I’ve been married for three years now to a beautiful woman I met after school, she’s a caterer and owns a restaurant, but sadly we’ve been trying to have a baby all these years but nothing. The doctor’s report revealed that my job as a radiographer at the hospital is the cause of my infertility. Turns out I’ve been exposed to radiation from the faulty X-ray machines and scanners we’ve been using at the hospital, the machines were more than 10 years old and were imported from China. “You won’t be able to have children of your own”, these were the last words the doctor said to me, and every time I was depressed it echoed in my head.
I kept telling myself, maybe I’m being punished for neglecting my responsibilities as a father to my unborn child and her mother. I weep sometimes when I realize how my child will think, when he or she realize I abandoned him or her and the mother, it made my heart bleed. Alas! I opened up and told my wife the truth about my past life, about Ama Naomi and her baby. She was disappointed in me, she didn’t speak to me for at least a week, I could tell she was hurting, but she loved me so she forgave me, she even suggested that if I made up my mind to go for my child, she’ll support me and will willingly raise the child as her own.
It’s been years I last saw or heard from my parents. I couldn’t recognize my dad’s voice when he called me to inform me that my mom had passed away. The news tore me apart, I didn’t want to believe it, I didn’t want to accept it, so I told my dad it was time to come home, I needed to see it for myself, but my dad advise me not to come back to Accra, he said he couldn’t guarantee my safety if I should step foot in the neighborhood, he said after my disappearance, Ama Naomi’s mother and uncle came looking for me, they were very angry and violent because I left without taking responsibility of the unborn child they assumed was mine. His uncle swore to stick a knife into my heart the next time he sees me. My dad managed to convince me not to attend my own mother’s funeral. I asked my dad how Ama Naomi and her child were doing; I asked him if he’d seen them recently, but my dad said, “She moved out of this neighborhood when the child was born”, I told my dad it was time for me to come home, guess what he said, “No son, don’t come back, I know you miss me and I also miss you too, but it’s not safe here, Naomi is gone but her mother and Uncle are still around, it’s too dangerous”.
Two weeks later I got a call from Teddie, he said he’s back in town and really wants to talk to me urgently. I was surprised, ‘cause the last time I heard from Teddie was two years ago, he was in Qatar playing professional football with Al Kareem sif FC, a first division club in the country, he sounded happy at that time, he said he was living life, ‘cause the money was good and he was rich, but today’s call was different, he sounded troubled and sad.
I sent him my home address and he flew from Accra to Kumasi, few hours later he was in my house. It was nice seeing my friend again, we talked about old times and the childish stunts we pulled back in school. I took him to my wife’s restaurant so we could eat and talk, and also meet my lovely wife.
We get to the restaurant and I introduce Teddie to my wife, she prepares a table for us and I order some drinks and food, but Teddie refuses drink or dine with me. He says he’s done something bad to me, and he’s sure he doesn’t deserve to be in my presence or even share a drink with me. I get confuse and asked him what the hell he’s talking about. He burst into tears and starts asking for my forgiveness, he drives me into limbo and suspense, nothing makes sense; I don’t know what’s going on, he wouldn’t talk, just weeping like a baby, so I asked him the one million dollar question, “What the hell did you do to me?”
