In The World Of 3 Women – Episode 9
© Kayode Odusanya
Dapo woke up in the middle of the night with a headache. He was turning in bed, thinking of all what had been revealed to him in the last couple of hours.
“What’s the matter?” Lola said as she snuggled up to him in bed.
“Nothing; I didn’t know you were awake.”
“You’ve twisting and turning all night; something must be wrong.” She said and rolled over Dapo, to get to the other side of the bed. “Did you know Mrs. Cole in the past?” The question hit Dapo like a bolt of lightning, but he tried his best to hide it. She was going to have to hear about it sooner or later, but he wasn’t ready to tell her yet. “You know her, right?” Lola kept at it.
“Yes. I knew her.”
“Who was she to you?” Lola asked, and just then there was a knock at the door. Dapo checked his watch. It was 5:00a.m; he didn’t know why anybody would be knocking on their door this early. Then a loud voice came with the next series of knocks. “Good morning o!” The voice was loud and shaky and Lola and Dapo jumped off the bed.
“What’s the matter?” Dapo asked his neighbor, Mrs. Nwaneri as he opened the door to find her close to tears.
“It is Florence; she’s really sick and my husband is not around.” She said as she broke down in tears. Lola had thrown on shorts and a t-shirt as she came up to the door.
“I don’t know if you can help us to the hospital?” The woman said, still with a very shaky voice. Lola quickly moved up beside her, holding her shoulder, trying to calm her down.
“Just give me a minute.” Dapo said and disappeared back into the house.
He was out within a minute with the car keys and a shirt hanging around his neck. Lola had already followed Mrs. Nwaneri’s back to her flat to see how her daughter was doing. He got to the apartment and saw them trying to make Florence walk, as she struggled to even stand upright. He walked up to them and carried her with one swift movement and headed out.
The hospital was two streets away, and he was there in less than 5 minutes. Lola had wanted to come along, but he convinced her to stay and inform anybody that cared to know on their where-about.
The nurses took charge as he carried the girl into the hospital, and he had to do the work of re-assuring the mom that the daughter would be alright.
Dapo left the hospital when everything was under control and his help was no longer needed. The lady thanked him and said some prayers.
He looked in the rear view mirror as he got back into his car; he needed a shave badly, but that would have to wait. There were some questions he needed answers too. He sparked up the car, and drove off.
He wondered what would be going through Lola’s mind after the revelation she had just heard. And the fact that he left her hanging worsened the case. He had spoken to her after he got to the hospital and he could hear it in her voice that she wanted to ask him some more questions, but couldn’t do so because of the sick girl.
“Good morning sir.” The maid greeted him as he came out of the car.
“Good morning. Do you know if madam is awake?”
“I’ll go and check sir.” As she said it, Kike emerged from the front door. “Good morning ma.” The maid greeted Kike and stopped dead in her tracks like she was shocked to see her madam.
“Kate, good morning; Go and check on the dogs, I heard them barking this morning.”
The maid headed towards the garden and Kike walked up to meet Dapo. “You are here early; business with my husband?” She asked as she stood inches from him, face to face.
“I came for answers. I want to hear the wh0le story.”
“I thought I told you that yesterday.” She said and walked off from where he was standing. “Have you been in,side the new 2012 BENZ S 600? You need to check it out.”
“Whatever.” Dapo said and followed her reluctantly. They got into the car and she started the engine and let the a/c cool the car
“I have to get some things from the store; we’ll talk on the way there.” She said and steered the car towards the gate.
“So did you guys plan this wh0le thing?”
“How do you mean?”
“How I met your husband. I think I can start with that. Did he orchestrate the meeting?”
“He knew about you, but the incidence at the gas station was a coincidence.”
“So you knew about that?”
“He tells me everything. He is a very understanding person.”
“So…what exactly do you want me to do now? You do know I’m married, right?”
“Are you saying if you weren’t married you would consider letting me back into your life.”
“I love my wife; I just feel…I feel I owe you. Anu is my responsibility.” Tears rolled down her eyes as he spoke, but she wasn’t sobbing or anything, they just rolled down freely. “You know I tried my best. You disappeared with no trace…I just got married last year, after about 9 years waiting for you to show up.”
“You don’t have to defend yourself.”
“I’m not trying to; I just want you to be reasonable.”
She took a quick side glance at him and smiled. “You know…I was always checking on you. I never knew you got married until lately.”
“It was a quiet one.”
“And she’s pregnant, right?”
“Yes, four months in.”
“That’s good news.” Kike said and put up a smile.
They didn’t talk much while in the store. Dapo eventually left her side and did a little shopping of his own. He was at the liquor section when he saw Dupe with two other girls. “Wow! Are you meant to be my guardian angel or what?” She said as she approached Dapo. “And why do you look like you just got out of bed?” She was inches away from him now, fidgeting, not knowing whether to shake him or hug him. He gave her a quick hug.
“Well…I did just get out of bed.”
“D, meet my friends, Nneka and Pat” The two shook Dapo and wondered off. “So what’s up? I saw you with a lady earlier; was that your wife?”
“Are you serious? You know, sometimes I think you are lying to me. First, the girl that looks so much like you, that you claim isn’t your daughter. Then this lady…this must be your friend’s wife or something?”
“There is something not right though. You are a very mysterious guy, but you look like a good person, so I would take your word for it.” She said, looking up at Dapo like he was Santa Claus and he was about to give her a gift.
Kike appeared out of nowhere with a bag of groceries in hand. “I’m done; let’s go.” She said to Dapo and she walked off, ignoring Dupe.
Dapo turned and faced Dupe. “I got to go. Umm…I’ll call you.” He had a little smile on his face that was meant to be an apology for Kike’s bad behavior. He ran up to catch up with his estranged ex-girlfriend.
“What was that all about?”
“So you are keeping girlfriends now, right?” Kike said with fire in her eyes.
“You are cheating on your wife?”
“She’s just my friend; is that why you acted so rudely towards her?”
“Why are you taking her side?”
“Because she is just a little girl and you are making such…”
“Point of correction, that chic is not a little girl.”
“Okay, let’s change the subject.”
“Fine, let’s talk about how you abandoned your child.” She said and Dapo pulled her back in anger.
“Don’t you ever say that again.”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” She said and started sobbing right there in front of the store. “I’m sorry; I’m just dealing with a lot right now.”
Dapo held her by the shoulder and walked her to the car. They sat in silence for a while.
“So how can we fix this?” Dapo broke the silence.
“I don’t know.”
“You said your husband wanted me to take care of Anu?”
“Yes, he has always been a considerate person.”
“So what did he want for you?” Dapo didn’t get an answer from her. “Listen, it is hærd enough for me to find a way to tell my wife about Anu, please don’t make it any h-rder.”
“I’ll probably travel back to America; I’ll be out of the way. Anu can be spending a lot of time with you.
“How will she understand that I’m her real father?”
“I don’t know; she at least already likes you, so that wouldn’t be too much a problem.”
They drove back into the Cole’s mansion and stayed in the car for a while. Both of them were obviously busying away on thoughts about what would happen next.
“Would it be okay if I called you?” Kike said.
“Let’s not make this any more complicated than it already is; I come here regularly, what would you want to be calling me for?” He thought he was a little harsh on her, but he felt that was the best way to the deal with the matter. They got out of the car, and said goodbyes.
To be continued
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