The Runaway Bride Episode 24

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When they drove into their compound, he was
not surprised to see his father sitting alone in
his evening wear, listening to the news. With
the look of things, his mother had not arrived
from her store. She has a big depot for all
sorts of drinks, a store that takes up to 6 plots
of land in the city.
“Tokunbo, what a surprise, don’t you think it
is quite late”
“Good evening sir.”
“Hello Chinwe, how are you”
“Dad, I need to speak with you in private”
“I hope all is well?”
“We are about to find out”
“Come with me” Chinwe watched as they both
walked towards his study and shut the door
behind them
“Yes, I am listening”
“The result of the DNA test came in today and
when I could not make any sense from the
file, I took it to Dr. Kunbi, who told me I am
not the father of Clara’s child….”
“Thank God, I was thinking you would say….”
Chief Ajayi heaved a sigh of relief as he
patted his son on the shoulder
“That is not all; he said I am related to the
father of her child. He said he could be my
brother”
“So why are you looking at me that way? Did
he say you could be the brother to that young
boy? Did he imply I could be the father?” His
father asked incredulously, obviously not
getting the whole idea.
“No, but that means you have another son
aside me dad. So I want to ask, did you have
an affair with any woman, that could have
resulted to having a child? Who perhaps looks
exactly like me or that has some semblance?
He stared at his father with some hard look
beaming with some cold fire.
“Calm your anger right now young man; I am
not the object of your fury. Sit down. You
know when you left here on Sunday, I went to
the hospital to have my DNA included in that
test but Kunbi said he would not allow it, that
if you wanted me to take, you would have
invited me along“
”What are you trying to say?” Tokunbo said
“I am trying to say that I would like us to take
another DNA, just the 2 of us, and if you can
keep it our secret, I mean not telling your
mother, I would be grateful. But in answer to
your question, I do not have any woman aside
your mother. I have been a faithful husband
to her all these years.Yes, I had some ladies
before I got married to your mother but none
of them got pregnant for me.”
The atmosphere of the study suddenly
changed for Tokunbo, he began to sweat
profusely in his father’s well air conditioned
study. The whole thing just dawned on him.
His father said put in other way meant he
probably is not his son. The pace of his
heartbeat tripled immediately.
********************************************************
The drive back to the house was more tensed
than what it was initially; Chinwe could not
help but worry at the frown on his face. Could
he be angry with her for shutting him out all
the while? Clara accused him wrongly. If he
wanted to be angry then he deserved to be
but she is used to being married to him and
would love it for them to start all over again.
When he parked the car, she followed him
gently into the house and went to their room
to change for the night, but decided to still try
her luck with trying to get through to him;
what he could he be thinking and what could
his next steps be?
Tokunbo was surprised to see her still awake
when he entered the room, he had been lost
in thoughts that he did not realize it was
almost 11 pm.
“What is it?”
“Nothing! I just want us to talk about the
result of the DNA test,” she started almost
inaudibly
“What else is there to talk about? I did not
rape your friend” Tokunbo said as he made to
walk to the bathroom.
“I know, but, I also have something to say. I
have wronged you and I am sorry. I should
have listened to your own side of the story
and given you the benefit of doubt.”
“Yes, you should have” Tokunbo looked her
straight in the eyes.
“I will understand if you want to go ahead
with a divorce now, I know I have been
unfair and would not blame you if…” she
continued in a shaky voice, trying to hold
back her tears, so as not to make it more
difficult than it already was.
“Divorce? You think that is the next thing,
well, let’s talk about that later.” He shook his
head and walked to the bathroom this time,
leaving Chinwe to almost run after him, to
beg him to just forgive her foolishness and if
he would give her a chance, she would be the
best wife ever.
Chinwe watched as he went into the bathroom
and when he came out some minutes later, he
was already in his bedclothes. He recognized
the fear in her eyes, the guilt and the shame
in her eyes and even if he would like to
punish her for all she had done, he would not
be able to, not when she was looking like
that.
“I have a brother out there, who I don’t know
and who is responsible for Clara’s baby.
Divorce is the last thing on my mind. I know
you still want the divorce, so…..”
“No I don’t want it…. I don’t want to divorce
you”
“You don’t?” Tokunbo turned to face her fully
this time, hoping he heard her right.
“No I don’t, I would like to still stay married,
married to you. That is if you still want me”
“I want you and I will always want you, I am
not just sure we know each other very well,
especially to the point of trusting each
other fully,” he said as he held her jaw softly
in his hands, cupping her whole face as he
talked.
“I know and I am ready to tell you anything
you would like to know”
“Really? Okay, why would you believe I raped
Clara, without hearing from me?” he asked
her gently, his tone devoid of any trace of
anger.
“I was raped when I was 14 by my dad’s
cousin”
Tokunbo sat straight in their bed as she
narrated the horrid event to him; he listened
without stopping her or interrupting with
questions. When she finished the story, she
waited to hear him say anything but he
simply gathered her in his arms and that was
when she finally could cry.
“Stop crying please, but you should have told
me or better still know that all men are not
the same.”
He rubbed her shoulders and imagined what
she could have gone through, at that age
especially from someone who should have
protected her.
“Does your father know about this?”
“No, I could not tell anyone, Nkem might
know, although I did not tell him, but he
might have guessed”
“That is terrible, you should learn to share
your burdens, no wonder you and your father
don t see eye to eye”
He continued to rub her shoulders till she fell
asleep and he also fell asleep.
********************************************************
The day Chinwe started work, Tokunbo also
had to resume back to work after taking 2
weeks off. He offered to drop her off at her
new workplace and gave her a congratulatory
hand written note for her to stick to her desk.
