I knocked on Cecilia’s door and she threw it open. She flashed me a smile and I brushed past her into the room. She had transfered a million naira into my account only few days ago and last night she had sent me a text that she had taken out the man who had been trailing us. I was so furious when I read the text message but there was nothing I could do about it. I was also feeling sickly, my bladder felt so heavy, my back ached terribly and the baby’s kicks were becoming very fierce. I was tired of Cecilia, her schemes and the way she was going about everything. At a point, I felt like telling her to hold onto her new boyfriend, who happened to be Dupe’s lawyer and forget about Uche but I didn’t because she was too obsessed about getting that money. Bankole had unkownly sold the PI to her when he mentioned to her that a PI had been employed to follow the suspect of the new case he was handling. According to Cecilia, his tongue became loose whenever he was drunk so she made sure she got him drunk as often as she could.All I wanted was to get back at Tade and Mabel and leave the country but she was pulling me into this deeper and deeper.
” You’ve done it again!” I shouted. ” What the hell is wrong with you Cecilia?”
” There was no way I could leave with the files, so I had to take him out of the way too. See, I have come too far to lose out now. In few months time, Dupe will hang and Uche will be heart broken…..its all a matter of few months. Only few months to go. ” she said.
” You could have drugged him!” I said and drew in breath as I felt a sharp pain in my lower back.
” He was going to testify in court! He found something which belonged to me at the murder scene, something the police didn’t see. My wrist watch, but he thought it was yours. He had called Bankole, who told me.” She explained.
The baby choosed that moment to give me a fierce kick and I slapped my hand on that part of my tummy. I felt him move to another part hastily and I cringed from the sting of my palm.
” How did you get him?” I asked.”
” He had a thing for public puvssys” she laughed.” It was so easy because I was able to get Bankole to tell me his weaknesses and all I needed to know about him.”
” Meaning?” I asked.
” He loved ha.rlots. He patronizes them all the time, all I had to do was pretend that I was a damsel in distress and he offered me a lift. He took me to his house, I slipped something into his drink while he was rolling a condom onto his tiny d–k. He fell asleep not long after taking a sip of the drink and I started ransancking his place, I found my wrist watch which he had placed in an envelope. I was about putting things in order when he walked sleepily into the room, I guess the drug wasn’t too effective or maybe it was because he only took a little sip of the drink. Anyway, I had no choice than to kill him. Afterwards I dragged his body into the living room. I even found some files on you and some photographs of us.” She said.
” I don’t get this. Why didn’t he recognize you?” I asked.
” Never underestimate the power of a wig, make up and fake Butt” She laughed.
” What do we do now?” I asked.” I want to leave the country as soon as possible.”
” We wait until Dupe hangs, then I go in for the kill.” She said.
” What will you do about that lawyer?” I asked.
” Nothing. His role has ended.” She replied.
” We will soon be rolling in money” she laughed and filled a wine glass with red wine.
” When do I get my balance?” I asked.
” I will transfer it to you as soon as I have it. Want some wine?” She asked.
” No. Can I have the files you took from him?” I asked.
” Don’t worry about them. I burnt them and I threw away the wrist watch. Sure you don’t want a glass of wine?” She asked again, smiling at me.
I knew it then that she had something up her sleeve. She might kill me too, I thought. She was becoming too bold and desperate.
” No thank you, I will be on my way now” I looked at my wrist watch, the time was 5.30 pm, I had enough time to get back to my hotel room and plan on what steps to take next.
I stood up and walked out of her apartment. I hailed a taxi but it sped by without stopping and the weather was becoming cloudy so I trekked for a while hoping I would get a taxi on the way. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my abdomen and my hand flew to my tummy. I had been feeling funny all day and my lower back ached terribly. The sky rumbled and it started to rain. My eyes searched for somewhere to take shelter and suddenly I felt urine seeping down my thigh. I looked at myself in horror and I almost flew out of my skin when I realized it wasn’t urine. My water just broke. The baby was coming. My chest constricted with fear, the rain was coming down in torrents now, the streets were deserted and there was no vehicle in sight.
I could barely move as the baby was determined to come out immediately. My breath was coming out in pant and tears streamed down my cheeks from the intense pain I was feeling. My knees buckled but I felt a sturdy strong arm on my lower back before I could drop to the ground.I whirled around and clung to my savior.
