Bitter Love - S01 E24
Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 24
“Somebody run after him!” I shrieked.
Logan or Fred had stared at Bob for a few seconds before dashing off. I was a police woman yes and had chased people before but this is my son we are talking about. Out of the blue, I got so emotional that I couldn’t even move. All I could was watch Bob and Curtis pursue Fred who seemed too fast for them to catch.
Both of them came back minutes later with their invisible tails hidden between their thighs.
“We lost him,” said Bob. “Alicia, we really tried our best but Fred’s young and agile so he outran us, I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, you’re sorry for everything. I bet you’re even sorry that Angie’s father is no more,” I couldn’t refrain from being harsh. “Curtis, please take me home. I can’t drive in my state so I’ll call Baison or my mechanic and ask them to come pick my car up.”
“I can bring it for you,” Bob offered.
“I want nothing to do with you, Bob. No, thanks.”
Curtis wrapped a hand round my shoulder and was leading me to his car when Bob said, “Wait!”
“What now, buddy?” asked Curtis irritably. “Can’t you see she doesn’t want to talk to you nor be in your presence? Exactly how thick is your skull for you not to grasp a simple fact? Her life no longer revolves around you so I suggest you accept the truth even though it’s a bitter pill to swallow.”
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. Alicia, I recall you referring to Fred as Logan, what’s going on here?”
What’s going on? That’s exactly what I also want to know. “I should be the one to ask you that but you won’t give me any rational answer anyway. Besides, I don’t owe you any explanation so you can find out how Fred became Logan on your own. And one more thing,” my voice was steel. “I don’t want you to even think about following me to my house nor even showing your pathetic face there cause I swear you won’t like what I’ll do to you. Curtis,” I turned to Curtis. “Let’s get going.”
The drive home was awfully quiet. I exhausted my brain in a bid to fit the missing pieces into the puzzle. So Logan was Fred, yes. But did he know I was his mother? If so, why hadn’t he just come clean the first time we’d met?
“Ali,” Curtis snapped his fingers in my face. “I said we’re here.”
We got out of the car and went into the house after Mulenga unlocked the main door for us. It was already getting dark outside so that’s why the doors were locked in the first place.
We were then welcomed by an excited Faides. “Mummy, uncle Curtis!” she flung herself at our legs. “I missed you!”
“We missed you too, princess.” Curtis ruffled her hair. “I’m taking mummy to her room so please don’t disturb, neh?”
“Why, is she sick?”
“No, she’s just tired. It’s called fatigue.”
Once we were in my room, Curtis closed the door behind us and led me to the bed.
“You look pale, sweetheart. Should I get you some sedatives or painkillers maybe?”
Thinking about staying with my own son under the same roof for four months without even recognizing him left me in tears. And just when I though I’d been reunited with him, he decides to run off like that? Jesus, why was my life this complicated? Why did everything in it have to be bittersweet?
“Ssshhh, Alicia. Crying won’t solve a thing. And don’t worry about your son cause I’m sure he just panicked, he’ll be back.”
“But he’s suicidal, Curtis. What if he succeeds and commits suicide this time around, what will I do?”
“Where’s all the negativity coming from, huh Alicia?”
My phone rang before I could respond. I got it from my purse and checked the caller ID.
“It’s Fred,” I exclaimed before wiping my tears and picking up. “Hello, my son, is that you?”
“Yes, mother. It’s me, Fred.” he sounded unusually calm.
“Where are you, honey? Please come home so that we can talk things through and be the happy family that we are supposed to be.”
“I’m sorry but I can’t come home.”
There was a pause. “Because my life’s a mess and this time I messed up real bad, mother.”
“Before you tell me about that mess, tell me one thing first, son. Did you know I was your mother all this time?”
You knew?! “Then why didn’t you just tell me?”
“Cause you seemed happy without me in your life, that’s why.”
“You know that’s not true,” I was literally begging him to understand. “I missed you each and everyday.”
“Yeah, I get it. Anyway, there’s no use crying over spilt milk, is there?”
“What is that supposed to mean, huh Fred?”
“Mother, you now know I’m your son, no freaking big deal. So I’ll urge you not to ask me questions and allow me to tell you why I can’t come home or why I changed my name to Logan Meleki after stealing lots of money from dad.”
“I’m all ears,” I put my phone on loud speaker as Curtis had been signaling me to do so for ages now. “You can go ahead and tell me everything, honey.”
“Cool. Wait a sec, is Dad there with you?”
I glanced at Curtis. “No, he’s not.”
“Do you swear on my life?”
“Great, I’m trusting you to keep this to yourself. I’m afraid to come home cause I can’t face Dad.”
“Will you let me finish without interrupting?!” he sounded agitated.
“Okay, I won’t interrupt.”
