I Blame It On My Father

A story about Petal, a young blue headed woman working through her family drama and most importantly dealing with her "daddy issues" which have affected her life and relationships so much. On her journey, she struggles with forgiveness, her mother's mental illness and vulnerability in relationships. She did not know that a broken relationship with a father could have such dire consequences. Things become worse, much worse before they become better. A story about hope, love, patience and forgiveness.

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14. Chapter 14

It was midnight when Blunt left the Pussy Cat Lounge. He pulled out a cigarette as he stepped outside and he stood on the sidewalk to light it up. He pulled hard on the cigarette and began to walk to his beat down car. He used to drive flashy big cars, but thanks to his spendthrift and gambling ways, he had lost all of them. He had recently had to give away the black one with tinted windows to settle a dirty deal. The beat down vehicle refused to start and just continued to make pitiful noises. "Oh for fuck sake!" Blunt got out and slammed the door and then kicked the side of the car repeatedly. He leaned against the piece of metal and puffed away.

It was a cool weekend night and a lot of people were out and about on that side of town. Girls in skin tight and short dresses cat walking in killer high heels, young boys up to no good and older men with too much money to spend who hated their marriages were all out and about on this weekend night. A shiny silver limousine pulled up next to Blunt's car. He threw his cigarette on the ground and stepped on it. A window at the back lowered slowly.

"Blunt my man! Join me for a ride I insist."

Shit it was that arsehole Boza. Blunt knew that he was up to no good. What the hell did he want him to ride with him for anyways? He looked around slowly and hesitated. A door opened and bald large man in a tight suit and a very dark tan came out of the limo and went towards Blunt but, before he could touch him, Blunt moved from against his car and started to walk to the limo. "How can I refuse you?" He said sarcastically. The large man stood by the door as Blunt entered and the he entered after him. Blunt sat in the light grey seat across Boza and a long haired long legged blonde.

"Glad you could join us." Boza poured a glass of whiskey and handed it to Blunt with his thin delicate hand. He was very feminine for a crime lord. Dressed in all black with his thin frame and jet black hair, he looked like an androgynous lead singer from a rock band.

Blunt refused the glass of whiskey and Boza just shrugged. The doors locked and the car pulled off.

"You have been a very mischievous man Blunt you naughty you." Boza said as he sat back and crossed his legs. He took a sip of his spirit and closed his eyes and enjoyed the alto saxophone in the background. Blunt looked at him indignantly. The long legged blonde picked up her phone and started to play angry birds. Boza opened his eyes and leaned forward so that his face was closer to Blunt's. There two men were very close in age but could look any more different. Boza's face was smooth from waxing and the expensive cosmetics. He was thin but not bony while Blunt had stubble and a big stomach and his large face was beginning to sag like the rest of him. Boza smelt like essential oils and whiskey – Blunt perpetually smelt like tobacco and beer.

"You and I have some things we need to sort out but out of respect for the lady, we will sort them out when we arrive at our destination." Boza kept his slit eyes on Blunt as he leaned back again. Blunt had his fists clenched as beads of sweat gathered on his forehead. Boza chucked, "Relax, nothing is going to happen now. You can get all fired up later on. The blonde smile nervously out of obligation and the tanned Mr Muscle sat rigid without any expression, just another day at work for him.

"Now this guy can play a sax!" Boza said as he played an imaginary saxophone. "This shit is real music right here (he cranked up the volume), this is talent. I bet all you know is that pop and ass shaking musing huh baby?" He said to the blonde. She just looked at him and smiled stupidly; the life of a gold digger was not always an easy one.

"I think I will have some bubbly." The blonde said and she pressed a button and ice bucket came up next to her. She got a bottle of champagne and a glass out of a small cooling cabinet and helped herself. "Like gold in a bottle." She said as she sipped the expensive drink. The limousine came to a halt and muscle man came out first and opened the boss's door first and then the blonde's. Blunt was ordered to remain inside. Muscle man stood guard as Boza said his goodbyes to his floozy and called another bodyguard to escort her into the huge peach coloured mansion that they stood outside of. Boza and his bodyguard returned inside the limo.

"You owe me money and you have been avoiding me haven't you?" Boza spat at Blunt.

