Dear Taiwo,
PLEASE, help me. I need your help and that of your readers so that my entire family will not suffer in vain. We have never been poor, to the glory of God, we have always been comfortable and contented. My parents taught us; the way of the Lord and my father especially always encouraged us to take whatever comes our way as God’s wish and always praying to ward off evil.
I am the first of my father’s seven children though not rich but very educated, my parents made sure that we all went to school and the least learned of us who is the third child who died recently had a first degree. I think I can clearly say she was the most pleasant and kind-hearted of us all taking after our mother in all ramifications and this probably, is one of the things which led to her untimely death.
She met Martin the father of her son when she was in 200levels in the university. He is Europe-based and he came home that year after he had been away for over 12 years for Christmas celebration. He attended church service with a friend of his who happened to be our family friend. His friend’s family stayed with us for lunch and he came along with them that was how he became friendly with my younger sister.
Before we all knew what was happening, he declared his intentions and proposed marriage to her. Some of us raised the issue then that it was rather early, but typically daddy, he said if it was the will of God, we mustn’t stand in His way. Martin took my sister, Tessy home and introduced her to his family as his wife to be. His mother who had all boys, five of them accepted her like a daughter and a date in July the following year was set for their church wedding after the formal introduction had been done.
Despite the fact that my sister was in school, Martin was all over her, he was always with her and we all felt she was a lucky girl, because it was obvious to us all that they both loved each other. He travelled back to Europe, with the promise to tidy up a few things and return to Nigeria in May for their wedding.
This was never to be. Tessy discovered she was pregnant in March; we all blamed her for allowing this to happen as she would have waited to get properly married before getting married. Her mother-in-law would not hear of this, she was so excited and decided that Tessy should move in with her. She pampered her and took care of her like her own daughter.
Of course, Martin was informed immediately of Tessy’s pregnancy, he was happy and promised to come home earlier than scheduled. He was supposed to come home in July that year. He never did. We were surprised when Tessy came home to inform us sometime in May that Martin quarreled with her on the phone and accused her of deliberately getting pregnant to trap him. He ordered her to have an abortion or he would not come home for the wedding.
Everyone who heard was shocked. His mother, however, stood her grounds that Tessy would not have an abortion and that the wedding would hold. Martin, did not return home as promised in July for the wedding. His friend through who we all met him, however did and confided in my parents that Martin met and married another Nigerian lady as soon as they returned to Europe; that was the reason for his strange behaviour.
When my parents heard this, they called hus parents to a meeting and asked that Tessy returned home. His mother asked for time to sort this out, she was given time, but she was unable to do anything as his son insisted that he did not want anything to do with my sister. Tessy returned home. She became a shadow of herself and it took the grace of God for her to carry the pregnancy to term. Of course, she had to stop school, when she couldn’t cope with the pregnancy and incessant sickness.
She gave birth to a set of twin boys, both Martin’s carbon copies. His mother couldn’t stop crying; his father too was heartbroken. They both did their humanly possible best. The babies pictures were sent to him. His mother was so sure that seeing the children’s pictures would give him a change of mind, unfortunately, it didn’t. His mother was more heartbroken than my sister; in fact, one can rightly say that the shock of the whole situation contributed to what led to her untimely death.
She died of heart attack, two months after the twin’s birth. Martin came home with his new wife for his mother’s burial and warned my sister not to have anything to do with his family again. His words were okay. I am sure you will be shocked at my choice of words, but they woke my sister up from her slumber. Unfortunate though.
She agreed to leave the boys in my mother’s care and went back to school, of course, to start all over again.
The twins were left in mum’s care and she did her best with them. We all loved them and Martin’s father also did his best. Sometimes, he would come over to our house and insist on washing the baby clothes and helping out with their care. What he couldn’t do was take the baby home; he had a house full of all boys; more so, mum would not even have agreed if he had asked to do that.
Unfortunately, we lost the second twin to measles when they were 10 months old. They had been immunised against measles at nine months, no one could explain why, but we lost him. It was another blow to my sister, but she took it all in prayerfully and was determined to continue with life.
She finished school and proceeded for her National Youth Service Corps. It was as if the Lord had goodies in stock to compensate her for the experience she had with Martin, because she was posted to serve in one of the converted oil companies in the country and out of the three of them who served there that year, she was offered full employment.
My sister was happy and we all thanked God for her because she had gradually returned to her bubbling self and she had also regained her gait and confidence. We all joked about the surviving twin whom we all loved to a fault as the last child mum refused to give birth to and her daughter helped her.
In fact, Eddy, the surviving twin, didn’t know Tessy was his mother until later in life. He used to call her “sister” just like all other younger siblings did; this however, did not change even after he did, because, he enjoyed the attention he got from his grandparents and everyone.
We all started encouraging Tessy to give another man a chance in her life; she eventually did when her son was about nine. A man she met at a dinner party organised by her company for expatriates who were returning to their countries. Dan, an African American, who just came into the country. They started dating and eventually, he proposed to her 11 months after.
Tessy was careful this time around. She refused to get pregnant until after the marriage. Both of them were young, there was no reason to rush anything. God really compensated her for the treatment Martin gave her, because contrary to everyone’s view that Dan was probably married with children in his country; he took her and two of my siblings home to meet his people; he was single.
His parents also visited and our parents also visited them in the US. All was well, until Tessy became pregnant. She started falling ill and became frail. It was obvious to us all that she was dying. She had the best of care. Dan tried all he could, butshe eventually died when her pregnancy was six months, but not before she told us that she had been having problems with her menstrual cycle and that she had been told at the birth of the twins to beware of cervical cancer. She kept this to herself and didn’t tell any of us until her death bed.
Her death was a blow to all of us. Dan was devastated, but we all couldn’t turn back the hand of the clock. In fact, he wanted to take Eddy as they had almost completed the papers for him to adopt Eddy as his, but my parents couldn’t leave him.
Three years after Tessy’s death, Martin came back November last year and asked to take Eddy away. It started like a movie, and of course, I have never minced words that he is actually acting out a script that could take his life if he is not careful.
His father died July last year and the burial was for November. The old man, who passed on, had no grudges with us; he was a good grandfather to Eddy till he died. In fact, and he almost passed on in the boy’s arms. He had been bed-ridden in the hospital for some months and once in a while, Eddy visited him. It was on one of such visits that he quietly passed on.
His son came home for his burial and wanted reconciliation. Apparently, he didn’t hear of Tessy’s death, but he knew she remarried. Martin wanted to take Eddy. What an effrontery! I told him to wake up from his slumber as such would not happen. It was the first time I saw my father get angry. He told him off in strong words.
He pleaded and even brought our Parish Priest and some other parishioners into the issue. Well, I am grateful that all those he informed didn’t mince words to tell him he was evil and that what he did was very bad. In fact, at the initial stage, he said he was going to sue us for the death of the second twin, Eddy. It was funny; he dropped that when he could not get support from even his own siblings.
Eventually, we learnt that the woman he left Tessy for left him for his friend after seven years of marriage without a kid to show for it and she got pregnant and had her own children when she left him. He has tried getting married again since then, but he has not been lucky. This was one of the reasons he wanted to take Eddy away.
He is still in the country threatening brimstone and storm; if we do not allow him take custody of the boy. My father has vowed that if it will take his last breadth, such will never happen. Please, help! How can we stop Martin from this evil act? He even threatens to kidnap the boy if we push him to do so. Kindly help, what can we do to stop him?

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