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That was Nancy voice, in a matter of seconds she was holding open the door. Her ruffled hair and half-dressed appearance were indications she just got out of bed.
“See this babe o, you still dey sleep by this time, you no dey go work today?”
“I called to tell them I’ll be coming in late today jare, I’m not feeling too well”
After I had settled in and she washed up, she served me with a glass of juice and toasted bread.
The usual girly gist ensued up till the point where it got to the dreaded topic trending in my life- the divorce.
“So babe, how are you holding up?” she asked.
“I try but its not be easy at all, Nance, you can’t begin to imagine how traumatizing it is for me and the children”
“Can you imagine that he has even refused to talk about it with our lawyer?” I said amidst tears.
“When is the court proceeding?” she asked
“It’s in eight days”
She drew closer and held me close…“don’t worry, you will survive this, trust me”
Her words were consoling, I wished at that moment I had her kind of courage. After staying awhile at her place, it was time to leave. I had some business to take care of and it was time she went to her office too.
Back in the court room.
It’s 2:45pm and I’m wondering what could be keeping Nnamdi. The proceedings was slated for 2:30pm and he hasn’t still shown up. I wondered what was going on. Could he be having cold feet? That would be a relief anyways, I thought. Just as I was trying to figure out, the court room door swings open. I turn around swiftly but the man I see approach isn’t Nnamdi. It was our lawyer – Barrister Martins who had gone to call him to ask about his whereabout. He clears his throat.
“I’m sorry your Honour, this proceeding cannot continue”
The judge adjusts her glasses and gives him a stern look
“What would be your valid reason after delaying this honourable court for 15 straight minutes?”
“I’m very sorry your Honour but my client has been involved in a very ghastly motor accident”
“What?!” I yelled.
By now I didn’t care much if my outburst was against court rules. I simply grabbed my bag and headed for the door without waiting to hear what the judge had to say.
I fiddled with my bag trying to find my car keys, just then I remember I didn’t even know where or which hospital my husband was. Just then I heard Barrister Martins behind me. With misty eyes I asked where he was and turned again to my car.
“You cant drive in this state Mrs. Mbanefo”
The title “Mrs” made me pause, yes, I was still married to him and I had hope he wasn’t dead turning me to a widow. “God forbid”
I let the lawyer drive me to the hospital. I had put a call through to my children’s teachers who were so kind and offered to bring the kids over after school.
At the hospital.
I sat at the out-patient ward for close to seven hours. Doctors were busy running around the hospital hall way and would not wait to give answers to the endless questions I asked each time I sighted any of them. My children by this time had run out of games to play and were looking exhausted in their school uniforms. I had wished Nancy was here, she would have helped me take them home. I had tried calling her severally but her phone went straight to voicemail. Maybe she’s still feeling under the weather and needed to rest, I thought. Finally the doctor asked that I take my kids home and return the following day when my husband would have been stabilized and I could get to see him.
The following day very early, I prepared the kids who insisted they were going with me to the hospital- it was a Saturday. When I arrived, I was directed to the doctors office.
“Good morning Mrs. Mbanefo”
“Good morning doctor, how’s my husband?”
“Your husband is doing fine but…”
“But what doctor?”
“I’m afraid he might not be able to walk for now until the healing process is completed”
My heart sank.
“Are you alright Mrs. Mbane…”
“Sure! Sure I am, he’s alive and that’s all that matters”
“One more thing…”
“What is it doctor?”
“The lady with him, I’m so sorry she couldn’t make it”
“Lady? What lady?”
“Her name according to the particulars we found on her, is Nancy”
“Nancy? Sorry doctor are you sure?”
“Yes Nancy, I’m assuming it was his colleague, she passed on late last night and was 8 weeks pregnant”
How I managed to put myself together, I can’t explain that to you, could my life get any worse? What was she doing with my husband? Who was responsible for her pregnancy? Was Nnamdi having an affair with my best friend? How long had this been going on? I went on and on…As the doctor went ahead to describe her features, everything fit Nancy’s profile. The particulars they found was her international passport. Were they planning to elope? At this point, I wanted to look her in the face so bad and ask her what I had done to deserve such a cruel and cold treatment. I think I trusted her too much that I could even see she was the tumour eating up and tearing my marriage apart. My goodness!
“Excuse me Ma, you can see your husband now.”
As I approached his ward, my legs felt like they couldn’t carry my body. Nnamdi seemed like a shadow of himself, bandages stained in blood and a sling that held his leg in a balance. As I got close to his bed, I could see tears trickle down his bruised face.
“I’m so… so..rry Honey” he managed to say.
“Shhhhh” I didn’t allow him to continue. Seeing him like that broken my heart even more.
I stretched out for his hand and squeezed it in a manner that brings both pleasure and pain. I stood up, kissed his fore head and walked turned to the door again. I could hear him try to call out my name.
“I’ll be back” I said with little or no emotions this time and walked out.
The kids whom I refused to let see their father in that condition jumped off their seat as soon as they saw me.
“Mum, how’s daddy, will he be coming home?”
As I walk out of the room, the whiff of the perfume smell I sniffed at Nancy place days hit me again. It was my husband’s.
“Yes, darling” I replied. Yes he will home.
But I wasn’t sure he’d meet us in it.