Amaka and Yemisi were head to head, chatting away while Chif and Yomi walked to Yomi’s study. Nkem followed them with two bottles of beer and some peanuts.
“Daalu.” Chif said as she placed the items on her table.
Chif put on the television and connected the play station to it. He passed one game pad to Yomi while he held on to the other. They selected their game, a football match, and played.
“I hear that congratulations are in order.” Yomi said as he sent a player running after the ball.
Chif hissed. “Those women talk about everything. Aren’t some things private?”
Yomi laughed. “I keep telling Yemisi that it is not everything that should be shared but she looks at me like I’m speaking Greek. Maybe it’s because they are young and have not seen life. The older women get and become more experienced, they learn the wisdom of keeping things to themselves.”
Chif looked at Yomi, “Age? Hmm, the way these women are close, it has nothing to do with age. They are both smart women really and mature too. I know that they both keep things between themselves, no third party. My issue is, there are some things that should not be shared until agreed. For instance, I am sure Amaka must have told Yemisi that I’m having a hard time accepting the pregnancy. She should have allowed us to resolve the issue before going to broadcast it.”
Yomi shook his head, “About that matter, I don’t understand. Do you doubt the paternity of the child?”
“No. I’m not. Why do you ask? ”
“So, you got your wife pregnant and you are giving her a hard time about it.” Yomi stated, looking at Chif as if he had two horns on his head.
Chif was starting to get annoyed but controlled his anger by sighing. He didn’t respond.
Yomi continued. “So if you guys were not ready for another one, why didn’t you do some family planning? We stopped at two. Yemisi doesn’t want more, I do but she took measures and I let her be.”
“That’s the thing; Amaka would not agree to use the kind of family planning methods you use. We are Catholics and we believe that some of these methods can actually be abortifacients. In fairness, the method she’s been using has been successful until now. That is why I am angry and I’m thinking that she wanted another one, a boy, so she got herself pregnant. ”
“Hmm. I see.” Yomi was quiet as they played on. Only the voice of the commentator reverberated through the room along with beeps and sounds of the game.
“Every man with his own issue.” Yemisi was saying to Amaka.
“True. Is there a man without a challenge in this world? “Amaka asked a rhetorical question.
“I never imagined that the gap in age would be a problem for me. I even thought that because of it I would enjoy more pampering and love. Instead, it’s constant repression.” Yemisi drank a sip from the glass cup filled with chapman.
“It is well. I can imagine how you feel. I was thinking yesterday that maybe it’s not about age; maybe it’s just the gender thing. Looking at his background; the way you often described his growing up years and how his father treated his mother; I would say that it’s how they place and perceive women where they come from and it’s translating to how he relates with you. Am I making sense? ”
“Hmm. You are. I am just so annoyed because I didn’t see this coming. I was so blinded by love that I didn’t ensure that we resolved some issues before marriage. “Yemisi lamented.
“Resolve sha. Sometimes you would wonder if all the counselling you did before marriage was a waste. Issues you thought were resolved would resurrect like a long sugarcane plant. It happens in many marriages; don’t blame yourself for anything. This one is all on him. Just handle with it maturity.” Amaka pacified her.
“Thank you my dear.”
“Even Chif has not come round yet. He is stuck on his stance that I planned the pregnancy.” Amaka cracked her knuckles. “Sometimes I feel like pouring iced water on his face so that he can wake up from this nonsense.”
Yemisi laughed. “That is called a rude awakening.” Amaka joined in the laughter.
“Just probe your husband for me when you get back home. I know that Chif may not talk about it but any clues in whatever Yomi tells you might be helpful in understanding this situation I find myself in. He has refused to talk to me since that day. It’s been two months since I told him.” Amaka’s eyes filled with tears and Yemisi held her hands.
“Don’t worry, Dear, it would be fine.” Yemisi sympathized.
Cecilia wondered why Osa stared at her. They were at the couples’ retreat their church organized and had done series of activities together with other couples. It had been a little uncomfortable when the retreat leaders spoke about children and others were sharing their experiences but she soon blended in and even contributed as the discussion got heated. She noticed that Osa was quiet all through the retreat.
