*** ALEXA’S POV
A damn coward the man I call father is.
All he could do when our eyes met was to turn on his heels and run out, not giving me the chance to process everything my eyes had seen.
I couldn’t even get a second to process his facial features.
To confirm if my eyes were just deceiving me or not.
Our eyes meet.
I g@sp as shock paralyses me, my feet giving me away instantly as I stumble.
Strong arms grip my w@!st to steady me and I don’t need to turn to know it was William.
My attention, focus and br@in had all gone to a complete standstill as my gaze was fixed on one person, one man, refusing to waver from the unplea-sant sight.
I call out, my voice coming out smaller and quieter than I intended.
He stares at me.
And that’s when it happened.
He run. He fv¢king turned on his heel and run.
My eyes followed his every movement as he turned and like a slow motion, I watched as he run.
Away from me.
Still glued to the sp©t, my arms falling limply beside me and mouth agape, I watch as he reaches the door, gr-abs the knob and yanks the door open, running out.
I blink and blink again at the action.
Surely, a ghost will just walk throu-gh the door and vanish right? But no.
He actually gr@bb£d the door knob.
. I blink,an unsettling feeling gathering in the pit of my stomach, wretching my innards as the unplea-sant realisation hits me.
This meant he was alive..
. Alive, breathing.. And in front of me.
As if my entire system had finally come back to life, I find myself pushing William away from me as my feet moved on it’s own accord towards the man.
Soon I find myself running after the man who was desperately trying to get out of the hospital.
I could hear footsteps behind me, voices calling me from behind yet my br@in seem to be in an entire world of it’s own, with one mission.
To find that man.
Successfully ma-king it out of the hospital premises, I notice the man st©pping a taxi and getting into it.. Without much thought, I walk towards our car. I was going to drive today.. fv¢k everything.
Suddenly, I feel strong arms grip my w@!st and spin me around.
“Are you crazy Alexa! You’re going to have another attack. Focus Alexa! Focus on me! Look at me!”
The screaming yet distant voice says, arms leaving my w@!st and cupping my face, forcing me to look up at him.
My eyes meet with those pretty enchanting brown eyes.
He stares at me for a moment and then pu-lls away.
“We’ll go after that taxi. But I’m driving” I just nod, words failing me at the moment. I quietly get into the car as the engine is sparked to life.. I look ahead,my mind blank.
Bringing the car to a halt in front of the hvge gate got me puzzled for a moment.
Staring at the mansion ahead, I had a s-en-se of deje vu.
It took me a while to realise it wasn’t.
That was because the vicinity in which we were currently in was complete secluded.
I turn to my side and realise Alexa was staring at the mansion too, confusion etching her delicate features.
I wouldn’t Blame her.
If not for the fact that I was aware of the location of the house in which Alexa lived, I would have mistaken it for this house.
This house looked exactly like the one in which Alexa lived.
It’s like that man had intentionally built a similar mansion for reasons best known to him.
The door suddenly opens and Alexa alights. I don’t bother to st©p her. She needs to confront that man, alone.
Pushing the hvge gate, I walk throu-gh and step onto the compound, re-sisting the urge to look around the house which looked awfully familiar. With determined steps, I keep my head high as I near the gl@ss door, feeling my heart pounding against my che-st a thousand times fas-ter.
I had no idea what awaited me behind those doors but I knew whatever I’d find would be the answers to the questions ringing in my head for the past hour.
And those answers, I know will either shatter me or break me. I don’t see the difference.
Taking in de-ep breaths, I slide the doors open without bothering to knock and step inside My breath caught in my throat as I stood transfixed to the sp©t unable to move at the sight.
Truly, there he stood In the middle of the room,one hand holding a phone to his ear and the other holding a gl@ss of water.
I watch as he gulps down the water and then continues to speak.
“Look Dante, solve this. I don’t know. Just curb this entire thing. Make her believe she was hallucinating or something….”
The rest of his words were lost in space as I concentrated on his firm jaw, moving as he spoke.
It really was him.
My eyes weren’t deceiving me.
He was alive.
Henry Wallace was alive.
And Mr Dante seemed to be aware of it all along.
Suddenly I recall the events that took place during the supposed funeral.
