Written by Jennifer Azubuike

In the living room of a large country house, two young women sat engrossed in a conversation. One of the women, Martha, simply radiates in beauty and is the younger of both women while the other woman, Jane, dressed in a dark blue jean jacket over a skinny leather pants and spiky black boots to match is also pretty but carefree. Although they have quite the opposite of personalities, they were best of friends.

Martha gently dabbed a napkin on her cheek to wipe her tears, taking care not to ruin her makeup.

“It is the most awkward time for her to suddenly show up after being away for what? About twenty, twenty something years?”

“Easy baby girl. She only sent you a letter asking to see you. You can choose to ignore it.”

“Ignore it? It’s not that easy, Jane!” Martha snapped at her friend.

Jane shrugged. “Why not? Look at me for example, I don’t know where my mother is and I don’t care.”

“To be fair, you don’t care about many things in your life.”

“Thanks for the compliment.”

Martha sighed. “Sorry, I didn’t mean for it to come out that way.”

Jane waved off her friend without a reply.

“But, but it’s about the timing of when she’s suddenly wanting to show back up in my life.”

“Oh, I see it now… the timing! I see what you’re saying. What are you going to do?”

Martha stood up and walked to the open kitchen window. She stood there looking over the sparse vegetation in the garden below. She sank deep in thoughts and dimly remembered the face of her mother. All through the years growing up, she always blamed that woman for any hardship she encountered in life. “She could have endured. She could have picked up a normal job and resolved to care for us both.” Martha would murmur to herself. “But no! Her way of life would not let her! She wanted an easier life and her only daughter was standing in the way of it.” Martha hissed to herself bitterly. However, regardless of how she felt about her mother, she still wondered what had become of her. What does she look like now? And above all, could she get her to explain why she had made the decision she made many years ago about her only child? Martha’s hatred was merged with a curiosity that would not allow her to let go.

Meanwhile Jane poured herself more wine and sat on the dining table allowing one leg to dangle free while the other she rested on a dining chair. She pulled out a lighter and lit a cigarette. Martha turned around in time to catch the first heavy puff of smoke from Jane and scowled. 

“Hello! I’m still here.”

“So?” Her friend shrugged nonchalantly. 

“So you should not do that.”

“Do what? Smoke? Oh please!”

“I’m serious. I cannot stand the smell of that stuff and you know it. Please put it off or I’ll have to leave.”

“The door is unlocked girlfriend.” 

Martha scowled at her again. 

“Fine!”

Jane reluctantly rubbed the end of her cigarette in an ashtray that is already half full thereby putting it off.

“I’m beginning to get uncomfortable with this new you, Martha. Whatever happened to you? Anyway you still haven’t answered my question. What are you going to do about your mother?”

“She’s not my mother!”

“Okay, okay. What are you going to do about the woman that gave birth to you?”

Martha slowly walked back into the living room dejected. She dropped into her seat looking awfully distressed. “I don’t know! If I did, don’t you think I would have done it?”

“Left to me I’ll suggest you ignore her letter since it is bothering you so much, but I doubt you can. Anyway let’s put that aside now. You’ll figure it out . How’s your wedding plan coming on? Have you found your dress?”

Martha signed with relief partly glad for the change in topic. “My wedding dress? Yeah.”

“You’re a very lucky girl.”

“I have to admit to the luck part. My sister-in-law and her mother are very hands on with the whole wedding plan. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

“And your Prince Charming? He’s a real gentleman. Isn’t he?”

Jane smiled. “You’re right; I don’t know what I did to deserve him.”

“Me neither. But hey! Whatever you did or didn’t do. He’s yours.”

“Sometimes I forget you’re crazy.” Martha chuckled.

“On a more serious note, did you tell him?”

“Tell him what?”

“About, you know, your past?” Jane avoided Martha’s gaze as she asked the question but carefully studied her friend’s expression immediately the question left her lips. She was not expecting Martha to tell a lie but she wanted to catch every emotion that came with her answer. There was a long silence between them. Jane sipped her wine while awaiting a reply. She knew it was a difficult topic for Martha.

“My past is called ‘past’ for a reason J.J. It has no bearing on my present or future except I allow it. So to answer your question, no! I have not told him and do not intend to. Besides, I’m a changed person now.”

