The Runaway Bride Episode 20

0
1331

It was a night the couple would not forget in a
hurry. The moment Chinwe and Tokunbo
came together, there was no letting go at all.
Chinwe was overtaken with passion like a
child in a candy shop whileTokunbo made
sure there was no short supply of excitement.
Just like a deer panting for water in a dry
season, the couple kept at it until they both
tired out and fell asleep.
********************************************************
Joseph was sitting on one of the chairs in
Clara’s apartment waiting for her to come
back from putting Henry to sleep. He had
insisted on waiting and talking with her face
to face instead of doing the talk over the
phone as they have been doing for some days
now.
He got a feeling she is not looking forward to
the trip they would be embarking on in the
morning and would like to help reassure her
and calm her nerves.
Davis is back in their apartment talking with
his sister who insisted she would continue
with her course of study. He encouraged his
sister to tell their parents now that she might
be having an extra year or if she did it better,
an extra semester at most.
He was impressed by the way he was
handling the situation for his sister, giving
her the support she needed and deserved
especially since none was forthcoming from
their father. Joseph even over heard him
promising to pay for the extra semester or
year if the flare up more than necessary.
“Sorry Joe, he did not want to sleep”
“No problem, I am not in any rush”
“Thanks”
“Do you mind telling me what the worry was
about, you look so tensed”
“First, that would be my first flight ever,” she
laughed nervously. “And I don’t know how
tomorrow would go, I just pray everything I do
there would be to repair their marriage and
not drive a larger rift in between them.”
Joseph moved close to where she sat and took
her hands in his, “the flight would be lovely,
just remind me to get a bubble gum for you
before leaving. And about those 2, you are
going there is to confront him and forgive
him totally, not to go over it again and again.
Just remember forgiving him would be the
first step in moving on”
She shook her head and clasped their hands
together “Joseph, what is happening here,
between us that is? I don’t want to jump to
any conclusion, but I need to know what is
happening between us.”
“What is happening is simple, I found a
beautiful lady with a funny little boy and I
like her, but before we get more serious, I
would just love that lady to settle her past so
when I fully come out to declare my intention
which I believe she already knows, we would
have nothing to worry about.”
“Hmmn, I don’t know what to say, but believe
me, I will settle my past quickly and come
back the day after to hear your declaration”
“I will be waiting. Don’t forget to send me a
message about what I want to get Henry
tomorrow morning, I might just forget.”
“Okay, are you leaving now?”
“Yea, I have to, you need to rest for tomorrow
and I still need to help you print out your
flight schedule before I forget,” he said as he
held her hands not wanting to go either. He
pulled her into a simple hug.
Clara watched his car drive away and could
not help but pray that whatever Chinwe wants
to do tomorrow, she better be ready to forgive
that husband of hers because she no longer
had time to waste nor to convince her.
She went back inside to pack the last of her
stuff into the small bag and before she
finished, a call from Joseph interrupted her.
“Joe, you must have flown down to your
house, it is less than 5 minutes that you left
here, mister”
“The road is free, how are you?”
“I am still fine, fine as you left me”
“Okay, just wanted to tell you to have a
wonderful night rest and see you tomorrow”
“Okay o, goodnight to you too and have a
pleasant night rest too. Say hi to Davis, I can
hear him in the background.”
“Yeah, I will. He’s on the phone with his
sister”
They ended the call with him asking her to
remind him about the things he wanted to
bring for Henry very early the following
morning.
Davis dropped the call he was making, his
mother had called him after getting a message
from Blessing about her results and her
possibility of having an extra year or semester
and they did not hold back their
disappointment.
He had let them say their fill before asking
his mother to listen to him, they had been the
reason the girl is failing in the first place
because they did not want her to study what
she wanted. They had forced their lost dream
on their children and now they cannot even
encourage her to face the fear of failure
without making her feel like the most
unserious person in the world?
His mother had wanted to argue with him,
but he had asked her to calm down and listen
good, if she failed and had an extra year, they
can disown her for all he cared. If they liked,
they could good their threat, but he would not
support them. He would open the door to his
sister and take her. He threatened that when
she finally makes it, they both would be
taking another surname.