As they sat by the pool of the hotel at night, Cecilia wondered why Osa was quiet and staring. Their relationship had been strained for the past couple of years and she knew that it was her ardent quest for a child that caused it. He was a calm and quiet person and he reacted only when pushed to the wall. With her, that rarely occurred except when she had decided to try the IVF. He went crazy, complaining about how the search for a child had drained them both financially, emotionally and every other way. She had cried and begged until he gave in. She had told him it was the last time that she would try. True to her words, she had stopped trying. She just gave up. If God was going to give them a child, he was going to do it without her help because she was done.
“Why are you staring at me like that?” Cecilia asked him when she couldn’t take it any longer.
Osa smiled,” I wasn’t staring at you. Look behind you. ”
Cecilia turned to look. Apart from lights from the hotel grounds and a few chairs at the pool side, there was nothing worth looking at. She turned back to him.
“I was just thinking that you make everything here beautiful.” Osa told her, his smile was wider than the average saucer.
“Nice one. See how I fell for it.” Cecilia laughed and Osa joined in.
“I was staring at you because it has been a long time I saw you.”
Cecilia looked puzzled. “Hey, we see each other every day. What are you talking about?”
“You look so relaxed. You look… Free. I see you now and I remember when we first met, the things that drew me to you. I just have not seen you like this in a long time and I’m shocked, happy, confused, worried… So many emotions.”
Cecilia stared at him. She could not say anything but she understood what he was trying to say.
Osa continued. “I like what I see now. I was afraid that I had lost you. My fear is that you would switch on me again. I just want you. As much as I wanted a child too, I wanted and needed you much more.”
Cecilia’s voiced quivered.” It was the pressure. I’m sorry. ”
“But I never pressured you. We are in this together.” Osa said exasperated.
“My Love, it’s not about you. There was the societal pressure, my own desire for children, then your sister and that your Aunty Vero. The things they said to me, the messages they sent…” Cecilia shook her head “appalling.”
“Why didn’t you tell me? How dare Aunt Vero and Victoria? Show me the messages let me see.” Osa demanded.
“We were already fighting ourselves. And I think I might have deleted the messages”
Cecilia said, making no move to check for the messages on her phone. She knew they were there, she saved them and she hoped that one day when God blesses her, she can smile when she read the messages with a smirk on her face.
“I’m sorry.” He said, moving towards where she was and pulling her to him.
“I’m sorry too.” Cecilia responded looking into her husband’s eyes. Osa smiled again before his lips descended on hers.
“Let’s go back to the room; I want to show you something.” He muttered. Cecilia laughed.
She was seven months gone and this was the most difficult pregnancy ever. It was difficult because her blood pressure was acting up asides from other abdominal pain that she experienced. Chif also had been very cold toward her all through the pregnancy. He threw himself into his work, at least that was what he told her, Amaka thought. He came home very late every day. Even though he spoke to her every now and then, he became a stranger to her. For the first time in her life, she had to brace up and handle the issues of pregnancy by herself. She could not turn to her mother because she did not know how to explain that her husband was mad at her for five months and wanted nothing to do with the pregnancy.
Amaka Sat down on the floor in the sitting room and cried. She needed her husband to tell her that everything would be alright. Her phone rang. It was Yemisi.
“Babe, how are you?” Yemisi’s voice boomed through the phone.
Amaka sniffed. “I don’t know. I feel so sick. I’m starting to feel as if I’m going to lose this baby. ”
“Hey, don’t talk like that. Where is Chif? Can he get you to the hospital? You need to see a doctor.”
“I am so not going to call him even if I’m dying. He has abandoned me for five months. Five!” Amaka shouted at Yemisi through her tears.
“Amaka, please leave all those sentiments on the floor right now and call him. You need medical attention ASAP. In fact I’m going to call him.” Yemisi cut the line.
A moment later Chif got home.” Amaka what’s going on? I was on my way home when Yemisi called me. What’s wrong?”
Amaka sniffed. “I need to get to the hospital. Something is wrong.”
