(My heart desire)
BY BLESSING SILVER
“Well..yes. I do have a boyfriend” Leona answered Dave and he gave her a small smile.
“I figured that would be your answer, I mean it’s rare for someone of your kind not to have one” he said and Leona gave him a nervous smile..
“Well, I don’t have a girlfriend. At least for now” he said and Leona nodded slowly, wondering why he was telling her this.
“You seem uncomfortable around me” he said and Leona gaze sharply flew to him..
“Um no, I’m not. Why will you say that?” She defends.
“Cos you look nervous and you don’t talk until I do and that’s only if what I said is a question” he said.
“I’m sorry if that offends you, I’m just not used to interacting with my boss about stuffs that are not work related so I’m kind of nervous about what else to say” she said honestly. Dave let out a snall laugh.
“I understand. You don’t get to hang out with your boss all the time but it’s okay, for now see me as..your friend, okay?” He asked and Leona nodded, wetting her lower lip with her tongue.
“In your file, I saw you worked in one Jesse Terence company. . Is he some kind of family member or is the name just a coincidence?”
“I did and it’s not a coincident, the company belongs to my father” she said.
“Oh.. so why did you stop working there?”
Leona rubbed her temples lightly, gathering words for a response in her head.
“Um..I just decided to stop. It’s quite far from where I stay and besides, I wanted to see what it feels like working for someone that isn’t my father or a relative” she said and at first Dave didn’t look like he was buying her lies but he later nodded to it before taking a light sip out of his drink.
“I’ll be leaving new york tomorrow” he said and Leona gave him a blank stare “I was supposed to leave today but I had my flight delayed cos of our little date” he said and Leona gave him a small smile.
“I hope you have a safe flight. We’ll miss you” she said.
“Yeah.. I mean there’ll be no one to take us out for barbeque and wine or interest us so yeah, we’ll miss you” Leona said, he laughed.
“I’ll be back but that’ll be next year, I have two years more to spend there before I finally settle down here. Will you be around until then?”
“Um..maybe” she said with a lopsided grin.
“Well, if you’re not then I can find you at your dad’s company.. give me your number” he said, taking out his phone and giving it to her, she took it.
Damien closed the door before turning to face Laura, still dazed at her presence. She looked around the living room, shaking her head constantly before turning to him.
“Who would believe that a multi billionaire would stoop so low and live in such a place?” she asked, excitement in her voice.
“What’re you doing here?” He asked, the anger not missing from his voice.
“I came to see you, it’s been a while and I miss you” she said.. he gave her a fierce straight look.
“Who told you I was here?”
“At first I couldn’t believe it, really Liam; how could you do this? You even had to change your pretty face and live so degrading and for what? Love or is–
“Who the heck told you about this, Laura?” He fired, cutting her off. . She scoffed.
“Alex did. See, you don’t have to blame him, he was helpless.. he didn’t have a choice but to spill it and I still find it hard to believe even though it’s right in front of me,” she took a step toward him “How can the CEO, I fell so madly in love with be this person?” She asked, “how can you do this to yourself, Liam?”
“Get out” he said in a cold tone, pointing to the door.
“I said get out Laura and never show up in front of me.. you told me that before walking away from my life and I’d prefer you stick to it. Get out!” He grunted and she gave him a smirk.
“And tell Leona who you truly are?” She answered with a fake sober look and his face got more hardened.
“I know about you both Liam and I know she fell in love with the guy you’re pretending to be but do you think she’ll still feel the same way about you when she finds out that you’ve been lying to her all along about everything, do you think she’ll be able to love the guy behind the mask you have on? That she’ll want to stay with a hypocrite and someone she doesn’t even know something as small as his name even though they’re in a relationship? You think she’ll still love you after knowing you’ve been deceiving her all along?” Laura spat honestly at him “No Liam! I’m a woman and I very much know you’ll become her worst enemy once she finds out about the real you and I’m positive you know that as well. So, do you still want me to leave?” She asked, a smirk replacing her expression. He sighed loudly.. sadly, she’s right. He hadn’t thought about this too, maybe other ladies might accept him after knowing the guy they had thought was poor was actually rich, they’d accept him even more, with so much magnanimity but Leona wasn’t like that.. She hadn’t loved him for his wealth, she had loved and accepted him willingly.. She’ll truly feel bad and used when she finds out. She probably might not want to have anything to do with the guy she had honestly shared all her troubles with and had thought he was being honest with her but all along hadn’t been truthful. She’d misunderstand everything and read more sad meanings to it.. regardless of his wealth and fame; that is one attribute Leona has that he had never seen in any of the other ladies, he had a relationship with in the past.
