They quickly pretended as if they were whispering something to each other as the business mogul approached them with a look of bewilderment and skepticism on his face.
Johnson: “What were you ladies doing just now when I stepped into this living room?”
Gloria: “Oh honey you are back? Welcome back” she said trying to collect his briefcase from him.
Johnson: “Get your hands off my briefcase and answer the damn question.
Ophelia: “I don’t get…”
Johnson: “Hey you keep your mouth shut, it’s not you I am asking but my wife” his voice reverberated in the house.
Gloria: “How can you talk to my friend like that?”
Johnson: “I said what were you two doing?”
Gloria: “She was just whispering something to me. I don’t even understand what on earth you claim to have seen that you should be barking this way. It is not fair. Are you trying to defame I and my friend?”
Johnson: “I know what I saw and it was more than whispering. Do you take me for a fool? Why will you two be whispering when there is no one in here with you? Oh God!” he threw his brief down and put his hands on his head.
Gloria: “It’s not what you think honey, the house boy was hovering around and I didn’t want anyone hearing what I had to tell her. You know what they say that the walls have ears. I and Ophelia have been friends since secondary school and no one ever caught us in a compromising position. Are you sure it’s not your eyes feeding you thoughts?”
Johnson: “Okay…whatever games you two are playing, I guess it’s high time you stopped it. If I as much as get a whiff of foul play between you two, I will get you arrested for lesbianism. Don’t dare me!” he threatened and walked out on them with his agbada trailing after him.
Ophelia: “Wow! That was a close call” she commented heaving a sigh of relief. “I thought you said he was not due to be back for another two days? You could have put us in trouble with your carelessness”
Gloria: “Well that was what he said when I called to ask him earlier. Only God knows what happened for him to be back already” she said obviously piqued.
Ophelia: “Well it’s okay. I want to get going now before he comes back with more conviction. See you soon, go and attend to your husband’s needs, you should be able to convince him with that body of yours” she said sizing her up lustfully, looking around to be sure there was no prying eyes around.
Gloria: “You are sick. Just don’t forget what I told you, make him happy” she said winking at her naughtily and scurried off towards the bedroom leaving her friend to find her way out herself.
On her way to the junction to get taxi, she dialed Richard’s number and when he picked the call, she asked him to meet her at the National Theatre so they could have some time together without the prying ears of his wife.
As she drove home from the hospital that evening, what the doctor told her kept reverberating in her mind.
Dr. Wilson: “Madam, I told you to take things slow, keep yourself happy so your heart don’t further deteriorate but you didn’t seem to have heeded to my advice, why?” he asked looking intently at her. She felt his eyes boring holes into her.
Rebecca: “I don’t get it. But I am happy, what is happening doctor?”
Dr. Wilson: “By now, it’s your husband I am supposed to be talking to, where is he?”
Rebecca: “I am yet to tell him” she didn’t dare look him in the eyes as she said this.
Dr Wilson: “Oh good! Very good! Why didn’t you?”
Rebecca: “I haven’t gotten the opportunity to, he keeps writing me off each time I try talking to him about I and the pregnancy” she said fighting back tears.
Dr Wilson: “Okay at least you have siblings? Someone whom you could be coming with at least till further notice?”
Rebecca: “No there’s no such person. My parents are late and I was their only surviving child. The rest of my siblings had died of one illness on the other. My husband and son are the only people I call family”
Dr Wilson: “I am sorry to hear about that madam. But you have not improved at all and it pains me so much. Please try telling your husband and refrain from anything that will make your heart skip beats. That is, don’t put pressure on your heart, you need to start doing things that would keep your mind off your worries, your health is still very very important” he emphasized on his earlier point.
She was brought back to reality by a loud honking of horns of different peeved drivers. Many of whom rained curses on her for being so careless on the wheels. She readjusted on the seat and realised she was almost at Costain bus stop. She decided to branch to the national theatre so as to clear her mind a bit. She needed to heed to the doctor’s advice. “That place is quite serene, will stop there for a moment and get my worries behind me” she said to herself and drove into the gate of the Lagos state National Theatre.
