A Story By Stanley Oluwatosin
I moved to Idoma in Ofu LGA of kogi state. My boss already
got a two bed room apartment for me. Apart from myself and my boss, miss Ada and the police man knew about my destination. Though i wished our plan was still a secret but deep within me, i knew it was an open secret. A secret is something only one person knows about, once two to three people are involved, it is as good as the whole world knowing about the so called secret.
I kept to myself throughout the first week, my boss already made provision for me and the baby. It was not easy to train a baby especially an infant. The baby would cry all night for food, whenever i offer the provided food, the baby would refuse, until i forcefully feed the baby. I got so close to this child that sometimes i would start to cry whenever the child cries. I some how had the taste of motherhood.
On the last day of my first week of arriving Idoma, i suddenly heard a knock on my door one sunday afternoon. Since i had no friend, i knew it was either my boss or his messenger. I slowly wrapped the baby and opened the door. It was the commissioner himself. He entered the house and we exchanged pleasantries before i asked if he would love to have anything to eat or drink. He coldly rejected my offer and that was when i noticed his sad mood. I moved closer to my boss and asked what the problem was, he only told me to hand him the baby. After giving the baby to him, he looked at me and said “Mary, i cannot thank you enough for your sacrifice for this little one. My thought was that when i have a child again, i will be the happiest man on earth but i was totally wrong. I now sleep and wakeup everyday with the guilt of causing the death of an innocent woman who committed no crime, apart from giving me a child”
At the mention of death, i had to interupt my boss. “Who died” i shouted. He shook his head slowly and said “Ada, Mary, Ada is dead. The night you escaped, she was killed cold blooded in her apartment. If only you did not leave with the child, i know the baby will also be dead by now”
I stood up from the chair and sat on the bare floor, i could not stop the tears flowing down my cheek. Miss. Ada was nice and kindhearted. “If only i could die in her place and leave her to take care of her child” i thought. I slowly walked to my bag and brought out the chain gift she gave to me. I gave it to my boss in tears and he said “This belong to you, keep it with you till we will meet again, never let go of it”
he wore the chain round my neck and i treasured it like my life. That night my boss informed me that i would have to leave my current destination because it was not safe enough. He told me he already arranged an apartment for me in Igala and i should be more secured there. I agreed with my boss’s plan and started to pack my bag that afternoon . My boss left late in the evening and i left the following morning. It was a world of no safety for me but i was determined to do anything for Ada’s child and my boss.
I spent a month in Igala, i already made friends and i portrayed myself as a single mother. I communicated regularly with my boss through the mobile phone he got me. My baby was getting use to me and i was beginning to enjoy my life. All of this changed on a sunday afternoon.
I got a phone call from my boss “Mary, i can’t really talk now, do not ask me questions just listen to me. My wife want to ruin my political carrier with that child. One way or the other she linked your disappearance with the child and a search team has been sent after you. I got this information from one of her trusted officers. Mary you need to fly, do not run! Fly away from Kogi, you need to fly for your life and the baby’s. Go as far as possible, to a far away land. Keep this phone, i will keep intouch” my boss said. Before i could say a word, the line went dead. I quickly started to pack.
I was still packing when i got a new message. “I will be selfish if i say you should run with the baby cos i know you cannot make it out of this alive with the child. Put the baby in an orphanage home or anywhere you can. If fate allow we shall see him again.(A worthless father)” that was the content of the message from my boss. I read over again before deciding to pack our bags. I got the needful and left for the car pack. I had fifty thousand naira with me, i thought of a place i could get a living with that amount and the first place that came to my mind was “Ilorin”
I took the bus going to kwara state with my baby. Immediately the bus kicked off, i brought out my phone and read the message my boss sent again before removing my sim card. I brooke the card into pieces and threw it through the window. “Keeping in contact with my boss will only complicate things. I can and I will make it out alive with my baby” I thought.
Alot of thought ran through my mind during the ride. At a point i thought i should just give up the child and return to my parent, but when i looked at the baby sleeping peacefully in my arm, i waved the thought away. I knew life was not going to be easy, i knew catering for my needs and the child’s would be just too much for me but i was determined never to give up. I consoled myself with the thought that “one day, this child will become great”.
Since i knew little about ilorin, i decided to ask the passangers for help. A middle age man was sitting close to me. I greeted him and asked about Ilorin from him. He was jovial and he told me alot about the town. According to him he reside in an area call “Ipata”. I confided in the man and told him i had nobody in ilorin and i would be greatful if he could help me secure an apartment. The man, whose name was “Yemi” told me he could get me an accommodation and if i do not have enough at hand, he said i could stay with him for awhile. According to Yemi, he was living alone. At first i hesitated, due to the fact that he was a stranger but when i thought about how lost i would be in a town i do not have relatives or friends, i decided to take the risk and stay with yemi. Yemi was friendly throughout the ride, he would carry the baby and ask me to rest for awhile. I was greatful to God for sending a helper to me.
