I am in pain, in sorrow. How could I walk away?
If only I had stayed a little, now I have gone astray.
Your love and faith in me had kept me sane
But now, all I can think of is go insane.
Why? Oh why.
My heart has turned dry
I will never have another father to call mine
If I could rewind the day back to that time
I will never have sleepless nights
And you would not have left this world a sad man.
“What are we going to do now?” Hope asked Hector in his room the next day.
He laid flat on the bed. Grief concealed his face. “What do you mean?”
“Dad has been taken to the mortuary…”
“Please Hope, let’s not talk about dad. I can never forgive myself for deserting him when he needed me the most.”
“I know how you feel but you must forgive yourself.”
“How can I forgive myself for what I did?”
“It was not your fault,” she pleaded with him. “Please don’t take it upon yourself.”
“You are saying this because you want me to feel good.”
Of course not!” Hope said. “Dad understood, he did not blame you for walking away, he knew you won't have forgiven him instantly but later. The sad thing is death took that moment. He was happy to have told you about the past, his secret he kept away from his children.”
“How could father had known I would have forgiven him?”
"Renee.” she said.
“What happened?” she asked in a startled voice.
“He rose up from his bed bluntly and grabbed one of his phones on his table. “I switched off my phones since yesterday and up till now it had escaped my mind to call her. She must have been so worried.”
“It’s not your fault.” Hope said. “She will understand.”
He dialed her number and it didn’t ring for long before she answered him.
“Hector what happened?” she asked in a bothered tone. “I have been trying your number since yesterday night. I have been so worried."
“I’m so sorry.”
“I am in front of your house, the gateman would not let me in and I don’t blame him because it might be because of your mother.”
“Oh no” he said sadly. “I am so sorry. Wait for me I am coming to meet you.”
“You don’t need to,” she said. “I am very happy to hear from you.”
He closed his eyes.
“Renee my father is dead.”
“What!! Oh my God! I am so sorry, I..I am speechless..I don’t even know what to say.” She began to cry.
“Please Renee don’t, please wait for me.” He cut the call and rushed to his door and turned his back to look at his sister.
“Why did you call Renee’s name?” he asked.
Hope sighed. “Dad knew Renee would persuade you to forgive him. Did she?”
“Yes and I regret not calling him immediately.”
She walked close to touch him on his shoulder. “Dad died a fulfilled man. He was able to spill out his secret and burden to you and father knew you would have forgiven him but you needed time.”
He nodded solemnly. “Thank you sis, we will discuss later.” He opened the door and left the room. Hector walked past his grieving mother in the sitting room to open the entrance door.
“Where do you think you are going to?” Mrs. Harriet asked him.
He turned to her. “I want to go check something outside.”
She sprung up on her feet. “Do you think I’m a dunce?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You think I don’t know that your slut is outside the compound?”
Hector maintained a calm composure. “How did you know?”
His mother hissed at him. “I have locked all the entrance doors leading outside.”
He widened his eyes and hiked to open the door but it was locked and the key was not there.
“Why are you doing this mother?” he asked her in a sad facial expression. “Father is no more and you cannot grant his wish to allow me be with the one I love? Why do you want to make me an unhappy man for the rest of my life?”
“When you engaged Melissa, why didn’t you feel like this? You were happy.”
“I was not!”
“Don’t shout at mother,” Hillary said. “I do not understand why we should be talking about Renee but be talking and preparing father’s burial. Our relatives will soon arrive and we need to act has a family and not quarrel and argue.”
“You said well for the first time in your life,” Hope said as she entered the living room. “I hope you will do something meaningful in your life one day.”
Hillary frowned. “I don’t like what you are saying.” she said. “I am only respecting you because you are my elder sister.”
“You can insult her if you want,” Mrs. Harriet said in an angry tone.
“Mother!" Hector said. "You will not cause a rift between two sisters.”
“Oh shut up your stinking mouth Hector.” she said and pointed a finger at her son. “I will not be insulted because of Hope, a man who pretends to be a woman.”
