DNA – Chapter IV

I wanted to close my mouth, but my mind wouldn’t let me, it was as if my mind was still processing what my dad just said. I couldn’t say a word. My Dad nudged me on the shoulder and said, “Is it true?”, I was lost in thought so I fumbled the words I wanted to say, “Is what true?”, “Don’t be stupid, did he stutter?”, Naomi’s yelled at me, I was so confused, nothing made sense, it was as if I had lost all will to reason and speak.

My dad placed his hand on my knee gently and with a soft calm voice he said to me, “Are you okay?”, and I answered, “Yes, I’m okay”, then he repeated, “Is it true you’re responsible for her pregnancy?”, I got up and screamed, “eeeiiii me? It’s not true, I’ve been in school these past months, how can I impregnate someone in Accra whiles I’m in Kumasi?”, I regained my confidence but Ama Naomi interrupted me, “He’s lying, he did it before going to school, I can even tell you the colour of his room”, I yelled at her, “SHE’S LYING, IT WAS DARK, SHE COULDN’T HAVE SEEN THE COLOUR OF MY ROOM”, I quickly placed my hand on my mouth; I lost my confidence when those words came out from my mouth. 

“aahh oyiwa, the lion has spoken!”, Naomi’s mom shouted. From the corner of my eye, I could sense my dad gazing directly at me and shaking his head. Then my dad asked Naomi, “When did this happen?”, Naomi confessed, “The night before he left for school, he slept with me”, my dad turned to my direction and asked, “Is it true? All she’s saying is it true?”, I replied angrily, “It still doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t prove I made her pregnant, she could have slept with any other man beside me, we all know the life style of Naomi in this neighborhood, she’s an area slut, and everyone knows it…”,  before I could see what hit me, I felt a firm slap on my face from the man who accompanied Naomi and her mother, he spoke for the first time, “Call her a slut again and lose your tongue, you idiot”.

“Get out from my house! All three of you! How dare you slap my son in my presence?”, my dad said to the guests. Out of nowhere the man pulled out a knife and pointed it at me and said, “you were saying?”, my dad jumped back and started pleading, “Please put that knife away, let’s settle this as men, no need for that, take your seats, we can discuss this as mature men”, the man began to mumble to himself, “Today is today, we shall see who is who, you think you can take advantage of my niece and go freely? Not on my watch, you silly young boys have taken too much advantage of her, this ends today! You’ll accept full responsibility for the seed you planted”.

My dad began to speak, “Aunty, what do you want from us now? My son denies responsibility of the baby, and your brother just mumbled that, men take advantage of your daughter on several occasions, so what proves that my son is really responsible?”, Naomi’s mother wasn’t too happy about what my dad said, she replied him by saying, “A pregnant woman is the only one who knows the father of her baby, if my daughter says it’s him, then I believe her. Tomorrow morning I’ll pack her belongings, she’s moving in with your son, I’ve taken care of her for four months, let him take over from there, you’re not leaving out-of-town again, you’ll stay and take care of my daughter until she gives birth, and from there we’ll do a paternity test, until that, you’re not moving an inch, we’re leaving, see you in the morning”, they got up and walked away.

“You see the shame and disgrace you’ve made me endure? I raised you well, how could you do this to your mother and I?”, my dad’s eyes were heavy, and for the first time I saw a tear drop down my dad’s face. Quickly I said, “Dad, believe me, I’m not responsible, I won’t deny sleeping with her, but I know the baby isn’t mine, dad please you have to believe me, I was a little drunk that night so I know I wasn’t at my full potential, at least not to the point of getting her pregnant, she’s a slut, everyone knows it, she’s framing me, dad you have to believe me”, dad looked at me and said, “your mother should never hear of this okay, I’ll talk to her myself!”, he left to his room.

