The restlessness that bedeviled Itohan was something else. Life fled from her. She would wake from sleep but the strength to leave the bed wasn’t there. Her daughter had gone to the university, leaving her with Efosa who is 15 years old.
It was already morning. She dragged herself out of the bed to the bathroom. When she came out, she stood before the mirror naked. She touched her stomach then smiled. She was pregnant. Three months gone.
Nosa doesn’t know she is pregnant. He had not come home for more than a month and she had told herself she wasn’t going to kill herself again. She was getting used to the bed without him.
Itohan was tired of staying home. She was through learning tailoring. The last time Nosa came home, she had told him she was through with learning and wanted money for a sewing machine and to rent a shop.
“When I have money I will get you one and rent a big shop” He had told her.
But you get money naa. Open shop for me abeg but he won’t say anything.
She left the mirror to the wardrobe to put something on, then she sat on the chair. She closed her eyes and remembered an important discussion with him.
“You get money now” She had told him “I want make you start to think of building your own house. Land dey this area, look and ask questions so that you go buy one”
“You are not the one to tell me what to do. I am not a baby”
“I know. Dey build your house dey go small small, before you know everything don complete”
Nosa had picked his shirt from the bed and started wearing.
“Na where you dey go now”
“Where you will not preach to me”
“But wetin I talk na bad thing? Husband and Wife no fit reason things together? She queried, “Why you come dey vex now? I do bad thing?
Nosa hissed, wore his shoe and left the house. That was more than a month ago. Since then, he had not returned home.
He doesn’t pick her call neither does he call back. She doesn’t know where he works and she was already frustrated. She didn’t know she will get pregnant after so many years of expectation. She was just 41. Itohan struggled out of the chair to the kitchen to warm the food.
Efosa had swept the house and was set for school. Both of them ate breakfast and was about to leave.
“Aaah! I forget to pray oo. Make we go inside”
Efosa was already grumbling.
“I am late. I have already prayed”
“Prayer nor dey too much” She told him.
Both of them returned to the sitting room where they prayed before setting out.
Uyi did not notice Itohan’s presence in his shop until he had attended to all his customers. He was surprised to see her waiting patiently outside.
“Why didn’t you come inside?” He asked smiling “You are not a stranger na!”
Itohan stood up and greeted him.
“I no wan disturb the business”
Itohan followed him inside the shop where he gave her chair to sit and entertained her with soft drink.
“Money good oo” Uyi told her, “See as you come fresh”
Itohan kept laughing and sipping her drink. She was about to say what brought her to his shop before a customer came in. He excused himself and attended to the customer.
Itohan looked at the once empty shop, now stocked with goods. She shrugged her shoulder then smiled. Uyi soon returned.
“How your children and Nosa?”
“My children dey fine but Nosa matter naim make me come see you”
“Enh enh! Him well?”
“Yes. E dey fine”
Itohan paused and frowned.
“Na where Nosa dey work?” She asked.
Taken aback by Itohan’s question, he laughed.
“Na you suppose know na. No be your husband”
“E no tell me, naim make me come meet you. Na you be his friend”
“Aaah! E don tey wey me and Nosa see last oo”
“But why you dey ask where him dey work?”
“Nosa nor dey come house. E say na work. I wan go the company make them release am for me”
Uyi laughed hilariously then kept quiet.
“But him dey take care of you na. E dey give you money. See as you fresh”
“I want my husband for house. Nosa don change finish” She said standing up “E no dey ask of us. He go just drop money waka comot. Na so people dey marry?”
“If I call for phone, e no go pick am. I don beg am to forgive me if I offend am” She cried.
Uyi left his seat to Itohan. He held her shoulders and hugged her. Itohan was carried away. She rested her head on his chest and cried the more. Uyi consoled her.
“Don’t cry. I will talk to him and I will get his company’s address” He brought out an handkerchief from his pocket and dried her face.
Realizing she was not doing the right thing, she pushed him gently but Uyi would not bulge. He held her firmly and began to press her buttocks. Itohan surprised by his audacity, slapped him hard and pushed him away.
“Which kain rubbish be this”
“Relax for wetin”
She picked her handbag in annoyance, but Uyi passed her to the entrance of the gate.
“I am sorry”
“No try that nonsense with me ever again” She warned.
“No vex” He moved away from the gate to allow her space to pass.
Uyi smiled and licked his mouth as he watched her leave.
“Nothing dey wrong if I chop you the way your husband dey chop Nicole” He whispered and returned to his seat.
Her body temperature was hot. She was sweating and shivering at the same time. Nicole lay restless on the bed. For a week, she had not left the bed because she was ill.
“I can’t watch you kill yourself” Nosa told her mopping her body with warm water “You have hot temperature and you need to see the doctor”
Nicole protested but he insisted. He helped her dress up and then drove to St. Dominic Hospital. Dr Daniel was a close pal of Nosa. A broad smile crossed his face when Nosa entered the office with Nicole.
“It’s been a while Nosa. You have forgotten me”
They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.
“It’s work ooh”
“Your wife was here for antenatal two days ago” He said smiling.
Nosa shifted uneasily on his seat, glanced at Nicole and smiled at Dr Daniel.
“Yeah” He replied.
There was a worried look on Dr Daniel’s face but Nosa dismissed it.
“My woman here is not too fine” He explained.
Dr Daniel looked surprised and disappointed yet kept his opinion to himself. He examined Nicole and asked her series of questions. He called a nurse who took her blood sample for test. Nicole was admitted and when the result came, the doctor announced that she was 7 weeks pregnant. The doctor explained why Nicole was sick.
She spent three days in the hospital before she was discharged. All through, Nosa was there for her. He was troubled by Dr Daniel’s announcement. He never knew his wife was pregnant. He couldn’t even remember when last he went home to his wife. He began to be remorseful. He thought of ways to reconcile with Itohan. Will she forgive him? Nicole and his wife pregnant. He vowed to keep his relationship with Nicole secret because of what he’s getting from her.. He would try and be there for both of them.
He loves Nicole and he would make her a second wife.
To Be Continued… . . . .
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