BROKEN HEDGE (Part 53&54) – TOYIN TAIWO
We had a spelling competition in school. We are asked to come with our parents but as usual it’s just my mummy, grandma and grandpa that showed up.
I came out first in the competition, I was called up to the front stage to pick up my prize. I came out and I was crying, my mum’s eyes met with mine and she started crying too. I was sorry for making her cry again today but it’s not my fault all I want is my daddy.
I stepped down from the stage after collecting the prize and ran into the hands of my dear mum who caught up with me and hugged me tightly. She cleaned my tears and congratulated me.
“I’m sorry for making you cry mum”
“It’s ok my darling. I wish he was here to see he’s little champ” Mum said as I cleaned her wet face.
She held my hand, grandma and grandpa walked up to us and congratulated me.
We got into the car and went home. The drive home was silent except for grandpa who gave the driver an instruction.
We got home and they all followed me to my room and gave me a gift each for doing well in the competition.
“David!” Grandpa called.
“Look at your mum, she cried all the way from school to the house. Do you like seeing her cry”
“No grandpa and I already apologized to mum. It won’t happen again but I’m five years and I know some people die and go to heaven to meet Jesus. I learnt that in children’s church but you all said my daddy is not dead. So where is he, I want to see him”
“You will meet him soon my love” grandma replied me.
“You know what my baby, I’m going to give you an assignment and you have to do it if you want to meet with your dad” Grandpa and my mum looked at each other then looked at grandma. I think they are wondering what kind of assignment grandma want to give me but I don’t care what it is. I’m ready to do it.
“Grandma, you know I’ll do anything just to meet him” I said.
“Good. Every morning when you wake up and before you sleep at night tell God whatever you desire and tell him exactly when you want him to bring your daddy”
“My son and you know Good answers prayers right!” Grandpa added.
“Yes, why didn’t I thought of that before. I pray to God that I want to win the competition and I won. Thanks grandma, I love you” I said and she hugged me.
“I love you too my son” she replied.
“So do as your grandma say. Ok!”
“I will. My daddy will come home. I promise you, God will bring him back”
“Pastor David! That’s my boy” My mum smiled for the first time since we came back from school. she hugged me.
That night before I sleep, I went on my knees. I told God when I want him to bring my Dad back.
It was my son 6th birthday and we’ve made solid preparations for the party. All my friends have been wonderful, they all wanted him to have the best birthday party.\
As usual the guys are there to fill in the void. Like my son’s confession last week, he said he appreciate the love they shower him with and when he sees them, he sometimes forgets he’s father wasn’t around.
As for the birthday party, you’ll think it was an adult’s birthday because the turn out was great. Gifts, foods, drinks were in excess. My friends children all wore the same theme together with other children who came for the birthday and it was beautiful. We invited the children church. David’s teachers, head mistress and class mates also we’re present at the party and they also came with gifts.
David was extraordinary happy, it was as if he never had a birthday party before.
He was jumping up and down for joy.
After the party, all the guest left except my friends and David’s paternal grandparents and his Aunts were the only ones left.\
We later gathered in the large living room downstairs. Some of my friends were just eating, they were busy with one thing or the other during the party. While some where getting ready to leave including my supposed to be in-laws.
The kids were running up and down happily. Giggling and dancing despite the fact that the music was off. “Kids party is over. Why the noise nau? Ezinne said trying to shush them.
“David’s Daddy is coming back today” They all shouted in unison.
All the adults in the room looked at each other wondering what was was going on among the kids. We were like where on Earth did they get that from.
“David! I called out. Because I knew he was the one who would have told the other kids such a thing. I’m sure he told them his father is coming that very day and I don’t know where he get that information from.
“David!” I called out again and he showed up.
“What did you tell your friends?” I questioned with an angry look.
“Leave him, it’s just child’s talk. They are just joking” his paternal grandma addressed me.
“Grandma I’m not joking my Dad is coming back today” David said confidently.
We all looked at each other again. Infact my mum who was up standing before decided to sit as we all don’t understand David anymore. As for me I’m already tired and I don’t think I’m capable to deal with David’s ‘father hunt’ talk.
“Ok my son. We’ve heard you” My mother said to him as he draw him closer to sit on his laps.
“Grandma! Do you remember that you ask me to pray and tell God when I want my dad to come back?’ He asked my mum and everyone in the room listened with rapt attention.
“Yes my son, I remember” She replied.
“I told God I want my dad to come back on my 6th birthday which is today” he revealed.
“Wow! I like your faith my boy” My father said to him and carried him from my mum’s lap. He was about to sit when we all heard the door bell. As if on cue everyone one stood up, starring at the door. Fine it could be some of the visitors who couldn’t make it earlier for the birthday. But I don’t think anyone in the room thought of that because the only thing that was ringing in my brain is David’s last words. ‘I told God to bring my daddy today’
“Someone should please get the door” My father said.
