I drove to her mother’s house in Satellite town. Mummy Satellite – that was what we all called her – was surprised to see me looking so uncharacteristically scattered. I quickly told her what had transpired between Rayo and me, including the discovery that I was Bayo’s father. The poor woman, she stared at me, her mouth agape.
Next thing I knew, we were off to Tola’s home in Ikeja. Anyone who has visited or lived in Lagos will understand that the one-day road trips I managed to undertake were major feats, since Lagos is well known for its very congested traffic and poorly maintained roads. However, I was a desperate man on a nearly impossible mission- to win back the woman I loved; a woman who now viewed me as a monster; a woman who inadvertently was the mother of my child.
We arrived at Tola’s home to find the whole household sleeping. The guard posted in front of the intimidating gates that housed Tola’s lovely bungalow nestled in Ikeja’s GRA built for the rich and affluent initially thought we were armed robbers. He opened the gates, only after Mummy Satellite had gotten through to speak to Tola on her phone, telling her that we needed to see her right away.
Tola, still in her nightclothes, was just as shocked to hear my story. Shocked, but happy. Very happy. In fact, she was so happy that she immediately woke Bayo.
“Remember what you told me last night?” Tola said to the sleepy boy. “Remember when you said that the gift you wanted in the New Year was to know your Daddy?”
“Well, your New Year’s present arrived very early. It’s here Bayo. This is your Daddy.”
Looking confused, he said, “Uncle Temi?” The facial semblance between him and Rayo was so prevailing that I felt like holding him against my heart and never ever letting him go.
“That’s my mummy’s friend,” he continued. “He’s not my Daddy.”
“Trust me Bayo. He is your Daddy. He and your mummy were keeping it as a surprise from you.”
Bayo rubbed his eyes with his hands again. Next thing I knew, he broke into a grin and ran to me. “Daddy.”
Not CEO, not Millionaire, not President of the Board, just simply Daddy – the best title ever.
I caught him at his first step, my heart dancing to a tune that I knew was the greatest joy I’d ever experienced in all of my 31 years.
With father and son reunited, the challenge was how we were going to plead with Rayo.
Four of us – Mummy Satellite, Tola, Bayo and I arrived at Rayo’s home way past midnight. It was a very long night. Tola and Mummy Satellite appealed to her on my behalf while Bayo and I stayed in the living room. My protective tendency as a Dad had kicked in and was in high gear, for I’d chosen to stay in the living room with Bayo to shield him from hearing the unpleasant grown-up conversation in the bedroom.
When Rayo came out of that bedroom to meet Bayo and me, her eyes were swollen from the tears she had been shedding. It was as if the unfolding events which occurred after she divulged that she was a mother had aged her. However, when I held her in my arms and felt her lean her head against my chest, I sensed that all wasn’t lost. Yes, she was shaken by the revelation that I was her son’s father, but deep down, she still loved me. Loved me enough to believe my story that I hadn’t raped her… that I too had been an unknowing participant in the game of life that some would call fate, or destiny. Take your pick.
Rayo and I got married three months later. And guess who gave the bride away?
Our son, Bayo – the one thing I’d initially thought was going to be the thorn in our relationship, ended up as the rose that Rayo and I were sure going to cherish all the days of our lives.
Lara Daniels is the author of African romance suspense novels –Love in Paradise and Love at Dawn. She makes her home in Texas with her Best friend Husband and three precious children. Read more about her works at www.laradanielswrites.com or follow her on Twitter @ LDparables.