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Pamela walked into her room and closed the door shut.
How had everything fallen apart?
Now, she was at the mercy of her father and forced to do whatever he wanted her to. Her parents were in the living room having an argument over what she was to do with the pregnancy. Her mother was of the opinion she could help out in raising her grandchild when it came. On the other hand her father preferred the child be aborted. She wasn’t married… she wasn’t engaged. She just slept with a stranger and got pregnant with a bastard child. Since he was the head of the home it was most likely that his word would stand.
She moved away from the door and sat at the edge of the bed. It creaked from her weight. What was she going to do? She placed her palm on her tummy. It was strange that she was carrying a stranger’s baby. But the baby had a part of her. It could be a little girl or a boy.
Pamela wasn’t so sure she wanted the baby. What would happen to her plans… the ones she had put so much work and money on.
Where was the God Efe spoke about so passionately? Where was the God that had good plans for her? Was He just not interested in her? If so then she was all alone with no other help. What was going to be her new plans now?
Peace, be still
Pamela sat up straight. Why had that thought come to mind? Peace be still? She was in no way at peace now.
Be still and know that I am God.
Before Pamela could give it a thought her door flew open and her father barged in. “Tomorrow morning I would take you to see my friend, Dr Ernest. You would have an abortion.”
Her eyes widened and she opened her lips parted but before she could get get a word out he said, “If you dare say something I would give you a dirty slap. It’s either you abide my rules or get out of my house!”
Could this be the sign I’m looking for?
“Yes . . . I’m saying you can divorce him. I don’t want the both of you to be unhappy. Marriage is beautiful, though it has it’s tough times. It’s not about two people just living together in a house or whatever. It’s about two friends and lovers living life together and growing in the Lord and procreating and showing forth God’s image. Do you understand?”
She couldn’t believe what her mother-in-law was saying. She was relieved that someone understood her. Her father hadn’t given her this much support. It clearly had to be a sign from God.
“I don’t know what to say mummy. I was expecting you came here to tell me not to leave Daniel and fight for my marriage because of my daughter. Is daddy in agreement with you?” She asked, referring to her father-in-law.
“He doesn’t like that you two aren’t happy. He said he should have noticed how bad it was when both of you keep calling your daughter by different names.”
“Anyway I’m happy to see you are doing fine. You are moving on with your life and not sitting around moping and feeling sorry for yourself.”
Efe didn’t want to tell her she had done most of that when she first arrived to Calabar and it was her room-mate that had gingered her out of her sorry state before it graduated to depression.
“Does Daniel know you are here?”
Efe shook the disappointment away and discussed other things with her mother-in-law. The older woman made sure to talk about various things but stylishly avoided anything that had to do with Daniel.
“Have you decided what you want to do after NYSC?”
“I’m thinking of doing my Masters. It would probably be in London but I’m not sure. I applied for a scholarship but haven’t heard from them yet.”
“What about your daughter?”
“She would go with me. I can’t leave her here… I’ve already missed almost a year of her life. I’m not going to let it become more.”
“I understand dear. Let God’s will be done. It would all work out. I’m sure Nkiru would be glad to see you and her neice.”
“Yes mummy.” Nkiru was Daniel’s younger sister who was currently at London finishing her Masters. The last time they had spoken she had mentioned looking for job opportunities over there.
“But have you thought about if they decide to retain you here? Nowadays, I hear it’s good to have working experience before applying for Masters.”
“Yes . . . I’m just looking at options. I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.” Like I did with your son. There was no way Efe wanted to tell her mother-in-law about Amanze. They had discussed the probable plans for her future; either at the company or doing her Masters. He also had plans for their future together. He got so excited about it whenever he spoke. He already had plans to introduce her to his mother and grandmother. Efe had asked him to slow down. She wanted to be done with the divorce before she started meeting anyone in his family.
“Let me let you rest. We’ll talk more tomorrow.”
Her mother-in-law went to the room while Efe sat on the couch reflecting on their discussion. Her phone vibrated and she checked on the new message.
Free to talk?
Efe smiled and dialled the number instead of replying.
“Hey love… how are you doing?” Her whole body tingled at the sound of his voice. She could imagine the smile on his lips.
“I’m fine. You? I didn’t get to see you all day. Guess the planning is coming along well?”
“Sure. This Saturday is going to be amazing… I can assure you of that.”
She chuckled. “I don’t doubt it. I believe you would do great.”
“Thanks baby. So how did it go with your MIL?”
Her brows drew together. “My MIL? What’s that?”
“I mean how did it go with your mother-in-law? I bumped into her when I stopped at the office briefly. Your daughter gave her up. She looks so much like you.”
“Wait… you were the man that directed her to the office?”
“Guilty as charged.”
“What? Did I do something wrong?”
Efe rolled her eyes. “You could have at least warned me about it.”
“I thought it would be a pleasant surprise. Wasn’t it? Or did something else happen? Did she come to tell you not to divorce her son?”
“No, on the contrary she gave me her blessings. She wants me to be happy.”
“And I want you to be happy as well… just that it has to be with me. I want to be be your joy. The one that brings that sweet smile to your face. I want to you be your all in all.”
The words were sweet to hear but something just felt wrong in it. She pushed her worries away. “Don’t forget we’re taking baby steps.”
