Uche opened the door and allowed the young man in…then he told Jason that
he wanted to go get something from a nearby store and he shut the door
Young Man: Good evening sir, I was asked to come ask you some questions
about your wife, Bridget.
Jason: Yes, welcome. Come and have a sit.
Young Man: Thanks sir. Where does she visit frequently?
Jason: That’s too fast. Please have a sit and a drink with me. I insist.
Young Man: ( Smiling ) okay sir. You are just like my father. He doesn’t
take no for an answer.
Jason: Then I am your father for tonight.
He brought 2 glasses and a bottle of wine. Questions were asked and Jason
provided the answers. Later, Jason asked for the man’s name and he said,
“James Chibuzor Okeowo”. Jason laughed and asked why he had a name of 2
races and the young man explained.
( I was actually born of 2 races. I learnt that my father was Yoruba while
my mother was Ibo. According to my mother, my father left her, after
impregnating her in the village. She came to Lagos to search for him but
she wasn’t allowed to see him. She was sent away because his parents did
not want him to marry an Ibo lady. Because of disgrace, she couldn’t go
back to the village, and instead stayed back in Lagos with one of her
distant relative. She really tried in providing for me but I lost her when
I was three….not that she died…..she was diagnosed with cancer and we
couldn’t do what we used to do together….yet there was no money for
hospital…. She was ill till I was 10years… after which she died and the
relative that took us in, too died not long after. Her husband used me as
slave…and eventually sent me out into the street for stealing gari, when
I was 12 years. Life on the street was tough but Mr Jerry came to my rescue
one night. He took me in, educated me and literarily took me as his son. I
am indebted to him and can do anything for him.”
All the while the young man (James) was talking, Jason did not interrupt.
He was in deep thought. Then he asked james,
” I am sorry to hear this. But you turned out well despite all you went
through. But please, do you know anything about your father?”
James: Only what I was told by my mother and relative. His surname is
Okeowo but I don’t know his name. I know that he was a youth copper, served
in my mother’s village in Anambra state, Etisan north local government
area, to be precise, where they met and she fell in love and was dumped.
Jason: ( sweating) what were your parents names?
James: ( laughed) Sir, it’s over 23 years ago. I don’t know why I’m at ease
with you. Telling you the story of my life.
Jason: Please, just tell me their names
James: okay. My mother was Amaka Okonkwo and I learnt that my father’s name
was or is Segun Okeowo…… come to think of it, you share the same
surname with my dad, ( Laughed) maybe you are related and can find him for
Jason: ( talked to himself) what is this? Same story, different boys, who
is after me? What have I done wrong? Who can I trust? Lord, help me.
He stood up and James stood up to go
James: I really appreciate you sir… thanks for listening… I will like
to take my leave now.
Jason: You can’t go now….I mean how can I see you again?…I really
enjoyed talking with you. And so I can contact you if I find your father..
James: He might be dead and I don’t need him if he’s not. I just need to
ask him why he dumped my mother.
As James turned towards the door, Jason noticed a mark at the back of his
Jason: Wait, where did you get this tattoo on your neck?
James: Tattoo? Me? You want Mr Jerry to kill me? Nooo… it’s not a tattoo,
it’s a birth mark. My mother used to say my father had same on the back of
his neck too.
Jason: ( fell to the ground) Haaaaa….yeeeee…..mo gbe….
Mo ku…..mo daran….. I am dead…..
James: ( alarmed) sir, what happened? Are you sick? You were fine before
now? Please get up sir. Should I call your family members? Please say
Jason: ( managed to sit and kept on staring at Femi) I am sorry for scaring
you, my dear young man. I didn’t know what came over me…..
James: Hope, it’s not heart attack. Please, get medical attention sir.
Jason: It’s more than an attack. By the way, do you have a picture of you
James: why sir?
Jason: Nothing, I just want to have a look at the beautiful woman that gave
birth to a nice boy like you
James smiled, took his wallet out and brought out a crumpled old picture.
James: I only have 2 of her pictures. And I take this one with me anywhere
I go. She suffered but is no more around to enjoy.
With shaking hand, Jason took the picture…