Everything was fine until one rather lovely morning when Yeye paid me an unusual visit.
“Good morning Ma,” I remember greeting her gaily as I let her into the house that morning. Biodun was at the office and I was alone in the house. I couldn’t help but wonder why she came so early.
“Good morning my dear and how are you today?” She’d replied warmly.
“I’m fine Ma and you? I hope all is well. You normally don’t visit this early. Is everything alright?” I asked.
“Yes dear, you are right. There’s a problem. I have actually come to talk to you. I knew Biodun wouldn’t be at home at this time. I hope you have the time?”
“Why not? You know I always have time for you Ma. Please let me get you something to drink.”
“Oh no, I am okay for now, maybe later. I came for an important matter. Please sit down my dear.”
“Is everything alright? It’s kind of strange. I mean your general attitude.” I said as I slowly sat down.
“Please relax, at least the roof is not on fire yet.”
“Yet? You talk like it is going to be on fire.”
“Yes. I’m afraid so. Well, let me begin. I came to ask for an impossible favor. It is for the benefit of all of us. You know the situation in my house. My husband’s younger wife I mean. You know she will stop at nothing to see my children and I go down.”
“Is everything alright? I mean, is Biodun in some trouble?” I asked in fear.
“Yes and no I must say. It is exactly why I have come to speak to you as a woman to a fellow woman. Our understanding and the action we’ll take will determine whether he is in trouble or not. He was with me last night and he told me about your intention to get married.” She paused voluntarily, perhaps to give me ample time to digest all she said. I nodded in agreement, too afraid to speak or smile, not sure what she was getting at. Something about the way she selected her words warned me there was a serious problem lurking at the corner even though she seemed reasonably relaxed herself. But even though I had the premonition of a very serious problem, I was shocked by her next words, the very reason of her visit.
“I don’t know how to put this to you.” She began after a long pause that set me on edge. “You have been the best thing that happened to my son since he became a young man and I appreciate you very much for that. I honestly wish I don’t have to say this to you. It breaks my heart but as it is right now, I have no other choice. I spent a sleepless night thinking about how best to go about this but I do not know of a better way to do this. The thing is, Otunba, as you know, intends to run for the presidency come next elections. I didn’t envisage he would win his party’s confidence and get a ticket to run so soon but somehow, he got the assurance. Nothing will stop him now and if you know him very well, you’ll know he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his dreams. He is an ambitious man and nothing or no one can stop him when he sets out to achieve an ambition. Not even I, his wife, neither would it be Biodun, his only son. He will think nothing of disowning his only son if he is an obstacle to his success. My mate knows this and she has taken advantage of that fact. She has continuously plotted to get Biodun out of the way simply because she has not been able to bear sons for my husband. Ever since, it has been one plot or another. What I am actually getting at is this, with the forth coming election and my husband vying for the presidential seat, I am afraid but your marriage to Biodun will not be possible,” she said bluntly.
She stopped suddenly, perhaps to see my reaction. Although her last sentence came as a considerable surprise and shock to me, I barely remained calm and very composed, giving her no benefit of any reaction she must have expected to see. I didn’t show her what she wanted to see. With tremendous effort, I remained seated, calm and expressionless but deep down within me, I was freezing as though I was being buried alive inside the stone cold ice rocks of the attic ocean.
Jeez! The woman has guts, my mind screamed. To sit right in front of me and pass me the death sentence in such plain language, she must have a truck load of guts. Barely two months after I got out of jail and she is stupid and silly and crazy enough to think I’d kiss goodbye to her son just like that? She must be mad. I mean, she should see a psychiatrist at once. A vital nut has certainly gone loose in her brains and she was in urgent need of a psychiatric help. I had no doubt about that.
But I remained calm as I watched her in stunned silence, careful not to reveal the slightest hint of the thoughts reeling at the back of my mind even though I wanted so much to scream at her. I was sure I could make her understand what she wanted was impossible. I was determined to make her understand that in the most amicable way possible without any argument. But I just couldn’t speak at that moment, I just couldn’t trust myself to utter a polite word. So I kept mute and watched her.
