She picked it up and started crying immediately which got me scared…
Me: What is the issue? How far about her health? I waited for her for some seconds to say something but she didn’t utter a word, she was only weeping instead which got me annoyed.
Me: talk now! (I yelled).
I dropped the call with anger when I couldn’t hear anything from her than crying. I got confused more because I couldn’t reason and understand Taiwo’s reaction.
“Is it that Zainab is dead or why was she crying? No, she must not die! Never! She is too young to die. God, where is your face? Why am I passing through all this? Come to my aid” I cried bitterly and I was petted by my sister. We were expected to resume back to school that very week but due to the situation on ground, I couldn’t and all my efforts to get in touch with Zainab were futile.
After some days, Taiwo called and told me that she had been flied out of country…
Me: How can I get her father’s number?
Taiwo: He is out of the country as well, so you can’t reach him for now except if he calls you. Me: I know you will not give the number to me and that is unfair, but Taiwo, what has she done for you to deserve that? The ingrate you claimed you didn’t wanna be then, is now what you have turned to. Are you trying to punish me through her or what? Because, I don’t understand.
Taiwo: (crying) my threat was just an empty one now. Can’t you just trust me that I couldn’t do such? You are my family and you are the ones keeping me alive, so how would you think killing or wounding you guys would be the best for me? What would I gain from that? It was just a coincidence and that my utterances were out of anger. Please and please, stop alleging me of what I know nothing about.
Me: (I sighed) I am not convinced with your actions and words. Don’t worry, God shall expose and punish whoever is behind this issue. I said and dropped the call.
I tried to motivate myself and move on. I went back to school after two weeks and my school fees was sent to me by my sister a week after. Though, it was difficult for me to put away her feelings, but life must continue. I managed to write my industrial training report and also forced myself to read because I must not have any delay. I tried her number every successful day but never gone through, but I never for once tried that of Taiwo because her action has made me created phobia for her…
After three months, my first semester exam was around the corner and I’ve started preparing to put in my best so as to come out with better result, I got a reggae call from Taiwo which spoilt my blues.
“Hello, how far? Have you heard from her?” I asked anxiously. “No jawe”, she replied soberly.
Me: What about daddy, did you hear from him?
Taiwo: Not at all. I even tried his number yesternight, but didn’t go through and he didn’t call me too.
Me: O ga o. All is well.
Taiwo: Ameen. (Trembling) I got an information for you…
Me: Good or bad?
Taiwo: (she sighed), it depends on the window through which you view it, but to me, it’s good. I’m not supposed to inform you about this, but I still have to tell you at the same time due to one reason.
Me: I’m listening!
Taiwo: I threw up twice some days ago which prompted me to go for test thinking it was malaria but the result showed it that I’m three months pregnant.
Me: Preg what? Did I hear you say pregnant or what?
Taiwo: Of course yes. Is it new to you or what?
Me: You must be joking. Perhaps, you go for another test because I have not done anything with you and besides, I’m not ready to settle down with you unless you find me Zainab.
Taiwo: (raised voice) Listen and listen good Afeez, I’m not calling to trade words with you but just to get you informed and again, I’m not forcing you to bring anything but to know that very soon, you are gonna become a father. She lamented and hung up the call.
I was shocked and confused.
This lady with her problems all the time.
What should I do now? I was disturbed throughout that day. Though, it was difficult to do, but I later discarded and got over the problem, and then managed to write my first semester exam and left the school to our family house in Ede.
My room was dusty and there were hanging cobweb everywhere in the room. I couldn’t stay long in the house because it was scary though, I tided up everywhere before I tried to locate Demola and thank God I found him.
We exchanged pleasantries by hugging each other and shared life experiences together where I told him about my problems with Zainab and Taiwo… “Ore (friend), you are going to meet Zainab again but I will advise you to move on with Taiwo pending the arrival of Zainab”, he counseled.
I was confused with his words and seek for enlightenment…
“But what gave you the assurance that I’m still gonna meet Zainab again? And if you are very sure of that, why did you ask me to continue with Taiwo since Zainab will be back?” I questioned anxiously.
He cleared his throat and replied, “Since Taiwo claimed you have impregnated her, you will have to confirm her pregnancy and if it is true, there is nothing you can do to it than to accept. On Zainab’s issue, since she was the architect of the problems, she must be ready to accept defeat and be the second wife if and only if she is ready to be. That’s my own view”, he concluded.
I took a deep breath as I reasoned along with his argument, but it’s easy said than done. I appreciated him for his outstanding support. In fact, Demola was a friend indeed. We exchanged our new numbers before he took me out for fun. I stayed with him till the second day before I zoomed off to Oshogbo where I also disclosed all what has happened to my sister. She blamed all of us for playing politics and alleged Taiwo and I for betraying Zainab. She felt pathetic and shared from Zainab’s feelings despite the fact that she was not there and advised me to move on as Demola counseled. Since, Taiwo is always available throughout the weekend, then I decided to pay her august visit which got me shocked on getting there.
