Another Trial (3)

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Genesis spent more time outside the country than he did within. That was because his business was mainly in Ontario, Canada where he ran a financial consult with two other partners. And much more because he needed to be as far away from his parents as possible. The stalemate between him and his parents had been going on for years with his father as the protagonist and the mother a mere side kick who danced to the whims and caprices of her husband. His father made no secret of his disgust at how his son had turned out, not practicing the law he’d trained for and hopping beds with strange women. They’d had several quarrels and some near physical combats in his younger days which prompted Genesis to move out to a place of his own, a duplex he eventually bought and reconstructed to his taste when he came into some money from his ‘speculation’ business. As far as Prof Badmus, an emeritus professor of Psychology was concerned, he had failed to meet all expectations placed on him as the first and only son. He’d often said it to his face that his three elder sisters who were all married and successful in their careers and a younger one who was steadily climbing up the ladder in her own career and was headed for the altar anytime soon with her childhood friend and fiance were better off and worth more sons than he could ever be.
About three years earlier, on a July Saturday morning to be precise, a young woman had showed up at the Badmus family home asking after Genesis. After interrogating her for a while, the gateman had let her into the house where she simply introduced herself as Mary and claimed that the sleeping baby she backed was their son’s. Prof Badmus’s initial reaction was to burst into laughter while his dumbfounded wife could not but keep staring at mother and child in bewilderment. When he’d had a good laugh, he turned to his wife and said, “I guess your son will never run out of surprises eh?”
“What? You believe her?” she was taken aback.
“Don’t you?” He scoffed and turned to Mary, how old is the child please?
“No, no, not so fast!” Mrs Badmus interjected. “We don’t even know how you met or what relationship exists between you two- if there’s any at all- and you just waltz in here and claim you have a child by our son?” She was on her feet now, “do you know the full import of these claims at all? Can you even recognize the said man if you see him?”
“I can reco-”
“Don’t talk back at me,” she was furious, “ahr!” She clapped her hands, “girls of nowadays have no shame at all, how can you just come into our house and claim you have a son for a man you were never married to and whose parents have no idea you even exist! How did you even trace this address because I am pretty sure my son did not give it to you, that’s even if you knew him.”
“Wura calm down”
“Don’t tell me to calm down! The fact that our son is not-she stopped and turned back to Mary, moved close to her and stared at her for a while, “how are we even sure you’re sane?”
“What?”
“No,” she turned to her husband, “I don’t think she’s alright, maybe she’s a even a psychiatric patient, she must have escaped from-”
“That’s enough madam,” Mary got up. “I didn’t think this was going to be an easy ride either. I’ll leave right away. But I’ll be back, so you might want to inform your son beforehand that it’s time for him to shoulder some responsibility. I’ve tried enough raising this poor child on my own this long. Expect me soon.” With that Mary left while husband and wife went into a hot argument as to whose conduct was inappropriate and if who should have been more receptive. As soon as Genesis arrived the country about two days to that, he was invited to a family meeting where his younger sister Seun was present as usual to his dismay. He’d often contended that it was disrespectful for his parents to always involve his younger sister, a nine year junior, in matters concerning him. A contention always met with deaf ears.
He denied vehemently, even accusing his parents of utmost distrust and lack of faith in him. His father remained nonchalant and his mother, nonplussed at the turn of things. Genesis dared Mary to come back and make the same claims to his face. As if ethereally present at the meeting, and true to her words, Mary showed up exactly two weeks later. Again on a Saturday morning, but very early this time. She left a sedated two year old Boluwatifekori in a wooden cradle with documents such as her birth certificate, vaccination cards and a few personal effects tucked in beside her just before the house woke up. When the gateman alerted the Badmuses of this development, Prof Badmus ruled that the baby was to be taken as theirs and summoned his son from Canada at once.
All efforts to get through to Mary proved abortive. She’d left no traceable contact detail except for a house address written on the child’s birth certificate. When Mrs Badmus and Seun eventually visited the address, they only found a friend of Mary’s who told them she’d only agreed to squat Mary until the baby was born two years earlier after which she moved to an unknown address and left no useful contact behind. When Genesis came back, he had repeatedly heated arguments with his parents as to the paternity of the child for days, one even happening at a family function. That was the last straw for the already on-the-verge-of-collapsing relationship existing between Genesis and his parents. His father ruled again, a DNA test to put the matter to rest once and for all. Genesis left the country. Meanwhile, Mrs Badmus, a retired public administrator and business woman with a furniture retail business, settled into the role of taking care of Boluwatifekori whom they all simply referred to as Bolu, as mother and grandmother  while the father-son feud went on.
For one whole year, his mother continued to plead with him to take the DNA for peace’s sake. She prodded his sisters and friends, Mayowa especially to talk some sense into him. All this time, he only came into the country when it was absolutely unavoidable and avoided his parents and love child like a pariah. When Bolu had been with them for a year, Prof Badmus could take it no more. He mandated Genesis to take a DNA test or be permanently disowned. That was it. After some weeks of arguing back and forth, Genesis finally presented himself for a DNA test. The child was his. And that was the beginning of his journey into compulsory and unplanned fatherhood. His parents went back to their united ‘persecution’ reeling out a number of rules and regulations guiding his new status, compliance with which was religiously monitored. This affected a lot of things for the bitter new dad, including his movement as he had to be at the beck and call of the young lass who never ceased to want to see ‘my daddy’.
On this particular day, his mother had just called to remind him of his daughter’s approaching birthday. He called Aanu as soon as he got off the phone.
“Hi Aanu,” Genesis said into the phone that hot June afternoon.
“Hey, Gen, how are you doing?”
“I’m good. How’s it going over there? Mayowa says you’re in Port-Harcourt.”
“Oh yeah, it’s hectic with an ‘H’.” They laughed.
“I have like three catering gigs, seven wedding decors and two home makeovers at a stretch! Can you picture that?”
“Of course I can, but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to what you’ve done in the past. Babe, you’ve decorated five weddings on the same day and supplied cake to them all. That is what I call massive!”
I” know right, and I also know that you and Mayowa must have rehearsed that line long enough for-”
“Oh come on! You know that’s not true…” they laughed again.
“I actually need a favour, and a big one too considering the state of things now-”
“Oh, I am totally sorry; you know I always take over the conversation right? I’ll never change would I?”
“No, you won’t,” he laughed.
“And you really had to say that huh?”
“You know I’ll always tell you the truth,” he mimicked.
“Just get out of here!”
“Okay, now I’m serious. I just got off the phone with mum and it happens Bolu’ll be five in two weeks.”
“What? Our Bolu? That can’t be, I set a reminder… hold on a second.” She quickly scrolled to her phone calendar and realized it was true and the reminder had gone off the week before.
“That’s actually true, the reminder went off already,” she said to him, “maybe the kids were playing with my phone when it went… yay! Who wants a party? Me!”
“Of course, that’s why I’m calling. Things are pretty busy around here. could you possibly squeeze me into your schedule?” He pled.
“Of course, anything for Bolu.”
“Awh! You’re so sweet aren’t you?”
“That’s my strongest weakness,” she played along.
“Has anyone told you-”
“Gen I need to get back to work, I’ll keep you posted.”
“Alright then, I’ll send in some money.”
“You’ll definitely be in town for the party won’t you?”
“I’m not sure yet, it’s really-”
“Ok, you’re kidding, agreed. I’ll get back to you, bye.”
“Bye.”

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