ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS PT-3

Click to read here previous chapter; All I Want For Christmas PT-1 , All I Want For Christmas PT-2

CHAPTER THREE

“Crap!!” He sighed.

“What’s wrong?” the lady at the counter asked him.

“Nothing.  Never mind” he collects a napkin and dabs himself. He had spilled coffee over his suit and He hated when that happens.

“Any more orders sir?” She asked, smiling a little too much at him.

“Erm OK… Maybe two muffins please” He said, then he pauses mid act of cleaning himself,

“Just one” he shakes his head smiling at his silliness. Every morning for the past couple of years, he and Cynthia met here for the early rush hour breakfast and then went to MacDonald’s for lunch and they both ordered for coffee and muffins, he had forgotten she wasn’t waiting for him, seated at the corner possibly playing with a strand of her hair and dangling her feet under her like a little girl.

The lady passes him his muffin and his change, he walks out and flags a taxi heading into town.

“Hi handsome’” Tonia winks at him as he strolled pass her, after he reaches his office complex

“Hey Tonia, you look great this morning” he heads to the lift.

“Oh why, thank you ” she blows him a kiss, he smiles at her but as soon as the door closes he rolls his eyes, Shaking himself mentally. He walks into his office floor and heads to his office, opening the door and entering.

“Diana, is boss in?” He presses his com and waited for his PA to answer

“Yes he is, just stepped in though”

“Good thank you” He steps out of his office, walks down the hall and stands in front of a door with an initials inscribed “Mr Terryson, CEO” He takes a deep breath and knocks, a muffled ‘come in’ ushers him in, he opens the door to see an elderly man backing him, staring out of the window overlooking the city.

“Good morning sir. Can I please have a word?”

“Go on” he turns, giving him a brief smile sitting behind his mahogany desk

‘I was wondering if it’s possible for me to take my leave from tomorrow.  There is a family emergency I need to attend to and it’s mandatory for me to be home for this period. I promise I would make it up when I am back” he lied, moving the weight from one feet to the other. Cynthia, see what you are making me do, for the love of friendships and what not.

“But… now? Is it that serious?’ Mr Terryson looks at the young man before him, he had always been an incredible worker, never took breaks or holidays. Never left his work pending or unfinished, or went absent for any reason, he always brought good profits to the company,  huge money so giving him a month off shouldn’t be so bad. He picks up the files from the desk going through them, they had no big fish to fry this month; it was a slip through. James could stand in for him.

“Yes sir. It is a Life and death situation” he was lying through his teeth, it was strange how his boss couldn’t tell. It was a lame lie, the oldest one in the book.

He sighs

“When do you intend to take the leave?”

“My flight is for tomorrow” he states, running a hand through his dark hair.

‘That’s fine. Give all the information you think might be useful to James and tell Gloria to reschedule your meetings and put James in your place for the next couple of weeks, and please not a day after do you resume back to work. You get a month off and nothing more.”

“Thank you Sir.” he replies smiling. He lets the air out he had been holding in.

“Send Gloria in when you leave” Mr Terry dismisses him.

Back at his office, he checks his itinerary for the next day, his flight was in the morning and when he touches ground, the lie that Cynthia had weaved comes into place.

“How did I get myself into this mess?”  But he laughs

“Christopher, aren’t you a sucker for good love stories? If you can be an instrumental to Cyn and boy wonder ‘Jayden” getting together, that won’t be such a bad thing would it?” He talks to himself.

He picks up the files on the desk and proceeded to cover the most he could for the day and leave for home early so he could pack.

It was going to be long -pretend holiday.

“I wonder if they have pretend faces to buy too?” He muses to himself

********

 

“Urm, Hi Tom, Hi Jayden” she stifled a laugh. I wish I could gag her. She leaned close to me and pinched my hand underneath the table, I didn’t turn

“I remember you. It’s been awhile but we did go to school together so I guess I can give you a listening ear. How may I help you?” Vera sounding all professional. How crafty right?

I wondered if I should turn now. . But what did they say about making a good entrance. So I waited for that moment. I pretended to be interested in the little boy down the streets but in reality my heart was doing the drum rolls and my cheeks were burning from the rising blush

Breathe Cynthia.  Don’t embarrass the girl’s honour.

What the hell was that?

Don’t ask me. I have no idea

 

………..

 

There was something oddly familiar about the girl backing them and staring out the window

“Hello?” Jayden says looking at her but she doesn’t turn.

“OK Vera,  well we don’t know if you have heard but Harbeth’s high class of ’06 is having a reunion that means everyone is going to be there so we just realised that a couple of us haven’t gotten the memo so we decided to do a roaster call and come drop your invite. I hope you don’t mind “? Tom says

“Hi?” Jayden says again. She still didn’t turn still.

“Dude… what are you doing?” Tom silently nudges him

“Oh how lovely, Wow! Won’t that be one hell of a reunion” Vera responds, smiling.

 

********

The grass below looks too green don’t you think? I squint my eyes

You don’t see it? Well. Look again. I see it *tongue out*

I was waiting for that moment. Vera just didn’t get it. No one but me gets it.

“Well… I don’t know if you guys would remember her, she is my very, very best friend. She went to Harbeth’s high too. Cynthia Morgan. I hope she gets an invite?” Vera pinches me yet again, then pulls at my arm

“Did you say Cynthia Morgan? ” Tom begins to speak

I think this is it. Right?

