Chapter - 2
"Redemption can be found in hell itself if that’s where you happen to be." - TOM PETTY
Alicia applied her mother’s signature red lipstick and pouted her lips in the mirror, imitating her mother. The new black cut-out crop top exposed her midrib and the navy blue jean shorts accentuated her long legs.
Her lips curled up into a satisfied grin when her eyes landed on the black ankle boots with a four-inch heel. When Alana found her in her closet, playing dress up, imitating her, she’d taken her shopping instead of scolding her.
Alana praised her daughter saying that she took after her and was so proud of her which made Alicia happy. Alicia was surprised to see fashion brands similar to her mother’s come in her size and couldn’t wait to try them out. The summer makeover had incredibly increased her popularity in school and she couldn’t be happier.
There was a bounce in her steps as she descended the stairs and her insides lit up when she noticed Seemus in the living room. This mansion belonged to her grandfather and after his death, Seemus had moved out. Alicia never understood the real reason and she thought it had to do something with Seemus not being her biological father.
Seemus’ eyes almost bulged out of its sockets when he noticed his ten-year-old daughter’s new attire. Though she wasn’t his, he’d grown to care for her as his own and stayed away only because Alana wouldn’t let him any closer.
“Alicia, what are you wearing?” He asked as he took note of the small cuts on the side of the top, revealing her skin. She looked older than her real age and fury pumped through his veins.
“Isn’t this good? Mom bought it for my birthday!” Alicia gushed.
Seemus exhaled, trying to reign in his anger. “Alicia, dear, you shouldn’t be wearing this type of clothes,” he tried to explain. “You are just a child.”
“I am ten-years-old!”
“It is still young,” Seemus retorted. “Here, I’ve got you a new dress,” he said, handing her the clothing bag. “I’ve also got you some books,” he added happily. There was no point in talking to the little girl. In truth, it should be her mother he had to have a word with.
Alicia opened the bag and eyed the sleeveless chiffon summer dress with distaste. The blue dress had a few embroidered butterflies on its straps and at the hem that would end just below her knees. There was nothing sexy about that dress. She would look just like any normal kid in the school.
“Thanks,” she muttered before climbing the stairs to her room. There was no way she would be wearing that to school or anywhere for that matter. She’d be a laughing stock at school if she changed her attire. Every day her friends and the other kids looked forward to her new outfits and Alana had stocked it with three-hundred-sixty-five, so she wouldn’t have to repeat.
“Sign this!” Alana carelessly tossed the checkbook on the table, distracting Seemus who stood watching Alicia’s retreating back.
“Alana, what are you doing to our daughter?” He hissed and turned to face his wife, who stood there in her usual semi-dressed attire with a smug look on her face.
“It’s my daughter! It’s quite funny when you think her as your daughter when you know she isn’t even yours. We never fucked, Seemus,” Alana spat, venom worse than that of a viper, dripped in her voice. “Also, what I do with my daughter is none of your concern.”
Seemus sighed in defeat. “Alana, she is just a child. A ten-year-old shouldn’t be wearing that,” he tried to reason with his self-centered wife.
“She is wearing what she wants to wear. I will warn you one more time, Seemus. She is not yours and what we do is not your concern. Now, sign the check and get the fuck out of my house! I don’t want you around my daughter.”
Seemus clenched his fists, contemplating his options. What hold did he have over Alicia? She wasn’t his biological daughter and Alana wouldn’t let him adopt her. What choice did he have?
He picked up the checkbook wordlessly and signed two slips, this time writing a less amount and dated it one check per month. If he couldn’t control her, he would have no choice but to limit her finances. Though he didn’t want to do it, he just couldn’t watch as she ruined the lives of both herself and her daughter.
He had married the already pregnant Alana because of her father’s pressure and to escape the debt his family owed the McKenna’s. He never thought that it would turn out this way and Mr. McKenna had left everything in his name.
Though he didn’t take a penny from his inheritance and still led a simple life as a school teacher, none of the McKenna Enterprises checks or documents were valid without his signature. Every month Alana had to meet him to withdraw money from the accounts.
Mr. McKenna had legally bound him from transferring his inheritance to Alana or Alicia. He could only transfer them to a child born to Alicia or her husband or to anyone Seemus saw fit. It was as if the old man could already tell what would happen in the future.
Seemus had limited the usage of her cards. Still, he didn’t understand how she was getting enough cash flow to maintain a lavish lifestyle. He already knew the answer to that question and didn’t want to mull over it.
He watched in satisfaction as Alana’s face contorted with anger and walked away with a gnawing worry in his gut about Alicia’s life.