…..the front door opened and Nifemi walked in. He recognised Olumide, his eyes swept over the shared pizza, wine, the cozy atmosphere, and his gaze returned to mine. His a mixture of surprise, pain and sadness.
He turned and left without a word. I went after him.
“Nifemi!” I called to him. He was out of the compound already. I stood at the gate and called to him, he ignored me, got into his car and drove off.
Seriously? Like who was supposed to be upset; him because he saw me share pizza with a guy, or me knowing another woman was pregnant for him?
I returned to the house, Dupe was in the sitting room with Olumide. They looked at me questioning.
“Is everything alright?” He asked.
“Yes, that was….”
“Nifemi.” Olu interrupted. “I remember him. Why did he take off like that?”
How was I supposed to respond to that question, I couldn’t tell my problems to him.
“Issues.” Was all I replied. “I’m going back to sleep. Thank you for the pizza.”
I sent Dupe a silent message to dismiss Olu. I was very tired. The day had been a long one.
I pretended to be asleep when Dupe checked on me a while later, I didn’t feel like talking, I just needed to be alone with my thoughts till sleep came.
The next morning, I was woke to the incessant ringing of phone beside me, it was Nifemi’s ring tone.
“Hello” I mumbled, my eyes still closed.
“Keji, Zara just called me, she said she’s at a hospital, she just lost the pregnancy.”
At the mention of the Zara name, I remembered all the ugliness of yesterday and I snapped awake.
“Oh!” I replied coldly sitting up in bed. Why was he calling me, was I supposed to break into a dance because the pregnancy was gone? It didn’t erase the fact that he cheated on me. He told me he was done with her and she came forth claiming a pregnancy from that time frame.
“Yes, she said the hospital is off Ekololu street?”
“Ok.” I dead panned.
“Anyway. You take care of you, I’m almost at the hospital. Talk to you later.” He ended the call.
I set the phone aside, attempted to rise and was hit by a wave of morning sickness. Scrambling for the bathroom, I made it in time before I lost most of yesterday’s food.
“How is she?” I asked Nifemi by way of greeting when he came to my house later that day.
“Her doctor said she’s recovering.” He loosened his tie and sat beside me on the couch.
“Why did she loose the pregnancy?”
“Her doctor said stress, mom thinks she was never pregnant in the first place.” He leaned into the chair and shut his eyes with a heavy sigh.
“My suspicion as well.” I mumbled. He looked tired, my heart melted towards him, but no. He cheated on me, I had a right to my anger.
“I’m just glad that drama is over.” He said.
“What? Till the next woman comes along claiming she’s pregnant by you?” I snapped.
He sat up so quick. “I can’t believe you just said that to me.” He said coldly, a mixture of sadness and anger. “I can’t believe you think that of me.”
“What am I supposed to think? You told me it was over between you four months ago, and she turns up claiming to be three months pregnant by you. You don’t deny the possibility, which means, three months ago you had sex with her. While doing same with me.” I retorted hotly.
“It was a stupid mistake.” He got up and began to pace.
“Which you neglected to tell me about. We tell each other everything, or so I thought.”
“I’m sorry.” He said earnestly.
“Yea right. Until the next one.”
“What is wrong with you, what is happening with us?” He asked stopping in front of me. “Why are you so bent on believing the worst of me?”
“Because, I never liked that girl from the start. I told you, you said I was imagining things. You lied to me because of her, she stalked and threatened me, you did nothing. Then she comes into my house, to smugly tell me she’s pregnant for you!” I was near tears. I struggled for calmness. “My instincts weren’t wrong about her, how do I know my instincts aren’t wrong about there being others?” I shouted.
He crouched before me. “You know me better than this, where is all this insecurity coming from? Besides, you shouldn’t be working yourself up like this, not in your condition.”
“You should have thought about that before you slept with her while seeing me!”
He stood. “For goodness sakes Morenikeji! I’ve apologised for my mistake, but what do you do at the first sign of trouble, you call up some exes. Sharing pizza with a spine less guy who left you years ago.” He shouted back. Nifemi never raised his voice at me.
“That was just innocent….”
“I do not even want to consider the possibility of you thinking of reconnecting with him. I trust you, why can’t you give me the same benefit of doubt?”
I couldn’t answer that, he did have a point.
“I love you, I’ve loved you from the first moment I laid my eyes on you.” He held my gaze. “We are having a baby, we are getting married. You need to find that trust you used to have in me.”
“Do you know what you’ve done? The mere fact that she was or could have been pregnant is enough to erode my trust. Would you still trust me if there was a chance this baby could have been fathered by another?” I cried.
“Morenikeji!” Aunt Mabel put enough scolding into calling my name. She stood at the door to the sitting room.
I had forgotten she was home.
“Good evening ma.” Nifemi greeted her.
“Good evening Nifemi. You children need to keep it down, especially you Keji.”
“Yes ma, thank you ma.” He replied.
She left, going back into the house.
I merely returned to my seat, fixing my eyes on the muted television set.
“I’m truly sorry about this whole mess.” He sighed. “I need to go, I’ve got a whole backlog of work to do, and you need to calm down.”
“Whatever!” I muttered.
“I need to be in PH this weekend to finalise a business deal. You want to come?”
I heard him laugh at my obvious childishness, and I eyed him thoroughly, did he think he was forgiven? No way.
He kissed me on my forehead, and left.
I refused to go to Port Harcourt with him, I barely talked to him in the ensuing days. The day he travelled I sent him an impersonal Journey Mercies sms, and he replied in kind when he arrived PH.
I busied myself sorting the clothes I bought on my last trip and looked into placing orders online. Considering my pregnancy, I won’t be able to travel in the next year, I was considering setting up a boutique, but in which location?
Nifemi’s apartment was a bachelor’s pad, and he had previously asked me to look into us getting a bigger apartment, but I had lost the motivation. And the location of my boutique should depend on where we live.
Nifemi’s mom and Aunt Mabel continued their wedding plans with barely any input from me. I had lost that fever to be with Nifemi, I was merely going along with them. I knew I would marry Nifemi, I just couldn’t dredge up any excitement.
The day after he travelled to PH, while aunt Mabel and I were having lunch, a call came in on my cell, Nifemi’s secretary. There must be a change in Nifemi’s schedule for her to be calling me.
Nifemi couldn’t even place the call himself!
I answered as it was about to ring out. “Hello Alice.”
“Hello Keji.” She replied. She didn’t sound her usual bubbly self.
“Alice?” I prompted her.
“There was a kidnapping attempt on his team, he was hit by a bullet in the exchange between…..”
I screamed in horror.
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