THE REAL MONSTER
I kept staring at the object on my soft palm as i sat comfortably on the sofa with my seat belt well tightened. In the air i was yes but not really sure if this is a journey i should be making. My decision was irrevocable cause in a few hours my plane will begin to taxi on the runway of the place my mom called hell.
She must have believed me to be visiting a friend in Las Vegas oblivious of the fact that i am out of the continent to find the man she told me was a monster.
I spined the white cowry sitting on my palm with my finger clockwisely as i remembered the day it was given to me. It puzzled me why the man was so desperate to give me such an object, despite guns being pointed at him by the security agents, he ran to me without caring if he get shot.
‘Where ever you go, do not forget the blood that flows in your vein’ he said as he slipped the object in my four years old hand.
It’s been a decade and half now but i still remember the expression on his face that day, it wasn’t that of a monster.
Eventhough mom and Teddy (my step father) proved themselves as the best parent to me, i still found it difficult to get my mind off the monster and his mysterious gift. I asked a black friend Kunle who i met in the college what the cowry signifies and he told me it is a good luck charm that symbolizes the strength of Africa.
I found myself entangled in the web of curiousity, i wanted to know who the monster was and what happened at the court that day. My curiosity drove me to find a document which mum concealed in her room and I learnt that she divorced the monster whose named was Samuel Olatunji Oladiti at the court that day. I felt compelled to know the truth why mom divorced him and what he did to deserve being tag a monster.
I found the address of the attorney who solicited for the man and i went to seek him out. It was he who told me how hard the man who happened to be my father fought to keep me in his custody when my mum sued for a divorce but he lost the battle. The attorney gave me his photograph and also his current address in Nigeria incase i wanted to pay him a visit.
Since the lawyer didn’t fully quench my information thirst, i set out on a mission to find the monster.
After long hours, i felt the plane jolted on the runway of my native country. I came down from the plane to feel the hot air of my mum’s hell. I grabbed a taxi outside the airport to convey me to my father’s abode. The taxi driver kept staring at me from his mirror as if i were a ghost. It took me time to realise that it was my light skin that amazed him.
The taxi finally stopped opposite the huge gate of a duplex after what seems like an endless ride.
‘Is this the house?’ i inquired and he told me he was positive, after which i rewarded him handsomely and he went his way, leaving me to my fate.
I pressed the door bell twice but heard no sound, gave the iron gate a tap and heard someone shouted from the inside. Minutes later a shabby looking old man opened the gate.
‘Oyinbo oooo’ he shouted gleefully as he saw me, he quickly ushered me in and threw me a hug as if we were longtime friend. I told him who i seek and he led me inside to meet him.
My heart beat faster with each step i took into the house. We soon got to the sitting room and found a man whose face was buried beneath the news paper he was reading.
‘Oga you get visitor’ the shabby looking man announced.
The man put down the paper and i got a clear look at his face. It was he, the man who gave me the cowry. If he recognised me i knew not but i was elated to finally set my eyes on him again.
‘What can i do for you?’ i heard the monster said but i gave no reply.
I brought out the gift he gave me and showed it to him. He went on long pause for a few seconds before he recovered himself.
‘Marcus’ he pronounced my name and i saw the word bemuse written over his face.
I nodded in confirmation and he came at me with a deep hug which lasted for about twenty-five seconds. Within those seconds, i found the solace i have missed for fifteen years and when he withdrew from me, tears materialized into his eyes.
‘Why did you left dad?’ i found those words slipped out of my lips.
He ushered me to seat down and he explained the whole issue to me. He and mum were legally married and they were both living happily until Teddy came into the picture. He caught mum and Teddy having sex on their matrimonial bed and he yelled at her but was surprised when he saw the cops my mum called for him. They took him away and the next time he saw mum was at the court where she divorced him and striped him off all his properties and his parentage right on me.
‘This man didn’t deserve being call a monster, the real monster was my mother who robbed an innocent man of all he had’ i thought after he concluded his explanation.
Written by Oluwafunminiyi