Daddy Missing…

On getting there, I could tell someone was very sick or they had arranged the place to pass that message. My son didn’t feel comfortable there, I could tell that too. We walked into a very large glass room and I saw his mother. Hale and hearty as I had guessed. We talked for a while and I was ready to leave. I turned down the refreshments. You don’t eat where you know you can’t close your eyes to sleep (I came up with that!).

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Our son. It gives me so much joy to say he is ours. Although his father isn’t here to see him, we are parents now. I would be both father and mother to our adorable offspring but I really don’t care. I am in for a lot of suffering and struggling but I will do it with love for the perfect little human I brought into the world.

I met Fola a couple of times before finally getting his attention. He is my best friend’s older brother and really the pride of her family. I didn’t think I’d ever be more than a little sister to him.

I had a crush on Fola for the longest time. It only got stronger with time and after a while I was certain it was love. I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt but I couldn’t fall in love either. No one could replace Fola.

I went to my friend’s house for the weekend and he was at home. He had just come back after years away. His sister insisted we hung out with him. I was so scared I’d make a fool of myself and everyone would be able to read my feelings on my face. In the end only Fola saw or so I thought.

A few things you should know before I proceed; I’ve always felt that my best friend was doing me a favour by being my friend. I’m from a humble polygamous home. Humble because my mother wasn’t my father’s favourite wife. I was always bullied for being small and it was on one of those occasions that the most popular girl in my class pitied me and saved me. We became friends almost immediately. She felt comfortable telling me about her life. I loved hearing the stories and getting sucked into her reality. I really didn’t talk much.

Fola was everything I wanted in my man and when he smiled at me after having few drinks I thought he felt the same way. When he touched me, I thought it was something he wanted to do. When he talked about how my eyes had been on him the entire night, I thought it was because he couldn’t keep his eyes off me either.

The next morning the haze cleared. I was woken up rudely and my clothes were tossed at me. “Get up and go. Go to my sister’s room and don’t let her know you didn’t sleep there. This was a mistake. I’m sorry, you’re really not my type.” Saying I was weak would be an understatement. I was shook!

I crept back in to my friend’s room. She was awake and I saw a side to her that I could only have dreamt would be directed at me. She was a bitch I knew. She had never been a bitch to me. On this morning, she was. I’ll save you the specifics but apparently I had always had my eye on her brother and I was looking for who would bring me out of the abject poverty I was living in. I was a cheap, little slut. She had pitied me over the years but all I wanted to do was betray her. Her brother couldn’t end up with someone like me. I had wasted my time and my body. Oh and she walked me out of their house.

I cried. I had lost not one but two. I couldn’t fit in or find people to fit in with. I called my sister and tried to talk. She literally laughed at me and said I had started again with my stupid stories. I really considered suicide. Then I missed my period and fell sick before I could die. Missed my final undergraduate exams too but no pressure.

I informed my parents. My father called me a prostitute, said my mother was at fault and disowned me in one breath. Dared my mother to stay with me and be removed from his list of responsibilities. My mother weighed it and chose her other children. I don’t blame her. I messed up.

I went to tell my former best friend and her family. She slapped me. She told her family I slept with any and every one. Apparently I was a gold digger. Sad I never sold myself before getting pregnant. Her father asked her to calm down and me to leave. Her mother put some money in my hands as I was leaving. She was nice and I think she always liked me.

I found Fola’s Twitter and yes you guessed it! I sent him a dm. He replied with LMAO! Said he’d heard and he’d denied it to his family. Plus he’d heard I was a hoe and with how I was in his bed he believed it. Before I could reply and remind him that I’d been a virgin, he had blocked me. Lol! That ended pretty quickly.

I begged my lecturers to let me take my exams. I was surprised they agreed. Divine intervention maybe? I took my exams and a friend’s advice to relocate. Ibadan was remarkably cheaper than Lagos and seeing as all I was getting in Lagos was a lot of rejection mails I needed a change.

