The Sacred Bride
written by Bunmi B. Gabriel
I helped Eric dish the food we prepared for Eric’s dad; he was a really nice man, quiet and calm. However, I could notice the tension between them, they were fighting as he said. The women already left – thank God – so it was just us.
‘Thank you Leila,’ his dad said with a smile. I blushed and nodded shyly; he’s the older and more handsome version of Eric. I went back to my seat beside Eric who scoffed at me. I picked up my fork and dug it into my plate of noodles; I made noodles for myself. ‘So Leila, what did you say you studied again? Music?’ Dad Eric asked with a clear note of contempt. So, that’s the issue!
‘No, sir, I studied architecture….’
‘Really!’ He exclaimed, a bigger smile crawling up his lips.
‘Yes, architecture and civic engineering,’
‘That is excellent news Leila!’ He exclaimed. ‘At least, if the son is useless to the father, then the daughter in-law can….’
‘Uriah,’ mom called softly.
‘What? At least he won’t be completely useless to me.’
‘Because I don’t like what you do doesn’t make me useless,’ Eric snapped. ‘This useless son have been fending for himself since you cut him off at fifteen. I am my own man, I make my own money and that angers you because you know you are also useless to me….’
‘Eric!’ Mom shouted.
‘Don’t Eric me mom!’ He yelled. ‘He can go fuck himself for all I care because I don’t care. I didn’t come here because I appreciate his existence.’
‘And do I appreciate yours? No. You are a big boy now, yelling at me isn’t new. The only thing left for you to do is to throw a punch to show me your manliness.’ Dad said scornfully.
‘I’m sure Leila here isn’t useless to her father,’
Eric glared at me like it was my fault he was being compared. ‘Well la di dah Mr. Father, Leila is a dancer, not what you think her to be.’ He totally said that on purpose.
‘Eric, can you calm down please,’ I tried to speak but his glare made me shiver and shut up.
‘Just look at yourself, your blood is so weak that none of your children want anything to do with you, even your adopted children. Lou is busy in Canada with her husband, running one of the biggest hospital. Carly studied hotel management and has her own hotel to work on instead of dealing with your crap and Nancy rather dance her way to death than take over your company. You better check your blood well, it’s as weak as you are.’
‘That’s enough Eric!’ I snapped. ‘What is wrong with you? Why are you talking to your father with such disrespect and hatred? Are you insane!’
He scoffed and rolled his eyes. ‘Of course you will defend him, he’s a Prince charming….’
‘Eric,’ mom whispered yelled.
‘You can quit dancing and join him in his business, then all that would be left is for him to put a ring to it to finalize the arrangement. Who knows, maybe you can bear him the children that will continue his empire.’
‘Eric,’ I whispered, completely stabbed in the heart by his words. He hissed and stomped off. Mom was sobbing quietly, she stood up too.
‘Excuse me,’ she sobbed and ran out of the room. I kept staring at the door Eric stomped out through, what kind of insult did he just give me?
‘Ignore him,’ Dad said calmly, standing up from his chair. ‘Eric had always been like that.’
‘You are both hurting mom you know,’ I said with a sniff, wiping my tear away.
‘I know, but you cannot understand the frustration of a father that is going to lose all he and his father to his grandfather had worked so hard to build. Four children Leila, none cares.’ He said sadly as he headed out of the dinning room. I followed him out, trailing behind and admiring his muscularity.
‘I understand,’ I said sheepishly. ‘Like the time my brother told my dad he wanted to be a pilot, dad almost collapsed.’ I remember that day, it was April 1 and Odyn was kidding.
‘I hold nothing against Eric’s music, I’m a huge fan myself even if I don’t understand the lyrics….’ I chuckled at that. ‘I just wish he could do both; his music and the business. I have worked so hard for this, wouldn’t it be unfair?’ He asked rhetorically with bitterness in his tone.
‘You cut him off?’
‘Eric became rebellious because all the girls he kept crushing on would always end up wanting me even as small as they were. The last one was when he was fifteen, he really liked that girl and tried his best to keep her away from me but at the end, she just wanted me. It was odd seeing my son lose his little crushes because of me; surely, I’m not that good looking.’
‘Oh you are,’ I said sheepishly. ‘Now I understand why he snapped like that, he’s jealous of you.’
‘Until date, his girlfriends always end up trying to seduce me,’ he looked over his shoulder at me. I offered him an assuring smile, I will never do that even if he’s worth it.
‘I love Eric, that’s all I can say.’
‘Forgive him, please. Anger made him become a musician, coupled with his passion for it but mostly to upset me. Since he started making his own money, he stopped touching mine and convinced himself that I cut him off…’
‘So he would have another reason to justify is worthless jealousy,’ I said as a matter-of-factly. ‘That boy is messed up,’ I said with arms akimbo. ‘Don’t worry, I’ll handle him.’
