#OMOJUWAFICTION: FORGIVE ME, PLEASE.-@THIRDCHIEF

Published:21 Jun, 2014

I braced myself for the scream I knew was coming. I heard the gate squeak when the maid came in, as she did every morning. My immediate concern now was how to act surprised, pretend the reason for her scream was novel to me, to lie that the redness in my eyes was from sleep and not a reaction to the dirge that disturbed my mind.

My room was where she came next; I got my act together. I tossed the pillow aside; its dampness a fortress of tears, the liquid emotions of a man who had committed a grave sin. I heard her approaching the door and put up a quasi surprised face. Acting is hard; it’s harder if you have poisoned your mother.
***
I am not mentally disturbed. I shall not attempt to justify what I have done. But I will try to rationalize it.

My mother

Who sat and watched my infant head…

My mother was the best person I had ever known. She gave me everything a mother could ever give a son. If she could afford it and it caused no harm to her child, she would give it.

She fills my childhood memories. I remember in primary one, when we sang poems in class; my favourite was and still is that one by Ann Taylor. While the other children probably recited it because it had a beautiful tune and they loved the rhythm, I did because it meant something to me. Even at that age, I understood the importance of my mother in my life. I recited because I believed it, every word. I recited it because my mother was that woman and I had her best intentions at heart. “I’m sorry.”

When pain and sickness made me cry…

My father left us when I was young. He didn’t run away, he died. Cancer. I was ten, Afam was thirteen and Chiboy, fifteen when he asked to be taken to the hospital. It was unusual because my father never went to the hospital; he took a shot of local concoction every morning. “It keeps the doctor away.”

The doctor diagnosed malaria, my father was adamant it wasn’t but he accepted the drugs anyway. When he didn’t get better, we went back to the doctor who said there was also some typhoid in his system, more drugs were reluctantly accepted and swallowed by my father. When he still didn’t get better, he was taken to another hospital. The doctor came up with a diagnosis of poorly treated malaria and typhoid. We were incredulous, we argued but the doctor was very convincing. It also helped that is voice was a deep baritone, and his white coat was pristine, like the hair on his head. He had been doing this a long time. Surely, he couldn’t be wrong; he was. My father got worse, and we took him to the government hospital, where the doctors ordered a barrage of tests.

We were in his room when the results came in. The doctor wore a smile that made a futile effort to hide his sombre mood. We were asked to step outside but monitored proceedings from the window. We watched as my mother’s mouth widened in horror, and tears began to streak down her face. My father tightened the grip on her left hand which he held in his right. His message, albeit unspoken, was clear.“Be strong for the children.”

For the next two months, mother went alone and we watched as she came back every day, cheery of spirit and acted like nothing was amiss. Then one night she came back, her face puffy and eyes red. She came to us, where we always sat and waited for her every night for the past month. She managed to wrap three of us in her arms at once, her petite frame magically shielding us from the ills of the word, temporarily. And then the tears flowed; I was young but not too young to understand, I would never see my father again. His kidney had not survived the tyranny of cancer. He was only forty-four.

Who taught my infant lips to pray…

My mother put all his moneys to good use so that we never missed him financially. We still went to the best schools, had the best tutors and ate good meals. In the evenings, she would gather us for bible lessons. She never failed to show us the way of the Lord. We grew in spirit and became even stronger as family. She thought us to believe God has a purpose for everything. She never failed to remind us that we would eventually unite with my father – who made his peace in his last days – in heaven. We all looked forward to this prospect and never deviated from the teachings of the holy book. My mother would have been the quintessential single mum but for Chiboy. He walked into the shoes my father left behind and after a few wobbly steps, strutted in those boots like he owned them. He became the father we knew. He was my mother’s husband and she never took any decision without consulting him. He was wise beyond his years. God blessed her with a wise son to bear the pain of her husband’s passing.

Five years after my father died was the first time I saw my mother’s faith waiver. It was the night Chiboy died, cancer again, the brain this time. He was twenty years old. I heard her question God for the first time ever. “Why?”
Who could blame her?

Afam joined Chiboy and my father in heaven when he turned twenty-four. He went to bed complaining of a headache, took some aspirin and was supposed to get better by morning. He didn’t. That was when mother gave up on God.

And can I ever cease to be…

I am forty years old now and unmarried. I’m single because I live everyday in fear, fear that one day the angel of death will come down in the form of a mysterious illness and swoop me up to heaven to be with my father and brothers. My mother thought I was being ridiculous, she said that God had a reason for taking the ones he took. She began to believe again after I turned thirty and routine investigations had yet to reveal anything wrong with me. I, however remained apprehensive, but my faith never wavered. I had grown up believing there was a reason for everything and God knows best, and even though my teacher had stumbled, I had attained the spiritual maturity to decide for myself. Turns out my fears were not entirely unfounded and the illness, the one that killed my father and brothers isn’t so mysterious anymore.

“Von Hippel Lindau.”

That’s what the doctor called it and then said it was a rare genetic condition; my doctor is a funny man. He tried to explain some scientific mumbo-jumbo but his words just hovered without any real penetration. The funny man said it was a rare condition. How rare could it be if it had taken three men from one family and put the fourth on death row? Malaria was rare to me, this Von whatever wasn’t.

