“But I don’t love Melissa,” Hector said to her. “I have never loved her.”
“Then why did you propose to her if you did not?”
“I did it for you mom!” he shouted at her.
“Don’t shout at your mother.” His father voiced out. He gradually rose up on his feet. “You don’t need to disrespect your mother just because you have called off the wedding.”
Mrs. Henshaw said, “He has called off nothing! It will hold.”
He walked closer to his wife. “Have you forgotten there was a time I told you that you were forcing Melissa on him?”
She looked away from him, stamping her right foot on the floor.
“I know you won’t say anything but Hector is old enough to marry who he loves.”
She faced him. “There is no reason for him to call off the wedding.”
“But Hector is in love with someone else.”
Her facial expression drowned and her jaw fell.
“Hector is in love?” Hillary asked surprised and crossed her hands. “How is that possible?”
“Ask him yourself, he is in the better position to tell you why he cannot marry Melissa.”
“Are you supporting your son?” his wife asked him.
“I want my son’s happiness and I will do anything to get him his soul desire even if I die trying.”
“Dad it’s okay.” Hector finally spoke. “Please go to your room and rest.”
He smiled cleverly at him. “Are you capable of handling these women?”
Hector smiled back at him. “I am capable dad and if I am not able to manage them I know what to do.”
Henshaw placed his right hand on Hector’s left shoulder. “Don’t be afraid. Whatever you are going to do, remember you are doing it for love. Do not hold anything back but show your mother some respect. Don’t judge her because she feels she’s giving you the best.” He removed his hand.
“Thank you dad.”
“Good night my son.” He said and walked away from the sitting room.
Hector went close to his mother. “Mom you need to sit down for us to talk.”
“I am not going to sit down and talk nonsense with you,” she said. “Whatever you want to broadcast to me I am waiting to hear it now.” Hillary remained silent and waited patiently for whatever her brother was about to spill out, she could not wait to hear the name of the person he is in love with.
“If you don’t want to sit, fine, I will let you know why I cannot marry Melissa.”
She eyed him in a flushed face and throbbing veins marched circled her neck.
“I am in love with Renee.”
They were too shocked to say a word to him. Mrs. Henshaw was motionless to the ground. Hillary could only drop down her hands and stare at her brother in blank amazement. Was he playing with their minds? She asked herself silently.
“I need someone to say something!” Hector said after getting impatient with their stillness.
Hillary swallowed. “I want you to be specific, is there any other Renee you are talking about?”
He hissed. “How many Renee do you know?”
“Well, that’s the Renee I am talking about.”
“God forbids bad thing!” his mother yelled with tremendous anger in her voice. “You are in love with Renee? This is unbelievable! If this is a dream I don’t think I want to wake up.”
“Mom calm down.” he said to her.
“How can mom calm down in this situation?” Hillary asked. “This is absurd! You can never leave the rich for the poor, I don’t see any sense in it.”
He went closer to her furiously. “If you don’t keep your mouth shut, I will do it for you.”
“You dare not!” his mother barked at him. “You will not lay your filthy hands on my daughter because she is saying the truth.”
Hector turned to his mother. “The truth?” he asked. “Because Renee is from a poor background, a wealthy man like me cannot fall in love with her?”
“Yes my son. I will never agree to let you date Renee not to talk of getting married to her. This is not even the case here, Melissa must be your wife and your wedding with her must hold. I am certain she is not aware of this foolish idea because she has not told me.”
“I will let her know by the weekend.”
She shook her head. “You will tell her nothing. You will get married to her.”
“What about my own happiness?” he asked. “I will never be happy.”
“You will be happy my son.”
“Why is it difficult for you to accept Renee? Father and Hope have accepted Renee.”
His mother face changed suspiciously. “No wonder you took her to meet Hope, that barren woman.”
“Mother!” he articulated. “Hope is your daughter, your first born. How can you call her that?”
“What do you expect me to say? Hope is useless if she does not want kids.”
“It is not her fault,” he said. “She has her reasons.”
“Then whose fault? I am in no mood to talk about Hope. I want Renee and her mother out of this house now.”
“But it is late already.”
“I don’t care!” She riveted to Hillary’s way. “Go and tell that cook and her useless daughter to leave my house and I give them ten minutes to leave.”
Hillary walked there cheerfully to give the bad news.
“Mom we can settle this amicably.” he said.
“Never!” she went over to sit down. She was shaking her head and legs at the same time. Being furious with her son, husband, the cook and Renee was an understatement. Her vexation was beyond imagination.
