Sarah ended at the convent | Sunday Observer

Sarah ended at the convent

18 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 and she gets to know some corrupt doings of Sherman’s brother, 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 same day, Sarah gets to know that the lawyer who represents her at her arrest is a friend of Kumberlin. Kumberlin learns from her friend about Sarah’s arrest in the past and makes it a weapon against her. In an antique shop, Sarah coincidentally comes across the ornamental gold pagoda confiscated at the border.

Episode 14

Sarah ended up at the convent, trying to fathom if she was really in a dream. She had her mind floating over the unexpected spotting of the pagoda. The detection had happened amazingly, and she couldn’t draw her mind away from the incident:

She entered the antique shop. Really speaking, she was grasped. The shopkeeper was preoccupied. It looked as if he wasn’t really interested in selling anything. He didn’t see her. She moved herself towards the pagoda, and placed her eyes on it. It shined, dazzling her, and everything around, moving the whole environment to a trance. She began to feel the bliss around it for the first time, no matter she had it with her for years before. The shopkeeper was still in a world of his own, not paying attention to the antique lover who had just entered. Sarah felt as if she was slowly moving much closer to the pagoda. It was placed at a higher shelf, and she couldn’t reach it. She looked at the shopkeeper to realize that he was well aware of the shopper now.

“Can I help you?” He asked.

“I was just looking at that pagoda”, Sarah mentioned, “can I have a look at it?”

“Sure”.

He walked towards it, took it down, and placed it on the glass counter. Sarah slowly moved her hand towards it. At the first touch, she felt as if it took her soul in a grip. She was shaken, and the shopkeeper was observing her.

“Do you like it?” he asked.

“Yes”, she replied, with a faint smile on her face.

Now it looked as if the shopkeeper was in a trance, admiring the beautiful antique lover, who didn’t have interest in anything else except the gold ornament he had received a few months ago. He looked deep into her face, falling in love with its radiance. Her tiny, expressive eyes were vivid and spoke to him in a language he didn’t understand or perhaps he understood brilliantly well. And she spoke.

“How much does this cost?”. Sarah asked, knowing very well that she couldn’t afford it.

The shopkeeper mentioned the price and Sarah wasn’t stunned to hear it, as she had expected a high figure anyway. She left the shop, promising herself to return soon, leaving the shopkeeper to wonder.

She ended up straight in the library, pondering over the day’s events - she was conceived with triplets, and the very same day of that being notified by the doctor, she had accidentally detected her long-lost gold pagoda. She knew Sister Priscilla would enter the library any time now and she waited. The nun, on her daily visit to the library, was happy to see her frequent visitor, who was diving in eagerness today.

“This is unbelievable”, Sarah said, as soon as Sister Priscilla sat in front of her.

The nun who had been expecting Sarah’s visit became more than concerned. She knew that something had immensely disturbed her.

“Do you want to go out and talk?” she asked.

“Yes.”, Sarah replied.

They sat on the wooden bench placed under the sycamore tree in the convent yard. It was the ideal place to reveal and confide. Sarah divulged her story of crossing the border and the ornamental gold pagoda. The nun listened with patience. However, her story ended with a startle. Sarah was going to give birth to triplets!

“That’s wonderful!”. Sister Priscilla exclaimed, “does Sherman know this?”

“No, he doesn’t, and I’m not saying it to him either”.

“Why?”

“Like I’ve already told you, he never accompanies me and hardly talks to me anyway”.

“Well, I understand. I’m happy you decided to tell me this, Sarah. Now you have to take good care of yourself”.

They both held hands and the nun spoke again.

“There’s something I’ve been wanting to give you”.

Sarah looked at her in anticipation, and the nun took it out of her pocket, what she was eager to gift her with.

“What’s that?” Sarah asked, looking at her fist.

Sister Priscilla stretched out her fingers, exposing a key, a black metal one.

Sarah looked at her, unable to understand her implication.

“This is a key that works for any lock. A little gift from me, Sarah. You might need it.”

She placed it in Sarah’s hand. It was larger than an average, and also heavier.

