Mary had not always been a good woman. She had cheated on her husband who died in a car crash on Mombasa road while Mary was spending an evening with her lover. Mary had despised her husband for being a workaholic, a spendthrift and paying more attention to the children than he did to her. She thought that he did not listen to her or hear her when she told him that she felt unloved. She did not enjoy spending time with him anymore because he was always talking about things that did not interest her. He was a happy-go-lucky kind of man who did not take her need for romance and intimacy seriously. His happiness was in spending money making himself and others happy and she did not need his money.
As she sat in the church pew with her twin girl and boy mourning the loss of their father, she was absorbed with guilt. She recalled how she had felt relieved when she heard about the tragic accident. Even though she broke down and cried, she felt that she now had a chance to live the life she wanted. At the funeral, her two children broke down into loud, uncontrollable moans on each other’s shoulders as she stood next to them and moved over to comfort them. She felt like such a hypocrite at that moment and was glad to see the end of that day which had made her feel like she had really missed out big on getting to know the man she was married to.
Afterwards, she found herself unable to figure out what to do with herself. She thought that she should have been the one who died because she was the one who was cheating and who did not care for the children like she should have. She yearned for a second chance at being a good wife to her husband and a good mother to her children. She realized that she did not know what love was and thought that it was probably because nobody had been willing to suffer the price of loving her. This is why she was not willing to suffer the price of loving her husband.
When this hit her, she decided that she would focus on loving her children and make every effort to do for them more than what their father had done. She would only let them miss him but not miss the things he did for them which she was going to do. She found it hard to adjust to being there for her children. She came to learn that children can be difficult and demanding and they fought with each other and accused her of favouritism. She thought of giving up but couldn’t bear the thought of failing her children by not showing them what love is so that they too could learn to love someone someday. She broke up her relationship with her lover for the sake of her children and as a punishment to herself for what she had done.
She started going to church with her children, something their father used to do while she stayed home to sleep in. At church she reluctantly joined a Bible study group which the Pastor told her was good for her to overcome the grief of losing her husband. She thought if she did not join the Bible study, people would know that she was not really in grief. She was in a season where she had decided that she would love and take care of her children and then when they were grown up, which was less than ten years to go, she could have her own life. So she went through the motions of doing what she thought was best for her and her children at that time.
At the Bible study, she made some friends whose company she enjoyed as she fiercely debated with them over just how strict a Christian one should be. In her opinion, she was not required to devote herself completely to the church. She needed to enjoy life while it lasted although she agreed that she needed God all the time. She saw that going to church had a good effect on her children and when they were not doing right they listened to her when she asked them if Jesus would be happy with what they were doing. She therefore considered church a good place for her to take her children and enjoy being in the company of people who made her feel like a good person.
Financially, she struggled to adjust after losing her husband’s income. Although she received an insurance and pension payment, her income was not enough to keep up the lifestyle they were used to. She was forced to sell their house, pay off the mortgage amount and buy an apartment instead. She invested the remaining sum into a long term facility to secure her children’s education. She moved the children to the school where she taught where she could comfortably afford the fees. She cut down on spending, eating at home most of the time and adopting a pocket money system with the children whereby she gave them each a rigid monthly spending budget. All things considered, she had fared well on the financial front.
She had a fling here and there but nothing too serious. She enjoyed her drink and an occasional cigarette when she was out with the girls. She had friends whom she knew from childhood and school and who she partied with on Friday nights.
Later on, she met Michael.