“I like it when you talk dirty during sex.”
He neither smiled nor frowned at her words. He understood what she was implying but it was simply an unfortunate time. His mind was distant, navigating the rough corners of his life. Even the sex to him was just an act. He had not enjoyed anything this time. He just wanted to be left alone. But, yes the young man loved the girl. He actually appreciated being around her.
She was a cute teen with an angelic face. Her eyes were literally like the night sky. Not the void that presents itself to civilization every night, but the wondrous expanse of the universe unpolluted by street lamps and city lights. Looking into them was as fascinating as staring into the universe. Her smile was the most adorable thing any man had ever lay his eyes on. Every line, cure, and angle of her face worked seamlessly together to create an iconic being. There was no flaw on her entire body, everything was gorgeous.
She was interested in nature and sex. Actually sex was her best therapy. She was not intelligent but she would not easily give it away. She would not talk when not sure but most importantly she would rely on her smart boyfriend for ideas. She was kind too. Even her honesty was a rare feature among humanity.
“Why are you silent? You did not like it”, she said, pressing herself on his bare chest. Her breasts’ tenderness almost softened him. Jim forced a smile and put his arms around her waist. Almost instantly his phone rang. Here came trouble.
“She is calling again.’’ Jane’s face assumed something between a frown and a snare. Her eyes quickly turned red and her whole body started to quiver. She loved Jim and he knew that. Silently Jim drew his phone, put it on speaker and answered, ‘’Hello.’’
It was his uncle calling. She glanced shyly at him out of the corner of her eye and they both laughed.
“You see how jealousy can do to you,” he teased her.
“It’s not jealous, dear,’’ she replied and gave him a light kiss. “It is love.”
“If your heart tells you that you cannot do it, it is probably right. You cannot”
These are the words that she heard and immediately she knew she was drunk. She had to stop but her wine seemed to taste better and better with every sip. The next glass was better than the former. The fifth glass tasted better than the forth and eventually glass number twenty one did the magic.
It had started as a colorful Christmas party. Lyn was a short and sweet girl in her late twenties working as an Accounts clerk at her Uncle’s Accounting firm. When drunk she was somewhere between ten and sixty-five years of age. She had a round and small face with eyes that strangely rolled over like a chameleon. Her chest was seductively full. Down, she had an awkwardly tiny, round waist and the rest was perfect.
Her company would organize parties for its employees every year-end and award some few tokens to outstanding members. It would be a colorful occasion but the sweetest part was the eating and dancing.
“I now give this time to the CEO,’’ the Master of Ceremony announced and there was a round of applause as he walked to the stage
“I feel honored to be standing before you tonight,” the CEO started in his usual composed and confident tone. He was Lyn’s uncle “Truth be told, you are the real boss’ of this company. You are my employer because without you I am jobless.” There was another round of applause. He was loved and he knew how to motivate his staff. He went on and on with his sweet words and after about five minutes he rounded up, “I can’t thank you enough for everything you do for this company and for me. Knowing I have your support and dedication makes me a better, happier person both at work and at home.’’
There followed a moment of pure madness. People ate, drank and danced till very late. Soon after midnight most people had retired to their hotel rooms except Lyn and a few.
“Come on Lyn, let me take you to your room.” This was Kira another Accounts Clerk. Lyn had not liked Kira from day one and they both knew that. Kira was an honesty young woman, a pure reflection of what Lyn was not. She had a big heart and she was a symbol of perfection.
“Give me your hand and I will take you to your room.” She knew the answer even before asking but she insisted. Lyn knew the answer even before Kira could ask. The drunk Lyn gave her a sharp look that seemed to pierce through her soul. Her eyes were now red and small but still with their seductive brilliance. The glowing eyes warned Kira and she walked away.
She felt as steady as a leaf in a storm. She was as steady as a baby taking its first steps as she walked to her room. The corridor seemed like a long highway. The second problem was her room number – room 12 or 21 she could not tell now. She did not care about the room number anyway. It was Christmas time, time for sharing. The girl exploded into room number 21. The room was so hot that almost immediately she stripped off. She threw her body onto the bed and it felt great. It was good to be youthful. Actually it was better to be Lyn.
Either the Television was on or at least two people were in the bathroom. Perceiving such distinction was however a sober mind’s game. After all it was her room, right?
The heat seemed to intensify with her every breath. It was time to take a long cold shower. How she loved that.
It was a long walk to the bathroom. A few meters was really a long walk for Lyn. As she entered the bathroom two pairs of guilty eyes glared at her. She glared back in drunken amusement. Her uncle, the Company owner, the CEO, was standing there, his wet naked skin showing off its stretch-marks, and her mistress wearing the most confused face Lyn had ever seen.
Even in her drunkenness, Lyn could tell that the lady was not her aunt. It was so unfortunate because the mistress could not tell that Lyn was not the second mistress, or third or whatever number.
“Jack would you mind explaining this’’
Lyn heard her faint voice interrupted by grins. Her tone was irate and her face still wearing a baffled look. Her eyes were of average size but this time they seemed much smaller and appeared to be twinkling. She was very light in complexion. Her nose was delicately formed and her lips pink velvet even in the shower.
“Lyn what on earth are u doing?” the uncle roared.
“You know her?’’ the mistress quickly interjected.
Lyn read the mistress’ mind, but she was not interested in that. She was about to say something then immediately think against it. Even in her state of mind, she knew what she was about to say was completely out of line. As awkward at they seemed, it was not hilarious to comment her Uncle’s genitals. His penis looked like a carrot. Smiling mischievously like a baby chimpanzee, she tip toed to the chamber, pee and tip toed back to the door. She giggled, blew a kiss to the mistress or the uncle, it was not clear, and walked back to the bed. She threw herself on it still giggling.
She had made a mistake of a lifetime. Her statement was so clear to the mistress. There followed silence. The silence seeped into the CEO’s blood and paralyzed his brain, his pupils became dilated and there was a tremor in his hands. He could not explain Lyn’s actions. Yes she was drunk but still she had gone too far. He picked his eyes off the bathroom floor with the weariness of one who is fatigued with the whining of a small child and raised his eyebrows.
