Continued from here
The other daughter was driving, not paying attention to the drama as she had her own going on with her. She was regretting her decision to have sex with her boyfriend the day before or regretting not regretting the decision, she wasn’t sure which one exactly.
She didn’t want to share this news with her mother as she was scared of her reaction and the impending judgment she decided in her head was going to be the case. Mrs. Peters could be a tad unreasonable when it came to certain things.
Every now and again, Jane would say something to add to the argument, but she didn’t partake fully in the conversation.
For a marketer, she sure knew how to keep her mouth shut. Jane could attribute this to her inner musings; she couldn’t tell exactly how she was feeling. The fly darting around was not helping the situation. It was as if it was mocking her. It is the living breathing manifestation of how her brain was feeling at this point.
She didn’t feel pressured, she had thought long and hard about going forward with it or was she just giving in to her desires?
When it came to behavior, Jane had grated on the curve. She wasn’t a bad person; she was just more liberal with her choices. She had so many friends in school and was involved in several casual flings.
Jane was definitely very extroverted, that was what made her excel in her career. She worked at a firm which prided themselves in being able to sell water to fish, they were involved in all kinds of industries; hospitality, beauty, music, entertainment, agriculture, technology, retail, tourism, banking etc.
She went to so many places and met so many people, but for all that, she had remained a virgin even though she had been in a committed relationship for the past two years. He was very nice and funny and loving and ridiculously fun.
They met when she was trying to get his company to purchase one of her products – they didn’t, but he reached out to her and they became friends, when she succeeded in selling the product to another company, he was extremely impressed at her tenacity and took her out to celebrate.
She had maintained that tenacity all through and got herself promoted multiple times over the years, now she was the social media director.
They went out to several other places several other times and one day they both agreed they were in a relationship. They had kissed multiple times and cuddled and danced together and around each other. They had spent the night together just sleeping on countless occasions.
Something just happened that day to make her go through with it and again and again.
She had gone to his house after work and they were talking about different things, the conversation stirred towards the fact that one guy that was an acquaintance of his was sending her text messages. It was not even that she remembered the text messages as it was more of an annoyance than anything else.
He had seen the name in her contact list – name and surname in all CAPS, he wondered who saved people’s name like that. She said she wanted to know who it was so she won’t accidentally pick up an unwanted call. He laughed when another message came on her phone as she was clearing the dishes they just ate from. He suggested that the guy was a good writer based on how the text message was constructed and remembered that the guy took an online writing workshop.
They were on the chair soon after that cuddling and talking when they started kissing, it became heated and soon Jane took off her top, he smiled and looked at her for a long while asking her if she was very sure and giving her more than enough time to back out. When she took off her bra, he scooped her up and took her to the room.
She wasn’t sure if she was regretting it or just feeling overwhelmed. It was her first time and the immense guilt and shame she expected would come when the hormones wore off never came. All her life she had been taught one thing and now she was feeling another and she didn’t know what to think about that.
Jane and her boyfriend were practically married, their families knew each other and they have even taken several trips before, they just weren’t officially married or even engaged in the traditional sense and that had to do with the fact that they both wanted to get a little older and achieve a certain level of success in their respective careers.
This was typically the kind of conversation, she’d have with Mandy and she had been looking forward to having the conversation the night before when he dropped her off in the house. He even joked about how she had to go talk to Mandy quickly before he kissed her goodnight and left.
Mandy has always been her confidant. When she got confused about the angry screaming adults, Mandy had explained that they were just having a disagreement and when they stopped coming around altogether, she said, they never got to resolve the disagreement telling her that sometimes adults don’t agree.
When Jane had gotten her first period, she was in boarding school and had seen others have theirs so she knew what it was, she was still confused so she ran to Mandy’s class, she was gisting with a bunch of her friends but when she had seen Jane looking so distraught, she excused herself and took Jane out.
After she heard all Jane had to say, she showed her the basic dynamics of how a sanitary pad works and gave her some to use, she also debunked the silly ‘if a boy looks at you funny, you’d get pregnant’ theory.
When a cute boy had kissed Jane one day, Mandy told her it was a big deal but not that big a deal that she would think the boy was the know all and be all.
Unfortunately, Mandy was out with a bunch of her colleagues celebrating their big win in a case they had been working on for a very long time, at least that was what the note said, Mandy was fond of leaving Jane notes – apparently phones were unreliable in these types of situations.
She went to bed knowing Mandy wouldn’t come back anytime soon, with the way she had been working herself to the bone these past weeks on this particular case, pulling late nights and leaving very early in the morning to go to work, she knew it had been a hard case to resolve.
Jane knew exactly how that could be, especially with her job and the flexible work hours; she’d sometimes work for 16 hours and on the weekends, that is why she found time to unwind with friends or with Sam once in a while.
Of course, her mother assumed something else was going on and the fact that Mandy had come home very visibly drunk and staggering two nights before confirmed what her mother had thought for a while.
Jane had gone stealthily to open the door for Mandy like they always did when one of the other came back late, but apparently, she had made too much noise or her mother was also waiting up for Mandy, she saw her in the state in which she was, looked her over and entered back into the room, that was when she knew Mandy was in very big trouble. Normally, she’d start giving the speech about how you are presenting yourself the wrong way to the world or some variation of it, in a very loud voice.
