Due to complaints and non-access of some people to dowload the book, I have posted the continuation on the blog.
For those who haven't read the earlier chapters, please find it: here
It was after the church service. Kenny smiled as the Pastor shook hands with him. He had just donated a sum of twenty million Naira towards the church’s new building project.
“God bless you, Bro Kenny. May he continue to increase you and your family.” The Pastor said.
Bimbo smiled, holding her husband’s hand.
“I want you to join the body of church counselors. You and Sister Bimbo should be a role model to many of the young couples and even the single ones in this church.”
Kenny laughed again.
“Pastor, it’s such a big honour. Thank you so much! I love to mentor people and teach people that it pays to serve God in your youth.” He responded.
After church, they went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant in Victoria Island. He knew Bimbo was tired and he didn’t want to stress her with making lunch.
“Baby,” Bimbo said, as they waited for their order to arrive.
“Yeah?” Kenny said. He was typing a text on his phone. He put it away so he could give her full attention.
“I need to tell you something.” Bimbo whispered.
“Okay, I’m listening.”
“I’ve been having funny symptoms and I’m a few weeks late.” She said.
Kenny’s eyes widened.
“Are…are we pregnant?” He asked, with all the hope of the world in his voice.
Bimbo smiled. She was hopeful too. They had been trying for a long time. It was five years since their marriage, and as usual, the in-laws were starting to talk. She hoped this time around, there was really something cooking in the oven.
“I don’t know yet…I’m going to see the doctor tomorrow.” She replied.
Kenny held her hands and kissed them, from left to right.
“I love you.” He said.
She nodded, looking at the man she had married. She still couldn’t believe what she had done to be blessed with a man as wonderful as Kenny. He was perfect in every single way. Well, of course, he had his vices, but they didn’t amount to one percent of his whole entirety. She knew that even if they didn’t say it expressly, her friends were envious of her, because of the husband she had. They had all been single, and out of the blue, Bimbo had met Kenny at a wedding. A few months after, he popped the question, and they got married.
Kenny was about leaving the office when his phone rang. It was a text message. It was from his wife. His heart thumped repeatedly. He was anxious and hopeful for the news.
My period came today. I’m not pregnant.
He sighed. He didn’t know what to type back in reply to her SMS. He decided to go home and be there for his wife.
“It’s Nine-thirty. I have to get going now.” Gbenro said, kissing Mercy on the lips. She turned to him and put her head on his chest.
“But I don’t want you to go.” She made a sad face, speaking in a childish voice.
He pulled her closer and rubbed her back.
“I have to be home in time. The kids are getting back from the U.S today.” He said.
Mercy nodded then she rolled away. She grabbed her dressing gown and ran her hands over her face.
“When is this going to be over?” Mercy stood akimbo, facing him.
“What?” Gbenro said, sitting up.
“Everything! It’s been seven freaking years, Gbenro! We have a daughter together. I’ve been engaged to you for four long years. When are we finally going to get married? It’s high time your kids knew they have a half-sister and a step mother-to-be.” She raised her voice.
Sophia wasn’t home. Mercy had dropped her off at her younger sister’s house.
“When did this start? Why are you raising your voice at me?” He started to raise his voice.
Mercy started to cry.
“Because I’m tired. My friends laugh at me. You should see the way Bimbo’s husband treats her. Gosh I just wish you could be that way with me.”
Gbenro shook his head, got his things together, and then he walked out of the house. Mercy sat on the floor and wept. She looked at the diamond engagement ring on her finger. She removed it in anger and flung it on the floor.
Joan took off her glasses to have a clearer look at the caller id on her phone. The Incoming call was from Bola. Bola was her twenty four year old secretary at the office. The girl had just put to bed. Joan knew that she wasn’t married but she didn’t want to pry too much. She already knew there was office gossip about Madam who was almost forty and didn’t have a husband or children and that it was the reason she made the other staff work very late.
“Congrats, Bola. I’m happy for you. Is it a boy or a girl?” Joan said, even if she knew she wasn’t exactly happy.
“Thank you, Ma.” Bola replied. “He’s a boy.”
“Wow. That’s great news.”
“The naming ceremony is on Saturday ma. I’ll be expecting you.”
Joan laughed. She knew she couldn’t dodge this one.
“Okay dear.” She replied.