Voices started to pop up from the bathroom. They were mumbling in suspiciously low tones and as if accelerating, the voices grew bolder and more distinct. Lyn could pick one or two angry phrases. She was beginning to love the drama. She did not want to miss any of the catchy moments, so she sluggishly moved closer to the door. Her eyes were glittering with enthusiasm but the pair saw her first.
The mistress was annoyed. She looked at her with a falling face. Hurriedly she put on her few clothes and stormed out of the bathroom and almost instantly out of the room. The uncle’s lips hung slackly open and his eyes ran over Lyn’s body. It was then that Lyn realized that she was still naked. She smiled at her uncle but he quickly looked away in disgust. His look showed a look of frigid puzzlement.
The room was again dead silent with the bathroom light dazzling on the two naked bodies. The uncle had not made any sort of movement or sound. Still giggling Lyn took half a step forward, a second half, one full step and she was standing right in front of her Uncle. Still no movement, no sound. She seemed to be painting. The lights deemed slightly as if in agreement. Once the two’s eyes had adjusted to the new atmosphere, she lifted her right hand to the Uncle’s shoulder and looked him straight into the eyes. He was unable to look away.
Lyn started to realize that she had long admired her Uncle’s baby face. His tanned skin and brown and seemingly candid eyes, the small round nose with sprinkles of watery freckles and lush lips were to die for. Standing close to him, she couldn't help but notice for the first time just how sexy a pot belly was.
The Uncle was sober and he could think clearer. He let his gaze slip lower to the girl’s chest and further below. This looked more different from tens he had seen before. Her long hair was brown and it plunged over her shoulders. In short her whole body was bubbly.
"Oh, wow uncle, where did you get this sexy body.’’ It was however Lyn who broke the silence. She said it so seductively, reaching down to run her hand across his chest. There was nothing impressive about his chest though. But the Uncle caught her hand just before she could caress him more. It startled her.
His expression was intense, almost threatening and for a moment Lyn thought maybe he was angry, but before she could ponder it further, he pulled her to him and covered her mouth with his in a hungry kiss. The lips were blossom soft. He could feel the intensity of the kiss rushing all over his body. Lyn responded immediately and clumsy at first then picked up pace. She opened her mouth with a low moan for his tongue
It was pathetic, nasty and evil. It was unthinkable. Regret washed over him like a torrent. It soaked him in an instant and sent cold shivers down his spine. How he longed to go back and take a different path. How he longed to go back and be a better keeper and a better boss, but now that was impossible. There was no way back and it seemed he would have to live with that for his entire life. There was no way to make it right.
The man paced across the room as if posed by a legion of demons. He reached for his pants as if in consolation. His face was between disbelief and incredibility. He looked at the naked body of his brother’s daughter sleeping peacefully. She was lying on her side, showing off her pink, right thigh. She rolled lightly and changed position. She was now lying on her stomach showing off her full behind.
Uncle Jack quickly looked away. He swiftly moved out to the balcony. The moon was high up silvering the golden paint. The cool breeze seemed to stress the point that life could still be cool even without having sex with your brother’s daughter. He found himself recalling the whole scenes of nearly three decades ago when baby Lyn was conceived.
Lyn’s father, Jack’s young brother, the late Chris was a first year student at the University of Capricorn. Even to this point Jack could not explain why Chris had behaved in that manner. Christopher, better known as Sharp Chris was a man of realities; a man of calculations and facts. He preceded on the fact that two and two are four. He accepted nothing over and he was not to be convinced into allowing for anything over. With a scale of life and a multiplication table he was ready to weigh and measure any human behavior and tell you exactly the weight of your stupidity and how it was to ruin your life. One would hope to get some nonsensical beliefs into the head of Jill or Tom but not of Sharp Chris.
Jack remembered that fateful night when his brother came plodding into his room. Jack was a final year student at the same University. Chris stood in the middle of the room and sighed. Jack watched his brother’s still face breaking into a forced smile. He appeared to be musing for a moment and Jack continued to look at him, uncertain how to get him to talk.
When the older brother had gathered the guts to ask, it was too late. Three girls exploded into the room. The first girl was coal black. Her lips were slightly pale. Her eyes which were dark, wide open and still, set deeply in bony sockets. The second girl seemed so reserved. She was lighter in complexion. The third girl was suspiciously sharp looking. She was short and stout. Her eyes seemed so inquisitive.
“For your information Jack, I am four months pregnant. This one is two months pregnant’’ the black girl said. For a moment she seemed to wave between anger and hate and then continued, “What’s next big brother?’’. She paused as if waiting for the impact of her words and finished, “this one is also claiming to be Chris’ girlfriend!”
Jack was surprised that the girl knew him by name. He had never met her, neither had Chris introduced her to him.
“How do you know my name?’’ he asked softly
“The most handsome guy at campus. Everybody knows you.” She was silent for a moment or two. Jack was not charmed. “What’s next big brother. Is Chris going to marry us both?”
Jack had already dipped his spoon in a bowl of cereal when Chris had arrived. He was still holding it in the same position. His eyes moved from the dark girl to the reserved one who would later be Lyn’s mother. He liked her. He watched her as she pulled a chair and sitting in exhaustion. Her shoulders were bowed, her hands thrust between her knees as if for safe keeping.
The night was warm and the windows were open. Jack went to one of the windows and made a little whistling sound. Almost immediately he forgot all about the current drama and found himself thinking about their childhood and parents.
Their father was a handsome man with broad nostrils. His face had fine wrinkles at the corner of the eyes and three slight vertical folds between his brows. It was a face of a man with confidence and unpredictable ideas.
All was well until their maid opened a can of worms. According to her, their father had raped her on seven different occasions. This came out when she became pregnant. She was seventeen. The wrath of law dissented on him. He was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison.
He remembered as they visited him in prison. He was always cheerful and hopeful. He showered no remorse but kept encouraging his sons to be better men in society. Their mother stood with the family. She was the mother as well as the father. She worked hard to close the missing link.
Fifteen years passed and eventually nature took over. Their mother fell in love with a certain man. The brothers did not like him straightway. He was too big and too clumsy. Besides, their father was still alive. Jack remembered the fights they had with their mother about this man. Unfortunately she was still their mother and they still had to respect her.
She was married a few months later. The two brother’s did not see their mother for nearly a year but when they did, she was miserable. Her face seemed to say “you were right’’. Her new husband had married a second wife. Their mother was neglected. She was frail and looking old. A few years later she died. The following year their father was released on parole. He was however devastated. He simply disappeared, never to be heard of again.
