Max drove in silence, he’s gaze darted between Jane and the road. She stared out the window, she shivered at intervals. He didn’t know if to offer her any piece of clothing or take her home. Her shivers became constant, the evening had chilly wind. He rolled up the window. Within a few minutes, her shivers deteriorated.
He stopped the car in front of a pharmacy, Jane looked at him for the first time since they drove off from Clara’s. She had a contorted facial expression, he chuckled. She looked silly but thankful he brought her to a pharmacy. ‘Apparently my shivers prompted him to. How will I tell Max I want to ascertain if I’m pregnant? It seem to be the norm for me to conceive after Mofe rapes me then looses it when he thwacks me’ Jane thought within herself.
“What do you need? I will it for you. You’re weak and should be resting” Jane fumbled with her hands. She took a deep breath then spoke.
“I will go get it.” She said calmly.
He brought out few currency notes and gave her. She took them and left.
She returned shortly, they sat in silence. Jane hugged herself rocking back and forth, that was his cue to start the ignition. She was asleep when he got to his house. He carried her to his room. He should have taken her to her parents or Clara’s but it seem right having her within his reach again.
“Where is she?”
“I told you, I don’t know” Mofe intoned.
Mofe’s mom paced the living room worried. Her son would tie the knot in a few days and he’s oblivious of her state after he thwacked his fiancee. Her parents might not consent to marriage and he won’t have a penny. His marriage is our wealth, he should have tolerated her a little more.
“She probably speed dialed Tega as usual” his voice captured her attention.
“You smacked her before she could explain and you trashed her handbag along with the house. You left her unconscious, how could she have called for help?” His mother snapped.
“She’s fine mom. I don’t know why you’re worried, it’s not like you adore her” he retorted.
“You couldn’t have tolerated her for couple more days Mofe. How do you explain your actions to her family? Without Jane you’re penniless”
“All I need is Jane’s signature on the marriage certificate”
“You can’t get it from an unconscious woman!” His mother blurted out.
“She will be fine.”
“She loves you but she’s not dumb. You having been hurting her because she’s perfect, she’s everything you’re not and to have tranquility you thwack her”
“Jane is enough to deal with, now you too? Mom she’s not perfect, no one is”
“Some day, she will discover the obvious truth of life without you, what happens then?”
“She worships the ground I walk on, she left her family for me, she loves me more than her life. She can’t live without me” he said with a grin plastered on his face.
“She loves you more than her life but that life is fast fading away because of you!”
“Because of me? That’s rich coming from you. Do you know why I thwack her? She knows you stole from her. Her monthly payment to your account isn’t enough, you just had to steal her jewelry sets, shoes and bags. She slandered you, her outrage was directed at both of us. She embarrassed me on live interview, she made it seem she wasn’t happy so what I snapped and thwacked her? It’s nothing new”
“You exceeded your limits, don’t blame me Eyimofe” his mother said walking into the house.
“At some point you’ll have to speak” Max said standing besides her.
“I’m sorry” Jane told him still staring at the tranquil view ahead at her parent’s.
“Apologize to your family not me” Max opined.
“I’m not upset, don’t assume anything.” Jane feigned at the statement. He continued “nothing happened the night I brought you home, you can stop feigning ignorance of my presence. You can’t ignore me all your life”
“But I can apologize everyday till you forgive me” she said looking into his eyes.
“Forgive you?” He chuckled. “I forgave you long ago. Will you forgive yourself?”
Jane left in search of Tega. She haven’t seen her since she left Clara’s house, she was rarely seen home. She spent most of her time at their parents. Jane chose to end the hide and seek games by coming to her parent’s.
She found Tega with their mother, she apologized. It may not atone any wrong but that was the only option she had in a bid to reconcile with her family. She also apologized to her father and Clara who had just arrived with an urgent need for Tega to be in the company.
Clara didn’t accept her apologize. She insisted she leave Mofe before apologizing. She wasn’t surprised, it’s been their wish for a long time. Jane met Clara outside just in time as she was about leaving.
“Will you come with me?” Clara arched a brow.
“Do you want to reconcile with Max?”
“Do you really have to be typical Clara right now?” She shrug her shoulders.
“You don’t have to return to him”
“That’s why I need you to come with me. I did the pregnant pee stick thing, and it was positive. I might be pregnant again and my health is deteriorating but I want to keep it. I won’t make the conscious decision to abort my child, I don’t want to be a murderer like Mofe. He murdered five of my kids. I might not make it but at least, I made the decision to keep my child with the odds stacked against me”
Tears flowed freely on Jane’s face. She had kept it all in but she’s exhausted. She can’t keep up the charade, it’s tiring. She just wants to be happy, not live in fear of Mofe. He only want her wealth, despite loving him he’s aim didn’t change.
Clara enveloped her in a bear’s hug.
“Where’s Mofe?” Jane asked curtsy sitting besides Mofe’s mother in her home.
“He went to the office, he doesn’t want you to lack anything after tying the knot” Mofe’s mother answered managing a weak smile. The effects of her son’s action was glaring on her but she’s alive, nothing else matters.
“He went to his mistress. You don’t have to lie about it but you’re his mother, it’s your obligation” Jane said calmly.
“Don’t believe in baseless accusations, it destroys one’s marriage”
“Did you steal from me?”
“Why would I steal from my daughter in law?” Jane laughed hysterically.
“Quit lying, I know it’s you stole who from me but I won’t niggle words with you. I came to grant your son his wish. He want my wealth hence the marriage.” She paused, she hurled a paper on the table. “Here’s a marriage certificate with my signature and my ring he ordered me to buy so he could show off” with that she walked out of the house.
The road was deserted and the chirping of insects flirting under the bright street light was the only sound echoing at the ungodly hour. She had no direction but she just wanted to get away. She walked a little more and saw Max at a distance, sitting on the sidewalk. She took a deep breath and moved towards him.
“I’m sorry Max. Apologizing won’t rectify anything even though I want it to.”
“You planned on leaving without telling me, don’t I deserve a goodbye?” He smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes. Clara obviously spilled the bean.
“I couldn’t mutter the courage to bid anyone farewell”
“You don’t have to because you will return. You’ll be back for your family and I will wait for you”
“You don’t have to wait for me because I love you Max. I have always loved you but was too scared to admit it. Love isn’t selfish, it’s selfless. I love you that’s why I can’t be selfish with you. Your love kept going through difficult situation” She took a breath suppressing the sobs threatening to erupt. “You stayed with my family when I left, you did a better job. My deteriorating health is God’s punishment because I left you”
“Clara told me you signed a marriage certificate, she’s scared you will act on your incoherent thoughts. She wants me to stop you. You can’t give Mofe your wealth” She managed a weak smile.
“Tega won’t let an intruder get my inheritances and I know you assisted her with it.” They were quiet for a while, Jane took that as a clue to continue her walk to the unknown. She was about leaving when Max spoke.
“Your family will wait for you, so will I”
Jane glanced at him one last time then walked on, Max stared at her encroaching into the unknown in the heart of the night.