‘I trust you would, I really want to get along with him because of May.’
‘I’ll try my very best and you don’t have to worry, I’m here to assist you with your work.’
‘That feels good to hear,’ I couldn’t help the blush that made it way into my cheeks; he’s so dreamy!
♥ Eric ♥
I stood at the door of dad’s office, watching Leila and dad work on a construction as they laughed and talked like lovers. Anger burnt into my brain, snapping me into another state of senselessness. My eyes were clouded by jealousy, my teeth grinding together as I clutched the door. Okay, I hit a really low key with her earlier, didn’t mean it but dad had always taken every woman I genuinely felt for; unintentionally but still the same thing.
‘Eric,’ Carly whispered, putting her hand gently on my shoulder. They arrived earlier when I stomped out and have both been watching the scene with me. I touched her hand and looked at her over my shoulder. ‘Stop this madness, you know dad will never take your woman when he has mother.’
‘Do I know that? No. Just look at the way he’s touching her….’
Nancy who was leaning on the wall close to the door scoffed with arms folded. ‘You are the biggest idiot in the galaxy, envying your own father. Don’t you trust this babe of yours? How could you imagine that she and dad would be a thing…..’
‘Is it impossible,’ I snorted.
‘You want mom dead, I can see that. Every time you give her reasons to worry and think when the doctors said otherwise,’ she huffed and stumped out. I followed her, ready to yell at her for saying that.
‘How could you say such a thing Nancy!’ I yelled once we were in the safety of the living room.
‘Why won’t I say such a thing,’ she scoffed. ‘It is the bitter truth and you know it.’
‘No, I don’t! I will will never hurt mom and you know that!’
‘Well I don’t!’ She yelled back.
‘Nancy, it’s enough….’
‘Not Carly, let me finish and tell this irresponsible prick the truth to his face since no one else can!’ She turned her head to me. ‘You are selfish and inconsiderate! Mom is sick because of you and dad’s constant fighting and all the mean words you exchange that breaks her heart! She’s having brain issues because of too much depression from everything you are doing to her and father! Your useless scandal with that girl is one thing, never being polite to dad because of your immature jealousy is unbelievable and now you’ve got her worried that she will lose her best friend after you finish shattering her daughter’s heart!’ She yelled at the top of her voice, her veins nearly popping out.
‘I will never break Leila’s heart! I love her and….’
‘Oh pe-lease,’ she scoffed. ‘You love her yet you haven’t told her about the beautiful little daughter you had with your college fling! I’m sure you are trying hard to impregnate her so when she finds out later, she won’t be able to leave. You are cruel Eric, very!’
‘Shhh,’ I shushed, clamping my hand over her mouth. ‘She can hear you, please….’ She muffled in my hand and tried to break free. ‘Nancy, I swear on every single gray hair on mother’s head, if Leila finds out about this through you, I’ll never forgive you.’ I spat angrily.
‘Nancy, she can’t find out….’
‘Aah!’ I screamed and moved my hand away from her mouth. ‘What the butt!’
‘You are a fool, what will happen if she finds out now she is yet to carry your baby? Scared, huh big brother?’ She taunted. ‘You are so fucking feeling great about lying to her, she will find out and dump your pathetic ass.’
‘Mind your words Nancy, you don’t know how it feels to be in love, not want to lose the woman you care about with all your heart….’
‘If you really love me like you claim, you wouldn’t stand in front of me everyday and lie to my face!’ Leila snapped. My stomach clenched as my heart sank, I bit my lower lip slowly. I turned around and winced at the tears in her eyes.
‘Shit,’ Nancy muttered.
‘Seriously Eric! You are a daddy?!’
‘I can explain….’
‘Were you ever gonna tell me the truth or keep lying right into my face!!!’
‘Let me finish!’ I flinched, she can turn dark again with the rate at which she was boiling. ‘All this time, your insistence on me having a baby, your insistence on first wanting your mother to come over instead instead of me visiting. Why? I told you my secret, trusted you but you couldn’t even….God Eric! A daddy! How am I suppose to deal with this information?!’
‘I’m sorry Leila, please let’s sit down and talk this out….’
‘The time to talk is over Eric, I can’t do this anymore, keep up with your lies,’ she said softly. My breathing seized, I wanted to tell her but I was afraid, being a second is bad. How was I suppose to know that the devious girl intentionally got pregnant to trap me and now I have a ten years old daughter. ‘Don’t bother me again, I don’t want to see your stupid lying self anywhere close to me….’
‘Leila please, don’t do this to me, I beg you.’ I pleaded walking closer to her.
