Kelvin was smirking down at her. “I was hoping we would start business from the bed but,” he was looking down into her blouse from where her body was touching his…a position she had put herself in during their near-collision.
“We can start from here if that’s what you like,” he finished, and sent Evelyn backing away from him immediately, putting as much distance between them as possible.
“Why are you doing this?” She asked him.
Kelvin entered the room and locked the door behind him. “Because it’s my birthday,” he said nonchalantly as he went to sit on the edge of the bed.
“Come,” he patted the space next to him.
“You must be out of your mind,” Evelyn hissed at him.
Kelvin simply shrugged his shoulders and laughed.
“You really do look hot when you are pissed,” he said. “That’s the same look you had when I saw you standing outside your mother’s house. Dame you looked so edible.” He got up from the bed and walked to where she was.
There was nowhere else to go for Evelyn when she back touched the wall, she knew he had her right where he wanted her to be.
“And you look exactly like that right now,” he said as he slowly ran his finger through the nape of her neck, drawing his face closer she could literally hear every beat of his heart.
“Why are you doing this?” Evelyn lifted her head away from him, hating with all her breath the smell of his perfectly scented expensive cologne and beer.
“I told you, it’s my birthday today…and you are my present.” He said and backed away from her.
Evelyn’s eyes went to the keys he was holding in his other hand. She was shaking with fear but the sight of the keys in his hand gave her some form of hope
Kelvin smiled. “Even if you manage to get your hands on these, there is no way of getting out of this place for you even if you manage to leave these four walls here.”
“What has me being here got to do with your bloody birthday?” She asked.
“Finally, you ask a good question.” He said. “I have spent the past years doing everything possible to avenge the death of my father and sister….”
“What do I have to do with the death of your father and sister? Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know who the hell you were.”
“Me too,” Kelvin said, crossing his arms over his chest. “I didn’t know you existed until a few weeks ago. Meeting you was like receiving manar from heaven.”
“You are clearly drunk,” Evelyn said. “You must have me confused with another person.”
“I might be a little bit drunk but my mind is working perfectly fine,” he said. “If you tell me that you are not the daughter of Beatrice, then I will open that door and every other door in this house and let you leave.”
“Beatrice is not my mother,” she said sternly. “Now can you open the door for me and let me go?”
Kelvin broke into laughter.
“Genes are very cruel. That and DNA,” Kelvin said. “You can’t talk them away into oblivion. They stick to your skin like a tick…sucking the blood out of you until you acknowledge their presence.”
And he continued laughing.
“Are you doing this because of her?” Evelyn shouted over the sound of his laughter.
“Are you doing this because Beatrice did something to your family?”
Kelvin suddenly sobered up and stood up straight. “Finally,” he said.
“Is that it?” Evelyn said, finally realizing why she was being held captive. “If you want to take revenge, why not use your fiancé? Do you think doing me harm will have any effect on Beatrice? You of all people should know just how much she gives a gives a dame about me.”
Kelvin hardened his features and closed the distance between them. With his arms crossed, he looked into her eyes. “I never said anything about punishing Beatrice.” He said.
“Do you have any idea what it’s like to watch your sister die right in front of you and not be able to do anything to save her? Do you?” he asked her.
“You were there….at the accident site?” Evelyn asked.
“I was there. I saw my sister’s husband, your father…and your mother Beatrice. They were all there. God knows what Nora had witnessed inside that place that made her come running out like that. She couldn’t wait to get away from her husband that she drove straight into an oncoming truck.
“How I wish I had died with her that day.”
Evelyn looked horrified. Finally, it seemed she was getting the questions she had had about kelvin answered.
“Like the fool I was, I passed out.” Kelvin laughed at himself. “I passed out,” he repeated. He was smiling and crying at the same time. “My poor father couldn’t handle the guilt. He regretted not having ran to her side when she was in such pain. He thought he was giving her the space she needed. He was wrong. She didn’t need space, she needed him…she needed us. We were right there behind her and we did nothing.”
Evelyn’s legs finally gave way and she went down on her knees, the guilt of her parent’s sins and that of her very existence eating at her core.
“My father died a few days later,” Kelvin said.
Evelyn sobbed on the floor.
“My mother changed after that. She wanted nothing more than to avenge the wrongful deaths of her loved ones. To her, I was no longer a son…I became a weapon she could use in her elaborate plans against your mother.
“I too, I was mad. Mad that I had not done anything for my sister. I always used to tell her that I would be her hero…but no. I turned out to be the worst coward ever.”
