The next two weeks passed in a blur for me. I scheduled two D and C appointments with Dr.Bala but each time I cancelled.
I was confused. I knew I didn’t want this baby. No! It’s not a baby yet. I kept reminding myself. Just a six week old foetus.
But I also knew that the baby wasn’t only mine to keep or do away with. Mo needed to know. A fact Dr. Bala wouldn’t let me forget.
Each time I asked myself; Am I really ready for this? Another baby so soon? When I’m still grieving for Shirley? I was just finding my feet again…I had a job I loved. And life was beginning to take a new meaning for me…what would having a baby now do to all of that?
And so I struggled with myself day after day. I avoided Mo and Pastor B as much as I could.
I wasn’t yet ready to sit under Pastor B’s scrutiny.
I was getting worried. Kemi had been behaving strangely since the previous week; if I didn’t know better, I’d say she was deliberately avoiding me.
But why? I wondered. Had I done something wrong? As far as I could remember things had been going pretty well for us, we were bonding again and I dare say; I’d begun to earn her trust.
So, why the sudden change?
Only two days ago I’d called her:
“Hi.” She sounded breathless.
“Hey you. You promised to call back yesterday. You didn’t. You good?” I asked.
“Er…I’m sorry hon. I totally forgot. Was so busy.”
I’d lived with Kemi for eight years and I knew when she was lying. She was lying now but I didn’t say so.
“Okay then. Call me when you are free.” I said, letting my irritation show.
“I’m sorry Mo…it’s just…I’m dealing with some stuff right now that I don’t wanna drag you into.”
“Drag me..? For God’s sake I’m your husband! Does this living apart thing fool you? Everything that concerns you, concerns me, you know that.”
“I will tell you, eventually. I just need some time to figure it out myself.”
When the call ended, I was left wondering what stuff she was dealing with.
It wasn’t every time Ruby Marshall had an attack of conscience but this particular one was going to put her in more trouble than she bargained for. Only she didn’t know it.
Perhaps if she had; she wouldn’t have made the call on Wednesday morning.
It had been three weeks since she’d been paid off for her job on Mo and she’d been fine with it. It thrilled her to know that somewhere she had cool cash that was hers alone. Bye-bye to poverty.
Her life was magnificent in a manner of speaking. Except; she felt uneasy and uncomfortable which was unusual because she had it all going for her.
It took only a few minutes to discover the source of her unease.
And the source of her guilt? That money that had been recently wired into her account. Money gotten from breaking a family up. Money that came because she was dumb enough to take the job.
Dumb and desperate.
She was many things but a home-wrecker was not part of it. And yes, she’d admit it, it had been fun to play the game for a while. She’d seen it as having fun and getting paid for it…that was how her employer had defined it.
“Nothing serious, hon. It’s just you having fun and getting paid for it. Trust me. It’s a piece of cake for you.”
Indeed it was. But what did her employer gain from it? From the game?
The Employer whom she’d met only twice. The one whom she’d sensed an unexplainable dark presence about. Ruby was good at sensing such things; her mama had always told her she had a nose for trouble.
Not very far from the truth, mama.
She’d done her job and taken her money and only yesterday, her employer had told her it was time to leave New York. Just when she was getting used to the life of the rich.
Why was she jittery? Why couldn’t she pack her bags and disappear like she’d been advised to?
Because she wanted to prove Mama wrong. Mama had said she was trouble from day one. She wanted to do something nice for once. Like maybe go back and fix the family she destroyed.
It would be one good thing that’ll give her pleasure and teach Mama that she had some good in her too.
But how could she bring the family back together without saying all she knew and thereby exposing her employer?
Like it or not, her employer had been good to her…paid her lots of cash, given her a beautiful house and even paid off her numerous debts and gotten Big Ben off her back.
So, how would she betray someone who’d done a lot for her, just like that?
What would Mama do in such a situation? She wondered.
Loyalties, sweetie. Mama always talked about loyalty. “Be loyal to who gon’ put food on yo’ table, dear one.” She’d say.
Even when your conscience was threatening to jump out and flee from you? Ruby wished she could ask her Mama that now. Even when you can’t sleep at night because you keep seeing the faces of those whose lives you destroyed?
Mama had taught her that marriage was sacred.” No breakin’ that vow, sweet pea. That’s why I never left yo’ father no matter how mean he was to me.”
And with that last thought, Ruby damned the consequences. She’d try to talk some sense into her employer and see what happens from there. She’d broken a marriage but God had given her a second chance to fix it. And when she was done, she’d hop on a plane and get away from this crazy life and start a new one with her million bucks.
She picked up her phone and dialled.