Chapter – 1 Sour Situations
Helena POV :
“Don’t worry dad, even if I am in my worst possible state I would never come back to you for help because, I quite well know how you and mom are going to treat me, not forgetting about Steve and Diana. I would better die committing a suicide than making myself being a maid in your house.”
“Helena, you better behave yourself and not get the frustrations out of your own misery be thrown at us’’
“Naah. This is not the frustration out of my own misery, this is what I had felt all through my life till date, right when I had started understanding things. “I am not your son” ! dad and that’s what makes me different in yours and mom’s eyes and lives. Everything I do is judged and you both wanted every part of my life under your control. You did achieve that dad and today, I am breaking the chains that you have tied around me free. I am leaving Dad, for myself, for my own good.’’
‘’if that’s what you decided, you better take nothing with you from this house that’s been bought by me.’’
I dropped the bag I was holding, placed mobile on the tea-table, opened the other box that stood next to the table and pulled out a file that contained certificates. I took a small wallet from handbag and placed the handbag next to the mobile. Turning around to my dad who was gritting his teeth in anger, I made a quick glance at my mom who looked appalled and shocked while my brother Steve stood blank. Diana my sister-in-law was with her parents and had no idea what was happening here.
“This file has all my certificates, which I presume is because of my hard work and let me remind you dad, you never paid any fees because my whole education was on scholarship. Passport and Identity card, because it is by the government… not that you paid. The clothes and sneakers I have put on has been bought by me with my part-time job. So I can leave putting on these. The purse which I bought myself has my card and the amount in the account is also the result of my part-time job. Practically and literally, I am not taking away anything with me that you bought. ‘’
A lone tear escaped my eye which I quickly wiped off and turned to leave from the house I grew up since past 20 years. I am leaving with nothing except confidence and fear. Confidence that I can fight this world on my own, fear that I might end up being lonely forever. My steps were quick but aimless. I had lot to figure out because I didn’t make a plan – B for this action of my life. As soon as I passed the gates of the white villa I turned back to take a final look at it.
“Viceroys Villa’’ a golden name plate shone on the wall next to the gate. Matthew Viceroy, currently 56 years old, father of Steve Viceroy and Helena Viceroy-that’s me was a successful Investment banker and made quite a fortune during his work days. Rose Viceroy currently 52 years old is a dutiful wife to Matthew Viceroy and is the boss of the house. While Matthew was managing the big-wigs investments, Rose was managing the house and other concerning things. They are perfect couple and that is the truth. But coming to being parents-no they were and are not perfect parents. They are biased and orthodox , who had given priority and importance to their son Steve Viceroy and their daughter is just another child who was born probably because they hadn’t used protection. Matthew and Rose had expectations and hopes only from Steven and whatever Steven demanded was offered without a word. Steven is a pampered person even till date and he is not bad with me but to say he was not good too. As I was just another child to my parents, I was just another person living in their house for Steve. The bond between a brother and sister never existed between us. Well how could it exist, when the ones who had to make Steve understand and establish the bond never cared. Steve married the girl of his choice - Diana Viceroy previously known as Diana Newman. Together they had a lovely little girl Melody who is now 5 years.
Steve is 7 years older than me and got married when he was 21 to Diana. An year after their marriage Diana gave birth to Melody and they were happy with how their life was going. He took over Matthews’s business and Matthew and Rose were more than happy to give him their business. To talk about Diana it’s a story for other day.
Taking a deep sigh I took turn and walked towards the night college where I am supposed to give classes to the students who work during the day. I am paid well because I know my job pretty good. I will not call myself as an extremely talented girl, but I am not poor at my studies. I had recently completed masters in Economics Mathematics, Computers and am a gold medallist in all the fields. As much as I hated to think, I want to become as successful as my father except that if one day I get married and have children, I would not treat them different. I want to be known as the best in whatever field I get into. I want to be known as someone who made it to top and wanted to get fame but all through hard work. Right when I realised my fate, state and situation in home, I determined to get graduated from college with bachelors in Economics, Mathematics and computers. I started doing many part time jobs including being a waitress to baby sitter to being a guide and finally as a tutor in night college - one thing I did all these years was to save money. May be I knew one day when things would go out of control, I can still find a roof over my head, food to keep me alive, buy clothes to keep my modesty intact.
