If he were penning the script of his son’s life, what he is now and who he would’ve ended up with would be a harsh contrast – pitch black to virgin white. He holds penchance for blue fountain pens – that’s what he’d use. Perhaps the son will come to learn that it bleeds on paper so glamorously. Let’s call the pen a she because that way we give her personality more flair. She is bossom buddies with good paper. She doesn’t bleed on the adjacent side in friendly turf, instead she kisses the surface. Not a tad goes wrong with her, she comes with her own brain too. Like most females, she occassionally asks a question, not to evoke an answer but to certify honesty. That, the son will get to know when he grows older, as a proud father he’s bound to presume girls will be all over his son. Hearts have to be on the sleeve when handling her. She is steeped in alchemy, the pen. Glam words that would evade you on any day the sun rises from the east will appear from the blues. Words like aurora or constellations. He would mellow up the kid’s life more, he would give him those miniature cars kids point to their fathers/mothers in malls but never get for life demands other priorities like school fees and taxes. His life wouldv’e been more colorful, gaudy even. Hopefully he wouldn’t have been a spoilt brat – those degenerates who squeal and talk back to their folks. If power was pivoted on his wishful thinking, the title of this piece would’ve been ‘How I Met Your Mother’. It’s not, because he never did. The original author did, picked a faint pen that ran out of ink soon after, at a doorstep.
Jorem had just arrived at the big 30 mark, not a wink in. His 20’s had packed their knapsacks, therein, the volatility that came with them and drove off. He was standing at the threshold of a novel, stone faced 30’s that stipulated he gets himself a missus as he’s a grown lad. He put his best foot forward and broke sweat. Went to the church since it’s only innate that’s where a good girl would be, it was fruitless. He went to seminars and workshops, naught. For a timid guy he made a move on a co-worker in one of his seldom bouts of valiance – it paid off (in that they went out a few times) but not quite – as she soon jilted him for leaving rings of bread crust, he only ate the insides. She was spooked; it was one of those traits she had seen in a Netflix documentary on psychotics. He engaged dating apps such as Tinder, et al. but nothing came his way, in them were more lasses who marketed products not pertinent to the cause than those looking for a ‘non-crusty’ companion. To him he had exhausted every avenue, even the dreaded newspaper ads were vain. Cupid had been leaving his messages on read. Maybe he had depleted his arrows. Or maybe he had scored some cash to finally get himself some clothes. He felt forlorn as a single guy, it stuck out like an unrelenting stain on white fabric.
The flames of love struck in the form of a stubby lady who worked a counter in a gift shop not far away from his workplace. He had gone to get his niece a tiara when he first sighted her. Soon, he was hooked, kept coming back to talk to her. It’s not the kind of talking you would suppose a single man would do. He said things like ‘Where can I get a crown this time?’ instead of ‘You look nice, would you mind giving me your number?’ It wasn’t rocket science for her to notice this man was struggling to ask her out, she took the initiative and asked him out. Theirs was blissful, a brazen woman and a coy chap clicked so perfectly. They walked down the aisle two years later and then kin came knocking, disgruntled. A kid was far overdue, they seemed to demand. They endeavored to beget an offspring sans luck. Sexologists didn’t help. Neither did gynaecologists. Pregnancy eluded them. Life picked on him once more. A light bulb moment came and Jorem decided to get checked up, to see if his guns fired right. Unsurprisingly, it came last since to many, childlessness stemmed from a woman. On a frosty Thursday morning etched in his mind – a peculiar morn where even the noisy birds didn’t chirp. The word ‘impotence’ rang inside the doctor’s office. It drove him to pits, bottomless pits. He felt emasculated, that he wasn’t ‘adequate’ ate him inside. He even retracted from his wife and delved into solitude. He played lone wolf with his feelings. She was supportive nonetheless but he kept resenting her. Pushed her further away each day. Inevitably, like his esteem, she was gone. The spouse he had spent years looking for was gone. He had met his waterloo, in a fully furnished apartment yet so empty, it wasn’t a home. It was just where he came to spend the night after heavy inebriation. That’s if he didn’t pass out inside closed bars, open streets or ditches and got robbed of his phone and wallet. Anywhere he could wallow in his sorrows he did.
Like the ex-wife came to him, so did he, Benedict, his son. Dropped In a cot on his porch akin to how a porter or courier would a delivery. He stumbled out to find him swathed in clean cream coloured clothes. He was startled, gazed around to see who might be responsible, no one was in sight. This wasn’t what he meant when he asked the heavens for manna. At least not manna with arms and legs that needed breast milk. He didn’t have anything to give in that form. The baby didn’t cry, he just gruntled. Beside him sat a handwritten letter written in black, never a good sign.
It went: You’d say I’m a bad woman who abandoned a baby at a drunkard’s door. You’re right, you’re a drunk and I’m a bad woman. I have been mulling for weeks on end on where to take this baby and mused over the idea of you as a potential candidate. You came fifth in my listicle, as a single man who had expedited his wife’s exit from their marriage. I’ve picked you from gulleys and seen your bruised face after drunken stupors yet still dropped a baby on you. I have my reasons, I won’t tell. But I’d wish you take him to the ministry and file for an adoption. My intuition was you needed him more than I did, and I know for a fact he needs you more than he needs me. I’m a bad mother remember. So one day when he gets older. When he is able to decipher emotion fluently sit him down and let him know how he came to be with you. And that this is how you met his mother, in a scribbled epistle.
Yours, The Giver.