© Nissi Adeola
The door opened and in came Richard and Prisca. I hadn’t been able to compose myself ever since Oyin left. My heart was shattered and seeing Prisca after about a month did not even bring a smile to my face.
“Leave”, I said bluntly and audibly even before they made it to my side.
They both paused by my bed. The fact that I had been crying was not lost on them. “You don’t want me here? What’s wrong?” Prisca asked bewildered.
I raised my eyes to glare at Richard. “Please tell him to leave Pric” I said with tears forming in my eyes.
Prisca was even more shocked than before as she looked at me as if I had suddenly grown horns. I saw it in the way she looked from me to Richard, not understanding what was going on. She had never seen us have a disagreement before; no one had. Richard just stared at me blankly, not portraying any emotions but he seemed angry. Why should he be? I wondered. I am the only one permitted to feel anger.
He left the room without uttering a word to me but he whispered something to Prisca which sounded like, ‘take care of her’. The tears I held at bay tumbled down as I held on to Prisca. I secretly wondered why my emotion was all over the place. I used to have control over my emotions, not crying or showing any signs of weakness but recently, little things move me to tears. The confusion was evident on Prisca’s face as she held me in her arms but she kept quiet, allowing the tears to flow ceaselessly.
“You were wrong to do that girl” she began after I had gathered some form of composure. “Whatever the matter might be, you shouldn’t have done that, especially with someone around” she said.
I kept quiet knowing that there was an element of truth in what she said even though I was not looking for rebukes but approval; trust Prisca to give you the undiluted truth always. I struck Richard’s male ego with my actions; that I saw very evidently written on his face.
“Are you going to tell me what the matter is?” Prisca asked.
I opened my mouth to speak but was interrupted by an intruder. Doctor Felix entered the room with a smile on his face. Despite my inner turmoil, I found his smile contagious. I smiled for the first time that evening even though it did not reach my eyes. He would have noticed I had been crying a while ago if he was as observant as Richard but thank God he isn’t.
“It is good you are awake ma’am, how are you feeling?” he asked with that funny smile still playing on his face.
“I am fine, thank you doctor” I lied and I could imagine Prisca rolling her eyes. I maintained my smile though, not letting out any pain.
“You need to rest, especially now. You would have to rest a lot, eat lots of fruits and avoid stress. You would also come for Antenatal classes regularly, so that you can be monitored. Congrats ma” I would have pursued the ‘ma’ issue but I was already too confused and dumbfounded to do that. Prisca also seemed dumbstruck as she stared at Doctor Felix with open mouth.
“What are you saying?” I managed.
“Oh… I see your husband hasn’t told you. You are pregnant; one month, two weeks gone”. His grin was blinding.
My breath caught as I gasped at the revelation.
Richard sat down forcefully and his chair squealed from his harsh approach. He could not fathom what was actually going on. He had been in perfect harmony with Belina, barely four days ago and now, they were not even seeing eye to eye. The side of Belina he saw today is a part he had never seen before. He almost could not recognize her. He hadn’t had a cause to question her faithfulness until he got that weird message. He had been able to dismiss it, only for that son of a bitch to show up in her office today, looking so calm and sure that he would be given audience. It would have been manageable if the doubt was on his side only but hearing Belina’s words made it obvious that she also had doubts. A pile developed in his throat as he remembered the words she spoke out of anger and spite. He opened the weird message again, resisting the urge to delete it.
He ran his palm through his hair in deep worry. His study of women, long before he got married to Belina had paid off. He would have done so many things out of anger if he hadn’t studied the behaviors of women and why they act the way they do at times. He had also taken his time to study Belina. Her earlier action hurt terribly but he knew she must be hurting terribly. He couldn’t see her behaving that way just because of a mere hug. She had seen him hug so many people without acting up. Now, there’s the girl she had mentioned. Who the hell could that be? He pondered.
The door opened. He didn’t know if the person had forgotten the courtesy of a knock or if he simply did not hear it.
“Is everything alright sir?” he recognized the voice as Oyinade’s. What does she want now? He wondered.
“Yes. Leave” he said as gently as possible, raising his head; his face blank.
“But sir, you look-” she was saying when Richard’s glare made her memory go blank.
“I said, leave” he said loud enough to be heard by a deaf man and Oyin vanished from sight within seconds. He did not feel sorry for yelling at her. She is part of the reasons why he is having problems.
Prisca left Belina at the entrance of Richard’s office after much persuasion. She hadn’t heard the cause of their discord because they had been too busy jubilating. The jubilation of being an expectant mother had taken over the dull moment. Belina’s face had transformed from the sad angry one to a joyous one within the space of seconds. She had jumped out of the bed instantly, jumping up and down like a little kid at the sight if a wrapped gift. Doctor Felix had to calm her down, reminding her of her condition. Prisca had held on to Belina, very happy that God had finally answered their prayers at last.
After a while she had carefully explained how wrong Belina was to have talked to Richard the way she did earlier in their happiest moment. The fact that Richard already knew she is pregnant was Prisca’s basis for argument. She refused to hear any of Belina’s attempts at justifying her actions. She told her that she would hear of it after she had made peace with Richard.
