By Rhoda ‘Keji Onaderu
The Reconciliation (Part 31)
They were invited to the meeting about two minutes to the scheduled time, James entered from the adjoining room, greeted them warmly and offered them beverages which they rejected.
“Sir, thanks for coming , we really appreciate it. We actually have some documents that you lost some years ago and we will like to hand them over to you”
“Ok” Agnes father said.
“Sir, please can you check the document and see if they are yours”. James gave the sealed envelope to Mr Itodo.
” Thanks” , he said as he proceeded to open the envelope .
The first content of the envelope shocked and later excited him, a cheque with his name written on it. He however became weak when he checked the rest of the content because starring at his face were some pictures: his traditional wedding picture , his first wife picture, picture of his four girls and the picture of his late mother.
“I must say you have a lovely family sir, you are really blessed.
Mr Itodo was silent.
“When our NGO saw these pictures, we fell in love with your family and we don’t mind giving you and your family a special weekend treat in Dubai”
“How did you get these pictures?”
James refused to answer the question but instead said,
“Can we meet your family sir? We might feature your daughters in one of our projects”
“My new family is in the north, I don’t have my girls there”
“Sir, please we would like to meet your family”
“Is this all you have for me? I need to take my leave”, he said as he rose up to leave.
” Sir, that cheque is for the whole family and we can only give you after meeting them”
Mr Itodo sat back immediately.
“That will be difficult because I don’t know where they are”
“Really, then we won’t be able to release our fund. Your girls are important to our project “
Mr Itodo and his brother started discussing in hushed voices and James pretended to be searching for a document.
“Where can we find them?”. Mr Itodo asked his brother.
“The last time I saw Mama Agnes was at the motor park, I couldn’t contact her afterwards because she didn’t have a phone, that day I just wrote my mobile number in a loose sheet of paper and gave her”
“What do we do now? I need the money. The truth is that I have a deep regret I left, that woman gave me peace unlike Christy and her two sons”.
To be continued
The Reconciliation (Part 32)
“Seriously” his younger brother said.
“Let me just spare you the details, it’s been a hellish union”
Just then James cleared his throat and said,
“Sir, please can we know your decision?”
“Just give some time, I will bring them if you are sure about the project”
“Alright sir, but we really have a timeline for this project. The faster you bring them , the better, we don’t want to be tempted to use other family”.
“Ok, we will work on that”, he said as they rose to leave.
Just then, the door opened and Mr Itodo got a big surprise, he was so shocked that it was as if his blood had drained out of his body. Standing before him was his former wife and a lady who bear a striking resemblance to her.
” Mama Agnes”, he shouted before he could control himself.
James gestured towards the chair for the woman to sit.
“Agnes, please come here” James said.
“Agnes, you are Agnes my own daughter”. Mr Itodo said.
Agnes curtsied to greet her dad, Mr Itodo looked from mother to daughter with mouth wide open until he was embarrassed. He couldn’t believe that the beautiful lady sitting opposite him is his own daughter, how time flies he thought.
He found his voice after a while and said,
What are you doing here please?
“Sir, they are my guests”, James replied.
” Your guests? “
“Sir, they have come to apologize for whatever may have made you leave them in the first place. They need you back”
“Apologize, need me back?”
Just then tears dropped from Mr Itodo eyes, he cleaned the tears , looked from his former wife to his daughter again before he shook his head.
“I should apologize, I regret leaving, they didn’t offend me, it was all due to my foolishness”
His brother coughed.
Mr Itodo turned to James and said ,
“Can I leave now, you have already met them ?”
Just then, a lady came in with a tray of fruit salad, James requested they have a taste of that first, he excused himself afterwards.
Some minutes later, James Lubiya came in, prostrated before Mr Itodo and held his two legs. Agnes also knelt down.
Mr Itodo was surprised,
“Why, why are you postrating before me?”
“Sir, please if you give me the go ahead , I will like to marry your daughter Agnes”.
” Marry my own daughter? You can’t please “
To be continued
The Reconciliation (Part 33)
“Ha”, Agnes exclaimed.
“Sir”, James said.
“You are already married, I saw your picture and that of your wife on the NGO’s website. Somebody helped us to check your website before coming here”
“Sir, she is dead. She was the visioner of the NGO and this was her former office”
“Really, I’m sorry about that” he paused then continued “but still, I don’t know you, I can’t just hand my daughter over to you like that”
“I understand sir”.
” Thank you for making me see my family after a long time , I am indeed grateful. Can we take our leave? I will leave the cheque too, thanks for everything “.
Mr Itodo moved towards his former wife and said,
” I am sorry I left, I threw away the peace of mind you gave me. You are a virtuous woman, please forgive me”
Mrs Itodo was silent, James left the room then.
Mr Itodo turned to Agnes, “Daughter, I am sorry I left you people, I am ashamed of myself, please forgive me”
“Dad, though, it hurts that you left but we have forgiven you”
” Thanks dear daughter but please help me beg your mother. By the way, who is that man? How well do you know him”
“Sir, he is a member of my church and I know that he is the CEO of Acotel, the popular mobile telecommunications company. Please, you will have to assist in finding more about him”.
