“Papa!!!!!!!” I got up quickly, rushing towards the door outside to see my last daughter on the floor, holding her foot… She had been hurt while playing with her friends.
“Udoka, see what you have done to yourself, I’ve always told you to put on your slippers when playing outside” I said
She was crying now, i felt really sorry for her because we have been through alot together, i took her in and nursed her wound, while some of her playmates stood by the door watching her, all they said was “Ndoh Udoka you’ll be okay”
“Papa, when is mama, Ekene and Adaora coming back?”
“Soon” I said
Ugonna was my name, i was among the lucky ones born with a silver spoon, i was intelligent, friendly and really jovial. I had a whole lot of friends from both sexes…being the only child of my parents, they spoilt me with every good thing life had to offer, but i never allowed all these to change my mindset about people who came from the middle class family… I was the type that could go to the extreme for my friends and that’s why they loved me.
When it was time for me to enter the university, it took a whole lot of convincing from my part before my parents finally agreed that i study in Nigeria, i was scared of going out of the country to a place i barely knew… I didn’t want to lose the friends I’ve made all these years. I scaled through the university successfully without any hitch… Graduated with a first class in Electrical engineering, as my graduation gift.. I got two cars, an apartment from my parents.
I moved on for my Nysc, and that was where i met Ijeoma the love of my life, we later got married 3years after Nysc, i was a blessed man with a good wife and a good job. We had three beautiful kids as the year progressed, Ekene, Adaora and Udoka (A boy and two girls), I reciprocated the love my parents showered on me to them and also taught them the “humility factor”. We lived in peace for a very long time.
Then things changed… Ijeoma my wife started keeping late nights, at first i didn’t pay much attention to it because i knew how her job schedule was, but as time went by… It became a regular thing, one of the days i questioned her about it..
“The way you talk sef, is very funny sometimes. You of all people should know how my work schedule is” She said
For peace to reign, i said nothing…finally the one that broke the camels back was when i came home one day and found no one at home, normally when i return home my kids are always around to welcome me but no one did, so i waited, thinking they were still on their way coming back from school.
“Good evening dear,how are you?” Ijeoma said as she walked in…
“Are the kids with you?” I asked
“Oh my god, i thought you would pick them from school” she said
“Jesus Christ! Ijeoma what is wrong with you?” i shouted
I quickly grabbed my car keys and rushed out, on getting to the school… I almost wept, my kids looked so tired and hungry and had obviously been crying. The gateman said he had to buy them biscuit and mineral earlier on and was also about calling the police before i came, i thanked him and gave him some money before leaving.
“My husband, I’m so sorry” Ijeoma said while kneeling down beside the bed
I had nothing to say to her, i was angry and hurt…i asked her what the actual problem was and that was when she said
“I’m dying Ugo”
Ijeoma only calls my name whenever she wants to say something serious
“You are dying how? Please explain to me” my voice shaking with fear
Ijeoma told me she had contacted the deadliest disease, AIDS before she married me….she said just some weeks to our wedding she was gang raped while coming to my house but couldn’t tell me because she was scared I’ll cancel the marriage, she didn’t go for a proper check up and it took a long time before she finally found out that she had AIDS, i had the virus, my two kids apart from Udoka had contacted the virus… I really didn’t know what to say, i cried while hugging Ijeoma and told her, i had forgiven her….Treatments couldn’t save her or my children now, i spent all my resources on them trying to see if i could help elongate their life even though i wasn’t God.
Two years after, i lost my kids, Ekene and Adaora….Udoka was a little girl and barely had an idea about what just happened.
Ijeoma grew really old and sickly while the day progressed, just before she died, she still asked for my forgiveness and with her last breath she said
“Please tell Udoka that i love her and she should please forgive me” she smiled and gave up the ghost.
I quickly rushed out and carried Udoka like my whole life depended on her ,she was the only possession i had left and i was going to treasure her for as long as i lived. Two months after Ijeoma’s burial, i sold all my possessions apart from my two cars and moved to the house i built in the village with my daughter, Udoka. We were warmly received and my daughter quickly adapted to her new environment, made alot of friends and attended the private school my dad built for the community.
Udoka in my arms now, no longer crying but smiling sweetly…she reminded me so much of her mother.
“Do i have AIDS papa?” she asked
Startled and tongue tied all i could do was smile.