*CAN’T HOLD MY TEARS*
I adjusted my silk night robe about my body as I walked down the stairs to grab a cup of water. I was finding it difficult to sleep. It was one of those nights when my memories would come floating back through my mind, getting my emotions all worked up. Many times, I thought I had gotten past the hurt and anger and bitterness, that I have them successfully locked away never to resurface; but more often than not, they always came back to haunt me, especially when I find myself alone in my massive bedroom.
As I walked fully into the sitting room, I found Alex sitting at the mini bar in the sitting room, drinking. His head turned and his eyes bore into me as I stood transfixed, staring back at him.
“Are you willing to join the party?” he slurred. “It seems you also could not find sleep”
I noticed the drunken state he was in by the way his voice dragged. I shook my head slightly. “It startles me that everything I knew about you was wrong” I said in amused anger. “So you are also a drunkard”
His posture still seemed composed even though he was obviously drunk. Only his voice could make someone realize it. “I am not drunk madam, only tipsy” he said and raised a half-filled cup. “You should join me”
I eyed him. “You are pathetic, you know? You need help” I said as I made my way to the dispenser.
He smiled. “Yeah! I need help to get to my bedroom safely. My legs feel shaky”
I hissed. “You can sleep on the bar, even sleep on your feet; it is none of my concern” I drank my water and replaced the cup. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw Alex rise to his feet. He seemed stable enough until he took a step and swayed. My first instinct was to hurriedly grab him but I caught myself in time. ‘I don’t care’ I told myself again. I don’t care if he falls and breaks his pretty nose; it won’t mean a thing to me!
He closed his eyes tight for some seconds and later opened them. He seemed to be trying to keep his gaze straight. He took four unstable steps again and nearly fell over; before I knew it, I was at his side. Realizing it, I became so angry; more at myself that him. I should happily watch him fall without helping him. I should even walk over his fallen body; so why am I here, worried that he might hurt himself by falling over? I sighed slightly and grabbed his hand roughly. I but it around my neck roughly, supporting him with my shoulder. “I guess it would not hurt to prevent you from breaking your neck” I said as I dragged him up the stairs in anger.
He smiled annoyingly. “I guess you still care about my neck” he drawled.
I felt the great urge to topple him down the stairs. “It would be better if you keep your mouth shut if not, I would gladly watch your head roll down the stairs”
He continued smiling but kept quiet. I had a cause to enter his room for the second time since I entered the house and it brought back the remembrance of the terrible day Alex told me I was nothing more than a bet. My teeth bit into my lips as I shook away the overwhelming emotions and anger that took over me. I practically tumbled Alex onto the bed and straightened.
Alex looked sleepily at me. “It feels so good to have your arms around me again” he said with half open eyes.
I stiffened and almost slapped him at that. Controlling myself with great difficulty, I turned to leave. “Savor it while you can cause it would never happen again, you can count on it”. I exited the room and slammed the door shut.
*An hour later*
I sat in confusion as I stared at my parents. Why on earth would my father-in-law ask them to come over so suddenly? Was he in for one of his pleasant surprises again? Of everyone in this new family I found myself in, the only person I like is the senator and I had a respect for him that would not be rivaled. What was more confusing was my mother’s tense state. She was constantly asking to leave and if not for my persuasions, she would have fled the house.
I heard the door fling open and the Senator materialized, looking quite odd. Anger seemed to have enveloped him and he stood there with clenched fists, glaring at me like he had never actually seen me before. Have I done something wrong again? I wondered. Would the only person I like in this family desert me also? My mother-in-law surfaced, also looking the exact opposite of herself. Crying? I would never have believed it if I did not see it myself.
“What the hell is going on here” I did not notice that Alex had left his study to join us until he spoke. He looked at his parents in alarm and confusion.
The senator stared at his son and then rotated his eyes from Alex to me and back. He shook his head vigorously and ran his fingers through his hair.
“Can someone explain the meaning of this?” I asked in total alarm. They were all beginning to scare me to death because my parents were also beginning to behave strangely, looking at one another with pale faces.
The senator stared at my parents. “Tell her” he boomed.
