The result had to favor him. The newly born baby boy must be his. He calmly anticipated. He’d requested for this DNA test to bury every possible fear that his beautiful wife may have been pregnant for another man. Mr. Thomas had learnt the hard way from his previous relationships with women before he got married, never to trust any woman. He’d dated ladies who were never faithful to him. The last before his wife, to whom he was engaged, had his heart shattered into smithereens, when he caught her in bed with another man, just few days to their wedding. He left mouths agape, and disbelieving tongues wagging, when he announced that his wedding to his fiancée was cancelled. ‘The greatest mistake a man can make in life is to trust a woman’. That had been his philosophy. This woman he eventually got married to was certainly too beautiful for him to trust, for many men loved to hang around her. He’d told himself that every child she gave birth to would be subjected to a DNA test. But this must be a secret. His wife must not have inkling about this. Thomas sat patiently in front of the desk, while the doctor brought out a file. The doctor cleared his throat, picked his glasses and covered his bulgy eyes. Thomas watched in anticipation. Dr. Reuben stole a glance at Tom while he studied the result before him. And here was the moment. The doctor bluntly spilled the result at his face. The doctor’s words came with a thunderous salvo, yet too silent like a whisper to trap at once.
“Doctor, please come again. I didn’t quite get you clearly.” Thomas said with a bitter smile. “Honestly, Mr. Thomas, I really hate to tell you this, but it’s the truth. The child is not your son.”
Thomas was silent. His head cocked down. Brusquely, he got on his feet, and started to the door.
“Mr. Thomas!” Doctor called. Thomas paused. “I’m afraid that’s not all.”
Thomas turned, facing the doctor. “Yes? The child is sickle celled?” Thomas said sarcastically, but with pain in his heart. The doctor shook his head. “No. But the child has been tested positive to HIV” Dr. Reuben replied. Like a jar full of ice mixed with piercing thorns had been poured on him and his feet nailed to the floor, he could hardly move. He placed his hand on his chest, trying to calm his heart that had increased its beat rate. Slowly, Thomas walked towards the doctor’s desk and sat on the chair he’d left. “I suggest you make yourself available for the test too, to ascertain your status.” Reuben said. Tom gaped at Dr. Reuben.
Profusely, his eyes bled tears. Now he could hardly hold back his crumbling emotion. Like an angered lion, he jumped to his feet, made his way into the parking lot, got into his black Mercedes Benz and drove off. His wife could spend the rest of her life in the hospital for all he cared. As far as Thomas was concerned, this marriage was over. Whoever was responsible for her bastard child could go and pay her hospital bills and have her discharged. Tom stepped into his sitting room; a screaming silence slapped his face.
“You trust them, and you’ll live to regret it. You don’t trust them, you’ll still live to regret it” He sighed, sank unto the chair. “The best thing that can happen to a man is to live without a woman.” He said. Consistently, troubling emotions burgeoned in him and tears dripped down his cheeks. “Why?” He shouted, stood, and paced to and fro in the sitting room. “Why?” Again he asked himself the question he had no answer to, while his feet moved from one point to the other. Sobbing, he continued; “Did I not satisfy her in bed? I did!” His voice had risen so high. “I did… I exhausted my strength on her every gardemn night… Even blow-jobs, I gave her. Still, she spreads her legs for other men…” He paused, and sat on the edge of a seat directly in front of the TV. “How insatiable can women be?” He said. Footfalls climbed down the staircase, but Thomas paid no attention.
“Tom!” His mother called. “Why are you shouting?” she asked, Thomas cocked his head down, staring on the floor. “How’s Sandra? Has she put to bed?” She added.
“Yes, she has!” He answered aggressively, “Unfortunately, the child she gave birth to is not my son. He’s not your grand son!” Tears soaked his eyes.
“How do you mean?” The mother asked him.
Stung by a boiling anger, he said to his mum; “You see what you forced me into? I told you I didn’t want to have anything to do with women, after my failed wedding to Maria. You insisted I must marry, because you needed a grandchild. See where it’s led me to. Your daughter-in-law has been sleeping with other men.”
“Shot up! Don’t say that!” His mother retorted.
“Isn’t that wha you always do? Always defending her! Your precious daughter was pregnant for another man. Not me!”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Mum, I ordered the doctor to do a DNA test on the child, to know if the child was mine. And it turned out that the child is only not mine, he’s HIV positive too”
“What?!” She exclaimed, held her head with both hands from the head scattering news, reaching to a seat. “No no no… I can’t believe this. I reject that from this family in Jesus name.” After a moment of silence, she said; “Where is she and the child now?”