They had organized a closed casket ceremony.
The stupid guard had st©pped me from seeing my father.
“Orders from above”
he had told me.
I shake my head, the betrayal hitting me so h@rd that I laugh instead.
Hearing my laughter, Henry drops the phone and turns, his wi-dening as he notices me.
“Surprise father dearest”
I chuckle humorlessly.. Silence.
“Why? Is that a way to welcome your daughter after being away from her for a year? Won’t you offer me a seat? Ask me how my day was or something?”
I ask further and he gulps.
he stutters.. Oh,so the dead speaks too. Hmm
“I can explain”
he says softly earning another laughter from me.
“Ah! The infamous s£ntence ‘I can explain'”
pausing, I stare at him
“What are you gonna say next? That the devil made you do this?”
“plea-se love, you won’t un-derstand now but I did this for you. To protect you”
He had the guts to say.
Sometimes something just hurts you so bad you can’t find it in you to be angry or cry.
You just smile. Because it’s the only emotion that won’t seem to fail you.
“Do not give me that bullsh*t Henry! You did this? You faked your own death to protect me? Ha! News of the century! Such a doting father you are.”
He makes the mistake of ma-king an attempt to walk closer to me.
Holding up a f!nger, I move back.
“Don’t you fv¢king come near me!”
I see the and hurt flashes I’m his eyes.. I scoff. He has no right to be hurt. No damn right.
“Don’t you Alexa me Mr Wallace. Everything makes s-en-se now. How I had gone home to take a shower after confirming you were getting better then I return only to be told you had p@ssed away. And during the funeral, I wasn’t allowed to bid my father’s b©dy one last goodbye. And then suddenly Mr Dante was there, checking up on me telling me what and whatnot to do. Come to think of it everything was so planned out. And you were the master planner. How come I didn’t realise this? I was so stupid and blind. There I was mourning your death and your other kids were busy fighting me over inheritance. Kids whom you had managed to Keep away for several years. Wow dad wow, congratulations. I hope you achieved everything you sought for?”
I spit, tears blinding me. I wipe my face furiously.
No way in hell I’ll shed a tear for this man before me.
“Tell me Henry, did mother know you were cheating on her for more than fifteen years? They were born two years after me. Hell! How fv¢ked up are you huh?!”
“Alexa dear I can explain. I did it to protect you”
he moves to t©uçh me and I step away, flin-ching as I sl@p away his hand.
“Don’t you give me that sh*tload excuse. You did it for yourself and no one else. You did it for yourself only. You’re selfish, self conceited and a lowlife. I hate you with every fibre I have left in me. You deserve nothing. Absolutely nothing! Because that’s what you are to me. Nothing. You mean nothing to me anymore. For months I cried for you,refusing to accept your death. But now, today,I’ve finally accepted it. I’ve finally accepted that you’re dead. You’re dead to me!”
He begins to shake his head pathetically
“What? No Alexandra. I’m here baby. I’m alive. I’m here. I’ll make everything alright I promise you” I let out a laugh.
“Just a minute ago, I heard you telling Mr Dante on phone to make me believe seeing you at the hospital was just hallucinations. A figment of my imagination and nothing else yet here you are,proudly telling me you’re alive and you’ll make everything alright. How patriotic of you! I’m sure everyone will love to have a loving and committed father like you. I’m.do honoured to have had the privilege of being your daughter Mr Wallace”
I spit with venom and sarcasm lacing my voice.
He stares at me, pain all over his features.
He doesn’t have the right to feel hurt or pain.
He’s a lying, selfish and self conceited man.
“I have nothing to say to you really. I only followed you here to known if it was really you. And now that I’ve gotten my answers I’ll take my leave.”
“No wait child. We still have a lot to talk about. I’ll explain everything I swear it child. plea-se stay for a while. plea-se Alexa”
I eye him.
“Being around you gives me the chills and if I keep standing here looking at your face for a second longer I’m gonna puke. That’s how much you disgust me.”
Without bothering to look at him, I turn and walk towards the door.
Before I slide the door open, I turn to stare at him.
“And I hope you feel guilty for Fraser’s death. Because it’s your fault.
. And his blood will forever remain on your head”
He stumbles back like I just sh0t him.