“But you were only a boy,” Evelyn tried to reason with him.
“I was old enough to make a difference,” he retorted. “But, I might not have risen to the challenge in the past but I can now. Instead of being mad at my mother for neglecting me…I can finally do something to help my sister rest in peace. You came into my life at the most perfect time possible, like manna from heaven; you landed right in front of me.”
“Do you think that doing me harm will somehow help your sister rest in peace? I am a victim in all this just as much as you. I did not choose my parents.”
“I also didn’t choose to have a sister die at the hands of a selfish and merciless woman. There is such a thing called the price of blood. God used it on the rest of mankind when Adam and Eve sinned so can you imagine what a mere mortal like me is capable of when he’s had his family taken away from him in the most cruel way possible?”
“I understand how you must be feeling right now,” Evelyn got up from the floor and went to stand in front of him.
“No you don’t understand,” Kelvin said. “You have absolutely no idea how I’m feeling right now. You see, today is my birthday…and it also happens to be my sister’s death anniversary.”
“On this day, my sister found out about your existence. On this same day, she was hit by a track right outside your mother’s place. She died, on this same day. And exactly ten days later, my father gave in to a stroke.”
“Kelvin…” Evelyn was still shaking her head in disbelief as tears streamed down her eyes. “I had no idea…I am so sorry. I…I…don’t know what to say….”
“How about wishing me a happy birthday?” Kelvin said, wiping away the tears from his face with his bare hands.
He closed the space between them and started playing with the buttons of her blouse. He was slowly running his finger up and down.
Evelyn flinched as Kelvin’s hand brushed over her cleavage.
“I understand…that…I am your…your…enemy,” Evelyn stammered. “But…this is not right Kelvin.” She tried to reason with him. “You are not this person….”
“Shut up!” Kelvin snapped. “You don’t know me and you have no right to make assumptions about me.”
Evelyn got down on her knees and pleaded with him. “I will do anything you want but please….” she cried. “Don’t do this to me. I am begging you.”
“Undress,” he commanded her, turning away from her to sit on the bed.
“What?” Evelyn couldn’t believe what she had just heard.
“Take it off,” he was moving his finger up and down at her. “Everything, NOW.”
“Would you like me to help you?” He asked and immediately got up. He walked over to where she was kneeling and unceremoniously scooped her up from the floor by her shoulders and ripped her blouse apart with vengeance.
Evelyn quickly covered her bosom with her hands as she cowered into the nearest corner, pleading with her eyes for him to stop.
“You have two choices,” Kelvin said to her. “I can hand you over to my mother who is an expert in the art of revenge since she’s been doing it for such a long time. God knows what she would do to you if she discovers your existence. She was somehow misled into believing that you had been abandoned by your mother at an orphanage.
“You were very ugly when you were a baby,” he laughed. “So naturally, everyone assumed you were a boy when your mother showed up with you at my sister’s funeral. You can go to that orphanage and find out what happened to that boy she mistook for you. I am sure you would think of my methods as angelic when you do the comparisons. OR, you can surrender to me.”
“What do you mean surrender to you?” Evelyn asked, still covering her exposed parts with her arms.
“Be my mistress.” Kelvin stated.
“Are you nuts!” Evelyn yelled.
“Alright then, I will take it that you’ve gone for option A. I will make a call to my dear mother then. I am sure you have heard about her reputation through the grapevine. I can assure you, she does not disappoint.”
He then turned to leave the room.
“Wait,” Evelyn stopped him.
Kelvin immediately obliged her, a smirk playing on his face as he turned back to face her.
Evelyn had heard enough about Mrs Kangwa’s power and influence in the political world. It was enough to scare her ovaries into infertility all the way into her next life. Together with Mr Mwangala, the two of them controlled the power in the country like King and Queen from two opposing fronts.
Whereas her rival was known to bankrupt his enemies and potential threats, Mrs Kangwa was known to eliminate from the face of the earth anything or any person she considered a potential threat. Even though no proof was ever brought against her, that fact in itself was enough to scare away any potential danger in her way.
“What does being your mistress entail?” Evelyn asked.
“It means that you will belong only to me and not any man or woman out there. You will appear before me whenever I call, you will surrender your body, mind and soul to me, you will bear my children if I feel like it and you will not tell a soul about this arrangement. I don’t think there’s any need for me to get into the details of what might happen to you the moment you decide to divulge any of this to anyone.”
