Segun came back from school to find the house empty. According to his mum, his dad was still around despite the fact that he had fully recovered and could very well function on his own. What was he still doing here anyway? His mum had insisted he stayed for a few more days so as to fully recover before he went back into the fray of the everyday hustle which would inevitably sap his strength. The man had gladly obliged. That was why Segun was home now instead of in school, they had sounded too chummy-chummy for his peace of mind and he needed to get to the bottom of this fast. He was not about to sit around and watch that man waltz in and out of his mother’s life as he pleased again. Once was enough.
He had settled in, had a bite to eat from the leftovers in the fridge, and was on his bed listening to music on the portable TV in his room when he heard the sound of his mum’s car. She should have been back from work much earlier but he guessed she had to run some errands. He went out the back door to the back of the house where the garage was. To his surprise, he found his dad getting out of the driver’s side; he said something and his mum laughed. She was the first to notice his presence.
“Segun, you home?”
“Yes mum. Good afternoon ma.”
“You didn’t tell me you’ll be coming home today,.
“Yes mum, I wanted to surprise you.” More like see what you are up to with this guy.
“Okay come along. Come help me with these bags.”
Segun moved closer to them and looked at his dad. “Good afternoon sir.” He greeted grudgingly.
“How are you Segun?” Wale smiled
“Fine.” He moved closer to his mum.
“Jade, why don’t you go in? Segun and I will see to the bags.”
Jade looked from one to the other and perceived the tension between them. “Okaaayyy.” She said slowly and went in.
“So, Segun let’s have it out, shall we?”
Segun looked surprised. He stopped what he was doing and looked at his dad. Wale smiled. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”
“What is on your mind?” Segun fired back. “What are you still doing here? You want to break her heart again?” he pointed in the direction of the house. “Make her love you and then pack up and leave once more?”
“Whoa. Young man, remember I am your father. When you speak with me, speak with respect.”
Segun seethed but said nothing. “Just answer the question, sir.”
“Whatever is happening between me and your mother is between us. I want to talk about us.”
“Oh no no, you made it my business a long time ago. Now, I want to know what you are doing.”
Wale calmed down, knowing he owed the boy an explanation. “Your mum and I decided to try this again. We still love each other and we hope to build our family all over again. That is all the explanation I am giving you, you just have to trust that I love you both and I will try my best to make this work.”
Segun relaxed and looked at his dad. He decided to let it go. He would wait patiently to see what the future helds but he would be watching. I’ll be watching all right.
“Now, can we talk about our relationship?”
“There’s nothing to talk about.” Segun bristled and busied himself packing bags.
Wale put his hand on his shoulder and he stiffened. “Relax son. Come sit, let’s talk.”
He led him to the bench at the back of the house and they both sat down. “Segun, I know I messed up. Although, you didn’t make it easy on me.” he laughed. Segun stared stonily ahead without responding in anyway. Wale sobered quickly and plunged on. “I hurt you and your mother a lot and for that I am sorry. We were buddies, and I can imagine how you felt when I left. Believe me, I was heartbroken too but the situation in our home then was too toxic even for you. You deserved better than what we had subjected you to for years and I can only hope we can do better this time around. We have to be willing to try though. Forgive the past, let us learn from our mistakes and move on from there.
“I am promising you this minute that I will never quit this family again. I love your mum as I love you too and I will work hard at keeping us together. Hopefully, we can grow from this and mature into what we want to be. Would you be willing to give it a try? Would you like to work with me to make your mum the happiest wife and mother in the world?” Wale held out his hand to Segun.
Segun stared at it for some moments and then clasped it. “I’m willing to try.” He said quietly
“That’s all I ask for. And I am so very sorry, son.”
“It’s cool dad. Though I didn’t understand at the time, I think I do now. Let’s forget about it.”
“Okay.” Wale smiled. “Now, let’s get these things in before your mum sends out a search party for us.”
Segun smiled and did as his dad asked. Wale watched him proudly as he went in. Thank you God. Now, I know it won’t be easy but with your help I can work at repairing what has been damaged and restoring this family again.
Wale waited anxiously for Jade in the restaurant. Tonight was going to be the night. The box was burning a hole in his pocket and he couldn’t wait to pop the question. He was willing and he was ready, he could only hope Jade was too.
She walked in and everything in his world righted. She looked so beautiful, elegant and sophisticated. He couldn’t wait to make her his once more. This was where his heart was. This was home. He smiled as she approached and stood up when she got to the table. They hugged, kissed and settled down to some drinks and food.
Wale fidgeted in his seat. Jade kept smiling. Her eyes shone bright like diamonds, there was so much joy in her eyes that Wale could see the reflection, they danced, they smiled and it gladdened his heart. Drinks came and they made small talk as they sipped, waiting for their meal to come. Wale kept his hands on hers; he needed the contact to keep his nerves steady.
Suddenly, he released her and went on bent knees; he couldn’t wait anymore. He took out the box from his inner pocket and opened it. He saw the surprise come into her eyes, replaced shortly by profound joy.
She looked into his eyes. “Yes.” She whispered
Wale stood up and hugged her tightly amidst claps, hoots, shouts and congratulatory words from the other diners in the restaurant. He shut them all out, filling his being with the woman in his arms. He was content, he was restored, and he was home.