I got a job. Little pay but it was enough. I bought the “cheap with good quality” baby things I could find in the most unisex colours because who had money to waste on a scan when I could buy black, white and gray wares? I lived a very solo life till I had contractions right on Owode road! Apparently that was Instablog worthy!

And I had my baby. My son!

I got a mail. The interview I’d taken a chance and gone for before leaving Lagos had been successful. Guess who was going to be resume work in a couple of weeks?

Back to Lagos! But not as a pauper or a disgrace. I couldn’t be prouder. I also decided to live like I did in IB. Quiet, focused and with only my business on my mind.

**********

Almost a year later,it began. It started with follow requests. Then direct messages. Then a mail. And the cycle repeated itself. A text message from nowhere also surfaced. I blocked the number before that text resulted in a call. I didn’t accept any of the follow requests. I didn’t reply the messages either. I just read and ignored. They definitely weren’t mine. There was no way anyone was that stupid.

I didn’t feel wronged. I was no longer angry. I had accepted my faults and moved on. My son was doing well. He was a replica of his father. It hurt to remember sometimes. I loved him.

In a year I’d been promoted twice. I’d also gotten a role that really allowed me spend enough time watching my munchkin grow.

His mother was dying. She wanted to see me and her grandson. Their other sister had told me. I didn’t want to see any of them. She had been nice to me. She had given me money that day. I felt like I owed her.

I said I’d let her meet her grandson but only if I could get assurance that I would only be meeting their mother. I didn’t need to see any other members of their family. I especially did not want to see the nincompoop I had gotten pregnant for or my former best friend, the slap-disher. I wasn’t ready to go down that path. They agreed to my terms. We set a date.

The address they sent me was a house address. She said their mother was getting treatment at home. I didn’t believe it but I had no proof and I had already agreed. I decided not to go alone so I asked my boss to accompany me. I had explained everything to her in the past. She agreed. We went.

On getting there, I could tell someone was very sick or they had arranged the place to pass that message. My son didn’t feel comfortable there, I could tell that too. We walked into a very large glass room and I saw his mother. Hale and hearty as I had guessed. We talked for a while and I was ready to leave. I turned down the refreshments. You don’t eat where you know you can’t close your eyes to sleep (I came up with that!).

A fight broke out behind the glass. Ehn? Kilode? I carried what was mine and made for the door. It didn’t open. The idiots behind the glass came out. Yes! It was the rest of the family. Turns out he wanted to come out since he had seen how much my son looked like him but my “friend” still wasn’t sure.

I lost my temper. When you’re not the one begging or in need you can really let everyone have it and that’s exactly what I did. I went from one to the next, giving back what I had gotten. I think I was still angry and pent-up anger really is the worst form of anger so it was a disaster for them.

The carrier of their genes chose that moment to stand on his own so I dropped him and in the heat of the moment didn’t see when he waddled over to his father. I almost had a cardiac arrest on the spot. I think I went mad for a minute. Give him back! My son didn’t want to come back apparently.

The stress of every thing became too much for me in that moment. I couldn’t and didn’t want to fight anymore. I was weak and my son wasn’t coming to my open arms. My eyes were closing on their own and the ground was unusually high. I fell forward. Didn’t hit the ground because Fola caught me. Problem was Fola wasn’t strong enough either so we all ended up on the floor. Turns out he was the sick one.

On the floor, he held me. He tried to talk to me and beg me but he wasn’t coherent. The last thing I heard before he passed out was thank you. I wasn’t sure what he was thanking me for but I tried to smile at him.

A lot of screaming and sirens later, we were all at the hospital. Fola was in the emergency unit and then they decided to give me the breakdown. Fola had an illness that had been passed down from his grandfather and they wanted to test my son to know if he had inherited that gene. Once again, I was weak.

They stabilised Fola and he wanted to see me. He told me about himself. All of the discussions we should have had before jumping in bed. He talked till he was tired and then I took over. I answered all of his questions about our son and my life. He managed to say sorry and beg me not to leave him.

Then he slept.

**********

“Endings are what we make them” – Simi.

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