Prisca’s excitement knew no bounds as she bounced expectantly, waiting for Tony to pick up her call. He finally picked.
“Hello honey” she said and turned on motion suddenly due to over-excitement, bumping into someone. Her phone left her grasp, falling into ruins on the floor.
The lady she bumped into was busy ranting her need for a glasses; she was obviously very angry even though it was not her phone that was smashed. She busied herself with picking up her phone but looked up just in time to catch a glimpse of the person she bumped into before she left. The face she saw looked familiar but she couldn’t place it. She looked like a doctor with the way she was dressed but something was odd about it. She tried desperately to recollect exactly where she had seen that face and after a few seconds, she opened her mouth slightly in remembrance, wondering what that lady could be doing in BRH.
THREE WEEKS AGO
Prisca had left the boutique to meet a long lost college friend in Da Queens Hotel. Patience, her friend, had traveled abroad immediately after their time in college and had called unexpectedly, announcing her arrival in Nigeria. Prisca had left to meet her excitedly in the hotel she was lodged in order to get re-acquainted with her. They were called the P2 by everyone because they went everywhere together.
She arrived at Da Queens Hotel, had a long chit chat with her friend and they were both on their way out when they saw two ladies. Patience had seen them first and whistled silently. Prisca was also taken aback when she saw the ladies. They were almost naked. One of them wore a bum short knicker which stood the risk of tearing due to her large bums with a tube top. The other, which was the most bizarre of them, wore a micro-mini skirt which almost could not do justice to covering her extra large bums; she had on a see-me-through top which exposed the largest part of her double sized boobs. They looked financially comfortable and Prisca could only imagine them in one profession – prostitution.
Patience said she thought that was only done in America and other white countries and Prisca had agreed with her.
Prisca opened her mouth, not really understanding what that harlot was doing in BRP. And in a doctor’s uniform? Belina should be able to explain something.
I stood outside Richard’s office seconds after Prisca left, not really sure I should go in. Richard’s secretary looked at me curiously but I engaged my thoughts. I pressed the door knob and went in. Richard’s head was on the table, I had no idea if he was sleeping or thinking. Seeing him still made my heart beat quicken. I coughed slightly and his head shot up.
“I should not have behaved the way I did; I am sorry”. I blurted looking directly at him. He just looked at me, not believing a word I said. He stood up slowly and came over to stand in front of me. I could see what other women saw in him: he has a presence which beats others. His gaze can make a woman’s knees turn to jelly and make you feel like the most beautiful woman on earth.
He took my hand without a word and led me to the long couch in his office. He gently pushed me to a sitting position, looking into my eyes intermittently.
“How are you feeling now?” his gentle question made me feel small due to the way I had behaved. The reason for my anger faded out of my memory as I looked into his blue eyes.
“Why did you not tell me we were expecting a baby?” I asked instead of answering him with tears gathering in my eyes.
He smiled genuinely. “You did not allow me to, baby” he said with his eyes unusually bright. I noticed a tear drop almost escaping his eyes and I was instantly overtaken by emotions. This is not what I want. We need to settle our issues.
“How can I allow you when-”
“Shhhh…”he said, silencing me with his finger against my lips. “Let me just hold you now, sweet. C’mon” he said, pulling me into his arm. All I wanted to say fled as his hands enclosed around me. His fast and steady heartbeat pounded in my ear as I placed my head on his chest. We remained in this position for a very long time.
“You remember the first time I kissed you? The very first time I held you in my arms as I feasted on your sweet honeyed lips?” he asked as he caressed my lips with his thumb, making me go crazy with desire. How could I not remember such an unforgettable experience? “It was then I vowed not to ever have anything to do with another woman sexually till death do us part. You represent everything I have ever wanted in a woman. You should trust me honey. Better than you are doing now”. He pulled back to gaze into my eyes. The disappointment that was evident in his voice and face tore at my heart and being. I was confused; totally confused. I did not know what to do or say so I did what I had been wishing he would do.
I kissed him hard on his lips, trying to erase the pain I saw. He held me gently but closely and kissed me hungrily, taking full control. I held on to him as we basked in each others’ hands. The kissing grew fierce as his mouth strayed from mine and his hands brought goose bumps to my body. Something else would have happened right there, if we hadn’t been interrupted by an insistent knock on the office door.
Richard disengaged from me slowly and reluctantly, irritated that we were being disturbed. I smiled. The reaction of what we started was evident on him; on us both.
I stood up and pulled Richard out of the couch, I sat on the office chair, adjusting my tussled hair while Richard crossed over to his seat asking his secretary to come in.
Richard’s secretary came in and gave a report of a patient who was rushed into the hospital. Two doctors were already with the patient but they were requesting Richard’s presence because the patient has internal bleeding and might require Richard’s skills if he stood a chance of survival. This made Richard jump out of his seat. He kissed me, asked me to take care of myself and was out in a flash.
I smiled, feeling a bit better even though we still had a lot of things to settle. I picked up Richard’s phone and took it out of standby. The first image that propped up nearly made my eyes pop out of their sockets. It was a picture of Kelvin and I in what seemed like… a hug?