The sun was already up when Clara got out of bed, she sat up,
stared at the time and rushed out through the door, it was almost ten am and she was sure that her dad would have left for the clinic. She was frustrated, as she’d have to
take the public transport to tutorial school and at this time of the morning, the buses
took longer to fill. 
She stepped out into the sitting room and saw her father,
going through the family album, he wasn’t dressed for work. Emerald and Zika
were arguing over who should be with the TV remote control, Clara breathed
a deep sigh of relief as soon as she realised that she wasn’t the only one staying home.

“Good morning dad…” She greeted.
Her father looked up at her and patted his hand on the space
on the couch beside him signalling that he wanted her to sit. Clara walked up
to sit beside him.
“I have never found the time to look through our family
album and it’s funny that I’m doing so now.” He said, flipping through the
pictures and stopping at one with Kendra in it.
“I miss her…I’ll always miss her.” Clara said.
“Yea, me too…” He said.
Clara pointed at one of the pictures where she and Kendra
stood beside a water fountain, there, she was five and Kendra, four.
“I hated my dress in this picture, I always thought Kendra’s
was prettier. I wasn’t even making my hair back then, I was always on a low
cut.” Clara said.
Father and daughter stared at the picture together and they
both noticed the difference, Kendra had always been better taken care of than
Clara. Her dad closed the album and looked at her.
“I know I didn’t do too well in bringing you up, I made you
feel less loved and less appreciated, I am sorry.” He said.
“It’s okay dad, it’s all in the past now.” Clara said.
“I have something to tell you…something I should have told
you long ago but…” He started but was cut short by a sniff.
It was Mommy who had just walked into the sitting room,
sobbing and still dressed in black.
“Morning everyone.” She greeted.
Clara was quite surprised, her step-mom never greeted
everyone in the mornings, she usually greeted her dad and walked over to give
her children kisses on their cheeks.
“Good morning ma.” Clara greeted.
“How are you Clara?”
Clara nodded and took the album from her dad’s hands, he had
been at the brink of telling her something but mummy had interrupted. Clara saw
the open hostile stare that her dad gave to mommy and shuddered, she stood from
the sofa and was about heading over to the room when mommy’s voice stopped her.
“Clara, please wait.”
Clara stopped in her tracks.
“I want us to come together and discuss like a family.”
Mommy said. “Emerald! Zika!” She called out to her children and they came to
sit beside her.
“It’s unfortunate that Kendra is no longer with us but I’d
like us to use her death…I mean, I want us to use this separation from her as a
leverage to build our family and be together.” She said, then looking at Clara
she said. “I know that I have hurt you through my words, actions and everything
and I want to ask your forgiveness.”
Clara was stunned but she didn’t respond.
“Is this what you want to say?” Daddy asked.
“Yes, I want to apologise to Clara and ask that we be a
family again…”
“No, you lost that opportunity when you stormed out of this
house asking that I chose between you and Clara. You ended that possibility
when you took my daughter to a quack clinic for an abortion and she died.” Daddy shouted.
“I am sorry…I know it’s all my fault…”
“Yes it is all your fault and there’s no way that I’d ever
forgive you for that!” Daddy said.
“Michael, please don’t be cruel to me. I have been through
so much already. Don’t you know that I can’t forgive myself for my daughter’s
death? I can’t…” She cried.
“That’s your business! I am just letting you stay here for a
while because my sister asked me to but once your two weeks have elapsed, I
want you out of here for good.”
“Please you can’t say that…please…” Mommy cried.
“You went behind my back to pay for a procedure for my
child, you killed her. I can’t let you stay here, I can’t remain married to you
any longer…I can’t…”
Mommy fell on her knees and cried, Zika and Emerald joined
their mother.
“Daddy please, Kendra won’t want us to separate as a
family…” Zika cried.
“Kendra didn’t want to die but she had no choice did she?
Your mother took her to the slaughter house!” Daddy said.
“Clara please let’s beg daddy together, mummy can’t go.”
Emerald cried.
“I’m sorry Em’ but I can’t…I wish I feel sorry for her but
daddy is right, she took Kendra to the clinic and she died there plus she’s
always been horrible and nasty to me. I can’t beg on her behalf besides, daddy
has pretty much made up his mind.” Clara said, not feeling any sympathy for
mommy at all.
“Clara, I promise to be a good mother to you from today…I
promise never to speak bad about you or curse you or make you feel less
welcome, I promise to be a true mother to you…please…” Mommy pleaded.
“As it seems, I just found out that my real mom is alive,
and that’s contrary to the news you told my siblings. You made me think she was
dead and I was rushed to the hospital that night because I could have died.
When we came back home, you told me to my face that I was lucky to have a
father who had an ounce of sympathy for me and if it was left to you, I’d be
long gone. I don’t hate you ma, but I don’t love you either and I don’t think
that I’ll ever refer to you as my mother, not now and not ever.” Clara said.