“What do you want?” He asked after a long thoughtful silence, her smirk deepened almost turning to a lopsided smile.
“Five billion dollars for a start” she said more like a whisper.
“A start?” Damien repeated “Are you blackmailing me, right now?”
“I don’t think that’s the word for it, it’s called business. You want me to do something, you keep paying for it”
“You know what Laura, I know you.. you’re one greedy selfish bitch and I know you won’t stop extorting from me once I fall into your blackmail trap” he seeth..
“Oh,” she clapped her hands dramatically “should I walk right out and tell her then?” She asked.
“Yes,” he replied and her face suddenly wore a dazzled expression “Or no, I’ll save you the stress and tell her myself” he said with a serious look. Laura’s facial expression became blank. She opened her mouth to talk but the doorbell ringing shut it back up. They exchanged glances and he looked away before walking to the door. He pulled it open and Leona stood in front of him with a smile. He returned it and her gaze went to the open space between them and she saw Laura standing few steps from them, she looked back at Damien.
After Dave dropped her off at her house and surprisingly kissed her on the cheeks, Leona bade him bye and he promised to always call her, Leona kind of find him interesting as a friend but it was nothing more than that.. He waved to her before getting back into his car.
As she walked to her house, she stopped to check if she could see Damien but she didn’t.. she was supposed to give him an answer today and somehow she couldn’t wait to see him. After getting under the shower, she quickly changed her clothes to casuals and without having dinner, she walked out of the house to visit Damien. She passed few blocks before getting to the next one that was his.
She walked to the entrance before ringing the doorbell, seconds later it flew open and when she saw it was Damien, she smiled at him and from the corner of her eyes saw a figure standing behind him, few steps away. She glanced there and it was a lady, she looked back at him. .
“Um..Hi” Damien said to her, still holding the door.
“Hi” she replied. “Should I just leave since you have a guest?” Leona asked him.
“No, no.. she’s just my-
“Hi Leona” Laura chipped in and Leona’s brows narrowed when she called her name..
“Um..Hello?” She said, still with a confused expression.
“I’m Laura. Liam has told me so much about you” she said with a bright smile, bringing her palm for a shake and Leona gave Damien a look before taking it. . He shrugged.
“Uh.. I don’t think we’ve met before” Leona said, scanning her face for a bit of familiarization but she found none.
“Yes. That’s because I’ve been in America, I’m a very close person to Liam, very very close” she said.
“Oh..okay then. Damien, I’ll just see you some other time since you have an important guest, I wouldn’t like to disturb you both” she said and Damien was about replying but Laura beat him to it.
“No Leona, that won’t be necessary, I was just about leaving actually. I only came to say Hi to Liam since it’s been a while and I’ve missed him so very much” Laura said, much to Damien disgust and Leona gave the duo a suspicious look.. she isn’t that stupid not to notice that something different than what they’re telling her, is going on.
“Are you like his sister or what?” Leona asked.
Laura gave her a lopsided smile “No, not at all. I’m more like his girlfriend, not his lover though but we’re just really close”
“Hold on.. did you know that his name’s Liam?”
“Yes” Leona nodded. “He told me” she added and Laura gave Liam a raised-brow look.
“Told you what?” Laura asked.
“That his name’s also Liam apart from Damien” she said and Laura frowned.
“Okay. I’ll just leave you two alone now. Liam, you think about my offer and Leona. . It’s nice to finally meet you” Laura said.
“Um..same here” she said unsure, and Laura gave Damien a look before walking past them to the door and out.
