Author K.L. Hall
A Ruthle$$ Love Story 3 Sneak Peak
(NOTE: Contains explicit language and adult themes suitable for ages 16+)
© K.L. Hall and www.authorklhall.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K.L. Hall and www.authorklhall.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
(Updated from 8/30)
The moment Furious Belmonte was laid into that casket, my life changed forever. Thanks to him, we were all just a ‘family’ of lost souls. Neenah and I stood in the presence of the woman who raised us. The woman we thought had been dead for over a decade. It was like staring straight into the eyes of a ghost.
“It’s me,” she whispered.
Silence enveloped us as I watched a tear slip down her cheek. She raised her hand to stroke my jaw. I caught her hand, holding it in mine for a few seconds before lowering it.
“What are you doing here?” I mumbled, still in shock.
“There must be a thousand questions running through your minds right now, and trust me, I’d like nothing more than to give you both the answers you deserve, and I will. I promise you I will, just not right now,” she told us.
“I—I can’t believe it’s really you,” Neenah trembled as tears poured out of the corners of her eyes.
I felt conflicted, more so for her than myself. There she was mourning the death of her biological father when her biological mother rose from the dead and showed up at the funeral. It was something straight out of a movie.
“It’s me, baby girl. It’s really me,” she said, pulling Neenah into a hug.
Neenah wrapped her trembling arms around her and held her as if she never wanted to let go. I knew having her back in our lives was what Neenah wanted more than anything, but just because she wanted it, didn’t mean she needed it.
The funeral director approached the three of us and locked eyes with me. “The guests are arriving. If you still need a moment, I can hold them in the waiting area for a few minutes, but in order to keep the service on schedule, we’ll have to start soon.”
I nodded. “Give us five minutes and we’ll be ready.”
His head dipped in a quick nod. “Okay.”
I turned my attention back to Neenah and our mother. I looked at her in silence, trying to figure out what to say to her. I knew too much, and I could never look at her the way I used to. To me, she was no better than Furious for lying to me for all those years about who I really was and who both of them really were to me.
“You should go,” I told her.
“Go? She can’t go! She needs to sit right here with us,” Neenah interjected, lacing her fingers with hers.
“No, Neenah. Use your fuckin’ head. How the fuck are we going to explain our dead mother sitting with us at our dead father’s fuckin’ funeral?”
My mother frowned. “He’s right, Neenah. I can’t be here,” she said.
“But we need to talk.”
“You’re right, we do, and we will. I promise.”
“When? I don’t want you to leave out of those doors and risk never seeing you again.”
“How about this, I’ll sit in the back. Nobody will know it’s me, and we can talk as soon as everyone leaves.”
Neenah nodded immediately, while I reluctantly bobbed my head up and down. “Fine.”
She put her hat on her head and walked to the back of the room. As soon as she was seated, the doors opened and people from the upper echelon to the corner boys from all five boroughs flooded in to pay their respects. To some, Bell was their idol. Their hero, even. If only they knew.
I shook hands, gave dap and hugged people until the preacher stepped up to the pulpit and everyone took their seats. The low murmurs of multiple conversations soon fizzled out and the room fell silent. I took my seat beside Neenah when Loyalty crept up beside me and grabbed my hand.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Traffic was terrible,” she whispered.
I kissed her forehead and forced a smile. “You’re right on time.”
“Let us bow our heads in prayer,” the preacher announced.
Everyone bowed their heads while my eyes scanned across the people in the room. I locked eyes with my mother, who quickly lowered her head to divert her eyes elsewhere. I shook mine. I couldn’t wait for everyone to leave so that I could hear what her bullshit excuse was for faking her death and leaving us to be raised by the devil himself for over half of our lives.
