Thu. Jul 11th, 2024

October31st,2019.2:58PM 17

 

MULIFE

 

I am driving like a mad person towards the hospital, I have tolerated enough nonsense from my family and I think this is the time that I should put an end to it. I stare at my phone as it continues to ring, I just ignore it.

 

‘Whatisgoingonhere?’IdemandasOlivia’sthingsarepackedinasmall case

 

I look at Olipa who looks scared but has no courage to say a word to me

 

‘Are all of you going to pretend like you didn’t hear me?’ I demand looking

at my father and Olipa.

 

The nurse rushes out seeing that this matter probably doesn’t concern her. ‘And where is Olivia?’

‘In the car.’ Dad finally responds

 

‘I am going to get my daughter.’ I say almost walking out on him but Olipa

pulls me back

 

I clench my teeth angrily

 

‘Mulife please.’ She begs and I see the victory on dad’s face

 

‘Leave us!’ I demand looking atOlipa ‘Mulife.’

‘Out now!’

 

She walks out slowly, tears falling from her eyes. It is the first time that I have seen her this broken in a while and despite our not so good terms I know how she must be feeling right.

 

‘What do you want now?’ I ask keeping my voice down

 

 

‘Thatisaquestionyouweresupposedtoaskmewayback.’ ‘Aren’tyoutired?Haven’tyoudoneenoughdamage?’Iask

‘YouhavenoideawhatIhavedonejusttokeepfoodonthetable.’ ‘Ididn’taskyouto!’Iscreamunintentionally

‘A man is supposed to take care of his family, I lived in your house, filled my

belly with your food, put my behind on your bed, because I am your son. It’s your duty to take care of me, you owe a responsibility tome. You gave me my life! You and mum worked that out between you two and saying it to my face what your responsibility is wasn’t part of the bargain. You are my father, it was your responsibility as my earthly parent to do all the things that you did. That is what real men do.’

 

‘And how did you repay me?’ he questions fury glazing from his eyes ‘Answer me damn it!’ he screams

‘Everything I did I did for you. Father I did everything you ever wanted me

to, I went to the schools you chose. I wore the clothes you picked out, I

dated the women you saw fit even my career choice has your nameto it.’

 

‘And you think that was enough? I did all that to prepare you for the bigger task.’

 

‘And what is that?’

 

‘All you had to do was to get Olipa pregnant. Was that too much to ask?’

 

Ilaugh,foramanofhiscaliberhesoundsreallydull.Inconsiderate, inhuman toadd.

 

‘I never loved Olipa, I have never loved her and I would never bring myself to sleep with her even if a gun was pointed to my skull.’

 

He shakes his head.

 

‘ThatiswhatmakesyoudifferentfromLackson,Ishouldhaveseenthis earlier and invested in him. I wasted my time and energy onyou!’

 

I sigh, I know this is a battle that will never end.

 

‘AndsowhatareyouplanningondoingwithOlipaandherchild?’ ‘Therightthing,Lacksonwillmarryherandtheywillraisetheirchild.’

‘FatherLacksondoesn’tloveOlipa.InfacthehatesOliviawitheverythingin him.’ Iplead

 

‘Love is not enough, somehow they will find a way of living with each

other.’ He says, his word final ‘Even if they kill eachother?’

‘Hissmart,heknowswhat’satstake.Anymanwholoveshispoliticalcareer makessacrificeseveniftheworldseesthemasselfish.’

 

He turns to leave

 

‘I will ask Olipa to come in, I guess I can at least allow you to say goodbye.’

He says

 

 

I sit on the bed where Olivia was being nursed, my heart breaks into tiny pieces.IrememberwhenOlipatoldmethatshewaspregnantforLackson,I wasn’tsurprised.Ihadseenthetwocozyforawhile,Ithinkshewastrying

to hurt me for going with Thelma to her home town but what she didn’t knowwasthatshewasdiggingagraveforherself.Mybrotherisasnob,he hasalwaysbeenandthepregnancyjustrevealedasideofhimthatmostof us didn’t know. And dad being the man that he is, he pinned the pregnancy on me. Besides it was the right thing to do, I was the one betrothed to her and our family name remained stainless. I was holding on to Olipa’s tummy when Olivia first kicked, I can still feel the joy that I felt that day. The day Olipa went into early labor I paced about the hospital, I was worried. My feet hurt but I didn’t mind because I wanted my child to be born. And twelve hours later after sweat and blood, the doctors announced that it was a girl. But she was too weak and had to be rushed straight into intensive careunit.Irememberseeinghertinyface,tinyhandsandtinyeverything.

She looked so fragile like life would be sucked out of her any minute but I stood strong, for her and her mother. The samereverence and worship for God that welled from deep within me when I held her little fingers for the first time is what I feel each time I look at her, her relations and how she carries her beautiful self about. Olivia is my pride and she has given me a thousand reasons to thank God for picking me as her second father – her only father.

 

I don’t realize that I am no longer alone and crying until Olipa pats my

back.

 

‘Iamsorry.’Shesayssniffingbackherowntears ‘Me too.’ Irespond

There is silence between us for a while.

 

 

‘Our traditional wedding is in twoweeks.’

 

Silence.

 

‘I am scared.’ She adds

 

I manage to look at her and the tears are falling uncontrollably

 

‘Come here.’ I say patting the side of the bed that is empty just next to me She sits and leans her head on my shoulder

‘I don’t know how I got here.’ ‘It’s my parents.’ She adds

I shake my head to disagree

 

‘Your parents laid out a bad foundation for you but you could have changedhowyourlifeturnedout,youarepartlytoblameOlipaandyou need to own up to yourmistakes.’

 

‘Mulife.’ She says sitting up and now facing me

 

‘I am tired of sugar coating things, when your parents brought you in as my wife you could have said no. times without number I told you that I didn’t love you but you still stayed. And what did you end up doing, laying

yourself out for Lackson and getting pregnant.’

 

‘What was I to do? I did all that because I wanted your attention.’

 

‘You put your life in jeopardy all for what?’

 

‘Maybe if you love someone so bad you would do the same too.’

 

‘I love Olivia with everything in me but I would never make such stupid decisions.’

 

‘This is coming from someone who loves another woman and yet is too

scaredtotellherthetruth.Seethepotcallingthekettleblack.’ ‘WhatIhavewithThelmaisdifferent.’

‘Right.’

 

I sigh, this is very hard for me.

 

‘What are you going to tell Olivia?’ I manage to ask ‘The truth.’ She responds with a shrug

‘She is your daughter after all, do what is best for the both of you.’ ‘Mulife.’ She says looking at me with pleading eyes

I smile

 

‘She will be fine, I don’t think you will allow any harm to come to her.’ ‘She will always be yourdaughter.’

‘Iknow.’Isaykissingherforehead

 

‘And I love you, will always do.’ ‘Olipa forget about me.’

‘I can’t.’ She says shaking her head

 

‘Olipa I will always be there if you need anything for Olivia.’ ‘Don’t you want to say goodbye?’

‘I won’t be able to control myself.’ I say getting up

 

We walk out of the hospital together, I see Lackson and dad talking. We haven’t spoken in a very long time and there is nothing much between us left.ExceptnowIhavetoconstantlykeephiminchecktomakesureheis treating Olivia right. Because Olivia will always be mydaughter.

 

The smirk on his face makes me want to tear it off but I control myself and get into the car before driving off; now I have to face Thelma and come clean.

 

Winnie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *