I sat across from my sister and occasionally glanced at her every time she would snuffle. She tried so hard to contain herself but as she scrolled through her gallery the tears just coursed down her cheeks. My mum walked around the house going about her business like nothing was wrong. As much as I wanted to bask at this moment, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.
Lorraine and I didn’t have the best relationship, but we occasionally bonded over little things which made me appreciate our sisterhood. Most people in our family always assumed that I disliked her because she was the beautiful one. In a way it was true but mainly because of all the privileges she got because of her looks.
Lorraine had never worked a day in her life because luck was always on her side. As I spent time struggling to build my career my sister spent her day fine dining and relaxing. Every man she dated either came from money or had a well-paying job. Therefore, my sister didn’t have to struggle for anything since she got everything her heart desired. With time she never felt the need to use her degree since working didn’t make sense.
In a normal African household, this would be shunned but my family members never saw an issue with it. They encouraged her with the hope that one day she could become a wife and forever live the good life. The shocking part about all this was even my mother gladly accepted her lifestyle. The same woman who always encouraged us to work hard so we don’t become housewives.
Lorraine was never serious about relationships, so the advice never made sense to me. In her head fully committing to a relationship was like being jailed. To make matters worse she never saw herself becoming pregnant and raising a child. Not only would it ruin her looks but it would also mean having to live for someone else.
This mentality had her rejecting proposals and moving on with her life. Knowing all this my family still supported her which remained baffling to me. In their eyes, my sister could never do anything wrong.
Year in and year out my sister would follow the same pattern in her love life. As she approached 27, she got bored with Kenyan men, so she decided to try dating a white man. One of her friends encouraged her to go to a spot in Westlands and try her luck.
Lorraine had always been confident, especially in front of men. However, given that she had never been hit on by a white man she felt somehow shy. To avoid being embarrassed she asked me to tag along so at least she could talk to me in case nobody approached her.
I knew she was overthinking but given that she was my sister I couldn’t refuse. When we got to the spot we settled at a booth and talked as we looked around. None of the men seemed appealing to me but this night was about her, so I didn’t say anything. Lorraine looked around and would occasionally take trips to the washroom as an excuse to survey the area.
After one hour we gave up, stood up and just as we were about to leave a strong scent filled the air.
“Tom Ford” Lorraine said as she turned to look for the man who had just passed.
“Of course, she knows the scent,” I thought to myself as I tried not to roll my eyes.
My sister followed the scent to the booth we were sitting on. That’s the first time she spotted Fredrick. He was casually dressed which would normally be a turn-off for Lorraine. However, the fact that he was handsome made up for his lack of fashion. My sister also liked men who knew how to pick the right fragrance.
She walked to the bar and took a seat and signaled me to sit next to her. I let out a huge sigh and approached her.
“Are you going to approach him?” I asked her.
“What? I can’t do that. Are you mad?” She asked.
“Why?” I responded.
“In what world does a woman approach a man? I’ll look desperate,” She said.
“Then go ahead and pretend you left something,” I replied.
“You know what? That’s a great idea!” She said with a smile.
Lorraine walked over to the booth and started a conversation. I couldn’t tell what she was saying but seeing her look around meant she took my advice. I smiled before turning to order a drink since I knew it would be a long night.
The two talked for over two hours as I scrolled through my phone liking photos on Instagram. Every once in a while, I would look back to see how things were going. Eventually, they both stood up and by that time I was already drunk. As we headed home, she couldn’t help smiling which could only mean they had planned a second date.
True to my instincts, they had set up a second date which led to a third one until they ended up in a relationship. Unlike her past relationships, this one felt different before we knew it Lorraine was married. For the first time, I felt genuinely happy for her. She had managed to find a man who made her change her mindset on commitment. Additionally, he was wealthy, so it was a win for her and my family as well.
Their marriage blossomed and my sister ended up being a mother of two. Everything was going well but old habits sometimes have a way of resurfacing. The more my sister eased into being a mother the more she started to miss her old life. Her body had not changed which didn’t shock me since she was always lucky. However, she started feeling a lack of excitement in her life.
She would spend every day in the house with nothing to do. Her house manager took care of the house and the kids, so she had a lot of free time. Her friends were always busy with work and their relationships, so she hardly saw them. Fredrick started travelling a lot since his father wanted to expand their business, so he was rarely around.
With time she became a zombie, rarely smiling just existing. In an attempt to get out of this mood, she tried going for therapy. Her therapist advised her to find something that would give her a zest for life. Knowing her husband wouldn’t mind spending the money she tried every activity she could think of. Unfortunately, none of them seemed to work until she started pottery.
At first, we thought it was the thrill of learning something new. Little did we know that her happiness had nothing to do with pottery. Lorraine’s instructor had a sex appeal that was easily noticeable from the minute you entered the room. What made it worse was the level of touch that came with learning pottery, especially one on one.
The more they spent time together the more she struggled to fight the temptation. After a few classes, my sister finally gave in. One mistake turned into countless passionate nights until she lost track of her life as a mother. She also became careless with hiding her affair which led her to be caught.
Fredrick who was still in love with her gave her an ultimatum to quit pottery and never see her lover again. Lorraine knowing how miserable she was at home didn’t think twice before declining his offer. She headed home, packed a few things and moved in with her instructor. What she failed to realize was how quickly lust fades.
A month later her instructor had found a new woman to devour. This left my sister drowning further than she had when she was at Fredricks. At this moment she also realized how much missed her children. The only problem was as she was having fun with her instructor, Fredrick had started to accept that their marriage was on the rocks. Since he was set to travel again, he opted to go with their children.
This left Lorraine with one choice, to come back to the only place she knew she was loved. Unfortunately for the first time, she didn’t receive the warm welcome she was used to. My mother couldn’t believe that this was the daughter she had raised. The rest of my family was upset because she was always sending them money and now that was over.
Everyone had turned on her except me. For so long I had waited for a time when people would see her as a human being who makes mistakes. Yet here I was feeling sorry for her. I walked up to her and soothed her until she stopped crying. Eventually, she slept and as I was taking her phone away a message popped up. I peeped at her notifications and realized it was from Fredrick.
He was back but to send over her things and to inform her that she would be hearing from his lawyer about getting a divorce. I looked over at my sister who was finally sleeping soundly. For once I wished that luck would be on her side again.
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