Omowashe Omorishe#30

Uncle Segun



Watching the two most important women in my life walk in through the door was the best picture to behold.
One young and beautiful with the whole world ahead of her to take on while the other who has been by my side through thick and thin. I was on the thin verge of losing them both, but I was not going to give up. I was going to fight to get their affection back. To once again see the look of adoration in their eyes that spoke volumes of how important I was to them.

I mustered enough courage and faked a vibrancy I did not feel “Here come my girls!!!!”
I could sense Bimba seeking an escape as she fumbled in her bag until I heard her phone ring and she signalled to take the call which was a good excuse. However, without the call, she would have looked for another reason to get out of my presence.
Ever since she found out Lana was my biological daughter, she had moved out of our home but came to the office every day.
She had been civil and only discussed official matters.  I wanted to give her the time and space she needed but now I needed to woo her back, or I might lose her forever.

Turning to Lana. “You should be home by now. It’s past your 6 hours of work.”
“Oh please Uncle Segun,” she said rolling her eyes. “I am as healthy as a horse. I do not need all the convalescence moves you have been pulling for the past couple of weeks.”
“Where were you coming from?”
“From the ………
She started to say but stopped midway.
My curiosity was piqued as I raised my eyebrows “when did you start keeping secrets from me?”
She shrugged and threw a barb at me “it starts one day, doesn’t it? You did keep who you were from me all my life.”

“If I could turn the hands of the clock backwards. I will Lana. I will say sorry a thousand times if it makes you feel better, or make the pain go away. I tried so many times to tell you, but there just was never the ideal time.

The period you moved to boarding school. I feared you would not take the news well, then you finished and passed with all distinctions. I wanted to shout it out to you, but it sounded selfish when all the hard work had been put in by others not me. You got admission to the university, and it did not look ideal to tell you at that time when you were testing the waters of freedom away from home. What if you reacted wrongly and flipped to the other side in rebellion. So I held on and kept postponing the day I would tell you.

Lana, I am sorry.” I had not realised the tears were trickling down my face as I pleaded with my daughter to forgive me.
I held out my arms hoping against hope that she would come for a hug just like the old times.
I could have leapt for joy as she ran into my arms crying a nerve racking sobs all over my crisp white shirt but what did it matter. She had found a place to forgive me, and that was what mattered the most.


“Are you ready to see your birth mum?” I ventured to ask Lana.
I had taken it very slow with Lana not wanting to push her.  She had not shown any interest in meeting up with her birth mum, and I had given up hoping that she would have other opportunities.

“I guess yes,” she smiled amidst the tears that laced her eyes. “I am tired of fighting. What harm would there be to hear what she has to say and make peace with her? We can’t take back the years we have lost, but we can build on the ones before us.”

I was happy at the wisdom of her words and could not be more proud she was my daughter and the opportunity I had to invest in her upbringing. I had Agnes to thank. If she had not given up Lana from birth, I would never have been this blessed to be a part of the great woman she has become. It was this gratitude I had that propelled me to help to bridge the relationship between mother and daughter. “Lana you are one smart and intelligent woman who I am happy to have known.”
“You are always filled with praise. I should have known long ago there was something beyond the uncle – niece relationship,” she smiled her eyes twinkling. Wiping her eyes and smoothening her dress, she stood up. I got to go.
“Would you try and call her today?” I can give you her number.” I got out my phone and sent the contact to her.
“I will call her now. There is no need to wait. I have waited too long to mend this relationship.”
“Come here,” I commanded and engulfed her in a fierce hug as tears threatened to drop. “My sunshine,” I murmured.
“Hmm, Uncle Segun, whatever happened to Auntie Bimba?”
“That is my number one sunshine, and you are the second.”
“Not the first huh?” Lana feigned hurt.
“No not the first. You will get married and be someone else first let my wife be my first,” I teased.
It was no hidden secret that I would choose Lana any day above Bimba after all that’s what I had always done in the past, but it never bothered her. Knowing Lana was my daughter might change all that, but I hope she could see that she was the most important person to me next to my child.
“Then you had better go there and let her know,” she challenged me.
“Since you have taken a bold step to see your birth Mum. I should take a cue from you and go declare my undying love for your aunt contrary to the rumours peddled by family members.”
“You heard?”
“I heard every word of it, and it was preposterous. Agnes is your mother and what we had has become history. She remains a friend but nothing more. I cannot love another person than your aunt. I breathe and live for her even if she is mad at me now.I intend to fight for what we have and get her back.
“I got to run, thank you, uncle. You got unfinished business here,” Lana said looking behind me.
I turned and was more surprised to see Bimba in my office.

I strolled into Segun’s office to pick a document on a case we were working on when I heard his open declaration of affection for me. I know Segun has always loved me. There were no doubts about that fact but what I could not get around my head was his betrayal. How could he have kept such information from me all these years was my concern and how many more secrets has he kept from me?

Lana had a look I told you so with a twist of cheekiness to it as she hurriedly gave me a hug whispering, “Auntie let it go and let him love”, and glided out of the office.

Her words stunned me. The girl has grown wise over the years. Segun was not the only one who doted on her. I did not unashamedly. We both poured out our love for a child into Lana. I argued it was because she was the only niece who spent time at our place with many sleepovers and outings. Her parents were never afraid to send her over to our place unlike the rest of the family who was over protective of their children. Not that I blame them. Knowing the truth behind Lana’s parentage gave credence to the reason her parents were free to release her. After all, she was going to her father’s house.

Lana and I shared a bond fostered by her visits and time spent together talking and shopping.  None of my other nieces and nephews could have bolstered the courage to book a doctor’s appointment without my prior consent and drive me there. The thought put a smile on my face which I was not aware was plastered on my face until I heard Segun clear his throat the way he did when he was nervous.

I focused my eyes on him, and I got lost with love I saw in those eyes. I felt the butterflies in my stomach and laughed inwardly at my foolishness. Why this feeling of giddiness like a love-struck teenager? My hormones must be having a joke at my expense.

Shifting my gaze way towards the file on Segun’s table, I walked past him to retrieve the document.”I came for this,” I picked the file and made my way to squeeze through the closed up space to escape as he moved towards me.
“What do I need to do to make you forgive me?” he asked brokenly touching a cord in my heart. I was not going to do this. I was not ready for a reconciliation till I had figured out what I wanted for my baby.
“You’ll go back,” a voice said to my head. As I argued with the voices in my head. I don’t know about that. I’m not sure if I wanted to go back. I could remain civil with the father of my child but to work on broken trust was a hard bit for me.
“I would work at gaining back your trust,”  he said as if he could read my thoughts, his eyes darkening with a resolution I know he would fulfil
“I want to believe we can have what we had before. But I can’t work past the hurt lodged in my heart. There are days I honestly could pick a gun if given one and shoot you without remorse. There are other days I try to understand that you had a good reason but what I can’t comprehend is how you lied to me for twenty years with the reason for your lies within our reach. Every day you looked at her, and every time you made a big deal of the milestones in her life was an opportunity to tell me, but you did not and that I find it hard to forgive. You know why? Because you willfully and knowingly lied to me for all the years of our marriage.  Our home was fabricated on lies.What we had is over Segun.”