“Today we are gathered here to celebrate the life and homegoing of Furious Allen Belmonte. Let us give thanks for his life and all that he did for the community. Now that his time on this earth has come to an end, we ask for healing amongst all who knew him. To the family, his two beloved children, Lourde and Neenah… I know for the both of you, there is a great amount of loss and pain. Grief manifests itself differently for everyone. I want you to know that life without your father is going to be different. The road isn’t going to be easy. There will be good days and bad days. My prayers are with you.”
I nodded at him as Neenah dabbed a fresh tissue against her dampened cheeks. He had no idea how different our lives were going to be. We were finally going to be free from his reign and need for power, revenge and making enemies out of friends. We were finally going to be able to live life on our own terms.
I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be sitting in front of my father’s casket. Although it was no secret that he had enemies, to me, he was invincible. I would forever be a daddy’s girl.
“Now, we will have a few remarks that will be given by his daughter, Neenah Belmonte.”
I looked up when I heard my name called. My hands gripped the tissue in one hand and the program in the other as I stepped up to the pulpit. The preacher hugged me, and I bowed my head while clearing my throat simultaneously. I looked out in the crowd and caught my mother’s eyes staring back at me. If I wasn’t mistaken, I could’ve sworn I saw a tear slip down her face.
“A week ago, I lost my father. Furious Belmonte was a devoted husband and father. His life was cut short for reasons none of us may ever know. He is survived by his daughter, me, and my brother, his son, Nevahn Lourde Belmonte. I’m sure he will also be remembered by all of you here today. As a New York native, my father started his own business from the ground up in his mid-twenties. A business, that today is one of the biggest transportation companies on the east coast. With all the work that he did for the community, my father had his flaws. As many of you may know, he wasn’t a perfect man. In fact, he was rude, power hungry, and if you weren’t family, he probably wasn’t always the most compassionate person around. But if you needed something, you could come to him and he would help in whatever way he could, which also made him the great businessman he was. On behalf of my brother and I, we would like to thank you for showing up and paying your respects today. He was all a girl could ask for in a father and I’ll love him forever. Thank you.”
For the rest of the funeral I sat in a daze until we arrived at the grave site to commit my father’s body into the ground. As soon as I heard the words “ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” I laid a red rose on top of his casket and kissed it for the very last time.
“I love you, daddy,” I whispered.
Once the mass of people began to dissipate, my mother stepped up beside me and sat down. She placed her hand on top of mine as we watched the grounds men lower the casket into the ground.
“We need to talk,” she said.
“Yeah, we do,” Nevahn interjected as he hovered over both of us.
I was a living testament that all closed eyes weren’t sleep. I knew that choosing to resurface after so many years would leave a bad taste in both of my kids mouths, but it was time they knew the truth. It was time everyone knew the truth. I looked up at Lourde, whose hand was attached to a young female who eyed me closely.
“Lourde, who is this?” She asked.
“She’s our mother,” he told her.
Her eyes widened as she looked at me. “But I thought…”
“Yeah, we all did, but she’s back now and she was just about to explain why she left all those years ago,” he told her.
“And who might this be?”
“This is Loyalty. She’s my…girl,” he said, looking down at her bare ring finger.
“Nice to meet you, but if you don’t mind, could you please give me and my children a moment alone?” I asked as politely as possible.
“No. She’s not going anywhere. Anything you have to say to me, you can say in front of her.”
My head tipped forward in a nod. “Very well. What do you want to know first?”
“What do you mean what do we want to know first? Tell us everything! Tell us why you left in the first place. Tell us why you showed up all of a sudden now that he’s fuckin’ dead. Did you do it? Huh? Were you the one who killed him?” Lourde asked with a bitter tone in his voice.
“Yes.” I nodded. “I did it. It was me who made the first attempt on his life that landed him in the hospital and it was me who made the second attempt on his life at the courthouse.”
“W—what? Why?” Neenah asked, snatching her hand away from mine. “How could you do that to him? To me?”
“Listen to me! He was a foul and dirty man with a list of sins a mile longer than the devil himself. He deserved what he got for what he did to me...to both of you. An eye for an eye as far as I’m concerned.”
