A few weeks later
Navah: Your offer is really tempting but I don’t know if I can accept it.
Voice: and why is that?
Navah: Do you know who owns that land. I am putting myself in a compromising position.
Chills ran up Navah’s spine as the person on the phone chuckled. The sound would surely haunt her forever.
Voice: My family’s inheritance is at stake. You need to think this over before you make a final decision.
Navah: How much time do I have.
Voice: You have until tomorrow…after that my hands are tied.
Navah: Let me talk with Mr. Bogsmirth and see what he says. If he is willing to go on this venture with me then I’ll consider it.
Voice: Jimmy hey? I’ve done my research on that man. You be careful.
Navah: aren’t I always careful.
Voice (grunts): Not when it comes to the matter of the heart.
Navah: What is that suppose to mean?
Voice: You know exactly what it means.
Navah: For this conversations sake I implore you to explain!
Voice: there is this saying my mother always tells me…. sentiments will kill you faster than an all time enemy. You ponder on that. Anyway I got to go. Please don’t have me waiting too long. Time and money is of the essence.
The dial tone pinged in Navah’s ear; she cringed. She gazed around and begun to wish she was somewhere else. She wished she was back on Isla Paradiso soaking in the blazing sun and soaking in the crystal cool sea. She never imagined she would be put in a position to play a role that was likely to cost her, her morality and dignity.
She really didn’t want to do anything that would compromise the budding relationship she was slowly developing with Jimmy. He was a hard nut to crack and Navah didn’t want to thwart the progress she was making with him. On top of that he was already evoking strong feelings in her. In the short time she had come to know him, she had learned he wasn’t the kind to play with. It also seemed he was careful when it came to flirting with her. She loved that because it meant he wouldn’t lead her on.
As she dialed his number her conscience spoke to her with a strong conviction. The other side of her rationalized that the outcome of what she was about to do would benefit Jimmy in the long run. He was a business man and she knew he wouldn’t turn down a sweet deal such as this.
When he answered by the third ring, Navah prayed that the good she had left would be intact by the time she was finished with him.
Navah: Hey Jim, how are you?
Jimmy: Jim? That’s a first.
Navah chuckled, while nerves rested in the back of her neck.
Navah: I’m sorry it’s a habit of mine. I tend to shorten peoples’ names when I’m comfortable with them.
Jimmy: Really so I take it you are comfortable with me!
His voice went an octave deeper, and Navah shifted her weight so she wouldn’t fall.
Navah: you could say that.
Jimmy(chuckles): Well Miss Navah, I’m glad to hear that. Not many people can say the same
Navah: I’m not like many people
Jimmy: That you are not…. so what are you up to.
Navah: I was running some errands and you came across my mind.
Jimmy: did I now?
Navah: I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind coming over tonight
There was a slight pause and Navah held her breath.
Navah: Ah…yes, I learned a new recipe and I would love to try it on you….no pun intended!
Jimmy (chuckles): Do I need to bring any stomach remedies
Navah (laughs): Don’t be silly, I know what I’m doing.
Jimmy: Are you as certified as Bob?
Navah: Ohh that is low!
Jimmy: kidding … I trust your skills….. What time should I come over?
Navah: Is 7:30 p.m. too late for you?
Jimmy: Not at all.
Navah: great, I’ll see you then.
Jimmy: It’s a date!
Navah: Ohhh, a date, I like the sound of that.
Staring at the phone, Navah wondered if she said something bad. Unsure as to what that was, she shrugged her shoulders and quickly made her way to the market.
Later on in the afternoon…
After running a few errands, Navah arrived home to find Jimmy standing at her doorstep with a fowl countenance. She checked the time on her phone – he was very early.
She approached him slowly and cautiously greeted him. He responded with a grunt and coolly stared right through her. Right away she assumed he was upset with her and asked if everything was okay. He stiffly nodded his head and continued to look at her with force. Fumbling for her keys, she didn’t say another word. She quickly opened the door and invited him inside to escape the plus 30°C degrees’.
Once inside Navah welcomed him to get comfortable and she quickly escaped to her room.
Changed and refreshed, Navah walked out of her room and attended to her moody guest.