My heart broke, but I knew it was the best for us. May be somewhere in the future we might find a place to work our way back to what we once shared. I was too hurt to see a way out right now and being truthful to myself was what I owed myself, and the child I carried.

I saw the pain flash through his eyes so fleeting and quickly replaced with an expressionless face.
“Do you want a divorce?”
My no was so quick and vehement, and I did not realise it until I saw the smug look on his face as he closed the gap and kissed my lips ever so lightly that I was not sure if the kiss did happen except for the feelings it evoked. I could never consider a divorce I just needed the space from him till I was able to work out my hurt. But in my quick answer and his smug look, it was easy to see his conclusion that there was still hope.

Meena’s Dairy#5

Wake up


wordle-girlstoys I ran into the reception of Gurara hospital looking around for Hauwau, and there she was sitting calmly like she was not the one who had raised the alarm sending me scurrying off to the hospital like a frightened rat.

“Hey! What’s the problem, spill it out,” I commanded irritably.

“You need not be in a hurry.  Only brace yourself for what you are about to see.”

“What kind of suspense is this?” My heart was beating at 70, above the normal healthy heart rate per minute and my friend was all cool and dilly-dallying on the main issue

“Follow me,” she said gravely.
I was filled with trepidation as I walked behind her trying not to second guess what I was to behold.
Once we entered the room, I almost blacked out with shock as I saw Sa’a my dear friend lying lifeless on the bed.

My knees buckled as my mind screamed. She could not be dead. No, it was not possible.
I spoke to her over the weekend, and we had planned to go to the Garki city mall to watch a movie on Friday Night.
I gripped Hauwau and asked “What is this? Is she sleeping?” I wanted to believe Sa’a was sleeping.

“She was brought in here unconscious; her house help called me after raising the alarm and a kind neighbour brought her here last night.

Last night, and I was lying on my bed being cuddled by JK while my best friend was being snatched by the cold hands of death.
“What about Atiku?” I asked. “He should be here.”

Hauwau hissed and rolled her eyes. “Atiku is away in Dubai. He left yesterday night.”
She handed me a letter, and I took it from her. Something was terribly wrong, and I could feel it.

Atiku and Hauwa were two inseparable lovebirds. We were both in the same class in secondary and went on to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Their love had span teenage-hood to adulthood. Atiku was just a year older than Hauwau, but they had weathered the storm through thick and thin that threatened their love.

Their love story would make you never feel enamoured by Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet.
In her second year at the University, Sa’as father had gotten her a respectable husband. He was a dear friend of her father, a business mogul and she was to be his fourth wife. Sa’a fought tooth and nail with her father and faced almost being disowned but for the intervention of the Emir of the town who she ran to for help.

The intervention brought a twist to her destiny of being a fourth wife to marrying her teenage sweetheart in pomp and pageantry as the two families were Arewa socialites.
What I read in the note brought tears to my eyes.

Sa’a had contemplated suicide on discovering Atiku was having an affair with a girl ten years their junior and was planning to marry her. She was a daughter of a governor. I recognised the name when I saw it. We had one of the girls in our class in secondary school. I also remember she was a sworn enemy of Sa’a over Atiku. What one sister could not get the other has gotten it. Was it Sa’as destiny to be traumatised by this family?

I sat in the nearest available chair dejectedly.
“Is she going to make it?” I asked with an apprehension that had come to seat within my breast since I walked into the room.
The Doctors are doing all they can, but they can’t give us any assurance.

“Oh, Atiku! What have you done?” I whispered to myself.

“Is Atiku aware?”

“No, he is not. Like I told you he was off to Dubai. That I know because the house help said that much to me.”
I pulled my phone out to call him; he would most likely be roaming his number.
“What are you doing?” Hauwa asked making an effort to snatch my phone from my hand.

“Calling Atiku,” I answered what else did it look like I was doing. I fumed below my breath.

“You wouldn’t dare,” she threatened.

“Why?” I asked more baffled by the way Hauwau was handling the situation. Why so much anger and poison oozing out of her.

“You think he cares? The man is on the verge of taking another wife, and you are calling him?” she hissed.

“Taking another wife or not he would want to know about his wife near suicide attempt,” I argued stubbornly.
Hauwau laughed at my foolishness.

“You still think life is like all the – Mills and Boons you read in school. How many did you read? 100, 200 300, because I believe you have been brainwashed. What part of – there is no happily ever after in marriage are you finding it hard to believe?”
“My story,” I retorted upset with her and how callous she was being.
Tsk! Tsk!! Tsk!!! she smirked. “My dear Meena, wake up from dreamland before you find out that the carpet has been pulled from under your feet.
A groan from the bed where Sa’a lay got me rushing off to her side while Hauwau picked the phone to call the Nurses.

Meena’s Diary#4

wordle-girlstoys” Fire on the Mountain!” came Hauwau’s voice over my mobile phone.
“Meet me at Gurara Hospital,” she said with an urgency that was uncommon to her.

Hauwau has been my childhood friend, and she was one of the most laid back people I had ever come across.  Anything did not move her, and she moved nothing. She had it all together in her life and yes! I confess I was jealous. I was never tired of telling her. It was like she had the universe eating from her hand. Whatever she desired she got it cheaply and without stress.

“Is everything alright?” I asked already panicking.

” I can’t talk over the phone. Please show up quickly and leave all that your made up to perfection face at home too,” she hissed. She knew I would never leave the house without looking my best.
Whatever the problem was, it must be big. I was certain of that.

In addition to her life being on a platter of gold, Hauwau was also the worst of people to get a message across in crisis. She was either giving you her thoughts or the consequences of the issue but never the real problem at hand until you got to her.

So this is how I started my fifteen days vacation. It was not a holiday to go on any trip, but to get my home and heart in order. My life had become a roller coaster on speed off  600km per hour similar to Japan’s Maglev train without applying any break. Turning sharp bends and corners that I felt I had lost control. I did not know what day it was anymore. I was consistently missing out all the children’s school functions. Following up on their work has been so tedious that I am only able to check their home works and leave the rest to the lesson teacher.