"I don't owe you nothing. I paid off all of my debt and if I still owed you all of this time, then how come you come only now."

"Hahaha... you owe me for saving your skin, twice! There is nothing you can offer me to reciprocate so I want money. I told you that you owe me one."

"You saved my skin? You got me into that shit in the first place so you had to get me out. I don't owe you shit."

"I should have let your worthless self die, but I did not, and you wat to know why? I am a damn good guy. I even decided to give you a discount."

"I do not owe you shit, you hear me! I do not owe you shit so let me go." Blunt started to have heart palpitations and he was sweating profusely now. Muscle man wanted to hold him in a lock but Boza raised his hand to tell him to stop. "He is going to die of a damn heart attack anyway."

Boza pressed a button and the windows slid open. "Listen to me carefully you shit pile. While you sit here and have a heart attack, we are going to get inside your damn big house and take anything of value to cover your debt." He poked into Bunt's chest as he said the last two words. The limo stopped outside Petal's childhood home and Boza signalled to his bodyguard to get Blunt. Muscle man dragged Blunt out of the car and to the house while Boza followed behind them. Boza snapped on a pair of latex gloves and he walked ahead of them to the back door. The door was already unlocked but the lights were off. Boza opened the door slowly and felt the wall for the light switch. He found it and turned it on. "What the?" There was broken glass on the floor. The place was a mess. As he continued to walk further into the house he noticed blood on the floor and on the walls. Hus bodyguard was right behind him dragging a wheezing Blunt with him.

"Looks like somebody has got a lot of enemies." Boza said as he spotted two legs showing from under the table in the living room. He whistled as he squatted down to look. "Is this not you boy?" He turned to Blunt and said. Blunt grabbed the left side of his chest, dropped to his knees and dragged his heavy body across to have a look. Muscle man stood looking at Blunt in disgust. When Blunt reached the thin bloody corpse, his breathing got worse. He rolled over and looked up at the ceiling. Fana's body was covered in blood from the neck down. There was a terrified expression in his gaunt face and his clothes were torn, showing that he had experienced a brutal death. Nothing had been taken by whoever had murdered Fana – they obviously wanted to send a very clear message. Boza looked around the house for valuable items, inspecting furniture and ornaments and photo frames and anything that could be pawned or auctioned for money. He left the house with his bodyguard without taking anything and they left Blunt struggling to breathe on the floor. Thirty minutes later a truck stopped outside the house and the four men came out and cleaned out the house of anything valuable, after they had collected everything that they wanted they called an ambulance.

Blunt was paralyzed on the floor when the paramedics came for him. They informed him that they received an anonymous untraceable call about a heart attack. They performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and put him on oxygen then immediately rushed him to the hospital. They noticed the other body and examined it and declared the young man dead. It was sad that when he regained consciousness he could not think of a single soul to call or to tell about the death of his son and his own near death. He thought about Petal but he did not have her contact details and even if he did, she probably did not want anything to do with him. There was only one person in his life who had continued to be there for him regardless of how big an arse he was – that one person had died. Fana adored his father and wanted his approval. He wanted the close relationship of a father and son unfortunately he died trying to achieve that father-son bond. Fana was killed by drug dealers. He had gotten high on some of the supply that he was supposed to sell. This was something he did when he was not being his father's sidekick. Fana started selling drugs shortly after his parents divorced. He eventually quit school and stopped coming home. He always had money until he started using himself. His drug use had gotten worse since Blunt returned into their lives and Fana returned home to live with him. He had started to use excessively in the past few months and the more he used the less he could sell and the less he could sell, the more debt he incurred. The dealers were fed up.

There was no way that Petal would know that her brother had died in the early morning of the day after her mother had died. The only person who knew was Blunt and the two of them were not in contact. The only way that Petal had managed to find out the next day that her brother was dead was because at 9AM in the morning a detective was grilling Blunt about what had happened. Blunt lied obviously; he said that he came home to find his dead son and had a heart attack. He did not mention his enemies, his debt and Fana's drug abuse. The detective asked about living relatives and Blunt told him about Petal and Nomu. The house was searched and Nomu's address and contacts book was found and that was how they found Petal's address and phone number. The police found it strange that Blunt did not know of his daughter's and ex-wife's whereabouts. That was when the police decided to investigate him further.

