*Your Mother Loves Me*
” you don kill me ooooo… How I go take buy my pikin medicine? My pikin go die ooo… Oga you don kill me”. The fruit seller said sobbing bitterly with her hands curled round my leg. My heart went out to her and I wept also but my tears couldn’t solve any of my problems. First, I was been embarrassed by the Keke Driver for not completing my payment and then this, I mistakenly hit the woman’s table of fruits on the roadside, emptying everything into the deep dirty gutters. The Keke driver left me to my fate and left the scene without collecting his balance. I don’t normally do this; my wallet was stolen from me and I only had fifty Naira in my shirt’s pocket which I gave the Keke driver. I was searching around for my wallet and he held me on my shirt, saying I was a “419ner” who wants to get away without paying my transport fare.
On a bid to make free from him, I scattered the woman’s table. I felt so ashamed. A handsome young man, dark , tall and body built, smart, well spoken and well dressed and smelling nice but couldn’t pay his transport fare at the moment. I removed my watch, foreign bracelet and iphone and gave it to the woman but she refused it, saying she needs cash. Her only surviving child – she has buried four in four consecutive years- is terribly ill and would die if she didn’t get some money to buy him drugs in the hospital. Everyone was going about their businesses, only the ‘agberos’ stood by to see my reaction – if I would run so they would pounce on me and release their frustration on my body. Who would I call? I’m just new in Port Hacourt and have not made any friends yet. I looked around for help and thanked my lucky stars when a beautiful classy lady walked up to the scene and gave the fruit seller a bundle of a thousand naira notes. She had enquired from one of the passerby’s who stood there looking.
I couldn’t thank her enough. I told her my story and she volunteered to drop me off in her black Lexus vehicle. She looked like a lady in her late forties. She had an SPDC logo crested on her car seat. We got talking and I found out she is a Shell senior staff and supervisor. She dropped me off in cocaine estate where I lived and offered me some money, but I rejected it and accepted her card instead, in exchange for my number. I went into my apartment, took my bathe and called her to thank her one more time. Our conversation went deeper and I loved her sense of humor . We became friends from that day and discussed so many things about life, business, love and wishes in subsequent times.
Not too long, we began seeing on weekends. Though she was older than me, she looked young and fresh and I didn’t mind the age gap. My girlfriend was abroad studying for her M.Sc and will be back in a year. I have remained faithful to her for the past 6months but now I felt so bad waking up beside a woman other than her. Madam Sonia had succeeded in luring me to bed with her. I wouldn’t blame her though because I started the kissing last night. I was a bit tipsy and her beautiful lips couldn’t stop calling. I would blame myself for this act on a normal day, but here I am in the kitchen, making her breakfast in bed this Sunday morning. We spent the whole of the day talking and playing and then she told me she had just two years to live. The day she helped me, she was coming back from her Doctor’s home with the sad news of her disease – brain cancer.
She made the decision to live the remaining days of her life sharing love and hoping to find love. She lost her husband when their only child was just two and since then she never remarried or had any affair. Last night was the best day of her life after her husband’s demise she said, thanking me so well. I couldn’t hold my tears too as we consoled ourselves. I started acting weird whenever I spoke to my girlfriend on phone, or would I say I felt so much guilt building up in my system. She felt the distance and couldn’t wait to round up with her studies and come see me. I tried acting cool and sent her more texts than I did just to make her know I still care about her; at the same time, my relationship with Madam Sonia grew stronger. I did my best to make her happy and she never failed to reciprocate it. She was a whole vibe, lively and lovely. I never felt ashamed of her and we couldn’t proceed to the next stage of our relationship because of what society would say and I still loved my girlfriend.
A year passed and my girlfriend came back. I was so lucky because Madam Sonia had traveled abroad and will be there for some months for her treatment and leave from work also. But we still talked. While she was away, I renewed my relationship with my girlfriend and proposed marriage to her of which she accepted. I was to see her parents first but my mum came visiting at that time so she met her and my mum approved of her. Madam Sonia came back and I told her about the development, she gave her consent, though it was hard to let go for the both of us but we just have to. We still spoke but it wasn’t as it used to be. With time, I didn’t hear from her again and I just had to let a sleeping dog lay.
My fiancee took me to see her mum and to start making preparations for our marriage but on reaching her house, her mum wasn’t there. She had been rushed to the hospital according to the gateman. We drove to the hospital and I was in the reception room while she went in to see her mother who was in the ICU now. She came out weeping. Her mother was an inch close to death and she just spent few weeks with her. She asked I go home while she stayed back and looked after her. I wasn’t allowed to go into the ICU either, so I kissed her on her forehead and left for my house. Time passed slowly and her mum was back home. She had told her we were getting married and her mum asked to see me. I dressed up, looking so nice and presented my savoir- faire in the mirror several times. I needed to present myself as the ideal son-in-law, capable of taking care of her daughter…
” babe why did you leave like that. Do you know that was an embarrassment to me and my sick mum. This can bring to an end our marriage plans. Hope you know that?” My fiancee said looking all worried and pained. I didn’t mean to leave her house the way I did but I had to. I needed to clear my head which is in turmoil now. She kept on hitting me to talk and I finally replied her . “Yes… This marriage cannot work babe”
“Why say such a thing?” She asked
“Because… ‘Cause … Your mother loves me”. I said those words with guilt in my eyes and left immediately. She looked so confused and couldn’t weave meaning into the words I just dropped.
I tried calling her but couldn’t reach her. She barred me from calling or texting her and blocked me from all social media handles. I felt like an ex convict who just returned from a long jail term. My life was messed up. It really hit me hard to realize how much I missed Madam Sonia who happened to be the mother of my fiancee. To make things worst, I loved both women. I began packing my things to leave the city and my well paid job to Lagos, probably to start a new life there. Then there was a knock on my door, I opened it to see Madam Sonia. I was so surprised seeing her but she just walked past me and sat on my sofa while admiring my house. I stood while watching her like a TV for sometime, speechless. She began crying. She said she never knew her daughter had known me since our University days. There was no one to blame in this situation. Things happened so fast I said. She said she has explained everything to her daughter and I had to apologize.
She stood up to leave and I held her back. I confessed my love to Madam Sonia and told her I really felt happy being around her. She held me close to her chest and we both cried. We began kissing when my fiancee came in. She was in tears also. We were both afraid and don’t know what to say this time, but she held my hands and joined it to her mother’s then spread her arms while we embraced her. It was strange but I married Madam Sonia and my fiancee found love. It was surprising how I loved Madam Sonia more than I ever loved her daughter. We lived happily until her death after twelve years of our marriage ,after we had had a son through IVF and her daughter was his godmother.
©Achi Gp Nuel