She smiled mischievously, her mother’s plans was for them to keep their dad’s accident secret but she’d tweeted it and the media had carried it, she would have Helen begging for forgiveness for slapping her like that.
‘Rose, open the door’ Mark pounded her door.
‘Come in bro’ she answered sweetly.
She had dressed up, things had changed, she needed to see her father, they needed to save themselves from what was to come.
‘How could tweet about dad’s accident? Have you forgotten about mum’s orders? Why did you disobey her’ Mark was annoyed with his sister.
‘Well, I did the right thing, your mother is a very selfish woman and she doesn’t care much about either of us, how could she defend Nelson like that’? Rose hissed angrily.
‘Oh, this is still about Nelson? I’m sure you were Bleeping him, how could you disobey mum? Though she seemed off, but I saw the good in her suggestions, now, dad’s members may lose faith in him, I hope you’re happy now’ Mark hissed and turned to walk away.
This was her chance and she seized it.
‘Why do you think so highly of your mother? Let me tell you something sweet bro, mother was having an affair with Nelson, what if they connived to kill dad to afford them more time to be with each other, have you thought about that’? Rose asked.
‘Is that all? Mum is sleeping with Nelson, is that a bad thing? What of dad, what if he’s sleeping with other people? How is that your business, see Rose, this is their marriage, we’re the children, we’re not supposed to take sides, we’re to let them work things out on their own not to judge, I’m not perfect, I just did something that’s eating me up which I may pay for later, I don’t think you’re perfect too, let’s just be united now more than ever’ Mark hoped she’d see reasons with him, he wasn’t surprised to hear about his mum’s infidelity, Grace had mentioned it before they had a fall out and Ajunwa had told him the night before. ‘Bravo, nice speech, I see, Helen has gotten her claws on you, but before you go, I had this feeling you and Grace had something you guys shared and I’ll love to tell you something about your sweet dear mother’ Rose rubbed her hands together.
‘What about Grace’? Mark sighed.
‘Grace isn’t missing, she is dead, she walked in on mum and Nelson and mum killed her and buried her in the garden, I could show you where, if you promise not to flare up’ Rose said.
‘You’re bluffing’ Mark swallowed hard. How could Rose cook up such a lie?
His mother was many things but not a murderer.
‘Go find out, beneath the roses, midnight, check it out’ Rose patted his shoulder.
‘Beneath the roses’ he whispered the words, Ajunwa had found Grace’s necklace beneath the Roses, he swallowed hard and prayed it wasn’t true, he needed to confront his mother.
‘Yes bro, you’ll have to excuse me now, I have a call to answer’ Romeo was the caller and she couldn’t wait to answer it.
‘Hello my darling…’ she pawed sweetly. She had set her plans in motion, she couldn’t wait to see her mother go down.
‘Hello red rose, guess what’? Romeo answered in the same manner.
‘What is it my love’? she asked.
‘I’m at your gate, please let me in’.
‘Mum, open the door’ ! Mark was infuriated, different emotions ran through him, how could his mother betray him like that? Why did she have to kill Grace and lie to him about it?
‘Mark, what happened?’ Helen had just woken up from her sleep.
‘Mum, please tell me this isn’t true, please deny it’ Mark stared deeply into her eyes.
‘What is it dear’? she wondered why her kids wouldn’t let her be in peace.
‘Did you kill Grace because she found out you were having an affair with Nelson? Did you cut her into pieces and bury her beneath your roses’? Mark asked.
‘I see, Rose is twisting this story, trying to paint me black, was she the one who told everyone about your dad’s accident’? Helen felt deeply hurt, calls from her church members had awoken her, somehow they got to know the pastor was in the hospital.
How could Rose betray her like that?
‘Mum?’ Mark called her.
‘Thank you for coming to speak with me first before doing anything stupid, come in and have a seat, let me tell you everything but first swear you’ll forgive me and trust me again’ Helen invited him in.
‘Just tell me the truth’ Mark sat at the edge of her bed.
‘I kept this secret from you because I didn’t want you to get involved in something so dirty, I felt you saw me like a saint and I had to keep it that way, I’m sorry darling, I should’ve told you everything, but know this, I love you from the bottom of my heart,
I protected your sister who had turned against me now for some reason, just like I protected you’ she paused.
‘Just go straight to the point mum’ Mark was getting impatient.
‘No, I’ll take this step by step so you’ll judge for yourself who’s guilty or innocent. Your sister came into my room one day just like you’re doing now and begged me to save her, she was so scared, I followed her and found Grace on the floor bleeding from her head, she was dead. Rose claimed they had a fight and she hit Grace too hard, I knew reporting to the police would destroy your father’s reputation, so I cut the body into pieces and buried it in a place where no one would ever know, under my roses, and now she accuses me of being the one that murdered that girl’ Helen scoffed, she would destroy Rose with her hands.
‘Mum, how could you do something so gruesome? What’s the difference between you and Rose, you helped her cover her sin’?
