Her cook had gone to the village to visit her sick mother, so Bola had to bring lunch to her gateman for the first time since six months before that she had hired him.
“Thank you madam but I do not eat salad. Is it okay if I eat just the rice?”, he asked politely.
“It’s okay. No problem at all.”, she replied and went away.
Bola became disturbed since after her brief conversation with Wale, the gateman. She thought that there was something about him. Shade, the cook had once picked out all the onions from the plate of noodles that was meant for him. Bola had scolded her for wasting resources when she could have just cooked Wale’s noodles separately.
She went back to the gate and did something that was a bit weird. She borrowed Wale’s hair comb. She had given the excuse that her six years old son lost his and needed to use one urgently. Even if the reason wasn’t genuine enough, he had to grant her request since she was a nice boss.
Few days later, Bola got a call from her doctor and afterwards, some discoveries were made.
“I said it! I could tell. I just wasn’t sure without having enough evidence. He is the father!” Bola kept talking without minding that Enitan was also in the sitting room with her. The young boy probably didn’t hear her since he was too busy with the video game that he was playing.
“You sent for me madam.” Wale’s hands were at his back as usual and his head was slightly bent downwards as a sign of respect. Bola was okay with that few hours before but not anymore. The DNA test had revealed that he was Enitan’s father, so she could not have him bow for her any longer.
“Your real name is Ade and you must know a lady called Pelumi.” Bola didn’t sound like she was asking a question. However, she didn’t expect the kind of reaction that she got afterwards. She expected the middle aged man to be shocked, feeling remorseful. He was rather emotional and before Bola could say anything, he had started crying. The anger that Bola had prepared to vent on him subsided and she moved closer to him, saying. “Why are you crying, Mr Wale? Did I say anything wrong?” She told Enitan to excuse them.
“I am sorry Madam. You made me remember my dead wife and child.”
Bola became more curious. The story that she had known for the past six years was probably not correct. Wale later calmed down, after which he narrated what happened six years before.
His name was Adewale but he used to be called Ade. That day, he had gone out to look for money since it was said that his wife couldn’t give birth on her own. He met with an accident on his way and landed in another hospital. Two hours later, Pelumi, his wife eventually gave birth on her own but died immediately after. It was about the same time that Bola, her fraternal twin sister, who got separated from her when they were babies, was looking for her. Both of them were separately adopted from the orphanage by different families. Bola took in her sister’s baby and she had been his mother since then.
“We thought that you abandoned my sister, your wife and ran away from your responsibilities.”
“I didn’t do such. She was my dear wife. I was told later that she and the baby died while I was away.” Wale explained bitterly. “By the way, how did you find out about my relation to Enitan?”
“Oh, that… I actually called for a DNA test, using the hair from the comb that I borrowed from you four days ago as a sample. I once saw Shade remove onions from your food. I began to have my suspicion then. When I served your food for the first time that day and you didn’t eat the salad, my suspicion got higher. You also love to keep plenty hair unlike many men.” Bola explained happily. It was the first time that she would be talking to Wale like that.
“How is that related to Enitan?” He still didn’t understand how she thought that he could be the father with just those observations.
“Enitan doesn’t eat onions and salad. He picks them out whenever he sights them on his food. He also loves to keep plenty hair, just like you. I know that anyone couldn’t have concluded with just those alikeness. However, I’d been searching desperately for Enitan’s biological father for six years and I wouldn’t just want to take any chance.”
“Then, it means that our kindness solved the puzzle half way.”, Wale cheerfully remarked.
“Yeah… Like father, like son.”
They both laughed.
*kindness (as used in the story) – the state of being kind; alike; the same type; category.