Best Served Cold…episode 8
Do you remember that nursery school rhymes Que sera sera? It goes thus: que sera sera, whatever will be will be, the future is not ours to see, que sera sera. But sincerely is that the worth of our existence? Whatever will be will be? So I should simply resign to my fate and accept the pregnancy, accept the marriage that never happened, the husband who is nowhere to be found, and a baby who….? What do you do when life seems be after your life? When the hawk of the earth is after your baby chickens? Do you fold your arm; watch while humming que sera sera? Isn’t there more to life than what life throws our way. We all have our mix of misfortune but when misfortune follow each other in sequential order like people waiting on a queue, shouldn’t we query life and ask to be treated better?
I know they say in church that God fulfils the desires of our heart. Does he? Definitely the desire of my heart is not for sorrow to become my constant companion and pity my ever present partner. Pastor Israel often says that when unsavoury things happen to us, we should give thanks no matter what. My heart is grateful to God actually inspite of all I have been through. I am grateful for the life of my precious Olagboye. Just a peep at him and all my accusations and doubts about God dissipates. When I look at his tender palms, I doubt my doubts about God. I see reason for existence. I see God in his gentle breathing while he sleeps, I see God in his radiant baby smiles, I see God each time I bathe him while he splash the water in excitement. I see God and I know there is God but I still cannot understand why he wouldn’t simply put an end to evil in the World.
Well did I tell you what the Doctor told Dad? No I didn’t!
He said that my precious baby has a problem. A serious medical problem he said. I also have a problem. A serious medical problem he said. Should my baby also suffer from my misfortune, why must it extend to this little dear? He had no hand in all my troubles; he didn’t ask to be born so why should he suffer with me. The doctor said Olagboye has a chronic lung disease. Life will be difficult for him. Most babies with chronic lung disease survive but they may have a troubled childhood. He was given oxygen for about a month before we were discharged. He also said I have a scarred ovary, having another baby may be extremely difficult. I had to be strong for the tiny life which came out of me. With him, my life had more purpose, more meaning. I could look forward to each new day. Dad was a happier man too; he chose to overlook the storms. He vowed Olagboye will have the best the earth could offer. Every night, he sat in his rocking chair with Olagboye in his arms. He didn’t miss a single day. Regardless of the schedule and the importance of the appointment, he came home at 6.30pm so he could rock and sing to his grandson after his evening bath.
Because of the pregnancy, I had abandoned my life. I was like stagnant water: neither moving forward nor going backward. I thought about my life and encouraged myself to move on. Man must always keep hope alive. I quickly registered for some professional exams and passed all brilliantly. I then applied for an opening at a consulting Firm and was taken in. Dad as usual wanted me to take up a space in his company or any of his friend’s but I nicely turned him down.
‘No Dad. I said giving a peck on his moustache cheeks. ‘I need to be my own woman. I want to create a path for myself, distinguish myself as you have done for yourself’
‘You are your mother’s daughter; persistence and insistence on independence. She used to tag herself Miss Independence. It’s what attracted me to her. Every day I see her in you. It’s amazing! He said stretching his cheeks for another peck. This time I gave him on his shining forehead. He accepted to let me be and choose my path according to my taste. I made pretty sure Olagboye’s crèche was a stretch away from my office so I could dedicate time to him having informed my boss of his special health peculiarities. Gboye’s mum wanted me to leave him to her care but I preferred him being close to wherever I was. I couldn’t bear with leaving him at home, several miles out of my reach.
After about seven months at the Consulting Firm, I got a better option at an Auditing firm. They wanted me in one of the top offices and I decided not to resist the temptation. With the new job though came more responsibilities and less time for Olagboye but he was such a strong boy. The Doctor even told me their prediction of his constant ill health may be unnecessary. He had only been seriously ill once. He was by this time about two years old. Gboye’s mum was more than glad to pick him up from the Crèche every afternoon, bring him to my office for some few minutes before going home. She almost permanently moved to Dad’s house only going home when I was fully available; weekends.
I soaked myself into my work with a desire to surpass my own expectations of me. Staff of Inpel Auditing rarely went out of the office for lunch. A caterer was contracted to bring food to the office for all workers. Senior staff especially were served in their office unlike the others who eat at the Office’s Kitchen. Why they call it Kitchen still baffles me. It was more of a Dining hall with Kitchen utensils and appliances. I ate there only once and that was the day I received another bombshell.
I sat at a table alone quietly munching at my chicken when I noticed a familiar face at the table directly opposite mine. I couldn’t figure where I had seen him before but I was sure I knew him. I was staring at him and exactly at that moment, he raised his head and our eyes locked. He looked pleasantly surprised, excused himself, stood up and walked up to my table.
‘Adenike? What a surprise! He said with a strong Irish accent. I still couldn’t remember where I knew him.
‘You don’t remember? Haba! He said the ‘Haba’ like a man with hot coal in his mouth.
‘Unfortunately I don’t remember. I know we’ve met somewhere though’ I replied.
‘Emeka, you have forgotten Emeka?
‘Oh yes. I remember! I exclaimed. He was my senior in the university. He was in his final year when I got admitted into the University. He was the best in the department graduating magna cum laude. He was very fond of me and I once thought he had an interest in me. Emeka taught me some of my difficult courses in year one. He was awarded a research scholarship at Imperial College London. A year later, he sent me an email that he was in Dublin and needed a ‘home’ view of places to go for fun. He knew I had visited Dublin a couple of times. I replied his email but that was the last I heard from him. I asked him what he was doing at my firm’s kitchen. He said he came briefly for a local conference in Nigeria. He was paying his friend, the principal of my firm a visit and preferred to eat where every staff ate as it is done in other places around the world. He took me to my principal’s office and introduced me as his mentee in school. Then he came over to my office asking to know what I had been doing since graduation.
I opened up to him giving him a clear HD view of the horror movies in which life got me an acting role. It was then it occurred to me that I had no friends; why else will I open up to him. I thought perhaps because nobody had recently asked for the horrific events of my life. When I mentioned Gboye’s name, he said he met a Nigerian named Olagboye at a Summit in Uzbekistan. They didn’t get to talk much. He waved it off urging me to continue my story. I was curious though, so I asked him if he would recognize from a picture the Olagboye he met in Uzbekistan.
‘Definitely, I don’t forget faces’ he replied.
I quickly scrolled through my Samsung Galaxy Tab S and handed it over to him.
He looked at me puzzled.
‘Is this your Olagboye?
I nodded my head praying and hoping.
He looked like a baby attempting to comprehend a fairy tale.
‘Impossible! Some features have changed but yes he is the one I met in Uzbekistan.
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