Opinion - The ripple effects of a broken marriage
2015-09-01 17:11:10 -

By Jide Alowo, a graduate of English language from southwest Nigeria now living in Dundalk


Recently, I met a middle-aged woman on a train in London. I took a seat next to her, and after initial greetings she instantly went cold and kept to herself. I tried to engage her in a light conversation but she was nor interested. Why should I even need to make myself a nuisance? I decided to let sleeping dogs lie.


As the train pulled away, I shifted my gaze through the window across the beautiful expanse of green vegetation along the rail line. I could see from behind the army of trees, the early morning sun as it glittered and spread its spectrums through the hemisphere. It was indeed a beauty to behold. The gradual increase in train speed prompted the shrubs and flowers along the rail line into a gentle daze. I could see them swaying and twisting graciously to the rhythmic tune of the train movement.


I was completely engrossed in relishing the beautiful scene out there until a deep sigh from the woman next to me jolted me back to reality. A quick glance at her gave me a rude shock. She was in a very terrible mood. Her eyes were stark red and dilated with tears. I knew immediately all was not well with her.


“Are you all right?” I asked. But her response was nothing short of my expectation. She looked straight in my eyes and shook her head. “Things are awfully wrong my dear,” she said. “My only daughter is exactly 32 years old today. And just today makes it exactly 16 years ago she walked out of my life. Regrettably, up till now I have neither clue nor the faintest idea of where my daughter is.”


But that’s terrible! Why did she just disappear without a trace? It was at that point the woman burst into tears. As she sobbed she began to narrate the story of how she met her husband, her daughter’s father; how they got married and had their only daughter a year after their wedding.


She recalled how sweet and blissful it was for them at the beginning until, six years into their union, the husband lost his job and became an irresponsible drunk and suffered depression. It was out of annoyance that she chased her husband out of their matrimonial home and never saw him again.


If sending her husband out of her life was meant to end her problems, it turned out to be her biggest mistake. Her daughter, who was about to celebrate her 12th birthday, came back from school one day and demanded to know her father’s whereabouts. She then threatened to disappear from her mother’s life if she failed to produce her father on or before her 16th birthday.


“I thought it was an empty threat until the night of her birthday when I entered her bedroom and discovered she was gone,” she cried. “Ever since that night my life is no longer worth living. My daughter was all I had until I lost her 16 years ago. 


“If only I could roll back the hands of the clock, I would definitely have a happy home and be living a happy life today.”


A lesson to all married and potential couples.

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