“I knew you looked familiar backing up like that?” Jayden says,

I slowly turn, flipping my hair while my long lashes flutters. There was this elegance that came with turning and I slowly move my body to get in tune as though I was yet to strike a pose for Vogue magazine

This was my moment. And gaddamned! I needed to own it like a boss.

I was glad I picked this sunflower short fitted dress. It was like the sun glowed into the room and the breeze did wonders for my hair. Did I hear music too?

Vera was trying not to laugh. Tom’s jaw suddenly dropped, Jayden looks at him and smiled that “I told you she looked amazing kind of smiles”

“You called my name Vera?” In my most sexy voice, pretending as though I just heard my name and didn’t realise there were other people in the room

Vera pinches me. I wince but my demeanour stays intact

“Yes Cynthia, they went to school together with us. Tom and Erm Jayden. Do you remember them? ”

*See why you should have friends as awesome as Vera. She reads the scripts well. I am sure we were going to have a good laugh after now*

“Erm…” I screw up my beautiful face, shaking my head side to side

“I don’t quite remember… them”

“We met at the supermarket yesterday. Jayden, Jayden Michaels. Lawyer, remember” he comes forward taking my hand in his.

Gosh I wanted to pull him into me and smell his cologne.

“Erm… am sorry. I have this amnesia thing going on.” I pull my hand away while his smile wipes from his face

Vera coughs. Tom blinks

“Oh that’s fine but I guess there are plenty opportunities for us to really get to know each… like this one” he pulls out a card from Tom’s hands whose mouth hadn’t closed and places it in mine

“High school reunion. You can come with your plus one but even though you have none I don’t mind to re-introduce you to everyone.” He finishes it

“How is this even possible?” His eyes takes a rundown of me, he shakes his head and speaks to Jayden

“Plus Jayden you are forgetting one tiny detail. Ev-?” Tom states

“Close your mouth Tom. Don’t embarrass yourself” Jayden says over his shoulders. Tom swallows getting the drift.

Don’t mention the girlfriend when your guys are trying to score points with a new chick.

Bro code. Rule no.1

“Hi Cynthia, I must say you look amazing.” Tom comes closer, openly admiring me.

“Your high school picture doesn’t do you justice.  In fact it has got nothing on you. Are you sure you are or were the actual ugly duckling -?

“Hey… Okay. I think we have to leave now. Thank you Vera, It was good seeing you again and Cynthia, I guess we would be seeing you.  Me especially” Jayden cuts Tom off and pushes him towards the door. Tom hands Vera her card and smiles at Cynthia.

A “wow!” Leaves his lips.

“OK.  Thank you for stopping by”

I don’t exactly break out in a smile, I turn away, pretending to fiddle with my bag for something important as though I had forgotten them immediately.

Tell me I wasn’t a badass?

You are a badass!!

I know right. ??”  Where was I.. Oh!

They leave shutting the door behind them.

“Girl… you so mean. I almost laughed my heart out seeing Jayden trying to get your attention and you acting all ladylike and pretending you don’t know who he is but technical you can tell him his birthday, his full name and the grades he got in school.  And did you see Tom’s face.  I swear it was epic. They falling over their faces for you. You are literally the queen of awesomeness” she does a mock bow

I laugh using my hands to fan myself as I walked around in a circle,  using the other hand to do a ‘queen wave’ side to side.

“Oh thank you thank you dear Vera. A Queen must act the part” I stated

We laugh.

‘So a reunion huh. This would be fun!’ Vera eyes the cards

“You know what would be more fun?” I nudge her.

“Jayden!” I say. She rolls her eyes.

“Don’t kill the poor guy okay. He is obviously taken with you”

“Well that’s what I want.  For him to be stricken with mad insane love for me and then when it seems he isn’t making any headway I would gladly surrender.  Heart, body and soul to my prince.  It would be nice to have a Christmas love story… awww I can’t wait” I gush, hands to chest, dreamily eyes and all drama

“You watch too many love movies Cynthia”

“And you don’t watch enough. Come here tell me about that guy you mentioned–

 

***********

“Follow me to the airport tomorrow? Just in case Christopher decides to kill me and bury my bones. Please?

“Hahaha well he would be right too

Don’t you think?”

“I had to dissuade mother and papa. They wanted to follow me but I lied you were coming with. “I tugged at her sleeves” which isn’t a lie because you are coming with me”

“Fine I would. Then we go pick out our dressed for the party this weekend. Hey! Who is going to be your plus one? Chris right?”

“Damn! I only needed Chris to be here so that mother and pops stop asking about my man. I don’t need him to rain on my parade. If I take Chris to the party I don’t want Jayden to think I have a man. I need him to be my man”

I think to myself. “But if I leave Chris alone with my parents he is like this person that hates to lie so his consciences might keep pricking him next thing he goes “we aren’t dating “. So no. He would have to come with and if anyone askes, he is my cousin from a distant relative” I say. Content.

“More lies Cynthia.” Vera points out. We were standing in front of my house.

“Hey. . . Come on. Just for a bit.  Promise” I hug her

‘See you tomorrow ugly duckling” she pinches my cheeks

“Hahaha very funny Vera ”

We wave goodbye.

I walked into see them cuddling up with each other, watching a movie

“Hey baby, you home?” Mother says looking lovingly at me

“Hey princess, you want to join in?”

I drop my bag and rush to their middle, happy as a little kid.

Boy! This… I miss this.

 

 

*****************

He picks his bag and walks through, scanning the crowd for the thick headed girl who had him flying down here for a big lie.

What you do for friends.

