Continued from Sunshine and rain
The little girl loved listening to the story of how she came to her mother, not in the usual, boring fashion but an entrance worthy of the little queen that she was. Her mother never got irritated by her frequent requests for the retelling of the story, how could she? When it was the story of how her life changed from mundane and drab to one of love and laughter.
After they'd finished baking on Saturday, the seven year old "Queen" again requested to hear how she came to her mother in a basket instead of her stomach as was the usual custom. Her mother could have given her the moon if she asked for it, trekked to the ends of the earth for that child, telling her the story was a joy and pleasure.
"One beautiful Sunday in Febuary, 1985 was the year" She began as she pulled her daughter in a tight embrace.
The catechist's wife had begun to get antsy, the baby had woken up and was peering at her like she was making up her mind about whether was worth the effort. Her mother had been gone for over twenty minutes and she had an uneasy feeling about the length of time she'd been away, no good mother would leave her child with another for that long, especially this baby who was barely a month old.
She went to the head of the youths and told him what had happened, she wanted him and the youths to search for the woman in the bush. She hoped the woman hadn't fallen somewhere in the marshy soil and needed help. After an hour of intense search, the youths returned to her with the news that the woman had vanished and someone fitting her description was seen in the bus park boarding the bus to the big town.
By this time the baby had just finished screaming like a wounded goat and was happily gulping the milk that one of the women had prepared for her. The catechist's wife eyed her speculatively, she wasn't a woman to wring her hands and ask why but one that rolled up her sleeves and dealt with the challenges that came her way. She knew that taking her to the government was futile, this baby was too young to be put in the government orphanage and the nearest church orphanage was two hundred miles away. Taking her in was out of the question, there were seven mouths depending on her husband's meagre salary. An idea came to her that changed her countenance, she couldn't hold in her smiles as she mulled over her idea. She was confident that it would work, Mrs Carol was the best option.
Carol was the richest woman in the rustic town, she could easily be the richest woman in any big town. She was the only child of a wealthy deceased father and the pampered wife of an equally deceased husband, they'd both died in a car accident on their way back from a family engagement. In the fifteen years since they'd both left her on earth while they were living it up in heaven, she'd merged their businesses and forged a company that was the biggest employer of labour in the country after the government. She spent her weekends in her hometown which had been her father and husband's favourite place, it made her feel connected to them.
Her housekeeper came to the rose garden to tell her that the catechist's wife wanted to see her. Swallowing her surprise, she rose to meet her in the parlour. She took in the woman's discomfort in one glance and wondered at what was in the basket beside her.
After the initial pleasantries, She pushed the basket to Carol who was shocked to see a baby inside. She told her what had happened and how she wanted to give her the girl to raise. Carol didn't even hesitate, she carried the baby in her arms and kissed it.
She quickly set about making the baby comfortable and that was when she discovered Martina's letter and instructions. She chuckled a little at the name "Marvinque" but decided that she'd keep the name as her mother wanted but she'd give her a pet name that would overshadow the name. She decided to call her Queen.
Government officials gave her a hard time when she wanted to adopt Queen; single women, even widows were not allowed to adopt children. Only married couples had that right. She went to her friend Jeff who had never been married because he hadn't found the "perfect" woman. They came to an arrangement to enable her adopt her daughter and get a quiet divorce later.
However they both fell in love with each other and raised her as theirs. He'd gone to the US to see his suppliers and see the new trends in his business, he was coming home on that Saturday and they'd just finished baking his favourite pastries.
Carol wiped her tears, she always got teary when she told her daughter the story. Her daughter crawled into her lap and joined her to wipe her tears.
The sound of applause jolted them, they turned to see Carol's new friend. Marvinique hated her fiercely on first sight and it only worsened despite everyone's best efforts.
"That's quite a story; I didn't realise you were that special- Miss Marvinque" she hoped the little girl would see this as a friendly overture, she looked at Carol for guidance but Carol's attention was wholly fixed on her daughter.