A FATHER’S PAIN:
I found it difficult to concentrate as I attended to the out-patients. This made my progress very slow. Ordinarily, in a matter of three hours, I could attend to at least fifty patients. However, that day, I managed to attend to only twenty people in three hours.
Finally, my session at the hospital came to an end. Dr. Eunice Odame, a Cuban-trained doctor took over. She noticed that something was wrong with me and asked if I was alright. I forced out a smile, nodding.
From the hospital, I drove to the children’s school to pick them up only to be told that their mother had come for them. Immediately, I regretted bringing them to school that particular day. I could sense what their mother, my wife, was up to.
I had sworn never to have anything to do with her again. Phoning her had therefore been out of the question. But, with her coming to pick the children from school, I had no choice than to phone her.
“Yes” she said when she answered my call.
“Where are my children? Why did you go for them? Bring them back now!” I said, my voice trembling as I tried to control my anger.
“I am sorry you are not going to see them again. They are my children and I know how best to take care of them. Since you want me out of your life, I am leaving with them” she said.
Her answer made me explode. I began to scream on the phone, swearing I would beat her up mercilessly if I get hold of her. That was when she switched off the phone. I phoned again but found to my chagrin her phone was still off. I tried several times to get in touch with her but could not get through. I started trying to recollect the name of the hotel where the police man told me they had checked her into. After a while, I remembered the name and knowing where it was, I drove there at top speed.
I was trembling all over with rage when I arrived at the hotel. Never in my life had I been so angry. I loved my children very much so my wife’s attempt to take them away from me was making me go mad.
On my arrival, I went straight to the reception and made enquiries about my wife. A call was placed to her room but no one answered. Then one of the two receptionists decided to go and find out why she was not answering calls to her room. The receptionist returned a few minutes later to say no one was in her room.
“She has packed out. Her belongings are not in the room” she said.
Immediately, I realized that my wife had calculated I will locate her when I find out she has gone for the children so she had relocated. She had sneaked out of the hotel, gone for the children and gone into hiding.
I left the hotel still trembling with rage. My estranged wife, Nora, had outsmarted me. Now, there was no way I could contact her unless she calls me back. I was more or less at her mercy.
I drove back home deep in thought and very troubled. That evening, I tried several times to call her again but to no avail. I swore if I ever catch up with her, I will beat her to pulp.
I stayed awake deep into the night. Every thirty minutes, I will phone Nora only to be told her phone had been either switched off or was out of coverage area. My patience, by 2:00am, had begun to run out. Finally, at about 4:15am, though I was still worried, I fell asleep. I woke up at exactly 7:15 am to find that my wife’s phone was still off.
I skipped breakfast and drove very early to the children’s school. I aimed to hide around and grab Nora when she brings the children to school. So, I parked my car far away from the school and walked all the way there. I found myself a tree and hid behind it so that when she comes around, she would not spot me.
My waiting turned out to be in vain. Nora did not bring the children to school. I guessed she was not going to bring them. So, finally, I left the school and drove back home.
I spent the entire day at home, trying to get through to her every now and then but her phone was still off. I had earlier phoned the Administrator of the hospital where I worked and told him I was not feeling well so I was not going to be at work.
I did not eat the entire day until evening when I prepared rice for myself and the security man at the gate. I noticed how sad he looked when I approached him with his food on a tray. After collecting the tray from me, he thanked me and said everything will be alright soon. I nodded in appreciation, remembering that on the night I came home to find my wife in bed with my best friend, he was not at the post; he had obviously been given the day night off by my wife because she wanted him out of the way. Though I had not briefed him about the scandal, I knew he knew what had happened.
I went to bed very early that evening but it was not until 1:00am that I finally fell asleep. I was woken up at 6:15 am by the ringing of my phone. The caller said he was Nora’s lawyer. He was inviting me to his chambers that morning at 9:00 am to discuss certain claims my wife was making. I was to come with my lawyer.
To be continued