Monthly Archives: April 2017

Wedding Chronicles – The Important Parent

The church service was scheduled to start at 10.00am. All the grooms sat expectantly waiting for the commencement of the service. Their brides hung around the church premises. Most of them sat in the cars that brought them to church awaiting when they would be ushered in. 10.00am on the dot, the wedding service started. Vows were said and rings were exchanged. The minister declared the couples; men with their wives and proclaimed them the newest couples in town.

The service lasted one hour; after which friends, family and well-wishers started trooping out of the church to attend the reception of whoever they were there to felicitate with. Most eased into their cars, while those without cars looked for who to attach themselves to.

While this was going on, a woman gaily dressed walked into the church premises. Her headgear rose high. She smiled as she took calculated steps and walked up to me. “My dear, please when is the service starting?”

I looked at her confused. “I don’t understand ma. Which service?” I asked.

“The wedding nau. My son is getting married here today.” She said cheerily.

I opened my mouth as I looked at her. “Ah, the service has ended ma. Everyone is on their way to the reception.”

Her smile suddenly turned into a frown. “Ended like how? How can they start the service without me? Are they not supposed to wait for me to get here?”

I looked at her unable to answer her questions.

When she noticed I couldn’t, she stomped away in anger looking for who could answer her questions. I immediately scurried away before she returned to vent her anger on me.

——
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The Wait – Chapter 1

Hi,

I hope you enjoyed the last series served here titled “Omoshalewa”.

Another series starts today. Please stay tuned and follow me on this journey.

And don’t forget to use the share buttons at the end. I would also love to hear from my readers. Please come out of ghost mode 😁

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“Do you Ajoke Omolewa, take this man, Enitan Boluwatife to be your lawful wedded husband; to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, keeping yourself solely unto him, to honour him, submit to him, forsaking all others till death do you part? If so, answer “Yes, I do.” The minister asked again.

Ajoke opened her mouth but was unable to form the words the minister, her family members and Enitan waited to hear. Her eyes were trained on the man who had just walked into the registry and sat quietly at the end of the hall. He had walked in unnoticed but Ajoke’s attention towards him was beginning to attract stares in his direction.

One by one, Ajoke’s family members comprising her father, her mother, her six elder brothers and her two teenage kids looked back to find out what had caught her attention. Enitan also confused at the sudden change in Ajoke’s mien looked in the same direction. He could not recognize the stranger and he wondered why the man’s presence had suddenly affected Ajoke. He turned to look at his bride and saw tears streaming down her made-up face. What on earth is going on?

All of a sudden, there was commotion in the hall. Ajoke’s aged father struggled to get up, his face taut and his jaw set but Ajoke’s brothers were faster. The youngest of her brothers tapped her father on his shoulders and slid his right hand up and down his chest. Their father took the cue and relaxed in his seat. His sons were capable of handling the situation. The six brothers stood up one by one and marched towards the end of the hall.

Ajoke, knowing what her brothers were capable of doing, left Enitan and the minister at the podium and started running towards the end of the hall.

“Ajoke!!!” Enitan called as he watched her break into a run.

She stopped to look back at Enitan, her tears now coming down her face in streams, staining and drawing black lines on her wet cheeks as a result of her smeared mascara. She looked at him, her eyes pleading but it only made Enitan more confused. Who was this guy whose sudden presence had stalled his wedding? He looked at Ajoke’s parents and searched their faces for an answer. Ajoke’s mother slumped her shoulders as she watched an imaginary being in her open hands while her father’s neck was stretched to the back as he trained his attention on the on-goings down the hall.

Ajoke reached the end of the hall just as her eldest brother held the stranger by his tie, rough-handling him. The stranger coughed as Adisa held him by the neck. He refused to hold Adisa’s hand or make an attempt to stop Adisa from strangling him.

“What are you doing here, you bastard?” Adisa asked.

