THE SORROWFUL TALE OF A BUSY WOMAN
PRODUCED BY: LIZZY OYEBOLA OYEKUNLE (DE-RACONTEUR)
I was going to take a cup of warm water to my mouth when the familiar sound of my wife’s favorite radio programme- The Granny Lizzy Show rose to my ears.
“First daughter, your programme is starting o” I announced and I could hear some hasty, irregular movements in the bathroom.
“Jesus o! I am coming out now honey. Please get my butter cream ready so that as I come out of the bathroom, you will help rub my back. Chai! I dare not miss this programme o” She shouted from inside and I smiled as I dropped the empty cup on a stool and reached for her butter cream from her make-up rack.
Apart from the programme being her favorite, the jingle that had been running for the whole week had it that her role model in the banking world would be the guest on the show- of course, she would never want to miss it!
GRANNY LIZZY: Hey everybody! It’s Granny Show again! How do you do? I hope you didn’t miss me much. I am sorry for being away. As a granny, so many issues do come up. I know you know that. (Chuckles) I am happy to be on this show again today and I am so sure you are too. This evening is going to be an emotional one anyway because we are going to be thrashing some important issues using a real life story of our guest in the house. You wouldn’t want to miss this. Please stay tuned while we pay some commercial bills quickly.
It was at that point my wife jumped out of the bathroom and the way she looked like a soaked puppy got me laughing hysterically- her ears too were covered in soap.
“Honey, it’s not funny nah” She said with a funny look on her face as she looked into the mirror. She quickly rushed into the bathroom and she was out in a jiffy.
As she sat on the rug in front of me, while I massaged her shoulders and back with her luscious butter cream, she wouldn’t stop asking me questions.
“What did the Granny Lizzy say?”
“What’s the whole programme about today?”
“Is anything wrong with Janet Adams?”
“You won’t answer me, honey?” She asked finally when she wouldn’t hear a word from my mouth and I laughed.
“It was just a line Granny Lizzy has said and you have asked how many questions from that single one now, first daughter?” I laughed at her again and she pouted, frowning slightly.
GRANNY LIZZY: You are welcome back from the commercial break. Today, I have someone in the house and it has taken me a whole lot of courage to bring her in here on the show. She is the immediate past managing director of Rex Banks, Professor Janet Adams and you probably do not know that she is my last girl, my last child!
“Wow! Are you serious? Janet Adams is Granny Lizzy’s daughter? Oh goodness me!” My wife exclaimed and I was actually really surprised too.
GRANNY LIZZY: Good to have you in De-Raconteur Studios Janet Adams.
JANET: Good evening Granny Lizzy. Good evening Lagos, good evening Nigeria.
My wife squeezed my legs in excitement as she heard Janet Adams’ voice and I shook my head as I rubbed in some cream into her back- so infatuated!
GRANNY LIZZY: Good evening dearest and thanks for accepting to be a guest on our show.
JANET: The pleasure is mine.
GRANNY LIZZY: I will be doing almost nothing on the programme today. As I handover the studio to my guest, kindly sit comfortably, avoid any distraction and be blessed. Over to you dearest. Can you tell us a bit of yourself?
JANET: (Calmly) Oh yes! My name is Janet Adams, the immediate past MD of Rex Banks Africa. I am considered a successful business tycoon but I consider myself a Mara.
My wife stood up from the rug where she was seated, moved to a cushion in front of where a small standing fall stood, picked a throw pillow and sunk into the cushion, folding her legs. She was mute and her eyes were set as she focused on the radio as if it was a TV set.
GRANNY LIZZY: Hmmm…People at home, I said today is an emotional day right? Of course yes! And it is taking us a whole lot of energy to put this together. Kindly brace yourself up as our guest delves into her story. Before I finally let her explain to us why she has called herself Mara, let me ask her some series of questions.
I looked towards my wife again and she was holding her throw pillow over her chest apprehensively as she watched on, not even blinking at all!
GRANNY LIZZY: Are you married?
JANET: Yes. I am married to a UK based Professor who lectures at Oxford University. We got married on June 6th, 1993 at the Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Oyo State.
GRANNY LIZZY: Great! And does the union have any fruit?
There was silence for a while and my wife started nodding as if she was Janet Adams herself.
