I removed the dark glasses I wore and stared at the sky. It is amazing how we take so much for granted, the sky looked so beautiful, the air smelled so fresh and the evening breeze caressed my skin gently. I took a deep breath before getting into the car, Uche looked at me and gave me a wide smile. I smiled too, happy.
Our chauffeur, Annie turned around and beamed at us. I reached out and took her hand in mine. She was more than a friend, she was family now.
“Hey guys, this is your captain speaking. Fasten your seat belts! Its time!” Annie said.
“It’s time to go home Dupe,” Uche said.
“Home” I said. I was finally back home, beside my husband. “Where my heart belonged. “Home is wherever you are Uche,”
“Awwn, that’s sweet.” Annie said, “Oh you guys! You make me want to cry!” And she started bawling.
“Oh Annie,” I said.
She got down from the car and got into the back with us. She pulled Uche and I into her arms, in a big hug.
“I have enough evidence to put you away forever.” I said. “You won’t go scot free this time around.” I said. “I won’t let you ruin the life of another young boy again.”
He laughed evilly and sneered.” You can’t imprison the wind.”
I laughed too and he started laughing as well until I stopped abruptly. “Two of your boys are also behind bars and they are ready to talk so they can have lesser jail terms. And oh, I have convinced them to lay all the blame on you.”
“My boys are very loyal to me, they will never betray me like you did!” Ognoni76 said, scratching his bald head.
“You mean they won’t talk? They already talked! We also know that you forced them to rape and kill a pregnant woman as a form of initiation into your evil cult”
He looked perplexed for a second. “Who told you that?” he growled.
“They are in special unit. They are being protected.” I said. “They talked, a lot.”
“Why are you doing this?” he asked.
“This is for Nonye.” I said, “And the countless innocent lives you have destroyed.’’
“Who is Nonye?”
“You will find out soon enough” I said and turned to leave.
“Wait! Remember we were once in this together! Remember you made your money through drugs! I had to change tactics when you left me! I was broke and almost homeless and the law was on my heels. I had to find a way to get back to my feet. I delved into Yahoo, something I thought was for little boys, so I recruited Dubem to be in charge of that but he duped me! All I did was to give you lot a meaningful life! See, we can still make it work again!”
“I think you are going senile because I have never met you before. I am a well-known reputable lawyer, what have I got to do with the likes of you?” I quipped.
He laughed and slapped his bulgy stomach. “I have trapped you little boy. The evidence is on your arm, you were once my protégée.” He lifted up his polo to reveal his bull head tattoo. “You have this tattoo too! Let me see how you will explain that to the judge, lawyer boy!”
I opened the buttons on my shirt while he looked on, wondering what was going on. I showed him both of my arms and he gasped. “What tattoo?” I sneered.
“Where…..where….how….” he stuttered. “ You….you…”
“See you in court” I said and sauntered away while he rattled the irons bars holding him prisoner.
During the drive to the Airport, my parents huddled close to each other. They talked, held hands, whispered and giggled like school children in love. When their flight was announced, they both pulled me into their arms at the same time and gave me a fierce hug.
“Are you sure you don’t want us to go with our grandson?” Mama said in Ewe.
“He just became a father, let him enjoy his son for a while.” Dad replied. “Let him visit us as soon as he starts walking.”
I stared at the both of them. It had been ages since I heard them speak Ewe. I couldn’t believe they were speaking the once forbidden language in broad daylight. A dark skinned petite girl in Angelina blouse and short skirt walked by and called out greetings to us in Ewe.
Mama Laughed. “Did you hear that Sylvester?”
“I heard Mama,” I finally replied and they both hugged me close again.
“We love you Sly,” they both chorused. “Don’t forget to bring your son home as often as you can.”
“I promise” I said and pulled them into my arms.
“Hey” Annie said, walking into my living room.
“Hey” I replied, pouring her a glass.
“How’s Tom?” She asked.
