Afraid to love
She had first been to a restaurant to have dinner all by herself. She’d seen Jeremy and the so-called Purity Theodore. What did Jeremy see in her? She was so green with envy. How could Jeremy be so happy with another woman? And she, she’d been crying over him. The anger she felt pushed her to follow Purity, as she trailed behind, a vehicle was ahead of her’s, it went the same direction as Purity’s. And it belonged to this man who wouldn’t let her go. He too had followed Purity, hadn’t he?
He poured the non-alcoholic drink into the two glasses. He pushed one forward. For the lady sitting before him. Nathan had left already.
“Lets take things slowly. First things first. I’m Ernest. Ernest Turner. And you are?”
“Listen, I’m not going to harm you. If I was going to, I’d have one that a long time ago. Just be sincere and free with me.” Ernest assured her.
Hmm. There could be no harm talking with this guy, she reasoned.
“Well, I’m Tricia.”
He broadly smiled. “Nice to meet you.”
“We didn’t meet under normal circumstances. What do you want me for.” She was trying to be at ease with him.
He took a very deep breath which lasted for several seconds. “What is your relationship with that woman?”
What was his business with that? Is he a cop or something? “I don’t know her. Simple.”
“I don’t believe you. You were spying on her. Its possible you wanted to harm her.” All he needed at that moment was patience.
She folded her arms. “I was there for a reason.”
“I want that ‘reason’!”
Tricia wasn’t stupid. She was not going to let a complete stranger know that jealousy drove her there. That the woman is engaged to her ex boyfriend whom she loves dearly. It’ll make her feel rejected. “Don’t want to talk about it.”
“Come on. I could really use your help. I need to know.” he pleaded, his eyes joined the plea.
She smiled in contentment. Now, this was the kind of attention she loved. For men to keep begging her, like she owned their lives. Jeremy never begged her. She was the one that always went back to him. She only told him what to do. Now that she had it, she should enjoy it. Enjoy it while it lasts. She unfolded her arms and placed them on the table. “I’m going to help you in one condition.”
He shot up a brow. This was good. She was ready to talk. “And that is?”
“You tell me your own side of the story. I saw that you followed her too. You are as guilty as I am. Then, you threatened me with a gun. What was all that for?” She was getting the upper hand.
He had to surrender. He didn’t even know who she really was. “We have met before. ‘Twas a long time ago. I followed to see if she could recognize me. I don’t think she did.”
“Where did you meet her? And how long was it?”
“This very place we are. Nine years ago.”
Her eyes dilated with shock. “What? At a bar?” She looked at her surrounding with a treacherous smirk on her face. The virgin visits a bar like this? Yet she was acting so holy. Jeremy was gonna hear this. Her interest had intensified. She wanted to know more. “At a bar.” She repeated herself. “Nine years. What do you care? She’d have forgotten you by now. Unless you two shared something?” She was grinning now. Yeah, yeah. She wasn’t a virgin, but she was definitely not a liar.
“Its your turn.” He tried his possible best to ignore her rude question. He knew they almost shared something till she…. He frowned, didn’t like remembering that. “I’ve told you all I know.” That was a lie. A miserable one at that.
“Okay.” She was going to answer him truthfully and find out more about this virgin. It’d so much interest Jeremy. “Like I said before, I don’t know her. I only got to hear about her when my boyfriend broke up with me just to marry her. They are engaged. Curiosity plus anger made me trail her, just to know more about the bitch who had stolen what is mine.”
Not a single word did he believe. His Melisa engaged? That wasn’t possible. Had she changed that much? Nine years was enough to do that. Was it the man he was with her? Did she love him? NO! He had to stop that. She belongs only to him.
“What is her name?”
This man must be crazy. “How do you not know her name? You two -”
She hated the way he glared at her. She sighed. “Purity Theodore.”
The shock she felt when she met with Ernest a second time hadn’t gone. She still felt it. She recalled everything. Ernest Turner. Her night wasn’t so good. She’d bad dreams of both Ernest and Jeremy. Both of them fighting over her. Jeremy had lost, Ernest won. She hated that dream so much. She’d choose Jeremy over Ernest. Ernest wasn’t her dream man, he never was. Jeremy was the kind of man she wanted, she wasn’t sure, but he could take care of her. Ernest couldn’t. He was a drunk. A really bad one. He played a significant role in getting her drunk that night. Why did she do it? She felt remorse over that. It wasn’t gonna repeat itself. She hoped that one mistake wouldn’t ruin her life.
The ringing of the telephone on her desk jolted her back to reality. She swore as she picked it up. “What!” Damn! Her mood was something else.
“You have a visitor, ma’am.”
No. She didn’t want to talk with anybody. She wanted to be all by herself. Talking would do no good. Also, she didn’t look presentable. She was all weary. “Tell the person to come another day. I’m not taking in any visitors.”
“He’s insisting. I don’t have the strength to fight with any man. Please.”
Oh, God. What was Jeremy doing here? He’s got more important things to do. It wasn’t a bad idea all together. She might get to tell him the truth. She let out a breath. “All right, Heather. Let him in.”
There was a clanking sound as she dropped the receiver. She relaxed on the chair and swivelled it to the back door. She faced the window. He could come in any moment. He had to. She was expecting him. The few seconds it took seemed like forever. Then the door creaked. She smiled.
“Jeremy, why not call when you want to come see me. I don’t want another scene with Heather.” At last. She was delighted.
“What a pleasant way of receiving your guest.”
The smile on her face melted into a shock. That wasn’t Jeremy’s voice! It was…. It belonged to…. She turned the chair to face him and she was him again. The third time.
“What are you doing here?” She sounded tense and angry. She got up from the chair.
He grimly smiled at her. “You didn’t invite me to sit. I’d invite myself. Please, sit its your office.”
This was serious. No jokes. No lies. No games. “Get out of my office! Leave at once?” She ordered. Her eyes were blazing.
“I came to ask about Melisa.” she had guts.
She placed both hands on her desk and met his gaze. “I do not know who Melisa is. It was just last night you asked about her and I do not know her.”
“Will you stop pretending and speak the truth? I hate lies.” Could she be the Melisa? She was so different in character. The woman glaring at him was full of herself. His Melisa wouldn’t do that. Nevertheless, the resemblance was there. Her eyes, lips, voice-all similar with Melisa. It had to be her.
“So do I. I do not know her. Wait a minute. How did you even get here? How do you know I work here?” If he had found things about her, she needed to know. Things must not get out of hand. She had to handle him.
“Who hasn’t heard of the all mighty Purity Theodore-”
She had lost it. “My name! How-” She was short of words. Oh, man! What has the past come back? She felt frightened.
He laughed loudly. “‘I don’t give my name to strangers.’ The same statement you made after I told you mine at that bar, nine years ago. It was your prom night.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” she denied furiously. “I will contact you when I find your Melisa.”
Great liar. The best. “How nice of you to give me a fake name, Melisa. I love that name and I’m sticking to it. You never loved that name, ‘Purity’, you wanted something sexy, that will endear men to you.” His eyes danced with laughter.
Purity was trying to hold herself. This man was tempting her, making her lose her mind. He should quit trying to make her recall the past she’d forgotten and buried. She wanted to have nothing to do with it. She had to deny it. “Stop this rubbish. Stop this nonsense. Stop-”
“We drank alcohol together. We danced so romantically. You were all over me. You didn’t want to let me go. You clung on to me. We almost made lo-”
This was it. All her manners were sent to hell. “Will you shut up! You lying, disgusting bastard. Who gave you the right to bring up my past? Who gave you the right to judge me? I want you out of my office and life for good!”
To be continued…………
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