HUMMING ROSE - Episode 16

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"Let's make a toast to our beloved Tee, to long life, prosperity and happiness" the speakers blared as everyone clicked their glasses in response.

The air was filled with echoes of 'happy birthday', music and alcohol. 

In no time, the party came to an end and no doubt, I had one of the most beautiful nights of my life with Dave by my side. I received gifts of different sorts from each of my guests as they all found their way home.

"Can we go now, beautiful?" Dave asked as he helped me to my feet.

"Yes Dee" I replied blushing and smiling like a fool.

The  cake and gifts were being carried to my car as we both strolled lazily making jokes, chatting and laughing all through . None of us were drunk, I personally played the safe card.

"Thanks for honoring my invitation baby" he said holding me very close to himself that I could feel his alcohol filled breathe on me as we both stood close to my car. 

"Thanks for making me the happiest girl today" I replied blushing again.

He gave me a long look from my eyes to my lips without uttering another word; and before I knew it, he bent his head towards my lips making his way through my tongue. In split seconds, I was locked in a romantic kiss with Dave

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. He kissed me passionately but the more he did, the more my emotions stood still; I wasn't feeling anything at all but I never wanted to spoil the moment.

"Thelma!" Annie called out.

I immediately loosened myself from Dave's grip and standing besides us was Annie and George.

"Hey Annie.. I.. I.. I thought y'all have gone home already. I'm...eh...eh.." I started out feeling so ashamed of myself. 

"Keep whatever you want to say to yourself madam. George wants a word with you, we've been looking for you and obviously you were having a good time" she stressed the last statement mockingly eyeing Dave from head to toe.

"Sorry for that Annie, ...George, I... I.. don't think I can talk about anything tonight. I'm sorry" I said avoiding his eyes.

I slid into my car slamming the doors after me as I beckoned on my driver to take me home leaving the whole drama behind me. We had barely driven out when I started crying. I was going through a lot despite the fact that I try as much as I could to create the illusion of happiness. 

I was stuck between the man I love but have decided to stay away to keep him safe  and a man I don't who's trying to twist my emotions around.

It was already past the hour of nine when I sneaked into the house. All thanks to aunt Steph who stood up for me; kept awake and opened up for me immediately I came home.

I gave her the cake and some drinks, as I carried my gift packs and hurried straight to my room.  To be sure Dad didn't notice a thing; I deliberately walked past his study to the swimming pool greeting him as I walked past. He just nodded and my heart leapt for joy. I just strolled a little and walked back to my own room again; and being so sure he was engrossed in what he's doing, I started unboxing my gifts.

I took out the red roses; a bouquet George gave me, placed it on my bed when a parcel fell out of the bunch. It was a designer wristwatch with an engraved message,
'To a rare rose, I'd always love you. George'

I was speechless as my mind went back to earlier this night.

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"Hey George, erm.. erm... What..  what..  what are you doing here?"

"Happy Birthday Thelma" he said giving me a bouquet letting out a weak smile.

"Thanks George... I... I.."

"It was nice seeing you again after a long time. You didn't invite me but I'm here regardless... Have fun" he replied coldly this time  and brushed past me without waiting for another reply.

I stood there looking at him and felt like tearing up. I noticed he went to a dark corner of the room and took a seat with a company who I later figured was Annie. 

I was still standing there holding the bouquet close to myself and inhaling the beautiful aroma when Dave wrapped his hands around my waist. 

"So you collected that from him?" That was when I recollected myself.

"Erm.. erm.. no it's just a gift" I stammered.

"Just a gift, Thelma!?" He barked as I signaled him to turn down his voice.

I could remember how he kept following me like my own shadow without a breathing space; and figured he kept surveillance the little time I talked with George. I called on a waiter and instructed him to take the bouquet to my car. 

I took out several other gifts including the huge pink teddy bear I received from Dave, the chocolate box Annie gave me amongst others. The whole thing littered on my bed and just as I was admiring them all, my phone beeped.

"What has come over you Thelma!? Where is your conscience right now?  Where is the sweet, kind and warm Thelma I've known all my f**king life? Why did you react that way to George? A poor guy who's intention was to just talk and maybe get some answers from you? Is it because of that idiot, Dave? Yes, I understand he's in all your freaking business right now, he's all over you and trying so hard to get your love which you're stupidly, foolishly and ignorantly falling for. I understand he's cleared the air and you're both good now but to the detriment of George?? Oh God!!! You're unbelievable Thelma!? Have you even called to check up on him? Did you even respect him enough to tell him your story or you trust Dave to help you out? I laugh out loud!!! He was almost ran over by a car chasing after you and finally drank himself to stupor. Hope you're happy now?"

I just sat staring at my phone, tears rolling down my cheeks  when my phone beeped again.

"Hey baby, you home now? Meanwhile, I saw how "your" George chased after you earlier on like a stray dog. Hahahaha  You made me proud darling. I love you, goodnight"

"Arrggghhh....!!!"  I let out a loud cry and flung my phone straight to the wall as it smashed into bits. 

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