* Hidden Agenda*
Everyone is a monster, we only notice it when the clock strikes thirteen; the devil appears.
I was delusionalised this beautiful morning. I am driven by ego and desperation, working my a-s out. What the hell was I doing on Dami’s farm?
My new boss wanted intimacy, but I wanted more- Sex and wealth.
These seemed impossible due to my marriage with a poor woman.
” Help, someone please help” . A voice called out.
I felt that my mind played a dirty trick on me. Yet again, I heard the voice. It came from the reception and I was a call away.
I rushed in, to find a little girl choking and life was gradually loosing its hold. A much older lady stood there, tears rolling down her face while she wailed with screams.
‘Help us sir’ the lady said ‘ she had an asthma attack’
Fear gripped me and knocked out my sinister thoughts. ‘ uhm.. Get a car.,. Call the farm driver”
She didnt make any motion. She was speechless, jaws down and screaming. ” Funmi, oh Funmi… Please, dont do this to me’
‘Will you stop crying like a toddler? Go and get the car quickly’ I said’ I will carry the little girl’
Nanny zoomed off, only to return with the bad new. ” sir..sir, the vehicles are all out on delivery..I’m confused’
Funmi laid almost lifeless in my arms, fear became my backbone.
‘ ok call her mother’ I said’ I will carry her to the main road’
My footsteps quickened, mindless of the distance to the gate. My heart raced, for the little baby in my arms.
‘Hello. Madam… Madam, Funmi had another attack..’ The nanny continued ‘ yes, madam we are rushing her to the hospital…no ma, sir Gabriel carried her…yes we are almost at the gate…ok Ma’
‘ what did she say’ I said ,above my breath.
‘She is almost here, she will meet us at the gate’
A relief stroked my face.
Within two minutes, we passed the gate and outside beckoning cars to halt. All was futile.
‘Get in’ . Dami was heaven sent. She stopped right infront of us.
Nursemaids and Doctors trooped randomly, but none talked to me. The stench of drugs and sickness moved my intestines.
I watched through the gallery, and tears washed down my makeup.
‘Please save my baby’ I was in pain.
‘ dont worry ma’am’ the doctor said’ she will be fine’
‘She is all I have, please save her’
Funmi managed to open her eyes for a while. And tears trickled her cheeks. I felt alone , rejected and stranded.
Gabriel wrapped me in his embrace.
I didnt care if it felt wrong. This is what I wanted- a man to calm me down in stormy times.
‘Gabriel..my Funmi..’ I began, with whimpering.
‘Shhh….Dont cry, it’s going to be alright. Nothing will happen to her’
The feelings evaporated from within. I wanted to stay in this embrace. The aroma of his perfume filled my nostrils, his broad chest stroking my tender nippl*s.
It was exciting- the pain and the joy. Nevertheless, I pushed him away gently.
The doctor came out of the emergency room, walked towards me. I didnt hesitate to get up from the plastic bench.
‘Doctor? How is my daughter? Is she ok?
She shook her head in approval. ‘yes. It was just an asthma attack, triggered by an allergy to a particular scent’
‘ a particular scent? ‘ I tried to picture the scene.
‘Yes. Pride of Barbados, as gotten from the test results’
The doctor suddenly stopped. Looking at her, I knew something was up. Then she asked ” Are you the father?
Gabriel replied in a very funny way. ” Huh? No I’m just… Am not the husband’
‘oh ! I see. Thank God you brought the girl in earlier’ the doctor continued ‘who knows ? Her brain could have shut down due to lack of oxygen’
The thought of that happening, gave me goosebumps. I virtually jerked and electricity passed through my spine.
‘Thank you doc’ I said
‘you are welcome. I will leave you now’
‘can I see my daughter?
‘Yes. Why not? You can go in’ she replied.
Joy revisited my heart, when I opened the door. Funmi laid peacefully and opened her eyes for a while.
”Gabriel? ‘ I asked ‘ I have a job for you’
‘What? He asked with curiousity.
‘I’m willing to pay you 300k a month’ I said ‘ dont ever leave me, just stay here with me and my daughter’
He stared at me. Grins and then replies ” 300 thousand naira a month, as what? A gardener or an artist?
I blinked. Hoping he would understand. Twisted my lips sideways and my tongue touched my upper teeth.
‘No.. . Not that’ I began ‘ As a father to my daughter, Funmi. Just stay with us. No commitment to me, only pretend to be her father for just a year’
When it finally escaped my mouth, I anticipated him to refuse outrightly. That was far from the truth, he stood there speechless and undecisive.
‘What have I done? I thought out loudly.
If kemi hears this one, she is going to write a book of sermon for me.
I didnt know what to feel, but my fears would not allow me think straight. The goal was infront of me, only conflict barred me from it.