“Maami” he said in disbelieve, I could see the confusion in his eyes it seems no one had called him by his real name in quite a while. He ran down the elevation where he stood, grabbing me into his embrace. Tears stream down my face as I realised I’ve missed him, I missed his graduation, I missed his whole life. Then he let go of me looking me in the eye telling me not to cry that he was here now and he was here to stay.
We left the market, immediately he brought his campaign to an halt, as we moved in the vehicle to his house fresh tears flowed down my cheek. I’ve never been in a vehicle other than the regular bus I enter whenever I’m going to market every morning. This comfort and sudden change was too much for me to take in at once.
We got into his house, a well-furnished duplex with pictures of him and his family all over. He had two kids, a boy and a girl the boy seems to look like his mother and the girl him. “maami please have your seat” he said motioning to me to seat, it was then I realised I’ve been standing with my mouth wide open.
“what happened to you all this years? Who got you kidnapped? How did you survive?” I rushed him with my questions as the maid served me a meal of pounded yam and egusi which was my favourite and he remembered. “well it’s a long one but it’s all good” he said seating upright. I could see the pain in his eyes as he struggled to keep his bold appearance as he told his story.
“when I was taken away from your arms as you fell after you got hit on the head, I was taken to a dark room where I was fed with just water and stale bread for three days. On the third day a man came and bought me for a sum I don’t even know but it seemed large. For a while I thought I was going to be used for rituals, it scared the hell out of me.
We got to my buyer’s house and I saw he had a room already prepared for me which surprised me. At dinner two days after my arrival he told me his real name was Tunde Aderomu and he was my father. Initially I thought he was just saying that to make me comfortable with him but then he showed me pictures of both of you together and said a lot of things about you.
He explained how he had to run away from town because apparently your parents knew you were pregnant before you told them and they had threatened him. When he had settled down and made an earning for himself he sought to pick you alongside me from the village but once again he was rejected with the claim that he brought shame and disgrace to the family. So he decided to take me by force, if your parents wanted you to suffer he wasn’t going to allow his own child suffer.
From that moment he took care of me and had my name changed to David so no one would be able to find me. I attended one of the best schools in the country and travelled out for my university education.
On getting back I pursued my political career got married to Folakemi and know blessed with two kids Jeremiah and Sarah who was named after you mother . Dad died a year after my marriage from cancer”
he said know looking sad that he lost his father, they were really close I could see now.
“But you never came back for me?” I couldn’t help but ask, the thought that my joy forgot me has started hunting me.
“I did but when I got to the village I was told you moved after the dead of your parents and no one knew where you went” this time giving me a hug and I begin to cry again.
While we were still hugging his wife came in with my grandchildren. We were introduced and before long they were all up in my space asking various questions.
As the sun sets tonight I’m annoyed at the fact that my own parents caused me such pain and took a secret to their grave and now I miss Tunde but I’ve finally forgiven him for he had no choice.
I’m glad to be reunited with my son in his enlarged state. My sorrow has turned to joy and my darkness to morning. I close my eyes to sleep knowing I’m waking up to a new and better day.
This is the end of His Mother’s Joy. Thank you for reading.