I dropped the kids at school this morning while I attacked cleaning the house like it was the battlefield of Normandy.
It was in this state that Hauwau called me.  I slipped into a skinny black jeans, sky blue sequined kaftan and a navy blue veil around my shoulders, picked my Ferragamo bag and wore my sequinned slippers that matched the kaftan top.

A quick touch of lip gloss on my mouth, pursing my lips before the mirror as I applied it. Spraying a good deal of my Jimmy Choo illicit flower perfume while using my hands to comb out my human hair. I was contemplating working on my foundation when my phone rang again. It was Hauwau.

I dashed out of the house calling on Hannah, the house help to finish up the cleaning.

Omowashe Omorishe#28

Sworn to secrecy


I settled into my comfortable work life with the additional responsibility of checking on Auntie Bimba more regularly than I should and taking on the role of a PA, from fielding her calls and directing the ones I felt were important to her to arranging her meals

I had seen her throw up three times in one week. I asked her if she had seen her Doctor which she just brushed aside that she was not ready to use drugs hoping the bug will go away.

Auntie Bimba had started locking herself in her office, but I was not put off. Whenever I heard the noise of the flush of a toilet, I guessed she had thrown up again. I started to get worried building theories in my head that perhaps she was suffering from anorexia or bulimia – the eating disorder where you throw up immediately after eating.

I discreetly found out her family doctor and booked an appointment for her on Monday without her knowledge. I would give a fuss if I were the one but no one could change my mind when I am convinced to take action.
Monday morning saw me informing Auntie Bimba doggedly that we were going to Dr Johnson’s office for an appointment I had booked for her.

“Auntie Bimba, it’s either we go now, or I march off to Uncle Segun’s office to inform him,” I threatened.
My threat worked, and we were off to the hospital together.

Mayflower Hospital was a walking distance from the firm, but I offered to drive her there.  I went into the Doctor’s office with her. I still did not trust my Auntie to tell the Doctor what had been happening to her.

“I have never been sick in my life as far as I can remember,” blurted Auntie Bimba nervously.

“Calm down Mrs Adelakun. I can see you are doing well. You have no need to worry,”

“Mild headaches and pains that went without me having to use drugs. The feel of nausea will go, once what caused it in my system is flushed out generally,” Auntie Bimba continued as though she had not heard a word the Doctor said.
Doctor Johnson was a short man with piercing eyes behind glasses that rested above his nose. His angular shaped face had a welcoming look unlike the sharp lines around his mouth that eased up when he smiled.

The man did not have the typically calm, cool and collected look of a regular doctor or the kind that left you swooning with romantic thoughts of “the boy met the girl and lived happily ever after.”

Doctor Johnson had a charisma about him that exuded trust and trust was what we desperately needed now. Someone to genuinely tell us we had nothing to fear but a bug that will pass away and all the medical jargon with pills that will make you better.

The doctor asked questions bordering on if she had recently changed her diet, what new foods she had started taking, when last did she see her menstrual cycle? And dozens of other similar questions.

“I am hitting menopause Doctor; I really can’t remember but I suppose that should be menopause.”

“And who is this charming young lady we have here? Is she your daughter?” he asked referring to me.

“She is not my daughter she is my niece. Dr Johnson, have you forgotten Lana?” she asked.
Wasn’t he supposed to know me? He has been their family doctor for years. He should be aware of their family history. I thought to myself.

But with my birth mum surfacing from nowhere and me becoming Uncle Segun’s daughter, he was not far from the truth.

“You mean the little girl you brought in with a deep gash under her feet needing stitching twenty years ago and her screams were loud enough to pull down the walls of the hospital. How we struggled so hard to give her an injection with a dozen nurses trying their best to calm her down,” he reminisced letting out a chuckle.
“Some energy she had then for a girl of only six years,”

“One and only,” Auntie Bimba smiled at the memory.
I had no memory of what they were talking about, but I could relate with the gash under my left foot representing an ugly scar about half an inch long. I had stepped over a broken glass while on a visit to Uncle Segun’s place.

When I was younger, whenever Uncle Segun came to our house, I would cry to follow him back home, and most days, I had my way. The sleepovers diminished as I grew older, but the bond grew stronger

I was filled with nostalgia and wished I could be that innocent girl climbing into Uncle Segun’s lap at every opportunity. We talked about everything then from dreams to boys, fashion to marriage, and career to parenting.

Maybe Uncle Segun had been trying to tell me in different ways, who he was to me but I never got the message. He showed up for all Fathers’ day events at my school under the guise that my own Dad was busy and asked him to represent him. All my friends in University knew Uncle Segun because he was the one who came to visit me at school most of the time. It was either he was just in the area or my parents asked him to check on me to he wanted to be sure his best girl was doing okay.

It slowly dawned on me Uncle Segun had communicated in every way that I was the most important person to him, and not because I was his favourite niece as I was led to believe. It was because I was his child.
So lost was I in my thoughts that I did not hear the rest of the discussion between Doctor Johnson and my Aunt until she tapped me to get my attention.
“Doctor Johnson was commenting that you have grown into a promising young woman and how your parents must be proud of you,”

“Thank you, Doctor,” I smiled with nothing more to say.

“Now let’s look at you Mrs Adelakun,” boomed Dr Johnson.

“Bring it on Doctor. It is not some terminal disease, is it? ” asked Auntie Bimba visibly relaxed without the trepidation I sensed when we first came in.
Who would have thought a full grown woman to be afraid of the hospital, drugs and injection?

My Aunt’s blood and urine were taken for tests at the lab while we waited in the reception watching a Nollywood movie. The type where the mother – in-law had come to make her daughter-in-laws life miserable.
“Pray, you have a lovely mother-in-law like mine. I find these stories strange because I have not experienced any of that. While your grandma was alive, she was my best friend. I could not have wished for a better mother-in-law, but there are crazy ones out there”, she said with her lips pursed in dismay.
“I would stay out of her way if I were the lady,” I said pointing to the actress on the TV. She should avoid the woman like the plague and stop fighting her husband over his mother. Does she not know she is wedging a wall in her relationship with her husband?”
We should never wish…
Her words were cut short with the lab attendant calling her name for the result
I glanced at my watch. We had spent over three-quarter of an hour waiting.
“You are perfectly fine. Your blood count is superb, and there is no malaria.”
Auntie Bimba beamed at me with an “I told you I am okay look.”
“However, you would need to rest more and not exert yourself. Congratulations you are eight weeks pregnant!”
I could not contain my joy as I leapt from my seat and did a jig of joy.
After all these years my Aunt was finally pregnant with her first child.
She sat stunned and speechless.
Dr Johnson was laughing.
“You are pregnant!” he repeated.