We got to Ilorin at 7:00pm, Yemi stopped a taxi and we left for his apartment. It was dark when we got there and there was no power, i could not properly check out his residence.
The following day i noticed Yemi’s house was close to a popular market and the area was a ghetto. With a baby in my hand, i could not bare to live in a ghetto but i had to manage for a period of time in order to get familiar with the town.
Yemi gradually changed during my second week with him, i noticed he was not who he claimed to be. He drinks heavily, smokes and relate with dangerous gangs. I decided it was time to leave and search for a better place. I got close to some people around the area and i got to know places where i could get affordable houses. With the help of a neighbour, i got a room for twenty five thousand naira per year at Gaa-Akanbi.
With my little belongings, i moved out of yemi’s apartment after spending a month with him.
Life as a single mother without a means of livelihood was so difficult. I faced alot of challenges, from men and from the world generally. I had an empty apartment without a chair to boast for. I took up different kinds of job, labourer, plate washing, fetching of water, sweeping, cleaning and many others. At a point I almost turn back but whenever i look at the child in my hand, i got encouraged. I was hardworking and was known for it in my area. Through a merciful woman, i got employed as a cleaner in an hospital, that was how i became a salary earner and i started to have a source of living. I had lots of advances from men but i never had a relationship because i believed, nobody could treat my child like his and one day, i would have to choose between my biological child and miss. Ada’s child. I gave up the dream of getting married and having children for my boss’s son. Till date i have no regret because that child is everything i ever wanted. I only hope this child will not be mad at me for keeping this important secret for twenty years, i did it all for him and i do not want him to feel like a nobody. This is my story son.
I moved closer to my mom and hugged her before saying “Where is this child mom?”.
My mom smiled and said “You are that child son. You are the child i escaped with”.
At the revelation of the truth
I felt my world becoming dark, i felt like a leftover, i felt like a bastard, i wished i could see the worthless man that abandoned his son for twenty year, i wished i could spit into his face. Lots of feelings ran through my vein but i never felt anger toward the beautiful woman that went through a whole lot for me. I moved close to my mom and enveloped her in a hug. I thanked my mom profusely and promised her a better life. My mom prayed for me and gave me the chain my biological mom gave to her years back. She wore it around my neck but i removed it and gave it back. “You are the only one i need” I said to my mom as i returned the chain, she collected it from me and prayed for me in tears. There and then, i decided i won’t stop at nothing to make it in life and give my mom the luxury she deserve.
Kelvin stopped to talk and i could not help but feel sorry for the pains he must have went through with his mom. I knew kelvin was not done yet so i cleared my throat to get his attention and said “you are yet to tell me how you met your dad”.
He smiled and said “I know you won’t give up Miss Journalist”
That very day my mom told me my father’s name, he was a popular politician. According to research he was once a commissioner before he became a governor for eight years, after which he became a senator and he was campaigning for the presidential sit. I looked at his
internet picture and i could not argue the resemblance. I grew hatred for him and I was determined never to forgive him.
I continued to hustle hard until one fateful day.
My mom called me at work early that Monday morning. She told me to come home immediately. I became worried thinking she was sick again. I quickly took an excuse from work and went home. I was surprised to see my mom healthy when i got home. Immediately i got in, she turned me around and asked if i was fine. I told her i was completely fine and she breathe a sigh of relief. I then asked her what the problem was, with a worried face she said “I think he is after us” I did not understand what she ment, so i asked her who?. “Your father, my boss. I think he has been spying on us”. At first it was all like a movie to me because it was difficult to believe. “How can someone lost track on us for the past twenty years and he comes out from nowhere now?” I asked my mom. She did not reply, she only paced up and down our small livingroom. “I noticed a man following since last week, he is always on black and whenever i am not looking at him, he makes phone call. My instinct is telling me he is a spy from your father. Has anybody been following you too?” my mom said, breaking the silence. I told her no and she held my hand. My mom pleaded with me to leave Ilorin with her in order to be safe. I was not ready to play hide and seek game and with the amount in my account and our total life savings, i knew it would be difficult to start up a new life anywhere in the country. I strongly refused my mom suggestion and told her i was ready for the worst. My mom’s further pleading made me agree with her but on the condition that we would leave after the month end because i needed to finish the month work for my salary. My mom agreed and told me to be safe. I returned back to work and we started living our everyday life with the fear of been spy on.