He began to speak, “Do you remember the night before your departure to school? I did something terrible, something I regret doing, I set you up into doing something very stupid to get myself out of trouble. That night at the bar, when we were sharing drinks, you remember a little girl who came to me and said someone was outside looking for me? And that someone was Ama Naomi, you remember right? You asked me why I was angry when I came back in the bar after talking to her, didn’t you? Well…she told me something that freaked me out, and I panicked and that made me do something really stupid to you. She told me she was pregnant, and the baby was mine. I got angry and told her if indeed she was pregnant, that baby ain’t mine, I told her to abort it, but we got into an argument and she threaten to tell everyone that I screw her and got her pregnant and told her to abort it, that made me very angry…
…you were drunk that night, and I helped you home, on my way home, I started thinking about what Naomi told me, I knew she might be telling the truth about being pregnant and me being responsible for it, ‘cause I’ve been sleeping with her twice or more each week the whole of the previous month, it wasn’t easy but after thinking about it, I decided to take full responsibility, but my decision changed when I got home. When I got home, my coach and a football scout were waiting for me, apparently this scout has been monitoring me in all the coastal football games I’ve playing, he said I had potential, I had talent, talent that could take me places, so he’s here to extend an offer for me to enroll in a football academy…
…the offer was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I was given an opportunity to play football on the professional level, I couldn’t say no that, my priorities changed and I chose football over raising a child with a girl I didn’t love and wasn’t prepared to marry. But I didn’t want my child to feel neglected so that same night I met with Naomi and told her I had a solution to our problem, one which doesn’t involve abortion. I managed to convince her to sleep with you so that you get blamed for the pregnancy, she didn’t like the idea at first, but I told her you were a good man, you had a future, you were even going to the university, if she agrees to sleep with you, you’d marry her, and she and the baby will have a bright future…
…she thought about it for a while and agreed to it. That night I knew you were drunk and still a virgin, so I managed to manipulate you into sleeping with her, misleading you to think that I was also helping you get your first sex experience, that’s why I insisted you had sex with her without condom when I stayed and listened in when you guys were having sex, I had high hopes that you would accept the pregnancy so few weeks later after you left for school, I went to the football academy, but it turned out you didn’t accept the pregnancy…Cledre I know this is a lot to take in right now, but I’m really really sorry for what I did to you, I’m here to ask you to please find a soft spot in your heart and forgive me”
I couldn’t stand the sight of Teddie, his confession sounded so untrue, I was rooted in my seat, I wanted to jump into him and beat him into a pulp but I couldn’t, hearing this I didn’t know if I should be happy or not, this confession meant that I was telling the truth when I said the baby wasn’t mine, this also meant that Ama Naomi’s baby wasn’t mine, ending my hopes of ever having a child of my own.
Being an active listener, I realize something wasn’t adding up, I got the feeling Teddie was hiding something very important, ‘cause I fail so believe that he took a flight from Accra to Kumasi just to ask for my forgiveness and also to tell me I could finally clear my name.
“There’s something else you ain’t telling me, what is it?”, I said to Teddie, he tried acting dumb to evade my question, but I yelled at him, “Mr. man, cut the bullshit and tell me right now or you have 2 minutes to leave my restaurant now until I call people to throw you out this instant! I’m not a fool; you didn’t fly all the way here just to ask for my forgiveness, you need my help with something”
“Okay okay you’re right, I need your help and there’s something else I didn’t tell you, and that’s because I’m embarrassed about it.”, he said to me. I pulled my chair back and leaned over to listen to whatever he had to say, he began to talk, “Last year I had an accident where I lost my testicles whiles playing football in a game for my team in Qatar, an opponent stepped on my testicles when I tried tackling him for the ball, my testicles came out from my scrotum, I was in so much pain and I lost a lot of blood, but in the end the doctors couldn’t fix my testicles so I was castrated, I have no testicles now…
…which basically means I can’t have children of my own, at first it doesn’t really bother me, but as time went on, I realize I had so much money but there was no one to leave it with when I die one, so I decided to come back to Ghana and look for Naomi and the baby, but first I knew I had to seek your forgiveness ‘cause I wanted you to accompany me when I try reaching out to Naomi and the baby and also it’ll give you the opportunity to clear your name that you weren’t responsible for the pregnancy in the first place”
I started laughing, “you really thought this whole lie through, very impressive, but I don’t believe a word you just told me except the part where you lost your testicles, and I’m pretty sure that’s why you’ve gone through this whole trouble in finding me and convincing me to help to take the child that isn’t yours, Naomi’s baby is mine, she said so herself, I made a mistake of not believing it the first time, but I do now, you’re just trying to steal my baby from me and by the way, Naomi is no more in the neighborhood”…
“what are you talking about?”, Teddie asked me, and I said, “You heard me right, my Dad said Naomi left the hood when the baby was born”, Teddie looked confused and said, “that’s not true, my source said, she’s never left the hood, I made a private investigator look for her when I got back to Ghana, my source confirmed her presence in the hood, but he couldn’t figure out which house he was staying at since she wasn’t living with her mother anymore”
Teddie wasn’t surprised I didn’t believe him, so he told me, “Let’s look for Naomi and the child together, then we’ll go in for a DNA paternity test to reveal the true father of the child”, as crazy as this sounded, I agreed to it. I told Teddie he could stay the night, I’ll brief my wife about what we’ve discussed and fly to Accra the next morning.
