In the confusion, I jumped into the pool to try and separate them. Imagine two men fighting in a pool and a scared me trying to separate them. It was chaos and shouting.
‘’Stop this madness this minute and get out of my pool.’’
The voice was loud enough, authoritative and clear. I quickly got out of the pool and came face to face with their father. He was an older version of Joe, they looked so much alike yet carried different demeanor. I knew he was a man of substance by just looking at him.
The boys got out of the pool and stood cowering before their father. Their mother had also joined them,
‘’What is going on here? We have guests and this is how you behave?’’
Joe pointed at his brother, ‘’He was stealing my woman.’’
The old man looked at a mortified me, his eyes burning into my wet soul. I had to speak now to make it right,
‘’Excuse me sir, we were just talking.”
The mother walked over to me and handed me her shawl.
‘’This guy has a habit of stealing my things.’’
‘’I was just talking to Diana, nothing more.’’
I felt my heart break once more, this guy really did not trust me. I wanted to fight back the tears but had no will. I turned to Joe,
‘’Joe, it is obvious that you don’t trust me. I think coming here was a mistake.’’
I handed the shawl back to his mother and started to walk away but he ran and blocked my way.
‘’Babe please don’t go, please.’’
‘’No, I can’t stay, this is never going to work out.’’
His mother walked to me and took my hand; she led me away without saying much. We went through the back door and into what looked like a guest room. The room was bigger than my whole apartment. The King-size bed sitting in the middle had a beautiful silky bed-cover, white in color with big yellow and purple flowers. The Victorian carpet ran from wall to wall. The window had those long curtains matching with the bed cover. There were two purple love seats on one corner, a walk in closet and a full wall mirror. This was a beautiful room and the bed was alluring. I was lost in its’ beauty that I forgot I was with someone. She cleared her throat jerking me back.
‘’Here, dry yourself with this towel.’’
She handed me a white towel, walked to the seats and carefully sat down folding her arms on her lap.
‘’This is Joes’ room.’’
I turned to look at her,
‘’It is a beautiful room, you have a lovely home.’’
She smiled, her smile not quite reaching the eyes. There was a wave of sadness and disappointment. Someone knocked on the door, she got up and went to open and a minute later, she was back with a new dress. I did not want to take off my dress lest she see the marks on my back.
‘’I…i…I am just fine, this dress will dry in a few minutes, besides, I am going home.’’
She smiled and walked and stood behind me,
‘’We have a lot to talk about, the bathroom is on your left.’’
She wasn’t requesting me to change, no! She was telling me. I picked the black dress and walked into the bathroom. It was a big bathroom with a marble bathtub and a glass bathing cubicle. The walls were covered with tiles looking all natural. For a minute, I just wanted to run the water and soak my battered body but I could not. I took off my dress and quickly changed, I could not reach the zipper so I walked to her and asked her to close it for me.
‘’Did he do this to you?’’
How careless was I? I could have as well undresses in front of her.
‘’uh, you see, I…”
‘’Diana, I am asking you a question, did Joe do this to you?’’
‘’Yeah, he whipped me blue with his belt.’’
‘’I raised that boy better than this.’’
She walked to the window and drew the curtain.
‘’I don’t know where I went wrong with him. I gave him everything but for some reason, he felt threatened by his own brother. He was always competing with him.’’
‘’You did your part in raising him, how he turned out is on him.’’
‘’He didn’t want to go to University but somehow got offended when his brother excelled in his studies.’’
‘’Have you tried talking to him?’’
She took a deep breath, got up and adjusted her dress just then Joe came in,
‘’Mum, can I have a moment with Diana, please!’’
‘’No, I will not let you hurt this girl one more time.’’
‘’Mum, what are you talking about?’’
‘’I have seen the marks on her back.’’
‘’Mum please believe me, I did not mean to do that to her, I love Diana.’’
‘’You don’t hurt the people that you love Joe, not this way.’’
‘’Leave, go, I don’t want to see you.’’
He looked at me, then his mum and then me and walked out. This was going to be one long evening….