The Cradle 4
So Beautiful by Asa
I couldn’t believe that I had lost my temper like that.
As we got into the car, I couldn’t even look at Michael who was driving. I was so ashamed at myself.
And even though I had been provoked, I still didn’t feel it was okay for me to lose my cool as I did.
I had never wanted Rotini’s secret to come out the way it did but I was fed up with protecting him.
Still, I couldn’t convince myself that it was okay.
Maybe because it wasn’t okay. That was still the father of my children after all.
“It’s okay. Stop beating yourself up”
Michael said out of nowhere.
He glanced at me and said
“Ive been watching your face for the past 20minutes. You are blaming yourself.
And you need to know that it will be okay. He will come back from it.
And the kids are grown, they can process things.
Be ready to answer any questions that come up even though I am sure they will also just want to never have to deal with it.”
I hoped so.
I truly didn’t want to address that with them. But its the same fear I held since I found out about chief and Rotimi.
I just needed to get my mind off the whole thing but it kept coming back. Particularly the afternoon I found out.
I had taken the car with the driver to chief’s office.
After waiting for chief because his secretary claimed he was in a meeting, she finally let me in.
I curtsied as I greeted
“Good afternoon sir”
He sat behind his desk with a huge smile on his face.
He addressed me as
“Akala’s wife right?”
Suggesting that he didn’t even know my name or I was just one other wife he had gotten his way with.
“Sit down, please”
I sat down and he said
“What can I do for you?”
I swallowed hard and said
“Sir, I just wanted to come and thank you for all you did for my family. My husband and I are very grateful for the help with the money you gave us.”
He smiled pompously and said
“Don’t mention it. You know when God blesses you, you help out however you can”
I think I must have vomited in my mouth. Help?
That was what he called help?
Anyway, I was there for a reason.
I continued and said
“But chief, I was wondering why you still gave us the money, if you never touched me.”
He sat up and smiled even wider as he said
“Why would I need to touch you?
I already had your husband. The offer was initially to him.
I just wanted him but then he offered you two and I said why not but that day, only you showed up.
And when I saw you, something caused me to let you go.
And I gave the money in advance because the call I made after you left the room that night was to your husband.
I told him, I was going to send the money with you but I wasn’t going to touch you.
And that he was to report to my hotel the next day which he did. So problem solved.”
He leaned back in his seat. My eyes were wide and my mouth ajar.
He noticed the surprise on my face and said
“you seem surprised. Your husband never told you?
…Oh, I’m sorry about that.”
Sorry? Chief didn’t need to be sorry.
That was the final straw for me though.
A man that would put me through that whole ordeal would have killed me and the world wouldn’t even have known.
Thank God he didn’t turn to money rituals because if that was the case, I am sure I would have been dead.
I left chief that day and began planning how to leave the country with my friend.
What The Heck Man was not enough to quantify my shock and disappointment. Sometimes you are willing to give everything for someone but that person is plotting our downfall.
I looked up and Michael pulled into the driveway.
He looked over to me and said
“Are you really going to leave on this trip without the kids?”
I looked at him and said
“I asked if they had anything planned for my birthday and they said no. So yes, I’m going without them.
They can send me text messages on my birthday but for now, I want to feel celebrated”
I stepped out of the car and felt a bit of pain in my back but it wasn’t going to stop me from having a great time.
The whole time at the airport, I kept thinking about my children.
I wished they were with me.
I looked over to Michael to my right and quietly said
“I wish they were here”
With a gentle smile, he said
We were in Atlanta for 3hours and then out to Puerto Rico.
Michael planned the whole thing for me.
I actually felt really loved but for some reason I wished I was with my children.
The first night there was amazing.
We had dinner on a boat. A really big boat.
I had never been on one that big before.
Or any for that matter, well maybe except for the one that brought me from Africa.
I joke. I joke.
But it was very romantic and Michael was the ultimate gentleman.
Pulled my seat, asked how I was feeling and at night, he didn’t touch me or demand anything.
The next morning was my birthday and I was very excited.
But I woke up and Michael was gone.
I kept calling his phone and there was no answer.
