By Adeola Nissi
Alex entered his father’s house and slammed the door behind him in anger, shaking the house. His mother who was busy pacing the length of the sitting room froze in her strides as her son stormed into the sitting room.
“Alex” she called nervously.
“No” he barked. “Don’t ever call my name. You have destroyed my life. What sort of a mother are you?”
“I am sorry my son; I am so sorry” she cried.
“My son? Don’t ever call me that! I would be extremely glad to hear that you are not my mother. You are not worthy to be called a mother” he roared. “I always boasted of you but now, I am forced to realize that you are just a filthy harlot. My sister! I married my sister” he exclaimed in complete bewilderment. “She is carrying my child” he yelled again. “Oh God!!! A product of incest”
Mrs. Bello did not even bother to hinder her flowing tears. “I am sorry” she cried.
“Sorry?” he returned. “Is that all you can say? Would that change anything? You destroyed the lives of your children. You threw a child away! A human being! And now, I am expecting a child from my sister. I have always wanted a sibling or a sister but now, I am married to her. Imagine, I unknowingly placed a bet on my sister’s pride and innocence. What goes around comes around right? I have unknowingly stabbed myself in the back. I am as guilty as you are” he declared in anger.
“She is your half-sister” she said.
“Half?” he roared in laughter. “The word ‘sister’ is still there. How can you still speak? I hate you just as much as I hate myself. You are the worst thing that ever happened to me”
I opened my eyes and everything my eyes saw was white. Yes! I have heard of heaven and this was no doubt heaven. I have never seen any place as white and an unfamiliar cool breeze blew me, making me feel good. But there is a problem. Why does it feel like I have been breaking firewood for a very long time? I wondered vaguely. My open eyes opened wider and for the first time, I noticed a fan above my head. This couldn’t be heaven! I shouldn’t feel so weak in heaven; neither should I see a ceiling fan, I thought vaguely.
A rumbling sound came from my side and for the first time, I tried turning my head to see the cause of the noise but the pain I received from my neck almost made me pass out. What is wrong? Everything seemed blank. A face appeared before me and I had to focus on the face. The guy before me was exceedingly handsome and I remembered vaguely that only two men have seemed that way to me. Kelvin? What on earth am I doing with him? A deep frown crossed my face, matching his equally worried and slightly frowning face, and my brain started racing.
“Easy now” Kelvin whispered in his baritone voice. “I am glad you are finally awake” a soft smile touched his face and he seemed to relax a bit. He brushed what I assumed to be a strand of my hair out of my face and my frown deepened as the situation became confusing.
I opened my mouth to talk and my mouth felt so heavy.
“You don’t have to talk honey” Kelvin said hastily.
Honey? I wondered in alarm. Despite my distress and sore throat, I forced my mouth open. “Where am I?” I whispered in pain.
He gave me a weak smile. “In a hospital. You have been here for more than a day now. You need your rest. Let me get the doctor”
He scrambled out of the room and all I could do was stare blankly after him. My brain ran wild with thoughts, trying to come up with a suitable explanation. What on earth am I doing in a hospital? I wondered. And of all the people in the world, why should Kelvin be here with me? I raised my hand weakly and rubbed it against my throbbing neck and all of a sudden, it all came flooding my senses. I almost jumped out of the bed but all I succeeded in doing was jerking into a sitting position. My eyes became dizzy and I swayed even in my sitting position. The door jerked open and Kelvin walked in with a doctor. He hastened to my side. “You should be lying down” he scolded and gently pushed me to a lying position before the doctor got to my side.
The doctor loomed over me and smiled. “How are you feeling miss?” he asked.
“Angry” I replied in anger. “What am I still doing on earth? Who is the unfortunate person who saved my equally unfortunate self from dying?” I spat out despite the difficulty I encountered from talking.
Kelvin looked at me. He did not look hurt, instead he looked very worried. “If you put it that way, I guess I am the fortunate person because it would be highly unfortunate if I allowed such a spectacular person slip from the face of the earth”
“Well, that is so unfortunate” I returned. “You should have minded your own business, because if you have, I would be spared the trauma of staying alive.” As my own words sank in, I began to see the truth in those words. But they would not understand, would they? They would not know that suicide is a great option for me, would they? They would not know that there were times when death is the best option.
