Broken ties

Broken ties

Jennifer muffled her son under a blanket; staring at the clock to realize it was ten o’clock in the night, and her husband was nowhere to be found. This was no different from the previous nights. She was sure he was getting his fill at the bar. She turned to her child, who was now fast asleep, and managed to invoke a smile. She paced the room and then the serene house; resting her fingers on objects, looking for chores. She walked from one room to the other; her silky gown melded with her fair complexion. She reminisced how lovely they both were in love; two college kids who were entangled in the webs of love. But life had soon broken them apart. All she wanted was the man she loved; she needed him now more than ever. She glared at her protruded stomach, and wondered what the future of her unborn child would look like. This was the Seventh month of her pregnancy and her husband was not close to see her through with this encumbrance. He would rather spend the money on alcohol, cigarettes and possibly some other woman. At this point, she became poignant over her marriage. She was angry she fell in love with such a man. This was not the Oliver she had gotten married to. Each moment she spent with him was becoming eerie for her. Her beauty was still radiant, even with the tear beads on her face; she blossomed like a lily under the rays of the morning sun. Aglow in her golden silk gown, she sat on the sofa waiting patiently for Oliver; her husband and father of her child.
Hearing the screeching sound of her husband’s car disconcerted her, as he drove into the compound. She stared at the door waiting patiently for him to come in. His drinking attitude had to stop. Jennifer never knew how to stop him from drinking; his life and the life of others were at risk if he kept on living this way. If no one was to talk sense into him, then she herself would.
The door flew open with a bang, and Oliver came in staggering. Jennifer was not surprised seeing him this way. It was not the first time he had returned home drunk as a skunk. He was never a drunkard from the moment they started dating in college. Oliver was prodigiously intelligent and romantic. He possessed qualities that were every woman’s dream in a man, but all these were soon gone. He was a business man, who was prolific at what he did. A wrong business deal was made and his enterprise came crashing. Major shareholders left the company and the bank wants the house as collateral for the loan he took; leaving them with nothing but dirt. Since then, he had taken to drinking as redemption for his colossal downfall and mischief.
“What are you looking at?” he sputtered.
Jennifer kept watching him as he fluttered to the dining table. He smelt of alcohol and tobacco. She was disgusted by this man she called her husband. Taking a look at him as he ate his meal like a brute, she had no reason to pent-up her true concern for him. She was in love with him; But not this man who was before her. Every moment she spent with this Oliver was frightening, but she still loved him. She summoned courage and sat beside him; heartbroken.
“Why do you do this to yourself? Why do you hurt us by coming back home every night drunk? Why?” she had tears rolling down her cheek. But frank would not say a word or dare look at her. She loathed seeing him this way. She never wanted their marriage to be in an irreparable state; her love for him was unremitting. All he had to do was become that responsible man she had once known. He pushed the dish away and headed for the sitting room. In order to get his attention she thwarted him from reaching the sofa.
“Get out of the way Queen Jennifer, your royal highness”, he bleated.
Jennifer’s reluctance to allow him pass made him angry; raged by her persistence, and under the influence, he jolted his seven months pregnant wife out of his way. She curled herself on the ground in the fetal position and allowed the tears flow out of her eyes. She felt insurmountable pain all through her body. She laid on the ground helpless. Her once happy marriage was now becoming a disaster. But in a way, she felt sorry for him. He was never like this. She witnessed him transform into this brute every night, and in the day, he was some sober human who had realized all he did the previous night. She hated him begging for forgiveness every morning, and yet retired to drinking. She sat up on the ground and looked at him watching the television; he also had tears in his eyes. This was exactly what she had feared the most. Getting physical with him was what she had always avoided, and the worst was yet ahead if matters went on like this. Right there on the ground she made a decision which she had long conceived.
Oliver woke up the next morning with a severe hangover. He was soaked in the matter he had ejected from his stomach, and pants drenched with his urine. He hated himself at this point. He became distraught by the Memories of what had happened the previous night. He knew he had a fight with his wife and reacted aggressively. He staggered round the house in search of his pregnant wife and son, but they were nowhere to be found. Walking into the bed room in order to have his bath, he noticed Jennifer’s wedding ring. It was placed on a piece of paper which was on the bed. He opened the piece of paper and read the words blotted on it:
“Dear Oliver, I love you so much. But you are no longer the man I once knew. My encounter with you last night showed me how dangerous you have become. Staying with you would only put both my life and the life of our unborn child at risk. Till you come back to your senses and quit drinking; we will be staying at my parent’s place. Jennifer”.
Oliver rumpled the piece of paper and threw a punch at the wall; first he lost his business and everything he owned and now his family was also gone. His life had come down to nothing. He sat on the bathroom floor crying; allowing the warm water which sprinkled on him to hide his tears. Waves of emotion swept through him as he embedded his wife’s wedding ring in his palm. He could not let her go that way. She had suffered immensely because of him. He got out of the shower and dialed her number, but she would not answer. He sent her text messages, but she would not reply. Every attempt he made to get her attention seemed to be intricate. Two days had now gone by and his life had gotten from bad to worse without her. He curled and muffled himself in his bed, but sleep won’t come. He no longer had the appetite to stuff himself with alcohol; he wanted his family back. Looking out of the window into the night sky; he watched the moon loom from the clouds, and imagine himself as the moon, while life challenges were the cloud which tried to prevent the moon from being illuminant. He found courage and repented on his bed; all that was left to regain was Jennifer’s love, and their son.
It was now the third day she had left her husband to stay with her parents, for fear of what her husband’s drunkenness would yield. This morning was no different from the previous ones, except for the fact that Oliver had not called her as he did unremitted. She stared at her phone wondering how he was. Not for a moment had she stopped thinking about him. Every moment he tried contacting her was heart breaking and left her poignant all through the day.
“Jennifer dear, you have a visitor”, said Mrs. Johnson as she interrupted her daughter from getting lost in her thoughts.
Mrs. Johnson and her husband never stopped loving and caring for their daughter since she came back home to them. They were good people who were filled with wisdom; never being bias in their judgment over Oliver’s action. They were going to support their daughter and her family at all cost. Having a visitor come to the house at this time of the day was quite unusual. As she went down the stairs, she could hear her five years old son, Desmond, giggling with this visitor. A smile appeared on her face hearing his laughter; she had never seen him happy since they stayed with her parents. Jennifer walked into the sitting room and was amazed by who she saw. It was her husband Oliver, and in his arms was their son. Oliver had transformed prodigiously. He looked undeniably handsome. He was neatly dressed and shaved; this was the Oliver she had gotten married to. She looked at her parents who marveled with glee at the reunion. Oliver was glad to see her in good health, not harmed by his inadvertent acts. She seemed to have blossomed from the last time they saw each other; her beauty still evident. She shuddered as he got up from the couch and walked towards her. Little memories of his violence pricked her. Standing adjacent to her, he went on his knees. Holding out the wedding ring she had left behind on the bed. He begged for her forgiveness. Jennifer was grateful to God that her husband had been returned to her. Spreading out her fingers, she allowed him place it in. she held his hands as they both knelt on the floor with tears in their eyes.
“I forgive you Oliver”, she whispered into his ear.
This was the dark and stormy part of their marriage, but they were certain this was not the end of the road for them. On that floor, Oliver made a promise to the heavens, that never would any life trouble make him cause harm to his family. Little did they know that his present downfall was only a stepping stone to the greater achievements which were ahead of them.
THE END



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