“If it’s a key for any lock. I’m sure it’s very rare”, she said.

“Of course! It was gifted to me when I was very young, and I thought of giving it to you”.

Sarah took leave from the nun, and she ended up home in no time, returning to the silent life she lived, making sure that Sherman wasn’t divulged of any of her findings - neither the triplets, nor the pagoda. However, she became a frequent visitor to the antique shop. Journeying towards her appeal, she hardly knew that Sherman had once accidentally spotted her there, and followed her ever since. Well, Sarah was often visiting an antique shop in town! There had to be some reason! He had to find it out!

The shopkeeper entertained her visits, although he knew that nothing was going to be purchased by her. In brief, a young woman was frequently visiting his shop, whose eyes were well focused on a little pagoda, and in a while, she was gone.

It happened this week, next week and the week after. He decided to have her in a conversation. The idea sounded wonderful. It so happened when she visited immediately after the thought convinced him.

She entered and the shopkeeper couldn’t move his eyes away from her. She walked towards her ardor, and began her meditation.

“Only gazing at it every week, but never buying?” he asked.

Sarah was startled by the disturbance and she quickly turned to him. Really, he had become a friend in silence. She smiled.

“Have you fallen in love with the pagoda? If you keep looking at it, one day when you come, it won’t be there. Someone else will buy it”.

“I know.” she said.

“You look tired. Can I get you something to drink?” he asked.

“Sure.” she replied.

He walked inside and by the time he returned with a beverage, Sarah had made a decision on bringing the pagoda to light.

“Where did you really get this from?” she asked.

“I get items from many sellers all over. I can’t really tell you who sold this. Why are you asking me?”

Sarah paused, taking a sip, having her crystal clear eyes straight on him.

“Because it’s mine”, she said.

“What!?” he asked in surprise.

There was a brief time of silence and Sarah began her exposure.

At the end of it, he gave out a loud sigh of empathy. She left him, thinking of, perhaps never visiting again. After listening to the story, he was overcome by sudden feelings of sympathy towards her, and all his questions about her visits were answered.

Sarah reached home, surprised to see that Sherman was already home and it looked as if he had been waiting for her. He sat in bed, staring at her.

“Where have you been?” he asked.

“Just to town”, she said, keeping her handbag on the dressing table and almost ignoring his eyes.

“To the antique shop?” he asked.

Sarah quickly drew her eyes towards him and noticed the deep-down rage in his eyes. She feared them and he spoke again.

“I’ve noticed you going there often and chatting with that man. Good company, right? What a nice couple! Wow!”

She listened to him in disbelief, unable to understand that her own silence had created difficulties now. He threw his words at her, not knowing that his reactions had brought about her silence. And now they met at equilibrium and clashed.

“I want to know right now!”, he said, “were you really married earlier?”

Sarah walked to him, wondering if she really heard him. And she heard more questions being posed.

“You were in a marriage earlier? And married me without a proper divorce from your previous marriage? Now you keep visiting that antique shop! Is he your boyfriend? I want to do a paternity test on the baby! I want to know if the baby is really mine!”

Sarah looked at him with burning eyes. He stood up. She felt the three little lives within. Now she was happy that he didn’t know it wasn’t one baby, really, there were three. All her thoughts were mingled with disappointment and disbelief.

He was wanting a paternity test! He didn’t have any trust in her! She walked towards him and held him with both hands by the collar of his shirt. It looked as if she was in an equal level of fury, mingled with sorrow. She shook him back and forth, but he was rigid.

“A test? a paternity test? Are you not ashamed to even think like that?” Sarah screamed.

In her sudden perplexity, she was dazed, and she fell on the ground.

Kumberlin stood right out of their door, listening to the hassle inside. She was overjoyed. More than anything else, Sherman was having doubts of fatherhood! How exciting! Now it was her time to take advantage! Opportunism had to work at its highest! Sidney and Jerad had to be informed of the thrilling excitement!

To be continued next week

Copyright - Santhoshya Jayamali Seneviratne

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