Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON THREE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Mary could sense that something was the matter with Ifeanyi. He hadn’t been himself since he left home early yesterday morning. At the time, he’d told her that it was an emergency situation he had to attend to, and she’d assumed that he would tell her more about it when he returned. But his mood had been broody all evening, and even this morning.
After church, he had excused himself to go to his office and get on with some work, and she’d left him to it. Now, here she was looking at him as he slept on the sofa in his office. His laptop was on but the screen had gone black, as happens when it hasn’t been in use for a while. She wondered if she should bother waking him up. She decided against it. He looked tired.
Quietly, she closed the door to his office and returned to the family living area. The boys were watching cartoons on TV and Abigail was playing with a soft black doll Mary had bought for her over the summer. She picked up a book she’d started reading earlier that week. Her mother-in-law had bought it for her a couple of weeks ago, to help her deal with her feelings of grief and loss.
So far, it was helping her to think through her feelings, rather than getting lost in them. But aside that, she wasn’t finding it that beneficial. She felt that she was dwelling on feelings she would rather get over, but didn’t quite know how to overcome.
Talking about her feelings sometimes helped though. Whenever she felt overwhelmed, she called Kelechi. And if Kelechi wasn’t available, she called her sister-in-law, Chidinma, who had now relocated to the States. Of course, Ifeanyi was her first point of contact, but she didn’t want to overwhelm him either. He was also having a hard time dealing with Daniel’s death. She knew he still blamed himself for not doing more, though she tried to assure him that he wasn’t at fault. She also knew that he was putting in a lot at the office on his new project, and was under quite a bit of pressure.
Mary sighed and opened the book to where she’d stopped reading yesterday. “Dealing With The Injustice Of Loss” was the title of the current chapter. She swallowed. That was the other thing. She’d longed to get justice for Daniel, but it seemed like his death had been for nothing. She wasn’t able to get anything to pin on the school, and beside their public apology, nothing else had been done to make them take responsibility. She didn’t even know what she would do if she had the power to make those responsible pay…
Mary heard the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. It was the same thing every day she mourned her brother’s death. Forgive. God, it’s so unfair! He didn’t deserve it! We had such great plans for him! He was doing so well in school, God… Why did You let it happen?!
Mary had dealt with a lot in her lifetime, but it seemed this was too much. She tried not to hold it against Him, but deep down, she knew she did. And she told Him. He was the one she was struggling to forgive, because He was yet to make her understand. But until then, she told Him of her pain and disagreement, especially as she believed in the power of resurrection.
Why then couldn’t Daniel be resurrected?! Why did He do such great miracles in times past that He did no more today? She was sure her faith in Him was not the hindrance. She truly believed, like a child, that if she told a mountain to move, it would!
God, I’m sorry I still feel this way, but it’s the truth. If I can’t tell You, who can I tell? I know You know all my heart already, so I can’t hide how I feel from You. But I still love You and need You to help me through this time. Please, help me to come to terms with my loss and appreciate all that I still have. I love all my family, and I don’t want to lose another one… Please, God. Hear my prayer…
Ifeanyi stirred from his position on the sofa. He woke up to the realisation that he’d slept off. He had just wanted to rest his eyes for a minute or two. He sat up and looked up at the wall clock. 5:05 pm. The day was almost gone. He wondered what Mary and the kids were up to.
Mary was in the kitchen preparing dinner when he went looking. The nanny was supervising the children as they played, and they hadn’t noticed him when he checked in on them.
“Hey, babe…” he said, at the entrance to the kitchen.
She turned to him and smiled. “Hey…”
He walked to meet her, wrapped a hand around her waist and bent to kiss her temple, as she hadn’t turned her lips to him. “You okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she replied. She switched off the gas and turned to him. “Everything alright?”
Ifeanyi ran his hand over his head. He knew what she was referring to. His broodiness since yesterday. He shifted his gaze, not sure if now was the time to tell her about Samson. But when would be a good time?
She went to him and touched his face. “You’re scaring me, baby… What’s going on? Is it work?”
He looked at her and knew he couldn’t keep her guessing. She’d probably make herself sick with worry. And God forbid that she should wonder about his fidelity again. He took her hand and led her to the sofa.
“It was Samuel who called me yesterday,” he started. “He told me not to tell you, which was why I didn’t tell you then.”
Mary swallowed. “Okay… What’s wrong?”
“Samson got arrested.” Mary gasped, her eyes wide, questioning. “He said he didn’t do it…and I think I believe him, but…”
“What is it?!” Mary asked, impatiently.
Ifeanyi swallowed. “He’s been accused of rape.”
Mary threw her hand to her mouth, the look in her eyes was one of horror. Ifeanyi just stared back at her, almost sure of the thoughts flowing through her mind. She was asking if he really believed Samson was innocent, and he tried to reply with a certainty, but he knew he was lacking in his conviction.
