WHAT LIES BENEATH.
BY AMAH’S HEART
I felt so proud of my Dad, it was so relieving to know it was not my father after all.
I wish I can stand up and scream hallelujah, while waving my hands in the air. That was exactly how I felt at that moment.
Revived, energised, strong and happy.
I felt ashamed that I doubted God’s word and questioned him countless times.
I looked towards Eziaku and I can still see her struggle. It all seems too much for her to digest at ones.
But I know deep down she is relief that we are not related in anyway like it was initially believed.
Mr Benson went on apologizing to Oluchi, Eziaku’s Mom.
He said he never lied about having a woman and I was his friend’s son not his son.
He does not have any child back then and was not married.
He told her to everyone’s hearing, that he actually lost his wife many years ago and never remarries. His eldest son is about twenty five years while the second is twenty two and they are both studying abroad.
He so much wish he can rewrite his past wrongs.
He never thought that their parts will cross again until they drove into the state and my Dad reminded him of the state.
And just as fate will have it, he was led to this village and my Dad reminded him again of the event that brought them down many years ago.
He did not even recognize the village or the compound, it was still my Dad that kept reminding him
He was in shock as every thing came playing back.
He was speechless and although he managed to contribute one or two words at the request of his friend but he was not himself.
He sincerely apologies to Oluchi and her mother for the trouble he caused them all.
He looked over at Eziaku and said.
“I don’t deserve to be your father but I will love to play that role in your life if only you will let me …I don’t think I deserve anything. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I will step foot in this village again or ever meet my own daughter.. only girl child because I only have boys. When Jerry my friend asked me to join him in this journey, I happily obliged because is a good thing and Jerry have always been there for me. Back in Lagos when I first met you, something about you stroke me and I was ready to support you and Austin in anyway possible. My friend Jerry said you were special and he can’t place what was it about you but there was a connection and God will lead us or unveil whatever it was. He said so and I have known Jerry to be upright and he had this close relationship with God unlike me. I believed him and now I can only attest that God had finally led us here, for me to witness this day and watch you get married to my very good friend’s son… who is also like a son to me. I know this whole thing is hard to assimilate at once, I plead that we all give it time and chance. Let God alone who directed our paths to this place guide our ways forward. I told Jerry that I was scared when we went outside that I don’t know a way out of this or what exactly to do and he encouraged me to be a man and take responsibility this time. The responsibilities I failed to take twenty eight years ago came back to hunt me down. I’m ready to make it up to you. I know I can’t quantify the losed years but going forward, please allow me to be a father to you. I will train you to any level of your choice and any school of your choice around the globe. You will also get to meet your brothers studying abroad. I’m ready for any task Ezi…I will also support your mother financially to set up any business of her choice and also her husband if is okay by him. I can’t make up for the lost years but I can start from now and play a fatherly role in your life…
Suddenly there was a round of applause coming from villagers that were gathered.
Why are they clapping and rejoicing happily? Even the Oluchi was smiling.
They can’t all decides for Eziaku, she will need time and I know it will all be in her favor because I will always be right beside her.
I guess the villagers were happy that Eziaku’s father is a wealthy man and that was all they are after nothing else.
Nobody was thinking of the emotional effect of everything.
Money rules the world and can buy over an entire community of people.
I can’t imagine not knowing who my father was for twenty eight years and all of a sudden I found him and realized he denied me from pregnancy and after decade he wants to play the role of a father.
I will serious need time to think it through.
I will want to know if I truly need him now or not. Eziaku is an adult and know what she wants.
Is the village clappers that I didn’t understand. They were hailing Mr Benson and making him seems like a demigod.
Even though he is my father’s friend but he did not do well.
Despite he was sorry for his past deed but it was only because he had no choice than to be sorry and my Dad encouraged him in taking responsibility like a man.
If not, all this people clapping and hailing him won’t see reason to do that.
He never even bother to search for Oluchi and knows what becomes of the pregnancy or the child.
If not that my Dad encourage and pushed him to do the right thing he would have still chickened out because of fear.
Well, I’m happy Eziaku finally get to meet her biological father and he is a close friend of my Dad.
Her grandmother came to apologise to my Dad and to my Mom for accusing my Dad wrongly. She did not get the information properly, she thought Oluchi was referring to my Dad and that was why she missed it.
My parents waved it off and said they understand.
I trust my Dad, he won’t even take it to heart despite how embarrassing it looks that even made me wept sadly and almost loose the respect I had for my Dad.
My Mom knows her man very well and pulled a good defense for him.
My father is very lucky to have my Mom and I know Eziaku will always have my back.
She was outspoken, fearless and I know for sure she loves me enough to accommodate my excesses.
