This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
I've decided to keep you to chronicle the growth of the boys & just in case something happens to me they'll have my words, my feelings to remind them of my imperfections, my love for them and my desires for them.
I don't envision hot affairs with the boys next door nor do I see my husband having an affair. I pray I will nip denial in the bud if that time ever comes and handle my business. So my loves, always know that you hold my heart.
Your father stole it long before we thought we could ever have two delightful princes in our lives and you've held my heart since I laid eyes on you. Your father is a good man and great father. I wouldn't wish anyone else for you, ever. There are so many beautiful, wealthy men who would've taken you as their own as well but as you hold my heart so you hold his.
As you grow we may all lose sight of that. He's always right. Listen to him.
It's okay to get mad. It's not okay to take it out on each other that goes for all three of you. Don't speak when you're angry, I know you'll lie.
I can see you growing into beautiful men both inside and out. Just like your daddy.
Michael, your humour and ability to call out your daddy are indispensable. Stay true to yourself my love.
Jeffrey, my sweet, dependable child; your common sense is uncommon and your thoughtfulness almost breaks my heart. Don't change to make others happy.
Daddy, father of my two precious gifts, I hope I bring sunlight into your life. Sometimes I worry that you're so busy you would forget I am if you didn't come home to us every night. You have a heart of gold covered in camouflage. I still see glimpses of the sweet bartender I fell in love with decades ago and seeing you smile makes everything we've worked hard to put in place worth it. Your happiness and sanity are important to us all. I hope you remember to spend weekends at home like we'd agreed before we had the boys.
Troy stopped reading his wife's diary and swallowed hard. She knew. Why hadn't she told him she was sick before?
Had she said something he'd brushed off? He ran a hand over his forehead and rested it on the back of his head. Shit, he thought, maybe she had. Looking at the time he swore again. The boys had under half an hour to get to school and he hadn't sorted out their sandwiches, juice- Damn it, Evelyn had always made it seem like a piece of cake.
Closing the diary and noting that there were many mini-bookmarks with the boys' initials he blinked back moisture that threatened to spill over his lower eyelids. Clearing his throat and grabbing the jacket of his grey suit, his wallet and car keys he looked over their bedroom. The neatly made bed, the tidiness of the bedroom didn't reflect the turmoil within him.
Hurriedly closing the door and heading down the hall calling the names of the boys as he headed towards the staircase he made a mental note to ask Mike and Jeff what their sports schedules were like for the next few weekends. Trust his wife to call him out on a promise he'd made her long before they'd planned for the boys. Chuckling to himself as he reached the bottom of the stairs, he caught Jeff as he felt his legs buckle with the impact of a small body slamming into his calf.
Holding his son's shoulders and squatting to look into the boy's eyes he grimaced as he realized his jacket was now sweeping the floor from his son's shoulder. Before he could get a word out his youngest son's hazel eyes brimmed with tears and with a voice higher than normal the child spoke, "Daddy, Mike took my sandwich."
Troy frowned, confused, "Your sandwich?" he asked his son.
"Mummy makes our sandwiches every night before we go to sleep then we help her put them together in the morning. My sandwich was in the fridge. Mike's is half done." Jeffrey Matthew's lip trembled as a sign that he was seconds from bawling. In the corner of his eye Troy saw his eldest son observing his every move.
"Okay," Troy looked at his watch. 25 minutes. "We're going to be late if we don't leave now." Looking at his son he knew he'd said the wrong thing as his son's face fell and the tears brimmed over his eyelashes.
"Dad, we're going to be late. May I have pocket money to buy something at school?" Mike asked, frowning at his father. Michael held his hand out as he slung his satchel over his shoulder. "What time are we going to see Mom?"
Sure." Troy pulled out two fifty dollar notes and gave one to each boy. He checked to make sure they were in proper uniform and had their satchels and homework before locking the front door behind them. Looking at his sons he smiled. They were handsome buggers. Michael ran his hand through his short dark brown hair in annoyance as they got into Troy's car. Michael's light green eyes watched as his father slowly got into the car, remotely opened the gate and set course for school.