A week later i also noticed a huge guy on black shade following me on my way to work. At first i thought it was just a coincidence but when he took every route i took, i knew he was after me. I doubled my step and rushed into my working place. Thinking he would not hurt me in the mist of people.
After work, i noticed the same guy was following me. I increased my pace and he did the same, before i knew it i was practically running to my house. I locked the door behind me immediately and informed my mom of what happened. She immediately became scared and she decided we should leave the town the following morning. I could not object to her suggestion so i started to pack our bags and was ready to leave the town i lived all my life.
At exactly 5:00am the following morning, we moved out of our house with the little things we could carry. Our plan was to move to another village in kwara state, where we could come back and sell off our remaining property. We stopped the first cab that appeared in front of us and told the driver we were heading to the nearest garage.
Not until we entered the cab did i notice that two passangers were in apart from the driver,I greeted the guy beside me and got bussy with my phone. Thirty minutes later we were yet to get to our destination which was not suppose to be. An hour later, we were still on the road, i became suspicious. “Mom are we not suppose to be there by now?” i whispered into my mom’s ear. She replied with a nod and said “Driver why is it taking this long, did you miss your way?” my mom asked the driver. The second guy infront laughed loudly and said “How can we be there yet? We are on our way to abuja. Abii Abuja from here nah one hour journey?”.
My eyes widened and i asked the guy what he ment. I told him we were on our way to the garage. The guy sitted beside me chuckled and said “We know, but our boss need you first, after the meeting you are a free bird, you can go to the garage for all i care”.
At that particular moment it dawned on me that we were been kidnapped, i opened my mouth to say something but my mouth went dry. I decided to talk less and think fast. My mom started to beg the guys but they told my mom to pocket her plea. I would have joined in the begging but i knew it would’nt work. I decided to keep mute, fighting any of them would be a waste of energy, they were way too big for me and they might have dangerous weapon with them. I held my mom tight and said in a whisper “If he is behind this, they cannot harm us”. My mom noded and held me so tight.
We continued the journey to the unknown with me holding my mom close to myself. I could tell she was crying through her continuous sniffing. I brought out my phone and typed something to console her. She read my message and smiled. We continued to communicate through exchanging of phone until the guy sitted beside me snatched the phone from my hand and disconnected it. I just watched him with anger but i could not do a thing to stop him.
Three hours later, we were still on the road, i had never been to Abuja before, but i knew it would take nothing lesser than eleven hours to get to Abuja from Ilorin, i wrapped my hand around my mom and thought about what would happen to us when we get to our final destination. “what if all this people are not sent by my father?” i asked myself. There could be no other person after us,i concluded.
“Am sleepy son” my mom whispered. I knew she would soon get tired of crying before, so i lowered my shoulder for her to rest on. My mom slept off faster than i expected and i was alone to look after her and myself in between three hefty guys. I got myself bussy by looking at the passerby and bushes. The guy in the front, whom i gussed to be the leader constantly communicated with someone over the phone. He would inform the person of our present location and hangup. I conclude that the person on the other end was there leader.
The driver parked at a point, infront of a fast food restaurant, the man in front alighted from the car and went into the restaurant.
He came back with packs of food and drinks, after giving a pack each to his friends, he handed two packs over to me with drinks. I placed the packs of food beside my feet and waited for my mom to wake.
Less than ten minutes later, my mom woke up, she asked of our current location and i told her i was lost. My mom was silent for awhile before complaining of been hungry. I told her we had been given food and she asked if it was safe. I reassured her and we ate together. Nothing special happened throughout The rest of journey.
At exactly 5:00pm, we arrived Abuja. I told my mom we had gotten to Abuja and she noded. They drived for more than thirty minutes before we arrived a huge gate. The gate was opened and the driver drove in. We were welcomed into the house by a middle age woman. She led us to a room and told us to freshen up before leaving. My mom and i prayed immediately we were alone and with faith we had our bath and sat close to eachother in bed. The same woman that welcomed us came to offer us food but we rejected and she left after much persuasion.
Not until my mom woke me up did i realised that i was asleep. As soon as i opened my eyes i saw a man in the room with us. I asked my mom if she knew the man through eye contact and she replied no. The man then sat on the table in the room and said “Am sure none of you know me and am happy to say i do not know you either. I am just an errand boy, delivering a message. The boss will be here by tomorrow, before then please eat and feel at home. We come in peace Ma’am and sir”. The man said and left.
We did not have dinner that night, we slept on an empty stomach.