Chinwe was attached to an administrative
supervisor who would ‘groom’ her for
sometime before she will be made to work
with one of the partners at the law firm. So
far the instructions are easy to follow, easy to
understand and also to remember, she
realized she could get used to this and even
be better at it. A message came in from
Tokunbo before lunch asking how it was
going, she quickly replied him that all was
going on well; she sent another one asking
him to focus on his job while he allowed her
to do the same.
She called Clara during the lunch break and
was worried about her
“Hi Chinwe,”
“Clara, you have not been picking my calls.
Have I done anything to offend you?”
“No, why would you think that? I am just
ashamed of myself and I don’t know how to
tell you how sorry I am for almost ruining
your marriage”
“I am sorry for everything too, but I was
worried that you did not agree with the
interpretation of the test and maybe thought
we might have influenced things”
“What? No! Why would I do that? I actually
had a second opinion and the interpretation
was the same, but I never thought you might
have influenced the result anyway. I was just
disappointed that I did not find the answer I
was looking for, although even if he had
ended up being the father, I would still have
forgiven him”
“Hmm.., you don’t know how happy I am to
hear you say that”
“I know. I am glad too. Does that mean you 2
are going to stay together?”
“I will and I think he wants to, I just pray he
can forgive me truly for all I did, as he said
he has”
“He loves you, I’m sure he will or he has”
“I know that now”
“Has he told you about any brother
anywhere?”
“He has not said it yet, but I think he met his
father about that on Friday, the meeting was
private and I am yet to know what they talked
about”
“Okay, please, would you let me know when
they see him?”
“I promise. How are Henry, Joseph and
Davis?”
“Davis is in Lagos. His sister and their parents
are having a little problem as I heard, Joe and
Henry are fine. There is a midterm break and
Henry is with him”
“So is he the real deal?”
“I want to believe so, I just hope so my dear. I
like him a lot. He adores Henry and Henry is
already attached to him too”
“I pray it all works out well”
********************************************************
Chief Ajayi looked at the doctor in front of
him as he interprets the DNA result to him.
The result had been 0%, he had known what
that meant but he just needed to be sure he
saw the right thing before concluding.
He had not told Tokunbo he would be coming
to the hospital but was sure he got the mail
the same time as him. He could not think
beyond the paper in his hands and the
meaning of the result. He had been fooled for
almost 33 years of his life was the only
thought ringing in his head, drowning all
other thoughts and reasons.
The boy he loves and calls his, is not his. The
son, because of whom he had gone into a
business deal with Babalola, is not his
biological son. The boy he had invested so
much love, money, time, and even his
emotions. Where will he start from?
When Dr. Kunbi finished speaking, he
personally walked him to the car and told him
again and again to take things easy.
As he was being driven home, he stopped the
driver on the way and asked him to buy him a
bottle of water, he did not know what he
needed it for but when the driver handed it to
him, him automatically unscrewed the cover
and drank from it, got down from the car and
rested against it as he wept softly into the
night.
Sola Ajayi could tell something is wrong. Since
she returned from her store last week Friday,
making it a week today, she has been
suspicious of her husband’s calmness. He has
always been cool headed, but he now has
taken it to another level that scares her.
Ever since Tokunbo came in to see them with
his wife and her friend, her acts of almost 33
years has been keeping her restless, she has
been locked up with the consequence of her
action in the corner of her mind. She has
tried everything possible to be free from the
burden whose fresh weight is threatening to
crush her.
As she sits with her phone in her hand before
her dresser table, trying to call his phone
again, worried that he has not returned from
wherever at almost 11pm in the night.
She was startled as he walked into their room
and the look on his face, he looked at her and
her heart stopped beating in her chest.
“Tola, what is the problem, I have been calling
your line but no replies. It is late you know.”
“Sola, for over 30 years, I have loved you,
protected you and been faithful to you, but
you have repaid me back by giving another
man’s child to me. What have I done to
deserve that? Well, thank you so much, I just
want to ask you this, is Toluwalase mine?”
Tola, please, I don’t know…”
“Answer me! Is Toluwalase mine?”
“Yes, she is. She is your child” she said,
shaken by the coldness in his voice and eyes.
She broke down in tears as he walked out of
the room, finally her deception and lies of
over 30 years have finally caught up with her
and her mother who had helped her to bury it
this long is no longer alive to help her out of
it.
Chinwe got a message from her husband,
informing her that he would be coming late to
pick her from work. When he arrived, he
apologized for keeping her waiting,
explaining he had been locked in a meeting
that was 2 weeks late and could not be
suspended any longer.
“I think you need to go and get your car from
your father’s house, so you could drive
yourself sometimes”
“Tired of driving me already?”
“Of course not, I want you to be independent
in some ways, you could need to go to the
store, drive to church or anywhere, of course,
you must always come back home” he said
with his finger pointed at her.
She grabbed his finger and turned it down “of
course”
“And talking of church, we have to pick a day
for the wedding thanksgiving”
“any date would be fine, but I think we need
to settle the issue of your DNA result with
your father’s” he could not help but tell her,
especially since they both agreed there would
be no more secret between them.
“I know. Can you help me turn on my other
phone; I had to put it off in the meeting when
some messages were coming in.
When they got home, he checked the
messages on the phone , the DNA result was
the last thing he looked at. The result
confirmed his greatest fear. he does not need
a doctor to interpret this to him, the result is
perfectly clear.
He was staring at the phone when Chinwe
walked into the room to invite him to dinner ,
but he handed the phone to her when she
asked him what was wrong.
She understood the result too, she dropped
the phone on the bed and sat with him
comforting him in the way she understood
best, the same way he had comforted her
some nights back. Telling him all would be
well.
They ended up not eating that night as both
were too drained for food. The only comfort
was that they had each other, which could
not be said of Chief Babalola, who was
weeping like a baby in his study.