Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2230621-Loving-the-Unloved
by MaciM
Rated: E · Short Story · Inspirational · #2230621
A story of a young lady's fight to be heard.
Loving the Unloved
Story by Maci M.

As she walked towards the panel of judges to receive the prestigious award, she appeared sure-footed, confident and raring to go. This was a sharp contrast to the woman I had first met some twelve years back, narrated Chrys.

One late afternoon, slowly and unsure of her gait, Marlene walked into Chrys’s family shop; cold, hungry, and wounded.
Marlene was a secondary school drop out, a widow with five children and with no substantial source of income. She had searched high and low for an opportunity to provide a decent shelter and a balanced diet for her children, not to mention a school admission for her children. Unfortunately, all her efforts never seemed to bear positive fruits. We say positive results, because there were very many negative results. Every time she had tried to raise her head, there was what seemed like a hammer waiting to beat her back to dust. She had endured domestic violence from her then departed spouse, she had endured humiliation and rejection from family members who thought she had too many problems to belong in any family. She had even endured ostracization from the religious community, as she did not have anything substantial to offer. In fact, many in her community that knew her turned and walked away anytime and anywhere she appeared.

As she stretched out her hand, begging for an opportunity to help clean and arrange the shop, so she could earn a few coins, that would translate into a meal for her five children, Chrys saw a fire in her eyes, a kind of fire that had withstood the test of time. A fire that had refused to be quenched, a fire that was raring to go. Chrys found himself admiring this lady. He felt the need to approach her, if only to assure her that not everyone was ‘allergic’ to her plight. That cold winter morning brought him the person that would change his life, in ways that he could never have imagined. As he walked towards her, stretching out his hand for a handshake, it felt like he needed more help than Marlene did. She stretched her hand, thin and dry, but with quite a firm handshake. He introduced himself to her. That marked the beginning of a journey, a journey of sharing, a journey of caring, a journey of love and joy. A journey of shame to fame, a journey of tears of pain, to tears of joy.

You see, at the beginning of that year as Chrys was writing down his new year resolutions, he had prayed that God would confirm to him regarding a project that was always on his mind, but he needed divine confirmation. That was a rescue centre for teenage unwed mothers. His vision was to take in these girls, and empower them to be able to care, support and educate their own children, within humane standards.
Up to that point, everyone in his family, at work and in church thought he had lost my mind. He had just resigned from his very financially secure job, and his family and friends felt he needed to at least check in with a therapist. But this cold winter morning, he could hear that still small voice speaking to him, confirming to the affirmative. When he saw Marlene, he did not see a weak, hungry, poor woman. He saw a beacon of hope, he saw a woman that would use her life experiences to restore hope and glory to many like her, who had had no opportunity. He saw beyond what the normal eye could see.

That was twelve years ago. Marlene and her children were the first patrons at the rescue centre. She not only enrolled her children into various schools, but she also went back to school to complete her high school education, passed her secondary exam. She went ahead and joined university for her first degree, did her masters and later was awarded her PhD. All her children graduated from various universities, and went back to work at the rescue centre. Through her studies and life experiences, Marlene helped to raise the standard of rescue centre from its original state, to one that was able to raise leaders and scholars worldwide, to which the rescue centre was awarded with a global recognition for love and support of humanity.

Due to her diligence and hard work and love for humanity, Marlene ended up being a co-partner with Chrys. She however struggled to open her heart for love. She had been so wounded that she never thought love and marriage would ever be in the offing for her. But Chrys, who fell in love with her from the very beginning, was a very patient, loving, kind and compassionate man. He gave her all the time and space, until she was ready to reciprocate his love.
When she finally said yes, Marlene and Chrys became inseparable, soulmates, best friends and continued to enjoy their marital bliss.
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