EP 22

Let me intimate you with a little of my family background. I grew up believing I am the first child of my parent, only to be told by my mother when my father died that he’s not my biological father. I was twelve years old at that time. She told me my step father whom I’ve always known as my father only took me as his son when he got married to her.

The question then was who and where is my father? The answer was another tragic story as my mother told me my father died while she was some months pregnant of me. Since then I decided to recognize my step father as my real father for the rest of my life, after-all I answer his last name and he has never let me feel I wasn’t his biological son while he was alive. This is why I am so sure Aramide is mixing things up as there is no way I can be a twin. Nobody in my family, not even my grandparents ever made the mistake of calling me a twin at any point. Though I’ll love to hear her out as funny things do happen, but I’m never going to ask my mother about this. She has gone through a lot for me and asking her that might hurt her. Aramide and I did meet but not until Thursday as she only came back on Wednesday and I’ve been busy reading towards my last examination as an undergraduate. Aramide: Thank God we are finally able to talk. How are you? Me: I’m fine. How was your journey? Aramide: Successful. I was not able to get the money I was expecting and that’s why I couldn’t make it down on Sunday. Me: No problem. How is Bankole? Aramide: He’s good. He sends his regards. How is your girlfriend? I forgot her name. Me: Are you talking about Funmi? Aramide: Yes, how is she? Me: She’ll be fine I’m sure. She’s not my girlfriend though, not yet. Aramide: What happened? You guys fought? Me: Not really, it’s complicated. I’ve not heard from her since Saturday. Aramide: I think I like her though. Try to settle things with her. Me: That will be after my exams. I really can’t get distracted at this point. It’s my last hurdle. Aramide: You are right. Have you ask your mum if you are a twin? Me: No I did not. There is no point asking her when I know I’m not. Aramide: How can you tell? Me: None of my numerous names is Taiwo or Kehinde, and nobody in my family has ever made the mistake of calling me “Ejire”, not even my grandparents. Aramide: Hmm, where is your dad? Me: He’s long gone; he died while I was 12. Aramide: Are you sure about that? Me: Well, he’s my stepfather. My biological father died before I was given birth to. Aramide: Oh Oh! How did you know that? Me: I was told by the only person that can say the truth about it; my mother. Aramide: You might have to ask her again Me: That will be improper to do and why will I be doubting my own mother? Besides, I don’t think I need a father anymore. My mother is my everything, she has always been. Aramide: I’m not asking you to doubt your mother, I’m only asking you to search and get the truth, and one of such truth is your mother might not be your biological mother. Me: That’s ridiculous. Where are all these coming from? Why will she be lying about conceiving me if she did not? And why do I resemble her that much? Aramide: You resemble your mother? Me: Yes, facially. Let’s even assume she’s not my biological mother, she’s still the only person I’ll ever know as my mother. Aramide: Well, you seem not ready for the truth. Me: Aramide, this is our second conversation since we met. You don’t think I’ll just accept stuffs like that from you that I barely know without overwhelming evidences. What exactly did you see, what’s your point? Aramide: I think it is best we leave the issue till after your exams so you won’t get distracted. Me: All my papers falls to next week, so by upper week I’ll be free. Aramide: Okay, till then. But let me ask you these questions before you leave Me: Alright I’m listening Aramide: Why do you answer Albert? Me: That’s my step fathers’ last name. Aramide: And why not the last name of your own father? Me: Nobody ever mention his name to me Aramide: If you see his picture, I mean your biological father, can you recognize him? Me: I’ve never come across his picture anywhere, so I don’t have it in my memory bank. Even my mother doesn’t have any of his pictures. Aramide: And you did not know any of his family members that can show you? Like his brother or sister? Me: Maybe they rejected my mother and I after my father passed away because I don’t know a single soul from that family. I can’t even say if they still exist. Aramide: Hmmm. Answer this last but funny question, not too necessary though. How much of porridge do you love? Me: It’s indeed funny because I don’t take porridge. Whether yam or not, it makes me feel like vomiting every time I tried it. Aramide: Really, do you know why? Me: I’m not sure. But I think it’s because I don’t like it personally. I don’t believe allergy to food exist in this part of the world. We eat anything. Aramide: Alright. I’ll like you to ponder on these questions till we meet after your papers. You can still ask your mother you know. I think she have answers to these questions. Me: Okay. Though I’ve never thought about most of the questions before, I’ll reason it, thank you Aramide. Aramide: It is my pleasure and sorry for disturbing your reading. Me: No problem, by the way where is the other twin you said is alive? Aramide: You’ll meet each other when we confirm and you are convinced you are the other twin. Me: Okay till then Aramide: I’ll call you okay. Do well in your papers and I wish you the best. Me: Thank you. Are you guys not writing exams? Aramide: Our calendar is a little different from the whole school. Me: I’ve heard that before. Send my regards to your fiancé Aramide: I will. Hope there was no complication from that place you got hit? Me: No, not at all. I’m perfectly fine. Thank you so much. Aramide: You are welcome. I left our meeting place and headed back to convocation ground where I was reading under a tree before Aramide called me out to meet her. