My parents were anxiously waiting for us as we drove into the compound. Melinda was with them, everyone was looking out for the new man in my life who I’m probably going to be getting married to.
What they don’t know is that Ohio is on a hired mission and once the whole drama is over, we will all return to our normal lives.
“Hello Dad…Mom. Please meet Ohio. My…fiance! I said with a full smile on my face as I introduce my parents to my fake fiance.
“Ohio….please meet my loving parents”. I turned to Ohio as he shakes hand with my Dad and a simple hug for my Mom and Melinda.
Melinda too was introduced to him.
Everyone has a smile on their faces as my Dad lead us inside the sitting room and we all got seated as they all try to get acquainted with him.
I brought out the things that Ohio bought for everyone. I gave my parents and also Melinda.
They were grateful and thanked me and Ohio. My Dad was surprise that Ohio picked his colors and exact sizes of wears.
We had time to talk and laugh.
I sat beside Ohio, leaving some distance between us as he went into a normal question and answer with my Dad.
“Where do you hail from?…what do you do for a living?
My Dad had a way of throwing his questions intelligently and Ohio was smart enough to know how to answer it all.
My Mom later asked me to come to the kitchen so I can join them and start dinner. Ohio was left with my Dad but I was not really worried because I knew that Ohio will have answer for all my father’s questions.
Melinda couldn’t wait for us to be out of hearing when she started gushing over Ohio and throwing her usual stone word at me.
“Wow Becca! Where on earth did you get such a fine young man? I was expecting to see some low life guy coming down with you…I thought because of your age you will settle with any type of man that shows interest. I was dumb founded to see such a cute, smart good looking man and his ascent is not of this country. Where did you get him or did you hired him? Because I can’t believe a fine man will fall for you…just like that…
I was about to reply Melinda when my Mom hushed her with a mean tone.
“Melinda weigh your words. Your sister is beautiful, smart and hardworking. She can only attract her kind and not otherwise. Rebecca is only going to turn thirty years in few months from now. Why are you making it look as if she is already 70years and can’t find true love? Even women in their 50’s find love why not Rebecca who is still young and vibrant?
“Mom, I know what I’m saying. what if that guy is a gigolo? I mean those men some ladies will have to pay either to go on a date with them, or do some personal stuffs for them. Once the deal is over they will collect their cheque and move on. Like a male prostitute, selling himself for any available business and will never get too emotionally involves with their client. That Ohio, is too posh…I have seen men of different caliber. Mom, I can assure you that Ohio is way too posh and speaks so fine. Did you listen to those ascent of his? Did you see the way he calculate his answer and replies Dad? Did you perceive is perfume… the whole house changed immediately he stepped in. Did you see the way he react to everyone? Mom, he was perfect with it and look like he has being into the act for long. Is like a rehearsed performance. I won’t be surprise if at the end he turns out to be either a Gigolo or a man Becca paid to engage her and walk her down here so that everyone will think she is truly engaged. Mom, why is it that after she heard that I was engaged that was when she announced her own. And when I asked her for pictures, it took her over two weeks to send what her engagement ring looks like and she did not even send the man’s picture to me even after I asked her. Everything looks fishy but let’s see how long she will pretend.
I felt like slapping Melinda. I was holding back my anger and try not to descend on Melinda in that kitchen. She was a getting on my every nerve just like always. She was trying to get ahead of me or trying to figure out my life. But I won’t let her get the beast in me out.
My Mom cautioned her angrily.
“How can you say that about your sister? Rebecca cannot descend so low to do such. We raise you girls well and none of my daughters will do that. Melinda, learn to give your sister some respect… even if you are getting married before her she remain your elder sister and you cannot change that. Gigolo or whatever you calls it has no business with Rebecca. Respect her and her husband to be…Ohio. Richard hurt Rebecca and God decided to console her with a better man. That is the only way I see it and looking at Ohio, he is a better man than Richard and will make a great husband for your sister. Melinda…don’t spoil this beautiful moment with dirty ideas you create in your head over Rebecca. Did you mean everything is all for a show and none of this is real? That is not possible. Rebecca will never ever thought of paying a man just because she heard that you are engaged. Enough of all this dirty talk Melinda….be happy for your sister.
I was trying to maintain my composure as usual. Melinda can be a she-devil sometimes, dictating and predicting the right thing.