“Acotel, the same Acotel, daughter , don’t deceive me”
“Yes, he is, many people have confirmed it” Mrs Itodo said.
“God , God , you have shown me you are wiser than men”
He turned to Agnes and said, “My daughter, God has justified you people. So, I will be an in-law to such an honourable man “. He turned to his brother, ” my brother , see what God has done ooo”.
James entered then to invite them for lunch at the conference hall.
Mr Itodo turned to him,
“My son, I don’t think I want to eat, I am Ok, are you sure you are the CEO of Acotel?”
“And you want to marry my own daughter”
“With your permission sir”
He took a deep breath and said,
“I left because I needed sons, so one daughter can be better than ten sons? he asked rhetorically.
To be continued
The Reconciliation (Part 34)
That night, sleep eluded Mr Itodo as his mind continued to trip over the recent happening , he reviewed his life and discovered that he had wasted the last fifteen years chasing shadows. Though he was grateful he has two boys from his second marriage but he believed God could have given him a son through his first wife if he had been patient?
He couldn’t even eat his breakfast the next morning, he stayed in the bedroom and was in sober mood throughout the day, and all efforts by his brother to encourage him failed.
For the first time in a long time, he felt stupid and foolish. He knew he made the greatest mistake of his life by marrying Christy because peace became a total stranger to him since she bore him the first son. In all his life, no one has ever disrespected and humiliated him the way she did, she pretended until Timothy was given birth to.
He remembered how it all started, his friend’s insult during a quarrel had driven him to marrying Christy, his friend had told him that he had given birth to four prostitutes who will only bring forth bastards to his family but instead of them becoming prostitutes, Agnes is now a second degree holder and Mary a nurse while the two younger ones are still schooling.
He blamed himself for not waiting on God to shut the mouth of his friend instead, he spent fifteen years of his life with a brawling woman, all because he wanted to prove his friend wrong.
Just then his phone rang, the caller was Christy.
“Have you received the document? Did it actually worth millions? When are you coming back?” She bombarded him with questions without waiting for answers.
“Good evening, you have not replied me. Your children are waiting for your return, they…”
“Christy, I believe you are all okay, enjoy the rest of the day, bye. Mr Itodo shook his head as he hung up.
Tito looked at the pregnancy test result time and time again before putting it on the bed. She thanked God for the miracle and prayed earnestly that she will be able to carry the pregnancy to full term. She was however amused by Kike’s shout of “amen” as she prayed, she wondered when the girl sneaked into the room.
“Mummy, Jesus has heard. Kike said after the prayer.
Yes I believe, dear daughter, so let’s thank him” Tito replied.
“Thank you Jesus” , they both chorused and lifted up their hands in appreciation to God.
The Reconciliation Part 35
“Mummy, let us jump and shout hallelujah to Jesus, Kike said.
Tito smiled and said, “Ok daughter, you jump while I clap for Jesus”.
Just then, the door bell rang, the person seemed to be impatient as the door bell rang twice before they could get the door.
It was her neighbor, her husband just slumped and she needed help, Tito rushed out to assist her.
Mr Bakare was rushed to the nearest hospital while Tito woke up later that night to intercede for the family.
Christy noticed Mr Itodo refused to talk about the details of his Lagos trip despite exploiting various tactics to get information from him.
His last response to her questions had been,
“There is no document, you can check my luggage if you want”
“What luggage? You said the document worth millions of naira, where is the money?. We need the money to do a lot of things” Christy replied.
“Woman, don’t build your castle in the air. I advise you calm your nerves”. Mr Itodo replied.
All attempts by her to enquire from his younger brother proved abortive also, she just met a brick wall each time. He refused to talk and that was really unlike him, not even when she promised him the usual gift.
She tried searching her husband’s phone but discovered he had changed the password.
She noticed however that he got more quiet day after day, kept more to himself, ate less and stayed awake at night.
James Lubiya called Agnes on a Saturday evening,
“Hi pretty, hope you are good ?”
“Please would you like me to register you for a female leadership conference holding next month in Kenya”
“Female leadership conference? Alhough I told you I will be taking few days out of my annual leave next month but please I really wish to use it to rest and why the leadership training please?”
“Agnes, I need a Mrs Lubiya who is well exposed, well read and who will be a leading figure and a voice in this generation”
“Yes, I have told you my own wife is not meant for the kitchen only. So, brace up , you will need to learn from top female leaders and visionaries all over the world . I will also enrol you in a Diction and Social Polish Academy”.
Agnes took a deep breath.
“Don’t be scared, you will take it gradually but you will arrive at the destination. By the way, how about your dad?”
“He should be fine, I spoke with him on the day he arrived at Kaduna, I have not called him since that day”
“I don’t want to disturb his family. I believe if he wants us in his life , he will try to call”.
” What if he is still feeling guilty for his past deed?”
“But we have forgiven him, maybe he needs to forgive himself”