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[av_heading heading=’BROKEN HEDGE (Part 17&18) – TOYIN TAIWO’ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ size=” av-desktop-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=” av-desktop-font-size=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-desktop-font-size-1=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” subheading_color=” seperator_color=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ av-desktop-margin=” av-desktop-margin_sync=’true’ av-medium-margin=” av-medium-margin_sync=’true’ av-small-margin=” av-small-margin_sync=’true’ av-mini-margin=” av-mini-margin_sync=’true’ headline_padding=” headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-desktop-headline_padding=” av-desktop-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-medium-headline_padding=” av-medium-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-small-headline_padding=” av-small-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-mini-headline_padding=” av-mini-headline_padding_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ av-desktop-padding=” av-medium-padding=” av-small-padding=” av-mini-padding=” icon_padding=’10’ av-desktop-icon_padding=” av-medium-icon_padding=” av-small-icon_padding=” av-mini-icon_padding=” link=” link_target=” id=” custom_class=” template_class=” av_uid=’av-ljbogcb6′ sc_version=’1.0′ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]
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I got into the house and wept bitterly. That was my father in flesh and blood, no doubt. I spoke to my father for the very first time in my life and I wasn’t fair with my speech. I spoke with him in a manner I’ve never addressed any elderly person before. I don’t disrespect those who are older than me. But seeing him reminded me of all the pains my mum went through because of him. I can never allow him see my mum, it’s like opening a fresh wound. His appearance may break her emotionally. I’ve studied my mum over the years and I discovered she didn’t move on because of that man. My mum can never love another man the way she loved my father and that is why she decided to be single and just concentrate on raising me. My mum did not only love me because she gave birth to me, she loved me more because I am the daughter of the man she loved with her whole heart.
So showing up here at this time is useless, a married man for that matter who has his own family. He will only cause my mum pain. I’m sure he wants to apologize for his mistakes. I know he can’t possibly need me since he has his own legitimate children but I know it was his conscience that eventually brought him here to see her.
I showered and went into the kitchen to prepare dinner for myself and my mum.
While I was cooking, Soma’s call came through.
“Soma! I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again. We can’t work, you still love me but I don’t think I love you any longer” I bloated out.
“What about me, I still love you Crystal, let’s start all over you know all this is totally not my fault” he pleaded.
“Soma I want to start all over again on a clean slate. Everything that happened in our relationship is now a thing of the past” I explained myself.
“You can start afresh with me”
“I won’t give up until I win you over my love. Have a lovely night rest”
“Good night” I said and the line went off.
I was almost through with the cooking when my mum returned.
Welcome Mummy, hope you prayed me at the revival?” I asked.
“No I didn’t” She replied.
“Why I’m I even asking, me that I know I carry 99% of your prayer points” I said teasingly.
“So you know” I walked up to her and hugged her tightly remembering my father’s visit. But I pretended all his well.
“Let me change, I’ll join you shortly. I’m famished, hope you made dinner for me?”
“I didn’t make dinner for you o” I feigned seriousness.
“I trust you, you dare not”
“I’m just following your rules, you don’t cook, you don’t eat”
“You are not serious that rules is made for you and you alone. As for me I will eat my child’s food”
I quickly said amen because, I’m very sure my mom is no longer talking about the food I just prepared. And that’s my prayer for her every day that she will reap the fruit of her labor which she’s already eating.
She went to her room to change and by the time she came back I was already dishing the food. We both settle to eat in the sitting room while watching our favorite soap at the same time.
“Crystal, Saburi said you said two men came looking for me, he said you met them”
“Ehm…yes. It wasn’t you they were looking for, they had the wrong address so I redirected them” I lied.
“Ok. And again your face is dull and your eyes are slightly red. I just noticed that now while sitting very close to you? Have you been crying before I came in”
“Cry! No ma, I thought I welcomed you well”
“Yes, I know but you know this days you’ve suddenly develop some acting skills. Acting all is well when it is not” She said stating her observations.
“You got me mum. I mistakenly put pepper on my eyes when I was cooking” I can’t believed I lied twice in less than two minutes all because of what I was hiding from her.
“I don’t believe you but I won’t press further on the issue. You are an adult I know you can take care of yourself. But like always say, I’m here whenever you need me” She said.
We finished eating, I cleared our plates and washed them. I didn’t returned back to the sitting room to sit with her, I just informed her I want to go to bed early and went to my room.