I couldn’t just believe she was truly pregnant. I wondered why her pregnancy was crystal clear even visible for the blinds to see. She was also shocked and flabbergasted to see me. She was confused and didn’t know whether to embrace me or run away. She just stood motionless with her mouth wide opened. I moved closer to her and hugged her tightly while she embraced me too and tears started rolling down her cheeks. I fought back the tears and we sat down. She stood again “just a moment please” she said and later came back with a bluish bottle of wine with a glass in a tray and put it on a stool in front of me… “Thanks for that, but I will to be able to take anything. I only came here to check on you and know about your welfare” I said in a weak tone.
“Thanks for that, but why are you taking nothing? Are you still not happy with me?” she replied like a beggar looking for Samaritan.
“I must be frank with you, I am not happy with what is going on and my conscience has not been allowing me to sleep.
Assuming Zainab came around now, what are we gonna say? What do you think she would say? I want you yourself to think about it and put yourself in her shoes. If you were to be Zainab, what would you do?” I confessed and inquired.
She sighed; her head was bent down and buried it in her right volar while her left hand was placed on her left thigh. She stood up after some minutes and started wandering in the room while soliloquizing…
“If I had known that this is what will happen, I wouldn’t have engaged myself in such dirty game in the first instance. It’s a big slap on my face but I don’t have any other alternative than to accept it the way it has happened since I can’t abort. I’ve once made an attempt of aborting it, but I was told in the hospital that I was just fortunate to conceive because there is fibroid in my womb and my chance of getting another one if I abort this is zero. I’m not happy about this too. In fact, I felt like joining my family because I’m tired of my life. I’m ashamed of my stupidity. Afeez, what do you think is the way out?” she confessed sadly and busted into tears.
I was short of words. What a dilemma! I stood up after some minutes and petted her to take heart…
“You mistakenly cut your fingers with knife and then threw away the knife, what has happened has happened. We were all at fault and guilty of our acts and there is nothing we can do than to accept our faith and learn from our mistakes. Take heart dear, everything is gonna be okay. I’m very much ready not to let you down, to be responsible for the pregnancy, to stand beside you and also ready to bear whatever risk that comes out of this even when Zainab comes around”, I said calmly while she hugged me so tight…
“love you so much”, she appreciated with tears tricking down her cheeks. We both accepted our destiny and decided to move on till when we hear from Zainab
I introduced her to my sister who gave her some word of advice and encouraged her not to give up on the condition she found herself. The counsel brought her back to life and rekindled her lost hope.
I paid her regular visit to play and chat with her before I left back for school after three weeks of vacation. Her love started increasing day by day in my heart but yet, I couldn’t let go two days without dialing my first love’s number which was always not going through. The life that was once like hell was then getting lovely and cozy and my relationship with Taiwo was then becoming perfect which made me concentrated on my studies without any problem. Elders say a child that knows how to wash hands will surely eat with elder. My generous attitude to her also made her increased in good deeds to me. What surprised me most about her was that she sent me cash whenever I was broke and least expected as if I informed her. It was always coincided.
To God be to glory, I completed my B.sc program and I was posted to River State for my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) where I was fortunate to work with an Oil company. I was well paid and at the same time I did some kind of runs which yielded me more money. I sent money to my sister to get me a bungalow in preparation to settle down as a family man with Taiwo which she did without any stress with the help of her husband who was an agent. I seldom visit home to check on my wife (Taiwo) as a result of the distance but never let go of a day without hearing from her… Blood is thicker than water. May God bless my sister beyond her expectation because she really tried for both of us. In fact, I would have said she was my mother but since I didn’t grow up to know how mother cares, then I would rather say she was my grandma because she stayed and care for her since I was not around.
One fateful night, I could remember vividly, it was Thursday around 1:45am when I got a call from my sister telling me that she was in a hospital and prayer was needed just because my wife was about to deliver and she had been carried to the labour room. On hearing that, my body system changed and I became restless. It was not less than fifty minutes when I heard my phone ring again, my sister calling. I picked it up without any delay… “Hello sister, has she put to bed?” I asked anxiously with tremble in my voice.
“I learnt that she can’t put to bed herself and she needs to go through CS (caesarean section) and as a result of that, she has been moved to the theatre. Just keep your mind at rest and keep on praying. By God’s grace, she will deliver safely and we shall hear from both the mother and the baby”, she explained rendered words of encouragement.
“A a ameen” I responded with great fear in my voice and she hung up the call.
It was a big blow on my face and my heart started pounding heavily while I kept on repeating “CS” like a kindergarten student reciting ‘A for Apple’ along side with his or her teacher. I kept on moving up and down in the room for some minutes before I later picked up a kettle and performed ablution, and then started praying. After some minutes, I heard my phone ringing again which made me broke the prayer. And I was shocked and confused when I saw who was calling me.
…to be continued