On hearing the question, Jessica choked on her drink.
“Are you okay?” Her dad asked, patting her back and he handed a glass of water
to her.
“Yeahh”, she said, taking the water and her eyes landed on Dean’s. They stared at
each other for a few seconds and looked away.
“Are you okay?” Her dad asked again.
“Yeahhh, I am”, she said to him and he nodded.
They all continued with their food and Jessica heaved a sigh of relief. She was
happy that the question was dropped but her mum brought it up again.
“Yeah, Jess. Are you in a relationship? That cough can’t get you off the question”,
she said, giving her a face.
“Isn’t she supposed to have my back?” Jessica whispered to her brother who was
sitting by her and he chuckled.
“You already know mum and her theatrics”, he said to her.
“I….” she started to say and she paused.
“I am”, she blurted out and everyone turned to face her.
“Why are you all looking at me like that?” She asked, giving a nervous laugh.
“And you’re didn’t tell me. Now she’s hiding everything from me”, her mother
said to her.
“Mum! Are you supposed to know everything that’s going on in my life?”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m your mother”.
“Don’t mind her Jesssica”, her father said to her.
“So you two are not dating?” Theophilus asked and Priscilla burst out laughing.
She was enjoying the drama.
Jessica and Dean’s parents looked at each other and they shrugged.
“No, we are not”, She said to Theophilus.
“Mum and Aunty Dessy said you two were dating”, he said to her and everyone
turned to face Jessica’s Mum and Dean’s mum.
“Don’t look at us like that. We just assumed, that’s all”, Dessy said, shrugging.
“Wow! You two are just making things really weird”, Dean said to his mum.
“We didn’t say anything. It’s all Theophilus”, his mum said to him.
“I thought this dinner was a celebratory dinner. Why are we poking our noses
into their lives”, Dean’s dad said to his wife and Jessica’s mum.
“We are not poking our nose. We just want to know what’s up, that’s all”, Dessy
said to him.
“Can we just get back to the food and talk more about their jobs”, Jessica’s father
said to everyone.
“Don’t act like you don’t want to know who Jessica is dating”, His wife said
undertone but everyone heard it.
“It’s clear that they’re dating, let’s stay out of it till they’re ready to talk about it”,
he said to her and Priscilla laughed so hard whiles Dean and Jessica looked down
at their food.
“Wow Thomas! Now you’re the one making them shy”, his wife said to him and
they started to argue as usual.
“I’m not dating Dean!” Jessica exclaimed and everyone was quiet.
“Yeah, can we get back to our food now?”
“Who are you dating?” Her mum asked and she facepalmed.
Jessica was annoyed with the whole topic, she knew that it would also make Dean
uncomfortable and annoyed.
“You don’t know him”.
“Well, what’s his name?”
“Philip”, she said to her.
“Philip? Mmm, when are we going to meet him?”
“Jane, let’s just get back to the food”, Her husband said to her.
“Mmm, okay. I know Priscilla is going to fill me in later”, she said giving her a face
and she looked away.
They got back to their food and talked more about their job and life in general.
When they were done eating, Dean and Jessica’s parents left to the hall and the
kids stayed back to clean up.
“Who’s going to wash the dishes?” Theophilus asked.
“You of course”, Priscilla said to him.
“That’s unfair. I’ve already been through a lot in school”.
“We all went through that and besides you’re in your final year”, Priscilla said to
“Yeah but it’s still boarding school. I really want a day off from washing dishes”.
“I’ll wash it”, Dean said to him.
“No way, we can’t let Dean wash the dishes”, Priscilla said, glaring at him.
“I’ll help out. You two should clean the table and sweep the floor”, Jessica said to
“Ai ai captain”, they both said in Unison.
“You both have to pack up the plates and clear it up first”, she said to them.
“Alright”, Theophilus said to her and they both packed up the plates and cleared
it up.
“Let’s go”, she said to Dean and they both walked into the kitchen.
“I’ll wash and you will rinse it”, he said to her.
“Just like old times”, she said, smiling and he smiled too.
“Yeahhhh”, he said to her and he turned on the tap and got to work.
“So I was wondering. How did you find your apartment?” She asked him.
“Mike told me about it and I decided to check it out”.
“Oh okay”.
“What about you?”
“Richard told me about it”.
“Okay and do you like it?”
“I love it. It’s furnished and it…has a separate bathroom and toilet!!” they both
said in unison.
“I knew that was what made you pick it!” Dean said to her and she chuckled.
“Yeah, I don’t like it when they’re in the same location without a demarcation”.
“Yeah, me too”.
“How many rooms do you have in yours?” She asked.
“2. What about yours?”
“Same”, she said to him and they talked all through their dish washing activity.
“What time are we leaving?” She asked him.
“I don’t know yet but I’m going to have a chat with my parents for a while”.
“Okay. Then, I’ll just do my best to avoid my mum before she bombards me with a
lot of questions”.
“Why are you hiding your relationship from her?” He asked.
“Uhm…..first, I didn’t want her to make Richard the topic and make you
uncomfortable and I also didn’t want her to pressurize me into bringing him
over”, she said to him.
“If it’s about me, it’s okay to tell her. It’s not like we’ve not dated others in the
past and also, what’s wrong with bringing him over?”
“Don’t you know my mum? She’ll do whatever it takes to meet the whole family
and I have a feeling that Richard might cooperate with her”.
“Are you still keeping it a secret from Erica and your coworkers?” He asked her.
“Yeah, it has to be that way for a while”.
“So, no one at work knows about it?!”
“Just Lisa”.
“Oh okay”.
“Alright, so I’ll talk to my parents for a while and then we can leave after that”.
“Alright”, she said to him and he left.

Dean said his goodbyes to his parents and little cousin and he walked into
Jessica’s house.
They were all seated in the hall, talking.
“You ready?” Jessica asked when she saw him.
“Yeah”, he said to her.
“Okay. Mum, dad and Theo, I’m leaving”, she said to them.
“Why aren’t you sleeping over? It’s already late”, her dad said to her.
“Dad it’s just 8 and I have plans for tomorrow”, she said to him.
“Mmm, you can leave tomorrow morning”.
“Dean’s car wouldn’t be available”.
“Oh Dean can also sleep over in his house”.
“I think he has plans too”, she said looking at him and he nodded.
“Hmm, I see that you want to go. I’ll just let you go then. What about you
“I’ll sleep over and leave with Theophilus tomorrow morning”.
“Okay. Let’s see them off then”, he said to his family and they got on their feet and
stepped out of the house.
“Say hi to Philip”, Jessica’s mother said to her and she chuckled.
“No problem”.
“And Dean drive safely”, she said to him.
“Yes mum, I will”.
“Let me go and say goodbye to your parents”, Jessica said to him and she walked
into his house.
“Dean, do you know who this Philip is?” Her mother asked him.
“Mum!!” Priscilla said to her.
“I just want to know”.
“I’ve seen him once or twice”.
“And do you think he’s good for her?” She asked him.
“I think she’ll be the best person to answer that. But she’s always happy, so I
guess he makes her happy”.
“Okay. Anyway, I’ll dig up everything from Priscilla”.
“Mum, I don’t know anything”.
“You’ll know very soon”, she said to her and they all laughed.


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