Melinda was right but I will not let her get at me with her long parrot mouth.
Ohio is not a gigolo, but a decent man who agreed to help me without payment. I wish it was all real to put Melinda and many others like her to shame but is unfortunate that is all going to end after this weekend is over.
But that is all I need, once I’m back to my base, I will keep up with the lies and will not let anybody hurry me up with getting married.
I may even lie that Ohio traveled and we will get married whenever he returns. I have already started with all the lies and I have to finish what I started no matter how long it will take.
“Mom don’t mind Melinda. I don’t know if her own man is a gigolo or she paid him to pretend or act along with her but Mom, like you know…I will never stoop that low. I’m a decent lady and I’m lucky to have a man like Ohio in my life. Melinda’s opinion does not count and I am not offended. I’m too happy to even think any of her word is annoying. I will rather see it as a joke and laugh over it.
My Mom smile as we started making dinner and after dinner was served, we all took our seat on the dining table to eat.
It was during this time that Melinda’s man arrived. She left her food and ran off to meet him. They were hugging and kissing as if that was the first time they saw each other in many years.
I knew she wanted to spite me with the whole hugging and kissing thingy with her man but unfortunately for her I don’t care.
I managed to look over at Ohio, to see if he was enjoying the food and also the environment and he seem to.
Melinda may be right about his way of doing things, even eating too. He seem so special and particular with things. He was a fine man and whoever is his real woman must be very lucky to have him.
I was looking at him when he raised his head from the table and looked back at me and I quickly looked away.
Melinda introduced Cole, her man to me and showered him with so much praise. Cole shake hands with Ohio and gave me a side hug as he joined the table and everyone continued to eat.
My Dad said we will be leaving for the Resort Beach very early tomorrow morning since we can’t make it tonight. He said we should all get ready because the weekend will be fun packed.
After dinner was over the men had time for their selves. While I decided to set up one of the visitor’s room for Ohio.
My parents stays upstairs and there was an extra room there which is for my brother, Joe.
We have other rooms downstairs, I and Melinda’s room is located down stairs and there was also two extra visitors’ rooms. The visitor’s room were clean and kept in order.
I guess my Mom carefully took care of things because of Ohio but I wanted to be very sure that everything was perfectly in order.
As I was checking through, Melinda came to meet me.
“You have seen my Cole, I told you he was handsome and also well to do. In few weeks from now we will be saying I do to each other. Wait a second Becca, don’t tell me that Ohio will be sleeping in a visitor’s room alone? I stay in the same room with Cole…why will I put him in a visitor’s room when he has already proposed to me? If truly Ohio is your main man why are you not staying in the same room together? By the way how did you two meet each other? How did you meet him and tell me where he proposed…
“I was at the movies one day and he happens to be my seat mate. We got talking from there and is being heaven on earth. I mean after few months he asked me to marry him… He proposed to me in an unexpected place. I was at the airport to welcome him back because he travels alot and after all the hugs… he went on one knee and proposed with this ring on my finger. People cheer at us and I was taken by surprise because I wasn’t expecting that. I said yes and there were cheers and claps all over the place and every other thing follows suit….
The lies came out smooth, I smile and demonstrated all through the time I was telling Melinda about Ohio. How we met and how he proposed. She was equally smiling but I don’t trust even her smile.
“Wow, so romantic. I have not seen you hugging or kissing him since you came in. and two of you hardly make eyes contacts….like I do with my Cole. He looks at you and you look away shyly…yes, I noticed that and now you setting up a visitor’s room for him instead of sharing same room with him since he is your husband to be….
“Well Melinda, he is not yet my husband and this is neither his place where we can stay in same room together and do whatever we like. This is our parent’s house, there is enough rooms for everyone here. And because you sleep in in the same bed with Cole does not make it right. Keep your eyes open you may see us even see us smooching each other. Don’t rush us, we have only be here for few hours. But sincerely, keep your opinion and advice to yourself…. Ohio did not complain to you about sleeping in the visitor’s room alone and neither did I.
Melinda left and I continued with what I was doing. The bathroom was okay. I also put his things in the wardrop. The Ac was not working fine but there was fan.
After making sure everything was okay I left.
Ohio was watching the news with my Dad, talking and laughing over something. Cole was not with them I guess Melinda whisked him away to their room.
