“You are going again abi!” Dupe Taiwo said, holding her husband’s shirt. The man laughed, and shook his head.
“Women!” he said. “If I stay home doing nothing, you will complain to the whole world that your husband is incapable of providing for you.”
“Taiwo if you are going anywhere we will go together.” She said.
His phone rang. It was a text message from Chichi. The girl was already packed and ready for this trip.
“She is calling you again abi. Wait till I teach that girl a lesson. She is by the gate abi.” She let go of his shirt and went into the kitchen to get a stick. Captain Taiwo picked up his small suitcase and hurried into his Range rover.
“Oya move to airport. We will stop at Surulere first to pick Chichi.”
The driver started the SUV and reversed, as the gateman opened the gate wide.
“Close that gate o! Taiwo! “ Dupe Taiwo raged like a lunatic.
“Never marry an illiterate o, John. Orelse this is what will happen to you.” Captain Taiwo said, laughing.
Dotun had noticed that she had been distant ever since they got back home from Niran’s book launch. He wanted to reach out and ask what the problem was, but he was scared. What if she knew about Francisca? What if she knew he had still checked on the baby after they got married, contrary to the promise he had made never to have anything to do with the mother and child. He pretended to be asleep, when she got up at 4.30 am and went to the bathroom to take a bath. She was there for a considerably long amount of time. She finally got out, and began to apply moisturizer on herself. He looked at her, and every thought of Francisca was shut out from his mind. He couldn’t pretend to be asleep anymore. He got out of bed, went behind her, and kissed her neck. She jumped.
“Good morning, darling.” He cooed in her ears.
“Dotun, how was your night.” She managed to say. He started to kiss her back and then she stood up and wore her dressing gown.
“I have a flight to catch by 9am. I have some work to do at a customer’s hotel in Abuja.” She said.
“Baby, ten minutes won’t hurt, would it?” He said, pulling her close. “Let’s make a baby. Little Dotun or a mini Toyin, huh?” he smiled.
Her heart skipped multiple beats at those words. She felt like the worst person on earth, as her husband lay with her. There he was, putting so much effort into making kids, but she could not tell him the truth. Maybe it was his fault she was in this situation, and he was getting what he deserved. If he had not broken her heart, she would never have gone to meet Gideon. The rape would not happen and the pregnancy would not have come up, and she would not have had to abort the pregnancy.
He dropped Toyin and two of her staff off at the airport, then turned back to go to the office. It was 8.00am already. He got into the elevator, and alighted on the fifth floor. To his surprise, Francisca was waiting at his reception with the baby. His secretary tried to explain her presence but he nodded, affirming that it was okay, and beckoned on Francisca to come into his office.
“He is ill. I need some money to take him to the hospital and buy some baby food and clothes. He is almost six months now. He needs new clothes you know. He is getting bigger.” She said. The boy let out some baby noises, as though he was confirming his mother’s claim.
“Is a hundred and fifty thousand enough?” he asked, bringing out his cheque book.
“Make it two hundred. A happy mom makes a happy baby.” She smiled.
He wrote the check for two hundred thousand naira and handed it to her.
“Dotun, you know, I met your wife the other day at the book launch. I had no idea Niran was your cousin.” She said. Dotun flashed an angry look.
“I hope you did not say a thing to her. Breathe a word, and I will make you as broke as a pauper.” He threatened.
She laughed, shaking her head. “Of course I did not.” She said.
“Won’t you hold your boy?” she stood and went to the other side of the table where Dotun sat, and dropped the baby in his arms. Dotun was about to curse and say something, but then the baby smiled at him, and for the first time, he was beginning to see the semblance the child had with him. He felt a chord strike in his heart that endeared him to the child. Francisca saw it too, as Dotun kissed the child and closed his eyes with love. In the middle of his emotional moment, she snatched the baby from him.
“Thank you. I should let you focus on your job and your wife. My baby should not get too used to you because it is not as though you will always be there for him.” She said, and headed for the door.
“Francisca,” he said.
She smiled, and turned to him. “Yes?”
“I love that child. Please don’t take him away from me. When can I see him again?”
