“Excuse me, what did you just say?” I asked in utter confusion.
“I’m just saying that I have seen how she bubbles with joy when she paints. I’ve never seen her that happy when she sings,” my friend explained.
“I don’t know why she sings anyways,” my friend continued as I stared into her face, clueless. I just watched her lips move but I wasn’t listening.
“You should see the number of followers she has on her media pages.”
I heard her say as I came back to reality.
Goaded with anger, I stood up stunning her as I abruptly cut her short.
“Mercy, what’s wrong?” She asked me in wonder.
“Excuse me Cathy. I have to go,” I told her.
“Did I say anything wrong?” She asked.
“We’ll have this lunch next time,” I declared as I grabbed my bag from the table and stormed out of the restaurant not minding how she’d be feeling.
“Welcome ma,” my gatekeeper greeted but I ignored him still having that apoplectic rage all over me. I rushed into my house, dropped my handbag on the couch and headed upstairs.
I turned the knob and pushed the door open; stepped into the room as I looked carefully around.
I sighed and walked to her wardrobe, moved it from its closed position. I brought out everything I could find in the wardrobe but didn’t find anything relating to what I was looking for. I was so angry to think straight.
I turned and as I bit my lips, I caught sight of the fancy white cupboard close to her bed. I rushed to it, opened it and I became fixed to that spot.
I reached for the papers with shaky hands and I became fully aware of what Cathy had told me.
As I went through them one by one, the only question ringing in my head was how this happened under my roof and I wasn’t aware?
I wanted to get angry. I really wanted to explode but this beautiful paintings right in my hands were telling me otherwise. Then it dawned on me; these paintings were mostly of places we’ve been to for our music tour.
I snorted as I rubbed my nose. How did I let this happen? How could I have let my concern for my own advantage swathe me at the expense of her own happiness?
My eyes fell as I fell on my knees.
I couldn’t believe I had been a monster.
I felt someone watching me so I turned my head to the door and my eyes met hers.
Clara, nonplussed, stared at me. Maybe seeing her room ransacked and me in her room didn’t make sense to her.
I stared back at her for a while before leaning on the cupboard to help me up.
“Clara,” I called.
She didn’t answer but bit her lips.
I sighed with hopelessness.
“How could I not have noticed you were so great at painting?” My hopelessness grew as I looked into her blank face. “How could I have let my own selfish reasons blind me from the truth all this while? Oh God, what have I done?” Tears streamed down my face as I walked to her but she moved away when I got to her.
I stopped and turned to her, “My darling, I’m sorry. Forgive me,” I uttered.
I saw a tear drop.
“Please don’t hate me,” I said to her.
With the aid of her palm, she wiped her eyes, “I can’t hate you mum. I know you did what you thought was best for me,” Clara spoke and I could feel my hopelessness fading away.
“But not like this. I’m not doing it the right way. I know that now. I can’t keep pushing to be me. I’m sorry. Forgive me.”
She let her bag fall to the floor as she threw herself in my arms. “I forgive you mum.”