” Tade open up please” I ponded on the door with my fist.” You can’t just shut yourself away from the world!” Tade had gone crazy when we received the call from Nigeria that his mother had been murdered by Funmi’s friend. I knew part of it was my fault, if I hadn’t insisted on bringing Funmi into our home we wouldn’t have been in this mess. It was unfortunate that my poor mother _in_ law was gone all because of our bad decisions, both Tade’s and mine. Truth be told, he had used Funmi and dumped her when he knew he was married and she had gotten all the whole blame. If only he had controlled himself on that night.
” Bell, come in” Tade said, opening the door for me. I entered our bedroom and looked at the mess he had created. He had broken the mirror on my drawer, it was then I noticed his hand was bleeding. I went out of the room and returned with the first aid box. I seated him down on our bed and fixed his wounded hand.
” Thank you,” He said, when I was done.
” Tade what happened here in my absence? while I was away” I asked, staring into his deep brown eyes.” Please tell me the truth”
He sighed roughly ” I cheated with her”
His admission shocked me and pierced my heart . I knew he had slept with her but hearing it from him made it hurt all over again.
” Bell, I’m sorry. I deeply regretted it afterwards.” He said, shaking his head with regret.
” I knew you slept with her” I said, ” Why Tade? I was away only for few weeks!”
He looked shocked now and he seemed lost for words. ” B…Bell…..You…you knew? d–n!”
” Yes I knew. I am your wife for Christ sake! we have been together for almost ten years! don’t you think I’d know when something is amiss? don’t you think I’d know you by now? I knew as soon as I came back that something had changed in you, her, and between us. I am only sorry that Mother_in_ law had to pay for our mistakes. Why would Funmi’s friend kill her?”
” Funmi killed her….Funmi killed my mother!” He cried out, ” Bell, please I need you now more than ever, please don’t leave me to face this on my own. I can’t survive this without you.”
” I am not going anywhere. Even though I want to kick you out and scratch your face for sleeping with somebody I took as a sister I won’t leave. It’s for better, for worse, remember?”
” Thank you Bell, thank you.”
” Why did you think it was Funmi who killed your mother and not her friend?” I asked, pondering what the girl in question stands to gain.
” From the explanation my aunt gave, Funmi’s friend was only a pawn in Funmi’s game of revenge. The truth was glaring and obvious, the poor girl was too naive and she failed to see the evil in her so called friend. Why did Funmi send her to my mother? why was it on a day that the gate man goes on his leave? who else has a bone to pick with me?” He sighed furiously, and stood up.” Bell, there’s more. There’s something else I didn’t tell you. I doubt if you can forgive me this one but I would understand if you don’t. Hell! I have really messed up our lives! I fear for Serwa’s life now”
I sprang up as the truth in his words rang loudly in my ears. My Serwa, my baby? Funmi would have to run me through with a sword before she gets to my child.
” What should we do Tade?” I asked frantically.
” You both have to go back to the states ” He said.
” No, I won’t leave you to face this on your own. We will send Serwa to the states, my parents will get a nanny to look after her. She will be fine and safe with them.” I said.” You said…..there’s more. What didn’t you tell me?”
He looked away, eyes closed in either regret or pain.” She came back here after we sent her away. She came to my office to see me.”
So the Dam had lied to me! She had wanted to see Tade under the pretext of begging my forgiveness. Only God knows what she had up her sleeves the day she came to see me. Did Tade fall for her charms again? did he go back into her arms?was that what he was trying to tell me?
” Talk to me please” I said.
” She informed me that she was carrying my child” He said.
My knees buckled and I held onto the bed for support. This was even worse than I imagined. Not only had Tade cheated on me, betrayed my trust, broken our vows but he had gotten her with child! he had filled another woman’s womb with his seed when I have always craved for another baby.
” How could you Tade, how could you? how could you do this to us, how could you destroy everything we have worked so hard to build in just one night! how many minutes did it take you to c-m? was it worth it? if you were too Hot to think right you could have jerked off, you b—–d!”
