I had thought I’d be prepared fully by the time it happened, by the time I brought a child into the world. But I guess fate had other plans for me. I was raised by a single parent, my mother.
I had sworn to give my unborn children the best family to be raised in. Complete, with a father and mother.
Looking at things now, I regret to say that it was never my intention to watch from the shadows, the woman I love get lynched psychologically by society.
To let her, for nine months, alone and afraid, walk the ragged path of teen pregnancy, and for ten years raise our boy.
I had wanted to be there every step of the way, to hold her hands, rub her back, cook her meals, bathe her, support her, be a father to our son, do all the things a man is supposed to do for his woman.
But I guess fate had other plans for me. The night it happened, her father had sent her out of the house for returning home late.
“Don’t ever come back here again, you’re like your mother.” he had said. “I try to bend you so you won’t have trouble in your home as a woman in the future, but you have chosen to go wild. Your mother left this house. The whole world knows that.
You cannot make anybody brand me a failure in parenting. Instead, you will leave my house. Go and look for your mother wherever she is. Take your prostitution and leave my house.”
And with those words, he had flogged her out into the streets. It was a Thursday, just like today. My mother had gone for an overnight, so I was home alone.
When Imelda called, I went out to meet her, and brought her home. I had held her in my arms in the darkness of the room as she cried.
I had cried with her, our tears uniting. And in the silence of the room, it happened. Like our tears, our bodies had united.
One month later, in a bus leaving the state, just before I threw away my sim-card, I had read her text one last time.
“The result is out. It’s positive. I’m pregnant. I am finished. My father will kill me. Can I see you tonight, please?”
The boy is ten now. My son. I watch his mother, the woman I love, take him to and from school everyday from my car. I am back, and I wish to make things right. I know there’s no way I can make up for the last ten years, but I want to try.
It was never my intention to be absent from my son’s life. It was never my intention to watch from the shadows, the woman I love suffer, get expelled from school, labelled a prostitute, disowned by her father, and get maimed psychologically by society.
I know there’s no way I can make up for all these, but I want to try. I have to.
My mother used to say “never let the fear of the consequences of the wrong things you’ve done, stop you from doing the right thing.” My mother has never been so right.
By Eninu William – 0783-642052
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