Step Dad IV-By Edward Maroncha

Continued from Step Dad III

“You have to listen to your daughter, my child,” Daniel says calmly. He has just arrived at the house, accompanied by his personal assistant George and his secretary Agnes. It is Saturday and they are all dressed in suits.  “We were headed to the airport because I have a meeting in Kampala this afternoon when the OCS called me to tell me that my son-in-law was in his custody. You didn’t think it was fit to tell me, child? Did I have to hear it from outsiders? Anyway, I called and my granddaughter told me that the same man has been defiling her under your own roof.”

“You are spoiling this child, dad,” Rachel says pointedly. “These games that you are involving her in are not good for adults, leave alone children. We both know that Michael is innocent. You are only doing this because Daniella told you that Michael and I are planning to move from this house.”

“What? You are planning to move from this house? But why would you do such a stupid thing? Where are you going to?”

“Stop pretending dad. I know Daniella told you everything Michael and I discussed last night.”

“I am honestly hearing this from you. Why are you so hell-bent on casting your daughter in the worst light? Everything Daniella does is for your good. If she told me about the violence that was going on in this house when her father was alive, it was because she was worried that Andrew would hurt you or even kill you. And it doesn’t mean that she spies on you. You need to love your daughter more. Haven’t I always loved you?”

“You are a manipulator dad,” Rachel says bitterly. “You want to control everyone in your house. I am not going to let you control me anymore. I am moving out of this house and renting my own space, with or without Michael.”

“If you are defending that sexual predator over your own daughter, then I don’t think you are fit to even have custody of these children,” Daniel says angrily. “I am going with them to the police station so that they can record their statements. After that, they will come to my house.”

“Over my dead body!” Rachel snaps at her father.

“These are my kids and they are staying with me. If you think I am not fit to be their mother, then sue me for their custody.”

“You cannot force us to stay with you if we do not want to, mother,” Daniella says defiantly. She has just come downstairs with a suitcase and her brother is right behind her on the stairs. “Daniel and I are going with grandpa, whether you like it or not.”

George takes the suitcases and takes them to the car, Daniella, the younger Daniel and Agnes following. The older Daniel is left with his daughter in the house.

“I am honestly disappointed in you Rachel,” Daniel says.  “I would have thought that you show even a little concern for your daughter, who has been suffering at the hands of the monster that you brought into their lives. You can lead your life the way you want, but I have to protect my grandchildren. If you want to sue me, then go ahead. But I hope you open your eyes soon as to the kind of man you married.”

He turns around and leaves the house without another word. When he gets into the car, and after his PA George drives out, Rachel finally allows her tears to flow freely. She has been fighting them because she didn’t want to give her father a weapon to manipulate her with.


Rachel decides against going to the police station immediately because she doesn’t want to be there with her father and kids. She decides that the better idea would be to go house hunting, and then later in the afternoon go to see Michael at the station. She calls Rhoda and asks her to call her when she is with Michael so that they can talk.

“I am actually with him right now,” Rhoda replies.

“That was fast,” Rachel replies. “Thank you so much. But before I speak to Michael, I need to prepare you as I will prepare him. My father is coming to the police station with my older children. My daughter was defiled by Michael.”

“Rachel, what on the planet is going on? You know I am a defender of the rights of women, and I don’t want to get caught on the wrong side of this.”

“Trust me, Rhoda. I am more than a hundred percent convinced that Michael is innocent. The thing is, my father is a bully and he wants to control everyone around him. Michael has been having a very difficult time because my children have not been respecting him. And ever since they discovered that their grandfather defends them, I can’t tell them anything either. So yesterday after Daniella started ordering Michael around because he lives in her grandfather’s house…”

“Is that true? Do you live in your father’s house? I thought you had your own house.”

“It is not mine, Rhoda. The old man still holds the title deed to it, and the children got to know that during the altercations between their grandfather and their late father. Anyway, last night Michael told me that he couldn’t handle it anymore and that he had made up his mind to leave. I supported him…”

“You supported his decision to leave you?”

“He wasn’t leaving me, he wanted to leave the house and rent his own space where he wouldn’t be controlled by my father.”

“I support that too.”

“Yes. Anyway, we agreed to house hunt today. We were in the master bedroom but I think my daughter was eavesdropping and told my father what we were planning and that would explain why police officers came to our house in the morning.”

