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Friday, 16 December 2016

PAINS OF A GROWN MAN

FINAL EPISODE



"But you know Dad, God has ever been faithful and he has never stopped showering his grace on us" I said with a cruel face mixed with chuckles as I stared at my Dad. I needed the right time to burst out and just get clarity of the whole thing. I was actually wounded and bitter at his insolence to us his family. You don't expect me to go through that letter and remain calm. All these while, balls of sweat never stopped forming on my face and streamed down to my chin. My Mom kept asking if I was okay and stressed. She asked me to have enough rest and need be to excuse myself from the table I should do so. I feigned I needed not all that. And then I quickly thought. Maybe I would ask him privately about it. That would be better and save him the embarrassment especially before his grandchild.

But you know, sometimes you can't cheat time travel. No matter how smart you are. If indeed you're as clever as a tortoise, nature can't be cheated.
But there and then was nature ready to pull out a game. It was about to outclass us. It was right there my Mom asked me about Regina whom she saw me with about three or four years ago and asked if I was really into her. I gave her the affirmative and she asked further why I haven't done the needful. I smiled and looked at Dad.

"Well, that's because I don't think I am ready to manage two families".
My dad was staring at me like what's going on.

Everyone wondered too by what I meant. And they asked me to elaborate more. Then I looked at David. Felt sorry in me for him and never planned it. But the truth needed to be told and heard. Assumptions is the lowest form of knowledge. So in other to be cleared I asked Dad

"How does it feel managing two families? Knowing that your attention will be divided and your heart is split?". At that moment I asked the question, I felt cold. Maybe a sign of sudden hatred or regret. I wouldn't have known.

"Dear what is he talking about?" Mom asked with a squeezed face. Almost depleting.

"You're stressed my son. You need enough rest and that will be..." I cut him off with tears in my eyes.

"Well, things are about to get serious now". Joe said with rapt attention and gaze fixed on me.
"Come on Dad! You know exactly what I am taking about" he denied knowing anything and I brought out the brown envelope. Slipped it across the table to him and he got shocked. He looked me straight in my eyes before steadily giving everyone a gaze in his usual slow motion that stopped on my mom's.

"Beatrice" he started slowly with sweats formed on him like he was drowned in a pool.

"But how did you find out about this? And this has nothing to do with you. So you have been going everywhere searching for what's not lost?" He summoned the dutch courage and talked back at me. Fear gripped me at his utterance and I was guilty.

"Jay" as she fondly called him. "You were about saying something. Yeah! I am all ears". She balanced her chin on her palms. There was silence as he shoved his glasses at interval from his nose back to his eyes which was sliding away due to the sweats. He kept reading what was in his hands. That scene wasn't funny. I saw a different side of my father. The brave one and the feeble one. I didn't understand which one I needed to settle for.

"I was going to talk about this at the right time" he folded the envelope with his head bowed. Everyone had lost appetite obviously but our miniature man at the table was still fiddling with plates and cutleries. I kept on giving him gaze and thankfully he got hold of his dad's phone and he remembered there used to be a bicycle by the waterside. That was how he ran off. I think that was enough for my father to have summoned courage as he exposed everything.

"I have a child and a woman outside, Beatrice". The laughter that bursted out of my mom's mouth was contagious. It caught Joe immediately and I could tell it was infested.

Really? I thought. Laughing at a big confession was the right thing to do? "Look I am serious here. But that was a long time ago" he stammered.

"A long time ago doesn't mean it has been erased off history or from the book of memories. Well, you better start talking now and I will appreciate you don't miss a thing out of it" Now those were enough subtle threats from the drama queen herself.

Dad explained in his words it happened when he was transferred to Ghana. He met with a lady who was his chaperon in his first few days there. She happened to work there also and he being the tall and handsome guy, he was everyone's choice. He recalled how she would come to his house to cook and teach him some Ghanian dance steps. He became fond of her a lot and he would never go a day without calling her. No matter how hectic the day was, he would put a call through. On several occasions they would go to the beach and have some time to themselves. It appeared as though, she was God sent. He finally made up his mind after years of been together with her and stepped up his game. He defined their relationship on one of those days she came around to lay his bed. He couldn't resist and flee.
Months later she came back to tell him she was a month and three weeks pregnant and they quickly fixed a date for their wedding. At first, the sensation and feelings everyday felt like a new beginning. Not until few months into their marriage she tendered her resignation letter. He was shocked and surprised and asked her why she didn't tell him before doing that. At least they've been living together as man and wife and for such an enormous decision, she should have respected that he's still her husband. He told her she can't go just like that. Her response was she's not only leaving the company but also leaving him for good. No back up and solid reason for that. He had never maltreated her not for a second. Then she came back after few months with a divorce litigation. He lost the case and he filed to have custody of his child. He failed too. And that has been bitter in his heart for a very long time.

He begged and asked we forgive him. Not that he wouldn't tell us, but it wasn't something to be proud of. He has no joy in telling it. He felt maybe by his bed side; on his journey out of the world, he would reveal but I guess the dining was actually the bed side he referred to. He was still begging when my mom stood up angrily with tears. Where she went to, I don't know. Joe followed her. I remained at the table with him and we kept on stealing glances at ourselves.

"So I have an older brother" I said out finally. As unbelievable as it sounds, it was the bitter pill I would swallow effortlessly. I still couldn't imagine I emanated from a polygamous family. This has been the pains he's inflicted on himself. He never knew she was really not after the marriage or his love.

But as our Lord forgives us, so we should forgive ourselves and brethren that have erred us. It's complicated.

"I am sorry Dad. I shouldn't have said it out at all. Or brought it open at the table". He nodded at me.

"Anytime is the right time. I am sorry too". We hugged each other and went on the search hunt for my mum. The pains he had to face to have a gathered and put family. Then I knew it isn't easy to be a man. And it's not a day Job.

PEAZOUT


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