AUTHOR: OGECHI ALABI
Funke had switched to her father’s firm after working for a year. She was very busy at this stage of her life. Ebuka had been a wonderful husband. They had lived together in peace and harmony, with no fights or quarrels. The love they had for each other was unbelievable.
She had talked to some friends she had made over the course of working at her previous job and also in the church. When they talked about their husbands, she couldn’t relate. When she cooks, he was with her in the kitchen, helping her prepare the ingredients. They did everything together. They bathed, ate, slept and left for work together. They also sat down together in the church, they were always together. The love between them was very evident.
They were both financially stable and had risen in their chosen careers. They decided they had enjoyed themselves enough and they needed an addition to the family. Their parents also added pressure. Funmi stopped the contraceptive she was on and they began to try for a child. The doctor told them to give it at least six months before the contraceptive wears off. He told them it could be sooner.
After six months, nothing happened. They went for tests and they were both certified healthy. They tried for another six months, but still, Funke wasn’t getting pregnant. She believed it was the abortion she had that caused the problem. They confided in the doctor and he ran further tests. He ruled it out. They had to confide in their families. They agreed to support them in prayer and medical intervention. They were still young so there was no hurry.
Read – Bad boy’s crush episode 38
It became of matter of concern to Funke. She asked Ebuka if he would have a child outside if she failed to give him a child. Ebuka was visibly angry with her for the first time.
“What is wrong with you? We are in this together. I disvirgined you and whoever cares to know, I will let them know. Whether we have a child or not doesn’t matter. I will not sleep with another woman to have a child. We will have children together when you deliver them or we adopt.”
“Ebuka, you are the first son of your parents. They would expect you to have children, especially sons for them. What happens then? When the pressure becomes much, what will we do?”
“I promise you today, whatever happens, I will stand by you. We will not disrespect our elders when they make enquiries but we will firmly tell them God’s time is the best. This is what we believe in and I tell you today, our prayers will be answered. We have only been trying for one and a half years. It has not been long.”
“We have been married for three years. I am getting scared.”
“Baby, God’s time is the best.”
“Can we consider adoption?”
“If you want that.”
“Will we tell them we adopted?”
“We don’t need to tell anyone anything but our parents have to know.”
Funke had mentioned this problem to her friends Nkem, Esther and Zainab. She was worried about it because she felt guilty. She wished she didn’t abort the pregnancy. She was thinking of flying abroad for further medical tests.
Esther was willing to help financially. Funke was happy to travel with Ebuka to the US to carry out a further evaluation of her reproductive organs. They didn’t want her parents and Ebuka’s parents to know what she was travelling for so she didn’t ask them for their financial assistance. Medical care was expensive for a non-citizen.
They were away for three weeks. Ebuka came to join Funke there while Esther came back to Nigeria. After all the evaluations were done, it was discovered she had an underdeveloped uterus. They told her she couldn’t have carried the first pregnancy she had beyond four months. He explained that conception has taken place but the eggs couldn’t implant in the womb because they couldn’t attach themselves to the walls of the uterus as it was not well developed. Chances she would have an ectopic pregnancy were also high so they recommended tying her tubes to prevent conception.
Funke was devastated by the news. She wept uncontrollably. Ebuka went with her back to the doctor. He asked the doctor what their options were.
“Surrogacy. With your eggs and his sperm, we can artificially implant the fertilised eggs into a woman who can carry it to the term for you. Go and research about it and come back.”
Ebuka was excited there was a solution. He went to find out the cost of having the procedures done in the same hospital, it was quite expensive. He didn’t mind. He was given a surrogacy agency to contact. The bill from them was outrageous for them to afford. Armed with all the information he needed, they both came back to Nigeria to plan their next move. It was to find a surrogate and have their babies through her.
Nkem was retained by the parastatal she served in. She was excited because it was very difficult to get employed there. Of all the corpers that served, she was the only one retained. She was grateful to uncle Tobi, she knew he was the one that made it possible. She sent a message to him to appreciate him. Unfortunately, he didn’t respond. She wondered why he never responds to her messages. She saw he at least had read it and she was fine.
She shared her joy with Demian. He was happy for her. He wanted her to visit before she resumed work so she could shop. She didn’t want to. Their relationship had been smooth and interesting since she came back but she didn’t think she was ready for sexual intimacy. She didn’t want to start what she couldn’t finish since they would be apart.