He looks around again, reading every placard one after the other hoping to see his name. Every smiling face, every girl. He sees some Peter Jacobs, Mr and Mrs Philips, Joe Rice.

“Who still names themselves rice?” He muses

Still searching the crowd at the airport until he saw it, a big placard that had a yellow smiley face but the smile was upside down with a tear dangling from the left eye, a big letter scribbled “I am sorry C. Daniels” xoxo Cyn. She had used to it cover her face but he saw her legs, He smiles walking towards her fighting his way through the crowd of people who came to pick up their family or friends.

“Knock knock” he taps the placard” think you should say that in person instead of subjecting a smiley to bail you out of the mess you robed me into Cyn” he tells her loving the placard away from my face..

“Hey, It was so much work drawing this smiley face you know” I tell him screwing up my face. Then I smile up at him, blinking my lashes a hundred times in a minute

“Forgive me??” I plead

“Nope.” he folds his arms

“Hey, stop it! Forgive me. You are here already so just forgive me. I promise it would be over soon” I tug at his sleeves.

“Let me think about it. Don’t I at least get a hug for my troubles?” Christopher requested, I smile. He is such a drama queen sometimes. I open my arms wide and he wraps me in a hug. Did he just smell my hair?

“Little trouble monster. That’s what you are” he scatters my hair. Why was he so tall, I was always at a disadvantage to him.

‘Hey, be nice. I styled my hair nicely because I wanted to look good… for the paparazzi’s and you just ruin that.” I punch him. An “ow” escapes from is lips.

Christopher realises there was a girl standing beside me, she was hiding a smile. He looks at and indicates

“Your friend.”?

Oh silly me

“Oh schumcks!! Yes. This is Vera my bestest of friends, my life saver, the bee to my honey and the sugar to my sweets. My sister from another mother who takes all my tantrums like a boss and loves me despite my cruelty.” I say hugging her from the side, she was laughing

“How ridiculous Cynthia, what kind of an introduction is that?

“And Vera, this is Christopher Daniels.  Now this dude is the definition of awesomeness. Saw me as a tiny little monster with a face like erm… Well you know.  Was the only dude who became my friend in class and never really called me ugly.

“Because you were never ugly to me ‘” Christopher cuts in

I smile.

“Well, he has been my anchor and friend in my worst and then helped me to be my best. We have been buds since then, inseparable.  But he is annoying AF too when he wants to be and makes my name sound like a sin.” I smirk eyeing him

“Because technically it’s “Cyn” for short.  What are we not saying?” He winks at me.

“So Vera meet Christopher and Christopher meet Vera.  Be nice to each other because together… we are going to rule the world” I had my fist raised to the heavens shaking it dramatically with a dance as though I was about to hit the sky.

“Too much cartoons. I did say she was a little monster” Christopher shakes his head

“Pinky and the brain fanatic ” Vera chips in

“I know right?”  Christopher looks at Vera, she smiles

“Totally. You know what Chris, I like you already!” She links her hand with his while he taps her hands,

“And I like you too. Don’t mind Cynthia, she can be goofy all herself. Shall we? Let our maid carry my bags. ”

They both began walking away leaving me alone with his bags.

“Hey! I can’t carry these all by myself, I am fragile ” I sob

“Well that’s your punishment for the lying with me in the picture” he says over his shoulders

“B-but Chris!!” I call out

“Not available. Try again letter”

“Vera. Come back here. You are my friend, not his’” I used the other card.  She would have to some back now.

“Sorry babes, Christopher seems to be much fun now”

They laugh leaving me alone.

I was tempted to leave the bags and walk away but,

Be nice Cynthia, he came all the way for you, so I flexed my shoulders,  twist my neck from side to side and gauged all the strengths I could muster , grabbing the bags, I began to pull.

********

 

“Mother, we are here” I call out, turning to Christopher

“Hold on to my hands, smile, and hug me occasionally okay. You know how people in relationship do.” I tell him

“Erm okay.” he says, turning to Vera

“You did tell her that this was a horrible idea didn’t you?” She nods

“But you know as well as I do that Cynthia is stubborn as a bull.  She does only what she wants.” Vera states

“Funny. I am right here and I can hear you both talking about me” I tell them. We were in my living room.

“We weren’t trying to be discreet oh mighty queen Cynthia ” he mocks me

I hear mother and papa coming out, mother’s excited glee reached me before I saw her petit self-coming out

“Hey, smile! Show has begun” I tell him, giving them my happy smile, Vera tugs at Christopher’s sleeve.

“Hey Chris, good luck. You going to need it’

“Bless your heart Vera. I know I would.” he smiles at her, turning when a pretty lady comes out, her face a map of smiles, and her arms outstretched

“Christopher darling.  Come give me a hug. My precious daughter told us all about you. Oh how handsome he looks, come, come”

Dear lord.  He breathed before allowing the woman envelop him into a hug while the man standing behind her taps his back, his face already broken into a smile.

*************

“Baby! I missed you so much.” she kisses him, trailing a hand down his jawline, to his neck and then to his chest, finding its way down to his trousers.

His mind was on a pretty girl, with the red dress and beautiful smile. The weekend seemed too long to see her again. Too damn long.

“You know, I was thinking we announce our engagement at the reunion party this weekend. I can’t wait for everyone to find out that we are getting married. Soon we are going to have a big ass wedding and honeymoon in the Bahamas.  Our dads would be paying of course, they already agreed and then soon after we are going to have little Jayden’s and Eva’s running around. We are going to be so happy” she runs her tongue over his lips, letting her hands cover him up, grinding on top of him.

