Chapter 2: Rumors and migration
Sarah-Marie was trying to live her life decently after getting divorced from her husband. But, as usual people talk in small town. Rumors started to circulate about that unfortunate night, from mouth to ear the word was that her estranged husband and her got into a fight cause she was unfaithful. Wherever she’d go, she’d have to face people whispering, gossiping about her. She supported their dirty look and bear her estranged husband’s sins. She couldn’t no longer stand her kids’ sad faces cause other parents wouldn’t let their children talk to them at school cause their mother was supposedly bad ! If it was only about her, she would have stayed and face them, tell them to fuck off, she would have tell them to mind their own business. But for the kids’ sake, she remained silent and give it to the Lord ! A Sunday morning as usual, she went to church with the kids and heard other kids talking to Joe. She heard them using all the worst and degrading words about herself. Therefore, to defend her honor, Joe got into a fight. It ended pretty bad, eight stitches on the face, right on top of the right eyebrow.
Later on she went to the other kids’ parents to talk about the incident, but none of them showed compassion or understanding or even asked about Joe. She decided to pack up and leave town ! The human inside of her wanted to hurt them so bad, to make them feel all the pain they’ve caused to her little boy… But, either the mother or the good person inside of her wouldn’t hurt theses kids !
After that incident, she started thinking about all the opportunities that she could possibly have ! After talking about her plan to the kids who were more than happy to leave town, she headed to Port-au-Prince. She found a job at a drugstore, rented a small house and started saving up money for school during the summer time. She took night classes in a secretary program to find a better job in order to provide for the kids.
After graduating from the secretary program, she started working for « Nouvèl Lakay » News on week days and kept her job at the drugstore on the weekend as she was a single mom and needed money to provide for her family. In 1984 violent riots started. People started to protest cause they’ve had enough of the government. They wanted changes and were ready to reverse Duvalier’s dictature no matter what it’d cost. The country was no longer safe for her and the children, she didn’t know how but she knew that she would have to make sure they were well.
She heard her coworkers talking about an opportunity to make a refugee claim, so she decided to contact a friend of hers and ask about the process of making that refugee claim that could change her life and the kids’. Every week another friend was missing and no one could ever know what happened to them. People who were in the journalism community were the main targets. Not because they didn’t do a good job, but because they were saying the truth and people started to realize how certain things weren’t quite fair ! She sold everything she could and asked her estranged husband to help her with what was missing, bought tickets and flew to north Montréal looking for a better lifestyle.
They arrived there on winter, Joe was fourteen, Sarah eleven, Marie-Anne eight and Abel seven, they were mortified and Marie-Sarah, poor thing was even more. A thirty-four year old single mom, moving to a new country in order to offer a new start to herself and her children. Moving back to her parents to whom she stopped talking ages ago cause they didn’t approve the guy she decided to marry knowingly their disapproval. She was ashamed cause she knew that she was wrong, she wished she’d never had to live this situation but she didn’t really have the choice. She swallowed her pride and put the children’s sake first. She was their only child and she let them down for a stranger. Even know the Bible Said in the right time, the children will have to leave their parents to start their life with their significant others, she was terribly sorry for letting his love, if it was ever real turn her against her family.
She was anxious, cold, nauseous and she couldn’t breath properly. She felt the world’s weight on her shoulders, something was hurting her right through her chest, it felt like a truckload of emotions and regrets she has been bearing for so long, that it became a part of her. Her heart was bounding through her chest. She looked at her parents and all she could do was cry. She cried cause she missed them, cause she was sorry, cause she was mad, cause she couldn’t express herself any other way.
Suddenly her dad ran to her and held her so tight, he started kissing her, he couldn’t hold theses tears inside anymore. He was crying cause he missed her so much. 16 years ago when she left home to marry that shady lawyer, he thought he’d never see her again. He was crying while holding her tight and telling her how much he loves her and how bad he missed her. She was crying while telling him how sorry and selfish she felt. He told her that he understood, and that he forgave her, she was young and he was her first love he was almost twice her age and played her like he did with her wife before her !
Her mom who was looking at the whole scene in the background joined them and cried with them. The kids didn’t really understand what it all was about but the knew that they should give them a few minutes alone.
After few minutes of emotions, Sarah-Marie introduced her parents to the kids who were truly happy to meet their grandparents and vice-versa. They drove home where they ate and celebrated together their reunion as a real family for the first time in 16 years. During the ride home, they couldn’t stop looking through the car window cause they were amazed by all the lights that were projected over the city. They were already in love with the city although they weren’t really excited about the cold and the snow !
By the next year, they already had their routine, the kids were back to school and Sarah-Marie was taking nursing classes. Dada was a taxi driver and Yaya was working in a daycare. It wasn’t easy for them to start over but the political system didn’t really give any chance to them. Over the years they’ve cumulated money and bought a nice house. They’ve bought a familial one hoping that Sarah-Marie would change her mind and come back home. They’ve prayed for her to comeback and The good God has listened to them! They felt relieved that night when she called to say she was moving to Montréal. Now that they were a family again, all the wanted was to enjoy the time they had left together !
Over the years, Joe became more interested in her mom’s career so after high school, he went to nursing at college then decided to pursue in medicine. Sarah followed her mom’ step and went to nursing and Abel was already planning on going in the nursing program too. Marie-Anne was on the last year of high school and she knew that she wanted to do something different.
She talked to her mother about her passion for painting, literature and photography. She told her that she was planning on breaking the health science circle and head to something artistic. Her mom told her that she should do nursing school first and change to something else later. She also told her how she thought that her artistic taste wasn’t going to lead her to a real life career.
It was the beginning of a whole series of disagreements.