I did not have the words to describe the joy I felt at the realisation of the miracle in our lives.

We left the hospital after picking up the necessary vitamins from the pharmacy. Auntie Bimba was still in a daze and more quiet.

Uncle Segun will be over the moon with this news; I commented as brought out my phone to call him.
“Don’t call him, Lana,  I need to tell him myself, but more importantly I need to figure out what I want to do. Things have changed for us, and I can’t spring a pregnancy on him. Please promise me you would be quiet about this. It is a secret till I am ready to tell or it sells me out.
“You can’t hide a pregnancy can you?”  She chuckled. The closest to a laugh since we found out she was pregnant.

I could not get it around my head how I was going to keep this piece of news to myself.
“Lana, please do not tell anyone about this,” she pleaded.
I hate what she wanted me to do, but I had to give in. It was not my place to break such news. It was for her to tell who she wanted and if she wanted to keep the news to herself, she had a limited time to hide, at most four more months and the secret is out for the whole world.

But what is it with secrets and my family?

Omowashe Omorishe#27

To be or not to be

Leave of absence!  What would I be doing? The last couple of weeks I had almost died from boredom. What  would happen now? I might become boredom personified. My parents have put their feet down that I must take the much-needed rest to recover before going back to work. Their argument being that the stress from work could induce a relapse.

second-chanceUncle Segun offered to pay my salary for that period if that was why I wanted to go back to work, or I could resume a role in his law firm working two hours a day.
My reasons fell on deaf ears, and I ended up abiding by my family’s wishes. What does it take for a family to stop meddling in ones’ affairs? Why is it so difficult for them to realise I am no longer a child but an adult capable of taking care of myself?

I agreed to work at Uncle’s Segun’s Law firm but insisted on four hours a day which I was obliged.

Adelakun & Adelakun Partners was an ideal law firm with about ten staff – six Lawyers, an administrative officer and office assistant. My coming on board was of no relevance to the company or so I thought. However, getting into the organisation, I could see a lot needed to be done to reorganise the office. And the myriad of paper and documents stashed in one corner of the entrance required emergency attention.

I was ecstatic to see Auntie Bimba in the office on resumption. The last I heard, she still had not returned home. Seeing her in the firm she co-owned with Uncle Segun was a good sign to me.

“Hello Auntie,” I greeted courtesying in the traditional way.

“Hi Lana, it is great to see you looking so well. One can hardly believe you were the one I came visiting looking so emaciated some few weeks back. Your eyes sparkle,” commented Auntie Bimba.
I glowed at her words. I knew I looked better than the first week I came out of the hospital but not as good as the picture Auntie Bimba painted.

“Thank you, auntie. And how are you doing?” I asked with more concern than I could hide.

“I am hanging in there, my dear,” she sighed.

“It is a lot to take in. But I see you have adjusted well,” said Auntie Bimba. It was more of a comment than the sarcastic feel of the words.

“Oops!, that sounded mean. I did not mean it that way,” apologised Auntie Bimba.

“I know auntie. You have a heart of gold. I am proud of the way you are handling it, and I know things will sort itself out,” I offered my unsolicited words of encouragement boldly.
Auntie Bimba smiled, and my heart broke at how sad she looked.
“I hope so,” she answered.

“It was disheartening to see she had lost the spunk she had for life.
Why was she walking away and not putting up a fight for her home?

“I hope you don’t find this place boring. I hear you are off work till you get much better.But the Lana I know it must have taken a whole lot to get you to give into this idea.”

“Your husband has his ways,” I said laughing as I stepped out of her office.

Questions were being asked by family members if Uncle Segun would be getting back with my birth mum.
I hoped not. How could Uncle Segun throw the years of history with Auntie Bimba to follow someone who left him in the cold with a child and now wants the whole family package back?
I know he has been meeting with my birth mum and the rumours going around by family members was that if Auntie Bimba insists on staying out. Uncle Segun was justified to bring her back after all the family was complete with, mother-child and father even if the cords that bound us together was brittle.
I was barely out when I heard the scrape of her chair on the ground, and suddenly I could hear the noise from feet rushing.
I turned back into her office and saw her kneeling on the floor of the opened toilet throwing up.

“Auntie, do you need help?” I asked worriedly.

“I’ll be okay. I must have taken something that upset my stomach.”

She washed her face and cleaned up and sat on the guest sofa.

“I will be fine, don’t worry about me. See the look of on your face,” teased Auntie Bimba.

“How did you cope in the hospital if you can’t bear to see anyone in pain?” she asked.
I smiled and quietly left the room after making sure, she was okay and had dozed off on the seat.

Was Auntie Bimba, taking the issue between her and Uncle Segun more than she was letting on. I needed to keep an eye on her and let Uncle Segun know if there was anything.


“You would need to have a meeting with her. Hear her out and talk things over with her. I do not think she is asking to come into our lives. She is just asking to make peace with her child,” said Uncle Segun trying to convince me.

“You think so?” I asked.

I did not want to have that meeting. I do not know if it was out of fear of finding out that I never meant anything to my birth mum. Perhaps she was here because her conscience won’t let her live with it. It was not that she loved me.

For two whole weeks, Uncle Segun kept barging me with the question of if I was ready. I could not understand the urgency of his persuasion, but I stubbornly refused to give in. He could barge me into taking six weeks leave of absence from work without pay, start work in his law firm, but he could not get me to have a meeting with my birth mother when I was not ready.

“When do you think, you’ll be ready?” Andrew asked as we talked over the phone which had become our daily routine. We talked every day over the phone and met up during weekends when none of us was busy.

“I don’t know. I don’t think I would ever be ready. I just want to have my life the way it has always been. I don’t want the confusion of my birth mum and my adopted mum or whatever. She gave me away years ago, and I want it to remain that way. She does not owe me any explanation. Period,” I argued and upset we were having this conversation.

“Do you feel anything for her?” Andrew prodded.

“No,” I answered.

“Then why are you upset with her?”

“I am not!” I raised my voice over reacting.

“You would need to make the decision on your own. One that you would not regret some years down the line. If I were to give you a candid advice, I’d suggest you hear what your birth mum has to say and make peace.

“Make what peace?” I lashed out.

“Make peace to someone who until some few weeks back I did not know existed? Make peace with a stranger who is called my mother because she gave birth to me? Make peace to a woman who was not woman enough to sacrifice for her child?
She is but a stranger to me. I owe her nothing. I had made my peace even before she came along. She should make her peace with her maker, not me. She owes me nothing.
The silence as a result of my outburst was deafening.
I was heaving and breathing over the phone, as I held onto it tightly.
I could hear Andrew’s breath on the other side of the phone but he said nothing.
We must have held on for more than fifteen minutes, and I broke the silence.

