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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

My oga son (4) final

MY OGA SON

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I quickly picked up the paper and my heart froze as I read the story. The report was about Edward. It stated that he had been involved in a car accident a few days before and that he was in a critical condition in an undisclosed hospital.
'While the doctors are battling to save his life, a source close to the family disclosed that his parents are making frantic efforts to have him taken to a hospital abroad,' I read. I stared at the paper in disbelief, not believing what was before my eyes.
Edward in an accident? How did this happen? Different thoughts kept swirling through my mind. I was walking away from the vendor's stand in a daze when the man said: "Aunty, you never give me money for the paper o!"
I apologised, paid him and left. Throughout that day, I thought about nothing else but the accident.
I kept praying that he would be alright. I longed to get an update on his situation but there was no one I could reach immediately. My mother had stopped working for the Addamsons some time ago after my grandmother fell seriously ill. She had resigned and had relocated to the village to take care of the old woman. As soon as I closed from work, I took a cab and rushed to the family house. 
The place had not changed much since I left. The security men at the gate, on recognising me, let me in. None of the family members was at home, they said. It was one of the maids, Charity, who gave me a bit of information on the situation. She said his parents were travelling with him that night to a foreign hospital.
"We are all praying so Oga Edward will recover soon," she said. 
It took months before Edward had recovered enough from his injuries to return to Nigeria. And it was not a full recovery as I found out when I went to visit him at home. He was in a wheelchair, a result of the spinal cord injuries he had sustained in the accident. Though I was so happy to see him alive, I felt bad seeing the once vibrant and lively Edward sitting in a wheelchair, unable to walk. 
That first day, I spent a long time with him and it was like old times even though circumstances had changed. He was married now, had survived a near fatal accident and was confined to a wheelchair. His wife, Cherry was hardly around as she still lived in their marital home while Edward was at the family home during his recuperation period.
Anytime, I visited, Edward was always very happy to see me. We would spend many hours chatting, watching movies together or playing some board games like Scrabble which he loved. It got to a point that he even suggested I should move back to the house so I could be closer to him. It was in the evening and the nurse who attended to him at home, had closed for the day.
"What about your wife? How will she feel when she hears that a former girlfriend of yours had moved into your home?" I asked. 

He smiled wryly before stating:
"My wife? How many times do you see her here?"
"Maybe she is busy with her job," I suggested.
"What job? Cherry doesn't work! She is probably too busy with her shopping and hanging out with her equally rich and idle friends to have time for her crippled husband!" he said with some bitterness. Besides his wife, I wondered about his parents reactions too. Afterall, it was due to their interference that Edward and I had broken up. Though to be fair to them, since my return, they had been very friendly especially seeing how my presence made their son happy and less depressed about his condition.

Back to base
With no objections from his parents, I moved back to the house. Truth was, I wanted to be close to him so I could help in any way in his recovery. So, I did not mind the relocation. Each day, after closing from the office, I always looked forward to going home so I could be with Edward. With time, he became almost like his old self and less prone to bouts of depression and self-pity.
Things went on this way until about a year after I had been living there. I returned from work one evening to find Edward looking despondent. Thinking he was in pain or something, I asked if I should send for the nurse to give him some drugs.

He shook his head.
"I'm fine. Nothing's wrong with me," he said.
It was much later I found out what had been bothering him. He told me that his wife, Cherry had filed for divorce and wanted out of the marriage.
"Can you believe she broke the news to me by text message? She did not even have the courtesy to come here and tell to my face that she is no longer interested in the marriage. All because I'm now wheel chair bound! She says she is too young to be saddled with a husband who is virtually a cripple and can't perform his duties as a man anymore! And that she has fallen for some one else!" I could see he was getting really upset so I tried to calm him down.
His parents were equally shocked when they heard what Cherry had done. 
"What kind of wife would abandon her husband in his hour of need?" said his mother one day when she was discussing the issue with a friend of hers who had come to visit Edward.
"It shows the state of the world today. Most young people don't take their marital vows seriously. They jump ship at the first hint of trouble. No patience at all!" the friend chipped in.
Some months later, after the breakdown of his marriage, Edward's mother sent for me one day. We had a long chat, with the main focus being Edward. She pleaded with me to overlook the past, particularly the shabby way her husband and herself had treated me while Edward and I were dating.
"I realize now, we made a mistake. We should not have stopped you both from being together.  I can see that my son really loves you and you genuinely care for him. Look at the way you've been caring for him since his illness. You have stood by him while the stupid, so called wife has abandoned him," she said.
She told me that Edward had spoken to her about resuming our old relationship, that he even wants to marry me.
"I want to plead with you to please accept his proposal when he eventually summons the courage to ask you. Chief and I can now see that you are the only one who can make him truly happy. Please, Laura, my dear, he needs you now. We are ready to do anything you want. All we ask is just be with our son and make him happy again, be his old self once more" she stated earnestly.
True to her words, Edward proposed to me a few days after his mother spoke to me. He said he had not stopped loving me and could not imagine being with anyone now except me. I did not turn him down or accept. I simply told him to give me sometime to think about it. 
"I'll be travelling to the village to visit my mother. I'll give you an answer on my return," I told him. He did not seem to mind, stating he was ready to wait as long as 'my answer would be favorable to him.'
Though I still loved Edward and it would make me very happy to be his wife, I had not fully forgotten the pain his parents put me through after they broke up our relationship. Now, they are begging the same person they did not want anything to do with their son because of her poor background, to marry him. How ironic! What will happen tomorrow if Edward recovers fully and they remember my roots and want to kick me out again? The last tests by some specialists doctors who had examined Edward showed he could regain the use of his legs with time and proper care. A physiotherapist had even been engaged to work on him.
So, this time around, I want to be careful. My trip to see my mother in the village is to seek her advice on the matter. She is older and wiser and would advise me on the best decision to take. 
I also want readers of my story to make an imput, to advise me about the issue- should I accept Edward's proposal or not? Thank you.


The End!


Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story
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