Love is….. (Chapter 3)


Love is… (Chapter 3)

             “Fear of the Unknown 

                Breaking Barriers..

                   Let the pain go….”

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“I- I don’t understand ” her eyes speaks before her mouth says the words.
“You asked why I called you faith..?”
She nodded.
‘Then I want to show you faith. My faith.., ”
Underatanding now she okays it.
“But I can’t show you here, you have come with me”
He sees uncertainty in  her eyes, masked by fear.
“I won’t hurt you” Darrel Philips says trying to reassure her
“That’s what they always say right before they hurt you.” There was an underlining to what she says..
“Have you been hurt before.. physically I mean? ” He askes her, searching her eyes
She looks away “Haven’t we all been hurt one way or the other, it doesn’t always have to be physcial” Lidhya says, turning back to him, 
‘Do you permit me to show you then. ” 
“Why did you ask to see me Darrell? 
“I have no idea but I guess what I am about to show you would make sense to you because it doesn’t make sense to me. So would you permit me to show you  ..?” He askes hoping  that she agrees
As if fighting a battle within herself, she sighs nodding.
They both get up, he leads the way, opening the door to his car, once she gets in  he goes round the car, gets in and pulls out of the parking lot.
Heading to his house. 
The one they used to live in , him.and faith  , 10 years ago.
*****
Charles doesn’t take his eyes off them as he follows at a safe distance.
He needed to find out if they knew.

Looking at the watch on his wrists it says 3:40pm.
The watch he took away from the dead guy who looks exactly like the living guy. 
He still wore the ring he had on his finger. It was Gold. It sparkled when he laid there lifeless. 
Without thinking he had slipped it off the dead’s man’s finger and rubbing it against his cloth he had removed his gloves and worn it, wearing the watch too.
He looks at the ring now, a beauty. Such originality that hadn’t faded in all this ten years.
Even the watch has a lifespan of an antic god.  Ticking away the time in its little confinement.
When they make a turn and go down a lonely road, that stretches far as though unending.
His heart begins to beat very fast, sweat breaking from his forehead..
When they neared the house that stood alone on the far end of the road,  one gate with a tiny fence and wild trees and a tiny river at the back..
He knew that there was no chance in hell they didn’t know something
Or else why would they come here..
Of all places.
Because of the bushes and hidden parts , he isn’t seen as he slows his car to a stop.
It was still day so he couldn’t go any further..
They would see him.
Going down the bend of the road leading to the house,  they disappeared through the gate,.
“Damn it! !” He exclaims
Wishing he could throw caution to the wind and drive in the rest of the way.
Parking his car he gets down, choosing to walk hiding behind the bushes when he hears a sound. 
He gets close enough to the house, it’s quiet.
He waits.
*******
Darrell opens the door for her and let’s her go ahead of him. 
It’s been years since he had been back,  .. he hadnt dared come back after 9 years .
For a year after their deaths he secluded himself from the world,  burying himself in the house. Not receiving guests, barely eating.. trying to make sense of it all.

Making his own investigations trying to find the murder but everything turned up like smoke. Dust slipping through his hands.
His parents began to worry. For weeks he would go unshaven, leaving the house in disarray exactly the way she left it.  Scared that removing anything out of place would distort the image in his head of his wife and the way she always kept and left things.
He would roam about the house during the day, not able to draw after the last painting of her he tucked away with the others.
At night he wouldn’t be able to sleep either, choosing to stare out of the window in  his study,  wishing she was there.
And when he was alone in his room he would remember how his brother would come up to him, sitting next to him his face on his hands while he rested on his elbow he would stare at him smiling  with those mischievous glint in his eyes..

he knew he was up to something mischievous and wants him to partake.
When he passes by the mirror he sees him staring back at him, same eyes, same smile,  same mouth ..Maybe thesame heart and he wouldn’t he able to bear it.
“Why him? Why not me?” He would cry right before he shatters the mirror. Every single one in the house. He couldn’t bare to look at it not able to see his brother in him.
He missed him.

He missed her..

And he roamed the house like a mad man for a year before his parents had to forcefully take him out of the house, restricting him from going there.
But he refused to sell it, not wanting to give up the memory he had of them in it. 
Eventually he had to remove everything that reminded him of her and of him, by storing it away in one of the rooms and locking it.
He only had one picture he left in the drawer back  in the office. ..face down. Hidden away.
For ten long years he lived with the pain of losing them.
And yesterday he sees Lidhya and everything comes back.
Why did she remind him so much of faith..
Why does his heart break abit when he sees her again.
Why the hell does she look like his wife in a strangely farmilar way.
“You are staring at me Darrel and it’s kind of creepy” she says.
The house was cold, void of wamth. Everything , from the furnitures to the clock was covered with white cloths to keep the dusts away she presumed.  
It looked as though no one lived here but yet, as though it had recently been cleaned.
“I am sorry, I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable Lidhya ” he says apologetically 
“Whose house is this?” 
“Mine. ” He replies..
He had the place cleaned up every once in a while, he didn’t know why he couldn’t just let it go. 
“Come with me, please” he says leading the way, she follows him.
She was already here, if he wanted to harm her he would have done so already but..she felt scared and yet safe around him.

