“I don’t know I just lost it, you know how things have been.” Obiora looked back into his wife’s eyes equally grateful to be alive.
“You really are beautiful”
“Are you sure you’re alright?” Helen frowned, not sure how to receive the compliment.
“I’ve been better but I meant what I said, you have the most beautiful eyes.”
“After how many years of marriage? Obi please don’t flatter me!” Helen rolled her eyes, trying in vain not to be affected by his words.
“You will always be beautiful to me.” Obiora smiled affectionately stroking her cheeks.
“Maybe I should be hitting your head with a frying pan anytime I need a compliment from you!” Helen teased and laughed.
Kunle coughed to remind them of his presence. “Oh my, I totally forgot you were here! I’m so sorry, I should probably get you back now…”
“No, no, no! I’m aright, take your time.” Kunle held up his hand, he had really coughed because Obiora’s hands had been traveling down Helen’s neck.
“Okay.” Helen looked back at Obiora. “Let me speak with the doctor, your x-ray results should be ready by now.”
“Okay” Obiora looked at her forlornly, watching her retreating back. Kunle looked around uncomfortably, he and Obiora had never really been close. The guy was an enigma to him.
“How’s your wife? It’s been a while since I saw her.”
“She’s fine.” The silence between them was awkward.
“Thanks for coming” Obiora tried again.
“You’re welcome, your wife is one of the most composed women I have met and I had never seen her so distressed.”
“That’s my Helen, she’s the best.” Obiora smiled fondly as Helen came back in.
“The doctor is on his way, everything is fine”
“He told you so?”
“I know so, I work here remember.” Helen beamed at him, caressing his hairline.
Helen didn’t check her phone until she got back home early the next morning. She gasped when she saw the number of missed calls from Olayinka and immediately got up to go her house when she remembered their last conversation. Olayinka had said she poked her nose into her business, she wouldn’t go there. Even Obiora had told her not to.
But you can call her.
She debated that for a while and then dialed Olayinka’s number. She picked up on the second ring.
“Olayinka, I saw that I missed your calls.”
“He’s asked me to leave…where will I go?…” Olayinka broke into tears.
“What are you talking about?” Helen was confused.
“Effiong said I should leave…”
“What? You’re not making any sense…”
“Please come Helen, I need you. You’re the only one I can call. I know I messed up and…”
“I’m coming.” Helen hung up worried, what nonsense was Olayinka saying? How could Effiong tell her to leave?
When she got to Olayinka’s house, she was shocked to find her sitting on the floor, eyes red and swollen. “Did Effiong beat you again?” She asked running towards her and holding her shoulders.
“No, I cheated on him and had the accident on my way to abort the baby I was carrying for my boss.” Helen was stunned, she gazed into Olayinka’s eyes for seconds then pulled her into her arms.
“Oh dear, no wonder you didn’t want to tell me.” Olayinka cried again as Helen rocked her in her arms, no one had held her with such compassion ever since the accident. She told Helen everything and cried some more, now feeling relieved.
“Everything will be alright. I think we should pray about this because only God can help you.”
The door opened just as they finished praying and Effiong came in, eyes bloodshot. His eyes grew dark when he saw Olayinka still sitting on the floor. “What are you still doing here?” He asked in a hoarse voice.
Helen didn’t know what to do, but she knew she was in that house at that time for a reason. Olayinka was already trembling with fear. “I…I…I fell asleep…so…”
“You’re up now, get your things and leave my house.”
“Don’t be here when I get back!” he warned and stormed into the house.
“Helen let’s go please…”
Effiong returned from the kitchen with a butcher knife. “Get out!” he screamed at her as Helen threw herself in front of Olayinka. “Please Effiong, you have every reason to be angry. Just put the knife away” She held up her hands pleading.
“Daddy don’t kill Mummy!” Sharon cried wide-eyed running in front of her mother too while Max stood rooted to the floor staring at his father’s hand.
The sight of his children took the fight out of him. Effiong sank to his seat and wept silently shaking his head. The twins began to cry too, they didn’t understand why both parents were crying but they perceived that it had to be really bad.
Helen was the only dry-eyed person in the room and not without effort. She walked slowly to Effiong and sank to her knees in front of him and spoke softly. “Effiong please let me take the twins and their mother with me, just go in and sleep.”
Effiong nodded and did as she instructed.
“I want to ask you something and I want you to tell me the truth okay?”
“Yes ma” Ayodele was scared, had his mother found out about him and Peace? Had Posi squealed?
“Are you and Peace doing anything ungodly?”
She knew! He suddenly became very cold. Be confident! “N…no ma. I only teach her the things she doesn’t understand in her assignments.”
“Are you sure Ayodelemi?”
Ronke was glad about his response. “That’s my boy, I want you to keep being the good boy I know alright?”
“You can go now, God bless you”
“Amen ma, bye ma”
Ronke stretched and yawned feeling very relieved, Banke should have confirmed her information before bringing that letter to her, she was sure the letter was intended for another Ayodele or Peace just had a teenage crush. Of all the people to bring such bad news to her house, a girl who got pregnant out of wedlock! It was better that she handled the matter without her husband’s intervention, he would have beaten the poor boy and for nothing. She hissed and rose to her feet, it was time for breakfast.
“Are you serious?” Obiora could not believe what Helen had told him. “He never told me all this.”
“Maybe he was ashamed of the whole situation.”
Obiora sighed. “Let me go and speak with him, you should go to sleep. You’ve hardly slept.”
“Are you sure you’ll be fine?” Helen looked at him worriedly, his head was still slightly swollen although the doctor had given him a a clean bill of health. They had just gotten in from the hospital.
Obiora kissed her gently. “I’ll be fine.”