Oladapo sat in the room staring at the identical twin boys.
“I should have insisted that she take that scan!” He thought.
But what good could that have done? He asked himself.
“Yet here I am with two more children to consider. I don’t even know if any or both of them are autistic!” he thought.
He looked at Rhoda who was sleeping and breathing heavily. Her face was still swollen from pregnancy and her nostrils flared as she breathed out. Yet again, he asked himself what exactly he had seen in her. What had been so intriguing about this woman who only ate and slept and was averse to doing any hard work? Oladapo held his head in his hands, he felt overwhelmed and he didn’t know how to get himself out of the trap he had willingly walked into.
An image of her sad face flashed through his mind and he knew that he couldn’t just send her away, he had promised her a better life. He had promised to take care of her and her children. Full of despair, he got up and left the hospital room.
Rhoda’s mother was waiting downstairs at the reception. She thanked him effusively for taking care of her daughter and asked if she could see her twin grandchildren.
“Yes ma. Let me take you there.” He said politely and led her to the door of the room.
“You’re not coming in?”
“No, I just left the place.” He said tiredly.
“Alright then, goodbye.”
He gladly left the old woman standing at the door.
Dele’s acquaintances weren’t happy with him, and he in turn wasn’t happy with Niniola. Their pockets were less full and so was his. Much more than this however was the fact that he had missed the chance to take advantage of the girl who had tortured him with her sensual dancing. She had refused to take his calls or respond to his messages. Dark and Lanky and Short and Stocky had taunted him on his failure with her and his ego was badly bruised.
He decided to call her yet again, but she didn’t pick up. Then he remembered something that she valued and how he could use it against her.
Niniola was confused. Her mother had given her explicit instructions about going out but Dele had sent her a message that she found hard to ignore. His uncle had just come back from the UK and was willing to help her secure admission into the university of her choice. She had to be at his house as soon as possible.
This was what her mother wanted too wasn’t it? Yet she knew her mother probably wouldn’t allow her to go to his house. But what if she explained herself? Wouldn’t she see reason with her and let her go?
Segun came into the room and saw his sister brooding.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Your face looks dull.”
“I’m fine.” She snapped.
“Okay.” He shrugged and placed his schoolbag on the floor.
“Why are you home?”
Segun hissed. “They should have just told us not to come today. Instead of wasting our time and transport money. They knew they would send us away!”
“So why did they say you should come?”
“Just to punish us! Those people are wicked! I should have just stayed at home!” the boy said angrily and pulled off his sandals.
I should have just stayed at home!
Niniola thought of Dele’s invitation again, perhaps this was the sign she was looking for.
Gbemi was beginning to feel less tense in the Afonja house, it wasn’t so bad after all. She was eating good food and enjoying the comfort of living in a cool and luxurious environment. Her skin looked less dry and her bony frame had become fleshier.
The only problem she had was with the wives. She couldn’t please Mama Ayo enough and Mama Deji couldn’t stand the sight of her. Even Mama Ayo’s boys were pleasant enough. Chief paid her no attention. She kept her head low and did as she was told, as many times as it took.
Mama had never stopped encouraging her.
“Just remain calm and do what you’re told. Do you hear me?”
“And make sure you keep your eyes wide open and your ears to the ground. You must tell me everything you find out about those women.”
“I have sent another five hundred thousand naira to your parents, they were very grateful but I told them to be grateful to you, because you’re the one who is doing all the work.”
“Thank you Mama, they’ve been calling me all day!”
Mama laughed. “They would, because you see, I take care of those who do my bidding and don’t betray me.”
“I will never betray you ma.”
“Are you eating well?”
“And have you started using that thing I gave you for your face?”
“Alright get back to work. I’ll call you again soon.”
“Yes ma.” she replied smiling and hung up.
Biola lay on Lekan’s chest and smiled. Life was as it should be, she was safe in her true love’s arms.
“I’m glad we came out here today.” She said huskily.
“Me too! I won’t lie, I’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time!”
Biola laughed. “I know, me too.”
“I hope your husband won’t suspect you?”
“No, he’s too busy making millions. Besides, I told him I was going out of town for a friend’s wedding.”
Lekan was silent. “Biola, I have to ask. What exactly don’t you like about the man?”
Biola rose up to look at him. “What? Why are you asking about him?”
“He gives you everything you want! I don’t have half as much as he does! I would be foolish not to ask why you want to leave him!”
“Because you think I might leave you too?”
