The day was going well, we had lots of fun. The boat ride, the water race, pictures time, lots to eat and drink.
As night approached, we went to get our costumes for the camp fire which my Dad ordered down for everyone.
We changed over and matched down to the camp fire ground where other families and couples gathered with their loves ones.
We sang and danced around the fire, until it was burning into ash.
Almost everyone got tired after the whole activities.
Dad suggested we set up our own family fire close to our lodge.
The fire was set by my Dad and his two boys, Ohio and Cole. It was an activity day and night for all of us.
Ohio was blending perfectly into everything and it seem he was always seen close to my Dad.
All of us sat around the fire, my Parents, Cole and Melinda and then me and Ohio.
My Dad was talking about his youthful life and some lovely memories that I still remember, he talks about my Mom, who he calls his heartbeat. He talks about my brother Joe who was in a faraway country with his own family.
My Dad talks about me and how I was a “Daddy little girl when I was growing up” he talks about Melinda who always wanted to have her way at all-time, My Dad said that Melinda has a good heart which she hides from everyone.
And I’m still trying to see where the good heart is hidden.
We were all filled with smile as my Dad speaks.
Suddenly Melinda suggested that we should all talk about how we got to meet our spouse or partner. I have already told her before, I wonder why she was bringing it up again. I know Melinda is always mischievous and maybe looking for a way to prove a point but I didn’t see where the whole talk will lead to until she suggest that me and Ohio should start first.
When I try to speak she hushed.
“No Becca, let the men do the talking. I suggest Ohio, your husband to be do the talking. Let him tell us where he met you and how he proposed to you.
My heart went into race because I never saw it coming. I did not inform Ohio what I told Melinda. Ohio asked me to always update him about anything and I did but I never thought this will come up.
I try to argue it out but Melinda will not give up, she wanted Ohio to speak and even asked my Dad to endorse it.
“Why not? Is a good topic for the night. Melinda raised a good topic. Ohio should tell us, after Ohio then Cole and I will be the last to say mine. I hope I will be able to remember all the stories. Anyway your mother will help me in every way. So, Ohio…kindly tell us where you met Becca, my Daughter and also the proposal just as Melinda said. Is a family night…we are just having fun.
I swallowed hard as Ohio turned to me, I saw his face with the help of the burning fire. He was relaxed and look at peace. But I wasn’t at any peace even though I pretend to be.
Ohio do not understand that this was another of Melinda’s traps and he may fall into her awaiting trap.
He looked back at everyone and began to speak.
“Becca works for a company owned by one of my friend and business partner. I joined hands with my friend to keep the company running after I returned fully to the country. I saw Becca many times and there was something about her which I couldn’t place. Maybe from her demeanor or the way she compose herself and smile at every greetings. She was not into the eye service thing like many were doing. Even my friend knew that I liked her and confirmed that Becca was a hardworking staff who was selfless too. Well, I later got talking with Becca and confirmed it myself…and to cut the long story short one thing lead to another and here we are. The proposal wasn’t something elaborate. It was just within us. I’m not much of a public person and well, she got the ring after all.
Sweat broke out of my fore head.
While my parents and Cole clapped after Ohio’s short speech, Melinda was busy laughing. I guess she felt like she has finally won.
Immediately everywhere went silent Melinda began.
“hahahahaha! Either Becca is lying or Ohio is. But one of them must be lying. And I do not believe any of this cooked up stories. I told Mom that there was something fishy and she did not believe me…and here we are.
Everyone had a puzzled look on their faces, my Mom tries to hush Melinda but the small witch has not even started yet. She refused to listen and proceed.
“Well! Well… Becca told me that she and Ohio met at the movies and he proposed to her at the airport, during one of his return after his usual business trips. She told me people gathered and cheered at them as Ohio went on one knee to propose. I did not believe that story and neither do I believe that this whole engagement thing is real. Dad, didn’t you notice that it was after Becca got to know about my engagement that she came up with her own story of being engaged. How can they meet in two different places? Ohio said he met Becca at her work place and the proposal was not a public one. But Becca said they met during a movie, shared a seat together and the proposal was a public one. who do we believe here…?