The stranger only looked at Adisa without a word or a plea. All Ajoke’s brothers had gathered round the stranger but none stopped Adisa from his bid to strangle him. Ajoke pushed through the circle and knelt before her eldest brother. “Bròdá mi, ë jò ó, ë má pà á. (My brother, please don’t kill him).”

“Will you go back to the front and continue with your wedding?” Adisa said to Ajoke, his eyes blazing.

“I will but please don’t kill him.” Ajoke said, her face totally in a mess now.

Adisa refused to let go of the stranger.

“Àdìsá, fi sílè. (Adisa, leave him alone).” Their father said. He had trudged down the hall after Ajoke had broken into a run. He reached the end of the hall panting and sweating in the air-conditioned room. His wife had not accompanied him as she now stood, talking to the minister, the groom, his elder brother, his uncle and aunt. Her hands were clasped as she pleaded with them. They all looked at her confusion clearly written on their faces.

“Ehn, Bàámi kí lë sö?” (My father, what did you say?) Adisa asked, as he looked at his father with anger.

“Mo ní ko fi sílè.” (I said you should leave him alone).

Adisa squeezed his hands once more on the stranger’s neck making the man to gasp for air before releasing his grip. The man coughed once more as he loosened his tie and massaged his neck. His face was sober as he looked at Ajoke’s father. As the old man’s tired eyes met his, the stranger dropped his gaze. Ajoke’s father sighed deeply as he shook his head.

 

“Bàámi, ë jò ó, mo fé ba s’òrò. (My father, please I want to talk to him.)” Ajoke said to her father.

Ajoke’s father nodded and turned back.

“Alone.” She reiterated when her brothers refused to leave.

“You better know what you are doing.” Adisa said to Ajoke. “And as for you” – He said pointing towards the stranger – “I will still deal with you.”

Ajoke watched her brothers as they all filed back to the front of the hall; leaving her and the stranger alone. Her brothers however kept their eyes on them as they monitored their discussion from afar. As she turned to look at him, he knelt before her and tried to hold her hand. “Don’t touch me, Adejoro.” She said.

“I know I have hurt you greatly but please hear me out.”

“Hear you out? What could you possibly have to say? Hmm….Adejoro. What?”

“Ajoke, please…..”

“Adejoro, what did I do to you to deserve this? What was my offence? Tell me.” She sobbed.

“Ajoke, it is not what you think?”

“I gave up everything and gave you my all. But you trampled it under your feet and threw it back in my face. Just look down the hall” – She said nodding towards the front. “Did your children come here? Did they acknowledge your presence?” She asked.

Adejoro looked towards the front pews and sighed. So those are my children? He placed his hands on his head and bowed his head in shame. His children did not recognize him. They did not know who their father was. Fifteen years was a long time for any man to abandon his family. He knew he had messed up but he wanted to make it right if Ajoke could give him an opportunity to.

 

As Ajoke looked at his bowed head, she remembered how she had fallen in love with Kokumo nineteen years ago. Both of them had attended the same secondary school in the Ayobo village. Her parents had struggled to send her to school as they barely had enough to eat with seven children. Her mother had given birth to Adisa, two sets of twin boys and another boy before having her. Her father tapped palm-wine for a living while her mother processed garri locally. The little they made from the sales of palm wine and garri was used to feed the large family.

As much as her father valued education, he had told all his children that the best he could do for them was to ensure they got educated up to the secondary level. After that, he encouraged each one of them to go learn a trade. Her elder brothers had all learnt one trade or the other but Ajoke being the last child and only girl, had been confined to helping her mother’s business.

 

Kokumo was named an Abiku child. His parents said he always died at childbirth and returned to torment his mother again. To stop the scourge of death, the sixth child was marked before burying. Even though, Kokumo did not return with the mark (as it was believed would happen), he was still named Kokumo – meaning; will not die again. After his birth, his mother decided to give child bearing a wide berth. Kokumo’s father was a peasant farmer while his mother sold seasonal fruits which were planted and harvested by her husband.

