Melvin wasn’t smiling, his face was grim as he spooned the rice with chicken curry sauce into his mouth and forced the meal down his throat. His parents had told him the truth a few days ago and he had been shocked to the bones.

His mother was leaving them soon and somehow, he’d been expected to accept it just like that. Since he was given the news, he hasn’t spoken to his parents or broached the subject again. He was hurting.

“So how long will you both be travelling?” Bianca’s mother asked sweetly as she stared at Melvin’s parents.
Melvin’s family had been invited to dinner at Bianca’s family house and the seating had been arranged in order that Bianca and Melvin sat close to each other but since the beginning of the meal, Melvin had not for once, looked her way or conversed with her.
Melvin’s father placed his arm around his wife’s shoulders lovingly.
“We leave tomorrow and will be back in two weeks.” He said.
“Are you serious? The task of General Overseer will be hard for Melvin as he will be alone while you both are gone.” Bianca’s dad said.
“You see the reason I tell him that he needs to settle down?” Melvin’s mother said throwing her son a fond look. “Melvin needs a woman by his side.”
“Yes, that’s it! Melvin has to settle down and quickly too.” Bianca’s mother said.
“Well…I guess that’s Melvin’s decision and when the time comes, he will find someone worthy.” Melvin’s father said.
“Oh, nonsense! There are a lot of worthy ladies in the church…Bianca, for instance, is a very decent lady with good morals…” Melvin’s mother said, smiling at Bianca.
Bianca blushed.
“Oh mummy, you flatter me too much.” She said with a smile.
“Of course you are ideal…I wish Melvin would see what’s right before his eyes.” His mother said.
All the while they spoke, Melvin didn’t raise his head from his meal and neither did he respond to their comments.
“Melvin…would you like something? A glass of water or some juice?” Bianca asked sweetly.
Melvin looked up at her and his vision blurred, he knew he was about to get emotional so he quickly stood up and excused himself. Everyone at the table watched him walk out of the dining.
“Is he okay?” Bianca’s mother asked in concern. “Is everything alright?”
“I’ll go and see if he’s fine.” Bianca said standing up from her chair.
“Let’s leave him alone for a while, I don’t think it’s wise to disturb him.” Melvin’s father said.
“C’mon sir, let Bianca talk to him…they are really close…and I believe that she’ll get him to come back in.” Bianca’s mother said.
Melvin’s father nodded and Bianca left the table.
************

Melvin felt the air hit his face and he struggled to exhale. He was angry, furious and in pain. He couldn’t stand the conversation at the dining as he didn’t know why his parents had honoured Bianca’s family’s invite when they knew that all was not well at home.

He stood outside in Bianca’s compound and for a moment, wished that there was something he could do to let go of the pain that was eating him inside. At that moment, he wished he could drink or smoke or do whatever to make the pain bearable.
“Melvin.”
He turned around and saw her walk towards him, he really wasn’t in the mood to chitchat.
“What is it?” He asked.
“You left the table…are you okay?”
“No.” He said.
She looked surprised.
“Can you tell me what’s wrong?” Bianca asked walking up to him and placing her hand on his arm.
“Bianca….I’d like to be alone.” He said.
“You need a friend and you have me.” She said and added suggestively. “I am a good friend and I’m willing to be more than a friend if you want me to be…”
Melvin breathed deeply and stared at her.
“You’re a good woman Bianca…” He started.
“Then why haven’t you asked me out yet? What’s stopping us from being an ideal couple of the year? You know that people feel that we should be together…”
Melvin was quite surprised at her outburst.
“Right now, I’m in no frame of mind to think of a relationship….” He said.
“Why? What’s stopping you? What’s hindering us from being together? I love you Melvin…more than life itself.”
He was quite stunned by her revelation but he didn’t show it.
“My mother is dying.” He said.
Bianca gasped in shock.
“What? How? What do you mean?”
“She’s…been…diagnosed with some rare form of cancer and…that’s why daddy had to step down and that’s why they are travelling…I…I…” He said as tears escaped his eyes. “I don’t know what to do or how to hold on to faith. I guess my biggest challenge now is faith and if I have any…any faith…left in me. I don’t deserve the position as GO….I can’t handle it, if God takes her away, I won’t be able to believe anymore…”
Bianca stared at him, she didn’t know what to say.
“I’m sorry…” She said.
Melvin nodded, he hadn’t expected her to understand and for a moment, he wished he’d kept his mouth shut.
“I have go…please tell my parents that I had to go home and apologise to your parents on my behalf.” He said turning to leave.
Bianca reached out and touched his arm.
“Wait…let me go with you…I could comfort you…” She said in a near whisper.
The urge to take her with him was too strong as he desperately wanted to lose himself in something and forget it all. He nodded and said.
“I’ll leave in two minutes….that’s if you can make it back here quickly.”
Bianca nodded and dashed into the house.
************

Kentura stared at her reflection in the mirror, something was wrong, she thought. Her face had small bruises and she had small marks on her neck and shoulders. What in the world was going on? She wondered as she peered closely at the marks on her body.

“What can this be?” She asked herself while staring at her skin. “Did I get into some kind of a fight? Did someone do this to me? But when?” She wondered.
As she stood there and stared at herself in the mirror, suddenly a dark fog enveloped her mind and she fell as though in a slumber.
Almost at once, her eyes opened and she rose from the ground and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She stared at the bruises on her body and the memory of last night came to her, she giggled and said to her reflection.
“You’re so naughty, Alicia.”
She looked at the clock on the wall and said to her reflection in delight.
“Kentura is so boring, she’d have left you holed up in here when there’s lots of fun to catch. It’s nine pm and it’s a weekend. Time to go out and have fun! Yay!”

 

To be continued on Thursday……

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