, , , , , , ,

“Oh my, oh my, oh my! It’s happening! Gem it’s happening!” Zachary squealed as we headed towards the delivery room. He was so excited about the twins’ arrival while I was nervous about my earlier conversation with Mother and uncomfortable due to the pain of contractions that radiated throughout my body.


I needed to get this over with. I was so ready to get these babies out of me. The last three trimesters were three trimesters too long. I was also looking forward to finally meeting them. I often thought about what they might look like. Would they favour me or Zachary in looks or be a combination of the two of us. Would they be identical or fraternal? Would they have his dark brown hair or my black hair? OK, I guess I can understand why he was so excited. I was eagerly anticipating their arrival as well. But Zachary’s excitement soon turned into annoyance when he realised our doctor did not look over my patient file to even know I was having twins.


She was unprepared and Zachary was quite angry about that he let her know, in fewer colourful words than I would have used, that he was not pleased and she better make sure there were no complications during the delivery. I was in too much pain to even say anything so I’m glad Zachary stepped up and allowed his protective instincts to take precedence over his usual laid back attitude.

I tried to relax while I was inside the machine but all I kept thinking about was how Mother had figured out my secret and I knew she would stop at nothing to prove I was guilty. What if she succeeded in proving me guilty and I was arrested? I wouldn’t get to see my children grow up if that happened.


Zachary could see how tense I was and whispered words of encouragement and love to get me to relax but it wasn’t working. My stomach was literally in knots and my head was throbbing. I truly wanted to punch that doctor in her smiling face. What was she doing anyway? Why was it taking so long?

And then finally, a little cry blessed my ears and within two and a half minutes it was followed by another. We had two beautiful, healthy girls.


I could hear my husband gushing over the babies and how cute they were so I wasted little time in getting off the table to meet them. I picked up my first born, Isabel, and marvelled at how soft she was. I didn’t have any experience with babies and I was a little nervous while holding her but she relaxed in my arms as if she already knew I was her mother.


Stephan immediately scooped up our second daughter, Ivy, who cooed to the sound of his voice as he spoke to her. It seemed like she recognised his voice from all the scolding she and Isabel received while they were still inside me.


It was a precious moment for the two of us, Zachary and me, being able to hold these darlings we helped create. I wished we could have stayed at the hospital for a little longer as I was dreading going home and facing Mother. I knew that once the novelty of her first grandchildren’s arrival wore off that she would be gunning for me and Dad. I knew that she would stop at nothing to make me pay for the sins she believed I committed.

But I didn’t do anything wrong! What was so wrong with me maintaining a close relationship with my father? What was so wrong with me wanting to be a successful business woman? What was so wrong with me removing an obstacle that would have sabotaged my relationships and my success? I had to get rid of Jeff, not just for me and Dad and our operations, but for Isabel and Ivy! For their future!

Mother was going to ruin everything but there was no way for me to stop her. Jeff meant nothing to me so it was easy to dispose of him without a second thought but I couldn’t do that her. Despite everything, she was still my mother! But she was too determined to back down and it seemed like I had no other option. I was not going to let her put me in jail to rot! Dad would know what to do. All I had to do when I got home was call him and he’d have an idea of how we could handle her.

What I didn’t know was that fate had already intervened on my behalf.


When Zachary and I returned home with the babies Leni told us what happened. She said she and Mother were talking in her bedroom when Mother excused herself to use the bathroom. Thinking she was taking too long in there, Leni went in to check on her only to find her on the floor with the Grim Reaper hovering over her. Mother’s time was up.

Leni said she begged him to let Mother live and even told him that her granddaughters were on the way home and if he could let her live for one more day so she could meet them. He refused.


The Grim Reaper was still there when we got home. Zachary tried to console Leni who was crying her eyes out while I went into the bathroom where our mother’s remains stood on the floor.

My mother was dead. All that was left of the vibrant, intelligent and driven woman was contained in an urn on my sister’s bathroom floor. It was an odd feeling knowing I would never see her again though I didn’t feel sad at all.

I was actually quite relieved.


I stifled a laugh at how lucky I was to escape the predicament I was in unscathed. She had become like a thorn in my side and the Reaper was the pair of tweezers to help me get it out. I didn’t have to worry about her ratting me out for Jeff’s murder or for laundering Dad’s money. I was in the clear!

The Reaper stood in the corner of the room and I wasn’t sure why he hadn’t left as yet since he had already sent mother’s soul to the other side. “Thank you.” I said to him before walking out the door.

He followed me. “Gratitude is quite uncommon for me to receive from your kind. Usually, there would be sobs and pleas and then bursts of rage and frustration. No one has ever thanked me for taking away one of their loved ones.”


“Well Reaper, you’ve done me a huge favour in taking this loved one when you did. Your timing is perfect. Besides, she always said I should thank someone when they do something nice for me so I’m thanking you.”

“I can see why you would thank me. I too am as all-knowing as the Watcher so I am well aware of who you are and the things you have done. I have done you no favour as it was indeed Danielle’s time to go however your time will come too and I hope you will be ready for it.”

“My time won’t be for a long time from now,” I said confidently.


“Correct, but you might want to reconsider the way you spend the time you have Gemma. The universe exists due to balance and karma is very real.”

“Yeah, yeah. You’re still here? I mean, you don’t have any more souls to collect from this house, do you?” I was getting tired of his rambling. Plus, the whirring sound that emanated from him was annoying to my ears.

He soon disappeared into a fog and then I went to the kitchen to prepare something to eat. I was still hungry from earlier and I was hoping the pancakes I made weren’t too cold by now.

Zachary came to the kitchen looking for me after I was finished eating. “Are you okay?”


“Yeah, now that I have something in my stomach I don’t feel as exhausted as before. Are the babies still sleeping?”


“Yes they are but… I was referring to your Mom.”

 “Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I mean I’m a little sad but it was her time to go.”

“That’s a very nonchalant approach to dealing with your mother’s death.” he said sarcastically. “You don’t even seem sad at all that she’s gone.”


“People deal with things differently Zachary. You know I’m not the crying type.” He gave me an incredulous look so I knew I had to say something to save myself. “Maybe I’m just in shock. A lot has happened tonight. I probably just need to process it all.”


“Okay…well…I’m here for you if you need consoling or you need to vent, whatever it is, I’m here. I love you.”

“I love you too and thank you. I’m so lucky to have you as my husband and father to my children.” I hugged him tightly realising that I needed to stop looking so happy or I would make people suspicious. I wasn’t happy that Mother was dead but I am happy that I won’t be exposed.

Life for me can go on as planned.



Danielle Tribute