My father glared at him. “Tell her what? We are not hiding anything from her”
The senator’s anger sparked. “For God’s sake tell her” he boomed and my parents shifted.
“Tell me what?” I asked palely
My parents were silent. “Won’t you tell her?” the senator boomed. “Won’t you tell her that you are not her real parents?”
My ears rang as the words repeated over and over again. I grabbed a couch for support as the wind knocked out of me. “That is an expensive joke sir” I murmured weakly with a tight smile. “I don’t find this surprise very amusing”
“Do I look like I am laughing?” he roared. “On the contrary, I feel like dying because I have spent my whole life in deceit just like you”
I did not even care to understand the meaning of that. I faced my white-faced parents. “Mama, papa, won’t you talk?” I asked. “What is he saying?” I asked louder. They remained annoyingly silent. “He is not saying the truth is he?” I yelled.
The senator laughed bitterly but his face did not even show any sign of laughter. “Of course I am saying the truth because I am here with your mother” he dragged a shaking Mrs. Bello to the front and she nearly tumbled. “Amara, behold!” he roared. “This w---e here is your real mother”
Everything fell silent as I stood like a pillar, looking at the people before me. I gripped the chair harder as I replayed what I just heard because I was certain I hadn’t heard correctly.
“I am sorry but what nonsense are you saying that?” Alex roared. “This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard you say”
I laughed suddenly and my laughter increased by the second until I was barking in laughter with everyone looking at me. “Sir, this is the most…” I laughed. “Hilarious thing I have ever heard you say” I said between laughter. “I never knew you were a comedian too. She is my mother-in-law, how can she be MY OWN MOTHER” Controlling my shaky laughter I looked at the senator who looked about to explode in anger. He glared at his wife.
“You had better open your filthy mouth woman, or God help me, I would choke you to death” he roared and my mother-in-law faced me in fright.
My laughter vanished and my face blurred, swimming as my gaze ran over her. “He… He is… He is right” she declared. “I abandoned you in the trash twenty years ago… and… they probably picked you up. I am your birth mother”
I shook my head vigorously. “No! No… Noooo………” I screamed as the bomb settled. My gaze blurred again and did not seem to clear as the ground rose to meet my falling form.
I focused on the camera and bit hard on my trembling lips to at least stop the tears. I took several seconds to breathe in fully before I was able to talk again. “My whole life has been spent in lies and deceit. Nothing is as it ought to be. I don’t have the straight-forward life that most people in the world have.” I said, facing the camera. “How do I live with this? How can I live, knowing that my brother’s child is growing in my belly? How can I go a minute without remembering that I had commited the greatest abomination imaginable? Incest!” I exclaimed.
“My life is in shambles. Life is not worth living. Now, I wish Lisa had succeeded in getting rid of my pregnancy. How can I give birth to a child who would live the rest of his life knowing that he was a product of abomination?” I shook my head, looking at the camera and the audience I hoped would watch this one day. “This is too much for me. Just because of one mistake. That one mistake has wrecked my life and brought me nothing but pain and endless tears. I had hoped that one day, I would be able to bid farewell to tears, but now, I know that would not happen. Do you think my mistake was having sex with Alex?” I asked. “No! My mistake was losing focus! I had my dreams a step away, all I had to do was remain focused; but I got distracted. I destroyed my own life because of momentary pleasures…” I breathed and took a deep breath.
“I am sending this message to you all, hoping that you would learn from my story. Nothing but pain would come from pre-marital sex. Please, never make the same mistakes I made. I should be in school now, pursuing my dreams with little regrets but I strayed. I strayed and found myself in the lion’s den; unfortunately, I don’t think I am Daniel because getting out is practically impossible. One last thing: Beware of Corpers”
I tied the rope firmly on the tree, tying the knots over and over again. I tied the other end also, securing it around my neck. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I gazed for the last time at the world. Life is not worth it. I consoled my child with my palm, apologizing over and over for putting him through this pain, although, I was sure he would thank me for doing this. I swallowed hard, removed my wedding ring and threw it on the ground. I shook my head and wiped my tears. It is over! Finally over!
I swallowed hard in resolution and kicked off the stool from beneath my feet.