On the bed, Oliver tilted his body to face Carla, who remained engrossed in her cell phone as if she did not care about his presence.
With his eyes, Oliver traced his wifes beautiful face. As if realizing that she was being watched, Carla turned to Oliver.
Their eyes met.
”What? ” Carla asked fiercely.
”Its nothing. ” Oliver said casually with a smile on his face.
”Why are you smiling? ”
”Am I not allowed to smile? ” Oliver slipped one hand under the bath towel wrapped around his waist. With his hand, he rubbed his own property, who was still half asleep under the towel.
”What the hell? Don be weird. ” Carla glanced sharply at Olivers hand twitching under the towel.
e so fierce, ” Oliver said anxiously.
The more fierce, the prettier she became. Thats strange. Oliver whispered to himself.
Oliver was secretly amazed by the changes in Carla, who looked fresher every day like a blooming flower.
Whereas one month ago, when he first met Carla, his wifes face looked gaunt, pale, and much older than her age. But, now, the light of life seemed to shine brightly from Carlas face to the point where Oliver himself couldn believe that the woman lying next to him was the same woman he had married one month ago.
”You better hurry up and put some clothes on. No need to show off your body like that. I won be tempted. ” Carla looked away and rolled onto the side with her back to Oliver.
Oliver reached out and touched Carlas shoulder.
Carla dispassionately swatted Olivers hand away with a gesture like shooing away a disease-spreading fly.
”How many times have I told you, don ever touch me! ” Carla shifted her body away from Oliver. ”Id rather die than give myself to a man like you! ”
Oliver felt like his chest was being stabbed by a sharp knife. It hurt!
When he had agreed to marry Carla, he had never thought that the once weak and helpless Carla would turn into such a hard-hearted woman. Oliver could only take a deep breath to ease the turmoil in his heart.
As her beauty returned, Carlas true nature gradually began to emerge.
Oliver got out of bed and began to dress.
From outside the room came the clink of cutlery being arranged on the dining table.
Dinner time had arrived.
Oliver went outside and found Britney and his wife, Adelia, already seated around the dining table. Adelia, Olivers mother-in-law, seemed to cluck her tongue when she saw Oliver approaching.
Since the beginning, Adelia had not agreed with Oliver and Carlas marriage. But Adelia couldn do much about it because it was her husband who decided the marriage.
”Oliver, come and sit near dad. Wheres Carla, why hasn she come out yet? ” Britney greeted kindly and patted the empty chair next to him.
Seeing this, Adelia immediately scowled and looked away.
Unbeknownst to Britney, Adelia made a gagging motion when Oliver passed by.
”Carla is still bathing, Dad, ” Oliver replied.
Oliver sat on the seat next to Britney, which meant that he now had to face Adelia, whose face was scrunched up as if there was an unpleasant smell bothering her nose.
”Thats all right. Its okay; lets eat first. ” Britney spooned the rice into the plate, followed by Adelia and, finally, Oliver.
There were only three of them at the dining table. That was often the case because Nancy preferred to eat in her room, and Carla usually ate out after work.
Tonights dinner menu was chicken soup.
”How come theres no chili sauce …. ” Britney muttered as he inspected the dishes on the table.
”Excuse me, Dad? ” Oliver asked because he felt he couldn quite hear what Britney was saying.
”Oh, no. Theres no chili sauce yet. I think Li Magda forgot. ”
”Sambal yes. Let me go to the kitchen. ” Oliver got up from his chair and intended to take the chili sauce from the kitchen, but Britney quickly held him back.
”You just continue eating. ” Britney calmed Oliver down and increased the volume of his voice. ”Liiiii… no chili sauce yet? ”
”Oh yes, sir. Sorry. I left the sauce behind. ” Li Magda said from the kitchen.
A moment later, Li Magda seemed to be in a hurry, carrying a bowl full of chili sauce.
Oliver got up from his chair to get the bowl of sambal that Li Magda held out.
Because he was so excited, Oliver accidentally spilled some of the sambals from the chicken soup bowl in front of Adelia.
”Moron! ” Adelia screeched like a wounded dog with her eyes glaring at Oliver.
”Sorry, Mom. ” Oliver quickly grabbed the tissue box and handed it to Adelia, whose face was already as wrinkled as if she had just taken the laundry off the clothesline.
”Never mind, I lost my appetite because of you! ” Adelia threw the used tissue she used to wipe the chili sauce on the table at Oliver.
The chili sauce-soaked tissue hit Olivers chest and fell to the floor, leaving a chili sauce stain on the white T-shirt Oliver was wearing.
”Ede, its okay. Don overdo it, ” Britney tried to calm his wife, whose face was bright red.
”Just keep defending your favorite son-in-law! You let this obscure scum like him live in our house, you even married him to Carla! I don know whats going through in your mind at this point! ” Adelia blurted out, pushing her plate away.
”Thats it, Ede. Its done. ”
”Whats done? Do you want me to shut up? No! I won shut up until this idiot leaves this house. Ever since he set foot in this house, Ive never felt peace again. You
e like a Dementor, you know? ” Adelia turned to Oliver and shouted the word Dementor hatefully at him.
Oliver grabbed a tissue and wiped his face from Adelias spit.
”Adelia? ” Britney said quietly in a threatening tone to warn Adelia.
”What? I can take it anymore! Im fed up with this useless trash like him. How could you give Carla to a low-class human like this! ” Adelia screamed as she pushed away the chair she was sitting on and left the dining room.
Britney turned to Oliver. ”Forgive your mom, Oliver. Shes been unstable lately, ” Britney said gently as he rubbed Olivers shoulder.
