Continued from Rainbows and roses
Queen's husband was helping her get ready for the big party downstairs, he'd helped her wear her gown and was seriously thinking about giving her a shot of vodka to steady her nerves. A knock on the door startled them and they laughed out of embarrassment at how they'd both jumped.
He opened the door to find his father in-law at the other side of the door, he was holding a little parcel and had a big smile on his face. She ran into his arms, she'd always been daddy's little girl even now that the festivities for her thirtieth birthday were already in full swing in the garden.
Her father patted her hair while she sobbed while Omotosho her husband looked on helplessly, Carol met them there. A cloud of "white diamonds" had announced her presence, she refused to wear any other fragrance than Elizabeth Taylor's signature perfume.
She thought they were being ridiculous and told them exactly what she thought, they all smiled when she was done with telling them her mind. Her candor was legendary, she was incapable of tact although she could be counted on to be discreet if the situation called for it.
Jeff cleared his throat and caught their full attention, he solemnly handed Queen the parcel he was holding. She tore it open to find the most beautiful necklace she'd ever seen, it had rubies, emeralds and sapphires and a diamond as big as a pigeon's egg as the centre piece. She knew instantly that she would only wear it tonight to please her father, on Monday she'd keep it in a vault. In time she would use the stones to make necklaces for her daughters and granddaughters.
"What a magnificent bribe" intoned Carol with admiration lacing her voice.
"This is a move worthy of Machiavelli, something to take Marvinque's mind off her nervousness about meeting her real mother"
"You're my real mother" Marvinque sharply replied.
"The woman we're about to meet is only my biological mother", with those words she picked up her pace and left them at the top of the stairs.
They all had worried expressions on their faces, they were apprehensive about her mood. Meeting her mother had been a very traumatic decision for her, for many years she had refused to even consider it. Carol and Jeff tried to get her interested in looking for her mother but she had refused absolutely and told them she'd hate them if they went behind her back to look for the woman who'd abandoned her in a basket.
On New year's eve of 2014, she told them she wanted to find her mother. She'd recently become a mother and she wanted to ask her mother how she could have abandoned her baby, how she found the strength to walk away from her child after she'd gone through the travails of labour. Of more importance was the fact that she wanted to know the kind marijuana she was smoking when she decided to name her baby "Marvinque".
The Catechist's wife remembered very little about her mother but she was able to tell her where she'd lived when she came to their little town. A visit to the compound yielded little fruit until an old woman remembered that her mother had told her that she came from a village exactly two kilometers away from Gboko in Benue state.
She scanned all the faces at the party, there was no unfamiliar face. She let out a breath she had no idea she'd been holding even as a small pang of disappointment stroked her heart. By the time her family had joined her, she'd relaxed and was even socialising with her friends. She was laughing at a joke a friend was telling about Banky W's head when she saw them walk in.
Her mother's friend Gloria entered with a woman she recognised instantly, her face was almost identical to the one she'd seen thousands of times in mirrors, car windows, selfies and countless pictures. She felt an unexpected sense of calm as she watched them huddle with her husband and parents, she knew everything would work out well.
She murmured apologies to her friends and walked to her mother, she opened her arms and her mother jumped into them as they both burst into tears.
After the party, she sat with Martina in her bedroom and they tried to put the distance of thirty years behind them. Martina laughed heartily at the marijuana question, she was glad to know that her daughter had turned out well.
She explained to Marvinque that if she'd brought her home, the only thing that would have been waiting for her would have been a life of toil and drudgery with the stigma of being an illegitimate child born to an illegitimate mother would have been terrible. She had no regrets about giving her up, she got a loving family and a beautiful life that she couldn't have provided for her. At this point Carol was crying copiously while Omotosho and Jeff had a steady stream of tears running down their eyes. Oddly neither Martina nor Marvinque had tears in their eyes.
Martina told them how Gloria found her, when they'd gone to her village no one in the village knew where to find her. She'd left twenty five years earlier and no one had heard from her. Gloria went round the Idoma communities in almost all the 36 states in Nigeria with her picture and description until she found her in Asaba two days before her birthday and she brought her to her daughter.
Gloria smiled as she let herself out of the gate, her duty was done. She'd protected the girl and saw her through meeting her biological mother. She'd been assigned to the girl when she was five years old and had been with her until now. Her master had new duties for her and she had to leave immediately. She could only hope that her next charge would be a little boy...
Being the guardian angel of a girl was the most exhausting job under heaven.