There was a certain old lady who sat in front of her house in an old rocking chair every morning. All she did was shake her head and bite her nails. Most people thought she was not particularly alright, no one came to visit her and she didn’t go anywhere. The only company she had was a little very old dog who could barely walk or see.
One day Pretty, who had gone to spend time with her grandmother noticed the old women next door from her bedroom window. It was the motionless dog that first caught her attention, she had a puppy at home. She got curious and decided to sit on her verandah, which overlooked the old woman’s compound. She watched as the old women came out of her house, put the dog in front of her, starred at it and start to shake her head and bite her nails. This went on from around 8am in the morning until 2pm.the old women went into her house came out again around 5 pm and repeated the whole process until 8pm, when she retired for the night. Pretty watched her for a whole week often falling asleep while watching.
Pretty decided it was time to go talk to the woman. So the next day, when her grandma went for a church programme, she went into the old woman’s compound. Surprisingly, the old woman stopped starring at the dog, got up and walked towards her. She froze as the old woman got closer, then she asked Pretty the strangest question, “Have I been forgiven?” Pretty didn’t even know when she said “Yes Ma’am”. The old woman suddenly started to cry, held Pretty tight and was dancing and singing and praising God. She led her into the house and asked her to give her just a few minutes.
While the old woman was gone, Pretty looked around the room, the house was exquisite inside, beautiful furniture, curtains, pictures on the wall taken in Paris, London, new York, She was thinking to herself, I would love to go to these places and dress in all this elegant clothes, she looked around some more and found jewelry and beautiful clothes in a trunk in the corner.
Just then the old woman came out, she was beautiful, she had changed into a beautiful kaftan, combed her hair and put it in a bun, with a dash of makeup, Pretty was surprised and the old woman didn’t look so old anymore, now she looked so much like the woman in the picture. Pretty said to the old woman “Ma’am you are so beautiful, I want to be just like you”, the old woman said to Pretty, “no dear, you definitely don’t want to be anything like me”, as she spoke She saw the shock and questionable look in Pretty’s eyes, She gently led her to a chair to sit down, then she said My Angel, let me tell you why you never want to be like me , this is my story-
My parents named me Beauty , because I came out of my mother’s womb very beautiful, my hair was full, my cheeks were red and it was as if I came with natural make up. Everyone praised my parents for calling me beauty, they couldn’t have given me a better name. Unfortunately I was their only child, so they spoilt me rotten with all they had. My parents saved every penny to move to Lagos, just to make sure I was exposed to the best they could find. My father got a job with a white man as his chef and my mum worked as a nurse.
The white man had a daughter, her name was lily, she was just a year older than me at the time I met her, she was 10 and I, 9. Lily was mixed race, her mum was black. She had died from cancer a year before that .we struck it off immediately, her father was happy, up until then she had remained in her shell. He asked me to move into the spare bedroom in their house, it was beautiful, made up with pink and white accessories. He enrolled me in lily’s private school and in a few months we were as close as sisters.
My father was still the chef, he came from home and saw me every day once he resumed for work, my mum would come Saturdays and Sundays to wash and do some housework and spend time plaiting my hair and lily’s. It was fun. Then everything changed a year later. It was on the day of my 10t birthday, we had invited all our school friends over to the house, my parents were there, they had managed to buy a new some new clothes, Lily’s dad was busy running around and organizing the children, we had a DJ, bouncy castles and all. When it was time to cut the cake , my parents were called to cut the cake with me, all the kids expected lily’s dad to come first but my parents the chef and cleaner came, it wouldn’t have mattered but one of the girls who had come for a sleep over before then shouted, beauty your parents are the chef and cleaner, and everyone started to laugh, it was as if the ground should open and swallow me, I ran inside , refused to comeback out until everyone went home, I wouldn’t even speak to my parents for the whole day.
That day it dawned on me, no matter how much a hen tries to be like a peacock, it will always be a hen, but I was going to change that. Thankfully it was the end of our stay in primary school, lily and I were starting secondary school after summer. My parents finally got to talk to me and they apologized for embarrassing me but the did was done, a seed of resentment had been planted in me, I resented them for embarrassing me and I was not going to let it happen ever again.
Just before summer ended, Lily’s father called my parents for a meeting, lily and I were also there, he told them he wanted their blessing, lily was off to Switzerland to girls boarding secondary /finishing school and he wanted me to go along. My mum was a bit hesitant, but my father said, of course, it will be their dream. That’s how I went to Switzerland with lily. We didn’t come back home until we finished 6 years later.
The first day I stepped back in the country I was different, I had an english accent, I was very beautiful, my skin was flawless and I was proud. As I walked out of the arrival lounge at the airport with lily, my mum tried to hug me but I gently pushed her away and said hello by stretching out my hand, she didn’t care she took my hand and kissed it, right there and there, I took out a handkerchief and wiped off her mouth from my hand and said ewwwh!!
I had become different, I called lily’s father, Dad, my dad, chef John and my mum was Ms. Mariam, my parents loved me, even feared my rejection more, so they accepted whatever I called them, they were just proud and happy I was going to have a much better life than they could ever give me.
. That lasted for 6months before Lily and I were whisked off to New York to NYU. Lily for film and photography, I for fashion design, that didn’t last long, I dropped out of NYU, the day I was discovered on 5h avenue. A scout offered to photograph me and that was it, I became a model. Lilly’s father came to New York, he wasn’t happy that I dropped out of university, he felt I could still study part-time and model at the same time, but I told him off and said he wasn’t my father , so he couldn’t tell me what to do. The poor man left me alone after that. I didn’t go see lily anymore, I had moved out of the apartment near NYU her father had gotten for us. I was a model now all that stuff was beneath me.
