A FATHER’S PAIN:
I slept so deeply that it had to take very loud bangings on the door by the maid the next morning to wake me up.
“Sorry sir. It is past nine and you had still not woken up so I came to wake you up. I have been knocking on the door for the past fifteen minutes” she began, apologizing for knocking very hard on my door.
“Sorry, Efe. I went to bed so tired. Wow! It is past nine. I am very late for an appointment” I said.
From her expression, I could guess I was reeking of alcohol and she was trying very hard to bear the bad odour from my mouth. Smiling, I closed the door gently, shutting her out. Then, I went to the bathroom. One look at my face in the mirror and I realized how badly I looked. Alcohol certainly does things to a man.
I went back to the bedroom and tidied up the place. The bottle of brandy I had brought into the house was lying on the floor with only a little of the content left in it. I could not believe that I had gulped down almost half the bottle. What was I thinking? I could have killed myself.
I finished tiding up the place, went to the bathroom, shaved, brushed my teeth and then had my bath. Then I dressed up. Efe was waiting for me when I came out of the bedroom. She was standing by the dining table.
“Sir, your breakfast is ready” she said. I was about to tell her I was not hungry but then I changed my mind and came to sit at the dining table. She served me coffee and biscuit.
“Coffee, Efe?” I asked, puzzled. She knew I hardly take coffee.
“Yes sir. You need it to keep you awake. You still look drowsy, sir. This morning, I realized you have taken alcohol so I thought I should give you something that will keep you awake especially as you will be driving yourself” she said.
I knew she was right. I smiled at her and said “thanks”. Then I decided to let her know what was happening in the house. I proceeded to ask her to take a sit and listen to what I was going to tell her. She complied.
While eating, I told her what had happened in her absence. I told her everything, leaving out no details. She stared at me in silence as she listened with rapt attention. When I got to where I caught my wife and Edwin doing it on my marital bed, her jaw dropped. She stared at me as if I was a lunatic. Nevertheless, I continued with my narrative.
Efe was so shocked that she could not utter a word. I understood why she was shocked. No one, in his or her right senses, would have even imagined that Nora would cheat on me.
As I said earlier, Nora was not only the epitome of beauty but a strong Christian woman well respected in the church. She was a role model for many young girls in the church where we fellowship.
“No! I can’t believe this!” Efe suddenly muttered.
Tears began to flow down her cheeks when I started telling her about my wife’s claims that I was not the biological father of my children.
“Oh no! Sir! Please stop it!” she cried out as if I was the one claiming I was not the biological father of my children. I paused and allowed her to cry for a while as I continued eating. I had no appetite to eat so I concentrated on the coffee.
After a while, I resumed telling her about my estrange wife and her claims, winding up with why I brought home a bottle of brandy. Efe could, at this stage, not control herself any longer. The tears flowed liberally down her cheeks. I did not feel any urge to console her. She needed to cry to get the pain out of her system and begin to live with the fact that Nora and I would no more be husband and wife. But to my surprise, she got up from where she was sitting and came to kneel in front of me.
“ Sir, I beg you…please….please…I know what madam has….has…has…has done is bad but forgive her…please…You have a beautiful family…it must not collapse…the children, …Peter…Peter and Pamela need both of you. Sir! I beg you” she said as she began to plead with me to forgive my estranged wife.
Efe’s move shocked me. But she was crying and pleading in vain and I told her so.
“No man will forgive the sin my wife committed against me, Efe. First of all, she opened her legs for another man. Secondly, it was no other man than my own best friend. Thirdly, she had the effrontery to bring him to my house to do the abominable. Number four, they chose my bedroom for their illicit sex session. Number five, it was on my bed that they were having their orgy. And you want me to forgive this? And, to add insult to injury, she is telling me I am not the father of my children! Which man will forgive her woman for that?” I asked her.
Efe did not respond to my queries for obvious reasons. I had completed having my breakfast so I took my briefcase and left the house, leaving the maid weeping at the dining table. I drove out of the compound and headed for my lawyer’s chamber to discuss with him issues concerning the DNA test.
To be continued…