Annie didn’t respond, she just walked away. Considering her languid statement, walking away was the right thing to do. Luke saw her coming out of Desireé ward and asked for an update of her health. Annie made sure she kept details of the incident from him, she didn’t know why but she just felt she had to protect Luke, probably from herself or Desireé.
Annie went to her office, her mind drifted back to the house. Desireé could have killed her on the spot when she knew she was toying with Luke emotions but instead stabbed herself. Who does that? How psychotic can one be?
Luke insisted Desireé came home after she was discharged from the hospital so he could closely monitor her recovery. But she knew the real reason why, her wound wasn’t deep to require intense follow up rather he wanted to be with her. To make her family again.
Desireé found staying in her old house weird and awkward. Though she remembered her short stay before she was abducted, she still felt out of place. She felt she didn’t belong to the family. Her blurred memories didn’t let her have a moment of sanity, she saw her mom’s face everywhere. The last time she was here, she wasn’t haunted by memories. Now she just can’t get the memories out of her head. She wandered in the house when her pains subsides, she could literally hear voices…. Her mom’s, little Serena, Luke, his mom, Holly and her dad. She knew she had to be insane to hear them but that didn’t bother her. She acted like she was forced to stay but a part of her had been yawning to be here for years.
“What are you doing here?” Mrs Jefferson’s voice pierced through her thoughts, she didn’t hear her come in. She picked up a magazine from the lamp stand and flicked through it ignoring her.
“There are other rooms in the house but no….. You chose Luke’s. When will you let him be?”
“Why do you hate me so much? Why are you giving me cold shoulders? Since i came back you haven’t said anything nice to me much less do something nice for me. What did i do to you?” Desireé asked still flicking the magazine pages.
“How did you escape? What did you offer? Your soul?” She asked with a smirked look.
“Mom, you said you’d always…..always-”
“I’m not your mom” She said clenching her teeth.
“That awesome!! Calling you mom made me sick in my stomach” Desireé said with a smile dropping the magazine. “I did the right thing, i didn’t respond but no….you had to go on blabbering and i was hoping you would course i was dying to tell you some pretty interesting stuff”
“Same here, Serena” Desireé was immediately filled with rage at the mention of the her name but she knew Mrs Jefferson wanted to get under her skin, to make her furious but she was going to turn the table around. She had to be in control of the situation. She chuckled.
“I need you to leave Luke alone” Mrs Jefferson said sternly. “You’re dirty Serena, those men….everyone that rocked your ‘eden’ made you dirty, the heroine and marijuana, they put in your system wrecked you. I can’t stand the sight of you, it’s the truth. I don’t like-”
“You don’t like me, I know you hate me. Am dirty, filthy, wrecked. What are you Zoe? That’s your name right?” Desireé said with a smile. “Are you a good mother? I was far away yet very close. I know you flirted with Ethan, your best friend’s husband. Julie took you in, she helped you and your two years old son and you repaid her by flirting with her husband, had a fling with Ryan, you were the other woman, the mistress..” Desireé moved towards her but stop abruptly mid-way. “Holly told you i was alive but you didn’t move a muscle. You watched Julie, your best friend go through agony and depression when Serena disappeared. Before Holly came to you, you knew Ryan was into something shady but you didn’t do anything. After Holly told you, you signed her death warrant by telling Ryan. Holly deserved to die anyway but you caused her death. You didn’t do anything about Ryan and that makes you an accomplice in his crimes. Maybe just maybe i would have been rescued, you would have saved my life and Julie’s but you didn’t and that makes you wanted.” Stepping forward till they were few inches apart. She held Zoe’s graze, who was surprised.
“How….how did….how…did you find out?”
“I’m going to make you pay, i won’t put you in prison with the evidence i’ve. That would be me being merciful, you’re a churchy person. In the good book…..he said a life for a life, a child for a child. I will take what you value most, what you hold dear. Death will be the last thing you wish for, i’ll be the only one you think about, the one you dream about, the one in your thoughts, i’ll be the one you desire.” Desireé said with a smug look. Mrs Jefferson knew she’s referring to Luke, she struggled to control her emotions but couldn’t. She raised her hand to slap Desireé but she caught it in mid air. She tried releasing her hand from her grip but couldn’t.
“Never you raise your hands on me. Never call me dirty or a drug addict.” Desireé said clenching her teeth. She released her hand and slapped her on both cheeks.
“Have always wanted to do that” Desireé said smiling. Mrs Jefferson couldn’t retaliate, she got more than she bargained for. She knew Desireé meant every word and she now understood why she allowed only Luke close to her. She’s exerting revenge on her through Luke.
Desireé watched Mrs Jefferson leave, probably in anger, fear, shock but the message was gotten. That was all she wanted, for now.
Desireé went through Serena McCarthy’s case for loopholes, she was the key witness and the prosecutor. That made it a bit tricky. Everyone would come to know her history but what if the case never makes it to light? What if the defendant Ryan doesn’t makes it? He could turn up dead before he gets to array me in court for allegedly killing Greg? She smiled at the thought.
“It’s going to be one hell of ride” She said smiling. Her phone beeped, she picked up her phone. It’s a message from her private investigator giving the whereabouts and pictures of her cousin’s daughter; April who looked nothing more than four years of age. Her smiled grew wider, splitting her face in half, she took her car keys and when in search of her uncle’s long lost family as she puts it.
Desireé got to a kindergarten school and parked at a good distance. She looked at her phone and back to the school, scanning the faces of kids playing in search of April. She soon finds her and highlighted from her car to meet her cousin’s daughter.