“How long…how long do you need me to be your mistress?”
“Until such a time I get tired of you.”
“No!” Evelyn protested. “What if that never happens?”
Kelvin scoffed. “Don’t flatter yourself too much young lady,” he said sarcastically. “You will get your freedom whenever I feel like. The more you antagonize me, the longer and the more painful your stay with me will be.”
“And what if someone finds out that I am your mistress? You should know, nothing residing under the sun can stay hidden forever.”
“Let me worry about that. You just worry about doing your part. Now, take off the rest of that. The longer you take, the longer the night will be, for the both of us. Your choice.”
Evelyn thought about his offer for a while. She was clearly stuck between a rock and a hard place and she stood to lose her soul no matter the direction she took from that point on.
“I don’t think I can do this,” she finally said.
“Do what?” Kelvin asked.
“Being your mistress,” she answered. “I think I am going to take my chances with your mother.”
“What?” Kelvin laughed. “I have spent the past twenty years trying to take my chances with her and here I am still doing her bidding. Do you think that she would even give you a chance to get a single word out?
“The moment she discovers who you are, she will wipe out everyone you’ve ever cared about, all your friends and family. She is already working on your family right now as we speak, only a matter of time before she gets to your friends.”
“I guess lunacy runs in the family then,” Evelyn said as she looked at him disdainfully.
“Are you going to take off your clothes or not?”
“Do you think that doing this to me will bring back your father and sister?”
Kelvin rushed over to her and glared into her eyes. “Do you think I am doing this for revenge?” He yelled.
“Then why are you doing this?” Evelyn yelled back at him.
“Because it’s the only thing I can do that I have complete power over.” He calmly said. Because I am the only one who gets to decide what happens in this room and what happens to you; not you, not my mother, and not anyone else out there.
“And most importantly, because I have this physical ache, a thirst that I have been dying to quench from the moment I saw you and thanks to your mother, I have the licence to drink from you for as long as I like. So let’s take whatever happens in this room tonight as a sent to me by my dearly departed sister Nora…and let’s try to enjoy ourselves as much as possible.”
Kelvin proceeded to grab her arms and forced them apart to reveal her ample bosom which was well packaged and displayed in a black bra.
He moved her towards him so that she was now resting against him while he unfastened her bra behind.
Evelyn tried to put her arms back to cover her breasts but to no avail. She was no match for Kelvin’s determined hands. He quickly yanked the bra from off of her and threw it on the floor, completely exposing her upper body.
“You have the best pair I have ever seen on any woman,” he was hungrily starring at her whilst holding her hands in check.
Kelvin had successfully managed to damage whatever little pride she had been functioning on from the time her mother had out-rightly rejected her.
Two thick drops of tears fell from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.
Evelyn felt her life slowly slip away from her.
“Your trousers, take off your pants as well,” Kelvin said. “Unless you want me to help with those too.”
Evelyn felt every urge to wipe the smirk off his face but instead, she hang her head down and tasted the flavours of her salty tears.
Is this all I will amount to in this lifetime? She cried as she brought her shaking hands to her pair of trousers and undid the button while he watched her a short distance away.
Evelyn cried even harder as she felt the pair of trousers slid all the way to the floor.
“The pant too,” Kelvin instructed.
Before she knew it, she was standing completely naked in front of him while he slowly took in every inch of her.
“On the bed,” he gave her his back as he walked to position himself closer to the bed. He stood to the side with his arms crossed over his chest. “Come and lie down here,” he said.
“Do you think that degrading me like me will give you the satisfaction that you are looking for?” She said from where she was standing. “This only proves what a coward you are,” she fired on. “You have been controlled by a woman all your life and you are still letting a woman control you right now.”
He scoffed. “Says the woman standing completely naked in front of me.”
“You might have me like this but you will always remember that you never had me willingly. What sort of man doesn’t even have the balls to get a woman to willingly take off her clothes for him? You are the worst kind of coward scum.”
Kelvin was reeling in anger. He went at her, grabbed her by the hand and dragged her to the bed.
He threw her down on the bed and positioned himself on top of her.
Instead of begging him like she had been doing before, Evelyn was laughing.
That caught him by surprise.
She was mocking him. Kelvin could see it in her eyes.
“You might have my body tonight but you will never have my soul. I will never come to you willingly. Keep that in your mind as you thrust your cowardly body on top of me.”
“Shut up!” Kelvin yelled and landed his mouth hard on hers but he could still hear her laughing at him.
