Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 16
I saw the tears in her eyes when she pulled away from me. I could imagine how she had felt this past few days. She must have been scared of losing her husband. You can only understand this feeling if you’ve had a loved one who was at the point of death or that pain of losing a loved one to the cold hands of death.
“Let’s go in -” she held the knob of the door and opened it for me to walk in.
A shocking look appeared on his face when his eyes fell on me.
“A…ri..ke” he called me in a low tone, stretching his forward for me to hold him.
He was in a bad shape. Bandage wrapped around his head stitches on face and bruises on some part of his body.
“Dad…” My voice trailed off as I held his hand, tears dropping down my cheeks. His wife adjusted the bed for him to sit up.
“Honey.” He managed to smile.
“Yeah…I know you asked me not to pester her about visiting us this year but I didn’t have a choice.”
“Dad, she did the right thing by letting me know about your situation.”
“And the next thing you did was fly over. What about your work?” He asked.
“Darling it’s not time to scold anybody.”
I nodded in agreement. “Everyone is happy that you survived the crash.” I added.
He squeezed my hands gently. “I am so happy to see you.” He smiled.
“See you now o…father and daughter aren’t you glad that I called her.”
“Please mommmyyy.” I laughed.
“Always acting stubborn… Let me tell you something, he planned to visit you in Nigeria since he couldn’t reach you for a while.” She laughed out.
“Is that true?” I asked him.
“I was just worried about you. The network was so bad.” He stopped.
“I missed you.” He admitted.
“Oh..someone is emotional now.” She teased.
“Please I am talking to my daughter.” We all laughed.
It was a good one. I watched aunty Sade being touchy with her husband.
“Ouch…this stitches has spoiled your handsome face.” She said soberly
“I am still going to heal..” He mumbled.
“I don’t care about the scars as long as you are with me.” She kissed him.
I smiled when he looked at me.
“Hey..haven’t you been eating well?” He asked me.
“Ermm..I have been -”
“You look pale,are sick my dear?” His eyes examined me.
“No,I am not sick.”
“Maybe it’s work stress.” Aunty Sade added.
I was sure this wasn’t the right time to talk about my condition. In the last few days,my mind has been on what their reactions would be if I told them I was pregnant. What would they say when I break the news that Dayo was the father of my child? Would they accept my decision to keeping my baby a secret? Series of questions has stomped my mind. To be honest I wasn’t ready to tell them.
“Arike,how long would you be staying?” He asked.
“Ahm…the truth is that -” I paused to study their expression – happy. ” I will be staying for a long time.” I added,still looking at them. Now their expressions wasn’t happy anymore. It was filled with mixed emotions. Confusion and surprise.
“Why? But you didn’t tell me you would be staying for a long time,” Aunty Sade said.
“What about your work?” Uncle Badejo asked.
I avoided making an eye contact with them. “I resigned at work too.”
“What?!” They both said in unison.
“Why? Is it because of me?” Uncle Badejo asked. A hint of guilt in his tone.
There’s something else but I bit back my words.
“No,you shouldn’t have done that,being a lawyer is what you’ve ever wanted. Why quit now?” He argued.
“I am sorry. I..I..just thought it would be best to be with you..that’s all” I mumbled. It was partly true.
Then we lapsed into silence for some seconds before uncle badejo spoke up again.
Tears flowed down my cheeks as I fiddled with my fingers.
“It’s alright…you can stay.” He said.
“Thank you sir.”
“Now stop crying…” Aunty Sade rubbed my back to calm me down.
TWO WEEKS LATER
Uncle Badejo was discharged from the hospital about a week ago. Some stitches on his face has been taken out leaving minor scars on the surface. He doesn’t look sick with the energy he is giving to the children at the home. He was back to working at the home.
I need to talk him. I can’t keep hiding forever and my mind was made up to tell them everything. At this point I don’t mind what they would say,how they would feel or what they would think of me. I can’t hide my baby from them forever,moreover they are the only ones who can help me.