“I just put him down for his nap and I am still hunting for a nanny.” I said.
“Look no more.” She said. “I will care for him.”
“Umm… Annie…. I was thinking you might be more than that. I want you to be his surrogate mom.”
“Oh really?” She said, excitedly. “Thank you Shar…Sly.”
“But there’s a tiny problem.”
“What’s the problem?” She asked.
“When he gets older, he will realize his friends have two parents living under the same roof but he only has one and that might traumatize him. So …. Well…”
“Are you asking me to move in?”
“What?” I laughed and looked shocked.” No…. I wouldn’t dare to…”
“Yes” She said. “I have always wanted to be a mother and Tom is such an adorable baby. Henceforth, no more cuss words, late nights, heavy music and we must go to church every Sunday.”
“Why?” I asked.
“We have to be model parents. We will bring him up in the way of the lord.” She replied.
“Oh” I said in surprise. “But you are a Muslim.”
“When?” I asked.
“Few minutes ago. We have to get books on parenting as well and ….”
“I want to show you something.” I said and opened my shirt. “This” I pointed to my bare arm where the tattoo was.
“Oh” She said, “Well I am glad you removed it. We wouldn’t want our son thinking it’s good to have tattoos” She brought out her phone and started flipping through it.
“Annie what are you doing?” I asked.
“I want to call the movers.” She said. “We have to change some things because right now this place still looks like a bachelor’s house and we have to make it more conducive for our baby. Right?”
“Right?” I agreed.
“What is the baby’s name?” I asked, looking at the sweet looking thing.
“Annie.” Dupe replied.
“Oh that’s a sweet name.” I said.
“We named her after our own Annie.”
“Yea she’s my name sake” Annie beamed.
Dupe and her Husband, Annie and the lawyer came to see us because Tade would be discharged any moment from now and we would be heading for the Airport immediately.
The doctor walked in. “he can go home now.”
“Thank you” I said happily.
The doctor walked out once again. Annie brought out a camera and waved her hand.
“Photo time.” She cried out, “Who will snap us?”
“I will.” Sylvester said.
“No, no, you get to be in the photographs too. Go get one of those starchy nurses.” Annie replied.
He sighed and walked out of the room.
“Thank you all for coming. This means so much to me” I said. “I can’t believe we are finally going back home.”
“Bell, we are going to the states.” Tade reminded me.
“That is still home. My parents and Serwa are there and they have decorated the whole house in anticipation of our coming.” I said, beaming.
“Well that’s still home.” Annie seconded. “You will be coming back when the trial starts, right?”
“Cecilia’s?” I asked. “Yes. Can I…. can I hold Tom?”
“Yes.” She said gleefully. “He might not let you hold him for long because he’s used to his mommy’s hands already. Isn’t he such a cutie?” She placed him in my arms.
I held him close to my bosoms, looking into his handsome face. He looked neither like Tade nor Funmi. He looked like himself and that pleased me. No questions will trail him later in life, looking at the lawyer and Annie you wouldn’t know he wasn’t theirs biologically.
Sylvester walked in with a young pretty nurse tucked into the crook of his arms, it was obvious he had charmed her as the poor thing was blushing and giggling.
“Uche, Dubem sent me a text. He has gone back to Malaysia.” Sylvester announced.
“Typical of him.” Uche replied.
“How did he get the money to go back?” Dupe asked and we all stared at him.
“What?” he asked. “Okay, I might have helped him a little.”
We all burst into laughter. Annie gave the camera to the nurse and we clustered around Tade on the bed.
“Say Cheese” The nurse said.
“Cheese we all chorused.”
Tade and Mabel headed for the Airport, Annie, Sylvester and their son drove back to their home while Uche and Dupe went house hunting. They wanted a big house with a garden where little Annie and her siblings that are yet to come will play. When Little Annie is six months old, her parents would travel to India to check if there’s a chance for her father to see again. Whether he sees again or not, we all know that Dupe would be his eyes for the rest of their lives.