I climbed on my bed and thought of my action. My mum was right I’m good at acting this days. Why did I lie to my mum about my father. I’m I doing the right thing? Why did he come looking for her or maybe he doesn’t have anything again and needs my mum’s help. I try to recollect the figure I saw at the gate. That man does not look like someone who needed financial help or something. He looks like someone who is rich and he was tall and handsome at his age. No wonder my mum never found his match. I decided not to say a word to my mum. It’s my turn to protect her.
I got back home that evening sad, I wasn’t happy with the way I left Daddy Afam, he was taking the whole thing hard on himself. Though I knew getting back to that woman won’t be a walk in the park. But I never knew the woman’s daughter will make things harder for us. That lady did not temper judgement with mercy at all.
I removed my all-star foot wear and sat on my bed. Thinking of the next strategic plan to use in order to get into that house again. My tummy rumbled and I remember I didn’t eat anything aside breakfast. I went into my kitchen and made noodles with boiled egg. I stepped it down with a pack of yoghurt I had in my fridge.
The next morning, I was washing my car in preparation for the day’s work then I received a phone call from Daddy Afam.
“Good morning sir”
“Good morning thanks for yesterday, hope you didn’t get home late. I’m sorry I should have called you last night but…
“I understand sir”
“Please I need you to come this morning to take me to the airport”
“You said what?” I was surprised.
“You heard me Oba”
“No way! You don’t get to quit, it is not over until it’s over. You know what let me shower I’m coming over to the h0tel”
“Oba….. Ok I’ll be expecting you” he said and disconnected the call.
I took a quick shower. Cladded in a blue jean trouser and a green top. I wore my thumbs and left the house.
“Thanks for coming Oba” he said when he opened the door for me.
“Sir, I suggest you stay and figure something out” I said as I took my sit.
“I’m leaving, what else do you expect me to do again”
“You can’t leave without accomplishing your mission”
“Well I just aborted the mission” He sounded frustrated.
“Don’t give up sir”
“Oba, you heard the girl. I’m very sure her mother already told her we met in the school and maybe she told her she never wants to see me again”
“I still insist you stay sir”
“She’s doing well without me and I’m sure the child I have with her too must be doing well. At least we saw one of her children yesterday. So let me just go back to my unfulfilled life in Enugu.
I remembered the car the lady drove yesterday, even the building shows they are living well.
“Don’t talk like that, there is still hope” I encouraged him.
“Hope, my dear I’ve resigned to fate”
“We right our destiny with our own hands Daddy Afam…..And where there’s no will there’s no way. You have to have a strong will”
“But I’ve tried”
“You’ve not tried all. What do you need sir. Truthfully?”
“I need Amara to forgive me whole heartedly and I want to meet my daughter and get to know her”
“Good, I have another plan”
“What’s the plan this time” he said anxiously.
“We are going back to that house, this time on a Saturday. I’m sure both the woman and her family will all be at home”
“You can’t be so sure”
“The last time I followed her, I discovered she owned that supermarket in that house and people like that use their weekends to monitor their business”
“What if she has a function to attend?”
“I thought about that too and that’s why we’ll have to go very early. At least by 7am we should be there before she leaves the house in case she has a function to attend” ______________Toyin Taiwo
“You said we should go early to a married woman’s house, Oba what about her husband. The last thing I want is to cause her trouble”
“You are just there to talk not that you want to snatch her from her husband nau”
“You know my history with her, what if her husband knew nothing about it”
“After all this years, I doubt that, you are not there to take his wife, you are there to make amends and get to meet your daughter” I pointed out.
“Are you sure about this?”
“Let’s just try sir. I pray things will work out this time”
“I hope so too. So I’ll be here in this h0tel all through the week?”
“As for the money, God will provide. As for staying here all alone I promise to check on you everyday at least I’ll spend an hour before going home after work. And if you don’t mind, I can also take you around Lagos, we have beautiful places here. You can also go to cinemas I know you don’t really have such time but you can’t lock yourself up in the h0tel all day”
“Ok, I’ll try” he said and hugged me.”I don’t know what I would have done without you, you are God sent” he said.
“I’m glad to be of help sir” I said still in his arms.
I left the h0tel and went straight to the airport car park where I worked.
I made sure I kept my promise as I checked on him every day before going home.
I came back from work on Friday evening and I met Onochie in my living room, the gateman already opened the door to him. He has been like that for weeks now ever since his girlfriend broke up with him, he has turned my house into his second home.
“Bro the last time I checked, you have a whole house to yourself on this Island” I said walking towards him.
“Welcome bro, that house is just too cold for me” he said giving me a hand shake.
“Why? Because there’s no girl to warm your bed?”
