(My heart desire)
BY BLESSING SILVER
Leona took a step backwards as her mom walked in.. her inquisitive eyes rested on her face and as she opened her mouth to talk, her gaze slipped to Damien and her eyes grew wide, she stood speechless for a moment, her gaze running back and forth continually.
“What’s going on here?” She asked and Leona opened her mouth to answer but a moan came out in its place. Her mom questioning look turned to a stern one. “Leona?” She called “Why’s Damien in your room by this time?” She asked again.
“Um..mom. it’s not what you think. Damien just dropped by to give me something, he was about leaving when you came in” she said and her mom sighed.
“Did you have to lie in the first place?” Her mom asked.
“I’m sorry. I just didn’t want you getting paranoid about me” she said.
“I’m guessing he snuck in since I didn’t hear the front door open” she said, giving Damien a smile and he twitched his lips.
“Yeah” Leona answered.
“I’m just curious.. how long have this lovey dovey sneak-in been going on?”
“Mom!. I already told you he just came to give me something and this has never happened before” she said.
“Okay. You both can carry on. I’ll just leave” her mom gave Leona a
“Mom can be so dramatic sometimes” she said, turning to Damien who laughed.
“I guess I should leave, it’s morning already” he said..
“Yeah and I’m starting to get really dizzy now” she said.
“So I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said and she nodded. “Have a goodnight”
“You too. And thanks for your words, they’re really helpful”
“Anytime. Bye Leona” he said, walking back to the balcony, she followed him and watched him climbed down.
“Be careful!” She called and he turned to her, waving with a smile before nodding. She watched him carry the ladder to the fence.
After watching him leave successfully with no falls or severe difficulty, she walked to the lamp and picked it up. Recollecting the lies she had to tell. She walked to her room, left it back on the night stand and turned off the light before stretching on her bed.
Leona descended from the stairs and as she got to the last she sight Damien on the couch, talking to her mom. He noticed her first.
“Hi Leona” he greeted.
“Hi. You’re here early” she said.
“Yeah. Granny was too excited about the offer, she couldn’t sleep, she made the cakes three
“Typical grandma” Leona smiled.
“Okay. This is fine, I’ll ask Leona to call you if I’ll be needing more, you can come over later for the money” Elisabeth said to Damien.
“Okay. Thank you”
“Help me bring this
“Okay” Damien took the basket and followed her briskly to the kitchen.
Leona walked to the door when she heard the bell ring and pulled it open.
“Oh hey” she greeted Amelia, letting her in.
“I thought someone strictly said she’ll be off before seven, it’s past seven sweetie”
“Yeah. I had a long night but I’m ready. I’ll just grab my bag and jacket upstairs” Leona said.
Damien walked out of the kitchen and unexpectedly his gaze went to Amelia.. he watched her expression turn to a sour one after seeing him, her looks were completely filled with disgust.
Damien looked away.
“I’ll be on my way now Leona, see you later” he said to Leona and she nodded, he walked past Amelia who didn’t stop staring at him and walked out of the door.
Amelia eyed him with a twitched face..
Seeing the whole phase from the two, Leona moved to her friend and nudged her in the arm and when she looked at her, Leona shook her head..
“Stop it” she said and Amelia rolled her eyes.
“I don’t trust that guy one bit” she said.
“You don’t even know him Amelia, how can you trust someone you don’t know?”
“And I don’t want to. He looks like a thief” she said. “He’s fooling you!” She added in a serious tone.
“I don’t think you’ll say that if you knew him”
“See.. really, what’s that freak feeding you with?” She asked, crossing her arm.
“Nothing” Leona answered, heading to her room.
“Don’t tell me you’ve been bewitched by his gooey cake?” She asked and Leona stopped and turned to her, giving her a twitchy look.
“Really Amelia?” She primped and Amelia shrugged.
“You can’t tell!” She said and Leona shook her head before going up the stairs.
She grabbed her handbag and walked to Amelia’s car that was parked in the driveway. They got in and Amelia started the car..