“You think that you are punishing me for Beatrice’s sins, well you are not.” Evelyn said when Kelvin had paused to glare at her.
“She is still winning,” Evelyn continued. “She has successfully managed to kill another Kangwa; turned a perfect gentleman into a monster. Go ahead; put the crown on her head and let her control you just like your mother has done all these years.”
Kelvin raised his hand into a fist and just when she thought he was going to land a hard one on her face, he hit the space right next to where her head was lying and he jumped off from her.
He was breathing hard and heavy, and sweating profusely.
Evelyn quickly went for the white sheets and covered herself while Kelvin appeared to be struggling with calming himself down.
He was hunched over, his back to her and his hands resting on his knees, deeply breathing in and out.
Evelyn took this opportunity to search for the keys, but they were nowhere in sight; not even his phone.
She looked over at him and saw something bulging slightly from his pockets.
What time did he put them in their? She wondered.
She was contemplating hitting him from behind when Kelvin raised his back and stood up straight very so suddenly. He turned around and went at her in a fit of furry. He grabbed her on both sides of her arms as she was wrapped in a sheet and he brought her to stand down on the floor in front of him.
“Do you think that I can’t make you fall for me on your own?” He roared at her.
“Let me go, you are hurting me,” Evelyn protested.
Kelvin lessened the pressure of his grip…but he did not let go of her.
“I am only going easy on you today because I am too upset to think rationally. I might do something to you that I might regret later.”
“I think that boat has already sailed,” Evelyn retorted.
“Don’t play smart with me,” he thundered down on her. “You might have saved yourself tonight but nothing has changed. You are still going to be my mistress. I will be marrying your step-sister in the next couple of weeks and you will be your step-sister’s concubine. Tell me, do you still feel like a winner?”
His face was so close to hers she could see the hairs in his nose if she chose to. But Evelyn had her eyes shut as she desperately tried to look away from him.
Unfortunately for her, Kelvin had one of his hands holding the back of her head which was ensuring that she stayed locked in position.
The next thing she knew, he pushed her back and she fell on her back on the bed.
“Put some clothes on. I will bring your phone so you can call your housemate and tell her you won’t be coming home tonight.”
He had already turned his back to her and was heading towards the door.
“I have never slept out from the time we started living together.” Evelyn shouted. “Do you think she will believe me if I tell her that I am sleeping out all of a sudden?”
Kelvin turned to face her. “She will believe you,” he said in a very tight and controlled voice. “Because you will make it so that she believes every word.”
“You want me to spend the night here?” Evelyn was about ready to start crying all over again. She thought her nightmare was almost coming to an end.
“My birthday isn’t over yet,” Kelvin said and turned to leave, locking the door behind him.
Alone in his room, Kelvin ripped his shirt off and threw it on the ground. He quickly got out of his pants and went straight into the shower, allowing the water to fall on him with his head bowed and his hand touching the wall. He remained like that for close to ten minutes, not lifting a figure to wash himself.
An hour later, he appeared before Evelyn in a fresh change of clothes; a white t-shirt and grey skinny jeans.
Noticing the tray of food in his hands, Evelyn starred at him in disbelief. “Are you kidding me?” She asked.
She had put her pair of trousers back on but she still had her upper body covered with a bed sheet.
Kelvin laid down the tray containing a plate of macaroni and cheese and some orange juice. Her phone was also there.
Evelyn tried to grab her phone from there but Kelvin was too quick for her. He removed the white shirt resting on his shoulders and threw it at her.
“At least finish dressing.” He told her.
Evelyn examined his shirt with a disgusted look on her face.
“You covered yourself well in my beddings. Which of the two do you think has witnessed more horrors than the other; the bedsheets or the shirt?”
He seemed to have made the decision easy for her. She turned around and put the shirt on, quickly dropping the bed sheet to the floor.
“You disgust me,” she said when she turned to look at him.
Kelvin gave her a mischievous smile. “Keep hating, I’ll have you know, there’s a thin line between love and hate. I am actually quite a nice guy when I am not exerting revenge on anyone.”
“I thought you said this was not revenge?”
“I lied.” He nonchalantly responded. “It’s both, it’s everything. Do you think you would be in this room if you were not Beatrice’s daughter? Anyway, you need to call your friend before she calls the police. She has already left you countless messages and missed calls.”
“Give me the phone.” She reached out her hand.
