Love Really Is Strange – Episode 29

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By Lydia Jonathan

I entered the living room,a bit confused why the whole family was here, since they had their own families. As soon as I got in, all heads turned to look at me

“What’s going on?” I turned to no one in particular, but really needed an answer, because I think my mind was playing tricks on me. Maybe I dreamt about my mother that’s why I’m seeing her here, sitting quietly staring at me with a sad expression on her face

“Lizzy sweetie” Mimi’s mom called and I turned to look at her. “Come seat” she said and I nodded still unsure of the situation but complied and sat far away from my mom, which I think I’m projecting, cause I missed her lately

Clenching and unclenching my fists from nervousness, my gazed unintentional matched my mom’s and a ghost of a smile appeared on her face. I looked away immediately, my heart now beating erratically in my chest. A little part of me felt happy, happy I could see my mom, even if it wasn’t real. How the crease on her forward pronounces when she’s nervous, how she fumbles with her nails like she’s doing now when she’s under pressure, and it’s taking me all my will power to not jump her and embrace like I normally did to comfort her, and to see the smile on her face when I tell her to let all her worries flow away like the ocean, and how she’d laugh when I said things like that. I felt my breath get constricted, as my chest tightened from thinking about her. I blinked away the tears forming in my eyes and stayed concentrated to the matter at hand. The whole family’s here so there must be something really wrong, or they heard about my abduction and came to sympathize. I was drawn out of my thoughts as Mimi’s mom’s voice came up

“Lizzy”, she called taking in a deep breath and began, and all eyes were soon on her. “As you can see, you’re mother is alive, and she….

“What?” I cut her off, looking back at the figure sitting on the couch quietly. Now that I think about it, she does seem real, I couldn’t be imagining her right? I got up and walked up to her, but she didn’t make any attempt to move. I stretched my hand and poked her and immediately cold chills went down my spine. She was real, this person sitting here is real and she looks like my mother

“What is happening here, cause whatever it is, it is not funny, I turned to my family in a panicked state, but they all looked dejected on their seats, none able to look at me. “Somebody please tell me what’s going on cause, I’m losing my mind here”

“Liz, calm down, Mimi spoke, getting up to touch me but I pulled back, fear briefly taking over me

“No, don’t tell me to calm down, it doesn’t make any sense”, I was freaking out and on the verge of passing out, cause my head seem to be spiralling out of control

“Elizabeth please calm down” her gentle voice spoke from behind me and I froze. And a strange emotion took over me, as I whipped my head to face her. “You” I spoke walking slowly to her, my voice now filled with rage as I channelled my pent-up anger towards her. “I don’t know who you are, and honestly I don’t care. My mother is dead. She died on my eighteenth birthday, and she was buried in tears. So if you think you can come here pretending to be someone you’re not, then you got the wrong person, you may have my family fooled but you can’t with me. I finished, now hovering over her as I saw hurt flash in her eyes, and a stray tear trailed down her cheek but I didn’t care. I don’t know who she is

“I’ll be in my room” I turned away from her to see the surprised gazes from my family. And I knew why, I had never had an outburst as such in front of them, so even I would be surprised at myself, but I was too riled up to care. I ignored their baffled gazes and made my way to the stairs but stopped abruptly when Mimi’s dad loud voice boomed the sitting room making the already quiet room be like a grave yard

“Come and sit and hear her out” he stated and I knew better than to cross him. His voice held authority and even though he is a bit old, everyone knew not to go against him, and since he has been and still is a father figure to me, I wouldn’t want to disobey him. I went and sat back down glaring at the woman in front of me

“Go on” he spoke to her gently to her, and she nodded

“I’m so sorry Elizabeth” she began

“Oh cut the cráp, and go straight to the point” I growled, not believing the way I sounded right now. Never in a million years, had I thought I’d say something like that to my mother or in this case, someone that looks like her. But I got abducted by a pyscho, and my ex fiancéee I had known for eight years was in partnership with her, and I was almost abused by the so called fiancée, which I didn’t know was actually an ásshole and was héll bent on making me his no matter the cost and my abductor turned out to be my saviour and I lost the guy I loved to said ex fiancée. Passing through all that can make a girl go crazy, and for now I’m just plain raged

“She sobbed, but wiped her tears away, looking back at me with sadness, and I felt my chest tighten but still put up a brave face. I don’t know her, so she has to explain herself

“I didn’t die on your birthday”, she started “and you didn’t know because you passed out, She took in a deep breath. “I was taken away by my family”.

“What? My eyes got wider two times their normal size, and I wasn’t alone, because Mimi and her brother’s also seemed as surprised as I was, but their parents not so much, and I didn’t bother to ask why, because my mind just got blown

“You’re family? I asked perplexed and she nodded meekly. “Are you being serious right now? Cause the mother I knew had no family” I gritted out

“Lizzy!” Mimi’s dad warned with his eyes, to let her continue. I sighed and turned to look back at her

“On the eve of your birthday, she continued, “I got a call from my parents, you’re grandparents, she paused to look at me but I was glaring at her. She swallowed and went on “They said they wanted me to come back home, that they miss me….