Funmi. I thought.
I would recognize her anywhere even though we hadn’t met before and I had only seen a photograph of her. Her image had been tattooed in my heart. This was the lady who betrayed her best friend, looking at her now, hanging onto my arm for support, you would never guess she was capable of murder. She was groaning loudly now, almost screaming and her gown was plastered to her skin. Her hair was sopping with water and she seemed to have lost one of her slippers, as she had only one on her right foot. What was she doing out here? In the rain? Was she trying to catch pneumonia and die? I thought, no I won’t let you die. You have to be alive to help us set Dupe free.
” What is it Ma’am?” I asked, feigning ignorance. It was obvious she was about to have her baby.
” Baby… ” she cried.” He’s about to come,”
” Is your hospital around here?” I asked.” I mean the one you registered at for antenatal.”
She noded her head and I helped her into my car. She cried and cussed while I comforted her with soothing words. I drove towards the hospital, trying not to feel pity for her.
” I don’t have…” She started and trailed off and began to cry.
” You don’t have what ma’am?” I asked, twisting my neck to look at her. Her forehead was drenched with sweat.
” I don’t have….anything for my baby. His clothes….and all I will need are in my hotel room.”
” I will go back for them as soon as I get you to the hospital.” I promised.
She shrieked as another contraption hit her and she nodded her head. She directed me amidst cries and pants and soon we were at the tall hospital building. I carried her into the building while some nurses brought out a strecher which I placed her on.
” Please don’t leave me…” She cried. ” Please stay….stay please”
” Is she your wife sir?” A nurse asked.
” Yes. Please take good care of her” I said and stepped back.
They wheeled her out of my sight but her cries rang in my ears still. Few minutes later a doctor in a starchy white uniform walked up to me.
” We want to carry out a C_section on her but she has refused. We need you to sign some documents and convince her to agree because its for her own good and that of the baby as well. Then we can wheel her into the theater. Please come with me.” He said.
I followed him into the room, she was on the bed, her groans pricked heart and I rushed to her side. She was crying, and asking for her mother. I pulled her into my arms and murmured into her ears.
” You will be fine baby, I am here.” I said soothingly.
She nodded her head vigorously.” Please tell them I can deliver my baby, I can do it.”
” Madam…. ” The doctor began.
” Why do you want to carry out a c_ section on her?” I asked.
” Sir, it is for….”
” No. No, I want to deliver him myself.” She cried.
” Take her into the delivery room, she will be fine.” I said.
The doctor looked like he was about to argue but he kept his mouth shut at the deadly expression on my face.
” Alright.” He said and signalled to a nurse who rolled a wheel chair to the bedside and I carried her into the chair.
” Please don’t leave me….please stay” she cried, panting.
” Can I go in with my wife?” I asked.
” If your heart can take it but you need to scrub down first.” The doctor said.
” Thank you.” I said.
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I followed the nurses and I scrubbed down in the scrubbing room. They handed me a green uniform and a nose guard which I wore and they led me into the labor room. Two doctors were already assisting her and they instructed me to hold her hand and encourage her. It wasn’t an easy birth and she was already giving up,I kept encouraging her and wiping sweat off her brows.
” You are almost there, I can see his head now…..just one more push!” The doctor said.
” Keep pushing dear, you are doing so well.” I said to her.” Only few more pushes to go.”
She drew in breath and pushed with all her might. The cries of a new baby filled the room and she sagged into my arms, almost hysterical with relief. A bubbly laughter escaped from my lips and my heart lept with joy.
” Congratulations ” The doctors cried out happily.” You have a son.” They lifted up the scrawny red baby who was bawling at the top of his lungs.
She looked at me and gave me a tired dimpled smile. I swallowed hard and I felt my heart lept up again. Despite the torture she had just endured she looked so beautiful. I had never witnessed anything as remarkable as this. She was such a brave and strong lady and I was happy to witness a new birth. It was like a journey and I was glad she didn’t go through it alone.
The doctors asked me to excuse them and she reluctantly let go of my arm. A nurse beamed at me as I walked out of the room. I could tell I was blushing and I wasn’t even ashamed of it.
To be continued..