(Continued from Nouveau Riche)
“How could you do this to me, Leonard? Is this why you have been insisting on keeping our relationship secret? So that you could cheat? Why would you lie that you are protecting me from politics? You could simply have told me it is over, you know.”
“But I told you a year ago that I want nothing to do with you, Hellen,” Leonard says smoothly. “What did you expect, that I will stay with you after finding you making love with another woman? Who would want to marry a lesbian? I think you need to move on. Marry that girl or find another one, but please leave me alone.”
“You heard me. Stop stalking me. I want nothing to do with you,” Leonard says emphatically, then turns to Susan. “Come on babe, let me show you around.”
As Leonard and Susan walk away, Hellen breaks down and starts crying. Rick and Kyle exchange glances then lead her back to the car.
“That was brutal, Leonard. You did not have to do that,” Susan tells Leonard as they walk around the house.
“That girl has been pestering me a lot. She is a stalker.”
“You and I know that that is not true. Hellen is your girlfriend.”
“How do you know her name?” Leonard asks suspiciously.
“You called her by her name more than once.”
“But what makes you say she is my girlfriend? Don’t you trust me?”
“I wanted to trust you Leonard, but you are not worthy of trust. I told you from the very beginning that I did not want to be in a relationship. I just wanted sex and I did not want to be tied up to one person. I have many friends with whom I sleep. But you wanted exclusivity. In fact you have been saying that you want to marry me.”
“Yes, that is true. Nothing would give me more pleasure than having you as my wife.”
“Yet you have been sleeping with Hellen as recently as last weekend.”
“Have you been spying on me?”
“Of course. If I am to get married to you I have to know what kind of man you are. Listen Leonard, I saw the way my father treated my mother before she died. I am not willing to be treated that way.”
“How was your mother treated?”
“My father likes women. He slept around even when my mother was alive. He will sleep with anything that is human and is female. My brothers and I caught him several times with house helps. I know he has had a long affair with his secretary. And many other women.”
“Then he probably has many other children besides you and your two brothers.”
“No. My brother told me that our father used protection with all his women until I was born. Once I was born, he did a vasectomy. Now he only uses protection with one night stands and girls he has only recently met, to protect himself from diseases. He doesn’t bother when he is with his long time girlfriends, like his secretary.”
“Out of curiosity, how would your brother know such intimate details of his father’s love life? And how old is your father’s secretary?”
“Rose must be forty something years, at most fifty. She started working for Dad when I was in high school. My brother knows because my father told him and my other brother. He was advising them on how to avoid having illegitimate children because our family name is apparently too precious to be dragged into court battles by baby mamas and illegitimate children. When I learned that, I decided that I would also enjoy myself to the fullest. I don’t want to cheat on any of you, so I decided not to commit to an exclusive relationship with any of you. But I guess I am not wired like you men. I fell in love with you and started having ideas of raising a family with you. That is when I started spying on you. I needed to know who you were sleeping with. That is how I know that Hellen is your girlfriend.”
“I am not like your father, Suz.”
“You are right about that. My father is very kind to the women he sleeps with, including the house helps. He never humiliates them, and he never leaves them destitute. My father would never treat a woman the way you treated Hellen today. So yes, you are not like my father. You are far much worse.”
“I am sorry for what happened earlier, Suz. I just got agitated because I thought Hellen would make me lose you. Today is the first day since we met that you are expressing affection for me in public.”
“I am sorry Leonard, but I don’t want a man like you. You are not the kind of man I envisioned.”
“Please Suz, do not do this to me. The media recorded our kiss and it will probably be in the newspapers tomorrow. If word gets out that you have left me, my chances of becoming Governor will be diminished.”
“Is that what I am to you? A political tool? So all that talk about loving me was nonsense?”
“It is not like that Suz. I really do love you…”
“I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to ever see you again. We are done.”
She walks away. Seconds later, Leonard hears the sound of a helicopter. Susan has indeed left. The helicopter will come back later to pick her father Bernard.