Curious,  but safe nontheless.
She wanted to know who this faith was and how…she supposedly connects to her.
He hadnt been to that part of the house for over a decade, allowing the cleaners to make sure it was clean and tidy but he never askes about the paintings in the room. 
He grabs the key from a hook by the door, taking a deep breath , closing his eyes,  his throat closes as he tries to swallow.
“Are you okay?” She notices..
He nods ” I am..” he turns the key opening the door he pushes it slightly and then all the way in.
The room was covered covered with white cloths over every piece of furniture. But unlike the other room, this looked like a studio of some sort.
An art gallery studio but all the pictures were turned facing the wall..
He moves aside, “Please. .” He says, waiting for her to come in.
She moves in slowly not knowing what to expect.
He goes to each painting, his hands shaking slightly he begins to turn each one to face her..
At first she is distracted looking around the room, trying to wonder while everything was turned upside down walking into the room she turns when she didn’t notice any more movement. .
She gasps as soon as she lays her eyes on one of the paintings.
She doesn’t move for a few minutes, gulping down whatever was tuck in her throat she shaking moves, her hands flying to her mouth, she blinks to clear her eyes
What was before her doesn’t make any sense. .
“She …she looks …” she whispers
There was a mirror he had uncovered.. the only one left in his house. The only one she loved to look herself in when she came into his studio,  she would turn and look at herself..marvelling in the painting he just Made of her and she would look at the mirror seeing that the resemebslce to the painting was breathakingly alike…
Lidhya turns to the mirror. .looking at herself and then at the painting..
“She …looks like me” she breaths. .touching her face..
Darrel nods..
“There is a fleeting resemblamce that is  strikingly obvious like twins but not twins  but…the similarities are……There” he says
She doesn’t speak but keeps looking at a painting,  one after the other,..her shock increasing as the moment passes.
She shakes her head, 
He was standing behind one last covered painting, ..
She looks at him curiously. .
He blinks back tears, his hands shaking slightly he let’s the cloth drop. 
She gasps staggering backwards. .
“You see why when I saw you yesterday. ..I almost fainted? ” he says
She is speechless,  in this painting the woman has her back slightly turned away from him, her body a beauty to behold as the white lovely dress hugs her, her black long hair was loose at her back, from the side she has a peaceful content smile, staring out of the window of what appeared to be a study. ..
The background has her staring out of the window , the horizon   , the dancing clouds and the moon a shy distance away, the stars at their stations and she…just staring..
“Purity” it read..
“This was the last time I saw her smile, happy, the last day I touched her and held her in my arms. This was the last painting I ever drew of her. This was my faith.. my life. My all. My everything… and this was the last night she ever stood at that window in that white dress…

Because when I got home later that day, in the early hours of the morning. She was dead, in her own pool of blood. Shot. My brother too.. ” his eyes were misty..
“My God! !” Was all that she mutters as her throat closes..
“And when I saw you yesterday wearing that same white dress, same look on your face, same long dark hair and the way you half turn  when I called your name.. I see her ..standing there and….I nearly pass out…

My wife has been dead for 10 long years and all of a sudden I see her standig there, staring at the window, in the study ad she normally does, watching the sun go down and the stars sparkle and the moon shy away, at peace with nature…and…I was in shock.. calling her name.. but it wasn’t her. It was you….but yet.. I saw my faith.” He finishes trying to breath
She saw that his hands shook, she rushes to him holding then in hers,he wouldn’t look at her.
She understood now why he called her faith. 
She looked exactly like his wife, and every thing about his life with her came rushing back when he saw her at the window staring out of space. .
She remembered the shock in his eyes,  fear and then confusion and then sadness. 