I scoff inwardly. How I wish.
“I hope you continue living like the living-dead that you are. Because it doesn’t matter to me. Let’s pretend we never saw each other. You never saw me, and I never saw you. Because henceforth you’re dead to me Henry Wallace. Dead and buried. You’re fv¢king dead to me!”
**** ALEXA’S POV
My back felt extremely heavy as I walked away, feeling his eyes watching me as I left, boring holes into my back.
Taking in a de-ep breath, I blink and step out onto the vast compound.
God knows it took all of my will power to walk away and not turn to take one last look at him.
I shake my head.
I shouldn’t look back.
I can’t look back.
He doesn’t deserve it.
He fv¢king faked his death and watched me mourn him for months.
He only c@m£ out of his hiding after hearing about Fraser’s death.
What would have happened if nothing ever happened to Fraser.
The answer was as clear as day.
He would have never showed himself for sure.. I would still be in the dark, thinking he’s truly dead.
I didn’t even realise I had made it out of the compound until Williams voice brou-ght Me back to reality.
I look up to find him leaning against the car bonnet, arms crossed against his che-st.
. I sigh, walking towards him.
I nod my answer, words failing me yet again.
he says softly, placing his f!ngersun-der my chin and lifting my head to look up at him.
“You sure you’re okay? Wanna talk? You can cry if you feel like yeah?”
I chuckle shaking my head.
“No. Not everyone deserves to be cried over
. ‘Specially Henry. He doesn’t deserve a single tear drop”
William nods in un-derstanding.
I’m just glad he didn’t ask further questions.
All I need right now is some peace and quiet Shortly, my phone rings and I pu-ll it out of my purse to check the caller.
I frown. Mr Dante.
I cut the call and switch the phone off.
I look up again to find William staring intently at me, his eyes boring into my very soul.
“plea-se k!ssme William”
I blurt out before I’m able to st©p myself.
For a moment I thought he was going to refuse but the his arms encircles my w@!st as he pu-lls me closer.. He bends.
I p@rt myl-ips re-ady to welcome his when I feel his warml-ips on my n£¢k. I g@sp at the unexpected t©uçh, a tingling s-en-sation running throu-gh my entire b©dy. I throw my head back giving him access.
Hisl-ips trail up my n£¢k until it st©ps beneath my ear. I hear him whisper. “You’re not in the right frame of right mind now Alexa. But trust me, when all this is over, I’ll k!ssyou s-en-seless. I’ll k!ssevery inch of your gorgeous b©dy until you scream my name”
My eyes wi-den.
Blood rushes to my cheeks as I blush instantly at his words.
He pu-lls away to peer into my face and I look down, avoiding his gaze.
“Come on. Let’s go”
I look up to find him smiling at me.. God, he’s gorgeous.
And as if my day couldn’t get any worse, here I am three hours later, in a police station in front of the holding cells waiting for the girl I used to consider my best friend.. I didn’t know what to expect when I had asked Will to drive me here so I could question her and get answers.
But then again, today had been full of bad news so I wasnt expecting anything less.
The police officer walks away from me as I wait.
I notice a figure in the dark cell,emerging.
I hold my breath, the shadow appears into the light.
She looked thinner and pale within just twenty four hours.
She stood behind the bars while I stood at the other side.
“I’ve been waiting Alexandra baby” Lydia sm-irks.. That s£ntence.
She has used those words before. I’ve seen that sm-irk on her before.. But… I shut my eyes. I gr0@nas a sharp pain courses throu-gh my head. Images flashing fas-ter than lightening..
THREE YEARS AGO. Alexa stood near the car her mother had bought her for her sixteenth birthday, b!tt!g her l!pnervously.
she shakes her head.
Lydia rolls her eyes for the hundredth time.
“Come on Alexa!”
“No Lydia. It’s illegal. I’m not eighteen yet I don’t have a driver’s license. It’s a miracle we didn’t get caught. By now police are patrolling everywhere even at the toll booths.
. What will we do when they ask us for our license? Besides we’re both drun!k. We can be arrested for un-derage drinking”
“This is Africa Alexa! Ghana! No one arrests teenagers for un-derage drinking”
Lydia utters annoyingly
“But still. We can be arrested for drinking and driving. Besides we don’t have a license. Let’s just leave the car and board a taxi. My mom will get someone to come pick the car”
she argues back.