“Oh! You’re awake!” Uncle Badejo beamed when he saw me.
“Yes sir.. where is mom?” I asked.
He looked around to find her but she wasn’t anywhere near.
“I saw her with Juan not quite long,maybe she’s in the kitchen now.” He said. “Is everything okay?” He asked as he studied my face.
“Yes…we need to talk.”
He gave the toddler he was carrying to one of the female staffs. “Take care of him.”
“Okay sir..I’ll put him in the crib.” The lady responded.
“Very good…Let’s talk in my office.”
“Breakfast is ready!” Aunty Sade announced as she came walking towards us.
“I’ll eat after I talk to Arike.”
“Is everything alright?”
“Yes…I just need to talk to the both of you.”
“Okay…let me just drop this in the kitchen.” She removed her apron and motioned towards the kitchen.
“Meet us in my office.” He shouted behind her.
We went into his office and it didn’t take long for Aunty Sade to join us.
“You can talk now.” He said.
“I have done something wrong and I know you’ll both be angry once I tell you what this is about.”
They exchanged glances. “You haven’t done anything wrong since you got here.” Aunty Sade said.
“Except that you resigned without consulting me.” Uncle Badejo added.
“I am sorry about that.” I apologized
“Speak….” he gestured to me.
I swallowed hard to get rid of the lump that has formed in my throat in a short while as I placed my hand on my belly.
“Arike?” He called.
“I am pregnant.” I blurted out.
I expected to hear gasps of shock from them but nothing came from them. I looked up hoping to see a surprised or disappointed look but their expressions was normal. What’s going on? Why aren’t they screaming at me? Didn’t they hear me clearly?
“I am going to have a baby.” I rephrased my words. Nothing changed.
Uncle Badejo sighed. “We know.”
“What?” My jaw dropped slightly.
“We know you’re pregnant.” Aunty Sade said
My heart beat accelerated. “How come? I haven’t mentioned it to anyone since I got here.”
“Do you think I wouldn’t know? I raised you so I practically know so much about you. Since you got here,you’ve been acting sick,throwing up and looking pale -” she paused. “Those are the symptoms of pregnancy. I know everything about pregnancy though I don’t have a child of my own.” She said soberly.
“We figured it out already since you told your mom many things happened in Nigeria. So we just put two and two together…and decided that we would wait for you to tell us about it.” Uncle Badejo said.
“I am sorry for not telling you before now.” I looked down. “I was working up the courage-”
Uncle Badejo interrupted me. “Who is the father?”
At this point my heart skipped two beats at a time. “It’s…it’s….”
“Oh! Arike don’t tell us you don’t know the father of your child.” Uncle Badejo said.
“Come one darling,we raised her well. I am sure she wouldn’t give herself to just any man.” Aunty Sade countered.
I feel like I have failed her.
“I do know the father of my child.”
“Tell us who he is…”
They both exchanged glances before looking back at me. Now that expression I was expecting was right there. Uncle Badejo came close to me,placing his hands on my shoulder.
“Dayo? Do you have…another Dayo or still the same Dayo?”
“It’s Dayo..my best friend.” I replied.
He gave my shoulder a small squeeze. “Are you dating him?” He asked.
“Dating? You can’t be serious Arike! Dayo is married!” Aunty Sade reminded him.
He shook his head as the squeezed got harder. “That’s true….” he laughed. “How did he become the father of your child? Have you been dating him before he got married and later found out you’re pregnant? Tell me how it happened!” He snarled as he released me.
“I…I slept with him…” I stopped to blink back tears. “Few…days to his wedding.”
They both gasped in shock.
“You can’t be serious..” he turned away from me.
“I am sorry…”
“You should be sorry for yourself!” He snapped.
“Calm down darling…”
“Don’t tell me to calm down! She slept with-” he stopped. “I can’t believe this is happening!”