“I have had enough!” Hope uttered and turned to Hector. “First of all, why are you still here? You should be outside.”
“Mom has locked everywhere.” he replied her. “No one can go outside.”
Hope sauntered to her mother and stretched out her palm. “Give me the keys to the house, I want to leave.”
Mrs. Harriet looked at her irritably.
“I will not repeat myself again.”
“What will you do?”
Her eyes were inflamed with fire. “I will strip you off and collect the key.”
Hillary shocked at her sister words. “But…”
“Shut up!” Hector interrupted her. “I will be delighted to assist Hope.”
Their mother folded her hands and glared at her children. “So you two have planned and ganged up against me? You have planned to kill me abi?”
“I don’t have to kill you to get the key to the entrance door from you.” Hope replied her.
She directed Hillary to check under one of the sofas in the living room. Hillary bent down to search for the key. She saw it and gave the key to Hope.”
Hope gave it to Hector. “You will never deprive my brother of seeing the woman he loves. No one will be able to stop them from being together and I will fight any enemy of progress that long for the destruction of their relationship.”
Mrs. Harriet laughed. “You have no idea what Melissa has planned for Hector. He will marry her.”
“What has she planned?” Hector asked. His heartbeat raced faster.
“Ask her yourself.”
Hope asked her mother. “Even with dad demise you still want to go ahead with the wedding?”
“Melissa and I talked this morning and we are thinking of postponing the wedding.”
“How can you postpone a wedding that can never happen?”
“It will happen.” His mother said and sat down. “You better go and meet Renee, maybe this is the last time you will see her.”
“Is that a threat?” he asked.
“Call it whatever you like, Melissa will be here in few days’ time because she travelled and I know you don’t care to call her about her whereabouts.”
He motioned towards his mother in a fierce attitude and pointed at her. “If anything happens to Renee considered yourself…”
“Close your mouth!” she barked at him. “What do you think I will do to her? Harm her? Never! I am not a bad person and a killer. I will never do anything to hurt Renee but there will be a time the both of you will never see each other again. I want the burial over before taking action. You can get out of my sight and go see your dirty scrap.”
Hector shook his head and pressed his lips together. “I have nothing to say to you for now but if anything happens to Renee I will commit murder!”
Mrs. Harriet only stared at her son with her perky eyes. He unlocked the door and went outside.
“You need to ask God for forgiveness,” Hope said to her mother and walked away.
Hillary sat near her mom. “I want you to promise me that whatever you and Melissa are planning to do, there will be no blood shed.”
“I promise you that nothing bad will happen to Renee and what we are planning is for them to separate.”
She sighed. “Better.”
“There is something I want you to do for me after the funeral of your father and I know you are capable of doing it.”
“What is it?”
“When that time comes, I will let you know.”
Hector warned the James the gateman never to repeat what he did by telling his mother Renee was around. He explained that his mom threatened to sack him whenever Renee entered their house. Hector understood and he opened the gate. He sighted Renee resting her back on the wall and still crying, she saw Hector and ran to hug him.
“You need to stop crying,” he said and wiped her tears with his hand. Her bodyguard Sammy greeted Hector.
She sniffed her nose. “I can’t help myself,” she said. “Your father was a good man and I will never forget him.
He explained the reason for coming out late to see her.
“She gave a weak smile. “I understand and you should not have explained.”
“How is your mother?” he asked.
“She is fine and I will tell her about what happened. She would have loved to pay her condolence but you know…”
“Renee I understand,” he said. “I will not be around for some time because of the funeral arrangements. I do not know the details yet but my family and I will bury him in his village.”
She swallowed and nodded. “I can’t follow you and it saddens my heart but I and my mother will continue to pray for you and your family.”
“The money I told you about will be sent to your account first thing tomorrow. Your mother should start work too and she should not worry because of the situation. I will be fine.”
“Please if you need my assistance in anything, don’t hesitate to let me know, please.”
“I don’t want my mother to insult you.”