Even though Kokumo and Ajoke attended the same secondary school, they only became acquainted with each other in the senior secondary class. They were both in the Art class and having to do the same subjects brought them close. Ajoke’s parents had been unable to afford to buy her textbooks, so Kokumo was always on hand to assist her with his. They became reading partners and within a short period of time, love found them.

Each day, they both trekked a distance which took them about an hour to get home from school. Kokumo lived in the next village to Ajoke’s and the forked junction before their villages served as their end point before each faced the journey home alone.

Ajoke looked at the man before her, her husband of three years and father of her children. What a wasted life she had lived married to him? She and Kokumo had been denied of their young love and she had been married off to Adejoro. Her father, her mother and her elder brother had thought him man enough to take care of her.

As the tears began to make their way down her cheeks again, her mind is forced to go back in time to when Kokumo meant the whole world to her.

——–
The story continues…..

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Wedding Chronicles – The Last Bride

The church hall was filled with various colourful headgears representing various families.

The nine brides stood by their grooms; an expectant look on their faces. Each bride and groom had a chief bridesmaid and a best man standing behind them. The minister looked at them. “This is to the grooms. Please face your bride and repeat after me. I…..”

“I…..” The grooms chorused.

“Mention your names.” The minister continued. “Do take you, please mention your bride’s name – to be my lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, from this day forward, till death do us part and according to God’s law. This I solemnly vow.” The grooms repeated.

The church gave a round of applause as the minister repeated the same vows to the brides.

The tenth bride put her hands under her veil and dabbed her eyes incessantly. She was the only bride still facing the minister while the others faced their grooms. Even though the air-conditioner was blowing at full blast, her palms were wet with sweat. She moved the bouquet of flowers in her hands from the right to the left and turned to look at the door every minute. Her chief bridesmaid fanned her vigorously when she noticed the beads of sweat on her head. She heard only half of what the minister said. Her mind was in turmoil. She was barely listening when she noticed that the grooms were about unveiling their brides. Tears gathered in her eyes and she bit her lip to stop them from spilling.

 

Two of the grooms’ friends stood outside the church gate while another stood just outside the church hall. The men at the gate fidgeted as they strained their necks and scrutinized every motor bike that passed by. Where could he be? They asked each other every minute. There were no mobile phones and they had no idea where or how to look for him. If they decided to make the journey to his house, they were sure not to meet him at home. It was definite he would be on his way but what could have taken him so long to get to the church when he knew what time the church service was meant to start. Their friend who stood outside the hall monitored the church proceedings. He gasped and put his hand on his head. The minister had declared the newest couples and was about to show them to the whole church.

Just then, the groom ran into the church hall with his best man in tow. He hurriedly unveiled his wife and put the ring on her finger. The minister smiled as he asked the ten couples to face the church and declared them the newest couples in town.

——–

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Trouble dey sleep…..

“Hey baby girl, how you dey?”

The lady continued walking without looking back.

“Ba….bay, na you I dey talk to nau.” The guy stood up and crooned after the lady.

His friends who were sitting behind burst into laughter when they noticed that she refused to pay him any attention.

He looked back at his friends and gave them a peace sign with his fingers. He adjusted his collar and moved closer to her. He tapped her on the shoulder and she turned back; a disgusted look on her face.

“Ahn….ahn, why you come dey do shakara nau? No be you I dey call?” The guy smiled revealing a yellowed set of teeth.

“Excuse me? Please could you take your hands off me?” The lady said as she brushed his hand off her shoulder.

She turned and was about walking away. He looked back at his friends and winked as he walked ahead of her and stood in front of her blocking her way.

“What is the meaning of this?” She asked.

“I dey call you, at least you go answer person.”

She turned to take her left and the guy blocked her way again.

“Get out of my way.” She said to him in anger.

“Ahn….ahn….wetin? Because person like you, you come dey feel important, abi?”

The lady looked at him, her eyes narrowing into slits. She tried to walk around him again but he blocked her way a third time.

