HOUSE OF SECRETS EPISODE 2
“Do you like the food? If you’d informed me of your home coming I’d have prepared something for you dear” Helen poured some juice into his glass.
“Thanks mu’m okay with this” Mark smiled sheepishly at his mother.
“Where is dad? And Rose? It’s almost evening and none of them is yet home” Mark checked his watch.
” Your father went for a programme, I know that for sure, but your sister? I don’t know where she is” Helen sighed and settled into the chair. By now, Nelson had found a way out of that cursed room, she trusted him, but she wouldn’t drag him into the secret she shared with her husband and her daughter.
Pastor Ita, her husband was a good man, she believed this strongly, he was too good for her. He was prayerful, loving, caring and he took his responsibility as a father seriously, that showed how nice of a man she was. That was why she felt guilty for dragging him into the mess her daughter had created.
It happened one hot sunny afternoon, Rose had rushed into her room looking frightened, she follows her daughter to Gracy’s room and realized the maid had written a note and was ready to run when Rose had found her and they had fought, Gracy’s head had collided against the wall and she died instantly.
As a mother, she knew she had to protect her daughter, and as a wife, she had to protect her husband’s reputation as a pastor, so it was her whole idea they discard the body, they had cut the corpse into bits and buried it in the garden.
“They will be back soon” she forced the memories out of her mind. She didn’t feel guilty, she only did what was necessary for her family to survive.
“So why didn’t you go along with him”? Mark asked.
” I had other things to attend to” she replied curtly.
“Okay, I guess you have to do all the chores now, since Grace vanished” Mark gulped some water.
The mysterious disappearance of Grace had hurt him greatly as he had fallen in love with her, he was deeply hurt when he realized she had left without saying goodbye.
“Yes, but your father, told me he would get us a new maid” Helen replied, she tried to change the topic of discussion, hearing the mention of “Grace” made her feel uncomfortable.
“I hope she would be as nice as Grace” Mark said.
Though Grace had been a maid, she was very smart and intelligent and he had vowed to help her with her education before she disappeared. He still hoped he would see her once again.
They had fallen into silence for a few minutes, each to their own thought when the door bell rang and Helen rose to her feet to answer it, she knew her daughter must have been the one, they still had a lot to discuss.
Rose had not told her what had led to her fight with Grace that afternoon, she needed to speak with her daughter in private and she needed to warn her to keep their secret, else it could destroy their family.
“Good afternoon Madam” my lips quavered nervously as I looked into the eyes of a woman whom I knew instantly would be my Madam.
“Grace?” Helen held her breath as she stood face to face with the maid her daughter had killed.
“Grace”? I was confused, I could see the fear and shock in the woman’s eyes but I couldn’t comprehend it, I couldn’t understand why she looked so scared.
I had arrived Calabar with Joy, but she had left me after receiving a call from one of her numerous boyfriends who resided in that part of town. So she had left me with the address and some money for my fare down to her uncle’s house.
I was so confident that everything would be fine, that I would get this job and work for some money, but one look at the woman before me, I really doubted that.
” I hope you are happy now, I’m sorry for neglecting you, I’ve been very busy” he kissed her forehead after they’d made love. She was his sweet little pea and he relished her love for him. She reminded him of her mother, when she was younger.
“I’m fine dad, but promise not to keep me this long” Rose pouted her lips. She had been drawn to her father since childhood, and they’d lived that way for many years, till that fateful day when the stupid girl had walked in on them.
“We should get going before your mother gets worried, there’s something I failed to handle” Pastor Ita rose to his feet.
“What could that be?” She raised her brows.
“Joy your cousin has arranged for us a new maid, she is to arrive today, I forgot to tell your mother about her” he replied.
Grace had discovered his affair with his own daughter, god knows how she did but she confronted Rose about it on the day she was about leaving, a fight ensued and she ended up dead. Helen had helped them put things in the rightful place, but she never knew the secret behind the fight that led to Grace’s death and it had to remain that way.
“A maid?” Rose swallowed hard as she recalled her last moment with Grace, she hated maids, either they were dirty or plain stupid.
“Yes, your mother needs help, you are not at home most of the time” the man said and felt slightly jealous, what if his daughter had another lover?
“I guess she does, we have to be more careful” Rose replied.
“Yes we have to, now let’s get going” he forced the disturbing thoughts out of his mind and forced himself into the clothes.
She observed her father quietly as he dressed, she felt guilty sometimes about what they did, but she couldn’t help her unnatural attraction to him, they weren’t the only guilty ones, her mother had a lover, she was sure of it, but she didn’t have prove.
Countless times, she’d listened to her phone calls and read her messages, but she couldn’t pin point this person, what if her mother knew about her affair with her dad? She shuddered at the thought of them being discovered.
“Time to go” he patted her shoulder and they both stepped out of the hotel room.
“Something is bothering you” she observed her father.
“Not really” he ignited the engine.
“Talk to me dad, what’s it? I could help” she offered.