It was 4 in the afternoon when Detective Qiniso called Petal's phone. She was at the church with some of the house wife church ladies and those that were off work early. They had made tea and sandwiches and sat in a circle praying and reading encouraging verses for Petal. She called the secretary of the women's group in the morning right after calling Crystal to tell her about her mother's death. Martha had been very sweet and efficient. She managed to arrange for an emergency prayer group and meeting to plan for Nomu's funeral. She had also arranged snacks. Malik did not want to leave Petal alone but he needed to take his sister and her husband to his parents and be there to see their reaction so that he could mediate if necessary. He felt better knowing that she was in the company of praying women and cheese and tomato sandwiches.

Detective Qiniso agreed to come to the church and talk to Petal after the meeting but Petal let him know that it could take a while so the detective arrived at the church at about 4:35PM.

That was when Petal found out about her father's hospitalisation and the death of her brother. Petal wanted to run away but Martha wrapped in her loving motherly arms and let her cry. Petal had asked Martha to be there when she spoke to the detective. They had met the tall hanger-like detective in the secretary's tiny office. Detective Qiniso apologised and left his card. He requested for Petal to see him whenever she could so that he could put a case together against Blunt. Petal was heartbroken not because Fana was such a great person, but because he had wasted his potential and life. She was furious that the man who was responsible for this was still alive. Why did God save him but not mommy and Fana? Petal felt like an orphan; she was left alone without a family.

Petal decided to have a combined funeral for Fana and her mother because she did not have the energy to plan two funerals and because she knew that Fana did not have any real people in his life who would care about his death so by combining the funeral services it would not be too evident. She had not spoken to Blunt and he had not spoken to her. She knew that he did not have the money or the maturity to plan a decent funeral for her brother, so she decided to take care of everything. She had an appointment with her mother's bank scheduled for some time during the week. They had to go through her policies and her will. It had been a crazy week for Petal and she was running around and not getting enough time to grieve. She had to put it all aside and handle things because nobody else could. The bible study sessions that she had daily at 5PM since the one where she met detective Qiniso comforting but sometimes very frustrating because she had to confront many demons and sometimes she had to accept that there were huge question marks and she had to trust and have faith even if she did not fully understand. She was told that she needed to forgive Blunt and get rid of the anger that she felt towards him, she was told that God comforts his children in times of distress, she was told that everything happens for a reason and that it happens for our benefit. Some days it was easy to embrace this information, but some days... she wanted to scream and hate and ask why. It was a tough process.

The appointment with the bank was very successful. Petal learnt that her mother had invested some money while she was married and the money had matured greatly. She had also put her two children in the will for the house but since Fana was dead, Nomu's share of the house belonged to Petal. With the money from the investment and a share of the house, Petal had a hundred times more money in her name. However, if Blunt was arrested for one of his many crimes and if Petal provided the proof that she and her mother had finished paying off the house, it would belong to her. That was what the bank lady had said. "You have a good chance of being the owner of that house." However, Petal did not want the house. It had too many unpleasant memories. She would probably empty it, clean it up and put it on the market. Petal felt a great amount of love for her mother who had provided for her even in her death. For a long time Petal felt like the mother. She was the one who did the taking care of. Now all her hard work had paid off and her mother was repaying her for all the times that she was there for her. The money was frozen and would be available in 30 days. Nomu was also part of a funeral policy that the church women were part of. Martha had convinced her to joint while she was still sane. When Nomu started losing her mind, Martha had continued to pay into the policy on her behalf. This policy covered Nomu and her two children. Petal did not know that her mother had been thinking about these things. She had been planning for the future all this time. There were many times when Petal felt that her mother was irresponsible and negligent, especially before she got her life together after the divorce. Now Petal felt sorry and guilty for ever doubting her mother's care and ability to be a responsible mother. Martha was very wonderful with helping Petal through such a rough time. She had been part of the church for many years and she was one of the few people that Petal considered as a true Christian. That woman was always trying to good by everyone and she did not like discrimination. She believed that people should be won over by love and not by judgement.

