The Journey (4)

Dalilah waited some news from Maarten after he left to his homeland. They had had several contacts through emails and phone calls. Maarten reassured her that everything would be all right since he sensed some uncertainty from Dalilah’s voice whenever they talked. Not knowing what was happening on the other side of the world, Dalillah put all her trust onto Maarten. After all, he’s my husband now, she thought. What could go wrong?

After some legal arrangement in the Netherlands, Maarten told Dalilah to start preparing for her journey to a new home. During that time, Maarten persistently urged Dalilah to sell her business and her property – reassuring her that a new beginning awaited her there with full hope. It wasn’t easy to find a buyer to take over her business, nor to sell her property in a very short period of time. Dalilah didn’t understand either why she needed to sell her property – after all she would like to retire one day in Malaysia with Maarten by her side. Maarten did mention about that idea too over and over again – telling her that Malaysia would be the most ideal retirement place for him. She believed him because she knew there was a lot of truth in it. No doubt about that. Maarten had showed Dalilah that he truly enjoyed his life in Malaysia.

The pressure of wanting to be with her husband and simultaneously needed to sell everything she had made Dalilah very confounded. Some friends couldn’t comprehend her reactions because they detected something wasn’t right with the big move. Especially when she needed to ‘get rid’ of her ‘stuff’ in Malaysia in order to be with her husband. If the husband was understanding enough, this topic shouldn’t even worth thinking of. After all, it was her property, her belonging. Not his. Others took advantage by dragging her down to almost bankruptcy. They offered such ludicrous amount of money that she almost fainted! All in the game of ‘good business’.  Dalilah was desperate. Yet again.

Eventually, after all the troublesome and heartache of having to sell her business, Dalilah decided to keep her house and sold her car – for a ridiculously low price! She wanted to cry since she couldn’t bare to see the amount of loss she accumulated. How could this be possible? Nonetheless, everything she did was out of love. Perhaps this was the sacrifice people were talking about, she thought. Being single is one thing, being married is another, she thought even more.

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It was nearly time to depart.  She looked around her house. Most of the flower pots were gone. She gave them away to friends and neighbours. She almost cleared the front yard. There were plenty of dead leaves heaping up next to her left foot. Slowly she placed them into a barrel and when it was almost full, her children came and finished her work. They were all helping Dalilah to clear up the mess, including clearing the entire house before completely waving it goodbye. Maarten was there, sitting on the lazy chair sipping ice-tea without lifting a finger. Only after Dalilah almost finished scrubbing the tiles on the veranda, he came and took the brush and completed her work – but made such a big fuss saying he sweated his butt off as if he did a tonne of work. How pathetic!

It was time to leave. Dalilah decided to bring her daughter with her while her son stayed behind. It was an intense farewell since she had never parted with any of her children before. With heavy heart, she hugged her son and promised him that she would come and visit him every year until they would be united again. Maarten also gave his promise to take care of Dalilah’s children in front of family and friends at the airport. He told Dalilah’s son that he would do all in his powers to bring him to live with Dalilah in the Netherlands. This moved Dalilah even more. she was touched by what he said. She held tight all his words and promises. This will be a new beginning for me, she said to herself. And to all my children.

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