“We had to go see a friend. We promised to spend that day with him and leave the next day. We left early because we were supposed to go early morning fishing together” Tom answered with his face still down
“Just so I’m clear, is her mum also Angeles Richards? Celina who has been quiet the whole time spoke out
“One of the nicest people I’ve met in my life. Yes that’s her name”
“Babes do you know her? Karen asked
“Not really, I’ve been reading a lot about her. She replied.
“Is there anything else we need to know? Tom asked Monica
“She paid me to keep an eye on him, to make sure he’s ok, she warned me not to let the adopted parent know me. The plan was to stick around till he turned 18 then leave, when I followed them here, I accidentally saw Dr Dickson. I knew there and then that Tom must be around somewhere, so I did my research and found Tom, and then it happened to be that her daughter was in my class. I didn’t even know he was called Tom, I only knew him as Caleb. When I told her that I found the boy’s father, she asked for his pictures and all, I forwarded to her, I told her he’s married with a daughter, then she told me to keep it low until he turned 18 like we initially planned. If it doesn’t get known that the boy was adopted, then I spill everything.
“How did you become a teacher here?” Pat asked
“It has actually been…….
“Doctor we can’t find pulse on the boy” the nurse who rushed into the office said
“Which boy are you talking about Pauline?” Dick asked. At this point everyone in the room was wishing the nurse will mention someone else’s name
“The unconscious boy doc, Caleb” the nurse said.
“No, not true, not true, not Caleb, Dick please what’s she talking about? Pat cried out”
The nurse’s message left the whole room in awe. Dick rushed to Caleb’s room; everyone in the office followed him. Getting there Caleb was looking dead, his head that was facing the ceiling now resting on his left hand side, facing the door, his hands weak. Dick raised his hands twice and there fell back immediately he left them, he used his stethoscope to check his pulse, he put his ear on his chest to hear if his heart was beating. He got up, looked at everyone that’s standing there hoping to hear that the boy is fine. He put his face down and didn’t say anything to them.
“What’s wrong Dick is my son ok?” Tom asked
Dick raised his head up and looked at their faces.
“Look guys, I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, I’ve told a lot of bad news here today already. But the truth is before I became a doctor I didn’t do stupid things. This intern nurses will just come and scare the hell out of people”
“By that you mean?” Celina asked. Celina’s question made Tom turn 360 to look at her. He was shocked she even cared
“The boy is ok people, it’s just falls alarm. These kids will not go to classes, they’ll come here and scare people to death” he said
“Look Dick, the next time you pull this kind of stunt I swear I will reap off your intestine, I’ll not care to know how I did it” Tom said, angrily
“Come on people the boy is doing fine; he will wake up before tomorrow morning, hopefully. He’s just passing through a phase right now; the intern nurse probably thought he’s dead or something”
“Right, next time if you want to tell us the boy is fine, please tell us in a good way, don’t try to make us feel like he’s dead or something. This is not a fucking movie Dick” pissed off and just recovering from a possible shock ‘Karen’ said
“I’m sorry guys; I just wanted to relief the tension a little bit. There’s too much tension in this room”
“That’s no damn way to relief tension Dick, that’s just giving us hypertension. I thought you were supposed to be the doctor” Celina said
For the second time her comment made everyone surprised
“Who is this woman? This is not my brother’s wife” Mirabel whispered to Karen’s ear
“I guess she just grew up” Karen replied her.
“Monica, where is this boys mum” Tom asked
“Hey Monic, the Richards family, they have a son right?” Celina asked Monica rather calmly, countering Tom’s question again
“Monic? Did she just call her Monic?” Mirabel whispered to Karen again before Monic will answer the question, but Karen just smiled.
“Yes. Alex.” she replied calmly
“Alex. Nice” she said and smiled “you know I’ve been a great fan of the Richards” she said
“Ok what’s going on Celina?” Tom asked
“Nothing is going on, I’m just surprised to see that my husband’s child comes from the Richards” she answered
“Look Celina, you can’t fool anyone here. If you’re a fan of the Richards there’s no way on earth you’ll not know their son’s name. So what’s up girl? Karen asked
“Glad someone else understands” Tom said bluntly
“Alex. My son.” She replied
“Your what?” Tom asked desperately
“Come on Tom, I didn’t make a big deal when you said Caleb is your son, so don’t be all desperate for answers on me”
“Fine. Now Celina, can you explain to me how you have a son that I don’t know about?
“You think I’ve been quiet all along because I’m a fool? That family adopted my son”
“What son are you talking about Celina?” Tom asked again rather calmly
“I had a child way before we met Tom, I’ve been hiding this from you from the first day we met Tom, yes Tom, Alex is my son, and he’s the brother to the girl you impregnated.
