I want to see Hope. PLEASE call me.
It was the fourth text Lanre had sent her in two days and Jumoke knew that she had to eventually give him an answer. She continued typing on her computer and took a sip of her coffee when there was a knock on her door.
“Hope? Why’re you awake?” She asked in surprise.
“I couldn’t sleep.”
“Why, what’s on your mind?”
Hope sat on the bed, facing her. “I want to see my Dad.”
Jumoke exhaled sharply in exasperation, this wasn’t what she needed to hear. “Why?”
“Because I like him, I miss him…”
“Hope, things have not changed between your father and I and they’re not going to change. I only let him see you because he found out about you. The issue with your father is… complicated. You’ll see him again but not so soon.”
“What did he do…?” Hope asked.
“What did he do?” Jumoke answered with a mixture of surprise and anger. “Did I not tell you that he abandoned us?”
“I know but can’t you forgive him?”
Jumoke stared at her daughter.
“You always tell me to be nice to people but you’re not being nice to him. Aren’t we Christians, aren’t we supposed to forgive?”
Jumoke laughed coldly, shook her head and continued her work. “You should go to bed.”
“I said go to bed!” she yelled.
Hope got up slowly and walked to the door. “It’s because of Mr Derick, you won’t forgive him because of Mr Derick.”
Jumoke stopped what she was doing and looked up.
“Hope! Where on earth did you get such an idea? Why would you even say that? This has nothing to do with Derick! I’d say exactly the same thing if we weren’t together.”
Hope nodded and left the room, Jumoke knew she wasn’t convinced.
“What is all this?” she thought out loud.
The Williams family was at the dining table, only Mr Williams wa
s up in his room. Lanre had thought hard about what he was about to say, he needed to set this issue of Jumoke’s teenage pregnancy straight so that he could continue with his life uninterrupted by his nosy family.
“I have an announcement to make,” he said and folded his hands on the table.
“Oh…” His mother said, setting down her glass of water.
“It’s about Jumoke’s pregnancy…”
“Okay…” Gbemi said interestedly.
“There’s no baby… She got rid of the pregnancy. She finally spoke to me yesterday.” He said with feigned sadness.
Remi’s mouth was agape. “I’m surprised…” she said, looking at him questioningly.
“Me too.” Lanre said, looking at her meaningfully. “But that’s what she said and I think it’s just as well. I can focus on my life and not have to deal with the past.”
“I agree.” Gbemi said, raising her glass.
Mrs Wiliams did not share the same sentiments with Gbemi. “She aborted the pregnancy?”
“Yes.” Lanre replied with feigned melancholy.
“I’m equally surprised. Tayo allowed her to abort the pregnancy? I’m really surprised!” she shook her head in disbelief.
“What should she have done mum?” Remi asked sarcastically. “Are you telling me that she should have kept the pregnancy?“
Mrs Williams gave her daughter a reprimanding look but said nothing.
Remi laughed humorlessly. “Unbelievable!”
Don't miss my exciting news about January 2017. Watch this space!
“What was that about?” Remi said to Lanre when they alone were left at the dining table.
“I did it to protect Hope. As long as mum and Gbemi know they’ll devise a way to turn this blessing into a nightmare.”
“You’re right but… won’t they find out?”
“I’ll tell them when I’m ready.”
“I’ll tell her when I’m ready.”
Remi pursed her lips. “Okay.”
It was the first time that Jumoke was visiting Derick in his home alone and she was visibly uncomfortable. Her mind replayed the hotel episode with Lanre and made her edgy.
“You look uncomfortable,” Derick said, handing her a glass of wine.
“I’m okay.” She replied, took the glass and set it on the stool beside her.
Derick set his own drink down and faced her. “What is it?”
“Talk to me. You’re literarily siting on the edge of your seat, tapping your foot nervously and sighing every minute. What is up?”
She smiled uneasily. “I’m just a little jittery.”
Derick studied her for a while and then said, “I didn’t invite you here to sleep with you…”
“Relax and let’s enjoy each other’s company.”
He took a sip of his drink.
“Let’s talk about something else… what’s your favorite topic?” he wondered out loud. “Hope! Let’s talk about Hope. What progress is she making in school?”