“Hmmm, I know I’m not as smart as you but I think you should tell him.”

“Would you like to see my dress?” Martha quickly switched the topic.

“What? Ummm…yes. I mean no.” Jane stuttered, a little disappointed at Martha’s attitude. “I’ll be traveling for a show so I can’t make it to your home anytime soon but I’m sure it looks nice.”

“You’ll be at my wedding though?”

“Yeah, yeah. I already told my manager I have to be off that weekend.” With that she lit a cigarette this time ignoring all protests from her friend. She had a lot on her mind to think about which she could not do without a lit stick in her mouth. Martha picked up her handbag and left. Jane didn’t care much to say goodbye but Martha was fine with it knowing her friend was never the affectionate type. Besides, their conversation was mostly uncomfortable.

*            *            *

Inside the building of the multimillion dollar Tech Company, the regular daily buzz was ongoing with a little twist of excitement for the upcoming big wedding. The boss’s personal assistant walked into the general secretary’s office. The woman got startled when Matt walked in.

“Good morning Liz! Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“You’re early. Is the boss already in his office?”

“No, He’s not coming in today. Actually it’s the reason I’m here. He wants you to take care of these files. He said the Vice would know what to do with the sealed envelopes, so hand them to him when he comes in. In addition, clear his schedule for tomorrow and Friday, he needs the time off for personal stuff.”

Liz rolled her eyes. “You say ‘personal stuff’ like we don’t know it’s about his wedding.”

“Yeah whatever, it’s still his personal stuff.”

“I am so excited for him though.”

“Me too.”

“The boss is the ideal groom, you know. He’s tall, handsome, kind, compassionate and rich.” Liz leaned on one hand resting on her desk and rattled off dreamily.

“Liz, Liz concentrate. He’s taken.”

“I know, I know. Unfortunately so.”

Matt curiously drew closer and asked. “Wait, you had a crush on Mr. Dave?”

She blushed and sat up straight. “No! Of course not. He is young enough to be my son.”

“I thought as much. Anyway, here are…”

Liz cut him off midway “Have you met the bride-to-be?”

“Yes. Mr. Dave introduced us some months ago.”

“Really? I guess you’d have access to that privileged information as his P.A. so tell me what does she look like?”

“Listen Liz, I have to run. I have urgent matters to attend. Don’t forget what I told you about the sealed envelopes.” With that he quickly slipped through the door before she could ask another question. But he popped his head back in a couple seconds later to say. “She’ll be visiting soon then you’ll find out what she looks like yourself.”

Liz shot up to her feet immediately. “Really? When?”

But Matt was gone. The news spread like wildfire throughout the office that the boss’s bride is coming to see the office. It was a mix of excitement and curiosity. Even people who would normally not care convened for office gossip.

“I just hope the woman is worth Mr. Dave.” A young staff member opined.

“Oh I trust she does. A person of caliber as the boss would not go for anyone outside his class.” Another staff replied 

“I’m pretty sure she is the daughter of another mogul or a princess in her own right.”

“Prince Dave is not your average kind of guy, you know.” A third staff member replied thoughtfully.

“Of course he’s not but what are you driving at?”

“If you have worked closely with him, you’d know he is not superficial or materialistic. I mean he favors deeper than skin kind of qualities.”

“True, true, but what’s your point?”

“My point is you may be surprised that his bride is an average girl.”

“Mr. Stan, you are confused. You just said he is not the average kind of guy then you say he’ll go for an average girl?” A couple of them started to laugh.

“If you will let me finish my sentence; I was about to say an average girl with outstanding qualities.”

“I don’t think…” The second staff member was going to say something when someone sighted the Vice President coming down the main hallway and signaled the rest. Everyone quickly dismissed and pretended to be busy.

“Mr. Stan report to my office immediately” The Vice ordered. “Ms. Holloway, are we still on track for the client meeting at 12?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good, tell Liz that I want all pertinent files on my desk in fifteen minutes and make sure they’re complete, no lapses or excuses. Am I clear?”

“Yes sir.” She replied as the V.P walked away towards his office briskly.

Ms. Holloway sighed and settled back into work.

Check out EPISODE 2…what do you think happened next?

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