He raised his hand and was about to touch her again when in the twinkling of an eye, she held his hand in mid-air and twisted it towards his back. He screamed in pain as he bent half-way. He was about to look up at her when she used her right leg to kick him off his feet.

He grimaced as he hit the ground.

“Woo-hoo.” His friends who had been watching the drama between the two shouted.

The lady clapped her hands together, shook off the dust on her shoes as she looked at the guy who had stood up and broken into a run with his hand on his waist.

She looked at his friends who all raised up their hands immediately in surrender.

She turned back to go on her way as she smiled.

Her karate skills hadn’t become rusty.

——–

Photo Credit: http://www.istock.com

Trees and their friends

The senior girl received the exeat from the school secretary. She had been given permission to take a sick junior girl home. She put the exeat in her uniform pocket as two of her classmates offered to see her off to the school gate. Two junior girls held the sick girl’s hands and walked ahead of the senior girl and her friends.

The senior girl stopped to have a chat with another set of friends and she informed them that she was taking a sick junior home. The junior girls and the sick girl had gotten to the gate but they had to wait for the senior girl who had the exeat so it could be presented to the gate man.

They decided to sit down under the palm tree that towered over the school gate while they chatted. The sick girl rested her head on the shoulders of one of the girls. A stalk from the palm tree fell on the shoulder of the second girl and she swiped it off with her hand. As the stalk fell to the floor, it circled round her feet. That is strange; she thought. She looked down at her feet to kick the stalk away and saw a thin long black snake at her feet. She screamed. The two girls and the sick girl jumped on their feet and ran.

The gate man ran towards them on hearing their screams. The girls pointed towards the location where they sat but the snake had slithered into a tiny hole in the ground. The experience remained indelible in the mind of the girl who had had the encounter with the snake and she made a mental note never to sit under palm trees.

——-

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Whose child is it?

Tonye looked at the baby before him. The expression on his face was that of shock which slowly metamorphosed into anger. This could not be. He shook his head trying to shake away the thoughts that were slowly forming in his head.

“Congratulations sir.” The midwife holding the baby was saying to Tonye. She had her hands stretched towards him; offering him the baby but his mind was far away in a jumble of thoughts.

“No, No.” He said as he started walking out of the delivery ward where he had been standing by Obiageli’s side holding on to her hand while she screamed in agony of childbirth.

“Sir, sir…Mr. Okpanachi.” Another nurse called out but Tonye heard no one.

The surgeon stitching up Mrs. Okpanachi’s perineum looked up briefly trying to understand what the commotion was about. She ignored Tonye and continued what she was doing. She had seen so much drama in the delivery room within her twenty-seven years in this field and Tonye’s case wasn’t in any way different to her. She knew the other nurses were capable of handling the situation. Her hands continued to work deftly.

********

Obiageli had had a traumatic birth. The doctors had checked her and told her she was fit to have her baby naturally. This had made her and her husband happy. Her friends had inundated her with stories of child delivery and she had looked forward to hers with trepidation. Even though, she had been a little scared with what she had heard from her friends, a few others had given birth without any stress and she had prayed hers would be the same.

She had fallen into labour in the early hours of the day when her water broke. She had been pressed to pee and as she stood up from the bed, water poured out of her body like an open tap. She knew what it meant after the series of ante-natal lessons she had attended. She immediately tapped her husband and told him the baby was ready. Tonye had stood up groggily picking up a shirt and a trouser and wearing it slowly. When the first pain of labour hit her and she screamed, Tonye’s eyes widened and he realized Obiageli was actually in labour. His mind had initially refused to register this information. He had quickly picked up her baby bag which had been packed three weeks before and helped her into the car. He drove crazily to the hospital and at a point, Obiageli had to beg him to slow down.

