I’m not sure which one.
So as I wait for directions, I choose to take a minute and look back;
And recount how far I have come;
Instead of wasting my time ripping myself of the joy of how far I’ve come;
I choose to be content and grateful for life’s little blessings.
From the moment I took my first step;
I knew I was destined for greatness;
The road may be bumpy and the journey longer than expected;
But I do know I will get to my destination right on time with God by my side.
This is for anyone who was struggled in life only to reach a crossroad;
Do not give up because you feel stuck;
Look back and remember how far you have come;
And know that your journey is certainly not over.