The Congruence XXXII
So first thing Saturday morning, we headed for the Airport…Deola rode with us, she was also travelling to Ghana for work. We landed in Lagos about an hour and 15 minutes later.
There was supposed to be a driver waiting for us but he got stuck in traffic. That was his second trip to the airport that day…he had just dropped off Folahan’s sisters and was coming back for us.
Folahan told him not to worry about it and that we would take a cab, the driver wouldn’t turn back until Folahan called his mum and insisted that we would find our way.
The original arrangement was that the driver would to take us to see one of Folahan’s uncles in Ikeja, en route to the house…so we had to take the cab to the person’s place. Folahan called his uncle on our way there, who promised to get someone to take us to Victoria Island.
It was the same person that got Folahan his current job. Folahan called him Uncle Ade…a jovial and funny man
He was happy to see us “So you are the one he gave up a job offer for?
I was wondering what came over him”
Then he asked me to stand up and turn around…he nodded his head like a sign of approval and continued
“Now I see why…I would have done exactly the same thing
Eye for detail and good things is something he got from our side”
I was a little embarrassed but I laughed it off, then he gave Folahan a thumbs-up
“Kare lai (well-done) I’m sure you used that gesture to seal the deal abi?(right)Smart boy”
He turned to me and got back on my case
“His mum already said I should check you out and if I like you, that settles it.
I think I’m going to need some persuasion o
So you better be thinking of how to rub my palm with something substantial
Consider this your marriage JAMB and I am both the Chief Invigilator and the marker”
Uncle Ade is Folahan’s mum’s elder brother and I could tell Folahan was really close to him, likewise his sister (Folawe)…the way they talked and all that.
His wife later came out of the room and took us ladies to the kitchen to make breakfast while Folahan continued talking with the husband.
We were there for a couple of hoursWe ate and Uncle Ade continued to talk to us about marriage; how to make it work and keep it going.
He had been married for almost forty years and told us he didn’t regret marrying his wife.
“We’ve had our fair share of issues but we overcame because we stood together and God stood with us.
We never entertained anything that would erode that stability of our marriage and God stood with us. We honored each other and still do; we built friendship and a lifetime of happiness and joy
When we did not have children in the first 10 years of the marriage, God stood with us
When our first son died after graduating from college, it was as if the world would end but God stood with us.
Through our challenges and struggles, we have raised children…many children. Folahan is my son and I am proud to call him that.
By God’s grace, we have helped to build homes, we have helped to salvage many sinking marriages and all our children call us blessed.
God is still standing with us”
Things got emotional fast; Folahan got up and hugged him…
“Remember everything I’ve ever taught you about marriage
How a good or bad marriage is not necessarily hereditary
How you can use the negative to develop a positive
It’s time to practicalize those teachings son
It’s time to make God proud
And God will stand with you”
With tears in his eyes, Folahan held me by the right hand and handed me over to his uncle
“Ara mi, this is my dad…I needed you to meet him before meeting my father
He showed me the way of the lord as a teenager…he gave me an eternal legacy
He was a support for me, my younger ones and my mum when things were tough at home
He practically raised me…I lived with him and Aunty for about 2 years before travelling abroad
He deserves the honor of accepting you as his son’s wife before anyone else”
Uncle Ade took my hand and said“I accept you into our family
You are my daughter from today
No devil will unseat you
God will make it your Rehoboth”
Folahan and I knelt down as Uncle Ade and his wife held hands and poured blessings on us. It was so emotional that I had goose pimples all over.
When it was time to leave, he got someone to drive us to Victoria Island and as the car was pulling into the gate, I saw military guys in front of the house
“Soldiers?” I asked out of curiosity
“Yes, my dad is a military guy, a naval officer…did I not mention that?” Folahan responded
“Well, you didn’t say much about him…” my curiosity turning into anxiety.
The car pulled over and people came to help us with our bags. I couldn’t go inside; my head was processing information at a very fast rate.
Folahan is fair complexioned, but Folawe is dark…another look at the her and I was beginning to see some resemblance with someone I know.
Folawe went inside but I asked if I could talk to Folahan for a few minutes
So I asked “I still believe I don’t know enough about your dad…why didn’t you tell me about him?”
“Sorry about that, I really don’t like talking about him That’s something I am still working on in my Christian walk
Like I told you, I have forgiven him but it’s so hard to let go of the pains of childhood
He maltreated my mum so much, hitting her at every possible opportunity.
He once beat her to a pulp and broke her hand right in front of us then left the house. I had to call Uncle Ade and he came over to take my mum to the hospital.
Uncle Ade’s house was our safe haven back then. At a point, my dad threatened to get soldiers to beat him up, he claimed Uncle Ade was trying to scatter his home but Uncle Ade knows people too and my dad could not follow through with his threat.
My mum later decided to travel abroad with us…
My dad didn’t know she could do that and it hit him hard. It was God that saved him from a heart attack and that was when he chilled out.
He begged everyone to convince my mum to come back…Uncle Ade also begged my mum but could not vouch for my dad.
My dad even came to the US to talk to her, my mum still loved him and wanted to be with him but she was afraid of returning to the physical and emotional abuse
She later decided to watch my dad for a while and return to him if she could confirm that he had changed…but how could she do that from thousands of miles away? So she got herself an informant among the soldiers assigned to my dad
When she was beginning to consider reconciliation, she heard that my dad had found a younger girl and was getting serious with her.
She called to confirm and my dad said he was tired of the loneliness and wads getting tired of waiting. However, he was willing to let go of the girl if my mum would come back to him.
Against everything we said, mum came back…the girl left and they have been together since then.
They renewed their vows and to solidify the reconciliation, Folawe moved back to Nigeria to complete her education here.
My mum tries to convince me that he’s a changed man but I already moved on and it’s not that easy to just embrace the current reality
That’s all there is to know about my dad…can we go in now?”
Folawe came out some minutes later to let us know there was nobody at home; she had called and found out they all went out to get something at the store for the other girls and they were on their way.
As she was about to go back inside, she looked at Folahan, smiled and said “Bro, I hope you are ready to meet Captain Awodiya?”
I was sweating buckets
“But your name is Folahan Bernard-Oludiya?
Who then is Captain Awodiya?” I couldn’t hide it anymore
“Ara mi, what’s wrong with you? You look disoriented”
“Just answer me…” I said, this time with tears on my face
“Captain Awodiya is my dad.
Awodiya was my surname until I changed it about 5 years ago. I just didn’t want to keep a name that’s talking about occultism so I changed the “Awo” prefix to “Olu” then added Uncle Ade’s middle name, Bernard, to form a compound name.
All my sisters still bear Awodiya; they didn’t bother to change it because they would eventually get married and change it anyways”
“Yeeeeeeeeeeee…mo ti ku (I’m dead)” I exclaimed.
Folahan was so confused, then the gate opened and an SUV drove in
Continues in episode 33