Sarah’s marriage and pregnancy | Sunday Observer

Sarah’s marriage and pregnancy

11 April, 2021

Sarah and Nicolas, the soon-to-wed couple bring Samara across the border, hidden in their vehicle as she’s wrongfully accused of carrying illegal drugs. At the border, they pretend to be married, although they aren’t, and Sarah is arrested for carrying an ornamental gold pagoda in her handbag. She’s bailed out the following day and a court case is filed. She wonders why Nicolas and Samara don’t turn up to inquire after her, and learns later that they’re in a secret affair and they’ve betrayed her. She attends the court case alone, pays a fine and faces a suspended sentence of six months imprisonment. The following week, she flies to a city far away, finds employment there and settles down. She follows a university course to become a teacher. She coincidentally meets a young man (Sherman) and falls in love with him. He suggests Sarah be his niece’s home-visiting tutor, and introduces her to his family. She gets negative vibes from his sister, Kumberlin, whose husband has faced a tragic death in the past caused by a sudden heart failure after learning that his wife has deceived him. The relationship continues between Sarah and Sherman. She moves in with him. Sarah is conceived, and on the same day she finds it out, she gets to know some corrupt doings of Jerad. She lies low about what she experiences with regard to Jerad. Her visits to the library in the convent becomes more regular, where she falls into a close association with Sister Priscilla. Sarah and Sherman get married, and on the day they get married, Sarah gets to know that the lawyer who represented her at her arrest is a friend of Kumberlin.

Episode 13

Sarah went to sleep that night, weighing everything that happened during the day; She had never thought, at least for a moment, that Veronica Williams, the lawyer who represented her at the time of her arrest at the border, was a friend of Kumberlin. She had her fingers crossed now, ready to accept the worst. No precaution could be taken. She was in the bad books of everyone for signing a document for a legal seizure, and right after, a lawyer who had existed long ago at a far-away incident had appeared all of a sudden.

Sherman fell asleep having his mind on the disclosure Sarah made about Jerad. It wasn’t hard to believe, as he knew his brother more than anyone else. However, the misdeeds done by Jerad or Sidney, for that matter were accepted and, indeed, welcomed by the family, so Sherman was torn in-between. He was lacking the strength to accept the truth as it was.

For Kumberlin, Jerad and Sidney, it was a little Christmas. In their eyes, Veronica Williams’s visit was an eye-opener. The evening had passed as follows:

Veronica Williams entered, happy to visit her friend Kumberlin. She was visiting her family in the same town, and had planned to visit Kumberlin. At the very first glance, she recognised Sarah, but she made sure that she didn’t show any such recognition. She was introduced to her, but she kept quiet about knowing her. However, at a time she was left alone with Kumberlin when they were taking a walk outside, she made sure that she informed what she knew about Sarah, or rather, what she didn’t know about her.

“Are you very sure it’s her?” Kumberlin asked.

“Yes, I’m pretty sure.” Veronica confirmed.

Kumberlin gave out a laugh. Diving in a sea of joy, she was jubilant about her finding, listening to and grasping every word she heard.

“Her name is Sarah Sanderson, right? She was arrested at the border for smuggling gold, and as far as I remember her husband, his name was Nicolas. He’s the one who hired me and sent me to help her out of the mess, but at the hearing he was missing, and I guessed that they broke up.”

Kumberlin was well informed by Veronica of the devastating truth or the untruth about Sarah, and she laughed wickedly. Well, Sarah had been married earlier! That was excellent knowledge! She was delighted to hear it. It looked like the information simply made her day. In her eyes, it was the washing of dirty linen, and she was overjoyed to hear that Sarah also had faced an arrest at a border. Well, Sarah was a smuggler! She had smuggled gold! And it was time to celebrate! In her vacant eyes, Sarah had a ruptured past, and now she had a weapon against her. Well, Sarah was an indecent woman, also a smuggler, who had been married earlier.

“Oh my poor brother, Sherman!,” Kumberlin screamed, “He just got caught by this disgusting woman, a smuggler, who had tried to fool the immigration officers, the police and all the authorities. What a shame! What foul play she had done! Now, she’s trying to create trouble between the brothers. She made up a story to save herself. She’s trying to say that Jerad stole something from Sherman.”

There was no end to Kumberlin’s yelling and screaming.

“Oh, my poor Sherman! What an innocent man she is! He got caught. She knew how to have him in her grip and manipulate him as she wished.”

The two friends were outside alone, and for Sarah, clearly it was bad omen. When Veronica left, Kumberlin called her two brothers, Jerad and Sidney, for a brief visit to the town, and they stopped at a restaurant, the best place to pass the information to them.

“She’s a gold smuggler,” Kumberlin said, “also she had been married earlier. Veronica had been her lawyer once when she was arrested for smuggling gold.”

