If You missed Dear Diary 1 – Catch up Here
Mrs Justin Beynang sat in her lawyer’s office waiting for the instructions on how to read her husband’s will and get the paperwork for his office reopening and official operational changes after his demise. Business had carried on as usual but so many things had not been officially cleared up about how the gap he had devastatingly left will affect the structure of the organisation – the good news is no one was losing their jobs, actually there was recruitment and career progression news on the horizon which she knew will motivate the workers more.
It was time for her to step up her game and step into his shoe, he had left a business to run and workers on payroll, so even in mourning she had to take over the reins.
She had no sons with Justin but in the interim was very capable of running the fort until Dinah was ready to make it work and return home, the likelihood of that happening was statistically 1:million with serious prayers and cajoling. Dinah always rebuffed the idea saying she wasn’t cut out for her dad’s line of business. In essence that was the truth, Candice her last daughter was more of the iron fist in the family but was still completing her Degree and had plans to travel for further studies with Dinah in London.
The death of their dad had dented the plans for now but Candice showed signs of depression – she was one of those people who internalised her worries till they erupted in the worse kind of anger or breakdown crisis. Her present state was greatly affecting the internship her dad had secured for her through his contacts at the ministry of finance – she was barely able to wake up and turn up to work and was losing significant weight. So here she stood battling to drag one daughter out of a deep dark place and another million miles away to consider returning home – until all her plans were successful the only person who could take over Justin remained her – a realisation that stirred her drive for success.
Within a day Mrs Beynang had run the course of the courts and the lawyer’s offices three times but could not anticipate how her day was going to end. Lawyer Emerson who was a long time friend of the family sat at his table and categorically told her that she had to still herself for the will reading, and she couldn’t counter the will because it was already authenticated in her husband’s sound state of health and mind and the seal and signatures were on the envelopes.
The two lawyers present were assigned trustees and executors of the will, they joined in from the high court and formed part of the team who were assigned to execute the will in the demise of the testator. The majority of Justin’s assets were passed unto his family but a certain charity was passed on some pecuniary assets in his businesses in the UK , that didn’t come to his wife as a surprise because she knew he had a regular gift set up to that charity for over 20 years.
Mrs Beynang left the legal confines of Emerson’s office short of words… Something about the will was so out of place… Was this a mistake and if so, why? why on earth would Dinah have 20% share , Candice 20% share of her dad’s business and Melissa who was just a friend to Dinah 25% while she who was his wife left with 35% and all their landed property!
Her next stop was Justin’s office. She had asked for the doors be shut infinitely until she could get around the office to take out sensitive information and just get things straightened up the right way. Everything was as he had left it before he travelled to Lagos that weekend. She can remember meeting him in here the day before to sign papers for the landed property he was acquiring along the coast of Limbe. That day she had confronted him about his evasive nature and the fact that he travelled too much and didn’t have time for her or the family or his own health.
The conversation ended, as usual, side-tracked into financially entangled waters and no resolution on the family front. She was used to this by now, he was a man maybe his sights were set elsewhere, maybe it was midlife crisis, maybe it was her overreacting but all of that was useless now. She was left all alone to deal with the clutter – utter clutter he had left.
Stockpiles of papers on his office desk and all clearly mimicked her head’s clutter around the enigma of a man she had married – Justin’s life was a complete foliage of too many thorny plants but she will always give him credit for putting his children first in everything.
She unlocked the drawers with the keys, finding the right one for every drawer and ordering boxes from the reception to put all the books and papers she felt may not be of immediate use. A brown zip lock folder caught her eyes and she opened it, at first it looked like receipts accrued for some spend but as she unlocked the contents, the evidence was clear, it was records and notes of hotels and trips bearing no other name but Justin’s and Melissa Onga.
Her belly leapt, the palpitations were inevitable. No! This cannot be possible the only Mel she knew was a daughter who smiled, hugged and called her Mama, this is not real, she also called Justin Daddy Jus, so what was this? what was happening?
She picked up Justin’s handset which she had not bothered to look through for over two months and scrolled through but couldn’t find Mel’s number so she dialled it all the same and the name on the screen read “baby-cakes”. The evidence was all there, ‘the will’, the trips, the giddy excitement when the girls were visiting and vice versa. Justin always took such a liking to Melissa because she looked vulnerable as her father had passed away pretty early and Mel had to be bounced between family members while her mum struggled to make ends meet. Justin took upon himself to sign up in her life as a parental guardian and she had never countered – instead, she found it very kind and endearing – maybe this is why and there was nothing more than fatherly love? But the hotel receipts what were those, one after another she could see booking for days and sometimes couple of weeks, no fatherly love ended a matured red-blooded man with an adult woman in a hotel for days and weeks, it was of no use denying it – no use, the evidence though debilitating was spread-bare on the table staring at her!
