Author: Chioma Anyagafu
Posted to the web: 10/2/2005 8:38:56 PM
A young man sent a mail to my box to share his embarrassing moments with Relationships. His, was a different kind of embarrassment because his problem began the very day he was conceived. It was a reality he has to face but a reality that is costing him his peace of mind, his joy, his focus and his marriage. Well, this youngman does not know his father and his mother either does not know or she is being economical with the truth. A member of the security forces allegedly raped his mother and the outcome was his conception. And now, neither his mother nor his wife wants him. In this edition, there are also the stories of Iyke whose father was a priest and Smith whose son refused to be aborted. My wife left because I could not take her home; Samson, 41 I read some of the issues raised in the last edition of your column, Relationships. If you ask me, those issues are nothing compared to the story I am going to tell you. My mother had me before she got married and that made me a bastard. I was raised by my grandmother who took care of me until I became a man. Sadly, she died a few years ago. I was living with my grandmother when my mother eventually got married. All the while I lived with my grandmother, my mother had always been stand-offish on issues that pertained to me. She never treated me as a son and I was forced to be calling her aunty. Somehow, I always felt as if I was a punishment on my mother but my grandmother later explained my predicament to me. I was born outside marriage and my father had not come to claim me. The picture became clearer as I grew older. I had already accepted my fate as a bastard but the clearer picture was that my father did not even know of my existence. And the worst was that my mother did not even know his name and could not even recognise him even if he was living around our neighbourhood because he was one of the soldiers who invaded our neighbourhood during a communal clash during which many local women were raped. My mother was one of the victims and I am the offshoot of that rascality. Well, I became a man and decided to do what men do. I had a relationship with a lady that resulted into pregnancy and because I didn’t want my child to be a bastard, I married the lady. She later had a son for me and I was overwhelmed. But the arrival of our son was the beginning of my predicament. My wife started asking questions about my background and I told her the little I knew which she did not find satisfactory. She probed further into my background but I didn’t have the details. My grandmother who raised me had already died and I never had a close relationship with my mother because of the circumstances of my birth. And anyway, since she got married, we had practically had little or nothing to do with each other. But necessity made me to go in search of her, and when I got to her matrimonial home, she made it clear to me that her world is a different one and has no place for someone like me. She said her husband knows nothing about me and she would not want to spoil her good life by bringing me into the picture. She said that since I’d already become a man, that I should take my destiny in my own hands and face the reality of the fact that I am an ‘orphan’, that I have no father and she does not want me around her because she has a new home: a husband and five kids, and there is no way I would fit into the picture. I pleaded with her, even tried to use the fact that my wife now has a son and that she is already a grandmother, to appeal to her but that only infuriated her. All my pleadings fell on deaf ears. Well, I went back to my wife and tried to explain everything to her, even begging her to give me time to look for further information that could link me to my father or even his family. My wife was only patient for a while because I went to work one day and came back to find a note dropped by my wife. She said she has moved on, that she wouldn’t want to be married to a man like me and said I should come for my son after I have traced his roots because she wouldn’t like our child to be a bastard like me. That was five years ago and I have neither set eyes on my wife nor my son. My father is a priest: Iyke, 36 My mother has always made me believe that my father died before I was born and that was what everybody said when I was a little boy. Two years ago, I was making preparations to get married and to join the age-grade in my village. I was already a successful businessman and my family was well known in my village. But you know how things could be in the village. Everybody respected me because of my money and people called me young millionaire and I carried on as if the whole world belonged to me. It was during the preparation for my marriage which was a society wedding by village standard, that the real identity of my father was revealed. I had attended the age- grade meeting and had gone to park my V-boot in a conspicuous place where my age-mates driving in, could easily feel intimidated by it. But another guy who was also known as a big guy in the village drove into the venue and headed straight to where I parked my brand new padded V-boot and brushed it. I was mad when I sighted him heading towards that direction and when I came out to confront him, he showed