She couldn’t even try to understand what he had gone through finding his wife then..alongside his brother.
“I am sorry Darrel.” She says.. rubbing his hands .. a tear falls.. quickly she wipes it off. .
“Did they ever catch who did it?” 
He shakes his head; moving away as he ran his hands through his hair, his muscle flexing underneath his shirt.
“No . They ruled it as a breaking and entering. A robbery gone bad and my wife and brother a victim of circumstances.  No suspect. .no killer. And nothing was missing so it didn’t make sense that it was a robbery.  It was a cold blooded murder but it couldn’t be proved and no on head seen anyone come nor anyone go. Who could have. It’s a lonely house down the road . The only thing I later found out that was missing was his ring and his watch. It was my ring. We had a customised ring made for both of us.. we loved to customise things like that and with our names initialled on it. But he lost his at some point during one of his drunken spree and skinning Deeping in the beach with his friends out of state. He comes home and felt bad for losing his. And because I hated to see him sad I gave him mine. My father gave him the watch he wore. It was our grandfather’s and.. Luke seemed to love it. It was hard to refuse him… so those were the only two things missing but yet again… Nothing could be found. Nothing traced to anyone. A year later the case was closed… but my heart was wounded..never mended . Not even  now. She was my life’s support. My princess.  My queen..my love.  She was my life in all ramifications.  And he..he was the best part of me..my blood..my twin. My brother. ..and when he died. ..a part of me died with him also. Without both of them I felt as though I was walking this earth a dead man.. ”
He was giving up so much telling her all of this but he didn’t care he had let all of it stay in so much that sometimes he literally wants to scream out his pain. A pain buried inside for years was enough to drive him insane.
Locking himself away,  busied  himself with work in his father’s company,avoiding the social.lofe he had managed to survive all this 10 years. . Forgetting to enjoy life. What was the point? 
“I am sorry for ..your loss Darrel” she says silently. .
It was overwhelming..  everything in here was.
She couldn’t make sense why she looked like his wife..she was an only child. That fact she knew.
While faith had a light complexion to her features she had a slightly less darker look. But yet, her smiles and the way her eyes sparkles in those paintings had Lidhya turning again to look at them.
She had no relation to this faith. That she was quite certain and yet. .it didn’t explain why they looked alike in a certain strange and yet farmilar way..
“Now you do undertaabd why I asked to see you..” he says turning to her
She nods..
They leave the room.and he locks it .
“Can I see a picture of your brother?” 
He shows her a picture of luke.
Yes, you couldn’t tell one from the  other, she noticed the ring and watch  he spoke about.
They both had it made, it was Gold. , and it was difficult to miss because of its special design  and colour. 
It was a dark ring also,  in front and a gold at rhe curled sides.  If you didn’t look closely you would miss the black which had a sign on it..
“DP’ was on Darrell’s finger, “LP” was on luke’s . They had their finger to the camera in one of the pictures and a sign of a star on it. The letters was over each other and you would have to look closely to be able to differentiate the letter for the other..
Where has she seen this ring before? 
It looked strangely farmilar as though she had seen it somewhere before. .
A while back or of recent? 
‘Darrell Philips ” and “Luke Philips ” he says telling her what the letters mean.
“I think I have seen that ring before. Somewhere but I can’t remember ” she says
“You can’t possibly have. It was made especially for both of us. Shipped from Netherlands.  It’s pure Gold on the sides, you would think it’s all gold but ..it has a black features at the front too almost shading it from embroidery of our initials.  You can’t have possibly seen it anywhere else but..on my finger and my brother’s.
He lost his in the beach, probably at the buttom of the ocean and I believe he must have lost mine too. But…I don’t know. ” He sighs.
“I should take you home” he finally says
She doesn’t say anything more, they drive back in silence.
*************
Charles. . Follows them at a safe distance,  only stopping when they stop.
As soon as Darrel drives away, he waits for 10 minutes and drives up to the streets and gets out of the car. 
He rings the bell to their apartment. 
************
“Are you fxxking kidding me?” Damaris exclaims when Lidhya tells her all about Darrel and the paintings of his wife and how much they look alike. And the death of her and his twin
“That’s fxxking sad and creepy at the same time.” She says
“They never caught the guy you know. The killer.’ Lidhya says hugging herself, she was sitting on the bed.
“Who the Fxxk goes  into a home and shoots bloody strangers ?” She throws her hand smup in the air. Lidhya shrugs staring into space and thinking..
Thinking about Darrel.
‘So what’s going to happen now. You aren’t his faith.  I mean I sympthatise with him and all but..you are Lidhya and I know you can’t be a twin of the dead lady. I mean, you are like what 26 years old and he looks what..in this middle 30s and his wife should be…what in her 30s too if she were still alife which technically makes it In possible for you both to be twins nor even related. You do know that right?”
“I know..but. .. you should have seen him. So heartbroken even after so many years and I just wanted to comfort him but didn’t know how to. How do you comfort a man who has Beingn broken for ten years, alone and…sad. you can’t.  So I just stood there and told him I was sorry. But…having her pictures all around me and I wonder what it would have  been for him to see her in  me…the memories must have caused him to loose balance centre yesterday,  the pain and joy. The happiness and the sadness. .. it was heartbreaking Damz. ‘ she says
Damz sighs nodding. ‘Hey; I don’t even know what she looks like. Mayb she does look exactly as you say but Whooaaaa! !!!” Damaris exclaims
While she was talking Lidhya had picked her phone and done a search on google. 
“Luke Philips. Son of political senator Arnold Philips.  

Mrs Philips , married to Darrel Philps. 

Both found dead in the painter’s apartment on the night of Arnold fund raising events .
Pictures of their last scene before the incident.” Lidhya reads out , showing the phone to Damaris who scrolls to the pictures. . When she gets to Faiths last moments during the event while she posed to the camera with a happy smiling Darrel,  Damaris begins to shake her head..
“Holy fxxking cow!!!” She exclaims 
“She looks like You. No you look like her. The Fxxk! !” She says ” Why won’t the poor guy not want to pass out. The resemebslce is ..uncanny!!” 
“You should have seen the paintings like I was staring at myself and wondering when I had those beautiful paintings done and wasn’t aware.’ Lidhya sighs
“You know there is another explanation for this. Because she isn’t your twin and You aren’t hers.  You were obvouisly born a couple of years after she was born and you both have..a slightly different colour of skin but every fxxking things looks thesame.  So..there is another explanation for this ”
“Which is?”
“Have you ever heard of Doppelgangers? ”
“Nope. What’s that?”
” Well,  The word doppelganger is German and literally means double walker yeah?  β€” as in a ghost or shadow of yourself. An easy way to remember it is that doppelganger sounds like double, as in someone who looks exactly like you both you both don’t share any relation what so ever. These days, most people don’t refer to the ghost meaning when talking about doppelgangers: they just mean someone who looks a lot like you or could be your twin.” Damaris says
Lidhya looks at her as though she was a foreign  creature ..
“So I am what,  faith’s Doppelganger? Her ghost or her double.  Is that what you are saying. Do I look like a ghost to you?”
Damaris laughs…” Well I wonder why you sleep naked and keeps staring out the window in a quiet room. Maybe you are and communicating with your dead double. You never know” she winks. 
‘Stop fooling around Damz. Not funny”
“Scared Lid?”
“No. It doesn’t just make sesne” she says folding her arms
“Well that’s the only other explanation or unless you want to dig into your family history to know whether there once… once a faith in