“Please, I want you to understand the situation,” she continued in an open display of a badly feigned sadness. I could see through her, I knew this was her own decision and I watched her pretend and thought what a bad actor she was. Her act wouldn’t deceive even a baby. She couldn’t do much to make her show look a bit real and it infuriated me to watch her make a fool of herself before me. I have maintained a great level of respect for her prior to now that I was sick of her pretentious display of emotion. It didn’t fool me like she meant it to be but instead, it made me so mad just watching her. It was clear to me that she didn’t just realize this now. She knew this all along, I was very sure of that as I sat watching her. She must have carefully rehearsed her speech and emotion while I was rotting in jail. She must have reckoned without her ego and pride because I could see she was having difficulties having to beg me. It made her pretense so obvious, I could see it clearly.
“I don’t mean to hurt you. That is why I took the time to come and explain the whole situation to you myself. I came personally to appeal to you for your understanding, I am very sorry. God knows it is my wish to see you two married someday, not with the sacrifice you made for him. You have proved beyond any doubt that you love my son dearly but as it is now, my hands are tied and I am appealing to you to help me again. You are my only hope. I couldn’t even bring myself to discuss this with him, because I know he’d never see reasons. Everything would have been fine and okay if my husband wasn’t vying for the presidential seat. I don’t know how to stop him. You are my best bet. Please help me.”
“What exactly has our marriage got to do with the elections?” I asked, not because I didn’t know the answer to the question but for want of something to say. I had to say something and not just keep silent.
“Well my dear, let me explain that to you in simple language. During the trial and all through the time you spent in jail, we managed to keep everything from my husband, even your connection with Biodun. The press did their best to link you with him but we somehow managed to prevent a scandal. Perhaps, if my husband knew about you, he would have dropped this ambition back then and I certainly can’t tell him now. He has gone way too far to stop him now. And if you and Biodun as much as start to make any marriage plans, the press will automatically spring to action. They’ll exhume the case and they’ll definitely make a big story of it. Needless to imagine what would happen then. I am sure that apart from spoiling Otunba’s chances of becoming the next president, it could even bring about fresh investigations into the gun possession case. It will ruin everyone. Do you now understand my point?”
“Yes, oh yes,” I said eagerly. I actually hadn’t thought of that angle before. I mean, where it concerns Biodun, I don’t care what happens to Otunba’s political ambition. It was only an ambition for all I cared.
“What do you think my dear?” she asked quickly. “Do you agree with me now that I have explained the situation to you?”
“Frankly, I don’t know what to say Ma. I really cannot say anything right now. He needs to hear this and I am quite sure he won’t take it.” I said.
“Yes I know exactly how he’d react to this. That’s why I came to you. I really don’t know how to tell him. I was hoping you’d explain the situation to him. I am in a dilemma here. I am so afraid that I am actually counting on your understanding and support and help.”
“What you want is difficult, if not completely impossible. We love each other and you know it. Biodun won’t agree to this, I am absolutely sure of that.”
“What about you? Do you think you could do it for me? You have to help me please.” She said in a desperate tune.
“You do want me to leave him don’t you?” I said slowly.
“As a matter of fact yes, the question is, can you do that for me?”
I certainly couldn’t do that for anyone, it was simply impossible but what was the point in telling her that when she ought to have known. She must know what I feel for her son but I was very sure she couldn’t understand it because of her selfish ambition. Her type wouldn’t care a hoot about love but affluence and power. How could she possibly understand me? How could she even understand what I feel for her son? If she as much as knew half of it, we’d never have this very conversation
And how could she, in such plain language and manner, ask me to walk away from the best thing that has happened to me? How could she ask me in such simple words to turn my back and walk away from the only reason of my existence? It was impossible and I knew I would rather die first. But I wouldn’t tell her that, at least, not yet. I will beg her. I will go down on my knees, I will do anything but I must have Biodun, I cannot let them take him away from me. He is all I have got now. I lost everything, my education, the Lawsons, my dignity, my pride, my sanity, I have lost too much. And I will move mountains, I will cry a river, even an ocean, and I will do anything to keep him, including murder. The sinister thought first crossed my mind at that very moment as I watched her in silence but I suppressed it.