“Okay, I’ll try and hear her out,” I said grudgingly.

“It will all work out,” he said confidently over the phone.

“You don’t owe her anything, but you owe yourself to hear her out and make your decision.”

I knew Andrew was telling the truth, so I half-promised to hear her out in my own time but not right now.

omowashe omorishe#24



familyI woke up in a strange but luxurious room. The bed was heavenly. I must be in a dream I concluded.However,  the events of yesterday came flashing through my mind and how I got here.

Andrew had offered me his place, and with no other favourable option, I took the offer. He lived with his parents in a twin duplex. His parents were on the other wing.

Staying over at a guy’s place was not my thing but nothing of my life in the last 24 hours has been my thing. I left the lounge at 2.00am in the morning in Andrew’s car while Bode sorted how to get his car back home.

It was silly the way Bode was practically handing me over to Andrew when I  insisted I was not going home or to his mother’s  place either.

Stretching on the bed like a lazy cat, I reluctantly checked my watch, it was 11.00 am. Aahh! I groaned as I dragged myself out of bed. What a terrible guest, I must be, sleeping the whole morning without any regard for my host.
I took in the environment and the display of wealth in the house. We all knew our boss came from a wealthy home, but this was more than we had imagined.

I got out of bed and tried to find my way downstairs to the living room without getting lost in the massive house. I felt in love with the whole place. I must have been blind not to have noticed this last night.

The coffee brown and teal living room lightly decorated with fabulous pieces intricately used together to give a warm and cosy space. The teal geometric wallpaper used as a focal point and the triple wire mesh ball like chandelier dropping down in the space asymmetrically without the light on was the look that finished off the exquisite décor.

I  drank in the beauty of the area like one thirsty for wonder, enjoying the calmness I felt by just being there. Whoever said that the interior design of a house did not matter been proven wrong. The elegance of the place had a soothing balm to my nerves.

My eyes rested on a large picture behind the coffee brown leather sofa. It was Andrew smiling into the camera with another beautiful lady who could put Miss world to shame with her looks. She was fair skinned and looked half-caste, with big cute eyes lined in black kohl pencil, an aristocratic nose, every girl dreamed off and beautiful thin lips in bright red lipstick. Her hair was in long big braids falling over her shoulders.
They did look the perfect couple, and I was happy he had finally found someone. It seemed a lifetime ago we had a discussion on his dating status. How did he miss sharing this bit with me? I frowned wondering where he was so I could accuse him.

I wandered to the dining. There was a large note on the table
“Off to church. Did not want to wake you. Please help yourself with breakfast. I would be back soon.”

My stomach growled with hunger. When was the last time I had a meal? That must have been breakfast yesterday.

I got into the kitchen, which was the same colour as the living room, coffee brown wood for the furniture and touches of teal used in accessories around and cream walls like every other wall in the whole house was in Cornsilk, a variation of cream. Whoever had done the decor of this place had a rich taste. It was both welcoming and captivating. Your eyes moved around harmoniously, not jumping from one item to the other. It was a space you wanted to come to every day. The colour combination was one I had envisioned in my mind to try when I eventually got my place. To see the colour used here was like Deja Vu.

I put the kettle on to boil while I made toast, everything you needed for a simple breakfast had been laid out. I managed a small smile. Who would think that Andrew was one of those domesticated guys? But then, I should not credit him alone, the girl in the picture would have helped out. Wasn’t that obvious I reminded myself.

Not everyone was like me. I rarely visited Bode at his home. But that could be because he shuttled between two homes. His and his mother’s. And when I did go to his place, I never bothered to change anything to establish my presence there. I believed when we did marry. I would have all the time to do his home to my heart content, but a fiancée was no wife, and I was going to enjoy that role while it lasted.
If only I knew the tragedy waiting around the corner for me.

The thought shot a pain through my heart. I should not be visiting the land of misery today. I had to pull myself together and start thinking how to get out of this hole of pain. I had to move forward, settle with my parents, my birth parents and start thinking what I wanted to do with my life. Marriage was out for me. I could not go through this pain again.

I wish I had been true to myself. Karma must be catching up with me.
Had I not shied away from any relationship until I met Bode. Did I not push him away to focus on my career but my heart was not strong enough to follow my head. My life was beautiful with Bode. He completed me in every way. With Bode, I felt so alive that there was never a dull moment. He loved me, and there was no doubt about it. He knew every button to press to make me smile, laugh and not take life too seriously. I could loosen up and be myself without fear of criticism or failure. Bode never felt threatened by my success, and rather he urged me on to push to the highest limit. He was successful in what he did and wanted it for everyone around him.

I wiped the lone tear from my eyes. I did not think I had any more tears to shed. The ache in my heart was killing me.

There was also the issue of Uncle Segun. I wanted him to pay for being the cause of my pain. If only they had been truthful about my heritage. I would have known Bode was my cousin and what existed between us would never have happened.
What do I do about my birth Mother? I was not ready to see her. We had nothing in common. If she could give me up for whatever reason, she did not deserve my time or attention now. She did not love me enough to keep me. Why would she love me now?
Love. Was I ever loved? My parents did. They took me in when they did not have to. I thought Uncle Segun did at a time, but this new revelation threatened everything I knew about my family and myself.
I was nobody! The stark realisation hit me like a cannon ball. I held myself as I sat on the floor of the kitchen and cried. I was nobody! My mother rejected me from birth. She saw nothing desirable in me to make her keep me.

Andrew Akande

I met Lana balled on the floor in my kitchen when I came back from church. Initially, I was afraid she might have passed out. I called out her name in panic. She stirred and opened her eyes.
Looking at her surroundings, she looked up at me aghast.

“I am so sorry, I must have slept off,” said Lana as she struggled up to stand up only to crumble into a heap.

I  called my mother quickly who was a doctor to come over.
My mum set to work immediately she came but not without a look of disapproval.

“Call for an ambulance from the hospital and her family to meet us at the hospital,” she commanded.

“What happened to her?” my mum inquired feeling her pulse.

“She is going through a rough time,” I answered without going into details.

The ambulance came in record time and took Lana to the hospital.

I called her parents on my way to the hospital so they could meet us there.

At the hospital, I was in the reception waiting for any information when her parents rushed in followed by Uncle Segun. I smiled as the word a “father’s heart” came to mind.

“How is she?”  he asked apprehensively.