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to concentrate again as question upon questions keep coming up on my mind. “Is my mother really not my mother?”, “Is my biological father still alive?”, “If all these were lies, why did Aramide chose me and not somebody else?”. I remember that guy telling me in my dream my mortal father is still alive. “Even if he’s alive do I need him? Would it be a bad thing to know my father at least, even though I don’t need him?”. The more I think about these questions the more I feel dejected, desperate and angry. I decided to think about another thing so I’ll be able to concentrate on my reading but the questions kept coming up. I felt strangely cold in a moment, though the weather isn’t that bright but it wasn’t breezing cold. I wonder where this cold is coming from and to make it worse, I started feeling like using the toilet as my stomach start developing strange reactions. I’m not supposed to feel that way as I’ve not taken anything as food that morning. What could be the cause of all this? I seriously hope it’s not coming from my discussion with Aramide. I put on a strong face and forced everything back to normal, but the questions were still coming up. I put on the music on my phone, listening through the headset with the aim of diverting my attention to the melody of the music but it instead replace the questions temporarily with Funmi’s thought. I have not heard anything from her since the time I made that foolish call to her. I can’t even say if she’s fine or not. I guess I was a little angry about the way she responded that time, but not calling her at all is a bad step in its self. What if I’m really going to lose her to that new guy she’s flooding her DP with his pictures? I think I’ll have to start preparing myself for the worst. On the other hand it is unusual of her to be using a guy’s picture as DP; I’ve not seen many like that since I knew her. It is also unusual of her not to have called me or try looking for me for over five days now. I hope she’s fine and nothing is wrong. By the way, I could use her words right now as I’m really getting disturbed with all these new funny questions about my origin. I decided to put a call through to her to at least know how she’s faring. Me: Hello Funmi Funmi: Hello, I thought you’ll never call me again Me: Why would I do that? Funmi: I don’t know Me: Why didn’t you call me? Funmi: I don’t know, I guess I’m busy. Me: Too busy to put a call through? Funmi: In fact, I am busy right now, so we’ll have to talk later if you want to talk Me: Okay, I just want to know if you are doing fine. Funmi: Oh! Thanks. Good to know, Bye. That call ended in less than 30secs and I blamed myself for making the call. Why is she getting bitter on me? Even if we aren’t dating, I thought we are still friends. Well, this attitude might be putting me off gradually and maybe Temmy was right after-all; this dating of a thing is a wrong thing at a wrong time. That does not change the fact I’ll still love her to be by my side forever. The bitter truth was I called her because I needed somebody very dear to me to talk to, because my mood is gradually turning sour. I used to have mood swing which I thought I’ve overcame but it’s like this matter of my origin is reviving it in me. I couldn’t do anything again and my countenance has obviously changed. Temmy is the best person to talk to at moment like this but he’s out of coverage as he is currently in a no network area with his supervisor, gathering the last sets of results for his project. Oliver Wendell Holmes said and I quote “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” and this made me try to source for inner strength since it’s obvious I’m not going to get my desire comfort from people I cherished, at least not now. I decided to go back to the hostel to take a nap, hoping that my brain will be somehow fresh and free of worries by the time I wake up, because I really need to study as there is a lot to cover. As I was on my way home, my phone rang and it was Janet. I really don’t think I can add her disturbance to my current predicament; therefore I ignore the call only for me to hear a voice over my shoulder Janet: So this is how you do reject my calls Will.. . As I was on my way home, my phone rang and it was Janet. I really don’t think I can add her disturbance to my current predicament; therefore I ignore the call only for me to hear