“It’s you I’m thinking of, do you have a boyfriend”? He asked.
” No dad” she licked her lips nervously, how could he ask her that? She had no lover except him and she didn’t plan on having anyone else.
“Good, I love you so much, always remember that” he pecked her and drove off.
“Grace”? My mouth felt dry, I was confused.
” Mum? Are you okay”? I heard a deep baritone voice from inside, I didn’t know why, but I felt a tingle in my chest at the sound of the voice, who was he?
” I’m coming soon Mark” she replied and stepped outside, shutting the door firmly behind her, I felt like an intruder.
“I rebuke you, blood of God” the woman pushed me roughly and I panicked, I watched in shock as she bent down and scooped sand into her hands.
“Go back to where you belong” Helen inhaled sharply and stepped closer to the ghost, talk of the devil, why had Grace come back to haunt her family?
“I don’t understand Ma” I shifted from her. Was I a ghost? I knew the significance of what she was doing, it scared me too.
“Shut up, you demon from the pit of hell, I cast and bind you out of my house” she threw the sand at me and I sneezed. This woman was juts, I concluded, I should’ve listened to my mum.
“Mom? What’s going on here”? a tall lanky guy stepped outside.
” Thank Jesus you’re here with me, see her, she’s here to haunt us” the woman pointed fearfully at me.
“Mum? What are you talking about”? Mark eyed be steadily. He was tall and brown, with broody eyes and a sharp nose, he was cute and seemed kind.
” Uhmmmm” Helen coughed and gained composure of herself, suddenly realising she’d allowed fear take control of her. She had almost spilled the truth to Mark.
“This girl here is Grace, our maid that ran away, why has she come back”? the woman eyed me with annoyance.
Mark’s eyes ran over my features briefly and his eyes softened as our eyes met, he seemed to remember me from somewhere, but I couldn’t recall. Did I know him?
” Grace?” He seemed excited to see me. This situation I found myself was no longer funny, why were they calling me “Grace”? When I was. ” Ajunwa”?
“I’ve found you, I knew you’d come back, I knew you’d return to me” he embraced me without warning while his mother stared daggers at me. I could feel hatred in her glare, and whoever this Grace was, must have done something real bad.
“Enough Mark, she has to leave” Helen was still in shock, she was sure of it, Grace was buried in the garden, so why and how had she come back to life?
“So where have you been”? He finally released me.
” I am sorry, my name isn’t Grace” I replied coolly and he laughed for some minutes.
“Are you kidding me? Do you have amnesia now”? He gazed at me mockingly.
” I am Ajunwa, I came here from my village, on reccomendation by Joy Ita to serve as a maid here, she gave me this address ” I handed him the slip of paper which Joy had written the address.
“This is a big joke mum” he showed his mother the paper, she had relaxed a bit.
“Ajunwa”? Helen breathed deeply, this was all a lie, this was a ghost speaking to her and she had to get rid of it.
” Yes Madam” I replied.
“We don’t need your services, so I’ll fetch you some money and you return to your village. Thank you” the woman hissed and retreated into the house.
I was stunned by her coldness, what had I done to receive such treatment?
“Ajunwa?” Mark’s eyes romaed me over another time, they seemed so sure about me.
She was plump, average and lightskinned just like Grace, she looked every inch like his Grace but she wasn’t Grace of a truth. This was a stranger who looked so much like her, he’d spent so much time with her and he knew the brightness of her eyes and most importantly the birthmark that sat proudly on her forehead.
“Please I really want to stay here, I really need this job, please talk to your mother about it” I pleaded, tears had already welled up in my eyes.
“It’s okay. You’ll be here, I promise” Mark assured her, he was equally surprised by his mother’s behavior.
“Have this, just take it and leave, Thanks” Helen returned with a wrap of naira notes.
I couldn’t take the money, I needed this job badly, I needed to save up for so many things.
“Mum, you don’t have to do this, you don’t even know her, I took a closer look at her and I realised, she isn’t Grace” Mark said.
“What do you mean? Do you think me blind”? She sounded angry.
I watched as mother and son engaged in a silent battle over me, I wondered where Joy’s uncle, the Pastor was, maybe he’d have had pity on me.
” Madam” a handsome young man ran towards us, from the way he called her, something bad had happened.
“Yes, Nelson what is it”? She quickly faced him.
” It’s about your husband Ma, the pastor, they’ve gotten to him” he panted.
“Gotten to him”? Mark raised his brows.
” Have this” he gave the woman the phone he held.
PASTOR KISSING GIRLFRIEND IN A HOTEL.
“No, this isn’t possible, this isn’t my husband, remember he left with a driver” Helen pressed her hand on her chest.
“Besides the girl’s face isn’t clear, it could be Photoshop” Mark suggested, he knew his father well, he was a godly man and could never cheat on his mother. Their marriage was a match made by heaven.
“Yes it’s photoshop” Helen replied with a shaky voice, what if it wasn’t Photoshop? She wondered.
House of secrets continues
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