I was the first to wake up the next morning. I looked at the wall clock and the time displayed 9:15am. I tapped my mom lightly and she woke up. We prayed and cleaned up before the woman from the previous day came in with a tray. She urged us to eat and left. The meal served was tea, bread and egg. Mom prayed over the meal and we ate.
At exactly 11:00AM, we heard a knock on the door. I quickly sat up just before the door was opened. A man walked in. My mouth went dry when i saw him. He was an older version of me,he had dimples just like me and he even smiled like me. I could not help but murmure “Waoh”. The man closed the door behind him and said “Oh mary! Where have you been” immediately he saw my mom. My mom went into his arm and they hugged for some minutes. At that particular moment, i realised my mom was in no way angry with my biological father. I stood rooted to a point and watched the elders do their reunion. My biological father came closer to me and said “Is this the boy?” my mom noded and he moved closer to embrace me. I moved away from him and stood in a corner. He shook is head slowly and said “I know you are mad at me. I owe the both of you an apology and a long explanation. I will do that now and make up for the lost time. Please listen to my side of the story”. My mom bestowed on me to sit on the bed and i did. My biological father sat beside my mom and said “Its been more than twenty years.
Mary, son. Am so sorry about what the both of you might have went through over the years, please do forgive me but i want you to know that i also tried my best to find the both of you.
After sending you that text, my mind told me you would never give up the child and knowing fully well that taking care of the child might cost you your life, i decided to come over to your apartment and put up the child for adoption myself. I got to your apartment but i met your absence, i noticed some of your belongings were gone as well so i opted to calling you. I tried your line from that afternoon till late at night but it was not reachable, i had no other choice than to go back home. I went back home dejected and came back the following morning, hoping you would be back. I could not bare the guilt of putting your life at risk and incapability of taking care of my own son. I continued to visit your apartment everyday, until the house was rented by a new occupant. I became a shadow of myself drastically, i could not function well at home and at work. I was always lost in thought, at home, at work, even at any gathering. It got to the point that people started to ask me if i was sick but i could not open up to any of them.
I became a dead man living. My wife somehow blamed herself for my predicament and this made her confess her sins. She also asked for my forgiveness. I forgave her and she asked if i could bring back the child and mary. I told her i lost track on you and she took it upon herself to search for you. My wife sent search teams to the whole of Kogi but they all came back negative. We had to start searching states out of kogi. It never for ones cross my mind that you could be in kwara state, talkless of Ilorin. With the help of my wife i gradually gained my life back. When she brought the suggestion of me going fully into politics in order for you to locate me if i could not locate you i accepted because i was so desperate to find the both of you. I as well love politics and power. Gradually i became important in my political party. I contested for the governorship election and i eventually won. I held that sit for eight year. Every night before i sleep, i ask for forgiveness from Ada’s spirit and i pray you will come back to me in good health. When my tenure expired, my party nominated me for the senatorial post. With the help of my party members and my wife i got elected. Along the line my wife adopted a female child (10years) and i gradually forgot about having a child. After spending eight years in the house of representative, i won the primary election for the presidential sit. My life was going smoothly, my adopted daughter was already a teen, i felt like a worthless father, having an adopted child under my roof and a biological child somewhere far away. Few months after winning the general presidential election, my wife was down with cancer. She traveled all over the world to get a cure but all was in vain. She died of cancer on the day i celebrated my one year in power. It was a terrible event for me. Before she died her last word was for me to locate my child no matter what, she said i was fortunate to have a child of my own when she doesn’t. I promised her to do as she said that very day. I went through some time of trial after my wife’s death before i finally licked my wound and got back on my feet. I came back with full determination to find you. I shared your picture all over the thirty six states security services and i told them to notify me if they find any young man around the age of 20-25 that shares a physical resemblance with me. It took them a year to locate my son and i was notified,they furtherly got pictures of you and i immediately recognized you from the past. I had you followed for the past six months without suspicion and finally i decided it was time to meet again.
This is all that have happened. I know the pain I went through is nothing compared with yours yours but a sorry father is hear begging for forgiveness. Mary, Son am so sorry for all the pains i caused you.
I realised my dad was not totally wrong and i decided it was time to quite the hustle and live a better life with family. With my determination and the urge from my mom, i accepted my father back and ever since then we have been together as a family. Immediately after the reconciliation i traveled out of the country with my mom. I searched for you before leaving and when i returned but i was unlucky to find you, am sorry pretty.
So, My mom is now legally married to my biological father and we have been together with my sister( adopted daughter) for the past five years. This is my story Ma’am. From grass to grace. I hope you can make a beautiful article with it.
…to be continued