“I’ll get the door” David said and jumped down from grandpa’s leg.
I looked at the time it’s some minutes to 8pm. “Who is at the door” that’s the only thing I could ask myself.
“No come back. Just stay put, someone else will get the door” I called him back and he obeyed. I took him and place him on my wife’s laps. Even the other children were all quiet. Crystal’s friends all sat down quietly. Then I ordered one of the house helps to get the door. I saw the tensed look on everyone’s face. I not excluded.
One thing is sure, if God actually answered David’s prayer then the one at the door will be the one everyone was expecting for years.
And click! The door opened. He stepped in and everyone gasped. It was Oba in flesh and blood. Crystal left the sitting room immediately before he could even sight her. I watched her ran upstairs as the house help was still talking to Oba thereby blocking his view. I’m sure the maid still recognized him and that was the reason why he allowed him in. Even the gatemen who opened the gate for him all knew Oba has he was the one who even employed.
I signaled to my wife to take David upstairs, she got the message and left the living room with our grandson.
All eyes were on him. He was cladded in a red shirt and a blue jean. He was neatly shaved. I’m sure he wasn’t expecting a full house because he looked shocked when he also saw his parents.
Zite broke the silence. “I think we should all be in our way now. As we can see there’s a family issue that needs to be attend to” he addressed his friends and they stood up, call on their kids and started filing out one after the other. He bowed as they all walked pass him and they nodded in response as they leave.
The door closed as the last family stepped out.
He walked into the center of the room and prostrated to greet us. No one answered him. He remained in that position.
Oba!” His mum called out with a teary very. She was weeping profusely at the sight of her son.
My wife came back and joined us. She sat beside me. I told his family who were standing to sit.
“Stand up” I ordered him.
“Let me remain this way sir” he said but I ordered him to stand if he wants anyone to listen to him. He obeyed.
“I don’t know what to say and I don’t know where to start. Also I know I’m sorry won’t fix what happened in the past years but still I still whole everyone an apology. I’m deeply sorry” He spoke up.
“Sorry for what exactly!” He’s father charged at him and gave him a deafening slap that made him staggered backwards.
“Your father is right. We want to know what you are sorry for. For leaving your parents in fears without telling them your whereabout or for you leaving my daughter, your ex fiance without a word. Which are you sorry for?” I snapped with him.
“Please shut it. You knew my story and you still went ahead and hurt this people who already had been through a lot because of me. Do you know the only regret I have? I brought you single handedly into the lives of the two persons that matters to me most but what did you do in return? Pain! Pain Oba! I curse the day I met you” I lashed at him.
“Di ! Don’t say that. Even though you never said it out loud, I know you always blame yourself for bringing Oba into our lives but it’s not your fault. You don’t have to curse the day you met him” My wife calmed me down.
“I take it back” I said and face Oba’s parents and siblings. “It’s getting let the driver will take you home”
His mum went on her knees and started pleading. Oba’s father stood up too begging us for forgiveness. His siblings too joined, kneeling besides their mother.
My wife quickly rushed to her side and lift her up.
“You don’t need to ask for my forgiveness, he hurts all of us” I said to his parents.
“As for you Oba, everyone here has forgiven you before now. We’ve all been praying for your safe return and we thank God for answered prayers” I said.
I called in the driver and instructed him to take Oba’s parents home. He already knew their place because most times when Oba’s mum visits, he do take her home.
Oba’s parents were leaving and Oba didn’t follow them, he stood in the same position.
“What are you still waiting for. Join them” I said.
He’s going no where with us, he is your son and your son has returned home” He’s father said.
“I trust him he dare not follow us. You people should sought yourself out, more so, he doesn’t have a room in our own house” His mum added.
” And the last time I checked, Oba still has a room in this house. The room you gave him” My wife stylishly reminded me.
Women! They were all angry before he showed up and now that they saw him, their hearts melt. They are now the ones stylishly pleading for him. My hands were tied, I couldn’t say or do anything.\
Oba’s parents and siblings left leaving him behind. Oba prostrated in front of my wife and I.
I was in that position for another 30minutes. Daddy Afam and mummy Ejiofor sorry I mean Mummy Afam they both asked me to stand up put I refused.
I know they know what I want but they pretended they don’t know the reason why
I was still pleading with them I know the two has forgiven me but they sure know what else I wanted. The reason why I came back.
“What exactly do you want from us? Daddy Afam finally asked firmly.
“Ex-fiance!” he corrected and that word stung me. He just referred to Crystal as my ex-fiance. I swallowed hard. I don’t want to believe that she’s still married.
I’ve been counting on God to keep her for me. But Daddy Afam just called her my ex. I sensed she is with someone else. Whatever the case may be, I know God is in control.
“Where can I find her sir?”
“Find who again!”
“Afam!” His wife faced me with a stern look to put him in check. I know she didn’t like the tough time he was giving me.. Then she faced me. I was still lying on the floor.