********

Tonye couldn’t believe what he had seen in the hospital. He had walked out like someone in a trance. He couldn’t even remember how he had gotten home. He sat down in his living room and looked around like a lost child. That child cannot be mine. Had Obiageli been cheating on me while I was away on my frequent business trips? If he hadn’t been there during the delivery, he would have believed the midwives switched babies. But he had sought their permission and he had been granted. He acknowledged he wasn’t always there for her during the time of her pregnancy and now that he was in town, he wanted to be there for the delivery.

He stood up and paced round the room. Obiageli had never given him a reason to doubt her but right now, he wasn’t sure about anything. He picked up his car keys and walked out of the house.

********

Obiageli had been moved to her room. She was fully conscious now and was asking for her husband and her baby. The nurse attending to her smiled. “Your baby will be brought to you very soon. I think your husband is…….” She was saying as Tonye walked in; a frown on his face.

“Obiageli, what is the meaning of this? Whose child did you give birth to?”

Obiageli was stunned. Her jaw dropped as she looked at her husband and then at the nurse.

“I don’t understand what you are saying, Tonye.”

“I asked who you have been sleeping with and want to pass his baby as mine.” Tonye blurted out.

“Mr. Okpanachi, please you will have to leave the room now. Your wife is still sore from the delivery and needs to rest.” The nurse said as she eyed Tonye.

Tonye grunted as he stormed out of the room.

Obiageli had a puzzled look on her face as she turned to the nurse. The nurse understood her plight and stood beside her.

“Do you have any albinos in your family, Mrs. Okpanachi?”

“No, we don’t.” Obiageli said looking more confused.

“What about your husband’s family?”

Obiageli shook her head. “What is going on nurse?”

“You had an albino baby.” The nurse said quietly.

“No. How? Albino?” Obiageli asked as she tried to sit up but flinched in pain.

The nurse put a pillow behind her and helped her sit up comfortably.

“We don’t have any albinos. And I don’t know of any in my husband’s family. What could have happened, nurse?”

Noise began to filter in through the slightly opened door and Obiageli and the nurse’s attention were diverted.

“I want a DNA test done immediately. That baby cannot be mine.” Tonye shouted outside the door.

“Keep your voice down, Mr. Okpanachi. You are disturbing the peace of the hospital.” A nurse said.

“You want me to believe this bullshit you are saying. I don’t have such genes in my family. No one in my family has ever given birth to an albino.”

Obiageli heard her husband’s outburst and tears began to stream down her eyes. Tonye did not trust her. She had never cheated on him even though he was out of town more times than he was in town. She also did not understand how she could give birth to an albino baby.

“We would do a DNA test as requested, Mr. Okpanachi.” The nurse outside the door said in a bid to calm Tonye down.

“Better.” He hissed.

The nurse in the room sat on the visitors chair beside the bed and tapped Obiageli’s hand. “It is okay. I am sure everything will be fine.” She smiled.

Another nurse walked into the room with the baby cradled in her arms. She brought the baby to Obiageli placing the little tot in her mother’s bosom. Tears dropped down Obiageli’s cheeks as she looked at the white baby sleeping peacefully in her arms.

********

The next day, Tonye’s mother walked into Obiageli’s room. Obiageli rose immediately she saw her mother-in-law and sat up.

“My wife, how are you doing and how is my baby?” She said smiling.

“We are….we are fine ma.” Obiageli stuttered.

Tonye’s mother looked at the door. “You no go enter? Wetin you dey do for dia?” She barked at someone behind the door.

Tonye walked in with his head bowed.

“Ehen?” Tonye’s mother said as she looked at her son.

“Oby, I….I….” He started to say before going down on his knees. He looked up at his wife who struggled to get up from the bed to hold her husband. “I’m sorry I did not trust you. Please forgive me.” He said as he held onto his wife’s hand.

Tonye’s mother sighed. “My wife, please forgive him. His great great grand-father was an albino. The result of the test showed that he had the recessive gene.”

“I’m sorry Oby.” Tonye said still on his knees.

“Please stand up Tonye. Your daughter has been waiting for you.” She said as she pointed towards the cot in the room.

