THE FRACTURED BLISS 5
On the day of the court hearing, everything went on smoothly but there was a mild drama in court. All parties involved were present. Ada and Bishop as the accused on one side while Bayo was at the other end with his family. The presiding judge came in with a stern face and took her seat. As the case was being called, she hushed the clerk.
Judge: I am very interested in this case and now I am seeing an application for withdrawal. Woman, why is he the one suing you in the first place? You should be the one suing him. This is a case of domestic violence and it is in no way tolerated in the society (she said in a loud voice so that everyone will hear).
Mr. Bayo, you are lucky you did not die from that gunshot. I would have dismissed this case on the grounds of self-defense. That you want to settle out of court is not an excuse to resort to violence. Ada I will give you my number, any day he as much as threaten you verbally. Just call and he will be reprimanded. Application granted! She said hitting her gavel
Bayo heaved a sigh of relieve because the way the judge was venting, he thought the application would be denied. Ada met Bayo outside the courtroom and delivered a message from her family
Ada: now that the case has been withdrawn, my people have asked to see you and your people over the weekend to trash out this issue and find a lasting solution.
Bayo: okay, I will tell them
Ada: see you then.
It was weekend and all road led to Ada’s house. Bayo and his entourage arrived at noon and noticed there was a mini preparation for the guest.
When everyone was in assembly, Bishop also arrived with his sister and some friends. Bayo felt uneasy on seeing Bishop. He is not supposed to be here. He thought
Ada’s mother hugged Bishop with so much adulation. This got him jealous, but he had no choice than to focus on the matter at hand. Everyone was seated, and the meeting began
An elderly rose and introduced himself as Uncle Ken.
Ken: we have come and arranged this setting just as it was during your first visit here i.e. your introduction. There is an addition he said pointing towards Bishop who was busy adjusting himself. Bayo please step forward and seat here.
Bayo did as he was told and approached with all calmness and humble reverence as if approaching the altar for communion.
Ken: do you know why you and your family were invited here today?
Bayo: yes sir, I do
Ken: enlighten us please
Bayo: we are here today to beg for forgiveness from my wife and her family over our actions. I am very sorry and promise it will never happen again
Ken: you can sit, but I have a series of questions for you. What moved you to batter her
Bayo: I was drunk, and I didn’t know what came over me
Ken: does that mean anytime you are drunk, you beat her up? (he looked around and heard satisfactory murmurs from all angles)
Bayo: no sir, it just happened. It’s the devil
Ken: does she have a boyfriend?
Ken: so, who bought the gun in the house and why?
Bayo: I did and it’s for security reasons
Ken; was it right that she shot you?
Bayo: (the question came as a shock) at that time yes
Ken: then why did you arrest her
Bayo: I didn’t arrest her, my mother did (mother superior tried to hide her face, but everyone knew who she was)
Ken: do you know that young man? He said pointing towards Bishop
Bayo: yes, I do
Ken: what is his role in this saga?
Bayo: he helped rush me to the hospital
Ken: so literally, you owe him your life. That’s all. You can go back to your seat. I asked all these questions to get clarification as regards the news being circulated. and in everything we still find no reason that best explains his actions.
Bayo’s father pleaded that he be given the floor to say a few words. Uncle Ken permitted him
Bayo’s father: I am sorry that we have put your family through pain, grief and regret in the past week. There is no excuse that will justify my sons’ action. I have never laid my hands on his mother after about 42 years of marriage. It’s a shame to me when I heard everything from my daughter. I also want to apologize on behalf of my wife who ordered their arrest even after I objected but in her defense I will say she was only being a mother. My family and I have erred and all we want is your forgiveness and our wife so we can go and rebuild our family. Please accept our apology.
He signaled for things to be brought forward. Hot drinks and a basket filled with fruits
Please accept this peace offering.
To my son Bishop, you helped saved my sons life. I am forever in your debt. You are a good man, forget the stories around town. Your father will be very proud of you just as I am. My family and I will be forever grateful to you.
Uncle Ken walked up to Bayo’s father and shook his hands. You have spoken well my friend but there is more to it. He picked up two envelops and handed it over to him.
Uncle Ken: these two envelops contains some vital documents. Which we have in our archive if such repeats itself again. Go ahead and open them one at a time and pass it to everyone that came with you here today. He opened it with caution.
First was a divorce paper. He looked stunned and passed it to mother superior who also looked surprised before she passed it on. Then came the next from the envelop, money in different denominations. Uncle Ken said go on and count it. Bayo’s father counted it thrice and arrived at 3250 naira and handed back the envelop to Uncle ken who received it and asked him to return to his seat.
Uncle Ken: the first envelop you all understand but the second one is the bride price you paid for our daughter. The denominations you saw there signifies that everyone who took a dime from it has willingly returned it because of the news that our daughter was beaten to stupor. We can do this now, but you have spoken well, and we will keep this envelop safe incase you need it. Or do you need it now? he asked aloud.
They responded no. so Bayo you will desist from laying your fingers on her. If you have a problem with our daughter, come to any of us. We birthed her, she will be scolded. Do you understand?
Bayo nodded in agreement. Then Ada’s mother went with her crew and started dishing out food.
Uncle Ken continued saying, we have a new addition into our family Bishop come and sit down amongst us. At times it amazes me that from the worst of situations we tend to meet people of unquestionable character. Is that not so my in-laws? They responded to him affirmatively. He is now your in-law as well. Please bring their wife for them
Ada came out like a new bride with her friends, amongst them was Kemi Bayo’ sister. They all thought she was in school that was why she was not invited in the first place. Her parents sat upright looking at her as a betrayer who couldn’t stand by her people. Ada and Bayo were prayed for by both families.
When they were about to leave, Bishop found his way to Kemi’s side and went down on one knee and offered her a ring. Kemi was mesmerized, she pushed her way out of the corner like a rat being chased. The girls around were happy for her. Kemi’s parents didn’t understand what the heck was going at the other end.
Uncle Ken called everyone to other and tried to explain what was happening with a lump full of meat in his mouth and choked. When he recovered, he called out Bayo’s father and said “it has happened” our newly adopted son has found your fruit in our house. Remember we have come to collect the debt you owe our son, even though it was recently incurred. Or do you have any objection to it?
Bayo’s father was dumb founded at the turn of events. Normally people come to your house to ask for your daughters’ hand in marriage. The reverse seems to be the case in this regard. If Kemi accepts him who am I to object especially now that we are here to mend bridges. With this union, I pray for permanent solidification of our families.