Dan was woken up by his sister's heavy sobbing. He looked at the clock and it was quarter to five. He quickly jumped out of bed and hurried to lock his door. He wasn't ready for her. It had been six weeks since their father had passed away but she still continued to mourn. She would cry for at least ten minutes every morning, then for the next thirty minutes or so, she would walk around the house praying and singing their dad's favorite hymns. Dan didn't mind her doing any of that, what made him uncomfortable was having her cry in his room. It made him sad seeing her sad.
Their dad's sudden death had been a huge shock to the whole family. He died exactly a week after Geraldine's wedding. Geraldine, was five years older than Dan. She was a lawyer, and was married to a wonderful man called Nathan. She had always been their dad's favorite child. She spent so much time with him whenever she could. She was on her honeymoon when she received the news about his passing. Her wails were heartbreaking. They haunted Dan's thoughts almost every night.
Dan was depressed, he was having sleepless nights, he was not sure of what the future held for them. He had to be strong for his sister and his Mother. Outwardly, he was the only one who was handling it pretty well. Their Mother, Doris, was hospitalized because her blood pressure and blood sugar levels had been unstable. Due to his mother's condition, Dan was forced to move in with his sister and her husband.
Dan heard a smooth knock on his door. He slowly opened his eyes and glanced at the clock again, it was six o'clock. He walked to his door and opened it, his brother-in-law was standing outside. "Good morning Danny, we'll leave for the hospital in an hour" Nathan said to him. Dan smiled and nodded.
When they arrived at the hospital, they found their Mum reading her Bible. As they walked in, her face lit up. Dan was thrilled to see her. He walked to her and kissed her forehead. Nathan and Geraldine did the same. She signaled for them to sit down on the bench.
" We are not going to take Matilda to court guys," she began in a calm tone. Geraldine rolled her eyes and Dan frowned. "Listen to me both of you, I serve a God that never fails, and I know that he is faithful enough to finish what he has started. If Matilda wants Gerald's property and money, let her have it." Geraldine was about to speak but Nathan put his finger on her lips and held her close. "You know very well that Matilda's twins are your siblings. The DNA results proved it and they're entitled to Gerald's money as much as you two are. Just because they were born from a different woman doesn't make them any less of his kids than you guys. As soon as I'm discharged, we'll move into the smaller house, Matilda and the kids can move into the house. Don't worry my children, we'll be alright." Dan had nothing to say to this. He was very unhappy about his mother's decision of course, but he knew that he was never to speak against her. Her word was final. It had always been like that, even before their father died.
When the visiting hour was over, the two of them left the hospital and took into their regular routines. Nathan was a doctor at that hospital. So, it was Geraldine driving Dan to school. They couldn't stop talking about their mom's decision. " She has lost her mind Dan, soon they'll have to move her into the mental institution." "Don't forget that your mother is a prayer worrier sis, she knows what she's doing. Let's just support her." "Do you want to move in with us permanently Dan? Nathan and I love having you around you know. But take your time, think about it and then tell me." "Thanks sis, but you guys are newlyweds and I'm sure you need your space, I'll be with Mom, she can't be alone, especially in this state. I'll be visiting you though... Gotta go, love you". With those words, he was on his way to his first lecture.
He couldn't stop thinking about what his mother had said earlier on. What he didn't understand the most was her ability to remain calm through it all. A few weeks after the funeral, Matilda, their dad's secretary had showed up claiming that Gerald was the father of her twins. Geraldine demanded a DNA test immediately which indeed proved it. Dan couldn't believe that a man like his father could have done that to their family. Thinking about it now he remembered all the times their dad would come back with cute baby clothes always bought in pairs, every time he went abroad. When asked who they were for, he'd always say for his work colleagues.
Dan decided to go to the hospital during his lunch break. He went straight to the room his mother was in. He found her sleeping, looking peaceful. Dan sat down by her side and held her hand, he looked down and started sobbing softly. His mother was such a strong woman. She was going through so much yet she didn't lose her faith. How did she do it? Dan couldn't stop wondering. Her husband had just died, the husband whom she had been faithful to had cheated on her. Now the lady was demanding that everything Gerald owned should be passed down to her children for they were the youngest. And to make things worse, he had died without leaving behind a will. Dan was heartbroken. He felt sorry for her mother. He felt his mother's hand on his back. He looked up and saw her looking at him lovingly and concerned. "Why are you crying my love? What's the matter?" "I miss dad." Dan lied. "Hold my hands let's pray. When they had finished praying, she asked him recite Psalms 91 for her. Dan knew it by heart. Their parents had made them memorize scriptures ever since they were young.