As the ride went on with small talks, Leona heard her phone buzz, she grabbed it from her bag and checked the mail.. it was a credit alert from her bank, she checked the creditor and it was from JT, obviously her father’s doing.. But why would he send money to her? She wondered.
Leona went to her contacts and gave him a call, she drew the phone to her ear and heard it ring..
“Leona?” Her dad called. “Did you get the money I sent?” He asked.
“Yes. I just saw the alert. Why did you send it?”
“That’s your salary for the month” he said and she noted the ectasy in his voice.
“But how? I thought you-
“I know honey. You remember the loan I was offered from NY?
I got to talk to them and it’s real honey! I already paid my debt to the board” he said and Leona couldn’t stop the surprised yet happy expression that flew to her face.
“Are you for real?”
“Yes! I’m dead serious. I’ve settled the staffs too”
“Wow.. that’s great dad! Have you informed mom about this?”
“I was about to when your call came in” he said.
“Okay. I’m on my way to the office, I’ll see you when I arrive” she said and hung up. Resting the phone on her lap, a sigh passed through her lips, a relieved one. If truly everything she had read about the loan offer was real then she’s definitely glad about it..
“Did something happen?” Amelia asked, giving her a quick glance.
“Guess who got paid her salary” she said..
“Aww. Congrats girl. Looks like we have our outing expenses sorted out” Amelia said.
“Oh please Amelia. You asked me out, you ought to foot the bills” Leona joked.
“I’m not your boyfriend, okay? You attend to your own bills” she went with the atmospheric humor and they both ended up laughing.
Leona didn’t miss the huge smiles on the workers faces as they went on with the day’s activities. Well, who doesn’t like money. Work was a little tough, a little close to the typical way it had always been and Leona knew they were gradually getting JT back on ground. She couldn’t say she was happy, since it just added more days to achieving her own dream but she was relieved. She just hopes this loan thing doesn’t turn to something bigger than they can handle, after her dad filed her about all the discussion that ensued between him and the company’s CEO, she doubt that it was a trick but no one was a million percent sure about anything.
After work, Amelia picked her up and they had some girly time to themselves which had them shopping, mostly and after a few pictures.. Amelia decided to call it a day, her curfew time was starting to draw near.
Leona bade her bye after getting her things and she went in, holding her stuffs in one hand she used the other to pull open the door and she walked in. As expected, her dad was on the couch, using his laptop while her mom served dinner.
“Good evening dad,” Leona greeted, walking towards him.
“Evening. Why are you just coming in?” He asked.
“I went out with Amelia” she said and he nodded, before going back to his laptop.
Leona walked over to her mom.
“Evening mom” she pecked her forehead.
“Evening baby. Welcome”
“What’s for dinner?” She asked.
“Lasagna and homemade chicken sauce” she said and Leona smacked her lips with a smile.
“Yummy” she breathed out.
A song suddenly started playing and when Leona turned to the direction, it was her dad’s phone ringing. He checked the caller and stood up, heading to his room. Leona glanced at her mom and noticed her expression wearily on him as he walked.. it was that of suspicion and something else that she couldn’t decipher.
“Mom,” she called, gaining her attention with a jerk “Are you okay?” She asked. Elisabeth chuckled nervously.
“Yeah. I’m fine” she answered, moistening her lips and bending back to the food.
“Want me to eavesdrop on him?” She asked and her mom looked at her, amusement obvious in her gaze.
“No honey, it’s okay” she assured her. “Go freshen up and come down for dinner” she said.
“Before I forget, I’ll be going to the movies with Damien.. he’s coming over to pick me” she told her mom.
“Oh.. that’s great then. He can join us for dinner too and get his money from the sales I made”
“Did you sell a lot?” Leona asked.
“I sold everything.. I still got more demands after it. It’s not like I wasn’t expecting it, The cakes are really good” she said and Leona smiled.
