Grace walked in the house and the silence that surrounded it made her heart skip a little bit as she went round the house calling for her father and mother.
“Mommy! Am home! Mother where are you!” she yelled as she walked outside seeing there was no one responding from inside.
“where is everyone?” she was asking herself when her mother`s vehicle pulled over she quickly turned to watch it park, she rushed to the vehicle before her parents could come out.
“Grace what are you doing here? Are you not supposed to be at school?” Diana asked as she got off the car.
“Mom, I missed you” Grace hugged her mother instead and smiled in her face.
“I knew calling you to seek your permission would get me a no answer, so I decided to come see dad myself. I don’t like the way he sounded yesterday. By the way where is he?” she asked looking inside the car.
“Hm.” Diana murmured sadly avoiding to look at her daughter who looked worried.
“What is going on mother? Where is dad?” Grace held her mother`s hand
“Am just coming from the hospital he was just admitted again. He insisted I don’t call you immediately so that you are not disturbed at school. Your father is not so well Grace am sorry” Diana shed a tear as she explained the predicament to her daughter.
“My God, I felt it in my heart yesterday, dad sounded so weak even though he was insisting he was okey. Am going to see him right away mom.” She looked at her mother.
“I need to wash up. I have not rested since morning and am so tired Grace. Let me just freshen up and eat something then I will take you there” she told her
“No mom, you rest I will let one of the workers take me to the hospital. Don’t worry yourself do what you got to do” Grace responded and before her mother could say a thing went inside to get her father`s car keys and ran towards the worker`s` quarters to get one of the workers who drove the farm trucks to take her to the hospital.
Upon arrival she rushed to the ward and found her father just waking up from his sleep and struggling to grab a bottle of water.
“Here, let me help you dad” she rushed to the cup and Mr. Mwape looked up at her surprised.
“Grace, what happened to you? When did you come?” he asked one question after the other.
“Calm down dad. I arrived an hour ago. Came to see you, tell me how you are feeling right now” she asked him sitting next to his bed and leaning her hands on him.
“been feeling very weak of late my dear, don’t worry yourself though, am not that bad” he chuckled trying to smile at his daughter but his weak smile sold him out Grace could see he was in pain.
“you have done well to come Grace, somehow I wished to see you like this, alone without your mother around cause I know she wouldn’t approve of what am about to tell you even though it is the right thing to do” he started trying to sit up, Graced helped him up putting the pillows on his back to support him.
“What is it dad?” she asked sitting back on the chair.
“Am going to tell you a story that happened a long time ago. I want you to understand something very important.
“Okey am listening father, go on…” she encouraged him and he leaned back comfortably as he told his story.
“A long time ago, there was a girl from Chilanga. She was a good child and very hard working. Something happened along the way and the girl got pregnant. Well, according her, she had fallen in love with this young man and got pregnant. I don’t want to tell you the rest of the story because I really don’t know it all, the only thing am sure of is that, this girl got pregnant and concealed it from everyone including the people she was staying with.” He paused looking at Grace who was listening attentively without moving an inch.
“What Happened to her?” Grace asked impatiently.
“well, this girl gave birth alone in the bushes and gave away her baby to a family that according to her, was the best to raise her baby and she was right, this family loved the baby and raised her as their own, till one day she went back and pleaded to get her child back saying her boyfriend was back from where he had gone to study and they wanted the child back” Kent coughed stopping for a moment.
“Are you okey?” Grace stood to help him handing him some water.
‘Yeah am okey just my throat feels dry.
“But dad that is not fair, how can someone just damp their baby like that no matter what the person was going through? Why didn’t she just keep the child to herself and face the consequences of having an early pregnancy?” Grace spoke up as her father rested his head on the pillow.
“To make the matters worse my child, she went back to claim the same child she had thrown away. No that is just insane” she added shaking her head.
“Wait a minute” she looked at her father seeing him looking at her serious without a word.
“What is this story supposed to mean dad? Am I that child?” she felt her heart race seeing her father look down
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“Grace listen to me, whatever I will tell you today should never at any point make you feel I and your mother never loved you, you are our baby girl and we have loved you since the first day you came into our lives” Kent sighed sadly
“What? So it’s true? Am the child in your story, did mom throw me away when I was a baby? Please tell me she didn’t dad, tell me you guys are not the once who went to get me back after throwing me away to another family, please tell me the truth now this is making my head go crazy” Grace stood up shaking and crying as her father tried to calm her down.
“it’s not like that Grace, its…” he almost finished his clarification and Mrs. Mwape walked in her face wet with tears as she realized her husband had told the truth to Grace.
“no my child, we are the family that took you in, we could not let you go my baby, you belonged to us and you should know that I for one would do anything to make sure you are okey and happy” Diane sobbed as she spoke making Grace stand up and look at both her parents shocked her hands and lips were shaking as she could not believe she was raised by the people who never gave birth to her.
“I, I , I can’t believe this, you mean to tell me am not your biological daughter? And all these years you hid that truth from me?” she looked at her parents.
“Am sorry Grace, I know this is hard for you to take in but I wanted you to know the entire truth before it’s too late. Please forgive me for hiding the truth Grace, there is no day that passed without me feeling love for you my child, to us you are our daughter despite the fact that we never gave birth to you” Kent spoke gently
“I only want to know one truth dad, how you got me back. Did my parents throw me away again or what?” Grace sniffed in still standing as her mother shook her head at her father to stop him from telling the rest of the story.
“That is enough Grace, your farther needs rest now, and this can be talked over some other time” Diana cut in.
“No, my dear wife, let me finish the story and rest easy… I , I” he stammered as he felt his heart race faster than before.
“Calm down honey, please look at how you are stressing yourself up” Diana held her husband and the next moment he was panting for his breath she screamed out for Grace to call the doctor.
“Go get the doctor Grace, your father is not well” she cried out and without hesitation Grace run out as fast as she could.
“Tell her the whole truth my wife, it is the right thing to do please” Mr. Mwape whispered his last words and the moment the doctor got in he pulled himself last and was gone.
“Honey, wake up please” Diana cried out as the doctor came closer taking his heart beat and looked at her shaking his head.
“Am sorry mam, he is gone” he breathed out sadly Diana went down her feet wailing in tears. Grace who was standing by the door seeing everything was shattered seeing her father being covered and declared dead in her eyes. The hot tears coming out of her eyes touched her skin and she felt herself go down the floor powerless.
“Am sorry young lady, stay strong” the doctor whispered to her and left the room leaving the mother and daughter in tears and sorrow. It was the sad moment for the family and the lost was so much. Grace felt like it was all a dream and she would wake up to see her father and that the story he just told her was not true either. There is no way she was born from someone else, she thought to herself. Since the first memory of her life, she could not remember any other mother and father but them.
She had no idea what Diana had to do to get her back and make her know only them as her parents. As she cried, she looked at her devastated mother and even though she wanted to ask more about her past, she knew what they both where going through was the most hurting moment.
Grace walked to her mother and the two hugged each other crying out as the nurses came in to take the body away to the mortuary.