A father’s pain Episode 23 to 25

Both of them, John, my driver and Efe, my maid, were standing just a few feet from my door. They rushed to my side before I could retreat into my room.
“Wait, sir. plea-se sir, don’t do this to us,” my driver began to plead as he held me back.
“So the two of you tricked me, right?” I asked for want of any other thing to say.
“Sir, we cannot resign from your employment. We only pretended we had quit and had left because we nee-ded you to come out of your room. You have locked yourself up for hours now. You have not eaten anything,” Efe said. With that, she went down on her knees with tears beginning to trickle down her cheeks. To my surprise, John too began to shed tears.
I was t©uçhed; really t©uçhed. These two were showing that they really cared about me. I asked Efe to get up as I began to fight back tears. She got up. I led her and my driver to the living room. We all sat down.
For a while, no one talked. I could not say anything for fear of bur-sting out in tears. Finally, however, I got a grip on myself, cleared my throat and addressed them.
I told them I had felt despondent and depressed after the second test showed I was not fertile enough to father a child. I then confessed I had begun to consider suicide as the only option left to me. John and Efe were shocked at my confession.
“But what more would I be living for. My wife has betrayed me. As if that is not enough, tests have proven that I am not the biological father of my children, Peter and Pamela, whom I love with all my heart. Then c@m£ the news that I am not fertile enough to father a child. So, what am I then living for?” I asked.
“ Daddy, we know how you feel. In fact we are all devastated by all that is happening. But seriously, suicide cannot be a way out. You have preached to us several times about how evil suicide is. Why resort to it now?” my driver asked me.
For the first time, I could not look into his eyes. I felt stupid ever contemplating suicide.
“You are right, John. I am sorry. It will never happen again” I said
Then John spoke again. He said he did not think all was lost for me. He had heard of fertility centres where men who could not father children are helped to become fertile.
“Yes!” Efe responded, brightening up immediately. “Fertility centres could help. I know two of them. John, you are right” she said.
I could see from the way she had brightened up suddenly, that they had been really affected by my plight. But, indeed, what John said made me brighten up too. There was nothing I would not do to become a father, a biological father.
Despite the truth having been made to me, my heart still yearned for Peter and Pamela. Yes, they may not be my biological children but I still loved them. It was going to be very difficult for me to turn my back on them.
Memories of happy times with Peter and Pamela often c@m£ rushing back to me. I could remember very well my trip with them to Egypt where we went visiting the pyramids.
Pamela had been scared initially but had later on overcome her fear of the pyramids. We had a very good time. Then also was my trip with them to Zambia. We had visited the Niagara Falls and later were at the Game and Wildlife Park to watch the wild animals in their natural habitats.
Sometimes, I could hear their laughter, their innocent laughter. All these made me hate their mother the more. She had shattered the unity and happiness of the family.
“It’s time for supper, sir. I have prepared your favourite for you” Efe announced. I knew what she meant by my favourite.
“Well, today, no supper in this house. I am taking both of you out. We are going to have our supper at the Super Maxi Restaurant” I announced.
John beamed with delight. I noticed that Efe immediately wore a crestfallen look. I knew she did not like the idea of us eating outside.
“Efe! Come on. We always enjoy your food but it is not every time we have to eat at home and it is not every time that you have to cook. I am giving you and John a treat because you have remained my best friends in my moment of nee-d. So, come on. Let, everyb©dy go and prepare!” I said.
The two left for their respective rooms. I left for my room too. I had my bath, a h0t bath and then got into a simple sleeveless light blue shi-t with a blue-black khaki trou-ser to match. When I emerged, I found that John and Efe were alre-ady waiting for me.
Efe was in a simple purple dress while John was in a white T-shi-t and a blue jeans trou-ser.
“Good. The two of you look superb. Now, off we go,” I said. To John’s chagrin, I insisted that I will be the one to drive. He protested. Efe supported him – they could not imagine how me, their employer, will drive them to town. Finally, however, they caved in to my demand. I got behind the steer with John by my side and drove off.
We had a nice evening at the Super Maxi Restaurant. Everything at the restaurant was very expensive. While a bottle a bottle of coca cola was selling at GH¢3.00 in town, it was selling at GH¢10.00 at the restaurant. It was so priced to keep some elements from patronizing the place.