“What did he do to you for you to try and kill him twice?” Neenah yelled.
“He tried to have me killed all those years ago. That’s why I couldn’t stay!”
Her forehead creased with confusion. “Why would daddy try and kill you?”
I lowered my head. “Because he found out I was having an affair.”
“You were having a what? With who?”
“With your Uncle Eugene.”
“What the fuck!” Lourde yelled as his eyebrow shot up. “It all makes sense now! It all makes perfect fuckin’ sense!”
“I know this may all be too much for you to hear, but it’s the truth and you both deserve it. It’s the least I can do for leaving the way I did. Just know that I would’ve never done it if there was another way, but there wasn’t. I know I can’t make up for the past, but I want there to be a future for us…for all of us so we can move forward as a family.”
Lourde scoffed. “Family? We ain’t no mothafuckin’ family.”
I sighed. “I’m sorry that you both got caught up in our web of deceit and lies…”
“Don’t give me that bullshit! Bell told me the truth. I know I’m not your fuckin’ son!”
My eyes popped wide, followed by a sigh. Bell and I promised each other that we would take the truth about how we became Lourde’s parents to our grave. He betrayed my trust yet again. “You think a piece of paper changes things? Not for me they don’t. I raised you. You will always be my son.”
“Bullshit,” he said, waving me away.
I sighed. “Maybe both your father and I weren’t the best parents and I know we both made bad decisions, but I promise you my intentions were always good. I must’ve written you both a thousand letters trying to explain myself and why I chose to disappear for all these years…but I just couldn’t risk it. Not until I knew it would be safe.”
“He told us you died in a car accident…we—we had a funeral for you and everything and Uncle Eugene was there! Did he know? Was he in on all of this?” Neenah asked.
“Yes, he knew. Your father found out about us and then asked him to be the one to kill me. When he told me the news, I told him to do it. Living under the same roof with Furious Belmonte became hell on earth after a while. I welcomed the bullet that would take me away from all of that, but I didn’t want to leave you two.”
“But that’s exactly what you did,” Lourde said, cutting me off.
“So this was your plan all along…to wait until Daddy died so that you and Uncle Eugene could, what? Run away together and have your happily ever after?” Neenah asked with a frown across her face.
“I—I don’t know,” I admitted.
“I just don’t get it.”
“How could you do that to Daddy…and with his best friend?” Neenah asked, wiping her cloudy eyes.
I glanced over at the flowers sitting across from me and dipped my head toward the ground. “I understand that finding out your father is really the monster under your bed is a hard pill to swallow. I also understand how at this time I don’t seem any better than he was but trust me…I did what I did out of love for you two. I did what I thought was right at the time. It wasn’t like I had a lot of options. It was either pretend to be dead and wait until the day I could be reconnected with you two or be dead for real and never see you again.”
“Well you thought wrong. C’mon, Loyalty. Let’s go,” Lourde said, while turning his back to me.
Neenah stood up and walked behind the two of them, leaving me sitting there staring at the grounds men who by then, were throwing dirt on Furious’ casket. Both Neenah and Lourde had every right to be mad at me. I wouldn’t have even been surprised if they hated me. I knew I’d feel the same way if I was in their shoes.
The one question that kept replaying in my head was if Eugene and I were really going to run away together and finally get our happily ever after. It was a question I’d asked myself a million times over the years. There once was a time I would’ve jumped at the opportunity to be with the man I truly loved, but since I’d gotten the opportunity to see firsthand what it’d done to my children, I didn’t know if I would be able to take the risk if it came down to it. Even after all the time went spent apart, I was both emotionally and physically invested in Eugene Hayworth. It was one thing to rekindle old feelings, but it was another to pull the final thread that was holding my family together.
STAY TUNED! PART THREE DROPS ON 10/23/18!
#ARuthleLoveStory #story #womensfiction #shortstory #Lourde #Loyalty