If one could cry till blood comes pouring out, blood would have poured out from my eyes. I was yet to accept the breaking news that I may not be able to walk again.
I heard from Emmy that dad had Henry arrested. It didn’t make me feel better. Henry in jail would not bring back my legs would it?
Ayo hasn’t left me since I woke up. She blamed me for my current position
. I wanted to send her out, but I needed a friend that moment.
“Henry has been released” Emmy entered into the room.
“All these policemen! Upon the money your dad paid” she added.
“The Babalolas are also rich too” Ay pointed out, “Henry has guts oh” Emmy sat on my bed.
“Imagine that he brought that bitch to this hospital so they can mock at you”
“Are you trying to make Jummy feel better or worse?” Ay asked, “I’m just letting her know what’s going on” Emmy answered.
“You’re being insensitive!” Ay yelled and I requested they leave the room. I wanted some peace and quiet.
Henry stopped by afterwards. He apologized for the turn out of his rejection. I cried my eyes out
. “I hope you can put this in your conscience Henry, this is your damn fault. I’m this way because of you”
“I didn’t do anything Jummy”
“It’s your fault I lost focus, it’s your fault that I clashed into that damn trailer! Henry i may never walk in my life because of you and I hope the guilt kills you!” I yelled.
“Get out of here Henry! Get out!” I yelled and he looked at me one last time.
“I’m sorry Jummy” he apologized leaving.
Mrs. Babalola’s POV
After the drama with Festus, I went back to work hoping to keep my mind busy but I couldn’t because of Jummy.
I went to the hospital but Jummy insisted she didn’t want to see anyone so I went back to home. I was shocked when I saw Barrister George, our family lawyer outside the gate. He drive off in his car before I could catch up with him.
I received the greatest shock when I found my bag in the middle of the sitting room. “What’s George doing here and what’s my bag doing in the middle of the sitting room?” I asked and Theo stretched a docvment to me and I opened it.
Behold it was a divorce paperwork. “You must be crazy if you think I’ll sign this” “You don’t have any choice Doyin”
“You must be joking”
“I’m dead serious, I’m tired of your control. You’re too controlling, I want my Doyin back and if I can’t get her back, it’s not worth living with a stranger. I want out of this he’ll home.”
“That’s a lie you tell yourself, you’re probably doing it to go back into the arms of your lover!”
“I swear on my life and the life of everything I hold dear, I haven’t cheated in a very long time” he moved close to me.
“Years ago when we got married, I couldn’t breathe without you. Now, I can’t even breathe in the same house you’re in” he snapped and I slapped him on his cheek.
“How dare you? I should be the one saying that, you broke our sacred matrimony”
“You pushed me to do it Doyin and I’m done apologizing for it, I’ve done everything a man could think of. It’s either I have my Doyin back or you sign that and leave.”
“I’m not signing”
“You have to leave the house but because it’s late, I’ll let you spend the night”
“We built this house together”
“You can’t throw me out of the house” “I can Doyin. Get ready to leave tomorrow”
“You’re an idiot Theophilus, I seriously wonder why mom match-made me with you! I don’t have to sleep for the night. I’ll leave so you can call all the sluts you want”
The maids came back with more bags. They were now looking at me. “What are you looking at?” I snapped.
“Come and carry the bags out before i slap somebody here”
“None of you is expected to help her, let her carry it for herself if she can’t ask nicely”
“I employed them”
“Not anymore, now they work for me” he answered. “Is that how you wanna play this game Theophilus?”
“Good night Doyin” he added sharply walking away.
I thought of my parents house, but I can’t go out if shame. We had other houses we rented out and some that are still vacant but I didn’t have the keys to it.
I didn’t want my friends finding out that Theo threw me out of the house. I thought of going over to Tosin’s house then I remembered she lived in a self contained apartment.
Then the thought of spending the night at the hotel popped into my mind but if I get caught rumours will spread. They might even accuse me of cheating.
I know these things so well. I’ve seen it happen to people.
Henry was my only way out. I didn’t inform him. I didn’t want him springing excuses so I decided to surprise him.
After confirming who it was, Henry opened the gate and I drove in. He was in his shorts and singlet.
I came out of the car slamming the door. “Mom what are you doing here?” He asked, “Well I came to see my son, is that a bad thing?”
“Can I stay for the night?” I asked and he raised his brow in shock.
“Your Dad threw me out” I said withholding my tears. “Your father had the nerves to throw me out of my own house”
“What did you do?”
