By Bunmi Sofola
LAST Christmas,’Labi was on the verge of getting married for the second time. His two children from his first marriage were to actively participate at the wedding ceremony—his five-year-old daughter was to be the flower girl.
According to him, “Gloria, my new bride, wasn’t so keen on the idea as she didn’t particularly like Toju, my first wife. But, she had nothing against the children, and since they would always be part of our new life, she grudgingly agreed for them to participate. The wedding was fixed for the New Year.
“When I asked Toju to let the children spend either the Christmas or the New Year with me, she said she wasn’t sure she wanted them near my new woman, ‘Why?’ I wanted to know, she’s going to be their stepmother soon’. She spat, enraged: ‘Fibi is not even your daughter’. It was as if I’d been punched in the stomach.
Why was she being hurtful? She’s since had a child by another man, was she angry I’d found happiness too? Whose child is she then? I spluttered. It was then she explained that before our daughter was born, she’d had a fling with a man from her office. One look at her and I knew she was serious. I felt completely shattered.
“As I drove home, I even wondered if our little boy was mine, I discreetly arranged for a blood test and was relieved to find out he was mine. As for my so-called daughter, I promptly killed her in my heart. It was a tough decision for me to make as she was the blameless victim here, but there was no logic in raising a child that wasn’t even mine!
I just couldn’t bear to have her near me. When I told Tolu this, she didn’t care. She told me she was making arrangements for the girl to meet her real dad. I felt really sorry for the poor girl as she was looking forward to the wedding.
“After the wedding, my son lived on and off with us, and was a good brother to the son we had soon after. Later, I found out through the grapevine that the poor girl’s real father didn’t want to be involved in her life.
How devastated she must have felt. She was the victim here and it wasn’t her fault. I wouldn’t blame the father either—to be suddenly lumbered with a child he didn’t know of until 10 years later. What kind of a heartless mother puts her child through such a trauma?
“My anger towards the girl had melted by now, and I spoke to my ex that I wouldn’t mind if she also visited when my real son did. I was surprised she agreed. Although she’s not my daughter, I wanted to still play a part in her life —- afterall, I’m still the first father she ever knew.
“So that’s the situation now. My new wife felt really sorry for the girl and goes out of her way to be nice to her. She’d already been told I wasn’t her father and had also been paraded in front of her real father who didn’t want to know. Toju will forever be haunted by the cruel way she treated her first child, and the way she’d made me maintain the girl for five years believing she was my daughter.
“Thank goodness the poor girl is none the worse for her weird experience. I’ve assured her I’d always be there for her. She still calls me daddy and I don’t mind. The only person that is the loser is Toju with her twisted mind…”