Dressed in a plain white sleeve, with a cobalt blue coat draped over a smart pair of trousers of the same tone, and an attractive pair of cufflinks holding on to his cuffs was Professor Wole. With the properly knotted polka dot tie on his neck, he looked exquisitely dashing!
It was his 64th birthday. At 64 years of age, Professor Oluwole Ajayimore looked more youthful than his age foretold of him. His years on earth had taken so little a toll on his physical appearance.
I looked at my eyes in the mirror as I adjusted my crooked but ever functioning glasses. I could see the healed scar still placed on it. My face still bore the scars of a past bruise, a very dreadful experience that I would forever hark back to.
I lifted my eyes to my old but treasured collection on my bedroom shelf and gave a smile. I took a picture frame of himself off the shelf stared at it and beaming with smiles and light laughter in between, I held it close to my chest. So close that it threatened to sink into my heart but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The memories that it enables me to ever keep in mind were so valuable and cherished by me that sinking it into my heart was the least of my worries. So to say, it deserved a place in the organ that pumps my blood.
I smiled once again taking it off my chest and giving it another stare that was sooner followed by a tear, a tear of joy directly above smiles. Those type of smiles that arose from the joy and happiness gotten from an accomplished aim.
As a matter of fact, he had gotten so much pain from his life. The life he had lived in as a juvenile had showed him her ugly sides majorly, but still, he has always been a wrestler with fate, who did not always want him to bear a beam and he had a couple of physical scars to prove that.
I dipped my hand into the pocket of my tuxedo and pulled with it my asthmatic inhaler. I took my inhaler in my hand then without wasting much of a time exposing it, I dragged a long puff.
Oluwole held the picture back to his chest burying it deep into his tuxedo.
So was the mid-morning of the old Professor. Once more, looking at the picture in his slightly wrinkled hands, he led himself in a blur back to his painful past. David blurred himself to the days of his juvenile agonies. To his days of suffering and sorrow. His days of been stripped and rejected by the society he had called his home.
Born in Lagos State, Nigeria, Oluwole David Ajayimore was rather odd at birth. Unlike most children, Oluwole did not cry at birth. He just stared blankly at his apparent environment. It took several attempts by the nursing attendants to get him to shoot out a sob. A sob that after much pressure brought about a diminutive outpour of tears. He had those cute, dreamy set of eyes that made him greatly admired as an infant. He was neither too fat nor too slim, he was perfect. He had a smooth hair texture and was a great beauty to behold. Baby Oluwole could even pass for a baby from a royal lineage as he had the physical makings of a prince. He was wonderfully made.
Oluwole had the resemblance of his mother, although he was never privileged to meet her. He at often times had wondered what she would have looked and been like. How an actual human being charged with the care and love of being his mother would have felt like.
Mrs. Rose Ajayimore had died after labor.
Oluwole was her first child after several years of unfruitful marriage with his father, Tunde. She was born in Delta State, Nigeria and was a devoted Catholic by faith.
She was fair in complexion, tall and had rosy cheeks. Rose also had to herself a very friendly and caring personality. She often had her hair up in curls. She was a Masters’ Degree holder, after studying Nursing in the prestigious University of Ibadan, most commonly referred to as U.I.
Oluwole’s father, Dr. Tunde Ajayimore had married her at the age of 37. They had both met in a Catholic Church convection at Ogun State, Nigeria in the year 1993. After the liturgical mass, a few hours into the program, Tunde had seen a not-so-young lady collapse on the ground.
Rose was an asthmatic patient and had collapsed due to the lack of proper ventilation, resulting from the large population that beheld the hall.
Thankfully, she had not fallen far from the young doctor – Tunde.
“Give her some space, help me get her out of here.” Tunde said carrying her bag in one hand and trying to help her up with the other.
With the help of a young man, he brought her out of the hall and into an open field. He tried various methods of resuscitation on Rose with the inhaler he found in her bag, until she finally woke up. Tunde gave her sometime to refresh her air circulation before opening up to speak to her. He later narrated all what had happened to her as far as he was aware of and Rose had no doubt that it was true because she had been involved in similar experiences in the past.
“Can I have my inhaler back? Please?” Rose asked for her inhaler.
“Sure!” responded Tunde handing over the medically manufactured asthmatic inhaler into her custody.
“Thank you!” exclaimed Rose with full smiles.
She quickly opened it up and took a few more puffs making sure to do with it, the gentle inhaling and exhaling exercises she was familiar with.
Seeing the young lady relieved, the small crowd of concerned persons and onlookers that had gathered due to self-concern on the young lady turned and had themselves slowly dispersed back into the hall.
Tunde was putting on a fashionable men’s suit. His hair was fuzzy and he also had a pair of glasses on, which made him look very gentlemanly, more than most cases with his medical wears.
