“Ready to go,” Mrs Lisa asked. Without uttering a word, I entered the car. We were relocating to Unalaska, a small town in the USA.
We drove in silence. Even when she tried to talk with me, I increased the volume of my headphones.
She realized that I was not in the mood of talking.
When we got to Alaska, we headed straight to Unalaska.
Unalaska is one of the small villages in the US. Its population is not more than 10,000, based on my inquiries.
Mrs Lisa is my stepmother. My father married her just three months after my mom died.
My dad claimed he loved my mom but getting a new wife too soon was enough reason to make me feel his claimed love for her was questionable.
When we got to our new home in Unalaska, dad was already there waiting for us.
I did not say a word to him because he knows that ever since he remarried, I’ve grown to hate him.
He carried all my luggage and showed me to my room.
I was like a dot in Unalaska. I was like a single soul in a small US town.
Everything changed when I first met Matthew. Matthew is a church boy who knows and believes in the ways of Christ.
He was sitting alone in the woods. It was also in the woods that we met. While I was walking alone in the lonely woods of Unalaska, I noticed someone was sitting alone.
To me, it was as if I’ve seen my companion in emotional distress.
Though I never knew what was wrong with Matthew and why he chose to be alone in the lonely woods.
We greeted each other, introduced ourselves and initiated a conversation.
We discussed a lot of things and it was like for the very first time a burden was lifted from me.
After three months mom died, things never went down well with me and my family.
My dad added to my problems when he ended up marrying Lisa who doubles as my mother’s best friend.
Matthew Was a good talker. We talked for quite a long time and honestly, the discussions were worth every time spent.
It was getting dark and we hurried to go home. We decided to meet again at the same venue and at the same time the next day.
The next day was Sunday. I am not the church type but talking with Matthew yesterday changed a lot of things.
My father was surprised when I told him I was going to church.
He doubted my seriousness until he saw me prepared and heading towards St Mark’s Church located in the small town.
You won’t believe it that that was the same church Matthew attended and shockingly enough, his father was the Bishop of the Church.
It is now obvious where he got all these religious lifestyles from.
When I got back home after service, I recalled that there was a bag my mother gifted me on my 14th birthday.
She said I should never open the bag until my 16th birthday.
How on earth can I forget to check the content of the bag for more than two years now?
I went to the deepest part of my belongings (which I touch) to find the fancy small bag.
Luckily enough, I saw the bag. In the bag was a letter written by my mom.
The content of the letter opened a fresh wound that I considered healing after my first encounter with Matthew.
My sweet Orange, for you to read this letter, I am sure you have clocked your 16 years of age. Sorry that you are reading this on your 16th birthday. Your father and I decided to keep my health issue a secret because we knew how devastated it will make you feel considering your love for me, your mother.
I have cancer and the doctor said that there is no hope for me. Also, I instructed your father to marry Lisa after I am gone so that I will be sure you are properly taken care of by someone that loves you the way I do. Sorry this story is coming to you this way. I trust you will understand when you clock the age of 16.
Do not blame your father because it was never his fault. Take care of yourself my sweet Orange as we meet to depart no more in a later life.Your Mother, Catherina.
At this point, I couldn’t hold the tears. All these years I was in New Jersey with my Aunt Ella, my mother was suffering from cancer disease and I never knew about it.
My father connived with my mom to keep it a secret from me.
Within me, I was feeling this form of anger for everyone including my late mom, my dad and his new wife.
I ran to the woods where I think I can find peace of mind. A Few minutes later, Matthew came around.
My mood made him to understand that something was wrong. Without wasting any time, I told him my story.
Matthew felt pity for me and also made me understand why I needed to forgive my parents by first forgiving myself.
He said I need to forgive myself for being careless and not asking relevant questions about my family.
The gentle Matthew said a lot of things that made a lot of sense to me.
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Matthew took me to my house and my dad was already at the door waiting for me to return.
I ran to him and hugged him. He apologized for keeping it a secret from me and promised to do all my mother had instructed him before she died.
She said that he must ensure I remained happy all the days of my life. Honestly, till I got married to Matthew on my 26th birthday, my father always took good care of me.
Should I say that in the small US town of Unalaska, I found peace, I found love and also found myself.
My name is Geraldine and this is my Small US Town story.