She didn’t though and Jane being a frequent recipient of the silent treatment, knew stuff was about to hit the fan and in a worse way than when she had been brought home from school on suspension, for sneaking out of the compound – ironically, she had just been feeling claustrophobic and needed a breather from the tall walls of the boarding school, it didn’t matter, she had snuck out of the school grounds breaking cardinal rule number one of being in boarding school, ‘Do not get sent home!’.
Her mother had been very silent then for three days straight until the recoil snapped and she received the tongue lashing of her life, she didn’t receive actual lashing because her mother wanted to save her strength for the catering job she had that weekend, the one in which Jane did the job of five waiters combined.
She also had to write several apology letters; one to the school for betraying their trust and disobeying the rules, one to the gateman who she had almost gotten sacked for not watching the school well enough to prevent students from sneaking out, one to her form teacher for her horrible misrepresentation and the other to her principal, profusely apologising and promising not to repeat the offense.
Mrs. Peters had actually given her these specific headings to write the letters on. They all had to be different and personal and so heartfelt, Mr. Kola their stoic neighbor would be brought to tears.
When she was halfway through the third round of letters – she had not succeeded in making Mr. Kola cry yet – she was beginning to beg for the flogging she had despised so very much as a younger child. She was blatantly refused her request.
Speaking of her mother, Jane could definitely not talk to her about this. If she was laying into Mandy this much about partying, she definitely would not take lightly that she had sex with her boyfriend, no matter how much her mother loved him and she did.
In fact, Mrs. Peters was his biggest advocate, always inviting him to dinner and family outings and urging Jane to pick out a wedding date.
As for Jane, she had been freaking out, because it was immoral right?, a sin, but he sent her the sweetest text message that night before she went to sleep, asking her if she had spoken to Mandy, when she confirmed the negative, he said he was freaking out about her freaking out and promised her a salon day followed by binging on ice cream if she was still worried.
Her two most favourite things in the world, for a girl that was learned, she had the most ordinary delights. That just made her conflicted, she loved him a lot and he loved her a lot too – he was going to follow her to a salon, not a unisex one, an all-female salon.
So what if they had sped up the process a little bit, they had discussed their finances, how many children they would have, what their children would be called, what kind of area they would raise their kids and what schools they’d send the kids to. Currently, they alternated chores among themselves, cooking for each other and even helping out with laundry. His flat was basically her second home and her mum hadn’t seemed to mind. Jane was even a bridesmaid at his sister’s wedding, and she was in almost every photograph his family had taken since they met and he was in a lot of hers. Besides was it really so bad?
She knew her mum would mind about this development – that’s a bit of an understatement really – they didn’t talk about sex at all in their family. That was one education they didn’t need to have according to their mother.
Whatever she learnt about it was restricted to the topic of reproduction in secondary school biology and whatever scare tactics they could drum up at church, nobody was to ask any questions about it or know anything about it.
Jane was 26 years old and her mother was comfortable with thinking she was still too immature to know anything about sex.
That’s why she needed to talk to Mandy, apart from her all-round wisdom, they learnt everything about life from each other and their experiences, some not so good and some amazing. She was pretty sure Mandy was still hung over from the last night though.
This visitation could not have come at the worst moment. Everyone was having some kind of problem or the other and they were taking it out on each other.
So all three are in the car having a secret war with their inner feelings and their outer projections, they are on the way to a friend’s house, they want to finish the fight before they get there, in other that their friend does not sense the tension.
The last thing they needed was for these ‘friends’ to see them having a discord about anything of the sort, let alone the particular reason for the discord. There were a lot of people that had been very skeptical of Mrs. Peters after her husband died, so many people expecting her to remarry so as to have a strong male figure in the house to discipline the girls appropriately.
The girls excelling when they were younger certainly proved that theory wrong, but between Mandy’s party girl ways and Jane’s refusal to marry the nice man that wanted to make an ‘honest woman’ out of her, the talk was back.
Why they had to maintain a relationship with these people was anyone’s guess, they didn’t contribute to their lives in any way, they certainly didn’t defend them to other people, some friends they were and Mandy and Jane were supposed to act like some step ford version of themselves when they were around these people.
They made sure to always put air quotations when referring to their ‘friends’ in conversation among themselves or their actual friends.
Mrs. Peters had wanted to maintain a semblance of normalcy after her husband’s death and definitely after cutting off the family, that’s why these ‘friendships’ and visits were important to her.
The girls had told her several times how they truly felt about these people, but she insisted. She didn’t just insist on keeping in touch, she insisted on them always having a good story to tell. Putting on a façade was not something they did all the time and it was not something Mrs. Peters encouraged the girls to do, just when they were going to visit the woman who had always laid out the best china and put out the most exotic meals and sweets whenever they’d go to visit as kids, she also offered Mrs. Peters money all the time which she always turned down.
They were supposed to be on their best behavior, but they couldn’t especially not today, that’s why this car fight was important. It’s also why Jane had to keep her mouth shut.
So they argued, not understanding why the other could not just see the other’s point of view.
And they did not see it happen, they just felt their whole insides vibrate as a large truck carrying copious amounts of sand collided with their car from the passenger side where Mandy was, and smashing it so hard.
…TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW