In The Dark – Episode 37

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A Story By Stanley Oluwatosin

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kelvin looked at me and said “you are on the right path”

Nothing could be more encouraging. We settled in the car and the driver zoomed off as I waved back at uncle Mike and his family. Seeing how happy I became after settling the bone of contention between myself and my uncle, I felt the thirst to be happy with my biological father as well, though I knew it might be more difficult to over look his mistakes.

My heart skipped when we drove into the Stanley’s street. Memories came calling in my head, I remembered the first time I visited the Stanley’s residence, I remembered how Happy Nelly was, I remembered how her parent received me warmly and treated me like their own. That very day, I was happy meeting my look alike’s parent, little did I know that she was not just my look alike and her dad was my dad as well. The well hidden bitter past made my life a little dramatic. The way my biological father and my late mom hid the secret and their emotion made me wonder if all I knew about myself was the real truth. If my biological parent could make an important truth of my life hidden for more than twenty five years, no hidden secret could come to me as a rude shock.

I was still lost in thought when I noticed the car had stopped,i looked through the window and saw the Stanley’s giant black gate. “OMG, we are here so fast? “

I asked myself. The closer we got, the scared I became. I knew I was on my way to doing the right thing, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do the right thing once I step foot into the Stanley’s residence. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to control my emotions and suppress my anger as well. At the last minute, I wanted to turn back,not because I scared of my biological father, but because I was scared of causing more trouble rather than putting an end to it. At the very last minutes I wanted to go back and allow fate play it’s part. I looked at Kelvin and was about opening my mouth, when he held my hand and siad

“you are about to take the bravest step of your life baby, something your father could not do. Only few people seek for reconciliation and you are one of the few I’ve met. Just do you honey, I know you can handle it”.

I smiled and gave Kelvin a warm hug, After which I instructed the driver to proceed.

Hand in hand with Kelvin, I gazed at the main building briefly before I took a step in. The apartment was quiet and well kept. I looked round the big livingroom and the first thing that caught my eyes was the huge family picture hung on a side of the wall. I let go of kelvins hand and walked toward the picture like I was in a trance. In the picture Nelly was sitting in the middle of her parent, the three of them wore beautiful smiles and they all looked happy. I fixed my gaze on Nelly’s image and I gently touched the picture. Her beautiful smile got me, she smiled just like me, just like my mom. The thought of not getting enough of her before she passed on made me weak. I felt like I was seeing her live as I stared at her lifeless picture.

“do you even know that we are blood sisters? Do you even know that my mom is your mom and your dad is my dad? Do you even know that we do not just look alike, we are identical twins? Do you even know how it feels to find out the truth alittle too late? I guess you have no idea. Why? Because you are dead, yes! Just like everybody else you left me to find out about the truth and deal with it all my life. Just when I needed you most, you allowed death take you away and denied me the privilege to be happy having a twin sister. Just like everyone else, you betrayed me! Just like everyone else, you turned your back on me! And just like everyone else, you left me to deal with the heart break! You all left me because you never loved me! ” I screamed at the picture with the whole of my strength. I stood at a point and waited for a respons before breaking down in tears. I never knew I was so heart broken until I found myself voicing out my emotions.

I was lost in my world until I felt a tap on my back. I jerked back into reality and made a slow turn. I was expecting to see Kelvin behind me but my expectation was turned down when I saw Mr. Stanley.

Without having the slightest idea of how angry I was, he smiled at me and said “everyone did not leave, I’m here for you”

The anger that ran through my vein was unexplainable,as I looked into the old man’s eyes. Heaven knows I would have flung his hand off me if not for the respect I had for his age. With tears in my eyes, I clinched my teeth and said “you are nothing but the architect of my mom’s trouble and my heart break”

I said to Mr. Stanley In range. I was expecting to see him flare up or get confused but instead he maintained his cool face. He smiled and said “I Know you are mad at me but everything that happened was totally not my fault, your late mom also has her share of the blame”

I looked at him, I was displeased. I did not know what he was driving at but his statement hurt my ear. Mr. Stanley made to pull me to himself but I dodged. I took few steps away from him and folded my hands below my boobs. I fixed my gaze on him and said “can you just listen to yourself? My late mom has her share of the blame? Oh she does? What’s her blame? Tell me? She is to be blamed for loving you? Or for keeping the pregnancy when she should have had an abortion? Oh maybe she is to be blamed for not leaving the man that took her regardless of her shortcomings when you reappeared? I guess this is who you are right? You take to your heels at the slightest smell of trouble and you return when everything is fine. That’s what you do! Why? Because you are nothing but a coward! You…..”

“Enough!!!…….” I was yet to complete my statement when he interrupted me. I was boiling so much that I could not control myself. My tongue was ready to spill it all out, all my hidden emotions. I wanted to say it all without leaving a stone untouched. I knew Mr. Stanley was getting frustrated but I was not ready to stop because of how hurt he might be feeling. I wanted to accomplish the reason for my vist, which was telling it all. I unfold my hand and said

“enough? Enough of what? Have I said anything untrue? You should only stop me when I say something untrue. You might have a reason for leaving my mom then, but you had no reason to leave me even after finding me. Were you scared? If you were, of what? Or you do not just have any love for me as a father. Even after my mom’s death,do you know the hardship I went through? I was treated like a slave. I belived I was an orphan and I had nobody. I never knew I had the almighty Mr. Stanley and a twin sister. I was looked after by those who were not even my blood relation. All this yearS you were here, when Nelly died I was with you, when I got married you were still here but you never for once find the need to draw me closer to yourself and mare me feel like your own.

I came, I saw and I conquered. Just when I thought it’s time to relax and enjoy life, the whole truth was thrown to my face. Do you know how it feels to find out that my entire life was built on lies?

After finding out about the truth, I lived my everyday life hoping for you to show up at my door step and seek for reconciliation but you never did! Not even a phone call, why? Because you do not care! Guess what, I do not give a bleep as well! I will just live my life like the orphan I’ve always thought I am. I will pretend you are dead and no more….”

“Enough of this madness young lady! I won’t have you insult me in my own house! Everybody makes mistakes but that doesn’t mean I’m all bad. Even if I am, that won’t change the fact that I’m still your father! You should talk to me with respect”

Mr. Stanley interrupted me again but this time his words were shocking. The look on his face was also scaring and confusing. I had had enough myself. Though I was scared thing would turn out bad, I was satisfied with voicing out my pain. I looked at the angry Mr. Stanley firmly and said “yes… Right, I’m done talking to you! Dear Father….. “

I went for my bag,looked at Kelvin and said “let’s just leave”. Kelvin hesitated before he stood up, he looked at me with surprise and I made a “don’t worry” sign. I faked a smile at Mrs. Stanley as I made for the exit. I carried my face up and walked as fast as I could, I was tempted to look at Mr. Stanley but I fought the urge to.

“Nancy… ….”

I was about to open the exit door when Mr. Stanley called out my name. I paused my step and waited to hear him out. He sniffed and said “if you do not give a bleep, you won’t come looking for me”

I could not believe my ears. I scoffed and turned back. “are you for real? ” was the only statement I could make.

Mr. Stanley looked down at his feet as if he was searching for words, he cleared his throat consciously and said

“yes, I’m for real. If you do not give a bleep like you claimed, you won’t be here girl. You can curse me for all you want, you can disrespect me and bring down this roof for all I care, one thing I’m sure of is that, nobody will ever understand me. Yes, nobody will never see the whole story from my own point of view, you know why? Because none of you will ever give me a chance to make up for my mistakes. Even before Stanley opens his mouth, he has been judged already. He has been tagged the devil and he has been abandoned to wallow in his errors.”

Mr. Stanley paused in the middle of his statement, he took a deep breathe and shook his head continuously like he was deeply lost in regret. His words made me hate my actions, I took few steps towards him and stood right in front of him. I knew he still had lot to say, so I allowed him to do the talking.

“You think I do not regret all the mistakes I made? Just because I you did not see me on my kneels begging your late mom? I tried my best, though it was not good enough, I tried my very best to reunite before Lillian said goodbye. I could remember she practically threatened to sue me with all the legal agreement we made back in the day. Back in the day when I was still stupid and weak, she continued to judge me with the wrong steps I took. After finding you and your mom through Nelly, I belived in fate. I met with Lillian and pleaded with her to allow you unite with your sister but she throw all my mistakes into my face and told me to go to hell. I continued to press and when I pressed a little harder, she threatened to sue me and write my story for the public to know who I am. I am a public figure, I could not allow her drag my name in the mud. That’s the reason why I gave up and resolved into allowing fate play it’s part. I belived the same fate that brought you and Nelly together would bring all us together. I did not just chicken out, she gave me no other choice. Believe me or not, this was what happened”

Mr Stanley said his last stamens in almost a whisper and he made to take a sit.

I dropped my bag on the floor and said “that was before my mom died, what happened after her death? Were you still scared of her sueing you from the grave? “

“I wasn’t scared of Lillian, I wasn’t really scared of getting sued either, the reason why I chickened out was to avoid drama. If I had press harder and get sued, don’t you think it will get messy. The love and respect have always craved for from my kids will never come my way. That is the main reason why I allowed peace.

After your moms death, I would have come for you, like I wanted to, I almost did Nancy, but I was scared of rejection. What you did few minutes ago, was my greatest fear in life. I was scared of you calling me a coward and making me realize I do not even worth your love and respect. I did not want to hurt your feelings as well, even after I heard about the video Lillian left behind, I could not bring myself to appear in front of you and seek for reconciliation. I was waiting for a sign from you, a sign that will proof that you want me in your life and I didn’t get any until today. My cup was filled to the brim when I learnt you were here, I was happy that finally, fate is bringing us together. I was happy that you are my real blood and you’ve decided to trace your root. To be sincere, I was not disappointed when you started to rant, neither I’m I mad at you. Only a b****** will keep cool and you just proof that you are not one. One thing I want you to know is that I love you so dearly and You and your sister Are the best thing that ever happened to me. No wonder heavens judge me by not giving me another seed aside from the two of you but guess what I’m always happy that I have a daughter who is making me proud. Now I can die in peace, now that I have found peace with you, My girl. Please forgive a useless father”

Mr. Stanley said almost in tears. I moved close to him and hugged him real tight. He burst into tears and i Could not hold back my tears as well. We cried and comforted each other like a father and a long lost daughter.

