Annabelle || Chapter 3 (The Strange Man)
Chapter 3 – The Strange Man
Chapter 3 (The Strange Man)
It was my dad’s Forty-Fifth birthday and he planned to celebrate it by having a dinner party with a few friends in attendance. The birthday preparations took a whole week to organize, even though it will be just a few friends in attendance, they all will be dignitaries and so the decorations and menus were in excellent taste.
The day soon came upon us, two of my father’s servants stood by the entrance directing the guests into the big dining hall. There in the dining hall stood, my dad, in his stylish and well-tailored blue tuxedo, from the jacket covering a white shirt to the black shoe he wore to match, all exude wealth. Beside him was my mum in a beautiful long blue gown, cut a little too low for decency sake, on her neck was a diamond necklace glittering in the room, cold as ice, I stood beside in my beautiful red party gown with my brothers both in matching suits with their Father.
As the guests were ushered in, my mother received them with as much finesse and charm worthy of an affluent Hostess, my Dad shook hands and hugs, thanking each guest for honoring their invitations while I and my brothers also saluted.
The tables were soon nearly filled up, My mother quickly excused herself mumbling that she wanted to use the restroom and left the hall, I watched her leave but all I was wishing was for Lucy’s parents to attend the party without their entourages especially not with Lucy herself.
The thought was still on my mind when I saw Lucy’s parents being ushered into the dining hall, with only Lucy in tow. Lucy’s dad’s face lit up in a bright smile as he strode to hug my dad, his wife by his side, The three exchanged pleasantries and got chatting. I and Lucy stood apart scowling at each other from across the room, It’s been months since we last saw each other, not since the day she had walked out of the Principal’s office and never returned.
I had heard from my father that Lucy’s parents had sent her to a renowned high school in England since they believed no other school was satisfactory to their taste for their child in the state. My mother soon breezed into the room with an exaggerated walk, her hips thrusting to each side, that was too egregious to ignore, dressed in another sultry blue dress that was adorned to perfection with gems, the diamond necklace still hooked around her neck, She walked to where my dad was chatting with the Minister and his wife, exchanged pleasantries, and stood by her
“You look fine Victoria,” the minister appraised
“Oh, thank you Minister” she replied, beaming in pleasure.
“Now, that you are here, you and Sophie should keep each other company, I want to have a private conversation with your husband”
“Oh, No problem” she returned sweetly
The minister and my dad strode together into his private office, my mum turned to face Lucy’s mum with a smirk on her face.
“You do look lovely, Victoria,” Sophie complimented while scrutinizing her appearance
“Oh, Thank you” she replied curtly
“Anna, go with your brothers and Lucy to sit at the table together, it’s almost time for the repast” my mother instructed.
I walked with my two brothers by my side to the table while Lucy walked behind us, but we soon separated, as she walked to sit at the far edge of the long table.
“Those necklaces are stunning as well, where did you get them from?” Sophie inquired
“Oh please Mrs. Minister, don’t patronize me, we both know we have no liking for each other, so save your compliment for someone else, I’m genuinely not flattered”
“Oh, Victoria, how can you say something so despicable, you know I do like you”
Victoria smiled mockingly, her smile not reaching her eyes “Anyone who hears you now would think you are an angel”
“I don’t claim to be one”
“Sophie, please drop the acting, I remember everything you did to me when I was still your husband’s and mine’s secretary, you were the most despicable, wicked woman I ever knew, you thought I was going to be a nobody but I rose beyond your wildest imaginations when I became your husband’s best friend’s wife”
“I knew I treated you badly those days and part of the reasons was because I thought you were dating my husband, but those days are long gone, we should be friends now as Our husbands would want us to be”
“Please miss me with that bullshit, I’ve sworn never to be close with you since those days, and I do not plan to be intimate with you now”
“Let me spare you from the lies you’ve been telling yourself though, You were jealous of how beautiful and desirable I was, in comparison to your plain and undesirable self” Victoria eyed her, scrutinizing her look.
“Victoria!” Sophie exclaimed softly, incredulous at what she said
“Your husband was cheating on you with multiple women but instead of you having it out with him, you attacked the women you see around him” Victoria then rubbed her chin as she said
“With the way, you continued to stay by his side with all his escapades, I guess you will be too embarrassed to divorce him most especially because you are both in the spotlight, The Almighty Admirable Power Couple, a role model to many” Victoria exaggerated chuckling
“You were envious of my charm and wanted to frighten me off, but you know what it got me, a loving husband who dotes over me, this mansion amongst many others, servants that beckoned at my call, beautiful children, and everything anyone could want that money could buy which you seem to have but you know what I have, that you don’t have?” Victoria smirked wickedly
“Peace of mind,” she whispered in victory. “Now if you will excuse me, the repast is about to begin, please do enjoy your meal,” she said in a mock as she swiveled like a queen to another guest while Lucy’s mum stood at the same spot fuming, all through the dinner they tried as much as possible to evade each other’s company, both giving the other sneers when backs are turned.
The dinner went by so quickly, everyone had filled their bellies with delicious foods and mouth-watering desserts, it was time for the after-party.
My mum asked me to take my brothers to bed to sleep for the night while Lucy was led by a servant into a guest room to wait in until it was time for them to go home.
I took my now drowsy two brothers by the hands and led them to the stairs towards their room when I noticed a strange man in the dark corner of the living room.
He was wearing a mask that covered most of his face but I could see his eyes, they were the most unusual shade of green, he stared at me for the longest time and when I wanted to ask who he was, he disappeared as abruptly as he had appeared.
I led my brothers Into their room, watched them take their shower, and put on their sleeping wear, put them to bed, and switched off the light. Mumbling Goodnight, I walked out of the room and was about to walk to my bedroom when I caught a glimpse of my mother slipping into the room at the dark end of the hallway.
I was curious and wanted to find out what she went there to do, I tiptoed to the door straining my ears to eavesdrop.
When she got to the door she could hear the voices of two people conversing in the room
“What are you doing here?” Victoria muttered
“You took too damn long getting here Sweet”
“I needed to take precautions, you took a great risk coming here, what if you were seen?”
“I was careful not to be noticed and I don’t think I was”
“What are you doing here,” she repeated uneasily.
“The school isn’t going to survive much longer without funds”
“But I provide for you and your school every month”
“It’s not enough, not after your darling friend took his child out of there and withdrew his
donations from the school”
“So, what do you want from me now?”
” I want you to double the money you provide to me every month”
“But you know that’s impossible, my husband is already suspicious at the exorbitant money I
give you every month, how do you want me to tell him when he asks for an explanation for
“I do not give a damn what you tell him but I damn well do not want to go broke, we had a deal
that includes you giving me everything I ever wanted, don’t piss me off”
The man in the room was about to say another thing when a hand pulled me behind, it was a man hauling me tightly to his chest, I was about to shriek out in panic when he put his hands on my mouth to keep me from crying out.