Ohio turned and looked at me, he breathed deeply. I was already boiling angrily, I did not return the look as I kept staring at the fire.
I was not angry with Ohio because I was supposed to update him on everything or any changes but I never told him that Melinda was a real pest.
My anger was channeled at Melinda who will not let me be. She tries to take away every of my happy moment.
It was actually Jojo that was holding the award of a wicked backstabber but Melinda is beginning to drag such award with Jojo. It was as if they should come from same mother.
Melinda did not even listen to my Mom or Dad as they told her it was enough.
“Dad, I’m serious Becca is lying about this whole thing. Is too good to be true. I read psychology in one of my courses in school and I know when things are true. I don’t believe any of this, none of it seem real to me and I will expose every of their hidden secret. What if Ohio is a gigolo and Becca hired him to play all this whole engagement drama?…
I could not even explain the level of my anger any more as I got up with speed, without any form of regard for anybody there.
I flew like a kite and landed Melinda the slap that I have being reserving for her. She tries to get up and fight back I threw a punch at her and it landed on her eyes, she screamed out in terror before falling to the ground. I was about descending on her when some strong arm whisked me away.
I kicked and punch at the person to let me go. It was Ohio.
I was consumed with anger and was determined to deal with Melinda. I did not care whatever the consequences maybe.
I endured enough of her trouble and there is a limit I can take. How can she refer to Ohio as a male prostitute who I paid to play along with me?
Ohio dropped me on the ground and dragged me inside. I wanted to go back and give Melinda the beating of her life but I was dragged and I did not stop trying to get away from him.
He succeeded and took me into the room, he left me in there, locked me inside and went out with the key.
I kicked and scratched for him to open the door but I guess he was back to check on my evil minded sister.
He cared for her than me. He should be here with me not out there checking on that small witch to know if she was okay.
I looked out of the window and saw he handed an ice block to Melinda which she used to place on her eyes.
My Dad was speaking angrily at her, My Mom walked away, leaving her on the ground there.
Cole was standing beside her and watching her with no sign of pity. He later went back to sit where he was sitting before.
It was only Ohio that was attending to her as my Dad left her to join my Mom.
I went to sit on the bed and began to cry. Everything was just unfair. I suffered betrayal from a supposed dear friend and thought that was the worst now my own sister will not let me.
Even if Ohio is fake why can’t she just leave me alone? She was one of the reasons I decided to go on such journey. She and my Dad who will not let me be. Now my Dad is calm and loving but Melinda developed horn to hunt me.
And when I thought my plans are perfected. Melinda is coming hard on me to destroy it.
I sat on the bed crying my eyes out. I later heard the door opening, I try to sit right and wipe my face.
Ohio stepped in but did not say anything to me. I guess he thought I’m a bad person or a violent lady.
If he knows how much I have kept, swallowed and tolerated from people he won’t even dares think I’m violent and can’t control my anger.
And why do whatever he thinks of me bother me so much?
Ohio supposed to be angry at Melinda for referring to him as a gigolo which means a hired man prostitute but instead of being angry with Melinda he is helping her even after everyone abandoned her.
He looked at me with straight face, but still did not say anything. He went into the bathroom and washed his hands.
As he was coming out I attacked him with words angrily.
“Why are you not talking to me? You went there to support her but locked me in here and do not care. You think I’m a devil not knowing that Melinda is the real devil with seven horns. Since Melinda has said it all is better to call it quit. The whole plan isn’t working out. If you are tired of me then is okay to leave. I have always been fine…i..i
I can’t even continue as I try to control my tears and frustration. He came to sit beside me and gently held me in his arm, he stroke my hair gently as I sobbed in his arm.