Mrs. Alice ran down to her boss in tears, begging, she pushed her away. She almost fell down on the floor if not for Hector that quickly held her from falling down. Hillary carried their two travelling bags along with her to the living room.
“Where is your daughter?” she asked angrily.
She looked at her disordered. “I thought she was in the living room.”
“She’s in my room.” Hector said.
His mother sprung up on her feet and ran to Hector’s room. He went after her.
“Open the door Renee!” she yelled, banging her fist on the door. Renee heart froze. She jumped up from the bed with her heartbeat thumping. “Leave my son’s room you this prostitute!”
“Enough mother!” he roared. Hector was trying so hard to hold his temper but he has had enough of her awful attitude. “Renee, do not open the door unless I tell you. Relax your mind and don’t panic.”
“She better panic because I will tear her apart when she comes out!!”
“You will do no such thing as long as I am alive.”
“You cannot stop me, nobody can stop me.”
Mrs. Alice was on the floor rolling and begging her boss. There was commotion, argument-taking place between Mrs. Harriet, Hector and Hillary. The uproar from them woke Mr. Henshaw up. He was taken aback to hear loud argument from his family, he got up from the bed and walked to open the door to meet them.
“Enough!!!” he bellowed with full strength. They all turned to see him standing. He stared at the cook on the floor. His heart sank. “I want you to stand up.”
She got up on her feet fidgeting. Warm tears were rolling down her cheeks.
“I am highly disappointed in all of you especially my wife.”
“Oh please!” Harriet said back at him.
“If Hector does not want to marry Melissa leave him alone.”
“He will marry Melissa and no one can change that. How can you support him to leave Melissa for Renee?”
“It is Hector’s choice and I will support him because he is my son!”
“I want the useless cook and her low life daughter out of my house.”
“What if I say no?”
“Then there will be trouble, big trouble. I will bring down the house if they do not leave tonight, I do not want to see them at all. Let them go!”
“Dad,” Hector spoke up. “I don’t want to do anything that I will regret later, Mrs. Alice and Renee will leave tonight.”
“Good!” his mother said. “They are also fired!”
“Please ma.” Mrs. Alice begged her.
“Oh shut up your dirty mouth!”
“Harriet it is enough!” her husband said to her.
Hector waited for them to leave, he called Renee to open the door for him. She did and he quickly entered. He motioned forward to his wardrobe and took out a shirt to wear. He informed her to help him arrange some of his clothes inside a small luggage.
“Why?” she asked in a nervous condition.
“Don’t ask me any questions for now, just do as I say.”
She did as he said. He went out of his room alone to get a gown from her bag. Renee wore the dress on top of her nightdress. Hector’s family and Renee’s mother were waiting for them at the living room.
“Thank your God my son is protecting you,” Mrs. Harriet said after they came out to meet them. “If not, Hillary and I would have beaten the hell out of you.”
“Dad I will call you when I reach my destination.” Hector said to his father.
“Okay son,” he said to him. Tears filled Renee’s eyes. She was going to miss him.
“Where do you think you are going to?” his mother asked as she sighted his bag.
He looked into his mother’s eyes. “You cannot stop me.”
Hillary said, “Hector…”
“Shut up or I will punch you!”
Renee and her mother followed him outside to his car.
Renee wiped off her face as he drove outside the building. “Where are we going tonight?”
“We will stay at my hotel.” he replied. Hector took her left hand and kissed it. “Everything will be alright.”
They arrived at his hotel after thirty minutes, his manager came outside to meet and welcomed them. The manager carried Hector’s bag to his personal room and another room was booked for Renee and her mother. They went to their separate rooms to freshen up and relax. Hector made a call to his father and he called Michael too. Michael promised Hector he would see him very early the next day.
Hector went over to see them in their room after making his necessary calls. He assured them not to worry or think and that everything will be okay. He took Renee outside the room to kiss her deeply before he went to bed.
“I am highly disappointed in you.” Mrs. Henshaw said to her husband in the room as they lay on the bed.
“Because I want the best for my son?” he asked.
Harriet shook her head. “I want the best for my son too, he has to marry Melissa.”
“Why?” he asked.
“She is the right woman for him,” she said. “Renee is a lowlife who knows nothing about handling anything! Melissa will lead Hector to the right path when we are no longer here on earth.”
“Hector and Renee are capable of handling anything together.”
“Total rubbish!” she spat out.
He glared surprised at the disgusting utterances from his wife. “Have you forgotten I am still your husband? What is the problem with you?”
“Nothing but Hector should marry Melissa, they fit each other.”
“Leave him alone.” Henshaw turned to face the other side of the bed.