“Well, your wife won’t let you.” She said.
“She is…she is out of town.” He said with some hesitation. “I can stop by today after work.”
“That will be good.” She smiled, and walked out.
Iya Dotun hugged her friend, Mama Jibola goodbye, and got into the back seat of her Toyota Camry, as her driver pulled out. Mama Jibola waved, and she waved back. The woman had just awakened her to something she had been meaning to talk to her son about. She dialled his number.
“Momsi, ekasan (good afternoon)” Dotun said.
“My dear, how are you? It’s been a while o” she replied.
“We did not see you at Niran’s book launch. Aunty Jibike said you travelled to China.”
“Beeni o (Yes o). Had to restock my shop.” She said.
“Okay ma. How is Daddy, and your co-wives?” he laughed.
“Those ones, don’t mind them. They think your father doesn’t have girlfriends outside.” She hissed. “By the way, how is Toyin tomato?”
She loved to call Toyin by that pet name.
“She is good. She went to Abuja today.”
“Adedotun, we need to talk. I want you to come by the house after office hours.” She said.
“I have to be somewhere after work. Is it that important?”
“Very important, Dotun.”
He guessed as much. She wanted to talk about babies. She complained that it had been six months since the wedding and that Jibola her friend’s daughter, who got married four months ago, was already pregnant. Dotun was the first son of his parents, and they wanted a grandchild. He sighed. He did not want to explain to them that he did not want to rush Toyin because of what she had been through in the past. He had read it online that bad sexual experiences or trauma could slow down pregnancy and that a baby was best conceived in peace, tranquillity, and rest of mind.
“I am giving you a two month ultimatum o! Pass my message across to your wife.” His mother said.
“We will have our children in God’s own time! Mom please just let this rest.”
“Abi is something wrong with her? Is she fit? She is thirty years old. I had you when I was twenty one. ”
He hissed and placed his hands on his head.
“Toyin is perfect. I married her a virgin if you must know.” He said. Well, she was technically his virgin. Rape did not count…
“Then is something wrong with you? Are you a man?”
Those words hit him way below the belt and he jumped in anger.
“I am a man! I have a son!” he yelled.
Iya Dotun’s face lit up in a mixture of shock, and joy.
“You have a son? And I do not know this?” she held him.
“Someone got pregnant for me. But please, Toyin must not know this. I promised never to see the lady and the baby anymore.”
“I can take care of the baby. Where do they live?” his mother said.
“They are okay. I give her money to take care of the boy. Her mother does a good job at that already.”
“No! This is tradition. Our son cannot be a bastard somewhere else. You have to bring him home.”
“It is complicated. I can’t do that.” He said, and walked out.
The interior décor required was just for the hotel’s board room, and the executive suites. She had sent for one of her staff in her Maitama shop to bring items and decorations for the job. The man was delaying so she had to wait in the reception while her other staff that travelled with her from Lagos, waited outside. She picked up her phone. It was Dotun. She called back but he did not answer the call. He was probably driving home. She had made some stew and jollof rice, and stored it in the freezer. She glanced at her wrist watch again, and the staff had not yet arrived. Looking up, she saw a man in a grey shirt, with a bulging belly. She wondered how he could afford this hotel with the way he looked. His face was rough and unshaved. There was a young girl beside him. She shook her head with disgust and stretched out her neck to see what the lady looked like. The man kissed the girl’s cheek and went out to pick up something from his car. Just then, their eyes met.
“Chichi?” Toyin exclaimed.
“Toyin.” Chichi walked over to her. “What are you doing here? You dey follow me?”
“I should be asking you what you are doing here! You are my in-law’s fiancée for God’s sake!”
The man came back, and held Chichi’s waist. Chichi smiled, trying to avoid Toyin’s eyes. They went upstairs together. Almost immediately she came back to pick up her purse that she had deliberately forgotten.
“Please Toyin. This is not what you think it is. I love Niran and I just…”
“You just what? And to think you are pregnant!” she hissed.
“Fine.” She hissed. “Have it your way.”
*fisayotalabi*Please read, comment, and share. Xoxo”