“Thank you so much. I got carried away by the program and lost consciousness of the state of my environment.” Rose said back on her feet now, deeply grateful for his timely assistance.
They both got up onto a side bench and took their seats. With the young doctor breaking the establishing silence, Tunde and Rose begun a conversation.
“I take it that you are an asthmatic so I would give you a little tip. Next time, that is if there would be one, when you plan to attend an occasion such as this, do try to take a few rounds of fresh air in a more aerated environment.” “I am Dr. Tunde by the way.” the not-so-young man said stretching out his hand for a handshake.
Taking his hands in hers gently, Rose replied – “Miss Rose Obih.”
Rose was a nurse by profession at the reputed Johnsons hospital, Ughelli, Delta State. Rose was on a short sleeved blouse, a flowery patterned skirt and a colorful and at some areas, nude pair of flats. She also had a silk scarf wrapped around her hair that had now turned into a ring of tangled curls, as a result of the little incident.
Soon, they went into a long conversation, exchanged phone numbers and returned back into the tall with beaming smiles on their faces.
All those moments were all in the past now.
After Rose’ death, Tunde had himself married to another wife. Not exactly because he was in love again or wanted more kids, but because of young Wole. Tunde did not want him to grow up without the motherly love that he himself wasn’t privileged to have as a young child.
Tunde was raised up as a ward in St. Theresa’s Catholic orphanage, Warri, Delta State. He never experienced true motherly affection. Back at the orphanage where he was raised, all the children were treated fairly, although some a bit more fairly than others.
The Bishop of the preceding Catholic Diocese (Warri Diocese) sponsored and ran the operations of the entire orphanage, which included the education, feeding and accommodation of the children.
The name of the founding Bishop was Bishop Benedict O. Ajayimore.
Tunde had to struggle with life and the challenges that it brought his way, even up until he eventually graduated with a First Class Degree in Medicine and Surgery.
At just about 3 years of age, Oluwole also started exhibiting the signs and symptoms of asthma and after a thorough medical examination, he was diagnosed positive. This however did not come as a surprise to Tunde, judging by the fact that his mom, Rose also had the disease.
At 7 years, he was fit to take his medications by himself and had mastered proper use of his inhaler.
This moved him even more into marrying his second wife, Mrs. Katherine Ajayimore, who was an Anglican by faith. A tall and lanky lady with a hypocritical personality in her early thirties. It took a long while of courtship before Tunde finally proposed to her.
After their marriage, she still attended the church of her faith and took Oluwole along with her sometimes - when Tunde wasn’t chanced to take him to his own church.
After Oluwole’s baptism, Tunde bore within himself great dreams for him. Often at times, when they played together, he would imagine the bright future he intended on ensuring Oluwole had. Whether or not those dreams and imaginations would come into actualization, even Tunde himself wondered.
Tunde bought a lot of toys for Oluwole as a young lad. He wanted to use his wealth to ensure that his dear son was very comfortable. He felt that comfort was the best way he could share his love, especially since his birth mother was not there to give it to him. Few years into their marriage, Kate began to grow and nurture hatred towards Oluwole. She felt Tunde showed him so much love and care and she became very bitter towards Oluwole, such that even his mere presence irritated her. She became so jealous of Oluwole because she wanted all of Tunde’s attention to herself.Not that she loved Tunde, Kate never really married Tunde out of love. Katherine had married him because of his fat wallet. More so, he was rich, hardworking and was much more successful than all her other suitors. As a result of this, their love life was dead. Hell broke loose for Oluwole when Kate gave birth to her first child, Mirabel. Kate made sure he was beaten at every slightest offence, even when it wasn’t
Tunde had gotten himself in a pickle.After closing from work early and on his way back home, Tunde was attacked by armed robbers. It seemed like their prior aim was to rob him of all he had there. They had made away with his car and all the valuable assets in it, with a handful of punches, they bundled him into a nearby farmland and gang beat him. They left him in more or less a lifeless state. The seldom movement of his head was amongst others a sign that strength though diminutive, was still in him.About half an hour later over their departure, the owner of the farmland where Tunde had been left in an unconscious state, came by his farm to round up for the day. As he ventured far into his farmland, he came to find an unknown figure, Tunde almost unconscious. He reached out to him in his blood-filled state and tried to get out of him any information that would be relevant in assisting him. The farmer seemed to be aware of the fact that he must have been ambushed and robbed. Upon s