“I am ready to take your mother’s insult because of you but give her time, she will get tired.”
Hector sighed. “My mother will never get tired unless I get married to Melissa.”
He glanced at her surprised. “Never! Do not ever believe I will be with any woman apart from you. I admit I have been with many women in the past but this is present, my future and you are the only one that matters to me. I will never leave and betray you.”
Renee smiled and hugged him again. Hector farsighted some cars driving in convoy down his street.
“I have to go inside and I believe those cars coming are heading to my house. I will call you later.”
“No problem.” They kissed deeply.
“I will miss you.” he said.
“I will miss you too.”
Hector informed the bodyguard to always protect Renee and nothing bad must happen to her. He went inside.
A week later, Hector and his family made arrangements for the funeral and they planned to travel to the village after some days. Hector and Renee spoke on the phone every day and whenever he was less busy he would send her “I love you and I miss you” text messages. Hope left her home to stay with her family and her husband came every day to check up on her. Hillary was filled with jealousy because of that.
Melissa arrived at the Henshaw’s mansion to pay her condolence to the family. She cried with Mrs. Harriet and hugged Hillary. When she saw Hope she ignored her. Melissa walked to Hector’s room and knocked on his door.
“Come in.” Hector said. He thought it was one of his sisters.
His facial expression changed radically when he saw her. He sat down on his sofa drinking a glass of vodka. He did not say anything to her.
Melissa stood in front of him. “I understand that you are still upset,” she said. “I am sorry for the loss of your father.”
He looked into her eyes. “Thank you.”
“The wedding has been postponed and I have contacted most of the people I invited. They understood and they are sorry about what happened to your dad.”
“You are wasting your time about this wedding.”
“I am not wasting my time,” she said. “We will have a white wedding with family and close friends in two months’ time.
He laughed at her and shook his head. “Two months?”
“I want you to mourn your father.”
“You don’t have the right to give me the period of time to mourn my father. What if I decide to mourn him for forever?”
“That means you will neither have me or Renee.”
Hector frowned. “Don’t you ever mention her name with your mouth!”
“And what will you do?” she asked angrily. “Does she know the kind of person she is getting herself with? You are a chronic womanizer and a notorious cheat. You sleep around like a dog.”
“Enough!” he shouted and rose. “I will not allow you disrespect me in my own house and I never slept like a dog. I admit I was a cheat but I have never cheated on Renee and I feel so good about it.”
“It’s the truth!” he uttered. “You can go to anywhere I club, hang out and ask when last they saw me.”
“You can never change.”
“Love and Renee changed me. My past was filled with nothing but sadness but now, I am so happy to have Renee in my life.”
Melissa was breathing profusely. “You made me a laughing stock when you asked for an open relationship.”
“But you agreed to it.”
“Because I was scared and insecure but I am strong now and you won’t be able to break me. We will get married and no one will stop us.”
“Get out from my room.” he said. “You have overstayed and your presence disgusts me.”
She raised her hand to slap him but Hector quickly held it. “Next time you try this nonsense, you will regret your existence on earth.” He dropped her hand and walked to his door to open it. “Goodbye Melissa.
Melissa tightened her face. She was hurt and downgraded. “Go to hell.”
“I prefer hell to you.”
“I don’t think I will be able to follow you to the village,” Peter said to his wife in his office. She briefly went to see him. “I have a case to defend in the court that day.
“That won’t be a problem.”
“I will travel to the village after the case.”
Hope smiled faintly. “Okay.” Her facial expression was gloomy.
“How have you been coping with your mother?”
“She’s a pain in the ass I swear.”
“I know but have you discussed with her?”
“I will do that after the funeral.”
“He wants the funeral over before he can do something to stop our mother and Melissa. That woman did not greet me when she saw me.”
“Are you serious?” he asked surprised.
“And did you report your mother to her?”
“I only told Hector,” she said. “My mother will only say I am lying but still insult me. I am tired of her rants, I just want everything to be over and come home to you.”
“You will dear.”
