WHEN LOVE DIES PART 30
” You are not looking so good ” Mama said in Ibo. She was holding a cup of water in a her hands.
” I’m fine , … Its just a little headache” .
She sat down on the sofa in my father’s parlour and crossed her legs , slightly cautious of her left foot so as to prevent hurting it. The chair in which she sat brought back memories to me and I could remember when my dad bought it many years ago. He saved for months , toiled all day and night so he could get a comfortable sofa that could at least make the parlour lively.
” Papa ? I had asked him ” Do we really need this chair?
He smiled and tapped it calmly ” Well my dear… The least I can do is give you and your mother a comfortable chair, since a comfortable life is not so easy to get”
” But you could have used the money for something else..”
“One thing is certain” He sat down then continued ” Even if I buy expensive things once in a while , I wont neglect your other needs, I just wont– that is how much I love both of you – you and your mother.”
His eyes were filled with expectations as he got up and his arms enclosed me perfectly in an embrace that set me in the path to achievements and goal realisation. I was just fifteen then and I had dreams , big dreams– but dreams became nightmares when I got pregnant for love or you can say naivety ( I was so naive then) , I gave birth to David and that was indeed a game changer, which led to my present situation.
” How long has it been? Mama’s voice brought me back to the present .
” What? I asked.
” I’m your mother …and also a woman…I can tell when— Katie , you are heavy– you look a little pale. Ada m ( my first daughter) , you are pregnant.” she said with certainty.
I sat up and raised my head a little trying to hide the fact that she was indeed saying the truth. I always felt dizzy and very sick during the first trimester. I felt it was common amongst some women but mine was very pronounced, even a blind man would notice.
She gave me the cup of water and curdled me gently when she stroke my back. I gulped down a little water and it didn’t enter so well. I stared into the yellow rubber cup..
” Kate ” Mama said again ” When will you tell him?
By her words “him” , I was very sure she meant my husband. That was the same question Mimi had asked me the night at the opening ceremony of Eli Spar. I had rushed into the lavoratory behind the hall and threw up , vomiting my guts out. My head was heavy and I could say for sure that I felt like the walls closed in on me, like the walls were getting bigger and the spaces between them got smaller, while I was caught in the middle.
” I don’t know– I’m — Im worried ,Mimi” I said when I managed to sit on the sparkling tiles in the corridor to the laboratory. Mimi joined me and her arms crossed my shoulders.
” Why ? ”
” He is not ready for another child. He will overwork himself trying to be a perfect father . I know Gabriel , He objected the idea of having another baby– even when his mother asked him for one’..
” That’s absurd” Mimi said ,with a raised eyebrow.
” Tell me someth— you are kidding right?…But he went ahead and had — you know – had sex without protection. He was not drunk ,was he?
” A little , ” I said remembering the night as it reeled out before my subconscious mind .
” Dear lord, Kate, you not a baby nah– he is your husband fine , but at least you could have taken control pills or something.,, you are joking right?
” I’m not jok–” I was about to say when Andy knocked on the door and asked if we were okay in there. He wanted to know what was happening to me.
He seemed scared or he pretended to be ignorant of what was happening . …but somehow cared about my health.
” I’m fine ” I replied ” we ll be out soon. Give me five minutes**
I dropped the cup on the table and brought out my family portrait which was small enough to enter my hand bag. It was so beautiful and Gabe’s looks killed me even more. I realised how much I wanted to keep that lovely family together . .
” You have a lovely family ” Mama added , and waited for my reply” soon a special one will join you in this bliss”
I smiled cheerfully and told mama what I intended to do, I was going to let Gabriel know when the time was right, he would understand under the perfect conditions.
In weeks that followed I avoided Andrew, it was the right thing to do… I was giving him false hope by sticking to his idea of being “just nice to me”. He was willing to remain friends but I feared it might escalate into something more intimate.
My bump became a little ( well not too) obvious on the outside and I religiously sampled it often for Gabriel to notice, but unfortunately he didn’t . He never asked , not even a sign . I was having spells of headaches , and the whole universe rotated occasionally in my eyes…still the master of the house was unconcerned towards his servant. He was always on the phone with one “doctor Johnson”, they were always discussing about the health of a particular patient , I knew it was not Tayo. He practically ignored me, but occasionally gave me a passionate kiss and hug that got me wondering .
*was he for real?* I had asked myself .
His mind seemed to be somewhere else and his body was just an illusion that I saw which literally gave me comfort in that period of trial. . .I guessed maybe it was because I didn’t let him enter my head and read my mind.
” Love? ” I said when I dropped the bowl of rice on the table.
” Yes love…what is it?
He didn’t even glance at me , he just took up the spoon and drew the plate nearer when he put stew on the rice he had already dished for himself. He didn’t even allow me to do that for him. * Oh God * I thought loudly to myself.
” I’m—” I mumbled the words.
” You are what? He asked under his breathe munching food and that seemed more important to him….
I sat down on the opposite chair and looked at him blankly, then my gaze went to David . Dave knew I wanted to say something important and he frowned at his dad for not giving me audience.
” I’m — ” I began again but this time his phone rang and he raised his hands up signaling me to pause.
” Let me take this call..Hello..” he said excusing himself out of the room. He didn’t want to take the call in my presence, he always did that when he wanted to hide something.
He came back minutes later . Resumed his dinner devouring and his eyes started at me ” So you were saying?
” Its nothing- “I said “I’m just thinking about how we are going to spend and cope in this festive period that’s approaching ”
Gabriel smirked his lips and told me that he had it under control. He was so sure of himself,he even brought out two little boxes from a leather bag next to him . It had been there and I wondered what was inside before that moment. He gave one to me, the other one to Dave.
” Whats inside ? I asked.
” open it..” His mouth was full of food as he said those words.
Inside mine was a jewelry that was worth a fortune. It was pure gold and I became afraid, afraid of where he had gotten so much money to buy it. He had money to lavish on pendants when our family was practically unstable and for God’s sake I was expecting a baby.
” I can’t take this ” I blurted out . ” Its too expensive , where’d you get the money for it, please take it back .”
His eyes betrayed his thoughts. He stopped eating abruptly, meanwhile I hadn’t taken even a bite out my own food I had lost my appetite and it was obvious he just did too…. Gabriel didn’t say a word, he got up from his seat and pushed his plate away…He stared at me and walked out , banging the door to his room behind him .
“What had I done wrongly? What had I said? I asked myself.
He left his phone on the table and I was afraid to take it . My palms trembled as I frequently turned towards the room door , and I thought he would come out any minute . I took the phone and went to the last dialed numbers.
” Princess?? ” I asked when I saw the last called number as it glared right before my eyes . The name was questionable.. Who was his princess? I dialed the number and it rang…it was ringing…
Just then , a hand grabbed the phone with force, away from my ears. ..I turned .* Oh God he was furious and angry..
* I thought out to myself.
I swallowed down my saliva and waited for my fate. As he gave me the silent treatment , I sweated all over my body and waited for something… Anything….. either a resounding slap or a thorough beating. Both were inevitable now…