© Nissi Adeola
Oyinade got back to her office groggily. She had developed a splitting headache immediately she got that shocking message from Doctor Felix. Pregnant? How can that stupid witch be pregnant? She wondered. She paced her office wondering what spirit was at work. She could not understand why everything always gets complicated whenever she arrived at a little level of victory. She had expected many things to happen; the most expected was an open fight featuring Richard and Belina. She had expected everything to get scattered and messy between them while she played innocent, lamenting her guilt to Richard with a sober face; none of these were to happen though.
She sat down and stood again. She seriously wanted to strangle the neck of that woman. She can’t be pregnant, she hummed in her head. Not when things were working in her favour. Not when she had already gone this far. She left her office, asked a few questions from a nurse and within seconds, she was on her way to the room Belina was. It might be good to play on her emotions.
Prisca inspected the stock with one of her sales girls giving account. She had quit her stressful banking job when she was expecting Patricia. The job was too much to handle and Tony, who had been on her tail as to leaving the job, had forced her to resign when she was heavy. She however hadn’t regretted her actions because Tony made it up to her and ensured that she did not sit idle at home doing nothing; something she hated with passion. He had opened a boutique for her where she sold all kinds of clothes. She had a section for native materials and another for normal day to day clothes, majorly office wears. The boutique was practically the biggest and most patronized of all the boutiques around. Her profit was so breathtaking and she soon started regretting the years she had spent in the bank with practically nothing to show for it. After going through all the stock, she noted the goods they needed to order and asked the girl to place the order. They couldn’t afford to be out of stock.
She trusts her sales girls to be truthful because she had learnt that you have to treat your workers well if you want you business to move on smoothly. She paid them well, better than you would expect a sales girl to be paid. She paid them weekly because she knew that she stands the danger of theft and bad accountability from her girls if they had to wait till the end of the month for their salary. Her girls’ dressing have always been impeccable and they never lacked anything clothing because she always gave pairs of clothes each to her sales girls whenever they placed a major order for clothes to their suppliers. The girls always pulled customers, inviting everyone they could in order that they may have a cause to place order. Even people with more descent and high ranking jobs were jealous of her girls because they were working with such ease, looking so good everytime, being well paid and doing things even they couldn’t do.
Prisca went into her office happy that her business was booming and also that her staff were happy. They loved her dearly and she always had private discussions with them from time to time, finding out what was going on with them and offering words of advice. Her mind had been on Belina since yesterday though. She didn’t know why but she felt something was going on with her. She had always had that bond with her ever since they were best friends, knowing nothing about their relativity. She called her phone and pinged her severally but she was not responding. She decided to go over to BRP Hospital. She knew from experience that she shouldn’t ignore her inner promptings.
Kelvin glared at Richard with measured despise. His hatred for this man had grown over a period of time and he could feel his desire for a physical combat increasing as he stared at the arrogant idiot. Richard stood tall with confidence and strength. His face was a veiled expression of what he was feeling on the inside. He had the ability to look calm at the battle front, with his face revealing no emotional feeling at all; this single trait made him look more dangerous no matter the opponent her faced. His build also always gave him the upper hand considering his athletic build.
His desire to deal with Kelvin had never left him but now that he had the opportunity to satisfy that desire, he realized that he could not bring down his reputation by stooping to his level. He deliberately blinked his eyes slowly as he re-emphasized his question.
“I said, what in Hades are you doing here?” his voice increasing with steel.
“I am here to see Belina. Is there any crime in that? Or does her marriage to you restrict her from having visitors?” Kelvin replied, spoiling for a fight. Richard did not move a muscle and his face still possessed no emotion, giving Belina’s secretary a slight shiver.
“Is there any problem sir?” she asked her oga at the top.
“Yes. It seems our young man here has lost his way” he replied not facing her. Then to Kelvin, “I would give you the grace of moving your filthy self out of here before I have men bundle you out”.
Kelvin shifted as if to ascertain that his two feets were firmly rooted, then glared. “I would like to see you dare”
Richard smiled. “I was actually hoping you would say that”. Before Kelvin could blink, he was surrounded by three hefty men. He was oblivious of the time Richard pressed the secret button of his phone.
“You would pay for this” he growled as he was picked up by one of the men, struggling, kicking and screaming like a little child. It was Richard’s turn to say, not aloud but to himself. “I would like to see you dare”.
Prisca arrived at Best Results the exact time Kelvin was being bundled out. She parked her car just in time to see the hefty guy drop him like a bag of beans. He surprise and bewilderment did not stop her from going over, infact, it made her move faster. Kelvin was busy raining curses on the men who just turned back and left him there, foaming. She covered the distance separating them with quick strides; her concern not on his welfare though.
“Kelvin” she breathed, thinking her eyes might be betraying her.
He spun like an automatic machine with a glare stamped on his face. On sighting Prisca, his frown and anger seemed to deepen.
“What under heaven do you think you are doing here?” she asked alarmed.
Kelvin hissed. “Have I not had enough of that ridiculous question? What else do you think I am doing here?” he growled.
The ever bold Prisca can never be bullied by anyone, no matter the size. She folded her arms. “If you think you can create havoc in a peaceful home by presenting your infuriating self, you have me to deal with. Do you understand?”