Renee sat down with some of neighbors outside in the evening receiving fresh air and waiting for her mother to come back from work. She had gone for a job interview with an oil company in the morning. A woman dressed neatly and rich walked into their compound and visualized everyone before she walked up to Renee.
“I will like to talk to you.” the young woman said.
“And you are?”
She smiled. “Very soon I am going to be Mrs. Melissa Henshaw.”
Renee widened her eyes in fear.
“Don’t be frightened, I am not here to hurt you.”
She stood up. “What do you want?”
“You are bold enough to ask me what I want.” she smiled arrogantly. Let’s us move away from your neighbor’s."
They walked away from there and stood directly opposite her apartment.
“Will you not invite me in?” Melissa asked.
“Why are you here?”
“Relax Renee.” she said and smiled. “Do you know you are wasting your precious time with Hector?”
“I want you to leave Hector alone for me.”
“That is not impossible.”
“It will be possible if you don’t want to get hurt.”
“Hurt?” Renee asked confused. “What do you mean?”
“I mean it is better for you to walk away from his life now. Hector will break your heart and that is what he always does.”
“Hector is a good man.”
Melissa laughed noticeably and Renee’s nosy neighbors viewed their way. “Don’t be deceived.”
“He loves me.”
“He does not! Hector knows how to manipulate people and he has done that to you.”
“He will never do such a thing to me and there is nothing you will say that will make me believe you.”
“Don’t say I did not warn you about this,” Melissa said. “Hector and I will get married.”
“But you will never be happy because he will not show you love.”
Melissa stared at her in an unreadable face. “Is that what Hector told you?” she asked in a serious tone. “Don’t be a fool.”
She gave a one sided smile. “I will leave the pothole you live in. Hector is mine and remember after he comes back from the burial, the wedding plans will continue.” She turned and walked away.
Renee appeared bold and brave but deep down in her heart she was scared to the bone.
She refused to tell her mother anything about Melissa, she did not want to give her mother an early heart attack. She was going to tell Hector about it the next day."
“What!” Hector exclaimed in shock. “Where was your incompetent bodyguard?”
“It is not his fault, I gave him a day off.”
“How could you?”
“Don’t panic please, she only told me you were deceiving me.”
“I am not deceiving you Renee,” Hector said and sighed over the phone. “I love you very much.”
“And I love you very much.
"I will talk to Melissa.”
“How did your interview go?” he asked.
“Well, they will surely get back to me later but I don’t know when.”
“What is the name of the company?”
“I will not tell you until I get the job.”
He chuckled. “You will get the job my love.”
“When are you coming back from the village?”
“Next week my love.”
“I really miss you.”
“I miss you too, I will see you when I get back. Talk to you later okay?”
“Okay love.” Hector hanged up and called Weyinmi immediately.
“What am I paying you for?” he asked with anger in his voice.
“I don’t understand chairman.”
“Don’t chairman me please,” he said. “Melissa went to see Renee yesterday."
“I know about that and I didn’t think it was a problem because she went there alone.”
“Mr. I too know, that is an unwise talk. I don’t want her close to Renee again.”
“I am sorry, it will not happen again.”
“It should not! I also want to thank you for calling me all the time.”
“I really wanted to come to the village with you but Renee safety is important.”
“I know bro, Hector said. “Michael and Felix are here with me in the village. Take care.”
“See you soon.”
Five days later, after waiting patiently for some days from the company she had an interview, an unknown number called her in the evening at 5:45pm at home.
“Hello.” Renee said after answering her phone.
“Is this Renee Kemi Kayode?”
“Yes.” she replied. “Who am I speaking with?”
“This is doctor Nelson of living faith hospital.”
She froze. “I don’t understand you, why are you calling me?”
“Your attention is needed at the hospital,” he said. “Your mother was shot and she was brought here by a good Samaritan.”
Renee died and resurrected. Her phone slipped from her hand as she panicked. She fell to the floor.
Renee screamed. “NO!!!!!!”
To be continued….on Sunday by 10am. pls oo