“I’m sorry Becca, it was all my fault. If I knew that your sister was going to be the one to raise the dust I would have being more prepared. I thought it was going to be your Dad and I did the best I can with him. I never knew you had such discussion with your sister earlier about how and where we met. I’m sorry, I fumbled with the whole plan and I’m more angry with myself than with you. Even though I did not like the fact you allowed your anger to get the best of you but I caused it all and I don’t blame you or your sister for ruining the beautiful evening. I blame myself and I’m sorry…
“Is not your fault Ohio, it was all mine. I should have told you. I supposed to update you on every move or new development but I never thought Melinda will be this annoying. I’m sorry…I just couldn’t watch her do that to me or you. She has always had her way but I refused to let her have it again tonight. I ruined the evening. Maybe I should have walked away instead…I’m sorry. I dragged you into all this mess and drama. Even though you told me right from time you hate drama…
He released me from his hand and I told him I will just go and refresh, so that I can sleep away the trouble.
I went into the bathroom and just sat inside the warm bath for some time. Ohio called out to me if I was okay in there and I told him I was fine.
I felt better, got dressed and came out. He was sitting on the only long cushion in the room.
“Maybe you should go to sleep now Becca. I will just relax on this chair for the night.
I turned in shock and looked at him, I did not even think of where he will sleep because I thought the bed was big enough for us. But there was no way I will let him sleep on that cushion. I will rather sleep there and he will have the bed.
“The bed is big enough for us Ohio. I understand this is not how you planned it and being on same bed with a woman who is not in any way your wife or girlfriend. Is awkward. But I will rather be on that chair and give you the whole bed…instead of watching you sleep there. You have suffered enough humiliation already, I will not add to it. Ohio you said that you will do whatever that will make me happy…please come to the bed. It will make me happy….please.
He tries to argue his way out but I did not let him.
He obliged, stood and went to the bathroom first got refreshed, after sometime he came out in his night wear and came to sit beside me on the bed.
He first sat on the edge of the bed for some time, it was almost 11:30pm when I looked up at the time.
If not for the minor crash with Melinda, we would still be outside telling our stories with our parents.
Ohio will be leaving tomorrow afternoon or evening and I will miss him but he has done what no friend can do for me by being here and playing all along like an ordinary man.
“We will be going back tomorrow, I just can’t stop thanking you for everything. Thank you very much and I sincere apologise for all the trouble.
He looked over at me and nodded without a word. He moved closer to me and I hope this time around he will really kiss me.
He stare down at me, and I wondered what he was waiting for. If he wants to kiss me then he should go right ahead and do so. I have being expecting it for long.
But instead of the kiss, all he did was to look me in the eyes, pecked my fore head and said.
“Go to bed Becca, goodnight. I will watch news, check few channels before sleeping.
What kind of goodnight is this without the main kiss? My emotions was willing up and maybe I should make the first move but what if he turns me down.
I hope he doesn’t. He was about getting up to pick up the television remote when I pulled him closer.
I guess he was shocked at my action or he saw it coming. he didn’t move away as he drew closer to me.
i kissed him slowly at first and he did not respond immediately. I was thinking maybe he doesn’t like me or he was trying to keep being faithful to his “Lili” but he later responded.
He gently kissed me back like I have always wanted. He did not go tearing at my clothes or pushing me to the bed. It was a slow but steady kiss. His lips was undeniable warm and inviting. It was one of the sweetest kisses I ever had.
I put my hand beneath his shirt and try to unbutton his top, he moan my name at first and suddenly stopped my hand from going further.
I try to start with myself, by trying to pull off my night wears as our lips remain locked.
i was almost removing all my cloths when he stopped me mid-way and moved away from me, panting like a man who ran a marathon.
I was breathless not wanting the moment to end. I don’t want him to stop, I try to make him continue the kiss but he stopped me again taking my two hands into his.
“Becca…Becca. Please…stop. I’m sorry…sorry! I love you Becca…I have always loved you.
I understand what was going on, I guess he was under the influence of the hot kiss and the cool moment we were about to have.
“Are you listening to me? I said I love you Becca and I mean every word of it….please marry me. Will you? Please…be my wife?