your lineage. But don’t fret, I have heard a couple of people who do look insanely alike so….big deal. But  Still, that is pretty spooky.” She points to the phone and to Lidhya 
“I don’t want o go around looking like a dead person Damaris and I sure as well won’t be termed her doppelganger.”  Lidhya tells tells her 
The bell startles them
“Expecting guests? ” Lidhya askes her.  Damaris shakes her head.
:maybe Darrel came back. I thought he said he left as soon as he drops you off”?
“He did drive off ” Lidhya says
Damaris goes to the window and peeps. A smile breaking across her face.
“Its charles!!” She queeps jumping. , 
“Oh crap.  I didn’t tell you” she has a micheieveous glint in her eyes
“Tell me what?” Lidhya looks at her mischievously,
“Well, we kinda like hooked up this morning while you were out.. well before you went out. You know when  I told you I had to go..Erm. .meet a friend. .early this morning.” She draws circles with her feet
“You didn’t did you?”
“I think I sort of did and it was…fxxking fantastic. I swear he was so great and I almost wanted to literally die out of happiness. Urhh!!” She squeals.
‘Damaris you just met the guy and the next thing you are sleeping with him. You dont even know him. What’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing.  Look, he is great and I like him and he says he likes me right back. I mean, you know how many times he had called me today to tell me he misses me? Misses holding and kissing me and making love to me? I mean.. he is right outside this door and you think he isn’t a great guy and totally for keeps? C’omon,  sometimes you just have to close your eyes and take a leap. And I am doing just that…you should do. You know what, I think you should hang around with darrel,  he might be broken and sad but..he looks like a sweet enough guy. But you have to make sure he sees you as Lidhya not as his dead wife. ” 
The bell goes off again
Lidhya had a hotbretort on her lips but decides to keep it in, the door opens to reveal charles smiling with a flower infront of him.
She crushes him in a hug and a fleeting kiss then she pulls him inside.
Lidhya gets up,..
“Oh hey charles you remember my friend Lidhya from the party yesterday?”
He nods, a smile on his face but it doesnt reach his eyes..
“Yes yes I do. Helo Lidhya, how are you. I am sorry to barge in on you girls but.. I wanted to see Damaris.  I hope you don’t mind.” he says giving her his hands, she places her in his
‘Helo charles. I am well, and you? No no..it’s fine. You are already here. I would just leave you both ”
He shakes her warmly, something creases her palms as he let’s go. 
He was wearing a ring.
A gold ring. She doesn’t pay attention to it as she rubs her palm .
“I should leave you to to it” she says
“No no, you don’t need to.. afterall you both are practically sisters. I would want to get to know you too. I mean, a friend of Damaris should be my friend to right.  I wouldn’t want to date a girl without her friend giving me permission to now can I? ”
Damaris was blushing opening.
“You want to date me?’
“Yes ma’am I sure do. ”
“And you haven’t asked me yet”
“Well that’s what i am doing right now ma’am, afterall the way you kept saying that she was your sister and friend and your everything. So I think it would be great to ask for permission to have you my lovely lady as my woman,  so what do you say miss Lidhya ”
Lidhya looks at him, Damaris was swooning beside him already, gluing him as though he was the last peace of chocolate on the planet. That’s why she wasn’t thinking straight.
There was something about him that was unsettling.  Was it the way his eyes follows her, or the way he smiles and it never gets to his eyes, or his aura.
She doesn’t know jut…it felt abit unsettling. .
‘Well I don’t think you need my permission for that Charles. Damaris is a big girl and she can decide for herself..if it’s left to me I would have suggested you guys get to know each other a bit more but…
“But nothing Lidhya. ” she cuts her off 

“Ofcourse I would love to be your girlfriend charles.  Here is my answer even before you ask.'”  She says hugging him and giving him a loud kiss.
Charles laughs patting her knee.
“So, now that we have that settled, why don’t I know about you Lidhya.  ” He says staring at her directly to her eyes , 
**************
“You did what? ” James askes him
“I took her to the house ,”
“You haven’t been there for years and now you take a strange woman there to show her a picture of faith?”
“Yes: ” he says sitting down,  
“James, didnt you not see her at the party yesterday because if you did, you would understand ” darrel says
“I mean you were behind me you should have seen her..she..she looked exactly like faith James.  I swear it..you were right there and you didn’t see her? 
“I admit my eyes were on a certain damsel who took advantage of me and was running for my life when her mother theatened to squash my balls. And to answer your question.  No I didn’t see her or anyone who looked like faith Darrel.’ He admits trying to recollect the event of yesterday. 
“Then you won’t understand ” darrel says sighing.
“I know you miss her Darrel. I see you suffer..I have seen you try to hide your pain and struggle through it all. I may not understand it because losing someone you love is devasting. But I can only sympthatise with you and give you a shoulder to cry on and then give you a hand to stand up. But its been 10 years my friend.  You married at a young age to the love of your life. But sadly life took her away from you and your brother. It’s time to move on darrel. .it’s time to give life another chance. You can’t keep seeing her in faces of another woman. You can’t live your life alone in sadness and loneliness . She would want you to move on ..find love again  and move on..be happy. It’s been 10 years darrel.  Let it go!!”
“10 years and he was never found.  10 years and I still have this pain like a gaping wound refusing to heal. Ten long years and she still fills my dreams.  10 years james and I can’t look into the mirror and not see my Lucas staring back at me and laughing with that glint of mischievousness in his eyes or asking me how hot he looked in a tux or that  he just wants to talk to me..heart to heart as boys telling me all his secrets and I him. Ten long years and I still hear her laughter or feel his arms around my shoulders patting me. It’s still like yesterday James and it’s not something I can forget.  How do I live again..how, . Who can love a broken and sad man James.  I am better off alone ..in my misery. That’s my punishment for not being there to protect her, to protect him from the claws of death James. It plagues me till this day” he cover his hands to his face
James comes to stand beside him, placing a hand on his shoulder. 
“You have been living Darrel,  everyday you became better and for a while you have. But..seeing who you think you saw only reminded you of the one you lost. It may be a good thing or a bad thin. Most people would run away from someone who remind them of their pain. But you…you forge  ahead anyways and I don’t know why. Maybe you should forget about this girl who has you away . ..thinking  of faith. You need to let faith go…”
“I can’t let her go. Thesame way I can’t let luke go. They are a part f me. I can only lock the memories away but I can’t forget. But..she, Lidhya,  I don’t know James ”
James sighs. , trying to change topic..

