My name is Obinna Aniebonam, I am a very Eligible bachelor, ripe for marriage, and have a thriving business. You can classify me as a top-ranking middle class and by God’s grace, I am a beneficiary of God’s blessings in fulfillment of his promises in Psalm 23 as My Shepherd that I shall not want. I had driven home one evening to meet the sight of my new neighbor moving into the apartment next to mine which had hitherto been vacant for over a dozen months. I was glad that I had a neighbor at last and although being quite introvert in nature, I was at least glad that there would be human activity next door. I met the door open, the moving van conveying their properties parked outside with two men moving the sofa. I greeted them and they responded as I walked past and went straight to the door leading to my staircase. I could even hear the carpenter driving in nails to the wall and a female voice directing. I went in and locked my door and proceeded to fix myself a hot meal.
It was a knock at my door that woke me up and glancing at my wall clock it was past six am, I lazily walked to the door and opened it to meet Garba the maiguard.
Garba Good Morning, How you dey?
Walahi Oga, Sannu, I dey pine walahi !
This one wey you dey knock for my door, na wetin?
Oga bah tarabul, na madam wey I kwam yeskiday, I tell me make I kwam kwamot am por motor, say me I wan kwamot.
Oh Okay! I dey come.
He left afterwards and I grabbed my car key and walk downstairs. It was my new neighbour as it was a double duplex apartment that shared facilities with a narrow parking space and we were the only occupants, at least since yesterday because for over a year I had been alone and not bothered how I parked my car, now I had to care how henceforth. I got downstairs and met a very beautiful lady dressed smartly for work and we exchanged pleasantries, I welcomed her into the compound and cited the excuse of getting home tired as the reason I hadn’t come to welcome her the previous evening. Ifeoma as she was named turned out to be a nice person and we lived in great harmony.
She was with an Oil servicing firm as their Head of procurement and was Igbo too, so we got along very well. She wouldn’t stop asking me to come to church with her and I always found an excuse to dodge. One day, Ifeoma brought home a business deal for me and I was so grateful to God for giving me such a neighbor. I was to supply two V-Sat Dishes and set up a new server for the new department her company was to open. I was told that her boss was particularly interested in this job and didn’t want a bidding process but a recommendation by her, then she remembered I was into IT hardware and software sales, installation, and development. She set up a meeting with her boss and I and when the day came, I dressed very smartly and went with my tech-gadgets to impress. She met me in the lobby and ushered me into their conference room, sat with me while we waited for her boss to arrive.
When her boss arrived he looked at me as if searching for a missing link, like someone who had run into me previously but couldn’t really place where. I sat down and we began to introduce ourselves. You said you’re Aniebonam came his question, yes Sir I replied him.
Okay Mr. Aniebonam, I will get back to you very soon.
That evening we discussed about her boss the MD and we all laughed at the mini interrogation we labeled an interview. She went on to tell me more about the company and how the chairman was too discreet that they had never met him before. Two weeks later I was in my office thinking of how to make up the 5 million Naira my only sister who happened to be my twin needed to proceed for her M.Sc. having been offered admission by Georgia Tech USA when my phone’s ringing jolted me into consciousness. It was Ifeoma’s boss asking me to join them in an hour as the Chairman of the company who was also very interested in the job had summoned me to come and append my signatures to seal the contract. I was happy as I drove like crazy to the place. I was also seated with Ifeoma waiting when two gentlemen walked in, the MD I had met before and the Chairman who looking at him was exactly an Older version of what I see as myself whenever I look at any mirror.
Leave us, he said calmly to the MD and Ifeoma and they immediately exited the conference room. I was then left with the chairman who was half smiling and half sad.
Obinna Aniebonam he began, my name is Chukwuemeka Aniebonam, I am your Father. I couldn’t believe what was happening, I pinched my hands very hard to wake up from the dream. I managed to get some composure and I replied, please I don’t have a Father, my Mother told us that he died a year after our birth. Told us? Is there another? He asked, his eyes lighting up with glee even though he was visibly pained by the fact that we had presumed him dead. Yes, I and my twin sister Ogochukwu. So I also have a daughter, he exclaimed joyfully and he pulled out his mobile phone and started making calls to whoever at the other end of the line, happily announcing that he had found his children. It was at this point that I grew annoyed and exited the room angrily.
So I and Ogochukwu had a Father all these while, obviously a wealthy one and he never cared to show up even while our mother struggled to raise us. As I got into my car, Mr. Chukwuemeka Aniebonam or should I say my father ran after me until I drove off, I watched him order his aides to bring his SUV around from my side mirror and I sped on to beat their impending chase hurriedly getting across the Elelenwo junction and being thankful that the building traffic behind me would make his efforts to catch up a futile one. I drove home straight and got into my apartment instructing Garba that nobody was welcome to visit me. I went upstairs angry at my mother Cordelia Obiozor for hiding the fact that we had a father. Severally I had asked her why Ogochukwu and I bore Aniebonam as surnames instead of Obiozor and she gave us the explanation that she had wanted to remarry since our father was no more and that she couldn’t strip us of the Aniebonam which we were. I called Ogochukwu to meet me at our mother’s place in Enugu the next day and went to bed afterwards.
Very early in the morning, I set off to Enugu even before Ifeoma would wake up. Our mother sadly recalled how in their teen years our father had gotten her pregnant and failed to take responsibility, how both families had rejected her and she ran away to later have us at a Catholic orphanage, but Her family came for us afterward taking her back in and giving her support by starting up a trade for her at Ogbete market and with her hard work, she saw us through school.
Now she is about to reap the fruits of her hard work and Chukwuemeka shows up. Ogochukwu said nothing but cry all through with my mother. It has been three weeks now and my father really has kept trying hard to reach us but I am yet to answer or return his phone calls or that of my neighbor Ifeoma or that of her boss the MD. Several calls from unregistered numbers that called me in respect to the Aniebonam issue had been seriously warned to keep off my line.
I am a man and I’m glad I have come to learn about the true identity of my father and the truth in the circumstance that surrounded my mother raising me and my twin as a single parent. My father desperately wants to make up and make amends as he has kept declaring through his numerous text messages and emails but I can’t bear anyone who hurt my mother.