“The doctors have not brought any report yet,” I answered.

“She is taking it harder than we thought,” her father said while her mother took a seat exhausted.

“We can’t have come this far to lose her. She needs to gather herself together. People have gone through worse in life, and they came out triumphantly. She has to do the same,” her father continued.

“We thought Lana was a fighter. She is not one to give up easily on projects because of their level of difficulty. She went headlong until she accomplished the task. Why is this different?” chipped in Lana’s mother.

“They were projects, ma, and she had a strong support system in you, her family. She knew she could do anything because she had your love and affection. But now in her thinking, she has lost all that and so there is no will to fight,” I offered an explanation from my perspective.

“She still has our love and affection,” argued her father.

“She does not know that in her mind. You all have to show her that.”

Turning to Uncle Segun. I felt compelled to brief him since I had picked Lana from the lounge on his request.
“We have not spoken yet. Lana narrowly missed being killed in a crumbled building yesterday at midnight where I picked her up after you called me. She was okay when we got home.

This morning, I met her on the floor. l She passed out when she tried to stand up. We pray she would be okay.

“She would be fine. She has to be,” said Uncle Segun more to convince himself.

We all scrambled up as the doctor came, It was not my mother.

“We have sedated her to rest. She should be better and ready to leave when she wakes up. She was dehydrated but is on a drip.

I could see the relief wash over her parents and uncle and could only imagine what they were going through. The hospital scare was the second for Lana in a year.

One good thing that came out of this would be her going back to her family.

“Thank you, Andrew, for all your help. We would not want to keep you,” said Uncle Segun.

A nurse came out that Lana was asking for me.
I looked at her parents, unsure if I should go. I was not family.

“Go in quickly, we have to abide by her wishes,” said her mother.

Lana looked tired all over.

“You look like someone a train has just hit,” I teased.

“I feel far worse,” she said weakly.

“Try not to talk,” I said.

“Are my parents out there?” she asked suspiciously.

“Of course Lana, they are and Uncle Segun. They care about you so much.”

“My parents and uncle have a funny way of showing it. If only you knew,” she said.

“Family will always be family. No family is perfect. We make mistakes but do not allow those mistakes to define the relationship. Your uncle and parent might have hurt you but they love you deeply, and it was out of love for you, they did what they did although, you feel they could have done better,” I said hoping my words will reach out to her.

“ But it hurts. It hurt so badly. I lose a fiancé, and my family hides my true identity.”

“It is okay to hurt Lana, allow yourself to hurt and start healing.
What you feel is normal and now out of place but if you decide to stay in a rut and enable the hurt to eat at you. You will be destroying yourself. Talk to them. Tell them how you feel and give them the space to tell you why they did it.
I cannot convince you that the pain will go away immediately, but if you allow yourself, healing will come gradually.
Would you promise to give yourself that chance?”

I started into her eyes willing her to be strengthened and opened for healing.
“With that look, do I have a choice?” You could be on your knees begging,” she said with a sad smile and quickly looked away but not before I saw a tear drop on her cheek.
I squeezed her hand.
“You have a friend whenever you need one. And this friend says you’ll be fine.”
“To think I thought the worst of you. I am ashamed,” Lana said with a voice filled with regret.
“Shhhh leave the past where it belongs and look ahead to a bright future of hope and beauty,” I said as I put my index finger to her lips.

omowashe omorishe#20




Patience came into the room and beckoned to Deola. There was hush hushes around me that I became suspicious.

“Are you planning a coup d’etat on me,” I teased.
You’ll have to all try harder I joked further.
Soon the girls were staring at me weirdly.

“Spill it out,” I commanded snapping my fingers like a royal does to her subjects.
“You might want to sit down,” Halima advised soberly. I would give a penny to see her this demure, but they all appeared to have a serious issue on their minds.

“I think you should call Bode,” Patience suggested.

“Why should I? he is out there and any minute from now I would be called”, I answered still wondering what joke the girls had up their sleeve.

“Lana, this is serious. We are not kidding,” said Deola with a strain in her voice as she knelt beside me taking my hands in hers.

“Bode and his family have left,” announced Patience.

“How do you mean? What do you mean left?” I asked perplexed.
I wrung my hands from her as I stood up to find my parents.
The girls blocked the door hindering me from going out.
I fumbled with my phone to call Bode as my hands shook with fear and confusion.
His call came through just before she made the call.

“Are you okay?” was the first thing he asked over the phone.
Hearing his voiced washed away part of the apprehension.

“Yes I am but what happened with my family?”

“I don’t know, but your uncle mentioned my aunt could explain.”

“Your aunt?” I asked more confused as to what she had to do with us.

“My mother’s twin sister arrived from the UK today and got dragged to the event. Your uncle might have known her before or someone related to them but whatever it was, did not sound good.
Your Dad was also disturbed when he whispered something to him.
We have tried to ask my aunt questions, but she says in her opinion, that there is no reason for the disruption of the introduction,” he briefed her.

“Damn!” I  heard him swear. It was unlike Bode.
“I am going to see my parents right away.

“Can I pick you in about two hours?” he asked.
I could not but smile, trust Bode to be thinking of me in the worst of situations.
My heart melted. A gesture like this one, and many other were the reasons I loved the guy and death alone could separate us.

There must be some explanation to the fiasco that happened to send Bode and his people without the favourable response they expected.
I marched out like a warrior on a mission to my parents and ran into my mum.
“I was just coming to get you.We need to talk,” my mother said tiredly.

“Yeah, I answered drily. I have no idea what drama happened out there but I want it resolved quickly.
“You know what Bode and I have gone through in the past. We don’t need any family meddling. You said it yourself that he was the best guy for me,” I argued with my mum.
She flinched at my words like I had slapped her in the face. In a way, I was happy because I could tell that come what may she would be by my side.
“My dear, there are some things we never plan for that happens, and we need to be strong when they come. What we see is not always what it seems to be,” advised.

“I patted her arm with the assurance of Queen Amina of Zazzau’s victory at all her battles. There is not “seem to be” with Bode and I. ours is what there is, you get to see, assured her confidently.

“Let’s go and see Dad and sort this my Nollywood scene one out,” I said.

If only I had an inkling of the crack in my perfect life I was to encounter in a few minutes, perhaps I would not have joked so hard or taken it calmly. Bode and I would have gone far away from civilisation to live strengthened by your love for each other.

I arrived the living room with Uncle Segun and My Dad seated. My father had his lips pursed in the usual way when he had something serious he wanted to say.
“I t had better be worth every pinch of salt,” I was furious with him.

“Lana, sit my uncle patted the seat beside him for me to sit which I declined to express how upset I was.

