“Happy Married life!” Jide hugged the groom. “Thanks my man,yours is the next!”
“And talking about mine being the next,I think you’re damn right. And I think I just found my bone here today” Jide informed Charles excitedly,but Charles could only wave him off as unserious… Just like that? He laughed in complete disbelief of him.
“You can’t be serious Jide!”
“But I am. And you had better believe it”
“You?! You won’t ever change: you always…”
“…No,no,but I am damn serious this time. I know I feel right about this person,” He cut in quickly. Charles looked him straight in the eye,a disbelieving smile worn on his face.
“Well,maybe I always joked about stuffs like this. But today,my man,you challenged me…like a mentor. And I aint jokin’ no more. This is it!” He smiled widely,and pointed in the way of Clara who was just walking towards them as they were rounding off.
“Look!” He pointed like a shy little boy.
“That’s she whom I fell in love with” He chipped quickly before she got any closer.
“My wife’s maid of honour? Clara?” Charles didn’t realise he had raised his voice. Covering his mouth,Jide said,
“And I haven’t even told her yet. You must arrange a meeting between us,please!” He begged him with a wink.
Nine years later
Charles and Caroline had been married for nine years. So had Jide and Clara,who married in November in the same year,ten months after. Whilst Jide and Clara seemed to enjoy a fruitful marriage with four kids–two boys,two girls–Charles and Caroline were still struggling to bear their own children.
The following year
The thunder stormed thrice or so with a heavy wind slamming the window pairs against themselves. Caroline dragged herself from bed to close and bolt the windows in place. The breeze that caressed her chest was cold and amorous. She waited a minute longer to savour the passion. She looked behind her to see that her husband too had been awakened by the cold breeze. The breeze had undone her chest buttons. But she left it bare for him to oogle at as she resumed to his side again. Their sexual life had been on a very low ebb. She prayed silently for him to touch her tonight. Charles was always wooden towards her on bed no matter her advances. Nevertheless she thought this night might be another opportunity to attempt engaging him. So she moved her body towards his. She also tried drawing him to herself on bed. He did not oblige to draw close to her. She then drew closer to him,touching him by his right temple to his right chin. He decided at that instance to turn fully away from her,as he changed from lying on his back to lying on his left side,away from her view. Why,does he have to do this all the time? Caro thought to herself. Why can’t he be the man? They have been trying for a baby all these years,would they give up now? Caro became so sad and started sobbing beside him. She wept and wept till Charles couldn’t bear the crying anymore. Then he consoled her and they made love that night.
6 months later
“I said I’m fine!,”Charles barked at her. It was the umpteenth time she had asked what was wrong with him. He had come home that night from work,and went to bed straightaway. He’s been avoiding her lately. And he hardly took his dinner too.
“At least,you should talk to me;I’m your wife,I deserve to know what’s wrong with you. And…or if I have wronged you,please tell me,let me know,and I will apologise!” She implored. Silence,a long silence,that’s all she received in return. So she let him be finally,and went to sleep on the sofa in the living room
Must she always be the only one to make the move? Can’t he realize he is hurting her by always denying her of his attention and affection? She could still remember,as she looked at the Almanac on the wall,that they last met,as man and wife,six months back.
“Oh my God!” She moaned,tears rolling down her pale cheeks. “That’s half a year now.”
“What’s happening to my marriage,Lord?” She lay stiff and downcast with her back on the sofa,and wept all over again.
“What’s happening to my home Jesus?” She asked,her eyes so soaked,as she beheld the portrait of Jesus on the Almanac.
“You said the fruit of the womb is our reward as children of God. O Lord where is my reward? Where?” She queried in sorrow.
“My kid sister Clara married same year as I,she’s with the reward without labouring. I laboured in your vineyard;and I served you Jesus all through my youth to this time,where is the reward of my faithfulness O Lord?” Clara whimpered and lamented.
The following day
Charles stretched and yawned as he woke up. He turned around to look beside him. She was not there. He had thought as much. Where else would she be? It’s either the guest room or parlour. He sat up,elbows on knees,cupping his chins in his palms.