“I don’t get it, you were only 20 or thereabout when we met, where did the child come from?”
Celina sat down; she paused for a minute then narrated tearfully.
“I was 17, just finished high school and was preparing to get into university. The day I received my admission letter was one of the happiest day in my life then, until my mum’s boyfriend ruined it. He raped me, threatening to kill me and my mother if I screamed”.
“I let him have his way just because I feared what he was going to do to me if I resisted. When he was done, he told me not to mention it to anyone or my mum dies, I could not bear the pain of loosing her, but I told her regardless. But she didn’t listen, she doubted me. She called me a whore and a liar. She told me not to mention such abominations to anyone. Few weeks later I found out I was pregnant. My mother told me to go and get rid of the child, I went to do it quite alright, but the doctor encouraged me to keep the child. My mum told me to leave her house if I didn’t want to get rid of the child. The doctor came, I don’t know what they talked about, all I know is that she let me stay after the doctor left”.
“Why haven’t you told me this all along baby? Tom asked, crying along with his wife
“I didn’t know how to tell you or anyone about it. The only person that knew about it is Tricia, because she was with me all through the 9 months I was pregnant.”
“You mean that girl knows about it?” Karen asked
“Yes she does Karen, she was my best friend, and we shared everything together. You know, this is one thing she never told to anyone, her news about me not being able to produce a child, me adopting Marie, me using baby bump, there were cruel, but she was doing all that to protect me. She was the only person that stood by me all through my pregnancy then. We applied into the same university, but she was not offered admission that year but I was, and till date I thank God for her not getting admission that year, because she’d not have been around. She took good care of me, and she made sure everything remained silent. Those 9 months were the worst 9 months of my life, because I didn’t leave the house for even a day. The doctor came to the house to check on me regularly, and he brought some nurses who delivered me at home. I told Tricia I was never going to give birth to any other child if I delivered that one.”
“Tricia never hurt me Tom, she was only protecting me. In a normal circumstance I’ll get angry because of the cruel and mean things she was saying about me, the fact that she didn’t mention my secret to anyone made me hold her close to my heart even when we were apart, and it made me forget every other thing she said about me. The only hurtful thing she has done to me was to sleep with my husband, that, I couldn’t forgive.”
“So how exactly did the Richards come into the picture?” Monica asked
“The doctor told me he had some people who wanted a male child. He scanned and noticed that it was a male foetus so he talked me into keeping it. I probably would have gotten rid of the child if it was a girl. He told me there are rich, if I give my child to them, I’ll not regret it. He talked them into waiting for 9 months. Throughout that period, Mrs. Richards pretended to be pregnant; she wore baby bumps all through till the day I gave the child to them. She traveled out of the country to “put to birth”, that was the story she told them. That was when I met her. She was so nice to me, and encouraged me to not give up in any way, and if I ever wanted to see the child, I could come visit him. But I never wanted to see him again, never. I wanted to throw that part of my life away, that’s why I didn’t tell anyone about it because every time I think about it, it hurts me.”
“What happened to your mum?” Pat asked
Celina chuckled “my mum who had fled with her boyfriend came back the very day I delivered my child, she told me he got killed by some hooligans he owed. She helped the killing process smooth anyway, because she led him to them. She said he threatened to kill the both of us if she ever said anything about what he did to me, and whatever she did to me, she was doing it under threat. She rushed to come see me before I put to birth, but before she arrived; I had already given the child to the Richards. I never bothered to look for them or search for anything that concerns them after that day”.
“So what did you get from giving your child away?” Dick asked
“The money I got from the Richards is what saw me through my university. My mum got a job so she was fending for herself while I used the money I sold my baby for, to train myself in school” she started sobbing again “I’m a terrible mother, I sold my son. I sold my son. I….sold….my…..son” she sobbed and stuttered with the words. Tom sat down close to her, took her hand and looked into her eyes
“You did what you had to do baby, you are not a terrible mother. Look at you, and look at what you’ve become, a great mum, great wife and a fantastic banker. You have achieved a lot so this is not the time for you to hate yourself. You know I love you and will continue to love you no matter what”
“Look guys, it’s almost 1: am. I think we really need to go home and rest, we’ve all had a long day” Dick said, wanting to bring everyone out of the mood
“Monica, you didn’t tell us how you became a teacher here” Celina said, trying to do exactly what Dick did. She couldn’t bear the fact that everyone in the room was sad because of her so she had to ask the question, after all its all about Caleb and not her
“I was living a boring life. Clubbing, sleeping and traveling. Anita always topped my account so I didn’t have money problems, the only problem is I had no friends” Monica replied “so I decided to do something I had always wanted to do, that’s to teach. I called Anita and convinced her that it’ll help me put more eyes on the boy, she told her dad who in turn made a call and I was appointed to teach here”
“He just made a call from Melbourne and they gave you appointment letter?” Karen asked
“He did. The proprietor of the school is a shareholder in his company. We just had to know who the owner of the school is, and luckily it was someone he knew so Anita told him and he helped out.”
