Unbreakable Episode 8
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Maya was content.
Content that her hard work had paid off.
She looked at Prince Jnr solemnly and was glad she gave him a chance at life.
She had never regretted having him.
He had filled her life with happiness in so many ways.
He made her laugh when she was sad.
Her son gave her the strength to forge on when things were really hard.
He had given her hope to carry on no matter what happened.
He was the light that came at the end of the tunnel.
And now he was the shelter she needed for the storm that ripped her life at such a young age.
Prince Jnr. turned out to be the sweetest thing that ever happened to her.
He was very helpful and resourceful.
He looked more like his father each passing day.
And he was handsome, fun and incredibly intelligent.
Maya could not imagine her life without him.
He had a strong sense of humour and was very sensitive to her needs.
He had earned the nickname “Lawyer” in school and everywhere he found himself.
Her son always stood for truth and had an amazing stance on justice.
Maya was proud to have raised a child like him.
He was always fighting for one cause or the other.
Prince Jnr. turned sixteen and for the first-time Maya organized a big bash for him.
Friends from church, school and the neighbourhood graced the occasion.
It was fun to see him so happy.
Junior entertained his guests with jokes and stories.
Yes, he was also a good story teller and composer.
He had a way with words just like his father.
When he was telling a story, his audience felt like they were watching a movie.
He had a unique way of bringing stories to life.
In the midst of all the merry making and fun going on during the party, Prince Junior took the microphone from the MC.
“Attention everyone. I have a few things to say so please give me a little of your time. I promise it will not take long.”
Everyone stayed still and eventually the place was quiet.
“I want to thank you all for making this day so memorable for me. This is the first time I have been the center of attraction. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I made it this far because God sent down an angel just for me. I have put together something for this angel whose encouragement, guidance and love had seen me this far.
You can call it a tribute or something like that. I know tributes are read at funerals but I wanted this special person to know what I think of her while she was alive. You know, it’s funny when people wait till someone dies and write or say beautiful things about them when in fact they cant hear them. I think it is very silly to do that……
Everyone laughed at the way he made that statement.
Looking at him now, Maya felt very proud of her son. Prince Jnr. had that special gift which brought peace and happiness wherever he found himself.
That was exactly how Maya remembered his Dad.
Prince picked a framed object from under the table and read it.
The message was powerful.
It touched the very core of Maya’s soul.
She wept as she listened to her son recounting their life story in his own way.
The words he chose that day made her feel like she was super human.
Prince Jnr cleared his throat when he was sure he had everyone’s attention and read,
“My mother had me when she was only seventeen years old.
She lost her home because of me but she never gave up on me.
She loved me like no other.
My Mom went hungry, so I would eat.
She stayed awake so I could sleep when we were on the streets.
She loved me no matter what.
And she made sacrifices only an Angel could make for her guardian.
I would forever be grateful for giving me a chance to be here.
For all the periods you stood by me,
For making me see the truth;
Yes, for all the happiness you brought to my life;
For all the wrongs you righted;
For making every dream of mine a reality.
And for all the love you showed me;
I’ll forever be grateful, Mama.
You propped me up so I could touch the sky,
You stood by me and never left me.
Yes, you were my strength when I was weak,
You spoke for me when I couldn’t speak,
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see,
Not only that, you gave me faith because you believed,
You raised me to be more than I could be,
I have come this far because you loved me.
You gave me wings that made me fly;
You told me no star was out of reach.
Like an Angel, you were always there for me
You were the wind that carried me
You were the light of my life
And, above all, you are my inspiration.
I stand tall when you stand by me because I had your love.
I’m grateful for each day you’ve given me.
I’m blessed because I have you to love me,
My world is a better place because you are in it.
Thank you, Mama, for loving me
Thank you for being there.
Mom, thank you for everything.”
Prince Junior handed it over to his sweet mom after he had read it to the gathering of friends and family.
He had added a picture of her and him when he was just a little boy.
Maya was speechless.
Words to express her feelings eluded her. She had not been this touched her entire life. She felt elated to say the least.
Prince Junior drew her into a bear hug and kissed her on both cheeks.
“I know you don’t hear it often but I love you very much, Mama!.”
“I Love you too, son. Really, I love you more than myself.”
Everyone present was touched by Prince Jnr’s show of gratitude and affection.
Prince Jnr had forced his mom to dance with him that day drawing cheers and shouts of joy from all present.
To crown it all, Prince Junior commissioned the first ‘POP Inn’ for people living on the streets.
It was not anything extravagant.
It was a five-storey that had only single bedrooms.
Each floor had a washroom, a kitchen, a common room for watching TV and a laundry. Maya was happy she could put that together in her lifetime for the homeless.
Living on the street taught Maya humility.
It taught her to be appreciative of even the little things in life.
She took a lot of things in life for granted.