“Sorry about that” Damien apologized “Laura can be one crazy girl sometimes” he said.
“It’s nothing. She said you’re both really close.. how close are you guys?”
“She is my ex-girlfriend back in America, she’s broke up with me” he said.
“I knew there was more to what she was saying. So why’s she here?”
“To visit,” Damien shrugged “that’s not even important Lee. I’ve been waiting for you, you’re supposed to give me an answer to my proposal today” he beamed at her and Leona slowly reciprocated it.
“Well, that’s why I’m here”
“Do you want us to go somewhere or sit here?”
“The garden. Let’s go there” he said and Damien nodded with a smile..
They sat on huge stones and the air smelt nice.
“Okay.. I’ll go straight to the point” she said “Yes”
“Yes?” Damien asked like he hadn’t expected it.
“Yes!” Leona repeated with a smile and almost immediately he captured her lips with his in ecstasy, she quickly crossed her arm over his neck and deepened it, tilting her head to give him more entrance.. To Leona, this is the best place to have a moment of passion, having the air carry nice enticing smell to grace the occasion, acting more like a cheering ovation.
They continued that way for minutes and pulled away to catch their breathes, No one couldn tell who did the disengaging. Damien took her palms, their head pressed against each other.
“I love you, Leona, I always will. And I’ll do anything to keep proving it to you” he said.
“I love you too” Leona reciprocated the smile.. Their lips were about jamming together again when Leona’s stomach grumbled, loud enough to his hearing..
“You didn’t eat?” He asked and she nodded.
“I wanted to give you my reply first, I felt like the food might make me change my mind” she said humorously. He laughed.
“Now that you’ve said it, it’s time to eat” he stood up and lifted her.
“Will you go with me?” she whined.
“Of course, I didn’t plan on letting you leave alone before.. I’m your boyfriend and you need my protection” he said and she smiled deeply “Hold on, I’ll just get my jacket first” he said and she nodded, he went into the house. Once in his room, he quickly did what he wanted to do quickly. He opened his drawer and took out a box, he brought out his other phone, the only one he uses as Liam Gonzalez, his official phone. He switched it on and clicked on the contact, scrolling through it he saw just the person he wanted. He clicked on it and waited as it rang. He picked up at the second ring.
“Yes Mr Gonzalez” he said.
“Harold, I have a job for you” Damien said.. “I need information on someone. I want you to follow her, I want to know about every move and track she makes, her daily activities, places she visits and people she moves and interact with” he said.
“Laura Brighams” he said “I already sent a picture to your e-mail but I don’t know where exactly she stays in new York”
“That’s not a problem sir, I can handle it”
“Okay. I’ll send some money to your account later, tell me once you find any information about her” he said.
“Yes sir. Thank you” he said and Liam disconnected the call. He turned off the phone and left it back in the box, shoving it back into his drawer.
If it was just money, he’d have given it to Laura but he knows her.. Money is the one thing she loves after life.. He had heard about her father’s death and somehow he had expected her crawling back to him and accepting her back was something he can’t do but what he hadn’t expected was the fact that she had already done her research on him..
Alex.. Fuck him!
He knew Alex had always eyed Laura and knowing that, she had taken advantage of that.. But she could’ve just dated him since she was that desperate for money, he’s just as rich him and- oh, he cut the thought of sharply.. Alex is already engaged. So Laura must’ve seen herself with no chance at him and must’ve cajoled him into telling her..
Wine.. That’s Alex weak point, he tend to say everything, even the unimportant and useless ones when he gets tipsy or drunk that’s why he avoids it.. Laura must’ve made up some pathetic excuse and made him go with her to the pub.. Made him get drunk and cooed him into telling her everything. It’s not completely his fault though if that’s what really happened.
Damien sighed before grabbing his jacket and walking out.. He apologized to Leona and they walked to her house; holding hands and interacting.
After dinner which Damien prepared for her, they both snuggled up on each other after a long kiss and moments later, Leona fell asleep in his comfort.
She got up the next morning to Damien’s absence and after brushing her teeth, she packed her hair up and walked to the living room.. He was setting the table for breakfast when she got there and he tilt his head up, saw her and smiled.
