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Advocate Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

Thriller


2.8  

Advocate Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

Thriller


A Woman Of Faith

A Woman Of Faith

4 mins 218 4 mins 218

Annie did not suspect that her daughter was after her father's killer. Maria kissed her on the cheek, picked up her duffel bag and hurried out the door. "Mumma, I'm headed to a conference and a seminar in Delhi," she told her. "I'll be home in two weeks." Annie was so used to her daughter's hectic schedule that she barely noticed her absence in the two bedroom apartment. But two weeks was a little too much. Nevertheless, Annie put on a brave face and prayed her daughter have a safe journey.


The tall and petite white-haired woman put on a collared knee-length and half-sleeved baby blue cotton dress, dotted with purple forget-me-not flowers. She left for her Sunday Mass as soon as Maria hopped into her cab and took off.


Annie was a God-fearing religious woman, much to her daughter's dismay. It was strange, really. The same night that snatched away little Maria's faith enveloped a faithless Annie and she sought refuge in the house of God, praying, confessing, reclaiming her purity. That morning too, like any other morning, she found Jesus during the service and her eyes fought to hold back tears.


As Annie was about to leave the church premises, someone tapped on her shoulder. She turned around and her face lit up. Annie hadn't seen Jordie in ages. The two friends squealed and hugged each other.


Annie learned that after college, Jordie left for Italy to pursue his acting career. It never panned out but it was at a low moment that he met Francis and life was never the same. Jordie's eyes twinkled as he talked about Francis, like he was falling in love, all over again. Apparently, much like Maria, Francis wasn't the religious type and so much to Jordie's disappointment, he could not introduce his husband to his long lost friend.


After an elaborate description of their love, he said, "I told my parents about Francis, you know. They were furious. So, I never returned to India. Years later, my sister reached out to me. Mother was on her death bed, she wanted to see me. Francis and I came running. I didn't even know they had moved to Bangalore. Mother held our hands and begged me to forgive her. Then she was gone." Jordie's eyes welled up. He shook his head and pulled back his tears. "How are you, Annie?"


Annie smiled. "I am well. You must meet my daughter, Maria. She's a journalist. Sadly though, you'd have to wait two weeks. She left for Delhi this morning."


"Aww! I'd love to meet her but I can't stay, Annie. Me and Francis, we have a business in Italy to get back to and our flight is this evening. We've already been in India for too long." Jordie paused. He wasn't quite sure how to say the next sentence, but he had to try. "Hey, Annie. Um, I heard about Jonathan, from my sister. I know it's a little too late but I'm sorry. I wish I was there for you."


"Oh, Jordie, it's ok," was all Annie could manage to say before forcing a smile.


Jordie scribbled his phone number on a piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to Annie. "Church rules, huh? No phones," he chuckled. "Keeps the attention in place I guess. Leave me a text once you get home, ok? And take care, old friend." He hugged Annie once again and left. She put the piece of paper inside her bag and decided to take a walk home.


Annie missed Jonathan, every day and every night. The most difficult thing to do was leave it all behind, start afresh. Annie knew that if Jonathan was alive, he would be proud of the woman his daughter had become. And perhaps, he would be proud of Annie too, for doing a good job of raising their daughter, enough to forgive her... Annie closed her eyes and dropped the thought. She dreaded the piercing chill that engulfed her everytime she thought of her husband.


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