Lola had suddenly became friendly, i wondered if she had ulterior motives and i was on my guard for a long time but i soon let it down when i realized it came from her heart. Mildred had finally gone back to the states with Tess, Monkey and Liz were manageable now albeit mischievous. I poured the diced red pepper into the tomotoe sauce boiling on the cooker, i felt his presence before i even look up. His expression tells it all. I sagged against the kitchen counter in despair, Lola had been so brave the previous night, she knew her time was up but she had a happy smile on her lips and kept asking me to take good care of Liz.
” She’s gone?”
He nodded. I put off the gas cooker and followed him into the living room.
” She left you something” he handed me a brown envelope
My hands trembled slightly. ” How long ago?”
He groaned and stood up like a wounded animal. ” Why didn’t you f*ucking tell me Ebere! why?”
” What……what are you talking about?”
” You have become more than a nanny to my kids…..you are here to welcome me when i come in weary from work every night, you are here to see me off with a cup of coffee every morning…….i shared my problems and worries with you! you found a way to sneak under my skin……you wormed your way into my heart!”
” Ayo…..Ayo please stop it! ”
” Please don’t insult us both!”
” I don’t have any idea what you are talking about!”
” You are only here because of Liz! do you think you can just waltz in here and steal away my niece?”
” Is that what Lola told you?!”
” No. She doesn’t have to spell it out for me!”
” Ayo please listen to my own side of the story! ”
” You have had your chances and its too late for that! Lola was so kind enough to leave you some compensation so take it and leave right now!” He walked out of the room in anger.
I gingerly opened the envelop and brought out a check of ten million naira in Lola’ s neat hand writing. We had become so close in her last days on earth, i had sat by her bedside all night, holding her hand, the cancer had eaten deep into her soul. My phone rang on the center table, I reached for it. Ify.
” Hello Ify, Ify, what is wrong? i can’t hear you”
Shemust have dropped the phone, i could hear her crying in the background.
” Ify honey, am here please talk to me!” The call disconnected. I went into my room, picked up my bag, i couldnt resist going into Liz ‘ s room. I picked up a framed photograph of her, dropped it into my bag and hurried out of the house.
I drove to Ify’ s house like i was auditioning for a part in fast and furious. She was always so strong, she had been happily married for three months. Ify doesn’t do tears and pity, she’s so good in keeping her emotions in check. I parked my car outside, i pushed open the little gate with all my might and raced into the compound.
” She’s upstairs.” Emeka closed the door. ” Please talk some senses into her”
I took the stairs two at a time and pushed open the master bedroom.
” You better stay away from me!” Ify whirled around, she realized i was the one and lunged herself into my arms sobbing.
” They want to….to….take him away from me!” She sobbed.
” Who Ify?”
” I am pregnant ”
I sighed in relief. ” Thats a good news…..isn’t it?”
She trembled in my hands. ” I won’t let him go”
Emeka walked into the room and carried her on to the bed. ” Ify you won’t lose him…..okay?” He wiped away her tears.” Please rest now” .
He pulled my hand along and banged the door after us. He didn’t let go of my hand until he got to the bar downstairs. He poured himself a hot skotch and drowned it in one gulp.
” What is going on?”
” What is going on!?”
” She’s hypertensive! it would be suicidal to have the baby.”
” Surely there’s a way out”
” The only way to save her life is for her to get an abortion”
My head felt heavy. ” My God! Please tell me this is a joke!”
He gulped down another hot skotch.
To be continued..