I thought his head was not clear. But he seem to mean every word.
What if I agreed to marry him and we cuddle up and had our deep pleasure all through the night, he later wakes up tomorrow morning and can’t remember even saying he loves me.
I ignored him, still wanting him to come to bed with me but he was on his feet.
“Becca, I guess is better we talk when your head is clear. Maybe you should just sleep. I think that cushion will do me lots of good. Please don’t argue over that. If I feel tired I will come to bed. Go and sleep Becca…I will watch the television for some time before sleeping. Goodnight.
He walked away, went to the fridge, took a chilled bottle water and drank deeply. He went straight to the cushion, stretched out with remote control in his hand and started changing channels.
I was almost crying or even going over to the cushion to prove how much I wanted him but I have disgraced myself enough. It will be better to beg sleep to come, so that I can sleep and forget about the kiss or to remember that i try to naked him and also myself just to get laid but he refused all attempt.
I wonder what kind of man will refuse a woman who shamelessly showed how much she wanted him.
He stopped me and started saying he love me and asked me to marry him of which I did not take serious and instead of him to grab the giving opportunity and get into bed with me, he decided to walk away from me.
I roll from end to end since I was the only one on the bed. I was awake for hours thinking of how I humiliated myself in front of Ohio.
Ohio’s eyes where shut, the television was showing music. The time was already 2am. I guess he was already asleep.
I kept rolling until sleep came and I slept off till the following morning. The sunlight greeted my face when I woke up.
The first thing I remembered was the fight with Melinda and then I remembered how I disgraced myself last night in front of Ohio.
Shame and fear cripped in.
I did not know how to face Ohio after last night.
He cleared his voice loudly to announce his presence. When I turned and saw him, he was all dressed and has ordered breakfast for me in bed.
I looked at the time, it was almost 9am in the morning. I saw the tray of breakfast beside the bed and Ohio stood staring down at me. He was all dressed in a jean and a colourful Tshirt.
I couldn’t even look at his face when I remembered last night and he was trying to make me comfortable with his smile but I still feel cold inside.
“Good morning beautiful. Your Dad called to check up earlier. They want to know how you are doing and I told them that you are still sleeping. We will have some more fun before driving back home. So eat some breakfast…get refreshed, dress up and let’s join your parents for some coconut and sun bath. I hope you are with your sun shade…if not then you will have to use mine.
He did not mention about anything that happened last night. I hope he will never mention it because I will feel humiliated. I try to reply with a nod of head as I went to the bathroom to do every necessary. I also had my bath. I came out all dressed and had a small bite from the served breakfast before stepping out with him in silent.
I saw my parents relaxing at the beach house with a coconut drink beside them but Melinda and Cole were not there.
I greeted my parents and I apologized to them for ruining the fun night. They were not blaming me for anything but Melinda who started it all.
I told them I shared in the mess too and not just Melinda.
I wanted to ask about Melinda and Cole but waved it off. I sat beside my Mom, Ohio handed me his sun shade but I rejected it and told him that I was fine. He later brought a coconut water with a straw in it, I drank little out of it before excusing myself from them.
I left Ohio with my Dad and Mom and went slowly to check on Melinda and Cole.
As I got closer I was hearing voices, I slowed my pace and went closer to know what was happening.
“…fine do whatever you want. I’m sick and tired of you Mel. What is wrong with you…look at the commotion you caused last night? She is your elder sister and you have the gut to talk to her like that. What is your business with whatever she chose to do with her life? You don’t have any respect for me and I thought it was different with your family but I can see you are just ill minded. This whole idea was yours. All yours…none of this is mine. After the last crash and I caught you with Desmond… I was determined to take my time and start all over with my life but you came pretending to be better and at the end here we are again having same conversation. Mel…I’m tired just tired of you trying to have your ways at all time…
“Then leave…Cole the door is open. You can just leave and stop acting like I chained you down with me. Since I forced you into all this then leave because I’m sick of you reminding me about it every time with your words and attitudes. I’m the last person you should be threatening with leaving. Because I don’t care if you are alive or dead… get the hell out of my sight. Nonsense….
