A love to hold (3)

After Lenny's Mum and sister left, I picked up my bag and prepared to leave as well.
He was against me going and begged me to stay.
"You can't just leave like that, Rosa. You are supposed to spend the weekend with me, remember?" he stated.
I shook my head.
"My plans have changed. I need to go home and do some washing and..." I started to say when he said:
"Is it because of what my Mum said? Ah, sweetheart, you should not take her words too seriously. She's just being a typical possessive mother; she's scared you will take me away from her, that since you are now in my life, she can't have me to herself as before."
"Well, it's obvious she dislikes me. I don't feel comfortable with the situation; maybe we should just call this thing off, stop seeing each other..." I stated. But Lenny would not hear of it.
"How can you say that? What do you think will happen to me if you leave me? My life will just be empty without you!" he declared. He told me not to take any rash decision, assuring me that with time, his mother and other family members would accept me.
"Be patient, please. I will continue to do my best to change her mind," he said, drawing me close to him and kissing me. Though sceptical, I decided to listen to him. You see, I love Lenny. He had become such an important part of my life that breaking up with him would be heartbreaking. So, I prayed that his people would let us be and not try to separate us.
But it was not to be as events turned out.

War zone
Whatever efforts Lenny made to make his family soften up to me did not seem to work as things became more difficult for us. It was like they had declared war on me and did everything to make my life unbearable. The mother and his two younger sisters kept bombarding me with calls, calling me names and threatening to deal with me both physically and spiritually if I did not leave Lenny.
"Go and look for another guy to bewitch! Leave our brother alone! Jezebel! Agent of the devil!... his sisters would rant at me, calling me all kinds of unprintable names. For Lenny's sake, I refrained from exchanging words with them and held my peace. At a point, the harassment got so bad that I had to change my number so they could no longer reach me.
But that did not stop them. One day, I was at work when I was told I had visitors. Downstairs at the reception, I saw Lenny's mother with one of her daughters. There was another lady with them that I had never seen before.
Thinking they had come to make peace, I welcomed them warmly. How wrong I was!
As soon as I greeted Lenny's mother and the others, she flared up.
"Who are you greeting? Don't you ever greet me in your life again! I've come to deliver the last warning to you since you have refused to listen to my previous warnings. My son is not for you, so let him be and go and look for your husband elsewhere. If I ever see you with him again, I will not be held responsible for my actions. I'm warning you..." she continued to rave and shout at me. Soon the others joined in, abusing me and issuing all kinds of threats. I pleaded with her to stop, that we were in an office environment and we could go somewhere else and talk. But they were not ready to listen so when their noise grew so bad, I had to call in the security to throw them out.
I felt they had carried their hatred of me too far by coming to my office to embarrass me in that manner.
When Lenny heard what happened, he immediately came over to my house to see me later that day. He apologised on behalf of his mother, promising to have a strong word with her.
"I'll make sure this never repeats itself. How could my Mum do that to you! In your office of all places!" he said angrily.
I did not say anything but simply listened to what he had to say. When he finished, I said:
"There won't be a repeat as there would no longer be any reason for her harassment," I said quietly. I then told him that I was calling off the relationship as I could no longer cope with all the intimidations and embarrassment from his family.
"I love you, but I can't continue like this. All this stress is killing me! My life has become a war zone because of your people. I need my peace, Lenny, so I think it's best we end this relationship. Just go. Leave me alone!" I said.
He pleaded and begged, but I refused to listen. He looked so miserable and at a point was almost crying that my heart softened.
So I gave him another chance with the condition that he had to come up with a solution else it would be over with us. After he left, I sat gloomily staring into space, feeling very depressed. I did not see any hope for us with all the opposition to our relationship. The thought of losing Lenny kept me awake at night, made me miserable, sad...

Later, Lenny came up with a solution to our problem. He suggested we should leave the country and start our lives afresh elsewhere. I was initially reluctant to relocate out of Nigeria because of my family and my job. But his love for me which I felt was worth holding onto made me change my mind. We quickly made our plans, ensuring we kept everything from his family.
In the morning we were to travel, we were getting set to go to the airport, when Lenny's mother showed up.
"Where are you going, my son with all this luggage?" she inquired, eyeing the bags and suitcases we were loading into the car.
"Abroad. Where we can have peace since you won't allow us rest here!" he retorted.
"What? You mean you are traveling and you didn't tell me? How could you, Lenny? How can you do that to your own mother?"
Anyway, she started crying and pleading with Lenny not to go, that she needed him around now as she was getting old and who would take care of her in her old age? If accepting me was the only way to stop him from relocating, then she was ready to do that...
So based on that, our plans changed. We cancelled our trip and Lenny and I are now free to be together. It's like a miracle! We are both very happy over the turn of events and I pray his mother's new found love for me would last forever, that the days of threats and intimidations were truly over...

The End!

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