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Anyadike's Father and His Story Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Odimegwu Onwumere, Nigeria Jun 1, 2005
Human Rights   Short Stories
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Anyadike was a young boy from Okebi village, say, 19 years of age, groomed a Christian, and morality in him was at its expediency. People within and outside his jurisdiction were in deep passion with the manner he behaved, without quarrels with any man, woman or children. They started to name their children Anyadike.

His father was a peasant, and his mother just died after putting him to bed. He was the only male child out of three female children before him. That was how he was given that name, Anyadike (eye of a hero). He started school with little or no money that met his "school" needs. His father turned into a bad father and allowed every burden to be on his second wife, whom he picked as a partner having mourned Anyadike's mother for two years. His mourning was the 'history' of posterity because there was no such chronicle from either a widow or widower who had stayed for so long before getting a new partner. He was respected, though he lacked money. This pride in him made his mouth shell like some obnoxious women do, when he was asked to bring out money for family needs. Anyadike had grown and enrolled in primary school.

One day, Anyadike was sent home from school because of his inability to pay his fees. He went to his father who was busy pushing tobacco into his nostrils, not caring to know if any one entered his room. Anyadike, afraid, stood for a while so that his father would notice his presence and, maybe, ask him what the matter with him was. When he saw that his father did not care to recognize his presence, he had to talk to him without editing his words, as a way to let him know his predicament. That was when his father turned and looked at him, laughed and said, "So, you have grown wings to talk to me without fear, Anyadike?" Anyadike opened his eyes as if it was not his father to whom he was talking, because of that question, "So, you have grown wings to talk to me without fear, Anyadike?" Anyadike, with fear and anger ran out of the room to meet his stepmother.

"What is it my son Anyadike, that you ran out with such anger?" his stepmother asked. Anyadike was shedding tears, swallowing as many tears that hopped down into his mouth. As he sat, his stepmother had to go closer, to pet him, so that he would open up with what the matter was.

His father was coming out with anger, blowing the "damn" tobacco out his nostrils. His wife looked with surprise and walked to him to know what the problem was with his son. The man didn't wait a little than to start saying things that even the winds of the air could carry to neighborhood. "Let him stay here!" His father said, "Is he not seeing his mates whose welfares are being taken care by themselves? They cater for their parents and also pay their school fees from the stipend they get from 'labor' works."

"You should not expect him to be like anyone, my dear husband, we are here to help him grow and not to measure him with anyone on earth". The wife said, "Destiny is not one!" while holding Anyadike, who was leaping like a trapped rabbit, to fight his father with words. This statement of his father entered his marrow. He remembered when he alone brought up fifty chicks to matured fowls from money given to him by people, and his father sold those fowls without a dime accruing to Anyadike. Anyadike didn't then worry so much about the money, since he was still under his father.

But now, instead of his father telling him that he had no money to give, he was busy rattling and rating him with people. Anyadike remembered his mother, who allegedly died of high blood pressure after giving birth to him, and his father didn't at least go to borrow money to save her life. Anyadike could not hide this. He went to people to let them know the cropping problem he was facing so that they could tell his father to adhere to his fundamental right. But half of the people living within their environ went, while his father proved the deaf chameleon. Having waited for his father to change heart, and having realized that nothing was forthcoming, he could not wait to see, hear or experience further humiliation; he bolted out of the house.

His stepmother, who was yet to beget a child, began to feel disgust of what people would say about her coming into the family - that she treated him so badly (because Anyadike was not her child) that he decided to run away. But she never did such. She was only in deep thought, because of the tradition that despises women. When his father learnt of his son's egress, he didn't blink an eyelid. But before now, people have told him that he was just a mere wicked, if not, how could he say that he doesn't make money from farming, to train his only son. His wife, to prove her innocence of not abetting to Anyadike's exit, decided as well to leave the house until Anyadike came back.

Pandemonium broke loose, when the relatives of the woman saw their daughter home; initially, they suspected nothing until when she over stayed. One morning, her mother went to her: "My daughter, what is the matter? You have stayed more than a married woman should". There and then she told her mother what happened. She went and informed her husband. On the other hand, Anyadike's maternal relatives could not bear what was happening any longer; they chose a day, with the people of Anyadike's stepmother, to visit Anyadike's father. One thing that fuelled this was that Anyadike was nowhere to be found.

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Writer Profile
Odimegwu Onwumere

Odimegwu Onwumere, a poet and an author, is the Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State , Nigeria . +2348032552855. apoet25@yahoo.com

If it's prose, he writes stories,
If it's poetry, he writes poems,
If it's drama, he writes screenplays,
And he has achieved some poetry nominations, in the USA and in Canada. He was born in Accra Ghana. A Nigerian by origin and is in his early thirties.
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