“Hi, good morning”
“Good morning” Leona answered, moving to Peck him on the lips. She walked back to the table and grabbed a chair.
“What did you make for breakfast?”
“Bacon, eggs and cheese sandwich” he said.
“Mmh” Leona beamed a smile at him before grabbing her Cutlery as he served her.. She stabbed some bacon and eggs with her fork and lifted it to her mouth.
“Do you still take cupcakes to my mom?” She asked him and he first gave her a small blank look like he hadn’t heard her, before nodding slowly.
“What’re you thinking about?” She asked him and he sighed gently, dropping his fork and stretching his hand across the table to reach hers, he took her palm..
“I love you so much, Leona” he said. “You have no idea how much and I’ll never do anything to hurt you intentionally”
“I love you too” she said. “Very much”
“Enough to stay with me forever no matter what happens?”
“Uh forever?” Leona repeated.
“Look, I understand we’re just starting this whole thing but I know what I feel and I know I’m deeply in love with you. I just want to know if you would feel the same way you feel for me now, if-” he shrugged “I mean regardless of anything that might happen.. Not that anything will happen to you or me though. But I just want to know” he said nervously, making Leona chuckle.
“Well yes. It won’t change anything” she assured him and for a moment Damien wished he could just tell her everything but on a second thought he couldn’t. He’ll tell her soon but just not today. He smiled at her with a nod before urging her to continue eating.
Leona glanced at the time on her wristwatch, it was few minutes past seven, her work time was over, it had been seven minutes ago but she only saw it now. She grabbed her bag, tucked in the necessary files that she needs to work on and walked out of the office.. Signing out and saying byes to the few workers that passed by, she walked out of the company. Not being in the ‘bus mood’ Leona flagged a cab and got in, after giving her destination, two other passengers joined her and the taxi started moving.
As the ride continued, Leona reached for her phone in her bag and realized she had thirty-seven missed calls when she turned it on.. She had set the phone on silence so it wouldn’t disturb her work since manager Goodman had clearly ordered them to.. She quickly clicked on the calls and saw that it all came from aunt Hilda, something that had never happened before. She quickly called her and it got answered at the first ring.
“Hello aunt I–
“Leona, is Amelia with you?” She asked, interrupting her in a hushed voice.
“No, she’s not here. I haven’t seen her ever since she left my house after sleeping over” she said and Hilda’s loud cry came next, she pulled the phone away from her ear as the noise burned it and mildly apologized to the woman sitting beside her who wore with a frown at the noise.
“What’s wrong Aunty?” Leona asked. “Is Amelia not with you?”
“No. No Leona, she isn’t. She left for the mall late this morning for the mall and haven’t returned up till now” she said amidst sobs.
“Have you tried calling her?”
“Countless times but it isn’t going through!”
“Okay. Calm down first, maybe she just went to Jack’s place and couldn’t call cos her phone battery is down or something” Leona said, trying to assure her.
“But Amelia’s phone battery have never gone low, she charges it almost every time Leona.. What if..what if something bad has happened to-
“No aunt, no. Nothing has happened to Amelia, just calm down okay. I’ll try to call her and Jackson, okay.. Calm down” she said.
“O-okay. Please call me when you get to her”
“Yes, sure. For the meantime you have to stop crying and calm down” she said and heard Hilda sniff.
“Okay” she said miserably and the call ended. Leona quickly clicked on Amelia’s phone and after calling for five times, none if which went through, she stopped attempting.. Her mind getting heavily worried. She quickly scrolled through her phone’s contact list for Jackson’s ID and she got it, she hurriedly clicked on it. He picked up after the second ring.
“Hello Jackson, it’s Leona”
“I know. Hi”
“Is Amelia with you?”
“No. I haven’t seen her all day, she promised to come this morning but I haven’t seen her yet and she’s not taking my calls” he said and Leona’s heartbeat increased fiercely.
“Wait.. Why are you asking? can’t you find Amelia?”
“Uh.. Her mom said she left home this morning for the mall and haven’t returned since then. She isn’t taking any of our calls too”
“Wait.. Are you saying that Amelia’s missing?” He asked in a scared tone.