“I can’t continue like this anymore. No!” He said quietly under his breath. He had been staring at the floor all the while. It was looking sparkling clean. He looked around the bedroom too,and everything is beautifully set in its place and properly organised. A beautiful environment devoid of children to scatter things is the least he ever expected of his marriage. What is happening? Is there not a curse? He reasoned. Did he even marry the right person in the first place? That was the position of his parents,that he had married the wrong woman. Maybe they are right,who knows? He mused
But nothing suggested this dreary journey from the time their relationship began on campus. Charles had met Caroline in fellowship Bible Class. Back then,almost every brother in fellowship wished for her for keeps. She however prayed and confirmed that Charles was the right man for her. He too had waited on the Lord before approaching her. How come all this? “How did I miss it?” He queried himself
He came out of the bedroom and walked past the guest room. He retreated on second thought,and tried to eavesdrop should she be there. The silence that greeted him was a confirmation. She was not in the guest room. She can’t be sleeping till now. Then she must be in the parlour,he thought. He was going to check the parlour when some sweet aroma wafted through his nostrils from the kitchen to the sitting room. How she cooked so well,he thought. He felt a strong craving for her food immediately. But he had other stronger feelings to let out before food,so he suppressed his appetite.
“Good morning dear!” Caroline greeted from the kitchen. He didn’t answer her.
“Good morning dear!” She repeated.
“Good morning!” He answered back grudgingly. She reduced the volume on the cooker and came over to the parlour.
“How was your night dear. You must have been over-stressed at work yesterday. Thank God you’d be able to rest well today and tomorrow” She placed a hand on his shoulder. He took away her hand tactfully.
“What’s stressing me is not from outside Caro.”
“Let’s not start again so early this Saturday morning. Please!” She pleaded.
“But we need to talk. We can’t run away from telling each other the truth,can we? And the truth is,I’m tired of this status quo. This home should be a source of joy to me but the moment I step in here,it always brings me waves of sorrow and pain. That is worse than work pressure or stress Caro. You know exactly what I’m talking about!”
She listened. Yes,she knew it. He wanted to have children. And so did she. They’ve tried everything but nothing worked. Meanwhile doctors have always confirmed to them that they were medically fine and fit.
“My love,I know what’s bothering you. But please take it easy on yourself and me. I’m bothered too. We have to keep trying!” She implored.
“I don’t want trials any more Caro.” He yelled. “I’m ready and willing to face reality and reality is,simple and short: our marriage is a failure. I’m not one to accept failure,you know me,don’t you?” He screamed.
Caroline was shocked at his use of words.
“Why are you making everything look so terrible for us. Stop calling our marriage a failure. We will smile very soon.” She implored him holding his hand and trying to calm him down.
“Please don’t tell me that anymore. I’m taking my decision this time. No more preaching. Let’s be practical. I can’t continue like this anymore. I need to move on. I’m stuck! And I hate to be stuck!”
“What are you saying in essence Charles?” She asked him calmly.
“I’m saying,let’s get separated. Simple.”
As he mentioned that word “Separated”,an arrow pierced through her heart and tears streamed down her eyes. She quickly wiped them with the back of her left palm.
“I didn’t hear that,Charles?!”
“But you heard me right!” He replied,looking away from her. He didn’t want to see her tears. He had weakness for them.
“See,there’s no need to use tears as a weapon. It may have worked all these years,but please it won’t work anymore. We have to be practical.” He stated frankly.
“I’m not using anything Charles.” She held back her tears and held him tighter.
“Let’s not give up on our marriage,that’s all I ask of you!” She begged. “It’s always dark before the sunrise! It may be our night now but our morning will surely come. Please!” She begged him even more.
“See,we have to be practical Caro. The point I’m making is,we can’t keep doing the same thing over and again. Marriage,like every contract,needs appraisal. Let us have a time-out to appraise the whole thing. If we get separated for awhile,it will give us a room to re-appraise,re-pray and clear our heads,and find the way forward.” He pressed with a look of sincerity.