Two days after Doris had told her family about her decision, she was discharged. Nathan, Geraldine and Dan spent the night at their mum's soon-to-be-old house. Geraldine was putting some of the kitchen utensils into a box when she heard her mum calling her. She walked to where her mother was and she found her sitting on her bed folding her clothes neatly placing them into a suitcase. "Go and clean the guest room, Mr Brown is arriving tonight... Oh and when making dinner, count Matilda and the kids in, she'll be joining us too." Said Doris.
Geraldine rolled her eyes as she walked out of her mother's bedroom. That was both good and bad news. Mr Brian Brown was her and Dan's godfather. They were very fond of him because he spoilt them rotten every time he visited. He was their father’s best friend and he lived abroad. She was excited to see him. Thinking about sharing a meal with Matilda made her sick. She felt the urge to throw up and she did. She rinsed her mouth and started her assigned chores.
A few hours Later Nathan and Dan arrived from the airport with Mr Brown. Geraldine and Doris started crying when they saw him. Mr Brown took off his hat, embraced the ladies and cried with them. "He was a good man. He has left me buddy less." He kissed Geraldine's forehead and held Doris's hand. Together they walked into the house. The mood was lighter in the house, Mr Brown was telling his usual funny stories and everyone was laughing. Kayla and Kyle, the four-year-old twins came running into the living room and went straight to Doris. They hugged her. She smiled and carried them. Matilda walked in shortly afterwards. "Good evening everyone" she said and sat as far away from the rest as she could. "Good evening" they said back except Geraldine.
"Dinner is ready" Geraldine said shortly, everyone got up and made their way to the dining area apart from Matilda. She remained glued to her seat chewing the gum that never left her mouth. "We already ate, thanks. Kayla and Kyle, come sit down. Let aunty Doris eat." The kids ignored her and found their seats each beside Doris. Dan prayed for the food and they ate happily. The kids ate everything that was in their plates. Seeing this Geraldine let out a mocking laugh doubting that Matilda fed them before getting there.
After dinner, Doris whispered something into Dan's ear and he flinched a little then nodded. He then stood up and said "Matilda, thank you for humbling yourself and showing up when my mother called for you. She wants to let you know that we will be moving out of this house so that you and the twins can move in. All of my dad's cars will be left here and all the furniture. When his retirement money is ready, you should have it too. She also wants to let you know that she is not angry at you or anything like that but she believes Kayla and Kyle deserve Gerald's money." "Oh wow, thank you Doris. When can I move in?" Matilda asked. "The house will be ready any day next week. I will communicate to you." Doris replied calmly.
Dan's mouth was dry, his knees were weak. He slowly made his way to sit next to his mother. His heart was beating faster than usual. Just like that, his mother had given up everything that rightfully belonged to them. Geraldine rushed to the toilet to throw up again, she was truly disgusted. Her mother was being inconsiderate. Matilda did not deserve any of their dad's property. The whole situation was making her sick. Nathan followed her.
Mr Brown slowly rose from his seat and made his way to his room. "I'll be right back " "I'll be leaving soon; the kids have school tomorrow." Matilda announced. Nathan and Geraldine were the first to emerge then Mr Brown. He was holding a small, leather, briefcase and Dan guessed it was money.
"Before you leave Matilda, Gerald gave me this briefcase the last time he visited me. I think it's best if we see together, what is inside." Mr Brown slowly opened the briefcase and pulled out an envelope that was marked "confidential" across it. "Doris, would you like to open it?" She shook her head. Mr Brown passed the envelope to Dan, "son, do the honors." With trembling hands Dan received it. He saw his dad's familiar handwriting. He didn't realize he was crying until his tears dropped on the envelope. He turned it around and it was addressed to 'my beautiful family love always Gerald the first' .
Dan slowly and carefully opened it. Inside it was another envelope, and a DVD. He gave it to Mr Brown. He opened the smaller envelope and inside it was a note. Dan read it aloud ' please watch the DVD together. I love you'.