Jumoke sighed, Derick had hit the right spot. “Hope…,” she said, clapping her hands together and resting her chin on her thumbs.
“What about her?”
“I think I might have made a mistake after all. She wants to see her father again… and she’s saying unthinkable things…”
She laughed nervously. “I probably shouldn’t even be talking to you about this…”
“She thinks I’m the reason she can’t see her Dad?”
She turned sharply to him. “How did you know?”
“It’s normal for her to think like that…”
“Did she say something to you?”
“Like I said, it’s normal for her to…”
“What did she say?”
“It’s not important. What is important is how you handle this. You don’t want to make an enemy out of her.”
“Are you saying I should let her see him?”
“I’m saying you can’t allow them to meet once and expect that to be the last meeting.”
Jumoke looked down at her hands. “You’re not telling me to avoid him, aren’t you even a little bit worried about my association with him?”
Derick laughed. “I can’t say that I’m not, but I won’t stand in the way of Hope’s relationship with her father. I sort of…“ he sighed. “We need to talk about…”
His phone rang. “It’s my mum. I need to take this please.”
Jumoke watched him walk away and her admiration of him grew, this man was too good to be true.
He ended the call and faced her, looking regretful. “I have to go now. My mum is waiting at the airport. Do you want to come…?”
She laughed nervously and grabbed her bag. “No, I don’t think so.”
Jumoke and Hope sat in a fastfood restaurant waiting for Lanre.
“He’s here!” Hope said, rising to greet him.
Lanre lifted her up in a tight embrace and set her down. “It’s good to see you again.”
“Yes, it is! Mum won’t let me…”
Lanre shook his head in warning and Hope was silent. Jumoke glared at her.
“Why down we sit down? Hi Jumoke,” he greeted.
Jumoke simply nodded. “We have to be out of here in thirty minutes.”
“Wow… okay…” he replied, trying to hide his disappointment. “What can I get you?” he asked Hope.
“I’d like an ice-cream and some barbecued chicken.”
“What about you Jumoke?” He asked.
She shook her head and continued fiddling with her phone.
“All right then, coming right up!” Lanre said, rising to order for the food.
“Can I follow him?” Hope asked.
Jumoke was about to decline the request but she changed her mind. It wasn’t as if Lanre would abduct her daughter under her watch. “Okay.”
At the counter, Lanre placed his hand on the table and waited for the food. Hope slipped her hand into his and discreetly let out a piece of paper.
“That’s my number,” she said with false cheer, knowing that her mother could be watching. “Call me.”
Lanre looked gratefully, yet worriedly at his daughter. “Thanks….”
“Why are you wearing a sweater?” Lanre said to Toyin when he visited her later that evening,
“I wanted to see if it was still my size, I wore it just before you came in.”
“Okay.” He said and flopped on the sofa.
“You look happy.” Toyin observed.
“Yeah, I met with some friends.”
“You obviously had fun…”
“Oh yes, I did!” He replied with a wide grin. “So where are we with the wedding planner?”
“Flower arrangements, we just concluded that. I told him to get white roses. It’s going to be so lovely Lanre!”
And expensive! He thought to himself.
“Are you hungry?”
“No… I had a lot to eat.”
“Okay, let me get you something to drink then.”
She returned shortly with a tray of something cold and a wrapped gift.
“You bought me something?” he asked, pleasantly surprised.
“Yes.” She said smiling.
“Okay, what is it? Can I open it?”
She laughed and handed it to him, staring at him in amusement.
Lanre tore open the gift, it was a T-shirt.
“You bought me a t-shirt…?” he said amused and confused, opening up the shirt. It had an inscription- Baby Daddy.
He laughed nervously, how could she have known? “TY…”
“You’re going to be a Dad…!” She said.
“What are you …?”
She took off her sweater, showing her own t-shirt with the inscription- Baby Mama. “I’m pregnant, for real this time!”
Lanre shook his head. “Wow… this is a surprise…!”
“I hope it’s a good one?” she asked anxiously.
“Yes it is.” He replied and embraced her, feeling confused and happy at the same time.