Rick, Kyle and Hellen drive towards the hospital. Hellen is still sobbing, while Kyle and Rick are silent. Rick and Kyle are furious. Kyle is very protective of his younger siblings, including Hellen. Rick, on the other hand, has been in love with Hellen for years now. He did not plan on it. There is a six-year difference between them, so Rick did not see her transform from a child to a woman. Rick and Kyle were both eighteen when they went to Rome, while Hellen was twelve. Hellen was a late bloomer so at twelve her body had not yet started transforming into that of a woman.
As fate would have it, whenever Rick came home on vacation, Hellen would be away in boarding school. When he finally saw her, she was a third year student at the University. His visit had coincided with that of Kyle, and the latter took him to see his sister at the University. By then, both he and Kyle had graduated, found part time jobs in Rome and were wrapping up their masters degrees.
Rick was immediately blown away by the twenty one year old beauty who welcomed them into her hostel room. Long after they left, he struggled with his feelings for Hellen. He could not reconcile with the fact that he now had a massive crush on a woman who had grown up like his sister.
Finally, he opened up to Kyle while they were aboard a plane on their way back to Italy. To his surprise, Kyle was very excited about the whole idea.
“If there is anyone I know will take care of my sister, it is you. I would really love to see the two of you together.”
Two weeks later, Rick paid for a flight back to Nairobi. He did not even intend to travel to Shava. His plan was to land in Nairobi on Saturday morning, ask her to be his girlfriend, spend the day with her, take her out to dinner then get on the plane that same evening so that Monday morning would find him in Italy.
But when he found his way to Hellen’s room on campus, he found her with a man, who she introduced as Leonard, her boyfriend. Crushed, he pretended that he had forgotten something in Nairobi and decided to say hello. He spent the rest of the day at a café at the airport.
That was many years ago, but since then he has not forgotten about her. In fact, his love for her seems to grow by the day, so much so that he has been unable to date other women. But he has always respected her relationship, and has never brought up the subject again.
Rick and Kyle came in last evening from Italy, and Hellen decided to join them in Shava for the weekend. When Dorothy sent Rick to represent her at Leonard’s meeting, he invited Kyle and Hellen to accompany him. Hellen had no idea Leonard was having a meeting, but then he tells her very little about his political activities.
As they park at the hospital, Rick is thinking about ways to get revenge on Leonard. They head straight to Dorothy’s office to explain to her why they would not be attending Leonard’s event.
“I am sorry Ma. I know you wanted to support Leonard because he is like a son to you. But the Leonard that I saw today is not the young boy I saw growing up. He is a changed man. Money changed him.”
“You are right son,” Dorothy says.
“I am going to help Sam win. I am going to volunteer in his campaign.”
“Me too,” Kyle adds.
“And me too. I will take unpaid leave from work and help in that campaign,” Hellen says, pulling herself together.
“I have heard that you are having a small challenge here son,” Deputy President Henry tells Leonard after the function. They are having a private meeting organised by Bernard. There are only about fifteen people present. The media has been locked out. “But do not worry son. PDP is a large party, and we cannot allow you to lose, because your loss will be our loss.”
“You are right sir. Sam has been worrying me.”
“Do not worry son. The party will help you. But you also need to do your part.”
“I will do whatever is required of me.”
“First you need a wife. I am told Bernard has a most agreeable daughter and that the two of you look good together.”
Leonard sees his moment and seizes it.
“That is not going to happen sir. Bernard’s daughter has refused to marry me in spite of all my efforts.”
“Bernard, lean on your daughter and make her see why she needs to help the party take this county. In fact, we should have a wedding soon. It will be a good way to make this young man look like a responsible citizen.”
“I will make it happen sir. Susan and Leonard will get married soon,” Bernard says.
“Good. Leonard needs to garner as many votes as he can. If that happens to be less than what is necessary, the party has ways of ensuring that he wins. We are the ruling party, and we have the state machinery at our disposal. That interloper Sam might even disappear before the election.”
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/people-hands-wrist-watch-time-2576328/
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