They were both surprised especially Aunty Lizzy. She was wondering why I asked to see her. From the look on her face, it was obvious she was still deeply asleep when she was woken up. And she clearly didn’t like it, more so when she found I was the reason why her precious sleep was interrupted.

“Good morning, Anita,…so you still want to leave us so soon?” MD asked, genuine concern in his eyes.

“Yes, MD, I need to leave, I think it was a bad idea coming at the time I did,” I said to him.

“No, Anita, don’t talk like that, it was not a bad thing you came here at all, we are always happy to have you and Junior come over anytime, any day……,” MD tried to explain. But I was not even paying attention to what he was saying.

“It’s okay, MD, I agree with you, it’s not a bad idea I came here with my son, I think the only problem was that the timing of my visit was wrong. So, I will definitely try to work out a better timing next time,” I promised him.

But I was barely looking at him as I spoke, I was looking at his wife. Her face was glowing with anger. She looked like she was struggling to suppress the urge to reach for me and strangle me, that was how livid she appeared. 

“Why did you ask the maid to wake me up?” Aunty Lizzy asked me, her eyes gazing hard into mine with intense hostility.

MD threw her a quick glance that seemed to say, ‘will you stop bickering for Christ’s sake?’

“I’m so sorry, Aunty, I didn’t mean to interrupt your sleep,” I promptly apologised. “I just wanted to have a word with you before I leave your house this morning.”

“I see,” she’d shot back, a cynical smile on her face. “You want to insult me some more before you go? You want to call me more horrible names, right?” she added, her voice cold and hard.

I shook my head in response. “No, Aunty Lizzy, I have no such intentions, I can assure you,” I said to her, meaning every word of it. “I asked the maid to wake you up for me so I can see you before I leave.”

“Okay, so, here I am,” she shot back at me.

MD was trying to get her to be calm and civil to me but she was not even paying attention to him.  I couldn’t blame her. If I was in her shoes, and had taken the kind of insults she had taken from me, I would do something much worse.

“It’s alright, Aunty Elizabeth, I am not here to insult you or anything like that, I am actually here to apologise to you for everything that happened between us… 

Of course, she was surprised. Though she tried hard to conceal her shock but she couldn’t. It was evident on her face from the way her eyes lit up that she wasn’t expecting it. She turned to look at MD who was standing right beside her, obviously wondering if she was hearing me loud and clear. 

“Okay, go on, I’m listening…” she urged me to speak.

“See, Aunty, I know it was wrong of me to have reacted last night the way I did, it was so terribly wrong and I’m sorry. Hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, Aunty Lizzy…” I said to her. And if truth be told, even though I was also not happy with the way she treated me, I meant every word I said to her. I really hurt her feelings. Maybe she truly deserved it. But maybe I also over did it, especially the way I implied that she was barren. 

“Is that all?” Aunty Lizzy asked me, her eagle eyes running all over me. 

“Yes, ma,” I answered, unsure what to expect next from her. From the tone of her voice, it was clear she was still upset with me. 

“Okay, thank you, I have heard you,” she responded and turned to leave without saying a word more. 

It was MD that held her back. “Darling, you can’t just leave like that, she has apologised to you,” he was almost whispering in her ears. But I heard every word he said. 

“So, what do you now expect me to do, jump up in the air to thank my God that she has apologised to me or what?” she snapped at her husband. 

Now, that wasn’t the kind of reaction I was expecting from her. I must’ve really hurt her a lot more than I thought I actually did. 

“You need to calm down, Elizabeth, calm, down, please..” MD pacified her. But she was still bent on leaving. “It is not right that you walk away just like that and you know it! She has apologised, why can’t you forgive her and let’s all put this behind us?” 

“Because she shamed me! She hurt my feelings,” Aunty Lizzy poured out her heart. “She called me barren yesterday night while you stood by and did nothing. Now, it is morning, she says she is sorry, so what has changed between last night and now? What makes you think this apology is genuine?”

“You’re not being rational about this, Elizabeth,” MD tried to get her to slow down a bit. “It does not matter the time of the day that she offended you, the important thing is that she has realised her mistake and has come to apologise…..”

“It’s alright, MD, I think Aunty Liz has every right to be mad at me, really. I think I truly deserve her anger,” I picked up the bag I dropped on the floor. “I will take my leave now and hope that by the time we meet next time, she would’ve found it in her heart to forgive me.” 

And that was it. I held my son tight and quietly left the house. …        

…To be Continued