“Yes nah. She has children for crying out loud. Is that one even a hard question!” She exclaimed loudly and I chuckled as I cushioned my back with a pillow.
GRANNY LIZZY: Dearest? Kindly speak out. Time is not on our side.
JANET: I am sorry Granny Lizzy. Actually, our union was blessed with a set of twins on the 9th day of December 1995. A boy and a girl. The girl, Zoe and the boy, Zion.
GRANNY LIZZY: You resigned from your managing director position a year ago. Why? Why would you reach such peak and then suddenly come down?
JANET: I actually did not resign from the position. I was sacked.
My wife’s eyes widened as she tightened her grip on the throw pillow.
“Sacked? Why? But the media made it look as though she voluntarily resigned. Oh my God!” She exclaimed as she swallowed noisily. She looked so lost in the programme she was listening to, to the extent that she had forgotten that I existed in the room- obviously.
GRANNY LIZZY: The last six months of last year for you was spent where and why?
JANET: (Silence and then a chuckle) I was at the Federal Rehab on the Lagos island because I was suffering from a panic disorder. I got discharged six months ago.
GRANNY LIZZY: So, you spent six months at the hospital for psychiatric reasons?
“WHaaaaattttt! Goooood forbid!” My wife screamed loudly that the whole room shook vehemently. I bent my head and sighed. I knew that whatever would come out of the radio programme would shake my wife so much that the night would be dark but I couldn’t bring myself to turning off the radio. I was curious too, actually.
GRANNY LIZZY: Why did you keep quiet when I asked about your children? Why were you sacked at your working place? Why did you have to be admitted at the rehab for a panic disorder? These and many more are the questions we want you to answer on this show as you tell us your story Prof. Mrs. Janet Adams. Let us quickly go on another commercial break and we will be back shortly. Stay on the line.
Finally, my wife acknowledged me as she turned to look into my eyes with tears in hers. Her lips were trembling too.
“Honey, what were those things I heard on the radio? Whaaattt?” She cried and I picked up the remote.
“I will put off the radio now. If all you will do is cry till you have dark circles round your eyes by tomorrow, tell me now so that I will put the radio off.
“Ahhh, honey, you can’t put the radio off at this point. If one will die, let one die very well o. What is half-death?” She asked, tears streaming down her face and I shook my head.
“I can’t believe you are the one talking like this, first daughter. Death?”
“It’s a proverb sweetheart.” She said and wiped her face.
“Proverb created by you!” I exclaimed and raised my nose at her. The voice of the Granny Lizzy came up again and I knew I had to keep quiet.
GRANNY LIZZY: Dearest, are you ready for us?
JANET: Sure. That’s why I’m here Granny Lizzy.
GRANNY LIZZY: Take off now.
JANET: Being a busy woman with so many responsibilities on my neck, and with my husband far away in the UK, I really couldn’t give my children optimal attention while they were growing up. When they were five years old, I got them a Nanny, Aunty Fope. but in order to have a family member monitor whatever happened in the house, my nephew, James had to come over to stay as he awaited admission into the university.
“Okay? So, what happened? Why this suspense for crying out loud!” My wife interjected again, looking so worried.
JANET: Days passed upon days and weeks rolled by and I was happy that my children at least had people who would feed them and also help with their assignments.
GRANNY LIZZY: Hmmm..Okay?
JANET: Whenever I got back home, Zoe especially would run into my room, looking like she would like to talk to me but since I was so busy and tired, I would refer her to the nanny again. I was truly worried whenever she said she wanted me alone and not the nanny or anyone else but I would helplessly tell her to go meet Aunty Fope and then lock my door from behind so I could sleep.
“Abi Aunty Fope is a lesbian ni?” My wife asked and I smirked.
“Just let’s listen Mrs. Commentator” I teased her and she nodded, facing the radio again.
JANET: The seventh anniversary of my children was on a Saturday and they had requested for a bicycle each. I was on my way to work when I remembered that I had not even wished them a happy birthday nor had I presented their gifts which was in my car trunk to them. I navigated back home and no matter how much I honked, James wouldn’t open. I alighted the car and pushed the gate open- luckily, it open. I walked inside gently, thinking they might be sleeping. You wouldn’t believe what I saw as I opened the door leading to the sitting room!