I refused to be patronised by them. How could my family have spoiled such an important day to me without finding an effectively way of resolving the issue amicably? They had to send Bode and his family away disgracefully.

“There is something you need to know. We have kept this truth from you for a long time hoping for the favourable time to tell you,”  said my Uncle Segun. What was curious to me was why he was the spokesman in this matter.

“And today is the favourable day?” I asked with disdain.

“Lana, you would not talk to your Uncle that way. We brought you up better than that,”My mother reprimanded me.
I shrugged too upset to care.
How could they sit there so righteous about what they had done?
“I do not know how to start,” said Uncle Segun.

“Start from anywhere but I need a good reason for what happened and a solution too,” I retorted angrily.

I knew my mum was looking at me, rebuking me with her eyes since her words had failed to caution me but I refused to look at her.
I was ready for a fight with my elders. Although, the saying goes that you do not fight with your seniors and win.
My Dad stood up and left us only to come back with a brown envelope that looked old. It was sealed.

“Open it,” he commanded.

I tore to envelope open, and it was a birth certificate from the United Kingdom
“What is this Dad?” I asked looking at him all the while wondering the correlation between the trouble we had and the certificate he gave me.
“Read it,” he instructed.
I read it.
The birth certificate belonged to Olulana Oluwatooni, same name, same birthday as me but with Uncle Segun and another name as parents.

“What happened to her?” I asked referring to the child.
Uncle Segun had a child born the same day as me with another woman and not Auntie Bimba, there was real trouble for him when she found out, but why give me the birth certificate?

Nothing prepared me for the bombshell my Uncle Segun dropped next.
“You are my daughter!”

“Common Uncle Segun, this is not the time or place for your jokes. We have something serious here. My introduction has been stopped by some story you are yet to tell me.I will come to this later but can we talk what happened here today,” I asked.

How was I to believe this cock and bull story of being Uncle Segun’s daughter? Some jokes died even before being shared, and this was one of them.

“What happened Dad?” I asked taking a look at him, my mother and then Uncle Segun.
“The woman that came with Bode’s family, his mum’s twin is the name of the woman on your certificate. She ‘s your mother and then makes you and Bode first cousins,” my Dad answered in that straightforward and short way parents offered an explanation and expected you to understand even an altering life information as this.

I sat stunned, taking in the information.
What was happening was not real. I must be in a bad dream.
I took a look at my parents, or not parents and uncle but not my uncle.
“It’s not true?” I whispered more a question than a statement, yet everything within me told me it was the truth.

I could not believe it, but it was true.
I looked at the paper again as the tears threatening to fall blurred my vision.
Who was I?
I was not who I thought I was.
How do these things happen? I searched my memory if I had encountered such story before in fiction or a movie but none. There was no story to relate with but my imagination.
I felt hot and cold at the same time as the doctor’s orders flashed my mind not to exert myself overly. Damn! I swore. Did I just swear? What does it matter?

You find out in one day. Your fiancé is your first cousin. Your sister all your twenty-six years of life is not your sister, your parents are not your parents and your Uncle is now your father with a mother you never knew.
Your whole life has been a joke, and nothing had been real.
I felt ripples of several emotions; hurt, betrayal, and anger.

“Why? Why now? Why was I never told this? Why was I lied to all my life?” I shouted hysterically.
My supposed parents and uncle looked with discomfort but said nothing.
They were wise not to as it would only have aggravated an already bad situation and I would have said things not worth repeating.
I was close to hating. I hated them for this.

The room became too stuffy for me. I wanted to get out. I wanted to leave the presence of these strangers I had known all my lives.
With the birth certificate in my hand, I took a last look at them and walked out of the room, out of the house and out of their lives forever.

I was unable to see Lana.  We left Lana”s place, not without my uncle promising that we would look into the matter and be back with our proposal.
He was confident that whatever the issue is will be resolved and was not upset about the refusal of our proposal.

No sooner had we entered the house did my uncle rebuke my mum.

“Did I not tell you not to allow her to go with us,” he referred to my aunt like she had no name.

“Egbon, it would have still happened even if Kehinde was not there.” said my mum.

She was right because they were identical, you could hardly tell the difference between them.
“It would not because you did not know that family and had not seen them until today,” he argued.

My aunt stood there the whole time. Then she quietly asked to be excused that she was tired and needed to rest.
Tired I asked in my head. My whole life was crumbling, and you hold the key, and there you are saying you were tired.

“You can go and rest. I am so sorry for troubling you today,”  my mum apologised.

“ Kehinde,  You can’t go and rest yet. You need to tell us what that man meant. I could see you knew each other. Since you refused to talk there to allay their fears about our family, the little you can do now is tell us.
I punched my uncle in the back in comradeship. Mind you this was all in my head. How dare you do that to an elder in Africa, your mother’s elder brother? It was not only disrespectful. You could incur a curse on your life. The man hit the nail on the head. He was as eager to get over with the situation as I was.

“Egbon, this could wait till later, let her rest. I should not have insisted she came knowing she had just arrived from a long journey,” my mum pleaded with Baba Bisola.

“No, it cannot wait, you do not go to bed when you have an issue to resolve because sleep will be futile. I am also surprised at how calm you are about the issue. You would have told me earlier that you were not keen on your soon getting married,” queried Baba Bisola.

“Oti o! , meaning No in Yoruba. What kind of mother would I be?” I am only practical, night has come, and whatever we find out, we still need to discuss with the family and fix another introduction date. You have no idea how grateful I  am not to have made the event an elaborate one. The shame would have killed me,”

“Now you are talking,” he nodded in agreement.

“That is why I want it resolved. Whatever story Kehinde has might give us a clue.” he reasoned.

“Kehinde, you don’t have to provide us with a long story just a summary what we need to know to solve the problem before us,” my mum said.

I sat there and watched as the words flew over my head. I had tried Lana, severally but her phone was switched off.

My ears piqued when I heard my aunt say,” I will tell the story, but it has no link to stop Bode and their daughter.”

“Let me be the judge of that,” said Baba Bisola impatiently.

I met Segun in the United Kingdom while in medical school, he was a law student. We fell in love. He was a perfect gentleman all the way. Pushing me to study hard and maintain my excellent grades. I was the best student in my class. My life could not have been more perfect, great school, wonderful friends, good grades and the perfect boyfriend. Segun back in the day was a good looking guy.  So handsome that he had ladies eating out of his hands, but he treated them all with respect.

I was aloof at first where he was concerned. I was not fooled by his charms or so I thought. But love has no design or pattern. It happens beyond our well calculated strong will. The heart will respond and sometimes the battle of our will could be lost before we even realised what hit us.

