” She had my baby,” I said
I grabbed hold of her hand as she made to flee out of the car.
” I am sorry,” I said
” When were you planning on telling me this?” She asked angrily, ” perhaps on our wedding night or after the birth of our first child?”
” Dupe, please. It was a still birth……the baby died at birth”
She suddenly transformed from anger into a somber mood. ” You could have told me still” she said softly
” I am sorry, like i said it’s all in the past now” I said, ” I didn’t tell you because it was a painful part of my past which i have long since put behind me”
” Are you still in love with her?” She asked
” I never was.” I said and it was the truth.
Cecilia was a mistake which shouldn’t have happened. She was the daughter of my mother’s friend. She was a beautiful ebony skinned girl but her beauty could never hold a candle to Dupe’s. Once upon a time we had dreams of settling down some day and having a family but she was too impatient to wait for that dream to come to fruition. I thought she was sweet and angelic but I discovered her true color when she got pregnant, she complained about everything I did and she never hesitated to belittle my efforts. My mother always excused her behavior as being normal for pregnant women.She made my life so miserable that i almost resorted to suicide.Her constant nagging and troubles drove her into an early labour in her seventh month but the premie baby turned out as a still birth. I pushed the ugly events of the past out of my mind.
” Why did you break up?”
” We had some problems before the birth of the baby, the baby was the only thing that kept us together so when that magic was gone, she left. Dupe, i love you. Please don’t give up on us,” my hand seeked out hers.
She sighed before flinging herself into my arms.
” I am sorry about your baby. I love you Uche. I don’t want to lose you”
” I don’t want to lose you too.”
She gave me a weak smile.” I have not eaten today”
” Why? this is past noon”
” I had no appetite but i do now”
” Want some Chinese?”
” I know a cool place. By the way, ever heard of Shark?”
She laughed.” Who doesn’t? although i don’t know what he looks like because he shys away from the media but you would have to be living under a stone not to have heard of him”
” We are dining with him this weekend. You and I”
She squealed ” Uche, for real? How… how did you…?”
I frowned. ” Why are you so excited? Crushing on him?”
” No joor. How did you meet him?”
” He’s Annie’s date.”
” Geez! I thought you said she’s in her thirties. I heard Shark is very young and he’s not even up to thirty”
” Age is just a number remember?”
” Mami what’s going on?” I asked, grabbing the shoes from her hand.
” Serwa, give me my shoes!” Mami shrieked, hitting me with her palm.
” Daddy! Daddy!” I screamed, moving away from her.
My father ambled into the room, a newspaper in hand.” Akosua, what are you doing?”
” Serwa took my shoes away from me” Mami replied, crying. She walked to him and hugged him.” tell her to return my shoes”
” Come my love, it’s time for your nap” he said
He led her out of the kitchen while i stood in shock. I had met Mami dipping a pair of new shoes in an ice_cream bowl on the kitchen counter. Daddy returned after some minutes, he removed his glasses and leaned against the counter.
” What’s going on dad?” I asked, ” what’s wrong with Mami?”
” Oh Mabel,” He said, ” I don’t know how to tell you”
” Tell me what?”
” Your mother is sick…..very sick ”
” Why didn’t you tell me!” I cried out, ” How long has this been going on?”
” Almost six months. I have taken her to several hospitals already”
” You shouldn’t have to go through all that alone dad!” I said, wringing my hands in worry.” I have not been a good daughter, have i dad?”
” Mabel this isn’t about you.”
” A good daughter would have known her mother was sick for almost six months!”
” This is why i didn’t tell you. You always make everything about yourself! My God!”
” That’s not fair dad! how did I make Mom’s sickness about myself? You were the one who hid it from me! you were the one who made it about yourself ”
” I am flying her abroad” he said.
” I am coming along”
” You are married and you have a young child to care for” he said,” I can handle it on my own”
” I am coming along! ” I said, marching out of the house.
I closed my eyes, feinging sleep, I felt my husband’s warm hand on me.”Tade, please ” I said, pulling his hands away.” I am not in the mood ”
” What is going on Bell?” Tade asked, sitting up in bed.” You have been so quiet”
“My mother is sick”
” What is wrong with her?”
” I don’t know….dad kept it from me! the poor woman has been sick for almost six months now!”
” What?” He asked, ” She looked quiet healthy the last time i saw her”
” She’s …she has old people’s sickness”
” Oh, your mother is so young. What do we do?”
” We are flying her overseas. ” I said, ” I won’t be able to take Serwa along but i trust you and Funmi will take good care of her”
” Bell, i am sorry.” He pulled me into his arms” Why didn’t you tell me earlier”
” It hurts so much saying it out loud”
” When do you leave?”
” I will call my dad and we will set a date.No later than next week i guess”
” I wish i could go with you”
” Be good and take care of Serwa” I said, suddenly feeling so emotional. I kissed him softly on the lips, my hands pulling my nightie off.
” Bell love, no.” He said hoarsely,” You are so vulnerable now,”
” Make me forget my problems Tade,”
He Pulled me closer into himself and proceeded to do just that.
To be continued..