Janet Adams and my wife sighed almost at the same time, my wife’s face sitting anxiously on her interlocked fingers.
JANET: Raw pornography was playing on the big TV screen and as my shocked eyes travelled from the TV to the cushions and the floor respectively, I almost fainted. Aunty Fope and James were on each other doing the unthinkable and unfortunately for me, my life, my generation, my family, Zion was on top of Zoe too, stark naked! On their seventh birthday! Ahhh! Ahhhh! Granny Lizzy, am I sure I can continue recounting my tale? Am I sure, momma? Am I? This is too crazy for me (Sobs)
GRANNY LIZZY: We will have to pay some commercial bills and we will be back. Don’t go away.
With a shattered heart, I turned to look at my wife who was shaking terribly, tears rolling down her eyes. I rubbed my hands together as I looked up at the ceiling.
“Such wickedness exists?!? Oh my!” I exclaimed to let off the steam that had gathered in my head.
“Seven years old, honey! Seven years old! What kind of a life is this? What? Ahhh” She burst out the more.
GRANNY LIZZY: Thanks for staying tuned and not going away. Over now to our guest.
JANET: Thanks momma. I am sorry everyone for the emotional outburst. As I was saying before the break, I got the two arrested as soon as possible, got my children checked at the hospital and enrolled them at a sex therapeutic center for counselling and rehab. That was in 2002 and early 2003 when they were seven years old. The counsellor told me they were responding to treatment and I was so glad.
GRANNY LIZZY: Hmmm…
JANET: On the 15th of August, 2015, when my children were almost 20years old, I got a call from their school clinic and I had to look for the next possible flight to Abuja. There in the ward was my girl in the pool of her own blood. Ah! It was the saddest day of my life.
“Woooow! Pool of her blood????” My commentator wife exclaimed again.
JANET: Zion was on the ward porch too, weeping profusely. All my efforts to get information from him proved abortive. He just wouldn’t be comforted. To cut the long story short, my daughter had committed an abortion days back which perforated her uterus and ruptured her pelvic. She was diagnosed with Sepsis too and wouldn’t stop bleeding! Ah! I was weak! My only daughter? Abortion? How did she even get pregnant?
“Ah! This is too much for me to bear o. Ahhh!” My wife cried out again.
JANET: While in surgery, Zoe requested for her phone and we did communicate. I kept watching her mouth move weakly through the glassy window of the theatre.
“I am so sorry mum” Was all she could say at first.
“Who did it? Who impregnated you?” I asked her and she started crying weakly over the phone.
“Zion. It was Zion.”
I almost ran mad as I heard the ‘evil’ news on the phone. I turned to look at Zion who was still crying at the end of the porch. Anger rose up in my bowels.
“Mum, please wait. Don’t kill Zion, please. He loves me so well. He does! We love each other but I didn’t want to hurt you more was why I aborted the pregnancy. If I had obeyed Zion, I would have kept the pregnancy and you would have been hearbrok…”
“Shut up Zoe and let the doctor work on you! What nonsense are you saying from your mouth? Are you sick? Are you normal at all? Do you even know what you are talking about?” I asked as tears ran down my face.
When I didn’t hear anything on the phone again, I looked through the window into the theatre and saw as the doctors tried to pick this and that to work on her. Right before my eyes, I saw her gasp and struggle loudly till she gave up the ghost! Ah…before my very eyes mum! She died! My Zoe died! I failed God! I failed God!
GRANNY LIZZY: It’s sad for me too baby. You don’t know how much I went through, baby. I lost a grandchild and almost lost a daughter too! (Sniffs wetly) Hey y’all! I told you that it’s gonna be a very emotional night. Let us go on a musical break. The song you will be listening to right now is ‘My parents no dey watch it’ by Limac. Don’t go away.
I rolled my head severally on my neck till it creaked. My wife went down on her knees, buried her head in the cushion and wept. The lyrics of the song hit me hard also as I listened.
Busy busy mother
Busy busy busy daddy
Every day you rush out
Every day you make money
For who you dey make the kudi
No be for me?
