The air around us became thick and my head began to ache. All of a sudden, Beryl’s presence became a nuisance to me. My first thought was to walk out and buy some time to think. “Stan, our rent is due in three months and I want you to help us.” Her words began to replay in my mind.
I knew it wasn’t a simple request. She had a pile of reasons for asking. It was a well-thought-out plan to break every sense of judgment in me. My options were very few and I knew it; Beryl had the upper hand and she appears to have aced the game.
My fears began to turn into worries; what if she had purposely kept me inside to increase the chances of pregnancy which will definitely attach her to me forever in a mother-father relationship. Meaning she’ll have a share in my little inheritance. Was her mother the brain behind all these? “Beryl, I hope it’s not what I am thinking?” “And what are you thinking?” Silence.
“What do you want from me?” “Stan, I just need help with our rents and that’s all. Maybe you can help us with a part payment agreement, a loan or something. That’s all. My mum has been thinking through it a lot and I just thought I should mention it to you. Can you help us?”
Was I overthinking this whole thing? I looked up to Beryl for any clues of blackmail. Nothing! But for our expeditions in the last two days, her expression would have passed for a nun confessing her desire before a priest. “Beryl, you know I am not in charge of the rent alone.
I share the inheritance with my elder sisters and grandmother and there’s nothing much I can do about this… alone.” My words were becoming scratchy, and sympathetic. “Oh, there’s a lot you can do, Mr Accounting Teacher. I am told you have a 50% share in the rent for being the only son. True? And that, the first room on the stretch is solely for your educational fund and upkeep. There’s a lot you can do if you want to help me, Stan!”
OMG! This is getting scarier. Where the hell did she get that information? My head began to spin and my eyes became blur. “Wait, is this some sort of a plan or something? Who the hell told you all that? Listen, as I said, there is very little I can do to help you alone! Maybe we can talk about this later.”
I was already on my feet heading for the door. “Not so fast, Stan,” she called back. “I have evidence of everything,” she said, pointing at the video camera on the fridge. “Oh shit! Beryl, you recorded us having…” the remainder of the sentence lingered in my throat. “I knew this will have your way with me without evidence, Stan. You still want to go?” …to be continued.
DISCLAIMER: The people in the feature photo are not in anyway related to the story.