Hansen stepped hard on the gas pedal as he sped back to the hospital. It was Mary. Of course, why had he not thought of it before? She disliked Sydney. She was never in support of their wedding. She was the reason Sydney runaway. No matter how much Sydney had denied it when he asked if it was Mary’s fault, he felt it in his gut that it was she. Now, he understood why she had not wanted him to go look for Sydney in the first place. It was because she was afraid Sydney would mention her name.
Day was breaking when he swerved into the compound of the hospital. The media was still around and they clicked pictures when he stepped out of the car. Still they asked questions and he ignored them. There was a lot on his mind. He needed answers and he was going to get them.
He took the elevator to Anderson’s floor and burst into his room. His brother was still asleep and Mary too was passed out in the chair. A muscle twitched in his jaw as he glared at her. No matter how much he loved her, he now loathed her for messing with his brother’s wedding.
As if Mary knew someone was watching her, she opened her eyes. “Hansen,” she gasped and rose to her feet. “You are back.” She smiled at him.
“Yes, I am back.” He replied coldly.
Mary’s heart skipped a beat as she watched him. Oh no, was he angry? “Ha… Hansen.” She stuttered, while reaching for his hand. When he took a step back, her suspicions were confirmed. He was upset.
“Mary,” he breathed out her name and she swallowed hard. She was trembling inside, as she could not shake off the feeling that Sydney told him. That bitch told him!
“Hansen,” tears rushed into her eyes. “Please…”
He took her hand and led her out of the room. They needed to talk. However, he did not want it to be in Anderson’s room because he did not want to wake him, as he knew there would be a lot of screaming. Together, they rode the elevator and then went to his car. Hansen drove out of the hospital before speaking. “Will you tell me, or do you want me to ask first.”
Mary sat fiddling with her thumbs. Usually, she was not nervous when confronting someone, but when it comes to her son, it was different. Especially, now that the secret she had kept for over twenty years was about to come out.
“I am not your son!” Hansen yelled, cutting her off.
Mary flinched. She had never seen him so angry. Her hands started to tremble as she thought. Sydney told him, that is why he was upset. He did not want to accept it. Tears slipped out of her eyes and rolled down her face. “Please listen to me.” She gasped.
“I am listening.” He gripped the steering wheel, glancing back at her for a split second and then going back to focus on the road. Now he was sure beyond doubt that she would confess to being the cause of the broken wedding. The tears, she was shedding was the proof of it.
“What did she say?” Mary wanted to know exactly what Sydney told him, so she would know how to explain herself.
“She told me everything.” His words made her gasp.
Glancing at him, she bit her lip. She was scared. He knew the truth and the worse was that he did not hear it from her. What does he think of her now? He must really hate her. There was no doubt he was mad. He was not even looking at her.
“I did everything for you. It was all for you. I had to secure your future. I did what I did so you would live comfortably.”
“For me?” Hansen moved his gaze to her, confused. He did not know what she was saying. “You did everything for me?” He asked, trying to figure out how, she ruining the wedding was all for him. Perhaps did she think he was in love with Sydney?
“There is a will that states the biological son of Hannah would have a greater share of the company. Her son would be the heir, but I wanted my son to be the heir. I wanted you to be the heir because I know they will leave nothing for you.”
“Mary…” Hansen gasped, as he did not understand a thing of what she was saying. Who was Hannah? What will was she talking about? Which son would be the heir? Moreover, why was she mixing him in all of it? “What are you talking about?”
“The truth of why I switched you with another woman’s baby and lied that you were adopted.”
Hansen’s leg slipped off the brakes in shock. His head snapped in her direction and found her already looking at him. Many emotions flashed through her eyes and he made out regret, fear and guilt among others. He felt his heart beating against his chest with an intensity he had never felt before.
“I… I am your son?” He stuttered.
Mary nodded, while throwing her hand over her mouth. At that moment, she knew it was time to come clean and tell him everything. And she was going to start from the beginning.
MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS AGO
Jenny and her childhood friend, Adeline, had just graduated from high school. While Adeline thought of college and was dreaming of becoming a midwife, Jenny, unfortunately was not. She had her own plans for the future… a future, which she dreams to be filled with luxury. She dreams of having all the money in the world, driving fast cars and living in mansions. She has had that dream ever since she was a little girl living in her parent’s small house. Her father, who was a miner, made her understand that money was everything in this world… and that with money comes power… and with power comes the ability to do anything one desired. That was what she was after …that power, which comes with having a lot of money. She did not care what she would do to get it. She was ready to do anything, even if it meant marrying a fat ugly old man, because daddy always said, “Never give up on your dreams.”