We had to postponed the introduction and paying for the list items untill when Eziaku will be in a stable condition.
As much as I wanted the intro done right away so that I can take my wife and leave, I just had to consider her emotional state.
Mine too was not organized, my emotions were tampered with and I suggested we postponed it.
So that we can balance ourselves.
I spoke with Eziaku outside, beside my car as we were about to go that day. she wrapped her arms around me thanking God that it was not my Dad like we all thought.
She said the thought of loosing me was too much to bear and realizing that she finally met her real father was heavy on her heart.
She truly does not know how to take it all in at ones.
It was a good thing when I suggested the introduction to be postponed.
We left day and retuned back to the hotel.
After two days we drove back and the proper introduction was carried out smoothly.
Everything was paid off.
We fixed the traditional wedding before traveling back to our base.
After another month passed by, we traveled back to Eziaku’s state for traditional marriage.
Through out this time Eziaku and Mr Benson was getting along little by little like father and daughter kind of relationship.
Chuka came along, my Dad, Mom and their few relatives and friends were among and we all lodged in the same hotel that we used during introduction.
I called the hotel and booked it ahead even before we Came.
We almost filled all the rooms in the hotel except for few remaining.
Mr Benson was there and it has been agree he will be the one to give out Eziaku in marriage traditionally.
He was happy and had been trying to please his daughter and her mother ever since the discovery that he was Eziaku’s father.
Tomorrow is the traditional wedding and I will finally take my wife back home.
We planned to do Court wedding instead of church wedding back in Abuja. Only few family and friends.
No huge party or big gathering. That’s how I and Eziaku wants it done.
The traditional wedding will be big merriment enough for party lovers.
Eziaku called me that night and said.
She doesn’t know how Oby heard about the upcoming traditional marriage. That the news traveled round the village and almost all the villagers are aware
Even her ex boyfriend, Uche came to congratulate her.
“…Oby came few days ago and also yesterday and was acting all friendly. Did you know what she asked me on the first day? She asked me if I was truly getting married to “her own Austin”? I told her no, that i was getting married to “my very own Austin” I told her to go and look for where she kept her own. She came again yesterday Morning and said she will love to join my asoebi train. She wants to be among the young ladies following me about on the traditional wedding day, she also wants to be my good friend and will be giving me advice when I need it…then she added that she will also follow me to Abuja so that she can either be my chief bridesmaids or among the bridal train for my church wedding…”
Eziaku began to laugh and I joined in.
Oby serious have gut to even refer to me as”her Austin”.
wanting to join Eziaku’s train and be her advicer sound very funny to my ears.
“Then what was your reply… what did you tell her after she presented all this request to you…”? I asked Eziaku while waiting to hear more.
“I told her that the train was filled and I don’t need a conductor to help me out because I have able hands. She came late and can’t fit into any of my choice in ladies. Maybe she should wait for her own Austin to come so that she can follow him to anywhere she wants…my own Austin won’t be happy seeing her among my overfilled train. I told her to back off. she felt bitter and humiliated and said I snatched her boyfriend from her and still have the guts to insult her. She said if you did not come looking for her in the village years ago that I wouldn’t have known you or even getting married to you. She supposed to be the one getting married and not me… “.
I laughed sarcastically over what Ezi was telling me.
Eziaku said Oby planned to come tomorrow to scatter the whole traditional wedding.
Oby said is either I also get married to her too or no wedding will hold in her village tomorrow.
She will make sure she brings doom to me and Eziaku.
I asked Eziaku not to be threatened by Oby.
We have overcome bigger temptation, Oby’s case is small and will be properly handled if she tries anything funny.
I may even be coming with escorts because of her.
Eziaku asked me not to stress myself that she had already spoken to Uche her ex. Uche promises to come with Nonso, Spanner and two other guys to guard the day. That Oby can’t do anything and she doesn’t feel threatened in anyway because God was involved in our lives.
I was happy hearing her assured me all over and I know our traditional wedding will be smooth.
Oby can’t interrupt our day like she planned to do. She is too small to even try.
I know she is capable of anything and I’m not under rating her but I’m confidence that our tomorrow will go down well.
As I lay in my bed that night after speaking with Eziaku all I could say was
“finally, life was begining to make sense.
It can only be you Lord… it can only be you. Thank you God for stepping into my affairs and turning all situation around to our favour…not just for me but also for Eziaku who now has someone to call Dad after twenty eight years of living without a father. I know tomorrow is already taken care of and our forever is blessed because you are the architect of our Union. Thank you God for everything…”
I don’t feel worried anymore because I believe that whatever happens from now onwards is God’s will and I’m ready to follow his leading.
What Lies beneath Episode 43
WHAT LIES BENEATH.