“So Samantha and I hooked up again a Couple  of times this morning, she came over  to my  place” he was beaming
Darrell scoffs at his weak attempt of changing topics
“You know, her mother wants you both to get married and have babies” James adds. 
” She told me about her mother’s plans to hook you both for a while now but she has no interest whatsoever to go along with it..especially to spite her mother who for the life of me can’t phantom why she hates her”
Darrell smiles  ” I got a couple of missed calls form her PA, and mails inviting me for brunch/dinner etc.  I sent a decline invite. You are welcome to her James.  I have no interests for spoilt little girls”
“You have no interest on girls what so er” James says moving away from him
‘This Lidhya you speak off, ” James continous 
“Yes?”
“Oh nothing.  Was just wondering just maybe she could even help to take your mind off things even though she reminds you of your faith; she isn’t your faith. And..she isnt her twin obviously just someone you say looks so absolutely  much like her. So, …
“So….?
“Why don’t you not think of her as faith but as Lidhya for starters. ”
“I don’t understand what you mean james”
“Oh you do Darrell. You need a woman in your life anyways. Besides you  have been running the opposite direction when women come close to you. Avoid functions and women like a plague. Now all of a sudden.. you meet Lidhya who you say remind you of our dear faith.  And you take her home and show her faith. Okay. But get this, you don’t run the other way.  You go talk to her and you say  you gave her your card and you actually talked to her. Meeting her up infact.  Now that’s a good progress I haven’t gotten you to do for the past ten years. So…. I say, even though she reminds you of faith..which is sad. Why don’t you . Live for you for once.  Forget faith and. ..get to know Lidhya . She might just be another rising sun in your darkened and broken heart  you never know. When are you seeing to see her again,?”
“I am not!! Well we didn’t talk about that”
“Why the hell not?. Look why don’t you call her up. Take her out to a nice place. Hell, guess what tomorrow is? It’s valentine !! I would even set up a nice romantic dinner for both of you in an exotic restaurant.  Bills on me. But today. .. I need you to forget about the past for once in your life darrel and live in the moment and start all over. It may not be with her but… for today and for tomorrow .  Don’t think about faith, don’t think about luke. Don’t think about the past and try as much as possible to not see faith in her. Her name is Lidhya not faith.  Lidhya darrel not faith. Go out!   have fun. Get laid if possible but just live in the moment and let tomorrow take care of itself. You still too young my friend. .you can still fall inlove again and what do you know…it’s valentine the city of love. Let cupid shoot your stale heart with an arrow    … . Let the past go. It’s closed. Leave it. You need to start leaving again. …..”
“I don’t want to James.  I don’t need anyone to take her place’
“No one can darrel. .I am just saying you need to open your heart for healing and only love can heal a broken heart. Time heals they say but I swear I wonder if you froze it because it ain’t working on you. Maybe love can. .” James sits in his desk one butt style 
Darrel shakes his head 
“Give me your phone ”
“Why?” Darrel eyes him suspiciously..
“Stop asking questions darrel and give me your phone. Now!!” 
Darrell hands James his phone..
James dails his last number and waits for it to ring…
“What are you doing ?”
“Calling youtr date for tonight”..
“What ..wait.. don’t.  Cut the damn phone James. .”
He raises a finger..
“Too late it’s ringing. ..Sssshhh! !”
************
“Have a boyfriend? ” Charles askes lidha
“Lidhya hasn’t had a man for years. Suffering from a broken heart” Damaris says sitting back next to him and hands him a glass of wine
Lidhya smiles  “No I don’t. ”
“Then who was the person I saw you with,  tod’- erm.yesterday at the party. You both seemed cozy together?”
Where you watching me,  ?
“Who was she with?” Damaris askes too curious, 
“Oh, some tall looking dude, clean shaven, wearing a black suit , drives an expensive car and looks like a billion bucks?” A sly smile curls his lips
“Oh?” Damaris says
“You say you are in the US Army?”
“Yes ma’am” he nods smiling at the way she changed the subject.
There was something she was hiding..
Something he had to find out.
“And you were on the mayor’s detail last  night?”
“Yes ma’am” he nods again
“I hear the mayor is having a comference out ot time today; why aren’t you with him. You being on his security detail I assume you are still on duty.  It’s on the news, the conference is going on now…” she says
Damaris nods,  Mrs plimbleton had mentioned it last night while they were leaving.
It was an important cumference. 
He smiles ” we have shifts replacements ma’am. By tomorrow I may be on an sissginemt not today I ine. ” ays
For some reason Lidhya didn’t seem to believe him, she was about to say something when her phone rings..
Damaris had started saying something into his ears and she was blushing.  He smiles but he doesn’t stop glancing back to Lidhya 
“Helo?” Lidhya says getting up not recognising the number
“Oh..hi. who .? James..? I am sorry I don’t know  a white by is I think it’s a wrong number. ..Oh. .Yes I do know who Darrel Philips is. Oh..okay..” she pauses
Charles ears picks up her conversation 
“Oh hi Darrel. No I am fine. how are you.? Oh!!’. Today   … I I don’t know” she stares back at Damaris and charles,  he takes his her off her and places a kiss on Damaris lips. She giggles. 
Stupid girl. 