“So is this what you want?” She asked softly.
“This is all I want. I’m not divorcing you. I just need time alone with me…and God.”
“Who is leaving then? You or me? She inquired.
“You ofcourse!” He returned quickly.
“And why? You should leave! It’s your idea. Not mine. I’m not tired of being here.” She fired back in annoyance.
“Well you know the scriptures,don’t you? The Bible says “For this cause shall ‘a man’ leave his father and mother…” It didn’t say “For this cause shall ‘a woman’ leave his father and mother…If you look at it very well then,the man,and not the woman,was asked to leave his parents. Hence the Bible,I believe,provides the woman a clause of grace of “not leaving”,that is,”not breaking ties or solace” with her parents,if need be,since it didn’t say “For this cause ‘a woman’ shall leave father and mother.” So take solace with your parents for now. Only the man can’t go back to father and mother for solace. He has left them forever. So I will stay here. You will go back to your parents for now. Take advantage of that clause of grace.” He sermonized her.
“Please stop twisting the Bible to your own favour. There is no such clause.” She corrected immediately.
“The Bible that says a man should “leave” his parents,also demanded of him in the same verse to “cleave” to his wife…not to “leave” his wife or ask the wife to “leave” him for any reason whatsoever,but to “cleave” to her at all cost. That to me is the main thrust or clause in that verse. So stop twisting the Word of God just to suit yourself.” She warned
“Whatever! I have said my own.” He returned in an indifferent air.
A week later
She woke up very early beside her mum. Taking a cursory look at the old woman,she saw a happy,contented and stress-free woman in her own husband’s home. She was always treated like a jewel by her dad. She had thought Charles was a man like her dad,loving,sensitive and caring,but now she knew better. She had packed a few of her things yesterday and had come to be with her parents. The previous week with Charles was terrible for her. She slept and woke in fear and fever each passing day. Last night was her best night in a long weary week.
“Good morning my girl. You’re awake already?” That’s her mum.
“Oh mum,good morning.” She responded.
“But I thought you’re asleep!”
“Asleep? A mother never sleeps…” Her mother answered. She didn’t understand that. For her mum looked well-rested.
“After you went to bed yesterday your dad suggested we see the family doctor.” She informed her daughter.
“But mum,all I need is a week or two of rest and I’ll be fine. I’ve started feeling better already sef just between last night and now.” Caroline explained.
“Well. But your dad says you must see the doctor. It would do you a world of good.” She convinced her.
“Ok mum,I’ve heard you…where is my dad?”
“I don’t know… But I think he would be in the study room by now. He’s predictable,you know.” Her mum stated. She nodded her agreement and made her way to the study. On reaching the doorstep,she tip-toed quietly into the study and covered her daddy’s face from behind with her palms.
He reeled out in deep laughter and said,
“Daughter,you’ve forgotten that I could decipher your footsteps even miles afar?”
“Oh why dad. You don’t forget even my footsteps. What do you forget then?” She teased and gave him a peck.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing!” He replied.
“A father never forgets her child!” Chipped in her mum. Oh,was she there all along?
She looked over her shoulder and there stood her mum at the doorstep watching them.
“Would you allow my husband to round off his study? He’s taking the sunday school class this morning. Let’s go to the kitchen and make breakfast and get ready too for church.”
“Mum,dad,can I pass for church today,please!” She pleaded with her parents,looking from her mum to her dad.
“That’s okay.” Her father agreed. “I understand…anyway,has your mum told you that you are seeing the doctor to look you up later today?” He asked her.
“Mum told me dad. But…”
“Eh my baby!” He shook his head in disagreement. “No ‘But’ please.”
“Health is the first wealth.” Her mother added. “We need to be sure of your soundness of mind and body.”
At Saving Grace Hospital
“We’ve carried out all the tests. Your results are here…” The doctor,a young lady looking her age,began as she perused the papers in her hands. Her stethoscope dangled across her neck. Her eyes popped in her glasses.
“…Yes. I’m listening.”