I was introduced to Segun by a mutual friend at her birthday party. He was funny, witty and humble. He had none of the airs I had perceived from afar. I watched how he related to the others, and you could see he genuinely cared about people. We struck a friendship and became the best of friends. He had many female friends, but that did not bother me until one day, he came excitedly to my room asking for advice, he had found a girl he wanted to date. He wanted my help.

I was stunned, but I could not explain the pain I felt in my heart. For a brief second, I felt that girl should have been me. But I pushed that thought away and asked him about the girl. I would perform my duty as a friend who wanted the best for him.
The mystery girl was one lucky girl, as we planned together. Segun would ask questions, and I would answer him using the thought process of an average girl.
The big day came. He asked if I wanted to go with him. Of course, I shooed him off.

“My work ends here buddy. The rest is yours. Let me know how it goes when you have time off,” I said.

“Is someone jealous here?” he teased.

“Not in your life,” I lied as I pushed him out of the door playfully but quickly, my heart was breaking into pieces.

I fell on my bed and cried my heart out. I had lost my friend forever.
Two hours later, my room bell rang. I was not expecting any one. Segun must be busy executing our plans on his new girlfriend.
I ignored the call. I must be looking a mess, but the persistent ringing got me out of bed, it could be one my girlfriends. I was not ready for company, but it wouldn’t hurt to have someone take my mind off the pain that threatened to consume me. I had heard of heart breaks but now understood the pain. It was worse than a physical wound which could be treated and heal in no time. The ache was intense, and I had no clue how I would survive it.
I opened the door and was aghast so see Segun.

“What are you doing here? Are you not meant to be at her place?” I asked surprised he was at my door.
He ignored my question and asked me what happened that I had been crying.
My red swollen eyes must have given me away.

“Nothing, I can’t handle,” I answered with an excitement that was far from what I was feeling inside my heart.
There was no point lying.

“Enough about me.What happened to your date?” I asked trying to change the subject.

“I want to know why you were crying. I left you two hours ago, and you were perfectly okay,”  pestered Segun. He apparently did not believe me.
No way was I going to bear my heart before him.
It was my secret. Time will heal me.

“Come,” he commanded me, and my wayward heart betrayed me as my legs walked towards him.

“Doctor, you can’t diagnose your ailment,” he shook his head with disappointments.

“There is no medicine or antidote for some illness,” I replied.
He was too close for comfort.
Let me try was what I heard as his lips came softly on mine.
The kiss was sweet. I angled myself towards Segun wanting to get more of him as my hungry heart yearned. I would keep this memory tucked away as a souvenir of what we never had and be contented to have shared this moment with him.

Baba Bisola cleared his throat. I am not here to listen to romantic stories. “Tell me what I need to know regarding the situation at hand.”

“I am getting there,” my aunt said unruffled.

And she continued.

I quickly pulled myself away.
What was I doing? I asked myself
“We should not be doing this,” I whispered even when my heart was screaming otherwise.
He used his finger to lift my chin and looked into my eyes. Segun was much taller than my 5 feet 2 inches.
“What do you see?” he asked hoarsely his voice filled with emotions I could not decipher.
“Your eyes,” I replied lamely and looked away.
He looked so disappointed that my heart was beating with hope. Why was he playing tricks on me when he should be doing this to his mystery girlfriend? My head reasoned.

“I love you, Agnes. I loved you the first day I saw you in the school’s cafeteria and our chance meeting at Gigi’s birthday was a dream come true. I always have and will always love you.
I was crying more and harder now. Dreams do come true. Don’t they?

“What happened to your mystery girlfriend?” I asked curious to know.

“It was you all the while,” he replied.

I smiled deliriously with happiness.
Segun was mine, and I was his.

We dated for two years. Segun finished his law course and needed to come to Nigeria for the law school and national youth service and after that, return to the UK. He lived with his elder brother then. The parents of the girl we went to see. I still had three years of med school.
The night before he left, with so many emotions of our impending situation, one thing led to another as we gave into our passion resulting in the birth of a child nine months later.

We exchanged letters all through that period. I never told Segun I was pregnant. I was ashamed, I could not call home, I could not tell you, she said looking at my mother, afraid he might break up with me. I was scared I would be thrown out of med school.

I hid the pregnancy, luckily I succeeded.  Two weeks to my expected date of delivery, I went to Segun’s brother and explained that I did not want to ruin his life and snag him into marrying me, but I could not keep the child, and I wanted to put the baby up for adoption. All this while I still did not inform Segun I was pregnant.
His brother was calm when I told him. He asked me to give him a week. He needed to discuss with his wife.
They called me earlier precisely three days later. They will take the child from me. They already had a daughter. They were not adopting but will care for the child till when Segun came back, and we were able to make our decision.

I had the baby and gave her to them immediately. I applied for a  transfer to another med school to finish my studies and moved on. I did not keep contacts with my friends and just disappeared. I wrote to Segun that I had found someone else, and we could no longer date.
It was the hardest thing I had to do, but I wanted this part of my life over. I wished I had done things differently, but it was still not a guarantee that Segun and I would have been together.

I never got any letter from him as I left no forwarding address and mentioned I had left. I requested the records department not give my new information to anyone.
Looking back, I made a wrong decision and had my regrets.However,
I am here now to look for my daughter and ask for her forgiveness.

I listened to my aunt’s story with rapt attention. Lana and I almost made that same mistake with Lana feeling she needed to focus on her career, making her decision on our lives without consulting me. But we were past that now.

My mum let out a sigh as she wiped her tears.
“Such a sad story and you went through this alone. Why did you not share this with me?” my mum asked her sister.
“You had your hands full, marriage, a toddler. Your life had no space to accommodate all the drama mine had. I was not proud of myself either. Going to med school and getting pregnant,” replied my aunt.

Baba Bisola to my surprise failed to give his opinion on the matter.
“Mama Bode, let me know when you have sorted it out with the family and when next we have to come.I have had enough happening for a day. A prodigal sister comes back to look for a child she abandoned whose father happens to be the Uncle of Bode’s fiancée. What is this world turning into these days,” he muttered.

“I am sorry, I never tried to communicate in time past. I was ashamed that I had failed the family. Our society frowns at having a child out of wedlock and is very unforgiving. Had I kept the baby and came back my life would be unbearable first from my family and community. I know I have no excuse. Egbon, I am sorry,” pleaded my aunt as she went on her knees in the traditional way joined by my mother.

“ It’s okay, like your sister said, we do not throw the baby and the water away. I wish you the best now that you are back. I hope you get your daughter back although it is almost too late now.