Someone once said “do not wait for the perfect time, create one”. Edgar could have sat all alone in his room waiting for his mother, he never knew that the mother will not return again. He set-up to do his house chores, singing in anxiety to welcome the mother back from market, he realized that the mother had tarried more than her usual thus went to seek help from their close neighbour.
‘Your mom will not return again, she met with an accident’
Still gazing at the neighbour, he replied ‘I don’t understand you’
‘Simple, your mom is dead’
Caught in surprise and a flash-shock, the news came to him. Though young, yet he could feel the pain piercing his heart, as he staggered back home unable to speak, pondering on the sudden departure, maybe. A young boy of seven who never had the opportunity to know his father, since the mother had an illegal affair. Like Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, the letter A hanged on Hester’s chest. How strict could that Puritan society be when compared to Edgar’s time? No one could dare care to ask the young orphan how he was fairing.
Famous Thomas Jefferson says “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done before.” It’s time for Edgar to parent himself. The challenges were much, people even find it difficult to give him manual job since his story was like a pamphlet on their hand. Edgar had to take an unusual and risky decision of going out of that location. He left with no money, no cloth. The cheapest way to achieve this long term goal was to walk, he walk continuously for days, resting at intervals. He had no other option than to beg to survive. As a child he only wanted love but all he saw was the opposite, no one could read the message on the clock as to tell what this young boy needed. He was mistook to be mad.
‘Such a pity, Oh!’ screamed a woman
‘Where could his parents actually be?’
He only got sympathizers but no one summoned courage to take him in, even when he goes close to beg, they chase him away. Such was his life, a life he never for once bargained. There was this restaurant along the road, Edgar spent almost all day there, competing with dogs for crumbs. Even the dog knew that he is like them, they bark to scare him off, but young orphan knew he only need to eat to survive and not the other way round.
The owner of the restaurant was a young lady who had two daughters. The web of illegal affair could have been the operating system of Edgar’s time, even this woman had no official husband. Majority of people that patronized her were people of like-manner. She has been noticing Edgar for more than a year, scared to some point to call him in. Even her customers in many occasions had shared their concern on the unhinged nature of the boy. She was so perturbed to call the boy in but when she consider what people will say, she refrained.
Her thought was only channeled on Edgar;
‘I wonder what mother will leave her child because of health challenge!’
In dilemma for about a month, she decided to let go. Edgar had be frequenting that restaurant since nineteen months ago, he feels it’s time to move on. By looking at his appearance, the mad boy tag given to him was not a mistake. So dirty, the mephitis that exudates from him was hopeless as compared to the sounder of swine. Funny enough he never saw himself in the mirror. Edgar had walk for fourteen hours, this time he saw himself among the real mad communities. Some of them were with children. He knew he was different from them, but he only want a place of abode. It was one of the mad woman with three children that accepted him thinking he was like them. Amongst the other mad people, she was a bit neat in appearance, beautiful facially even her children are like the flower in the morning-fair and lovely.
‘Come, good boy come…’ said the mad woman
If there was one thing that drew Edgar closer, it was her children. He came close to her, the woman cuddled him, with a passionate kiss welcomed him to the family. Edgar for the first time since his mother became flat in darkness smiled, he smiled continuously and ate for the first time food prepared by a woman after all the perils. He has been searching for love like Walker’s In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, the moment he saw that love, he embraced it like the last love he may enjoy.
There is this man who come to visit the mad woman, buy her gift for her and her children and take advantages of her. The three children are all the product of this man. So he visited that week, so surprised to see the fourth child. With curiosity ask the mad woman:
‘Who is the handsome boy?’
‘Oh! You mean this boy? He came to me three days ago’
The man sensed that the boy was totally different from the rest, the way he talks, eat, and even sleep. He decided to take him along with him. This was a life changing time for Edgar, ignorantly he had been with a mad woman and enjoyed their company. After the man had achieve his aim, he left with Edgar to his house.
Nine years Edgar started school. He was so brilliant. Teachers have been sending letters of excellence to the said father. The man was so happy to have saved Edgar from the hand of the mad woman.
Edgar was so fond of writing his daily achievements. One of the days, as he was searching for pen to write down something, he saw her mother’s static frame inside the man’s box. He knew it was his mother but was surprised to see the picture. He started to cry, he cried until the man came in.
‘What is it my dear?’
Still crying, looking at the picture, the man bent down to know why he should be pouring tears. He was amazed to her his girlfriend’s picture with Edgar. He immediately shouted at him,
‘Where do you see this picture?’
The boy was still crying, this time he was crying ceaselessly. The man calmed him down in his possible way but the tears could only reduce like the speed of a train.
‘My mother, I miss my mother.’
The man was shocked this time, looked at the boy.
‘You mean your mother? Where is she?’
‘She is the one in the picture’
‘This cannot be, it is not possible Edgar!’
‘This is my mother, Kate. She is the one.’
The appellation Kate was like a bullet to his heart, he was astonish, he knew that one Kate used to be his girlfriend not until she became pregnant for him, he decided to run away so as to stay with his lover-mate – the mad woman who already had two children for him. Edgar confirmed to him with every nearest signs to prove that Kate was his mother and he accepted it to be true. The only bitter truth was the fact that Edgar was the product of that affair. Kate had been a history to his life, but after the whole incident he must take responsibility as a father. The man was down when he heard that Kate is no more, he cried, and bewailed his action to Kate.
He had to tell Edgar the truth of his paternity, and this would be another shocking news to Edgar as he was present when the said father came to the mad woman’s house, acted like the bread winner and left dropping some notes.
‘I am your father Edgar.’
‘My father? This is not true’
‘I mean to say that I am the man responsible for Kate’s pregnancy’
‘But why, do you know how my mother suffered to train me? She suffered but could not make it one faithful morning.’
The man began to cry, the Kate he knew was this beautiful, quiet and harmless girl, who could not even throw a word, she was endowed in respect, and humility was her social identity.
‘I’m sorry son, I was not ready to be a father then’
‘I was not ready to be a son too’
The boy began to narrate all he encountered after his mother death, how people tagged him the product of an illegal affair, how he was discriminated from the society, how he walked for days to come out of that locality. All these was as a result of one man who never planned for tomorrow. The man broke down crying, pleading for Edgar’s forgiveness. The blood of Kate – forgiveness still runs in Edgar, he forgave him and they both lived happily.