Anne sighed deeply and asked her mother,
“What went wrong in your marriage with my father?”
Lisa gulped the remaining orange juice and smiled,
“Your father and I met at a birthday party and the journey began.”
“Did he give you a chocolate Mum?” Charlie interrupted.
Anne laughed and added, “Did he dance with you, Mum? We are all ears. Wait Mum, let me get another orange juice.”
Charlie raised two bars of his chocolate, “Here’s to your beautiful discussion. Don’t interfere with my TV program. Ok?”
Anne served her and Charlie who had sat comfortably on the armchair.
“Sister, put the orange juice on my right side and pick up that remote control.” Charlie commanded Anne. She stroked his head lovingly and then pinched him on his left hand. .
“Don’t you know I’m the head in this home? Respect! Give respect!” Charlie said humourously
Anne sat on the dinning table sitting opposite her mother who was watching them admirably.
“Actually, he introduced himself as Peter and talked briefly about his job, church and his interest. I found that awkward but later relaxed my guard with his humours and gentlemanliness. We exchanged contacts and our communication graduated to romantic relationship. We were in love and could sacrifice everything for ourselves. In fact, some of our friends called us “Honey-sugar couple”. We deliberately waited for a year after our wedding before thinking of having a baby. We were truly in love and travelled a lot. Nothing was hidden from us except our thoughts. We used the same password for our emails and ATM. Life went on until you came and we cherished your coming into our lives. You were such a cute baby then but now a grown-up daughter looking more beautiful and taller than her mother.”
Anne smiled broadly and gulped down the last of the orange juice.
“After three years, Tony came with much joy in our home. You were like a big sister to him and he was gentle like his father before your father turned to a …I mean to something else. That beach experience was one of the worst experiences I have ever had in my life. The emptiness in me almost made me run mad and I persuaded your father to travel to Nigeria which added to our miseries. You were initiated into trouble when we had thought you were fortified against the enemies.”
Anne cut in, “Mum, you told me he was a Christian when you married him. What happened along the way?”
“I didn’t encourage him because I followed him to church reluctantly. He told me he married me because of my beauty. He knew I wasn’t a serious Christian but just a normal churchgoer. When I asked him during our courtship why he chose to marry me, he simply said the sisters weren’t beautiful and romantic.”
“But you once told me a young girl predicted Lisa would be his future wife?”
“Yes, he used that to append his desire for me. Another shocking thing was the way he handled our courtship. He hid it from his church members and Pastor for some months until two months to our wedding. I saw the red flags of lies and love of money but I ignored it. His love for God began to grow cold until Tony passed away. He questioned God’s power and walked away from him. It didn’t bother me because I had a belief that our destiny isn’t in the hand of any God but our hands.”
“But grandparents are Christians. Why didn’t you believe in God truthfully? Anne asked.
Lisa was about to respond when her phone rang. Her mother opened the conversation about Nicholas and his good intentions of marrying her without allowing her to talk. Lisa allowed her to say her mind before she spoke excitedly to her about God’s intervention in bringing Anne back into her life. Lisa’s mother couldn’t believe her until Anne spoke to her.
“Don’t tell me that your good-for-nothing husband is coming back again. I repeat, don’t allow anyone to sweet-talk you into any kind of reconciliation. Let bygones be bygones. Is that clear?”
“So, have you spoken to Nicholas? Has he called you?”
Lisa’s silence showed her disappointment but her mother insisted she must marry him. Lisa had at least expected her parents to rejoice with her but their cold reception of Anne pissed her off. Anne was utterly surprised when her mother hung up abruptly.
“Are they not happy that I came back?” Anne questioned her.
Lisa couldn’t answer her but shed few drops of tears expressing her disappointment. She wondered why her parents would behave in such manner, especially her mother who taught her the value of unity in the family. Anne didn’t disrupt her mother’s flow of thought but watched her as she swallowed her saliva in succession.
After a while, she left for her room leaving Anne and her brother in the living room. Anne cleared the table and then cleaned the kitchen. She joined her brother to watch a movie until Charlie slept off. Anne later finished watching the Bollywood movie and turned off the TV.
She sat on the sofa next to her brother who was sleeping soundly. She thought of her father and the dilemma he would be since her sudden disappearance and escape from Eddy. After five days, they went for shopping in preparation for Lisa’s birthday. She hadn’t celebrated for a long time but her daughter insisted she must celebrate it to thank God for restoring her joy. Anne told her how she has been celebrating it with tears and her promise to celebrate it big if she ever came back to her mother.
When they reached home, Lisa suddenly became…
To be continued in Episode 31.