Two days after, Marvin still wasn’t sure what to do with the revelation. He however decided to start somewhere. He didn’t know how he would go about it but he had to make Alice listen to him this time. He was trying to concentrate on his driving but the honking of cars and his boys were distracting him. The boys were saying something to him but his mind was somewhere else at that point till one of them tapped him. It was Tunmise.
“Dad,” Tunmise said as they went past the popular national theatre. “The headmaster said he would like to see you.”
Marvin looked at him and frowned. Tunmise had done it again. He was in trouble again and should be feeling the threat of his pending punishment right then instead of being chatty. Tunmise was a trouble maker, he loved picking up on people. He had not regard for people’s emotions and this had only reminded Marvin of Kemi.
Marvin took a deep breath, wishing he could just ignore what had happened that same day. Tunmise’s teacher reported that he was in a fight with a classmate of his and almost injured Tomiwa in the eye when the latter tried to separate them.
“Tunmise, why did you fight in school today, again?!” He didn’t take his gaze from the road, but knew it was a question that his clever son would try to avoid answering. The boy looked out like he didn’t hear what his dad said. Marvin’s side vision saw Tomiwa nudged Tunmise as he looked out of the passenger window.
“Oh, sorry dad. One of the boys said that one thin woman that came to our school was our mum because she was sick too,” Tunmise answered.
Marvin almost swerved off the road. He composed himself though and ignored the desire to ask more on the topic till they got to his parent’s house. The kids went there often when they were not with Simisola. It was one of such days and even though he had the urge to turn back to the school, he drove as carefully as his mind would allow him.
He took all his might but they finally got there. He drove into the compound of his parents’ house and parked the car and turned to look at his sons.
“What did you say the other time about a woman,” Marvin asked carefully. It was Tomiwa that answered.
“One woman came to our school today. She went to the headmaster’s office……”
Tunmise cuts in, “And he came to call us and said our mum wanted to see us. We got there and saw the woman.”
“She was very thin and looked sick. She started crying when she saw us and also when I said we did not know her,” Tomiwa concluded.
“Then she said she was our mummy and we said she wasn’t, that our mum was dead and then she started crying again and Mr. Adewale told us to go to our classes.”
“And then the boys started to make fun of us and one of them hit Tunmise in the tummy and they started fighting,” concluded Tomiwa breathlessly.
Marvin told the boys to go into the house that he would join them later. He closed his eyes after they had gone; he placed his head on the steering wheel.
No, he thought. It could not be true. But then, may be that was why the headmaster wanted to see him.
He heard a tap on his window and looked up to see his mum standing at the door. He got out of the car and greeted her. Mrs. Atolagbe asked if what Tomiwa told her was true, about the woman that came to their school.
Marvin said he wasn’t sure. He said their teacher reported Tunmise for fighting and when he asked his son he said it was because of a thin woman who came to their school. Mrs. Atolagbe shook het head in shock and wondered. Could it be possible that Kemi had decided to show up after all these years, she thought. She dared not!
“Mom, I’m confused. This could be a problem for the boys. Probably this is the reason why the headmaster wanted me to see him before the school’s PTA meeting on Tuesday,” Marvin said facing his mum.
“This woman is so selfish. I don’t think she knows the implication of what she did,” Mrs. Atolagbe answered and led Marvin towards the house.
As the family settled down after lunch and Marvin was getting ready to go home, they heard the door bell ring and Mrs. Atolagbe sent the housekeeper to get the door and she came back to tell them that it was Kemi at the door.
“Who is Kemi?” Mr. Atolagbe asked. “Send her away.”
“Daddy please. Let her in, I have issues to sort out with her,” Marvin pleaded.
“Oh, no! I’ll not allow her into this house. You’ll have to go and meet her outside,” said Mrs. Atolagbe.
“Please forgive me and hear me out,” said a frail, thin woman as she made her way steadily into the sitting room and then she went on her knees.
“It’s her!” yelled Tomiwa and Tunmise.
Mrs. Atolagbe looked at her with contempt and called the boys and they all went up to the room.
“Kemi, is that really you? You are still alive,” said Marvin as he moved towards the kneeling woman.
“I’m sorry for all the pain I have caused you.”
“I bet you are. It’s really not necessary,” Mr. Atolagbe said and went out of the sitting room also.
“Do sit down,” Marvin said and took Kemi to sit on a couch while he sat on the coffee table in front of her.
“You don’t have to be nice to me. I don’t deserve it but please I’m so sorry. I am dying and I don’t want to die without saying I’m sorry and that I really do love my kids,” Kemi said and started to cough.
Marvin gave her his handkerchief and he saw particles of blood on the handkerchief as she finished using it. He told her to keep it as she made to hand it back to him.
“I really want you to make a happy life for the boys through the little time they have. I want you to be happy. Find the happiness I never gave you and get married,” Kemi started, “I’ve heard about you and that lady, Alice. If you love her please marry her and make yourself happy by doing so.”
“Why are you saying all these,” Marvin asked.
“I have less than a week to live. I sneaked out of the hospital to see the kids and traced you here. Tell them I love them. I have already started divorce proceedings. You will be free of me in two days at most.”
Kemi got up, walked to the door. Marvin went after her and volunteered to drive her to the hospital and promised to come and visit her again. He had an unsettled mind all the way to his house. He decided to call Sandra and ask how Alice was, as he got into his bedroom to make that call, Sandra called him.
“Alice is in labor now and I’m confused,” said Sandra in the phone. “I think you should know.”
“Calm down. Is that her yelling? Take her to Higherplane Medical centre at 12, Oluseyi street. I’ll meet you there,” Marvin replied and hung up. He called Simisola and told her everything.
“She will be taken to your hospital,” he concluded. Simisola said she would leave immediately. Marvin called Sean and he said he would be in Nigeria as soon as he could.
For that moment, Marvin forgot about Kemi and her problem. He was actually going to be a father. He was going to become a father again. He was happy. He was going to have healthy babies. He grabbed his car keys and ran to his car; he drove all the way to the hospital in an alarming speed.