Richard and Ophelia sat opposite each other on the lawn right in front of the theatre. Lovers, families, friend sat clustered on the lawn with picnic baskets. Some gisted and laughed while some busied themselves with taking pictures trying to capture the beautiful sculpture of a man riding a horse with their snapshots.
Rebecca walked around just revelling in the euphoria of the love she felt in the atmosphere. She admired the couples there who were busy playing love, she wished it was she and Richard all alone in such beautiful environment. She quickly checked herself when she realised she was drifting away from her purpose of going there which was to find some peace and tranquillity in the midst of her chaotic life.
Ophelia turned back and placed her head on his laps gently, not knowing how to broach the topic to him.
Richard: “Is anything wrong love?” he asked when he noticed her discomfiture.
Ophelia: “Nothing really. I just wanted to tell you I am ready now” her cheeks flushed bright red
Richard: “Ready for what?”
Ophelia: “To finally have sex with you”
Richard: “Hey babe! You don’t need to feel pressured about this okay? I am not in a hurry at all”
Ophelia: “I know you are not pressuring me at all and that’s why I want to do this. I don’t think I have ever been this nervous before in my entire life”
Richard: “But why are you nervous exactly? Is it that you’ve never had sex before or what?”
Ophelia: “No ooo I have had sex several times before just that it’s been very long I had sex last so I might not be as good as I am supposed to be”
Richard: ‘Well you’ve got nothing to worry about at all. I will help you through but why did you stop having sex? Did something happen?”
Ophelia: “Well my boyfriend whom I loved so much broke my heart and cos of that I swore never to have anything to do with any man again till I am fully sure he is the one for me”
Richard: “and baby, I love you so much. Thanks for counting me worthy. I promise never to disappoint you” he said, bent his head and gave her a long lingering kiss on the lips just then he heard a faint “Richard” he looked up and saw his wife looming over them with her protruding stomach kissing the sunset.
Rebecca: “Richard… how could you do this to me? How?”
Richard: “What are you doing here? Please go back home” he said as Ophelia sat up.
Rebecca: “Why? Why? She repeated weakly and slumped down on the floor.
Richard: “Oh God! Quickly help me, let’s get her to the hospital” he said emotionlessly to no one in particular as people gathered around to know what was going on.
Sammy sat in his room wondering why his parents were not back by that time of the night. He felt sleepy and tired after a long day at school for their weekend training pending the inter-house sport but he knew he had to wait for them. They had never left all alone by himself like that especially when his nanny was on leave. He felt jittery with fear. The horror movies he used to watch went haunting him like a terrible nightmare. He had to hide himself under the blanket, yet he felt like the haunted ghost of the wizard was under the blanket with him. He closed his eyes tightly and imagine how it would be like when his sister arrives. That thought brought a smile to his face and he forgot about his parents and the ghosts for a moment. Just as he started drifting off to sleep, he heard the blaring of his dad’s car horn, sprang to his feet and sprinted for the door and waited there for him to step into the house.
Sammy: “Daddy…” he ran and embraced his dad as soon as he had stepped in.
Richard: “Hey little Champ! Aren’t you sleeping yet? You should be on bed by now” he said holding him by the hand as they stepped into the living room which laid juxtaposed to the main bedroom.
Sammy: “Where is mum?” he asked ignoring his dad’s rhetoric
Richard: “Sammy I will need you to be strong. Remember you are a strong boy? Ghosts don’t scare you anymore right?”
Sammy: “Dad where is mum? Is my mum okay?” he asked like an adult intolerant of people who beat around the bush.
Richard: “Hmm… “ he sighed
Sammy: “Dad, what do you mean?”
Richard: “Ok, tell you what? Your mum is not coming home tonight” he said looking down at his feet.
Sammy: “What do you mean by mum is not coming home tonight? She always comes back home. Where is she? Take me to her please!” he wept.
Richard: “Sam, I told you to be strong, didn’t i? I told you men should be strong and you are a man”
Sammy: “Why do you keep telling me to be strong? I cannot be strong without mum so take me to her daddy or ask her to come home. Daddy please?”
Richard: “Hmmm….” He sighed again
…WATCH OUT FOR PART 8