“Guy! Abeg stop”
“Hope you cook sha, at least you can use that to bribe me”
“Please don’t you have a fiancée, she should come over and cook, if you crave for food that much”
“You said girfriend right? Not my wife” I corrected.
“What’s the difference, see you and all this your philosophy, so Enitan can’t cook for you because, she’s not yet your wife?”
“She only cooks when she comes visiting, not that I’ll turn her into my permanent cook when she’s not yet married to me”
“Huh! Anyway, it’s like I’m different from you guys, that’s why I’m the black sheep of the family” he said.
We heard the sound of a car coming into the compound. The door bell rang afterwards. “Go get the door, if you can’t cook at least do that” I commanded him playfully.
“So I’m now your door man, I no blame you. Who are you expecting. No one in particular, just get the door”
We were still exchanging words when the door open. She obviously used her keys.
“Here comes the first lady” Onochie said teasingly.
“Hi guys” she said and walked up to me to plant a k!ss on my lips.
“Gush! This is the last thing I need right now” he said eying us.
“Onochie, if you can’t stand a couple around you, then go back to your house and leave me and my man in peace” Enitan said jokingly.
“I’m going no where, Enitan you came in right on time, the boys are hungry can you please make something for us?”
“Do I look like a cook, Jay has a cook so you guys should get yourself one” She replied.
“We’ll think about it” I replied. She went into the kitchen and I followed her. She asked me want I wanted to eat.
“Let me ask Onochie instead” I went back to the sitting room and asked him.
“Anything, I just want food”
“Before nko, your begger has no choice” I heard Enitan’s voice from behind teasing Onochie.
“You ladies don’t respect me at all, see the way she’s talking to me because of food” He said pointing to her.
“Why would they, when you always pick at them at every giving opportunity” I replied him.
“Whatever, don’t Sha let Ezinne spoil too like the three of you” he said facing Enitan.
“En ehn, we are spoiled abi” she said coming towards him to hit him with the kitchen napkin she was holding.
I hurriedly held her back. Onochie was already on his feet ready to run from her. “Am I lying you are spoilt”
“You won’t eat here today, see your mouth, Crystal and Hauwa will hear this” She said feigning anger.
“My love, leave him. Oya let’s go and cook” I said laughing. The two are really cracking me up with their tom and Jerry’s behavior. Onochie is good at troubling this ladies.
We went back to the kitchen, we decided to settle for rice and chicken stew. All the necessary ingredients are all available in the kitchen.
I helped her with the chicken while she was blending the pepper.
“Let’s make this faster sweetheart, so you won’t leave here late” I said to her while cutting the chicken.
“I’m sleeping over” she replied.
“Hell no, with big mouth Onochie around”
“I’m sleeping in the guest room nau”
“So he could say we are acting up because he’s around?” I
“But that’s the truth, I don’t sleep in your room”
“And you think he’ll believe that, he never believed we don’t have s€x, he thinks we just pretend”
“Dume….I don’t want to go home, I want to be around you this weekend. I want to just relax here with you. Not after the rough day I had with my stepfather”
“Did you go to their place?”
“Yes, my mum asked me to come over”
“You should have avoided him”
“I tried, but he has he’s way of getting at me and thereby making me freak-out” She said, sounding frustrated.
I looking into eyes and realized she had actually cried before she got here. I just hope the emotional abuse she gets from her step dad will soon stop.
“Come” I said gesturing with my head. She embraced me, though I can’t hold her with my hands because of my wet hands, I just use my arms instead.
“Don’t worry my love, you won’t have to worry about him anymore once we are married. Your mum can always come visit you here, hun!”
“Thank God I met you, you are the only peace my heart have”
“Enough of this lovey duvey in the kitchen jo, I’m hungry o” Onochie interrupted us.
“What are you doing in my soon to be kitchen” Enitan left my arms and fired at him.
“Anyway, I’ve been standing here for more than 10 minutes and I heard all your conversation” he said looking serious.
“What exactly did you hear?” I asked him.
“You know I never believed you guys until today. So you people don’t have s€x? Including Zite and Feso?”
“I think you guys should go to the sitting room to talk, I’ll continue with the cooking” Enitan said and I washed my hands.
I followed him to the sitting room where he asked questions on how we go about it, without itch and I explained. You just have to be disciplined, that’s the bottom line.
Enitan came in later to announce that dinner is ready. She dished the food and we all ate the delicious meal to fill.
Later that evening, we all set down to see a Hollywood movie on the cable network. I lie down on the sofa with Enitan in my arms who later slept off, leaving me and Onochie.
