Yetunde tried to hold his hands but watched as he abruptly made that impossible.
He was standing by the door, refusing her entrance into the house.
“Timilehin…” She called but there was no response.
He blankly stared at her, refusing to speak to her.
“So we are never going to be friends abi?”
“We were never friends to begin with… I wanted more, you refused to give me, you never respected me, you didn’t…”
“Timilehin you have to let go of the past and forgive.”
“Yes, you are right. Eventually I will but for now, no. I just need to heal and be alone for a while.” His voice was strained, like someone in intense pain.
She rubbed his face gently, like a mother would her little son. “What’s wrong.”
“Your sister broke my heart. I fell in love with her and she broke my heart. That’s what happened.” He looked like he would break down in tears and that caused her to swell inside.
A man she wanted fell for her sister.
The less pretty sister, the one that looked like a mad woman and the one who annoyed the hell out of her.
“I can help you heal” She heard the desperacy in her words and she knew he did not miss it either because he frowned and made to step back into the house.
“Timilehin, there was us before you got all confused by my sister, we can make that happen again.”
“No.” He said simply. “There was never us. And you’re probably here because your rent is almost due or something but there was never us and you know that.”
His words stung her and caused her to wince, “Stop it. That’s disrespectful.” she said in a low voice, barely loud for even her to hear.
“I’m sorry.” He apologized.
“Let’s talk later, okay?” He said to her and shut the door before she could respond.
Yetunde stood there, dazed for several minutes and eventually, walked towards the gate.
Deacon Okpokoro clutched his bible to his chest, uttered a silent prayer and asked God to guide him through the next few minutes in the Hospital ward.
The silence in the room was so thick, a knife could slice through it.
Ademola Rogers held a tray of what was cold lunch in his hands, his lifeless eyes darting back and forth.
“I want a divorce from her.” He mumbled the words, hoping the Deacon would tell him it was fine and at the same time, unsure of what to do.
He looked up from the plate of akara and pap in his hands and faced the Deacon who was gaping at him in shock, then he added this time with more certainty. “I want a divorce.”
“Pastor, Sir, I don’t think…”
“I loved her with the whole of my life and this is what I get in return? I want a divorce” Again, the certainty was more.
He realized that the more he said the words, the more he wanted to be separated from his wife forever.
“She hurt me.”
He was fighting back the urge to scream the words, “She has always never cared, never showed respect but I loved her all the same. Yet, she hurt me. She cut me deep like a knife and did not flinch.”
He carried the tray on his laps and dropped it on the bed.
Deacon Okpokoro knew the man he looked at now was not the one he used to know.
That sweet, amazing and gentle man was gone.
He was now replaced with this hurt, vengeful individual that sat across him.
His wife had done that to him and as much as the Deacon wanted to calm him down, as much as he wanted to tell him not to get a divorce, he knew only the man could make a decision like that himself.
He was terribly hurt and he needed to heal his pain.
“What do you need me to help you with?” Deacon Okpokoro asked, knowing that the Holy Spirit would do whatever was best and Ademola Rogers would eventually make the best decision for him.
Ademola Rogers would have smiled if he remembered how to, so he nodded in appreciation to Deacon’s consent.
“I just need you to be there for me while I go through this period.” he said and the look on the Deacon’s face assured him of that.
Tamilore’s meeting with her agent had been quite brief and exciting.
She could start ordering for her vintage and retro pieces as soon as possible and her business could finally take off.
Aunty ‘Molola had given her contacts of big blogs and a few media houses that would help with publicity.
She grabbed her purse and walked out of the agent’s office, her next stop being the big fashion house where she would learn designing.
Her phone rang and she hoped it was Jide.
She had been calling him for two days, sending messages he did not respond to and wondering why he had suddenly chosen to ignore her.
She saw the caller ID and saw that it was him.
Visibly relieved, she picked the phone, “Hello.”
She listened in dismay as the news of Jide’s accident was delivered to her.
Grace had been sitting in the same spot for two days.
It was on the floor in her room.
She had exhausted tears, her strength and now, her voice.
Chris had tried to reach her after her husband found out that their son wasn’t his and she had ignored his calls.
Now, he stood before her in her bedroom.
When he called her and she did not answer, he crouched before her, raised her chin and watched her swollen eyes.
“You cannot continue to cry.” he said gently, “you need to get out of this”.
She did not respond so he removed the dress she had been wearing for days, stripped her of her underwear and carried her into the bathroom where he filled the tub and gently placed her in it.
He watched as she sank into the water, refusing to want to live, wanting to submerge in the water and drown.
“I am not going to help you, Grace. You have to tell yourself you want to live. I placed you in that water to bathe not to drown but if drowning is what you want, then I won’t save you.” He said calmly to her even though she was now submerged totally under water.
He was as hurt as Ademola Rogers.
That was one thing nobody knew.
They thought he knew the kid was his but he never knew, not until the night Agnes had shocked them all.
Years before, he had fallen hopelessly in love with Grace.
But she had been troubled, unable to commit and she seemed to be going through a lot of emotional issues.