Chif looked alarmed. He called Nkem to assist him in getting Amaka to the car. Once they got to the hospital, Amaka was placed on admission and after some examinations; she was taken to the theatre.
Chif placed his hands on his head as he paced the walk way outside the theatre. Is this how it would end? He thought to himself. The baby was brought out safely but Amaka was in trouble. They asked him to wait outside.
If she died it would be the end of the world. He could not bring himself to think about it.
He had been angry with her so much that he wasn’t really there for her and now what if she didn’t make it? He asked himself, his heart beating so fast.
He heard his name and looked up to see Yemisi and Yomi rushing down to meet him.
“What’s going on? How is she?” Yemisi asked, the worry in her voice so evident.
Chif stammered. “I… I… They said that…that…I don’t know. ”
“Oh Jesus, Please take control. Yomi! Pray, pray, pray.”
Yomi pulled them close and the three heads bowed while Yomi prayed.
After the prayer, Chif burst into tears and Yomi held him.
Four hours later, Amaka was settled in the ward. Chif’s mother sat by the bed. She was singing “Ebezina chukwunonso, obakwa,” when Chif came inside.
“You are here. I told you that my daughter will give me a grandson. Have you seen him?”
“Yes Ma.” Chif responded.
“He’s so beautiful. Let me go and see the nurse.” she said and left Amaka and Chif alone.
Amaka wanted to be angry with him but she was so grateful to be alive and the baby was fine also though in the incubator at the moment.
Chif sat down on a chair left vacant by his mother.
“How are you feeling? Do you need anything? What did they say about your blood pressure now?” Chif asked, the concern unmistakable in his voice.
Amaka closed her eyes. “The nurse that took my last blood pressure reading said that it was fine. All the pain and discomfort are all gone.”
Chif sighed with relief. “God is good o. God is awesome.”
“How is the baby? Has he been sleeping?” Amaka asked.
“I don’t know. I have not been there to see the baby.” Chif responded stiffly.
“Why? Is something wrong? Is the baby okay?” Amaka opened her eyes in panic.
“Babe, calm down. There is nothing wrong; I have just been very busy.” Chif replied, uncomfortable with the situation. “I have to go see the administration about some money matter. I will be back soon.” He got up and left.
As he was leaving, Yemisi floated into the room. The nurse stationed close by eyed Yemisi “Ten minutes maximum.” And Yemisi smiled sheepishly.
“My dear Mama Chukwunonso, I am so glad to see you.” Yemisi’s bubbly personality made Amaka smile.
“Who told you that my Son’s name is Chukwunonso?”
“That is the song that your Mother in law has been singing since and I realize that Chukwunonso is a name given to boys abi?” Yemisi said.
“Maybe that’s the name he will bear since the father has been mute on the matter. Where is Yomi?” Amaka sighed. “Where you able to reach my mother? How are the girls?”
“Yomi has gone to work. I called your mother. She said the girls are having the time of their lives and she said to tell you that she misses you and wishes that she could be here. She also said to tell you that I am a wonderful person and you should buy me a gift for all my predictions that came through.” Yemisi told her, laughing as she delivered the message.
Amaka laughed. “You truly deserve a gift. You really stood by me during this pregnancy. I am grateful.”
“Yes na, see as I resemble mosquito. I can stand by somebody until they chase me away.” Yemisi smiled.
“By the way, Chif has not gone to see the baby. He brought up some flimsy excuse as to why he had not done so. I am already fed up with his behaviour, one day I will just shock him if he continues this nonsense.” Amaka voiced out her anger.
Yemisi sigh, “Please take it easy with him. You do not know what he just went through. He has not slept since you were brought to the hospital. He has been super worried. In fact the man burst into tears when they sent him out of the theatre. He is spent emotionally as you see him walking around. Be kind.”
Amaka paused a bit, absorbing all that Yemisi said.
“That man loves you.” Yemisi said.
“I am not questioning his love. Abeg, let us talk about other things.”
She had cancelled her lectures to get some rest. The pain in her head was horrible. After taking some Ibuprofen, she decided to take antimalarial tablets. If that did not work, then she would take drugs for typhoid.
