I read the story published on this page last week and I couldn’t help but see myself in Eyinade. I was in a similar dilemma some years back and I took the wrong decision which eventually cost me a lot. When I say a lot, I meant a lot emotionally and psychologically and most importantly, my mother’s love and confidence.
I was in my final year in the university and I needed money to sort out some things in school. I called up my mother as usual and she asked that I ask my father because she was broke as at that time. I knew my father well not to speak about issues like that with him on phone, so I went to his office. When I got to his office, his secretary allowed me into his main office and I met him and my mother’s close friend in a warm embrace.
I was shocked, because the woman in question was supposed to be my mother’s very good friend and whenever mum and dad had any issue or quarrel, mum would always call her and sometimes she comes home to speak with my father or both of them.
What I saw couldn’t be interpreted to be just a friendly embrace, because, to a large extent, I was no longer a baby. Both of them were really embarrassed and my father gave me what I asked of him and even more without any argument.
I left immediately, when I got into the secretary’s office, she asked me if I saw my mother’s friend. I answered yes and she said I should do something. I understood her very well, but I was still shocked by what I witnessed in my father’s office to say anything.
My mother called me later to ask if I got the money and I told her yes I didn’t tell her what I witnessed because I couldn’t tell her on phone. I wasn’t too surprised that my father came to see me at the hostel later on in the day.
He told me he wanted to take me into confidence. He confided in me that he was having an affair with my mother’s best friend who happened to be her chief bride’s maid at marriage. And unfortunately, the relationship has produced a son, which my mother was unable to give birth to.
At this point, I was shocked and I asked if my mother didn’t bother to ask who the father of her friend’s only son was. He said they had both worked out an explanation for my mother, because her friend travelled to the United Kingdom when she became pregnant and her explanation was that she met and dated a man over there who rejected the pregnancy and the baby.
I was shocked, I broke down and wept, because I realised that my father really betrayed my mother. She is a woman anybody would admire and she has put in a lot to hold our family together. Her offence according to daddy and his family is that she was unable to give birth to a son. In fact, her friend’s son is older than my mother’s last daughter.
I was lost, confused and sad, immediately; I made up my mind to tell my mother. In fact, I planned to go home in the morning and tell her all I heard. It was as if my father was reading my mind. Immediately, he begged me and made me promise not to tell my mother what I knew as he would make amends.
I was boxed into a corner, I couldn’t refuse, I promised I won’t tell her. My father and my mother’s friend became extraordinarily nice to me. I didn’t like the betrayal, but I had no choice.
One day my mother came home and called me to her room. She demanded to know the secret I was keeping from her. I told her I kept nothing from her. Earlier in the day, she visited her colleague who was ill and was in a spiritual church. There she was given a message concerning her home and she was asked to speak with her first daughter which happens to be me, so that I would tell her what I knew.
I refused to tell her. She eventually found out and confronted me with the fact. I didn’t confirm or deny it. She confronted my daddy. It took some time, but this eventually led to their break up. My two younger siblings went with my mother, but she refused to take me with her. It also took time before my father believed that I wasn’t the one who told my mother.
I still feel the burden of the guilt. Although, I pleaded with my mother and she forgave me, but our relationship did not remain the same. As her first daughter, I missed her love, comfort and all a mother is to a child. I am married with my own family; I desire to be closer to my mother. This also affected my relationship with my siblings.