“This is bad. You won’t be going home. Your BP is very high with all these other results…we will give you a bed!” The doctor pressed a bell to call a nurse.
“Wait! It can’t be that bad because if you ask me,I feel normal.” She countered.
“Please let me see the results?” She requested. The doctor gave her the first report. She read through it. Typhoid and malaria. Then handed her the second result. She read the word “Pylori” in every line.
“What’s Pylori?” Caroline asked the doctor.
“H. Pylori or Helicobacter Pylori is a bacterium that causes chronic inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach. This infection has been linked to gastritis(stomach gas),ulcers and even to stomach cancer.” She explained. The nurse entered and the doctor instructed her on what to do. After she left,the doctor continued.
“And your stomach acid level is too high…look here!” She showed her the percentage on the report.
“Now take a look at your vital signs.” She handed her the third report.
“Your blood pressure is 148/95. It’s a miracle that you’re still here talking. This BP is too high. It’s an emergency case.” The doctor broke the bad news.
“Doctor what you’re saying is that I have hypertension!” She said,sweating profusely.
“Yes. A blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89,for example,is pre-hypertension because it is only denoting a risk of hypertension. But a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered hypertension. And high blood pressure could lead to organ damage,heart attack,stroke,heart failure,or even renal failure.” She concluded.
“Oh my God! Doctor will I make it?”
“You will. We will place you on bed rest and also on drugs that will help you.” She answered. Then finally she handed her the last report. Caroline almost fainted.
“What? I’m not aware of this?”
“So you see why you need a bed to survive this. If you don’t mind,let me show to your suite!”
Three weeks after
“Good afternoon Mr. Charles Olaonipekun.”
“Good afternoon Miss Modupe Ajao!” He took her hand in a firm shake and smiled.
“Please you may have your seat. You’re welcome!” He said,adjusting his tie. She took the seat directly opposite him.
“Yea. Let’s go straight to business.” Charles began. She leaned forward and listened attentively. He searched her eyes in a split of a second,swallowed hard and continued.
“Yes…as the Business Development Manager,I’ve discussed your proposal with the Managing Director. Though we are looking into it positively,I must confess,…but…” He looked her in the eyes again to see if her attention is unbroken. She was listening. Then he furthered,looking at the file content before him.
“…but there are grey areas to clear.” He said,knocking the table thoughtfully with the head of his pen. She shrugged her shoulders just as he caught back her gaze.
“No problem. So when is that? Now or…?”
“…Now? No,it’s not something serious. If you don’t mind,it’s a tea table discussion. We’ve crossed the harder lines in doing business with you.” He assured her. “This grey area can be discussed outside the office setting. Let’s meet for 7pm later today at Top Stars Teas & Snacks.” He concluded.
“It’s okay by me sir…as long as this proposal flies at the end of the day.” She stated in a pleading tone.
“Why,it will.” He re-assured her. She stood up to go. He walked her to the door,opened it for her and they shook hands before she left. He stepped back into his office and closed the door behind him. He rested his back on the door and exhaled heavily.
“At last,I’m meeting Modupe one-on-one!” He clenched his fist and jabbed into the air. Yes,Miss Modupe Ajao! She’s tall,lovely,dark-skinned and beautifully cut in right sizes from head to toe. Where was she all these years? This is the type of woman to have and to hold. She looked so fertile and womanly,so enterprising and business-minded too. He still was lost in his thoughts when a knock on the door jolted him out of his fantasies back to the office.
One month later
Modupe and Charles have been going in and out together lately. Leaving work and heading home directly has become anathema for Charles. He would rather drive down to Top Stars where Modupe would meet him after the close of day at her own office too. The staffers of Top Stars have come to know them like the conspicuous signpost at the Eatery. They would drive in at different times,Charles always being the first to arrive.
Today was different. Modupe arrived first,without her car,and was sipping Coke. Her mood was quite different too. But she was trying to calm herself down as she sipped away the time on her bottle of Coca Cola. Ten minutes later she heard a car honk from the gateway. She knew it had to be Charles. She corked back the remaining liquid content on her drink and readjusted her sitting position.