“If you still know the way to her room, you’ll find her there. I wish you good luck though” I couldn’t believe my ears, so Crystal was in the house. I know why she wished me good luck. The remaining part is left with Crystal. I can’t believe she gave me the permission to go see Crystal just like that. She forgave her own husband and took him back and I’m glad she forgave me too. I put myself together and stood up.
“Thank you ma!!!” I said repeatedly and ran upstairs.
I got to the door of Crystal’s room. I started knocking. I knocked repeatedly she didn’t open. After about an hour of standing by the door. Daddy Afam walked up to me and held my shoulder and I saw the compassion he had for me has he looked into my eyes. This was the Daddy Afam I use to know before. The one who loved me like his own son. Not the one I prostrated before earlier whose looks nearly roasted me alive.
“Let her be. Tomorrow is another day. Your room has been prepared and your dinner is served. Go eat and sleep my boy. Good night” he said and left.
I didn’t say a word as I watched him leave. I went on my knees and wept. “ How will I ever earn her forgiveness” I said.
I wiped my tears and left her her doorstep. I skipped dinner and went into the room. I sat on the bed with so many things running through my mind.
“If Crystal is still living with her parents, then it means one thing, she is still single.
But what baffles me is her reason behind been single till now. Is she waiting for me?” I asked myself this and lots of questions. I lay on the bed for a very long time before sleep took over me.
The night Oba showed up. David asked what was going on and why I took him to his room in a hurry. He said he wanted to see his mum but I told him he couldn’t leave his room for now. I bathed him and helped him changed into his pyjamas.
He knelt down to pray before he sleeps. I sat on a chair and watched him pray. I stayed behind because I want him to sleep before leaving his room. He thanked God for giving him the best birthday ever, he thanked God for all the gifts he was given and he prayed to God to bless all those who gave him gifts and contributed to the success you his birthday party. He prayed for his mum, his grandparents, his friends and all his mum friends.
Then he said. “God I thought you answer prayers. My Dad didn’t show up today and….
“Ah…He answers prayers” I did not even allow him finish. I quickly stood up from where I’m sitting to meet him. I had no choice than to interrupt his prayers.
“Infact he had answered your prayer” I said and he opened his eyes wide immediately.
“Grandma! You said what?”
“Shhh….” I shush him. “Can you keep a secret?”
“Yes I can”
“I promise grandma”
“Good. Your Daddy came back a while ago”
“Where is he? Is that why you brought me to my room? I want to see him. Grandma take me downstairs. Please”
“You can’t see him now. You can’t leave your room. There is some adult talk going on right now. Once this falls in place then you’ll see your Daddy. I only open up to you so you can know that God actually answered your prayer my boy”
“Wow! God is good. I should have told him my heart desires a long time ago.
Thanks grandma for telling me to pray”
“Lets thank God my son”
“Grandma, how soon can I see him” he asked anxiously.
“Well that depends on your mum. See, you won’t understand it’s adult matter. But I promise it won’t take long before you see him” I assured him.
The next day we were all dressed for church, settled on the dinning for breakfast. David was served dinner in her room. My husband said we are not in position to tell Oba about his son. So we made sure he stayed put in his room when Oba is around. Crystal didn’t show up for breakfast. I instructed the house help to call Oba for breakfast. He skipped dinner, he needs to have his breakfast. He showed up shortly. I picked my phone from my handbag that was placed beside me and gave Crystal a call obviously she’s not planning to come down for breakfast.
“What are you still doing in your room. I was there earlier, I knocked but you didn’t open”
“I don’t want to see him mum” Oba was sitting right next to me. He knew Crystal was trying to avoid him.
“I’ll leave” Oba said and stood on his feet.
“Honey, talk to your daughter nau” I said to my husband.
“You don’t expect her to jump into his hands just like that. Do you?” He replied then he faced Oba. “Oba just give her sometime” he said.
“Alright sir. I’ll check back later. I’d like to go see my parents too” He thanked us both before he left.
We came back from Church but none us discussed Oba with Crystal. She’s hurt, we all know that and we know how much she loved Oba including all she went through when he was away. So it’s understandable.
She stayed in her room all day. Oba came in the evening again. While he was still at the door we sent David upstairs. We instructed the house helps to ensure David is upstairs in his room before they open the door to Oba. So when one get the door, she signal to the other to take David to his room.
He greeted me and went upstairs to resume his duties but still he got no luck.
My husband and I called out for him to come join us in the living room at least he has some explanation to give us too.
He joined us and my husband told him to sit. He took a seat opposite ours.
“Where have you been all this while, Oba?” He asked.
He opened his mouth as he tell the story of his journey in exile. By the time Oba was through with his story, I was crying for him, I wonder how her mother felt when she heard his story. Even my husband who was a man was touched. His story was so touching.
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God bless you