"Well?" Michael asked.
"Well, what Mike?" Troy asked slightly annoyed at the boy's impertinence. There was no need to get short.
"What time?" Michael's caramel toned hand ran through his curly brown hair again and his fingers drummed impatiently against the leather armrest of the front passenger door.
"After school," Troy searched the road ahead for any sign of a traffic jam as they neared the boys' school.
"Daddy?" Jeff's little voice asked from the back of the luxury sedan.
"Yes, Jeff?" Troy answered looking at his son through the rear view mirror.
"I think Mummy would like flowers and fruit. Can we help you pick before we go to see her?" Hazel eyes opened wide, begging him not to say no.
Troy didn't like the fact that his son thought he'd say no. Jeff was practically begging him. Troy sighed; this was going to be tough. Glancing at Michael he knew that he wasn't going to like what his eldest son was about to say, "Sure Jeffrey Matthew, that sounds good. I'll pick you up straight after school. Do either of you have sports today?" Jeffrey Matthew's face lit up at his father's words.
"That's a relief, I'm sure you don't even what her favourite flowers are anyway." Michael mumbled as the car came to a stop at the school's drop off-zone. "Later Dad, don't be late" Michael opened the car door and unbuckled his seat belt with expert speed and was slamming the door as Jeffrey placed a small caramel toned hand on his father's shoulder.
"It's okay Daddy. We'll help you. She'll love what you'll get her. She'll be even happier if we walk in at the beginning of visiting time. Have a nice day Daddy. Love you." With that the child unbuckled his seatbelt and left the car.
Jeffrey's soft words echoed in Troy's mind as he drove to work. Both his sons didn't believe he was capable of getting his wife a gift she'd like. Annoyed and bemused Troy was determined to pick them up on time and prove them wrong. As he walked into his office he was surprised to find his PA sitting at his desk writing what seemed to be a note addressed to him.
"Unh-hunh, sure. Anything else, Mrs. T?" His PA asked as she nodded to acknowledge her boss' presence.
Troy frowned, was that his mom or his wife, he wondered. If it was his mom, he'd talk to her later. His PA laughed, "Okay. I'll tell him." She put phone down on its normal place on his desk as she turned to face him. "Good morning Mr. T!" Her blue eyes sparkled with mischief as she pushed her dark brown hair behind her ears. Damn, that was probably my mum, he thought as he leaned against the front of his desk. He sat on the edge and raised an eyebrow at his PA.
Discreetly checking out her boss, as he folded his arms across his toned chest and crossed his legs at the ankles revealing his equally toned thighs, Jennifer licked her lips. He was handsome in the moneyed and powerful kind of way. Not that he wasn't good looking, he was. But, the fact that he had power and money did bump his attractiveness up several notches.
Looking at his face she noted that he could use a shave and a haircut. "So that was your misses on the phone. She figured you'd be late because of the boys. She also says you've got an appointment with your barber at lunch and yes you do have the time to squeeze it in. She also says she hopes you saw her text message on how to complete Michael's sandwich. Did you?" Jennifer paused.
Troy looked bewildered as he put his hand in his right pocket, pulled out his phone and saw that he had 3 new text messages. Opening his message inbox he saw the messages were from his wife. Damn, he thought, he had meant to read them.
"Just reading them now," Troy answered sheepishly. He glanced at his PA as he scrolled through the messages. She frowned at him and shook her head while suggesting he reply while he held his phone. As he replied his wife's texts the phone on Jennifer's desk rang.
Lifting up the receiver of the phone on his desk and punching in a code she answered, "Mr. Tinovenga's office, how may I help you?" She scribbled a few notes in her notebook in shorthand and ended the call. Flicking her hair over her shoulder she turned back to her boss to continue relaying the message from his wife.