They spoke a bit more till they both called it a night. As Efe slept beside her daughter she was happy. She was well taken care of, even if her father wasn’t there for her; having abandoned her with his parents. She pushed the anger away. Maybe one day… Amanze could be her daddy. If not Amanze then someone else.
Zainab stood still at the door. She wasn’t sure how to react; whether to jump into his arms and hold him tight or slap him and slam the door on his face. The latter would be silly since she was the one that brought them to their current position in the first place.
“Can I come in?” He asked.
Not saying a word, she shifted aside and opened the door wider to let his big frame into her apartment. He walked in and stood a few feet from her when she closed the door. It was awkward. Neither knew what to say to each-other.
They both spoke at the same time and kept quiet. Zainab said she would go first. “I’m sorry for what happened. I should have told you about Sonia and I. It was a long time ago, when we were both still children. But instead of growing up and putting aside our childish ways it kept on. I guess we both got used to it. At a point in time I wanted to stop but found it hard to do so. I called it off when we got engaged but Sonia kept blackmailing me that she would tell you everything and you would leave me. It was a stupid mistake and I’m really sorry.”
I.K shoved his hands into his pockets and nodded. There were few minutes of silence between them.
“You can talk now.”
He sighed. “How have you been?”
She gave a half-shrug. “I’ve been okay. I cried for days. I missed you. I miss you . . . I miss us.”
He shut his eyes briefly and opened them again with a small smile on his lips. “I missed you too.”
He moved close to her and found herself closing her eyes as their lips touched and he kissed her with as much passion as he usually did. At first she was unsure at what they were doing; why they were kissing when they hadn’t really sorted it all out. But the kiss deepened. She moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck. He pulled away first. She was out of breath. She took a few steps away from him.
“Why don’t you sit down. Would you like something to drink? Beer? Water?”
“I’m fine, thanks. I’ll just stand.”
Zainab was nervous. He hadn’t really said anything and he declined sitting and having a drink. She wondered why he was here. Was it too much to hope that they would get back together?
He shoved his hands into his pockets again. “Zainab, you’re a wonderful woman. Strong. Independent. Strong-headed. Just the kind of woman that I like. But-”
She closed her eyes when she heard the but, knowing he wasn’t here to make amends. Knowing that the steamy kiss they had shared was one of good-byes. She felt her heart literally drop.
“But I can’t seem to get over what you and Sonia did. When I heard I didn’t want to talk to you. I couldn’t see myself getting married to you any-more. I loved you but . . . My love wasn’t strong enough to take such a blow. It hurt to think you were messing around with her while we were together.”
She opened her eyes and blinked the tears away. “So you came here to tell me that? Does that make you feel better? You wanted revenge abi?”
He took his hands out of his pocket and came close to her. Close enough for her to smell his hair-cream. The one she hated so much and always told him to get rid of.
“I didn’t come here to hurt you. I wanted us to talk like adults and go our separate ways as friends and not enemies.”
Zainab laughed. “What you’re saying sounds so stupid to me! How do you expect us to be friends? You come here and kiss me like that and say let’s be friends? Bullshit!”
“So what did you want me to say? That we continue from where we left of?”
“So what was the kiss for?”
“To confirm that what I feel for you is over.” He said sheepishly.
“You’re an idiot!”
The door-bell rang and she turned away from him and pulled open the door to see her father standing there with an apologetic look on his face which quickly turned to concern.
She stepped aside and allowed him in. That was when he saw I.K.
I.K bowed his head slightly in greeting. “Good evening sir.”
“Evening I.K. How are you?”
Her father looked back at her. He raised his brow, as if asking her if she was okay. She hesitated a little then shook her head. “I’m sorry I interrupted your discussion. Should I wait for the both of you to finish or should I just excuse you entirely?”
“You can stay. We’re done here.”
I.K looked like he was going to say something but he nodded in agreement with her. “All the best Zainab.” He said and walked out of her door. This time he was out of her life for good.
“You want to talk about it?”
She shook her head, then she nodded.
“Okay. I usually don’t agree to comfort food but I’ll make an exception for you today. What’s your favourite ice-cream and junk food?”
Zainab chuckled. “Cookies and cream ice-cream, burger and fries with chicken and some chocolates.”
His eyes widened. “And you’re this slim? I see you took that from your mother.”
“I’ll be right back and we can talk. Deal?”
He returned close to an hour later with all she had asked for. Apparently, he also bought ice-cream and some fries for himself so they both settled down on her couch and let the TV fill up the silence.
After downing four spoons of ice-cream and a drum-stick, she broke the silence. “Heartbreak is a bitch! I mean I didn’t expect him to just say we should forget everything that happened and be together. I didn’t even expect him to show up at my door-step! He just came over to tell me it’s over and we should remain friends.” She chucked a handful of fries into her mouth and chewed till she could speak again. “Love is a pain. It hurts to love.”
“Yes it hurts but it doesn’t make love bad. It could cause you pain but you can’t ever stop loving.”
Zainab snorted. “Sounds ridiculous. It’s very simple… if something causes you pain then you do away with it. Now I just believe love is overhyped.”
He smiled. “Let me tell you a love story that would blow your mind away.”
She raised a brow. “If you’re talking about you and mum I think I’ll pass.”
He laughed. “No… this is much much better than that. When I heard the story it changed my mentality on love totally.”
Her interest piqued, she tucked her feet under her to get cosy. “Okay, I’m listening.”
♡ Bible Quote for the Day:
Romans 1:28 KJV, And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
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