…..”So Morenike, aren’t I lucky? Just two weeks back in Nigeria and I run into you. Best of all you aren’t wearing a wedding ring so you’re still single. For me. Aren’t I lucky?”
I stared at him, amazed at his boldness. Smh. He was still the same old Olumide Fowora. Forever hopeful.
“You wish.” I replied my smile frozen in place. Our food gratefully arrived and I dug in, I barely tasted the food I could have been eating saw dust for all the attention I paid the food.
“So Olu, I heard you married oyibo?” I heard Dupe ask and my ears perked up.
He laughed heartily. “Shelley is African-American and we are divorced now.
Within how many years?
“I heard you had a child as well?” I asked.
“Yes, Bree, she’s adorable.” He reached for his wallet and passed photographs of his daughter to us.
She was beautiful, she looked to be about two years old. My heart melted towards her. She could have been my daughter, if her father weren’t a money loving, greedy, *******, who processed his visa behind my back while we were dating and only told me he was travelling out the night before he did.
“She’s gorgeous.” I returned the picture, smiling sadly. .
“She is isn’t she?” He beamed like a proud father.
“She is.” Dupe affirmed. “So what are you doing back in Nigeria?” She asked.
“I was head-hunted by a Telecom company, I’m to take up a position as a manager for one of their brands.”
“Seriously? Big boys level!”. Dupe teased.
My phone rang; Nifemi.
“My love.” I answered the call loud enough for my table mates to hear, not caring if the whole restaurant heard me.
Conversation ceased between Dupe and Olu. I ignored them and carried on my phone conversation.
“Babe, how are you?” Nifemi asked.
“I’m fine, you?”
“Fine. How did it go at the embassy?”
“I was successful. I fly out next week saturday.”
“Congratulations. Where are you now, I’m thinking of taking the day off.”
“I just had lunch with Dupe, should we meet up at your office?” Now my day was looking up.
“Ok. I’m waiting.”
I ended the call, smiled brightly at them and picked up my handbag. “I’ll leave you guys to play catch-up, I have my man waiting.”
Dupe was staring at me strangely, while Olu had a calculating smile on his face.
I stopped and turned. “You, has work closed for the day?” I asked Dupe pointedly, I didn’t trust her alone with Olu.
“Oh my!” She glanced at her watch. “Got to go.” She smiled apologetically to Olu. She signalled to the waiter for our bill.
“Let me.” Olu offered to pay, and handed the waiter his bank card.
“That’s so nice of you. Thank you.” Dupe said.
I rolled my eyes and tapped my feet, she should hurry with the gushing.
“Here’s my card, we should meet up soon, and discuss your banking needs.” She handed him her complimentary card.
“Sure.” He took it. “Yours Morenike?” He stretched his hand towards me.
I gave him serious evil eyes, and walked out of the restaurant.
He laughed. “I still don’t see a ring.” He said as I walked away. “I’ll be in touch.” He promised.
I took ill a week after I arrived Dubai. How did I go all the way outside Nigeria to fall sick, I felt so bad, every part of my body hurt and I couldn’t keep a meal down. I had a phobia for hospitals and have only been treated by my family doctor. Since I won’t go to the hospital, Nifemi wanted me to return immediately. I packed up and returned to Lagos with the little I had bought.
Nifemi drove me straight to the hospital where I was immediately placed on admission, while several tests were run on me.
A few hours later, the doctor came to my room with the test results.
“The tests shows you have Malaria, and that you are eight weeks pregnant.” The doctor said.
Nifemi and I stared at each other in shock, and looked to the doctor for confirmation, he nodded. A smile broke out from within, I was eight weeks pregnant. I sat up slowly.
Nifemi looked astonished, neither of us gave a thought to the Malaria issue, we were having a baby!
“….. We’ll begin treatment for malaria, and she’ll be given supplements and a dietary plan, she should be ready to go home in a few days….” The doctor continued.
We weren’t listening. A baby! My baby! Suddenly I felt fine, healthy in fact, like I could break out in a dance.
The doctor excused himself and we were alone. Nifemi sat beside me on the hospital bed, and took my hand in his.
“Babe we are having a baby.” He whispered hoarsely.
“Yea.” I replied, tears of joy brimming in my eyes.
“You know we have to get married soon?”
I whipped my head around to face him.
“I. guess.” I stammer. Marriage? Baby and marriage all in one day? My thoughts were on overdrive. Was that a proposal? Nifemi could do better than that.
A knock came through the door, Dupe pushed the door and came in, followed by Aunt Mabel.
“Is that how much you missed us that you fell sick immediately you got there?” Dupe teased as she hugged me.
“Na so! Scoot let me hug better person.” I shooed her aside and hugged Aunt Mabel.
“Hey Nifemi. How are you?” Dupe gave him a side hug.
“How are you?” Aunt Mabel asked me.
“I’m fine, and you?”
“If you are fine, how come you’re in the hospital?” Dupe asked.
Nifemi got up for Aunt Mabel to sit beside me on the bed.
“Just a little malaria.” Nifemi replied.
Aunt Mabel looked at me suspiciously, I looked away. Until Nifemi and I finish the discussion they interrupted, we weren’t sharing the news.
“Have you eaten, we brought food.” Aunt Mabel brought a food jar out of her bag, as the sweet aroma of jollof rice hit my senses, I remembered I was hungry.
Dupe handed me cutlery and I dug in.
Three days later, I was discharged from the hospital. Nifemi’s mom and Aunt Mabel picked me from the hospital. Nifemi’s mother’s first question when she heard I was ill and in the hospital was: “Is she pregnant?”
Nifemi had no choice but to answer truthfully. She had rushed to the hospital and barely left my side since then except to sleep.
When we got home, Nifemi’s mom and Aunt Mabel launched into wedding plans.
I just sat there and assented where my input was needed. I was still somewhat weak
“Come in.” Aunt Mabel called to him.
“Aunty, one madam dey for gate. She say she be Oga friend. She say her name na Zara.” he said as he came in.
I perked up. Why did Zara want to see me?
“Send her in.” I replied.
“Who is she?” Nifemi’s mom asked. She and Aunt Mabel could see I was disconcerted.
“Nifemi’s friend.” I replied.
Zara came in in a cloud of perfume, looking as made up as always in a short blue shift dress.
“Hello Keji. Good afternoon.” She nodded to both ladies.
“Zara, please sit.” I waved her to sit, and all three of us waited for her to state the reason behind her visit.
“I’m sorry to barge in on you like this, can we talk?” She asked.
“Go ahead, these are my aunt and Nifemi’s mom.” I introduced them.
“Good afternoon ma.” She knelt in greeting to Nifemi’s mom.
“Afternoon. You say you are Nifemi’s friend.” Mrs Olatunji asked suspiciously.
“Yes ma, I’ve tried reaching Nifemi recently, he won’t take my calls.” She said, addressing his mom.
“Why?” I asked, I had a bad feeling about what she was about to say. I got chill bumps on my skin.
“I don’t know. Okay we had a falling out, it was pretty bad. But the thing is; I’m pregnant.”
“You are what?” All three of us asked in unison.
“I’m pregnant. Three months pregnant.” She replied with downcast eyes.
“For who?” Nifemi’s mother asked.