In the previous episode of Shades of Deceit
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1 THING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DNA TESTING
He fixed his gaze on the poster, poring over its contents. He was aware from a side glance that the doctor had traced his gaze to the poster and was presently staring at him, but he was not all bothered. ‘Doctor, can I do a DNA testing here?’ He heard himself say, his voice sounding cold, distant and very strange. And as he heard the doctor echo a ‘Yes’ in reply, he could swear he was having his first out of body experience.
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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th, 2014.
Chika reclined on his chair, wincing occasionally as if in pain as he tried to bring the rampaging thoughts in his head to control.
He had tried to distract himself with work but the more he tried, the more the scenes of the weekend played up in his mind -the house drama, the hospital scene and finally, the DNA test.
He growled to himself as the thought of the DNA test seeped into his mind. His head aching as images from the doctor’s office did a slide-show on the canvas of his mind.
He had informed the doctor that he wanted the exercise done in a very discrete manner and without the knowledge of his wife, to which the doctor had raised no objections, taking the information very coolly and with no visible sign of embarrassment on his face, like he was used to such requests.
‘And how do you want us to deliver the result to you?’ The doctor asked, looking straight into his eyes.
‘Do you have special ways of delivering the results?’ He replied with a question of his own, his eyes locked in a stare with the doctor’s eyes.
‘We can have it mailed to you,’ the doctor replied and added very quickly, ‘We use a speed-mail so you can be sure of getting it the same day.’
‘That will be perfect,’ he said, the growing look of protest in his eyes softening as soon as the doctor added that the service was through a speed-mail. He had no trust and patience for the regular mail.
He remembered how uncomfortable he had been for the first thirty minutes after his wife had come around. ‘Nothing happened with Sylvia,’ he explained, as soon as the nurse left her side.
‘Where’s my son?’ She had asked, ignoring his explanation, her voice sounding drained and her face creased in worry.
‘He’s much better,’ he replied almost nervously. ‘As soon as you’re strong enough to leave the bed, I’ll take you to him,’ he said like he was the Chief Medical Director of the hospital.
‘I’m strong enough now,’ she replied, propping herself up to a sitting position as if to show her strength. The contortion on her face and the deep grunts of pain she let out with every movement she made betrayed the charade she was trying to put up.
She was clearly not strong enough.
‘Josh is fine, I can assure you,’ he had said calmly, closing her hand up in his as he gazed into her tired eyes. ‘The doctor thinks you need a little bit more rest as he was so very sure you’d wake up with a lot of body pains.’
‘I don’t feel any body pains, I’m fine,’ she countered.
‘I know you’re fine and you don’t feel body pains,’ he started with a smile on his face, ‘but in just sitting up, do you realise that you almost poo poo on the bed with all this your hmmn…hmmn?’ He said, wrinkling his face as he mimicked her grunts.
Chika smiled to himself in the office as the image of his wife’s smile when he made the joke in the hospital popped up in his head. She was wearing the same smile in the picture he was holding in his hands, only that the light in her eyes at the hospital was a little dimmer than the one he was presently staring at in the picture.
The door eased open as a lady walked in with a file in her hands. She approached his table in measured steps. ‘Sir, I thought you said you were closing very early today?’ She asked almost in a whisper, as she dropped the file on his table.
‘Yes I did,’ he replied. ‘I thought I could tidy up the Design Concepts document before I leave so I don’t stall the transaction, but I doubt that would be possible today,’ he added with a sigh as he placed the picture on the table.
‘You can always work on the document tomorrow sir,’ the lady offered, stealing glances at the picture on the table.
‘I know,’ Chika replied, pushing the picture closer to her as he noticed she was sneaking a peek at it.
She took the picture from the table with a smile on her face and spent the next couple of seconds peering into it. ‘Your son is just a carbon copy of you,’ she mused.
‘Really?’ Chika asked with a glint in his eyes, his face bearing that questioning look. ‘How?’
‘His eyes are exactly like yours,’ she said still smiling. ‘And his nose too,’ she added, raising her head briefly to look at Chika’s face as if for confirmation. ‘If it was a mistress and not your wife that gave birth to him and you had denied the pregnancy, this boy would have disgraced you; he’s just a vomit of you.’
Chika burst out laughing, his eyes lighting up, ‘Emem, you’re not serious,’ he said, still reeling with laughter. ‘But that’s why he’s my son,’ he announced like a proud father, his face bearing a big grin. ‘Oya go back to your bit so I can shut down for the day, I really have to go relieve my wife at the hospital. She’s the one sitting by Josh and I don’t think she’s strong enough for that yet. She has stubbornly refused to be on bed-rest.’
‘Yes sir,’ she replied as she dropped the picture back on the table. She was laughing too. ‘It is well with your family sir,’ she said, turning to leave.
‘It is well,’ Chika repeated, feeling light and unburdened in his spirit. ‘Thank you so much Emem, I appreciate it,’ he said as she exited the office.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2nd, 2014.
‘This film is pure rubbish,’ Priye complained with a big frown on her face but with her eyes still stuck on the television.
‘That’s my problem with women. You, my mum, my sisters and infact all of the women I know,’ Ben started, ‘you will be complaining of a movie from the very beginning, but you will not change the channel until that movie ends, your eyes will instead remain plastered on the television,’ He said, making a move for the remote control, which Priye quickly collected from the table.
‘It’s getting late, please start going to your house,’ he joked.
Priye smiled, dropping the control back on the table as the credits for the movie started to roll up the screen. ‘Why won’t you chase me out of your house when I’ve finished preparing your stew?’
Ben’s lips pursed in a smile, his eyes wearing a dreamy look, ‘In six months that becomes our stew.’
