Angels are rare to find
...I was born into a middle class family, my Dad was a Physician and Mum a nurse and they both showered me with abundant love because I was their only child, there was nothing I lacked as a kid and all my peers envied me, our house was a den of toys but the only thing missing was a younger or older sibling to always play with like every other kid perhaps that help built up the emotions I had on my peers so it was not surprising to my Parents when I almost cried myself to death because of Jen but the funny thing was that I was just five years and she was four years.
It all began on a sunny Saturday, in the wedding of one of my cousins Frances. I was the page boy and Jen the little bride so after the reception and it was time for Jen and her parents to leave, I began questioning myself why my wife had to leave besides we just got married and since I found no answer to this question within my own self, I then walked up to my Dad and asked him what was really going on because Jen was about to leave, I was waiting on him for an answer when finally Jen’s family drove out and with disbelief that my wife had been taken away, I resorted to the only weapon available for me; Cry. I cried and screamed to everybody’s amazement, shouting that I wanted my wife back but my Dad consoled me and promised me that she would be brought back the next day, we eventually left for our own house but I did not gave my parents a breathing space when we got home because I kept talking and asking questions about Jen and at a point my Mum got fed up with my attitude and forced me to sleep.
She was surprised when she checked on me around 2am and realized that I haven’t been sleeping, she knew that it was all about Jen so she began stories about Angels and assured me that i will see Jen the next day if I close my eyes and sleep, I could remember my question to her before I finally fell asleep. “Is Jen an Angel?” I asked her. “Yes, she is” she replied. The next day was like a debate between me and my parents because I kept asking about Jen and this continued for days, months and eventually years. Kids they say have short memories, could easily be tricked and made to believe what adults wanted them to believe but I proved that wrong because there was no single day I did not asked about Jen besides all my peers both at school and in the street knew about her and our wedding courtesy of me.
All I had was this memorable picture which I saved in my drawer.
Times passed quick and at twelve, I still remembered Jen and hoped that one day, I would see her again since my parents didn’t want to bring her back to me, I always had dreams about us playing hide and seek and I always remembered adjusting her chair at the reception hall and the sensation of cold all over me when I gave her a peck. Frances wanted Jen to visit again but the fact was that her family lived in another state which was far away from ours and they only visited then because of the wedding. Later I was sent to a Seminary boarding School so I had to live my parents for the first time to live in the dormitory, our school was a mixed school with strict discipline. However, we mixed up with the girls but there were rules and regulations which every student adhered to.
In retrospect, I was one of the most famous students from my junior class, every teacher knew me and there was no student that did not knew my name and this was not because of my parents nor the fact that I was a bright student rather, it was simply because of my performances in the school drama club and in sports. I began capping the school junior soccer team from my first year.
Now four years and just one more year to leave high school to pursue my life ambition to be just like my Dad, a Physician. Something that would change the rest of my life then happened. The school drama club always entertained the school and our parents with a spectacular drama at every end of year vacation and that particular year, we had a drama about Nelson Mandela and I acted Mandela in the drama then a beautiful damsel called Jennifer Edwards was matched to me as my wife Winnie Mandela and we both acted and performed to the glory of our fellow students, School authority and every parent present and that simple drama brought Jennifer close to me though she was a class below.
We kept in touch by phone during the holiday and after the vacation and back in school, we still made out time to talk to each other. At sixteen, I knew exactly what it was to fall in love but honestly, there was only one girl I knew that I loved and she was Jen perhaps that feeling for Jen stopped me from opening my heart for Jennifer or perhaps we were young to fall in love as she always told me. Anyway, I left high school and got an admission to study Medicine in the National Defense Academy, and by then, I was matured enough to trace Jen wherever her family lived so I went to Frances and inquired about Jen. However, she gave me a telephone number to contact her but to my greatest disappointment, the telephone number was invalid and had been out of use for a long time but with the help of the operator, I got the house address and began what would be my quest to find my wife.
Every desperation they say has a reason but luck was against me when I got to the address I had and the occupant of the house told me that he has lived there for two years and knew nothing about Jen or the family that lived there before him. I went from one house to another in the neighborhood asking about the family that once lived at No #123 then like an answer to my prayer, I knocked at the door of someone who was one of the oldest residents and had known Jen’s family. “They sold the house six years ago after the death of the mayor and moved to another state” she said; then she gave me a telephone number to reach the family. I then crossed to the next street and straight to the phone booth. “Wonders shall never end” the voice at the other side of the phone was so familiar; it was a female’s voice and even called me by my name the moment she heard my voice. “Is that Ben she asked? At first I thought that I dialed a wrong number but I was wrong because the Edwards had been the owners of the property and Jennifer Edwards who was talking to me was actually Jen by short.