He smirks.
“Okay. No I am not busy it’s fine.okay; I ..would be waiting” she says cutting the call.
‘Who was that?” Charles askes, Damaris looks at him., he smiles 
“I mean I am just concerned. She doesn’t look too happy with the conversation and I was abit worried. No one hurts a friend of my girl. ” he tries to buttress it
Damaris smiles , ” aren’t you the most adorable man. Isn’t he the most sweet guy Lidhya” she looks at Lidhya 
A kiss is shared between them.
“Who was that anyways?” She askes breaking from the kiss
Lidhya looks at Charles before answering. .
“Its ..Darrel..he  is coming to get me.” She says
Why did something like fear jump in his eyes,  

Or was she seeing things 
“Who is Darrel? ” He askes looking away from her to Damaris
“Darrel Philips?  Hello!! He is like the hottest rich billonaire at this side of the streets  and apparently when he saw Lidhya yesterday he almost fainted . And now today having gone out with him she just found out that his w-
“Damaris Everton! !! ” Lidhya calls her name,Damaris snaps her head to her
“Oops sorry, I shouldn’t tell you all that!” 
“Tell me what? ” Charles says trying to coax it out of her 
“Well, Lidhay isn’t comfortable about it.” She says shrugging 
“She shouldn’t talk about   what I tell her to a today stranger. No offence” Lidhya says to him
‘No. None taken” he replies .
But he would really want to know what they weren’t saying.
“So, darrel is coming to get you. Maybe he likes you. ..and that was just some hogwash bulshits he spilled. Okay, that’s isn’t fair. It’s the truth he spilled but maybe he likes you…..”
Lidhya rolls her eyss.. Damaris should shut up sometimes.
And why was he staring at her that way.
*******
‘See , that wasnt so hard was it darrel? ” 
Darrel doesn’t say anything
“Don’t worry, I just booked a nice place for you both to go to tomorrow nut for now…why don’t you go home, shower, look great and go pick you your date. And….make sure you ..make good of this opportunity ”
“I can’t do this james” darrel says working to the window. 
“it’s just a date darrel I ain’t asking you to go kill sometime or sell your testicle to the highest bidder. .look, if it doesn’t go well I promise to back off for a few days and don’t pester you to have a life.  Besides she sounds  nice over the phone when she answered and..you..seemed a nervous wreck while talking to her. Look, its just a harmless innocent date  and if it goes south. I promise to stay off your face for a month at least. Deal?”
“Deal!!”
“Good. Now if you excuse me, Samantha plimbleton has just found her way to my house again. I swear that girl would be the death of me”
Darrell laughs.

