Chapter Two

Stanley groaned and buried his face deeper into the pillow at the feel of a very big headache. He rarely drinks or gets drunk but whenever he does, he gets the worst hangover ever.

Reluctantly, he stood up from his bed and made his way to his cabinet for some hangover painkillers. He reached for a glass of water on his nightstand and gulped down the pills.

He sat back on his bed to relax and suddenly, memories of yesterday night came rushing back to him.

Stan groaned and buried his face in his hands. Then he reached for his phone on the nightstand and dialled Lauren. He honestly had no idea what he was going to say to her. He just wanted to hear her voice, make sure she's okay and then maybe apologize to her for going too far yesterday.

He waited patiently for Lauren to pick up his call but she didn't which was very unusual of her. She was always at his beck and call, picking up in the first four rings.

Stanley sighed in defeat and dialled her number again. This time, it went straight to voicemail.

He swallowed painfully and then left a message.

"I hope you're okay Lauren. I know today is a national holiday and a break for you but please can you come over? We need to talk. I was drunk yesterday but everything I said is true. I'm sorry for breaking the news to you just like that and I'm sorry for going way too far. Please call me, I'm going crazy."

Stanley let out some air and then dialled his confidant; Anita, his elder sister.

"Hi love, " Anita said from the other side as soon as she picked up.

"Heyy, Annie!" he replied to her greetings.

"You sound worried? What's the problem?"

"Stress from work or you got into another fight with Rita?" She added.

Stanley sighed, his elder sister knew him too well.

"I might have told Lauren how I feel about her."

"Really? How did she take the news?" Anita asked, interested.

"She didn't take it well and I messed up too."

"What went wrong?" She asked.

"I was drunk when I told Lauren how I feel about her and then one thing led to another." He whispered.

"You guys made love?" Anita asked.

"No, we didn't, but we almost did."

"My phone rang in the process and it brought the two of us back to our senses. And before I could apologize to her, she left."

"I don't want her to feel like I want her for my sexual desires. She really means more than that to me. I wish I wasn't tipsy last night."

"I called her this morning, she didn't pick up and then it went to voicemail. I hope she's okay." Stanley ran his fingers through his hair.

"What was her reply when you confessed your feelings to her? Can you remember?" Anita asked.

Stanley nodded positively even though his sister couldn't see him

"She was reluctant to accept that I love her. She denied she feels something for me too. She's reluctant because I'm married and she could be termed a gold digger."

"I have a feeling Rita said something to her, " he added.

Anita heaved a sigh. "You can't blame Lauren for being so insecure. You're her Boss and married too. I guess you're right also. Rita must have threatened her. Lauren's love and kindness towards you is not unknown to anybody who is very observant. That girl adores you."

"So what are you going to do?" Anita asked.

"I don't know, that's why I called you so you'll tell me what to do, " Stan said, frustrated.

Anita chuckled, "I can't tell you what to do Stan, you'll have to follow your heart."

"You only get drunk when you are angry. Who made you angry?" She asked.

"I had two meetings with some partners and investors yesterday which did not end well and after that, I got a call from Rita, we had conversations which angered me even more. She just gets on my nerves every time."

"I needed something to cool my temper, alcohol was all I could think of and before I got totally wasted in the office, Lauren took me home."

"This is a very tough situation Stanley. I honestly don't even know what to say to you. You love Lauren and Rita, on the other hand, is obsessed with you. I see Rita as a very desperate person. It won't be easy to get rid of her."

Stanley sighed. "I know, I thought I was in love with Rita. I was really smitten by her when we first met and then I decided to get married to her"

"Unfortunately, things between Rita and I stopped being rosy a few weeks after our marriage. We argue and fight about the tiniest thing."

"Then Lauren walked into my life and showed me the true meaning of love. Rita must have suspected that I feel something for Lauren but she hasn't confronted me about it and I don't know if she said anything to Lauren but Lauren wouldn't open up to me."

"I told Lauren I was going to divorce Rita and she begged me not to. Please tell me what to do Anita. Life is too short for me to not be happy with the woman that makes me feel loved the most."

Anita exhaled from the other side. "It's really not going to be easy getting a divorce against Rita. She so obsessed with you that I doubt it if she will be willing to set you free. But when she comes back from her trip, talk to her about it. Be polite, speak from your heart and apologize for leading her on. Then based on her reaction or her response, we will now know what to do next."

"What about Lauren? Should I go over to her place instead, since she wouldn't return my calls or voice mail" Stan asked.

"Maybe you should let her be for today. Give her space to think about what happened between you two last night and then tomorrow you can discuss it with her."

"The bulk of the work is on you Stan and it won't be easy for you either. Lauren is very innocent and doesn't want to get herself involved in any trouble. You have to be patient with her and fight for her no matter what if you truly want her."

"Thanks for everything Anita."

"You're welcome baby brother, just be hopeful and don't try to overthink. Whatever will be, will be."

"Thank you. How's Harry and Alexa?" Stan asked about his brother in law and niece.

"They are fine. Harry took Alexa for a stroll. They should be back anytime soon."

"Okay, my regards to them."

"Sure, you should come over to my place for dinner." Anita offered.

"And don't you dare say no!" She threatened. Stan was always using work as an excuse to avoid any form of gathering or visit.

Stanley sighed. "I have some work-related matters to attend to this weekend but I'll try to be at your place for dinner on Sunday."

"Good. Make sure you keep your promise. Alexa will be so happy to see you."

Stanley nodded and smiled.

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