We had an exciting evening. A live band pla-yed some local songs. I did not dance but I encouraged John and Efe to. At 10:30pm, we left the place and returned home.
“Thank you for a nice evening sir,” Efe said, beaming with a smile when we arrived home. I returned to my room feeling a bit cheerful. I went to be-d with a smile.
I woke up the next morning at 6:30am. I was surprise to find lawyer Torto waiting for me in the living room.
“I have brou-ght back $30,000 out of the $35,000 you paid us for our services. Since the result of the test showed you are not fertile, and therefore incapable of fathering a child, it will be useless to continue with the case. My chamber therefore decided that we return the $30,000 out of what you paid to us” he said.
I was surprise by the move. It showed honesty. I collected the cheque and thanked him. That morning, after we had had breakfast, John and Efe set out in search of a fertility centre. They were back later to take me to one that they felt will help – the Royal International Fertility Centre. The doctor on duty was one Dr. Paul Quansah. For twenty minutes, I was with him. He took me throu-gh the line of treatment they were going to give me. Finally, we scheduled that I begin the programme in two days’ time. I left the hospital feeling confident that I had found the solution to my infertility. Soon, I would be able to father a child. But, it felt as though I was starting life all over again.
When I returned home, the two persons who had become my confidants, John and Efe, sat with me to discuss the latest development. Everyone was enthusiastic about the fertility treatment I was going to go throu-gh.
“I cannot wait for you to complete it, sir. Then you can have your own children, your own flesh and blood,” John said.
“Well, I must be grateful to the two of you. Without you, it would not have been possible. The doctor there has as-sured me that within a month, the treatment will be completed,” I said.
Efe said what excited her most was the fact that the whole treatment will not involve orthodox medicine or injections. I was going to be on diet and will be taking some herbal drinks and food supplements. I nodded in agreement. We all, in our moment of excitement, did not think about who was going to be my p@rtner to give birth to my children.
We had very light supper that evening. Then we relaxed in the living room to watch TV. After watching the latest Ghanaian film, I left the two for my be-droom. But before I could enter, I suddenly felt urge to have a look at Peter and Pamela’s room. I retraced my steps down the corridors, virtually ti-p-toeing because I did not want to alert John and Efe about where I was going. They would definitely have followed me there if they knew I was going there. But, I wanted to be there alone.
I got to the door and gently opened it. Immediately I did, the scent of my children reached me. With my heart beating wildly, I pushed open the door and entered. Their pres£nce was everywhere.
Their picture, mounted on hvge frames looked down at me from the wall.
I stared back at them, their smiles. Their innocent smiles were everywhere. And their eyes bore into me as if they were appealing to me not to let go off them. I opened their wardrobe; they dresses hanged in there while their shoes were arranged on the shoe rack. Pamela’s teddy bear l@yquietly and sadly on her be-d.
I fought back tears. They were the two children I had known as mine for the past years. Those were the children I had hvgged, k!$$£d and cu-mddled as a father. But in a twi-nkle of an eye, I had discovered that they were not my children – at least DNA tests had proven they were not my children.
It was so unbelievable. How could I live the rest of my life knowing that they were not my children? I sat down on Pamela’s be-d. Memories of nights I used to come and sit on their be-ds and chat with them c@m£ flooding back to me. I felt the tears swelling up in my eyes. Then I realized that I was trembling.
“I still love you, Peter. I still love you Pamela. You are my children! You will always be my children, I promise,” I heard myself say.
I reached for Pamela’s be-d sheet and wra-pped it around my b©dy. It felt like having her wra-p her arms around me as I carry her.
“Pamela my princess! My love! My baby! I love you so much,” I said. By this time, I was weeping. The tears were flowing liberally down my cheeks. My heart was burning, burning for my children.
I began to wonder where they were at that material moment. Were they missing me too? Were they being coached to call another man ‘Daddy’? How will their young hearts as-similate all that was happening around them?
I looked up once more at their pictures hanging from the wall. They were all smiling and their eyes were beaming directly at me. I began to think of the future I had planned for them. Before I knew it, I had fallen asleep on Pamela’s be-d.
…………to be continued…………