He stood in her kitchen with an intense stance with his back towards her. Unexplainable nerves travelled up her legs and she couldn’t help but think… he’s upset with me.
Navah: Do you want anything to drink?
Jimmy: No I’m alright
Navah was about to head to the fridge but she froze upon seeing Jimmy’s face.
Navah: Hey are you sure everything is okay.
Jimmy (shrugs): Yep, you?
Navah: I…I…I’m okay but you don’t seem like yourself today.
Jimmy: Why do you say that?
Navah: You don’t look happy.
With no response he zeroed his eyes upon her. Yep he was surely angry with her, she thought herself. She racked her brain thinking of what she could’ve possibly done to get him upset. Nothing came to mind except the last conversation they had earlier that day.
He had made a suggestive comment about them being on a date. In the moment she replied expressing she liked that they were having a date, he didn’t seem to like it and quickly came off the phone with her. Could that be it?
Navah: Did I do something to offend you.
He rapidly blinked looking confused
Jimmy: What? No!
Navah: so what is it and don’t tell me nothing. You are upset.
Taking in a deep breath he opened up.
Jimmy: Eliza came by today.
Navah: O…Oh really. What did she want.
Jimmy: To talk of course
Her? What about her? She became even more concerned as Jimmy peered at her with frustration.
Navah: W…w…why did she want to talk to you about me?
Jimmy (sighs): she thinks you are talking to me about her?
Navah paused and took in what Jimmy told her. she released an exhale as she came to understand why he was annoyed… Eliza was pestering him.
Navah: Why does she think that?
Jimmy: I don’t know. I guess the beef between you two has raised her inhibitions towards you.
Navah (rolls eyes): I can’t believe she’s coming to you about me.
Jimmy: Its not only that! She keeps coming to my house! I can’t get her to stop! She’s a married woman for crying out loud! Why can’t she leave me alone! I love my space…. why can’t she give me SPACE! I’m a man of solitude! Cant she get it! No offence I really don’t care if you two are enemies or whatever you are. I don’t want to be in the middle! I want to be left alone!
Navah waited for jimmy to stop but he was full. He growled and howled. Yelled shouted! He had enough of Eliza and he was desperate to do something about it.
Jimmy: I can’t take it. This woman is a parasite! I want nothing to do with her. I don’t care if we become friends or not.
Navah (sighs): I’m so sorry Jimmy, I had no idea how much she has been bothering you.
Jimmy (shakes head): She is taking advantage of the fact that I have no Walls, Doors, Or windows! I do live in the open but it isn’t a a free pass for her to come over whenever she feels like it…I can’t hide from her… I usually have to leave home in the early parts of the morning just to avoid her!
Jimmy: day in day out she comes
Jimmy: She complains about Bob!
Jimmy: she even flirts with me
Jimmy: Maybe I should move…I don’t know I can’t take it!
Navah: You need to calm down!
Navah: Inhale and exhale for a few moments. Then try to think of something good happening for you.
Jimmy: Like what!
Navah: I don’t know, just put your mind on something more positive.
He inhaled through his nose and held his breath for a few seconds. He exhaled, and guardedly grinned
Jimmy: I’m sorry I didn’t mean to exploded on you like that
Navah: Its okay, I understand…. I know how you feel
Jimmy: do you?
Navah: yes, I have had my moments of frustration
Jimmy: With Eliza?
Navah (chuckles): On a few occasions but I have family members that pester me like her.
Jimmy: Do they live here
Navah: yes…. let’s go sit at the table
Navah: Yes, I think you need to.
It was like staring at a perplexed child. She felt bad for him.
Navah: How are you feeling now?
Jimmy: Somewhat better…I actually feel at home?
Navah (smiles): Interesting.
Jimmy: there is a sense of comfort and security.
Keeping quiet Navah nodded her head. inside she felt pride and delight at Jimmy’s expression about her home.
Jimmy (looks around): . I might not have everything I need for my place but it is my dwelling place. I wish Eliza would respect that.
An amazing sensation of guilt rippled through Navah as she listened to Jimmy. Even though it wasn’t her causing him grief, she was close to the individual responsible for his troubles. She felt even worse at what she was about to ask of him. Reflecting in on herself she considered the thought that she was no better than scheming Eliza. The only consolation to her plan that it would be for the benefit of everyone involved.