“Wow!” Jerad said, overjoyed to hear the news.

“What shall we do now?” Sidney asked.

“There’s nothing we could do. We’ll just see what she’s up to.” Kumberlin confirmed.

“I’m feeling so sorry for Sherman. He just got tricked by her.” Jerad said.

They returned home, and Sarah was counting down every second until the glorious moment. She was waiting for the wondrous get-together, which she knew would happen any time now.

At dinner, they all sat at the table. There was silence everywhere and all around. Also, little Kristina was as quiet as unusual. Sarah could hear the sound of the silverware and she thought the chandelier was giving a sound too, unlike the other days. After quite a long time of silence, when they were almost done with dinner, Sherman made the much awaited announcement.

“We got married today.”

That was the least expected, and Kumberlin came to an abrupt pause of her dinner. She kept staring at Sherman as she moved her eyes regularly towards Sarah. Jerad and Sidney looked at each other in anticipation. The news about their marriage came at the most unwanted time.

“You what?” Kumberlin asked, in her attempt to confirm what she just heard.

“We just got married today, and Sarah is going to have a baby.”

Kumberlin stood up, leaving her dinner.

“She’s going to have a baby?” She asked, in disbelief.

“Yes.” Sherman confirmed.

Sarah had her eyes still on Kumberlin.

“How could that be? You mean you were pregnant before you married? What a misfit it is! No one in our family has conceived before marriage. Oh, what a shame! I just can’t believe that. And also I know you were married earlier. Sherman, do you know that? She had smuggled gold, and was arrested for that. Veronica was her lawyer then, she was just bailed out.” Kumberlin screamed.

“I know all that, but she wasn’t married. She had a boyfriend and they pretended to be married.” Sherman explained.

Sarah maintained silence, listening to every word she heard. Words - just words and sounds with no meaning. She was grieved, but she wondered if she would have been in grief if the same words were told in a language she didn’t understand.

“She’s been manipulating you, having you in her hand all the time. She was married earlier. She just hoodwinked you and clung to you. I feel so sorry about you. What an innocent man you are! You got trapped by a con woman.”

Sarah began to feel weak. She had no energy, not even to lift a finger. She stood up, leaning on the table and walked herself to the room. Far away, she heard some more words - sounds, just sounds.

“We all feel so sorry about Sherman, including Jerad. She also made up a story saying Jerad stole from you just to have a fight between the two brothers, even after Jerad paid the loan and saved her from the trouble she put herself in.”

Sarah ended up in her room saying nothing, no explanation, as she knew that anything said would have been just futile. She lay in bed, weighing her thoughts between everything that happened - her marriage, Veronica William’s sudden show-up and the dinner. Sherman lay down beside her, wondering if there was any truth in what Kumberlin had said. Had Sarah been really married earlier? Was there a possibility that she had been lying to him? Perhaps, Kumberlin was right. After all, Veronica Williams, the lawyer, knew more than anyone else.

So passed three more months with less conversations in the house, but where Kumberlin, Jerad and Sidney were concerned, they were more than talkative. In their wonderful conversations, Sarah was the main topic. After every visit to the church, Sidney made sure that he made a good rapport with Kumberlin and stood by her side. Jerad, in spite of his crookery, never failed to support Kumberlin at every opportunity he had. Kumberlin, of all, leaving her deceitful past, went a long way in search of Sarah’s dealings of smuggling, the marriage that she thought Sarah had been in, or to prove Sarah’s bigamy, if at all. And she received maximum support from her brothers.

Sherman and Sarah spoke less, and before long, they began to fall apart. Sarah made to the doctor by herself, and at the third month of pregnancy she was told that she was conceived with triplets! It was great news for her, but she wondered if it would be great news for Sherman as well. On the same day she received the news about being conceived with triplets, she met Arsen, who was Sherman’s cousin, when she was coming home after consulting the doctor.

“Sarah, I know you’re going through a very bad time with them. I wonder if Sherman is taking care of you. Really, I’m in the same situation as you with Gittel, and I’ve been wanting to tell you many times - I love you.” He abruptly mentioned as he bumped into her in town.

“What?!” Sarah asked.

“Yes, I love you and it’s true. I’ve been wanting to tell…”

He couldn’t complete the phrase; Sarah hurried her steps away from him. She was thunderstruck. That was something she had never expected. In her bewilderment, she didn’t know which way she was walking, but quite unknowingly, she took a turn which drove her to a narrow commercial lane that she hadn’t come across earlier. She found herself walking in front of an antique shop, and she saw something striking in a shelf inside - her gold pagoda, the ornament, confiscated at the border!

To be continued next week

(Copyright - Santhoshya Jayamali Seneviratne)

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