Biodun is mine and no one was going to take him from me; no one, not even this cunning woman sitting in front of me. I will kill anyone who tries to take him, I will be extremely violent. But first, I will beg, I concluded in silence as I watched her.
“I don’t know what to say Ma,” I said at last, surprisingly very politely. “Biodun won’t like this at all.”
“I know that and I am not happy about this whole thing myself. I don’t know what to do. You will have to think about it I guess. I will be on my way now. Let me know how it goes,” she said and left me.
I was too stunned and too shocked to see her to the door. I remained where I was for three long hours during which I cried my heart out to God, the God of true love.
How could this be, oh Lord? I asked a thousand times. How is it that my happiness is always short-lived? Biodun is my life, why would this selfish people ask me to take my own life?
I knew Biodun was madly in love with me. Left to him I had no problem at all but I also knew that blood was thicker than water. What if he eventually succumb to his mother’s whims? What if that thick red substance that flows in their veins, that strong unbreakable bond that is called blood, wins at the end? What will become of me when the chips are down? Will he choose me, his lover over his mother? Or will the strong bond of blood and the fact of being her only son, make her his choice? The answer was clear and simple in my mind. There was no hope at all for me. I was all alone, again!
Biodun came for lunch and met me as I was, dejected, confused and depressed. His shock was visible as he demanded sternly from me what had put me in that mood. It was his first time to see me in such a mood and it was a shock to him. I told him everything that happened and he was so furious I had to beg him to take it easy. He wanted to do everything at once. He wanted to see his mother, he wanted to go to his father and explain everything to him and he wanted to console me and reassure me of his undying love. He wanted to take away my grief. Oh, how I love this guy!
“I cannot live without you my angel,” he began. “Haven’t I told you so? Or can’t you just believe me? The three years you spent in jail was hell to me. I almost died, didn’t you realize it Betty? I love you. No one is going to separate us again. I promise you that and you must believe me. No matter what happens, we stick together. Do you understand?”
I nodded dumbly, thinking how easy promises are made but how difficult and different they sometimes turn out to be when you have to fulfill them.
“You must believe me. Say it to me,” he said, shaking me vigorously. “Hey, look at me in the eyes. I need you to promise me. Tell me you believe and trust me, Betty please.”
“I do. I believe and trust you my love.” I said but I had my doubts.
“Good. We can’t be sacrificed for their ambition. I don’t care if my father disowned or disinherited me. I have my own money now and I can take very good care of you and our kids. Forget about them, we have each other, that’s what matters. Forget about what she said, we love each other, that is what matters most. Please tell me you won’t worry about this anymore,” he pleaded.
I found myself promising him but I knew it wasn’t over yet, in fact the battle had only just begun. Biodun didn’t seem aware of the gravity of the matter just yet. He didn’t seem to understand anything about the poison called ambition. It lives in the vein and only dies when you have shed your last blood. It is a virus too, it can bulldoze any obstacle. He obviously didn’t know anything about it.
Well, Yeye remained on my neck, breathing down her venom upon me. I don’t know why she took it out on me, I guess she wanted to force me to take the walk. She must have been so sure I’d do that if she mounted enough pressure on me but I disappointed her. She thought I was the same Betty she used to know and manipulate. She didn’t know I was different now. My sojourn in prison has hardened me and I could strangle her with my bare hands if she provoked me enough.
She was clearly running out of patience and I was more determined to keep my man. I couldn’t hide the war between us from Biodun. There were several confrontations between them and he always threatened to take the matter to his father. I was barely able to calm him down and stop him from going to his father. Something told me I would end up the loser if Otunba knew what was happening at that point in time.
The situation grew so worse that I decided to find the solution to the problem on my own. After many long nights of sleeplessness, I finally came up with an idea I was sure Yeye would gladly accept as an amicable concession.
“Honey, I have an idea.” I told Biodun. “Would you like to hear it?”