” Bell, I’m sorry. ” He said, trying to touch me but I brushed off his hand. I don’t know if this was a test but I don’t think I can pass it. I don’t think I can. He had destroyed us and everything we built. It was too much to bear and I felt utterly lost.
” Leave me alone,” I said.
He walked out of the room silently and closed the door gently behind him. I placed my head on my thighs and cried my heart out.
” She has a chance right?” I asked shark, who had driven me to see Dupe.She had been quiet and refused to talk to us. We were also told she had refused to eat her food and Shark was really using his influence to ensure that she was as comfortable as she could be in such a dire place. Nobody had laid even a finger on her and for that I was grateful to him. Shark had gone to the morgue to see the corpse of the woman, he had seen the murder weapon as well and he had also gone to the place the incident occurred with some police officers. His conclusion was that it was a set up. The message the woman had sent to Dupe was still on her phone but the late woman’s phone was missing. Her bedroom was also ransacked and her jewelries, gold, and some cash was missing. It was designed to make it seem like she had caught Dupe stealing from her and Dupe had killed her.
Dupe’s parents and my mother had been in their church fasting and praying. Shark was also trying to track down Funmi but she had disappeared into thin air. Annie had practically moved in with us, she saw to my needs and offered her shoulder when I needed one to cry on.Dubem had returned home but he had locked himself in his room and right now he was the least of my problems.
” You have asked that a zillion times already, Uche ask one more time again and I’d be forced to leave you by the roadside and drive off.” He grumbled.
” Sorry man, I am simply worried” I apologized.
” Worrying won’t solve anything. Don’t let her see that you are depressed, it will kill her.” He said.
” I will try not to. Thanks for everything” I said.
” You are welcome,” He replied tersely.
We continued the drive in silence. Each man to his thought and I could perceive that he was also worried and more shaken more than he was letting on.
” We are there,” Shark said, killing off the engine of the car. We had driven to where the woman’s gate man lived. Shark wanted to ask him some questions, he wanted to know the people who could want his boss dead and if he had suspected anything or anyone . ” Do you want to stay in the car?” He asked.
He helped me out of the car and led me through a narrow stuffy passage. The stench of urine drifted to our noses and I knew the house was either in a ghetto or slum. Shark knocked on a door and we waited for some seconds before someone opened the door. Shark suddenly became rigid beside me, he drew in breath sharply and I heard him slam his fist into the wall or the poor old man’s face?
” Shark, what are you doing?” I asked.
” Who are you people, I hope you are not police officers. I am tired of answering questions.” the old man said.
” Shark, shark” I called but he remained silent. What was going on? why wasn’t he already assuring the old man that we were not officers and that we came in peace?. ” We are not police officers, papa love is that you? I am Dupe’s husband and she always talked fondly about you.”
” The poor girl.” He said.
” Daddy” I heard Shark choke out, his voice was thick with emotions. It was a tone I never heard him use before. He sounded like a broken little boy.” Is that you daddy? I am Sylvester.”
There was a moment of silence. I wondered what was going on but I knew not to interfere.
” What nonsense is this?” The old man cried out in disbelief. ” So you have dug into my past and you think you can fool me? You think you can impersonate my dead son? Have you no shame? to play with an old man like that?
” Daddy, don’t you recognize your own son? Your flesh and blood?. Abosede cried every night when you were taken away. We all missed you and your face was etched in our hearts. Has time erased us from your memory? have you completely closed your heart against us? Mama never remarried, she was convinced you would one day come back go her. Have you forgotten Mama as well?”
The old man started sobbing. I could hear Shark sniffling as well and I knew that this was a reunion between a father and a son who had thought each other dead. The old man’s hand brushed my arm as he pulled his son into his arms. They both wept like babies and I was gladdened in my heart that even in the midst of our woes God had rekindled their happiness.
To be continued..