no remorse. Rather, he said I should not talk where other men are talking because nobody paid any bride-price on my mother’s head. Now, my mother is the most precious thing in my life. She is most dear to me, the dearest thing; even the girl I was going to marry knew that truth. Nobody joked with my mother and got away with it. So, we fought. It was a big fight and the entire village knew about it. This was happening a few days to my wedding and I had the wedding postponed indefinitely! Everyone was shocked. My wife nearly died and my mother pleaded on her knees that I should not disgrace her. I am her only child and she needed me to marry as soon as possible because she needed grandchildren. When I decided to take the case further, two elders of the family visited me by night and decided to explain the issues involved. The truth being that my mother was impregnanted by a seminarian who could not leave his ambition to be a priest even after he had succumbed to the lust of the flesh. The yougman who was my father later left the town for the city and nobody knew what became of him. It was too much for me but like they say, money answereth all things. And so, with money, I went in search of my father after I had received the original information from my mother. She had gone on her knees and begged me not to disgrace her for there was nothing I would do with the information I was looking for. Well, that was the truth but my wedding remained suspended until I searched through the seminaries and was able to trace the man who was my father. I had taken a black and white sharpshoot of the young priest which he took with my mother. She didn’t know I had the photo and didn’t know I was going to that extent to look for a man who didn’t even know I was existing. I found him! He was no longer bearing the name that my mother told me. He changed it during his ordination. And he was already a monsignor at the time I met him. It was the most bizarre experience for me and for him too. I came in to see him as a relation because I used his family name to gain access to him. I was able to trace his family first. He was from a nearby town. And then, with the help of some family members, I was directed to him. Even his father, or should I call him my grandfather, marvelled at me. He shouted and exclaimed that I looked like his son when he was very young, at the time he became a priest. My mother said the same thing and I took the photograph along to prove it to him. Well, to cut the long story short, I met a priest who did not even suspect I was his son, had tea with him in his office and discussed my wedding with him. His mien was so gentle that I did not want to upset him. I told him about my wedding and pleaded with him to come to our village to conduct it. Even the mention of my village did not ring any bell and he promised to come and he kept his word. He had obviously forgotten his little escapade and when I introduced my mother to him afterwords, both of them could hardly recognise each other. Again, I had him come to my palatial mansion to pray and invited his family also. Some of them attended because I sent a vehicle for the purpose and because ‘Fada’ was coming to the wedding. But I lived up to my word not to hurt my mother. I did not reveal the secret even though my mother knew what I did. I told her afterwards but I didn’t tell the priest he has a son. After a D & C, my girlfriend’s tummy kept growing: Smith, 28 When my girlfriend, Sylvia reported that she was pregnant, an alarm rang in my ears. The last thing I needed at that point was a pregnant girlfriend. I was not ready for a child. I was not ready to be a single father either. I explained my feelings to Sylvia and I softly pleaded with her to have an abortion. Well, she said she didn’t want to be seen as hooking a man with pregnancy and accepted to do the abortion and because she has never done that ‘kind of thing’, she asked me to find a good doctor and that was okay by me. I know many of such doctors who could handle D& C without complications. I’d helped a few friends tackle their unwanted pregnancies successfully. So, I took Sylvia to a doctor friend and I was there, physically present when the foetus was flushed out. I took Sylvia home and because we still wanted the relationship to continue, she stayed in my house during the long holidays to recuperate. But three months after the D&C, her tummy was still growing, as if she was still pregnant. We went back to the doctor and he confirmed Sylvia was five months pregnant. I was visibly worried. Sylvia was shocked. How could my own fail to work? I have successfully helped other girlfriends have a D&C. Even my pals whose girlfriends got pregnant consulted me. The doctor could not comprehend it but later, he concluded that Sylvia must have been pregnant with twins. So, one foetus went. And the other kept growing. We were shocked and the doctor said it was too late for abortion as he wouldn’t want anyone to die in his hands. And that was how I became a father at 26 and because Sylvia was a decent lady, we tied the knots. My son David is two years now and I have no regrets about him. He is a child that wants to live and each time I look at him, I shiver and wonder why I ever wanted him aborted. But that experience was a revelation and it changed my entire life.