Mr and Mrs Shobowale were ecstatic. Their first child had just been born and they were so happy their joy was like a contagious disease to those around them.
They did not have any problem having kids nor had they waited a long time to have them, but they were just so joyous about the arrival of this addition to their family that it left people wondering about the conditions surrounding the birth of the child.
Adekunle, as they had named him was oblivious to all the excitement around him of which he was the main cause. After stirring a commotion in the lives of his parents and family, he was just content with being held and lived a life of ignorance wrapped in the warmth and love that surrounded him daily.
This was the life of the Shobowales until when work started for Mrs Shobowale after her maternity leave and Aduke came to live with them. Mrs Shobowale worked crazy hours for a bank in V.I and because her parents and in-laws lived far away, she had needed to hire Aduke as a house help.
All was fine at the home of the Shobowales until the day Mrs Shobowale came home to find her gate man and Aduke gone, with Adekunle nowhere to be found.
All hell broke loose. Calls to Aduke’s family in the village led nowhere as they had not seen or heard from her.
Aduke had disappeared and had taken the light of the Shobowale home with her.
Months later, the gate man was spotted at a local pub by a family member of the Shobowales. After the normal period of beating and torture from the police, he confessed through swollen lips, that he had wanted to kidnap Adekunle for ransom and had plotted with Aduke to bring him to an agreed location but that she never showed up.
When asked if he had ever heard from her again, he told the police and the Shobowales that he had not seen or heard from Aduke and had no idea as to her whereabouts.
It was a trying period for the Shobowales but in time they got past their sorrow and after a year after the gate man incident, in total about two (2) years after the loss of their son, a girl was born and their joy knew no bounds.
The Shiobowales always thought about and remembered Adekunle in their prayers. It was made harder when they looked at Atinuke, their little girl, but through it all, they loved her and made sure that to the best of their abilities no harm came to her.
It was when she was 23 and starting out as a management trainee in the bank where Mrs Shobowale had once worked, that Atinuke told Mr and Mrs Shobowale that she had met a young man who wanted to come and ask for her hand.
When Mrs Shobowale first met him, Kunle, the young man whom her daughter had brought home struck her as very familiar. He was from humble backgrounds and had worked himself to a good place in life. He was raised by a single mother who had passed when he was in his final year of school. All this was good and well except for the way Kunle kept looking at Mrs Shobowale. When asked why, he said whenever he looked at her eyes, he felt that somehow he knew her. To ease the awkward silence his statement and manner had caused he said it was probably because “his” Atinuke had eyes as lovely as her mother’s eyes and so he was intrigued to see the origin of those lovely eyes.
Though the situation was made light of, Mrs Shobowale couldn’t help wonder where and why she felt the same way about Kunle’s eyes. As he hugged him goodbye that day of the first meeting, she really looked into his eyes and then told him they reminded her so much of her son’s eyes. Eyes she had looked into while she fed him before he was taken from them.
The night of the meeting, Mrs Shobowale dreamt she was sitting in her chair in Adekunle’s room, holding him and feeding him, while looking into his beautiful eyes. She also saw Aduke. It seemed Aduke was trying to warn her about something, trying to tell her something important. Mrs Shobowale couldn’t hear her though, she was entranced by her son’s beautiful eyes.
When Mrs Shobowale, in tears the next morning, told her husband about the dream, he comforted her saying that it was to be understood since Kunle reminded he so much of what their son would have been like had he still been with them. She agreed with him and the matter was never spoken of again, even when she repeatedly had the dreams.
The Shobowales accepted Kunle as a son and agreed to the marriage.
On the day of the wedding, Mrs Shobowale looked at Kunle and wondered ever so briefly, what her own son would have been like if he had been with them. Then Kunle turned and smiled at her and she felt a warmth in her heart and when she smiled back at him, she thought to herself that she didn’t have to worry about that because God had given her son back to her.
Mrs Shobowale thought to herself that she had her son back. In Kunle she had found what she lost.