My parents no dey watch am
E bin long I dey do am
No be my fault
My mama no dey teach me
No be my fault
Na my friend dey teach me
And since e sweet wella I dey do am
I no know say na poison
My parents no dey watch it.
As the songs went on and on from one stanza to the other, my wife’s voice went higher and higher in hot cries. I shook my head too. We definitely didn’t watch it too! We didn’t!
GRANNY LIZZY: Welcome back to the last segment of the show. Kindly get ready to communicate with our guest and myself after she has completed the story. The number to reach is 0812-345-6789. Over to you prof.
JANET: Well, I lost my daughter to the unfortunate incidence and I was shaken terribly. How on earth would that happen? How would such a terrible thing keep happening in my house and I wouldn’t know? How? Well, I managed to go into my car to weep profusely. Some minutes after my baby was taken into the morgue, someone tapped at my car window. It was a nurse. You wouldn’t believe what she had to tell me.
“The girl has woken up to life?” My wife’s teary, red face shone up in anticipation but I doubted it immediately.
JANET: The nurse asked me to follow her immediately and my dear listeners, hanging down the stairs of the ward with a rope round his neck, eyeballs protruding, cheeks enlarged and tongue falling out was my son, Zion! He was cold dead!
“Whaaaaat! No waaaaay!!” My wife screamed. I was dumbfounded too as I started pacing to and fro the room, racking my brain as each sad news descended on my brain.
JANET: In his pocket, we found a letter. If you permit me, I will read it.
GRANNY LIZZY: Please do.
Incest is bad! Yes, I know it. She knew it too but we couldn’t stop!
From the day Aunty Fope and James introduced us to it, we only wanted more. There were times when our cousins tried to rape Zoe during the holz but I never allowed it! Mum, do you even know about it? No! Capital no!
You don’t know us and you do not care. Your husband too is out there in the UK doing whatever, so basically, the only person I had was Zoe and vice versa.
Mum, I put it to you that you killed Zoe! I told her to keep the pregnancy but because of your spiritual inclination and whatever fear you had planted in her, she chose to believe your words and down to hell she went. Why would she trust your words over mine? You, who were never there for her? I still wonder why she did that but no worries, I will go and join her in hell and ask her.
Mum, you know what? I have never loved anyone like Zoe and since she’s dead, I can’t continue to live. I am sorry I have to leave you alone but I am sure you will find solace in your banking job!
Bye! Greetings to your husband, who also failed!
GRANNY LIZZY: Hmmm!
“Ah! Jesus is Lord o! Ah! I am sorry Lord Jesus o. Who knows what my boys and girls are doing now? Ah…who…” My wife was wailing when Janet Adams replied her as if she could hear her.
JANET: My story is a sad tale but this is not a guarantee that your children are involved in incest. Your children’s teachers, friends, neighbors and just anyone might be messing with your children, whether male or female! Parents shouldn’t sit still! Learn from my story and rise up to the care of your children! Ask them questions! Isn’t it because of them you are working? Do you even know what happened to me after the whole incidence? I suffered from panic disorder and couldn’t cope anymore at work! I was literarily crazy! My work had to ‘release’ me to go! The work I was dying for! It took my children from me and even pushed me into darkness! Parents, please wake up! I have lost the two children God ever gave me to carelessness! I was too busy doing nothing but destroy my own home! That is my own piece of coin! I hope you now know why I am Mara.
GRANNY LIZZY: So, dearest, where is your husband?
JANET: (Chuckles) I killed his children, didn’t I? He said when I am able to produce them again, I should come join him at Oxford!
GRANNY LIZZY: Do you have regrets?
JANET: Regrets? Is that even a question mum? A whole ocean of regrets is what I am carrying in my head!
GRANNY LIZZY: Can you share some lessons you have learnt from your ordeal? If you can’t, don’t bother.
JANET: Well, I know your fans have to learn from me and it’s a rare opportunity that have with me on the show, learning from my own sad tale! But, well, I have a few lesson that my heart can give away before it stops beating cos I am so overwhelmed right now.
GRANNY LIZZY: I am sorry for bring you through all this again dearest but I am sure you will heal trying to save others from following the path you walked in that led you into this.