“Hey lemme help you with that” Desireé said bending to her level and helped her open her water bottle
“You’re very pretty”
“Who are you? My mother told me never to speak strangers” a shy April said looking away.
“Am not a stranger sweedy” Desireé said trying to make eye contact. “Am your aunt”
April was stunned, she haven’t seen her before nor met any uncles or aunts. She remained quiet for some seconds before speaking.
“Why haven’t you visit?”
“I promise to visit you everyday in school and few times at home.” Desireé said adjusting the hair band on her hair.
Luke got home and saw a big envelope with his mother’s name on it. He gave her the envelope when she got home, she went through the content. It was pictures of Ryan’s family and Desireé with April.
“Uh?! Err…don’t worry about it. Just work stuff” She said putting away the pictures.
Luke was about to leave when he recalled his conservation with Desireé. She had told him to ask his mom why she left the house, his best guess was that his mom asked her to leave. He still didn’t understand why she keeps giving her cold shoulders, why she sees her as his downfall and weakness.
“Mom?” Luke called turning to face her.
“Did you ask her to leave?”
“Who?” She said feigning ignorance.
“You know who am talking about”
“She left on her own free will”
“You know am not buying that, tell me mom why don’t you want me to be with her?” Luke said crossing his hand over his chest.
“It’s not that, Luke there are lots of ladies out there but not Desireé. Anyone but her, i don’t want to talk about this anymore”
Luke nodded. “If she wasn’t abducted, would you still have loved her?” His mom who was now at the door, turned. Though it was a simple question, she could hear the echoes of the pain and sadness in each word.
“Luke….” She called.
“Will you answer my question?” Mrs Jefferson took a deep breath, she glanced around to know if the windows was shut. It was getting suffocated and Luke’s motionless graze didn’t help.
‘Maybe i would have still love her if she wasn’t abducted’ Mrs Jefferson almost let the words escape from her lips but she didn’t let it. She kept mute.
“Greg’s murder case haven’t been open but there’s something else.”
“Those involved in the case you are working on are in danger. There are rumors that the Joe is a very dangerous person and won’t go to jail anytime soon”
Desireé nodded and smiled. “I know that, his name is Dylan not Joe……I don’t want you involved”
“You are not scared? You will send him to jail?” Amy asked fidgeting in her seat.
“I can’t fear what i don’t know. Toby brought the case and justice will be served, if Joe has a problem with it then he should come to me”
“Be careful Desireé”
“Stay away from this case and from Greg’s murder case too. I need you by the sideline observing” Amy nodded and left. Her phone rang, she looked at the ID. Barbie. What does she want now? Maybe i should let it ring…. but then she’d think am avoiding her or probably hiding.
“Hey Desireé” Annie’s voice boomed.
“Did someone die? Who is it? Ryan? Zoe?”
“Wh…why would you say?” Annie managed to ask
“You never call, like never… then in the middle of the day you call. I’d assumed someone just died and you don’t know how to say it”
“No one died Desire. I called to invite you for my birthday party” Desireé could sense the excited in her voice. She only remembered having four birthday parties, and it was going to be five but was abducted months to her eightieth birthday. She was always excited when her birthday was on the horizon, she’d talk nonstop about it. Her mom and grandmom had so many plans for her…. She always got-
“Desireé? Still there?”
“It’s on friday. And Luke’s mom will be there”
“Thanks for the heads up” Desireé said with a smile. Of course she knew she would be present.
“I know you guys don’t get along but please i want you present”
“Because Luke would want me there?”
“No, because i want you present” Annie replied
“It’s been a while i dressed up all fancy but i’ll be there. Send the address”
“Please don’t do anything during the party” Desireé gasped in mock horror. “You know what i mean”
“Do i bring a gift?” Desireé asked changing the topic.
“I won’t do anything during the party barbie” Desireé said with a smile and hanged up.
Mrs Jefferson couldn’t get her mind off Desireé, she was the only thing she could think about. She’d told Ryan about the pictures Desireé sent but he didn’t do anything. He let her to her fate, she didn’t want her son anywhere near Desireé. The harder she tried the closer he got to her, she regret not finding out if she was alive or not and now Luke was the pawn in her sick games.
She wished Desireé doesn’t show up, something didn’t seem right. After she got the pictures, Desireé personally gave her the necklace she’d given her for christmas when she was five. She promised to always wear it but now that she returned it, it’s obvious she’s bent on wrecking her family.
“Speak of the devil” she scoffed. Desireé walked into the party and straight to her. She pretended to be engrossed in her phone but didn’t succeed, something about her annoys a lot. Maybe it was her confidence, in destructive attitude, arrogance, invisibly.
“I thought by now you’d have learnt your lesson. Stop going to the devil for help, geez! How dumb can you be Zoe? You went to him before he didn’t help instead he threatened to kill Luke and don’t forget Julie and Holly’s death. Now you went to him again…whose death will be? Yours? Luke’s? Annie’s?” Desireé asked sitting besides her.
‘Desireé’s right, going to Ryan was a bad idea. Two people because of it.’ Mrs Jefferson thought within herself. ‘Ryan obviously contacted her considering her outburst, but Ryan turned her down. So why was she getting worked up? There was deaths the last time doesn’t mean there will be this time around.’
“Desireé?! I don’t believe you actually came….to a birthday party” Miles said approaching
“I don’t believe it either” Mrs Jefferson said almost inaudibly.
“Why would i miss a chance to show off? To tell it like it is? I dressed up all fancy for this”
“Tell what? like what is?” Miles asked looking from Desireé to Mrs Jefferson and back to Desireé.
“I gave my word to barbie. Don’t miss the aftermath of the party and you will find out the truth about your family” Desireé said with a smug look as she picked up a glass of wine.