Veronica was starting to panic. Her due date was upon her and she still had no idea of what she was going to do when her baby was born. Perhaps she could leave the baby here, with Rosemary and Lily. Just until she got her life in order.
Not really giving Rosemary’s health a second thought, or the kindness that has been shown to her thus far, Roni started fantasising about how she would leave without her baby after it’s birth. She started hoping that her little Nooboo would be born before Lily graduated and was back home for good. She felt a pang of guilt for the trust she was about to betray.
“I don’t have a choice though.” She muttered under her breath.
“What don’t you have a choice about, dear?” Rosemary’s voice right next to her startled Roni, causing her to jump.
How long had she been standing there? Had she spoken aloud? Oh goodness, how much did Rosemary hear!?
“So sorry. I was deep in thought and didn’t see you here.” She smiled nervously. “I was just thinking about … well, what to do about the baby. Not having it is not an option at this point, I guess” She said, attempting a humorous cover-up.
Rosemary laughed understandingly, “No, it really isn’t, dear. But everything will be well. Your check-ups have gone well and you’re young and healthy. You have us as well. Lily and I will help you.”
This just made Roni feel even more guilty for entertaining the thoughts of abandoning the baby in their care. Especially, looking at Rosemary, she noticed her gaunt face and tiredness.
Putting her arm around her, she said, “Let’s go inside. I’ll make us dinner while you rest. Here, lean on me.”
The next morning dawned brightly and after breakfast, Rosemary went to lie down again while Roni tended the fresh produce table outside. It was market day and the neighbours would be popping by to get their supply of fresh fruits and vegetables from Lily’s garden.
As neighbour after neighbour appeared, Roni noticed a young lady that seemed new to the area.
“Hi! Welcome. I don’t believe we’ve met.” Said Roni.
“No, we haven’t. My name is Matilda. I heard about your produce from a lady in my village in Sulani. She said you guys have the freshest fruits and my specialty is fruit cake, so I thought I’d see for myself.” Replied Matilda, introducing herself.
Before long the two were exchanging life-stories and Roni learnt that Matilda’s mother had passed on after a long illness.
“You don’t know how lucky you are to still have your mother; I miss mine every day!” She said nodding her head towards Rosemary, who had come outside to sit in the sunshine a while, a little distance away.
“Oh, no, Rosemary isn’t my mother! I’m a friend of her daughter’s and her care-giver!” Roni quickly corrected her. “I’m living here while Lily is away at Britchester studying but also they’ve asked me to stay as long as I want, once my baby arrives.”
“Care-giver? What is wrong with her?” enquired Matilda. Memories of her own mother’s illness flooding her mind.
“She has cancer. We’re hopeful that she’ll be cured, but she’s looking very tired and pale lately…” Roni’s voice drifted off.
Matilda sensed something wasn’t quite right. Roni had a sadness in her eyes that went beyond the words she uttered.
“You’re planning to leave here, aren’t you? Have you told them yet?” Her questions startled Roni.
How is it that she is that transparent! And to a stranger! She kept silent as her mind raced. Her inability to deny it, giving her away.
“Look, I don’t know very well, but if I can give you some advice? Stay. After my mother’s death, I really went off the rails, blaming everyone around me and alienating myself from people who wanted to help me. Making terrible choices that have caused me to have to flee where I’m from. You’re having a baby soon. You’re going to need help and it really sounds like they have accepted you into their home and family. You could raise your baby on the farm. Why would you throw that away?” Matilda looked at Roni. “Think about it. I think you’ll regret it. At least say goodbye, if you decide to go. I never got a chance to say goodbye. It haunts me.”
As dusk fell, Roni packed up the table’s wares and went inside. Her mind had been swirling since her conversation with Matilda and she had been thinking non-stop about her comments and how a chance meeting with a stranger, at this particular time in her life, seemed like divine intervention. She’s made some silly choices too, almost landing herself in trouble while trying to steal a painting and acting out.
What would be the harm to stay? No-one was forcing her to leave. She realised this was her trying to self-sabotage her own happiness because her parents had never really cared for her, she was afraid she would fail her baby too. She looked at Rosemary. Her mind was made up. She couldn’t leave Rosemary, or Lily, because they were her family now. She hugs Rosemary tightly.
Before long, Lily graduates and is back home.
Her concern for her mother intensifies. It wasn’t looking well.
In the early hours of the morning 3 days later, Roni goes into labour and, having planned a home-birth, they prepare the room and wait. Before long, Roni is delivered of a little boy she named Trent. He was her pride and joy and grew into a sweet little toddler that had everyone wrapped around his little finger.
Roni was happier than ever that she had decided to stay, thanking a girl named Matilda, in her mind!
Over the coming months little Trent filled everyone’s lives with so much happiness. Even Rosemary had started responding better to her medication, and while not cured, it was like he had infused a new will to live in her.
Rosemary assumed the role of Granny to the little Trent and Lily and Veronica worked hard every day tending the orchards, beehives and supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to the nearby town, and on weekends, spent their days at the beach in Sulani.
Life was good. For now. Rosemary’s battle wasn’t over yet.
The Life of Veronica Grey by@divanthesimmer https://ageekylegacy.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/the-life-of-veronica-grey/
The History of Matilda by @MsBellaSims https://msbellasims2018.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/the-history-of-matilda/?fbclid=IwAR0-_PCaBnNT3z8fj7U74IpeZ-QKQaDFBYC3BrIkauelOTOZb-lDyA_rk3Y