Susan sat on a rocking chair knitting away enjoying the cool evening breeze on the balcony. She was knitting another sweater for her granddaughter, Adaobi whom she adored dearly. She wondered why she wasn’t home yet. Susan hoped that it wouldn’t be one of those nights that her boss kept her working late. How time flies she thought, her Adaobi is a grown woman already. As these thoughts passed through her mind in comes Adaobi dancing moving her waist from side to side. “And what are we so excited about today?” says her grandma. He finally proposed, grandma said Adaobi delightfully. A wedding proposal already, thought Susan. Behind her glasses she blinked tears of joy away as she thought of all the years of struggling to raise her only grandchild. She remembers that dreadful day when she lost her daughter Adaobi’s mother on the birth table. The pregnancy was a difficult one and she was alone in the journey. Her prince charming disappeared as soon as he got to know that she was pregnant. They had both being young when it happened. Susan found herself helping to pick and put together the broken pieces of her daughter’s heart. She hoped that after the baby was born her daughter could move on with her dreams but fate had something else in store. Her daughter never made it through leaving her with the cries of the new born now Adaobi.
Adaobi, cut through these thoughts in Susan’s mind, “grandma check out my ring…are you not happy for me?” Susan startled quickly responded, “of course I am so happy for you darling”. “So when do I finally get to meet this prince charming you have been hiding all this while?” Adaobi explained that Mark had only being very busy but that he promised to pay a visit at the weekend. Susan was excited and started to praise sing her only grandchild.
On Sunday evening Mark came to pay his would be in-law a visit. Susan was happy to receive him and Adaobi was beside herself with excitement. The young man looked calm and collected. He was very respectful and knew when to throw in a few jokes which Susan laughed to. Adaobi watched her grandmother and Mark warm up to each other. In her heart she sent up to heaven a quick thank you. Soon it was time for Mark to leave. His sweetheart escorted him out, and Susan watched them both holding hands as they walked out the front door. It was a while before Adaobi came back. When she came in, her grandmother was sitting on her rocking chair in the dark. Adaobi smiled thinking that her grandmother must have dozed off; she walked towards her with the aim of helping her to get to her bed. As soon as she was close enough Susan spoke up, “Adaobi, the young man is very nice but as an old woman who has seen many sides of life something doesn’t sit well with me about that boy”. Her granddaughter’s hand which was lifted to tap her awake stood still in mid-air. Stammering she said, bu…but mama…. Susan cut her unfinished words by laying her old shriveled fingers on Adaobi’s cheek lovingly and spoke again. “Child, an elder sees what a child doesn’t see; you need to find out more about him before making the big commitment”. With a sinking heart Adaobi knew that it was better to pay hid to the wisdom of her grandma.
Adaobi prayed and hoped that all would be well between her and Mark. She loved him so much and he as well didn’t give her any reason to doubt his love for her. Their love relationship kept blossoming. Soon it was his birthday and she organized a surprise party for the love of her life. She contracted a caterer to do the cooking and a few friends were invited. All of the goodies were to arrive at Mark’s residence in the evening on the D-day. All day Adaobi couldn’t pay attention at work but as soon as she closed she headed to Mark’s home in the hope of meeting her caterer at the address. As Adaobi drove into Mark’s compound where music was already blaring, the house was in frenzy. She was disappointed that Mark had gotten home earlier than she planned and perhaps by then had already let the caterer in. Adaobi didn’t like that the bubble of her planned surprise birthday bash had been busted. She quickly jumped the few staircases on the pouch and as she lifted her hands to knock on the door, it swung open. An excited sweet voice broke out singing… happy birthday to you… and stopped after the first few words. A beautiful fair face stood confused facing Adaobi.
“Who are you?” she said. And who are you? Adaobi asked instead of answering her question. The beautiful fair face replied with irritation, “His wife”, and slammed the door! Adaobi stood still and couldn’t move for several minutes. After a while panting and dizzy she managed to turn away but soon crashed on the steps of the staircases. She couldn’t cry but simply stared out into space lost in a faraway world. Adaobi’s heart was broken into so many pieces that it took several sessions of psychotherapy to mend.
A good number of women have become psychiatric patients because they were badly hurt and betrayed by some man who is either a “promised forever love” like in Adaobi’s case or a husband. How does a woman not get to that extreme breaking point? By knowing that human beings are full of surprises and your life does not come to an end because of a disappointment or betrayal. Protect your heart and let God be your succor. Life can still be beautiful and rich for you in spite of that deep hurt.
Photo Credit: Thanks to Neil Lane engagement rings