I took out my phone and dialed Teddie’s new contact number, after a few tries, the call went through, he answered and I said, “Charle, I’m in trouble ooh”, he said, “please who is this?”, and I replied, “It’s Michael Jackson, don’t be silly, can’t you recognize my voice? It’s me Cledre”, he started laughing and said, “yo! What’s up charle,”, I went straight to the point and narrated all that had happened few hours ago, Teddie ended by saying I should take responsibility of the baby, he said if the mother is certain it’s me, then it’s me, regardless of the numerous men she’s been sleeping with. He told me to take care of the baby even if I don’t want to marry the mother; since she’s claiming it’s mine I should shoulder that responsibility and be a man.

The Teddie I know many years ago wouldn’t give me this advise, so I asked him if he knew she was pregnant all these while, he said, “Yes I did, she came to see me just after two months ago, claiming that the baby is yours, she wanted your phone number but I refused to give it out, few weeks later I left town, you’re my friend, I won’t give you a bad advice, but just for once listen to me and take care of the baby, it’s very important, so that one day the child doesn’t say my father abandoned and didn’t take care of me”. For the very first time Teddies was making sense.

I had so much on my mind; I needed a break so I went to bed. Dad woke me up, the time was, two hours after mid-night, he told me to sit up, he wanted to speak to me, he had a sad look on his face, I wanted to apologize for the disgrace and shame I brought to him but he said, “Cle, did you sleep with Ama Naomi?”, I answered him, “Dad I won’t lie, I did sleep with her, but I’m certain that baby she’s carrying isn’t mine”, “How certain are you?”, my dad asked me, “100 %”, I replied. Then he said, “Put on your shirt, wear your shoe now and follow me”, I followed him to his bedroom, mom was still awake, she was struggling to speak, but she kept whispering, “Go, go, go, go”, I didn’t understand. Then he said, “Have you seen your mother?”, after nodding he said I should hug her and follow him when I’m done.

 I followed him closely outside; the weather was cold outside, everywhere was dark and quite, except for the crickets and frogs singing the night away. We got outside and I saw a taxi waiting, my dad hugged me for about 2 minutes and give me a letter, then he said, “Son swear to me right now that you’ll not open this letter until you’re out from this neighborhood, and swear to me right now that you’ll obey all instructions in this letter no matter how difficult it is”, I became frightened, I had no idea what was going on, then my dad told me to get into the taxi and not to question the taxi driver until we’re out of range, the taxi driver is trusted friend of mine so don’t be afraid, he’ll explain everything to you. I did as dad instructed.

The driver said, “You can read the letter now”, soon as we were out of the neighborhood, I opened it, it was a letter in Dad’s handwriting,

            Dear son,

                             I’m sorry things had to happen this way, but looking at the circumstances right now, that’s our only choice, your mother and I arrived at this decision together. You’re probably confuse, so in simple terms we’re sending you away, back to school, and you must not come back to this neighborhood ever again, we’re doing this to protect you. We believed you when you said, you weren’t responsible for the pregnancy, we also think she’s only trying to trap you to the baby, and we can’t allow that to happen. So we are sending you away to Kumasi to complete school, and under no circumstance should you come back home, even if it’s an emergency. Even if you complete school, don’t bother coming back, look for someone and build a family for yourself. My son, you’re destined for great things in the future, so I won’t let you throw your life away for a mere pregnancy you’re not sure if it’s even yours on not. In the trunk of the taxi are two huge traveling bags full of clothes and everything you’ll need, hidden beneath one of the bags is 4 gold pieces, sell them and use the money to take care of yourself. If anyone comes looking for you, we’ll tell them you sneaked out of the house when we were asleep and you left a note saying you won’t be coming back. Always remember, we love you dearly.

Sign; Mom and Dad.

I began crying when I finished reading the letter, then I told the driver, “Can we please turn back home, I forgot to tell my parents how much I love them”. But the driver said no.

 

​story written by: @AbokiCleDre (follow me on twitter)

Copyright © 2017 by @AbokiCleDre

All rights reserved. No Copy and Paste. Unlawful copy of this piece is prohibited. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

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