“I know I hurt you, but I’ve changed, I promise I have…”
Mommy cried.
The doorbell rang and Clara went to open the door, at the
door stood Rose Lily, her eyes were red-rimmed.
“Rose! Are you okay?” Clara asked in concern.
“Thank God you’re home, I thought you’d be off to lesson
now…” Rose said quietly.
“Is everything alright?”
“I need you to accompany me to James’s house!”
“Whatever for?” Clara asked.
“As it seems, his mother is my mother too and I need to get
there and clarify somethings.” Rose said with a sniff.
Clara’s eyes widened.
“You are James’s sister? How?”
“I’ll tell you about it later, please go change and come with
me.”
“I haven’t had my bath yet…so I might be quite a while but of course I’ll come with you. Please come into the house.”
“Your step-mom is around right? Abeg, I don’t want her
insults for today, because if she talks to me in a demeaning way, I’ll be
forced to retort.” Rose said.
“No, don’t worry…just come in.” Clara said.
Rose stepped into the house and saw the small family circle;
Clara’s dad looked very angry, her step-mom looked a nervous wreck as she was
sobbing uncontrollably, Clara’s siblings were sobbing by their mother’s side.
Rose greeted Clara’s dad and ignored Clara’s step mom, she
hurried off towards Clara’s room.
“Can I be excused? I need to go have my bath and accompany
Rose somewhere.” Clara said to her dad.
“Sure you can, as far as I’m concerned, our conversation as
a family has gone on for long enough.” Her father said as he stood up and left the sitting room.
Clara left the sitting room and headed towards her room.
In Clara’s room, Rose told her everything Aunt Cassie had
told her.
“Are you serious?”
“To think that the stupid James and I are actually siblings!
Who would have thought?” Rose hissed.
“You know, if you look at the brighter side, we are related.”
Clara said with a smile.
Rose looked at her and her eyes widened, she let out a small
laugh.
“No wonder we clicked!” Rose said with a smile. “I always
wondered why I was so drawn to you…”
“Yea, we are actually cousins!” Clara said.
Rose stood up, held out her hands to her and hugged her.
“Yes…yes…we are.” Rose said, then she broke the hug and
added. “I’ll never forgive her for what she did to my dad…you know.”
“I think you should listen to her side of the story…”
Clara said.
“I won’t give her the chance to lie to me again! Ever!” Rose
said.
“Keep an open mind, Rose Lily, there are always two sides to
every story…” Clara said.
Rose was silent as she pondered on Clara’s words. Clara
opened the wardrobe and looked at the clothes within. She stood there for quite
a while.
“What is it?” Rose asked.
“We shared the closet, the left side was Kendra’s while the
right side is mine. Kendra’s mom asked a carpenter to build this big wood as a separation.”
Clara said, indicating to a wood which divided the wardrobe in two. “She said I
was dirty and my clothes will soil Kendra’s.”
“That woman is wicked!” Rose said.
“She’s currently asking for my forgiveness for all she’d
done to me. To be honest, I can forgive her for everything but when I see
memoirs of the things she’s done to me, I can’t help but feel bitter. The worst
of all is the death of Kendra, she took laws into her own hands.”
Rose stood up and walked to the closet.
“It’s all the past now, you can’t keep hanging on to these
things and expect to soar like the eagle. I’m not asking that you forget the
things she did to you or the fact that she caused Kendra’s death, I’m just
asking that you let go and move on.”
Clara nodded while Rose touched Kendra’s clothes.
“She had beautiful things.” Rose said.
“Yea…her mom always made it a point of duty to shop for
her while  dad shopped for me. Dad did the shopping for Zika
though, because he’s a boy but not for Em’.”
“That reminds me, there’s a confession I have to make.” Rose
said.
Clara looked at her inquisitively.
“The first time I came to this house. I
stole an iPhone and sold it, and I’ve felt so bad ever since.”
“What? You were the one that took Zika’s phone? He looked
for it everywhere and we eventually said he might have misplaced it…”
“No, he didn’t, he left it on the television stand and I
took it. You see, sometimes, I take things that aren’t mine. My aunts…they
have the notion that you don’t necessarily need to pay for everything you have.”
“That’s a bad notion!” Clara said.
Rose shrugged.
“I’m really sorry for taking the phone.”
“It’s okay…all’s forgiven.” Clara smiled and began picking
out the outfit she intended to wear.
**********
Veronica had just gotten off the Skype call with her sister,
she closed her eyes and rubbed her face with her palms. The past few days had
been quite draining.
The boys had stayed home from school and they were both in
their rooms, her husband was also in the room asleep and she hadn’t told him yet
that she had found Preye.
The doorbell rang and she stood up and walked to the door.
She pulled it open and was stunned to see two young girls standing at the door.
They
were none other than her niece and her daughter.

To be continued next week…..

10 COMMENTS

  1. Aaah! This is beautiful. I really pray Rose follows her visit to her mother with an open mind.

    Has Mommy really changed? Or is she apologizing because she's afraid of being divorced and that Clara now has an upper hand? I suspect she's not totally remorseful.

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