“Why must you all assume that I did something bad? I didn’t do anything. I walked into the house and he gave me the damn divorce papers to sign.”
“Dad would never do that…he’s not exactly the kind to do that”
” Your dad is not exactly the kind to do a lot of things but he does it anyways” “What do you mean by that?” He asked and i opened the car boot removing one of my bag and he removed two others.
I wanted to tell him but I witheld it. I didn’t know why I did.
“Keep those bags, I’ll deal with this madness tomorrow. I won’t be staying here forever” I answered and he returned the two bags and collected the one I held.
“I’ll talk to Dad”
“Don’t even talk to him, we have more than one houses in Lagos. Your father thinks I’ll go back to my parents house, he’s kidding. I haven’t been working all these years for nothing”
“I hope that maid isn’t around” i asked while we walked into the house.
“Henry I’m waiting” I heard a voice call out.
“Why didn’t you tell me she was around?” I whispered and Henry opened his eyes in shock. “You didn’t exactly ask me” he answered.
“I’m going, I can’t stay under the same roof with her”
Adesuwa came out with a s£xy lingerie.
“Who was at the gate?” She asked before she noticed me. Her eyes fell on my bag.
“Good evening Ma. Henry what’s going on?” She asked and Henry moved over to her whispering some inaudible words to her.
“Ma you’re more than welcome to spend the night”
“I can’t do that, I’m probably interrupting…” I pointed at the two of them and they laughed.
“We were about having movie night, something to put Henry out of his bad mood” Adesuwa answered chuckling. “I’ll go arranged the other room” she scratched her neck.
“After all you’re a maid, it’s still your job”
“Mom” Henry warned and I raised my nose. “It’s okay Henry, it’s still my job” she answered leaving Henry and I alone.
“It’s just one night Henry and I’ll out if your hair before you know it” she slapped my cheek softly.
After Mr. Coker put his drama, we all entered dad’s car. I suspected that something was going wrong after Tosin entered the front seat instead of going into her own car.
“Henry I have something to tell you” Dad blurted out and Adesuwa pushed the door open. “I better excuse you all”
“I told you Adesuwa, you’re now part of the family. There’s no point hiding anything when he’ll definitely let you know”
Adesuwa closed the door now looking at me. “I’ll be filing for a divorce” dad blurted out and I shut my eyes. That was the last thing i needed to hear that moment.
“Don’t be scared Henry, dad is not being inconsiderate, we know you’re going through a lot as it is with Jummy’s situation.”
“Is it necessary?” I asked and Tosin chuckled.
“Who’s gave that ridiculous idea?” I asked and Tosin raised up her hands. “Why?”
“Something to bring back mom’s humanity”
“I don’t see that possibility, mom can never change not when I’m with Adesuwa” “I’m with Fatai now and If I’ll need to get married, I’ll need her blessing and this wolf we have as a mother would not accept. All she cares about is money and properties”
“What’s the aim of the divorce then?”
“Mom would not accept divorce. If dad states his claims properly and let’s her know that he wants the old Doyin back, she might change”
“You’re forgetting one tiny fact”
“Mom is stubborn, she might agree to the divorce”
“You don’t know mom the way I do Henry, she won’t, take it from me. Mom would never agree to a divorce” Tosin answered and i sighed.
“Henry I’m not happy about this either, i want the woman i got married to. I want her back.” Dad explained and rubbed my hands on my forehead.
“After the divorce proposal what comes next”
“Ill tell her to leave the house”
“If there’s anything that scares mom, it’s divorce and the thought of a married woman going back to her parents house” Tosin pointed out.
“The mother I know would do all in her power to control dad and of course this is where this second part comes in she added now looking at dad.
“What second part?”
“She’ll try to threaten me.” Dad answered, “With what?” I asked, “Henry i have to apologize for what I’m about to say to you. It might change the way you feel about me”
“What?” I asked.
Could dad have cheated? I asked within.
I hope not!
“After your mom had Tosin, we had complications,”
“I heard about it”
“Your mom had phobia to give birth again, the thought of s*x scared the living daylight out of her. She was advised to go for therapy but she didn’t. I was deprived for two years although it doesn’t justify what i did”
“You cheated” i guessed out and dad nodded.
I bowed my head in shame. I was ashame of my dad’s choice. I’ve always had this high opinion of him. I’ve always seen my dad as a good man incapable of mischiefs and incapable of being unfaithful.
