Diary of an urban man 9 “A new beginning”

I sat with the two men that has been my friends these past months, it was a relationship that began at the table and ended at the table, there was no other connection between us other than booze. It was at this table that I found freedom most times, the intoxication of alcohol temporary took away the sorrow that returned soon enough.

Silence him forever, problem solved! Mark injected to cutoff a dialogue on what was the best way to get my son back, silence who? I asked, the supposed husband of julie. I have since understood Mark to be a practical fellow but murder was way out of line even though it seemed a practical solution. Try and talk to Julie first Fred suggested, Fred was a diplomatic fellow and his suggestion seemed more logical, I’d go with Fred I said finally, dead end Mark insisted, believe me man nothing would come out of it and this is sober me talking, even though we were all very drunk I knew nothing would come out of it but it was better than murder. I decided I’d to give it a shot, we drank till mid night like we did most nights, Mark was always the one to fall asleep at the back seat, Fred often sang along with Fela from the stereo as I drove each man to his door step. We all had time to squander, Mark’s two daughters had gotten married and his only son was a young lawyer practicing abroad, he was successful in every aspect of life he had ventured, he lived in a duplex with his wife who was a constant pain in his ass. Fred was a doctor in political science whose university was always on strike for most part of the year, we often tease him of collecting money he didn’t work for, and he yells back he didn’t stay up all night for years reading for nothing.

……….,……..

Age had taken it’s toll on Julie but her beauty was still very evident, winkles had start to appear around her eyes but her body stood firm with her ebony skin still shining like it did years back. Her eager eyes had not deemed either. I stood by her office door admiring the woman for a short while, Beckley! What a surprise! What brings you here? Look Julie I must apologize for how things turned out after your mother’s death, you left and I was too angry to go after you. I am glad things turned out this way, I wanted this life. We could have built it together the life you wanted, problem was that I was ready but you weren’t. I was going to marry you,no you were not sure it was the right thing to do, that was 25 years ago and nothing can change that now. I heard about your family am so sorry, please accept my deepest sympathy. You couldn’t call me Julie; it would not have changed anything. But I’d know you cared either way, Beckley to be very frank with you I did care but that is on a social level nothing personnel, do you detest me that much? No I don’t boo; you just don’t exist for me anymore. I am here to change that Julie, change what? Everything, the way you feel about me, how do you intend to do that? I love you and would want you to be my wife! I’d like to cater for both my wife and son, hahahahahaha, I didn’t intended to mock you but you sound so funny. How can you ask a 52 year old woman for her hand in marriage, that is love Julie. No dear that is insanity! Besides I have a family, a husband and son!Point of correction my son, and you’re not even married to that man, I don’t need a certificate and a ring around my finger to prove it. But you might have to need those in court. Beckley if you’re threatening me I’d ask you to leave immediately, no julie am just telling you it is not legal, legal or not am totally comfortable with him. If you are, I am not, I want my son julie. Your son? I am short of words that the only ones I have left is please leave my office and never you come back, one more thing, leave my family alone. A son would always return to his biological father believe me.

………………

It was a dark night, the moon refused to visit earth and it seem the stars was in agreement too, the only source of illumination was the chandelier that hung above the balcony, I sat with Jide who was so lost to some deep thoughts, I was worried I had to ask,

Dear what is wrong? You don’t seem you’re self tonight. I’d rather not talk about it; I think I can deal with it myself. So when did we start dealing with things alone? I thought we are a family and families solve their problems together that’s what makes them thick. Darling I understand perfectly where you’re headed, but I don’t want to bother you with this even though it concerns you, am sure I can handle it. But you have to let me know first if you trust I can, as your wife I have every right to know what is eating my hubby away. Nothing is eating your hubby away, he is right here with you. Okay drop it already dear, I hate to see you worry, tell me what is wrong.Mr. Beckley paid me a visit today and was threatening fire and brimstone. What is that suppose to mean? What is his problem with you dear? He wants his son back and he is desperate too. So what? If he wants a son he should go father one and leave ours alone. Desperate men are dangerous dear; I can’t just watch him flex his muscle people might get hurt. So what are we going to do? Don’t worry love I will take care of him! How? I haven’t made up my mind yet but will soon do. Please dear I don’t want any publicity on this matter, it will hurt my son. Our son dear, I care about his feelings too but he too will have to make a choice someday. I had made that choice for us 25 years ago and nothing will change that. He has come of age dear and will have to carve out his own path.

…………………..

If I was troubled by Beckley’s visit, it matters not now. How to shield Jide away from the whole drama was now my headache if Beckley was desperate then Jide was more than desperate. A clash was inevitable between them; I didn’t want my son becoming a trophy sort of, a thing to be fought for.I knew Jide’s business had ties with drug dealers, he has never discussed the details with me but I had seen documents detailing such, I also know he wasn’t directly involved. But drug meant guns; guns meant handlers, then killers. It all looked like a scandal waiting to happen. I must warn Beckley to stay off one more time. It was-already 2 am with Jide gone to bed I was alone on the balcony dialing Beckley’s number. Julie!His voice was very much sober, what a pleasant surprise. Don’t take this the wrong way but I want you to leave my family alone! This is the second time you’re telling me that, I get it boo, I get the message. No you didn’t cause if you did you wouldn’t have paid my husband a visit after you left my office. Point of correction he is not your husband expect if you have some papers to prove it, secondly I only asked for what is mine. Alex is not yours! Stop pushing it,well my blood runs in his veins, so does mine! Just stop what you’re doing it could get messy on both ends. Alex is such a nice name Julie, I love it. Just stop pushing it, it was over between us I hope it stays that way and I ended the call.

