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Love Religion

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Amanda Lakeside, an intelligent, lonely, and petite fifteen year old girl who had just lost her mother to the cold hands of death, hoped for a happier life as she reunites with her deadbeat father who reached out to her and asked for forgiveness because he was dying. Unfortunately for Amanda, her happy reunion with her father was dead on arrival as he used her to pay off a debt that he owed to his community's oldest and wealthiest man who dies on the same night of him and Amanda's wedding. Being young and also a widow in the small town of Artdale is not a fate that anyone will wish on themselves. After being betrayed by her father, the people of Artdale and the local police, Amanda thought that her life couldn't get any worse but the widows of The Sacred Saint Church, led by the snobbish and fanatic Mrs. Agnes Hudah, proved her wrong as they unleashed hell on her. Five years later, Amanda's life took a drastic turn when the town's parish brought a hot and breathtaking preacher, Oleander who brought confusion to both Amanda and the other ladies in town.

Chapter 1

“My dear Amanda, thank you for making out time to reach out to me, even though all I’ve ever brought to you and your mother’s lives was pain.“My dear Amanda, thank you for making out time to reach out to me, even though all I’ve ever brought to you and your mother’s lives was pain.

I’m sorry for the loss of your mother and only God knows how remorseful I’ve felt for lying and abandoning you and your mother when you needed me the most.

I’m now a changed man and there is no day that goes by that I don’t regret my actions of the past. I looked for you and your mother but I could never find her probably because she didn't want me to find her because I have hurt her so much and I don't blame her because even me will run away from myself.

Receiving your letter felt like a ray of hope and a proof that God has forgiven me because this deadbeat father of yours is dying and my only wish is to see my daughter, ask for her forgiveness, and introduce her to the rest of the family.

Yours Remorseful,

Your father who was never there for you.”

Mandy frantically read through the letter again to be sure that her eyes and head weren’t deceiving her the many times that she read it.

“How could this be happening to me?” She sobbed and asked herself while crouching on the floor of the dark room where she was locked up and waiting for the time when she will be married off as the twelfth wife of Patrick, the oldest and wealthiest man in town.

Amanda Lakeside couldn’t believe that she came to reunite with her father in his town with so much dreams and hopes which were dead on arrival.

She hated herself as she cried and asked herself why she never listened to her mother’s dying wish and why she thought that her mother was too uptight and had an unforgiving heart because she refused to forgive her father or say anything about him all these years.

She raised her face to the dark ceiling and joined her palms together above her face as she begged and cried, “mother, I'm sorry for disobeying you but if you are watching over me as people always say that the dead watches over their loved ones, I want you to save me from this and I promise that I will run very far away from this man and his family and nothing will ever bring us together again just as you have always wanted.

Mandy is a beautiful and petite fifteen year old with beautiful large brown eyes that's filled with curiosity which has finally gotten her to where she is today.

Even though Mandy is fifteen, she doesn't look or act as a teenager probably because she grew up without a father and her mother did not pamper her.

Growing up among other children who had their fathers and mothers living together was traumatizing for little Amanda, especially when she quarrels with other children and they call her a b*st*rd.

Mandy’s life has been very hard but she barely complained to her mother or even report the people who insult and call her names because she knew that her mother was also going through a lot.

She and her mother weren’t living their best lives but they were comfortable and happy because they had enough to eat and a little to spare.

She knew that her mother was making them live like paupers because she had plans to send Mandy abroad to study as she wanted her daughter to have a good life which was better than hers and she always advises Mandy to stay away from boys as they will add no value to her life at this stage.

Rosalina who was Amanda's mother, was many things including bitter and angry but she loved her daughter very much and even after knowing that she had a terminal illness, she refused to wallow in self-pity as she still fought to stay alive and ensure that her daughter’s future is secured before death beckons on her.

Rosalina never had any plans to let Mandy meet her father because she knew that Johnson is a snake and a snake can never stop being a snake because that’s how it was created. She did not want Johnson to destroy her daughter’s life the same way he destroyed hers and that was why no matter how much Amanda cried and begged, she never agreed to tell her any stories about her father except the part where she tells her that her father is useless and evil.

Crouching on the floor in this dark room and regretting ever taking the trip to come see her father, Mandy wished that her mother had explained who her father was in details instead of giving her fragments of his person.

Her mother never remarried and there was never a time when she had a father figure in her life and she doesn't even know who her mother's family is. All Mandy craves is for someone else to show her love and this feeling was what made her to write to her father and also send him her pictures to show him that she's not ugly.

After Rosalina died, Mandy was going through her things and that was where she happened on a letter that her father had written to her mother a few months back.

In the letter her father had pleaded that Rosalina should let him see his daughter and apologize for abandoning them but knowing who her mother was, Mandy was very sure that her mother did not reply that letter.

After reading her father’s letter, Mandy remembered saying to herself that, "mum, even in death you still remained stubborn and unforgiving towards a man who has been begging for your forgiveness and because of this, you deprived your daughter the opportunity of meeting her father but God is not man because I have seen this letter and I will reply and meet him.”

True to her words, Amanda replied her father and that was how she evaded aunty Amy, her mother’s friend who was supposed to take her out of the country in two weeks all because she wanted to meet her father.

While wallowing in regret and self-pity, the door suddenly swung open and Mandy was roughly dragged out of the room by some older women including her father’s wife.

She cried, screamed, and kicked as she was being dragged out but her petite self was no match to the stronger women who were dragging her.

After struggling so much with the women, Mandy was drained of strength as she sat calmly and was observing as they bathed and dressed her up bridal style.

“So you are the unlucky Amanda that everyone has been talking about!” Mandy heard a malicious voice say to her from behind.

She turned towards the sound of the voice which came from the doorway and standing there, was a girl who looks a bit older than her.

“How does being forced to marry an old man a definition of being lucky?!” Amanda screamed in her head but said nothing to the girl.

Chapter 2

The young lady who seems not to like being ignored, walked up to Mandy and held her chin forcefully as she said into her face, "you might think that you are better than me because you came from the city but in a few hours, you will be nothing more than the wife of a dirty stinking old man and when he’s done with you, he’ll kick you out just like his other wives.”

This lady whose name Mandy does not know, sounded so mean that her voice was making Mandy to shiver.

“Why are you being so mean to a person who you are meeting for the first time?” Amanda asked amidst tears.

“I don’t need to know you before I start hating you. Do you know how much pain you and your mother's existence caused my mother? Why should I pity a person like you who divided my once happy home?” The angry lady who Mandy has secretly nicknamed ‘Angry bird’ retorted.

Mandy immediately saw this as an opportunity to bargain her way out of the messy situation. “I’m supposed to leave the c

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