It was a hot afternoon. Itohan had just returned from the market where she got herself and Efosa second hand clothes. She used the opportunity to buy few baby items. With the little money remaining, she planned to start something. Iya Folake’s house was located in a strategic place. She had even noticed that the street is usually busy even till 12am.
The few weeks she had lived in the compound, she also noticed that Iya Folake cares about her. She comes knocking every morning before going for her business.
“Even if you are not hungry, eat for the sake of the child” she would tell Itohan.
She would pray with Itohan and still encourage her to pray on her own.
Now she was short of cash, how was she to ask iya if she would be permitted to sell in front of the compound.
“Maybe I should talk to Taiye first. No! I will talk to Iya first, when she returns from shop”
Itohan arranged her baby items at a corner. Then she brought out the second hand clothes for washing. Efosa had not returned from school. The contractions she had been having since the previous day was now occuring more frequently, more painful and could not be endured any longer. When she was a bit relieved, she quickly washed the clothes.
She was hanging them behind the house when another contraction set in and she screamed. Taiye heard her scream and rushed out. He saw her behind the house and she could not move. He rushed inside the house to get the car key, then helped her into the car and zoomed off to the hospital Itohan registered.
On getting to the hospital, itohan’s amniotic sac broke. Dr Daniel examined her and saw that she was almost fully dilated. She was taken to the delivery room.
In the delivery room, the pain was unbearable for her. She began to cry calling the name of her husband.
“Relax Itohan. I will call your husband”
“Please call him” She said “I wan hear him voice. He need to know sey I wan born”
Dr Daniel went to his office and returned with his phone. He put a call through to Nosa. The phone rang severally before Nosa picked the call.
“Hello! This is Dr Daniel. Your wife is in labour demanding to speak with you. Hold on” He handed the phone to Itohan.
Itohan collected the phone and placed on her ear.
“Nosa, I wan born. I dey hospital” She cried “Abeg come make I see your face. Abeg”
Suddenly, she frowned. She handed the phone to the doctor with a shaky hand.
“What did he say? Is he coming?” Dr Daniel asked.
She shook her head in the negative and began to wail.
“E no go better for you Nicole. As I dey cry, your own go worst pass this. God go punish you Nicole”
“Han han” Iya Folake said rushing into the delivery room “Stop all this curse”
Taiye had rushed to the shop to inform her.
“There is no need for that. Think of the bundle of joy you’re about to carry now”
“I think sey I fit forgive am but I no fit forgive am again”
The pain shot through her vein and she screamed.
“Doctor I wan push. O Jesus I no fit bear this pain. Nosa, Nosa oh Nosa”
The Doctor asked her to lie on the bed to check her.
“You are fully dilated, I can touch the baby’s head. You can push” He instructed
She pulled all her strength together and pushed hard and the baby came out. It was a boy.
The baby was given to a nurse for a proper checkup and cleaning. After the baby had been properly checked for any sign of abnormality and the mother had been taken care of. The baby boy was handed to Iya Folake, who danced and praised God before placing him beside his Itohan on the bed.
Iya Folake rushed home to announce the good news to Efosa. She then rushed to the market to get ingredients for pepper soup. She returned to the hospital with baby clothes, food and accompanied by Efosa.
Nicole and Nosa returned from an outing. They both sat down on the chair and removed their shoes. The maid came and took the shoes and Nicole’s handbag and kept in the appropriate place. Nicole stretched her legs on the chair then placed her head on Nosa’s legs. The maid soon returned with two bottle water and 2 glasses. Nosa told her to leave them on the table.
For the past few days, Nicole had been restless. She was not happy nor sad. At times, she had appetite of two people and sometimes she would eat little. So far so good, everything about her life was good except that she kept thinking of Eghosa.
Two nights ago, she dreamt about him where they sat together. He was with a big bible opening chapters upon chapters of the bible. He kept telling her that there is no repentance in the grave.
“You need to change your ways and come to Jesus”
When she woke, she sat up on the bed and began to think.
“Why is Eghosa disturbing me? Did I do anything that I shouldn’t have done?” She whispered to herself
She glanced at the sleeping Nosa behind her.
“If taking Nosa from Itohan is the bad thing that I did that I need to repent from?, Then Eghosa go to hell. Stop appearing in my dreams”
Nicole left the sitting room to use the toilet. As she returned to the sitting room, Nosa’s phone rang. She saw him pick the phone and place on his ear. She also saw him frown deeply without saying a word. Nicole grabbed the phone from him and heard the voice of Itohan crying and asking Nosa to come to the hospital because she was in labour.
“Thunder will kill you there in the hospital. Infact you will not make it alive there. You have not started crying Itohan” Nicole shouted on the phone.
Before she could say more, the call was disconnected
Nicole was angry. She paced round the sitting room in anger.
“What effrontery she has” She shouted.
“Calm down” Nosa said.
She raised her hand and slapped him terribly. The shocked Nosa touched his hot cheek.
“Never you tell me to calm down next time”
“Alright ma” He said.
She kept pacing, but silent now. Nosa sat down calmly still touching his cheek. Nicole looked at him and a smile played on her lips. She went and sat beside him. She took his hands in hers and began to cry.
“I am sorry darling. I shouldn’t have raised my hands to hit you. Please forgive me” She sobbed.
“It’s okay Nicole. I know you are stressed. You need to relax more. Come here!” He said and gently kissed her, she responded swiftly to him, then stretched on the chair again, resting her head on his lap.
Two days later, Iya Folake settled Itohan’s hospital bill and she was discharged.
Every morning, Itohan would look at the baby’s face and wondered how he resembled her husband so much. One morning, after Iya had finished bathing the child. She told Iya she doesn’t know what name to give the child.
“Have you tried to contact your husband?”
“No!” She said frowning “I no wan call am again”
Iya Folake frowned and shook her head sadly.
“I think you should call him and ask him what he would want to name the child”
Itohan refused, but Iya had to convinced her to dial his line and so, Itohan took her phone and dialled Nosa’s line. The phone rang severally but no one answered it.
“I nor go ever call am again. I go give my pikin name by myself” She said angrily.
Iya knew that Itohan felt bad. She felt dejected.
When it was time for naming Itohan named her son “Osakhioduwamen” meaning God open the door of my life.
By this time the money she has was dwindling. If not for Iya Folake who rescued her by paying her hospital bill, she would have been stranded.
“Efosa sit down, I wan ask you question”
Efosa had a surprised look on his face. He just returned from the lesson and the next thing was to fill his rumbling stomach. He sat on one of the plastic chairs opposite the bed.
“You know sey na you be my bank” She said smiling “Na how much remain for your hand?” She asked.
Quickly, he stood up and brought the money where he hid it. He counted it and frowned.
“It’s only 6k that remains oo”
“Aaah! The money don finish kpatakpata. Na how we go take dey eat na? She asked.
She shook her head sorrowfully. It was obvious that Itohan was greatly worried.
“Oya go eat, you hear?”
When it was time to sleep, Itohan lay on the bed but her thought was far from sleep. She had a lot on her mind.
To Be Continued… . . .
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