When Kate had come to pick Oluwole up from school, his teachers made several complaints to her.She casted a nasty look at Oluwole and his tears began to flow again. Oluwole knew within himself that now that his father was paralyzed, Kate would deal with him mercilessly and there would be nothing his father could be able to do about it.“Why were you sleeping while your teachers were teaching today, Oluwole?” Kate asked with.“I-I-I-I…” Oluwole stammered.“You don’t want to answer me, right? Don’t worry, we would see about that when we get home” she said visibly pissed now.Oluwole impulsively ran and hid behind Mrs. Sharon. He did not want to be beaten up by anyone anymore. Kate however dragged him forcefully to the car and drove off roughly. Mrs. Sharon only looked on with sad eyes.“She is his mother anyways, my hands are tied.” she thought to herself.That evening, Oluwole received the beating of his entire life. Tunde yelled from the room that Kate should stop but she only intens
Oluwole and Mrs. Sharon kept on with their conversation until the horn of Kate’s Toyota Camry vehicle was heard.Oluwole felt a cold chill down his spine and a rush of fear run down his body.“David that should be her, right?” Mrs. Sharon asked.Oluwole nodded affirmatively to her question.“By you sudden change in mood I can tell that she was the one whose car made that horn even before I asked you.” Mrs. Sharon said. “Take care dear!” she added with a smile.Oluwole stood up and embraced Mrs. Sharon tightly returning the smile.“Thank you so much for always being there for me Ma. You’re like the loving mother I never had.” Oluwole said amidst stifled tears.Mrs. Sharon returned the embrace warmly after which Oluwole ran off to meet his step-mother at the reception. He did not need a prophet to tell him that she wasn’t in a very good mood. Without staring so closely at his stepmom’s face, Oluwole stepped into the car without saying a word to Kate or even sparing her a scan. On their
When Oluwole woke up, he could neither find Kate nor the car.He looked all around searching for the car or his stepmom, Kate both of which he didn’t find. He was so confused. The feeling and urge of a night sleep was far from him. The only thing installed in his thoughts were questions that he had no apparent answer to. Mutually bad and blameless thoughts competed in his mind for which was right. Oluwole was totally lost.When observing at his sides, all four cardinal points around him seemed to be covered with thick land space of vegetation and were pitch black. Some many questions ran through his poor, young and troubled mind. It was far into the night and he had no idea where he was or what had happened to him. The last thing he could recall was being in the car with his stepmom driving. The several bites and perches of mosquitoes on his arms and legs only heightened his confusion and agitation.Bad and fear-fueled thoughts began to run through his mind.“What if this is not a mis
“I would ask you again for the last time boy. What is your name?” said Charles with a smile.“First tell me yours.” Oluwole said. “You tell me your name and I’d tell you mine.”Oluwole in his state could tell that there could be a chance of the man before him not being a Nigerian judging by his really light complexion. His skin had a far lighter tone compared to those he sees every day in school, church and in his neighborhood. Charles looked like one of those actors in the action movies daddy usually watches. He put his hands into his pockets and surprisingly found the picture of him and his dad in one of them. Oluwole was a bit curious as to how it got there.The last thing he remembered was holding on to it tightly when he got kidnapped.“Why don’t we say our names together?” Charles suggested forming a smile.“Okay!” Oluwole said trying to return the smile.“Oluwole David!” “Charles!” They both said in unison.“Wow!” “I like the name Oluwole. What a nice name for a handsome boy lik
Oluwole spent the remaining part of the week crying in his luxurious room. Now that his father was gone, the thought of going back home was far from him. Home without his father would be nightmare. The people that killed his father probably also sought to kill him too. He therefore decided to stay with Charles.He needed him now more than ever. He had nowhere else to go. The love and care Charles had shown him since he arrived was far preferred to that which he would receive back home.“I love you daddy. I do and I always will.” Oluwole said holding the photograph of him and his father to his chest. Right now, that was his most treasured and valued item. It was the only tangible memory of his late father that he had.He had no other family relations that he knew of. No uncles or aunts. He was still staring at the photograph when he had an asthma attack. He looked around his room frantically for his inhaler which was in his bag pack. The struggled to get it within his reach. He needed
Ben drove them back to the warehouse. On the way, they had change of vehicle for about seven times. When they got to the warehouse which was now Woles new or rather Samuels present home, Felicia placed a call to Charles. He informed him that they were back from the hospital. Charles gave her the instruction that henceforth, Wole should be addressed as his son and by the name of Samuel. He also told her to make sure that all the other staffs that worked in the warehouse got the message. Hand the phone over to him I want to speak to him, said Charles. Your father wishes to speak to you, he knows that you are sick so don’t worry he would soon be back home, said Felicia to the hearing of Charles. She wanted to make sure that Charles would think that she is actually going with the he is my son nonsense. Deep down she had pity for Sam. She knew that Charles would change him from the innocent boy that he recruited a week ago. Yet she had to go with it, even though it was all pretense. Sh