Afraid to love
“Sit.” Jeremy beckoned to Purity, pointing at the couch.
He took her there and she sat down. “Relax. I’ll go get my dad.”
She mumbled some words and he went out.
Purity relaxed on the couch and studied the living room. The walls were painted white, very tidy. On the wall were portraits, large ones. The first was a depiction of a couple on their wedding day. She could tell that was Mr. Broderick and his late wife. They looked so happy together. Her striking hazel eyes reminded her of Jeremy, that’s where he got his from. The next, late Emily Broderick dressed in a designer gown, ears, neck and wrist decorated with gold. Chin held high and a sweet smile. She must have been a fashionista. And she’s so pretty. Too bad she’s gone. Good she can’t be forgotten. The last pictured Edwin Broderick, Jeremy Broderick and Emily Broderick. A happy one. A happy family. Jeremy must have been close to his parents especially his mama. She’d gone now and he’d do what he never dreamt of just to make his papa happy. Could she really do that? She wasn’t all that close to her parents. She never was. Jeremy was and is happy. She could try that too. She’d let him teach her. She wouldn’t wait anymore till they were sick and at the brink on death. No. Her eyes never left the portrait.
“Beautiful, isn’t she?”
Edwin Broderick’s voice brought her back from her day dream. She stood up at once and tilted to the direction the voice came from. “Um..yes sir. She’s very pretty.”
He moved closer. “Oh, no. Don’t get up. Sit down.”
She remained standing. “Uh, sir? You’re in your pyjamas already. I came at the wrong time. I’m sorry.” True, she acted like a heartless bitch at times, she knew when to behave.
Edwin gave a soft laugh. He got to where she stood and pulled her to the couch, he sat too. “Don’t worry. I wasn’t really in bed. I really wanted to see you. How are you?”
She shook her head. “No, how are you? Heard you’re sick. How are you feeling now?”
Jeremy cleared his throat loudly. “I’ll go change, then join you guys.” He bowed and smiled at his father. Purity had forgotten Jeremy was beside his dad while they had been talking. Edwin caught her attention. She watched him bow, taking permission from his dad. So respectful. He turned to her, grinned and winked at her. Her heart lurched with excitement. She returned his grin with a mock salute. Then, he disappeared.
“He’s really a nice guy.”
“He’s your son. That’s why you think he’s nice.”
Edwin wasn’t surprised. Only Purity could dare make a statement like that about Jeremy. He admired her courage and boldness. Others may call it rude but it wasn’t to him.
“You’re the first female actually to degrade my some to my face. You even say I know it but concealing it because he’s my son.”
“No. I didn’t really mean-”
“Don’t worry, dear. You can say the truth always.”
Purity kept quiet. She nodded in response to Edwin’s remark.
He tapped her. “What’s going on in your mind?”
She stared at him with sadness. “How did it feel to lose her?”
He shrugged, then rubbed his forehead. “It was so painful. A lethal blow. I hadn’t believed she was dead. It took a week for me to accept the fact that she was gone and never coming back. I mourned her for a year. She was the source of my happiness. I never thought she’d go so soon. She had fought and fought. I had always wanted to take away her pains but I couldn’t. She’s now resting, relieved from the sufferings she went through.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that. I haven’t thought about it that way. How did you cope and Jeremy?”
“Jeremy surprised me greatly. He was so close to his mother and I felt it’d be hard for him. But he acted more matured than I ever was. He was there for me. We supported each other and got over it together, though he healed before me. He’s really strong.”
“And he still misses her. I saw the pain in his eyes when I asked about her, didn’t know she’s dead.”
He brightened up. “And he needs you. Needs you in his life.”
Purity waved her hand. “I don’t think so. What could I actually do for him?”
“With time you’d know. Wanna hear her last wish?”
“That you marry Jeremy.”
She gazed at him, her mouth gape. “You…you…she actually wanted that?”