His father had come on the phone and called
him a b—–d. That would be the first
sentence they would be sharing for close to a
month now. He could not be more glad he
resigned, took the chance on an MSc in
Computer Engineering and now standing up
this way for his sister.
The call had not ended well, it had been a lot
of shouting from his parents’ end. A call from
his mother later, demanding that he called
back to apologize to his father, immediately.
Of course he made the call, but not to
apologize as they expected, it was to tell him
in all humility that he had driven their lives
down his own path for too long and should
allow them make a decision for themselves for
the first time.
Joseph had listened to the calls and wondered
where the boldness was coming from, could it
be Chinwe had given his dear friend some
courage to finally say his mind to his parents?
Talking of Chinwe, Joseph stood up from the
chair and went to print the flight schedule for
Clara, his darling Clara and funny Henry.
********************************************************
When Chinwe woke up, she almost could not
open her eyes from the memory of the hour
before and the presence of the man lying
beside her. She continued to feign sleep until
she felt him sit up in the bed.
“You need to stop pretending so we could
talk”
Chinwe gently sat up in bed, holding the
duvet as a shield and avoided his eyes
altogether.
“I don’t know what to say, but I know what
just happened is a clear indication that there
is something between us, something good that
we share that is worth fighting for, and if and
when your friend shows up and we clear the
air, we should please, fight for this marriage.”
Instead of responding to his speech, Chinwe
attempted to remove herself from the bed but
Tokunbo prevented her.
“You have nothing to say? Chinwe, we did not
do anything immoral, we are married and I
would like us to remain so…, so you have
nothing to be ashamed of”
“I am not ashamed; I just need to use the
bathroom is all.”
“Oh, okay, you want me to come with you?”
“no of course not” she replied sounding
alarmed, but was surprised to see him smiling
down at her instead, so she gave him
something looking like a smile before running
into the bathroom. At that moment he knew
all is not lost, there is hope for their marriage
Tokunbo called their driver and asked him to
be ready to drive them to the airport from the
hotel, more than ever he wants to settle the
rumor about him and he hopes the lady is
mistaken about her claim. He went to the
wardrobe and brought out the t-shirt be had
beneath the suit and jeans he wore the day
before for the interview and waited for
Chinwe to finish using the bathroom.
When she did not come out, he knocked on
the door to ask if she wanted breakfast to
which she said yes, he ordered for toast and
baked beans for them both. When she finally
came out of the bedroom, he was
disappointed she chose to dress in the
bathroom, but he consoled himself that Rome
was not built in a day.
He went to use the bathroom and before their
breakfast was brought, he came outside and
found her searching between the sheets.
“What are you looking for?”
“My other ear ring, the one you were helping
me to remove earlier this morning”
“I placed it on the dresser there, here it is, but
why not wear the other one you wore for the
interview, it will fit this jeans you have on”
“You think so?”
“Yeah, it is a nice piece”
The waiter knocked on their door and their
breakfast was served, they ate in silence with
Tokunbo mainly looking at her face
throughout the entire meal and Chinwe trying
not to look. When his phone rang, Chinwe
saw that he had changed his screen saver to
the picture of them the night before, one of
the many pictures Nkem took, and in the
corner of her heart, it pleased her.
“Chris, how far”
“How are you?”
“I am fine; can you believe the party was just
like the reception that we missed?”
“Really, so how was it?”
“Good good, I will talk to you later, because
we have to get going now?”
“No problem, but I hope all is fine, Chinwe
and others?”
“We are fine, see you later?”
He helped her with her bag to the car and
when he sat down beside her this time, he
found it easy to ask her some questions, talk
about the news, listen to the music and listen
to her sing. The conversation was still not that
smooth, but it was better than the silence
they have been subjecting themselves to.
The tension however retuned when they got
to the airport and the waited at the arrival
point for Clara, he still does not know about
the son, but Chinwe is ready for them to talk
things out this time and would love her friend
to forgive him.
