When his arranged marriage went haywire, James has to juggle from being a father to his eleven months old son, keeping his job, finding love in the strangest place, maintaining a balance and peace between his family and that of his in-laws, who are lost in the battle of power and authority.
Helen was in no mood for play. Her faced glimmered at James, feeling hurt by his unsolicited smile. She needed him to define their relationship in a more legal and mature way. Although she knew there was still enough time for that. But since James brought it up, and everything was drastically updating itself, she figured the time was now.
James, for the very first time deciphered her expression and stepped towards her, but she hushed him with her two hands pushed into the air in front of him.
“You need to make a decision and come to a manly conclusion before any more physical contact between us,” she said, mean and angry. Her face strongly depicting her readiness to let go, while her mind prayed for him to forcefully hug her, kiss her one more time, and then declare her entirely his.
James smiled again, knowing what her innermost desire was, which he was ready to satisfy, not because he wanted to please her, but because he very much wanted the same, maybe even more than she did.
“Right now, I am not even sure about anything in my life,” the words went from his mouth like a spear and pierced through her heart, creating a hole in her already breaking heart. The ocean that was aerating due to her feigned courage and strong determination gathered heavily again. For him to say he was not sure about anything definitely meant she was included. She bit her lips and took a deep breath to restore stamina to her shuddering legs.
“But one thing is certain,” he continued with a tender and soft voice; the same tone she heard the first time they spoke on the phone. “You!”
The awaited epic declaration ultimately came, releasing the withheld ocean of tears reflexively, only for a different reason this time; joy, rather than sorrow and pain, as originally intended.
“You are the only constant thing in my life right now,” he went on. “The only thing that I am sure of and I need nobody’s approval or consultation to confirm it because I alone know what I feel.”
Already close to her, he pulled a white handkerchief from his back pocket and wiped her face.
“I love you Helen. There is no doubting that. I just wish and hope that you feel same way about me. And if so, then together we can fight my father and Queen, and probably gain our freedom. So I need to know, if you love me too …”
He was interrupted by Helen’s lips wrapping his in a magnetic attraction. She was mesmerized by his choice of words and her guard fell. Her emotions ran wild and her hormones pumped with force. She was acting, giving no room for her brain to think. It was her moment, the moment she waited for and she grabbed it, as hot as it was. And though her reaction felt strangely right to him, he held her tightly, ravishing her lips. They were both lost in the heat of the moment, oblivious of their location. Then he slowly traced her bosom with his hand.
“Don’t you think we are being irresponsible?” she withdrew her lips to ask in the heat of the burning sensation, and quickly returned her lips to James’, not waiting for an answer to her question. It was obvious that her mind was ready to stop, yet her body determined to continue. He pulled her to the door, still smooching and with his left hand, he locked the door.
“What are you doing?” she withdrew sharply. “This is not right. We are in the wrong place at the right time. This is a hospital and your son is lying down on the bed injured,” she said adjusting her clothes.
“So what?” he asked as he moved closer to her, his hands around her waist, creating a sensual proximity. “We are safe in here. The door is locked. Nobody will intrude.”
“I love you James. And I have no doubt you love me too. But I would not want my first time with you to be in a hospital, in front of your son. It is irresponsible,” she said looking at Junior who was peering at them, sadly, as though he knew exactly what they were about to do. “It’s not right, okay?” she continued. “I want to smile every time I remember my first time with you. I want it to be a good and clean memory. I don’t want to remember it as a quickie. Like some uncultured teenagers making it in the bush,” she muffled, wriggling her waist in James’ grip. Her eyes focused on James’ bright eyes that went gloomy in a flash.
James smiled as their eyes met. His lustful passion decreased, increasing his love for her, her virtue and sense of responsibility. Just why would he not fight against all odds, and risk being renounced by his father to be with her? She was all he ever wanted in a woman, and more. And he knew she wasn’t pretending, because he has known her for six months and, she has maintained high standards all through, which got him falling for her from the onset.
“I love you so much,” he muttered amidst smile and pecked her on the forehead. “And I will make it a clean memory, I promise you that.”
Helen beamed and dragged him to Junior’s bed. “Now you really should touch your son,” she said.
James chuckled as he lifted Junior gently. His face was gloomy, far from what it initially was. James got a bit worried, glancing at Helen.
“He knew what you wanted to do. And he knew it was wrong,” she teased.
He smiled. “Common, Prince. It did not work out. Now cheer up.”