He pressurised her to come and went ahead to buy her ticket. She was to resume orientation in a month. She changed all the money she had to dollars so she could also buy some things for herself and a few for her mother and siblings.
“What of your mother? Will she be visiting while I am around? Your sister too. I don’t want surprises.”
“They won’t come because I will tell them I have to travel for work. Is that ok?”
“Martins asked about you today and I told him you will be visiting again.”
“My regards to him. I hope I remember to get him a gift.”
Her mother bought some foodstuff she would travel with. She packed only a few things with other gifts for Demian and Martins. She travelled to America for two weeks. She informed her flatmate and her friends.
Demian was at the airport to receive her. He couldn’t hide his excitement when he saw her. She looked fantastic every time. She was transforming. She was hot. He couldn’t help it, he kissed her in the full glare of onlookers. She didn’t shy away. This was a good sign. She looked genuinely happy to see him too.
She had been loyal to Demian. She hadn’t honoured any other guy’s invitation and told those who cared to listen she was involved with someone. They let her be for a while and then hit harder. It was fun to watch but she didn’t encourage it. Abuja men could not be trusted.
When they got home, she had a bath while he made food for them to eat. They had dinner while they caught up on stories they hadn’t shared since she boarded her flight. After the meal, Nkem wanted to sleep as she was jetlagged. She went to bed. Demian was working.
An altercation from the sitting room woke Nkem up. She walked towards the door to hear Demian arguing with a lady. It was a heated argument but she couldn’t understand what they were saying because their words were heavily accented. She tried to stay back in the room but she was worried. She sat on the bed and then the bedroom door flung open.
“I said I saw you with a lady and you tell me stories. Isn’t she the one? You were supposed to be in Florida, what are you doing here with her.”
“Ella, I asked you to leave. You don’t control my life and you are embarrassing me. I have a guest and I owe you no apologies or explanations. Please let’s have this conversation in the living room.”
“Why? You don’t want her to hear us?”
“You are embarrassing me and her. Let’s talk outside.”
“Why are you hiding her? Why don’t you want us to see her and know her? What are you ashamed of?”
“That’s it. You have to leave now. Nkem, come out, we are going for a walk. When you are tired, you can leave.”
“You know what I will do. If you walk out of that door, I will do it.”
“You wouldn’t dare. Let’s go.”
When they left the apartment, Demian told her she was his sister. She was the first daughter. She was married and now separated. Her husband moved out months back. She hardly visits Nigeria, she is married to an American. It didn’t sound right to Nkem. She sounded more like a lover than a sister. She didn’t believe it and he noticed.
“You don’t believe me.”
“Not that, why was she saying all those things?”
“She saw us at the airport and she came here to confirm. She has a key to my apartment in case there is an emergency.”
“I haven’t met her.”
“You have met my other sister. My brother stays with my mum, he is studying to be a doctor.”
“What was the threat about?”
“She wants to tell my mum.”
“Will she?” Nkem asked panicked.
“She might. But my mother doesn’t know she is separated. She’s at fault and it would make my mother breathe down her back. She wouldn’t want that. They didn’t want her to marry a white guy, she chose him.”
“Maybe I should go back…”
“No, you are staying with me. You are my girlfriend, my apartment is yours. You can ask anyone to leave at any time you wish. They wouldn’t dare harass you, I will relocate back to Nigeria to be with you.”
“You have a good job here, why would you do that?”
“Nkem, has anyone ever told you how unromantic you are? You should have said, would you do this for me?”
Nkem laughed. “I am a realistic person. After the excitement of being together wears off, the stress of being broke kicks in and can ruin the marriage.”
“You are smart. But, I can never be broke.”
“That’s nice to hear. I wish I could say the same. That’s why I have to make a name for myself. Your family will always believe I am a gold digger until I can stand on my own two feet. This job will enable me to achieve that.”
“I support your decision. Nobody can call you a gold digger because you have never asked me for anything, I give to you freely. You have never exploited me. Well, don’t pay heed to anyone who tries to discourage you because they will. I have told you about my condition, that’s the only problem. I can take care of myself, I don’t need you to do that. If I fall ill, which is once in a long while, I will call the emergency or my sisters. They will know what to do. I won’t stand in your way to excel, just don’t give me reasons to distrust you. Once we are committed and remain loyal to each other, then this will work.”