The bile rose in her chest she wanted to tear off her white mourning garments into shreds and scream across the room but it will do no good, her hands were shaking her body was convulsing in pain… she dashed into the office toilets and made herself as sick as possible to get the contention out of her system, the more she barfed the more tears came streaming the betrayal was sore – She couldn’t believe for a second and then her mind drifted to Dinah… Could this be something her daughter had sight of? could she have arranged the pair? could her dad have made her to do this?… What exactly could this mean for her as a mother if her daughter could encourage her friend’s sleeping with her dad… Is this Dinah’s lifestyle as well…? Is this what they did as friends …? Lord have mercy!!!
The mother in her was ready to disown her daughter, for the first time her wrath cut through the chasm between mother and daughter so effortlessly she had to still herself from fainting.
Her anger was so intense it consumed the only protective feeling she had in her which was that of a mother over her children. Suddenly she was reaching out for her phone and then braced herself to get more evidence. Anything no matter how little could help her identify and pinpoint the whole epicentre of this madness. She tuned the contents of the plastic bag down the desk and sorted through every single paper, a hand-written note from Justine to Mel
“Baby cakes I’ll be back by mid-day but head out if I’m not back in time, I’ll meet you at the reception dinner. You sleep so beautifully I want to stay in bed but I need the money for a growing family. Kisses.”
Growing family, the last she checked Dinah and her sister Candice Beynang were all full grown women and didn’t need growing any further than having their own children_ a sudden lightbulb moment stroke and she knew, her intuition never failed her ‘growing family’ meant Mellissa Onga was pregnant for her late husband. She picked up her phone to call Dinah Immediately because she knew that that was IMPOSSIBLE!
Mrs Beynang had one goal in mind but there was nothing as scary as the truth she was about to unravel, something about vindicating her husband’s memory and also setting the records straight with Melissa.
The conversation was way overdue one she had had with no one else but her late mother. This time, she may have to have it with a woman who held no meaning to the family values she had toiled, soiled and cheated to obtain.
By hook or crook she had managed to keep her marriage together no matter the up and downs and imperfections that stared her in the face, there were acrimonious days but the good days surpassed any other day she could remember and those good days held great meaning. Her conclusions were no two marriages are the same and her priority was getting her kids to a better place that will assist in shaping the outcomes of their futures.
Melissa, a daughter has now turned into one of the competitions she has to deal with – none of the other ladies she had known or heard of had ever purported to be pregnant for Justin, not that she ever heard of them.
How was she going to justify to the world that story in her secret closet, in her hearts deepest chamber that one day in the quiet confines of her mother’s bedroom she and her mother found a solution to her childlessness for over four years into her marriage, her mother was blatantly crude with the truth but it had to happen in one way or another. she candidly stated
” you are a mature woman and know the predicament you find yourself in better than i do, there is proof that you are not sterile but there are facts staring you in the face that you have never conceived even by mistake with your husband – the doctors have told you all the medications they have him on will boost his sperm count to make impregnating you easy , this is four or what six years since you two have been an item , no issue, should i tell you what to do, are you really waiting for me?”
That was all it took to understand exactly what her mum meant and in one sentence nurtured the seed of deceit that she had already planted in her marriage months before her reality check with her mother, the following months saw drastic changes in her marriage – many big celebrations and bursts of joy and congratulations.
She looked at the screensaver on her phone, the beautiful faces of her two girls- memories of them happy running about laughing and playing horsey with their daddy, memories of her in her mother’s compound, memories her and Desmond in the backseat of her Parejo one dark rainy night on a long long travel back home, because checking into any hotel around that area would have somehow become news, all of these flashed in her mind’s eyes as she dialled Dinah’s number to ask questions, questions even she had no clue what and how her mouth would formalize the phrases.
Such a beautiful sunny day walking the little villages of Ibiza, Catherine and Dinah basked in the sun returning to their hotel with bags full of goodies and flowers and a bottle of prosecco and sundried biltong’s for their afternoon snacks, knowing that Mellissa will be ecstatic for the biltong, she loved biltong’s and thought they were the best replacement for kilichi the Cameroon spicy hot dried beef.
At first, it was not evident from which room the line of police looking dressed men were streaming from and to – they were all rushing in and out, you could tell there was clear distress on their faces and their actions.
The closer the girls got the better the view and they could see the commotion was on their balcony – something didn’t feel right so their steps quickened and there it was, a stretcher carrying Mellissa wrapped in thick blankets and foil looking cover – none of it made sense, all the bags they carried suddenly had no value as they threw everything and rushed to their friend and sister’s side calling and screaming seeking answers from the ambulance medics and police.
