Ruth Learns of Dushan’s Engagement

Chelsey walked into the drawing room and stood by the fireplace. Her mother was sitting on the sofa. “Where’s Gideon?” she asked.

“He’s gone to the store. He said he needed another pair of shoes. I can’t imagine why he would need another pair when he already has so many pairs.”

“So, what are you doing?”

“Nothing. I’m just relaxing. After a very busy week at the office, it’s nice to just relax.”

“Is everything all right between Gideon and you?”

Ruth looked warily at her. “Why wouldn’t they be?”

“I don’t know. Things seem different between you two.”

“It’s natural for married people to grow apart sometimes.”

“Is that what happened with Dad and you?”


“Mom, did you love Dad?”

Ruth’s face reddened. “Of course, I loved your father!”

“That’s not what I mean, Mom. Were you in love with him?”

“I loved him.”

Chelsey sighed. “Loving someone and being in love with someone are two different things.”

“Why are you asking me all of these questions, Chelsey?”

“I just wanted to know how you really felt about Dad, that’s all.”

“I wouldn’t have married him if I didn’t love him.”

“And Gideon?”

“What about him?”

“Did you marry him because you loved him or because you felt that I needed a father?”

“I married him for both of those reasons.”

Chelsey wasn’t convinced that her mother loved her father or Gideon but she didn’t want to press the matter any further, so she changed the subject. “I meant to ask you, why didn’t you come to the International Women’s Day event with me on Tuesday?”

“I didn’t want to go because I wasn’t interested.”

“Really? You were always interested in events like that.”

“I just didn’t feel like going to this one, that’s all. Let’s not make a big deal about it.”

“Well, if you had come, you would have met Chioma Lawal–you know the writer from The Era.”

“She was there?”


“Was she alone?”

“Yes. Why?”

“I was just wondering.”

“I met her. She’s very nice. We chatted for a while and then, she excused herself and went to talk to one of the presenters.”

“I’m very happy for you, Chelsey.”

Chelsey frowned. “Why are you happy for me?”

“I’m happy that you went to the event and got to meet the Lawal woman.”

Chelsey could detect a touch of sarcasm in her mother’s voice but she chose to ignore it. She was in one of her funny moods again. “I’m leaving now.”

“Where are you going?”

“I told you this morning at breakfast that I’m meeting my friend, Anne for lunch and then, we’re going to the cinema afterwards.”

“Oh, yes. Well, see you later.”

“Oh, by the way, Chioma Lawal’s engaged.”

Ruth stiffened. “Engaged?”

“Yes. She was wearing what looked like an engagement ring. It was beautiful. I didn’t get a chance to congratulate her…Mom, are you all right?”

“Yes, yes, I’m fine.”

“Are you sure? You look a bit–“

“For Pete’s sake, Chelsey, I’m fine!”

“All right. No need to bite my head off.”

“Why don’t you just run along now? I want to be alone.”

Chelsey’s mouth tightened. “Fine. I’ll leave you alone.” She marched out of the room, her face flushed with anger. She was getting fed up with her mother’s funny moods. Maybe she was going through another one of those changes at her age.

Ruth sat there, her mind reeling. It couldn’t be true. Dushan couldn’t be engaged to that woman. Chelsey was mistaken. There was still a chance that she could win him back. She just had to figure out how.

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