Navah: I want to ask you something but first I have to apologize.
Jimmy: Apologize? For what?
Jimmy: Why? You haven’t done anything.
Navah: She is my friend and the conflict between us has caught you.
Jimmy: In some way it has but I don’t blame you. Eliza is the one making a big deal out of nothing. Besides I’m more so annoyed that she keeps coming to my house!
She was about to respond but stopped, Jimmy did have a point.
Navah: That is true but I feel bad that you are getting caught in the middle of our conflict
Jimmy: I don’t like it but I don’t blame you. I just want Eliza to leave me alone! …If only I had the funds to construct a house with locks!
Navah: Speaking of which I wanted to propose something to you
Jimmy: hmmm…I’m listening.
Navah: First, I understand that you are still looking for work correct.
Jimmy: Yes, I am
Navah: what kind of work?
Jimmy: I’m not too sure but something where I can utilize my business skills.
Navah: Oh that’s right I remember you telling me you graduated with a business degree
Jimmy: I did.
Navah: Have you thought about starting your own business
Jimmy: It has crossed my mind a few times but I haven’t taken it into full consideration.
Navah: Why not?
Jimmy: well you need money to start a business, and I have little to none of that
Jimmy looked at her as if he were trying to figure her out.
Jimmy: And what?
Navah: And what else do you need to start a business
Jimmy: A good idea!
Navah: So when you were studying in school did you have a solid idea as to what type of business you wanted to operate?
Jimmy: Not really, all I know I want to make my own money.
Navah: I hope you don’t mind my line of questioning but is there anything you are good at doing.
He didn’t answer her right away. He continued to observe her but it was evident he was thinking.
Navah: I’m sorry for being so…
Jimmy: No…don’t be your inquiries has made me realize that I have wasted so much time. I came here with the hopes of doing something constructive, and making a decent living for myself.
Navah: And what is stopping you from doing that
Distractions were very familiar to Navah – she knew them too well.
Navah: so what can we do to get you back on track?
Navah: Yes, we, I have an idea for you and I believe it will help take care of your distractions.
Jimmy: I’m all ears Ms. Navah!
The moody Jimmy was gone and the man that always flirted with her was back. It made Navah smile.
Evening – Spencer-Kim-Lewis Household
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
Oliva: Yes, Mommy
Alice: is your homework finished
Alice: I’m coming in.
Alice walked into the room, and was greeted with the scent of lavender. She smiled at the site of her daughter sitting on the bed, packing away her school supplies. Tears bridged to the surfaces as she imagined her precious child all alone. It ached her heart to think her husband didn’t want to have another baby. Another human being just as sweet as her Olivia.
Sitting down she, gathered Olivia close to her. Soft warm skin pressed against her beating heart. Oh how she loved her daughter so much. The day she was born was still fresh in her memory. Her pregnancy was a bit complicated and she had to be bed ridden for a few weeks. Eric was constantly beside himself with worry. He kept a watchful eye making sure Alice was okay. At eight pounds, kicking and screaming, Olivia entered the world with her innocence. When she was brought home, the entire household came alive. Laughter encompassed every room, every corner, every crevice.
Provided, she was the only child in the house, and most times Olivia hung out with her grandparents. Alice was grateful to them but deep down she knew her daughter wanted another friend to play with.
Alice: How was your day at school,
Olivia: fun…we learned about skills building and discipline
Alice: Hmmm tell me more
Olivia (giggles): It was fun – our teacher made us do an activity where we had to go into a group and talk about our fears and wishes.
Olivia: In my group this girl said she is afraid her parents wont be able to buy her whatever she wants, and she wishes to have all the toys in the world.
Alice (laughs): That sounds like someone I know
Olivia (smiles): Oh mom!
Alice: So tell me missy what did you share
Olivia: I can’t tell you my wish because then it wont come true.
Alice: Does this wish require either your father or I to spend money.
Olivia: I don’t know it depends on the wish coming true
Alice: if the wish comes true?
