Coming Home [Part 2.]
(Click HERE to read Part 1 if you haven’t.)
‘Hmmm… Eni a wi fun, Oba je o gbo!‘
When I received your letter, Ayanla, I did not know how to react. At first, a river of happiness flooded my heart at the thought of seeing your rebellious face again. And then grief beyond measure swept me off my feet. It is sad, Ayanla, that you ignored all our warnings and pushed your own mother to the floor that night you sent Folashade away. It is sad that after you’ve caused our family a big loss and thrown our family name into big disrepute, you are coming back with the magical words.
I cannot say I have not forgiven you. But does it matter? No, it does not. What matters now is that the seed you planted yesterday has grown into a big tree that now stands in the market centre and even if cut down, can never be destroyed. It is sad that Rebellion, Devil’s first born is so strong that even forgiveness and repentance are not strong enough to veil whatever it is that has been done. Come home, Ayanla, we will welcome you. But the deed has been done.
After you left, Folashade’s stomach began to protrude. This is a sign some families pray for for years. But there was no joy in our family, no feast, no celebration, because the whole village knew the child would be without a father. It would be called a bastard. Everyday Folashade cried, every hour she mourned. And gradually, life began to sip out of her. Joy and happiness became a thing of the past in her life. Sadness and reproach became the definition of her life. And you caused all these, Ayanla. You did.
It so happened that one day, we found her hanging on the tree behind Baba Segi’s third wife’s compound. But that was not the day she died. She survived the suicide attempt and drank herbs for weeks. So she did not die that day. She died the day she delivered. Folashade is dead, Ayanla. She released the baby, named it after herself, and died. Thanks to the gods that it was a girl for we could not bear to name it after you.
Had you decided to come home last year or even some months ago, you would have met your mother in good condition. But as it is now, it is another sad story. Sad because your mother now sits with the lunatics at the village centre, picking up dirt and shouting senseless words to villagers who pass by daily. Even the neighbouring villages know of her lunacy. Sad because your merciless departure sent your mother to the valley of madness.
And now, your sister spends her night beneath different men, inciting the anger of married women. She has become a symbol of sexual immorality. Mothers tell their daughters to run away from her. Drunk men use her nightly to satisfy their senseless urge. There is no youthful man that has not seen her nakedness. What a shame!
I have decided to tell you all this, not to discourage you from coming home, but to let you know that you are not coming to meet a bed of roses and sunflowers. Come home. Perhaps your return will mean the return of your sister’s sense of morality. Perhaps it will mean the return of your mother to sanity.
Come home, Ayanla, your daughter is waiting for you. Come and make amends where possible. Come and reestablish yourself as a true son of our family. Come and be the father you are expected to be. Come back home, Ayanla.
As I am not a man of many words, I’ll like to stop here. Come home, Ayanla, because, as they say, home is where the heart belongs.