Melisa looked calm, in no distressed but her eyes were sealed shut and her body strapped onto the stretcher bed, her body was grey and her hair was damp, she looked like she had been swimming. Dinah on one side and Catherine on the other screaming and calling her but no responses. One of the medics walked up to Dinah and asked if she was her next of kin and wanted to step to the side for a talk.
Catherine was clinging to Dinah like they were Siamese twins, both disoriented and panicked but managed to respond
“We are her sisters and on holiday in the absence of our parents we are both next of kin’s”
The medic then said the words both of them never imagined would be uttered at that point in time or their lives
“Well I’m afraid you have to come with us to formally identify the body – she drowned and by the time the call came through and we got here, resuscitation and all reanimations we implored were futile – we couldn’t get a pulse. She was proclaimed dead at 16.51pm this afternoon, I’m sorry”
Dinah and Catherine just stared at the medic as though he was absent – he did not exist at all that moment when the world gave room for the earth to cave and swallow them, clinging to each other they both cried and screamed – Catherine cut herself off from Dinah and ran to the stretcher, trying to peel off all the layers of covers on Mel, her face was pretty, calm quiet and pained but her eyes swollen and shot like she had been crying so hard.
“forgive me Mel please – baby girl lets go back home, come with us back home, don’t do this – sister please, sister, my friend, I know we argue I know we fight I know we tear each other apart but we have each other – life without you will have no meaning – not here not now sister please”
Her pleas were futile as the stretcher was slowly wheeled away.
Dinah turned to the medic who spoke to them and asked
“did she leave a note, did she say anything, who called you?”
“you will need to come with us to the station Ma’am – there was no note, we have taken all the things we found by the pool, a book/diary, a phone and an iPad”
Dinah sat on the floor and stared into space, her heart had left her body she just wanted to die along with Mel. How come she didn’t see her hurt was this deep, she didn’t even know the man who broke her heart, yet they had left her sad and alone in the hotel and went about enjoying Ibiza – she had let Mel down, they had both ignored all the signs of a withdrawn and disturbed sister throughout their trip. She could barely cry, all she felt was anger and hate for herself, she barely knew where the tears actually came from, but she could feel them streaming down her face and wetting her blouse – she was distraught!
Mrs Beynang’s call didn’t ring for long when Dinah’s voice came on the other end choking in tears as she cried down the receiver
“mummy Mel is gone, she drowned or she intentionally drowned or she oh mum I can’t even get my head around it, I am confused, all she said was she found out her boyfriend was married with kids, and we left her in the hotel and came back to her body on a stretcher cold, mum cold “
Dinah just cried her guts out…
The pain in her daughter’s voice gripped her heart and immediately she wanted to be there to give her daughter a hug and make sure she was alright, she immediately also picked up the fact that the deception was on both of them, Dinah didn’t know who that boyfriend was, it was clear from the comment she didn’t know the person concerned.
“Di calm down sweetheart, I am so sorry, this is absolutely horrible news baby girl I am so sorry – send me the address I’ll get Mr Peter to sort out travel arrangements and I will joing you as soon as possible ok, hold yourself together is Catherine there? Pass the phone to her, give her the phone”
After managing to calm the girls down Mrs Beynang sat on the floor in Justin’s’ office and looked at her watch – it was 8pm, she could barely comprehend she had spent five hours of the day discovering and unravelling things that happened over a couple of years and without lifting a hand she had seen it all END in the twinkle of an eye.
It had worked out well for her – there was no room to tell anyone that Justin was sterile, that Mel’s pregnancy could potentially be a misunderstanding and that her two beautiful daughters were actually seeds sown by the machinations of her mother, herself and her driver Desmond. Desmond never knew the girls were he’s and even the birthmark on Candice’s hip quite similar in asymmetry to Demond’s was all that she as a mum took to know whose children they actually were, by the stroke of some kind of luck the two girls looked like her and that solved it all.
This day and time will go down in history – her secret will stay with her safe forever. Her immediate concern was making sure Dinah was fine and also understanding what happens to the assets Justin left for Mel bearing in mind she was non-existent.
She gradually lifted herself off the floor, subconsciously a weight seemed to have been lifted off her whole being, she rang her driver and asked him how he’d like his dinner served in the hotel or in her house, either ways, they were both eating dinner tonight – and this time served with a tinge of vengeance she cajoled her thoughts!
After all, no betrayal will ever be bigger than Justin and Mel. Her sin to her was a lesser sin until Judgement Day
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