Morinsola had texted her Pastor’s wife that she needed to meet with her before their usual Thursday fellowship at Maggies. So she had replied that they could meet on Tuesday at her office. They sat in her teal green oval office. “Tell me everything, Sister Morin?”
She had recounted the events of Sunday to the woman. “After my secondary school education. I enrolled at a coaching center in preparation of my JAMB exams.” She stood up from the chair. “I was sixteen and a beauty. My mother always said I was a carbon copy of her mother who was an Igbo woman.”
“I was the envy of all girls, all the guys took turns asking me out. I never succumbed agreed to any. But just when all the fawning seemed to be coming to an end, I got another proposal.”
Morinsola took a deep breath
“He promised me heaven, he promised me his undying love. He was an undergraduate at Unilag, home for a semester break. He was a friend to the Literature tutor. I kept asking him, ‘How do I know you are not like others.’ And he’d always reply “I love you, Morinsola. My very existence is incomplete without you he said.’”
“I loved him too or so I thought. Till the day I told him my period was late and I was pregnant”
“All hell broke loose; my mother was going to kill me, my father must not hear and of course, lover boy was on the run. He said his family wanted him to study abroad and he wasn’t ready for “this”. When my mother couldn’t keep it any more, I stopped lesson told my dad. The boy’s family wasn’t even an option. They insisted ‘Your daughter is wayward and our son is probably not the father.’ The shame was so much. The pain and division it brought to my family made me regret my actions.”
“My father wanted me to study, but didn’t see how becoming a mother would achieve that dream. I didn’t want to become a mother. I hated that thing with my very being. I hate that I had to bear the consequences of our love. I hated that it was a threat and was going to pause my life, my dreams.”
“Abortion was not an option. I was scared to death. One day I called my parents and asked them if I could out the baby up for adoption.”
She took her seat.
“They had no answer for me right away.”
“But after days of heated arguments that dragged late into the night from my parents’ room, they was called me.”
My dad said “We have decided as your parents to allow you give the baby up for adoption. But this you’d never be able to contact the baby or figure out his where about.”
“Morinsola, perhaps it’s in your best interest to do this as you have a whole life ahead of you” her mother said
“Yes ma, I am ready” I said. “If this would restore peace for my parents and normalcy to my life then I’m up for it”
“If that is the case” my dad had said “I will make some arrangements for you.”
So my mother and I travelled to Jos where we stayed till I was delivered of a baby boy. My mother cried as I signed the papers of release I only asked for one thing. His picture.
Morinsola felt a tap on her shoulder. She must have been lost in reverie. “What did your husband say?” The matronly woman asked. She sighed
“He didn’t say anything.” She wiped her filling eyes “He has not said a word since Sunday. What am I supposed to do? I have apologized severally.” She asked as she wept.
The woman hugged her “It will be alright. He will come around by the grace of God.”
She continued crying. “Since you have let it out, your healing has started. All you need do now is heal together.”
“You realize that you are forgiven, dear? By your Father, God”
“Now is time to forgive yourself. Let us pray.”
* * * *
Gideon led Omolabake to the corridor chairs. She had rushed into his embrace upon his arrival about two hours after she called him. They sat down.
“How is she?” He asked
“She regained consciousness a while back but wasn’t able to talk much so she was sedated for rest.”
He gave her his handkerchief.
She smiled as she took it and dabbed her eyes.
“Thank you for coming. I didn’t know who else to call
“Shh. She is our grandma”
“Thank you Gideon” She placed her hand on his hand.
He smiled. “Please, don’t mention.” He looked at his watch after a few seconds of silence “Have you eaten?”
“Oops, not at all. I didn’t even notice”
“I know a nice place around the block, let me get you something.”
He stood up.
She stood also. “Let’s go together.”
They got a booth with a roadside view
He blessed his plate of vegetable beans and plantain. She ate her fried chicken rice with green pepper sauce
“You sure know your menu” she teased
“I know, right?” he smiled
She giggled “Whoa, what’s it? Three months and no ‘I know, right?’”
“And what does your new driver say?”
“It can’t be. Surely, he must have something remarkable to say”
“Nothing” She faced her food.
“tell me” he propelled,
“I don’t have a driver”
She looked up and nodded. They finished their meal in silence. They walked back to the hospital in companionable silence
“How have you been, Gideon?”
“I have never felt better” He replied
“What have you been up to or should I say what have you been led to do since you abandoned me?” She said jokingly but he knew she was serious
“First off, I didn’t abandon you. I wrote and blog most of the time. We started work on the e-magazine and app. We are about launch in few weeks’ time,”
“Wow… I must say your hands have been full”
They arrived at the floor and met Granny awake. Omolabake rushed to her side, “Granny, you had me scared”
“It will take more than a little more than a stroke to get me home, Baby”
She talked slowly, noticing Gideon at the foot of the bed.
“If it isn’t the mighty of valour”
Gideon smiled “At your service, my lady”
“Oh! you flatter me” GrannyO tried to giggle.
* * * *
Morinsola called her mother to fill her in on the latest development. “Mum, he has been silent. I don’t know how much longer I can take it. We are like strangers in the house. Five days and not a word. He is now sleeping in another room. He is not even eating my food!”
“Give him a little more time, my dear.”
“Just make sure all is in order, keep serving his food. Esu oni ya yin o. You said I should not call him abi”
“Ah Mummy, please don’t” Morinsola sniffed
“Ko si wahala. Stop crying o, so ti gbo. At least now that the matter is in the open and you have done you part, we will wait for God to have his way, so gbo
“Ehen. Oya stop crying. Ehn if not I will come to Lagos tomorrow”
“Ah Mummy. I’m not crying.” She smiled
The call ended
* * * *
Gideon pulled the blanket down Granny O’s chest so she could take in some fresh air. He had alternated spending time with GrannyO so Omolabake could rest. The doctors had insisted she remain under observation
“What are you writing this time?” She asked
“Hum, he said a few thoughts on parenting.”
He did his typing from her bedside, mostly while she was asleep. But she complained if he stopped when she was awake. She insisted that she enjoyed the sound of his fingers tapping the keyboard.
“Oh nice, tell me more” Her speech was a little slower
“I think it’s a privilege to be parents.”
“That’s true” GrannyO smiled.
“Parenting patterns always affects the perception of children and several other ways we do not immediately see”
“I know of a man,” she said, “His wife and baby died at childbirth. Prior to that, they had a little girl.”
She pointed at the glass of water, he gave her some.
“Bless you. Unfortunately, the man brought her up to be like one of his assets. He trained her to be his business successor but she grew up never experiencing the love of her father. She never saw him as someone she could share her life with. he never gave her the chance. Every time she won a prize thinking he’d notice her, he’d point her in the direction of the next prize.” She shook her head
“You are talking about Omolabake, right?” He looked her
“Yes, my son. It was late when I moved in with them and realized the harm was done. You know, the formative years of a child are between baby to seven years old. This time is values, perception, moral and foundational concepts are formed. I stepped in rather late, she was soon sent to boarding school but the impact of her formative years was done.”
A tear slid down her eye “When she started looking for love… it was in the wrong places.”
A nurse came in. “Mama, it’s time for your rest”
She grumbled. “You never let me have fun”
Gideon and the nurse laughed.
“Sir, you’d have to leave now”
As he stood. He kissed Grandma`s forehead she took his hand as he left. He looked at her
“You, my son, are good for her”
“Mama, you flatter me”
“Do you remember the first conversation we ever had, mighty man?”
“I said, I knew you were coming because I had prayed for you to come, boy?”
Gideon was silent. He just looked at her.
“You are just alright, Gideon.”
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