“Don’t you think that this self-medication thing is wrong? We agreed five years ago never to do self-medication.” Osa admonished Cecilia.
“Ehn. That was when we were looking for children na. Now that that chapter is behind us, we can move on.” Cecilia smiled weakly.
Osa shook his head and turned the newspaper that he was reading. He had decided to stay at home to be with his wife.
“I can’t find the antimalarial tablets. Did you take them?” Cecilia asked, looking confused. Her hair was scattered from the night’s tussle and her eyes were dull.
“Yes, I took them. One of us has to be sensible.” He flipped a page then stretched out his hands to her. He had a pregnancy test kit in it. Cecilia rolled her eyes.
“I threw them all in the dustbin. Where did you find this one?”
“I picked it out of the dustbin. How can you waste money like that? See this digital one, remember how much it cost?”
Cecilia snatched it, opened the package and broke the safety wrap on the stick. She went into the bathroom and peed on it.
“I am waiting!” Osa said.
“Negative. Give me my Antimalaria.” She snapped at him. He handed over the drugs and went into the bathroom. A few minutes later, he came out laughing but Cecilia was past caring.
Yemisi and Yomi were seated on a table at the back of the reception hall.
“Let’s move forward.” Yemisi told him.
“To where? Everywhere is occupied. We are lucky to even get a table to sit at.” Yomi responded looking annoyed at his wife.
“Leave that matter. I can get any table I want. This is wedding ti wan ti wa.” A close colleague of Yemisi got married. Although they couldn’t make it on time for the church ceremony, Yemisi knew that the Reception was where the celebration proper held and once the couple see her at the reception, she had fulfilled her obligation.
“I am not prepared to squeeze myself on a table. This one is fine.” Yomi told her.
Yemisi sighed. “You know people don’t get food at the back Sha. And I did not do all this makeup only to hide at the back, what message am I passing to those looking up to me?”
Yomi laughed and shook his head. “I told you that you were fine, is that not enough? Who are those here that you would want their validation? I am the only one whose opinion matters.”
“Hmm. little do you know. All you men just continue to deceive yourselves. ”
After sitting for fifteen minutes with no drinks or food, Yemisi stared at Yomi. Yomi called a server and told him to bring everything the caterer and drink section had to offer and he would tip with five hundred bucks. Within two minutes, drinks started flowing and then the food followed. Friends and colleagues of Yemisi stopped by the table to greet them. Yemisi introduced her husband to those who didn’t know him.
“You seem to be well respected at this your office.” Yomi commented.
“I’m a good boss, even if I say so myself. As head of human resources, I have to interface with these people a lot and I can say my team and I are trying. We even won best department last year.” Yemisi said, beaming with pride. Better know it; I am a boss woman outside of my home. Yemisi thought to herself.
Yomi looked at her on amazement. “That’s great.”
Yemisi was happy that Yomi could see her in her own environment and she felt that it made an impact on the way he viewed her.
While she was still basking in the new found admiration in her husband’s eyes, an old school friend showed up.
“Yemisi, is this really you? It’s been ages.”
Yemisi remembered him immediately and hoped that he would greet and move on. She did not want to introduce him to Yomi. Femi was her first boyfriend at the University but she dumped him for greener pastures. It was one of the actions that she wished she had handled better. She remembered how she dumped him so unceremoniously and without a care.
Femi kept talking without realizing that her husband was by her side and Yomi was listening attentively.
“So, do you know the bride or groom?” Yemisi asked trying to change the topic. Femi was obviously on the table to sit. She wished that she had introduced Yomi to him to send him away but as it was, it was too late, or so she thought.
“Don’t change the topic. I cannot forget how you messed me up back at school. In fact what you did had a profound effect on me. I always told myself that if I ever see you again, I would get the police to arrest you.” he said jokingly but she could see the seriousness in his eyes.
Yemisi was flustered. She laughed nervously.” it’s all in the past now. We have all moved on and matured.”
“Of course. But I never understood it. We had something good going and you just walked away. What did I do wrong?”