“What was your story again?” Jack took care to keep his eyes steadily on the leading black girl. He watched her as her throat moved. She drew her brows forward and retracted them. She opened her mouth.
CHAPTER 4: THE CUT
Jack was still standing at the same open window as the weather was getting warmer and warmer. Despite the inertness of his body, he felt light and without substance. The first girl had left after hauling a lot of nasty insults. She had vowed to raise the baby alone and prove that women do not need men. She had called the two brothers a lot of names that revolved around irresponsible, insane and evil.
The stout girl had also left almost immediately but the reserved one, Adele, had remained behind. She remained huddled in her chair for a few moments then slowly lifted her head to face Jack. Her expression was composed. She had not said anything from the time she had entered the room. She turned her face to Chris and her eyes remained fixed at him. Chris’ eyes were also fixed at her. The two looked at each other for a moment and it was classically beautiful.
Jack watched his young brother moving towards Adele, but his face was registering his unwillingness to talk. Before Jack could withdraw his mind from its dilemma, he watched as Chris’ arms wrapped around Adele. It appeared like she felt again the rush of helplessness but now accompanied with the sinking yielding and the surging tide of Chris’ warmth. The two’s faces were blurred and drowned to nothingness. Chris slowly bent his back, lowered his head and kissed her, softly at first, and then with a swift graduation of intensity that made her cling to him as the only support in her rocking world. Jack sneaked out of the room.
Outside it was cooler as he moved around aimlessly. His mind was upset. The sky was his only solace. It was a vast expanse of luminous stars. Some were dull, merely flickering into existence every now and then. Some were brighter giving a faint but distinct light, but there was an adequate amount of very bright ones to illuminate the dark, moonless night. A faint breeze helped to cool him down and he should have dozed a couple of times standing
Nothing was said about the drama afterwards. Jack was however surprised barely a week later.
“Brother I have made arrangements to meet Adele’s parents. Would you accompany me?” Chris’ mind was set. He was settling for marriage. Jack did not object to that. He accompanied his brother to Adele’s rural home for the introductions.
When they got to Adele’s rural home it was awkwardness all around them. The brothers suddenly had no idea how to act or where to sit or if they should just turn around and go back. After a moment of indecision, they decided to try and act as normal as possible. They greeted everyone politely. When Jack tried to shake the hand of Adele’s mother he froze. His toes were freezing too. It was a weird sort of coldness.
Chris’ stomach was upset. He tried to empty his mind and looked away towards the fruit trees in the orchard. Some white big birds flew up as he watched. The shiny green leaves and the flight of the birds nearly settled him.
Adele’s mother was their former maid; the maid who had been raped by their father! This means Adele was their father’s daughter, their sister!
Introductions were done. Food was served but the brothers could not eat. They simply couldn’t stomach it. The reality was too much to bear. Seeing how unsettled the two were, Adele’s mother pulled them aside.
She was still as sweet as she had always been. During their stay with her as a maid she had been an amazingly patient person. She almost always had the ability to take what life brings at her and make the best of the situation. She was extremely religious and probably that was her anchor in difficult times.
She moved much closer to them with the intention of whispering. She compressed her lips to talk but she hesitated for a second or two then softly said, “Of course you can marry her, she is not your sister. She is not your father’s daughter”
CHAPTER 5 – STRANGER THAN FICTION
The crowd was made up of ten elders and a few youths. Owls were hooting in a distant. The moon was completely shielded and dark shadows crisscrossed the orchard. It was a beautiful scene, but Jack was not well. His head was throbbing, his limbs slightly heavy. He was feeling nauseated.
“Your father never raped me”
The two brothers watched her face turning pale. She sniffed the air as if searching for something to console her.
“Your father would never rape anyone,” her voice had turned horse. “We were in love for nearly three years and all along we managed to keep it unnoticed. She would sneak into my room around midnight and sleep-over whenever your mother was away.” She paused. She bowed her head and after a little while she straighten up. She wore a sorry look, eyes half closed as if focusing on the details of her story.
“Then?” Jack said softly. She had paused long enough
“I had a boyfriend who is my husband now,’’ She continued. “As time went on your mother began to suspect something. My boyfriend began to suspect too, but I managed to cover up our tracks. One night your father was too rough that I screamed with pain. I kept yelling softly ‘Please stop, please stop!’ I did not know that my boyfriend had also decided to come over and all along she was standing just outside. Your mother, probably alarmed by my yelling came over and she was standing just outside the door. The two heard everything. To cover up I invented the rape case. It was easy to believe anyway.”
“Really?” Jack felt helpless.
“I was already pregnant but not of your father. He always used protection.” There was a long and uncomfortable silence. “I will understand you if you cannot forgive me.”
Chris married Adele anyway. This was nearly three decades ago and Jack had learnt that Love cannot be found it can only be sensed. Love is in rain when every single drop makes its way to earth to unleash the mystic scent of soil. True love still loves where you don't have reason to love. Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.
CHAPTER 6 – A LONG DAY
It was now a new year and the holiday fever was gone. The Uncle’s Accounting firm was fully operational and it was business as usual. It was a Tuesday and his wife was in the Labor ward expecting. It was supposed to be a big day for the family and nothing would spoil it.
Jack got out of bed and took a quick shower. He felt so in a hurry to eat. He instead brushed his teeth. He was literally alone. They had been trying to have a baby for years without success but when the couple had given up, his wife conceived. The coming of the baby girl was going to coincide with his 48th birthday. Smiling, he walked to his car and drove off to the hospital.
The parking lot at the hospital was overflowing with water as it appeared there was a water main break. Jack carefully sought out a dry parking space and hurriedly walked to the hospital ward. He had a number of meetings to attend, but they were not a priority.
He stood there in amusement. He had forgotten to close his zip because that was not important at all. He felt a tingle surging throughout his whole body. It was a rush of excitement he had never felt before in his entire life. When his eyes hit her angelic little body, they froze and he could not think or acknowledge anything else around him even the baby’s mother. All around him, the world seemed to stop. His wife said something about his unkempt hair, or his open zip or perhaps it was just a good morning. Her voice was distant. He starred at the baby as it slept. He ran the tips of his fingers very gently across the baby’s smooth face, and it was ecstatic. The baby had been born a few minutes earlier.