10:00am we were at the airport in Accra. We took a taxi and drove to my father’s house, I hadn’t seen my dad since the night he hugged me and sent me to Kumasi, Teddie said we should start looking for Naomi at her mother’s place but I insisted I wanted to see my dad first and I thought he’d maybe know the where about of Naomi. Not much had changed in the hood after 5 long years; the neighborhood almost looked the same, just like how we left it when we went away.
I got out of the taxi and stood in front of my house again, I was really nervous, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how my dad will react because he explicitly told me not to come back even though I told him I missed him, but deep down, I was really excited. I pushed the gate and entered the house, Teddie and I met a woman sweeping the compound, I moved closer and said, “Hi good morning”, the woman stood straight to respond my greetings but was struck with shock and froze instantly. Teddie and I were shocked as well, we had lost words to say, but I snapped out of it and screamed, “Ama Naomi!! What are you doing here?!!”
She answered, “I..I..I…I..live…I…I…live here”, stunned to the core, I asked, “what the hell are you talking about, what do you mean you live here? Where’s my dad? Where’s he?!!!”, she replies, “living here for years now, your father is my wife, ei I mean I am your father’s wife, your room is sleeping your father ei your father is sleeping”, I felt so dizzy moving from left to right as if I was doing the stankey leg. Without saying a word, I stormed like tsunami into my father’s room and finds him sleeping like today was a holiday, I grab him by the neck from his bed and pulled him outside, shocked to see me, he cower like a puppy.
Then I said, “Dad, start explaining now before I start cutting you into pieces with a machete”, my dad goes on knees and starts to talk, “Ama Naomi and I were having an affair and your mother found out when she was eavesdropping on our conversation one time, she got an instant stroke realizing I’ve been cheating, so I ended the affair with Naomi to take care of your mother. Few days later she comes back and tells me she’s pregnant and I’m responsible, I denied it, I knew she was just trying to get back at me after dumping her, so I told her to stay away from me, she was bugging me about it for more than a week but I refused to take responsibility…
…that was when you came back from school. And the next thing I know, I see Naomi and her mother with her Uncle in my house claiming that the baby is yours, It was then I realized Naomi’s pregnancy was true, and I knew I was responsible and she was just trying to push the pregnancy on my innocent son, that’s why I told you I believed you when you said the baby wasn’t yours, I couldn’t let that happen, that’s why I sent you away so that you wouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of raising your brother thinking that the baby is your son, I wanted to protect you, that’s why I sent you away…
…after your mom died, I got lonely, so I went to see Naomi’s mother and asked for her daughter’s hand in marriage, which she readily agreed, I did that because I knew it’ll give me the opportunity to take care of the baby, son I didn’t mean for all this to happen, I’m really sorry”
Teddie couldn’t hide his silence anymore, he said, “This can’t be true, Naomi came to me and said the baby was mine, and I was fully convinced the baby was indeed mine, the baby can’t be yours old man”
I turned and yelled at Teddie, “don’t be silly, you think anymore will believe your cock and bull story huh? There’s no way the baby is yours, the baby is mine”
My dad sobs as he spoke, “gentlemen I know this is hard to believe, but it’s the truth, I am responsible for the baby, and I’ve been taking care of the boy since he was born, I know both of you are convinced the boy is your son, but believe me, he’s not, the boy is my blood”
A lot was happening, and nothing seemed to make any sense, so we all turn and ask Naomi who has been silent all these time with her head bowed down, “Naomi, who’s the father of the your son?”, Naomi replies with tears, “I don’t know”. “Then there’s only one way to find out, a DNA paternity test, where’s the boy? Go get him right now, we going to the hospital now”, Teddie tells us.
We got to a private hospital, our bloods were taken as samples and we were told to wait. After 2 hours the lab technician comes back with the test results, it turns out, neither of us is the father or Naomi’s son. Teddie and I break into uncontrollable tears and wailing, my dad asks me why is Teddie crying, I told him he lost his testicles in an accident, he can’t have babies now”, my dad tries consoling me, and later asks, “why are you also crying?”, I reply, “I’ve lost my only hope”, my dad asks, “what are you talking about?”, I answer him, “I got exposed to radiation at my work place, and it affected me in numerous ways that is irreversible”, then my dad says, “what does it mean?”, and I cry saying, “It means I can’t have children of my own”
story written by: @AbokiCleDre (follow me on twitter)
Copyright © 2017 by @AbokiCleDre
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