The door suddenly flew open, startling me as I was eavesdropping on them. I quickly tries to cover up as if I was just coming but it was too late.
Cole saw me, he was mumbling something angrily and stopped immediately he saw me.
“Becca…wha…what are you doing here, I mean where you liste..…
Cole said, surprised to see me.
“No…no i..i was coming now to…to check on you and Melinda. Dad, Mom and also Ohio are out there in the beach house except you and Melinda. So I decided to check…
He looked at me strangely and said.
“You and Melinda just had a crash last night and you here to check on us…that’s strange.
“Cole, Is a normal thing for siblings to get on each other’s nerve and fight sometimes. And is still normal for them to settle as quickly as possible. I have nothing against Melinda or you. It was a mere misunderstanding…
Cole nodded, he was about to walk pass me but pause and turned to me.
“You are way different from your sister. Melinda is hard to love. She makes it difficult for me to love her. if you ever succeeded in talking sense into her, that’s if she will let you, please tell her to kill pride and her ego. It won’t get her anywhere. I have put up with her attitude all this years but I don’t know how much of her nonsense I can tolerate any more. And we can’t get married this way….i won’t settle with a woman who want to be the head at all time. My opinion doesn’t count, she wants what she want at any time. I’m tired of hoping she will change maybe is time to set things right. Look at how she spoilt a fun filled family moment with her “I know it all attitude” I felt worse than you who was mainly affected. I could have left her there and walk away like every other person. She is so heart hardened and do not consider others feeling when she is doing things. I’m out of here to cool off somewhere…
He walked away mumbling to himself.
I walked to the door, tapped on it before going it.
Melinda was sitting on the only cushion in the room, watching a music show on the television which was way too loud.
She toned down the volume and turned to me with one of her blood shot eyes which was clearing up.
An injury she got from me last night. One she won’t forget in a hurry.
She did not say anything when she saw me. Melinda returned her eyes to the television without caring if I was in the room or not and increased the TV volume again.
I sat beside her on the cushion, forcefully collected the remote control from her and turn off the television.
“Are you in sane, how dare you walk into my room and try to act like a boss. What sort of rubbish is that Becca? The havoc you caused my eyes last night is yet to be cleared and you are here again to create more scene. Aren’t you ashamed of your old self?…
“Are you always happy when you see others unhappy? Does making others angry, bitter, sad…does it make you happy Melinda? Your lifestyle and attitude affects everyone, me…Mom and also Dad. Cole especially. Why do you spend so much strength fighting when you can do better than that? We hardly agree on anything…. always at log head and getting older and older with it. I allowed you to always have your way because I wanted to be the bigger person but hey…there is a limit I can take. You really trolled me pitifully last night, the emotional pain was far more than the blow I gave you. But I’m sorry for the damage, which was why I came. I’m sorry for punching you on your eyes but it doesn’t mean I won’t do it again if you come hard at me next time. If not for Ohio both your eyes and your mouth would have being the size of my fist right now…
Melinda burst off laughing, I waited until she was done. She turned to me and said.
“Do you mean what you just said? I mean you could have done worst to me? I won’t let that happen, i would have fight well and hard and will not leave you without a scratch. You should know me better too. I saw you were deeply hurt with my words last night, I knew you hardly react to my troubles or insults. You will rather reply me with words. Ohio is a nice guy and I’m sorry for referring to him as a male prostitute. He looks too homely and special to be a gigolo. He was the only one that stood and helped me yesterday after everybody walked away from me. Even Cole did not attend to me. I ruined a beautiful evening with my mouth.
