Two years later, our union was blessed with a bouncing baby boy. The bundle of joy came less than three months after the death of Chief Akinyode Olagunwa and when it came, he was christened Babatunde.
The arrival of Tunde in 1987 was like a consolidation of our marriage. We took loving and great care of him. Pampering him with everything money could buy and he grew up into a handsome, smart and intelligent boy. Our love and marriage continued to ascend heights upon heights and we were happy for it.
As the years rolled by Kole and I continued to ascend the corporate ladder of our different professional callings. I was made a branch manager in one of my establishments, regional head office. Likewise Kole, he became one of the very few General Managers at Julius Berger.
Kole’s elevation automatically brought with it some added responsibilities. He never complained one bit. He tackled his job with an even greater gusto and zeal which further endeared him to his bosses and employers. It was this gusto and zeal with which he got involved in his job that soon won him a trip to Germany, where he went on a working visit to the German parent company of Julius Berger.
I shudder now in pain, as electrifying melancholy sweep through my whole being at the mere thought of that ill- fated journey.
Kole embarked on the journey which lasted a lonely, miserable six weeks only to return to the country and be hit by stray bullets fired at some suspected hoodlums or so it was alleged.
Kole had phoned in from Bonn to intimate me and the kids that he would be arriving the country on the night of October 2nd, 1996. My joy, that of Tunde and Ayodele knew no bounds. We eagerly awaited that fateful night in October. If we’d known that police bullets would fell on him, we would have prayed that day not to come.
Yet that day came and I drove the kids in my Peugeot 505 to the Muritala Muhammed International Airport to welcome back home the caring head of our happy and lovely family.
At about 2.45am, the Lufthansa aircraft touched down at the tarmac and after about 30 minutes of disembarkation rituals, Kole appeared at the arrival hall. I threw cautions and modesty to the winds and rushed towards him to embrace him. Our kids too hugged their father’s legs. It was a blissful, happy reunion. I was too happy for words to describe. Unkown to me, death was lurking menacingly around the corner, waiting patiently to steal away a prized precious gem from our life; and thereby causing my in-laws to accuse me of murdering their son.
When we finally separated, he made enquiries about his luggages only to be told to come back for it the next day. A thing that was never destined to be. We drove out of the airport to our Surulere home enroute Oshodi-Isolo expressway.
Our drive wasn’t too fast as we were busy chatting and generally catching up on lost time. We’d just driven past the DHL office along the expressway when gun shots began to filter through the early morning mist, to our hearing. We were still contemplating what to do when Kole suddenly swerved the car to the side of the road. Before I could say stop, he’d run head-long into a culvert. Minutes later, when the car came to a stop, there was a bullet hole right beside his left ear.
I never knew what hit me. In fact, that was putting it mildly for I only came to be, three days later at a private hospital with several life support equipment plugged to my body. I was still grieving, mourning my beloved Kole, thinking and pondering on how best to cope with my kids who would probably never be able to comprehend what fate befell their father, only for my mother-in-law to come and accuse me of the death of Kole.
How can someone in his or her right senses allege, rather wickedly, that I murdered my likeable husband. I remember how Mama Kole barged into my hospital ward.
“Oh, here is where you’re hiding ehn? After you’ve killed my son. You witch. Ah! I shall see that you die too if that be the last thing I accomplish on earth!” my mother-in-law hollered at me.
“Mama, it was an accc…” I was saying, before she cut me short.
“Accident when?” it was an accident and you didn’t die and go to heaven with him? Tell me, tell me oh, Mosun the witch who has killed my son.
You were seated in the front seat beside him, I supposed why didn’t the bullet touch you? Why is it that it was only Kole that the bullet touched? Tell us oh, because“` we’re all ears to hear you alibi. You witch of a woman.” Another voice I recognized to be that of Kole’s youngest sister asked.
As all these were being alleged, my head spun around in a merry go round. About two hours later at the hospital, Mama Kole was there at my bedside. As soon as she noticed I had opened my eyes, she again bellowed at me.
“Husband killer, you’ve not explained to me how my son died and you escaped death.
You must be ready to come with me to Ijebu to swear an oath that you know nothing about my son’s death.
It’s been more than six weeks now since I went with Mama Kole to swear to an oath before a very potent god in her home town. Yet I haven’t given up the ghost, an evidence that I didn’t kill her son. Even then, she wouldn’t let me be.
Even as I have almost concluded my miserable, sordid and sad travail in the hands of a wicked sorcerer of a mother-in-law, I can hear a car drive into the compound. From the sound of the Benz car, that means she has come to threaten hell and brimstone again.
God, please save me from this double tragedy. Save me from the fury of a mother-in-law, weeks after I lost my loving husband. Oh good God, please save me from this double barrelled attack!
…TO BE CONTINUED