I’m not your typical wicked step-mother, in fact, I’m ashamed of what happened. I love my step children but can that love restore my stepson’s eye that is blind?
I’m 37 years old and a teacher and I only just got married three years ago. I married a man who already has teenage children; I haven’t got my own biological children yet.
My step children, Olusegun and Olufemi, 16 and 14 years respectively are wonderful boys. They were abandoned by their mother about 10 years ago. It was their father, Bello, who had been caring for them, until I met him 5 years ago.
Bello and I met when he came to register his son, Segun, in our school as the boy was about getting into JSS class. I met him at the admin and I pointed out the places he needed to go to get the boy his uniforms, texts books, desk etc. I also became Segun’s class teacher and helped him settle in class when term began. I just took a liking to the boy. He was smart and very eager and soon became my favourite pupil in class. I also didn’t know his father was single. It even got to a stage that I would share my meal with Segun. Then one day, he didn’t show up in class, I called his father, wondering what had happened to my favorite pupil, he told me Segun was on admission for appendicitis. That evening, I was at the hospital. That was where I found out Segun’s mother had left him and his younger brother with their father.
I took on the job of taking food to the boy in the hospital and helping him get better. Perhaps that was what endeared Segun’s father, Bello, to me. We became friends of sorts, you know, calling one another, asking about the children, making soup for them that will last a week etc and visiting them at home.
Before long, he asked me to marry him. At that time, me myself, I was tired of spinsterhood. I didn’t care that he had two grown up children, because, thankfully, for me, I got on well with the two boys.
The younger boy was even more warmer to me than Segun, it was as if that one had been craving a mother’s touch for long. So for me, it was like double blessing, only I didn’t have my own biological children. I’ve been waiting three years now.
I also never maltreated my step children, after all, our people say, it’s the head of the children around you that call on the children from heaven to come, “ori omo lon p’omo w’aye.” If I maltreat these ones, then I may never have my own.
But you must also know that children will be children and as a parent, you discipline your children. That’s what happened between me and Segun, o.
I sent him to the market for soup items. It’s not like it’s the first time he would be going. Anyway, my son went like there’s no tomorrow and by the time he came back, I was crazy with worry. I thought a thousand things had happened to him, I had traced him back and still couldn’t find him. So when he came back, claiming he lost the money, I was mad. It was a lie, I know my son.
If he lost the money, he would have come home and spared me the wahala of almost going crazy looking for him. He knows I’ve often warned about coming back late for errands, he’s not a small boy, he’s 16years old.
“I think maybe I forgot the money at home, ” he said to me
“So why didn’t you come back for it? I went looking for you, it’s more than three hours, Segun!
Out of annoyance that day, I just picked a cane and began to flog him. Ask me, do I flog him often, no. it’s, their father who does that. But that day, because I was beside myself with anger and then relief, I just picked the cane and began to flog him. He himself was shocked, and as he turned in shock, the cane hit him in the eye and that was the beginning of my wahala.
He screamed and I quickly dropped the cane. I called for help to take him to the nearest hospital. They cleaned the blood, gave him an injection and eye drops then we went home. Of course my husband too was surprised but he just told me to control my anger next time. You see, he didn’t lose his temper because he himself knows I’m not the type that hates his children or maltreats them.
Anyway, the eye didn’t get better. First it turned red, then it got swollen and now Segun has gone blind in that eye and I don’t know how their mother suddenly found out what happened.
This is a woman I haven’t seen for the 5 years I have known these boys. She came with the police to arrest me and now thy are taking me to court for child and dometic abuse.
Bello has tried to get men out but police say she is their mother and Segun’s blind eye is enough evidence.
What am I going to do now?