She called me on phone.
A voice from my past.
“Daniel i need your help”
“How now… been a long time, how may i be of service?” I replied.
She told me Akpobaroghene, her 22 year old son had successfully completed his naval recruitment procedures and was now an enlisted officer.
His passing out ceremony was billed for next week and she wanted me to accompany her to his passing out ceremony
“That’s great news but Why”?
“He needs a father figure to stand in for him on this August occasion” came her reply.
“What about his dad”?
A long pause, then she broke into tears… coughed once and cleared her throat.
He abandoned us when my boy was 3 and his younger sister was a year old, I’ve not seen him since and i don’t really care.
“Why me, what about his uncles from yours and his father’s family”?
My brothers stopped talking to me when i got impregnated by his father at 19, in my sophomore year on campus.
Against my parents wish i dropped out of my degree programme and absconded to Lagos with him.
It broke my mum’s heart, she died 6 months later.
My father and brothers have not spoken a word to me ever since.
As for uncle’s on my husband’s end of the family they despise me.
“Why” i probed.
They blame me for bewitching their brother, who they’d all drop out of school for, so he could become a medical doctor and change the family’s fortunes.
He was very brilliant but after i got pregnant, their sacrifice became wasted.
Two years after my husband absconded with a woman old enough to be his mum.
Men, old and young flocked around me but saw my children as baggages they didn’t want around them.
Two broken relationships later, it was clear that all men wanted was a roll in the sack.
Feeling used and dejected, i stopped falling for the lies that came so easy to randy men.
Whatever goodwill we had, evaporated with my refusal.
Young, pretty, frustrated, tired of living from hand to mouth, i needed to survive with my children.
The challenge was, i had no basic skills or professional qualifications.
So i took on the oldest profession known to wo-mankind.
Single mother by day…. hawker of flesh by night.
I was able to give my kids a better life.
As i got older and less attractive, i invested my savings in a trade.
My kids grew older and kept asking after their father.
And i kept lying to them.
Now my son says if i don’t tell him the truth, he might never speak to me once he passes out.
“So what has this got to do with me”?
I saw your picture on Facebook and realised you are the only male friend i have who actually looks like my husband.
“So”? I asked, alarms going off in my head.
“I showed my son your picture and he believes you’re his father”