His wife had pleaded with him to go to work. That’s how he got Jack to leave. The afternoon was long. Time was dragging like a prison sentence. His heart was still longing for more of the baby. He made a few deals with his suppliers and attended a few meetings, and cancelled more. The meetings were slotted wrongly. They had to wait for the baby to grow a few hours old.
As he was about to leave the office a few minutes before knock off time, he was feeling like every fiber of his being was vibrating. He was feeling good, whistling his favorite Bob Marley song. The excitement wired his body like he was plugged into the mains. He felt like his brain was on fast-forward and there was no off switch. The man was wearing the facial expression of a small child with an especially large Christmas present.
Almost immediately Lyn knocked. She looked exhausted. It was normal
“I think I am pregnant uncle,” she said in a low tone.
Jack’s energy battery suddenly went empty. This was a mental form of tiredness and immediately he wanted to take a long sleep.
CHAPTER 7 – YOU ARE NOT WELCOME
Lyn was Chris’ daughter. She was his brothers’ blood and he was supposed to look over her. He had treated her like his own daughter. In fact she had been her only child for years. Sorrowfully Jack remembered his late brother.
Chris was in Belgium studying for his PhD. He had been away for nearly two years. As per the scholarship agreement he would come home only over the Christmas holiday, except of course if he decides to use his own funds. Life in Belgium was new and fun. It had been a wonderful stay until he started to miss his family
As Sharp Chris it was not difficult for him to look for extra money. After a few attempts he found a job as a part time engineer at Alas Construction Company. He actually made more money than he had anticipated and the best way to spent it was on a flight back home. It was an easy decision to make.
He landed at Whitehead International airport at around 7 pm. His coming was suppose to be a secret and a surprise – a Valentine day surprise. He had a few presents for his wife and for Lyn. Spoiling his loved ones was his hobby. He boarded a taxi home.
As he silently tried to open the door, Lyn spotted him. The sight of her father woke up her brain. Her smile grew on its own accord and Chris could not miss the point that his presence had ignited her soul. The little girl flew, arms wide open to meet her dad. His father threw everything he was holding down, snatched the little girl off the ground, threw him very high into the air and landed her softly back on the ground. He hugged his daughter and felt the warmth of her tender body. It felt good to be a father.
Their maid was also thrilled to see Chris. She was older than Chris and he called her ‘mom’. She felt like she was biologically part of the family. Of course his wife was not back yet. Before leaving for Belgium, Chris and his friend Amos, both Civil engineers, had jointly opened a Construction company. Amos wife was the Human Resource Manager whereas Chris’ wife was the Finance Manager at the same Construction Company. Chris’ wife was usually busy because her job was so demanding and a lot of financial planning was key at this stage.
He was sauntering up and down and across his yard waiting for his wife’s arrival. He had been home over the Christmas holiday and this was only February yet he had missed her that much. His face was growing anxious showing off his eagerness.
He couldn’t wait. He phoned a tax and went to meet his lover. She was not in her Office! Actually she was nowhere at work. The gate was locked and the security guard confirmed that everyone had left. That’s when he thought of calling her. Her number was unreachable!
CHAPTER 8 - HORROR
Of course there was a reasonable explanation. Chris boarded a taxi back home. Perhaps his wife was home by now. He honestly could not worry.
He arrived home. Lyn was still happy to see his father but the maid was now worried. It was around 10 pm and the night was getting quieter and quieter. Chris tried her wife’s cellphone again and it was still unreachable.
Time was moving fast. Lyn and the maid went to sleep but Chris could not. He went out for cool air. He was starting to feel a strange feeling of sadness crawling over him. By midnight all he was feeling, was sadness, every other emotion pushed from his being.
A familiar car stopped close to the gate, close to where he was standing under the cover of the shade cast by a tree.. Two people moved out. His eyes remained fixed at the pair as they walked hand in hand towards him. They stopped right in front of the gate. They kissed passionately, kissed again more passionately and kissed more and more. The kissing was getting more violent and as if unconsciously the two dragged themselves back into the car. It was silent for a moment and Chris moved closer. He noticed a soft and rhythmically up and down movement of the car.
Tears flowed unchecked down his cheeks and dripped from his chin. He was too sad to cry out or wail. He just stood there as still as a statue while the magnitude of his wife and business partner Amos’ immorality swept over him.
Quietly he opened the car’s door. The two froze. It was as if they had seen a ghost. Chris looked at the naked two for a moment then moved away. He did not know where he was going or where to go. He dragged his feet across the road, stopped for a second in the middle of the road and continued much slower this time. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a haulage truck approaching fast. He lifted his right foot higher to take a bigger step but his feet were heavy. It was as if he was wearing steel shoes. He tried much harder but his body had no enough oxygen to carry him through.
There was a loud noise as the truck tried to break but it was too late. Suddenly the world collapsed around him and there was no air coming down his throat. Flexing ripples of muscle squeezed into his neck from all sides and everything in the world shifted. It was the end of brother Sharp Chris.
CHAPTER 9 – MY TRISHA
So Chris was dead just like that. Jack was devastated when he heard the news. He quickly remembered how he had caused the death of a pretty innocent girl back at the University himself. For a moment these memories became his soul torturer. He had managed to escape them, but this similarity made them his worst kind of monster. They were pin point needles, piercing his skin. It became clear that his memories were indeed his for life.
It was towards year end and the University would close for semester end in about a week.
“I am pregnant Jack,’’ his girlfriend Trisha said in a low tone.
“I know,’’ Jack replied carelessly
She was not sure what to say next. She decided to wait for an explanation but did not get one.
“So?” she asked looking a little frightened
“You get pregnant if you have unprotected sex’’ He seemed not to mind.
“You impregnated me Jack” She thought she had not clarified.
“We had unprotected sex, where do you think it was leading to? I am pretty sure you knew what you were doing all along. Fix your own mess.’’
Trisha searched for Jack’s eyes and found them still. It was unbelievable. She tried to explain his predicament to him but to no avail. The burden of explanation seemed too heavy. Had it not been for the love she felt towards him, she might have seen that it was useless in any case. Jack did not make an effort to say more. He had made up his mind.