“He doesn’t give me everything…” she said softly and sat up. “Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had this dream- to be married to a man who will love me truly. I want romance! I need romance! I want someone who will buy me flowers, rub my foot after a long day, go on a vacation with me, write me poems, talk to me about me! I want my own man!”
Lekan sat up too. “But you knew what he was before you married him…”
“I thought I could manage it… I thought I could manage him.” she smiled cynically. “I thought he had more than enough money to make me happy… I thought that I could probably get him to do those things, be the prince charming I’d always dreamed of. Now I feel trapped in this loveless marriage that will never make me happy…” she started to cry.
“Come here.” he said pulling her into his arms and stroking her hair. He hoped her gamble on him paid off.
Comfort was at the back of the house spreading the laundry when she heard the gate open. Her boss was home early today. She sighed in anticipation of whatever torment she had prepared for her. Taking her time to spread the laundry, she thought of the way out of her present job. She had two options: get another job or start a business. Why not do the two?
“I could start a business and put Niniola in charge while I continue working here.” she thought.
She began to get excited about the possibilities that materialized in her mind when the backdoor opened.
“Comfort! Didn’t you hear me coming in?”
“Sorry ma.” she replied mechanically. “I wanted to finish spreading these clothes.”
“So you left me to pack all the things I brought back?”
“Sorry ma.” Comfort replied tiredly, the woman was a nag.
Mrs Gbolahan saw the tired look on Comfort’s face and she felt insulted that her maid found her so. “Are you tired of working here? If you’re tired, you can leave. No one is forcing you to work here.”
“Yes ma. Sorry ma.” Comfort said and picked up the buckets at her feet. “I’ll go and pack the things now.”
As she walked away, Mrs Gbolahan fumed at how unaffected the woman was. She never could understand why she couldn’t effectively intimidate the woman.
Rhoda was still reeling from the shock of having given birth to twins. She knew Oladapo wasn’t enthusiastic about them, it meant more responsibility for him. This reality, that she had become a huge burden, made her begin to think of empowering herself. She decided that she wanted to own her own supermarket.
“A supermarket?” Oladapo said, holding the glass of water he had been drinking. Rhoda had just made a delicious meal of semo and egusi soup.
“Hmmn. Are you sure you can handle it?”
“Yes now, I had a big store in the market.”
“This is not Gbagi market, this is a supermarket. It’s bigger and needs more effort.”
“You think I can’t run a supermarket?”
“I don’t think you know what you’re getting into. Have you thought about it well? Will you be able to cope with Yimika?”
“I’ll get another maid to handle…”
“How many more people are going to be in this house? I haven’t even married you!”
Rhoda’s head swam from the effect of his words. For the first time he had expressed how he truly felt about her twins and her. She took a step back and tried to breathe.
“I’m sorry.” Oladapo said unconvincingly. He was angry with himself for losing control of his emotions.
“I didn’t invite myself to this house Dapo.” She said.
“Let me know how much you need for the supermarket.” he said and got up from the dining table.
Biola wanted to refine the terms of her dealership contract with a manufacturing company. She straightened her blouse and entered the office, reminding herself of the things she had planned to say. As she looked towards the receptionist’s table, she saw a familiar face. It was Mama Eli, she had a baby in her arms and another one in a maid’s hands.
“Mama Eli.” She said to her.
Rhoda looked up at her. “It’s you.”
“What are you doing here? Are these your babies?”
“No, I stole them from your supermarket.” she clapped her hands together. “So you have followed me here? You thought my life would be over if your chief sent me away uhn? Well I found another helper and I’m opening my own supermarket. And guess what? I have two beautiful sons that chief will never get to meet! You can tell him I said so!”
Biola walked away as honorably as she could, avoiding the eyes that stared at her.
“Chief I was embarrassed! She disgraced me in that office ehn!”
“You said she has twin boys?”
“Is that your concern? Did you not hear what I said about the way she treated me?”
“So she carried the pregnancy to full term?” the chief soliloquized.
“Chief!” Biola snapped her fingers in his face. “Do you want to bring her back?”
“No! Of course not! I’m just… shocked”
“Mama mustn’t know about it, otherwise she’s coming back.” Biola said plainly.
“Mama mustn’t know.” The chief repeated moronically.
“Chief are you with me?”
“Of course, of course I am.”
Gbemi heard all that was said through the kitchen. She packed up the trash and went out through the backdoor to dispose it. When she was done, she dialed Mama’s number.
Well done everyone! Our campaign is doing so well! Right now we have a total of 238 total shares! If by 11:59pm tonight I get 400 shares, YOU GET A WEEKEND POST! So let the sharing continue!