Hurdles: Episode 1 - 46???? : TOPSTER STORIES

Hurdles – Episode 39

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HURDLES

 

_39_

 

Days after visiting Catra I feel the need to see Michel and the kids, I have not seen them in a while and I think I owe her that much for not being the best they could have asked for.

 

I called her a couple of times but all the calls went unanswered, that is so unlike her as she always stays with her phone.

 

I drive to PHI and the guard lets me in.

 

 

‘Daddy.’ Shawn says running towards me

 

I notice he was playing with his toys outside ‘Hey buddy.’ I say scooping him into my arms

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He laughs and I can’t help but laugh along with him Laura comes and joins us

 

‘Hey daddy.’ She says dryly

 

‘Hey princess.’

 

‘Won’t I get a hug?’ I ask as she stands at a distance She comes close and gives me a forced hug

 

I don’t want to push any further so I let it go.

 

‘Good afternoon Sir.’ Nancy greets

 

‘Good afternoon Nancy.’ I respond

 

‘Is Michel around? I have been calling her but she is not picking up.’

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‘She should be back any time soon, I think she left her phone charging too.’ ‘I will wait for her.’ I say

 

She looks at me as if surprised but that hasn’t come as a shock to me. ‘I will bring you a chair.’

 

I wait as she disappears into the house then comes back minutes later with a chair.

 

‘Thank you.’ I say getting the chair from her

 

Laura and Shawn go back to play, now I am stuck going through my phone checking what’s happening on social media. It’s a Saturday and that is when it clicks that I haven’t seen Marsha from the time I came.

 

‘Nancy.’

 

‘Yes Sir.’

 

‘Where is Marsha?’

 

‘In school.’

 

‘What do you mean in school when today is a Saturday.’

 

‘Marsha has been gone for a month now.’

 

‘Where?’

 

Just before she can respond a car drives in. I see Laura and Shawn race against each other to the car when the doors open.

 

‘Hey my warrior.’ The man I recognize as Jayden says lifting Laura in the air

 

She laughs so hard it stings because she didn’t act this happy with me.

 

‘You know I always have your back faithful servant.’ She says

 

‘You do?’

 

‘Of course I do, I am Laura. Protector of your heart.’

 

‘Aren’t you the sweetest?’ he asks kissing her many times on the cheeks and she wraps her little hands around his neck

 

‘And how is my avenger doing?’ He asks Shawn

 

 

‘I am doing fine.’ He responds with a huge smile

 

‘Laura do you still want to be a baby or I go and play?’ he asks causing Michel to laugh

 

‘Such a party pooper, can’t a girl have a moment with her daddy?’ she asks letting go of his neck

 

I notice how neither Michel nor Jayden say anything, I don’t even know how to feel either.

 

‘I just brought mummy home, I need to leave.’ He says looking at me

 

‘Oh shame, we would have loved to have you over for lunch.’ Michel says

 

‘Please stay.’ Shawn begs

 

‘Next time buddy.’

 

‘Maybe dinner.’ He says again

 

‘Shawn what do you want?’ Both Michel and Jayden ask at the same time ‘It’s numbers uncle Jay, numbers and I don’t know what to do.’ ‘I will help you.’ I hear myself say

 

Michel eyes me with an expression I can’t put a finger to ‘See, you will get the help you need.’ Jayden says

 

He says goodbye to the kids then to Michel before driving off.

 

I follow her inside the house.

 

‘Was I that bad of a father?’ I ask immediately we are settled

 

 

‘You were the perfect stranger Vashawn.’ She responds not even looking away

 

‘Okay.’ I hear myself say not hiding the hurt

 

Silence

 

‘Why is Laura calling him daddy?’

 

She looks at me searchingly

 

‘Vashawn what do you want?’

 

‘Michel I need to know why my kids are not in line, why would Laura be calling another man daddy and Marsha is not at home.’

 

‘About Laura I have no idea, kids pick on who is acting like a father in their lives and about Marsha, she is at a boarding school and doing really well.’

 

‘And you didn’t tell me this because?’

 

‘You were in jail.’ She responds bluntly

 

‘I still had the right to know.’

 

‘Next time I will think about it.’ She says standing up

 

‘I need to take a bath, I would really appreciate if you leave.’

 

‘You are asking me out?’

 

‘Yes.’

 

I open my mouth to say something but close it.

 

 

‘Vashawn you have no reason coming here, if you want to see the kids I will take them to Valerie’s and you can see them from there. You are not even welcome here.’

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‘Why, because of that guy?’

 

‘You have no right playing a jealous lover so just leave.’

 

‘Michel you are honestly asking me out of your house?’

 

She laughs, so hard I want to mistake her for someone who has lost her mind.

 

‘I am glad you just said your house Vashawn, this is my house and I will allow who I want. And you, you are not welcome so I hope this is the last time you show up here.’

 

‘You hate me that much huh?’

 

She shakes her head vigorously

 

‘I loved you so much to hate you, I am over you and I have moved on with my life.’

 

‘No.’ I argue

 

‘You are not over me, I know what you are trying to do. You are just trying to make me jealous by being with that man and no it won’t work.’

 

‘Vashawn you are full of yourself, the world doesn’t revolve around you. I tried, I really did and both you and I know it. Perhaps in another world, in a different time and setup, maybe I will find the love I whole heartedly gave you.’

 

She pauses

 

‘Some days I wish I had accepted all the men I had just to be faithful to you, but two wrongs done make a right so no. I have three wonderful children looking up to me to make sound and solid decisions. I remember sipping on my 18yr old Glen

 

 

each night as you galavanted, funny how it burned part of my insides but didn’t take my pain away. I had lost almost 8kgs of my weight just for you to look at me different but that didn’t also didn’t take away the hurt you caused me. Vashawn people called me names even when they didn’t know what exactly was happening, I was blamed for your cheating ways because you looked at girls smaller than me in terms of body weight and yes I did blame myself for gaining weight, for drinking too much but you made me into that person. You chose a life away from me and that’s what’s okay because you taught me how to be okay with eating alone, to be okay with sleeping alone and no I will never allow anyone to walk me over like you did. Vashawn you were my best friend,a brother and the father I lost a long time ago but none of these people could have hurt me the way you did. I am not hurting anymore, in fact I am done hurting. Now all I want is peace so leave me alone and stay away from me.’ She says with a deep sigh

 

I don’t know what to say so I just walk out of the house he get into my car, as I drive out I cry. So much I never knew I could hurt this bad, I didn’t even know just how much her presence mattered in my life until now. I didn’t know a day would come when I would want her to change her mind so bad, the sound of my ringing phone makes me park.

 

‘Hello.’ I say when it rings for the second time after composing myself

 

‘Thank you.’

 

I drop the line, the airport has just called me. Katuta was found dead in the airplane bathroom and no evidence leading to one was left behind and they called me because it was the last number he dialed.

 

I rush out of the car as I feel the bile rise, whoever is behind this is definitely coming for me too.

 

..

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