I wonder what getting to know her would feel like, getting to hear her laugh at my silly jokes, walk under the stars and listen to her dreams, hold her hands and rest  her head to my chest and let her listen to my heart beat. I wonder what loving her would be like, would it be like basking in heavenly bliss… I do wonder, really wonder what getting to know her would feel like.

“Make love to me Jayden, make love to me” she says, using his hands to cup her breast.

Would she give me a chance? Because not trying would be a crime. Damn! Where the hell have you been all my damn life Cynthia? I can’t stop thinking about you. Is it possible to love someone at first sight, Was this what love was? My heart literally catches in my chest when I think of you Cynthia.

He felt something warm encircle him, he blinks.

“Erm, Eva no not now. I am actually really tired” he lied. He wasn’t feeling it, he wasn’t in the mood. He takes “him” out of her mouth and tucks “him” right back into his boxers

“What?” She blinks as she sits up. Jayden pushes her away from him, heading to his balcony, He needed space. Those big huge spaces and he needed it now.

“Don’t you erm.., need to go home?” He says over his shoulders

“Are you kidding” she comes up behind him, encircling him from behind.

“I just got here silly. You are being funny Jay.  Didn’t you miss me cause I missed you?” Kissing his neck she rubs his nipples, which she knew always got him going off. But today.

He pulls her away from him

“Am serious Eva I am tired. I had a really long day today. Can we like see later, besides I have something important to do with erm, Tom. You know we are the ones planning the reunion and we have so much to do”

“And so what? Is that more important than me, like I don’t get it. I can’t spend some time with my boyfriend just because of some old school association coming together to drink punch and talk about their lives. It would be so boring and I don’t think I would want to even attend that sort of lame Crap and I don’t think you should too Jayden. Besides,  I am just going to be attending it because my baby is going to be there and we are going to announce our engagement, But I don’t like you putting me off because of that or Tom or anybody else” she folds her arms, her pretty face rumpled.

Jayden touches his head, he could feel some migraine coming. How did he forget so soon how naggy she was or that her tantrums usually always made him gunning for the hills.

“Look, one I don’t think it’s wrong for me to do what I want to do and if you can’t be supportive I don’t think you should come. And two, we aren’t announcing any engagement, I haven’t even asked you to marry me so quit with that”

“But, our parents have already agreed –

“Our parents aren’t me. They pushing this thing isn’t funny anymore. I am a man so I can go on my damn knees and ask any girl to marry me and I haven’t asked you!!”

‘But Baby, the ring, my diamond ring?” She shows me her finger

“You mean the ring you asked your dad and my dad to buy for you, same ring you wore yourself two days ago and flaunting it around the place? Sweetie, I haven’t asked you to marry me so tuck that thing away. That’s your ring not me-giving-it-to-you-marry-me-ring”

He states walking back into his house, heading to the kitchen and grabs a beer from the fridge

“But baby, why are you mean to me today. I love you. You love me, what’s wrong”?

“Nothing Eva, I just need space.”

“No Jayden, yes I know I can be handful and a drama queen and I annoy you sometimes with my silliness but I love you. And besides we just came back from a break, aren’t we supposed to be working this out not fighting.” She follows him, standing in front of him and peering into his face

“Yeah, who was the cause of that one?  You were kissing that guy.”

“I was trying to make you jealous but babe I said I was sorry” she defined herself.

“You left with him for a bloody one month” he raises up his hands. He had forgiven her and he wondered why he was bringing it up. They have settled their differences and decided to come back together.

This was making way for Cynthia. He needed to try.

“He wasn’t even a good shagg.  Just plenty of money to Spare. But you had that fling with that Caribbean chick after I left so big deal Jayden. Why throwing daggers at me.” her stubborn chin raised up as she folds her hands

“Well at least it was after you left. See Eva, I just think we aren’t ready to go back up that road. I need space, just little time. Is that too much for me to ask?”

“Yes! Yes and yes! Is there someone else Jayden, is that it? Because I swear I am going to-”

“No of course not. But you never can tell what the Christmas holds for you!” He smiles

“What does that even mean..?” She shrieks

“Nothing Eva. Nothing.  I really need to go get to Tom. So…”

She eyes him, there was no way this was happening.  Maybe he was stressed, with work and planning for the party, so she was just going to leave him for the minute. Besides she had shopping to do for the party this weekend.

“Fine. Fine to I would let you get to Tom but every other thing you said felt like gibberish to my ears, my apologies if i didn’t understand it.” she leans into him and places a wet kiss to his lips as she forces his lips to hers

“I would call you later and you had better be the nice loving boyfriend I know. Tell Tom I have my eyes on him, and if he is the one influencing you this way, be rest assured he is going to get his head on a stake ” she takes her bag and leaves, Jayden felt like the weight of the world just went away with her.

He rushes a bath, puts on clean jeans and a t-shirt, picks his keys and heads out.

*******

“So Christopher, tell us, how is Canada? ”

Jacob askes, they had just finished lunch, Christopher sat down on the large sofa, and I sit beside him just minutes before I hold his hands and rub it affectionately.  Mother’s smile was too happy.

“It’s really great. Cold this time of the year”

“So Cynthia tells us you are a lawyer?”

Furrowed eyebrows, a left raised one

“Lawyer? No I am an accountant!” he blurted out, I pinch him and laugh ..