Trisha was from a poor rural background. She was the eldest child in a family of an unbelievable nine children. Her parents, poor peasant farmers were struggling to send their girl to school but their struggle was not good enough. She could not afford most basic stuff. As a strong woman she sought for work to beef up her finances. She was now working as a part time house-maid when she met Jack.
Due to his divided attention her academic work flopped. She failed one course after another every semester. Jack comforted her woman until now.
Jack made no move to accept responsibility and the truth finally dawned to Trisha that she was all alone. The whole University vacation, Jack never called or visited her. He did not pick up her calls or reply her texts. Trisha’s heartache was like a hurricane. At times, at the eye of the storm, it was quiet and allowed him to function but most of the time she was filled with a raging wave of anger. The anger would burst from her chest in a vicious shout of anguish.
When the End of Semester examination results came, she had failed dismally. There was no hope. To escape this cursed earth she committed suicide and left a note that only read “I quit”. Everyone interpreted it wrongly. Academic under-achievement had forced Trisha to commit suicide but in fact it was murder.
Today, his brother was hit by a haulage truck. It was not the truck that killed him. It was his wife and his best friend and business partner, jointly.
CHAPTER 10 - GOOD/BAD DAY
“Uncle,” Lyn said softly. She was waiting for the response.
To Jack, hearing her was not the problem. He was still deep in thoughts. Yes he deserved the blame but in his mind it seemed unfair that no matter how much he strived to be the man his conscience wanted him to be, it would keep taunting him with his failures. He had not initiated sex with Lyn. It was her who seduced him. Each time he tried to blame himself, he would bring up this argument, hoping that this time his mind would be satisfied, but it never worked.
“What do you mean pregnant?” It was rhetoric. They both knew that. “I mean are you sure?”
“I am sure uncle?”
Jack mulled this over for a moment or two before calmly asking, ‘’Do you have a boyfriend?”
She did not know how to reply. In fact she did not know what the question implied.
“I slept with you Uncle’’
“I know,’’ he said shyly. At that point Lyn understood what his uncle was saying
“I have a boyfriend,” she said and the Uncle’s face brighten slightly with anticipation. His face seemed to be craving for more comforting information “He is a woman.”
Jack remained silent. When he spoke he thought it would be better to change the subject.
“We can talk about this later, I have to rush to the hospital.”
“It’s ok Uncle, I will go with you,’’ she replied. “I have to see my sister.”
It was a long walk down the stairs to the car park. It was an even longer drive to the hospital. In the morning it had been a journey of excitement but now everything was ruined. Even his wife noticed a change of mood but could not ask. As the boss at work, things were bound to go haywire sometimes. She knew that. Little did she know that it had nothing to do with his job description. It had a lot to do with infidelity and betrayal.
“Name her Jane, after my mother.” It was the only thing he said with a genuine smile.
Audrey was her wife. It was twenty years ago when he first saw her. She had a sculpted figure which was twine-thin. Her waist was tapered and she had a glossy complexion. Her eyebrows appeared arched above a pair of candid brown eyes. It was a pleasure to see her shadow-black hair which looked so natural.
She was his girlfriend’s best friend. She was also a church pastor. Jack first met her when her girlfriend had invited him to her Church. Naturally Jack was not a religious person. He would sometimes enjoy making fun of some religious beliefs. Reluctantly he agreed, only because he dearly loved his girlfriend.
Audrey preached a short but sweet sermon. It was about the Ten Commandments and Jack was almost converted. He could visualize the Bible Moses in the mountain receiving the commandments on a tablet of stone. She was a charismatic preacher. After the church her girlfriend introduced him to her. Jack honestly had no feelings towards the Pastor.
Her girlfriend had a good and caring personality. She always wanted to make sure that her boyfriend was taken care of. She would do all his household chores and prepare him good meals. When occupied, she would either apologize or ask her friend to take care of some, with strict limitations though.
On his 28th birthday, her girlfriend had visited her hospitalized Aunt in Diamondburg City, which was slightly more than 200 kilometers away. The pastor, decided to be a good shepherd. She asked for permission from her friend of course and her friend found no fault in that. She even asked the Pastor to deliver some flowers on her behalf. She further instructed her to prepare him his favorite meal.
It was a surprise visit. Jack was happy but her girlfriend would have been a better present. When his girlfriend phoned him some few hours later asking if he had enjoyed the meal, little did she know that he had enjoyed more than a meal. Jack and Pastor Audrey had shared something magnetic and amazing and exhilarating.
It was a unique type of sex for Jack. It was a different and tasty experience. The Pastor really knew how to make a man forget what matters to him the most. When he tried to pinpoint the exact feeling of it, it was simply fever pitch.
CHAPTER 11: DIAMONDBURG CITY
Life at work turned awkward. Jack tried to act professional but Lyn would always remind him that she was carrying his child. One day she came into his office without even knocking only to ask if her hair was done properly. Jack suppressed his emotions and just nodded his head in frustrated agreement. It seemed like Lyn was forgetting that he was still the CEO. He devised a plan to calm the storm
It was a very hot afternoon. Even the fan in his office couldn’t keep him cool. September and October were the months of subtropical heat waves with severe discomfort. The heat would bounce off the streets, and cause an illusion of wavering images. It would easily pierce through the office’s glass walls like a hot knife through a piece of butter.
“Hello, can I speak to Lyn,’’ Jack said in the phone
“Sorry Sir, she is still on tea break,’’ a voice said from Lyn’s office
“Tea break? Oh ok” He hung up. It was towards noon and he wondered what sort of tea break that was. Anyway he ignored it and picked a file that had been lying idle on the floor. He returned it on the shelf, picked a pen and almost immediately put it down. He looked through the glass wall and the beauty of the whole city lay before his eyes. The buildings were shining in the summer sunshine.
Painting and already sweating Lyn came in.
“Oh you are here,” he said
“Afternoon Uncle,’’ was the reply
“Take a sit.’’ He was always courteous. “Can I give you something to drink?”
“No thank you.’’ She was eager to know why she had been called because since the day they had sex, he had been avoiding her.
“I know you are busy so I will not waste your time.’’ He paused, pulling himself together. ‘’I am promoting you”
Lyn’s eyes widened with amusement. She opened her mouth to say something but nothing came out.