Ah, no! The thought I cannot bear…

The reason I never started a family was because I never wanted to leave a family to go through what we went through. The idea of my mother outliving me never occurred to me. There had even been rumours in some quarters that she was a witch who gave up her husband and children for sacrifice. It is the reason we never visit my father’s kinsmen anymore. Those people don’t know my mother, but that’s irrelevant. If I die, they may stone her to death, but that’s also irrelevant.

When thou art feeble, old and grey…
My healthy arm shall be thy stay…
And I will soothe thy pains away…

This is what is relevant; I currently have three months to live, my life expectancy cut short by tumors I carry in my kidneys and brain. I couldn’t tell her about them. She might have lost all faith, she might have cursed God, and she might have committed suicide. Although all these might also not have happened, she had stumbled before. There was only one way to ensure she spent eternity in heaven, to ensure we all get reunited again; kill her while she still believed.

That’s why I played God.
I have made my peace already.
I know where I am going.
That is my story.

 

Joseph is a medical doctor in Nigeria. He spins tall tales whenever he isn’t working and also to help keep his sanity.

Eziashi Joseph
@ThirdChief
#OMOJUWAFICTION

 

  • http://moshoodwrites.wordpress.com moshood

    Mehn this is so touching and emotional. I feel like crying mehn. Nice one sir

Related Posts

Recent Posts

I Will Defend Democracy For Life – Tinubu

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will devote the rest of his life to the defence of democracy in Nigeria. He said Nigeria must keep perfecting its democracy despite the daunting challenges. The former governor of Lagos State said this in a statement, titled, “We must not take our democracy for granted,” on Sunday. According to him, the country needed an unrivalled fiscal policy to weather the economic storm. Tinubu said those that looted the...

Kebbi To Revive Argungu Fishing Festival

kebbi government on Sunday promised to revive the popular Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival, last held seven years ago. Gov Atiku Bagudu made the pledge in Birnin Kebbi when he addressed a town hall meeting as part of activities marking his first year in office. He said a committee had been established to works out modalities for the organisation of the festival in 2017. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that apart from fishing, the three-day festival also features cultural...

Gov. Ambode Launches N500m Disability Fund

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Sunday set up the state's Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD) Fund with N500 million. Ambode spoke at a programme for the physically challenged with theme: "Celebrating Ability in Disability" at the Lagos House, to commemorate his first year in office. Ambode said that the aim of the Fund was to ensure level playing field for the physically challenged who were usually presumed not able to live normal lives. "This Fund is for the advancement of...

President Buhari To Launch Ogoni Clean-Up June 2

President Muhammadu Buhari will launch the Ogoni land clean-up on June 2, a statement has said. This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, Head of Corporate Affairs unit, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt on Monday. It stated that the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, confirmed the date when she visited Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area of the state to inspect an oil spill clean-up demonstration. The statement quoted Mohammed as saying that...

Police Nab 13 Suspected IPOB Members In Enugu

No fewer than 13 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were on Monday arrested by the Police for alleged unlawful protest in Enugu. The Enugu Police spokesman, Mr Ebere Amaraizu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the suspects were arrested on Obiagu Road in the Coal City, while commemorating `Biafran fallen heroes and heroines of the 1967 -1970 civil war’. He said they were apprehended with flags of Biafra. Amaraizu said the command had embarked on a...

We’ll Make Nigerians Buy Made-In-Nigeria Products – FG

The Federal Government says it intends to make Nigerians look inwards by buying products, especially vehicles made in the country. The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said this when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja. Onu explained that it was the only way to make Nigeria a producer country and to encourage local manufacturers to produce and grow the economy.   ``We already have made in Nigeria car. ``We want to champion the idea...

Man Kills Friend For Refusing To Help Him Charge His Phone In Lagos

A bricklayer, Demola Wasiu, has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly killing his friend, Lekan Omotosho, 27. Punch Metro learnt that Wasiu, an indigene of Ede, Osun State, stabbed the Ogun State indigene in the armpit after he refused to charge his phone for him. The victim was said to have lost a lot of blood before he was rushed to the Lagos Island General

Shocking! Egypt’s Minister Refers to Other African Representatives at UN Conference as “Dogs and Slaves” | Read Memo

It was at the United Nations Environmental Assembly according to an informed source. The bone of contention appeared to be an issue with a resolution on Gaza. We have now accessed a document going within diplomatic circles on what really transpired. You can also see the tweet from one James Smart who appears to have been at the session or is in on what really transpired. Below is the text of the memo sent by Yvonne Khamati, the Chair...

Civil Defence Uncovers 2 Bomb-Making Factories In Maiduguri

The Borno State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) on Sunday discovered two bomb-making factories in Dikwa. The NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, made the disclosure in an interview in Maiduguri. Abdullahi said that the factories were discovered during a patrol by men of the command in collaboration with the troops of the 22 Armoured Brigade of the Nigerian Army. “In an effort to comply with the directives of...