‘You like food too much,’ Priye replied shaking her head. ‘The courtship classes will last for three months I guess?’ She asked, switching topics.
Ben waved his hands at her as he swung his body in a salsa movement. ‘I love this song,’ he said, dancing to Timi Dakolo’s Iyawo mi. ‘Aah! I’m going to defeat you on that dance-floor on our wedding day,’ he boasted, making funny faces at her.
‘I wish people that call you quiet and shy can come and see you in this mode, I can bet they will not recognise you,’ Priye giggled as she watched Ben sway his body to the rhythm of the song.
He pulled her up to him, swinging her hands along with the song. ‘Iyawo mi, ololufemi, ore mi alayo mi, I will love you forever,’ he chorused along with the music.
‘Your dancing is bad enough, please don’t sing,’ Priye said giggling some more, as Ben turned her around and closed her up in an embrace.
‘That’s the fuji version,’ he whispered into her ears, as her laughter caused her to lean heavily on him. ‘Time to go home sweetheart,’ he said with a sigh, planting a peck on her fore head.
Priye smiled. If it was a movie, this would have been the picture perfect moment for a kiss, but definitely not with her Pastor Fiancé. She traced the outline of his lips with her eyes and muttered to his hearing, ‘sometimes I wonder what our wedding kiss would taste like.’
‘I don’t know,’ Ben mused and then added with a mischievous glint in his eyes, ‘I guess it would taste like a holy kiss.’
Priye tapped him lightly on his shoulders, as she convulsed with laughter. ‘And how does a holy kiss taste?’ She asked, her eyes wet with sweet smiles.
Ben stared on innocently, enjoying the happy look in her eyes. He felt a strong desire to smother her with hot passionate kisses but he restrained himself. ‘There should be a kissing course in courtship class, I’m sure we’ll have the opportunity to ask questions,’ he replied, still holding her in his arms.
‘I’m sure we will,’ Priye said as she picked her bag up from the chair. She knew it was time to go home as she was hundred percent sure she was never going to get the kiss she so much craved for right now, no matter how intense her green light glowed. ‘I’m set.’
Ben cursed under his breath as he turned to put off the television. He had seen the disappointment in Priye’s eyes as she picked up her bag. He really did feel like taking her in his arms and kissing her sweetly, but there was a volcano in him seeking for an excuse to erupt. He could not trust himself to stop at just a kiss and so it was better not to begin at all, so he wouldn’t get burnt. Flee fornication, the bible had instructed, it just didn’t say fornication was a damn good chaser. The thing had the strides of Usain Bolt. Whoever said abstinence was easy, must definitely be a Martian!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2nd, 2014.
Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.
Laide pored over her notes, still trying to seek inspiration for the title of her message. She wanted it to be an introduction to the women conference that was due to begin next week friday with the theme, ‘Woman Decoded’.
She glossed through the several message titles that she had written down on the page but still couldn’t find any that completely satisfied her. She wanted something special as she was due to minister on Wednesday, which was on the eve of her tenth year wedding anniversary.
’10 years,’ she muttered to herself. Who could have thought she would still be here and that there would still be a marriage?
She sighed as the thoughts raced through her mind. Not only was she still in the marriage, she had a handsome son to be thankful to God for, and was also expecting a beautiful baby girl that she could not wait to hold in her hands.
It had not been a jolly ride for the past ten years but no marriage really is a jolly ride. She was ready to ride out the storms of her marriage and stand to celebrate her twentieth, thirtieth and whatsoever count of a wedding anniversary there would be, if Jesus tarried.
Michael was not perfect, but being a Pastor was not a ticket to being perfect, he was also a man with flesh, open to temptations just like other men.
All men are cheats. You catch some, you don’t catch some. But remember, all men are cheats.
It was the voice of her mum and she could remember vividly the night she spoke those words to her. They were both lying on the bed as they would usually do when her dad was away on one of his supposed business trips when she discovered that he was keeping a mistress. She had been informed by her friend who called in to congratulate her on the naming ceremony of her baby, angry that she was not invited for the occasion.
It had turned out to be the naming ceremony of her erstwhile unknown step-brother – Bode.
Michael was not into adultery and definitely not likely to surprise her with a step child any time soon, like her father did to her mum, but she knew he was also not squeaky clean, especially not after the Ivie Case.
Talking about the Ivie case, lately she had been having the same feeling she had prior to the discovery of Ivie’s nudes on her husband’s phone and it had burdened her for a while, knowing her instincts were almost never wrong.
She had stylishly interviewed Nike, her special insurance, like she would normally do to find out about the movements of her husband while he was at work and there was nothing out of the ordinary about them and while she thought she was on to something after the deleted Priye chats, she could also not substantiate anything. The Priye theory was recently trashed after Pastor Ben visited the house with Priye to inform her and Michael about their engagement.
She had sat back to study Priye’s body language with her husband’s and all she could see was a woman thoroughly in love with her fiancé and gushing about her engagement. For the first time, her instincts were wrong.
Her notepad stared back at her from the table, reminding her that she was yet to settle for a title for her message. She turned away from the pad, preferring instead to dwell on thoughts about her ten years in marriage and to dream about the future.
The future where she would finally write and publish her book; The Memoirs Of A Pastor’s Wife. The future where she would grow old and grey with Michael and forget that he was the same man, Yewande had joked about poisoning. The future where Jeremiah and his sister Joy would visit, and bring their kids to come see Grandma. The future that was very certain to come.
Her eyes glowed as she dwelt on these thoughts and like a thought lightly dressed up in sound, she muttered a quiet, ‘Thank you Jesus.