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Lost in a Shadow - Episode 5


Lost in a Shadow - Episode 5

Written by Chidiogor D-f Nwafor

Paul sat down quietly knowing fully well what Dave wanted to say. He listened attentively to all Dave's bicker about who is mother was. Paul shook his head slowly and sighed. He knew this day would come eventually but he dreaded it. He wished he could clear away this "where is my mother?" thought from Dave's mind.

"Dave!" He began slowly. "You shouldn't bother yourself with such trivial issue."
"This is not a trivial issue dad. This is a very serious issue. I'm sick and tired of staying without a mother. I want my mother to be with me. I want to feel her beside me. I can remember asking you for my mum when I was much younger and you told me I was too young to know. I'm grown up already, so where is my mother? Is she alive? Where does she live? How does she look like?"
"I don't know." Paul muttered.
"Dad!" Dave screamed. "How can you say that? Don't you feel sorry for me? Haven't I tried? All these years, I've waited patiently for you to come around. I tried not to say any thing; not to ask any questions even though they filled my mind each day. I have waited patiently for you to open up to me but it seems you would never. What else do you want me to do?" Dave asked. "Thomas had been my only companion. Now he's gone, happily married and I'm left all alone again because you're hardly at home. Do you think I'm happy staying alone waiting for you to come back home? I have no sibling and that's because you have no wife. Now tell me dad, who's your wife? Who's my mother? I want to know please. Please dad." Dave began to cry.
"I know how you feel Dave."
"You don't know anything about how I feel!"
"Of course I do. Your mother isn't worth all of this. You're giving yourself headache and heartache while she's enjoying herself without any thought of you. She's a wicked and heartless woman who doesn't care about you. In fact, I don't call her your mother for she doesn't deserve to be called one. She left us for another man Dave. She left us. I had to move away from the house we lived in before because I didn't want to have any memory of her. Since you were five, I had been trying my best to take care of you and give you the love and support you need. I try my best to adjust my schedule so as to spend more time with you. I've always tried to do my best to fill in the vacuum but..." Paul hiccup. He couldn't go further anymore. He wiped the tears that had already blurred his vision.

Dave stared deeply into his father's face, his lips were slightly parted and confusion filled his face. This was debilitating. "Dad, I don't understand. What do you mean by mum left us?"

Paul sighed and wiped away the stream of tears flooding his face. He knew he would go through this but he wished it could be postponed.
"Dave." He began slowly. "Your mother left the house. She left you for another man. She was a covetous woman. She left because she wasn't satisfied with me. She wanted more so she traded you for her selfish desires. See Dave, you shouldn't let that get to you. She isn't worth it. Instead, strive to be a better person. That's the greatest comeback."
"I can't believe my mother was that kind of person." Dave exclaimed.
"Yes she was." Paul rubbed his face tiredly and Dave began to cry again.

Paul was broken merely watching his son cry. Hatred for Amanda seeped deep into his soul as he held Dave in his arms trying to console him. Thank you Amanda, for doing this to our son. Paul muttered under his breath.

"It's okay Dave. Stop crying." Paul wiped the tears from his son's eyes.
"I love you dad and I respect you so much for bringing me up so well. Thank you for not abandoning me."

Paul's heart melted and he covered his face with his hands trying to stop his own tears. "I love you too my son and I can never ever leave you. I will and would never do such a thing. You're my life. You're the reason I'm who I am today but tell me, do you really feel lonely?"
"Yes, I do. I don't know why but I guess it is hard for a child to grow up in an incomplete family. I yearn for a mother. I know I shouldn't be yearning for someone who is lost in a shadow but I just can't help it. All my life, I've only lived with you and Thomas. You two have contributed to my emotional status and that's why I miss Thomas so much for he had left an empty part in my heart. Though he was just an house help, he really meant a lot to me and you dad, you mean a lot to me also. I know how much you try and I appreciate it. It's just that, sometimes these thoughts and questions hang stubbornly in my heart refusing to go, no matter how I try."
"I understand." Paul hugged his son fiercely and tightly. It was dark and so they retired to bed.

Few days after the intense discussion between father and son, Paul decided to send his son to stay with his grandma in the village. It was almost the end of the session and Paul deemed it wise for him to spend time with his grandma. Preparation began and finally the day to travel came and Paul took his son to the village.

Paul had planned earlier to travel in his car but just like his car was against this journey, it developed some faults and so they had to take the bus. This was the third time Dave was traveling this far. The first time was when he had just been five. He had travelled with his father and mother; there was a woman with them so Dave deemed he was his mother. They had been gone for a conference meeting then. His dad had been invited. The second was when they moved to Port Harcourt. He hardly remembered how those journey went for he was still a little boy. He was determined to enjoy this journey and also make the most out of the travel.

To him, this was a perfect way to distract himself. Now that he knew the mystery about his mother, he felt bad. If he had known that this was the story behind it, he wouldn't had asked. He hadn't expected an answer like that. He had wanted to hear stuffs like she was on a long trip or she was in coma or better still, she was dead. Yes! He had wanted to hear things like that not this__ he was abandoned. How devastating! How heart breaking!

That fateful day of the travel, they had woken up early and had purchased two tickets. They had patiently waited for the first bus to move and then people started loading their luggage into the bus. Paul had earlier told Dave to use the toilet for there would be no place to do such in the bus.

The bus was long and had a huge lettering written boldly on it: "Safe journey." There was a place designed specifically for luggage and so Paul and some other travellers were trying to put their luggage there. While Paul busied himself with that, Dave stood watching the surrounding. It was still early in the morning but the road was busy. Different traders were rushing to their stores, bus drivers were yelling, cars were honking and people wee shouting. All this marvelled Dave. As he stood, he watched the travellers fix their luggage and also get something to eat. There were children traveling also and there was a lactating mother who tried desperately to calm her crying child. Just beside Dave, a young girl of about his age stood. It was obvious she was also waiting for her parent or guardian. Dave smiled at her and she smiled back. This gave Dave the courage to speak with her. As they were discussing, they heard some shouts next to them and people were already gathering making it impossible to see through.

Dave and the girl moved closer and found a yelling woman and a glowering driver.
"Why would you ask me to pay an additional money for this small luggage? Do you think I pluck money from trees? Even if I do, I still need to wait for it to get ripe before harvesting and this is definitely not the season." The woman yelled.
"Madam, na story u de talk o. My own bi say if u no pay dat money, u no go enter dis bus."

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