Yemisi rolled her eyes. “Femi, I can’t remember. It’s all in the past. But I’m sorry. Let me introduce you to my husband. Yomi meet Femi. Femi, meet Yomi. ”
Femi looked mortified. “And she does it again. You should have introduced me first to your husband before allowing me to go on my rant. Bros, no vex.” He extended a hand to Yomi.
“Don’t mind her. That’s how we all suffer in her hands. It was good to meet you.” Yomi shook his hand good-naturedly.
“Madam HR Oluwayemisi, so you’ve been breaking hearts since 1926.” Yomi said after Femi left.
“I can’t hear you. The noise is so deafening.” Yemisi pretended not to hear what he said. It was time for the couple to dance and the leader of the live band started singing to the couple. “Let’s dance with the couple so that we can take pictures and leave.”
Chif looked at the child staring up at him. He was one month old. He lay in the crib that the two girls before him had used. He was happy that he didn’t have to buy many baby items.
Chukwunonso had stuck. If he had chosen a name, that was what he would have picked. His mother, Yemisi and Amaka all called him Chukwunonso.
The boy smiled at him but Chif looked back at him wearily.
“You almost cost me my wife.” he muttered. As if he felt that his father wasn’t happy with him, Chukwunonso started crying sending Amaka into the room.
“Why is he crying?” she asked.
“I don’t know.” Chif responded gruffly.
“Please pick him up, my stitch hurts, I need to stay off my feet.” Amaka told him.
Chif stared at her and she stared back, daring him. He turned to Chukwunonso and picked him up. The boy was suddenly quiet and sucked his thumb.
“He just needed his father.” Amaka told him as she stretched on the bed in their room. Chif sighed but didn’t respond. “This is the first time that you are carrying him.”
“I’ve been busy.” Chif said knowing that he was never that busy. Chif dropped the baby back in his cot.
Amaka sighed aloud.
“That is good. I am taking Chukwunonso and the girls to my parent’s place.”
“Why?” Chif asked, wondering why Amaka would want to go elsewhere when she was just getting home.
“Why? Because, I need someone to take care of me. My mother is there to help me with Chukwunonso and let me say frankly that I am tired of your behaviour. I suffered these past months because you decided that I got myself pregnant. Since you do not want to claim your Son, and you are making things awkward around here I am going to move out. Yes that’s what I plan to do eventually.”
Chif was shocked. “Move out? What are you talking about? Why would you make that kind of decision?”
Amaka eyed him, “I am not having a conversation with you. I don’t want to build up anger inside of me. In fact, I need you to leave this room.” She shouted at him.
Chif was confused. He left the room after staring at her for a few minutes.
Later in the evening, Amaka was breastfeeding Nonso when Chif came into the room.
“Babe, I am sorry. I know that you have been through a lot. I did not know that you were having issues with your pregnancy. I messed up and I am truly sorry. I truly kept myself extremely busy these past months; I was not staying out late to do anything bad.” Chif said. Amaka just looked at him.
“Let me tell you the things that I have been doing for the past months. I was so worried about our financial status and I knew that my salary could not carry us anymore. I was just under so much pressure; the house rent was coming, school fees for the two girls and the contributions I have committed to. It was all getting to much for me and then you came with the news of the baby. I thought that I would go mad. After a few months, I decided to think objectively about what I needed to do to diversify, increase sources of income. So I did some investments and the small interest I made I put in it one business that a couple of us came together to do. It’s an online platform where we sell used but valuable products. I was not sure about the idea but we worked at it until we were sure that it was a good investment. So, I have been working on that after my nine to five. We made some loses initially but things are picking up but these are early days. I am also looking for other ways to make income.”
Amaka shook her head, “what does that have to do with showing your son some love? or being kind or just being there for me? We needed you more than the money that you are trying so hard to make. Just imagine if I had died in the process. I don’t know what you can say that can make all these go away. All I know is that I am going to my parents’ place tomorrow.”
Chif got up and turned to the door, then he turned back to look at her before he left.