“Hey Hele, you are early today’’ Pearl Manor screamed hopping out of her car.
Pearl Manor height 5’6”, blond hair, lightly tanned skin, green eyes is one of the pretty girls you would find in the town of Ghent, Belgium. She is of the same age as me. We both have been friends since the 5th grade. She knows everything about me. We both went to same college, university and did the same courses. Practically we were inseparable to the extent that we worked in the same place during the part-time jobs. We only left each other when we were in our respective homes during nights.
“yeah’’ I replied not wanting to show any sign of emotions that ran within me due to what has happened sometime before.
“you okay?’’ Pearl came to me, her voice full of concern.
“ohh come-on Hele, we have been friends since what fifth grade?! and don’t try to lie on my face when I can read you . Spill out’’
That’s when tears burst out of my eyes as if the dam broke taking the whole village into water. Pearl is the only one who knows the real me and she knows I never cry, not in most difficult situations too. She has seen me becoming strong with every pain I was given. She always asked me to vent out my emotions and cry for once to let myself free, but I had a belief that I would fall weak if I cry and I cannot fall weak. I knew that my thinking is wrong but that’s how I wanted to put up myself against any situation.
“Hele you are worrying me. Just tell me what happened’’ Pearl spoke once my outburst stopped
I looked at Pearl and holding her hand walked to the nearby bench in the garden surrounding the night college.
“Now out with it’’ Pearl almost yelled
“I left Viceroy Villa’’
‘’what do you mean you left Viceroy Villa?’’
“They want to me get married to one of Dad’s friends son. Apparently dad’s friend Benny Dartmond brought a proposition that if I get married to his son, then he would be investing in Steve’s business. You know how much Dad and Mom worry about Steve. So they both agreed to his friend’s proposition and tomorrow they planned for a party to make it official. I know this friend of dad and I know how control freak of family theirs is. His son Ken Dartmond is an arrogant ass and not to forget a player by every means. He has every bad habit that is by far known in the world, alcohol, drugs, betting’s, whoring around and what not. I also know that the exact reason for this proposition is that , they wanted this marriage to wipe away the bad image Ken is having at this moment, so that the business Benny Dartmond handles becomes stable’’ I took a deep sigh
Pearl sat silent as if waiting to continue
‘’Today morning mom barged into my room asking me to get ready by 4 in the afternoon as we were to go for shopping to buy a dress. I was startled because, in my 20 years of life there was not a day I remembered going out with my family to a dinner let alone for shopping. It was then I asked what the dress was for. My mom very coolly broke the news about the proposition and it was that moment, I lost every string of control I had tied tight within me.’’
Pearl still didn’t say a word
“I argued with them for the first time. I denied them for the first time. And guess what they think is, I am doing this because of my frustration of not being something. They feel I am in my own misery. So I said what I thought would never ever say. I said that I will be leaving their home. They did get shocked but anger overtook them and my dad asked me to leave without taking anything they bought. So here I am with my certificates and a small purse with my card and some cash that I have bought and earned with my part-time jobs”
‘’Good. Good you lost control, good you came out of that hell at last. I am happy you finally did that, else I would have done and said the things to them on behalf of you. Listen Hele, you can’t move from one hell to other by marrying that Ken or Ben whoever and by denying your parents you made it easy for them, me and yourself too ’’
‘’It wasn’t easy Pearl. But this time I couldn’t stop myself. I know I am putting myself into a risk. For the first time I don’t have Plan B about my life. I have no permanent job except for this part-time job. I have no place to live, I have no place to go.’’
“You really think you should worry about it?’’
“Off-course yes, you know I am scared of staying in bread and breakfast or motels or other lodgings, so where do you think I would sleep tonight?’’
‘’really Hele, You can’t see me before you or you don’t consider me as your best friend anymore’’ pearl moved her eye brows up and down.
“Pearl, I..I can’t ‘’
‘’Shut up and get to the class now. After the tuitions we are going to my student room and then we will see what to do further’’.
“Are you sure Pearl. You know you need not bring any trouble on yourself for me. I will try to stay somewhere even if I have to fight my fears.’’
’’For God Sake Hele, I am your best friend. And if I want anything for you, I want you to live FOR ONCE WITHOUT PLAN – B and take life as it comes. As a first step, come and stay in my student room this night and experience the life of being independent”