“What happened to all the lessons you taught me?” I asked. “I never meant to do it, i regret it till now”
I turned over to Tosin, “How long have you known?” I asked and she shrugged.
“Since i was in junior secondary school” she answered smiling. “You’re not angry”
“Imagine getting married to someone like Jummy and Adesuwa turned up” she snapped her fingers and i gave it a deep thought. Good point, i said within.
“Dad was suffering but you didn’t realize it, you were naive and always busy with Deji, Taiwo and Jummy. I’ve always been smarter than you” Tosin paused.
“We have a sister Henry, she’s cool, nice, but mom hates her.” “Why didn’t you let me know?”
“Dad cares too much about how you feel about him” Tosin answered. “Mom has been using it against him for three years now”
“I love your mother more than I’ve ever loved any other woman. I need her salvation and you all are going to help me out with it”
I went over to see Mummy once again. I was allowed to see her but she cursed and blamed me for her accident.
I went back home feeling hurt. Adesuwa suggested movies to keep my mind from thinking about Jummy and dad’s secret.
Mom’s visit shocked me. Fine I knew about mom’s plan but I never knew she would choose my house of all places to stay. I guess she didn’t want anyone knowing dad threw her out.
Adesuwa set the guest room in shape and Mom moved in.
I walked into Adesuwa chuckling, “What’s funny?” I asked sitting with her and she played the movie.
“Your mom, she’s clearly not happy but she’s still acting like everything’s fine. She’s like me, I don’t like being vulnerable”
“She wasn’t always that way”
“You said she was strict”
“Strict like every mother, but she was sweet too. She cared too much about family, now she prioritize business over everyone. Then we would observe holidays and family thanksgiving especially during the Christmas holidays. It was always fun, they haven’t done that in years”
Adesuwa paused the movie looking at me.
“Why don’t you throw one?”
“Cause you miss it, look at the way your eyes lights up whenever you talk about the past and your mom. I was actually scared of dating you at first because I thought you were Mama’s boy” she snapped and I laughed.
“Why don’t you guys throw a Thanksgiving like those times”
“Nah, with everything happening? The timing is just too bad”
“There’s nothing like the right time, I hope you know that. Your mom still hates me, Jummy still hates me, I’m sure she hates me even more. If you’re waiting for a right time to do anything, you might as well wait forever”
“I never meant for things to end like this” I bowed my head in my palms crying.
“None of this is your fault Henry” she raised my head up. “Hey” she called out. “I don’t want you blaming yourself for anything. I chose a comedy for us to watch, it cracks me up every time. We’re going to watch this and you’re going to laugh whether it’s funny or not” she threatened and I laughed.
“Deal?” She asked and I nodded.
I woke up from having a dream where I had an accident. I woke up said a short prayer. I noticed I couldn’t breathe properly, I felt like my nostrils were blocked with something and the thought of Jummy crossed my mind. Then the cold hit me, it must be the harmattan. I covered my whole body with the bed sheets.
Maybe i was coming up with cold.
Henry walked out of the bathroom [email protected] he was cleaning his body with a towel. “Are you okay?” He asked,
“Is it the AC?” He asked, “I’ll turn it off, I know in your village there’s no AC there” he teased and I laughed.
“Thank you very much” I answered I sniffled. “It’s catarrh and the harmattan. Don’t you feel the cold?” I asked, “Cold?” He asked laughing.
“Have you ever been in the snow?” He asked and I raised a thumb up.
“Good point” I answered and he laughed.
“This one is just a tip of the iceberg, don’t worry we’ll go there whenever you want” he said and I shook my head. “Let me stay in my country”
“Let me be a village woman and be alive” “Snow doesn’t kill”
“Wait till I be the first woman it kills” I snapped and he laughed kissing me on the lips. “Good morning dear” he greeted and I smiled.
“You seem awfully happy today”
“That’s the result of having a woman who makes you happy” he answered and I smiled. “Your mom?” I asked, “She’s still sleeping”
“I might come in late to work today” I announced and he nodded. “You’re lucky you’re dating the manager” he answered and I laughed again.
I made breakfast before Henry left. Mrs. Babalola walked in already dressed she was pulling her luggage too.
“Good morning Mam”
“Where’s my son?” She asked and I pointed at the door.
“He just left”
“And you couldn’t even tell him to see his mother. I was still sleeping and you didn’t even care to know if I was dead or alive”
“Yes you thought cause you’re stupid. A good woman would care to know whether I’m breathing or not”
“Do you want breakfast?” I asked and she hissed.
