Too Late To Act

When advice is given to one at times but one refuses to act on the advice on time, one may realize with regret later that it is too late to act.

The first five years of Bayo and Edidiong as a couple did not produce a child. Edidiong's in-laws, especially Bayo's parents, had started mounting pressures on her to give their family a child, or else they would see to it that Bayo married another woman. After going for a number of tests, the gynecologist who attended to her told her she had no problem. The said gynecologist had instructed Edidiong to persuade her husband, Bayo, to come for a medical test as well, but he was adamant. Bayo believed he had no medical problems; after all, he was performing his sexual obligations regularly. " What are you insinuating by asking me to go for a fertility test? Am I impotent? Haven't you confirmed that I'm good in bed? What sexual position haven't I tried with you? Missionary, doggy, 69...? There is no barren woman or sterile man in our family; you're the one that should check yourself. "These are some of the responses of Bayo to his wife's advice each time she encouraged him to go for a test. 

Bayo and Edidiong met in Akwa Ibom state, the south-south part of Nigeria, when the former went for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) after his university education. Edidiong, a native of Akwa Ibom, had completed her College of Education program and had started working for a bank at Oron with her Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE). Later, she was posted to another branch of the same bank at Eket, in the same state. It was at Eket that Bayo met Edidiong when he went to the bank to make some transactions. They exchanged phone numbers, and that was how their love affair started. Ladies from Akwa Ibom are not like Yoruba ladies, Bayo concluded. The reason was that he did not have to press Edidiong for long before she accepted to go into a relationship with him. If it were the southwest ladies where Bayo came from, they would have made it difficult for young men who are interested in them. Even if they are equally interested in the guy, they will pretend as if they were not in order to know how sincere the men are. Different regions with different cultures and philosophies! 

To cap it all, Edidiong won Bayo's heart with different foods and soup peculiar to the southern part of Nigeria she always prepared for Bayo. Afang soup, Edikaikong with periwinkle, and some other ones that are not available where Bayo came from made him decide eventually to marry Edidiong. After all, it has been said that the road to a man's heart is his stomach. The whole world attended their wedding ceremony. People from all walks of life: doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, lecturers, journalists, and many workmates, friends, and family members witnessed the solemnization and showered them with gifts and prayers that very soon, the reward of marriage, children, would soon be welcomed in the family.

However, it seemed all the prayers said at the wedding ceremony had not been answered by God, and that was the bone of contention between the two of them. As God would have it, a miracle happened in the 7th year of their marriage. Edidiong became pregnant! It was like a dream to her husband and in-laws, who had been on her neck as if she were the child maker, but with the protruding stomach that was swelling up day by day, everyone soon knew that Edidiong was expecting a child. 

Eventually, Edidiong was put to bed, and everybody rejoiced with the family. It was a bouncing baby boy. On the naming ceremony day, friends and family came and gave the newborn baby gifts. Some said the baby did not really look like his father, while some said he looked like one family member or another. Everyone went back home, and the baby kept on growing. Amongst the names given to the baby, the prominent one was Omotayo. Until Omotayo graduated from a university, no other child was given birth to by his parents. They both prayed that God should watch over Omotayo; they accepted their lots. After all, Edidiong could no longer be regarded as barren. An outstanding child, they said, is better than many children without a bright future. 

With time, Omotayo got married and started having children. His parents were happy to see their grandchildren. What else did they want in life? Whether one has many children or just only one, the prayer of everyone is to see their grandchildren. Many years later, Bayo wanted to travel out of the country as he had always been doing. It was the time when all the primary and secondary school students were on their third term holiday, which was the summer period in the United States of America. Bayo then decided to take his grandchildren along with him together with his wife, Edidiong. After all, there was money. It was when they carried out the DNA tests of the three children and Bayo that they realized that none of the children's DNA corresponded with Bayo's, who claimed to be their grandfather. What a big problem for the children's mother! 

Heaven was let loose for Omotayo's wife over the real father of those children. Omotayo's wife, Victoria by name, however, insisted that none of the children was a bastard. "Ask your son, Victoria said, did he not meet me as a virgin? How will I start what I didn't do as a single when I'm married?" Confusion set in. Who actually was telling a lie? Those who carried out the DNA test or Victoria, the children's mother? It was when that issue was very hot that a medical doctor who was Omotayo's friend suggested that Omotayo should go for a DNA test to confirm the paternity of the children. When Omotayo did, his DNA and the children's were the same! What a relief for Victoria! She went to church for thanksgiving over the issue because nobody had actually believed her until her husband's DNA test was done. 

Why then was there a discrepancy between Bayo's and Omotayo's DNA? That was the big question that those who knew about the issue started asking one another. Bayo himself was confused. Could it be that Omotayo was not his biological child? Bayo was forced to ask his wife, Edidiong. Edidiong, on the other hand, answered in the affirmative. When Bayo could not sleep again over the issue, he resorted to the traditional means to know the root cause of the problem. An oracle diviner summoned Omotayo and his wife, as well as Edidiong, who was Omotayo's mother, to appear before him. When the oracle diviner told Edidiong to confess if she did not want to die before that day ran out, she started weeping. Edidiong was asked several times before she eventually confessed that Bayo was not Omotayo's biological father! 

Bayo almost fainted when he heard his wife's confessional statement; he could not believe his ears as he was sweating profusely. Who then was Omotayo's father? Edidiong explained that when the pressure was on her to give birth and her husband, Bayo, refused to go for a medical test; she was forced to have sexual intercourse with Bayo's friend, Richard, who was his best man on their wedding day! Bayo fainted on the spot when he heard Edidiong's confession. So he was sterile! He was later forced to go for a test that he had refused to go for when Edidiong was persuading him. The test revealed that Bayo had a low sperm count. The doctor told him that there were drugs he could have used to boost his sperm count if he had come earlier. 

Bayo blamed himself for being adamant when he was instructed to go for a test. Even if he got a solution now, Edidiong had reached the menopause stage. If he got married to another woman at the age of 70, at what age would the children be before he himself eventually dies? He realized that it was too late for him to act. 

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