“I hope it has nothing to do with Otunba and his aspiration? I am sick of it.”
“What other idea can I possibly have at this moment if not that?”
“Ok, I am all ears.”
“I know you won’t like this but if you’d only consider it, well critically, you’ll realize it is the best way to go about it than fighting.”
“Let me decide that myself my dear.”
“Forget it. I know this attitude of yours, you won’t buy my idea.”
“Why not try me?”
“I think we should stop every marriage plans for now, well, until after the general elections. I also think we should live separately during that period.” I said bluntly.
“Have you finished?”
“Do you really want to hear what I think?” he asked crossly.
“Yes. Why not?”
“Well, on a second thought, I think I should not say it. I don’t think you will like to hear it. Forget it.” He said.
“Let me hear it please.”
“I think you are not serious. I think you have not been paying attention to what I have been telling you and I think your idea is nonsense.” He spat.
“Why?” I asked calmly. I was bent on having a meaningful discussion with him.
“Well, let’s see. Let me repeat myself. I have told you countless times that I will go insane if I returned from work one day and you are not here. I will go crazy if I turn in my bed at night and I do not see you. And I will die of pain if I wake up any morning and I do not see you. I do not want to die now and I hope I have made myself very clear? I hope too that you now understand why I see your idea as nonsense. Now let us drop this crazy talk and discuss something better,” he said, the finality in his voice did not deter me.
“We have to discuss this matter seriously honey, I don’t like the way you always brush it aside. And If it warrants it, we must make a sacrifice too. You don’t seem to understand the situation here.” I said.
“The only ones who need to make a sacrifice now are my parents. You must be my wife, I don’t care whose horse is gored, I don’t care what happens. Do you understand?”
“Please don’t be ridiculous, you can’t handle the matter like this. We really have to do something to please your mother. She is….” I couldn’t finish my statement. I suddenly felt dizzy and nauseous. I stood up suddenly and rushed into the toilet but before I could reach the bucket, I vomited on the floor. He rushed after me, in surprise.
“Are you Okay?” He asked in shock.
“I don’t know. I suddenly felt nauseated. It must be something I ate.” I said drily.
“You are vomiting. No, it can’t be what you ate. We both ate the same food since morning so it couldn’t have been what you ate. Clean up and go change your clothes while I mop the floor. I will take you to the hospital at once.”
“Oh no, I think I am fine. I don’t want to go to the hospital. It’s nothing really. Let’s get back to the sitting room and consider this idea of mine.”
“Are you sure you are fine? Let me take you to the hospital please. We will talk later, I promise.”
“I am fine. Let’s clean up this place and go back to continue our discussion, please?”
“I have no further interest in your crazy idea. It makes me sick,” he said and began to clean up the mess on the floor.
“Biodun, please don’t be so obstinate. If we don’t handle this matter well, it could ruin us both.”
“What we should discuss is our marriage plans. Let’s go and decide on a date. That’s what I want to hear,” he said and we both went back to take our seats.
“Please listen to me honey, let me explain the whole thing to you. It’s not as bad as you think. Please listen.”
“Okay, go on, at least it won’t hurt too much to listen to you.”
“First let’s postpone our marriage for now but meanwhile, get me another apartment in one of the satellite towns around. All this is temporary,” I added quickly when I realized he was about to protest. “It is in our best interest that we live separately while the campaign lasts.” I concluded. He suddenly got to his feet.
“I don’t want to hear any of this. Perhaps, we should go and sleep now.”
“Please sit down and let me finish, at least.” I said impatiently.
“Is there more?”
“Yes. Please do take your seat.”
“I will but on a condition. I don’t want to hear anything about separation and the postponement of our marriage plans. Can you promise me that?”
“Please sit down. I don’t want to lose you Biodun, you are my life. If you get me a separate apartment, it won’t change anything. I promise you we will spend every night together, either here or at mine. Please let’s take precautions. It is better if we live separately, it will save us a lot of trouble. And we must also postpone our marriage. It is very important. Your mother is getting impatient, she might be tempted to do something that could break us up. I am scared.”