I informed Ohio that his room and bath was set, he thanked me with a smile before standing up. He bid my Dad good night and got a cool reply from him.
I led him to the room and showed him where everything is located.
As I closed the door behind us, I turned to him and said in a whisper.
“I know the room is not as luxurious or nice as yours but please manage with us for the moment. And I can’t thank you enough for agreeing to do this…Ohio. Thank you.
His phone beeped as I was still talking, he picked up and started talking quietly to the caller.
“Hey Lili, sorry I missed your calls. Yeah….I’m fine. How are you and everyone…ooh, really? Sorry…I told you already that my weekend is taken. I can’t until next week. I’m sorry I put you on hold. I will make it up to you….hahahaha. c’mon, I’m serious. Okay…. Please less calls and messages this weekend. You know I can’t say no to your call but make it less or rather… preferable messages only. Good! That’s why I love you…alright. Goodnight.
As the call ended, he turned to me and apologied for interrupting what I was saying.
He looked around and I guess he was looking for the air-condition. The one in this room was not working well and because we hardly have visitors that uses the room, my Dad did not bother to fix it. Aside that every other thing was okay in the room and Ohio will have to manage with the fan and everything that was not up to his standard.
“Thank you Becca. Your family is warm…your Dad is cool and very brilliant too. I liked him even before I met him and meeting him confirms it all. I like it here and I’m very okay…
I nodded, told him goodnight before turning to leave. I don’t know why I’m feeling bad after his call with his Lili. Who I have come to know is his woman. But even at that I still manage to smile and walked out.
Melinda came to wake me up the following morning. She said everyone is ready to leave. She asked me why I was sleeping like a lazy wife when is 5am already.
I quickly stood and tidied up, picked few things and came out of the room.
I saw Ohio and my Dad running on the treadmill, he was sweating that early morning. I wonder when he got up to join the exercise or is probably my Dad that went to wake him up since they were already acting like father and son.
Asked Melinda about Cole and she said he was still sleeping and he does not want to be disturbed. That once everything is set she will go and wake him up.
I thought Melinda said everyone was ready why is Cole still sleeping?
It was too early to start up quarrel, I over looked her dramas.
After we were set to leave, my parents drove ahead of us. Since one car cannot take everybody we decided to go on a separate cars.
Me and Ohio followed suit then Melinda and her over hyped fiance followed behind.
Melinda was the one driving while Cole relaxed beside her. I started wishing that I also know how to drive. I did not put interest because I don’t have a car of my own but seeing Melinda driving makes me want to also learn.
Ohio asked me if I slept well and I nodded and returned back the question and he said he did until Dad came to tap at his door so that he can join him in exercising. I smile as he said so and did not have much to say after that.
He looked me over and continued driving.
When we finally got to the Resort Beach, There was not enough room for everyone. Only three rooms were left. My parents took one, Melinda and Cole where already in one room. It was remaining a room and me and Ohio will have to share same room.
As we took our bags to the rooms, and unpacked silently without having much to say.
Ohio came to me and said.
“You have being awkwardly silent Becca. If you are not comfortable being in the same room with me…just say it out and I will look for an alternative. But we need to make this seem all real and not make your family to start raising an eye brow. Whatever that will make you happy….I will do exactly that.
“I’m…okay. Is fine… I was worried that you may not like the idea of sharing a room but since you are fine with it…so are mine too. I quietly replied him.
He looked at me again, looking from my eyes down to my mouth. I felt the usual butterflies swimming in my stomach. I thought he was going to kiss me, I will not have the strength to turn away because I was beginning to fall for him. Which was exactly what I try to avoid but I just can’t help it.
We stood staring at each other for no reason until we heard my Dad calling out to us to hurry and come out, is time for some boat ride and real fun.
I took my simple swimming cloths to the bathroom, closed the door and changed over. When I came out he was in his own simple wears, waiting for me.
He took my hand and we stepped out to join others who were already waiting.
My heart beat as he held my hand but I try not to think about it. I was smiling as we walk down despite my discomfort mainly for the sake of Melinda who looked at me suspicious.
I don’t know what her problem is, she likes getting on my nerves but she won’t get the answer she is looking for. I won’t let her have it.
Ohio was doing so well with his performance and I’m going to enjoy every moment with him before he will return to his normal life and to his woman “Lili”.