The Unwanted

The Unwanted

Dear Opio,

I hope you find this letter.Am so sorry, I should have told you after it happened, but how could I? He is your father and I knew you would never believe me, no one would; it would have been his word against that of a former street girl.

I am so sorry, I should have told you after it happened, but how could I? He is your father and I knew you would never believe me, no one would; it would have been his word against that of a former street girl.

Opio, when I realized I had conceived, I was ecstatic, I hoped and prayed that the pregnancy was yours, but after Jonah’s birth, I had no doubts, I believed it more when your relatives spoke of how he had your head, your hands and your nose. Since everyone commented on how he had inherited his clan’s physical attributes, I let it lie and swore to protect and care for him with my life, but then that changed when I found your medical reports,my whole world fell apart.

Why didn’t you tell me? We could have adopted kids and had a happy family; you knew I was open to adoption right from the beginning. But I guess it’s too late to wish for the past, though I loved him too much, I couldn’t help looking at him like he was the one who intruded on our happy life, so I put him up for adoption. As for me, I couldn’t live without you and him, so I decided to end it.

Love,

Susan.

Fat drops tears fell on the brown sheet of paper with Susan’s delicate handwriting.

*******

The aching back and swollen legs didn’t make matters any better, but with the discomfort, came the joy when the little being kicked and turned,  “he must be a footballer” she thought, as a smile slightly parted her lips.

Finally she was pregnant;now she wouldn’t dread the annoying family reunions with her nosy in-laws, especially Opio’s father, who had accused her of being infertile and a waste of his son’s bride price.

She remembered how her sister’s in-law used to make fun of her each time she visited; they even threatened to get Opio a second wife, if she couldn’t conceive soon.

The first five years were not so bad because Opio had always protected her from his family, but after that he had left her to fend for herself, he said taking her side was causing strains with his father who had taken a dislike to her the first time he set eyes upon her, he called her a prostitute who was set on “detoothing” his son. Since she didn’t want to make things worse, she just swept the insults and the loathing under the carpet for the sake of Opio.

She was violently jarred from her thoughts by a sharp kick in her belly, when it returned, it was stronger and sharper; moments later her waters broke.

“Opio! my waters have broken!” she shouted over the phone.

“Wow, that’s good to hear.Where are you?” he was almost screaming over the line.

“Am on the way to Mulago hospital!” she answered gasping.

“Okay just hold on tight, am on my way” he added before hanging up.

He arrived shortly after Jonah’s birth.

“He is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen” Opio said as he held the little bundle protectively yet carefully in his massive arms.The look in his eyes was that of joy and happiness; he beamed and spoke to baby Jonah like he was speaking to a grown man, laughing and cooing at the little bundle.

Susan watched him carry his son and suddenly all the doubts about his paternity disappeared. That’s the night she realized she would do anything in the world to keep her family together; she had fought hard for this and nothing was going to come between them.

By the time he was six months old, his aunties and uncles had started calling him Opio Junior, because with each new day, he looked more and more like his father.

Then one evening, Opio returned home distraught, he didn’t talk to Susan or ask about Jonah like he used to, he locked himself in the study room, and refused to come out for dinner claiming he was not feeling well.

After that night, he completely changed, he barely looked at Jonah, he came back home late and left very early; when Jonah cried in the middle of the night, he got so agitated that he shouted at her to make “her son” quiet, Susan tried to ask him what was disturbing him but he just brushed her off claiming it was work stress.

Then after a month, she returned home from the market one day to find all Opio’s belongings gone, his phone was off. His sisters said perhaps he was on a business trip so he should be left alone.

A week later she came across a set of keys as she cleaned the house, they were peculiar because they didn’t open any lock she knew of, then she discovered it could open the drawer in in the study room, there she found the answers,an envelope with her father-in-law’s handwriting addressed to Opio, she found a DNA report which confirmed her greatest fears; Opio was not Jonah’s father.

What she found next, shattered her world further, Opio couldn’t father children!

******

A yellow airport taxi pulled up the driveway of a house in Bukoto flats.

The occupant got out with a travelling bag; he paid the cab driver and tipped him.

“Are you sure this is the right address sir? It looks deserted” The cab driver asked him while peering at the house.

“It’s my home” he smiled meekly, trying to reassure the cab driver who looked concerned.

The lights were out, the hedges and the flowers were overgrown and wild, it looked like a ghost house.

His heart started beating hard, where was “his family?” he hurried to the spot where he knew the keys were kept, but instead he found an envelope.

It was addressed to him;

It read….

END

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