Amaka wondered what was really going on in his head concerning his Son, Nonso. She wondered if a man could not want to be with his child. It all seemed so bizarre to her.
Cecilia still felt poorly even after taking antimalarial drugs. Osa drove her to the clinic by the house to see any doctor available. She was tired of going to her own hospital. She was so regular at her hospital that the staff queried her when she didn’t show up there often.
As they waited for the laboratory tests to be sent to the doctor, they sat quietly.
“Professor Osaghele? Am I right?” A grey-haired woman came over to where Cecilia and Osa sat.
Cecilia got up, “Yes. I am Professor Osaghele.” And she looked expectant at the woman because she could not remember if she had met her before.
“You do not know me but let me introduce myself. I am Ms. Mercy. I am the guardian at the Christ’s children orphanage.” The woman said smiling at Cecilia.
The name of the orphanage clicked in Cecilia’s head. “Oh Yes. I remember the orphanage but I do not remember you.”
“I know. We never met. The day you came to make that donation was the day I was admitted to the hospital. We had been struggling to feed the children and the situation was so bad. Suddenly I developed a complication from a surgery I had just done and my staff were at their wits end, not knowing how to finance my medical bills and feed the house. Then you came like an angel and gave us something substantial.”
Cecilia looked embarrassed. “It was nothing Madam; absolutely nothing. I wish I could have done more.”
“Oh that’s where you are wrong. It saved us during that period. The money sorted out the bills and feed us for a month and a half after which more angels came. But you see, you saved my life that day and the children were so hungry and you gave them food.”
Cecilia became emotional, tears dropping from her eyes. “I am glad I was able to help.” Osa stood and held Cecilia close. He introduced himself to Ms Mercy. “Thank you for your kind words Ms Mercy. We do what we can to help as Christians.”
Ms Mercy waved her hands. “Call me Grandma. That is what they all call me. Let me tell you what we did; we prayed for you every day of those months that we had food to eat. The children were so grateful they prayed for you many times a day. I have not stopped praying for you because I appreciate what you did for me to and I asked the God of mercy to be merciful to you.”
Cecilia nodded her head. She hugged Grandma Mercy. They were interrupted by a nurse who came to inform Cecilia that it was her turn to see the doctor.
“Madam, your blood samples came back just now. I am looking at it on the system.” The doctor said as he clicked on the mouse. Cecilia sat on the doctor’s left by the table while Osa sat opposite the doctor.
“Yes, I can see it now. You said that you have been experiencing some malaria symptoms as you put it, am I right?”
Cecilia responded. “Yes. I treated for malaria but it didn’t go away. I was going to try some typhoid drugs but …well, my husband pushed me here.” The doctor laughed and they all joined in.
“Well, the results here so far showed that there was no malaria. I must warn you though that you should not be using just any drugs in your state. Some drugs are not safe for women in your condition.”
Cecilia looked at the doctor blankly. She was never afraid to speak her mind, after all her profession was all about speaking her mind. “What are you talking about doctor?”
Osa was already beaming and the doctor looked more confused.
“You don’t know that you are pregnant?” The doctor asked, looking from Cecilia to Osa.
“Your husband seems to know and you don’t. How can that be?” He probed.
Cecilia sat there looking confused. “What are you talking about? Are you sure that my result was not mixed up with someone else’s?”
“The pregnancy test you did the other day was positive but somehow you did not even look at the result.” Osa said.
“Positive? I peed on the stick, It was digital and I saw not pregnant.” Cecilia exclaimed.
“I saved the stick. It read ‘four to five weeks plus pregnant’.” Osa replied.
The doctor, obviously enjoying the scene, told them, “The lab report says twelve weeks.”
Cecilia was shocked and started blabbing. “Wow. Where is God? I need to thank him. Doctor, are you sure? Osa, you knew and you didn’t tell me? Jesus, Oh sweet Jesus. Maybe it was the children’s prayers, let me go and find the elderly woman. Oh my God.” She got up looking confused. Her eyes wide and her hands shook.
Osa grabbed her and hugged her. “This is what I wanted to do since I found out.”