“What you’re saying makes no s-en-se! Come I’ll drive”
Lydia pu-lls Alexa with her as they both stagger in their drun!ken state.
Lydia gr-abs the car keys from Alexa as she settles into the drivers seat, sparkes the car to life and veers onto the road… They had left Sophie in the club with her new found b©yfri£nd.
They were probably doing more than just k!ss!ngand smooching.
Ten minutes later, Alexa gr-abs her seat belt when she realises Lydia was driving at 180km/h.
Hell she was driving fas-ter than that.
“Slow down Lydia! St©p the car! You’re going to get us killed!”
Lydia ignores her as she steps on the accelerator, channeling the hatred and envy she felt for Alexa into driving.
Every god on earth was probably aware of the intense hatred she felt for her.
She hated how Alexa had a perfect life, how her father was a rich Ghanaian and her mother a rich white woman.
She hated how her dark skin was always glowing.
She hated how there were smiles on her face each day because she had no fv¢king problem to deal with.
She hated how her eyes were so perfect.
She hated how Alexa’s life was so perfect.
Yes, they were all ridiculous reasons to hate someone.
Call her crazy, but those were amongst the many reasons she loathed her.
Lydia could still vividly remember when they were writing their end of term exams.
She was sitting in the second row directly beside Alexa who was on the third row.
Lydia had asked that they exchanged answer sheets so that she’d copy Alexa’s answers onto her question paper and transfer it.
Alexa had offered to mouth the answers to her quietly while she wrote but Lydia refused.
She wanted to exchange answer sheets.
And when Alexa had refused because the invigilator was seated directly behind her and they could both be punished for cheating, Lydia being who she was,demanded Alexa give her her answer sheets since her father could get them out of any trouble.
But one thing she failed to un-derstand was the fact that Alexa never liked to use her rich background to her advantage and so when she refused yet again, Lydia who hadn’t learnt a thing because she had it in the back of her mind to copy Alexa’s answers,failed.
She failed and was made to repeat her cl@ss while Alexa and Sophie were promoted to jhs 3.
That had fueled her hatred.
Yes, it was a stupid reason but still.
The truth was, Lydia always knew her hatred for Alexa was never justified and so that incident had given her the little push she needed to hold a grudge against her and hurt her without feeling remorse.
“Drive slow! Lydia are you crazy?!”
Alexa skrie-ks, blinking away the drun!kenness. Lydia doesn’t reply.
She continued driving in her inebriated state.
Hate! Hate! Hate! Was all that was running throu-gh her mind.
Hate! She steps on the accelerator.
Hate you! She increaes her speed.
Hate how perfect you are and I’m not! She makes a sharp bend s£nding ajexa flying to the side,her nidy hitting the door.
Fear grips her.
“Lydia st©p the car! St©p!”
Alexa looks ahead.
un-der the streets lights,There was a woman crossing the road.
“Lydia! St©p! Slow down! Someone is crossing the road! Are you crazy!”
She screams again earning a sm-irk from Lydia.
Follows by a cynical laughter.
“I’ll show you how crazy I am. I’ve waited so damn long for this day dearest friend,to kill you and watch your life seep out of you till your heart st©ps beating. I will gladly plug out your heart with my own two hands and cut it to pieces! Now Alexandra baby, sit back and watch while I hit that woman with your car. I bet it will be fun because my fun just started with you, you bit-ch!”
Alexa’s eyes wi-den at Lydia’s words.
Before she could say a word, she hears a scream.
“Mother watch out!! Mom!”
A young boy screams..
“Lydia!!! St©p! Nooo!!”
The woman turns just then,noticing the black sedan speeding towards her.
Alexa re-moves her seatbelt and moves over, gr-abbing the steering wheel from Lydia as she makes an attempt to swerve the car off the road.
The woman seeing this, made an attempt to get off the road but it was too late as Lydia overpowers Alexa, pushes her back into the seat and rams the car into the woman.
Alexandra screams as blood splashes onto the entire windshield, the woman rolling over the car’s bonnet, on t©p and then falling with a loud thud behind the car.