“My God!” she cried. “I don’t want to believe it.” Not after what I went through. He couldn’t do that to another woman or girl… Not my brother! No, I don’t believe it.
“I’m sorry,” Ifeanyi said, holding her hand. “That’s why I didn’t want to tell you… I know you’re still dealing with much… I’ll try my best to sort it out without getting you involved. I just thought you should know.”
Mary put her hand to her face, rubbing her forehead. “Where is he now?”
“Back on campus. He’s on police bail… But we are expecting a court date.”
Mary nodded. “Thanks for telling me. And for handling it. I want to be involved. I think we need to have a meeting with both of them. Can you arrange that?”
“Sure… But are you sure? It might drag, and it will be very emotionally draining for you.”
“Ifeanyi, he’s my brother. I’m already involved.”
Ifeanyi swallowed. “Okay.” He slid his hand over hers and she held him tight. She released her tears soon after and he hugged her. “I’m so sorry.”
“Thank you, babe,” Mary said, wiping her tears.
Suddenly, she wanted him. She wanted to get lost in their love, so she could forget her grief and troubles. She pulled on his shirt and brought his lips down to hers and feasted on them hungrily.
Ifeanyi didn’t put up any resistance. He too wanted to be lost in her right now. He wanted to be where everything was perfect. In her arms.
Three times. That’s the number of times that she’d tried to call him and his phone had rung through. On the fourth try, it had responded with “the number you’re calling is switched off.” Why was Oyinda ignoring her calls?
Kemi Ojo looked at her phone, unable to believe her inability to get a hold of Oyinda. Had he forgotten that they had plans tonight? She tried to think of a reasonable explanation, but Oyinda had too much money and resources not to be able to get a hold of someone he wanted to reach. If he wasn’t dead or sick, he was ignoring her on purpose. The possibility of the former still managed to make her worry. She hoped he was okay.
She decided to send him a text instead. It read: “Hey, babe. Been trying to reach you. I hope everything’s okay. I need you to pick me up tonight. I have a surprise for you…”
She thought she’d add that little tease, hoping it would get him excited about coming over tonight. He’d been posting her all week, and she was mad horny now. She couldn’t wait to see him.
She looked at her watch. 6:30 pm. She swallowed. It wasn’t too late to hope nor expect that he would still show up. She’d devote ten or twenty minutes to being mad, depending on how late he got there, before she’d let him have it…
She leaned back on her sofa and turned up the volume of the television.
“You’re okay, babe?” Sola asked tentatively, as he hovered around his heavy and grumpy, pregnant wife. She looked so uncomfortable, laden with pillows, sweaty and frowning, her face disfigured with pain.
“Oh, God!” she groaned. “When will this baby come out?!!”
Damilola shifted in her seat again. She’d been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for a few days now, and had initially gone to the hospital when it started, only to be told that her body was just preparing for labour, but it wasn’t yet time. She’d been so irritated. She couldn’t wait to no longer be pregnant!
Her feet were swollen. Her fingers had grown so fat that she’d had to cut off her cheap engagement ring and take off her wedding band. Her hip joints ached. She wasn’t comfortable in any position, whether sitting or lying down. Her sleep was often interrupted by sleep apnea, where the pressure of the baby’s weight often caused her to stop breathing, and then she’d wake up with a start.
All that would have been bearable, but for the fact that she shared a small boys’ quarters room with her poor, clueless husband. The place was too stuffy and too hot, so that it felt like she lived in an oven. To top it all off, they were so unprepared financially for this baby! They hardly had the bare essentials, despite having had a baby shower thrown on their behalf some weeks back.
It was quite a drab affair because her best buddy, who would have planned a fabulous shower for her, was mourning the loss of her brother. She had to rely on her jealous older sister, Ayo, to plan the shower, and you can guess how it turned out. So few people showed up, and they all bought similar gifts; baby booties (absolutely useless in Nigeria), onesies, baby bottles (she’d already decided that to save costs and stress, she would breastfeed as long as possible), baby blankets and a few baby toys. No one even thought to buy diapers, like duh?!
“Oh, God,” she groaned again, through another contraction. “I don’t fucking care! Take me to that bloody hospital! This baby has to come out now!” she yelled at her husband, raising her hand so he would help her get up.
As soon as he succeeded in getting her to stand straight, the dam broke, flooding her home with amniotic fluid. Dami gasped and Sola hesitated. He didn’t know whether or not to spend a minute to mop up or to offer her a change of clothes. Dami screamed, “Oh, shit! Where’s my bag?!”
Sola hurried to where she’d hung it on the wall. He grabbed his keys and went to his wife. He was panicking. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do, but he hoped he hadn’t forgotten anything, when he’d strapped his wife safely in her seat, and they were on their way to the hospital. God, please take control, he prayed.
To be continued...
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