Saturday came and Joan didn’t want to go alone. She scrolled through her phone. She wanted to call Bimbo but she decided otherwise. Bimbo was always with her husband. She wondered if Kenny ever gave her any breathing space to have fun. She called Boma. But Boma was busy so she called Mercy instead. Mercy agreed to go. She didn’t have anything better to do. Gbenro was spending time with his kids.
They stopped buy a Supermarket to get the new mother a gift. Joan picked a box of chocolates.
“Babe, come on. Seriously?” Mercy shook her head. She picked a baby flask and a baby buggie.
“This is what you buy for babies. Not chocolates. Remind me not to leave Sophia with you alone.” Mercy went on. Joan laughed, bringing out her wallet to pay for the items with her Debit card.
The naming ceremony happened at Bola’s house somewhere far away in Isolo. There were cars there already by the time they got there. Joan and Mercy climbed out of the car while Joan’s driver found somewhere to park.
“How long are we going to be here for abeg?” Mercy said, walking over a gutter.
“We only just got here now!” Joan said, holding the tail of her long lace dress.
They got into the living room. It wasn’t a big party. It was just a small living room ceremony. Bola spotted Joan and walked over to her.
“Good afternoon Ma.” Bola said, smiling. Joan smiled, hugging her.
“Congrats dear. Where’s the big boy?” She asked.
“He’s with my mother.” Bola said. She led them over to where her mother was seated. They greeted the older woman and Joan touched the baby’s cheeks, then they went to take a seat. In a little while, the father of the baby walked in. He went over to where Bola’s mother was seated and then she handed the baby over to him.
Joan nudged Mercy.
“Mercy! Look…look! Isn’t that…Oh my God?” She said. The M.C started to sing praises of the father of the child.
Mercy opened her mouth in surprise.
“Kenny?!” Joan said, surprised. Mercy couldn’t say a word.
Boma didn’t know what to say as she stared at her friends seated in her bedroom; Joan and Mercy. She was beyond shocked. But she wasn’t that surprised. Not as surprised as Mercy was.
“How do we tell Bimbo?” Boma asked.
“I’m not doing it. You guys should tell her but not me. I…I can’t see her heart broken.” Mercy said.
“It’s so unfair! And Bimbo is trying to have a baby. She doesn’t even know he got a girl pregnant!” Joan said. “I wish I could fire her for having Kenny’s baby! Oh Lord.”
“Men are something else. I adored this man! I told Gbenro to be more like him! I can’t believe he cheated.” Mercy said.
“Did you guys confront him?” Boma asked.
Joan shrugged and Mercy shook her head.
“No. We just left.” Joan sighed.
Bimbo had sent a text message to each of them asking them to come over to her house for Sunday lunch. She was the only one at home. Kenny had travelled to Abuja on a business trip. Joan knew he wasn’t at Abuja. She knew he was at the new apartment he got for his baby mama, spending time and bonding with his new son.
They all arrived together; Boma, Joan and Mercy. Bimbo had made very special recipes and Boma could tell already that the food was the product of a bored housewife.
“The chicken is so tasty!” Joan said, looking at Bimbo. Bimbo smiled.
“Thanks sweetie. I like to massage the spices into it before I put it in the oven to cook. Kenny always says the same thing.” Bimbo blushed.
“So, guys, guess what.” Boma said. They all turned to look at her.
She raised her left hand and moved her fourth finger. There was a shiny piece of jewelry on it.
“What?!” Joan screamed.
“Wow. This is so beautiful!” Bimbo said. She held Boma’s hand.
“Who proposed? I don’t really know who you’re dating.” Mercy said.
Joan nudged her but Boma ignored the sarcasm.
“He’s my doctor in the U.K. We were dating back then for a while but we broke up. We got talking again and we’re back together. He came to Nigeria few days ago and he proposed to me yesterday!” Boma said, flaunting the ring.
“But last two weeks you had a man in your room!” Mercy said.
Joan hit the table so she could get some silence.
“Girls, please,” Joan said. “Boma we’re so happy for you. I believe and hope he’s a gentle man. You know they’re rare these days. Once you get one, you have to do everything to keep him.”
“Thanks darling.” Boma said, hissing.
“So, I need to start teaching you tips on how to keep a good man. Kitchen, bedroom, character, everything…” Bimbo laughed. Boma smiled, looking from Joan to Mercy.
Bimbo looked at Joan.
“Joan, I need to ask though. I don’t know why you guys don’t ask her. What’s up exactly with you in the relationship department?” Bimbo asked.