……………………..

Julie’s threat meant nothing; her words merely urged me on!I was getting on their nerves I knew it but if it was the only way to gain access to my son I had no regrets. Jide was a cheat, an opportunist who had one tabled before him. How can you move in with a woman and not marry her? 25 years wasn’t 25 days he was a con master who had perfected his act, he stole what was mine 25 years ago because I didn’t fight enough but he won’t do it again. Am sure they had hidden my identity from my son, I must get to meet him, I had to explain how I failed him, how his mothers infidelity cost us a perfect family,how my ego stood in the way, how pride robbed us both and how we could not achieve an understanding. I must see Julie again tomorrow morning.

…………………

I should have drove myself to work this morning instead of allowing jide to drop me, after last night’s saga I couldn’t sleep well and was too weak for anything when the day broke, I wanted to stay home all day but Jide suggested I go to the office, it would help you think less of the situation darling, I would drop you dear. Beckley was seated in the receptionist when we walked in, there was a moment of awkward silence as jide shot him a bloody eyes and he returned the favor! What the hell are you doing in my wife’s office? Wife? Are you serious Mr. Jide? It was a sarcastic question, I warned you Beckley stay clear my family, leave us alone. Wait darling you have actually been talking to this fraud all along? I would explain later dear, please Beckley you need to leave. Julie i am not leaving till I get the information I need and that includes with this impostor gone. Don’t dare insult my husband! Did he actually put a ring around your 4th finger? Walk beckley.Mr. Beckley you just bite more than you can chew just be prepared to lose your teeth. Is that a threat? No it is a promise! Jide turned and left, left me standing confused. I knew he was angry with me too, angry I had not let him know I was talking to Beckley,I knew he felt betrayed. I walked past Beckley into my office, sank into my chairs, when I looked up Beckley was sitting opposite me. Why do you want to ruin my life, why are you struggling to destroy everything that took me25 years to build? I don’t get you Beckley,really I don’t. You are asking for an impossible thing and you know it, why are you fighting a lost war just to destroy other people’s happiness? I am sorry Julie! Tears filled his eyes; if you were in my shoes would you let another man have your son? Even if it is a lost war at least my son will know who his father is! That he came from a noble lineage not that of a drug baron, I loved you julie and believe me I still do, I have not gone to court to pursue the case cause I respect your privacy. I will let you see your son when he is back which is soon, I will let him know his father but my family stays intact. If you truly love me then you must respect this agreement. Alright Julie even though it wasn’t what I hoped for when I woke up this morning,

…………………

I left Julie’s office feeling happy, even if I don’t get my son back, it meant something that I would finally get to meet him, it was a positive outcome, one that would gladden Christine’s heart too, she has been dying to meet him too. I went to my hotel room feeling so happy, I ordered a bottle of jack daniels on my way up, Port harcourt had the finest of weather, I would visit the pool later in the evening to have my share of its women. I dropped the drink on the little center table and went in to have a light shower. Clad in my white towel around my waist as I came out, two men dressed in black where seated, one on the bed edge, the other on the arm chair enjoying my booze, one was flipping through my diary, well Mr. Beckley I’d give you a chance to complete this before we deliver our message. They kept drinking while I was filling these lines.

……………………….

Jide wasn’t just any man, he have his ways of doing things which surprises me sometimes and most times endear me to him. I was expecting an evening filled with questions and arguments, I was already seeing tempers raised and nerves frayed. There was the usual silence about the house when I walked in, Jide was his calm loving self, welcoming me, asking after my affairs and we had a little chat before I went to the bedroom to undress, I wanted to bring up the morning affair and clear the air about Beckley but decided against it. When Jide was ready to discuss him I will be ready too that was my resolution.

……………………

I nearly fainted when I saw the tiny headline under the celebrity column of a newspaper publication; I had gone to make my hair and decided to kill time as I waited my turn. The manager of Beckley collections is dead, “murdered in cold blood by unknown gun in his hotel room, I couldn’t finish the rest of the story, I couldn’t believe Beckley was dead. I knew at once it was Jide’s handwork, I knew he would also deny any involvement, I knew I wasn’t going to ask him either. One thing was certain I wasn’t going live with a murderer and my son isn’t going to bear a murder’s name. My world was going to change forever, the only man I trusted had severed every love Ihad for him, and it was going to be me and my Alex now trying to conquer the world by us. It was always us right from the beginning, Beckley destroyed the girl in me and Jide battered the woman I had become. I thought of Christine how devastated she would be, I was going to lagos to see her.

………………………..

Vanity upon vanity all was vanity, It was 4 weeks since Beckley died, I stood and watched the man that once meant the world to me lowered into the ground, behind the dark shades, my eyes were watery and the tears soon caressed my cheeks, Alex stood by me, I had told him everything, he couldn’t understand why some things did happen but am sure time would reveal more, he is my son and would bear my name. As requested half of Beckley’s wealth went to the orphanage and the rest mostly landed properties went to the family. Jide made severally attempts to meet me but I avoided him completely, I had made plans to liquidate my assets and in a week time I should be on my way to London with my son. It was time for a new beginning.

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Special thanks to all of you my friends who kept urging me to write more and bring this story to conclusion personally I didn’t think it evolve to this extent, I am most grateful for your times, criticism and encouragement. I hope someday to live up to your challenges and give you guys that much anticipated novel. Much love to everyone of you

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