With disbelief, joy and anxiety, I rushed to the airport and boarded the next flight. Honestly, it was like winning a Jackpot the very moment I came into the house and Jennifer and her Mum were waiting for me, they wanted to hear my story and I was anxious to tell them everything so without hesitation, I told them the funny story of my life, it was like a reunion as we hugged and held each other’s hand and that particular day was the beginning of our ten years courtship, a sound relationship which knew no lies, no boundaries and was highly supportive. One which would be counted as a dream come true and one which proved my Mum right when she said that “Angels are rare to find but they are always around us”. My Angel had been around me all these while. Anyway, we later got married and our marriage was immediately blessed with a bouncing baby boy whom we named Edwin and by then, I was a second Lieutenant and a practicing physician, Jen was also working in one of the biggest banks in the country.
Our family was all about love, we were an example to many because everyone knew that Jen was my hands and legs, my everything and the honestly, I believed in her with all my heart. Things were just fine between us and the arrival of our second son Joe was like a cream to our marriage. Five years of marriage and happiness and the fact that we continued loving each other day after day was a special blessing from God to me. We did everything together and Jen was a wonderful mother to our sons then one day she left to buy some grocery though I would have gone with her but i stayed back to watch the football match. I began worried after the match was over because she was not yet back so I decided to give her a call but to my surprise, she left her cell in the kitchen and it was unlike her so I picked up her cell from the kitchen and brought it to the living room then something struck me to go through her cell phone. I came across a text message in her message inbox which read thus “Thanks for making my day baby, you are the most beautiful woman in this world and your kisses are like fire; they burn my lips with flames of passion”. I didn’t knew what to believe or imagine and out of disbelief, I ringed the sender and to my greatest shock, a man responded but I immediately cut the call, the number tried calling back but I didn’t answer instead I switched off the cell phone.
The shock of that message was enough to cause me a heart attack and I knew that I needed an explanation from my wife but something came up inside me and I pretended that nothing happened the moment she came back and we passed the whole of the day normal like we always do and the next day began what I would term the investigation because I set a private eye on my wife. She was monitored for seven days and it turned out that my trusted wife and mother of my sons had been cheating on me. She had been lying and playing games and that broke my heart. Jen broke my heart into pieces and the only option left for me was to wipe her and her secret lover away from this world. I was in a destructive state and my anger was simply to aim and kill but my love for my sons was sending a different message inside me and it was clear to me that I can’t make them motherless perhaps that was why I confronted her with all my evidence against her. Her secret lover Williams was her lover at the university who had the chance to leave my wife alone the moment she got married but instead wanted to blackmail her with her nude picture, a picture she claimed she took for him. I knew that I would have handled the situation if she had told me about him earlier but instead she kept it away and continued seeing him and to worsen the whole scenario, it came to light that Edwin was not my son. She even noted it in her dairy “July 23rd 1977 NOT THE ARMY BUT THE BAKER” she wrote. That was Edwin’s date of birth and Williams owned a bakery.
There was no way I could forgive her though “True love they say counts no error but what she did was not an error but a punishment. She punished me for loving her and destroyed my world so to remain civilized after the DNA test proved that Joe was mine, I decided to simply divorce her because her remorse was not enough to buy my forgiveness. Yes! It is true that when you love someone enough, you could forgive anything perhaps that alone gave me the strength to carry the cross the way I did and simply decided to let her go because there was no way I would ever love her again nor every trust her so being happy alone was better for me than unhappy with her though my parents stood by me and her mother who had been a guide to us was dejected by the scenario. My World was destroyed by Williams and that made him my number one enemy. I wanted Jennifer to simply be happy with him and she as well became a danger to the only thing that was bright in my life the very day we were officially divorced. I was granted custody of my son Joe and I knew within me that there was no way I would ever allow her near my son. I did not expect to see Williams in the court but he was there and even had the courage to walk up to me and stretched his soiled hand towards me for a hand shake; what for? I questioned myself; why the handshake? Besides he was not a friend but a dangerous enemy so that alone motivated the five shoots on his face and chest. I didn’t pulled my pistol to shoot for shooting sake rather I pulled and shot to kill so My Lord, it doesn’t matter to me if you condemn me or not but what matters to me is that history will someday absolve me.
The Judge found me guilty of murder and sentenced me to life in prison but i later appealed the sentence and it was commuted to 20 years.
Served five years and was released on conditions of good behavior though i left the Army but continued practicing medicine, didn’t marry again but proved to be a good father to my son Joe.
As of Jennifer Edwards, she remarried and had two more children and is currently living somewhere in West Africa with her family and grand children.