“You will be the head Accountant, but not at this station. As you know we have opened a branch in Diamondburg; that is where you will be based”
She did not know how to reply. Of course she was thrilled but suspicious as well. She wanted to ask something about her pregnancy and coming baby, but she could not phrase the statement well. She simply thanked him and left.
To Jack this was a closed chapter. He felt relieved for a moment. One thing he wanted to make straight was to avoid instilling a feeling of rejection in her. It would be suicidal. At the same time he wanted to keep it a secret from his wife and everyone at the company.
He quickly sought for an appealing accommodation for her and even catered for most of her needs. All her transport expenses he covered. Lyn felt loved and for a moment she forgot that he was his uncle, not her boyfriend.
Back home, his daughter Jane was his inspiration. Certainly there was no kind of affection so purely angelic as of his to baby Jane. She was sweeter than anyone else in the world. She could jitter around, stomp, and make funny noises that frazzled his nerves, yet just when he opened his mouth the look in her eyes would weaken him. He wondered if Lyn’s baby would make him feel the same.
The very same day Lyn delivered a baby boy, Jack drove to Diamondburg. It was not a smooth drive and more than once he almost crashed.
CHAPTER 12 – A SON IS BORN
Lyn was getting more and more comfortable in her new City, and even with her new position at work. She loved power and she loved abusing it too. She was staying in a leafy suburb of New Broadlands to the eastern side of the city. The suburb was situated at the bottom of a small bushy hill that would bring a cool breeze early in the morning and towards sunset. This comfort lessen the burden of pregnancy and loneliness. Her boyfriend Samantha would sometimes visit her but it seemed like long distance was taking a toll on their relationship.
Her neighbor was a weird lady probably in her late forties or early fifties. Lyn had never seen her face. In fact she never showed it to her. Early in the morning she would peep through the short hedge separating their homesteads. It seemed like she wanted something with her or she was just crazy. At first Lyn would ignore her but with time it got to her nerves. She called out to her one day when she was busy peeping but the lady immediately covered her face with her two hands and instantly disappeared. Lyn followed her to her house still calling her out but she never responded. Lyn finally decided to let her be and move on with her own life.
One cool Sunday morning, months later, Lyn was sitting outside on the lawn. She was feeling a weird feeling across her belly and her lower back. It started as a lot of cramping, radiating from the left to her right. She tried to fight it, but it grew worse. Then slowly it became unbearable. It began to feel like her abdomen was trying to squeeze out all its contents, more like having her inside twisted, pulled, and squeezed.
Her surrounding turned darker. Her world rocked to and fro. She felt something she could not explain afterwards and gravity pulled her down onto the lawn, face first. She could not tell how long she was there but finally she could feel soft hands applying pressure on her back. The pain subsidized and she turned around to see who her saviour was. Her face was hazy.
Immediately her water broke and that’s when real pain started. The pain was so bad that in the middle of one contraction she wished she could walk away from her body. The fact that just as soon as she got through one contraction another was coming, quickly tore her apart.
Immediately she was carried into a car. Its movement literally got her body in hell. It was the most uncomfortable journey of her life. The pain kept on coming and it was excruciating. After what seemed like a day or two they arrived at the Holy Ghost Maternity hospital.
Lyn felt like she had to have a bowel movement in the worst way! That's the only way she could describe it. It also felt as if something was going to burst through her back; she had excruciating back pain. Pushing was the worst. She could feel every stretch, pull, and tear. The burning was like no other. She remember feeling like there was no way she could push the baby out, practically it would not fit. But finally all was done. She was so happy to hold her precious son. It was all worth it. She named him Jim
She almost forgot all about the lady who had helped her. She was still standing beside her, this time not covering her face. In fact she had no problem with revealing her identity now. Lyn looked at her feet first and slowly upwards to her face, and she got the shock of her life.
CHAPTER 13 – MOTHER?
“Mother?’’ Lyn said faintly. Her dark personage had haunted her dreams for nearly an eternity. Lyn lay there still and stiff watching her mother who had left them nearly twenty years ago. She cried bitterly.
She had left unceremonially a few days after the death of his husband. Some put it as after she killed her husband. A lot of stories speculated about her whereabouts. Some said she was now mentally ill but the most prominent one was that she had committed suicide. Lyn had looked for her everywhere but found nothing. After getting tired of the search she accepted the situation and tried to forget all about her. It never worked.
Uncle Jack took her in. He was loving and caring. She provided all her needs but he was not mother. Her mother was an epitome of strength and grit. She was he only person who understood her enough.
Lyn wanted to stand up and hug her but she was too weak. She only cried and cried until her tears ran dry.
“But why mother?’’ Her voice was still weak but angry. It was the voice of a person who was feeling betrayed.
“I love you Lyn. I have always loved you.’’ Her mother replied tenderly.
“What is love mother? Is it running away from people who need you the most?”
She did not reply. She waited for her daughter to cool down first. Lyn was crying again. Fresh tears rolled down her cheeks. It was painful for her mother to see her like this. She moved much closer and embraced her. She let the torrent of her daughter’s tears soak through her blouse. A day of joyous celebration was turned into a day of moaning.
When all was quiet she narrated her story. Her face was as guilty as sin:
“My sins were too much to bear. The agony I had caused my family and people who loved us and cared about us was too much. I could not forgive myself or hope that anyone would forgive me.’’ She wiped her eyes. She was sobbing. “I wanted to start a new life and start afresh. I was hoping that leaving would make me forget all about my past. Unfortunately it did not work. Immediately I was fired from my job. Amos’ wife somehow came to know all about the misfortune our infidelity had brought and the workplace became a battlefield. Amos obviously would take her wife’s side so I withdrew into the unknown.
“It however did not bring the peace I was longing for. After a few days, Amos started to pursue me again. He was concerned about my well-being and I could tell that he was genuine. I did not want to repeat the same mistake twice so I refused. I am a tough woman, I am sure you know that but the pressure became unbearable and I gave in. I was so lonely.
“I felt myself sinking deep in love. I sincerely loved him and it was not infatuation this time. To avoid further confrontations with his wife he moved me to Diamondburg. I am your neighbor, in case you had not noticed.”
Lyn listened in profound silence. Her mother continued, “When I saw you moving into the house next door I could not believe my eyes. It was like a dream. I had missed you but I could not look for you. My heart was still heavy. I had heard all about you anyway. I could not believe that Uncle Jack impregnated you, but l did not care as long as you were happy? Then you moved here and I was troubled. I wanted to know why but I could not find answers. I looked for signs every time I could find a chance but nothing popped out. You even noticed me spying on you.
