Twenty-four year old Amaka Okafor, stood in the tiny bathroom, slash toilet of her one roomed apartment and stared at her reflection in the mirror. Anxious, coffee brown, almond shaped eyes stared back at her. In her left hand, she gripped a used pregnancy test strip. Her hand trembled slightly as she raised it to look at the result one more time. A pale pink + sign had appeared on the right side of the control region.
“Dear God I’m Pregnant!” she whispered in disbelief. Although she and Seun had been in a relationship for the past eight months, they’d both been very careful. She’d even started tracking her circle meticulously, known when she was ovulating and thus, when to turn down Seun’s more amorous advances. Still in shock, she flung the plastic strip into a tiny wastepaper basket under the sink where two other test strips lay, washed her hands and hurriedly went into the bedroom to get dressed.
She applied her make-up carefully, then walked to the portable, hand crafted closet and perused her options. She finally selected a light brown, fitted, knee length skirt and matching blazer that accentuated her shapely figure. She needed to talk to Seun urgently and she had to look good while doing that. Her work at the NewTrend boutique she owned and managed would have to wait. She left the apartment with purposeful strides, her black pumps leaving angry dents in the ground as she hurried to hail a passing cab.
At the Daily Cross Hospital, where Seun was a Dr, It was hopelessly crowded and she was forced to wait in the outpatient unit. An elderly woman, wearing a bandage round her left fore-arm stared unwaveringly at her making her uncomfortable. “She knows.” Amaka thought to herself, “She knows I’m Pregnant and unmarried.” Finally, when the number of patients had dwindled significantly, she went into his office and quietly shut the door. His tall, lean frame was hunched over the desk, as he busily scribbled in a file. “Sit down please” he muttered, distractedly and she used the moment to observe him. At thirty three, he could easily afford to shave ten years off his age. His dark, curly hair needed trimming again, it grew so fast. His long, thick lashes shielded shrewd, intelligent eyes. His fair skin coupled with the delicate features of his face, gave him a false air of frailty.
He looked up suddenly, caught her staring at him and his face broke into a wide, welcoming grin.
“Babe, you didn’t tell me you were coming.” He said and standing up, he walked over to where she stood by the door, took her hands in his and kissed her softly, slowly on the lips. Despite her best intentions, desire surged through her like an electric charge and a slow moan escaped her throat.
“Gosh Seun we need to talk!” she gasped, ending the kiss.
“So? Talk” he ordered, with a mischievous grin lightening up his handsome features.
“I can’t, you’re distracting me” she whined, pouting her full lips at him.
“You call that distracting?” he muttered and bent his head to kiss the spot at the base of her long neck.
She moaned again and pushed him gently away. Walking to the desk, she braced her arms against it and turned her back to him.
“Seun, I’m pregnant” she said.
For what seemed like an eternity, but was in reality barely five seconds, the room was silent. Then, she felt his arms wrap themselves around her and his breath fan her cheek as he placed a chaste kiss beneath her ear lobe.
She shuddered in relief, turned around and buried her face against his shoulder.
“I’m so sorry Seun. It wasn’t intentional I swear.” She was crying softly now.
“How far along are you?” He asked her, gently.
“About a month.” She replied.
“It’s ok Amaka.” He said, holding her tightly. “I’m not upset. I love you very much, and I know you love me too. So, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
She stared up at him in confusion. Of all the possible responses she’d mentally gone through on her way to see him, this was the most unexpected.
“A..a.are you sure this is what you want?” she stuttered.
“Yes, very much.” He replied.
“And it’s not just because I got pregnant?” in answer to that, he walked back to his desk and picked up the jacket he’d draped across the swivel chair. From the pocket, he produced a small, black, velvet box and flipped it open. Inside sat a modest, two carat diamond ring.
“I was going to propose tonight, but why wait?”
Amaka squealed in delight as she leaped into his arms and held on to him tightly. She buried her face in his chest, breathing in the scent of him. She felt relieved and was so overwhelmed with how much she loved him, that she failed to hear the door open.
The sound of a woman clearing her throat startled them both.
“Am I interrupting something?” she asked, in a cool, well modulated voice. She was a little taller than Amaka, slender too but not in a bad way. She had curves in all the right places and her face too was exquisite. Her natural hair was held up in a tight bun, she wore a white, sleeveless, form fitting dress that stopped at mid-thigh and her flawless, endless legs tapered off into cream colored, five inched heels.
“Tomi!” he exclaimed, letting his arms drop hastily away from Amaka’s well rounded hips.
“When did you get back in the country?”
“Four days ago” she replied with an air of superiority “when you didn’t return my calls, I decided to come check on you.”
“Amaka excuse us for a minute, I’ll stop by your place later yeah?” Seun whispered in her ear, as he gently nudged her towards the direction of the door. She left, too keyed up to remember to pick up her purse which she’d left lying on his desk.
While she closed the door on her way out, Amaka heard Tomi ask Seun who she was.
“No one, just a friend.” She heard him reply, as the door slammed shut behind her.
Seun stared at Tomi in bemusement. They’d both grown up together, both been the only children of their respective parents and had been neighbors. But being much older, he hadn’t really paid any attention to her. It wasn’t until his fourth year at medical school, that he’d first noticed her as a woman and an attractive one at that. She’d gained admission into the same University as he and had chosen medicine as her major. He was three years ahead of her and so they didn’t have any classes together. But then they’d had a fling, it had lasted less than a month and when he’d tried to break things off with her, she’d gone berserk. She’d even gone as far as to attack a girl he’d been seriously dating then. Phyllis was her name. She’d been half Cameroonian, half Nigerian and pretty but mostly sweet. Tomi had walked in on them at a restaurant one night and after taking one look at Phyllis, had marched right up to their table, grabbed the fork he’d been eating with and stabbed her in the neck. It was a miracle she’d managed to miss the carotid artery being a medical student and all, or Phyllis would have bled to death. After that, Phyllis would have nothing more to do with him and who could blame her?
After that incident, she’d dropped out of the University and the last he’d heard from her mother was that she’d won a scholarship to go study abroad. He hadn’t made any enquires regarding her since then. So, it was no surprise that he wasn’t eager to introduce Amaka as the woman he was going to marry, or as the mother of his unborn child.
“How did you know where I worked?” he asked, cautiously.
“Oh, I went by the family house and I met your mother.” She walked slowly, sensually around the office pausing to examine one chart or the other.
Seun could not deny that the years had been good to her. She looked even more stunning than before but underneath all that beauty, was something cold and calculating. Something he couldn’t quite place a finger on and it unnerved him. Suddenly, she stopped her keen perusal of his office and turned to stare at him.
“You look even better than I remember Seun Williams.” She said, with a hint of admiration in her voice. He smiled briefly and answered “So do you Tomi.”
Her face lit up like a Christmas tree at his compliment. She walked up to him and placed her arms on his shoulders.
“You know, I’d almost forgotten how good things were between us” she whispered huskily, as she leaned forward and placed her glossy lips on his. Seun felt revulsion and anger surge through him at her caress and placed his hands firmly on her waist in an attempt to shove her away. Mistaking his touch for encouragement, she leaned in closer and pressed tightly against him. At that precise moment, the door barged open revealing Amaka, who had come back for her purse. For a moment, her eyes widened in surprise and disbelief then she turned around and fled.