Julie was the only daughter of her mother, but she had two step-siblings on her father’s side.
Her father, Mr. Bless Dotse, had had a former wife with whom he had two children, Abednego and Sandra. Abednego was forty-six years old, whilst Sandra was forty-four. Both of them were unmarried, although Abednego had three children with two women.
Mr. Bless Dotse’s former wife, Esinam, was still alive.
Mr. Bless Dotse had given a house each to his older children and their mother.
Julie had learnt of the story behind the breakup from her mother.
Apparently, soon after he quit his job and established Dotse Capitals, Mr. Bless Dotse had soon ran into serious debts when one of his deals went bad and customers started coming for his blood.
Around that time his wife, Esinam, had left him and eventually gone to live with another man, taking their two children with her. All efforts by him to bring her back had failed, and she had eventually secured her divorce, and formally married the other man.
Heartbroken, Bless Dotse had concentrated on rebuilding his life and his career, and had eventually met Selina, who had stayed with him and loved him through the worst of the periods. They had found it hard to have children, but eventually Julie had been born, and soon afterwards things had started to pick up for his business until it became one of the best estate developers in the country.
Esinam, whose second husband turned out to be violent and a drunk, eventually left him and sought to come back to Bless Dotse, but of course, the door had long been shut then. The best Bless could do was give her a free house. He had also given his older children houses, and visited them often.
He had wanted Abednego and Sandra to move back in with him and his new family, but they had been unwilling to. They got together on occasions, though. Abednego and Sandra both worked in the company, holding mid-level positions, whereas Julie was a top-level executive.
And now, there was calamity!
She had lost her parents in a single day…oh, dear!
Julie spent a day more in the hospital…a day filled with sorrow and excruciating emotional pain as she wept herself sore, mourning her parents. And, in the midst of it all, she wondered why Jacob Acquah, her Jake, the man she loved enough to want to marry, had not yet put in an appearance.
Some of her friends visited her in the hospital, the friends she had been ‘blowing’ time with, so to speak. Most of the people from the office came to commiserate with her too. But, surprisingly, none of her family members – uncles, aunties, cousins – from her parents’ side came to her.
She wanted to leave the morbid hospital with all its frustrating moments and go home, but the doctor kept insisting that she had an inflammation around her spinal cord, and she risked becoming a cripple if she did not exercise patience and receive treatment.
“And how long is it going to take this inflammation to go away?” Julie queried with tears running down her cheeks. “Something awful is going on, I can feel it! I need to see my parents! I need to go home!”
“Don’t worry, and don’t stress yourself, please,” the elderly doctor said kindly. “It should recede in a few days, otherwise we might have to perform a little surgery to clear it, okay? But it is very important that you lie very still.”
“A few days?” Julie shouted, shaking her head. “No, I don’t have a few days! I need to go home!”
“Listen, you’re facing a crisis here!” the doctor said, his voice firmer. “I’ll be blunt with you, miss. You have a contusion around your spinal cord that, if not handled by experts, could make you bedridden for up to a year, and you might never walk again. Do you understand? I’ve already sent a request for the best surgeon, and he’ll be here this evening.”
And, put that way, Julie could only lie down and weep silently.
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The specialist came, as the doctor had promised, and ran a series of tests on Julie. He was a kind elderly man who looked professional and serious, and then he finally looked at Julie and smiled.
“I have a fair idea of what has happened, miss,” he said carefully. “However, I need the lab results to confirm. What I can say for sure, though, is that you’re going to need a little surgery to remove a contusion. It is just a little routine surgery that might not take more than an hour, and then you’ll be free to go.”
Julie nodded as tears filled her eyes again.
“And when will you have the lab results?” she asked softly.
“Tomorrow afternoon,” he replied.
Just as she was about to go into a frenetic mood, the door opened, and in walked her siblings and Jacob Acquah, her fiancé. Following close behind them was Mr. Joshua Andorful, her father’s lawyer.
Jacob – tall, dark and handsome – walked up to the bed and smiled sadly down at her.
The doctor welcomed them, and told them they couldn’t stay for too long because she needed to rest.
“Oh, don’t worry, sir,” Sandra said sweetly and giggled. “We are not really going to stay that long.”
Julie began to weep pitifully and held out her arms to Jacob.
“My love,” Julie wept. “Why has it taken you so long to see me, Jake? Please, hold me in your arms! I’m dying in here!”
But Jacob remained standing with his hands thrust into his pockets, smiling down sadly at her.
“You’re going to be fine, Julie,” he said softly.
Julie’s face went wide with shock as her arms slowly dropped.
Jake never called her Julie.
For two years now he only called her Princess.
“Jake? What’s up with you? What’s the meaning of this?” she said in a lost little voice. “You won’t hold me? You won’t kiss me?”
“Oh, how sweet!” Sandra said as she strutted forward and stood looking down at Julie. “How adorable! You want a kiss, Julie? Really? After killing my father to inherit his wealth, you’re now overjoyed and in need of kisses, aren’t you?”
“What the hell is the matter with you?” Julie screamed, her eyes filled with tears.
“My parents are dead, and you stand there and talk nonsense?”
“Your parents are not dead, Julie,” Abednego said as he stood at the foot of the bed and looked at Julie with hot mean eyes. “Our father is dead, and our step-mother is dead. But the good news, at least to you, is that you haven’t lost anybody. For all we know, your real parents might be alive and well somewhere.”
And it was around that time, that particular moment in time, that Julie felt her heart giving a mighty and fierce kick as total fear surged through her.
His words dazed her, and made her throat dry, and made her feel very dizzy.
Real parents…real parents…your real parents…
The words echoed in her mind, causing her a great agitation she could not handle at that very moment!
It was no secret that Abednego disliked her intensely. He had never tried to hide that intense dislike from her, but in the past it had never really bothered Julie. But now she was alarmed by the smug look on his face, and it terrified her.
Desperately, her eyes sought out her fiancé, the man she loved, the man she was going to marry in a few months.
“Jake-Love, please, my darling, what is going on here?”
Jake raised his eyebrows and looked really uncomfortable as he scratched an itch in his ear.
Sandra giggled and linked her arm through Jacob’s and looked down at Julie with real hatred reflected plainly in her eyes.
“Oh, poor you, Julie!” she spat out. “Oh, how I’ve waited for this day, to see your face when you learned the truth! You see, my father, Mr. Bless Dotse, is not, and never has been your real father! That bitch of a woman you call your mother was a barren harlot, and she has never been pregnant!
You are the daughter of an unknown girl who gave birth and couldn’t send the baby home, and begged the nurse to find a good home for her child. That particular nurse was a friend of Selina Dotse, my father’s wife, whom you believed to be your mother! She met the young girl – your real mother – after the nurse arranged the meeting. Selina promised to take good care of you, and so your whore of a mother gave you to Selina, who needed a child badly! She raised you as her daughter!”
Abednego chuckled evilly as he stared at Julie’s shattered face.
“You are the daughter of a whore of a woman who became pregnant due to her slutty life, and gave you away to woman in need of a daughter,” he said evilly. “Now you know why you’ve been such a whore, sleeping with any man you come across. You’re not my father’s daughter, and you certainly aren’t Selina’s daughter. You’re just a lost girl thrown away by her own mother, Julie. Just a piece of shit, and nothing more!”
And at that particular moment in time, Julie just wanted to die.
To be continued