Henry was the first person she saw and she
ran to pick him up in her hands swinging his
little body above the ground and swinging
him round before Clara came with the bag,
they all hugged as Tokunbo watched without
any ability to speak or move, something about
the little boy looks familiar. When he got a
better look at him, there it is, the little boy
looks like him, he sees the birthmark on his
forehead and he wondered if that is the
reason he is being accused. He watched them
patiently as they all tried to talk and hug at
the same time, the other lady’s face totally
unfamiliar to him.
Some minutes later, they walked towards him
and he watched the woman’s face clearly to
see if he could place it, but nothing came to
his mind.
“Hi, welcome and how was your trip?”
“Fine, thank you”
“What is the little boy’s name?”
“Henry”
“Hello Henry” Tokunbo stretched his hand to
him but instead of taking the handshake, he
went into his arms instead, making Chinwe
hand him over to him. He ended up seating
with him at the front of the car, while the 2
friends sat at the back, the tension was so
palpable in the car, but Henry kept looking
over his shoulder to ask either of them for
something.
When they got home, Chinwe showed her to a
room as Henry refused to go with them,
walking with Tokunbo to the guest room
instead. He went to the kitchen next to get
him a cup of water and to wait for Chinwe to
come out so they can agree when they can
have the talk.
“Henry, your mum is calling you.” Chinwe
said as she came out of the third room. They
both watched as he ran off to the room his
mother was.
“I think you need to feed them, they must be
hungry”
“Yes, I will heat something up”
“When do you think we can have this
conversation?”
“When she’s rested I guess”
“Okay, let me know. But you should have
warned me she has a child”
“Does that change anything?”
“Not really, I was just surprised to see her
with a boy”
“Well, we will talk about all that later”
“Yeah”
Clara was still shaken at seeing that face
again after all these years and she called
Joseph immediately she was alone, she was
not sure she could do it without some
encouragement too.
“Hi, have you landed? I was just about to call
you”
“We have reached her house too; they were at
the airport to pick us up”
“Okay, so did you see him?”
“Yes and I must confess I am shaken, he still
looks the same”
“Just focus on why you are there and
remember he can no longer hurt you. You are
way beyond him now and when you forgive
him, he will be beneath you, continue to
remind yourself of that, hmm. I will be
waiting for your call after the meeting”
“Thanks, how is Davis”
“ fine but in school.”
After freshening up and a bowl of garri and
soup, she put Henry to sleep and decided to
not prolong the inevitable. She walked to the
sitting room and asked Chinwe to call
Tokunbo and they can the conversation.
The 3 of them took seats apart from each
other and Tokunbo went first.
“Hello Clara, I am glad to finally meet you, I
trust your flight was good”
“Yeah it was”
“So we all are here, how do we begin. Okay
let me, I got married to Chinwe 3 weeks ago
and she ran from our reception, when she
came back last week, she told me I raped
someone some years back and she left me
because of that, as a matter of fact, she asked
for a divorce because she thought I raped
you.”
“I know all that happened and I was the one
who told her you raped me, August 18, 2000,
at the Colossal Club, it is not too long ago for
you to have forgotten”
“I still don’t think you are talking to the right
person, yes, I was in Nigeria that time, but I
don’t even know where this club is and I
have never been there”
“See, Mr. Ajayi…”
“Tokunbo is fine”
“Tokunbo, I am meeting you to just tell you
that I was raped by you and I had a child
from that unlucky incident. I am not here to
cause more trouble for you 2, because I
believe we all have to move on but to tell you
that I have forgiven you and I would like you”
turning to Chinwe now “to live beyond the
past and embrace the future.”
Tokunbo looked at the woman in front of him
and was impressed at how mature and
courageous she sounded, but she is mistaken
here, he did not need her forgiveness.
“see Clara, I am sorry to say this, but I don’t
need your forgiveness, I did not rape you, I
have never raped a woman in my life.
Chinwe, I am saying it to you now, we are
having a DNA test and I can prove to you I did
not rape her. So many people have some past
to cover but I can tell you, my live has been
an open book as far as I can remember. I did
not rape you Clara. Today is the first time I
am setting eyes on you”