“You’re pregnant? Are you serious?” Ayodele asked somberly
“Yes…” Peace replied crying.
“Are you sure?”
“How do you know?”
“It was your mother that said so”
“You told her?” Ayodele asked alarmed
“No…she told me that I would get pregnant if any boy touches me”
Ayodele laughed “You’re not pregnant jo! Do you know how many girls I have touched and how many girls have touched me?”
Peace looked at him thinking, wondering if he was right. “But that’s what she told me!” she said refusing to believe him.
“You’re not pregnant!”
“Are you saying your mother doesn’t know what she’s saying? She’s knows more than us! She said if I don’t see that thing I usually see and a boy has touched me then I’m pregnant.”
“What thing?” Ayodele asked.
“It’s a secret”
Ayodele shook his head, this was a bizarre conversation. “Okay have you seen the thing?”
“No…and you’re the boy who has been touching me.”
“What does that mean?” Ayodele asked dreadfully. “I’m just thirteen, I can’t be a father!”
“I’m in trouble!” Peace said wailing. “My mother will kill me!”
“Stop crying Mummy will soon come upstairs. Can’t you look for the thing?”
“No…..” she cried.
“Mummy has come, stop crying!” Ayodele said, quickly retreating to his room.
“We have to lay low” Olayinka was saying. “I barely escaped him last night. When things settle down we can continue… I’m not stupid, you’re not leaving your wife and I’m not leaving my husband, I have to make sure my home is secure … I don’t know how long it will take… okay… bye.” She hung up and sighed rubbing her cheek, it still hurt and was slightly swollen and she had had to take a sick leave from work. She didn’t know what he had said but Obiora had helped her calm Effiong down and after they had left he slept on the couch. He had left the house this morning with the children without saying a word to her, he had even bathed and dressed them.
She didn’t know what she could do to fix things, Effiong knew even though it was based on suspicion that she was being unfaithful to him. He would never let that go, still she had to appease him somehow. She had cooked his favourite meal and cleaned the house, she was going to apologise to him and somehow convince him to believe she was faithful.
The door opened and Kunle was greeted by a young girl.
“Welcome sir” she said timidly.
“Thank you…” Kunle responded wondering who she was, a lot of people came and went in his house since the birth of their daughter.
“Welcome dear” Banke greeted.
“Thanks” he replied walking towards his daughter’s cot and kissing her forehead.
“Welcome” his mother in-law greeted emerging from her room.
“Thank you ma.”
“Have you seen your new maid?” she asked
“Maid?” Kunle asked surprised, wondering what this was about.
“Yes, I got you a maid, she’s from my village” she said sitting beside Banke
“We don’t need a maid” Kunle said confused, looking at Banke who kept her attention on the film she was watching.
“So who will take care of the baby when Banke resumes work or help her with the house chores? You need a maid, and I brought you a very hardworking girl. She has done all the medical tests, she is alright.” she said smiling.
“Alright ma.” Kunle said and walked into his room.
“What is wrong with you?” Ronke asked Peace.
“Nothing ma” she replied
“So why are your eyes red?”
“Dust entered my eyes”
“Dust?” Ronke said doubtfully. “Ok” she said walking away burdened with her own problems. She had been to the hospital today and confirmed that she was indeed pregnant. She was six weeks pregnant. She wondered how she could have been unaware then she remembered the weariness and dizziness she had been experiencing. Hew would she tell Dapo this? They had agreed to have three children and here she was pregnant with the fourth seven years after their last child. She considered having an abortion but quickly decided against it, she couldn’t bear the thought of taking a life.
Effiong walked into the house and instantly smelt the roast chicken then he saw Olayinka seated on the couch in his favourite lingerie. He laughed mirthlessly, did she think he was stupid?
“Welcome…” Olayinka said rising.
Effiong didn’t respond, he walked into the kitchen and emerged shortly with a tray of snacks he had bought on his way back from work. Olayinka was surprised, her charm always worked.
“I cooked your favourite meal” she tried again.
Effiong didn’t respond, he ate his snacks greedily.
“Saturday is the naming.” Dapo said to Ronke as he took off his clothes. “I want you to give them a cash gift of five thousand naira even though I don’t think they deserve it but I don’t want them thinking we’re stingy people.”
“Ok” she said simply
Dapo looked at his wife, she looked disturbed. “What is wrong with you?” he asked pulling on his trousers.
“Nothing? And you’re looking this way. You didn’t even reply to what I said about the naming.”
“That was your reply? You better say what the matter is. If you owe someone let me know on time before the person comes knocking on my door. And if it’s about someone let us pray about it instead of…”
Dapo was putting on his nightshirt when he heard Ronke’s response. “You’re what? I hope you’re joking”
Ronke didn’t respond. “You’re pregnant? Ronke you’re pregnant? You must be joking! After how many children? Can you see that you’re as disorganised as I say you are? As old as you are! What a shame!” he hissed and got on the bed.
“You’re pregnant!” he hissed again shaking his head. “Foolish woman!”