“Back to me, Amos’ wife came to know again about us. She always had ways to figure out things. She was hot on my heels. She called me all sorts of names. At first I was not angry with her. I understood her position but she became more and more noisy. I devised a plan to silence her for good. Her assistant was my friend back in the days. I gave her a few thousand dollars and she agreed to my plan. First time it failed but the second time she was hit. Her assistant put slow acting poison in her tea. A few weeks later she died. I killed her.” She paused to wipe her tears
“She is the second person I have killed. First it was your father. I am not worthy to be a mother. I should be behind bars because that’s where I belong.’’ It had been a long and exhausting speech for her but she continued, “I thought we would be happy together after her death but I was wrong. Weird dreams started to torment me. On windy nights when the wind shock the four corners of the house, she would appear to me in a thousand forms. It was diabolical. Her leg would be cut at the knee, now at the hip. She would sometimes appear as a monstrous kind of creature. It was hell. I had to be rehabilitated and for six months l was away. I got better and returned home but Amos had moved on. She was hot in love with someone. I was hurt but comparing myself with his new woman, I could not stand a chance. I forced myself to forget him and I move on.
Four months later I met another man. I met him at a show in town. He was sweet and handsome. I loved him. We had a nice time together. He even moved in with me. I felt like a teenager again. Little did I know that he was a highly dangerous man. A few months later the police invaded my house and arrested him. I was also taken for questioning. He was wanted for first degree murder. I heard later that he had murdered his wife and was sentenced to life in prison. Once again I was alone
“I was done with love. I purposed in my heart that I would not love a man again. But I was so lonely. I just wanted somebody to talk to and hang out with. There was a mysterious old man at church. He looked a silent man. He hung around on his own and mostly he would not speak when spoken to. He rarely changed his clothes. He did not have a cellphone and I bet he never received any letters. I felt I could right my wrong by helping him.
“I approached him one afternoon after church. He was skeptical at first but I persisted and he agreed. I later realized that he was as lonely as I was. At least we had something in common. He was around seventy years old but his vigor was amazing. He would wake up early in the morning, do the dishes, clean the house and work in the garden. Everything would be done in a matter of minutes. We grew to like each other and became very good friends. We would sit around, giggle around each other, walk together to the market and a whole lot of stuff. One think I did not like about him was his secrecy. He never said a word about his past. In fact sometimes he would let a drop or two of tears when asked. So I decided to bother him no more. Perhaps he had a dark past just like me.
“One night as we were watching TV late in the night, he moved closer to me and looked me straight in the eyes. He ran his fingers through my hair. It was electric. I had not felt such a tough in years. I am human and I have needs you know.” He paused again. She looked at Lyn but her daughter’s face was not giving much away.
“I let him. He caressed me but I did not respond. When he kissed me, I nearly froze. The old man did it so well that I grabbed his head and kissed back violently. We kissed for a moment, tore each other’s clothes and had sex on the couch. He was good,’’ she said shyly. “Anyway it was the beginning of a new phase. We were lovers. He continued being sweet, cooking for me and doing so many thinks. We became more and more reckless. I became pregnant. I was for an abortion but he was against that.
“I gave birth to a girl. I will show her to you. I want you to meet this man too. Recently Amos tried to come back but I pushed him away. I am in love and I know it. I am happy and content.”
She was barely done talking when the old man came in. Lyn looked at him with searching eyes. He was still strong and vibrant. He was smartly dressed and looked confident in a blue suit. He was well fitted, exactly the sort of thing that a woman would pick out for her man to wear to a formal event. He looked much younger than his age. There was also something strangely familiar about him. Lyn could not pick it up but she felt it. But all being said she admired him.
“Congratulation Lyn,” he said handing her flowers
“Thank you,” they were smelling like Jesmine. “Mom was telling me all about you, Thank you for taking care of her.”
“I am not taking care of her, she is taking care of me.” He kissed her on her right cheek. They both laughed. It was beautiful. “Your mother loves you. She was always thinking about you and feeling sorry for herself. I am glad you have been united. Her joy is my joy too.”
He had barely finished when Uncle Jack walked in, hesitant at first then he picked up pace. His eyes could not believe what he was looking at. He forgot all about the baby and fixed his eyes on the old man. The old man recognized his son. Jack recognized his father.
CHAPTER 13: THE REUNION
It was soon an awkward situation. There was a bitter silence as the two looked at each other unsure how to start. The baby cried for a minute or two. They were briefly distracted.
“Dad is that really you?’’ Jack said with a confused look.
“Hie Jack,’’ he simply replied
“You look good”
“Thank you.” Dad knew that his soon was expecting an explanation, but he said nothing about it. Instead he continued, “You look good too.”
“You are welcome.”
That was the furthest their strengths could take them. The old man looked down, up then to his wife, “Jack meet my wife …...”
“Adele,” he interjected
“Strange,’’ Dad quickly said. “This is a small world. Where do you know her from?”
“She is your daughter in law Dad, Chris’ wife.”
“What?’’ The old man’s face turned pale. He drew his brows closer in clear surprise. Jack looked balefully at him. Their eyes met and almost immediately Dad lowered his head. He paused for a while then quietly asked, “How is Chris?”
At that moment, Adele shed some tears. Dad could not understand especially when Lyn shed some tears too.
“Chris is dead. He was hit by a truck and died on the spot.” Jack said literally. He watched as the old man struggled to keep standing. He was silent
“So you are my grandfather?” Lyn said softly
“Yes he is your grandfather Lyn,” Jack said leaning over to see the baby. He had travelled to see his son but unfortunately he was entangled in other strange stories first. His son was lying innocently, his arms aloft as if dreaming of cuddling the mother who was sitting close by. Jack slide his thumb into the baby’s open hand and watched as its fingers curl around it. He felt the baby’s soft breath on the back of his hand.
Adele silently walked out. It seemed she wanted some time alone. She wanted some space. She was hoping that space would help her comprehend the new developments. It was strange to realize that her new lover was her father-in-law. The old man who was bringing her all the joy was the father of the man she murdered.
