Diana looked at her farm house for a good number of minutes wiping the tears from her eyes as the thoughts of leaving the house she had come to love and lived in for 16 years clouded her mind. She could not help cry even at the watch of her son who kept asking her why they had to move.
“We have to my son because I have said so” she looked at her son who stood his hands akimbo.
“Am sorry Joshua, we have to get away from here.” she added and placed the last item in the back of the truck that was moving them and getting into her car pulling her son to move faster as the boy stayed stationed in one place.
“We can start moving now driver. We are done here” she shouted at the driver to the truck transporting their things and started the ignition as her mind went back to what happened barely a year after Grace had left.
She was seated on the outside veranda selecting the bad beans from the tray as she wanted to prepare it for their lunch that day. The horning of a vehicle at the main entrance to the farm made her look up to see who it was.
“Choolwe can you take that?” she shouted and saw the worker already trotting to the gate.
“Am on it madam” Choolwe responded and she watched as he opened the gate a range rover gray in color drove in she wondered who it could be. A good looking man came out wearing some black pants with brown slippers on his feet he had a nice looking figure as she could see him stand tall. For a moment she was lost watching the man and wondering who it could be when her worst night mare came to light. The movement of another being from the car and its revelation as the woman stepped forward looking straight at her made her stand and the first thought was to run.
“Stop now Mrs. Mwape, just stop we talk!” Jena yelled seeing the woman running back onto the house like she had just seen a ghost.
“no, this can’t be” Diana panted as Jena and her husband got closer now she recalled she had seen that face somewhere only that Ben looked a bit older and more handsome she could confirm that.
“What, what… the hell are you doing here?” she stammered her temper or anger whatever it was rose, Jena and Ben could not put their hand to it as the woman shook they could see her hands vibrate.
“Why are you so worked out Aunty Diana? Have you not missed us, it’s been years you know?” Jena smiled only her smile was sad as she realized it was Diana who took her baby after all.
“Where is she?” Ben chirped in without letting any chance pass.
“I have no idea what you are talking about” she responded going back to sit on a chair.
“yes you do, or you wouldn’t want to run away from the people you had fooled all these years” Ben added this time his voice cold and firm he moved closer to the woman noticing her skin had grown frail and weak from the firm smooth skinned person she was years back. She had surely aged and her fear right that moment made her look even older and weak
“I will not be asking again, Diana, where is our daughter?” Ben stepped forward Jena saw he was getting pissed she quickly moved in feeling sorry for the older woman.
“Aunty please, I know this is probably hard for you, but what you did years ago was evil, how could you do that to us, we respected you and we thought you had accepted the situation, now” she paused swallowing as she tried to find the right words to tell her.
“We have come to take her back, she is our daughter and you have no right to hide her from us, its high time the truth came to light, so please, I beg you hand her over and we all live in peace. I have suffered, we both have suffered” she pointed at her husband.
“For years we mourned our baby just to find out she is still alive, please I beg you, where is she? Call her out and let me see my baby Aunty please” she cried getting down close to Diana.
“look here you two, am not going to allow you to come into my house and accuse me of anything at all, I have no idea what you are talking about and so please leave if you have nothing else to say” she responded and stood up leaving Jena still kneeling down crying.
“you buried Grace Jena , I don’t know what this is all about cause we all were there when you put a flower on your daughter`s grave, please my husband is gone and I cannot have you both reminding me of the pain that you caused us when you came back to claim that baby. So…”
“Stop Diana, please stop already, can you even hear yourself? You are shameless that even after being caught you still trying to get your way out, it’s over, it’s been almost 18 years now and all this should come to an end. Be reasonable for once please” Jena walked closer to her holding her hand but she pushed it right back and walked away getting into the house, Ben had to stop her from locking the door storming inside angrily and at the moment, the first thing that came into view was a picture if Grace hanging on the wall she was smiling beautifully at some snow looking place
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“My baby, wow, my God, this is how she has grown?” Jean whispered as she slowly entered the house straight to the photo Diana looked down. Not even for a moment did Jena doubt her daughter`s face. She instantly knew it was her and Ben for a moment felt bad he had not been able to tell her daughter even after being so close to her before.