“You better not cause if you do I’ll be forced to hang up. Stepmother Angie came to my room one night and literally seduced me. I tried to refrain myself from going to bed with her as my conscience knew too well to say she was Dad’s wife but I gotta admit she’s got a great body and I was enticed by her dance moves. When I asked her why she was seducing me, I’ll quote her response, ‘Fred, honey. Your father no longer gets intimate with me cause he blames me for the tragedy that occured seven years ago. But I’m a woman and thus my thirst for passion needs to be quenched and you my darling are my lucky candidate.’ That’s how I slept with her. Not that I am proud of what I did, no. I couldn’t look Dad in the eye so the best option was to steal some money from him and flee. With the aid of a Kenyan friend of mine, I managed to get my hands on a fake driver’s license and passport. I flew to Zambia the following day in search of my mother,” Fred paused to cough. “I don’t know if it’s fate or destiny cause I can’t differentiate the two but I met you a day after coming back to Zambia. And then I noticed you’d moved on with your life and I didn’t want to cause unnecessary drama so I went away. I got so depressed one night over how crappy my life was that I decided to end it all by taking my own life. I had no guts to consume poison nor hang nor stab myself so I thought getting myself run over would do and then boom, I just had to be run over by my own mother, the irony though. I think that’s all you need to know for now. Bye.”
“Fred, wait-” but their was a beep sound indicating the call had just been disconnected. “He hang up on me,” I told Curtis.
“Try calling him back.”
I tried but his line was off.
“I’ve lost my son once again, Curtis. Why does my life always have to be in shambles?”
“It’s a phase, honey,” assured Curtis, engulfing me in a tight embrace. “It’ll come to pass. Let’s look at it this way, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, not so? There’s sunshine after heavy rains and this is just the darkness that’s there before dawn so just put all your problems in God’s hands and all shall be well sooner than you think.”
A day later, we laid Lubona’s father to rest. As we left the graveyard, Bob just had to block my way.
“What?” I snarled.
Monde and Diana who were with me excused themselves. Curtis wasn’t here as he was with his manager, working on the novel that he was currently writing, the one that my story had apparently inspired.
“I want to talk to you,” Bob was shameless as usual.
I folded my arms and faced away towards the procession of cars that was leaving the graveyard. “I’m listening but please make it fast.”
“Sure. Any news on Fred?”
“No,” I glared back at him. “And even if I had any, I wouldn’t give you a d--n hint! If you may excuse me, I need to go to work.” I brushed past him before he could say anything.
24hrs after Fred had run off, I lodged a missing person complaint so my team and I were now using all the resources we had to search for Fred but so far, our search had proved futile.
“Relax, Alicia. Logan’s or sorry, Fred’s no longer suicidal,” she assured me. I was behind the wheel driving us to the police station where she wanted to see Baison for God knows what and my shift was starting in twenty minutes time too. “I’m 100% certain my sessions with him can’t be totally useless.”
“I pray that’s true cause I won’t handle it if I lose my son. I’ll go insane, Dee.”
She patted my hand. “It won’t come to that.”
“I hope so, I really do.”
When night came, I prepared myself for bed and knelt beside my bed and said a short prayer asking God to please protect my son and bring him back to me safe and sound.
As I tucked myself under the bed sheets, my phone rang. The caller ID was a private line so I guessed it was Curtis cause he owned a private line too.
“Hey baby boo.”
“Mother, it’s Fred.”
“Fred?” I sat up in bed. “OMG, how are you? Are you okay? Are you coming home?”
“My God, mother. Spare me the questions, I’m 18 thus I can take perfect care of myself. And yeah, don’t bother tracing the call cause I’m using a private line.”
“Superb. Just called to ask you something that I forgot to ask you the other day, my buddies back in Kenya tipped me off to say stepmother’s heavily pregnant. I bet you’ve set your eyes on her by now, is it true she’s pregnant?”
“Yeah,” I hesitantly said. “Why?”
“Because there’s a possibility the child she’s carrying is mine. Geez, do you know the implications of my actions? Holy cow, I don’t see myself coming home anytime soon. Sleep tight, mother.” and he was gone.
I sighed and turned off my bedside lamp. At least I knew my son was still alive so I felt a bit at ease. But I kept on tossing and turning cause I couldn’t seem to get the thought of Angie carrying my grandson. Oh boy, that would be bizarre.
I hope Fred’s not responsible, I silently prayed before finally drifting off to lala(sleep) land.
I woke up with a start the following morning. Mulenga was screaming her lungs out inside my bedroom.
“Eh Mule, what’s the commotion all about ai? Can’t you see I’m trying to get some sleep?”
“Madam,” she was shaking from head to toe, panting as if she’d just run a marathon. “There’s a… there.. there is a co- a-”
“A what?!” I snapped.
“There’s a corpse on our veranda.” she blurted out.
A corpse on our veranda? “Are you sure you aren’t hallucinating?”
“No, madam. I’ve just seen it with my two eyes, come see it yourself.”
“Okay, I’m coming.”
I got out of bed and adjusted my gown. I followed Mulenga to the main door where she froze inches before the door.
She shook her head. “The sight is gruesome, I can’t afford to take another look at it.”
I was a cop so corpses were things I saw almost everyday. I opened the door and behold, there lay the corpse.
I took a few steps back into the house and covered my mouth upon seeing the mutilated nude dead body that was sprawled on my veranda.
I felt my stomach churn with revulsion and I could feel bile rise up my throat. What took me aback the most was that I knew the victim.
“For the love of God,” I muttered as I shut my eyes but the image of the mutilated body was so vivid in my mind. “Who on earth could have done to this to……..”?