“Why did she really abandon my child Monica?” Tom asked
“she was scared of losing him, scared of waking up one day to find out her child died of brain tumor, scared of even getting to know he has brain tumor” she replied
“Does that mean it’s in the family? Celina asked
“It runs in the family. Anita’s twin died when they were just 11, his name was Alex. They didn’t discover the tumor early enough and their wealth couldn’t save him. Mrs. Richards’s younger brother lost his 1 month old child too. His wife freaked out when the doctor told them there were signs that the boy is going to grow with the tumor, but he’ll do everything possible to make sure it goes. The lady applied some poison liquid to her nipples, and the child got sick and died hours later. Nobody knew about this but the family. Anita told me this for me to see reasons with her. She didn’t want to know if the boy is going to grow up with brain tumor or if he wasn’t, she just wanted me to watch over him and see what happens.”
“How come the boy lived this long with the tumor doc?” Celina asked Dick
“I’d say it’s a miracle, he was meant to live. Since nothing happened to him all the while, I assure you guys that I’ll do everything in my power to make sure nothing happens to him. Besides he’s is bone and not brain tumor”
“You have to doctor,” Monica said “this boy is the first heir to the wealth of the Richards. We have to take him to Mr. Richards and his remaining family once he gets well”
“What do you mean by only heir, what happened to Anita and Alex?” Celina asked furiously
“I’m sorry Celina, but I thought the whole world knew about the private jet that crashed last year and killed 10 people on board? Well Anita and Alex were on board that jet, together with 5 other rich men kids, 2 crew members and the pilot. They were heading to Mexico for spring break” she turned to Celina “I’m sorry Celina; I never knew he was your son”
Celina at that point left the room crying, Tom followed her and so did Mirabel
“Not now Dick” Karen cut him short and left the room
“I guess I should go home doc, we’ve had a long day. I’m sorry I made you do what you did” Monica said and left the room. Dick didn’t respond to her, he just sat there and watched Caleb, so did Pat.
“You should go get her doc, if you really care about her” Pat said
“Not in the midst of all these” he replied
“There’s no better time doc”
“Not tonight at least, I’ll just let everyone rest tonight, tomorrow is another day” he said
“Today you mean. It’s already 2am”
“Oh yea my bad” Dick said and chuckled “see you tomorrow Pat” he said and left the room
THE FOLLOWING MORNING
The only person that had a good night rest was Marie, because she didn’t know anything that had happened. Tom spent the whole night consoling his wife who just found out she lost her ‘used to be child’, Karen couldn’t sleep after everything that had happened, Mirabel was mostly with Tom and Celina all night before she decided to get a little rest, Dick kept worrying about his friend and his wife, and about Karen, Karen couldn’t sleep either because she was worried about her friend, Monica was up all night wondering what will happen the next day and thinking about the twist that happened and Pat slept in the hospital crying and apologizing to Caleb for all the horrible things she did and feared that night might be the last night she had to spend with him.
In the morning they all prepared and rushed to the hospital except for Marie who was still left out and made to go to school. Caleb was breathing well, his head was back up to facing the ceiling, and his eyes were open. Dick was the first person to get to the hospital, followed by Monica, Mirabel, Karen then Tom and Celina.
“Here we are again guys” Dick said to Karen, Mirabel and Pat who were all in his office
“What a night huh” Monica said
“I hope you all had peaceful night?” Pat asked
“I believe the only person that had a peaceful night is Marie” Mirabel said
“I know right” Karen said, gave quick glance at Dick who has been staring at her all along, then removed her eyes as soon as they met his
“I would have given anything in the world to be in Marie’s shoe when I watched her sleep peacefully” Mirabel said, and everyone in the office burst out laughing, concurring to what she said. Just then Tom and Celina walked in
“How’s everyone doing” Tom asked
“Fine I guess” Monica replied “are you ok Celina?”
“How are you feeling?” Pat asked. Pat and Monica were the only ones that didn’t communicate with Celina after she left the previous night.
“I’m doing well guys, thanks. I’m much better now, thanks to my husband” she replied “so how is Caleb doing?” she asked Dick
“He’s awake. Not able to talk just yet, but in few hours he’ll speak out. But he’s fine now”
“I can’t imagine that we talked there all night and he didn’t wake up. At some point I thought he’d wake up and tell us to shut up or get out then go back to sleep” Celina said, and had everyone laughing.
