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 it 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 dizzy and rested on the bed. Anne and her brother continued with their assignments and listening to music until evening. Later, Charlie expressed his concern to his sister about their mother’s non-responsiveness to their noise. Anne ran upstairs to check and wake up her mother but to her surprise, her mother was shivering vigorously. Anne asked her what happened but she couldn’t say a word. The more she tried to cover her with the duvet, the more Lisa kicked it. Not knowing what to do, she called Charlie to bring the house phone. Anne called again but he didn’t respond.
She ran downstairs to pick it and then noticed the main door was opened. She paused to see who was at the door and Debby came in with joy on her face. However, Charlie stood behind her and mimicked how she walked. Anne recognised her immediately and burst into laughter. Debby had only taken two steps towards her before she realised Anne was looking behind her. Typical of Charlie, he changed his countenance immediately Debby turned to him. Before she could lay hand on him, he slipped out of her presence towards the kitchen.
Debby turned to Anne to ask after her welfare and how she was coping with her new life.
“My mother is dying…”
“What? Where is she?”
Anne ran upstairs and Debby followed after her. When they got there, Debby dropped her handbag on the table and sat beside her. She collected the phone from Anne to call the hospital but Lisa pull her hand to stop Debby turned to her to know the reason.
“I’m dying of anger and hatred…” Lisa managed to confess.
“How? Who offended you? Lisa, you need to see the doctor immediately.”
With tears on her face, she pleaded with her to understand her plight.
“Debby, hatred is eating me up and I can’t save myself.”
Debby prayed silently and then asked her if she could pray for her. Lisa refused and told her she needed to free herself from the entanglement.
“Which entanglement? You have given your life to Jesus and there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. You are free and free indeed.”
Lisa had stopped shivering and leaned against the bed. She asked her daughter to get her a glass of water. Debby watched her how she was breathing heavily and fastened her eyes on the photo hung beside the wall clock. Debby waited until she had finished drinking the water Anne brought to her.
“Lisa, tell me exactly what is the problem? By the way, our trip was a pleasant one and I thank God for His protection.”
“I hate him. I can’t take him off my heart. I can’t stop dreaming of him. He is part of me and I want to detach myself from him completely. Debby, I’m bleeding within. My heart is racing. What can I do?”
“Do you still love him?” Debby asked her point-blank
“Nooo. Don’t mention him. I don’t want to hear anything about him. He abandoned us and neglected his daughter’s welfare. He is wicked. I hate him!” She shouted.
Anne stepped forward and held her mother’s hand,
“Mum, Dad told me he wouldn’t marry any other woman. Josephine is the only woman I have seen around him. He disliked watching relationship based movies. About two years ago, I asked him why he still kept your pictures in his photo albums I saw in his wardrobe. He giggled and told me I won’t understand. I never bothered to ask him again.”
Lisa turned to Debby, “And you want me to forgive such a man? A man who never bothered to look back and went ahead with my chief bridesmaid. Josephine! Josephine!! She betrayed my trust. He took away my joy and created a big vacuum in my heart. I hate him. I hate Josephine!”
“But Jesus Christ is occupying the big vacuum in your life and…” Debby said but Lisa cut in,
“I know! Debby, you won’t understand! You aren’t married yet. Love is deep. Marriage is a sacred vow and ordained by God. One part of me hate him and the other part still love him. I’m confused. Who will help me? I still love him…” She burst into tears.
When Anne couldn’t bear seeing her mother in such condition, she went downstairs to stay with her brother. Debby, who felt out of place with her repeated sarcasm decided to hand her over to God and Pastor Helen. Without her consent, she called Pastor Helen in her presence.
“Good evening Pastor, Please, Lisa needs your counsel…Ok Ma.” She hung up after their brief conversation
“She said you can meet her in the office tomorrow evening. Please, you need it. I will go and be praying about my marriage. After all, marriage is all in all according to one woman staring at me like a …”
Lisa pinched her and begged her,
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. Debby, my heart is aching and make me feel I need to do something to cure it. What could that be?”
They looked at each other thinking of the probable answers.
“You need to forgive him!” Debby said authoritatively.
Lisa smiled and asked her,
“Have you also forgiven your father who refused to sponsor your University education?”
Lisa’s rude reply left her dumbfounded.
“It’s easier said than done. When you forgive your father, then you can come and preach forgiveness to me.” Lisa threw another missile of words at her.
Debby was still in that state when Charlie rushed in with …
To be continued in Episode 32.