He hated it whenever his wife cried. It always felt as if thousands of needles were piercing his heart. He was ashamed of his daughter. What was Daniel thinking? What exactly happened between them? Even Martha wasn’t sure. The underwear in her fiance’s pocket must have freaked her out. Lord God. His father doesn’t want Sheila at any family event. That was a drastic decision, regardless of what his daughter had done. It was like saying he doesn’t want to see any of them. This is not the way to bring order to this situation.
“Take me home… ”
He met his wife’s red gaze. She looked dejected. Their daughter’s actions had wounded her. He could not remember the last time his wife wept.
“Thank God,” Sheila muttered under her breath. They were the last set of people to leave the party hall. She needed to shower. Her dress was beginning to stick to her skin.
John helped his wife to her feet. He picked up her purse and led her out of the hall. Sheila followed, she hoped they were not planning to lecture her tonight. They could talk to her in the morning. She was in no mood to be scolded. All she wanted to do was to celebrate. The witch has been paid back in her own coin.
Dorcas and Imabong led Martha into her flat. She had cried all through their drive to her house. Dorcas had never seen her sister so broken. She must have loved Daniel greatly.
Imabong locked the doors while his wife helped her sister to take her bath and settle in for the night. An hour later, she joined him in the guest room.
“How is she?”
“I have never seen her so… I…”
“What did you expect?”
She met his angry gaze.
“That neice of yours is a nightmare. What was she thinking?”
She sighed, “I don’t understand her… ”
“John must do something about his daughter. She is getting out of hand.”
“She was not as bad as this when she was younger. ”
He grunted, “So she was born this way… ”
“I didn’t say that.”
He shook his head, “What was Daniel thinking?”
“I wish I knew.”
“What actually happened?”
“Sheila must have been out of her mind for pulling a stunt like this.”
“That young woman… Martha will never forgive her.”
Imabong drew his wife closer. He hoped his sister in-law would be able to sleep through the night, although he doubts it. That was one of the reasons why he suggested that they should spend the night. She might need them.
“Charles you were hard on John.”
He looked at his wife. Both of them had not been able to sleep since they got home. How could they sleep when their daughter was in so much pain?
“Banishing Sheila from family functions will not solve the problem at hand.”
He folded his arms across his chest.
“I know you were upset… We were all angry… But your… ”
He raised a hand. Nnese stopped talking.
“It is high time John tightened the leash on his daughter.”
“She is also your grand-daughter.”
He looked away, “I sometimes wonder if the Adams’ blood run through her veins.”
“Charles! How can you say that?”
He shrugged. What else should he think? She behaves like an outsider.
Sheila made her way into the kitchen in her pyjamas. The first thing she thought of when she woke up was food. She opened the fridge and took out a can of juice and a pack of cookies. Junk food would do until breakfast was ready.
Her mother walked in. She closed the fridge. “Morning mum… ” She placed the can of juice and pack of cookies on a table and sat on a stool. Eureka ignored her daughter. The last thing she wanted to do that morning was to speak to her. She tried to focus on what she was going to prepare for breakfast.
John walked into the kitchen, he had just had his bath and he was hoping to down a creamy cup of decaf coffee before breakfast was ready.
“Morning dad,” Sheila munched at the cookies. She hopes breakfast would be ready soon. John pulled out a stool and sat opposite his daughter.
“Honey please come and sit down.”
Eureka frowned. Trust her husband, he wants them to iron out the issue at hand as soon as possible.
She left everything she was doing and joined them at the table. Sheila groaned, here goes the lecture she had dreaded since last night.
“What happened last night?” He faced his daughter. Her brows were creased in a frown. What did they want her to say? She wasn’t sorry for what she did. The witch deserved it. In future, her aunt would think twice before hitting her.
Eureka grabbed the can of juice her daughter was drinking and hurled it against the wall. The pack of cookies followed. Sheila bolted from the table, she had never seen her mother so angry.
“Honey… ” He could sense his wife’s anger.