They were all laughing, not to what Celina had said, but their laugh indicated happiness. Happiness that Celina is looking ok, that Caleb is out of coma and that they found a reason to give thanks to God
“So doc, what next” Tom asked
“I am exhausted as hell. I told my assistant doctor to take care of most of the things today, my priority is Caleb. Till he gets well, nobody will get my attention. He deserves it”
“If they report you and have your license revoked, don’t blame me” Tom said jokingly
Dick laughed “at least it was worth it bro” he said, then patted Tom’s shoulder “you guys use this time to do whatever you want to do, let me go make sure things are well around the hospital”
“Love you bro” Tom said
“No homo Tom. But Dick loves you too” Dick replied and left. His reply made the room lively again as everyone there thought it was funny.
MONICA AND TOM
Tom found Monica sitting in the reception; he went up to her and sat with her
“Why didn’t you go to school today, your students must be waiting for you” he said
“I called in sick”
“Oh” tom said. For about a minute, they were silent then Tom spoke out finally
“I’m sorry we had to start off in a wrong foot” he said
“I know. I’m sorry too. I can’t believe we’re even sitting and talking. With the kind of hatred I had for you, all I wanted to do to you was to rip you of everything that made you happy” she said
“I know. I deserve it. Can I ask you something?” he said
“What are your fondest memories of Anita?”
“Everything about her was so awesome you know, I don’t have any fondest, I’m fond of everything about her. We called her ARA which stands for Anita Angeles Richards, and until her death one of her favorite songs was Brymo’s Ara. She always said the song was about her. I was planning to call her after she comes back from the spring break and tell her I was going to call this whole thing off, approach your wife and tell her everything then leave. Because I was tired of seeing you two happy and the boy was suffering. But the day she left, she called me and told me she was proud of me, and how she was indebted to me for life. I wanted to tell her there and then that I was calling the whole thing off but when she said she was going to come down here and see things for herself when she returns from Mexico, I couldn’t say anything again. Next thing I’m in class teaching, my partner calls me to tell me the jet had crashed. I swore to obey her wish, stay here no matter how long it will take and make sure this whole thing ended well.” She paused, gained herself and continued. “I called her a spoilt brat but I never really meant it. It was just a way of me consoling myself and telling myself that she’s around me and every time I said spoilt brat, I just imagined her smiling because that’s what I used to call her and I know she’ll be happy and proud of me wherever she is now and I know she’ll be smiling down at me” she starting sobbing silently, Tom held and to himself, put her head on his shoulder and told her it’s ok, everything will be fine, and Anita will be happy and proud of her.”
“I’m sorry Anita, I’m sorry I didn’t stick around till you came back from your jogging, at least I’d have gotten a glimpse of how you really looked like, and would have heard your voice.” At that point Monica reached for her pause and brought out Anita’s picture and showed him
“She was beautiful he said, such beautiful eyes”
“Only men found her eyes beautiful, she always used it to intimidate us” she said playfully “Caleb really looks like her. He looks nothing like you, that’s why people didn’t ask questions; because if he looked like you, then I guess Marie would have been the first person to question you”
They both laughed, Celina watched them from afar and smiled, then walked up to them. On reaching there, Tom showed her the picture, they talked and she joked about the fact that if she had known about Caleb when he was just born, she’d have divorced Tom immediately, because she’d have been over intimidated by Anita’s beauty for her to even remain married to him. They all laughed. She wished she’d met her though and she wished she’d met her son.
CELINA AND TRICIA
After the incident in her house, she swore never to talk to Tricia again. But her being able to reveal the deepest of her secrets made her realized how much still she cared about Tricia, because she was the only person that stood by her throughout that period.
“Hey” she removed her phone and messaged, hoping she’ll not reply but few seconds later replies came in
OMG u just texted me
is this for real?
are u ok?
as crazy as it may sound, I just realized how much I missed u
Ohhhh you have no idea how much I’ve missed u bitch
Omg, am I still allowed to call u bitch??
Of course bitch, you’re always my bitch u know that
I still can’t believe I’m chatting with u
I tot I lost u forever
I’m sorry bitch, I’m really sorry.
I dnt know how to start apologizing,
but I want u to know that I Neva meant to hurt u in any way
I got over that a long time ago
For reals? OOOMMFFG
for reals babes?
Yes for real
can u stop the OMG ting? It’s really pissing me off ryt now
stop texting me like a 16 year old
u knw it’s my symbol
but nothing is important to me ryt now than hearing you’ve forgiven me babes
what is going on? Talk to me
Who is dead?
Pls don’t tell me it’s Tom pls… Pls… Plssss…
No, my son, he’s dead
You mean Alex?
How did you know his name?
I know about Alex,
I attended his funeral in Melbourne,
Alex knew about u a week bfre he died