How could I have raised such a hard-hearted daughter? Lilian

By candida

JUST when you think your life is on an even keel from the turmoil of life, up springs a problem to put a spanner in the cog of your peace. Lilian has definitely had her share of problems. She’d gone through the betrayal of Ayoka a ‘relative’ her husband brought into the matrimonial home, seen the ‘relative’ become a second wife and the mother of two children before she lost her life in a ghastly motor accident. She later agreed to raise Ayoka’s children.
A couple of years ago, her first daughter, Becky, got married abroad. It was a surprise as Becky had just graduated and landed a fantastic job. But she was pregnant, an accident and didn’t want the child. Patrick, her lover quickly called Lilian and she made a mad dash to England. Becky confided she wasn’t in love with Patrick.

“Why then did you sleep with him” her mother wanted to know. “I liked him at first and the sex was good. But I met someone else who cares for me more than he did.” “I was flustered”, admitted Lilian. I didn’t believe I was having this conversation with Becky. How could she trivialize sex like that – hopping from one bed to the other?

But she was on the defensive and things could turn nasty if I didn’t handle it right. Had she considered the baby she was carrying? ‘It’s not a baby yet,’ she snorted. ‘And I’m thinking of coming back home to get rid of it. My appointment in the office has just been confirmed and I don’t want to look like an unserious employee.’

I told her abortion was out of it. If she didn’t want Patrick, then she would have to have the child out of wedlock. And give birth to a bastard?’ She shrieked. On and on went the argument. In the end, she decided to get married to Patrick which she did before the baby arrived.”

Poor Patrick. He obviously loved being a father to their little girl and couldn’t understand why Becky kept her in care of the nanny hours after she’d finished at the office. He made it an effort to pick up the girl whilst Becky pursued her career. Until it came out that she had another little ‘career’ she was pursuing with an older man who’d come to settle in Britain. “He was in his late forties”, explained Lilian.

Apparently, he’d known Becky before she got married. As a matter of fact, he was the reason why she wanted to get rid of the baby. A former top dog in government, he’d returned to Britain after he was compulsorily retired – but he’d come back loaded to the teeth. He’d lavished gifts – cash and kind – on Becky and made Patrick look like a kept man. When Patrick found out, he was shocked.

He knew the man alright, had met him a couple of times in the company of Becky’s friends and had been introduced as an uncle to one of them. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he’d actually sat at a dinner party held by this man for a business colleague. He’d invited both Patrick and Becky and they gladly accepted to go.

‘What could be going through that dirty old man’s mind as he secretly gloated at me eating the ‘enemy’s’ spread? Patrick had asked as he filled me in on my daughter’s latest shenanigans. I told him not to do a thing until my next visit.“I had to tell Rex (her husband) what was going on in case things got out of hand.

He told me to deal with the crisis the best I could. He spent most of his free time in the town house and I guess Lagos life no longer interests him. Either that, or he’s shacked up with another ‘local’ girl to replace Ayoka. That no longer bothered me – I was really worried about Becky’s recklessness.

“When we eventually met, my daughter looked like a model out of the glossy pages of a very expensive magazine. She was happy, that much I could see. Money does that to you doesn’t it – especially free money! We eventually settled down to discussing her love life. She confessed she no longer loved Patrick and couldn’t bear him to make love to her.

My heart dropped. When a relationship hit that kind of a patch, it’s almost impossible to mend. She was in love with this Ekene who’d spoilt her rotten with his wealth. He didn’t want to make her a second wife and she wasn’t looking forward to a permanent relationship. All she wanted, she now had. “I shook my head sadly. Where did this calculating child come from? She’s mine alright – with features from both her parents.

But how did she come to be this hardened and calculating? I felt really sorry for Patrick who obviously loved his daughter to bits. Becky wanted me to take my grand child with me but Patrick refused. Becky had already moved out of their flat and was living with Ekene. What about Ekene’s wife? ‘Wives you mean?’ Patrick asked.

‘I’ve done my home work and the guy has three wives. One lives outside London and the two others are in Nigeria.’ “Becky wasn’t in the least fazed by that. By the time I left, it was obvious her marriage was over. She was happy living on cloud nine with this heartless lover who had more money than sense and conscience.

Months after this incident, Patrick called that Becky was in police custody. Apparently, the first wife, realizing how serious things were getting had gone to Britain to see things for herself. Poor Becky had been assured by Ekene that all the wives knew of her and that it was a matter of time before she became a wife herself. So when Ekene’s wife let herself in with her key, Becky was in the kitchen.

Within minutes, they were both having a shouting match and Ekene’s wife gave her the beating of her life. Becky called the police on her mobile and both of them were taken to the police station. Ekene’s wife showed the police her passport, bearing her matrimonial name – Becky’s name was different.

By the time Ekene showed up to explain Nigerian ‘tradition’ to the police, both of them had spent hours behind bars. Ekene then booked Becky into a bed and breakfast pending when his wife would go back to Nigeria.“But Ekene’s wife had solicited the third wife’s support and had moved into the flat before she left.  I don’t know what faith now awaits Becky.

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