a voice over my shoulder Janet: So this how you do reject my calls Me: Janet, how are you doing? Janet: I am fine but you are obviously not. What’s wrong? Me: I’m okay, just tired. Janet: Tired at this time of the day? This period is one of your best reading time and you are already heading home. Something is definitely wrong. Me: (Wao! She knows me that much) I’m fine Janet, I just needed to rest. Janet: I don’t believe you. What’s troubling you? Please tell me. Me: (Something in me wants to start pouring out everything to her, but I felt it’s a wrong idea) I am indeed fine. Is something wrong with my face? (Forcing a smile) Janet: Don’t bother forcing the smile. I know you more than that. Something deep is troubling you, but you didn’t want to share it. Me: I’m fine Janet. Where are you coming from? Janet: I’m coming from the class and don’t try to change the subject. I just want you to know I’m here if you need to talk to somebody. Me: (I indeed need to talk to somebody, I just don’t think it’s you) thanks Janet. I really appreciate it. Janet: Whatever it is you are going through, it will be resolved okay. Remember you are a strong personality and I believe in you but I need you to believe in yourself. Me: (Okay, Who am I speaking with? I can’t believe these are coming from Janet. I’ve never seen this side of her before. It’s really cool) Thank you Janet. Janet: I know you read a lot of books, and it’s because of you I started reading them too. This is the time to start applying all those principles you’ve read about. Me: (I’m really going to explode, Janet read books now?) Hmm. You are right. I’ll be good. Where are you heading to? Janet: I’m done for this morning, going back to my lodge. Hope you’ve eaten? Me: Not really, cooking takes time I can’t afford to waste in the morning. I’ll buy bread when I get to the lodge. Janet: Bread with what?

Me: I really don’t know, maybe with tea or I take it alone. Janet: You’ll take bread alone? That’s ridiculous. Let’s go to my lodge if you don’t mind. Rachael should have prepared something better. Following her to their room looks like a bad idea at a very good time as I’ve not been to that room for a long time. I did follow her though as I’m currently in need of company, because being alone will surely bring back my worries. As we get closer to their lodge, that strange cold started again and this time with a feverish feeling. I was sweating profusely and was feeling being heated from the inside contrary to the rather cool atmosphere that looks like it’s going to rain any moment. I discarded it again and faked myself to be okay as I can’t afford to get ill at this point, I needed to study. We entered their room and met three other students (a lady and two guys) having a group study with Rachael. We met them on what looks like their recess time as they were laughing hard to the jokes of one the guys, the one with the name “SAUCE” printed to the back of his red customized polo shirt. I sat there a little, enjoying the jokes while waiting for Janet to bring the said food only for her to come back and say Rachael did not cook. She did offer to buy the bread I initially planned and fry some eggs with it but I declined as I was no more comfortable sitting there because the fever seems to be increasing in a faster pace. I left their lodge for my place despite Janet and Rachael’s plea for me to stay. I got into my room only for the fever to take full control of my body to the extent that I switched on the fan to the maximum because of the heat I was feeling and lie down covering myself with both mine and Temmy’s cover clothes because of the extreme cold I was feeling at the same time. I could hear my tooth hitting each other as my body vibrates under the cover clothes. Some minutes later, I heard a knock on the door and could not even answer, though the door wasn’t locked. I saw Janet and Rachael entering the room with Janet holding a bag which conformed to a cylindrical shape. Janet: Oh my God! What’s wrong with you? Rachael: Is this not the person that was laughing inside our room just now? Janet: (She felt my temperature with her hand) Rachael come and feel his temperature, it seems my hand is deceiving me. Rachael: (She felt it too) Holy God! Will let’s go to the health center right now. Hearing the word “health center” suddenly gave me a rare strength to talk. I hate anything hospital and I’ve never been to one for medical treatment other than compulsory tests since I was young. I struggled to sit up against all odds and immediately felt a sharp sinusoidal headache that made me close my eye in agony. Rachael insisted we should go the health center right away but I refused to go, forcing myself to say “I am fine”. Janet: Indeed you are fine with this your body temperature that can cook beans. Rachael: How I wish Temmy is around, he’s the one with his password. Janet: I think he need to eat first, he has not taken anything today. That’s what they’ll ask first at the health center. Rachael: That might have even contributed to it. Will is too fond of reading extensively without food, and it’s too dangerous. You use up a lot of energy when you read. Janet: I’ve bought the bread and fried some eggs with it, can you take it now? (I shook my head to say No, because I’m sure I’ll vomit it totally)

