As he watched the river flow freely, he envied it. How he wish he too had no restraints. How much longer could he keep their relationship a secret? The day he made the mistake of having her come to the house was the day they were almost discovered. Daryl had gone straight home that afternoon instead of going to the library as he usually did. If he hadn’t called out, they wouldn’t have known that he was there and they would have been caught. Seeing her at the house was completely out of the question. She still lived with her parents and going there when they weren’t around was too risky.
So, they had to meet at George’s flat. He knew he could trust his friend to keep quiet about his relationship with Jameila. “Eventually, you’re going to have to tell Daryl,” George had told him when they went for drinks one evening.
“I thought she was Daryl’s girlfriend and that’s why you wanted to keep your relationship from him but since she isn’t, I don’t understand why you can’t let the cat of the bag and stop this sneaking around business. You’re too old for it.”
“I know. I’m afraid of how of how Daryl will react. He may end up hating me.”
“Hating you? What on earth for? You aren’t the first man to have relations with a girl young enough to be his daughter and you wouldn’t be the last.”
“George, Daryl likes Jameila. Before I met her, she was all he talked about and he told me that he wanted to ask her out.”
“And has he?”
“Has he what?”
“Asked her out?”
“Yes, but when she told him that she wanted them to be just friends, he was crushed. You should have seen his face. It almost ripped out my heart. I tried to cheer him up by telling him that there were other girls out there and one of these days he will meet one who will want to go out with him when all along I knew that I was to blame for his heartbreak.”
“He’ll get over it. He’s a good looking lad. It won’t be long before he’s mooning over some other girl.”
“You don’t understand, George. Daryl and Jaemila aren’t hanging out with each other any more and it’s my fault.”
“Why aren’t they friends any more?”
“Daryl decided that he couldn’t continue being her friend when he wanted to be more so he broke things off with her.”
George had taken a swig of beer before he answered. “That’s a shame. Well, let’s hope that when things have cooled down and the wounds are healed that he will decide to renew their friendship.”
“That’s not going to happen if he finds out about us.”
“Well, you don’t have to worry about him finding out anything from me.”
“I know, George. And thanks for letting us use your flat.”
“What can I say, under this tough exterior, I’m a pushover when it comes to love.”
“How did you know?”
“That you’re in love with her? It’s written all over your face, my friend.”
“I never thought that I would fall in love again.”
“It has been fifteen years since Faye died. It’s time to move on.”
“George, I didn’t plan on moving on with someone as young as Jaemila.”
“Love is a funny thing. It doesn’t concern itself with trivial stuff like age or race, culture or religion. If you have found happiness with this girl, don’t throw it away. Hold on to it. I’m getting up there and I still haven’t found that special woman as yet although I know she exists. And here, you are, experiencing love again.”
George was right. He was lucky to find love a second time and what he felt for Jaemila was much different from what he had felt for Faye. This love was slow, deliberate and real. He went into it with his eyes wide open.
He watched the river. No more restraints. No more sneaking around. It was time to tell Daryl about Jaemila.
This is the sequel to In Danger and The Escape.
This story was written for the #writephoto Prompt – Span at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo and for today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt which is Flow. If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.