Clara and Caroline were chatting on the sofa.
"I'm glad that you finally have your family living with you, Caroline. At last, this house won't feel lonely when you and baby Cathy are the only ones living here. So how does it feel to have your mother and your younger siblings around the house?" Clara inquired.
Caroline smiled broadly. "I'm very happy, Auntie. It's different when I have the presence of my family surrounding me, I love their company. I feel so much better now compared to just living alone on my own."
Clara patted Caroline's shoulder fondly. "So, how's baby Cathy doing? Is she behaving the same as before?" she asked.
Caroline nods her head. "Yes, her sleep pattern is the same, I'm very lucky to have a daughter like her who is not a colic baby."
"That's awesome! Baby Cathy is always been a behave, baby. Some mother is suffering badly, finding it hard dealing with their baby who always cries leaving them exhausted and sleep-deprived." Clara smiled pleased to know that her granddaughter is not giving her mother a hard time. She was praying fervently to God that baby Cathy won't give her mother a headache so that Caroline can learn to love the child that is a product of her son's evilness. At some point in the past, she has decided that if Caroline starts hating her daughter then she will get the baby and raised it as her own but she still wants Cathy to be raised by her mother since she's already getting older and she might leave this world anytime.
Right now looking at how healthy the baby is and how happy Caroline felt, great relief washed over her. She can stop worrying about her granddaughter's safety. "If you need something or anything, Caroline, I'm just a phone call away," she said.
"Thank you, Auntie," Caroline responded. She only had high praise for Clara. Joseph's mother is very kind to her. Clara takes good care of her while they were still vacationing in Thailand and she was making sure she will have a safe pregnancy. Clara is a very kind person-until now she can't understand why she gives birth to an evil son like Joseph, he doesn't deserve good parents like Clara and Hector. The saying is true...' We can choose our friends, our boyfriends or girlfriends, we can choose our wives and husband...but we can never choose our parents, siblings or children because it's predetermined.'
Clara cleared her throat. "Regarding the baptism of baby Cathy and Baby Angel next month, do you still need anything? Just tell me. I can buy anything for baby Cathy," she offered.
Caroline smiled. "No need, Auntie. Sister Catherine and Sandra already take care of everything including the church venue and the dinner party after the baptismal. All we need to do is show up in the church and in the venue," she elaborated.
"That's good. How about baby Cathy's dress? Have you already bought her a dress for her baptismal?" Clara asked.
Caroline shook her head. "Not yet, Auntie. I plan to shop for her dress tomorrow," she said.
"Ah, no need. Allow me the honor to buy my granddaughter her dress for her special day, okay?" Clara said excitedly.
Caroline smiled. "Yes, you can, Auntie!"
Done chatting with Caroline, Clara went to her husband's side and together they lavishly showered their grandaughter with their love and attention.
Caroline went to the kitchen and prepared a refreshing ice tea for her visitors since they already refused her offer of dinner, they already dined outside before coming to visit baby Cathy.
Done mixing the ice tea in the glass pitcher, she placed it in the food tray along with the two glasses. She went back to the living room and served her visitors the refreshing drinks.
"I will go to the bakery nearby, Auntie, I will buy some bread or cookies," Caroline said.
"No need, Caroline. Our stomach still full, this refreshing ice tea is more than enough for us," Clara refused.
"Okay," Caroline murmured and sank back into the sofa. She contents herself watching the elderly couple happily gazing at their granddaughter the remembrance of the evil Joseph. Such wonderful parents they are, the good thing is...they still got John...the good son. Dang! Why does she remember her handsome brother-in-law all of a sudden? She scratches her head in bewilderment.
One hour later.
Hector and Clara informed Caroline that they will be leaving soon.
Caroline went upstairs to tell her mother that the visitors are finally leaving. Thelma went down to accompany the visitor outside the house.
"Visit us anytime, Clara and Hector," Thelma said politely.
Clara went to Thelma's side and hugged her. "Thanks for your kindness and understanding," she said awkwardly, teary-eyed. It must be hard to see the parents of the guy who raped her daughter but when their eyes met, she did not see the anger in Thelma's eyes. Even though the woman was shy but Clara knows that deep inside, there's always that certain kind of awkwardness that they will be feeling towards each other every time their path crosses. When they saw Thelma earlier, they don't know how to react to her, they were at loss of words on what to say to her. That's why they felt relieved when Thelma smiled a bit and say hello to them and went upstairs. But she and Hector know that they have to face and talk to Thelma at some point in time to lessen the awkwardness.
Thelma smiled and responded, "It's okay, past is past. For the sake of our granddaughter, we should be okay," she said.
Hector, Clara, and Thelma nodded at each other in complete understanding of each other. Both adults knew that the tragedy in the past is something that is out of their control.
Hector and Clara smiled at Thelma.
With a pleasant face, Thelma genuinely returned their smile.
Hector and Clara went inside the car, a minute later, the vehicle was now moving out of the gate, mother and daughter waved at the couple until the vehicle faded away from their vision.
Caroline locked the gate.
They went inside the house and settled on the sofa.
"Mother, thank you for not hating Aunt Clara and Uncle Hector despite what Joseph had done to me in the past," Caroline said.
Thelma released a deep sigh. She is a sinner herself. She has no right to condemn the couple even if it's their son that assaulted her daughter. The parents have nothing to do with their children's sin. Similarly...the children can not be held accountable to the sin of their parents. Besides, the couple is Catherine's in-laws, it's not pleasant to give them cold treatment every time they see each other. She doesn't want to cause a headache to her daughters.
"Joseph sinned against you and he's already dead. His parents look nice to me, they should not suffer for what their son had done in the past. That's all I can say," Thelma said.
"Thank you, Mom. You're the best!" Caroline hugged her mother feeling grateful for her unwavering support, cooperation, and understanding.
"It's alright, daughter. Let's carry on with our lives. What is important for me is today, tomorrow and the future," Thelma responded, she picked up the empty glass, placed them in the food tray and brought them in the kitchen sink for washing.
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