Micheal immediately froze as he flipped over to the page of the photo album and saw a picture of his mother carrying Alisha.
“What is going on here? Why is she carrying Alisha?” Micheal wondered within himself.
And with his hand immediately trembling, he managed to voice out,
“Sir, who is this woman?” Micheal asked Mr Nicholas while pointing at his mother’s face.
Hearing this, Mr Nicholas took the photo album from him to know who he was asking about. Then recognizing the face, he said,
“Oh! This is Bunmi. Alisha’s nanny” Mr Nicholas said with a bright smile.
“Nanny?” Micheal asked.
“Yeah” Mr Nicholas responded.
Then with weakness in his voice, he asked,
“Where is she now?”
“Well, she has been going through hell for the past five years now” Mr Nicholas revealed.
“How do you mean?” Micheal asked trying so hard to keep his composure.
“You see, she got hospitalised the second time because she has cancer” Mr Nicholas revealed.
“What? Cancer?” Micheal asked in disbelief.
“Yeah. She has been battling cancer for the past five years. And she has undergone her first surgery which reduced the symptoms. But unfortunately, her condition worsened five months ago. So she has been hospitalised since then” Mr Nicholas revealed.
Hearing this, Micheal’s heartbeat began racing faster. And without hesitation, he slowly stood up.
“I’m sorry sir. But I have to leave right now” He said.
“So soon? But they are almost done setting the table. Why not wait for a while?” Mr Nicholas asked.
“I’m sorry sir. But we can have that lunch some other time. Thank you for the hospitality” Micheal said.
And before Mr Nicholas could say another word, he quickly made his way to the door. And while he was stepping outside, Alisha’s mom was walking in.
Micheal whose head was literally spinning at that moment hastily walked past her without saying a word.
“Who is that fine man that just left right now?” Alisha’s mother asked walking towards her husband who was still trying to figure out why Micheal left the way he did.
“He is Alisha’s new bodyguard. His name is Micheal Petrol or something” Mr Nicholas responded.
“Really? Why is he leaving when I’m just returning? And did you guys serve him food at all?” She asked.
“We were about to have lunch before he suddenly left,” Mr Nicholas said.
“Just like that? Did you say or do anything that didn’t go well with him?” She asked.
“Not really. He saw a picture of Alisha and her nanny Bunmi. So he asked about her and then I went on to explain who she was to him. That was all. Then the next thing he said was he was leaving” Mr Nicholas said.
“Hmmmm. Maybe something urgently came up” She said.
“I guess so. By the way, how did it go at the hospital? How is Bunmi faring now?” Mr Nicholas asked.
“Her condition keeps getting worse. The doctor recommended she undergo another surgery” She said.
“Again? This is the second time she’s having surgery because of this cancer. Oh, poor Bunmi. That woman has truly suffered” Mr Nicholas said with a deep sigh
“Exactly. She has gone through a lot in recent years. I just hope they get it right this time” She said.
Just then, Alisha who was done setting the table, walked in and was surprised to meet Micheal’s absence.
“Daddy, where is Micheal?” She asked looking around.
“He just left” Mr Nicholas responded.
“Alisha, didn’t you see me here? Or have I suddenly become insignificant to you?” Her mother asked with a glare.
“I’m sorry mom. Welcome” Alisha quickly said. Then turning back to her father, she continued. “But why did he leave without informing me? Did you by any chance say any provocative words to him?” She asked.
“And what is that supposed to mean?” Mr Nicholas asked.
“It means she knows how provocative you can be with your choice of words. Anyways, I’m famished” Her mother said getting off the couch.
She walked past Alisha and went to the dining.
And as soon as she left, Alisha who was worried and curious to know what led to Micheal’s sudden leave, quickly sat next to her father.
“Daddy, what exactly happened? Why did he leave knowing full well that we are about to have lunch?” Alisha asked.
“I’m as curious and confused as you are right now. Because I can’t explain what led to him leaving the way he did. He was just going through the photo album I gave him to keep him busy. Then he saw this picture of you and your nanny Bunmi” Mr Nicholas said showing the picture to Alisha who took the photo album from him.
“So after seeing the picture what else happened?” Alisha asked.
“He asked who she was. Then I told him a few things about her after which, he suddenly stood up and left” Mr Nicholas said.
“You know what, I think it’s best I go check up on him,” Alisha said standing quickly to her feet.
“But how will you locate his home address?” Mr Nicholas asked.
“Well, the good news is that he actually lives in this neighbourhood,” Alisha said hurriedly walking away.
“What!” Mr Nicholas exclaimed in shock.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(At Micheal’s house)
Micheal drove into his compound at full speed. Then stepping out of the car, he walked into his living room and sat on his couch with pain in his heart.
Just then, Samson who had been awaiting Micheal’s return climbed down the staircase and walked into the living room. Then sitting next to Micheal, whose head was now buried in his palms, he asked,
“You are back. So how did it go?” Samson asked.
But Micheal who wasn’t in his right frame of mind didn’t say a word to him. And this got Samson worried.
“Micheal. What’s going on? Are you alright?” Samson asked.
“I’m alright Samson,” Micheal responded.
“No, you don’t look alright at all” Samson instead.
Just then, the doorbell rang. And then Samson stood up and went ahead to check on who it was.
When he opened the door, he was surprised to see Alisha.
“And you are……..” He asked not knowing her name.
“Good day. My name is Alisha. And I’m here to see Micheal. Is he in?” Alisha asked.
“You must be the girl that turned Micheal into a bodyguard,” He said pointing at her with a nod.
“I guess he did speak so much about me. So tell me, how are you related to Michael?” Alisha asked.