He had let her go, hurt and disappointed and telling himself that nobody could cope with a woman emotionally stoic like her but he had been wrong, she had gotten married to Ademola Rogers who seemed to worship the ground she walked on.
He had been jealous but he had let her go.
Then one day, they had met again at a party organized by a former General in the Army.
He remembered that night now, because it had been magical, it had brought him face to face with the woman he loved and because unknowingly to him, it had been the night his only child was conceived.
He had been sitting on a table surrounded by his friends in the police force when she sashayed into the room, looking like a sea goddess, her figure accentuated by the body hugging glittering dress that she wore.
She had been alone and he had been unable to look away.
All of a sudden, the jokes that were being cracked on the table were not funny anymore, the sound of laughter around him had somehow become a distant mumur.
The only one who mattered was the woman who stood a few spaces from him, looking like the Yoruba goddess, Oya.
He finally walked up to her when she was talking to the General’s wife and pulled her away from them.
They talked, they laughed, they eventually got tipsy on alcohol and eventually, ended up in the backseat of his then rickety volkswagen beetle.
“I never stopped loving you.”
He had muttered under the influence of the numerous Gulder bottles he had downed earlier that night.
“I know” She told him, smiling and inching closer until there was no space between them anymore.
His eyes fell on the gold ring on her finger and he knew he should stop then but he couldn’t, she was supposed to be his and he would never stop wanting her not even when she was someone else’s wife.
So he kissed her deeply and hungrily, like his life depended on it and she kissed him back.
Then without thinking of the consequences, he made passionate love to her, losing himself into her and pouring his seed into her.
They had been spent after, and they had laid in each other’s arms till it was almost morning.
Then she had left.
And he had not seen her until five years later.
She was a mom to a beautiful little boy then and from the very first time he saw the boy, he had loved him like he was his – except the boy was his and he did not even know.
All the years he had missed while his son grew up with another man caused him to hurt inside.
Grace had hurt him, had hurt Ademola and had hurt Jide.
She had kept the secret hidden from all of them.
When Agnes had announced to the room that night, he had known that he was the father. He just knew.
That was the only explanation for the strong bond that he’d always felt and the unexplainable swell of pride whenever the boy did something good.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He asked her.
She was still in the water, now she was struggling to come out for air but she seemed too weak.
“Grace you are a terrible woman. I never thought a day would come that I would tell you this but you are a very terrible person.”
Then he marched towards her, pulled her out of the tub and draped her bathrobe over her, leaving her to wear it herself.
Grace walked into the bedroom when she had covered herself and found him at the door, his arms folded, his eyes, cold.
“You can blame me all you want but I don’t regret keeping it away from you.” She said to him, her voice was shaking.
“So you are not even sorry.” He said with irritation.
“I am. I am really sorry in fact. But what were you expecting? That I should start looking for you all over the place when I found out I was pregnant with your child?”
Her hand gripped the bed and she laid gently on it. “I wanted the pregnancy so bad with Demola because he is the only man who ever truly loved me and who I knew could never had a child.”
Chris was not sure what he was hearing.
“Oh, he cannot father a baby but he was going to be the best father to that child. And he is, i have not been wrong a day after then.”
Chris was pained, She had chosen another man to father his child because she thought he was not capable to be a good father.
“We would see if he would still be that man after what you did.”
She smiled weakly, even smiling seemed an effort to her now.
“Oh he would. He might never forgive me, but he would never stop being the best father to that boy.”
Chris opened the door, he was leaving.
He turned to look at her, “Yes?”
“I am sorry, I really am.”
He eyed her, stepped out and shut the door behind him.
Grace tried to cry but there were no tears, just a sob which escaped from her throat and then, that was it.
Tamilore had been sitting by the hospital bed for hours, his hands in hers. He did not look like himself, with all that bandage on his head and his face looking swollen like that.
She feared he might not make it and so she did the only thing that seemed the only option at the moment, she said a little prayer.
“Oh God, I have not taken time to know you. I have never even bothered because I have been busy refusing to know you… but this man… this man here loves you and you love him too because if you can love me then you would love him.”
She looked at him, hoping that he would have opened his eyes but he hadn’t. “Please don’t let him die.” she said in a whisper.
“Because I love him, I love him, I love him so much. I have never stopped loving him.”
She washed his hands with her tears while her lips kissed them.
Alero took a seat opposite the young man in front of her.
She flashed him a seductive smile and positioned herself on the chair before him.
She had planned this meeting well.
The man who was her mother’s account officer, had always had lustful looks in his eyes for her.
She had never missed it but she had never been interested.
But now, now she was.
She was taking her mother down, walking away with every single penny the woman had ever worked for and she was disappearing somewhere very far away.
She unbuttoned the white shirt that was already revealing a beautiful set of boobs and asked, “Do you like doggie? I was hoping since I am wearing a very short skirt and no panties, we could you know, try that?”
He nodded like a little boy.
She winked, approached him, all the while unbuttoning her shirt.
By the time she reached him, she had pulled off her shirt.
-Tomilola Coco Adeyemo