Paris, New york, Milan, Singapore, contracts came, money came, soon I was on bill boards and magazines all over. When I turned 24, I met a young man. He was fine, I was shopping in macy’s when he walks up to me and says. Nubian queen, I have been searching for you all my life. I looked up and saw this handsome Arab man. One thing led to another, he flew me back to the UAE. We got married and I became his wife, I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into, the only witness I had was a friend from New York, she came with me for the wedding and flew back a week later.
I beauty, used to freedom, walking around half naked, I was forcefully constricted into Islam, forced to wear an hijab, and learnt the hard way, after a few slaps not to talk when been spoken too. My handsome prince married 3 others after me, I was miserable but rich. Was treated like a prisoner for the fear that I might run away, my passport had been seized a long time ago. I had 2 sons for my husband, they turned out to be his not mine because I could never tell them to do anything without them confirming with their father first.
On my 35th birthday, my husband asked me to make a wish, I asked to go back to New York to shop and take a holiday, up until then I had been a good wife, prayed 5 times a day, served and obeyed. So my wish was granted, my sister in law will accompany me he said. That was fine. We set out for a 2 week all expenses paid luxury holiday. We were to stay at the Ritz Charlton hotel. We arrived checked into adjoining rooms. The first few nights I just slept, my sister in law wanted to go out but I said I didn’t, so the 3rd day she left me and went shopping, that was my opportunity. I still had my bank account in New York but no card, went into the bank, reactivated my account with my passport, got a card and withdrew a large sum of money. Went straight to the airport without my luggage and bought a one way ticket to my country and that’s how I landed back here at 35.
I had nobodies phone no, didn’t even remember my way around or how to get home, even if I did and lily’s father was still there, after the way I treated him, I didn’t think I could face him, so I asked a taxi to take me to the nearest hotel, I had a lot of money in new York and I had the card with me. I also had lots of cash on me. I paid for 6 months at the hotel and settled in. the next few days I got the taxi to take me cloth shopping , soon I had enough clothes , shoes and bags to wear for a while. I didn’t even know where my parents were.
One day I was lounging by the pool and a man came to talk to me, he was posh and rich but that wasn’t my thing, I was posh and rich too, we became friends, I felt comfortable enough with him but I only told him I just relocated from New York and I want to go into the fashion business. So he invited me to his office and in 6 months, I had a boutique. He helped to do all that with my money.
We only started dating after that, he proposed on my 37th birthday, coincidentally he was 39 and single, so we hit it off.
I had gotten married to him before I realized he was a real family traditional man. My first challenge was with his family, they were all over the place, in and out of our house, I couldn’t stand that. First his mum complained that my puppy must go, she was allergic to it. In my house, she was joking, I made her life miserable. One day we were arguing and she pushed me out of the way and I pushed her back. She fell and hit her back, was hospitalized for a week. Of course I blamed her and my hubby supported me. He was totally in love. I was pregnant with twins at the time. Anyway to summarize, I had the twins in London, came back and gave my husband an ultimatum, his family out of our house or I go back to New York with the twins, 1 girl and 1 boy. He buckled and sent them back to the village.
All through this I wouldn’t let him go see them, he just sent them money, his family abandoned our house and that suited me fine, I didn’t have any, so why should he.
On my 50th birthday, we got a call that my mum in law was about to die, her son should come, I bluntly through a tantrum, how could he leave me on my 50th to go anywhere. Needless to say, his mum died without seeing him but not without cursing me. I found out later, I will come back to that.
I think I was 53 or 54 when I ran into an old woman ,I was coming out of my car with a friend in front of her supermarket, when this old woman, came to me and said beauty is that you? I looked at her from top to toe and asked how you know my name. The woman fell on the floor and was crying and praising God. That was my mother she was around 77 or 78. Of course, I denied her that day, put my hand in my bag, gave her a wad of money with my business card folded inside it, so my friend couldn’t see.
A day later I got a call from an unknown no and I picked it up, it was my mother, I asked where she was and I went to see her and my father, they lived in the house lily’s father had given them, the house I grew up in, he had gone back to America and left them the house and a car. The rest he had given to his other workers but my parents were like family to him so they got more. The house was too big for them to maintain after a while, so it was looking pretty run down. I sat there not knowing what to say. After a while, I asked them for an account no, issued a check enough to fix the house and keep them for a while, then promised to give them a monthly allowance. I asked for my business card back, told them I had moved from the address and my no had changed, I promised to be back the next day with new details. I never went back, but I kept sending them money, to me that was enough, I couldn’t be ridiculed again by them.
Then when I turned 59, my husband suddenly fell ill and died from a heart attack, without a will. My in-laws pounced on me, all my money they claimed was his, they locked up my boutique, before I got home my house was locked from the gate , everything I owned was in there, I still had one bank card with my name on me, the rest were in my husband’s account, my children were gone. Then I got a text with the curse my mum in law had left for me, “Beauty, as I have died alone without my son, so shall you, you and your stupid dog, you will regret for the rest of your life what you did to me, no one will look for you and you will be alone until the day God himself forgives you and someone decides to show mercy on you and comes to visit”
I thought it was a joke, with the little I had left, I bought this bungalow, my dog was tied outside the gate, with that trunk box you see in the corner filed with all you see here. That’s all I have from my whole life. when it was locked I had it with me and since then I have been in this house, I have 4 children don’t know where they are, no one comes here and I have no one to see, until you showed up and I knew I had been forgiven.
So you see my dear child, my life was a waste, I thought my beauty would get me anywhere and anything, I was wrong, I was too proud to accept anyone, not even my parents, now see how I ended up. “You are called Pretty, Let your name be your character, have a pretty life, bring beauty into the world and infect people with your love, be a blessing and make a difference everywhere you go, let people see the glory and beauty of God in you. God bless you, my child.
she heals copyright @2017
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