Tonye stood up, planted a gentle kiss on his wife’s lips and walked towards the cot to carry his baby. “Hello angel. Daddy is here.” The little tot who was sleeping smiled as soon as she heard her father’s voice.

He sighed and smiled as he kissed her forehead. Albino or not, she was his child.

——–

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Office matters

“Hey guys, did you see the email from the boss?” Temitope asked her colleagues.

“The one about working on the building project?” Seyi asked.

“Yep!” Temitope replied as they all turned away from their laptops to look at her.

“That stuff is going to take us nothing less than 2 weeks. What do you think?” Leke asked looking at his team mates with expectation.

“Yeah, 2 weeks minimum; 4 weeks max.” Temitope said matter-of-factly.

“How do we even go about it? Sincerely, I don’t understand”. Seyi exhaled.

“When are you ladies free? We need to have a meeting on this.”

“I’m free 2p.m tomorrow.” Temitope said. “What about you, Seyi?” She continued.

“2p.m tomorrow….” She hesitated; checking her calendar. “Okay by me.”

“So, 2p.m tomorrow it is.” Leke confirmed.

“You seem to have forgotten Tayo. He needs to be at the meeting as well.” Seyi said.

“I’d talk to him…..” Leke was saying as Tayo walked into the office. “Hey Tayo, we were just talking about you. Are you free 2p.m tomorrow? We need to discuss the building project.”

“Oh, that! I have started working on it already.” He sneered.

“Really, that’s nice. Can you put us through at 2p.m tomorrow then?” Seyi said excitedly.

“Sorry, I’m busy.” Tayo said as he walked to his workstation.

“At 2p.m tomorrow?” Temitope asked.

“I just told you I’m busy.” Tayo snapped.

Seeing that tension was beginning to brew in the office, Leke spoke “Ladies, he’s busy. Why don’t we talk about this tomorrow at 2p.m?”

“Okay.” They chorused.

 

2p.m the next day, the trio sat together and brainstormed on the issue. In a week, they had it all sorted without Tayo. The day prior to the presentation with the boss, Leke asked for a time out with Tayo. “Hi Tayo, we have the project sorted out and would be presenting tomorrow. Would you like to see what we have done so far?”

“Do you need to? Why don’t we all just present what we have tomorrow?” Tayo replied.

“You really don’t want to see it?” Leke asked confused.

“Nah….no need to bother yourself.”

“Okay, then.” Leke concluded.

The presentation of the trio was done by Temitope while Tayo also presented his. After the presentation, the boss asked; “Tayo, how come you got the project done in a week all by yourself?”

“I went to the internet and also reviewed books, sir.” He replied grinning from ear to ear.

“Wow, I’m impressed. Good job.” The boss congratulated.

“Thank you, sir.” He replied rubbing his palms together as Temitope, Seyi and Leke shared a glance.

“You all have done a very good job and I’m impressed. However, this project was meant to rate your competency at teamwork for your appraisals next week. Therefore, I’m sorry, Tayo, your good job couldn’t earn you marks for teamwork. I hope you would learn to work with your team in the future.”

“But, sir…I…em…” Tayo stammered.

“You can all go back to work now. No excuses, Tayo.” The boss concluded.

——

Ever had such a colleague at work? Don’t hesitate to share your experiences in the comments section below.

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The Last Prayer – Part 2

Papa wrapped his belt around his hand. How many times had he told Ade that he should walk like a man anytime he called or honked? He had had to open the gate himself to drive in his rickety beetle car. The sound of the car could be heard a 100 metres away as it coughed out thick black smoke. Many of his neighbours had told him to get the car serviced but whose business was it, what he did to his car.

As he closed the gate with the weather-beaten padlock, he calculated in his mind how to deal with his son. Since his mother left them to become Chief’s third wife a month ago, Ade had been unnecessarily absent-minded. He had broken a plate, a flower vase and even forgotten a pot of soup on fire. He wondered what the boy’s problem was. He had had enough with his mother. He was not ready to deal with his forgetfulness.

