Patricia dashed blindly into the road, her face was strewn with tears. She cried bitterly as she raced down the paved road dressed in her thigh high slit dress. The look on Chuks and his bride’s face were registered on her mind and try as she may, it didn’t go away. Her life had crumbled, her world was shattered, what was she going to do? Who was she going to call to ask for help? How could Chuks do this to her even after all she had sacrificed for his love? What was going to happen to her now? Her mother would arrive tomorrow, hoping to see her soon to be son in-law, only to find no one. That wasn’t the depressing part, it was the part where she’d called Chuks’s name at the party and he’d turned to his wife instead, ignoring her as though she’d been a total stranger.
“You are wicked Chuks! You are wicked!” She yelled into the night as she kept running like a mad woman. The pain was too much to bear and her heart felt as though it was on fire, it felt as she though she could perceive her burning heart through her nostrils. She felt so empty, so tired and so spent.
“Is this what you want?” She screamed at the heavens. “You want to laugh in my face right? You want to tell me, I told you so…isn’t that right?” She yelled. “Guess what? I will have the last laugh. I won’t let my Chuks be taken by some other woman because he is mine. This was just an engagement party and I bet you that the wedding will not hold.”
Pedestrians on the street stared at her as they walked past, some felt that she’d gone crazy. Yes, Patricia was crazy. She had left her car at the venue of the party and had raced down the road blindly in a direction totally opposite from her way home.
She cried and stared at her bare fingers.
“For twenty-nine years I have waited for a ring…for a rock on my finger.” She whispered. “I looked for it when I was with God but I didn’t find it, perhaps He thought that I didn’t merit it. Now, I got so close to it…so close but then, fate decided to play pranks on me. I will show the world that Patricia can challenge fate. I will get what I want. I must get what I want…and I do not care how I get it.” She spat.
She suddenly stopped running and turned around, she took a long breath and let out a slow hysterical laugh. She walked down the road and laughed as she walked, it was a long eerie and weird laugh which made it seem as though she was really mad.
“I will get what I want…I will get what I want…I will get what I want…” She muttered over and over as she made her way to where she’d parked her car.
Marianna watched the last of the guests leave and sighed, it had been a long party, lasting for longer than she’d wanted. Her husband’s friends, some of his relations, a few of her relatives and neighbours had come together to celebrate with them. In her life, she’d never witnessed the celebration of a pregnancy and she felt that her husband was blowing things out of proportion. Her husband was over the moon with joy and so were his family members. Marianna was the only one in low spirits, she was sad about a number of things, first of all was for her ex-boyfriend who had risked his family to help her get pregnant and second of all was Rosita who had plainly rubbed it in her face that she was still as steadfast as ever.
“Damn you Rosita, damn you to hell and back.” She swore.
“Did you just curse?” Her husband asked.
Marianna spun and stared at her husband.
“What…I mean…” She stammered.
“I heard you curse, are you alright?”
“No, I didn’t curse…I was just muttering something under my breath.” She said.
He took her hands in his and stared into her eyes.
“Do you know what honey? I have been thinking.”
“Yes, I am thinking that before we go to sleep tonight, we should fall on our knees in thanks.” He said.
“We can’t deny that it’s God’s doing. This gift, this baby is our gift from God. It is written that the fruit of the womb are His blessings, right?”
She laughed nervously.
“You have never really been the praying sort.” She said.
“There’s always a first time and I really want to thank God…what do you think?” He asked.
“Well…I guess it’s okay.” She said.
He nodded and hugged her affectionately then walked away. Marianna watched him leave.
“God didn’t work this miracle, I did.” She whispered to herself.
Rosita was trying to watch a movie when the lights turned off.
“Oh my goodness! This power holding company has struck again. The worst thing of all is that my generator is having problems.” She sighed.
She stood up from the bed and walked to the window, the other houses on her street had light including her neighbours.
“What is going on? Why don’t I have light?” She asked herself.
The door to her room opened and her kids rushed in.
“Mummy, the light went out…everywhere is dark.” Her son said in fear.
“Shhhh…calm down sweetie…I’ll see what’s up…” She said. “I thought you were asleep.”
“I miss daddy…if he were around, he would fix this.” Her daughter said.
“But daddy isn’t around.” Rosita said.
“Why don’t you tell him to come back?” Her daughter said.
“Why should I? He left on his own, didn’t he?” Rosita spat in self-defence, forgetting that she was talking to a child and not to an adult.
“If he was here, he would have fixed this. I am sure that at his new house, their light never goes off.” Her daughter said.