Alice: Ok how big is this item
Olivia gazed around the room before answering her mother. She played with her fingers whilst tapping her foot against the bed. Her little body wiggled against Alice. When it seemed like she wouldn’t answer, she finally turned her head and looked up in her, mother’s eyes.
Olivia: Can I ask you something mommy.
Taken back by the sudden change in conversation, Alice leaned back a bit to observe Olivia.
Alice: Sure honey, you can ask me anything.
Olivia: What will happen to me …. if you, daddy, Mama, and grand-pop disappear and never return.
Alice paused to process if she heard her daughter right.
Alice: Say that again.
Olivia: What will happen to me if you all disappear?
Alice: Disappear how?
Olivia: umm…you know close your eyes and never wake up.
There was no mistaking the fear laced in her daughter’s voice. Knowing exactly what Olivia was referring to, it felt like a million tiny spiders were crawling on her skin. Her mind screamed the words she spoke to her husband on several occasions. A sinking motion dropped to the bottom of her stomach.
Alice: Livy, honey, was this also your fear
Downcast Olivia looks away and slowly, nods her head up and down.
Alice: What makes you think we will close our eyes and never wake up
Olivia: I had a dream the other night
Alicia: do you mind sharing the dream with me
Alice: okay I want you to take your time and tell me.
Olivia inhales and holds on to Alice
Olivia: I dreamt that I was walking around the house looking for you. When I found you, I saw all of you sleeping in this big bed. All of your eyes were closed. I cried out but no one would open their eyes.
Alice: Oh honey!
Olivia: I kept screaming for you to wake up but you wouldn’t listen to me… I was so scared mommy. I was alone and I couldn’t find anyone to help me. I thought you di…di…died!
Alice: Oh Olivia…sweetie… mommy isn’t going anywhere
Olivia: You’re not?
Alice: Not if I can help it
Olivia: I don’t want to be alone.
Alice: Don’t worry mommy is here and so is daddy.
Olivia: I want you to stay alive until I get old just like you
Alice shook inside as she fought for the rights words to comfort her daughter. She too was scared because her fears correlated to what Olivia dreamt.
Alice: Livy I want you to listen to me
Alice: Do you know how much I love you
Alice: And do you know daddy, mama, and grandpop love you too
Alice: No matter what happens to us in this life I want you to know you are loved! Even if something bad happens, you will never be alone because we live in here…
Alice taps Olivia on her heart
Alice (whispers): Forever’
Olivia: forever is a long time …. That makes me happy
Alice: I’m sure it does.
It would make Alice truly happy if Eric would come around and consider them having another baby.
Getting up from the bed, Alice reassured Olivia that everything would be okay. On the outside she put on the best brave face she could to make her daughter feel secure. She spoke words of comfort, and tried to downplay that the dream was nothing but Olivia’s fear playing out in her mind. Being young and naïve Olivia believed her mother.
Deep in her heart Alice’s truth vibrated in her soul. She smiled and did her best not to make one single tear escape. Her chest burned as she felt her sweet child’s arms wrap around her.
Olivia, unaware of her mother’s turmoil, expressed how much she loved her mother. Tenderly Alice pressed her lips against her daughter’s cheeks, while imagining she kissed another Olivia or Oliver.
Tucking Olivia to bed, Alice breathed a quick prayer; wishing her to have sweet dreams.On trembling legs, Alice left the room.
Holding in all that she felt, Alice took her time to make it to her bedroom. She fought against the tears that threatened to spill forth. Her chest heaved with every tormenting thought. Her child’s sweet voice taunted her like a siren in the midst of a deep blue sea.
…” All of your eyes were closed. I cried out but no one would open their eyes.”
… “What will happen to me if you all disappear”
What could Alice do if none of them opened their eyes again. Was the foreboding feeling she felt real or a fear based on the deep desires of her heart? Could it all be a symbolism of where they were now? Blind to what was important and what needed to be done? Her mother-in law was no doubt hammering it in that they needed to give Olivia another playmate. It was quite glaring that Vivian had her own reasons. She spared no words when ever the topic of baring more children was brought up. Alice couldn’t deny her mother-in law did press on her nerves but she could not ignore that Vivian’s constant nagging did open her eyes to what mattered.