“I forgot to tell you that Chris is also a comedian playing nasty jokes. Of course he is a lawyer” I turn to him, eyeing him

Shit!  I forgot to brief him on the lies he should cover

“Aren’t you baby? Tell them what an amazing lawyer you are…” I bend his little finger. Vera hides a smile.

“Poor Chris “she mutters to my earing. I flinch.

It’s a necessary evil don’t you think?

Chris was talking,

“Ha ha ha… Yes ma’am. Am such a joker, yes a lawyer. A really fancy lawyer, awesome one too” it rushes out of his mouth, I nod my head, Vera joins in

“Oh how lovely. I used to read so many books on law, do you know this famous writer, John Grisham?  He is a lawyer of some sorts and I read one of his books… Or two actually.  I can’t remember the other one but the “pelican briefs” comes to mind. Have you read it?”

No.

“Of course, such a beautiful piece of art” Christopher smiles at her. He was really going to strangle Cynthia after now

“So son, what spots do you like? Or you like to gist around and play with the girls? Let’s take a walk outside and talk men, shall we?” Jacob stands up and beckons to him.

Shit. Is this where he gets into trouble?

“Erm papa, why don’t we all stay here and have a long nice chat?” I fidgeted

“No hunny, let the men talk. While we ladies gossip some.” Mother pulls me up and directs me to the kitchen

“No wait mother” I protested

“It’s okay babyyyyyyýyyyy!” Christopher’s stresses it. It felt weird calling her baby.

“I am sure your father won’t bite.”

My father laughs “just some men heart to heart talk Sweetie.  Don’t worry I would bring your prince charming back unscarred okay?”

“But… but!”

But they were gone, outside. And my heart began to beat.

Christopher is going to blurt out the truth, my father was going to make him feel so uncomfortable and he was going to blurt out the truth. I know it. I mentally paced the length of my mind.

My father could make the worst criminal turn saint. He was the scariest professor of his time. I could never really keep the truth away from him when I was much younger but now I was doing a good job but Christopher wouldn’t stand a chance.

I prepared myself mentally for when they walked back into the room, papa’s eyes blazing in anger as he would fling Chris out of his house and come for me. I wondered where it would be better to hide, the chair or behind the curtain.

Stop it Cynthia A.Morgan. You aren’t a kid anymore.

Mother was talking.

“Cynthia darling, I must confess, you have a good eye. I really like Christopher, so funny and down to earth, that boyish laughter and he seemed to love you a lot. I am happy you chose a good man for yourself.” Mother cuts up the cake and places some slices on the saucers, then arranging the cookies and chocolates on another place, while a jar of cherries was standing in the middle of the table

I puked mentally and flush the toilet.

Mothers, do they think they know everything?  Christopher is like my brother. Never ever have we entertained thoughts like that. Mum is hilarious, funny too. This was just our little act. Why so serious?

I smile “I know right. He is amazing.” I lie.

“He is really great, I met him for the first time today and he was warm and welcoming. I felt I know him for ever, really great guy” Vera enthused as she popped a cheery in her mouth, grabbing a chocolate

I pinch her, trying to tell her to go outside and eavesdrop on the boys but she mouths a “what?” I turn my head and keep directing it outside, opening my eyes wide indicating.

“Go check on them”

She looks at me confused.

“What Cynthia?” She whispers

Go. Go there!!

My head moves again, my mouth screws itself left, my eyes following and my whole facing signalling

“Good gracious child, what’s wrong, why are you making horrible faces at Vera. That’s not so nice” mother says obviously displeased.

“What? Me? No mother I was just, trying to erm”

Vera was laughing.

Oh this was funny right… I heard the men laughing, opening the door and papa slapped his shoulders

“Papa, I can explain -”

I came forward it was better to confess yourself first so that the punishment would be lessened

“Oh that was so funny” papa says,

OK what just happened?

I looked at both men confused, mother comes smiling at them

“Pray tell me Jacob, what did our Chris tell you that made you roar out with laughter?”

I pull Chris to the side.

“What did you do to my father?” I poke hi

“Sugar, I swear Chris is such a rare gem. A great spots observer and really knows how to make an old man happy. Great talk son. Great talk” papa tells him from where he stood.

“My pleasure Mr Jacob.  You aren’t bad yourself.” They exchanged another hidden laughter pointing at each other

No. This was strange.

“Spill Chris.  What did you do to my father?”

“Let’s just say I do have some hidden cards under my sleeves and I ain’t telling”

He pops a cheery into his mouth, gave me a 32 wide smile and goes back to meet my father and three of them including mother says something and then another roar of laughter.

No this wasn’t good.

Wait, I wanted him to pretend but, this wasn’t good.

“A penny for your thoughts Cynthia?” Vera comes behind me

“I am thinking this is a very bad idea” I mutter

“Well haven’t I been saying it but pray tell, why did you suddenly have that lightening bulb of sense shine down on you?”

I look at three of them again…

“Because Jayden should be here, be the one standing and laughing with them not Chris. He is just a fake made up boyfriend. This isn’t good.” sadness filled me

“Well, your parents seem to like him and he is playing the part well. You want to pull the plugs now? I mean better now though that’s early?”

Vera looks at me,

Christopher wasn’t half bad. She liked Christopher. Did Cynthia ever notice?

“Cynthia, did Christopher ever tell you

‘Not yet. Until Jayden falls in love with me and comes riding down to sweep me off my feet”

I cut her off, then turning

“I am sorry, you were about to say something?

Vera thought to keep it to herself, shaking her head.