Kelvin laughed. “Yeah, right; the tigress. No wonder you and Belina are siblings; birds of a feather. You are just opportunists. Tell me: how were you able to plant yourselves in the houses of rich men? You are bloody gold diggers.”
Prisca’s hand hit his face hard, making him unbalanced for a few seconds. He had never hit a woman before but he couldn’t take this. He started lifting up his hand to retaliate.
“You try it, it would be the last thing you do” Richard said, approaching from behind. “I would personally pummel your filthy self with my hands until your face becomes a living mess.”
The anger was fully displayed on Richard’s face now and with one glance, Kelvin knew that what he just said would come to pass if he as much as tried to prove stubborn. He gave both of them equal rounds of glare, and then he bounced off, leaving Prisca and Richard staring at his wake.
I opened my eyes feeling slight discomfort. I had become used to the hospital environment and having patients on sick beds since my husband is a first-class doctor but being the one on the bed is not something I am fond of. I tried to sit up and succeeded with slight discomfort. I felt it was awkward and a little surprising that Richard was not with me. My memory was not lost, I was intact, so I could remember vividly, what happened before I passed out. It hurt deeply remembering but a part of me still wanted Richard around now. Does it mean I have actually lost him? It can’t happen. I would fight for him with the whole of my might. All these went through my mind as I tried in vain to lift myself off the bed. I felt too weak and knew that if I could even muster strength to stand, I would fall.
I suddenly felt a presence in the room even before the door closed. I knew it was not Richard though, I would know his approach anywhere. I turned thinking it would be one of the doctors but it wasn’t. my gaze collided with Oyinade’s and in place of a doctor, I saw a harlot. I deliberately kept my cool, not giving her the hint of victory by getting all worked up; something I learnt from Richard. She hasn’t won. Infact, she is far from winning; I said to myself. He is my husband and if I am still Belina, she has no place in his heart, I vowed.
I smiled coyly, hiding my desire to jump out of the bed and tear off the filthy-looking wig she had on. “what do you want?” I asked with veiled nonchalance.
She seemed surprised and confused but she composed herself.
“Ma’am, I just want to apologise for what you saw the other time. It would never happen again.” She breathed looking guilty.
I smiled. “I am sure it wouldn’t dear; very sure”.
Again, that confused look flashed through her face. “madam” she continued with a struggle. “I know you must hate me now. You have every right to. I did not want to agree to it when he proposed it. I wanted to refuse but I could not control my heart” she said with tears brimming in her eyes.
My interest was pricked. “Agree to what?” I asked attentively.
She sniffed. “He said you couldn’t give him a child. He truly loves you and he did not want to pressurize you so he came to meet me. He wanted a child in order to please his father who was becoming concerned. I did not agree at first because I love him.” She paused as if to see my reaction. I gave none as I stared at her not betraying any emotion. “Yes ma’am. I have loved him even before I actually met him. I have seen him times without number on TV and I have developed undying feelings for him, and though I tried to kill it, I only ended up increasing my desires for him. I did not want to destroy your family but in the end, working with him seemed more than I bargained for, and the heart goes where the heart goes.
“I wanted to be with him even if it is just for a moment and also bear his child. I had refused ever since he told me and had been pestering me, but today, I was just confessing my love for him when you saw us.” She paused, trying to stop her tears. she hurriedly held my hand, kneeling down. “please don’t tell him. He made me promise not to tell you but I could not bear the hatred with which you looked at me. He loves you and I respect that even though it hurts me. You are a woman like me and I know how you feel now but please, don’t take him away from me. My heart won’t take that. What he wants to do would help you too. In our place we have an adage that says, ‘ori omo ni n pe omo waye’, meaning, ‘a child’s head can call another child to life. Maybe when I bear him a child, you would too. Don’t take him away from me. I love him and can’t bear to lose him” she pleaded and left the room in a hurry as if escaping.
I had heard more than enough, too much in one day. My head was spinning and the room was going round in circles. I pushed myself back to a lying position. I stilled my eyes, sternly preventing the emergence of tears but I could not hold them back as they came tumbling down.
Loretta drove her car at a high speed. The frustration she felt was enormous and she had no one but herself to blame. All efforts at reaching Richard had been fuitile and she was growing desperate. She had called once but immediately he knew that she was the one, he had hung up and since then, his number had been unreachable. She needed his forgiveness. She needed someone to love her. She isn’t used to being unloved. She had loved James Branson but when he became poor and retched, she had to throw away what she felt for him and find greener pastures – something she regrets now beyond words. She knew she still felt the same way about him and that the feeling is mutual and reciprocated but she knew that James would not leave his wife who stood by him through thick and thin for her. She knew that and therefore was not after him but after her son. She does not espect James to ever forgive her. But Richard? My son hates me, she thought painfully. It tore at her heart and tears clouded her sight. No. ‘I would fight for him’, she told herself stubbornly. She was heading towards BRP Hospitalto talk to Richard’s wife. She had found out that there was almost nothing she asked for which she wasn’t given. She is the key to Richard’s heart. ‘she might be able to beg Richard on my behalf’ she thought.
She turned right into macdonalds driveway on top speed, not seeing the pedestrian crossing the road.
“Jesus…” she screamed, rather too late for the car to stop miraculously through divine intervention. She ran into the pedestrian, knocking him down instantly.