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The Buried Truth

A Family's Secret

By Oluwatosin TadePublished about a month ago 3 min read
The Buried Truth
Photo by Andrey Metelev on Unsplash

When Grandma died, we were all summoned home for her burial. Despite being 21 years old, I had never met her. My dad had always kept us, his children, away from his mother, a decision that had mystified us for years. I am the only daughter among six siblings, with two older and three younger brothers.

Our curiosity about Grandma was persistent. While we frequently visited our maternal grandmother, who lived further away, we were never allowed to see our paternal grandmother, who lived in a nearby city. Our mother eventually revealed that ever since Dad's father died, he had avoided his mother, refusing to visit her or allow us to. She offered no further details, leaving us to speculate.

Just as my siblings and I were planning a secret trip to see Grandma, one of our uncles called. I watched my dad answer the phone and hang up, his demeanor unchanged. That night, he gathered us all to announce, without a hint of emotion, that Grandma had died. He informed us we would be attending the burial the following week, spending five days away. Our regret was immediate—we had never met her while she was alive.

Arriving at Grandma’s mansion the following week, we were stunned by its grandeur. The street was even named after our grandfather. It was evident that our grandparents had been affluent. I couldn’t understand why Dad had distanced himself from such a privileged background to live a modest life elsewhere.

In the large compound, we saw our cousins playing together. We had little relationship with them, as Dad had kept us away from his family. Our arrival felt like an intrusion; all eyes were on us, the family of the estranged son.

That evening, we were assigned rooms. I shared a room with Rose, a cousin who had visited us once before with her father, who had tried unsuccessfully to persuade Dad to visit Grandma.

For the first time, I saw pictures of my grandparents. They were old photos, and I regretted never knowing Grandma before she passed away. As I lay in bed, I overheard Dad’s siblings confronting him about his long absence and sudden return. The argument was heated, but Dad’s attempts to defend himself were futile. He eventually stormed out, slamming the door. Rose, startled by the noise, revealed she was also awake.

As the house quieted, I finally fell asleep, only to find myself in a vivid dream. I was outside the mansion, watching a younger version of my dad with his parents. They had just argued, and Dad had urged them to sleep and discuss things in the morning. Suddenly, a scream pierced the night. Rushing to their room, I saw Grandma holding a knife, bloodied, over Grandpa’s lifeless body. Dad accused her of murder, unable to comprehend what he was seeing. Grandma, shocked and confused, denied it, but the sight of her favorite knife in her hand told a different story. Dad packed his bags and left, leaving her devastated.

Rose’s call woke me. It was morning, and the sun was already high. The dream haunted me, but I kept it to myself. The next night, the dream repeated. This time, Grandma begged me to believe she hadn’t killed her husband, her eyes filled with tears. I awoke, terrified, and unable to sleep for the rest of the night.

The next morning, I confided in Dad. He listened, visibly shaken, and asked me to seek more information if the dream recurred. That night, despite my fear, I fell asleep quickly. The dream returned. Remembering Dad’s request, I asked Grandma what happened after Dad left the room. She wept, then pointed towards a passage. I followed and saw a masked figure fleeing. Catching up, I unmasked him—it was Dad. He confessed, saying he had been drunk and didn’t remember killing his father. Grandma, who knew the truth, had kept silent all these years.

I awoke in confusion. The dream suggested Dad had unwittingly killed his own father, a secret he had buried deep. After breakfast, I told Dad about the latest dream. He broke down, finally acknowledging the truth he had long suppressed. He asked me to forget it, and it was the last time I had the dream.

At Grandma’s burial, Dad, usually stoic, was the most emotional. His grief was raw, surprising everyone but me. I realized he had finally confronted the buried truth, a secret Grandma had taken to her grave. Now, it was my burden to carry, a hidden truth that would remain with me forever.

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About the Creator

Oluwatosin Tade

I love the art of writing...♥️

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    Oluwatosin TadeWritten by Oluwatosin Tade

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