Hellen tries for the second time to scream for help. All what comes out is a faint echo of the scream.
Adrenaline clearly is not helping her. She knows there is a pistol in one of the kitchen cabinets – her mom kept it there for any eventualities. She never explained to her daughter what these ‘eventualities’ entailed. She tries to wake up from the seat. She is too shocked and terrified to even lift her foot. She just stares at the man. Defenseless. As the man starts the walk towards her, she closes her eyes to say her last prayers to her Maker. Last Day – that is what is ringing in her head. In her mind, she realizes she doesn’t have enough time even to put in a decent prayer line to her maker. Her mind is scattered all over. She may need more than ten minutes to confess her sins – time which she does not have tonight.
Good evening my daughter?
With a startled look, she opens her mouth to utter the response then halfway she chokes.
Who the hell are you?
What do you want in my house?
Know what, am calling the police now!
For trespass and causing unnecessary anxiety and disturbance!
The man turns back, three to four steps towards the door, locks it and proceeds to where Hellen is seated. He has a short-gun slung on his shoulder. She is now alert and can see that the man is aged. He looks sickly though his voice is very deep. He has a cap which is partly hiding his face. His fingers look frail. He looked gaunt.
Do you still want to call the police?
Or do you want to get the pistol from the kitchen cabinet and shoot me?
Wait. How did he know that there is a gun in the kitchen? Or is it pure guesswork? But how could he guess so accurately? Could this be my father who has decided to come back to my life? Am I dreaming? But my father is not in the country – he was today addressing a UN gathering on the importance of businesses taking critical role in fighting climate change effects.
Mr. Blue removes the cap, grabs a chair and sits just inches away from Hellen.
Am sorry I scared the shit out of you.
Mr. Blue. How could you. How could you sneak on me like a robber?
I had to. Am always dramatic. Even with your dear mother.
No. Am very serious. Again, let me apologize profusely for my grant entry or lack thereof.
So what do you want from me?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Then get your ugly face out of this house and never set foot here again.
If I were you, I would rather listen to this neighbor. Do you have some drinks in your fridge? Your mother loved white wine. Let us partake of some.
If you think you will make me drunk then take advantage of it, you better leave already. And I don’t drink for your information.
Okay. Take it easy. I cannot take advantage of you my daughter. And I have never taken advantage of anyone for that matter. But you’ve just told a straight lie. You have drinks in the fridge. And you drink – pretty much anything alcoholic.
Seems you know more about me. Tell me – what the hell do you want with me?
I want peace. I want to die in peace.
So in your damn head, you figure out that peace lives in your neighbor’s house? Are you high on something?
Listen to me small girl, watch your tongue.
Am not here for an argument with you. Am here to tell you the truth.
What truth? What are you talking about?
Please get me a glass of cognac. And don’t get any ideas while inside that kitchen otherwise I will blow your brains before you even figure out where the nozzle of your pistol is pointing at.
She reluctantly gets up to fetch the drink. She is not used to taking instructions from anybody, worse still from a man. But she is dying to know this truth her neighbor has come to parrot.
He tastes his drink and clears his throat. Hellen is now all ears. She is dying to know why her neighbor sneaks at her in the dark of the night, and camouflaged to look like a thief. And then she realizes that he is now a very frail man, keeps on clearing his throat and his eyes have moved an inch or so inside the socket. Her heart moves with pity upon him but she doesn’t show it. Not yet.
I have come to tell you the truth before I finally bow out of this earth and return to my maker. More like joining your mother in the after-life. And I will go straight to the point. First of all, my doctor gave me only one week to live, and now I have only three days left. I have been trying to put everything in order so that after my demise, there would be no trouble from any quarters. I have been suffering from throat cancer for the past five years, and I have lived a lonely life after my dear wife left me immediately she received the news five years ago. Though my condition was a contributing factor, the greatest reason why she left was because I was precipitating towards bankruptcy, with all my businesses closing down in quick succession.
Am sorry for your predicament, but I don’t see how I may be of help to you. Interjected Hellen.
With a wave from his left hand, he goes on.
You are my daughter.
What? Are you hallucinating or something? Or it’s the drink? I don’t get it. If you don’t mind please get out of my house now. I have had enough of your stories which seem not to add up.
Please listen to me. The truth is that my wife could not bear a child, while your dear mother had some strains with your father at that time. We sort of became close friends and that is how you came into this world. But after your mom confessed this fact, your father put into gear plans to leave you and your mother. That plan matured after twelve or so years. Your mother became depressed after she learnt that your entire father’s property was bequeathed unto you. That’s how she ended up taking hard drugs and eventually passing out in her bedroom some years ago. You were young then.
What proof do you have that am your daughter?
You can take some samples from me and run them through DNA testing for all I care.
You didn’t come all this way just to tell me that you are my ‘real’ father. Did you?
Absolutely not. I have come to inform you that you will inherit all my property after I die. That should be pretty soon. The will is already drafted and deposited with my lawyer.
Why are you doing this? Don’t you have relatives?
Am doing this because you are my daughter. And I love you.
Disclaimer: This is pure work of fiction. Any resemblance of actual events or places or names is by coincidence.
PS. If you want to get a better flow of the story, start with Part I of Life Happens.