For a whole hour, I didn’t know where he was or even where to begin looking for him.
He eventually texted me saying that he was out and would be returning shortly. I was very irritated.
But I waited for him.
I had taken a shower, eaten breakfast and still no David.
Like what was the point of coming on vacation if he was going to leave me alone in the room.
My frustration was at an all time high when I received a text from him asking me to meet him on the beach around a spot we had passed by the night before.
I wanted to snap at him but I held my cool.
I made it out there and he wasn’t there.
Now, I was very angry.
I was actually composing a mean worded text message to him when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
I turned around and there he was.
“David, what kind of nonsense if this?
You left me alone for hours and then told me to meet you here and you weren’t even here.
Really? Is this meant to be relaxing?”
He put his strong hands on my shoulders and said
“I am sorry. I was taking care of some work stuff”
“Work stuff on vacation?”
I snarled back. He just smiled and used his hands to turn me around and coming down the trail heading to beach were my babies.
All three of them. I turned around to him and hugged him tight.
I pulled away and smacked him on the chest playfully as I said
“What The Heck Man”
Smiles all around.
I was just so happy that they were there with me. Michael had purchased all their tickets ahead of time.
And planned the whole thing.
“So when I was asking you two, you knew this whole time?”
I asked Amanda and Angela.
They both smiled like cunning geniuses.
I was beat. They pulled this one over me. I felt really loved.
We just kept hugging each other as I imagined the next four days with my children and my new man.
Then I heard a voice very close say
I know I offended you and the God you serve. I hurt you and I disrespected you and our children.
I just want you to know that I still love you.
I want you.
I need you.
My life has not been the same without you.
I just wanted to come here to apologize and even though I know you probably hate me, if there is any chance that we could become something again, I would love to take it.
I am here begging for one more chance to do right by you and our kids.”
I was stunned.
Another surprise albeit unexpected but what. I figured David must have spilled and told him about the trip while I was in the hospital but it didn’t matter.
Those words as they came out of his mouth seemed genuine. They felt real. They felt like words I had wanted to hear for many years.
I didn’t know what to do.
I stood there. I could feel my heart racing.
I wanted to go and I wanted to stay.
I had loved before Rotimi but he was the first and only man that I truly allowed myself to get lost in.
I defined the woman I wanted to be as I found this man.
In my youth, he gave me love. In my womanhood, through him, God gave me children.
I could never stop loving this man.
There was an air of expectancy over us as we stood there. They all looked at me, waiting for me to make a move.
I looked back at my children and then I made my decision.
I walked over to Rotimi and took his hand. Together we walked up the beach, leaving Michael and my kids behind.
We arrived at a wooden log at the top of the trail that led to the beach. I sat down and he sat next to me.
I held both his hands and said
“Rotimi Akala, you were my first true love. The physical manifestation of the cornerstone in Christ that I wanted to build.
You gave me laughs, you gave me joy, you gave me children, you found me fit to bring your legacy into this world. You loved me.
And I loved you. Much like I still do now.
But you hurt me.
You hurt me pretty badly.
In some of those days, I thought the sun wouldn’t rise. I couldn’t imagine where the hope was.
I had invested so much of my life, so much of my person, my womanhood in you and what we built that when it came tumbling down, I had nothing.
I know you are not the worst man in the world but you showed me your worst.
It hurt. Rotimi it hurt.
It hurt even more because I was voiceless. I needed to protect not just you but the children we brought into this world.
I would not allow them to suffer the consequences of our shortcomings.
Rotimi, you punished me for the mistakes you made as a man but I still love you.
Rotimi, I forgive you. And God helped me raise 3 fantastic children.
I am grateful.
So Rotimi, I forgive you and I love you…”
He squeezed my hands tighter.
His eyes were swell with tears. He wanted to cry.
I could tell a few more words and the tears would have started streaming down his face.
“…But Rotimi, I can’t.
I can’t love you the way I used to any more. I have love for you but I’m no longer in love with you.
Too much damage has been done. Not anything that God cannot fix or hasn’t fixed but I have to forge ahead.
The love I have for you, I promise to channel into loving our children but our romantic chapter is closed.