Adeline had always known her friend was ambitious, however she did not know she was obsessed with that ambition. She also knew Jenny loved money and material things, but this plan of hers to quit school and get rich without working, was beyond crazy. She tried to talk her out of it, but she did not listen. Therefore as a good friend, she wished her all the best in her endeavors and warned her not to do anything that will bring her trouble.
A week later, Jenny traveled to Italy. As the hottest place of tourism, she was sure to find that man who will be her ticket to a luxurious life. The first few years she spent in Italy, she worked as an escort. During that time, she met rich men -both young and old- and even got involved with a couple of them. However, all of them were not willing to commit to her, because most of them were either married or in some kind of relationship with other women. That was when she realized the flaw in her plan. Most of the businessmen who came to Italy, only came for business and fun and nothing else.
Just when she was about to give up on Italy, she met Ken Niles, the CEO of Niles Corporate on her last escort job. Jenny fell head over heels in love, when she saw the man. He was tall, well built, had sharp blue eyes and a well-defined jawline that could cut, glass. She was drooling over him and did not want the night to end. Her arm was around him all night long. Her heart skipped beats when he looked at her. Her knees turned to jelly when he smile, whether at her or someone else. Her eyes never left him for a second and when he dropped her off at her place, she stole a kiss from him.
Jenny had hoped that the kiss would tell him how she felt and he would want to come up to her room with her, but he did not. Instead, he gave her his number, which was a good thing because she could call him. After that night, they saw each other more often. She fell in love with him every single day and did not want it to ever end.
Unfortunately, his two months business trip soon ended and on the night of his departure, she confessed her love to him, hoping that he would do same, so they will leave together. However, he confessed that he had a fiancée who he loved a lot and that he made a mistake getting involved with her.
Jenny was crushed and with a broken heart, went back home. Adeline was ready to console her friend. For days, they sulked on ice cream and pizza. Jenny fell sick afterwards and after visiting a doctor, she was informed that she was pregnant. She had never been so excited in her life. Just when she thought she had lost him, a piece of him was suddenly growing inside her. Finally, she had a reason to go and look for him.
Finding the CEO of a big company like Niles Corporate was not a difficult task. She was standing in his office within a week and telling him the great news. She had imagined he would be excited to hear the news, but he was furious, which hurt her.
Jenny demanded that he take responsibility for the child and he agreed to do it, but in secret. That was when she realized that this was her chance to make her lifelong dream of living in luxury come true. If he could not give her his heart, then he would give her money. After all, she was not going to be alone anymore. She was bringing a child into the world and had to secure its future. And there was no way in hell was she going to allow her child live a hard life of poverty like she did.
Ken bought her a house, car and a shop as she demanded, but she wanted more. After all, he was the CEO of a multi-million company so he could do better than that. She demanded his attention, but he was not willing to give it to her. It hurt her, but she did not let it bother her too much, because she was giving him a son… a son, which she wants to be the heir to his father’s company.
Unfortunately, things became complicated when Adeline came home from work one day and informed her that Mr. CEO came to the hospital with a woman who was pregnant. Jenny had Adeline investigate on the matter. It turned out that this woman was his fiancée, and she was expecting a child for him. To make matters worse, they were almost a par with each other in their pregnancies. Jenny was furious! With his fiancée also pregnant, there was no way her child could be the heir.
She then decided to investigate on Ken’s fiancée that was when she found out that her name was Hannah Jude. She was the heiress of her father’s multi-million business company, which she signed off to her fiancé Ken to manage on her behalf. Apparently, she was not interested in business but loved painting instead. Although her fiancé run the company, it belongs to her. Moreover, she wrote a will, which states that her first child would inherit her company.
Jenny was devastated when she learnt this. All this while, she had thought Ken owned the company, but instead, he was managing it for his damn fiancée. Now how was her son going to be the heir? She did not know what to do, but to talk to the woman. If only someone had told her it was a bad idea, she would not have gone looking for her at her house. The two, heavily pregnant women had gotten into an argument that triggered their labor. Luckily, a servant was home to call an ambulance, which rushed them to a hospital. Fortunately, for Jenny, it was the same hospital her best friend, Adeline, worked as a midwife. Therefore, she was glad to have her by her side, assisting her in birthing her child. As soon as her baby was in her arms, she pulled Adeline closer and whispered into her ear.