“Friendship” Samson responded.
“Oh! Okay,” Alisha said.
“Please forgive my manners. Come in” Samson said making way for Alisha who thanked him and walked inside.
Entering the living room, Samson noticed that Micheal was no longer sitting on the couch as he had gone to his room.
“Micheal was sitting right here when you rang the doorbell. But I guess he has gone to his room. Anyways, please do make yourself comfortable” Samson said pointing out a seat for her.
“Thank you,” Alisha said with a smile.
“Sorry to ask. Did anything happen between you and Micheal while he was at your place earlier today?” Samson asked.
“Not really. We were about to have lunch when he suddenly left. And that’s the main reason why I am here. To know his reasons for leaving the way he did without saying a word to anyone” Alisha said.
“That’s strange. Micheal isn’t someone to react this way without a just course. Are you sure there was nothing or no one that triggered his emotions while he was at your house? Because he returned home acting like someone who is going through emotional distress. He didn’t even speak to me which is unlike him. So think well. Could there be anything you or any member of your household did to him?” Samson asked.
“None that I can think of. According to my father, he said Micheal was sitting on the couch while going through the photo album my father gave him. Then he saw a picture of me and my nanny and asked my father about her. And after my father was done explaining to him who she was, his countenance suddenly changed and he stood up and left” Alisha said.
“A picture of you and your nanny?” Samson asked.
“Yes,” Alisha said.
“Wait a minute. Does this nanny of yours have a son? Do you know if she has a long lost son?” Samson asked.
“Yeah. She has always talked about how she got separated from her son when he was just five years old” Alisha said.
“Oh my! You know what? I’m coming let me go get a picture I took from the floor this morning in Micheal’s room” Samson said hurrying off.
A few moments after, he returned with a picture of Bunmi which he handed to Alisha.
“Take a close look at that picture. Is she your nanny?” Samson asked.
“Yes. She is my nanny. How come you have her picture?” Alisha asked.
“Actually it’s Micheal’s.
And it might interest you to know that Micheal’s real name is Adekunle Abiodun” Samson revealed.
“Oh my!” Alisha who finally understood what was going on, exclaimed with her hands covering her mouth.“ My nanny’s full name is Bunmi Abiodun” Alisha said in disbelief.
“Now I know why Micheal was sad earlier. He spent 25years of his life believing that he was abandoned by his mother. It must have been hurtful to realise that she took care of another man’s child whereas, she couldn’t take care of hers” Samson said.
“But that’s not entirely true. Nanny Bunmi went through hell. And it might surprise you to know that she didn’t give up her son for adoption. He was forcefully taken away from her against her will” Alisha said.
“What did you just say?” Micheal asked walking down the staircase.
Hearing him, Alisha quickly stood up from where she was sitting.
“Micheal” she called out.
“What do you mean by I was forcefully taken away from her? And by whom exactly?” Micheal asked walking up to Alisha with a stern face
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(30 years ago)
Bunmi (Micheal’s mother) who was 18 years old then, was a very beautiful young lady who was an orphan from a very humble background. She completed her secondary school education in the village and needed a petty job that could fetch her monthly income.
luck shined on her when her rich aunty Bisola returned home for the Christmas celebration and then decided to take her to her house in the city where she would work as a maid.
But as soon as Bunmi got to her house in the city, her beauty then caught the attention of her aunt’s promiscuous husband who was after everything under the skirt.
He started making advances at her. But when he realised that Bunmi wasn’t going to give in easily, he resorted to forcefully having his way. He defiled Bunmi and constantly continued to sneak into her room to have a series of unprotected sex with her until he finally got her pregnant.
Realizing that she was pregnant with her husband’s child, her Aunty quickly forced her into having an abortion to save her face. For she was concerned about what people would say about her and her niece sharing the same man.
And after the abortion which nearly took her life, Bunmi was sent out of the house and abandoned to suffer in the streets of Lagos.
Luckily, she met a man who showed her love and took her off the streets. Although he was poor but at least he was humane.
A few months later, he got married to her and they were both living fine not until her Aunty’s husband sent men to abduct her as he couldn’t get his mind off her. His men attacked and killed her husband while they took her to her Aunty’s husband.
He kept her in a secluded apartment and restricted her from leaving the house. Then after his day-to-day activities, he would come over to forcefully have sex with her before returning home.
A few weeks after, Bunmi then realised that she was carrying a child. But for sure, she knew it wasn’t for her Aunt’s husband but that of her late husband.
But when her aunty finally found out that the two were still meeting behind her back, She took action without listening to Bunmi’s side of the story.
And as such, she supported her husband and quickly concluded that it was Bunmi who went behind her to snatch her husband and bear him a child despite all her attempts to keep her away from him.
And because of that, she brought Bunmi back to her house where she taught her a series of lessons throughout her pregnancy period. And as she delivered, her Aunty started looking for a perfect means to get rid of the child thinking it was her husband’s.
Then fortunately for her, when Micheal became five years old, she came in contact with a Spanish couple who have been childless for years.
So during their business negotiations, she told them of her desire to give out a five-year-old boy to them for adoption.
And after receiving a huge fine from them, she drugged Bunmi who was deeply asleep while they handed Micheal over to the Spanish couple. And before he was taken away,
Micheal who hadn’t seen his mother, turned to ask,
“Where is my mommy?” He asked.
Hearing this, Bunmi’s aunty leaned in, and whispered into his ears.
“Mummy just sold you off to these people,” She said with a smile.
And after that, she gave Micheal a picture of his mother.
“Hold this dearly. So you can always remember the face of the woman that sold you off” She said with a smirk.
And that was how Micheal grew up with the intuition that his mother sold him off.