“If you continue to side with Hector, I will tell him the truth and he will hate you forever.”
He rotated to his wife’s direction. “What will you tell him?”
“You know what I am talking about, do not pretend.”
He grimaced. “But that will not stop him from loving Renee.”
“But it will change everything between you and him. It will destroy your close relationship.”
“Under this my condition?” he asked in a low voice and a saddened facial expression. “You want to cause a rift between me and my son?”
“Tell him to marry Mellissa.”
“I will not be blackmailed. I love my Hector and his future, the mistake I did in the past should not make me weak but strong enough to fight for my son. Good night Harriet, pray I do not die in my sleep because my spirit will hunt you forever.”
“You can say whatever you like,” she said unconcerned. “Sleep over what I have discussed with you.”
He closed his eyes in discomfort.
“Are you serious about what you have told me?” Michael asked after Hector had summarized everything to him in his hotel room the next morning.
“That is the truth my brother.” he said dressing up to leave for the office.
“I know your mother will not accept Renee because of her poor status but forcing Melissa on you is frightening. I cannot imagine getting married to a woman I do not love. I will helpless and useless.”
“I am so confuse.”
“I am so sorry about what is going on. Should I talk to your mom about it?”
“There is nothing anyone can say that will make my mother change her mind. She wants me to marry Melissa by all means.”
“So what do you want to do now?”
“I don’t know for now but I will inform Hope later about this. It is very early in the morning to call and tell her the news.”
“What about Hillary?” he asked. “Whose side is she on?”
He hissed. “You talk as if you don’t know that messed up brat.”
Michael burst out laughing.
“Hillary is very annoying.” Hector said. He suited up in a black fitted suit, paired with a white shirt, and a solid colored tie. He wore his leather shoes he stored in his hotel room. “Let’s go.”
He shrugged. “What about Renee?”
“What about her?” he asked surprised.
“Won’t you introduce her to me?”
“Of course I will, we are going to see her now.” They left the room and Hector lead the way to Renee’s room.
He knocked twice before she opened the door. Renee jumped at Hector gleefully and they hugged deeply. He put her down and he smiled brightly at her. She was dressed in a pink satin gown.
Hector and Michael entered and greeted Mrs. Alice. She welcomed them.
He introduced his cousin to the love of his life.
Michael stretched his right hand for a handshake. “I am happy to meet you Renee and truthfully you are angelic and pretty.”
She blushed and shook his hands. “Thank you.”
“Be assured that you and Hector will never separate. I am behind the two of you and I will help in any way I can.”
“Thanks bro.” Hector said. “I knew I would always count on you.”
Renee gave a natural smile.
Hector had to skip breakfast because he was already late for work. He ordered his manager and the chef to respond to Renee and her mother whenever they needed them. He promised to call her often at the office. He gave her some money to hold in case she or her mom wanted anything. He pecked her on the right cheek and left. The men walked side by side to the parking lot.
“Renee is not the kind of girl you used to like.” Michael said.
“Love happens when you least expect it. Love is not about the physical but the matters of the heart and sometimes the heart sees what is invincible to the eyes.”
Michael smiled. “I am happy you have found true love.”
“Thank you bro.” The walked to their cars and drove away.
Indeed, he meant what he said to her. Michael thought Renee was one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen.
The first thing Hector did when he reached his office was call his elder sister on the phone.
“You mean all these happened since yesterday and you are just telling me?” Hope asked him after narrating the drama.
“I did not want to disturb you.”
She took a deep breath. “I am so mad at mother. What are your plans now?”
“I have no idea,” he said frustratingly. “Maybe I should elope with her.”
“You are not a coward,” she said. “You will break father’s heart if you leave. What about the company, investments he gave to you, you promised never to destroy what he gave to you.”
“I know and I will never betray father, I’m just confused.”
“I won’t blame you but fight for what you love and believe in. I will talk to you later.”
“Okay sis.” He called Renee to check up on her. Hope cancelled her appointment, she was on her way to see her mother and to spill out what was on her mind and nothing was going to stop her from holding back anything.
Ebube opened the door for her when she arrived. She went to the master’s bedroom but saw only her dad. She hugged and pecked him on his forehead. Mr. Henshaw was delighted to see his daughter and he informed her mother was in the small living room. She hugged him again and left. Mrs. Henshaw did not answer Hope after she greeted her. Hope sat down on a sofa in front of her mom.
“I am not surprised you did not answer me,” Hope said. “I had to cancel my appointment with an orphanage home to come here to see you for something very important.”