“I don’t want to be poisoned dear so… Sorry I don’t want your food” she snapped and I sniffled.
“Are you going out?”
“Are you blind?” She asked, “I’m leaving this house. I can’t be under the same roof with you. I’m sure you must be mocking me but I want you to know that i’m moving back into my husband’s house. No thanks for the accommodation cause it’s my son’s house you’re living in” she snapped leaving the house and I sneezed.
I was definitely coming up with cold so I called Henry to let him know I wasn’t feeling too well.
“Are you okay?” “I am, I’m really not good with cold it has managed to turn into a running nose” I blew my nose into an handkerchief.
“Turn off the fan and try to stay warm for me. I’ll be there later to give you warmth the best way I can” he answered and I laughed.
“Gosh you’re naughty!” I snappy playfully and he laughed.
“You don’t have to stop by. I’ll be fine dear. See you in the evening, don’t miss me too much” I added and he laughed.
“Take care babe”
“Thanks” I chipped in hanging up then I increased the volume of the TV program I was watching.
Aunty Maggie called a while later. “I hope say you realize say that man house no be your house” she asked and I rolled my eyes.
“Aunty good afternoon” I greeted and she hissed.
“You no dey call sef”
“I think say i send you text message say I no go come house yesterday”
“I no see any text oh, you no even call me since morning! Which kain life be this?”
“Aunty Maggie no vex, e get as that yesterday being take be”
“Why your voice sound like who chop frog?” “Body no sweet me”
“Ade you don chop cockroach? (are you pregnant?)” “How the belle take enter?” I asked and she hissed. “You be Virgin?” She asked and exhaled.
“It’s just the cold”
“You sure? Rumour dey spread for street say Lilian don chop cockroach too”
“How them find out?” I asked, “So na true? I being think say Lilian na virgin oh”
“Aunty Maggie, I dey fine” I chipped in to change the topic.
“Make I con visit?” She asked, “Landlord show yesterday oh, the rent go still expire and this one wey be say you no dey gree sleep here again.”
“Why you no ask Chidi”
“I get small shame Ade” she answered and I laughed. I was shocked to hear her say that. I’ve always thought she had no shame.
“Make I see w€tin I fit do” I answered and she laughed.
“Adesuwa, adesuwa! See as your voice take sound like rich woman own finish” “Na my savings I wan give you oh”
“Your manager ko?”
“Me sef get shame” I answered, “Ivie introduction na next week oh”
“I’ll put it in plan” I answered.
“Thank you, God bless you ehn?” she added and I hung up.
Someone banged on the gate. I opened it and Mrs.
. Babalola walked in. “Good afternoon Ma”
“What’s good about the afternoon” she asked, “Do you how many times I knocked, or how many times I horned or how long I’ve been outside. Look at the way she’s even saying the good afternoon sef” she snapped and I scoffed.
I knew she was angry over something and was definitely transferring her anger at me.
“What are you doing back here?” I asked blowing my nose in the handkerchief I held.
“This is my son’s house and you have no right whatsoever to ask stupid questions”
“What’s so wrong about what I just asked?”
“She’s still asking questions!” She snapped. “You’re nothing but a maid. Why not make yourself useful maid and just open the gate and let me in then remove my bags from the boot into the room.
“Into the room?” I asked and she nodded.
“Yes Adesuwa, into the room. Apparently, for the time being, you have yourself a flatmate. I’ll be living with you guys until my husband turns sane”
“Are you serious?” I asked, “Don’t be stupid Adesuwa and make yourself useful” she snapped and I rubbed my hand on my forehead.
I was having headaches.
“Can at least try to be nice about it or say it pleasantly, or add please to it”
“Why would I add please to a maid like you?” She asked, “I’ve tried to be nice with you. I’ve tried to take all your excesses but you don’t even appreciate my efforts. Not once have I ever insulted you mam but all you’ve done is call me names and attack at every turn.”
“How is that my business? my business right now is for you to open the gate and get my stuffs inside”
An inspiration came to me, I wasn’t ready to take her insults anymore. If I don’t stand against it she would keep bullying me and there’s nothing I hated more than bullies.
“Well it’s none of my business too, just open the gate, drive in, when you’re done, get your bags and you know the rooms already” I added leaving.
I suddenly turned back at her, she was shocked. The look on her face gave me inner joy.
“That reminds me, lock the gate after you’re done”