Hi guys, BN Confession Box is a new feature on BellaNaija – curated by Nkem Ndem. The Confession Box is our virtual confessor’s box where BellaNaijarians can let loose and say their deepest and rawest fears.
These letters are from you, and we’ll ensure that your identity is protected. Everybody needs some form of outlet or the other.
I was going through your blog and I saw you now have this confession column. I am not catholic and I don’t even go to church, but since it is a Sunday, I might as well make my own confession. It is nothing as dramatic as the last post I saw on this column, but then they say a problem shared is a problem half-solved. Right now, I am perplexed and feel so much regret. I just want to tell somebody. I feel like I have ruined my life with my own hands. There was no way I could have imagined things would be this way.
My father died 31st December, 2016. He had been sick for a while and had required multiple surgeries as well as treatment. He had some liver-related disease. As the first son, during the period of illness, I took over managing my father’s business and accounts. He was a business man and was rich even by international standards. I won’t deny that I may not have been the best for the job, seeing as I never did well in school; but my father, being an ungrateful perfectionist, frustrated me daily with his complaints on how I was running down his company.
He never for one minute thanked me for making the effort. He even hid some of his accounts from me. I knew they existed because the lawyer told me about them, but I did not have access to it. To be honest, in my heart of hearts, I wished my father dead, long before he finally died. Not that I did not love him. I did. I was just tired of being his ‘boy’. I also knew his death would make me, at 32, the owner of everything that he worked for. I wouldn’t have to struggle and anything for the rest of my life.
I was with him the night he died. Two of my half-siblings were at the hospital that day too. We had already spent a lot of money securing his visa and paying for him to be taken to India for treatment, but he died just a few days to the trip. All the money that money just went to waste.
After taking my father’s body to the mortuary and alerting the rest of the family, I called my mother immediately and told her that dad had passed. My own real mother had been divorced from my father and no longer lived with us, but with him dead and gone, I didn’t think it mattered anymore. The first thing my mother asked me to do was to secure my father’s room in the family house and comb it for all important documents. She also said that after doing that I should come meet her, we would go and see my father’s lawyer together.
Before we left for the lawyer’s place, my mother took us to her prayer house where her prophet prayed for us. Her plan was that we bribe the lawyer to make sure he did not read my father’s will to the rest of the family. She said God had revealed to her prophet that the will would not favor me in any way. The thought of not inheriting anything at all scared me, so I agreed. Of course, the lawyer received us well. My mother did most of the talking and we promised to pay him half a million Naira and give him free office space at one of my father’s complexes. He agreed and gave us a copy of the will. True to what my mother’s prophet said, my father had willed everything important to my step-mother’s children! Only the family house in the village was mine. The one in the city he said belonged to everyone and was never to be sold or rented. I was so upset with my father.
Two months after my father’s death, we had a successful burial. As expected, my uncle called a family meeting after the ceremony to discuss the way forward. My mother had already prepared me for this meeting. According to the prophet, my sibling would gang up on me and fight me for access to my father’s wealth. Our plan was that I would refuse to share anything with them and threaten them with police. To ensure that everything goes on as planned, I gave my mother every single document, from buildings to cars …everything! Unknown to me, this was where my downfall began.
My father had 6 children in total so I had 5 other siblings to contend with: 2 other boys and 3 girls from my step-mother. My two sisters were married so they really were just there to answer “present”. It was a very long meeting and I even fought (physically) with one of my half-brothers. At the end of the day, I shocked them with the threat that everything belonged to me and I had all the papers, so, if anyone ventured to try me, I would lock them up.
Of course, my brothers did not back down easily. Not only did they feel betrayed, since their mother also raised me after my father divorced my mother, they accused me of being greedy and washed their hands off me, telling me I would die on top of my father’s wealth. To be honest, my only backbone was my mother who seemed very supportive of the whole thing.
In about a month, everything had died down. My step mom and my little brother, the last born, was still in the house with me and my mother. I had begged them to stay that I would take care of them. I had also resumed work at my father’s company and was even working with some consultants to revamp the business. In my head, everything would be alright. That was until I got the message that changed everything.
I was in China on business when I got the e-mail. My little brother sent a panicked e-mail saying they had been pushed out of the house that morning by my mother and they were staying in a hotel. I immediately dialed my mother’s number. After, about two calls, she picked. I went on to ask her about the news I got and asked her and why she would do something that callous. She started screaming and raining abuses on me, asking me what I planned to do about it. I was too chilled to the marrow to respond to her. Something she said in the local dialect got to me. She had called me a bastard child. Why? She had never spoken to me before in that way. I tried to reach my other half-siblings, but as usual, they refused to respond to me. They had all shunned me since the meeting at the burial.
I was very worried about my step-mom and brother, so, I quickly rescheduled my flight and left for Nigeria the same night. The flight was the longest ever. My plan was to have a good rest when I got home before speaking to my mother, but to my greatest shock, upon getting to the house, there were armed security men at the gate and they wouldn’t let me in. Very angry, I called my mother, but she would not pick up her phone. I went to the same hotel my step-mother was to meet them. In fact, I could not sleep. I couldn’t even start confessing to my step-mother and explaining the events that led to the current situation.
The next morning, I tried calling my mother and entering the family house again but…the same thing. Even worse, I went to the office building, they also wouldn’t let me in. The most disconcerting thing was that the lawyer drove past me into the office building and they allowed him. All the noise I made had no effect. Agitated, I went to the nearest police station to report the incident. They asked me if I owned the buildings, I said yes. And then they asked if I had the papers to prove it. It was there my jaw dropped to the floor. My mother still had all the documents. I was lost and powerless. None of my half-siblings would even listen to me if I try to reach them.
It has all been surreal. Two weeks in and I’m now looking for how to rent a temporary apartment before taking my mother to court. There was no way I could have imagined this kind of thing. A mother, turning her back on her own flesh on blood? For what? Money that is not even hers? Karma is real! I can’t even believe I let her manipulate me the way she did. She must have jazzed me I swear. The one that is even bugging me the most now is the role the lawyer may have played in the whole thing. Why was he allowed in the office building and not me? So many questions. I am just weak, to be honest.
Do you have any confession you would like to make or shocking tale you’ld like to tell? Please send your story to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com.
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