She had thought that loving this old man would help her forget the past. It did not work. In fact it was bringing more sorrows. She had poured gasoline on fire. Her guilty conscience came back. She remembered what had happened in her life. She remembered how all her mistakes had costed other people. She remembered how unclean she had become, all because of lust. She sat down and cried loudly.
CHAPTER 14: DAD
“Dad can I talk to you for a minute.” Jack was not done with his father. He was still hungry for information. Dad nodded his head after what looked like a fuddled hesitation. They walked silently, found a sitting spot and sat. Dad was looking exhausted. Jack’s throat was dry and his voice sounded remote when he said, “So, what is all this.”
Dad did not reply at once. He looked at the distant horizon. Through teary eyes he watched the sun falling, painting the sky shades of red and pink
“Do you see those colors Jack? They are beautiful. We used to enjoy watching the sunset with your mother.” Dad said softly. “We used to believe that those colors were symbols showing a brighter future. We were wrong.” He looked at Jack for a moment and continued, “You want to know why I did not come back for you, right?”
“Yes,” Jack was quick to answer
“There are two reasons: the first one is that, by the time I came out of prison you were more than mature to take care of yourselves. You were over 18 years of age, were you not?” He quickly became more serious and continued, “Secondly I had nothing to come back for.”
He stared before him for a moment and continued with a somber look, “I had lost everything and that is my wife and my dignity.”
“So what happened to you all these years?”
“Nothing to be proud of,” he replied. “I moved to this city to get away from my bitter past. It worked faster than I thought. Within a few months I had recovered from my shame. I found work as a security guard at a mall in town. I was not earning much but it was enough to keep me going. I worked there for two and a half years.
“With experience came confidence. I was even promoted to be the head of all security guards. I was very honest and hardworking.” He paused feeling proud of himself. When he continued, his voice was softer, “I even received a few awards.
“I soon became corrupt. I asked for sex from female guards in exchange for favors. It was a good time for me. I even got away with it for some months. My seniors however began to notice some changes at the workplace. They investigated. I was trapped and I lost my job.
“I looked for another job but I could not find any. I was kicked out of my home because I could not pay rentals. That is when really trouble began. Life on the street was harsh. I had to fight for my next meal. The details make me cry but I finally meet Adele at Church and here we are?
“Oh,” Jack simply replied. He had nothing to say
“Would you believe me if I say I did not rape the maid?”
“I would believe you.”
It appeared Dad was expecting a different answer. Jack was showing no signs of disbelief.
“Well I did not.”
“I know you did not. Adele’s mother is that maid.”
Dad turned, slowly to face him. When he finally spoke his voice trailed slowly, like his words were unwilling to take flight. “You mean Adele…..”
“She is not your daughter, you did not impregnate her.” There was an awkward silence
“Humanity is so evil,” Dad silently said.
“I know, we are so evil.”
“Life is so unfair, what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”
CHAPTER 15: THE REUNION
The trio left the hospital in a somber state. Jack returned home that same day. Dad and Adele were involved in a minor fight but they soon settled their differences. The couple realized that quitting would not undo their errors. Lyn remained in the hospital feeling both physically and mentally ill. She quickly fell asleep. She had a very weird dream that night.
In her dream, her son Jim was four years old. He was playing outside with the dog, running around like most healthy kids. At the edge of the play area, there was a cliff. There was no protective fence between where Jim was and the cliff.
Jim was so absorbed in his fun that he ran towards the edge of the cliff without watching where he was going. He fell down to the bottom and lay motionless. He was not crying. In panic, Lyn ran to the edge to check on him and jumped down to check on his injuries. He was dead. The feeling of intense loss and heartbreak was absolutely overwhelming, and was paralyzing. She cried bitterly. When she woke up she was still crying. Although it was just a dream, it had come at the wrong time.
When she was discharged from the hospital, three days later, the adoption papers had already been finalized. Left alone, she had make up her mind. She was not going to keep the baby. She could not consult anyone on the matter because it was her life. No one deserved an explanation either.
Jack came to know about the adoption when he visited Lyn a few months later. He was not angry. Actually he had no reason to be. He only asked to see Jim at his new home. He kept visiting him but they could not tell Jim the truth. They had agreed to keep it a secret for good. Jim thought Jack was his uncle. In fact that was what he was made to believe.
By the age of eighteen, Jim was sharp and manly. He still loved his so called uncle and the Uncle loved him back. He would spoil him as often as possible. ******************************
It was going to be a big day for all. Jack had organized it and covered all the expenses. He had persuaded everyone to come despite their differences and feelings. In his mind he had a set up a perfect family reunion of a lifetime.
Jack was getting old but Dad was very old now. He now had a fringe of grey-white hair around his balding, mottled scalp. His face was wrinkled all over and his back slightly hunched. With each movement there was the creak of old bones and his eyes could not see clearly. He was still stuck with Adele. Lyn was now a very mature lady and Jane was eighteen.
The sky was pretty. It was neither hot nor cold, just cool. The serenity of the clouds that dotted the sky all seemed to appreciate the family reunion. Everything was sending a calm sense of awe. A cool upland air, which was perfumed by the heavy scent of flowers, was flooding the park from the nearby lake and it made the day glorious.
The day turned out pretty fun and the family picnic was probably the most fun part of the reunion. Jack was ready to be more involved and reach out to other family members he did not know. The games, the laughs all provided a solace from their bitter past. The family banquet closed the reunion.
The whole family gathered at the formal banquet where closing remarks were given by Uncle Jack. He spoke mostly about the good old times. He was about to conclude with a confession when Jane quickly interjected.
“Before we conclude Dad, I would like everyone to meet my boyfriend.”
Every eye turned to watch the young man coming from the direction of the lake. He was a handsome young man probably the age of Jane. He was casually dressed in a red T shirt and blue jeans. Everyone watched as he carried himself confidently towards the family.
Jack’s face quickly turned pale as Jane’s boyfriend drew closer. He was staring as if someone had just produced a rhinoceros from a handbag. There was a lot of action in his head as his brain tried to comprehend the situation. On the other hand Lyn was in a pause for a moment. She finally managed to turn around and faced Jack. She drew her brows in disbelief. These two knew more than anybody in the gathering. They looked at each other for a moment in complete disapproval. The young man was Jim. He was Lyn and Jack’s son. He was Jane’s brother.
To be continued in my next book