The Other Side Of Love 5
“Anita, Edward Osagie is your brother.”
“Noooooo!” Anita screamed.
This was insane!
She held her head in her hands and wept in anguish.
Her voice reverberated in the house. The dogs started barking loudly.
This couldn’t be happening to her. It only happened in the movies or to other people. Surely what she heard from her father just now was either a mistake or a cruel joke.
A security guard burst into the living room and stopped when he found Anita kneeling on the floor and crying.
“Is everything okay sir?” He asked with a concerned look on his face.
Chief Batubo turned him away with an impatient wave of his hand. The guard stayed for a few seconds before he left the room.
“Anita, please listen to me,” Gogo touched her hand.
“Don’t touch me!” Anita shoved his hand away.
Chief Batubo raised his voice at his daughter.”Do you want to hear what happened or do you want to keep crying like a child?” he asked.
Anita managed to stop crying and looked at her father through tear stained eyes. She had to listen and try to make some sense out of this madness.
“Nosa and I were very close friends. When his company, Xerox sent him on a training course to the USA in April, 1979, He asked me to look after his family and put an eye on the business he ran on the side. I was in a relationship with another lady, so Nosa trusted me completely.”
“Was that mom?” Anita asked.
“No. I met your mom in 1981.”
Anita exhaled and looked a bit relieved.
Batubo continued. “Vivian was beautiful and intelligent. I met her at a party but before I knew what was happening, Nosa stole her from me and started dating her behind my back. I felt cheated but because Nosa and I were friends, I didn’t want a woman to come between us, so I said nothing about it. But I just couldn’t get over my feelings for Vivian. I really liked her and felt that Nosa didn’t deserve such a woman after fathering two boys with two different women. I felt I could give her a better life than Nosa ever would. Vivian knew how I felt about her and so she avoided me and made sure she was never alone with me. I guess she also felt something for me. When Nosa travelled in April, 1979, that gave me the opportunity to seduce Vivian and if possible make her mine.”
Anita looked at her father. Somehow he looked different from the man who spoke with her last night. This was not the man she grew up loving. This was not the man who cared for his two boys and two girls. This was not the man who loved her mom until the day she died. This was a different man sitting on that chair.
“I enticed Vivian with promises of a better life if she would run away with me to England. I kept on pressuring her but she never gave me a definite answer. One night in April, when I was returning from a party, I stopped by to see her. The children were already asleep when I entered the house. I was a little tipsy and in my alcohol induced state I began making advances at her. I woke up early in the morning to find myself lying beside her in bed and except for my boxers, I was totally naked.”
“Dad, surely you didn’t!” Anita was shocked. She always saw her father as the perfect gentleman, but that illusion was destroyed.
Chief Batubo continued. “The events of that night have haunted me for years. I am ashamed of what I did, but it happened. Now you know the reason why I don’t drink alcohol or allow it in my home. That night was the only time I remember sleeping with Vivian. It was a terrible mistake. I should have waited until she was mine. I desperately wanted Vivian to be my wife but not my mistress. I began making plans for us to elope but before I concluded our traveling arrangements, Nosa sent a message that he would be returning to the country in May, 1979. He was tired of the course. No one knew about our affair but I think Dr Rotimi suspected something was going on between us. In those daysVivian had fainting spells. Dr Rotimi had come to check up on her a couple of times and met me alone with her. If he suspected anything he never brought it up.
“While I was busy coveting my friend’s beautiful wife, I forgot the instructions he gave me concerning his business. I totally messed up some things he asked me to do. When he returned, he was furious with me. He accused me of embezzling his money and ruining his business. Nosa obviously liked money more than he liked his wife. He was more concerned about the state of his business than the state of his wife. If he had paid more attention to her he would have noticed that she was already pregnant when he returned to the country. Nosa and I had a fight in May, 1979 and it affected our friendship. In December, 1979, Vivian gave birth to Edward. Dr Rotimi said it was a premature birth, but Vivian and I know the truth. Edward is my son. There were rumours that Vivian and I had an affair but because there was no proof, they fizzled out. You are the only soul I have told this story in over thirty years.”
Chief Batubo leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. Beads of sweat percolated on his dark brow.
As Anita looked closely at her father, she began to notice similar traits between him, Edward and her elder brother Tonye who was living in Canada with his family.
“Dad, why didn’t you just tell me what happened instead of cooking up stories about the Osagies?”
“I didn’t want to expose my moral failure. I would have taken this secret to the grave with me if you hadn’t started a relationship with Edward.”
Anita looked at him.”Dad, I will always love you in spite of your past. You are my father. I will always honour you.”
“I am sorry,” her dad said with tears in his eyes.
The sins of his youth had caught up with him in the prime of his life. He looked exhausted, his past indiscretions weighed heavily on his mind.
Minutes later she left her dad still sitting in his favourite chair and went upstairs to her room.
She was confused.
She was in pain.
Her secure world had fallen apart.
How was she going to tell Edward that she couldn’t love him anymore because they were siblings? If she did, that would expose her father’s secret shame. It would also create another round of problems for her dad and Vivian Osagie. She had to keep this secret to herself and quietly end her relationship with Edward. The thought of ending her relationship with Edward gave her more pain. She sighed deeply.
For the second time within twenty four hours, Anita sat on her bed and prayed. In spite of the confession of her dad, she still loved Edward. She asked The Lord to remove the love she felt for him from her heart before she committed incest with her brother.
She was up thinking and praying before she drifted off to a restive sleep at 1:00am. Suddenly she woke up and sat up in bed. She put on the bedside lamp, looked at the electronic clock by her bed, it was 3:30am. She had a mishmash of dreams. None of it made sense. She got out of bed, went downstairs to the fridge and drank some water. As she climbed the stairs, the words of her late mother came to her mind.
“Only the mother of a child knows its real father.”
She stopped and sat down on the stairs. Her mother’s words came again, this time it filled her head like the music of the London Philharmonic orchestra. She stood up from the stairs, entered her room, got back in bed, turned off the bedside lamp and shut her eyes.
Before she finally drifted off to sleep at 4:30am on Friday morning, Anita decided to pay Mrs Vivian Osagie a visit.