DADDY’S GIRL (Episode 18)
Arnold could hear screams from behind him as he ducked when the man fired at him but there was no stopping now. He was angry and tired of the recent deaths. The killer, whoever he was had bitten more than he could chew by attempting to hurt his child, his treasure and he was going to hunt him down.
Arnold kept running behind the man till he pushed a table on the sidewalk behind him, blocking Arnold’s way. By the time Arnold managed to push the table out of his way, he had disappeared into thin air.
“Shit!!” He cursed folding his hands into a fist and hitting the table. He sat on the table and bowed his head.
“Arnold are you okay?” Alex asked when he got near him followed by the two policemen and detective Randolph.
Without answering his question he jumped down “How can you be incompetent!!!! Two trained policemen sit, guarding just one door and a stranger enters and you didn’t even notice. My daughter was even screaming and you didn’t even hear. How incompetent!!!” He yelled at them.
“Sir calm down. I apologize on their behalf…..we are really sorry.errrr.. I think you wounded the man. There are trails of blood here.” Randolph spoke staring at the ground.
“But he still got away,” he muttered and began to walk back to the hospital.
Helena and Sally ran back into the hospital and into Fiona’s ward when she couldn’t catch up with the men running after Arnold… Entering the room, Fiona was sitting on the bed with a doctor trying to stop the blood from flowing after the man had pulled the drip from her hand.
“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” Helena moved to her side.
She shook her head.
“I sprayed the pepper into his eyes. Plenty!!!” She said proudly as she had just won a prize.
Helena couldn’t help but laugh.
“Is she alright doctor?
” yes sure. She’ll be discharged tomorrow. Goodnight” he answered and walked out…..
Helena pulled her into a hug, kissing her forehead.
“You’re a brave girl Fi.”
A MONTH LATER
(A&A Construction and consultancy firm)
“Take a look at this Alex. How does it look?” Arnold asked giving his sketch to his friend as they sat opposite each other in his office.
“Wow. It’s exquisite as always. Your building plans are always perfect”
“So then shall we go to the construction department to start the construction?”
They stood up to leave when a tall, dark lady, Arnold’s secretary entered.
“Sir you have a meeting. It commences one hour from now”
“What? You never told me I had a meeting today”
“I’m really sorry. I’m so sorry”
He sighed “it’s okay. You may go”
As she scurried out, Alex turned to stare at his friend strangely
“You didn’t scold her? I thought you were going to fire her”
“I told you, man. I’ve changed. Let’s go now. I need to leave early so I can pick up Fiona from school”
“What? Arnold? Did you hit your head or something? Look I understand you have become very close to her now but since when did you start picking her up from school?” Alex raised his brows
“It’s just… I wanted to see…” He trailed off biting his lips trying to hide a smile as Alex stared at him suspiciously.
After the incident with Fiona at the hospital a month ago, he had become engrossed in his office work, taking care of his daughter all by himself and doing his own investigation about Grace and Musa’s murder which up till now, had yielded no results. As the days went by, he saw less and less of Helena and after school resumed, she went back to work and they didn’t see each other again.
“You want to see who?” Alex asked shaking him out of his reverie
“Oh, I get it. You miss your favorite teacher, right? You are using picking Fiona up from school as an excuse right?
“Well” he shrugged still smiling
“Oh my oh my!!!! Holy moly! Are you blushing Noldie? Holy cow! You’re actually blushing. My son is blushing!!!” Alex exclaimed grinning widely.
“Shut up! Stop pestering me. Let’s go!” Arnold slapped the side of his head, pushing him out as he tugged behind him, frowning so as to hide the childish wide grin on his face…….
3:00 PM (GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL)
“Alright, kids. Pack your books into your bags and go out and wait for the school bus. Don’t forget your lunch boxes” Helena instructed as she adjusted her skirt and began to pack her books into her handbag. She was distracted by a phone call from an unknown number.
She answered and placed the phone to her ear
“Hello, beautiful. Missed me? Because I missed you” came the voice. She frowned. Mark!!!
“What do you want Mark?”
“Why are you doing this to a poor guy who’s helplessly in love with you. It’s over a month now but you still playing hard to get”
“Listen, Mark, I told you I’m not interested. Just…”
“It’s because of him right?” He cut in
“Arnold. He’s the reason you aren’t giving in to me right?”
Her frown deepened “And what has Arnold got to do with this? What’s your problem? I already said no so please just..”
“l” ll come pick you up tomorrow at six. We’ll be going on a date. Please make yourself beautiful” he said and hung up.
Helena stared at her phone in shock.
“What the hell!!” She muttered in anger rubbing her temple. Stopping whatever she was doing, she sank into the chair and rested her head on the table, tapping her feet.
Who the hell did he think he was to order her around like that? She thought. He had been pestering her for several weeks.
How did he even get her number and location? She wondered.
She found him strangely weird and creepy.
At a point in time, she thought she heard someone call her name but she shook her head and went back to thinking.
“Helena are you okay?” The familiar voice said much louder
She sighed and lifted her head, turning to face the owner of the voice when her heart caught in her chest.
“Arnold…” She breathed taking in the sweet smell of his Cologne. He was looking….very handsome. His long sleeves had been rolled up to his elbows, just the way she liked it…..and he looked quite sexy.
“What are you doing here?”
“I came to pick Fiona up and……” He was interrupted when he felt someone tugging at his shirt. He looked down to see her smiling broadly at him. For a girl her age, she was very short or probably because he was very slender and tall.
“You came to pick me up, daddy?” She squealed excitedly flattering her eyelashes at him
He chuckled and rested his hand on her head as she hugged his legs
“Yes, princess. I came to pick you up. Wanna ride with daddy?”
“Yes…yes!!!!!!” She shouted dancing around and then ran out
“I’m going to tell my friends I am going to ride in daddy’s car today!!”
He smiled as he watched her rush out. He wondered why it took him so long to love her. It was a good feeling to see her smile and laugh and jump around… And to think he had maltreated her for reasons she knew nothing of….. Arnold sighed and turned to face Helena.
“Helena are you alright?” He asked searching her eyes, they looked swollen and she had gathered a few strands of hair over her face to cover it.
“Nothing. I’m fine”
He moved closer and pulled her hair away from her face.
“You’ve been crying haven’t you?”
She shook her head from side to side, trying to fight back the tears. The previous day was the final funeral rites of her mother and she was still trying her best to get herself together.
“We’ll go somewhere tomorrow”
“So I can cheer you up”
“Because you sound like you are ordering me. You should ask politely” she answered packing the rest of her books
“Okay. May I have the pleasure of taking you out on a date ma’am? Please?”
“Yes,” she laughed slightly.
“Come. I will drop you off at home” he told her as she made to get up.
“By the way, you look very beautiful in that yellow top” he complimented.
“Thank you” she answered and walked out hiding a blush totally forgetting about the call from Mark as he followed her…
TO BE CONTINUED…