”Yes, dad. Hehe. ” Oliver forced himself to smile.
He had to be strong. He had promised Ellen. If Ellen hadn protected him, he would have been shot and died at that time.
Remembering his colleague and best friend, Oliver suddenly felt his chest tighten. His eyes began to water.
”Eh, lets continue eating. Don think about what your mom said earlier. ”
Britney moved the bowl of chicken soup in front of Oliver. He thought the change he saw on Olivers face was caused by his wifes piercing words.
”Yes, dad. Thank you, ” Oliver replied, again forcing himself to smile.
Shortly afterwards, Carla walked into the dining room with a self-smiling face looking at her cell phone screen. Seeing this, Oliver frowned.
”Carla, come and eat, ” said Britney.
Carla sat in the empty chair that Adelia had occupied earlier.
”Wheres mom, Dad? ” Carla asked.
”Mom already ate earlier. Why don you come and eat too? ”
Suddenly, Britneys cell phone rang.
”I am done, ” Britney said, then left the dining room while answering the call.
Carla looked at the chicken soup and the various side dishes that were laid out on the table.
”Come on, eat. Want me to serve you? ” Oliver chimed in.
As if she had just realized Oliver was there, Carla looked up, looking straight into Olivers eyes. It was a cold, piercing gaze that made Oliver shudder.
Carla didn seem to be bothered to hide her hatred for Oliver.
”You better hurry up and finish eating. After that, accompany Nancy to Exxoo. She has an event with her friends. You drop her off and wait there until she gets home! ” Carla ordered sternly.
Oliver remained silent and continued eating while trying to calm the flames of anger rising in his chest. Oliver knew that Nancy had organized the party at Exxo using money she had taken from Olivers ATM.
”Oliver, just shut up! Did you hear that? Or are you getting dumb now? ” Carla scolded harshly.
”Yes, I heard you, ” Oliver replied shortly.
Actually, he was annoyed too. Couldn his wife be nice to him?
”Take care of Nancy! Watch out if anything happens to my sister! ” threatened Carla.
Oliver chose not to respond. He… didn want to fight with Carla.
”Oh yeah, instead of being idle like that, tomorrow try coming to the office where I work. Theres an opening for a security guard. I think youd be a good security guard, ” Carla said.
So, in Carlas eyes, Oliver was nothing more than a security guard…
Carla raised his chin high and left Oliver alone.
Oliver watched Carla leave with a bitter smile. For the umpteenth time, tonight, he had to be the guard dog who had to watch over Nancy.
Carla walked back into the room with the rosy face of someone in love. Her eyes never left the screen of her cell phone. A moment later, her cell phone rang with an incoming call. The name Andrew was displayed on the screen, along with a red heart.
”How come you
e already calling. Have you finished your shower? ” said Carla in a coquettish voice.
Carla flopped down on the bed and held the phone to her ear.
Andrew had been Carlas boyfriend since she was in college. Now he was starting to approach Carla again. Oliver would be furious if he found out about this.
After dinner, Oliver went to take Nancy to Exxo. Exxxo was a semi-bar cafe with a dance floor.
”Heres your ATM. ”
Nancy threw Olivers ATM card on the dashboard of the car on the way to Exxo.
Oliver glanced bitterly at his ATM card, whose money must have been drained by Nancy.
They arrived at Exxxo.
Oliver followed Nancy to the horde of Nancys friends who were waiting for her in front of the entrance.
”New boyfriend, Nan? ” Tisha, one of Nancys friends, teased while looking at Oliver.
”You forgot. This is Oliver. Carlas husband, ” Nancy replied coldly.
There was a sense of disgust when Nancy said it.
”Oh, hes still alive apparently. You
e really patient, Carla, dealing with a hobo like this. Its not really level when compared to Andrew. Hahaha! ” Jack, Nancys male friend, chimed in.
”You just want to come with a trashy son-in-law like him, Nan. ”
”The trashy son-in-law of the Harvey family. Hahaha… ”
They seemed so content to insult Oliver. If they had known who Oliver was, they would have been trembling in fear of insulting him!
”Never mind. Lets go straight in, ” said Nancy, walking ahead of her friends.
Oliver followed Nancy. But…
”Stop! This riff-raff doesn need to come in, right? ” protested Jack.
”Its okay. Let it go. Just as long as he doesn join our table, ” Nancy replied.
Jack looked disappointed.
”I don want to sit at the same table as a human like him, Nan, ” Tisha chimed in.
Jack smiled. He looked at Oliver and showed him his middle finger.
Oliver said nothing. Unprovoked.
”He has to come in. Its a condition from Carla for me to be allowed to go tonight, ” said Nancy, biting her lower lip.
The smile on Jacks face disappeared. He lowered his hand.
Oliver, meanwhile, had a small smile on his face.
”Thats all right. But you sit far away from us. Watch out if you dare to come near us. Ill punch you! ” Nancys other male friend came forward, pushing Olivers chest away.
Oliver chuckled to himself.
Oliver waited until the group entered, then he followed and found a seat a little further away from Nancys table.
The music continued to pound relentlessly. From his seat, Oliver could see the bottles of expensive liquor that were constantly being delivered to Nancys table.
A few minutes later, Nancy rose from her chair and staggered towards the bathroom.
Olivers eyes widened as he watched one of Nancys male friends open a paper package from his pocket and pour the contents into Nancys drink glass.
”Asshole! ” Oliver cursed inwardly.
Oliver knew exactly what that was. He was now on his guard.
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