“Stop it!” She yelled. “Is it my fault that your father left us? Look at me! I am suffering and trying so hard to make things right but I can’t. I am one human being and I am overwhelmed.”
She sat on the bed and buried her face in her palms and cried. Her children stood beside her not knowing what to say.
“I’m sorry mommy…” Her daughter said.
“I…just want to …make everything alright but it’s been difficult for me too…” Rosita cried.
“Why don’t you ask God for help?” Her son asked. “You always tell us that if we have problems, we should go to Him. Why don’t you?”
She looked at her innocent children and could make out their frames through the darkness. How could she tell them that she’d cried to God to help her fix this but she’d still gotten no answer yet? How could she tell them that she’d prayed and fasted for almost a month for a solution to this problem and nothing had come up? Instead, she nodded and said.
“Thank you for the advice darling, I will ask God for help. Thanks for reminding me.”
Her kids hugged her and she hugged them back.
Marianna was fast asleep when she heard the doorbell ring, who could it be at this time of the morning? She wondered. She yawned and sat up on her bed. Her husband lay beside her snoring softly. They had prayed last night and while she’d mumbled the incoherent words to God, she knew that she hadn’t lifted up her mind and soul to God as she prayed. She had just said those words to avoid questions from her husband.
There was a knock at the door.
“Who is it?” She asked.
“It’s me…” Her husband’s relative answered.
Marianna got off the bed and walked to answer the door.
“Good morning auntie…” The girl greeted. “There is a man outside looking for you.”
“A man? Is it the plumber?”
“No sis, he’s someone I’ve never seen before.”
“Did he specifically ask to see me?”
The girl nodded. Marianna thanked her and when she shut the door, she went to wash her face and brush her teeth. She slipped her feet into bathroom slippers and left the room.
In no time, she was hurrying down the stairs and making her way to the door of the house. She pushed the door open and stepped out. The man’s back was facing the door so she couldn’t catch a glimpse of his face, he was dressed in saggy jeans and a hoodie.
“Hello…” She greeted.
He turned to look at her and her heart somersaulted.
“What are you doing here?” She spat.
“What sort of a question is that?” Her ex fired.
“Look, I don’t know how you got the address to my house…” She started.
“Because of you, my wife has left me and she took the kids.”
“Why don’t you beg her to come back?”
“Easier said than done right? Do you know what Marianna, if only I’d rejected your pleas that day you’d come to my office to beg me to get you pregnant…”
“Shhh…” Marianna hissed, taking him by the hand and pulling him towards the car garage.
“Are you hiding this from your husband?” He asked, looking at her with some sort of sick triumph.
“Don’t get nasty ideas into your head.” Marianna warned.
“I have lost it all, because of you.”
“You didn’t lose it all besides you only cheated once and you need to tell your wife that. I wonder why you didn’t keep your mouth shut when she confronted you with cheating allegations.”
“Look, this is not the reason I am here.” He said to her.
“What is it then? Why are you here?”
“I am here because that child in your womb is mine and I want what belongs to me.”
Marianna’s eyes widened.
“You heard me Marianna. If you don’t give me what belongs to me, I swear that I will expose you like the fraud you are, to your husband. I wonder what he’ll think of you when he realizes that you have been cheating on him.”
“You can’t…you can’t do this…” Marianna said with a shaky voice.
“Watch me.” He spat.
“What do you want? Is it money? Is it…is it…?”
“I don’t want anything, all I want is my family back.” He said.
“Then it’s easy, let’s go and speak to your wife…let’s go and talk to her…together…I can do that on your behalf.” Marianna begged.
“She has refused to speak to me plus, I have no idea of where she might be.”
“Then find her…let’s talk to her…” She stammered.
“I know my wife so well and I know that she might never take me back.” He said. “Since you are carrying my child, I want you…you…to start a family with me.”
“What? Are you insane?” She almost yelled.
“What is insane about my proposition? I want you to start a life with me and with our child.” He said.
Marianna gave him a good look, he didn’t look well.
“Are you alright? Are you sure that your separation from your wife didn’t affect your thinking?” She asked.
“You are mad to insinuate that!” He spat angrily, staring at her like a wild cat of some sort. “Think over my proposal. You know where to find me. Failure to accept my offer means that you want me to spill the beans to your husband and trust me, I will. Let’s see if he’ll accept another man’s child or a cheating wife.” He said and walked away.
Marianna felt like weeping, what was going on? She thought. Everything had been figured out. Why did his wife have to leave him? She groaned aloud in frustration and sighed.
“You started this Marianna, you might as well end it. You won’t let anyone destroy your marriage. You are going to work so hard to get your ex out of the way.”
To be continued…