Jack sat in the shadows in the darkened bar, resting heavily against the back rest. The cap he wore covered most of his face, making him look like an outlaw. People cast suspicious glances in his direction, whispering amongst themselves. He pretended not to notice as he sipped his drink. His gaze scanned the dark bar for the umpteenth time, searching for that slim voluptuous figure. His lips tightened. Why wasn’t she here? Naturally, he knew he had no reason to be angry, but he was. He sipped his drink again, deciding to wait for few more minutes.
Lara dragged in a much needed calming breath. She was so close to losing her temper, she could practically feel it slipping through her fingers, and yes, the object of her fury was and would always be her father!
“Never! I repeat, never, would my only daughter be seen with a man as poor and wretched as that thing you call a boyfriend.” Tunji Banks bellowed as he glared down at his daughter. “Have you forgotten who you are? You are the daughter of a governor, for heaven’s sake”
Lara sighed. “Oh, please dad, spare me the information, it is impossible to forget who I am since you constantly remind me every day”.
“Oh no, I see I have not reminded you enough if it has not gone through the thick wax of your ears.” He returned, boiling with rage. “How can you condescend so low as to unite yourself with a filthy carpenter? How stupid can you be Lara?”
Lara jumped to her feet, finally losing the last iota of patience she had left. “Derin is not a ‘filthy carpenter’ dad, he makes furniture. There is a difference”
Mr Banks roared in laughter. “If you believe that, you must be more delusional than I thought. A carpenter is a carpenter any time any day, and judging by the report of my men, he is poorest of all carpenters”
“At least he is a honest man, he is hardworking and he makes me happy. What more do I want?” she asked, her voice ringing round the palace-like sitting room. “Honestly dad, I can’t believe you had me followed by one of your goons”. The fact alone got her blood boiling. Couldn’t the daughter of the governor have her privacy again?
“Now, listen to me young woman” her father said, walking slowly towards her in the intimidating way that was sure to make lesser people squirm. “I did not raise you only to have one filthy gold digging swine use you as his ladder to success. Now, what I want you to do is to cut off all ties and relationships you have with that filthy carpenter. I don’t want you to have anything to do with him; have I made myself clear?”
A small smile touched Lara’s lips as she faced her dad without fidgeting. “You are forgetting one thing dad: It is not up to you to make decisions for me. Last time I checked, I was twenty five years old. You can’t order me to do anything; I am old enough to make decisions for myself”
Mr Banks smiled crookedly. “Stupid decisions obviously.” He said. “But then, when have I needed your approval to do anything. You either break up with him voluntarily or dance to my tune.” He smiled.
Lara turned and stormed up the stairs and into her bedroom.
Mrs Banks entered her daughter’s bedroom with a worried look on her face. Lara, who was lying on the bed, jumped up immediately her mother entered. “I am tired of this mum” she complained bitterly. “I am tired of dad trying to run my life for me. When is he going to leave me in peace?”
Mrs Banks sighed. “The maids told me you both had another fight again”
Lara snorted. “I am beginning to believe that dad and I would never see eye to eye, seriously mum, why is your husband like that?”
Her mother sighed. “What happened this time?”
“The usual! Obviously, he is not satisfied with my choice of boyfriend” she yelled in outrage.
Her mother’s brow lifted in surprise. “You have another boyfriend?”
Lara softened and her face showed remorse. “I know I should have told you mum, and I am sorry. I would have if dad hadn’t found out through one of those hooligans working for him.” She sighed in exasperation. “Honestly mum, my life would be better only if daddy would stop interfering with my affairs.”
“You know that would never happen”
Lara’s mouth twisted in disgust. “Yes. I was hoping for a miracle. But if he thinks I would just sit back and have him run my life, then he is mistaking”
“What did he say is the matter now?”
“Obviously, dad cannot imagine me dating a carpenter”
“Carpenter” her mother gasped. “Oh my, I didn’t know I would be agreeing with your dad on something”
Lara stared at her mother for some seconds before finally finding her voice. “You can’t be serious mum! So what if Derin is a carpenter. I love him and that is all that matters”
Mrs Banks sat on the bed with a permanent frown on her face. “I’ll like to agree with you Lara but love is not all that matters. Are you going to spend the rest of your life worrying about what you are going to eat? You might think so now, but trust me, I have been hungry, I know how it feels; it is difficult. I can’t watch my own daughter experience that same thing”. She raised her eyes to her daughter. “If you get married to a rich man, at least you are sure that you would have all you want”
Lara couldn’t pinpoint what she was feeling, she was both angry and disappointed. To have her father thinking this way was one thing, for her mother to think the same was another thing entirely. “I can’t believe you just said that mum. I might get all I want with a rich man but would I get the happiness I really need?” she sighed. “I’d better go mum, this house is suffocating” she stormed out of her bedroom.
Jack smiled with satisfaction as the lady entered the bar and made straight for the counter. She looked exceedingly beautiful, capturing the attention of all the men in the bar. Her hips swayed, emphasizing her slim waist but she seemed not to notice her own appeal. She seemed upset as she sat on a stool at the bar and ordered her drink.
Jack took out his camera and clicked. He smiled at the image in the camera and quickly stuffed the camera in the pocket of his coat. He stood up and after one lasting glance at the lady, he walked out through the back door.