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Monday, December 07, 2015

She took my son away, claiming I was not the father' (2)

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I got home that evening to find Julia lying on the living couch, looking dejected. 
"Is anything the matter, Julia? You look unwell," I said, sitting down besides her. Wordlessly, she handed me a piece of paper.
It was a pregnancy test. I glanced at it in surprise as it was so unexpected.
"When did you do this?" I asked her.

"Today. My period is late and I've been feeling ill lately. So, I went for a test," she explained.
"So, what do you want to do now?"
"What else? Get rid of it," she stated bluntly.
"What? You can't just do that," I said.
"Why not? I'm the one carrying this baby; I decide what happens to it," she maintained.
 "That's where you are wrong. It's mine too, so I have a stake in it," I reminded her.
 "So, are you saying I should have this baby? I'm still in school, remember!" she said.
The argument went on for sometime with me insisting she should keep the pregnancy. Though unplanned and I was not expecting to be a father yet, I liked the idea of her having the baby. I did not have plans of settling down with Julia for certainreasons, but with a baby involved, who knows. Anything could happen.

Thanks to my mother's intervention, Julia changed her mind. Mother had a long talk with her, 
stating that it was a taboo to abort in our family, insisting "we keep all our babies." 
 That was how Julia had my son, whom we named Edward. My mother came over to help look after the baby as Julia, being a first time Mum could not cope alone. Julia, an only child, is an orphan, her parents having died when she was still quite young. She had been brought up by her uncle and aunty till she finished secondary school when she started living on her own.

Runaway mother
As I stated earlier, Julia abandoned my son with mother when the boy was about six months old. I had returned from a business trip to Abuja one day to meet an empty house. Julia had left, stating she wanted to return to school to complete her degreeprogramme
 She had mentioned it some weeks before, but I had advised her to wait till Eddie was weaned.
Now, she just left without even waiting for me to return home. I was not happy at her action and I told her so when I spoke with her on phone.
 "The baby's still too young to leave with Mama. How could you do that? You have to come back," I said. 
 "Come back for what? Look, Sunny, I have my life to live, ok? I had to put my life on hold just to have this baby. Now, you want me to sit down at home and play 'baby-nurse? I'm too young for all this responsibility. My mates are out there having fun and I'm stuck in the house playing mummy. That life is not for me," she stated. 
 She refused to listen to reason, stating that she was moving on with her life, 'so she can start living again,' as she put it. 
 That left the responsibility of raising the baby to my mother. She really tried. She and my younger sister Morin. Without their support, I don't know how I would have coped bringing up a child on my own with running my business and other commitments.
  After Julia left, ending our relationship, I moved on with my life. I dated other ladies till about a year ago when I met Gloria, a nurse whom I'm presently engaged to. We plan to marry soon and start a family.
It was in the midst of all these that the unexpected happened. Julia came and virtually  kidnapped my son, the boy that she basically abandoned for so long. 
 After my mother told me what happened at Eddy's school, how Julia came and took him away, I tried contacting her but she was unavailable. 
 I even went to her school to look for her. She was not there and neither of her friends that I met knew where she was.
 "I saw her last over two months ago. She doesn't come to school regularly," stated one of her course mates that I knew.
 As you can imagine, I was in a very bad state of mind that period, not knowing where my boy was or his mother's intention of taking him away like that. What could she be up to, I kept wondering.
 Some days after my son's disappearance, I was contemplating reporting the matter to the police when Julia called me and dropped the bombshell that has turned my world upside... 

To be continued...

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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