“Okay. I’ll be in my room” she said, walking to her room.
She dumped the bags on the bed and sat beside them, bending to pull off the shoes bugging her feet. After discarding them aside, she stood up and was undressing when a text came in, pulling a towel over her body, she grabbed her phone and clicked on the text.
**Hi. You’re home right? I’m close to your place.** she read the text and peeked at the time.. it was few minutes to eight.
**Just got home actually but it’s okay. You can come** she texted back and left the phone on her bed before walking to the bathroom.
After the brief shower, Leona settled for a pair of fancy sandals to go with the blue skinny jean and sleeveless top she had on. She packed her hair up in pony tails and walked to her dressing table to check out her outfit in the lengthy mirror.
“Leona! Damien’s here” she heard her mom’s voice..
“Coming!” She yelled back at her before grabbing her phone from her bed.
“Sit down, please. She’ll be out soon” her mom said to Damien, who moved to a couch..
“Have you counted the money? Is it complete?”
“Yes. Thank you”
“And I’ll be needing twelve dozens tomorrow.. can you make it?”
“Yeah, sure” he said.
Damien noticed a figure coming down the stairs and as he turned he saw a middle aged man.. probably in his late fifties or early sixties.. he knew at once who it was. He reached the last stairs, his gaze curiously staring at his, Elisabeth turned to him.
“Who’s this?” He asked her.
“Oh..he’s Leona’s friend. The brain behind those yummy cupcakes I gave you” she answered and he tilt his head to look at Damien.
“My name is Damien sir” he answered, standing up. Jesse gave him an intent look before ignoring him.
“And what’s he doing here by this time?” He asked.
“We’re going to the movies” Leona answered, descending the stairs. Jesse turned to her with a frown.
“You’re going to the movies with a guy that bakes cupcakes ? What happened to Greg?” He asked her.
“We all know there’s nothing between Greg and I. Damien and I are just going to see a movie” she deadpanned.
“So you’re picking this,” he gestured with his palm up and down Damien in slight disgust “Over Greg?” He asked, amazement in his voice.
“Dad?” Leona called.
“You,” he turned to Damien “what do you do for a living? Does your dad own a company or is selling cupcakes your income?” He asked and Leona was about intervening when Damien spoke.
“Well, my dad’s late and no, I don’t own a company neither do I work in one. I’m trying to save up money to go to law school, that’s why I sell cupcakes. It’s a temporary job that I do” he emphasized and Jesse scoffed.
“So that makes you a nobody! How do you intend to take care of my daughter if you can’t even provide for yourself?” He said plainly.
“Honey” Elisabeth called, trying to stop him.
“You get out of my house this minute!”
“He’s my guest dad, you can’t send him out” Leona chipped in.
“Oh really? I now see why you’ve been pushing Greg away, because of this crappy cupcake guy! I thought you were smarter than this Leona. How can you be so stupid to pick a nobody over someone that’s willing to give you the world! How can you be such a dweeb!” He fired angrily.
“Stop it dad!” Leona said, angry.
“You? Get out and never step foot in my house again except you want me to get you arrested”
“Don’t honey me! You knew about this, yet you supported it! You’ve always been the one siding her.. letting her act so stupid and irresponsible!” He turned to his wife before looking back at Damien, he was obviously fuming.
“Why are you still here? I said get out of my house before I push you out myself!”
“Stop this, dad for Pete’s sake!”
“I said le-” his voice suddenly died down as he started to choke on his words. Elisabeth was the first to notice him, she quickly rushed to him.
“Honey!” She swooped to him, rubbing his back as he tried to gasp for air.
“Dad! Dad!.. are you okay?” Leona joined her mom..
“I think he’s suffocating! Give him some space to breath!” Damien said, giving him air with his mouth.. Jesse kept gasping, his chest tightened and as Leona and Elisabeth moved away from him as Damien instructed, he suddenly collapsed but Damien caught him before his body could contact the ground and after one last gasp.. he drove into unconsciousness.