There was silence. Joan dropped the chicken she was eating and looked at Bimbo.
“What?” She said.
“I mean, I’m concerned about you. You never talk about any man.” She went on.
“Wait, who do the hell do you think you are sitting on your high horse and giving us advice? Who are you to teach Boma how to keep a man or to tell me how to run my life?!” Joan said.
Mercy tried to calm her down. Boma was trying not to laugh.
“I’m sorry…what’s going on here? Is it wrong to be concerned about my friend?” Bimbo said.
“You want concern?” Joan stood up.
Boma was surprised at Joan’s reaction. Joan was usually the one to keep every body calm. But to see Joan fighting now?
“Don’t say anything about it, Joan.” Mercy said, holding Joan.
“Say what?” Bimbo said.
Joan hissed and sat down.
“No, tell me, Joan. You guys, what’s going on?”
There was silence again.
“I’m leaving.” Joan said. She stood up and took her hand bag. Bimbo went after her and blocked her.
“You’re not leaving without telling me what you have to say.” She said.
Joan looked at Mercy who shook her head, and Boma who wanted the fight to continue.
“Okay then, Mrs Perfect. Kenny has a child with my secretary. We were at the naming ceremony yesterday. He’s not at Abuja. He’s with his baby mama.” Joan spat out.
Bimbo wasn’t thinking. She raised her hand and hit Joan in the face.
“I don’t take anyone disrespecting my husband.”
Joan shook her head and walked out.
Mercy had found out that Gbenro had never divorced his wife. They had only been separated. His wife had followed them on one of their date nights and she had caused a scene, calling Mercy a home-wrecker. And Gbenro hadn’t protected her or defended her. He stood with his wife; the mother of his three kids. Mercy had been so embarrassed when Gbenro told her to go home and that he would see her later to discuss things.
What things did he want to discuss? To explain to her that he was still legally married to his wife and that he had deceived her for many years with an engagement ring? That he had raised her hopes and made her feel secure because they had a daughter together? Mercy didn’t give him the chance. She knew it was time for her to leave. There was nothing left for her anymore. The only man she had ever loved; the father of her daughter, had betrayed her and driven a sword right deep into her heart.
Mercy quit her job and decided to go back to Canada. She was a citizen and she could get a job and live a private life there, where nobody had to know who the father of her daughter was. Maybe she would find love again. She knew it would take a while for her to open up to any other man. She was going to focus on raising Sophia and trying to get her life back together.
Joan had begged her to stay or move in with her but she declined. It would be easy for Gbenro to find her and maybe even work his way into her heart again if he knew she was still in Lagos. She was tired of being the other woman. She was tired of being his object of sex and pleasure which his wife wasn’t doing so well at. She was tired. She knew she had to leave.
Bimbo had packed her things before Kenny came home. She had planned to leave him, but she decided against it. She prepared his favourite meal and waited for him to come home. He came back and told her how stressful Abuja was, and then he gave her the new Hermes purse he had bought for her. She kissed him and after he took a shower, she served his dinner. Then she sat beside him and watched him eat.
“So how is your new son?” Bimbo asked.
Kenny choked suddenly. He started to cough repeatedly. Bimbo poured him a glass of water. He started to drink it but then he stopped immediately and stood up, away from the meal.
“Bimbo…what?” He stuttered.
“Don’t worry. I didn’t poison your food.” She said.
Kenny didn’t know what to say.
“Why did you lie to me? So while I was thinking and crying about how to give you a child, you were sleeping with Joan’s secretary.” She said, trying not to cry.
He went on his knees and held her legs.
“Please forgive me! I’m so sorry, baby.” He cried.
Bimbo stood up and packed his dishes then took them to the kitchen to clean. Kenny didn’t know what to say still. He didn’t know if to follow her to the kitchen or stay in the living room.
She didn’t say a word. She finished in the kitchen, then she went upstairs to the bedroom. Kenny had to break the ice.
“Please talk to me, Bimbo.” He pleaded with her.
“You want me to talk, Kenny? Alright. I’m pregnant.” She said.
It was ten months and two weeks after.
Boma smiled as she posed for the wedding photographer. The make up artist had glammed her up and she looked breath taking. It was her wedding day and she had to take very nice pictures so she could tag them to BN Weddings. Joan was her Chief bridesmaid. It was a few minutes to the time for the church wedding. The hotel where they were lodged was a stone throw from her house.
“Where’s the bride?” Someone said, walking in. Boma turned to see who it was.