He remembered how Ade’s mother had insulted him every day over his inability to provide her the nicer things of life. He worked hard to provide for his small family but it was never enough for her. He tilled his farm day and night to put food on the table. They never lacked food as he planted every food item they consumed. Cocoyam, maize, tomatoes, vegetables etc. He even had a small poultry he managed all alone but Chinenye was never happy.

She whined every day about how Mama Nkechi’s husband had bought his wife twelve yards of Hollandis. Mama Uchenna’s husband bought his wife a brand new car with which she went to shop in the Epe fish market. Mama Kunle travelled abroad like she was going to the salon. It did not matter if she went to Ghana or Benin Republic which was just a few hours away. As far as she was concerned, those countries were abroad as long as you had to fly there.

Each day, she reminded him of his inability to satisfy her materially. She refused to work because these other women just sat at home taking care of their kids. None of them got their hands soiled; she always crooned. Each day for the past ten years, his confidence dropped a notch lower. His confidence was eventually shattered when she left him and moved in with Chief. She left with nothing. She said everything she had or shared with him was wretched compared to what Chief would provide. She did not even remember to go with her son, Ade. He was probably one of the wretchedness she left for him.

Chief was one of his major clients. He bought all his food produce from him. He always sent his boys to his farm to pick up but on one occasion, Chief had told him to take the produce home. He said his boys would pick them up from his house. He had filled his rickety beetle car with Chief’s produce and sang with his croaky voice as he drove home. The only time he was happy was when he was outside his home.

Chinenye had hissed as he walked into the house that fateful day carrying Chief’s produce and heaving under the weight of the baskets. As usual, she had refused to make his dinner. He walked into the kitchen with Ade and they both prepared eba. He had just finished eating when he heard the honk of a car outside. He told Ade to go open the gate for Chief’s boys. He was however shocked when Chief sauntered into his house. He paid for his produce and asked his boys to carry the baskets into his station wagon parked outside. Chief also gifted Ade with a thousand naira to buy biscuits for himself. Papa had thanked Chief but Chinenye’s thanks had been profuse.

He breathed deeply as he thought about it. She had obviously been carried away by Chief’s generosity. The day she left him was the day he realized that she had been visiting Chief secretly. Chief continued to send his boys to buy produce from him but he was unable to turn them back. If he did, he and Ade would go hungry. He therefore swallowed his pride and continued to supply Chief’s household with food even after Chinenye’s betrayal.

******

Papa looked at Ade’s raised arms waiting for the onslaught of his belt. He saw something glistering in his palm as he gripped the shard of glass tightly. He was bleeding severely and did not even realize that his body was drenched in blood. As he tried to lift up his son from the floor, he struggled and whimpered. He pulled him up with force and he suddenly went limp in his hands. “Ade, Ade.” Papa shouted his son’s name. He took out the shard of glass out of his son’s palm and threw it into the bin. He carried him in his arms and ran out of the house. He struggled to open the stiff passenger door of his beetle with Ade in his arms. The door opened after much force and he placed his son gingerly on the back seat.

“Ade, Ade, Ade.” He called again but his son refused to answer. “Oh God, hear my prayer. Please save my son. I will never touch him again. I will never let the anger I feel for his mother get to me again. I will never transfer the aggression to him again. God, I need your help, please. He is my only son. He is all I have got.” Papa reeled out prayers as he struggled to start the car. It always took a while to start and it usually did not until it was pushed. But there was no one to help him push it now. Ade who always helped in pushing lay still in the back seat of his rickety beetle.

Tears streamed down Papa’s cheeks. He got out of the car and opened the gate in a hurry. He tried to single-handedly push the car. He grunted as he pushed and jumped into the moving vehicle. The rickety beetle coughed and started. As he raced to the hospital, he prayed in his heart that God will forgive him and save his only son.

——-

The End

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