“Home?” I cut her off “Where is home exactly?

“Plymouth, London” came her reply

“So let me get this straight. You lied about not having a family? I frowned and she nodded slowly. I blew out a breath signalling her to continue

“I was a naive 18 year old when I met your father” she went on.

My father? I thought she said my father was a drunk that treated her badly and died by a hit and run, but I didn’t stop her and let her continue

“He was this sweet, charming guy that came to my university on scholarship and I got attracted to to as soon as I saw him. He was really brilliant and when he came up to me and spoke to me, I was overjoyed. He told me he came from Nigeria, and I smiled cause I knew my family were also from Nigeria even if I was born and raised in London, and I told him that. He told me stories about Nigeria and I helped him adjust to London since I was his only friend then. Days rolled by and we became study buddies, and days turned to weeks, and we grew closer with each passing day. One day He asked me out. I accepted and we began dating. Our love for each other grew and we became inseparable. In our final year he proposed and it was the happiest I’ve ever been. I told my family and they didn’t take it too well, which surprised me, because they liked him as well. I asked why they don’t want me to marry him, and my dad said he was on scholarship which meant if we lived together, it’d be difficult for us. He won’t be able to take care of me. I got angry and left the house ignoring their calls and pleads. I went and told him everything and he was sad and said to return to my family but I refused. I was hopelessly in love with him, and didn’t care what my family thought. He told me he would return to Nigeria after graduation and he’s not very rich and might not be able to care for me like my family said, but he’d do anything to make me happy, and I knew I wanted to spend my life with him and that meant leaving my family in London and coming to Nigeria” She paused as she raised her head to see our curious faces and took that as a sign to go on

“After graduation, I left my family and followed him to Nigeria, and met his family. They accepted me and later on we got married and he got a job, though the income wasn’t much, we went by and that was all that mattered, and we loved each other.

We lived each day lovingly, until things started changing. He started getting angry at the slightest provocation, started blaming me for everything” she paused to wipe the stray tear that slid down her cheek. “But then I later found out why he was changing and noticed it was because of a lady whom he had before he left Nigeria for London, turns out as she came to see him, he’s feelings for her resumed. He came home late one day, we had a fight and he slept with me. The fighting got too much and he later took his things and left me one day, because it got too much and I had already taken in with you, but didn’t tell him because I thought it wouldn’t change anything. Thank God I had a job and that helped sustain me until I had you things got really hard, but then I met them” she gestured to Mimi’s parents. “They helped me, and urged me to go on. And it didn’t surprise me when you became friends with their daughter” she smiled a little at Mimi and then looked away. “I was happy you had someone like her and we lived. And I haven’t heard from your father ever since

“So that’s why whenever I ask about him you burst into tears? I asked and she nodded now sobbing. “why did you lie he got drunk and died then? I asked her and she looked up to me

“Because it was too much whenever you asked about him. So I had to say he died to stop you from asking”

“What happened then, when you got the accident” I asked, still not understanding how she died or in this case, didn’t die

“My family somehow got my contact and called me. They heard your dad left me and wanted me to come home, but I told them No. So on your birthday, my brother called said he was in Nigeria and wanted to come get me and I was driving to come see you. I didn’t see the other driver and all I remembered was a bright light

“You got into an accident” I muttered and she nodded

“I woke up in London after I was told I was in a coma. My brother found me and took me home. I tried coming back but they wouldn’t let me. I told them about you, but they said you are fine and I believed them cause you had them. She gestured to my/Mimi’s family and at this point, my tears were on the verge of spilling, my heart ached and my head felt like it would fall off

“They said I was fine and you believed them?” I snapped getting up “Are you kidding me? You left you eighteen year old daughter all alone didn’t come back for her cause you thought I was fine? I growled causing her to winch, tears falling off her cheek. “You also knew about this? I turned to Mimi’s mom and dad, cause unlike the others they didn’t seem surprised and they didn’t reply ascertaining my theory. “So you’ve been lying to me all this while?

“Sweetie please calm down” Mimi’s mom got up to touch me but I snapped.

“Please don’t. You knew and didn’t tell me? the tears I’ve been holding back, rolled down my cheek freely. “Is there any other secrets you’ve been hiding? I turned to all of them, anger sipping through my veins as I took in their gazes but when it fell on Mimi, she seemed tensed

“Mimi? I walked up to her, staring her down

“It’s..It’s Evans, she stuttered

“What about him? I frowned

“He didn’t die, she said lowly

“What?” I breathed out, not believing my ears

“He’s alive, she said.

…To be continued

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