“No. No. Never mind it’s nothing. Do we go shopping soon? The reunion is in another?”

“Oh yeah sure. But we need to take Christopher with us”

But Mother and papa wouldn’t hear of it. He said I had no conscience, he travelled a couple of hours to come down here and all I am thinking of doing is to take him shopping for a dress for a party.

“No. You guys go, Christopher and us are going to have a moment” mother says

“No mother, Chris doesn’t mind” I look at him, get your ass up Chris.  My eyes conveys the message.

Chris looks at me and made to get up, my mother places her hands on his knees.

“Won’t you spend some more time with the parents? Ever since Cynthia came back she always want to go out with Vera or go out and don’t want to stay home with us old parents but you my darling are nothing like her. You care about us old parents don’t you? You going to stay with us yes?” mother blinks,

Oh God No!! Not those puppy eyes. No Chris don’t look at her eyes, look at me.

Mothers and their emotional blackmail, that’s how I was in this soup in the first place. I tug at Chris, turning his face away.

“Baby… won’t you help me pick out a dress?”

“Chris darling, it would a bore and really one long dress selection spree and you do know how tiring it can get right?” puppy eyes again. Papa seems to be enjoying it. Vera does the 1-1 points. I throw daggers at her.

“Erm… am sorry baby. I think your mum got my heart on this one. I can’t really stand the whole stress of ladies picking up dresses and dropping them back only to pick them up and drop them back again. I am staying with the parents. Vera would help you with a dress, whatever you pick I am sure it’s going to be lovely” he sits back down, mother squeals and they high five each other.

I give up.

Jayden you had better love me soon. So I can kick Christopher, my friend, back to Canada. Mother seemed to be gluing him.

“Okay. But can I have a quick word… babbbbby?” I ask him, he looks at mother, she nods. He looks at papa, he nods. Then he looks at Vera. She laughs nodding.

Really Christopher.  Is this how you pay me back for making you pretend to be my boyfriend. OK OK. Nice.

I pull him to the side, trying to fix up his shirts, brushing his shoulders and removing something from his head.

They were looking at us.

“So, don’t tell them anything you not sure of if they ask. Come out with some silly joke of something, anything. Don’t mess this up. Smile, laugh. Your name is Christopher. A lawyer and your parents are super rich. Okay.” I smile at my parents as I continue to whisper to him and arranging his cloths, pulling his check.

“Fine Cyn. Anything else? Plus what party are you planning to go to?” He smiles too, touching a strand of my hair, rolling it with his finger and touching my jaw slightly with his finger. His other hand rests at the small of my back, I leaned in closer.

From their view, it looked like the lovers were having a lovely mushy moment. Mother gushed and awwed.

‘Just some old school association.  You are going to be my plus one but, out there, you are my cousin from a distant relative, so no need to pretend. Because Jayden, would be there and I don’t need him thinking he doesn’t stand a chance with me…okay” I smile into his eyes.  The smile had suddenly faded from his eyes, but his face hadn’t changed.

“Right.” He nods.

I pull away, “I would see you later baby. And mother, papa, you too. I love you. Come Vera let’s go” I reach for the door with Vera behind me

“Hey, I know we are old fashioned and all but don’t you youngsters kiss goodbye? Or is it because of us you are acting so shy and modest?” Mother says turning to papa…

“I know I didn’t let her go without a kiss and I didn’t care if the whole world was watching.” Papa chuckles.

Look, I know this was my mess but can’t mother and papa just be those kind of strict parents that would bark at you holding for your boyfriend closely to yourself, now they are gunning for a kiss.

I know this was my fault and I should sulk it up but, I didn’t plan for this part of the script.

“Erm” nervous laughter,

“Mother, No. We erm kiss plenty. We not shy, and am in so much hurry and Chris here is so tired and we would erm, kiss later” I dodge

“Yes Mrs Morgan. We are not the kiss. kiss type and mushy ones you know’”

*OK this act was getting to real. Why would I kiss Cynthia?  Christopher thinks to himself.*

“Oh nonsense. Come on, one tiny kiss, I insist.  It’s bad omen not to do what you are told. Plus, come on, isn’t that what young people your age do” mother says

I look at Christopher who didn’t seem-to like the idea

“But mother…”

“We are waiting. Where is my camera? Give him a kiss, I want a special moment of you both” she fishes for her camera from the cupboard and waits

“Am sorry” I mouth to him. He shrugs a “whatever”

And waited as I moved back to him, leaning into him, I wet my lips a bit.

Just think of Jayden. Just think that it’s Jayden you are kissing.

That’s it.

I close my eyes, pouting, I felt him come closer, drawing me to himself and our lips touched and locked.

One minute. Two minutes and as I heard the camera click and clicked.

I pulled away, smiling.

Inwardly I was cringing.

“Bye” I say pulling Vera away.

I cleaned my mouth as soon as we got to the car.

“Remind me never to lie again” I tell Vera as I sulked in the car. She just stares at me sadly…

“Yes. But we both know that you going to be stubborn and do what you want.”

“Oh am Sorry Jayden for kissing someone else I am so sorry ” I sobbed.

“Oh stop being a cry baby” Vera enters into the car and puts it on drive.

I wonder if Cynthia doesn’t realise what I just witnessed. Vera muses to herself

*************

 

“All set, it’s a real beauty. The hall is really amazing Tom”

Jayden says. He stood at the doorway looking at the hall. Tom comes behind him nodding his head.

“Hey Jay, what’s up man?” Two other guys approaches them. Joined by a few girls.

‘Hey guys.” Jayden hails them back

“How is Eva?” One of the girl’s askes. He remembered her about two months ago, she had been one of his one night stands.  But for some reason he didn’t feel the need to indulge her, she cutting him some side eyes only irritated him

“She is great but you can call her and ask her. How are we doing with the foods and drinks, Isn’t that supposed to be your department? ”

“Erm… good we good to go” embarrassment washes over her. Some people stifled a laugh.

“Lights, booze and liquor?” Tom liked that part.

“Done, done. What’s left is for the weekend and the whole place buzzing with some people. Damn, it would be fun to see everyone again.” Some dude says,

“Yes it would be” Jayden replies.

Especially to see Cynthia again.

They leave the event hall and stroll to their cars, Tom and Jayden waving the crew goodbye as they neared their car.

“So we got into a fight this morning and I told her we needed some space” Jayden sits in the car as he spoke.

Tom whistles… “You want to awaken the Godzilla inside her? Are you crazy man?  Haven’t I thought you anything Bro?  You want to lay off some chick, you subtle carry it out. Stop calling her, stop seeing her, change your number, and change your address. If possible change the way you look and no more banging. I repeat, no more banging. You don’t tell her to her face you want space, dude she is going to come taking the only space you got. And why do you even need space, I thought you guys were.-working it out?” He did the finger

“Tom, I can’t get Cynthia out of my mind. I couldn’t even get it up with Eva today, I kept wondering about Cynthia. I swear I just realised how empty my relationship is with Eva. Do you believe our dads bought her a diamond ring now she wants us to announce our engagement to everyone this weekend? Dude I haven’t even proposed to her.  See Eva is great, sex is good, I mean both our parents got money so that’s no issue. But, other than that, what else? What’s the challenge, where is the chase.  What happens after sex? Just Eva and me. I want something more, Something worth more and I have a feeling that Cynthia is that missing puzzle to my maze” he runs his hands through his hair

“But you never complained before.”  Tom pointed out, hitting the tire to scare away a lizard

“Well that’s because I didn’t know better. I don’t love Eva. I like her yes, it was fun at the beginning but she is just about money, hanging, diamonds and sex and the circle goes round. Asking her what plans she has she is all about driving the latest cars, fancy cloths and having fun. I am a lawyer and a damn good one at that. Yes my father is rich but I also need to be my own man and stand on my own two feet. I don’t need a woman in my life that isn’t concerned about more important things, I need someone who isn’t just beautiful but mature and would be great at being confident being her. And Cynthia exudes all of that. I can’t, not just get to know her, and maybe…you know. Let the river flow it’s course. But that’s that’s a journey I am willing to embark on”.

“You serious?  I mean, I know seeing Cynthia that day, my heart almost dropped out of my mouth. She is a beauty for sore eyes no doubt. I mean the transformation is enough to make a blind man see, but down to earth bro, do you think such a girl who was once ugly turn beautiful-princess doesn’t have a man by her side willing to take her to the high heavens and back?”

Reality clock chimes

“Well, I hope not. But this weekend. I am going to sort her out and hope to God she gives me a chance to get to know her ” Jayden says, Tom Sighs

“Alright men. May the forces go with you and may Godzilla not get wind of your plans if not she is going to fry your balls and mine too and maybe send pretty Cinderella back to the land of ugly duckling by disfiguring her face. That’s a sight I don’t want to see so tread carefully. As your friend, I am going to help you get your girl. And be your shoulders to cry on if it doesn’t work out too.” He gets into the car

“Shall we go get some lovely suits please?  I want to be the second handsome man there.”

“Of course buddy. And who is the first. Say my name baby!?” Jayden calls out

“Jayden!!!!’” They hollered as the car pulls away from the curb

*You do know that men can be Vain too? OK just stating.*

 

*********

 

“This is beautiful Cynthia”

Vera tells me. I had picked out a black dress that accentuated my curves, it had a silver neck line with blue studs that complemented my eyes. I loved it too, especially how it flowed to the ground. I twirl, it formed a small ball gown at the end. It was beautiful

“I would take this” I tell one of the girls in waiting. I slipped out of the gown and hand it to her.

“I am paying for my gown, the shoes and whatever she is having.” I tell her

‘Oh no Cynthia, I have money to pay.”

“Oh don’t be silly. Friends buy stuff for friend’s every time and I haven’t gotten anything for you for such a long time. Let me do this… Please” I pleaded, when she sighs deeply and nodded I was thrilled.

“That’s settled then. Bag these for us and we would be on our way’”

Bags in hands we find our way out of the shop, some kid rushes in between us and I had to shift away so she doesn’t run face flat into me, in so doing I bumped into someone.  The yelp had me blocking my ears…

“Oh am sorry, I am so sorry” I say, I must have stepped on the foot.

Damn me, I wasn’t looking.

“Oh you should learn to watch where you going. Look at how you almost ruined my shoes and my nails and my beautiful dress” she said bending to touch her nails and shoes.

Apparently she just had her nails done.

We all know how girls get with their nails, as though she can’t do nothing with their hands.

I felt for her.

“I am so sorry, hope I didn’t ruin anything”

“She is so sorry” Vera chips in, I hand her the bags and made to bend down and check to make sure her nails didn’t break. That would be painful.

“No. I guess you are lucky. Missed it.” she straighten up. I straighten up too and Vera sucks in her breath.

That face… that face looked oddly familiar, where have I seen her before.