She dropped down the magazine she was reading on a small table by the side of the couch. “What are you going to do at an orphanage home?”
“That is not the issue that brought me here but I will tell you, I am planning to adopt.
Her mother laughed mockingly. “Are you not ashamed of yourself? How will you be able to take care of a child you don’t want?”
“I am not here to listen to you about that but to talk about Hector.”
“I don’t want to talk about him because there is nothing to say.”
“Hector will not marry Melissa.”
“And who the hell are you to decide for him?”
Hope uplifted from the chair. “He is my only brother and I will do everything possible to make sure that the wedding will not hold.”
Her eyes turned red in rage. “It will be over my dead body!”
She stared at her mother stunned. “How can you talk like this? You cannot call yourself a good mother with the way you talk and behave.”
As toxic at her speedy glare, within the blink of an eye, Mrs. Henshaw swung on her feet and dazed Hope with a hot slap on the face. “How dare you talk to me like that? Who are you to talk about being a good mother when you will never be! Do you know what it takes to be a mother? I want you to leave my sight or I will disfigure your ugly face with my fingers. You are nothing but an embarrassment to me, a disgrace to womanhood and I curse the day I gave birth to you.”
Hope cried her heart out with the hurtful words from her mother. She felt as if her heart had been ripped away from her body. Tears from her eyes refused to stop flowing. She walked away and went to the entrance of her father’s room. She cleaned her eyes and opened the door to bid her father good-bye. Hope sobbed inside her vehicle for some minutes before she could drive away.
At 3:55pm, the office phone of Hector buzzed. He picked it up to answer his secretary.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Miss Melissa Nnaji is here to see you sir.”
His left eyebrow went up. “Melissa is here to see me?”
“Let her in,” he said in an expressionless tone. “Cancel all my appointments.”
“Yes sir.” He dropped the call and waited to see his former fiancée. She knocked once before she opened the door. Melissa was dressed in a short black dress, a black scarf round her neck, paired with black high heels. She braided her hair black. She placed her red handbag on top of his desk and sat down opposite him.
“Why are you dressed in black?” he asked.
An uncleared smile crossed her lips. “I might be a widow before I officially get married.”
His mouth fell. “Meaning?”
“That something terrible will happen if you don’t marry me.”
He shrugged. “Don’t threaten me Melissa,” he said in a stern tone. “I am not scared of you.”
She slammed her fist on his table, rose up on her feet and pointed at him. “You should be scared of me because you absolutely don’t have a hint of what I am capable of doing! Don’t bring out the demon in me because you will not like me and you will regret your existence.”
He touched his jaw and brought down his hand. “I don’t love you and I never did.”
“Oh please don’t pretend because you knew I never loved you. I am not interested in getting married to you, I am sorry.”
“Hector, we will get married by force!”
He frowned thoughtfully. “If I get married to you, I will never show you love.”
“Who cares?” she asked in a harsh tone. “Your mother called me yesterday night to tell me everything and I have assured her we will get married whether you like it or not. I will not be laughed or mocked at, the wedding must hold.”
He laughed at her.
“We can never be a happy couple. I can’t marry you Melissa and I am sorry for that. I am sorry for disappointing you but my happiness depends on this, I will write you any amount you want.”
“I don’t need your money asshole!!” she screamed at him.
“You can scream your lungs out! I simply don’t give a shit about it.”
“You choose a small stone over a solid rock.”
“Have you forgotten it was a small stone that killed Goliath?”
A scorching frown creased her face. “You are mad and insane!!! How dare you?!”
“I cannot marry you but we can remain friends.”
She pressed her lips together. “I don’t want to be a friend but your wife!”
“That can never happen.”
“The color of my handbag is red,” she said. “It is a sign of great danger coming your way. Don’t bring out the worst in me.”
“I will not take you to the altar.” Hector said calmly.
Melissa laughed out in a wicked way. “Hector Ebuka Henshaw,” she called his full names. “You will take me to the altar, with the plans I have for you and your rag, you will get married to me.”
He maintained eyes contact with her without uttering a single word. He searched her facial expression.
Melissa grabbed her bag and sauntered to his door and opened it, she turned to look at him. “This is just the beginning.” She walked out and banged the door at his face!
He picked up his handset from the table and dialed Weyinmi’s number.
“Hello chairman,” his friend said.
“I want you to help me monitor Melissa, her every move.”
“Melissa has threatened you.”
Hector gave a sigh. “That woman means business,” he said. “I don’t want to take any chances at all. I will get a bodyguard for Renee. Melissa is desperate to marry me.”
To be continued next week…lol next tomorrow ooo