“Oh my God! You’re kidding me! Mercy!” Boma rushed to hug her. She had no idea that Mercy had come in from Canada. Their honeymoon was supposed to be in Canada so she had thought she would still get to see Mercy either way.
Mercy hugged her best friend.
“I’m so happy for you. Trust me I am.” Mercy said.
“You look so pretty. Where’s Sophia?” Boma asked. Joan joined them. She didn’t act so surprised.
“Don’t tell me you knew she was coming and you didn’t tell me!” Boma pushed Joan.
They laughed as Joan stuck out her tongue.
“It’s time Boma. You have to get to the church now. Let’s get you into the car.” Boma’s mother said. She had come into the room to hurry them up.
“Ah, Mercy. It’s so nice to see you. How are you dear?” Boma’s mother said, hugging Mercy.
“I’m very well, thank you Mum.” Mercy replied.
They got into the car and the driver turned on the ignition.
“Wait for me o!” Someone pulled the door open. She moved in and squeezed Boma and Joan who were sitting in the back seat.
“Bimbo?!” Boma and Joan screamed.
“Oh my God…please don’t let me ruin my makeup.” Boma tried to clean the tears that were forming in her eyes.
Bimbo had walked out on her marriage and she had cut off all communication with her friends. No one knew where she was. Kenny had gone to Joan and Boma several times to ask them to plead with Bimbo to come home. But even they didn’t know where she was.
“Where have you been? We have been so worried about you. My God I blamed myself everyday. You changed your phones you changed everything.” Joan said.
Mercy took in a deep breath.
“We came together from Canada.” She said.
“What? We talked, Mercy! I told you I felt guilty for Bimbo’s disappearance. I’d started to think she committed suicide or something.” Joan yelled.
Bimbo eyeballed her.
“Suicide ko, suicide ni. Why would I kill myself because of a man?” Bimbo laughed.
“I’m sorry. She wanted to be away from everyone. She was hurt too. And pregnant.” Mercy said.
Boma and Joan turned to look at Bimbo. Bimbo was blushing now.
“I have a beautiful girl. She’s with my mother. You’ll get to see her after the wedding.” Bimbo said.
After the oohs and awws, Boma was the one who asked.
“What are you doing about Kenny? He’s almost going crazy, you know.”
“Please let’s enjoy this wedding in peace.” She said.
At the wedding reception, Bimbo caught the bouquet. Joan got angry. She had really wanted to catch the bouquet as though the myth of being the next one to get married was actually true.
After all the dancing and jumping around, Bimbo was tired. She went back to take a seat and have a drink. She still held her bouquet. It was funny. Maybe fate wanted her to get married again. She knew she still had a soft spot for Kenny. She didn’t think she was ready to move on just yet. She dropped the bouquet with Mercy then she stood up and went to the rest room to ease her self and touch up her make up. There was no one else in there. As she went into the toilet, she heard someone open the door.
“Oh my!” She jumped with fear, seeing a man as she walked out of the toilet into the main convenience. It was the Ladies bathroom! But it wasn’t just any man. It was Kenny. It was her husband.
“Bimbo please, don’t run away. Please don’t walk out on me.” He pleaded, going on his knees.
“Who told you I was here? Who even invited you for the wedding?” Bimbo yelled in anger.
He placed his hands around her waist and held her tight.
“Mercy told me you were coming to Nigeria for Boma’s wedding.” He said.
Bimbo hissed, shaking her head.
“Look, please just leave me alone.” She said.
“Please, baby. I messed up. I know I did. Please forgive me. I’m so sorry. Please! If you don’t want me to see the girl and the baby anymore, I won’t. Please I need you back in my life, Bimbola.” He clung to her.
She shook her head, trying not to cry. He looked so rough and unkempt. His beards were full and unruly. He looked leaner too.
“I didn’t marry her. She got pregnant and her family insisted I claimed responsibility. I didn’t know how to tell you. Please. I love you.” He pleaded.
“Kenny, things have changed. How do we live as a family without your son coming into the picture? He will always be your first born. Our daughter now comes second. That’s not the way it was supposed to be. Why couldn’t you wait for me?” She cried.
“Our daughter? She’s a girl?” Kenny got up and carried Bimbo in his arms, kissing her all over.
“Kenny I need to think about this.” She said, looking away.
He nodded, then he bent, pulled her closer, and kissed her.
“Take your time. I’ll be here waiting for you.”
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