One Year In Office: NOI Poll Rates Buhari

Nigerians have given President Muhammadu Buhari 64 per cent average in its overall job performance rating after one year in office. The latest polls results by NOIPolls Limited released on Monday revealed that President Buhari’s approval rating between June 2015 and May 2016 ranged from his highest of 80 per cent in October 2015 to the lowest of 42 per cent in April 2016. NOIPolls regularly conducts periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic...

Navy Anniversary: Sailing Club Holds Diamond Jubilee Boat Race

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ette-Ibas has said that the Navy Sailing Club had performed up to expectation by producing athletes that have represented the country in international events. Etta-Ibas who was represented by Rear Adm. Joe Okojie said this at a championship organized by the club to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the Nigeria Navy on Sunday in Lagos. He noted the Club had contributed immensely to the development of water...

Men In Pakistan Encouraged To “Lightly Beat” Their Wives If They…

A constitutional body in Pakistan put forth legislation that would allow men to "lightly beat" their wives if they refuse sex or decline to wear outfits preferred by their husbands. The Council of Islamic Ideology, also known as CII, proposed the legislation last week and it's already sparked anger in Pakistan. The 160-page draft has to be...

Britain Is Most Corrupt Country On Earth, Says Mafia Expert, Roberto Saviano

He has spent more than a decade exposing the murderous criminal underworld of the Italian Mafia, but journalist Roberto Saviano believes that Britain is the most corrupt country in the world. The author of international bestsellers Gomorra and ZeroZeroZero,  has lived under police protection since publically denouncing members of the Camorra, a powerful Neopolitan  organised crime syndicate, in 2006. On Saturday he made a rare historic appearance at the Hay Literary Festival flanked by several security...

Sunday Osanyintuyi: Buhari’s Presidency; One Year After and Wailing Wailers Achievements

  Setting out to address a subject of this nature appears a huge task for me with reasons.  I am neither in government nor any party’s card carrying member. But as one of those who campaigned seriously for the current president just before March 28th, 2015 elections, the onus lies on me to access its successes, criticized its failures while setting clearer agenda for its progress. Needleless to mention that inability of sycophants of disposed GEJ administration to...

Soldiers Invade Tompolo’s Town Kurutie (Little London)

Soldiers swooped on Kurutie (Little London), another community in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, ?in six gunboats at about 4.30 am, today (Monday) , hunting for members of the Niger Delta Avengers. The residents were asleep when they came, but many scampered into the bush when heard the sound of the gunboats. The soldiers, who quickly cordoned the community, embarked on a house to house search. “I am looking at the soldiers...

Lawmaker Demands Release Of Detained Legislative Aides

A member of Kogi State House of Assembly, Idris Ndako, has expressed concern over the continued detention of some legislative aides and called for their immediate and unconditional release from police detention. Ndako condemned what he said was the illegal arrest and detention of four legislative aides on account of disrupting the sitting of the House members last week, adding that they were their legislative aides and were arrested at Crusher Village while waiting for their...

Gunmen Kill 8 In Rivers

Gunmen suspected to be cultists Saturday night killed eight persons including the oldest man in Ozochi, Ahoada East LGA of Rivers State in an attack believed to be a reprisal. A source from the community said the cult members invaded the community, shooting sporadically, but could not confirm which group carried out the act or the motive. They also set shops and other property ablaze. The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ahoada East LGA,...

Why Buhari Did Not Release Details Of Stolen Asset Recovered From Corrupt Officials– Lai Mohammed

President Muhammadu Buhari did not release details of looted asset, recovered from corrupt persons, due to “legal reasons”, an official has said. The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Sunday evening, hours after Mr. Buhari’s Democracy Day broadcast. “Yes, he initially said so (that he’ll give specific details about recovered loot), but he was advised against doing so for legal reasons,” the Cable Newspapers quoted Mr. Mohammed as saying during an interview...

Oil Facilities Attacks: Tompolo Calls On Militants To Ceasefire

The ex-militants leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo), yesterday called on the new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, to put an end to its attacks on oil facilities, saying it would not do the nation any good, especially at this critical period of the country’s economy. In a statement titled: ‘A Call to the Niger Delta Avengers to give Peace a Chance in the Niger Delta Region,’’ which he personally signed, the Ibe-ebidouwei of the...

Troops Arrest Niger Delta Avengers’ Men

Ten suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) – the group of militants smashing oil facilities in the Niger Delta – have been arrested in Delta State. Besides, a military patrol team prevented some gunmen believed to be its members from attacking pipelines in Bayelsa State. The Army yesterday paraded the 10 suspects in Benin, the Edo State capital, yesterday. The suspects were arrested at about 1:40am on Saturday in Oporaza community, Warri South-West Local...

Crocodile Takes Woman During Night Swim

A woman is feared dead after being seized by a crocodile during a night-time swim with a friend at a beach in northern Australia, with reports that she yelled “A croc’s got me!” before disappearing. The women went for a stroll on Thornton Beach on Sunday evening in the far north of Queensland state before making a fateful decision to take a dip in an area known to be infested with the reptiles. “The woman...