Now ..
What was he going to do?”
**********
Charles seemed to be interested in knowing about her and her ‘Darrell ”
Which she doesn’t answer.
“Damz can I talk to you for a minute? ”
When Damaris was beside her she drops her voice.
“I don’t like him”
“Why the hell not?”
“Because he is unsettling and keeps asking questions about me and I don’t get why he does that’
“He is just trying to make conversation Lidhya and get to know my friend whom i praised to him btw”
“Look, I mean he says he is in US Army, was it blue flyers batch right?A security  detail for the Mayor and he was seen fratenizing with us while on duty.  And now he isn’t with the mayor out of town?..
“Are you saying he is a lair?” Damaris was upset.
“No Damaris I am just saying to be careful. ”
“Well you should go out with your rich boyfriend and let me settle in with my lover.” Damaris says offended.
Lidhay sighs. .
Their bell rings again, 
Lidhya takes a change of cloths to the bathroom.and changes into another dress, powders her nose and wears a lip balm, she grabs her bag
‘Damaris. ..you want to come say hi?”
“No!!” She continues talking to charles who shifts his face from her to Lidhya 
“Is something wrong ” He askes
“No. Nothing is babe. Lidhya is going out’ she says. 
Lidhya gives her a small sigh  , she was sorry if she offended her. 
“I am sorry Damariz” she says, walking out of the door .
“Whats wrong with both of you babe?was it me?” He askes her
Damaris shakes her head “just girl stuff.  It’s nothing to be worried about”.
‘So, what was that you both were talking about  and she didn’t want you to tell me?
She shrugs.. “it’s nothing ”
He pulls her to him, caressing her face.
“You know since we are alone, why don’t we have that pillow talk …” he winks at her
She blushes
He wonders if he could make her talk after or during the sex.
He wonders also if Lidhya and the one  who looks like the one who was dead be talking about him too.
Lidhya also reminds him of her, and the way she stares at him tells him she doesn’t trust him.
That’s why he needs to know what they don’t want him to know..
He rubs the ring around his finger,..
Dead men don’t talk….
But the living does.
*********
Darrel and Lidhya seat across the table from each other,  
They haven’t spoken a word to each other but just silently eating.
Once they were done, 
“You want anything else?”
“No thank you, I am stuffed ” she replies. 
“Okay ” he smiles turning away the waiter
Another 30 minutes pass.
Maybe he shouldn’t have listened to James and brought her out 
What would they talk about..
He wanted to talk about his wife and brother and the life he lived but…
James says no.
He sighs
“Whats wrong.”
He shakes his head..”nothing ” 
“Do you want me to take you home?” He asked.
He didn’t want to bore her any more.
She looks up at him, not knowing what to say too.
“Okay ” she nods
As they head to his car he opens his door.
This was the second time in two days he went without an escorts and a bodyguard in his car. He hated the “No Privacy “memo as an elite family  he hated  the spotlight. 
While they drove in silence, he watches her from the side of his eyes. .
Faith
He wanted to call her but…she wasn’t his faith.
“Forget faith. Let her go. Let the past go” he blinks
She was staring out the window,  
“I do understand your pain Darrell” she tells him without looking at him. “I do see you struggle not to call me faith. ” 
He looks straight ahead, swallowing hard.
“But I am not faith. I am  or your faith. I am Lidhya.  And I hope one day your heart becomes completely healed so that you can let your memory of her come to rest.  You deserve closure darrell and they deserve to rest in peace. ” she stares at him.. placing her hand lighting on his..
He couldn’t take it anymore..
He screeches the car to a stop and jumps out of it..
Backing her..
She could see his shoulders heave up and down, shakingly. .
She let’s him be for a few minutes then she gets down,  the breeze ash on her skin, kissing her shoulders she goes to him
“You have to let it all out. All the pain and let it go” she tells him.
He doesn’t say anything. . 
He backed her and let the tears flow freely..
He hadnt really allowed himself to really cry out his pain, hiding behind closed doors, locking it away when he had to smile for people to tell them he was fine.
Tonight, it felt like a fresh wound ..hurting him all over again.
He let’s the tears fall.
As though washing away his pains, his agony…
He let’s it fall.
Without knowing why she did it, or thinking…she goes to him, putting her arms through his arms from behind she wraps her arms around him..squeezing him tight 
They stay like that for a couple of minutes..
When he doesnt stop she goes infront of him , gathering him into her arms she brings his head to her shoulders . Wrapping him again
He hugs her back…and let’s the tears flow..
“Ssshhhhhh!” Its okay
‘Its okay ” she says..
They break away a couple of minutes later.
“I am sorry ” he says embarrassed.  His eyes red.
“Don’t be”
“You know what’s a good aprodiziac for pain?” She askes
He looks curiously at her
“Icecream! Chocolates and cake!! ” She smiles at him
“Those are for girls with a broken heart ” he says
“Well, let’s be girls today yes.  Let’s pretend we have broken hearts then…shall we??”
Smiling he nods..
They drive and he  gets them all that she askes, sitting in the car they lick the Icecream,  eat the chocolates and the cakes..
Lightening his mood she tells him about her self..

Her childhood, her parents and her school life. She tells him of her heart  heartbreak  how she literally stays of men. They were trouble.
“Am I trouble?” He askes
“Nope. You are the exception to the rule. You ..are a girl at the moment ” she winks. He laughs
She tells him of her sucky job at the cafeteria . She tells him of her two best friends.. Damaris and Samantha how they have grown to love each others as sisters 
“Where are your family now?” He askes her
“Mum is remarried..pops ..never knew him… mum and my step father Jacob are great though but they moved outter states.” He nods
“Yours?”
He smiles.. “vacating out of states too” she smiles. 
They talk about everything , soon he found himself relaxing, listening to her talk. 
Most times he sees faith, laughing in her a laugh,  smiling in her smile, her eyes sparkling in  her sparkle and he was tempted to touch her hands like he always did, or draw her close to him and kiss her.

Just the way he always did.
“Not faith. This is Lidhya not faith” he mentally repeats to himself. .
As the night waned,  he was more drawn to her than he had been earlier..
Yes she wasn’t his faith but despite that she reminded him of her..in her physcialness and similar in her traits. .
She had this special uniqueness about her..
The way she plays with her hair, throws her head back to laugh, roll her eyes, curl her toes up and say “yumm” everytime she took a spoon of Icecream. Or bit on the chocolate. 
She was a touchy person..