The funeral was big. Previous colleagues, people from church, the community centre and people mommy used to know in the community were there to pay their last respects. Annette was there, Hunn was there and so was Malik. There were some druggie looking youths who arrived late and sat in the back and then disappeared as soon as the service was over – they were obviously there for Fana. The morning of the funeral was a rough one for Petal. She did not want to see people. She did not want to see the caskets. Petal would have preferred to cremate her mother and brother but her mother had requested a traditional funeral in her will. Blunt was at the funeral, which made it even harder for Petal but, Malik was there for her. He had missed a family gathering to be there for Petal. His parents were more upset about him not being at a family gathering than they were about their youngest child eloping after dating a guy for three months. When Jasmine innocently mentioned being at the hospital waiting for Petal and how sad it was that her mother did not make it, Malik's parents came to the conclusion that she was definitely not right for him. They said things like "her kind" and "dramatic ghetto culture". They wanted to know how her mother had died and if she had a father. They spoke about people like that having destructive personalities and how she would never be capable of being a good wife or mother. Malik left his parent's home very offended and upset. He told them that if they wanted him to choose between her and them he chose her.

Petal did not know about the way that Malik's parents felt about her. She did sense a little bit of disapproval when she had visited but she did not know that they were completely against their son's relationship with her and Malik was not planning on telling her anytime soon. Malik just wanted to be there for her. It was unfair how some things happened to some people but not to others. He did not feel that Petal deserved any of what she was going through and he understood her distant behaviour in the beginning. It made things easier to have open and honest communication. Petal was different now than she was before. She had opened up to him that night outside the bathroom of his apartment. It made it easier for him to know what to do. He did not want to see her father for fear of smashing his brains out. Today at the funeral he was like Petal's guardian. When she felt overwhelmed he took her away from the crowd and spoke to her gently, offering her water and tissues. She let him be there for her. She did not push him away. She was broken and vulnerable and she did not have the energy to pretend to be strong. This whole experience was forcing her to need and rely on other people besides herself, including God.

After the church service, they went to the cemetery and then returned to the church hall for lunch. A lot of people came up to Petal to offer their condolences. They hugged her and kissed her. While people were standing around, talking and eating, a police van beeped outside. Two policemen walked in. Everyone turned to look at them. Petal started to walk to them when Martha touched her shoulder to stop her, "Let me see what this is about baby." She said and went to speak with the policemen. She led them outside and continued to talk to them out of sight. Martha returned inside alone. She went over to Petal. "Sweetheart they have come for your father."

Blunt was not in the hall when Petal looked around. Malik offered to go and look for him. Malik found him in the church kneeling at the altar. He was crying and he had a bottle of rum in his right hand. Malik texted Petal. Moments later the two policemen walked in and took him away. He cried louder as they dragged him away out of the church and into the back of the police van. People gasped and stared and some even went outside to watch as Blunt was put into the van and the van disappeared into the distance. People could be so insensitive. Petal felt relieved but scared at the same time. What did this mean? Was Blunt out of her life, and if so for how long? She had to start a new life with no mommy, no Fana and possibly no Blunt. Hunn came over and put her hand on her shoulder. "We are here for you Petal."

Malik took Petal back to her apartment and he made some tea for the both of them. Petal asked about Jasmine and David. "They are have a party for them as we speak. My mom was not happy about not being included in the wedding so she insisted that they have their own kind of wedding party."

"Wow, so your parent's were fine with the three month relationship and the eloping?"

"Well David is foreign, he is tall, blonde and he has blue eyes and he is from a family with money. So no they do not mind the three month relationship and the eloping. I did not know my parents were so superficial."

Petal looked at Malik. "Malik.... Do your parents approve of our relationship?" Malik sighed.

"No they don't Petal, I am so sorry. They really don't but it does not matter what they think because I approve of you."

"Hey, I do not want to put a strain on your relationship with your parents, maybe we can talk to them together?"

"No, you have enough on your plate right now. I do not want you worrying about my parents."

"Will it help if I told them that I own a big house and just inherited thousands?"

"What?"

"I found out a few days ago. My mother had put some money away for me and she left me and my brother the house." She started to tear up and Malik hugged her.

"That is good news. But forget about my parents, I have disowned them until further notice."

Petal looked straight into Malik's eyes. "You need to fix it. Fix it now before it's too late and you are left full of regret." 

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