He nodded. “Jeremy is not aware. If he’d known, he would have forced you to marry him.”
She agreed. “Yeah. He would. Know what he did today?”
“He barged into my office. Pleaded with me to get along with him all for you. I bet he’ll do some other crazy things when he hears his mum’s last wish.” She smiled at the thought of Jeremy kneeling, seriously begging her to marry him. Frowned at the thought of him handcuffing her hand to his, forcing her to marry him.
“I agree with you. Will you marry him?”
She never expected that question. “I had said yes before. But I’m not sure.”
“Carry out her last wish. Please.”
“What if its a loveless, unhappy marriage?”
“That’s why you’re courting now. You’ll get to love him-”
The footsteps of Jeremy could be heard, interrupting Edwin. He appeared. He’d had his bath. Dressed in a white cotton shirt and black denim. Slippers covered his feet. Purity marvelled at how good he looked. Her eyes roving all over his body. Her gaze met his. Those piercing eyes penetrating her soul. She became still. His charming smile overwhelming her more and more. Butterflies sprang to life in her tummy. Purity, what’s this unfamiliar feeling?
Edwin observed the young children in his presence and smiled to himself. They were gradually falling for themselves. He was glad. He got on his feet. “Don’t forget what we talked about. Good night.”
Purity watched him leave and muttered ‘good night.’ She was sure he didn’t hear it. He briefly patted Jeremy on the back before strolling out of the room. Jeremy nodded.
“Hey, can I sit here?” he pointed at the spot his father just vacated.
She perceived his masculine scent as he filled the space next to her. “You’re really fast.”
“Sad that I didn’t give you enough time to talk with my dad?”
“Uh, kind of. Was getting to enjoy our conversation.”
“My father’s never boring. Just like me,” he boasted.
She snorted. “Stop dreaming. You’re probably the most boring man I’d ever met. Always fighting with me.”
Wow. He was suddenly interested to know more about the men she’d dated. “Tell me about the one you liked best.”
She tossed her head. “There’s no one.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I actually mean that I’ve never dated. A romantic date. Never had one.”
He wasn’t going to buy that big, fat lie. What did she mean that she’d never dated? She was rich, pretty and had the body that men would fight over. Even if she really didn’t go out, there must be at least, one who had been in her life. This is the twenty-first century. She should come up with another lie cause he wasn’t gonna buy this one.”
“We’re friends. Tell me the truth,” he pleaded.
She laughed. “Why don’t you tell me about you? I’m beginning to bore you. There’s nothing interesting about me.”
He grumbled. “No. Do you really mean it? You’ve never dated? Gone out on a date?”
“Yep.” She crossed her legs, “Tonight was my first.” she was twisting her fingers.
He’d never met anyone like this before. He’d dated and discarded so many women but never came across one like this. He glimpsed at her, then at the 42inches television before him. The T.V. stared back. “You’re, you’re a-”
“A virgin,” she calmly said it.
His eyes drifted to he once more. Here was a woman who was so different from other women. She was really a virgin? He’d never met one, even once. Tricia who had been a little bit responsible had lost her virginity at the age of sixteen. Sitting beside him, a woman who had never dated and at the age of twenty-five, a virgin. He was intrigued by her. She was pure. Really pure. At that moment, he vowed to protect her. He’d never let any guy harm her. He’d marry her as pure as she was- a virgin.
“What about kissing?” he wanted to know more.
Her eyes dropped to the ground. “That was my first.”
“Really?” And she was good at it.
“Yeah. Weird, right?”
“Not at all. Its cool. Glad I stole that kiss.”
She blushed. “I’m not ashamed of it.”
“You shouldn’t. Um, did you actually think of losing your virginity?”
“In my head. I don’t see myself getting married. There’s no one who could take care of me like my parents, especially my father. I’m feeling dizzy. Drive me home.”
“Its past nine. Sleep over.”
To be continued…………..
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