JANET: Yeah mum. I do get. Well, I am sure the listeners have derived their own lessons from the whole tale. But if nothing, love God first, then your spouse, then your children, then your work for God and then your means of income. That is how it should be, not in any other order! I loved my means of income more than even God and my spouse, talk less of my children! My husband has tried to call me over to meet him in the UK but I had reached the ladder of my profession that I couldn’t even stop! That’s a lesson, ya?
“Hmmmmm…it’s a lesson o. I do love the Lord and I love you Mark. I love you more than anything from today Mark. Forgive me” My wife started confession and the funny look on her face made me burst out laughing.
“So, first daughter, you love something more than me? Confess” I joked about but she wouldn’t even smile.
“What is this life if I fail God, you and our children? Ah! Lord, I am so sorry ooo”
JANET: Another lesson is that your job only likes you when you are alive and productive. It is not worth dying for because when you are fainting and unproductive, you are out! So, don’t put a lot of your love in your job! It’s crazy! I have millions in my account now but I can’t happily go to the bank to withdraw a dime! Well, when I was going crazy, some millions had to be withdrawn to get me well again! (Chuckles)
GRANNY LIZZY: Deep one there girl! Deep!
JANET: And well, can you try to trust your children even if they are fooling you? Trust first and then investigate wisely after. Don’t shut that girl or boy up! When she tries to tell you that ‘Daddy touched my breast’ or ‘Uncle slapped my butt’ can you please believe first and act underground? It makes then trust you and then they will come back to gist you more! Whenever I think of how little Zoe tried to talk to me and I sent her out of my room, I weep! Yeah…(sobs) I do! I shoulda just listened even if nothing!
GRANNY LIZZY: I am sure that people at home have learnt more lessons than you can even dig out. So, thanks for the strength of saying for the first time and to the largest audience ever, your worst nightmare.
JANET: Yeah! It’s not easy though.
GRANNY LIZZY: I know baby. We will go shed some tears of gratitude to God after the show. We are sorry for the mistakes Lord and we know that it’s not the end yet. Now, Janet, if you had another opportunity to turn things around, what would you do?
JANET: A lot! See, I can’t even say anything again! Momma, I can’t! Pardon me please Granny Lizzy. Please bear with me. I really do not want to say anything further…
“Woooooooow! Ah, my Jesus ooooo. I need Your mercy over our children ooo! Forgive me for the time when we were careless! Ah, there’s been times when I even pushed my children away from gisting with me because I was tired! Ah, forgive me oh Lord” My wife cried and cried.
I picked up the remote control and switched off the radio as I joined her on the floor, kneeling beside her.
“Lord, we surrender ourselves to you. I have realized that child raising is not for my wife alone but for both of us. Help us never to fail You henceforth.” I prayed too.
“Teach us how to raise these children Lord! I don’t know how to do it. How do I balance this equation without failing? How do I work and earn money and also bring up these ones? How do I do it as a mother? How Lord? I am confused”
“Lead us in selecting who stays in this house and who doesn’t oh Lord. We will not accommodate a wolf in this home in the Name of Jesus!” I prayed and my wife gave a resounding ‘Amen’
“Whoever our children will work or walk with that will teach them evil, Saviour and my Lord, they won’t even meet them. If they have met Lord or they are about to meet, Holy Ghost Fire, separate them in the Name of Jesus!”
“Our children will not be a source of sorrow unto us Dear Redeemer”
“We will be our children’s best friends Lord. Help us to befriend them and create a haven of rest in this home for them to find solace every time Lord. Help them to be able to open up to us and help us to dish out the right counsels at each time to them in the Name of Jesus.
“Our emotions will not get in the way of right, godly, patient and lovely counsels for our children oh Saviour.”
“We have learnt hard lessons from Mrs. Janet Adam’s life. Lord, my family, especially our children will not be a reference point of anything evil or negative in the Name of Jesus!”
“Begin to shape our children into godly boys and girls like Samuel, like Daniel, like David in the Name of Jesus.”
“Our children will love You Lord! They will serve You, love the Bible and hate sins! In the Name of Jesus!”
Our prayers continued and by the time we said our last ‘In Jesus’ Name we have prayed’, we realized that our four children had filled the room, saying vehement ‘Amen’ to our prayers.
(This is a true life story. The names, dates and the settings are fictitious anyway. Some additional spices were added too.)
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