Rachael: You don’t want to go to hospital, you don’t want to eat. Are you planning to commit suicide? Will, you are not a kid o Janet: I think he’ll take pap or custard. Before I could say no, she had already left the room to get the pap, though we have custard in the kitchen. I’m not sure she’ll get the pap though, as it is difficult to get in our area at that time of the day. The truth is I wasn’t feeling like eating anything because I’m so scared whatever I eat I’ll vomit. Janet came back with a raw pap (ogi) coupled with a tin evaporated milk with sugar. Where and how she got it was beyond my knowing. She prepared the pap and I took it alone without the evaporated milk and sugar, because I was scared it might be typhoid. Taking milk with pap would have caused more harm than good as far as I know. I laid myself back after taking the part I could from the pap and slept off. I woke up some hours later and discovered Janet was still there sitting closer to where I laid my head, fanning me with a book because the power has been taken by the power holding people. She was also reading one of my motivational books and it looks so strange to me. This I call the irony of life. Funmi, my heart desire that has been my friend and close companion for the past four months or more, is not here when I needed her the most, but Janet my ex-crush that I’ve been avoiding over the same period of time is the one sitting by my side with care. I really wish it is Funmi doing all these, as this her act of care is bringing back to life the affection I used to have for her. Her engagement is her undoing though. Janet: You are awake. How are you feeling now? Me: Better than before. Janet: I really don’t know which drug to buy as I don’t know the nature of your fever. But I think you should take this paracetamol while we get you a drug. Me: Thanks. I’ll be fine Janet: Temmy called and said they’ll be arriving very late in the evening. I told him your situation and he suggests a drug you normally take. When Rachael comes back, I’ll go for it. Me: Oh! You shouldn’t have told him Janet: He asked how your phone got to my hand, so I don’t have option. Me: Really Janet, thank you a lot. Janet: You know I’ll always be there for you, only if you’ll allow me. Can you eat real food now? Me: I don’t think so; my stomach is yet to settle. I’m not even sure the pap entered the right place. She stayed with me till evening as Rachael brought her notes and they both read right there in my room. I also tried to read but not for long as the sinusoidal headache started again. A call came through to my phone from Aramide and Janet picked up telling her I was down with illness. In less than 30min she got to my room and was so surprised at my state. Aramide: What? We spoke not too long ago and nothing was wrong then. Janet: That’s how we saw it too. He just changed drastically. Aramide: What has he taken now? Rachael: He won’t take anything. He refused drug and food, and won’t go to the health center. Aramide: (Smiles) As expected. Though, if you had gone to the health center, you would have been sent back because the place has been closed due to protest from some students. You guys can leave, I’ll take over from here. I don’t have exams to write yet. Janet: Okay, if you need any help just call through his line. Rachael: Don’t worry Will, your boyfriend will soon come. Aramide: (Laughs) who is his boyfriend? Rachael: Of course it’s Temmy. Those guys can make someone jealous. (They all laughed as they left) Aramide did take over and I was surprised she has already bought the drug I would have taken if I had wanted to take drug. And she forced me to take it. I don’t know how she did it, but I took the drug. She left our room around 9pm when Temmy arrived and she was back as early as 8am the following morning, even though she called many times in between her period of absence to check on me. I must admit, the care I’m getting from Aramide is like that of a blood sister even though I barely know her. She did not bug me with her twin theory for the period of days she catered for me. She was still coming many times with prepared food for Temmy and me during our exam week, even though she stays a little far from school. Janet was always coming to check on me during the time I was ill and she kept calling to know my health state. We’ve gotten a little close back since the time I was ill as I was totally moved by her show of care. She has reduced her disturbances on us dating, I guess because it’s exam period. Rachael later told me she has broken up with her abroad fiancé a day before I got ill and that’s tempting. With this revived affection I’m having, I won’t be surprised to be in confusion between her and Funmi. I still did not hear anything from Funmi and I refused to call her throughout my exam week, even though I seriously miss her and would love to have her around. But I guessed the sisterly care I’m getting from Aramide and the new refurbished attention from Janet has reduced my longing for her. Now, I’m more confused. .



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