Mariah whispered in fear unable to believe her eyes, her big brown eyes already welling up in tears.
Ashley turned around slowly and faced her mother. In one hand, she held a half filled bottle of vodka and in her other hand, a diamond necklace dangled.
She now looked disgustingly at her mother whom she wanted to kill.
How she hated this woman.
These past few years, she seemed different however.
Yes! That’s what her mother said the last time she came home.
“Old things have passed away Ashley! I’m reborn.”
Ashley had laughed till tears rolled down the corner of her eyes, then spat on her and left the house slamming the door.
For as long as she could remember, Mariah changed men like she changed her panties.
When Ashley was 13 years old, she had come back from school worried. Her mum was supposed to come pick her from school but she never showed up.
She had just gotten home but there was still no sign of Mariah.
Suddenly she heard noises like animal grunts coming from upstairs.
Scared for her mum, she ran upstairs to her mum’s room and opened the door.
She stepped backwards horrified.
Her mom was butt naked standing while her ugly principal was hovering behind her. He had her pinned to the wall with her ass shooting outwards.
They were so engrossed in whatever they were doing they didn’t even notice Ashley.
A cry escaped Mariah’s throat and she rushed downstairs with her mom at her heels shouting her name begging.
But her mum never stopped.
The following week, Ashley came home to the same disgusting scenario. This time, it was their landlord.
When he left, Ashley went to her mother’s room crying and broken but determined to get answers.
All the other kids in school had always mocked her and she had had enough.
“Mum, who is my dad?” she said loudly.
Mariah had pleaded with her to sit down.
Then she had revealed the bitter truth amidst tears.
” Ashley, I don’t know.
You’ve got to settle for no dad.
I’m here. I’m enough.
There were so many men when I had you. I can’t honestly tell you I know which one of them is your father.
But I’m done with that life now.”
Ashley stood up angrily and stared at her mum.
“Mum! Are you really?”
Mariah had gotten up too now getting exasperated.
“Ashley don’t you see!
All I’m doing now is for you.
Now I don’t have to pay for your fees till you graduate.
Your principal won’t bother you anymore”
Ashley couldn’t stay and listen anymore.
Her mother was sick!
She ran out of the room, her own tears blinding her vision.
Since that day, their relationship had changed.
Now, she lunged forward unsteadily holding out the vodka as if to break it on her mother’s head and giggled when she saw Mariah scurrying farther into the room, scared for her life.
“Ha..haha..haha!!!” she erupted into a fit of laughter.
She abruptly fell silent.
” I won’t kill you Mother, at least not today.” she said as she staggered out of the door, her bag filled with all of Mariah’s priceless jewelries.
Mariah sighed as she walked into her big mansion.
“What’s the use of having all this without an heir?”she thought.
“What’s the use of money without family?”
A dead child is better than a lost child.
It had been almost 25 years since she last laid eyes on Ashley.
All efforts to find her had proved abortive.
She was 65 now and her body had finally begun to show signs of aging.
She had stopped running now.
But regularly went on long walks.
She had barely collapsed on the chair when she heard noise coming from the gate.
She dialed the intercom in the security man’s office.
” Paul, what’s causing the noise?” she asked
” Ma’am, there’s a filthy looking young woman here who claims she’s your daughter. I’ve told her to stay away. But she won’t budge.”
“Open the gate for her immediately Paul. Right away!!!”
Ashley was home?!
Mariah jumped up and ran outside overwhelmed with joy.
Afar off, stood her daughter crying.
Mariah ran,and fell on her neck ,and kissed her ,and cried tears of joy all the while thanking God.
“I’m sorry Mum” Ashley said as she lowered her gaze and cried bitterly shaken with regret.
Mariah smiled and wiped Ashley’s face with her hands.
“I forgave you a long time ago Ashley” she said as she ushered her in.
Owoeye Jesuloba Grace