I opened my eyes to see a nurse smiling down at me. I felt weak and could feel Sandra holding my hand.
“You were great but I won. You had a set of boys,” Sandra said smiling down at me.
“Are they alright? Can I see them? Do they look like their father?” I asked Sandra and the nurse immediately went off to bring them.
They gave me one of the babies and he opened his eyes, looked inquiringly at me and smiled. I handed him to Sandra and took the other one. He felt so tiny and looked so much like Marvin and this brought tears to my eyes.
“Don’t do that. What are we going to call them?” Sandra asked.
“Ayomide and Ayomikun,” I said.
“What does that mean,” Sandra asked.
“Ayomide means my joy has come and Ayomikun means my joy is filled,” I replied with a smile.
“Lovely names, I agree,” Sandra said.
“The doctor said you’ll be discharged tomorrow or the day after,” the nurse said and went out.
“Thank you,” I said to her retreating back. Sandra told me that Bimbo was there earlier on, she was in town for something and came over when she heard. She said Aunt Betty helped to bring me to the hospital. Sandra took the other baby and laid him with his twin in the cot.
“I can see the new mum has finally woken up,” someone said. Sandra said it was the doctor.
I smiled and got up but froze when I saw the face. It was Marvin’s wife.
“What’s going on here Sandra?” I queried.
“Relax Alice. This is Doctor Simisola, Marvin’s family doctor and the therapist for his children,” Sandra explained.
“What’s that suppose to mean?” I asked.
“As she said, I’m Marvin’s friend. I am not the person you think I am. You would have known if you hadn’t been in a haste to hate us so much,” Simisola replied.
“What has that got to do with me? I had a clinic I am registered to. Why am I?” I said and looked at Sandra.
“Congratulations!” Timmy said as she burst into the room.
“My God! What is this?” I queried Sandra who just shook her head and told me to take it easy.
“Alice, don’t see me as your enemy. This is not Marvin’s wife. She is just his friend. She is the one taking care of Tomiwa and Tunmise.
They have HIV,” Timmy explained.
“They have what?! Oh, no!! My poor babies,” I cried out.
“No, it’s not like that. Marvin does not have the virus. It’s somehow complicated but it was just his ex-wife that had the virus and she passed it to the kids at birth,” Simisola explained further.
I looked at Sandra, at Timmy and then the doctor and shook my head.
“It’s going to be okay. Marvin loves you. His past was the only hindrance and he was scared of you stigmatizing his children,” Simisola concluded. “They are not even his,”
“He should have told me. I would have believed him. Why didn’t he tell me anything?” I asked no one in particular.
“You never gave me the chance to explain,” Marvin said as he walked into the room.
“You could have tried harder,” I queried.
“I know my love. But I was scared,” Marvin said, “For you and my kids.”
I looked at him and looked away. He went on his knees and begged me to accept him and his children. He promised to take care of me and my babies. He told me that he discussed it with Sean the day he called but asked Sean not to tell me until the time was right.
“I love you. I’ve always been with you. Followed you almost everywhere,” Marvin said.
“That’s not polite. It’s called stalking,” I replied. “Have you seen our babies?”
“Yes, I’ve seen them. Please, promise me you’ll marry me. You’ll take care of Tomiwa and Tunmise as your children and don’t let them know that they are not mine.”
“They are your children. They are mine too,” I replied and smiled, and we made to kiss but one of the babies started to cry and we all burst into laughter.
“That one is a jealous baby,” Marvin said and smiled. The nurse brought him for me to breastfeed. I was happy again. Life was going to be brighter for me after all. Maybe my fate was not all that horrible. I looked at all the faces in the room. They all were there for me; I was the luckiest person on earth.