My father kept to his words.He stopped his travellings to stay with us.Maami and i.I always wondered why he had to travel all the time but each time i ask him,he will tell me his little job demands for it. Even maami became suddenly soo nice.
She made sure I ate well, she even helped me with exercises and massages.The little joy i had was that i was able to write my J.S.C.E before my tommy started bulging.I wondered what Bisi,the over sabi-sabi would say if she sees me pregnant.So i always avoided her.
The day I had the baby was a great day. The joy on my father’s face was beyond description.I wondered if he should actually be happy but i guessed he never wanted to blame me.
“omo dada- good baby”he whispered into the baby’s ears.
He sat on my bedside.
“Sorry, mummy”he teased me.
I smiled for the first time since past months i was pregnant.
“She looks just like you, very beautiful and hairy!”he patted its hair.
“What name would you call her?”he asked
I looked away, name ke! How old am I that I should know how to name babies?! Unless if they would name her Tejumola after me.
“I was thinking of naming her Eniola or Ayobola, but more preferrably Eniola.”he continued, he was used to me refusing to talk.
I simply nodded.
“Welcome to the world Eniola.”he said before whispering some prayers into its ears.
And that was how Eniola came into our family, the ident!ty of her father still remained a mystery to everybody except me. No one dared asked me unless they want to see me cry.
on Eniola’s fourth birthday, things went sour for me.
I was alone in the house, my father has taken Eniola with Maami to the Amusement park.
I refused to go with them despite Eniola’s pleas.
There was a knock on the door.
“Who’s there?”I queried before opening the door.
I saw a fat man with a pot-belly enclosed inside a brocade Agbada smiling at me.
“Good afternoon sir”i flexed my knees, he should be in his early fifties.
“how are you?”he smiled again.
“Fine”I replied with a frown.
“Is Mr Benson-your father around?”he asked.
“No, He went out.”
“Okay, if he comes back, tell him Chief OlaBadmus came to look for him o”he said before turning to leave.
I slammed the door.
Who is this one again? Of course I know Chief OlaBadmus, he is David’s father, what does he want? Where did Baami get this new friend?Hmmn.
I lay gently on the rug, and sleep stole me away.
“Mummy…mummy!”Eniola shook me out of my beauty sleep.
“Lil’ cutie, you’re back?”I sat up.
“Welcome.”I greeted them.
My father handed me an envelope
“The post-man said its for Tejumola Benson.”
I gave him a quizzed look, opened the envelope, a beautiful flower encrusted card fell out: it read
I MISS YOU MY DARLING.
I looked up at my dad, he saw it too, his face expressionless.
I brought out the letter, and commenced reading it.
It was from David, he said he’s sorry for not keeping in touch,that he would be coming back next week, that he missed me,that he loved me e.t.c.
I hissed aloud, tore the letter, picked the card and envelope, and into the thrash can I threw them.
I walked into my room in anger.
Rubbish! I muttered under my breathe.
After ruining my career…he missed me and so what? I guess he wanted to continue from where he stopped
I hissed aloud again.
I turned to see my father holding the torn letter.
“Is he Eniola’s father?”He asked.
I kept mute. He sighed.
“Teju sit down, lets talk.”he began
“you have to tell me, you see…you’re getting married next week…”
I jumped up, my right hand clutching my chest.
“Married? To who? Baami to who?”my voice was close to a whisper .
“I’ve already made arrangements, you can’t sit at home like this..”he hesitated.
“You see…errm, that man that came looking for me, he is your husband to-be”he concluded.
“Baami? Chief OlaBadmus? A man old enough to be my father? That’s a joke right?”my lips quiverred.
“No joke Teju, you’re getting married.”He rose to leave.
“Baami, please don’t do this to me, it hurts, Baami it hurts.”I was on my knees.
“It hurts? Hmn?when you dragged my name in the mud, threw sand of shame at my face, didnt you think how hurt I was? When you disgraced me, did you stop to think how I felt?”he shot back at me before leaving my room.
I let out a heart rending sob.
This can’t be happening to me, my father can’t do this to me
“Mummy sorry.”Eniola circled her tiny arms round me. I hugged her tightly and we wept together.
to be continued