“You have no reason to be afraid. If you do as I say, we’ll be fine. Nothing is going to happen to us. It is better we stick together, trust me on this one. If you love me, please listen to me and let’s do it my own way.”
“No Biodun, your way is not reasonable at all. We can’t just pretend that there is no problem, we must deal with the problem squarely.”
“So is yours my dear, it is very unreasonable too.”
“Please let’s find the solution, let’s not joke about this.”
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I would have put an end to this a long time ago but you wouldn’t let me handle it my own way. If you had listened to me, you wouldn’t have gone to prison and you did it more to please my mother than me. Now she is using it against you. Can’t you for once see that she isn’t the type of person you think she is? She is selfish and self centered. All she cares about is her interests alone. Please see the truth for once.”
“Let me remind you that you are talking about your mother.” I said.
“I know. You don’t have to remind me.” he said and made to get up but I held him back.
“Biodun, we must finish this discussion, we must find a lasting solution to this problem right now. I am tired of your mother’s threat.” I said flatly.
“Then do something about it. Just tell her off and she won’t bother you anymore.” He said.
“Don’t be ridiculous, you can’t possibly expect me to do that.”
“Take a look at me,” he shouted suddenly, wriggling his hand out of my grip. “What do you see? What do you take me for? A little boy who panders at the whims of his mother? She cannot toss me around anymore. I have had it. And I am telling you for the last time, I never want to hear this matter again. We are going to get married with or without my parent’s blessings. And thank God yours are dead, I can surely handle mine if you’ll allow me. I am going to bed, join me when you are done worrying yourself over nothing.” he said and walked out on me.
I watched him leave, I was both shocked and surprised. He’s never raised his voice against mine before now. This was definitely taking the course it should not. And I was scared.
I remained on my seat for another thirty minutes before I went into the bedroom. I joined him in bed after a quick bath, giving him enough distance and determined to at least keep malice with him but Biodun wasn’t the type to let you ignore him for even a second.
“Come closer darling, I have a better idea for this lovely night and you don’t want to miss me on such a lovely night,” he said and we both laughed. And we made passionate love that night.
The next morning brought more vomiting and a feverish condition and I couldn’t stop him from taking me to the hospital. After a series of tests, it was confirmed that I was four weeks pregnant.
Biodun was overjoyed but I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. Ordinarily, I should have been happy but the problems on ground robbed me of the happiness of an expectant mother. I was amazed at how he found it so easy to be so happy, considering what was on ground.
Even though I remained quiet on our way back home, he kept on talking. He was so happy he didn’t realize my mood. He was even making plans for our wedding and our baby while I was secretly considering an abortion. His garrulous mood began to annoy me.
We got home at last and he didn’t even allow me to walk into the house. He carried me instead. If only he knew the thoughts on my mind, I thought as I tried to relax in his arms.
He remained at home all day. When I told him to go to the office, he told me he had enough work to do at home waiting on me and his unborn baby. I wanted him out. I wanted so much to be alone. To think. Something was wrong, I could sense it. I should have been happy. I mean, he was so sweet and so elated by the news of the pregnancy, I should feel the same way too, if not more but I wasn’t. I was scared about my action. I mean, what more can a woman wish or hope for. Why did I feel so scared instead of being happy? It was a sign, a bad omen. I had a feeling something would go wrong. I had a feeling that this won’t last for long. I felt guilty. I felt like I was tying him down with the pregnancy. At least, that’s the way his mother would see it. And she’d be mad at me for doing that.
“Your mother will be furious when she learns of this,” I said at last when I could no longer bear to see him so happy. I wanted to slow him down.
“To hell with every other person in the world, I am right where and how I want to be baby, oh la-la, I feel like break dancing,” he said.
“You are crazy not to see what this will lead to.” I said, angry at him for not seeing what was coming. How could he be so stupid? How could he not see that this spells doom for us?
“You are right my love. I am crazy in love with you,” he said and began to dance even though there was no music playing.
