By Ikumawoyi Toluwalase
There are six things the Lord hates-
No seven things he detests
A haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
Hands that kill the innocent,
A heart that plots evil, feet that races to do wrong
A false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family….
“He will kill me this around,” Joseph said, with his head bent. He was confused and out of tune…
“So what do you suggest I do?”, he asked his two jolly friends, though John was the only one paying attention while James focused his mind on the PlayStation game in front of him…
“I think a trial won’t kill, he is your father”, John said trying to comfort and make his friend see his point.
“God please help me…”, Joseph said before giving a deep sigh…. This was not going to be easy to him, he had spent the past six months thinking about how to confront his father, and plead with him to give him just another chance, yes… he had failed his JAMB exam twice already, the first one because he fell sick and couldn’t write well, the second one, his ego and overconfidence.
“Erhmm… I think I would prefer you buying an helmet before going home…” James finally said lifting his eyes from the PlayStation game..
“Helmet for what?”, Joseph asked not getting the joke James was trying to pull.
“… In case your dad decides to shoot you in the head”, he dropped the bomb, after which followed- “silly boy is this the time for your unnecessary and annoying jokes”, from John while Joseph stood up to switch off the television and made a move to disturb his best friend…. James might have been a not too good friend…but he was his favourite among the two. John was just too spiritual for his nature, he won’t say three sentences without referring to the scriptures.
But James definitely was the naughty type. He always had his back during the tough moments in his life.
“God please take control…” Joseph muttered in whispers, as he made a sign of a cross. He was definitely nervous, but he had no choice, JAMB registration would close in three days time…he had to talk to his dad about it that day.
“You will be fine…”, James patted him.. He had volunteered to only follow him to the doorstep of his house,
“Good evening sir…” Joseph said, while his dad looked up from the Bible he was reading, and adjusted his glasses to see his son standing.
“What is it Dare? You know too well I don’t like being disturbed when am meditating”, he said in a cool manner, though his word came with firmness.
“Erhm…am sorry sir. It is just that it is something very erhmm…”, he stammered looking for the right words to say.
“Will you talk and stop wasting my time?” his father snapped at him. He jolted back, scared and knew he had better say something.
“Jamb will be closing on Friday sir…”, he finally said shivering nervously.
“And so…?” Mr Adejola replied, he knew where his son was going and he had waited for a month for this day to come.
“Dad I haven’t registered, I am …”, he tried to say something before his dad cut him short…
“You mean you still have the guts to walk up to me and talk to me about your education…? Forget it son! On Monday, you will be following me to see Mr Rabiu my mechanic, I am enrolling you to be his apprentice …” He dropped the bomb, and picked his Bible, not even minding the gaze from his son and his wife who had entered his room while the duo were talking…
“An apprentice!? Why do you hate me this much, what have I done wrong? Was it my fault that I fell sick during my first jamb? It was you who refused to give me money for my coaching class the second time…” Joseph said angrily, he was releasing every iota of bitterness he had within him to his father…
His mind flashed back at the last episode he had with his father…. “You are nothing but a failure…I am not sure I am your father… I can’t imagine spending my money on a fool like you… Is this how you will pay me for my labour on you? Your younger sister has gotten admission already and here you are, still writing jamb for the second time, you didn’t even pass the cutoff point for a polytechnic…get out of my room you bastard!” He had come home with the worst result in his entire life, and his father had said those words to him just last year.
“Anyway, I know I am a bastard, so am going to leave like one, today will be the last time you will set your eyes on me again…!” He said and stormed out of the room.
“Can I come in please…”, Mrs Adejola said after knocking her son’s door for close to two minutes, Joseph feigned sleeping, he certainly didn’t want his mum to intrude into his private moment, the events of the past few days had been overwhelming, but he knew his mother too well, she was going to stay there till he opened the door for him. She had done it before, years back when he walked out on his father. He was determined to stay indoors for three days, he only came out in the midnight to eat and only when he was sure they had all gone to work… He didn’t want to see his father anymore, but his mum, on the third day had persistently made him open the door to talk him into living with her elder sister who lived in Ile-Ife, she also gave him the money for his Jamb registration, and had sponsored him all through his stay on campus.
“Why is he here mum?”, he said angrily to his mother. He had opened the door, without even looking at his mother and sat on his bed only to realise his mum had company.
“Am sorry son, I only wanted to talk”, Mr Adejola said. He looked pitiful and sorry. He was not the young man in his early forties anymore, he looked worn out…
“Am not sure I have that luxury of time, and I was about serving my siesta before you came in, can you please kindly excuse me?”, He said firmly, rolling back into his bed.
“Would you at least listen to your father…?” His mother said raising her voice with the disgust from his actions
“Father!? Did you just say “my father”, I am a bastard you remember!” He said snapping back at his mother.
“I think I better leave”, Mr Adejola said, he knew nothing could stop his son from tantrums, he was still a kid anyway he won’t understand, he thought.
“Ooohhh!! So those words can hurt you now!, and you really can run away from them…while I have been facing that reality for six damn years”, Joseph said as tears welled up in his eyes. He was far too angry, but he couldn’t bear it anymore.
“You were never a failure, I was the failure”, Mr Adejola said, stopping in his tracks as he made his way to the door.
“What!!?”, Joseph said in shock…his father still remembered those words.
“Yes son…I was the failure…I failed you, failed your sister, and failed my wife…” He said turning back with tears in his eyes. He had to tell the story. He had no choice now. It was the only way for him to get his son to forgive him.
“I took out my personal problems on you, I love your sister and being a female, I thought you should bear the brunt…”, he continued, while Joseph sat staring at him, waiting for more explanations…
“My doctor told me I had gonorrhea, which had eaten deep into my manhood, and rendered me impotent…I was in shock and angry…I took it out on your mother, accused her of having extra marital affairs…I accused her of dating her lecturers, since she had just finished her NCE sandwich programme at Adeyemi college of education…I started doubting if you were my children…. I didn’t know how long I had been impotent or maybe the anger within me blinded me, the day you came back with the second JAMB results…I had just gotten a DNA test confirming that you are not my son…”, he said, amidst the tears flowing down his face, its was an unpleasant scene, an old man crying.
“Oooh!!! He said, no wonder. Was that why you couldn’t deny it when I asked you?” he said facing his mother.
“She wasn’t at fault son, you are my son” Mr Adejola answered instead…
“Wait! You are confusing me with your story here,you just told me the doctor confirmed am not your son and again you said am your son”, Joseph said, trying to clear the confusion.
“it was a mistake son, the doctor gave me the wrong result, or let me say the laboratory analyst analysed the wrong blood sample”, he said wanting to speak further but Joseph interjected.
“And how did you find out?” He asked out of curiosity.
“Its a long story…Son…”, he said trying to avoid the question.
“Then make it short!!!” Joseph said raising his voice, he was becoming impatient.
“I did the test again…! And it was because of another incident that happened after you left home”, Mr Adejola replied still hiding some facts.
“What incident??!!” He asked extremely curious and impatient.
“My concubine who I broke up came back to tell me, she was a carrier of gonorrhea, and she was sure she infected, the night we had unprotected sex”, he finally opened up, covering his eyes, he was ashamed of himself.
“You cheated on my mother!! Ohh no!!, you…” he couldn’t bring himself to say the next words on his mind, he picked his wallet and walked out on both of them.
To be continued…