“She is the one Ben, she is our Grace, our baby. Diana how could you do this? we have missed so many years of our daughter`s life because you were selfish” she turned to look at her and back at the photo.
“Mommy! Who has come?” Joshua walked in at the moment they all looked at him.
“You had a son?” Jena asked Diana.
“it’s none of your business, Joshua go to your room now sweetie” Diana shouted at her son but the boy walked forward looking at Jena and Ben.
“You know my sister? , who are you? Your eyes, just like Grace,” the boy pointed out looking at the photo and back at Jena. Diana got so furious pushing the boy to get out of there.
“he is right you know, my daughter has her mother`s eyes” Ben responded.
Diana knew she was cornered though she played hard to admit the fact. In sympathy Jena offered her freedom if she would tell them where Grace was at. Ben on the other hand wanted to insist on her paying for her sins.
“Please my love, not now, let’s just find Grace and take what is ours back. Diana`s own judgement will come from God. You know what Aunty” she sighed looking at Diana.
“I so much looked up to you, I thought you were an angel but after all this, I cannot understand why you turned like this” she shook her head sadly.
“Well, has it ever occurred to you that this is all your fault you ungrateful woman? You threw away a newly born baby just to come back and grab her back just like that. You don’t deserve my daughter you know that! You are just a useless and stupid girl. No matter how polished you have turned out, for me you are still nothing and do not deserve anything good, we will see if Grace will ever accept you, she is no longer a small girl that you can just take you know, she is a woman and I have raised her well, she will never accept you pathetic clowns, you are just…..”
“Enough old woman! Enough, insult my wife again and I swear you will rot in jail where you belong. Who are you to judge us after what you did?” Ben cut her short and stood to scream at her she flinched back until Jena pulled her husband`s hand and looked at Diana with tears in her eyes.
“I was so wrong Aunty, I know that and there is no day I forget what a terrible thing I did, but I wanted to become a better person for my Grace, I and my husband came for our baby because we really loved her and wanted to make up for my mistakes, throw all the insults at me it doesn’t matter now, all we want is your daughter, where is she?” Jena asked trying to stay calm.
“Even if I told you where she is, she will never accept you “Diana shrugged casually.
“She is studying in Italy” Joshua shouted from the other room and Ben looked up at the boy who was standing in the door way eavesdropping, tears in his eyes.
“Joshua go back to your…”
“No” Ben stopped Diana and moved to hold the boy by hand and led him in the living room they all sat.
“Am sorry you heard all that Joshua, but it’s true and we need to see Grace. Can you help us?” he asked gently and Joshua looked at his mother.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this mother? Am 15 years old and deserved to know the truth, how come you loved Grace more than you did me after all am your biological child?” Joshua cried
“Don’t …” Diana raised her hand to speak but Joshua yelled out aloud.
“yes, you have always loved her, you never talk about me to your friends like you do about Grace, it’s always about her and there is no little thing I do right, why do you love her so much if she was never yours in the first place?” Joshua asked and before he could say more her mother slapped him hard across his face the boy stepped back crying loudly.
“She calls sometimes I have her number in my books” the boy spoke looking at Diana who kept looking at him warningly.
“Joshua! Joshua! “Diana yelled as the boy rushed to his room and came back with a piece of paper handing it to Ben.
“thank you young man, thank you” Ben patted Joshua` s back and looked at Jena who nodded her head.
“Am sorry, but we will come back to settle this matter later on” Jena looked at Diana as they walked outside Diana sunk back in the couch crying.
“What have you done?” she looked at her son who shook his head and walked away.
“You never loved me because of her” he shouted as he went to his room banging the door close.
“Mommy, where are we going now? Are you running away so that they don’t take you to prison?” Joshua asked his mother snapping her out of her sad thoughts.
“No, you idiot! Just shut up, it’s all your fault “ she yelled at him.
“Am sorry Joshua, am just overwhelmed with all this” she looked at him after realizing the damage she was causing to him as the boy looked in front silent.
“yeah, lets just go mom” he responded and looked back seeing the truck slowly following them as the farm house disappeared slowly as they got away.
“we are going to be fine son, you will see all this will soon be over and Grace is coming back home” Diana spoke but mostly to herself as her boy had closed his eyes and faked to be sleeping.