The CEO'S syndrome
The CEO'S syndrome
Author: Tonyemiriam


Joseph raised his hand to knock on the gate only for the gate to move effortlessly.

Who had left the gate unlocked?

He wondered as he opened the gate wider and walked into his house.

Ever since things became tough for his father financially, he could no longer take a bus to school but trekked home from school. It is not a really far distance so he did not see anything wrong in walking after school.

He loves his father very much and he is willing to understand his situation.

He remembered when his father walked into his room that fateful afternoon, looking so tired and sweaty all over. 

On seeing his father, he abandoned his books -littered on the desk and bed- and hugged his father warmly.

His father laughed, scattering the young boy's perfectly permed hair. "My boy. How was school today?"

Smiling like a 3 year old when he was nearing sixteen, Joseph replied as he sat beside some textbooks opened to different pages on his bed, "Fine. Big man, you are home early, is everything okay?

Joseph addresses his father as 'Big man'. According to him, he believes calling him 'daddy' is nothing but old fashioned but 'big man' sounds cool.

Waiting for a response but not getting one, Joseph sensed that something had gone wrong, so he asked seriously, "Dad. What is the problem?"

His father sighed and spoke finally, "Son, I lost my job. I got framed for something I wouldn't even think of doing in a million years"

Joseph was quiet as he took the information in and assimilated it.

Joseph sighed as well and walked up to his father. He hugged his father and said, "Dad, that does not matter. What matters is that we are together and hale and hearty and we can figure something out dad. Please stop looking depressed"

Father looked at his son and hugged him harder, "Thank you son. You are the best buddy in the world". 

He remembered the way his father was extremely happy after their little conversation that fateful day and he smiled as he got into the house through the front door.

He dropped his bag on the couch and took the stairs, heading to his room, he stopped when he heard his mother whimper. 

When he heard another whimper coming from her room, he remembered his father's lesson on how to be the man of the house. 

Lesson 8 says: If you notice any suspicious movement in your house, it could be a burglar so don't confront him empty handed but get a weapon before facing him. 

Heading straight to the garage, he grabbed a pitchfork and a spade before heading back up.

Once he got close to his mother's room, her door was slightly ajar with clothes discarded carelessly on the floor.

He took careful steps and pushed the door quietly before coming in. 

Right at the entrance, he saw a scene he knew, then and there that he would have a hard time forgetting.

He saw his mother having sex with his uncle.

Or that was what he was told to believe.

The first time he had met the supposed uncle was when he was ten years old.

He had seen his mother standing dangerously too close to a stranger. His mother came to pick him up from school and she had brought a stranger along. 

Covering some distance, he saw clearly what his mother was doing. She was embracing another man in a hug like lovers would.

"Mom!", he shouted before running to her.

His mother was uneasy and quickly disentangled herself from the stranger.

As he got to his mother and hugged her legs, she scolded at once. "Don't ever rush your steps on. How many times do I have to correct 


Joseph wrinkled his pretty nose in response and asked the stranger who stood upright watching their conversation with an amused look, "Who are you?"

His mother gasped and turned to her son once again and scolded, "Don't talk to people so bluntly. Its wrong"

The stranger only chuckled and crouched to Joseph's height and responded, "Hello little Joseph, how was your day at school?"

The stranger chuckled and ruffled Joseph's hair. Joseph looked paranoid and responded, "Don't ever touch my hair. Only my father gets to do that"

Soothing his hair with his little fingers, he faced his mother and corrected himself, "I am sorry mom. Mummy, who is this?"

His mother stretched her lips in an attempt to smile and responded, "He is your uncle. My half brother and we just reunited. Say hi to him"

"Really? I have an uncle?", Joseph replied gleefully.

Turning to face the stranger, he outstretched his chubby hand for a handshake and said, "Good afternoon sir. I am so happy to meet you, my name is Joseph Benjamin."

As he looked at them, oblivious to the fact that they had an audience. He felt the urge to hurt the both of them with the pitchfork.

How could she do this to Dad?

He thought as the pitchfork slid off the hand holding it in place and produced enough noise to stop them from their act.

As soon as her eyes landed on her son, she wrapped the sheets around her body and walked to him. 

He ran out at once, with tears streaming down his face as he entered his room and locked the door.

He cried and cried. What he saw hurt him a lot.

"How could she do this to us? How could she?" He mumbled as he paced around.

His mother was knocking continuously, begging him to open the door. She stood there, calling him to open up but he wouldn't listen.

At some point, he fell asleep.

When he woke up, it was late already. 

Making his way downstairs, he saw his mother and his father sitting in the dinner room. They seemed to be having a heated conversation. 

As soon as his mother saw him, she smiled and said, "Joseph come sit, we need to talk."

Joseph ignored her and sat close to his father, far away from his mother.

His father looked at him like some laboratory specimen, watching his actions as he spoke,

"Jos, your mum and I have decided to divorce" 

Joseph asked, baffled, "Why? Why are we separating? Mom, why are you leaving Dad and I?"

His father whispered as he held his son's hand in his, "Son, I know how much divorces ruin children's lives but it won't happen to you. Okay? I will forever be with you, taking every step you take as you progress in life with you?" 

Joseph's mother got infuriated by the sight in her view. She was tired of having James play 'father' to the boy, she stood up and yelled, "He's not even your son in the first place" and walked away 

James tried to caution his wife, he did not want his son to know of his biological father like this. It would haunt him!!

What did she mean by that, Joseph thought 

As soon as she left, Joseph let the rivers open as he cried.

His dad continued to pet him and consoled him. "Jos, you are not a baby anymore. It's okay my son. I love you"

Father and son cried together.This was the end of their relationship. 

Raising his son's cheeks to look into his eyes, James whispered, "You will always be my son. In this life and the next. Don't listen to your mother. You are my first and last child. You are all that I have son".

The next day, James woke up to see his mother packing his belongings into cartons.

He stood up at once and asked stiffly. 

"Where are you moving my things to? What is going on?"

She huffed in annoyance and spoke, "That is no way to talk to your mother. Especially the kind who is giving up all she's ever had to  give you a better life".

Joseph scoffed, "A better life? Where does my mother bring men to the house to have fun with?"

Hitting him on his face, she replied, "How dare you. What an ingrate. James has nothing to offer. He is broke!"

"But he loves you and we promised to find a way", He protested.

Laughing, she replied, "Love? There's no such thing as love. Especially when there's the need to survive"

Joseph turned pale, he never thought of his mother as a bitter person who could spew venomous words from her mouth.

Seeing that she had left him speechless, she continued, "Yes son, how can a laborer afford the life of an elite. I have lived as an elite all my life and will never subject myself to poverty. James has nothing to offer, even the house would soon be collected from him. It's left for us to move on and never look back"

Holding his cheeks, she looked at him and whispered, "Let mommy take care of you, okay?"

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