Determination -- Part-14
By Thiyam Ningol Dr. Nalini
After Lucy left, she could no longer concentrate on anything. She took out Arnold’s photo, stared at it for few minutes. Then pushed it back in the drawer, whispered to herself- I think I understand you. I would have done the same as you did.
She took out the bible, read few verses and prayed. Thought she could relax for a while. She went back to bed..
By the time she woke up, she found it was already late to go to the church. She overslept.
She had so much to do but could not think of doing anything. Decided to phone Arnold and warn him of a possible phone call from Lucy and Alex. It was already late night in Australia, but she decided to phone all the same. At the first ring itself, Arnold picked up the phone.
-Mum! You OK? I was worrying about you.
-Why? I am fine. Listen my son, you might get an unexpected call from…
- I got already. He called me “son”. Mum I am very happy. You are not mad at me, aren’t you?
-No I am not. But remember what you wrote in the note. You will meet him only after proving yourself a worthy son to him. Study well. Fulfill your dream.
Without waiting for an answer she cut off the line.
Alex had won again.
Grace was annoyed. For the past few days, nothing was going right. She felt like talking to somebody. But she would not like to discuss about her personal past life with anybody. She tried to contact Suzan, but was away on a safari.
She decided to call Mary, her cousin sister.
Mary was not as successful as Grace in life. She had two children from a drunkard husband. At the end she had to escape from him for the safety of the children. She got divorced after a fierce fight. Grace never forgot her help when she needed most. Mary was still working in the same factory. Grace helped her children with their school uniforms and stationeries. Grace was not prepared for another surprise. She thought at least Mary deserved to know from her directly, in first hand about the new developments in her family.
Mary sensed the urgency in Grace’s voice. She agreed to come over.
Grace told her the whole story.
-So what are you going to do now?
-I don’t know.
Really Grace did not know what to do. She was afraid that she might loose her son. All the past years she never thought of Alex coming back in their life. As it had happened in reality, the fear of loosing her son had gripped her tight.
Mary consoled her saying that Arnold was a big boy and very well mannered. He would know how to balance life between her and his new found father. She had no doubt about that. Grace had thought about that too, but she could not completely ignore the fear either. But she felt much better after talking to Mary. She went to sleep early that night.
Alex had told John about his incomplete confession to Lucy, his phone call to Arnold and how he felt about all the happenings. John could see the happiness in Alex’s eyes clearly. He was all smiles. John knew Alex was a very reserved person. He would never discuss personal matters with anybody. He would listen without any comments about other people. Hearing all the small details about his family affairs made John realized the real happiness of Alex. He was happy for him too.
-So now what are you going to do with Grace?
-I don’t know, Alex replied.
He would have loved to apologise at least for once to Grace but when he thought of Grace’s fainting on the other day, it frightened him. He lied to John that he had no feelings for Grace. He remembered the doctor’s comments “As far as I know, Madame does not have a man”. Also John confirmed about Grace’s still being single “She is untouchable”. He also knew how he felt when he saw her talking to her customers. Just one look at her graceful movements and infectious smile, he re remembered how his youthful memories came back. One question in his mind was troubling him-“Was she still waiting for me?”
On the second day after talking to Alex, John visited Grace. He was behaving abnormally-smiling sheepishly and was not able to look at Grace directly.
Grace confronted him straight:-“So you also know the whole story, isn’t?”
-Don’t tell lies. Lucy told me you and Alex are buddies.
-Grace, you know Alex is a very reserved person. He is the last person on earth I would have thought of being Arnold’s father.
-So when and how did you find out?
He told her about Alex enquiring about the restaurant Grace. He added masala and chilli in his part of detective role in finding out whether Alex’s interest was in the restaurant or the owner. His tactics amused Grace. He was happy to hear Grace’s heart felt laughter again.
-So, you will forgive him?
-For what? He has not done anything wrong.
-What you will do then?
-I will continue with my own life. As far as Arnold is concerned-well, he is a grown up man. He will know how to balance his life.
She answered quoting Mary’s advice. John saw the truth in it. He had known Grace for many years. He had seen her struggling. He had noticed her strength in the vulnerable conditions. He had observed her emerging surpassing the obstacles. He had seen her flourishing. He truly admired her. He believed in her.
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