It was my last visit to Lagos before I moved back finally; the baby was growing up and the nausea was setting in. I would touch my slightly bulging stomach and grimace.
There were times that I would just hit my stomach in annoyance. I was thinking less of Marvin and hating him more and this was helping me to face each day as it came. There was a day I ran into him at a supermarket where I went to buy some baby things, he was with that same woman. The reality was dawning on me day by day that I pushed out all possibilities of reconciliation with him in spite of my feelings for me. I accepted my fate as a single mother.
I had lost what my fate was supposed to be. Was it my meeting with Jamal, his death, meeting Marvin and leaving him or what is it the baby? My fate has left me in a world of confusion but what mattered after everything was the child. I decided to give the best of everything to my child and treat her like my parent’s did us.
As soon as my aunt had made sure I kept my promise of keeping the child, she stopped hounding me. I then enjoyed solitude. It provided me with the opportunity to reflect on things and what I wished had happened.
Timmy had at a point decided to pay us a visit. I was in the sitting room and I was crying in front of the television. Sandra had woken up to my crying and was in the middle of a lecture when the bell rang. She instructed me to wipe my tears as she went to the door. Sandra asked me if she should open the door to let her in when we saw that it was Timmy.
“Of course not. What does she want?” I asked furiously.
“She is still our friend,” Sandra answered.
“Please spare me that crap,” I replied.
“I don’t think I can turn Timmy away regardless of what she did,” Sandra said. I stood up and went to meet her at the door.
“Go away Timmy. Nobody wants you here,” I called out to Timmy at the other side.
“If you don’t open this door, it means you are stuck in that house today,” Timmy said from outside.
“We are not interested in going out today anyway, sleep there if you like,” I replied.
“What is all these? Why the excitement any way? This is just something that we can easily sort out,” Timmy countered.
“The excitement is that Alice is three months pregnant for your cousin,” Sandra interjected with anger at what Timmy said.
“What?!! Are you sure it’s his? Have you told him?” Timmy asked.
“Go away. I will call my aunt and tell her you are related to him,” I replied and dialed my aunt’s number.
“You don’t understand. Things are really not the way it is,” Timmy replied. “Please open this door.”
We didn’t open for her but she kept pressing the bell. However she got tired and decided to leave. Timmy dropped her card and went away and I looked through peep-hole and felt bad to see her dejected back as she walked away.
Sandra had called Timmy days after this incident and was told that she had traveled that night to London; Sandra thanked her sister and asked for Timmy’s number in London. She told me about it but I was not so keen about that information so she dropped it.
I woke up very late the next morning to the sound of running water and I knew Sandra must be in the kitchen preparing breakfast. I was to leave for Abuja that day and come back to Lagos finally the following week.
I went to join Sandra in the kitchen; she was on the phone talking to Harry.
“Alice just woke up and must be really hungry, so I have to go now… Ok, I’ll tell her… I love you too,” she said and dropped the phone to face me. “Did my baby sleep well?”
“She did. What’s up with Harry?” I asked.
“He just called to find out how well I am taking care of you,” she replied.
“Oh, that’s so nice of him. I hope he is not like some people I know,” I said. Sandra turned and sighed. I knew everything about the lady and I asked what the matter was.
“There is something I have to tell you,” she said.
“What is that?”
“Harry proposed,” Sandra said. “He did sometime last week but I didn’t know how to tell you,” she continued and smiled.
“What nonsense. I’m happy for you,” I replied.
“Alice, I want to know why you are not saying anything about Timmy still and to also tell you that Marvin called. He wanted to know if he could visit,” Sandra said.
“He is the biggest joker on earth,” I said. “I told you that Timmy can do whatever she likes, I do not care. What’s for breakfast my humble chef?”
“We are having yam and egg ma’am. Don’t drink too much coffee, take milk and honey instead,” she said and brought out a tin of milk from the shelf.
“Let me go and take my bath. I have a parcel to send to Sean and I also have to go to some other places,” I said going out of the kitchen.
“By the way, Harry said you should put me on house arrest until he comes back from his trip to Sierra Leone but I told him you wouldn’t dare,” Sandra said and I smiled. No-one could hold that woman down, no matter how hard you try.
I had my bath and got dressed in a black trouser, tissue top and wore a flip-flop.
“Where is the car key?” I asked just after breakfast and Sandra gave it to me.
“Yeah, I’ll see you soon. Don’t miss me,” I said and pecked her before rushing out to dodge the pillow she flung at me.
I was about to start the car when I heard a tap on the window, I looked up and saw Marvin. I hissed and zoomed off angrily without stopping. I saw him enter his car and followed me. We were both on high speed, I was trying to shake him off, and he was trying to trail me. I thought I lost him at a corner and I finally drove to the courier office.
I parked the car and went inside to send the package to Sean. I came out to find Marvin learning on my car, obviously waiting for me to come out. I could not retrace my footstep, so I decided to ignore him. I walked to my car, inserted the key and he held my hand.
“Mr. Atolagbe, why don’t you just leave me alone and quit stalking me,” I said annoyingly.
“I have to talk to you. Let me explain some things to you. Please,” he replied.
“What things. I gave you my heart and you deceived me,” I said.
“Alice, don’t say it like that,” he said.
“Well, I have just one question to ask you right now. Are you married?” I asked.
“Ehmm……..Ehmm…….,” he countered, “Yes and No.”
“Are those boys not yours,” I asked further, glaring at him.
“Yes, they are but I can explain,” he said.
“Spare me. I’m not a fool. You’re just here out of courtesy and pity and I really don’t need it from you,” I said. “Stay away please.”
“You know I can’t,” Marvin said, “I love you and I think that is all that matters.”
“Oh, is that what you think? There is more to it. There is honesty, truthfulness, trust,” I replied.
“Please, you have to reason with me. This was not intentional. You were not supposed to know like that.”
“Goodbye Marvin,” I said, pushed him out of my way, entered the car and drove off.
I got to the house with the pent-up anger and cried. I was not supposed to know, I grimaced. It was all planned. I cried bitterly for finding love in the wrong places and the wrong times. I should have known better, Cindy was right.
There and then, I decided not to stay any more days in Lagos until my final move back. I parked my things and called Sandra to get me a flight ticket to Abuja on her way back.
Sandra asked if everything was okay and why the sudden urge to leave. She said she thought I was supposed to leave in the evening and I told her I had things to do. She came home later with the ticket, drove me to the airport where I boarded a plane and was off to Abuja.