Pascal knew she deliberately omitted something but listened patiently to her grown-up daughter who had grown beyond her age. He sighed deeply and looked at Josephine who looked remorseful.
“Josephine can’t be my mother. Dad, where’s my mother?”
Pascal stood up suddenly and wanted to slap her but Josephine held his hand.
“Don’t try it! Let her pour her heart out.”
Pascal sat down again scratching his head in anger. He waited for her to continue but Anne asked him again,
“I want to see my mother! Where’s she?”
“I don’t know. She’s dead! I have told you many times to forget her. What else do you want that I haven’t done for you? Ok, go to her grave and call her forth!”
Anne continued, “You haven’t played your fatherly role in my life. I know my mother would have done better. A mother’s care can’t be compared to the most expensive diamond on earth. Money can’t buy it. Mother’s love soothes the child’s pain and heals the wounded heart. A mother would do everything in her power to defend and encourage her child. She can go extra miles to put a smile on her child. A mother’s love is sacrificial and above all, it is divine.”
“But your mother is dead. It’s so unfortunate.” He said coldly.
“I said, she’s dead and forgotten.” He shouted.
“To you, she may dead but I know she’s somewhere longing for her daughter. Josephine, I mean, this woman here can’t be my mother. That’s final.” Anne said firmly.
Pascal looked at Josephine who looked unperturbed. He thought for a while and asked her,
“You and Eddy will still travel to Buenos Aires this weekend. That’s final.” He concluded.
“Dad, I don’t have a choice. If you like, you can send me to Syria or Tasmania or even a desert, I don’t care. One thing is sure, you have used me for your own selfish interest and I will never forget it.” Anne said with tears in her eyes.
However, Pascal called Flavio to ask after Paco and then gave him instructions. When he had finished with him, he called Eddy to come over immediately. Josephine sat there with a troubled countenance. Anne sat opposite her waiting for her father’s response but he seemed to have ignored her.
“Pascal, I will be traveling tomorrow to meet our business partners.”
Their eyes met and he nodded to affirm Josephine’s proposition. She left for her room leaving Pascal and his daughter in the living room.
“Dad, what do you want me to do in Argentina?”
“To meet one of my clients. Eddy will guide you.” He quipped.
She was about asking another question when his phone rang. He was on the phone with the caller for a long time and she later decided to leave him there. She was on the way to her room when she overheard Josephine telling someone on the phone that her tactics weren’t working and she would try another one. Anne didn’t bother to wait any longer and turned to inform her father who just ended his call as soon as she entered.
“Dad, Josephine is after your wealth and plans to attack you.” She whispered.
“Don’t worry. Your hatred has finally blindfolded you.” Her father replied.
“Dad, I’m serious. She is after your wealth. Believe me, dad.”
“Shut up! You can think of another tactic and it won’t still work. Have you forgotten she has been with me for more than four years? You know she’s ready to pluck out her eyes to defend me. You failed this also.”
Anne didn’t know how to convince her father who trusted her business partner more than his daughter. On a second thought, she asked him,
“You know I’m already 18 years and she’s aware of that. Can you figure out the implication?”
He thought for some seconds and replied,
“So? Don’t stoop low to think in that direction. Josephine loves me and can’t betray me. Let that sink in.”
Anne shook her head in pity and warned him to prepare for his downfall. Pascal pushed her aside as he left in anger. Josephine was all over him when he got to the guestroom and she tried to undress him but he wasn’t in the mood. He couldn’t take off his mind from his daughter’s warning. Anne had never warned him with that kind of seriousness before and he knew something was fishy with Josephine’s insistence on sleeping with him.
Josephine asked him why he was lost in thought and he lied he was thinking about Paco’s health. She held him closer and told him to forget everything and focus only on her. In sharp contrast, he asked her sternly,
“What do you want from me?”
“Your love and everything.” She responded with a kiss.
Josephine raised her head from his thighs and looked straight into his eyes,
“Let’s solidify our business and love. What are friends for?”
Pascal resolved not to sleep with her. All her attempts to force herself on him didn’t succeed until she gave up at night. He lied he was on medication and would take him two days to fully recover. She immediately changed her plan of travelling on the following day to cater for him. Pascal began to shift his tent towards his daughter when he started noticing Josephine’s subtle game.
Eddy couldn’t come that day and called to inform him of an urgent business deal. Anne couldn’t sleep almost through the night and thought deeply on what her mission was and its implication. She contemplated changing her plan to travel with Eddy because of Josephine. While flipping through her phone, she saw one of the messages Allce, one of her friends sent to her. She read how David prayed to God to destroy the counsel of Ahithophel. She immediately felt in her heart to pray such prayer.
“Lord, destroy the plans of Josephine and put her to shame.” She prayed and then slept off.
After three days, Anne saw her father and Josephine with their luggage at the main door. She was surprised and asked where they were travelling to.
“I’m going with my husband.” Josephine said with a broad smile.
“Dad, where are you going to?”
“I don’t know.” He replied sheepishly.
When Anne tried to pull her father, Josephine pushed her aside and warned her not to touch her husband. Pascal stood there watching how her daughter struggled frantically to deliver him from her grip. Before she could do anything further, Eddy pulled her and tied her hands.
“You will travel to Buenos Aires tomorrow with Eddy. I will communicate with you. Is that clear?” Pascal ordered and left with Josephine.
On the following day, when Anne and Eddy got to the airport, she met…
To be continued in Episode 22.