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    Eugenie Laverne Mitchell
    Cherie Johnson is young and beautiful and yearns to find true love. On her 28th birthday she is worried that she will be left on the shelf and in her desolation she cries out - a heartfelt prayer that touches heaven and there follows a chain of events that brings delight but also some surprises.

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    book excerpt

    The letter from Tyrone arrived on 16 May 1984 and Jean’s world was turned upside down.

    Just before Cherie’s first birthday, Jesse spoke to Tyrone about the reason for the delay in fixing the wedding date. Tyrone’s main excuse was the same as he had given for not marrying Jean prior to Cherie’s birth and just after, that he was saving up for the wedding as he wanted to have a very big affair and had a lot of family and friends. And when Jesse had offered, yet again, to bear the full cost of the wedding, Tyrone had once more refused, exhibiting some anger when he stated that he wanted to do it for himself. Noting his annoyed reaction, Jesse had suggested that he didn’t want to do it at all, at which suggestion Tyrone had become fully irate, and stormed out of the Johnson home. Jesse surmised that he had hit the nail on the head, and from then on began to treat Tyrone differently, reverting to calling him by his name rather than “Son”. Esther followed suit and the relationship between them and Tyrone became decidedly frosty, although they did not stop him from coming to see their grand-daughter. They began to warn their daughter about Tyrone’s true intentions, but instead of taking heed, Jean defended Tyrone vehemently, being blinded by a haze of love.
    Tyrone began to plan his escape the day that Jean’s father had spoken to him about fixing the wedding date. And when he visited his family in America a few weeks later, he had finalised plans to emigrate, and had sought and found a job there. Three months after his return, he announced that he would be taking up employment in America a month later.
    Jean was devastated by the revelation that Tyrone was going away, but remained optimistic. He gave her false hope that their separation would not be for long. So it came as a total shock when she received that letter to say that he had met someone else. That news had broken her heart. “Not Tyrone, not my Tyrone – he couldn’t do this to me – no, there must be some mistake,” Jean had repeated over and over before collapsing into floods of tears. But there was no mistake – Tyrone had betrayed her.
    Following that revelation Jean relapsed into a deeper state of depression and had it not been for God given strength and the love and support of her parents, she would never have pulled through, out of that dark place. She did not at first realise that the woman Tyrone had “met” was Evangeline, with whom he used to work in London. That he had in fact sent for her, having already proposed to her before he left. That he had married Evangeline less than six months after he left. When she found that out from Eve some time later, she became a totally broken woman all over again, falling into a complete depression. Once again, it had taken the love of God and the care and support of her parents and a lot of time to pull her through.
    When Cherie turned four years old, Gran’ pa announced that he had found a job in Brighton, to where he and Gran’ ma intended to relocate. They asked Jean to move with them and she was only too glad to pack up and go, leaving behind the harrowing memories - the hurt and pain of unrequited love. It was possible for Tyrone to hurt her so deeply because she trusted and loved him so much - with every last bone in her body. It had been a peculiar kind of love, the kind that threatened to stop her breath every time she saw his face - that blinded the eyes and rendered the mind powerless, the kind of love that was so, so sweet that it could overwhelm the soul. The kind of love that if betrayed provided perpetual fuel to feed the pain of a broken heart.
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