Kelvin laughed, “Do you think am stupid?” he asked her. “I will dial her number, put it on speaker and then hold it for you while you talk. And just in case you think about doing something stupid, think about what could have possibly happened during the time you had lost consciousness. In a world of technology and social media…there are countless possibilities.”
Evelyn appeared to be at a loss for words. She simply gaped at him in utter disbelief.
“Here,” Kelvin held out the phone to her. “Move closer,” he instructed her. “I know you have a knack for acting before thinking…this is not going to be one of those times.” He warned her.
There was terror written all over Evelyn’s face as she waited for Thando to pick up the call, thinking hard about what she was going to say to her.
Kelvin gestured for her to smile and she did as instructed.
“Eva, where the hell are you? Are you okay?” Thando went off at her the moment she answered the call.
Evelyn feigned a laugh. “Calm down Thando. I am okay. I am sorry I missed your calls. My battery had died and I only managed to charge it now.”
“Where the hell are you?”
“I am at a friend’s house in Makeni.”
Evelyn winced in pain at Thando’s assault of her eardrums.
“Yes, it’s someone I had not seen in a long time. We bumped into each other at the bus stop while I was waiting for a bus and she we just decided to hang out.”
“But which friend is this one? I thought I knew all of your friends Eva? Are you keeping secrets from me?” Evelyn could hear the laugh in her voice. Her friend’s mind had already wondered off.
Well at least she seemed to be buying her story…or whatever version was cooking up in her imaginative mind.
“It’s nothing like whatever you are thinking.” Evelyn told her friend.
“Okay, I won’t hound you tonight,” Thando relented. “Just tell whatever guy you are with that I don’t approve of his methods. He should first reach home before he can think about getting his hands on you.”
“It’s nothing like that Tha…” Evelyn then paused to look at whatever Kelvin was gesturing for her to do. “I was only calling to let you know that I am safe. I will see you tomorrow, okay?”
“You better call me in the morning before I die from curiosity. Have fun my darling!”
“Good night.” And Kelvin ended the call.
“That wasn’t so difficult now was it? I think am starting to like your friend.”
“Well she hates you, if you must know. She thinks you are up to no good and guess what, she was right.”
“Eat your food before it gets cold.” He turned to leave.
“Why are you keeping me here if you won’t do anything to me?”
Kelvin stopped. “Who said I wasn’t going to do anything?”
“I understand why you hate me,” she said. “I know that I am the physical manifestation of everything that went wrong with your sister, with your father…and with your mother. But you know what; I don’t think it’s me you are mad at.”
Kelvin finally turned to look at her. “Enlighten me,” he said. “Who do you think I am mad at?”
“Beatrice my mother, your mother, and yourself.”
Kelvin appeared amused by her hypothesis. “Like I said, enlighten me.” He said, and moved to lean his back against the door.
“You are upset at Beatrice because of obvious reasons,” Evelyn started. “And you are upset at your mother because she changed after your father and sister’s death. You said it yourself, you became nothing but a tool for her to use. You are mad at yourself because you feel like you let your sister down.
“The only reason I am in this room is because I am the easiest target for you to vent on. You can get to Beatrice whenever you want because your mother has the final say on everything. You can’t rebel against your mother because she is the only family you have left and there is a part of you that wants to revenge as much as much as she does…and so, you just let her take charge.
“And as for yourself, let’s face it; you would have killed yourself a long time ago if you had the balls to do it. You brought me here for the simple reason that you need a scapegoat for your feelings of failure.”
“For someone with a two digit IQ, you seem to have quite a lot say.” Kelvin said.
“I mean not be book intelligent but I am street smart,” she fired back. “And you know I am right.”
“No you are not,” Kelvin said. Even he didn’t look like he was convinced by his response.
“Eat your food and go to bed,” he instructed, looking about ready to leave the room.
“What if I made you a proposal?” Evelyn said. “Would you be willing to think about it?”
“What sort of proposal?” He asked. “Nothing you say will change the fact that you are already mine.”
Evelyn looked defeated, from head to toe. She dropped down to the floor and sobbed the moment she was alone in the room.
Right outside the door, Kelvin listened to her sobbing with his hand clutched over his heart. He blinked away the tears, cleared his throat and walked upstairs to his study.
Throwing himself down into his chair behind his desk, Kelvin’s phone rang.
It was Moola.
He muted the call and then turned off his phone, a blank expression on his face as he sat back and watched the hands of time on the wall clock ahead tick-tock away.