You will always be in my life because you are the father of the greatest gifts that God has given to me.
But I have to focus on me now. I have to focus on the growth within myself that I want.
I have to build off the rubble that fell from years past.
Rotimi, I remind you that you will always have my heart but I have to focus on my new start”
He was already crying and trying hard to not have that ugly cry face.
I leaned in and kissed him on the cheek while we hugged.
Slowly, I got up and without looking back, I walked away.
Back down the trail and towards my children and Michael.
They were all huddled up talking when I arrived and as I approached, Angela turned around and saw noticed me coming.
She said as they all looked towards me.
I walked carefully holding up my dress as I walked to them.
“He left but I’m sure he’ll always be close”
“Now since you guys are here. Can we have some fun and focus on my birthday and nothing else?”
And then David spoke as he walked up to me. He stood in front of me and said
“Mother, I speak on behalf of my siblings when I say that we are sorry.
For our behavior sometimes and for not seeing all the value in all that you have done for us.
The sacrifices. The pain. The hardwork in raising all of us by yourself.
I now know some of what you went through and I truly appreciate you.
I know sometimes I have been a pain but I am grateful that you have always shown me love and never forsaken me.
You are an amazing woman and the best mother any son could ever ask for. You pray for us, even when we forget to or think we are too big to.
Thank you for everything you have done. That which you have done and even things that we don’t know of.
Mummy, we love you”
The way he looked at me. A simple look was strengthening a mothers love for her son.
It got me feeling so vulnerable and connected.
I reached out for him and gave him a big hug.
I whispered in his ear
“I love you son”
as he hugged me long.
As the hug broke, I said
“You all are my pride. My gift from God.
He trusted me enough to give you guys to me and I forever thankful.
You are beautiful souls and children I am proud of.
You are not pains to my heart.
I know there is a lot that I have kept away from you all but it’s because like a baby, I had to cradle you.
Tightened firmly into your seats, I had to protect you from the chaos till you were able to navigate life by yourselves and I think you are all in that phase now.
Now I just want you all to be the best you can be. That is all that will bring me joy in the world. I love you all more than you will ever be able to fathom but just I am always here for you all.
I’ll give you the world and more but for now, all my love is here for you.”
I smiled and looked at their faces and I said
“Now come in here and give me a hug”
They all filed towards me and gave me a big family hug. Amanda looked at Michael and said
“Come on Michael. Get in here”
He looked startled for a quick second and then he joined.
As their hands held me close, I felt the love through our bodies.
At that moment, everything was complete.
My life felt full and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Have you ever baby sat for a family member before? Had to watch a kid for hours on end?
I’m sure you can identify with how scary and nerve wrecking it can be to be responsible for someone. Now imagine having to do that for years.
To concern yourself with their every move, their development and well being. Emotionally, financially, spiritually, physically.
Wanting to give them the best and shelter them from the trials of life.
At some point, having to deal with the reality that you cannot keep them safe all the time. And being okay knowing that you as a parent have done your best.
The Cradle series focuses on a mother’s love. Essentially a parent’s love.
To guide and protect their young from the difficulties of life.
What is stronger than a mothers love?
Many times the efforts that parents put into giving us sound lives are overlooked.
There is so much they take on or shield from us to protect us.
A lot of it are things that we cannot appreciate in our youth but our parents take on a huge and sometimes thankless job to show us the way.
The Cradle series focuses on the story of Linda who raises her 3 children alone amidst adversity and life’s challenges.
It channels love, heartbreak, resilience, growth and forgiveness.
Linda gave up the life she had for the betterment of her children in the long run. David might not have appreciated it at the beginning but imagine the life he would have had if he had stayed with his father.
There is so much that goes on that we don’t always see but I am thankful for prayerful parents that continue to grind for us.
Take a moment to appreciate all the parents that go to the end of the world and back for us.
Be grateful. The baton will soon fall on you too. 😊😁👀
Give me feedback. How did this make you feel? Talk to me about The Cradle 4 or the entire series.
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
Lookout for New Series starting next week.
© 2015 #WhatTheHeckMan