She promised to look for her Uncle someday, when all the bitterness she felt towards him disappeared, and thank him for sheltering her for those years.
Maya was glad the homeless would have a roof over their heads at low cost.
The hurdle of looking for rent advance was a thing of the past for most people living on the streets in the city.
POP Inn was priced per night and payment was daily.
She was glad she had taken that step.
In a way, she would be earning some money from that too and hopefully she would be able to replicate it in other parts of the city and eventually the whole country.
Maya was sure Prince Osei Poku Snr. would have loved the idea too.
That night when everything was over and the last guest left, Maya retired to her room a little downhearted.
Prince Snr. had filled her thoughts all day.
She wished he could see his son in this lifetime.
She wished he knew they had a child together.
And she had missed him more than she had imagined.
Maya was aware Prince would be married with a family by now but she was not looking for a relationship.
All she wanted was her son to get to know his Dad.
She had been able to achieve everything she had hoped for in life except getting married to the man of her dreams.
She had also not been able to get her son meet his Dad. That was something that bothered her often.
Prince Jnr. was not demanding. He was very understanding and had not shown any remorse whatsoever for the fact that he never met his Dad. She felt she owed him that at least.
In her desperation to locate Prince, Maya had gone to the Aburi gardens on two occasions hoping there could be something that would help her find him.
The first time she went there was nothing.
Amazingly, it was obvious Prince had come around the second time she had gone there.
The thought that he returned to their tree gave her some hope but he only wrote down the date and his initials underneath the memoir they left at the gardens and that was all.
There was nothing else to use to locate him.
Maya was extremely disappointed.
Prince could have left a number or something more practical.
Maya was still struggling to make ends meet at the time she went back to Aburi..
She did not have any contact details to leave behind so she left with a heavy heart and decided never to go back to the gardens and their tree again.
It was time she forgot about him and moved on.
She unlocked the drawer by her bedside and brought out a file she had kept all these years.
It contained her journal, some letters, pictures and other souvenirs.
She opened her journal and started to read.
She had not made many entries since she moved to Accra.
Life was so fast paced in the city she had not had that luxury to write much.
She told herself she would find time to fill in the blanks.
Her Dad had given her the journal on her tenth birthday.
She had written in it every day until her unexpected move to Accra.
She scanned through the pages with smiles and tears as memories flitted through her mind.
Maya got all emotional when she got to the entry she made when her father passed.
“I feel like my life has ended. I lost my Dad today. He was very okay in the morning when he left for work. He delayed a bit in coming back home which was very unusual so Mom started calling his friends when she couldn’t reach him. His colleagues told her he left for the house around the usual time. Mom was worried but did not want me to worry so she tried to stay calm.
Then around ten in the night a call came in. Dad was found unconscious in his car when he stopped at a traffic light and didn’t move when the light turned green. He was rushed to a hospital. Mom rushed to the hospital leaving me with a neighbour. She came back two hours later wailing. Daddy was gone. He never regained consciousness. They found the pizza he promised me that day sitting in the back seat of his car. I feel so lost. I don’t know what to do.”
Maya had tears in her eyes by the time she reached the end of the entry.
She still missed him so much.
She had been Daddy’s little girl.
He flaunted her everywhere they went and he took her everywhere.
He would buy her everything she asked for as long as it was appropriate for her.
When she had asked for things he thought were not good for her at the time, he would lovingly explain things to her.
He had told her time and gain that she was a real princess in a village far from where they lived.
When she had insisted they visited the village he had always postponed it.
He had been her hero.
She had looked up to him for everything.
Maya read the tribute she wrote and read for him at his funeral with tears coursing down her face.
It still hurt as if she lost him just yesterday.
My Dad, My Hero!
I stand here confused!
Is this a dream?
Or this is really true!
Are you really gone?
Someone tell me this is a lie.
Why are you lying so still?
Without a word or a smile!
Yet I’m right here.
That is strange
Cos I was always your source of joy!
You were always there for me when I was sad
You always had a way of lifting my spirits when I was down
Indeed, you always made me robust when I felt weak
You were everything to me!
You will forever be my everything!
I stand here to bid you goodbye.
Goodbye because after today I will not see or hear you again.
I will not hear you shout out my name to keep me from danger!
I will not hear you say “that’s my girl” when I make you proud!
Oh, God, it’s so hard to say goodbye to you Daddy!
Especially since I love you so much!
But death has given me no choice!
Death had taken my joy away,
Sleep on, Daddy dearest
Until we meet again
In the resurrection
Maya wiped her eyes and closed the journal.
She couldn’t take any more of the pain from the memory.
She tossed it on the bed as her tears blinded her.
And she was so distressed.
She still could not understand why her Daddy died.
The medical report cited heart failure as cause of death.
“Why, oh why. Why did you leave me, Daddy?”
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To Be Continued…
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