Mark was still confused on who to believe.
‘I had to protect her, she is my child, even you, I have protected you before, when I had the chance to turn you over to the juvenile court, I saved you, don’t you remember Mark? What happened when you were sixteen’? she rose to her feet.
‘I don’t want to talk about it mum’ Mark was evasive.
‘No, let’s face it, judge me, I’m the bad one here, but in my badness, I protected you, Joy, your cousin had come visiting and you raped her in this house and I covered for you.
I should’ve reported you to the police, but I sheltered you, look into my eyes and tell me you believe Rose’ Helen pressed his head to her face.
‘I’m sorry mum, I judged you wrongly’ Mark cried.
‘That’s my boy, now, your sister has drawn the battle line and we must fight her, if she leaks that secret, I would go down for nothing, so I need you on my side, I need you to support me, we have to be clear with each other, no secrets’ Helen instructed him.
‘I raped Grace many times and Ajunwa last night, please forgive me, I don’t know what came over me’ Mark sobbed like a baby.
[B] ‘You raped them?’ Helen was scared and disappointed.
‘Yes, I’m so sorry’ he nodded.
‘Don’t worry, we’ll fix this’ Helen replied. Mark could be trusted, she had bought him over, now she had to draw him into her own darkness.
‘I killed Nelson and buried him in the garden, somehow he knew about Grace as I asked him to bury her decaying hand so I felt he was a threat to that secret, so I killed him last night’ Helen sighed as she let her son in.
‘Mum? How could you’? he was about to judge her when he recalled his own sins were equally if not more grievous.
‘Good. Now we understand each other, we have to fight for ourselves first’ Helen fetched her phone, someone knew her secret and she had to protect herself from going down.
‘What’s this’? Mark asked as she handed him the phone.
‘I KNOW WHAT YOU DID. IT MAKES ME SICK.
I AM GOING TO TELL. A SECRET IS BURIED IN THE GARDEN’.
‘Mum’? he called quietly.
‘Yes’? Helen wondered why he seemed shocked, did he know anything about it?
‘I received this text last night, what’s happening’? Mark was terrified.
‘Really’? Helen chuckled, not even the situation she found herself could kill her sense of humor. Someone was blackmailing them, mind games was this person’s style.
‘Mum, this isn’t funny, what if they know all our secrets? We are all dirty except Rose and dad, we have to find a way out of this’ Mark sighed.
‘No, we can’t be the dirty ones, maybe your father is clean but I’m sure your sister isn’t, she killed Grace for a reason and that’s your job to find out. I need to speak with the maid you raped, I need to bring her closer to me, so she wouldn’t be used against us, most times, blackmailers could get information out of domestic staff, one of the reasons i took out Nelson’ Helen paced nervously, there was a lot of work to do.
She had not set her eyes on one of her admirers for a long time, Kachi Romeo was as hot he’d been three years back.
‘Hello Cherie’ he presented her with some flowers.
‘Hmm, they smile nice, thanks Romeo and do come in’ she smiled and offered him in.
‘It’s been so long Romeo, thanks for paying me a visit, sit here, let me fetch you something to drink’ Rose dived into the house and left her guest in her mother’s garden.
‘Roses everywhere, garden of Roses’ Romeo looked around the garden, it was really beautiful and smelt very nice but held a dark secret.
Oliver had done a good job by telling him about Grace, now all he had to do was find her and get her to give him evidence of the pastor’s affair with his biological daughter.
‘I am back’ she returned with a bottle of red wine and glasses.
‘Your mother’s garden is beautiful’ Romeo smiled.
‘Thank you’ Rose wondered how he knew the garden belonged to her mother.
‘So how’s everything? How is Grace?
It’s been long I haven’t seen her or your brother Mark’ he poured himself some wine.
‘They’re fine’ Rose replied hurriedly, why did he ask about Grace?
Her heart raced, no one could know she was dead.
‘Good. I was just in the neighborhood and I just wanted to visit, I’d see you some other time’ Romeo rose to his feet.
‘Thanks so much Romeo’ she replied.
‘Can I see Grace before I go? And Mark too’ he quickly chipped in.
‘Uhmmm, they’re not around, Grace isn’t here, she’s at the market’ Rose stuttered, why was he so keen on Grace?
Rose knew Romeo from church and he’d met their maid too, but it made her uncomfortable to recall what happened that fateful day.
‘Really? How nice, see you later then’ Romeo smiled and walked away, deep down he felt it, something wasn’t right.
He’d observed the evasiveness that lay prominent in her eyes whenever he mentioned Grace, had Oliver lied to him?
‘Bye….’ Rose waved at him. Fear engulfed her, soon, more people would ask questions about Grace, questions she wouldn’t be able to answer and she knew how dangerous her mother had become, what if her mother turned her in to the police?
‘No, she has to go down for it, for everything’ she hissed loudly, she had her plans, Helen would go down, she needed to see her father.
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