She pointed at her daughter, “You have shamed your father and I, when did you become a Delilah?” She got to her feet, “Don’t you think at all? ” She approached her, Sheila backed away, “What is wrong with you? Sometimes I wonder if I actually gave birth to you… ”
“Eureka!” He got up.
“Sometimes I wonder if the nurses switched you… and… ”
John stepped in between his wife and daughter. Sheila ran out of the kitchen and headed straight to her room. She locked the door and sat on the tiled floor. Nothing was going to make her sit in the same room with her mother this morning. That woman would tear her apart. Although her parents had never raised a hand against her, her mother was close to doing just that. If her father had not stepped in when he did, she was sure her mother would have strangled her or worse.
What did she do wrong? She did not deserve this. Did she? If this was the consequences of teaching the witch a lesson, so be it.
Martha opened her eyes. The stinging feeling made her close them again. Something had woken her. What was it? Probably she was dreaming. She turned on her side. Her red eyes found the table clock. It was 6:00 p.m. The door bell rang. She groaned. It was the door bell that woke her. Who was at the door? She had taken time off work so that she could get herself back together. She did not want to be disturbed. The door bell rang again. She pulled the duvet over her head. Whoever was at the door should go away!
The bell kept ringing. “Arrrrrgh!”
Martha got out of bed. The person at the door better have a good reason for cutting her sleep short or else, heads will roll. She marched out of the room, clad in a baggy jean and big white tee shirt.
“Will you quit pressing the bell?”
The bell stopped ringing immediately. Her shrill must have gotten across to the person at the door. Good. She unlocked the door and swung it open. She came face to face with Daniel.
“Hi… ” He had been standing at her door step for the past thirty minutes.
Her frown deepened. She wouldn’t have opened the door if she had known that he was the one ringing the bell. She wasn’t ready to see or speak with him. Why didn’t she check the door-hole before opening the door?
“Martha… Darling… ”
She hissed and tried to close the door, but he held it back.
“Please love, please listen… Please… ”
She eyed him from hair to shoes and stepped back. He sighed in relief and walked in. She shut the door and led him into the sitting room.
“You have five minutes.”
“Thank you for seeing me.”
“Four minutes more,” She sat on a brown leather chair facing him.
He cleared his throat. Where was he going to start from? He loved her so much. At forty-five, he had met several women, and none had made him feel like a King. Martha was the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
“The clock is ticking.”
He met her expressionless gaze.
“I love you Martha… I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
She looked away. She still loved him too.
“Sheila kissed me… I don’t know what got into her… She kissed me and… and… I don’t know how her underwear got into my pocket… Nothing happened.”
She met his pleading gaze. “I love you too Daniel… But I don’t know if I will ever be able to get past this kissing thing between you and Sheila… ” She ran a hand through her weave.
“We just kissed… She tried to seduce me… But I stopped her… Nothing else happened… ”
“That is not the point!” Her voice rose.
“Martha… All she wanted to do was hurt you… She wanted to hurt us…”
“And she succeeded,” She got to her feet.
She crossed her hands. “I can’t marry you… ”
“Sugar Plum… You know me… I don’t go around kissing everything in skirts.”
“But you kissed Sheila!”
“She kissed me… ”
“And you kissed her back… You touched her… ” She shuddered. “How do you want me to live with that?”
Daniel fell silent. Sheila was a beautiful young woman, and if he had given in to her that night, they would have had a one night stand. But, he didn’t. He was a different person. Gone were the days he used to roll with the boys and devour everything in his path. He had surrendered his life to Jesus, he had put his lustful desires under and he was determined to keep it that way.
“I am sorry Daniel, your five minutes is up.”
“I want you to know that I am not going to give up on you. You are the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. I don’t care how long it takes. I will wait for you.”
“I have made up my mind.”
“And so have I.”
They eyes locked.
“I love you Martha,” He turned and walked out. Tears gathered in her eyes. She loved him too. Her neice had cost her the one thing she had she praying and hoping for. Sheila was going to regret ever being born on planet earth.