“And your daughter’s complaint …”

“She is lying. She says she has told me several times that Michael has been defiling her, but it is a lie. She has never said anything like that to me. And even assuming she did and I ignored her, she would have told her grandfather and would have raised hell. This entire story is created to create pressure on me not to move. But I have told him to his face that I am moving ahead with my plans of moving, whether or not he causes Michael to be jailed. This morning I am going house hunting. I will come to see Michael in the afternoon when I am sure that my relatives are gone.”

“Just do what you have to do, my friend. I will take care of your husband.”

“Thanks, dear. Can I talk to him now?”


Rhoda hands the phone to Michael. Rachel updates her husband on the latest developments and then reassures him of her belief in his innocence.

“I am going to check out the houses we liked last night. If none of them meets the expectations we talked about, I will come in the afternoon we check out others. And don’t worry, I am certain that you are safe with Rhoda.”

“Thanks, babe. And thanks for believing in me. I promise you that I am innocent of everything I am being accused of.”

“I know babe. Everything will be alright.”

After hanging up, Rachel calls her mother and briefs her on everything that is happening. Rachel and her mother Loise are close. One of the reasons why Rachel has been able to maintain a close relationship with both her parents is because Louise never speaks ill against her husband, even though he disrespects her in every imaginable way when the children are not around. But this time she cannot help it.

“If what you are telling me is true, then Daniel has gone too far this time.”

“I am sorry, mother. I know dad has been mistreating you. I should have stood up to him a long time ago…”

“No child, that was not your battle to fight. I am the one who failed you and your brother. I should have stood up to him or walked away. Junior tried to fight for me and see what happened to him. Your father crushed him and led him to drugs. That was my battle to fight and I failed.”

“No mother. Nothing that has happened is your fault. You cannot bear the burden of dad’s mistakes. His mistakes are his own. I am only asking you of one thing mother.”

“Anything for you my child.”

“When those children come to your house please try to be less of a grandmother and more of a mother.  Please discipline them. Father has made them so unruly that I am worried about the kind of adults they will grow to be. It is the reason Michael and I want to move in the first place.”

“Don’t worry my dear. I will do everything in my power to ensure that your children straighten up.”


After leaving the house, Daniel asks George to drop him and Agnes at the office and then take the children to his house. George doubles as a driver. Agnes is his current lover, and she replaced his former lover as his personal secretary. The former secretary, Nancy, joined the pool of his part-time lovers and was promoted to head the customer care service at the Mombasa hotel. If Daniel is traveling to Mombasa, Agnes is usually left behind because Daniel’s needs are taken care of by Nancy.

Daniel is in a foul mood because his plans are falling apart. Rachel is still threatening to rent a house, and not even her daughter’s claims seem to have turned her against her husband. In the original plan, Michael’s court case would have been withdrawn after he and Rachel buckled and shelved their plans of moving. If that didn’t work, Daniel planned to turn Rachel against Michael, and then have Michael sent to prison. That would have returned Rachel under his control. But none of those plans is working, which means it is time to escalate things. Michael will to jail, and Rachel will be shamed back into submission.

In the office, Daniel instructs Agnes to find Luke from his office, where he is waiting. Luke is the Group CFO at Danmate Group of Hotels.  Daniel called him and instructed him to find his way to the office. Two other senior officials received summons from the Group MD: the Chief Technology Officer and the head of Communications, Media and Public Relations. They are all waiting in their officers, their Saturday plans ruined.

The CFO is a diminutive man with an intense stare that scares everyone except his boss. Like everyone in the top management of the hotel, he is a very competent professional. Daniel does not tolerate incompetence, which is probably the reason the hotel chain has done so well over the years.

“Luke, I want you and your team to go through the books of this hotel and find financial impropriety on the part of the GM Michael.”

Luke knows not to ask questions. If the boss says that impropriety has to be found, then it will be found. The next person to be ushered into the MD’s office is the CTO, Marion, who is ordered to shut out Rachel and Michael from the hotel’s intranet. What that means is that they are denied access to all the hotel’s documents. Marion is puzzled because everyone knows that the two are the old man’s favorites, but like Luke, she knows her place and doesn’t ask questions. The last person to enter the office is the hotel’s head of PR, Lucy. She is asked to release a press brief alerting the media that Michael and Rachel have been suspended by the hotel. She is not to give any reasons for it, but off the record, she is supposed to alert her journalist friends that Michael has been defiling women, including his twelve-year-old step-daughter. Lucy is instructed to ask the journalists to call Rachel and ask her opinion on the allegations, especially those relating to her daughter.

This, Daniel is convinced, will force her to rethink her position.

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Image by      Mohammed Hassan       from  Pixabay:


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