My joy knew no bound when Mr. Stanley looked at me and said “you are just like your mother”

I smiled and asked why he said that.

“she also had a heart of gold but I guess I pushed her to the wall” That was Mr. Stanley’s response.

He took me into his arms again and I freed all that I had had against him. “if I can forgive uncle Mike after all he did to me, when can’t I forgive my biological father who is now sorry for all he had done” that was the question I asked myself.

I released myself from Mr. Stanley and said “Dad, I want a picture of my sister”

I could see the shock in his eyes as he opened his mouth widely. At first I thought I made him feel bad by requesting for Nelly’s picture but I was proved wrong when mr. Stanley held my shoulder and said “did you just call me dad? Say it again baby, I want to hear you call me dad all my life”

I smiled and said “dad! Dad!! Dad!!!” repeatedly, almost turning it into a song. Dad took me into his arm and I smiled sheepishly as he patted my back gently. I wished I could recover all the fatherly love I had lost years back, I wished my step dad could come back to life as well, I wished everybody I had lost were still alive, i wished all my wishes could come to reality.

“okay, that’s enough, father and daughter. If you won’t acknowledge our presence, I will take it upon myself to remind you that you are not alone” Mrs. Stanley said, interrupting my thought and the moment I was having with my dad.

I wiped the little tears that had form in my eyes and went into Mrs. Stanley’s arm. She took me into her arms and said something about been proud of me, she also wanted me to see her as my biological mom. I smiled and agreed with all she had said before I walked up to Kelvin. He kissed me on my forehead and make a joke about wanting to be like me when he grow up. We all laughed and my dad decided that we should all have a meal together.

I and my dad ate in the same plate, he was so fond of me and he almost went to the extent of feeding me. I could see the jealousy in kelvins eyes but he did nothing to stop him. We had a delicious meal of fried rice and chicken,after which we formed a circle round the reading table in my dad’s library. He took his time to show me lot of things and he wouldn’t stop until I complained of back pain.

After spending minutes chatting and laughing as a family, I decided to repeat my earlier request.

“Dad, mom, like I said earlier, I will love to have a picture of my twin sister and I also want to visit her tomb, can you please honour my request”

I said as I fixed my gaze on my dad and his wife.

Without giving a response, Mrs. Stanley excused herself and came back with a photo album.

She dropped the album in front of me and said “this is Nelly’s album. Most of her personal pictures are there, you are entitle to have it”

I hurriedly picked up the photo album and opened it. I could remember the album vividly. It was the same photo album she gave to me the day I visited her. Tears ran down my cheek as looked at the beautiful images Nelly left behind. If only death was a respecter of beauty, Nelly would have been on the surface earth.

Kelvin took the photo album from my hand and comforter me. He made me realize there was no need to cry over spoilt milk, I decided it was better to be happy with the people present with me, rather than cry over those that can never come back to me.

Dad decided that he would personally take me to Nelly’s tomb the next day because he was scared of me breaking down in his absence. I smiled and accepted his conditions before I decided it was time to go home.

As difficult as it is to depart from one’s first love, it was difficult for me to depart from my new found father. I consoled myself with the fact that we would be meeting the next day and I could still see him as often as I want to. I said my goodbyes and long, warm embrace. I left the Stanley’s residence with a pure heart,filled with happiness and fulfilment.

******

We arrived home a little late but it was no issue. I had a warm bath with Kelvin and we retired to our bed.

I laid on kelvins chest and allowed the day’s event play right in front of me. I was happy with all I was able to accomplish, from settling all scores with uncle Mike, to reconciling with my biological father, everything was a great achievement. I was the happiest woman on the planet “earth”.

“Babe, I’m so proud of you and I’m grateful for letting me take all theses brave steps with you but there is something left” Kelvin said as he played with my fingers.

I looked at him and asked what was left. Kelvin adjusted and made me sit in between his legs before he said “Since your dad has an adopted child now, why not give Nelly’s share of the will to her? It’s not as if you really need it and I know your dad will be glad as well”

I never thought of handling Nelly’s share of the will over to the Stanley’s until Kelvin brought the idea. I saw nothing wrong with his suggestion so I took it in. For me it was not about the wealth, it was all about the bound that brought us all together.

I playfully pushed Kelvin and said “see why they said two good heads are better than one? Now I know that your head ain’t big for nothing”

Kelvin smiled and held me from behind. He kissed my neck and said “come here, let me give you kids with big and useful heads like mine”

I smiled and made to free myself but Kelvin was too strong for me. Before I could say “jerk! ” he was on top of me.

Nothing could free my mind from the day’s stress apart from a slow and romantic sex.

That was exactly what Kelvin gave to me, just like I wanted it.. …..

…to be continued

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