Yemi read the message from Adeola, he sent her a message on Facebook and begged her to reply as soon as possible. She went to the blog where her story was still trending only to see that so many women had offered their condolences and prayers, some asked for her number and some for her account number so they could send some money to her children.
Chidinma sent her a mail and asked if she would mind getting financial assistance from some of the readers, she declined saying she would prefer to get a job instead, so she asked her to send a CV to Hector’s email address. when she saw the address, she typed a new Cv and sent to the address. Few minutes later, she got a mail from Hector who knew from the information provided on the CV that it was the same Yemi he knew. He called the phone number that was provided on the CV. When she heard his voice, she broke into fresh tears, Hector asked her to come see her.
Hector drove to the house she stayed with his wife, Chidinma could not stop crying when she saw the beautiful woman who had gone through such a humiliating and excruciating experience and did not allow herself to be molded into a totally different person by the experience. Her husband told her about their childhood together and she was convinced the small is actually small world indeed.
On their way to the house, the elderly woman who had become major influence on the blog because of the nature of advice; mature and real contacted her on the phone. They had spoke for long, she asked if Yemi would be willing to meet her, to which Chidinma replied she would find out and get back to her.
Yemi and Hector discussed while Chidinma played with her children. She later found a chance to ask if she could be willing to meet Mrs. Iyiola. Yemi wanted to decline the request but when she read the woman’s contributions on the blog, she agreed to meet her.
They fixed a date and met, Yemi was surprised to see the woman; old, stylish and a very popular TV personality. They greeted very warmly like old family friends. When they entered her apartment, Chidinma excused herself so they could discuss unhindered.
“My dear, I also did not have it rosy, in fact my story was similar to yours but not as far as HIV. We are still married, the only thing I did differently was to ask my estranged husband of two years to go for medical screenings before we could get back together. And for the fact he was willing to come back home, he did what I asked him. By that time our first child was almost 17 years. He came back with another child he got through his mistress, the child actually belonged to another man. In all that, it was not the end of the world. You are where you are, you can go for another screening in another hospital, check back after a few more months, and if the result is still the same, then so be it, you can still live your life well, science has gone beyond what we thought it to be”
“Thank you ma, but where are your children now, and were they able to forgive their father?” She asked. That was what was uppermost on her mind because she knew Stella had not forgotten the beating she got from her husband.
“Well, it is left to you, if you don’t forgive and constantly remind them he is a bad person, they will not forgive him and they will look at men the same way and even your son might not fully grow to be confident of how he is expected to be. I did not know that early in life because I spoke rudely and rashly of my husband before our kids. When he eventually came back, the kids did not respect him, in fact they resented him. My first son even said something would always say something like that. I have 4 kids, all married now with their own family. They came to terms with having their father around and coming around to like and respect him when I changed my attitude towards him. Forgive him and teach those kids forgiveness, love and integrity, it will give you peace of mind. Also find a place in your heart to forgive him, he might not deserve it but it will make your own life easier and peaceful.”
Yemi listened some more to the woman, her counseling was not academic, she spoke out of personal experience. She opened up on the abuse she went through; telling them to someone who had gone through the same and understood her made her feel better.
That night, Yemi returned his certificates. As she was about to leave, he drove into the compound, he rushed out of the car without putting off the engine.
“Yemi, Yemi, you almost killed me, please where are my children, did they test positive too?”
“No, only I did and I thank you for that!”
“I am truly sorry, I swear I did not know and I don’t know how long I have had it but please, lets seat and talk. Have you contacted your brother, he threatened to get me arrested for your disappearance…”
“don’t worry about him, I only came to drop your certificates that I took while packing and for your children, they are fine also. When the time is right, you will see them.” She turned to leave but he blocked her paths and went on his knees…
“Yemi please, we are in this together, this is the last straw that might break my sanity. If you leave then I am doomed. Please come inside and let’s talk. I am begging you in the name of the almighty God. I have dome you plenty wrongs and I have paid back your loyalty, love and trust with my evil ways. I swear, I have Changed and the case of the HIV was just what I found out after I decided to be faithful to you and to our kids, please…”
Yemi looked at him with some dry eyes simply said
“well, your change came late,” she walked past him to the other car she took with her and drove to pick her children.
Mrs. Iyiola called her later that night to ask if she had international passport with her children and she said no. She told her to arrange to get which they went for the second day.
Hector also asked if she could come be their accountant and even though the salary was not too great now, things would get better. They got a bigger project through Chidinma’s brother and things were beginning to take shape finally. Their former boss was also ejected from site and the project awarded to another company after another worker fell off the building through the same old scaffolds. The masons were enraged when the guy was not immediately transported to the hospital and no immediate medical attention on site was given and the poor man died. A protest broke out, the media was involved and things took went awry. The bricklayers said they were forced to work under extreme hard conditions and for longer hours and that, that was not the first accident on site but he had been covering it up. He lost more than that project at hand and was sued by the family of the deceased.
Chidinma also became a close friend of Yemi, she called her every day. While Olaolu said she should only work with Hector for a while, and he would prefer she travelled if the opportunity came.
Mrs. Iyiola came to visit her and the kids some days later and gave her some money to apply to the USA. She was granted a Visa. Chidinma asked her fans who wanted to send money to Yemi when her story was published to send to her account; some did and some said they would prefer to send to Yemi directlty so as to protect her. She asked the willing ones to pay to her, she posted their names and some anonymously and the amount they paid. She was able to realize close to a million naira after adding some from her purse. The money was transferred to Yemi, who could not believe her ears when Chidinma called her. The call was recorded and uploaded on the blog too so she could verbally express her gratitude. She was able to pay for the trip and also with the help of Mrs. Iyiola, she got a place she would be staying for as long as it takes to get on her feet.
Three months after the whole ordeal, as she was packing for the trip, Olaolu was downstairs playing with her kids, she called Hector to thank him for wanting to give her a chance. Hector in turn, said he knew what her plans were and he respected them. He promised to keep in touch even when she travelled.
She made the final call the following morning to Adeola, who was dressing for work, she passed the phone to the kids, who took turns to speak with their father. He later asked to speak with her and when she took the phone, he begged to see them. Yemi told him to watch out for an address in the evening where he could meet them.
Adeola anxiously waited for the message, he jumped out of his seat when he saw her message. He was dazed when he saw the address to be the international airport and that their flight would be for 6:30 p.m. He drove like a mad man to the airport and was relieved to see his children who ran to his arms when they saw him. She greeted him calmly and he could also see Olaolu as he nodded to him too.
“Yemi, where are you going to?”’
“To the US, when we are settled I will give you a number to call us on”
“Yemi, please, I don’t want to lose you, please, I need to be there for my kids. We had something good, it was not bad all through”
“Adeola, you had something good, but you lost it” she pulled her kids to him and they said their goodbyes to Adeola who promised to call and visit and to Olaolu who promised to call them.
Adeola watched and waved bravely to his children till they disappeared into the waiting room as their flight was announced.
He forgot where he was as he collapsed on his knees, balling his eyes out. So many people passed him but a kind young man came to him and asked if there’s any way he could help him
“No sir, I just lost something good and I’m afraid I lost it for good.”
We all have something good or someone good in our lives. We should endeavour to keep them while we can because not everyone is lucky to get back what has been lost. Stay blessed
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