With the heavy burden weighing on her, Alice walked into the bedroom. Eric was sitting at the computer apparently searching for something. It seemed this was his favourite spot as of late. Alice watched him and frowned at him mumbling to himself. What could he be possibly looking for?
Eric: Lets see…she doesn’t live there anymore
Eric: I wonder if I can get Nick to track her down
Eric: I’ve got to get all the information I need on this woman.
What woman? Was he cheating on her? Could this be the explanation for his resilience? Alice’s heart stopped at the mere thought of it; her husband, the man she gave her all to was seeing another woman! not possible! Eric wouldn’t dare put her through that humiliation.
He clearly didn’t hear her come in. He was so preoccupied with whatever he was doing. She called his name again but he kept on mumbling to himself…completely oblivious. For the past few weeks he’d been acting this way. What could be so important that he barely noticed, talked, or touched her!
Was he that adamant about them not having another child? She gazed at him and questioned if their marriage was in trouble. The terrifying thought amongst other thoughts terrified her.
Eric: That’s it! I found it. I found her!
Anger replaced worry and Alice stared Eric down, calling his name through her gritted teeth.
Alice: Eric we need to talk!
Eric: Y…yeah…what is it honey
Alice: We need to talk
Eric: I’m kinder busy at the moment
Alice: I need to talk to you.
Hearing the slight edge in his wife voice, Eric leaned back his seat but didn’t turn to look at her.
Eric: What is it.
Alice: Are you looking for work?
Eric: Something like that
Eric: What is it Alice, I really need to get back to what I’m doing.
Alice: Whatever it is, will have to wait. I had a very disturbing conversation with your daughter!
Eric tried not to let Alice’s tone bother him but turning and looking at her face gave him pause. Her eyes were laced with uneasiness. Her rigid stance, pinned him to the seat. It was tempting to get up and walk out of the room…get away and escape.
Eric: What is it
Alice: She believes we are going to die
Alice: Olivia, your child, believes we are all going to die!
Eric (shakes head): I…I…I WHAT! Why would she think that?
Alice: I don’t know but she said she had a dream.
Eric: What kind of dream?
Alice looked away and recanted what Olivia had shared with her.
When she finished talking, Eric didn’t say a word. He sat there motionless, gazing at nothing in particular. Alice nudged him to say something but he didn’t move. Silence engulfed the room and the only sound was the hum of the computer. Eric tapped his fingers against the keyboard. She nudged him again but he didn’t talk. Full of frustration she burst!
Alice: Fine if you wont say something I will…. I think we need to really think about the meaning of this dream.
Eric cursed under his breath and got him swiftly. He stepped away from Alice and moved towards the window. He knew it! He knew exactly where Alice was heading with this. He didn’t doubt his daughter had a dream but he questioned Alice’s motive for telling him in the first place.
Eric: What do you think it means.
Alice: Exactly what I have been saying to you for some time. I feel that we need to give….
Eric: Oh Alice! Really. you think this dream means we need to have another baby!
Alice (sighs): You didn’t even let me finish
Eric: No need to, I know what you are going to say
Alice: First off, I didn’t say her dream meant that we are to have another ba…
Eric: Yeah but you coming in here saying we need to talk is enough for me to know what you want!
Alice: Eric please, just listen to me
Eric rubbed his head, while harshly. inhaling through his nose. He stood by the window wishing it were that easy for him to jump through it.
Alice: Okay fine…yes I believe Olivia’s dream is a warning to us.
Eric: Warning? Its only a dream, and….and dreams are sometimes figments of our imagination.
Alice: I too, tried to downplay this one but it is too much of a coincidence that Olivia would dream about something I have been expressing to you.
Eric: That I give you a child before we all die
Alice: Don’t sound so crass
Eric: How else should I sound Alice! You and my mother are pushing me before I ‘am ready.
Alice: Ready for what! We are not getting any younger. Olivia is getting older. We are getting older. Is there another reason why you don’t want to have another child
Eric: Oh Alice…I…look this isn’t a good time to talk about this.
Alice: No! we need to talk about this now! Olivia’s dream is not to be taken slightly…are…are…are you having an affair…is that it!
Blown away by the insinuation, Eric stumbled back.
Eric: What! Why would you ask me that?