“Ken’s fiancée is in the next room. Please help me switch my son with hers.”
Adeline had thought her friend was kidding, but the look in her eyes told her otherwise. She could not fathom why a mother would want to exchange her child with an unknown woman’s baby. She asked questions, she demanded an explanation and most importantly, she refused to do it as it was against her work ethics. However, Jenny threaten and pleaded with her, only agreeing to tell her, her reason for wanting to give her son away after she switched the babies.
Jenny had no idea how Adeline did it, but after she passed, out from exhaustion and woke up hours later, she found another boy in her crib. At that moment, she knew her son was gone. She cried to the fact that she would not see him ever again, but knowing he was going to the heir to a multi-million dollar business company, gave her some comfort. Later on, Adeline came to inform her that Hannah died during her childbirth, from complications.
Jenny gave Ken a few weeks to mourn the loss of his fiancée, and then went looking for him at Niles Corporate with the baby she named Anderson. However, he refused to meet them. Jenny then threatened to tell the whole world about their child if he did not acknowledge her and her son. Afraid of ruining the image of his company, he decided to fulfill only one wish of hers. Then, Jenny thought of the best idea ever… to seal her fate and her child’s and that was marriage.
A month later, they got married and she moved into his mansion. Not wanting to get the media suspicious over why his new bride had a child, they decided to keep Anderson under the radar and announced that Hansen was adopted. Everyone bought it, as they were never aware that Hannah was pregnant in the first place.
They managed to keep Anderson a secret until his suborn ways, got them caught. The media did not forget to bash Ken for having an affair when he saw still engaged and having a child with his mistress. Moreover, they shamed him for marrying her just weeks after his fiancée died. As time went on, the scandal eventually died and they paid huge sums of money to have it scrapped off the internet.
As the years rolled by, Jenny watched her son grow into a fine, young man and she could not have been happier. Although, it hurt her sometimes because she could not publicly declare that he was her son, the fact that he would soon inherit all of Hannah’s properties made her feel at ease. Because, her wish for her son to live a life filled with luxuries would be achieved.
Hanson had tears rolling down his cheeks, non-stop at the end of her confession. He felt a big lump inside his throat as he cried. It was so big that he could not swallow it no matter how hard he tried. His palm flew to his mouth as he suppressed a wail that threatened to burst through his larynx. His heart pumped painfully and rapidly, making him gasp to catch his breath.
All of a sudden, it all came back to him. He recalled all those times Mary had treated him like her own child. When he was sick, she stayed up all night taking care of him. When he cried, she hugged him and told him everything would be fine. When he wanted something, she always gave it to him. All this time, he had thought she did all these because she cared. Yes, she did care because she was his mother! How could she do this? How could she give up her own son all for some inheritance? How could she make him think that he was adopted? All this while he thought his mother abandoned him in an orphanage, when in actually fact… she really did abandon him. He could not believe it.
Hansen wanted to look at her, but he was too ashamed to do it. He suddenly remembered Anderson and then became consumed in guilt. His poor brother. He could not even begin to think about what Anderson would feel if he learns the truth. His mother had ruined his life totally. She has mistreated the poor boy since childhood. He remembers all the time Mary hit him when he made a mistake. He remembers all the time she was away when he needed her. He painfully recalls all those nights that she sent him to bed on an empty stomach when he gets into trouble. She was never there for him and even when she was, she made him miserable. Now he understood why she disliked him… more like hated him.
“Hansen…” Mary’s broken voice called to him, but he refused to look at her.
He was disappointed in her. All the times he imagined what his mother would look like, not once had he thought that she would have hazel eyes and red hair. He imagined an angel with grey eyes and brown hair, but not a devil. What Mary did was a crime against humanity and he did not think he could ever forgive her.
“Hansen…” Her call came back louder this time, filled with panic and breaking him from his trance.
He had been so lost in his thoughts that, he forgot he was driving. However, he soon recalled that he was on the road when a loud honk filled his ears. Looking in front of him, he saw that he was driving past a traffic light whose red light was on. The road ahead of him was clear, but the honk was still so loud. Confused as to where the continuous sound was coming from, he glanced at his side of the window and that was when he saw a long truck coming head-on towards him.
Time seemed to have slowed down as he stared in shock. The truck coming towards them was not slowing down. Its bright lights were blinding him and the honk filled his mind, making him forget all reason. The closer it got, the faster he slipped away from reality. The last thing he remembered was glass shattering, metal bending and then a piercing scream calling out his name.