“In the hospital. Let the man who got her pregnant go and pay her bills and take her home.”
She looked at her son, sighed, got on her feet and headed up the staircase. Few minutes later, she was downstairs, dressed for outing. “I’m going to the hospital to have her discharged, with my grandson”
“You heard me. I don’t believe your DNA test result”. She said and walked out the door. Sandra wasn’t just her precious daughter-in-law, Sandra was the daughter she never had. Tom’s mum and Sandra had been best of friends, she trusted her daughter-in-law and this DNA test wasn’t going to destroy that trust.
Several hours later, Sandra and her mother-in-law, with the new born child were at the gate. “I’m sorry, ma’am, you can’t go in” The gateman said. He’d refused to open the gate when he saw Sandra inside the car with his boss’s mother, and so they came down and ordered him to open the door. “Come on, open this door!” Tom’s mum commanded. “Oga warned me. He said he’ll sack me if I should allow madam in.” “Wha did you just say?” Sandra said, turned to her mother-in-law, “did you just hear that?” Now she could tell that her husband deliberately left her in the hospital. But why would he do that? What has done to deserve this cruel treatment? Mysterious reasons she was yet to unravel. Tom overheard the altercation at the gate, and went to meet them. “Mum, wha do you think you’re doing?” He said.
“Tom, tell your gateman to open this gate right now” his mother said angrily.
“For what? That you should bring…” pointing at Sandra, “this whore into my house.”
“Honey! Did you just call me a whore?” Sandra questioned in disbelieve.
“What are you? Are you not one? You better take this bastard to who ever that deposited him into you” Sandra broke down in tears. “Mummy”, she turned to her mother-in-law, “What’s going on here?” She was confused and overwhelmed with surprise.
“You want to know?” He said sarcastically, “I’ll tell you. I requested for a DNA test immediately you put to bed, just to be sure the baby was mine. The test result showed that the child is not mine. And not only that.” He went closer to Sandra, “the child is also HIV positive.” he said. Sandra’s curvaceous figure stood dried up, stung by a malicious heartbreaking muteness, whilst she incredulously stared at this stranger she’d thought was a husband and friend. Her mother-in-law, tapped her shoulder; “Don’t mind your husband, my daughter. We’ll settle this. Come let’s go in” She dragged Sandra. Tom stood on their way, preventing them from entering. “Tom, leave my way, right now! Else you’ll regret what I’ll do.” Knowing how daring his mother can be, Tom stepped aside, allowing them in.
The next day, Sandra took her child to the hospital for a DNA test, in company of her mother-in-law. Tom’s mum insisted that he came for the test too. He did eventually. More than 48 hours later, the family was seated in front of the Dr. Reuben, all itching for the test result.
“I’m sorry, it took this long” Reuben cleared his throat, “we had to be sure there was no mistake. I can tell you with full confidence now that what I have here now is the authentic result,” He stole a glance at Tom, and then Sandra. He continued. “First of all, I apologized for the earlier result. I’m sorry, and the hospital management takes responsibility of whatever damage this may have caused your family” Tom’s mother sighed.
“There’s no need for that. It’s my mistake to have married a whore” Tom said. His words hit hard on Sandra, but she decided to maintain her calmness.
“Mr. Thomas, I’m afraid there was a mistake in the earlier result.” Reuben said.
“What?” Tom asked, wrinkling his face.
“None of you, including the child was tested positive to HIV” The doctor said. Tom’s mum heaved a loud sigh of relief. “The child is HIV negative. The DNA test proves without doubt,” looking at Tom, “he’s your
With tears, Sandra got on her feet, carrying her child on her shoulder and walked away. Tom’s mum ran after her.
Two weeks later, on a Monday morning, Tom and his mother woke up to find out that Sandra was gone. Since she returned from the hospital, she’d refused to sleep in the same room with her husband, choosing the guest room instead. After searching for Sandra all over the house, he found this short note on the table in the sitting room. The note read; “Mr. Thomas, I’d thought I had a partner, a husband, a companion and friend who could trust me. How wrong was I! You broke my heart. If you could surreptitiously request for a paternity test without my knowledge, there are a million other things you do without my knowledge. Stranger, I’m out of your life. Don’t bother looking for me. This marriage is over.” Thomas broke down in tears, weeping bitterly. Tom has since been begging his wife to come back, but she wouldn’t forgive him.
DEAR READER, THIS IS A TRUE LIFE STORY. SHOULD SANDRA FORGIVE?