“We both did Melinda. You started it and helped you ruined it completely. The funny thing is that you are even right….well not totally. Ohio is like a boss to me. He commands respect wherever he goes, and we actually met at work and not at a movie like I first said. He never asked me out but I liked him very much. After Richard broke up with me, I was devastated, I stayed away from men. It took me time to get over Richard. I decided to move out to rest from Dad’s constant reminder that I need to be married. When I heard you were engaged, I couldn’t stand Dad’s sermon I decided to lie. Yes, I lied that I was engaged too. I collected my paycheck added money to it and got myself an engagement ring. Isn’t that crazy…well, I’m always doing crazy stuffs. I needed to bring a man home and when I talked it over with Ohio, I was very shock that he agreed to help me without any form of payment. I know you try to figure it all out and I was ready for you but I’m done competing and fighting over unnecessary things. Whatever is meant to be will definitely be. I and Ohio are not even dating, I think he has a woman who he calls Lily. But the point is that I like him very much. I have slowly fallen for him but I can’t even figure out what he really feel for me. I wanted to make a move on him last night, I needed him to understand my true feeling for him… but he rejected me. We were good at first and he suddenly stopped and started talking about love and marriage which I know he was not serious about. He later left me hanging and went to sleep. But is okay…I don’t deserve such a fine loving man. I guess I came late…he belongs to another woman…
Melinda wiped a tear drop from her eyes and said.
“I’m sorry Becca, I mean for everything. You deserve to be happy…real happy because you have suffered all in the name of love. I can’t believe I have spent so much time of my life trying to be in a competition with you. I wanted to get there first before you, I wanted to be the center of every topic. I was indeed self-centered. I have hurt Cole many times even cheated on him with a male close friend of mine, he found out and wanted to leave but I begged him to stay and promise to do anything he wants. Cole loves me even though he can be bossy sometimes which I never allowed. When I was ready to come home, I knew aside my certificate, there was another thing Dad and Mom will be so proud of which you have no being able to give them, and that is being engaged. I also bought my own engagement ring and force Cole to propose. He had no choice than to do that. He has tolerated a lot of thing from me and I can see he is very tired of the whole relationship. He has tried to leave many time but I won’t let him because I love him. Despite how harden he maybe there is a kind, loving man in him. When I saw Ohio with you, I couldn’t believe you were able to get such a good looking, fine posh man to yourself. I was jealous that you got the best more than me. I began to compare Cole and Ohio and found out that Ohio was so far ahead of Cole. I felt bad and was looking for a way to destroy what you two shared. My jealousy really got the best of me and I refused to let the case rest until I’m declared a winner but it came crashing down on me. I see the way Ohio looks at you, he loves you Becca. Maybe you haven’t realize it yet but I wish Cole will look at me that way. No man will agree to do such thing just for free, playing along and acting as if the whole thing is real. Ohio must have loved you even before you knew it…for him to have agreed to help you out. Ohio is a keeper and you should never let him go. Dad and also Mom are all used to him. Many reasons why I was boiling with envy. I’m sorry for our ageless drama. Since we have gotten it all out, is time to be the sister you have always wanted. To have your back at all time and to love and respect you. I thank God I did not pass out with the heavy punch you gave me. It was so painful Becca, I thought I will go blind. I know that I deserved it, it was long overdue though because I have being a pain in the ass. Hahahaha…
We laughed out together and that moment Cole stepped in.
“I’m sorry, I actually eavesdropped, I heard some part of what you ladies said. I can’t even believe that Melinda can reason this way. I heard her say she loves me but she hardly say that to me when we are together but put up a good public show of our love lives. I wish she knows how much I want our relationship to work, how much I cherished her which was why I tolerated so much with the hope she will change. Mel, i know I have my own lapses, but you know I love you right? If I don’t I would have been far gone. And about the engagement you bought, I later paid you back the money because you won’t let me be until I pay. If truly you won’t go back to your old ways then I will be the happiest man to make you my wife. Aside Becca, you also owe your parents, Ohio and even me an apology…
Melinda smile shyly, she stood up and went to Cole, hugged him while saying that she was sorry for everything. Cole winked at me and muttered a “thank you” and I winked back with a full smile on my face.
We later left the room to join others. Melinda apologies to my parents and also to Ohio.
They were surprised and also happy that we have put our differences aside.