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Saturday, November 07, 2015

'I'm a high class prostitute, but my parents think I work in a bank!' (7)


Despite the opposition from my friends, my wedding plans with Ron went on smoothly. The date was fixed about six months after our engagement so we could have enough time to make plans for both the traditional marriage and church wedding.
I happily threw myself into the arrangements with Ron's full support. As the day drew closer, I looked forward to the new phase in my life. It would be a totally new experience for me, sharing my life with just one man instead of many as I had been doing for so long. I didn't feel too bad about giving up my past life, knowing I was exchanging it for something much better. 

After Ron proposed, I stopped the prostitution work. Jacques was the only guy from my old days that I still saw occasionally as I liked him so much and he had been so good to me. But I planned ending things with him after the wedding as I wanted to be faithful to my darling Ron.
One day, Ron and I were at his home discussing the venue for the reception and guest list when he suddenly held my hand and stated:
"Babe, I'm so looking forward to our wedding day which will be the happiest day of my life! I can't wait for the day!"
"Me too, honey!" I replied and hugged him tightly. I was so happy at the way my life had turned out, despite my sordid past and I thanked God every day for bringing a man like Ron to help turn my life around.
About a month before the wedding, Ron invited a few close friends and business associates of his to a pre-wedding dinner. It was his way, he explained of introducing as well as 'showing off' his bride-to-be to them. 

On the evening of the dinner which was held at a top restaurant in the city, I wore a new dress I had bought on one of my recent trips outside the country and had my hair and make-up done professionally. Ron said I had never looked more beautiful.
"Wow, you look stunning! My friends will all be envious of me when they see you," he declared as he came up to kiss me.
"Hey, mind my lipstick!" I said, turning so his kiss landed on my cheek. 
He laughed and taking my hand, we walked out of the house to the car.

Meeting Monique
A few of our guests had arrived when we got to the restaurant and Ron introduced me to them. Some had come with their partners- either girlfriends or wives-and I stood with them, chatting and getting acquainted while our men exchanged banters.
Later, we were settling down at our table when another guest came in. He was Desmond, a childhood friend of my fiancĂ©. With him was Monique, someone I knew from my past. 
To say I was surprised to see her there was putting it mildly. I almost lost my appetite and the good mood I was in all evening. I however composed myself and pretended as if we had never 
met before. She did likewise and was cool towards me.

After dinner, Ron and some of the men were at the bar having drinks and making plans for the rest of the evening. Someone suggested we should all head to a niteclub nearby owned by a top musician in the country. I was not in the mood for dancing though. I had an important issue to trash out. I went up to Monique and made a sign towards the restroom.
"What are you doing here?" I demanded immediately we got there.
She ignored my words and instead said:
"You have really done well for yourself, Vanessa. Congratulations once again on your engagement. Lucky you!" 
"Thanks,"I stated impatiently. "But that's not why I called you here! What happened to you? I thought you were in London!" I added.
She shrugged then said:
"Things didn't work out as planned. The guy who processed my travelling papers was a conman. My visa turned out to be fake and I was turned back at the airport in London. I met Desmond two months ago and we have been dating since. So, here I am! It was just last week someone told me you were engaged but I never knew it was to my guy's friend. It's a small world!"

Monique and I went back a long way to our days at school. We had started out doing 'runs' and other crazy things together until two years ago when she had a misunderstanding with Bibi over a client. She left our group in anger and had gone solo. Then about a year ago, we heard she had relocated to the U.K and we had lost touch with her. Until now.
"Babe, I'm happy for you, o! At least, one of us is doing something right for once," she noted, smiling. Then, drawing close, she whispered: "Does your fiancé know about your past life?"

I shook my head.
"I have not told him anything," I replied.
"Good. What he does not know won't hurt. The past should stay where it belongs- in the past! And I assure you, my lips are sealed!" she said, placing a finger across her heavily painted lips. "But it's on one condition. I want to be one of your bridesmaids!" she declared.
I was not too keen on the idea as I believed the more distance I kept from friends from my past, the better for me. It was because of that that Bibi and Sheila (both bridesmaids) were the only ones in my group that I allowed to play any active role in my wedding as they could be trusted to keep my secret.

For the sake of peace I agreed to her request.
We joined the others shortly after and headed to the niteclub.
It was quite late that night when Ron and I drove home. He wanted to stay longer at the club with his friends but I told him I was tired and needed to go home and rest.
"Hope you had a nice time with my friends," Ron asked when we got to his house and prepared for bed.
"Yes, sweetheart. It was fun." 
Apart from seeing Monique again, the evening had turned out well. His friends had received me warmly and complimented Ron on his choice of a bride.
"You seem to like my friend, Desmond's girlfriend," he noted as he stretched out on the bed. I was sitting at the dressing table removing my make-up with a cleansing pad. I turned to stare at him.
"What do you mean by that?" I queried.
"I observed you chatting with her most of the evening as if you've known each other for long. Have you two met somewhere before?" he said.
"No. She's just a friendly girl. She was asking about the wedding, the design of my gown, who will be doing my make-up and other stuff. That's all," I replied. I got up to join him in bed.
"Women! You love nothing but to talk about clothes, shoes, bags and whatnot!" he said.
"And what do you guys talk about when you are together?" I said with a sneer.
"Serious issues. Business, politics, the world economy..." he noted.
I picked up a pillow and hit him with it.
"Liar! You talk about women!" I said. He laughed, grabbed my arms and kissed me.
  
    ***
It was two weeks before we were to travel to my hometown for the traditional marriage ceremony. Some months before, Ron and I had gone to visit my family so I could formally introduce him to them. They had all been happy to see him and welcomed him warmly into the family.
"I'm so glad to have finally met the young man who changed my daughter's mind about marriage. Before you came along, she never wanted to settle down despite all my efforts. You are welcome my son!" were my mother's first words on our arrival home.
"Ah! Mum! Why do you want to expose me like this?" I had said, grumpily.
"Keep quiet! Is it not the truth?" she had countered, turning to my Dad for support.
Ron had laughed and said:
  "I must be her God-ordained husband then. That's the reason she had to wait so long!" My parents laughed along with Ron but I did not find it funny.
  
Two weeks before our trip home, I was in our bedroom upstairs taking a nap when Ron returned home from work. 
I could hear him calling me downstairs so I put on a blouse over my jeans trousers and went down to join him.
He was standing in the middle of the living room. With him was his friend Desmond. I was about to embrace Ron when I saw the grim look on his face and that of his friend...


What happens next? Will Vanessa and Ron finally end up at the altar? Log on tomorrow to find out in the final installment of Vanessa's story!

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.


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