Oh, how I love this boy. How happy I would have been at this moment if things were different. Why won’t they just understand the simple fact that we are in love. Why won’t Otunba just give up this dream of becoming the president? What more does he want? After all, he already has everything. He was very rich. The tabloid named him among the five richest men in the country. What else does he possibly want in life? Power?
Yes. That must be it. Money wasn’t powerful anymore in this country. Every Tom, Dick and Harry had more than enough of it these days. Money wasn’t enough anymore. It couldn’t give you everything now. It didn’t command authority anymore. A powerful position was very important when you have all the money you need. And what more could he possibly want if not the most exalted position of the president. What else is good enough for a man like Otunba if not the highest position? What or who then can stop him? Is it the proposed marriage of his only son to an insignificant ex-convict like me? Or is it his love for an only son, who has decided to disgrace him by choosing the wrong woman as a bride? No, certainly all that won’t stop a man as powerful as Otunba, no, especially when there was an array of women, women from rich background for that matter, to choose from. I mean, hundreds of daughters of friends and fellow politicians and associates who’d make a better and perfect match. I do not stand a chance and I knew it. All I have is my wits and I need all the wits in the world to handle this. That is why I was angry because my stupid and love stricken Biodun still finds it difficult to see the situation the way it truly is, even when it was so glaring.
“You have to really pay attention to what I’ve got to say to you Biodun.” I told him when I finally got the chance to have a reasonable discussion with him. It’s been a week after we learnt of my pregnancy and I have been in limbo ever since then with various thoughts flooding my head.
“I am listening to you my love. You can tell me anything you like. I am not happy seeing you so sad.” he said slowly.
“So you noticed my unhappiness?” I said.
“Of course I did. I was hoping you’d get over it. At first I thought you were afraid of being pregnant but I realize it was far more than that. I am going to listen to you and I promise to be very reasonable this time. A doctor friend of mine told me you don’t need any stress now, so feel free and say what’s on your mind and I will grant your every wish.” He said cheerfully. “I mean reasonable wishes though.” He added quickly.
“Really? So you’ve been spreading the news already?”
“No baby, I was just worried about you.”
“Thanks. I didn’t know you had time to worry about me. I thought the baby has taken over your mind completely.”
“You are welcome my darling but that’s not fair. You know I worry a lot about you. I even worry more now because of the baby. So shoot, I am here for you, with a brand new listening ear.”
“It’s about the elections, the pregnancy, the wedding and everything.” I said pausing briefly while he nodded. “I am really scared. Everything is happening so fast. We must be very careful. Let’s face the facts darling, I am now what is called an ex-convict and your father is vying for the presidency. If we get married now, if the press as much as discover we are living together, your father’s political opponents are certainly going to use it against him. He could easily lose the ticket because of that and you know what he might be tempted to do to us. Not to talk of your mother. Please be reasonable. I am begging you my love. I don’t want to lose you, we have only one option here, we must live apart now for our own good. If your father learns about me, you cannot guarantee he won’t come here and throw me out. You……”
“He cannot do that. He is incapable of doing such a thing.” he cut in sharply.
“You are forgetting what ambition does to a person. Do you imagine he’d let me spoil his chances of becoming the president? I am a nobody for Christ sake, an ex-convict to make matters worse. And in the eyes of the world, I will be seen as a gold digger too. We can easily prevent all that by taking the right steps right now.”
“All you want to say is the only way out of this is for us to split up, is that it?”
“No, not split up per say, but live separately. At least for now, we will get married after the elections. It is only a few more months, honey.”
“What if things continue like this? What if it never stops? And what about our baby? Have you really thought about all these? Or are you only allowing my parent’s position to rule your mind? We have our lives. Why don’t we fight this fight now once and for all? We love each other and you know that there is nothing that can break our love. If you don’t feel comfortable in the country, let us elope, let us get married secretly and leave the country. Or better still, let us go elsewhere and get married. Please listen to me. Let’s go away.”