“Congratulations.” The doctor shouted after them as they left his office. “Make sure that you come back for antenatal clinic on next week.”
“Yemisi, I think that we should give the Adebimpes’ school a trial? I think that it is cheaper.” Yomi said to Yemisi while they lay on the bed in their room. Her head was on his chest, her fingers stroking his big belly.
“Yomi my love, I have assessed that school. It might be cheaper in terms of school fees but the cost implication on other areas like afterschool, transportation to the house and so on. Even the curriculum in their current school is a lot better. My dear, this school that they are in is a much better school.”
Yomi shook his head. “When I tried to add up the difference, the Adebimpes’ school fees made sense.”
Yemisi changed her tactic. “I went by the school just to do due diligence, their facilities are not super at all. The science laboratory does not have anything inside. The security nko? I went into the school without hassle. For me to entered like that it means that anyone can enter the school premises.”
Yomi was alarmed. Yemisi knew that Yomi had an issue with security and it was something he took seriously.
“I will speak to kola about it.” Yomi later said after thinking for a while.
Yemisi rolled her eyes, “If they don’t comply or falter, will you now remove the boys from the school? Apart from that, will you have the time to do school runs because I don’t have the time that is why I appreciate the nearness of the school they are in to the house.” Yemisi paused and noticed that she was finally getting through to Yomi so she decided to go for the kill. “Also, I would have to do more cooking to make sure they have food to hold them until I get to pick them at night from school if you cannot do school runs and you know how my blood pressure has been rising of late, I need to take things easy.”
Yomi smiled. “You this woman sha, your own is to have your way.”
Yemisi laughed. “It is necessary o. I cannot come and go and die.”
Amaka paced about the room. Should I start packing my things? What should I do? She asked herself. She went towards the baby cot to see Nonso. He was not there. She was alarmed. She left the room. “Nkem!” she shouted.
“Aunty!” Nkem said, coming towards Amaka from the children’s room.
“Where is Nonso?” She asked.
Nkem looked confused. “I don’t understand. Nonso? You always have Nonso with you.”
“Okay. Don’t worry. I will find him.” She said and Nkem looked at her as she walked past her towards Chifs study.
She opened the door and found Chif asleep with a bundle of clothing on his chest. She went closer and found Nonso wrapped up in the bundle and sleeping soundly. Amaka exhaled after holding her breath for a while and sat on a chair opposite them.
Chif stirred, opened his eyes and looked about, confused for a second before he realized where he was and who was on his chest. “Hey.”
Amaka stared at him. “What are you doing with the baby?”
“He was crying at night and you didn’t wake up so I had to pacify him.”
“Why didn’t you wake me up?” Amaka asked.
“You needed to rest. I just thought I should help out once in a while, you know.” Chif got up and placed Nonso on the soft couch that he had been resting on.
Amaka got up to meet Chif and looked into his eyes. “Thank you.”
Chif shrugged, “For what na? He is my Son. Daddy has got to do his bit.”
Amaka tried not to smile but she couldn’t hide her relief. She grabbed Chif and hugged him. “I don’t know where your head has been or what you are going through because I have been in my own world trying to deal with the pregnancy, a baby and wondering if I would get a job. But I am glad that you are out of that funk.”
“I am just glad that you aren’t going anywhere. Right?” Chif asked, burying his face into her neck.
“About that, did you really think I would leave you and then leave the house for you? Never!” Amaka laughed.
“So, you were planning to kick me out eventually or what? I would be happy because I just signed some mortgage deal for a house.” Chif responded.
“Our house?” Amaka asked excitedly.
“If I can complete the payment for the upfront, yes. We would be able to move in and then I would pay the rest over the years, God willing.”
“That is great news. May God bless the work of our hands that it would yield bountiful fruits for us and for our children and their children.”
“Amen.” Chif responded to the prayer, holding on to his wife in the way that he had been yearning for almost seven months.
Nonso stirred and started wailing. “Asa, go and pick up your Son.” Chif told Amaka.
“Oh! Now he is my Son ehn?” Amaka responded as she went to pick up Nonso.
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