After the movie, Onochie helped put off the electronics and lights. While I was struggling to get my baby to wake up. I carried her to the guest room.
“Sleep here, I don’t want to be alone” she said in a sleepy voice.
“Enny….” I said but she doesn’t want me to leave.
Though before we use to share the same bed when she sleeps over but we discovered we subject ourselves to more temptation, so she now uses the guest room.
More reason why I need this step father to free us, so I can get married on time before we start giving in to the flesh.
“I’ll be back, let me get changed into my pyjamas” I said and left the room.
I came back later and climbed the bed she was already asleep. So I just lie quietly beside her.
By 6am on Saturday morning, I picked Daddy Afam at the h0tel. The road was free so by 7:00am we already in front of the house.
I suggested we pray and he agreed. I said a little word of prayer before we left the car. I knocked at the gate and the gate man opened the gate. He was holding a long broom, I guessed he was doing some cleaning.
“Good morning” we both greeted him.
“Good morning” he replied.
“I guessed you still remember us, we came to see your madam” Daddy Afam said.
“Yes, I remember but small madam say I should never open the gate for you, say you must not enter this house again” He said and wanted to close the gate
I blocked him before he could close it.
“Look mister, we need your cooperation because without you we know we can’t get into the house. So we need your help” I said
“Oga na instruction I dey follow”
“Take a good look at us, we are not here to harm them. Or do we look like thieves?”
He looked at the two of us all over again.
“I shouldn’t be saying this to you but you are a man, so you will understand. This man here needs to see your madam. He’s not a stranger to your madam. Infact he has a child with her but they lost contact a long time ago. I explained.
“Ah…… Father of Oga pikin!” He exclaimed with his mouth wide opened. He covered it back with his two hands.
“So, man to man! Are you willing to help in the reconciliation by opening this gate?”
“Yes….yes….yes” he said nodding his head repeatedly. He opened the gate wider and he let us in.
“Thank you, I promise you I whole you something for this. I won’t forget your help especially if things works out well” Daddy Afam said.
“Eh ya.. sorry sir. No worry my madam life simple even her daughter. She go accept your apology no worry”
I looked around the whole compound. It was tidy and clean.
“Thank you, can you show us the way” I said and he led us to the front door. I told him to go back to the post while Daddy Afam was knocking.
“You again!” She said aloud.
” Can you please let us in” I said firmly.
“Who is at the door?” A woman’s voice said from the inside.
“Don’t worry Mummy, I’ll handle it”
“Who are you raising your voice at this early morning?” She asked again from the inside. The door was opened from the inside.
“Who…. What do you want, I thought I made myself clear the other time. I said I’ve forgiven you, we don’t really have to meet again” The woman said calmly.
“Wait! Mum you two have met?” Daughter asked mother.
“Hold on, why did you say the word ‘you again’ when you opened the door” Mother asked daughter. Both of them looked at each other.
“Hmm..mm” I cleared my throat. “Obviously, you two did not tell each other you met him once before now” I said.
“He came looking for me in school last week” mother explained.
“He was at the house during week” daughter said.
” So you know who he is?” She asked her daughter who nodded apologetically.
” But mum, why didn’t you tell me, you met with him?”
“And you never told me someone came looking for me” she replied her.
“I think at this stage it’s better we all go inside to continue this conversation” I suggested.
“Come in” The woman said and we all went in.
The woman sat down with her daughter. While we remain standing, I think they obviously didn’t notice we were standing. ______________Toyin Taiwo
“Why didn’t you tell me he was here?” She asked her daughter.
“Mummy I’m sorry I thought I was protecting you, I don’t want you to get hurt”
“Same reason why I didn’t tell you he came to the school, I don’t want to bring the past into our lives” Then she turned to Daddy Afam. “How did you locate my house? You brought your son into my house, to do what exactly?”
“Let me answer that ma” I chirped in. “I personally followed you from school to know where you stay and of course he knew nothing about it. Secondly, I’m not his son. I’m just a cab driver. I met him at the airport the very first day he entered Lagos. Ever since I’ve been his chauffeur driving him around in search of you ma. From Government college Agege to Lagos State Baptist Academy Obanikoro. Then down to your abode.
I know this is a family thing and I shouldn’t get involved. Do you want to know the reason why I took it personal? I heard his story and it was really pathetic, he’s also a victim in this case.
So please, just hear him out before you judge him, don’t just say you’ve forgiven him. You need to hear his own version of the story. I think I have to sign out now, so you can talk things through”
I turned to Daddy Afam. “I’ll be in the car sir” I said and left.
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God bless you
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