She looks at me, sizing me up, weighing me, her brows raised up.

“Eh… why are you both staring as though you haven’t seen such a beautiful lady before? I know I give people that reaction a lot but can you be any less obvious?” she states, and with a flip of her hair she turns and walks away.

“Rude!” I mutter, turning to take the bags away from Vera, Vera just looks at me, as though she had something to spill.

“Strange.  It feels like I know her. And why are you looking at me like that?’

“Well you do. That’s Eva. Jayden’s Eva.”  She gives me a sad smile.

I turn around immediately to see her sashaying away, entering into a red convertible and speeds off .

Oh. That sucks.

Then I smiled “Well, she isn’t so much of a competition.  She has her hair all over the place and too tacky. Jayden had such poor tastes”

“And you have too much confidence” Vera walks ahead of me, I hasten my steps to fall in line with her.

 

***********

“So, we arranged your room and created more space to accommodate you both. You know we don’t have a spare room for Chris to stay and what does it matter, you both are dating so I guess it’s not the first time to sleep in the same room” mother says

“But leave the door unlocked” papa warns

It was late evening. I had come home to find them gisting, laughing and watching the games. And after dinner they wanted to see us off to bed.

“Urm okay captain”  Chris nods and salutes papa. Mother pinches his cheek

“Awn so adorable.”

All this was making my head hurt.

“Okay mother, we are tired and I am sure Christopher has had too much fun for one day. See you tomorrow.  Goodnight papa” I kiss both of them and close the door before they could say anything.

I literally removed my pretend cap from my head and flung it away from me and laid on the bed

Christopher sits down beside me.

“I did tell you it was a bad idea” he says

“Well am I supposed to know you would act too well and make my parents buy into it for real?  I thought they would be cool but aloof but look at them, so happy as though I killed a deer and brought the meat home. Gosh!!”

“You know you can end it right now. Apologise to your family and I can be out first thing. You don’t need to lie. Besides you don’t know if Jayden would love you the way you want. I mean, have you guys met and talked and all that.  Don’t you think you dreaming and aiming too high?”

“Oh he would. So don’t say that.  Ran into his girl-”

I swallowed what I was going to say. I don’t think Christopher would give me a pat on the shoulders if I told him Jayden was already in a relationship and I was trying to butt in. That topic was a sore one with him. His ex-began to cheat on him with another person and only broke up with him a week before she got engaged.

“What?” He asked

“Erm… nothing, thank you for coming here and indulging my parents. I know they are a handful but they are sweet people”

“It’s okay. I actually like your parents. I miss this kind of feeling. Ever since my parents died I never felt so, welcomed. They are great your parents, especially your mom. Quite an amazing woman, broke a lot of hearts in her time.”  He says, I laugh nodding, having heard the story

“I know right.  She is the master of emotional blackmail but I love her”

“Yes. Just like you.” He teases. I pout, he pulls my cheek, getting up.

‘So guess we don’t have to pretend when we are alone. So I take the left side of the bed, you take the right.  I love pillows so since it’s just one we are going to share. I can’t sleep with cloths on but for you I would put on a shirt and a brief.  Touch me and I would cut of your pretty coated fingers. And if you snore like a beast I would choke you at night, and bury your dead body at your backyard and beg your parents to adopt me. They love me you know.”  he winks at me.

“Oh how hilarious Mr funny man. No I take the left side. It’s my bed, and I don’t share pillows and I don’t snore. And why would I want to touch you? You are like smiggle in lord of the rings, gross! Helloo!!

And I would gag you before you think of choking me and my parents love me more than a stranger”

I roll to the left side of the bed, grabbing the pillow and give my stubborn chin

He jumps on the bed, and we struggle for the pillow and he trying to push me off the bed, when I refused to let go he tickles me and that got me roaring with laughter

I did mention we were good friends right?

Our laughter reaches them as they laid on their bed. .

“It’s good to hear her laugh like that” mother says, resting her head on Jacob’s chest.

“Yes. He is good for her. He has a good heart” he replies which she nodded too…

“This would be an amazing Christmas after all”

************

 

“You look beautiful princess” papa says as I walked down the stairs in my beautiful dress, mother stood beside him and Chris, dressed in a black suit staring up at me.

His smile was different today. I wondered why

As I kiss them goodbye, mother gives me a rose while papa places a pin to Christopher’s suit pocket.

“You both have fun” they waved us goodbye.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

I ask him

“Nothing you just look amazing” he breathed.

“Thank you.” My phone buzzes, I pick

“Hey V, how are you?” I ask her

“Great the party is about to start and everyone who is everyone is here and guess what, they introduce you when you come in. Where are you?”

I smile.

What did they say about making an entrance?

“If you have to make an entrance it has to be the right moment at the right time and make it epic!”

I knew this was going to be epic, I Imagined everyone wondering who that girl was, and when they mention my nickname “ugly duckling?”

I couldn’t wait to see the look on all their faces

“We are on our way..!” I tell her

Did you think I had no plans on shutting the place down?

I did.

I was looking forward to watching Jayden fix his eyes on me all night and follow me around like a love sick puppy and how Eva realises who just came into town and I ain’t a ugly duckling no more..

Damn!!

I had this really stupid smile on my face

“Why are you smiling like that Cyn?” Christopher asked beside me.

“Nothing.” The goofy smiles spreads wide across my face

I was about to make history, Harbeth’s high… In your face!!

Who ever said “A come-back” wasn’t a bitch!!

 

To

Be

CONTINUED.

 

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