Alice: I don’t know Eric! You have been acting different and distancing yourself from me.
Eric: I just have a lot on my mind.
Alice: More like someone, and don’t try to deny it. I heard you!
Eric: You heard me what!
Alice: Talking about finding some woman.
Eric: Really Alice…I can’t believe you!
Alice: I can’t believe you…not caring about what I feel.
Eric: I do care, and I take great offence that you would think that I would do something so distasteful to my family.
Alice looked at Eric and could clearly see the panic in his eyes.
Eric: Listen to me…I may be many things and I don’t claim to be perfect but my mother raised me right. I would never or could ever cheat on you with another woman. Its not possible
Alice: Anything is possible! Men do it all the time! My father did it to my mother.
Eric: Well I’m not your father. I’m your husband…
Alice: With the capability to cheat!
Her words hit him hard. he couldn’t find the right words to refute her accusations. what could he say to convince her he wasn’t cheating. Yes, he was looking for a woman but it wasn’t what she was thinking.
Eric: Alice you are the love of my life! I would cut off my right arm for you. Why would I jeopardize all that we have built with another woman!
Alice: You don’t work! You are always home hanging around. How am I suppose to know what you do during your spare time?
Eric: Are you listening to yourself? Are you even listening to me! I am not cheating!
Alice: If you are just tell me it will surely help me see reason as to why you don’t want to have more children.
Eric fumed and stepped closer to Alice. He opened his mouth to speak but she cut him off with more of her accusations and outrageous assumptions. It took all of his might not to grab and shake the outlandish thoughts out of her. He couldn’t believe she would accuse him or worse believe he was capable of stepping outside of their marriage. Alice meant everything to him; he loved her so much it pained him.
He got it that she wanted to have more children and he was putting up a resistance. His resistance was surely frustrating but for her to think he would sleep with other women was down right crazy.
Eric: I am not cheating on you!
Alice (tearied): I don’t know Eric. Your resistance in this matter has me questioning a lot of things.
Eric: You are not listening!
Alice: Yes! I’am! I hear you quite clear. You don’t want to have babies and I don’t know why you can’t see things my way!
Eric (bites lip): Your way! Why can’t you see things my way! I want to be sure that having a baby is the best course of action
Alice: course of action! Are you kidding me! Babies are not a plan or a scheme. They are human beings that need love and care!
Eric: I know that and Olivia gets all the care she needs from us.
Alice: Eric please think about what I just said to you about Olivia’s dream.
Eric stared at his wife, while feeling more and more frustrated. She was really trying to convince him that they should try for another baby. He was still on the fence about it because he didn’t want this decision to be made, based on his mother’s manipulations.
Eric: I don’t want us to have another baby because my mother wants to have her way.
Alice: So what! She has her reasons and so do I.
Taking in a breath, Eric walked to the window and took in a breath and released it into the pane.
Alice: I don’t like your mother’s interference in our marriage especially when it comes to having this baby. On the other hand, I’m not thinking about what is best for your mom. I’m thinking about what is best for my family.
Eric: So am I?
Vivian was surely a thorn in their side (sweet as she was) but Alice sensed her husband wasn’t being upfront about his feelings
Alice: Ok fine! Other than your mothers prodding what is bothering you?
Alice blazed her eyes into her husbands back. It took a lot of restraint not to go and pound on him. The childish part of her wanted to throw a tantrum and pour out her lungs that Eric let her have her way. The rational side kept her calm. She truly wanted to have another baby. She didn’t want Olivia being alone in the case that something might happen to her or Eric.
Alice: I don’t want to push you but try to see things from my perspective. Olivia is the only child we have and there is no one else around to carry on your name. If something is to happen to us she will be alone.
Eric: There you go again! You talk like you know something is going to happen
Alice: I don’t know if something is going to happen. I just want to have another addition to the family.
Eric: We have enough additions as it is. We are working our asses off just to feed them.
Alice: It’s not like we don’t have the money, if that is your fear.
Eric: I don’t know Alice
Alice: look I’m going to shower. I don’t want to argue about this but I really think you need to work out your fear.
With that Alice left the room.
Eric: God help me!
CH. 1.11 – Who can I Trust < PREVIOUS —