“No Biodun, there’s a better way. Your suggestion is too dangerous. Your dad is involved. He is going to disown you and I can’t let that happen to you. He’ll trace us, he’ll locate us anywhere in the world and he’ll deal with us. He’ll break us Biodun, we can’t risk that. I love you so much that I cannot take such a risk. He’ll cut you out of his Will and I can’t allow that, I can’t be responsible for that now. That was the reason I went to prison in your place, I can’t spoil it now. I have sacrificed too much to allow it to be thrown away just like that. I am prepared to sacrifice more rather than let it all go in vain. Please let’s wait a little longer, that’s all I ask of you.”
“I shouldn’t be telling you this but I realize I must do that right now, perhaps it will convince you to do as I have said. When you were in prison, my mother did everything possible to make me forget about you. And against all odds, I stood my grounds because I love you. I love you Betty and that is the truth of the matter. I maintained a steadfast loyalty to our love even when my mother enticed me with a girl she said my father wanted me to marry. I didn’t even agree to meet her. Her name is Maggie. I refused to play along because I love you. My mother did everything to make me fall in love with her and I resisted all her temptations because I knew I couldn’t live without you. Please, all I ask of you is that you support me on this one, let’s stand our ground together now because it may never stop. Let’s weather the storm together now. It is all I will ever ask of you.” He pleaded.
“I understand you and I understand your parents. You are their only son and they naturally want the best for you.”
“You are the best for me, if my parents don’t know that, let’s make them understand that. Don’t be a slave to my parents’ every whim. If you as much as believe in me half as much as you do my mother, everything will turn out well at the end, trust me.”
“I know that but we both have to be reasonable right now.”
“What about our child? You seem to forget that we are expecting our baby. The baby will be due way before the elections. How do we do it? I don’t want my baby to be born illegitimate.”
“Should we get rid of it? We could have other children later. I can’t live without you Biodun, I don’t care about the baby, you are my life.” I said desperately. He watched me for a long moment, the cold sinister light in his eyes scared me. I had a feeling then that he was going to hit me when he suddenly stormed on his feet.
“Let me make one thing very clear to you.” He began dryly instead. “If you do any harm to that child you are carrying, I will hate you until the day I die. I will never forgive you and then I will face my parents squarely, throwing every caution to the wind. And mark my words, because I am very serious, whatever happens then, whatever the outcome may be then, be assured that you will be responsible for my actions. I am going out now, I think I have had enough of this. Where’s my car key, I am going to see my father, it’s about time we had a man to man talk. He cannot ruin my life for his own gains, it is time I pointed that fact out to him.” he said angrily as he ransacked the sitting room for his car keys.
“Biodun please sit down. I am sorry but you told me to say everything on my mind and remember, you promised to be reasonable.”
“How was I to know you could ever be so mean to suggest an abortion?” He spat.
“I am sorry. Please sit down, I have another idea. Please let me tell you about it.”
“I am done with your ideas. It’s time we heard mine. I am going to meet my dad. Perhaps he will reason better with me as a man to a man. Where’s my gaddamned keys,” he yelled.
“My second idea has nothing to do with an abortion.” I said quickly.
“Really?” he asked, he looked so relieved that I felt sorry for saying everything I said earlier. “I am all ears then, let’s hear this other idea of yours.” He said, coming to sit beside me.
“This idea still involves us living separately. Get me an apartment, I will keep the pregnancy and I will have the baby. I agree, let’s marry secretly if you wish but I don’t think that’ll be necessary. Your mum might be able to convince your dad to let us be when she learns of the pregnancy. Then we can marry with their blessing. What do you think?”
“What if she refuses?”
“Then we’ll marry secretly but I will remain in my own apartment until things get better.”
“Why don’t we just leave the country? Why don’t we go elsewhere and live our lives? Why enslave ourselves? Why tie ourselves to my parent’s aprons? For how long should we allow this to continue? Please answer me. I need those answers right now.”
“We cannot do what you say. I have thought about that but you seem to have forgotten all about your step mother. As soon as she knows about it, she’ll sell us to the press. This, coupled with the fact that I am now an ex-convict, will make a lovely scandal. And please, don’t make me remind you constantly that I am now an ex-convict,” I said bitterly.