‘Don’t even think about it Eric, you can go back to your baby mama and leave me the fuck alone!’ She pushed me out of her way, ran to the chair and took her bag.
‘Leila, please don’t do this to me, let me explain….’
‘Leave me alone!’ She shouted out in tears, running to the gate. I ran after her, she could get hit by a car.
‘Just hold on!’ I yelled, finally catching her arm. ‘Let me explain….’
‘Explain how you lied to me, how you might not have told me the truth at all! Eric, you’re a father!!!!’
‘That was years ago! I was in college and she trapped me!’
‘You are insane! Why couldn’t you tell me?!’
‘Okay,’ I breathe, trying to calm myself since yelling wasn’t helping. ‘I was scared you would leave. It’s not easy for me to tell you I have a daughter, is it?’
‘You are not the first fucking man to have a baby mama!’ She snapped, snatching her arm from mine. ‘What I can’t tolerate is your lies, all of them!’
‘I’m sorry, give me another chance to make it up to you, please Leila.’ She inhaled with eyes shut, she opened her eyes which made me reeled back with fear.
‘Right now, I don’t want to see you again, we need a break.’
‘A break,’ I murmured. ‘Please don’t break up with me….’
‘Don’t get close to me again or else,’ she turned and stomped off. I wiped the tears from my eyes and walked back inside to get my car keys.
‘Eric, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean for her to hear it,’ Nancy sobbed. I glared at her but said nothing, picked up my keys from the table and smiled painfully at Carly.
‘Give her time, she will come around.’
‘I know, that doesn’t stop it from hurting. I need to talk to Bloom, she’s my only hope.’
‘Her sister, she’s the only one that can help me now.’
🔶🔷♦ Leila ♦🔷🔶
I dropped my towel on my bed tiredly, my face was swollen from too much crying. I understand that he already had the girl before knowing me, but lying to me and the fact that I will be a stepmother sucks. I sat on the bed and covered my face with my palms, so much pain.
‘What exactly hurts you, the lying or the fact that he’s a father?’ I jolted to my feet at the sound of Bloom’s voice. She stood leaning on the doorframe with a big smile. ‘Hiya sis,’
‘Bloom,’ I burst into tears again.
‘Don’t do that Leila,’ she whispered walking towards me. I sat on the bed and covered my face again. ‘We both know Eric loves you….’
‘Does it matter, he lied to me.’ I wailed, looking at her over my palms.
‘You are pained by the fact of him being a dad, that you are not the first to make him get that title. Leila, I know that hurts – hell I would feel like crap too if it was Alis – but you have to let it go. One, that is his past and you are his future.’
‘And the baby? The kid?’
‘There is nothing wrong in loving someone else’s child, you haven’t met her so don’t judge.’
‘Do you want him to abandon the girl?’
‘Hell, no! That will be cruel, very. I just…. I don’t want him to have any connection with any other woman than me….’
‘That is impossible now,’ she whispered, sinking her nails into my hair. ‘The only thing you can do now is to accept things the way it is, embrace it, or do you want to let him go back to that woman?’
‘No! He’s mine!’
‘Then grab him back, he’s very sorry.’ She smiled.
‘Did he come kidnap you from Alisdair?’
‘Not really, I was home alone. I forgot I married a workaholic, he disappeared this morning and have been busy working. He calls me every three hours though.’ She said, bringing out her phone to check the time.
‘And your sex life?’ I asked with a naughty smile. She didn’t stop staring at her phone.
‘That man is cruel, touches me lightly and then leaves me to die of craving, he’s selfish. He said he is waiting for a day, don’t have a clue what he’s…… What’s taking him so long to call, it’s been four hours.’ She complained.
‘Go home Bloom,’ I chuckled.
‘Eric is outside, waiting for you to come…….yes!’ She shrieked as her phone rang. ‘Go answer him while I …..hey sweetie!’
‘Where are you? You are not at home?’ I heard Alis asked as I made my way to the door.
‘Yes, Eric took me out to see Leila…..’ I walked to the living room, Eric stood up immediately, fiddling with his keys.
‘Your daughter’s name,’
‘Faye,’ I nodded and sighed. ‘Am I forgiven? Please say yes.’
‘Forgiven,’ I smiled. ‘Just don’t lie to me again and quit your war with your father.’
‘So he can steal you from me,’ he scoffed.
‘What do you take me for Eric? A whore?’
‘Quit it or get out,’ he grumbled. ‘Will you quit it or do you want us to break?’
He grinned. ‘I promise,’ I walked to him and hugged him tight. ‘I love you Leila,’
‘I love you t…..’
‘Blah blah, take me home, my husband is waiting for me.’ Bloom said impatiently. I chuckled.
To be continued.
Finally, Bloom’s POV coming up next.