They played the DVD, a familiar face they'll never see again popped up on the screen. Geraldine was the first to cry, followed by their mother. Dan saw Matilda wiping her eyes. Kayla and Kyle were staring at the TV with a blank expression. Mr. Brown's face was bowed as if he was saying a prayer. Nathan and Dan looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
"If you're watching this, I'm probably dead and rotten, now right?" Dan almost let out a loud laugh. Their dad was the funniest man he had known and he was still funny in death. He was happy to hear his voice “I'm so sorry I had to leave you like that. I'm so sorry that you will never see me again, I'm so sorry that we will never be together again here. But well here's a good part, where I am, I hope I'm not as busy as I used to be there. I have an individual message for all of you there, the first will go to Brian, thank you my friend. You are the best buddy a man could ever have. Please continue loving and taking care of my people. I trust you." He paused, then continued, "to Doris, my sweetheart, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for betraying you the way that I did. An angel like you didn't deserve what I did. I love you so much and thank you for the wonderful years of love and companionship. Thank you for blessing me with the best children. Please keep praying for our family. My heart beat for you until it beat it's last. You are perfect." He blew a kiss and Doris sobbed louder. " To my baby girl Geraldine, my replica. I want you to be strong for your brother, and for the grandkids I will not be able to see. Nathan is a good man, he'll take care of you. To my young man Dan, a spitting image of your mother. A man after God's own heart. I'm sorry I messed up, you will not have anyone to look up to, but keep on praying, I know God will show you the way to go. I pray you don't grow up to be like me. You should be like your mother, she is perfect and so are you. To Matilda, I regret not firing you when I was told to. But thank you for the twins. I hope you will find your own Gerald, I am or was Doris's Gerald. Please work hard and make something out of yourself. Beauty fades. To my little boy and girl Kyle and Kayla, I'm sorry you'll grow up without me. I would have loved to attend your school plays, your birthday and be there for you. I wish you all the best. You have great siblings you will be alright."
The screen went blank for about 30 seconds and that was the longest 30 seconds ever, then he emerged again. " Are you guys thinking I just left without leaving a will behind?" He laughed hysterically. " I have a will of course, it should be in one of those envelopes, and just in case you don't find it, I have left everything in my wife's name. I know she will take good care of all of you, she is a strong woman. I love you Doris". With that the DVD stopped. Matilda collapsed and fell on the floor.
They had no time to waste, they took Matilda to the hospital. Geraldine remained behind with Kayla and Kyle. She tucked them in her mum's bed and after reading them a Bible story, they slept
At the hospital Matilda was doing alright but the doctor insisted on keeping her overnight. The rest of the family went home. Driving back home, Doris said to Nathan, "your wife is pregnant. She doesn't know it yet so you should take her for the test." They arrived home, gathered for their night prayers then went to bed. Doris kissed the twins and slept peacefully besides them.
The next morning, they all went to the hospital with packed home-made breakfast. Nathan asked Geraldine for her urine sample and took it to the lab. The rest of them made their way to Matilda's room, when they got there, they found the bed neatly made with a folded note addressed to Doris. She picked it up and read it 'sorry for the heartache I have caused you and your children. Please take care of your husband's twins. I'm going to start and build my own life. They deserve a strong and praying mother like you. I trust you. from Matilda."
Doris passed the note around and when Dan read it, he felt relieved. He knew for sure that everything still belonged to them. He walked to his mother and hugged her. He whispered into her ear" thank you for introducing me to your God mum." Doris smiled. Geraldine was still laughing and talking to her godfather when Nathan walked in looking concerned. "Is everything alright baby?? Matilda left." Geraldine told him. "Everything is good baby, in fact I have good news for the whole family. We have a baby on the way " the whole room broke into cheers, laughter and happy sounds. Even the twins were running around laughing. After a thousand congratulatory hugs to Nathan and Geraldine, Dan said "if it's a girl we'll name her Danielle." "If it's a boy, we'll name him Gerald." Geraldine said looking at her brother. The two of them hugged Mr. Brown then held hands and followed the rest of their family outside.
....and we know that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, to them who are called according to his purpose... (Romans 8:28)
Date: 17 May 2019
By Deliwe Chibaya 7 Likes Register to like