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A Story written by Durodola OLAWALE YUSUPH (Durodolad9ty7@gmail.com +2348166920449, www.penprimus.com Info@penprimus.com)

Then, I called your frien d, Serena. As expected, she hasn’t heard from you for months, which leaves me to calling your boyfriend. His mother picked and told me he was returning to America Puzzle solved, its either you are going to America with him or you are seeing him offto the a irport. And see this….” “Am sorry.” Stephanie said “No, you don’t have to be. You were not sorry when you travelled to Lagos. Stephanie, without telling me. A whole Lagos. What if something evil happened on your way? I will be here in Ibadan lamenting, not knowing that my only daughter is in Lagos.” “Mum! Please, am very sorry.” Stephanie cried. “Enough is enough. I have been shouldering your responsibility since as far back as I could remember. Even when your father was still with us. You have five or m ore years before you start working and earning your own salary, I think your father should take it from here Without being told, Stephanie went down on her knees. “Mummy please. I don’t want to go to dad’s. If you can no longer cater for me, I will on my own. Just don’t deny me the shelter this house provides, [ can even sleep in one of the stores. I will pick a part time job and help myself.” Stephanie cried “Am sorry young lady. You should start packing your bags. You are leaving tomorrow morning. And d on’t think of inviting the pastor or any of the church elders. I consulted them widely and they advised that you go live with your father.” With this, her mother strolled out of the room. “Oh! My God.” Stephanie cried. “Mummy, noooooo.” Her screams were cu t short as she stood up quickly and made for the restroom where she threw up and subsequently slumped to the ground. LOSSES WERE TO BE COUNTED IN NUMBERS, THEN I THINK MY LOSS IS INFINITE. I HATE TO LOOSE, BUT IN THIS CASE, MY LOSS IS IMINENT. Stephanie. * “You are a disappointment.” Was the last thing she heard when she was eventually revived in the hospital before she passed out all over again. Doctor Jane led Pa Patrick down the hallway into the elevator in company of two nurses and Dave himself. Each of them to their own thoughts. Doctor Jane, an accomplice to every bad deed Anita has ever done. A partner in crime, an adviser to Anita on every wrong of hers. As a matter of urgency and as a means to save her marriage which by now is hanging by a thin th read is playing the good old lady before everybody in a bid to cover her past misdeeds. She has vowed to get the truth out, even though she knew the truth, but by tirelessly conducting series of test, hopefully, the members of the Thomas family will overlo ok her past misdeeds as Anita’s confidant and the doctor who hid and shortchanged Oluwole’s children’s files. Pa Patrick on the other hand was devising a means through which he would boycot getting tested. He knew deep within himself that Dave was seventy percent his son, provided Anita slept with another man during the period, but if she didn’t, then he is ninetynine percent sure that he is Dave’s father. As a Yoruba man with culture, values and discipline, he knew the gravity of what is about the come do wn. He had lived twenty five years apart his son, and his younger brother thinking he is the father of the boy has spent twenty five years catering for him. Even if the result turns out positive, chances of the boy accepting him as the father are quite low . And even if the result turns out positive, the family will fall. Where is it heard that two brothers are fighting the paternity of a young man nearing marriage age? He knew the Thomas family is on a brink of collapse, afterall, he is regarded as the head of the family, but with the recent twist of event, he is no longer worthy to be called the head of the family. Dave, the innocent sufferer was deep in thought as they approached the lab. He has been there twice in the last five hours, and here is he again , going for the third time. The greatest fear he had was the thought of Barrister Olu, his father’s cousin turning out to be his father. But he heaved a sigh of relief when it turned out that Olu is not his father. His smile had turned to a frown almost im mediately, as Doctor Jane, the family doctor dropped another bombshell that; Oluwole, whom everyone sees as his biological father is as well not his father. Immediately, all eyes turned to Anita for explanation as she is the mother and she alone knows the men she slept with during the period Dave was concieved. In another twist of tale, it emerged that Pa Patrick, his father’s elder brother was responsible for him. Here he is again, going to the lab for another test which he hoped will turn negative. He pre ferred to be fatherless, than having to be Pa Patrick’s son. He knew if the result turns positive, he could be allowed to continue living with Oluwole, but if he turned out to be Patrick’s son, he would have to move into Patrick’s house as a son, something he doesn’t wish for. Just as Doctor Jane took a sharp turn into the lab, Pa Patrick stopped. “Am not doing this.” He said. “Doing what?” Doctor Jane asked “Getting tested. This boy here is not my son, that am sure of. In that case, I am not entering the lab.” Pa Patrick explained. “But, we are in the lab already.” Jane pointed “Nurse Titi, Nurse Iyabo, prepare the lab please.” She instructed the two female nurses who walked into the lab, leaving behind Doctor Jane herself, Pa Patrick and Dave, “Am leaving .” The old man said and stormed out immediately. Dave immediately ran after him and held him. “Uncle, please you can’t leave. I need to know who my father is. Certainly, you are not my father, but only this test will squash the believe that you are my fath er.” Pa Patrick who has resolved not to let the truth out as a result of not killing the already broken family. “‘Am out of here.” He snatched his hands and walked away instantly. Dave turned to Doctor Jane with a dosomething look. ‘”Am sorry. ” Doctor Ja ne said as she left him standing. The members of The Thomas family in their numbers were seated in Wole’s living room where another family meeting is going on. After the hospital episode, which saw Pa Patrick refusing to have himself tested, Barrister Olu had gone home with the disappointment of not fathering Dave and angrily drove his wife and four children who were all girls out. Dave on his part left home to lodge in a hotel located along the IbadanOyoIlorin expressway where he made it a point of duty to drown himself in alcohol at every given point. Ais father, Wole Thomas has been in a bad mood since the revelation was made about Dave not being his son. The news came as a blow, because his long years effort is about going to waste. For a boy he had t rained up to the University level and upon finishing his youth service was employed in his father’s company. Even though in the capacity of a personal assistant, but he wields as much powers as his father. “Is Patrick here?” Mama Londoner who returned to t he country the previous night asked. “No ma. ” Collins, Wole’s younger brother. “Did you tell him about this meeting?” She asked “l even visited him at home to tell him there is a meeting here today. And he assured me of his presence.” Collins replied. “U seless man.” The old woman scoffed. “Serena, do you know Pa Patrick’s house?” “Not very well, but I can find my way.” She replied. “You’ll go there now…..” Mama Londoner was saying when Oluwole walked in.

To Be Continued…

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