In the early hours of the following morning, Mattie rocked Trinny on her laps, a nightmare had awakened her and she was trying to rock her back to sleep. ‘Mummy,’ she said in a sleepy voice.
‘Shhhhh! go back to sleep baby, it was just a nightmare,’ she whispered.
She continued to rock her back and forth till she fell asleep again.
Mattie put Trinny back on the bed and placed her head on the pillow before tucking her in with the covers.
‘I love you,’ she whispered before she pressed a kiss on her forehead.
Getting into a comfortable position, Mattie tried to get back to sleep she couldn’t quiet her mind she kept turning and tossing restlessly.
Frustrated she sat upright and looked down at the sleeping form of her daughter. Her little girl had grown up so fast it felt like yesterday when she had held her for the first time.
Looking at Trinny reminded her so much of George, she had most of his features. She wondered if George would have stayed with her if he had known she was pregnant, would it have made any difference if she had told him she was carrying his child.
‘Where did I go wrong George?’ she mumbled under her breath
As far as she was concerned their relationship was perfect, they were happy and set to get married, it had taken her by surprise when she found out he had run off with another woman, up until now she didn’t understand why he left. It was three years already and yet his betrayal still hurt, the humiliation was still sharp and the wound was still raw on her heart.
She squeezed her eyes shut trying to block the memories from her past from entering her mind but they flashed across her mind. ****
Mattie and George met in the University she fell in love with him the first time she saw him though he only noticed her a few months later. The two got talking and soon they became an item.
They had been together for four years when he proposed marriage and Mattie had instantly accepted she wanted nothing but to spend the rest of her life with him. They became sexually active after their engagement, at that stage Mattie felt there was no need to deny him sex when he was almost her husband.
She had been too busy planning their wedding to notice her fiancé was seeing another woman behind her back, she trusted him too much to even suspect a thing. ***
‘Are you sure you are okay?’ He had asked her that morning for the hundredth time.
‘Yes I am fine I think I am just tired.’
‘Then you need to rest, stop over working yourself.’ ‘Okay.’
‘I need to get going, I will see you later.’
‘Take care of yourself.’
‘I love you.’
‘I love you more.’
The next day she had woken up feeling worse than the previous day so she decided to go to the hospital.
Not in her wildest dreams did she think she could be pregnant because she had been on the pill so when the Doctor told her she was pregnant she couldn’t believe it.
‘Here are the results madam, you are pregnant,’ he had said to her.
She had left that hospital feeling frustrated, how had she gotten so careless, how would her mother react, Mattie knew her mum’s opinion on sex before marriage, she had warned Mattie and her sister’s several times against it.
‘If any of you ever indulge in sexual activities and you happen to get pregnant, abort because I won’t allow any of you have a child out of wedlock,’ her mother had warned.
For two weeks, she kept the news of her pregnancy to herself and when she was finally ready to tell George about it, he was gone.
All he had left for her was a note with the words, ‘I am sorry Mattie’ no explanation whatsoever.
She had tried contacting him, tried to ask about his way-abouts from his friends but to no avail, in the end she had given up. Her family had humiliated her over her failed wedding and her getting pregnant out of wedlock.
Though her heart hadn’t completely healed she had found ways to live with the pain.
Shaking the memories off her mind, she got out of bed, put on her rob and went downstairs. She walked into the kitchen and made herself a cup of coffee and sat down.
‘Having trouble sleeping?’ Her mother startled her from her reverie.
Mattie nodded her head,’ Yes.’
Her mother poured herself a cup of coffee and sat on the chair across from Mattie. There was an awkward silence in the room for a few minutes till Mattie spoke up, ‘Why do you hate me?’ the words rushed out of her mouth before she could stop them.
Her mother chuckled, ‘You are my first child, why would I hate you?’
‘You have always treated me differently, always reminded me of my mistakes.’ ‘You are a mother you will understand this in future.’
‘I don’t think I can ever treat my daughter the way you treat me.’ ‘Even if she came back home one day carrying a bastard?’
‘A mother should never keep record of her children’s wrongs. I have made mistakes yes but am I going to spend my whole life paying for them?’ ‘You disappointed me Mattie, if your father were here…….,’
Mattie cut her short before she could continue, ‘If my father was here, he would have long forgiven me for getting pregnant out of wedlock and he would have loved Trinny.’
‘First you went off to University and decided to become a camera woman even after I had enrolled you into a good and productive course then you went ahead and got pregnant as if that wasn’t enough, that fiancé of yours dumped you. Do you understand how humiliated that must have been for me, for months I couldn’t go for my women’s meeting because people talked, I was dropped from my post in church because of you, a post I had worked so hard for, you my child undressed me in public, the least you can do now is find a man to marry you before Christina’s wedding.’
Mattie stood up, ‘It has always been about everyone else but not me right, the church, the community, they matter more to you. I pray to God I never turn out to be like you, I hope none of my children will ever feel unloved,’ she said her voice breaking.
She turned to leave but stopped at the door and looked at her mother, ‘My child is not a bastard. She is a blessing, a product of love. Make this the last time you call her a bastard, the next time you do so, I swear to God I will kill you.’ ‘Mattie!’
‘I am not joking mother,’ she said before storming out of the room.
She walked back into the bedroom where Trinny was sleeping and started packing their stuff, afterwards she changed into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt then she walked into the bathroom – she washed her face and brushed her teeth.
She went back and woke Trinny up before changing her into something warm then she placed Trinny on her back, afterwards she picked up her bags and headed out of the room.
‘Where do you think you are going?’ Her mother asked ‘My child and I are driving back home.’
‘It’s too early for that, why should you be emotional when I just told you the truth?’
‘I have to go now,’ she said
Ignoring her mother, she headed for the door, unlocked it and walked out shutting
the door behind her back.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING