Inside the prison, Alfred sat opposite a man that he had never known all his life. But seeing this man for the first time ever, he knew that, that was his father. The same oblong face and the same pointed nose. They stared at each other for about a minute before Andy said, “welcome son. I am glad to see you”.
“I have looked forward to this day so much that I can’t believe it is actually here”. Alfred said.
“Where are you coming from son?” Andy asked.
“And you dressed up like this, in a suit?” Andy asked him again.
“Yes, because I was coming to see my daddy and my hero”.
Andy broke down. “Me, your hero?”
“Yes, you are my hero” Alfred said. “I know you didn’t do it.”
“Do what and how did you know?”
“I overheard Hayward and Lucy talk about it.”
They spent some time interacting and getting to know each other like fresh lovers would do. What is your favourite colour? Favourite food and pet? It was so beautiful. Time was not their ally. Before you knew it one hour flew past so fast and it was time to go.
“How did it go?” Lucy asked Alfred.
“Great, very well” thanks.
“What did he tell you?” Lucy probed.
“Well, you know, father son stuff. We had a great time interacting and getting to know each other” Alfred replied with all amount of excitement.
Lucy was feeling a little jealous here and uncomfortable that Alfred was building a relationship with his father and may soon delve into sensitive information, if his dad trusted him.
Ms. Lynch advised Alfred not to share too much details of his visit with his father to Lucy. He should stick to ‘we are building a relationship’ angle. Alfred brought books and materials to his father in the camp as his dad often referred to the place. One book that Alfred brought over to his dad was the Holy Book. He advised his father to read that book and let that book come alive to him. That was what Ms. Lynch did for Alfred. It was written somewhere in that Holy Book, The Spirit of God is not of fear but of a sound mind. That did it for Alfred. Something struck him and resonated with him and he conquered fear. He has never been the same since he stumbled across that verse.
Alfred was a regular visitor to the camp to see his dad. He built a solid relationship with his dad. He gave his dad a new lease of life. He got to find out more about his dad’s family. His dad had immigrated to the UK from, Libreville in Equatorial Guinea, EQ about twenty years ago. Andy was from a wealthy background in Libreville. Andy’s story was not the typical version of an immigrant who left his homeland and came to the UK seeking greener pastures. His dad came to the UK to seek alternative means of livelihood. He wanted to learn English, he wanted to make the UK and EQ his home. He wanted to have a life where his children would be versed in English, Spanish and French languages. EQ was colonized by Spain and Spanish was the widely spoken language. Andy was from the Fang tribe and from a wealthy home. Andy’s father died when Andy was about fourteen years of age and Andy saw how his mother was denied of any inheritance because she was a woman. Andy was not happy with what he saw and knew that it was just a matter of time, he would be off to somewhere, where if he had daughters, they would inherit his fortune. Being the only male child in the family, his dad’s fortunes belonged to him.
On arriving England, with a substantial amount of money, Andy enrolled in a college and started his new life. Fate would play a twist on him when he met Lucy. They both attended the same college and were taking the same classes. That fateful night after classes, it was raining and Andy offered to drop Lucy off at her place. They started some friendship. In naivety and innocence, Andy told Lucy all about himself and Lucy planned with Hayward how they would frame Andy to scam him off his money. He didn’t understand the legal system and procedures in England at the time. His English wasn’t that superb. His folks back home in Libreville, did not know what had happened to him. He was sent to jail to languish away. The good thing that came out of the relationship was Alfred. Hayward never liked Alfred. One thing that Hayward could not achieve was to convince Lucy to abort the baby. She kept saying that this would be a memorial for the wealth that they would inherit afterwards.
Uwem Mbot Umana©2017