HEATHER AND HER HUSBAND (SHORT STORY) #2
In the first episode of this story, Heather accidentally learnt that her husband was into a serious relationship with another woman and planned to confront them with her Glock.
This episode focuses on Heather’s sister, Andrea, and her involvement with her sister’s family. Quite an interesting or, to be more precise, shrewd character, this Andrea! Enjoy!
Andrea had a burden to pray. It was so heavy that she told her partner she’d be unable to come to their art shop that morning. As she prayed in tongues, unable to discern what the burden was about, images of handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit flashed in her mind. She nearly laughed at the absurdity of the idea that the devil was trying to rope her into something that would warrant prison time. But she figured that if the Holy Spirit considered it important enough to burden her to leave work and pray, she’d better not trivialise it. Still, she couldn’t think of anything remotely illegal in her professional and personal dealings but she continued to pray, cancelling every evil intention of the enemy.
About 7 p.m., Andrea felt slightly relieved and decided to eat some fruit salad which she prepared around noon but refrigerated when she noticed she might be praying all day. She drank a bottle of water and ate a few dessert spoonfuls before dropping off to sleep. Being a light sleeper, she woke up when her phone rang the short message alert tune.
The message was from Heather, her younger sister. Without even opening it, Andrea knew without a doubt that she had not been praying for herself but for her sister, who was very volatile.
“Oh, my God!”
Heather was no stranger to the law. She had been arrested several times for social justice activism during her college days. It didn’t matter the cause, Heather was always in the thick of it. Then she started dating foreign students, mostly Africans, and helping them to game the system for financial benefits. One of her scams led to her expulsion from college, but in order to avoid accusations of racism, the college authorities allowed the beneficiary of the scam, Pago Sambe, to graduate but without further financial benefits. Through doing odd jobs- waitressing, tour guiding- and wheedling her dad for funds, Heather supported him for the rest of his stay in college.
Andrea was against the relationship from the start. During her time in college, she had dated a couple of Black guys but felt they were too different to build any future with. She could not believe a word they said after she found out that the guys they called brothers were actually their cousins or not related to them at all. Their families were unmanageable and the circle widened the farther they travelled. She broke up with the last guy, a Kenyan, after he introduced a fellow as his brother, a guy she knew was from Lesotho. He probably thought she was a dumb blonde who believed that Africa was a country.
Something else she noticed was that they were always in need and she couldn’t accommodate their needs without lying to her dad or dabbling into illegal stuff, something Heather was apparently more than willing to do. She didn’t mind sharing what she had but when everyone with the same skin colour claims to be your spouse’s brother and feels entitled to financial help from you and your family, it becomes a tad trying. There were certainly rich African students but Andrea had never been acquainted with any.
Andrea wondered if she was racist but assured herself it was cultural difference. To each his own! Anyway, Heather loved Blacks and would die for them, she not so much.
But in spite of her reservations, when she saw that Heather was determined to marry the Pago guy from Nigeria, she relented and behaved herself. She also convinced her dad, who hated the guy that caused his baby girl to be expelled from school, to show support. And she thanked God that she did. She got to babysit Heather’s adorable son, Junior, and stood in the gap for her sister and her family, which seemed to be teetering, something Heather seemed oblivious of.
What informed her view of Heather’s family?
In Andrea’s eyes, their lifestyle was unsustainable on their income. They lived in prime real estate, which they could put on the market for a sizable sum and buy a townhouse or condo.
Heather was also fooled by Pago’s good looks, charm and expressiveness to think he could run a business. Garrulity and paper qualification cannot substitute for business acumen. His list of collapsed ventures should have told her that, but she kept pouring water down the hole and massaging his ego. He would do well as a staff in a company somewhere but he didn’t know squat about running a successful business, Andrea believed.
Their relationship was also unhealthy in her opinion. Pago had more of a utilitarian than genuine romantic attachment to Heather, something his endless affairs should have told her. But she melted in his arms every time they fought and made up. Andrea was sure the magic would wear off sooner or later. Heather was a smart girl and she was bound to realise she was being duped at some point. But not from her, lest she be accused of being a home breaker, she told herself.
It appeared that the realisation had finally come after five years of marriage for Andrea was certain her vision of handcuffs and the orange jumpsuit was not for herself after all but for her passionate sister. Heather had probably had enough and Andrea hoped her prayer had been enough to stave off a tragedy.
Andrea tried to call Heather but she had switched off her mobile phone. She didn’t want to make a call to the house which Pago could pick. She never knew what to say to the fellow and she certainly didn’t want to go through him to Heather then. She decided to call the pool house where another handsome Black guy, whom Pago said was his brother, was staying. He picked on the third ring and sounded genuinely pleased to hear from her.
Before she could explain her need to talk to Heather before tomorrow, the fellow (JohnPaul) confirmed her fears.
“I may have endangered my cousin’s life,” he began.
“Who’s your cousin?” Andrea queried, although she had no desire to be dragged into these immigrants’ sob stories, especially when she had an emergency to deal with.
“Pago is my cousin.”
“But he says you’re his brother. Oh, never mind! Why do you think his life is in danger?”
By the time he finished his story, Andrea was so mad she could have killed Pago herself.
“The nerve that he has, that scoundrel! After all that my sister has done for him!”
“Can you help? Pago is my brother.”
“For goodness sake, make up your mind,” Andrea exclaimed in frustration.
“Cousin, brother, it’s all the same,” JohnPaul replied, surprised at her outburst. “I will not forgive myself if any harm comes to him. Besides, I love Heather like my own sister and I don’t want her to do anything that will get her into trouble.”
Andrea was touched. “Neither do I, neither do I!”
-To be continued-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2021
Hi! Hope you’ve enjoyed the story so far.
Should Andrea do more for Heather in her marriage than pray for her and babysit?
Should she tell Heather her honest opinion of her husband and her marriage?
Or would that constitute setting asunder what God has joined together?
Where do you think the story is headed- peaceful resolution or tragedy?
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