Lightly touching his arm here and there…
Hitting his chest with the flat of he palm.when he says something silly. 
The more he talked with her, the more the pain in his chest seem to lighten
The more he saw her laugh, the more he wanted to keep her laughing. .
And for a strange reason he liked the way she laughted..wholeheartedly.
He hadnt been able to talk to a woman like this for years and he forgot how to be around them, impress them. He didn’t care to after faith. He didn’t need to 
But here was lidha. His faith-kinda-lidhya. Who saw a broken man break down and didn’t bolt for the next bus but was here sitting and laughing in the dark at the dead of the night with him.
Why did he feel. ..good about it and guilty too.
He sighs. .
“Whats wrong?” She askes concerned.  “Did I say anything wrong?”
“No..Nothing at all” he says staring at her..
They become quiet ..too quiet..
She didn’t want him to lapse back into his sad mood ..so she did the first thing that came to her mind. .
She leans into him.and kisses his cheeks
“That’s for being a good girl company in yout first trial of icecream-chocolatey-cakey momenta’ she says
He chuckles
Then she begins to giggle..
“What? ” He askes
She points to his cheeks,  laughing …”What? ”
“You have a stain on your cheeks. I think that’s my fault?!” She says smiling 
He flips the mirror down and looks, yes he did have icecream on his cheeks.. he laughs. .
“You did that on purpose didn’t you?”
She nods, 
He laughs, “now amma icecream- the -cheeks-man” he says
She laughs. . He joins her 
She likes his laugh.  He should laugh some more. He looked less sadder now..
He looked younger when he smiled, he indeed was a looker.
He made to clean it but she stops him, taking his hanky from him 
“Let me help you with that”  she sugessted
“Well. .Erm omay” he says
But instead of using the hanky she leans into him, close to his face she licks off the icecream to his cheeks.
He hadnt felt a woman so close to him for years..10 years infact, the whip of her perfume reaches his nose..
He closes his eyes.. 
Faith used to smell so good.
Stop thinking about faith!!
He opens his eyes to stare at her, she was staring at him, a few breaths space away 
They stay like that for a few seconds. .
Why are you so close to him like that Lidhya? She askes herself.
She was just going to lick out the icecream. From his face..and pull away but..
Now she wanted to close the distance..
And kiss him but was scared he might pull away..reject her, recoil back to his sad mopping stare
They just stare at each other..
He hadnt kissed another woman other than faith. 10 long years and he habit been with another woman..
He didn’t know how to react to lidha almost a few breath space away from him.
“I am sorry” she says pulling away, feeling embarrassed
He sighs,  leaning back. His heart beating fast.
Phew!! He exhales. 
They stay like that for a few minutes. .
“Go out with me tomorrow? ” He askes her. James already had a day planned he might as well take her out tommorow
‘What like on a date. Valentine date? It’s too overated. I don’t go out on that day”
“Well, I have a booking already and I would hate to let it all go to waste ” he says ..and James won’t let him be
“What if I don’t? ”
“Well I got to pretend to be  a girl for you today atleast play my date Tomorrow for me and we are even”
He smiles. She smiles back.
“Okay then ‘”
He drives her home…laughing listening to her sing horribly at the top of her voice to a song she liked.
She was a happy child despite . 
Strangely he liked her carefree spirit ..
When they get to her house he walks her to her door..
“Thank you” he says
“For what,?”
“For being….you. different. You!!” He says, ” see you tomorrow.  ” he says turning away

She watches him go back to his car..
He opens his door and made to enter 
He feels a tap ; he turns  ..
“Boo! !”
She says.
He throws back his head in laughter   ” i swear you play alot!” He says calming down 
“I know, I have been told” she says  then she tiptoes and kisses his cheeks
And before she pulls away he catches her wrists.  Pulling her hack to him.
She leans in towards him,, her hands flat on his chest. He rests his forehead to hers, saying nothing he closes his eyes and just holds her to him.
She let’s him hold her like that. Closing her eyes too they stay.
As though fighting a struggling battle within himself he sighs, defeated he tilts her face,  slowly…and places a tiny kiss to her lips..
He doesn’t let her go. Then he kisses her again,  a kiss she immediately responds to..
As the kiss deepen she wraps her arms around him and let’s him savour her lips as she tastes from his too.
Liplocked for what felt like forever he releases her and places a kiss to her forehead..
“Goodnight Lidhya ” he says… 
She watches the car disappear before she let’s out her breath..
Maybe, having a Valentine afterall wasn’t such a bad idea.
She touches her hands to her lips..
She couldn’t believe he just kissed her. And she liked it.
She liked him.
Sadness must have made them cross parts but…
What if…this was a start of something new for both of them.
Now she couldn’t wait till tomorrow. .
She goes back inside with a smile on her face.

************
Somewhere in the dark.  A shadow watches them , rubbing the ring he had to his finger
Damariz had said alot during their pillow sex session..
But she refused to say anything about lidha and the one who looked like the dead one. Because she was upset and angry at what lidha said .
No matter how he tried to pacify her she just wanted a good shagging and fell asleep.
Maybe he should pay the living one a visit…
He couldn’t continue with the guessing games, his dreams was  filled with the woman in white … and the one who is dead.. dancing like fades pictures over his face.
Haunting him.
Haunting him through them..
Tomorrow he would find out what they know and end this taunts once and for all.
“Tomorrow. ..” he says as he disappears into the dark…

************

To be continued 

#Loveis 

#LoveIsSeries 

#AWhiteRedValentine #AValentineStory 

#StephanieEgberike 

#Writes #thesweetperspectives 

#Feb13th3rdchapter #Chapter

Ps : Don’t miss The final chapter.

You blink.. you miss the Finale…..
Coming up in a few hours  .
Pss  :Its Valentine…….Happy lovers day lavs😘
Xoxo.
Me😘
Www.sweetspectives.wordpress.com 

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