But Junior kept a straight angry face even as they made funny faces for him. They glanced at each other, chuckled and turned to Junior again; his face still emotionless. Then the door knob turned and a knock followed. Helen looked at James in awe and shrugged. He ignored her ‘I told you so’ look, and signalled her to open the door. She did.
Doctor Charles walked in, followed by a nurse who meticulously, yet with professionalism footed in with a tray of injections and syringe, like a farmer holding a crate of eggs.
“No! James,” Charles called out, advancing towards him. “He doesn’t need that now. Please put him down, he really needs to rest,” he advised and slowly took Junior from him, minding the bandages on his head and tummy. “How can you even touch him with these bandages all over him?” He scowled at James. James shrugged, silent.
“Sorry young man. Your dad is just over excited to have you back.” He laid him down and quickly resumed his duty; checking his temperature.
“His temperature is OK. But please do not lift him up, the stitches might go loose,” Charles advised again as he made way for the nurse to administer the injection.
“I will keep that in mind,” James responded.
“Good,” Charles answered. “And do get him some food. He will need that after the injection.”
James looked at Helen, who smiled, and made for the door.
“Isn’t that the nanny? What is happening with you James?” Charles asked, amazed. He knew everything about James. He has been his personal doctor cum best friend for a long time now. He knew how determined he was to work things out with Queen on his father’s order. He knew also how hard that was for him. But he couldn’t place this present romance with Helen. His shock knew no bounds when they kissed on the hallway in the morning and since then, was bothered with the question he just asked. If not for his busy day, he would have stopped by to ask his friend what rum he took that intoxicated him.
James glanced at him soberly. Everything happened so fast that he thought it was all a dream he would some day wake up from. But as it progressed, he realized he didn’t want to wake up anymore. He sighed. “I guess I’m done trying to please people to the detriment of my own comfort. I am done letting people take my decisions for me. For once, I feel like a man, and I’m so sure about her. I am going to marry her regardless of what my father thinks.”
“What about Queen? You are still married to her. And her father? He is not going to take this decision of yours lightly, not even your own father. Have you thought about all that?”
“I have. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s nothing new. I will file a divorce suit against Queen and…”
“I am done doctor. He just needs food now,” the nurse interrupted.
“Thanks Nurse, he will see to that,” Charles replied and ushered the nurse out of the ward.”Are you sure of this? I have a strong feeling something is just not right. She is a nanny for God’s sake,” he said.
“Don’t they get married?” James teased. “Anyway, she is not just a nanny, she owns a babysitting agency. Isn’t that awesome? At least unlike Queen, she is industrious and enterprising.” He defended his newly found love, with all the positive information he could gather about her.
“Don’t talk like you are in for her money,” Charles rebuked. “You have a nice job and…”
“I am not a gold digger dude!” he repelled. “And my employment status changed to unemployed this morning because I was late, again. Thanks to my mother who paid me a gratuitous visit. So I am in for CV submissions. Do they need accountants here?” he chuckled.
“Are you serious? You finally lost the job? Awesome! And now you want to block the only channel to a brighter future? You need to think this through.”
“I have never been this sure in my life Charles. She is everything I wanted in a woman. Guess what? She is even better than Angela,” he smiled.
Charles knew how much he loved Angela and how he praised her good character. “I only want the best for you, friend,” he shrugged. “And please give him something to eat,” he referred to Junior who seemed to have dozed off. James nodded with a smile. “I will be in my office,” Charles said and made for the door, but halted as Helen walked back in, holding a black nylon pack. James stared at it, trying to decipher the content.
“What is that?” he asked as his effort failed.
She smiled and silently brought out a pack of Lucozade Boost, pierced it open with a straw and gave it to Junior, who woke up and sucked hard at it and dozed off again.
“Oh my God! You are really hungry. But don’t worry; this would sustain you till I get your food pack from home,” she said.
James turned to Charles and grinned.
Charles scoffed and ambled out.
“I love you Helen,” he said drawing closer to her.
She smiled. “I love you too James. Let me rush home now and get his food pack.”
“I can drive you, that way it would be faster,” he suggested, not exactly concerned about the fastness of the task.
“No, someone has to be with him.”
“Don’t worry about that. I would inform the nurses and they know what to do.”
Helen sighed in defeat as they both walked out of the room.
E.C Michael, a graduate of Theater Arts, is a passionate writer who believes that stories should blend with education so as to help correct social vices in the world. His watchword is edutainment.
He writes screenplays, novels, short stories and essays. When not writing, he is blogging or watching Game of Thrones and Designated Survivor.