“Um.. I don’t know Jack, maybe she’s at my place. I’ll just call my neighbor and ask if she came” he said.
“Okay. Please call me if she is, please”
“Okay. Bye” she hung up and sighed.. Trying to steady her breathing. Where the heck might she be why is her phone unreachable.. Her phone has never been unreachable and Amelia make sure she takes it anywhere she goes. She suddenly started feeling sweaty and uncomfortable and when the taxi stopped to drop one of the passengers, Leona came down too after paying. She moved to the pavement and paced around as she clicked on Damien’s number.. She realized, her hands were shaking as the phone started ringing. He picked up almost immediately.
“Damien, did Amelia come to my place today after I left?”
“No, no one came”
“Are you at home?”
“Do you know if she’s at my house right now?”
“She’s not. I went straight to your house once I left Bobby’s but it was just exactly as it was and it’s locked. No one’s in” he said and Leona breathing hitched. Her hand slowly moved to her lips to prevent her from yelling.. Her breathing came back, hard this time.
“Hello, Leona are you there?”
“Uh y-yes,” she gulped. “I-I think Amelia is missing” she revealed her fears and a tear dropped.
“What? Are you sure?”
“I-I don’t know but she’s not anywhere and her number isn’t going through” she said, her emotion bursting open and pouring out on her voice.
“Calm down Leona. Where are you? Are you still at work?”
“No no. I already left there. I was in a taxi but I couldn’t go on so I dropped. I’m at uh-” she looked around for an idea “Showman’s streets, there’s um.. A big grocery store opposite me, I’m standing on a pavement” she said..
“Okay, don’t move or do anything. I’m coming over immediately”
“Uh..okay” she stuttered and hung up. She looked where she stood. She always passes here on her way to and from work but she had never passed on foot but she’d very much know the way from here to her house..
She heard footsteps behind her and then a small whimper, she turned and saw an old beggar. A dirty cloth covered her hair and part of her face and a bowl laid in her open palms as soft words came out of her mouth. She ignored her, looking away; her mind drifted back to Amelia and her worries came back.
“Please miss, can you spare a few change, please” the old woman’s voice reach her and she turned to her.. Her dressing was haggard and the way she stood looked like she was going to collapse anytime soon.
With a tired sigh, Leona grabbed a five dollars bill from her bag and walked over to her, she placed it in her bowl, without a word of thanks the Woman turned to leave and a small bunch of money fell from her scarf but she obviously didn’t notice because she didn’t stop walking.
It must’ve been the money she got all day from begging, it’ll be sad to lose everything on her part.
“Ma’am,” she called, picking the money and walking to meet her. “Your money dropped! Ma’am!” She called, following the woman who didn’t stop no matter how loud she called. Leona wanted to give up cos the Woman seemed to be walking faster than she was running.. She would’ve dropped the money back but she knew her conscience would continuously prick her for it. When she turned back the Woman was gone, she looked furthermore and saw her getting into a small abandoned building.. It’s probably where she lives; Leona thought and followed her hurriedly to the building, she got to the entrance and noticed the interior of the building was pitch dark..
“Hello!” She called “is anyone in here? Hello!” She called loudly. Hearing no response, Leona took a step into the room and looked around but she saw nothing except darkness. She took another step in..
“Hello ma’am, I picked your money! Are you in here?” She called, taking another step in but she heard nothing.
Since she saw her go in here, why isn’t she answering? Did she fall asleep so quick or she’s a deaf person. She could as well just drop the money here, she’ll see it when it’s bright. She threw the money and was dazed when it touched a wall so quick, she had expected it to go far. She shrugged and turned, Damien might be looking for her.. As she took a step out, a strong palm mashed over her lips, preventing her from talking.. As she tried fighting it, a body pressed over her own and she pulled and tugged, trying to get away.. A soft cloth suddenly pressed over her nostrils and as she inhaled, her chest tightened and she started trying to gasp for air.. Helplessly, her body weakened and drove into unconsciousness, her phone dropping to the ground.