I fully looked at Kelvin for the first time, and apart from noticing his handsome features, I noticed that his hair was slightly longer than most men’s, just long enough to envelope my fingers, I thought strangely. A faint smile crossed his face. “I am glad you are checking me out because if you see something you like, you might consider living”
That statement effectively drove my thoughts away from my failed suicide. I raised my brow. “Even if I was checking you out, what makes you think I like what I see uhn? I don’t see anything I feel I should like” I returned cheekily.
Instead of frowning, he actually grinned. “Oh, I am sure you like what you see”
I resisted shaking my head, knowing it would hurt like hell. “You are just too full of yourself if you think so”
“No, sweetheart. The way your fingers twitched when you looked at my hair was a telltale sign that you liked what you saw a lot” he said grinning.
I froze slightly and quickly gave him a blank look. “You are just imagining things”
He smiled. “A really good imagination that must be.”
I sighed and shifted my eyes to the doctor who seemed to have also been infected with the ‘grinning’ disease. I sighed again. “I have seen grinning faces enough to last me a lifetime. It is just ironic that I find nothing substantial enough to grin about” I said in annoyance.
“Watching you are a good cause to grin” Kelvin said before the doctor had his mouth open.
“Absolutely” I exclaimed. “My life is such a terrible heap of mess, if I were not the mess, I am sure I would also be laughing. I don’t blame you guys for doing that”
The smile on their faces wiped out. “You know that is not what I mean” he said seriously.
“Well, it is a delight to see that you are not whining about pain and distress like every other woman in your situation would, and that is why we are smiling. You are interesting to watch, you are almost making me forget my professional etiquettes” the doctor said.
I winced. “You cannot imagine just how interesting I am; my life could make a fantastic movie. In fact, I won’t be surprised if a movie is in the making just because of me” I said as my predicament loomed over me. The smiles on their faces were non-existent again. I looked at Kelvin. “Don’t expect me to thank you for preventing my death because you did not do me a favour, you just succeeded giving me another chance at pain and tears. Don’t worry, I am already used to tears.”
Silence reigned until the doctor cleared his throat and went about his duty, fussing over me like I was puppy in distress. “You are responding well. You should be out of here in another twenty four hours. This should at least calm Kelvin down; he has been glued to you like a second skin”
Although this was no good news to me, I had to blame myself for the haughty way I have been behaving. No matter what my problem might be, these people were at least showing some kindness and I ought to show some gratitude.
“I know what you are thinking” Kelvin said suddenly. “You promised not to thank me and I am holding you to your word. I hate being appreciated, it makes me feel ancient. Now, stop thinking too much”
I blushed slightly, wondering why I always felt on guard and spontaneous with this guy. He always gets me on my toes, ranting like an idiot and saying some things that I don’t really mean. “You don’t have to stay here” I said quietly. “Please go, I would be fine”
He smiled. “I won’t give you a chance to repeat what you did. I am going to make sure that you and your child are protected. Once you get out of here, you are coming with me.” I opened my mouth. “No arguments” he said, silencing me, not with his words but with his look. “If you can’t take care of yourself, I would gladly do that for you. I won’t watch the flower wither before my very eyes” he said quietly, reminding me of the last time I saw him. I swallowed painfully and sighed.
“Bello” Mrs. Bello called softly as she approached her husband in fear. They have not shared a word since the whole confession took place. Mr. Bello did not move a muscle as he read the newspaper. He opened a page and did not even seem to notice the presence of his wife.
“Please talk to me Bello. When would we talk about this? I am sorry” she said in tears.
He remained quiet and she shifted nervously. “Would you ever forgive me?”
He raised his eyes to her and finally opened her mouth and talked. “We are strangers and we would continue to live that way until I am able to get a divorce” Mrs. Bello gasped in shock. “Just tell me something” he continued. “Who did you cheat on me with?” he asked. “Who is Amara’s father? Or are they many?” he asked with a sneer.
She swallowed and took a step back.
“It is Habeeb”
He frowned deeply. “Which Habeeb?”
“Habeeb Sinja; my former driver” she declared.
…to be continued