African StoriesLife and General Fiction StoriesNaija Stories

Forever and Never

For the past five minutes your eyes have been seeing what you considered to be the direct opposite. The slideshow of conflicting thoughts that clouded your mind were enough to clear your doubt, but you held on to your definition of the truth. And as watery as your eyes were, they were transfixed on the man behind your only daughter, but that really escaped your attention.

At this point the man who looked younger than his age didn’t feel comfortable either. The moment his eager eyes met yours, his heart had a panic attack but that was just the beginning of his unending worries. The dark circles of his eyes gave you a petrified look, waiting for you to break the terrifying silence that filled the air. But you kept staring, staring at the dark line beneath his eyebrow. It reminded you of him—the father of your daughter.

Ayomi was what you knew him to be, but others called him Ayomide. He was one of the few corp members posted to your local government and the youngest of them all. In scenes suitable for a nollywood movie, your mango tree meetings metamorphosed to moonlight stories, telling each other you’d be together for the rest of your lives. But your forever had always been a never.

Though you trusted him more than himself, you were weary of the fact that you were miles apart intellectually. But you kept on pushing not when your dream to marry an educated man was a call away. The antithesis of the relationship between you two wasn’t completely contradictory, so you decided to tell him you were pregnant when you were, and silently killed the thought of abortion.

The cold reception he gave you made your mind skip at first, but he gave you a heart full hug, telling you he’s ready to take responsibility. This made you over joyous that you spent precious moments rehearsing your English, you didn’t want to leave a bad impression when you meet his parents.

The news of your fatherless child flew faster than a shooting star few months later. Your joyful mourning was presided by a silent night and this didn’t exclude the talk of your village. Your story stayed close to their lips and lessons were learnt from your misfortune. All these were made possible when Ayo left when you least expected.l; he vacated his room and your heart at the same time on the second market day of that year.

After 25 years of ups and downs, standing in front of you is your daughter with a heaped stomach of heavy secrets. Your seasoned sweat that toiled for her to attend a citadel of learning didn’t matter at that moment. Nor is the pregnancy a source like she was. But you kept panicking down there.

Your clouded mind finally released those long awaited tears as you finally called him—the father of your daughter’s child.

“Ayomi, is that you?”

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