"So, she says please do not be late in picking the boys up from school today. They were disappointed that they only got to see her for a few minutes and Jeffrey has a play date with Thoko Mabhena and her brother so your timing has to be on point. That," Jennifer pointed to the handset on his desk, "was the CEO on the line. He's sure you'll want to go to the hospital so he's bumping your meeting up to 9:30 this morning. I've already sent up the report so he's prepared for it, unlike last time."Jennifer smiled wryly as she intimated the near debacle that had occurred at the previous meeting where the CEO didn't get his notes on time.
"Noted, on all accounts. Are you done typing-" Troy began to re-plan his day according to the news he'd received.
"Sorry Mr. T but, how is she doing? She insisted that she was fine but one thing you two have in common is misguided stoicism."
Troy bit his lip and as a frown appeared on his brow, "She is in a lot of pain. The doctor thinks she'll be fine. Are you done typing the mid-annual report? She'll kill me if I spend the weekend here instead of at home with the boys."
Jennifer pointed behind him to his laptop which was opened and requesting his password. That meant that her daily report was waiting for him and it was time to get to work. By 11:30 he'd had two meetings and completed 80% of the day's work. Rubbing his eyes he took a sip of his coffee as he read through the last part of a proposal written by one of the new interns. Snorting with disgust he buzzed his PA and asked her to call in the intern. It was going to be a long internship if he didn't sort out this chap quick.
At 2:30 a reminder popped up on Troy's calendar to pick up the boys. Seconds later Jennifer called him to ask why he hadn't left to pick up the boys. As he stood up to pick up his jacket and car keys his cell phone rang.
"Hi babe, you alright?" Troy asked as he put on is jacket, shut down his machine and headed for the door.
Evelyn rolled her brown eyes as her heart skipped a beat. He definitely had a sexy voice. Quickly she reminded her husband to pick up her boys. Relieved to hear he was on his way out she was surprised when he asked how she was doing. So stunned was she that she paused trying to figure out what to say that wouldn't be a lie. "Sure, I-"
"Babe, I've got to go." Troy hurriedly cut her off as the CEO walked into his PA's office. Swearing at himself for delaying his departure he placed his phone in his pocket and glanced at the clock above Jennifer's desk.
Evelyn looked at her phone and screamed as she threw it across the room. A nurse came running into her room to find her sobbing in the private room. Why had she thought things would change between them? This was all her fault, she'd thought that with prayer, hope, love and faith he would see that- she snorted at her futile thoughts, after all a grown woman of her age should know better.
"Ko, chi-i futi (what is it now)?" The nurse asked. She'd heard that this woman acted as if she were white and now she really believed it. Looking at the phone and its battery separated on the floor several metres away she sighed and picked up the phone. Apa ha-a tauri Shona nemunhu (To make it worse she [the patient] doesn't speak Shona with anyone) so how was one to know what was going on with this crazy woman? Asi (but), it wasn't the woman's fault, with her blood pressure as high as it had been anyone would be crazy. Pamwe akawona vana vake ne murume wake zvingangoita nani (Maybe if she saw her children and husband she would feel/be a bit better). The nurse placed the phone and it's battery on the cupboard next to the hospital bed.
"I'm sorry. I lost my temper. It won't happen again. "Evelyn's voice was barely above a whisper as she knotted her fingers together.
"It's your phone. Not mine. Shall I call your husband and let him know that-"
"No, that won't be necessary. Thanks." Maybe that's all she needed, time alone, away from everyone. Evelyn looked at her phone, the screen was definitely cracked but the phone was otherwise functional. So much for being unreachable she thought dryly. The nurse huffed out of the private hospital room.
The nurse watched the strange woman through the window in the centre of the door. When she was certain that everything was in order she continued her round. Out of curiosity she looked at the room allocation chart. Tinovenga, Mrs. Something about that name rang a bell. Could these be the same strange couple that lived next door to her sister in Warren Park? This was a private ward. How did they make so much money so fast?
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