“I am sorry.” I whispered. More tears dropping my face.
He breathed out heavily as he looked at me.
“What’s he saying about the baby?” He asked
“What do you intend to do?” Aunty Sade asked too.
“He doesn’t know I am pregnant.”
“Now…this is serious.” He mumbled.
“I didn’t tell about it…” I sobbed.
“I don’t want him to know.” I replied
“Why?” He asked again.
Would they ever understand my reason for wanting to keep my baby a secret?
“I am…just scared.”
“Of what?” He asked but I didn’t reply.
“We’re here for you,Arike.” Aunty Sade said.
“He’s married…and…I don’t want to get into any trouble with his father because of me.” I cried as I explained my reason.
“So you want to hide it from him? That’s why you moved her permanently?” He asked.
I nodded Yes.
“For how long?”
“I haven’t given it a thought…” I answered.
“But you know that your child will need a father. When the time comes your child will want to see him.” He said.
“I’ll take care of my baby.”
“No… I won’t support this your decision” he objected
“Dad..please…” I pleaded.
“You should have thought of the consequences of sleeping with Dayo!”
“Darling…” Aunty Sade tried to caution him.
“I am talking!” He snapped.
“You have to tell him you’re carrying his child! He deserves to know!”
“No he doesn’t have know. He can’t leave anything because of us! Nothing is going to change if I tell him about it! And I don’t want to see him lose everything….d
“Get out!” He said.
“I am disappointed in you! I didn’t raise you to end up like this Arike!”
“I said I am sorry..” I cried.
“Arike! Get out of my office!” He said angrily.
“Dad…don’t push me out…” I begged him.
He turned away. “Just leave now!” He spat.
Aunty Sade gestured to me to leave and I did as he wanted. He was angry. He has every right to be disappointed and angry at me because I have failed him. Uncle Badejo was never the type to express his anger especially towards me. Over the years he had been careful of everything he said to me. All he ever did was show me so much love and care. He never yelled at me like he did today.
“Darling,you can’t treat her like that..” I heard aunty Sade’s voice.
“She’s pregnant without a husband or even a fiancé.”
“At least she knows who the father is.” She said.
“But she doesn’t want him to know. How would you feel finding out that your child is somewhere growing without you knowing.”
“Arike needs us now…more than ever. She’s our child. We can’t push her away because she made a mistake. Moreover who says having a baby is a mistake?”
I couldn’t stand to hear anymore of their words. I ran back to my room and fell on the bed. I cried my eyes out before drifting off to sleep with just one prayer on my lips.
“I hope he forgives me.”
I woke up to hearing hushed voices in my room. Slowly I opened my sleepy eyes only to see uncle Badejo and his wife in my room. I sat up quickly,resting my head on the headboard immediately I felt a little bit dizzy.
“You’ve been asleep for so long.” Aunty Sade said.
I glanced out the window,it was already so dark.
“We brought you dinner.” Aunty Sade said as she dropped a tray she was carrying on my lap.
I looked at Uncle Badejo,he wasn’t smiling.
“Eat up..you need to be healthy for the baby.” He said.
Is this a good news? I thought.
I nodded and picked the spoon to eat.
“I already spoke to my doctor and she asked us to bring you to the hospital tomorrow for check up.” He added.
This is the answer to my prayers.
“You don’t need to worry about the expenses,we’ll take care of everything.” Aunty Sade added.
“Tha..thank you very much.”
“You don’t need to thank us. You’re our child. And we have to take care of our grandchild too.” She smiled.
“I am still against your decision of keeping the baby from Dayo.” Uncle Badejo cuts in.
Aunty Sade shot him a glare. “Darling we already talked about it.”
“Yes..okay..I’ll pretend like I have accepted her decision to keep the baby from the father but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Don’t pay attention to him. I am sure he would come around soon.” She patted my back.
Well I hope so too. I can’t stand him being angry at me.