“Oh baby,I’m sorry for keeping you waiting!”
That was Charles. He gave her a peck and took a seat beside her. She didn’t even look at him but stood up immediately and took the seat opposite him on the table. A cold frown masking her usually smiling face.
“But Darling…what is..” He stuttered
“…What is what? Don’t Darling me o! Because I’m not your Darling!” She thundered at him. A cold shiver ran through him. He was spellbound and flabbergasted.
“What do you want to say Charles? What? You’re married Charles,and you’ve been lying to me!” She broke down in tears.
“Who told you I’m married?”
“Who told me you’re married? Are you not married Charles?” She looked him straight in the eye. “Answer me,Charles!”
“Well…yea… but it’s complicated!” He replied,looking very apologetic.
“So you’ve been lying to me all this while!”
“I never did lie to you at any time,Modupe.” He pleaded and held her two hands.
“Maybe I just didn’t want to talk about it yet. I’m sorry.” He tried to rub her hands apologetically.
“Take your lying hands off me. To ever think I allowed these hands cuddle me at all.” She cursed regrettably aloud,pushing his hands away. His emotions were let down and tears began to cascade his cheeks immediately. She hissed at him intermittently.
“Modupe,whatever I felt for you was,and is,for real. It was true love I felt…for…”
“…Love? For who?” She interjected. “You didn’t feel love for me Charles. You are ma-rri-ed. What do you wanna feel for a single girl like me? What? Just mere raw lust!” She hissed at him again and waved off his tears as the crocodile tears of a caught thief.
“Well,Dupe,I think you’re entitled to judge me only after you hear out my story.” Modupe was not going to buy into his tears. But what is his story? She wondered.
“If you’ve got any to story to tell me,why did you deny me the knowledge of it,and led me on into a wasted emotional journey.” She fired at him. Going down his two knees,he began,” I am very sorry for everything. I wish I could show you my heart.” She pulled him up back to his seat.
“Sit up Charles. Before begging for forgiveness. Let me hear your so-called story. What’s your story? I’m all ears!”
Later That Night
Jide and Clara were just concluding a 3-night intercessory prayer on behalf of Charles and Caroline. They have always been calling and visiting each party since their separation. But that was simply not enough for them,especially when they heard from the grapevine how Charles had derailed into an extra-marital relationship. They did keep the information to themselves,and prayed for his restoration instead of breaking the news to Caroline especially because of her condition. They also prayed for her safety.
Modupe tossed about on end in her bed. She just couldn’t find her sleep. The event of her break-up with Charles nagged her mind so badly. When she had thought she has found the man of her dream it all evaporated like a daydream via an anonymous SMS she received this afternoon on her phone.
“I’m not getting any younger. When will I find a man of my own. I’ve got my business. I’ve got connections and money,but no man. Gosh!!” She moaned under her bed cover.
She also reasoned that Charles was a good man anyway but that he needed to believe again and re-unite with his wife. Her mind is made up to move on without him.
Charles knelt down beside his bed and prayed for the first time in a long time. He had Don Moen’s song playing at the background. The lyrics simmered into his spirit line after line:
Lord you seemed so faraway
A million miles or more it seemed today
And though I haven’t lost my faith…
When he reached that line,he couldn’t sing it. He had actually lost his faith. He prayed for forgiveness and restoration on his bended knees. Then the next lines came:
…I must confess right now
That it’s hard for me to pray
And I don’t know what to say
And I don’t know where to start
But as you give the grace
With all that’s in my heart
I will sing…
Instead of singing on at this point,he wept. He realized how far he had drifted from his faith in God. And quickly,the scripture that says, “If you faint in the days of adversity,your strength is small” came to his mind. He prayed to God to re-install his spiritual strength. Meanwhile Don Moen sang on:
I will praise…
Even in my darkest hour
Through the sorrows and the pain
I will sing I will praise
Lift my hands to honour You
Because Your Word is true
I will sing
Then he joined in the second stanza of the song,his best part of the song: he sang along
Lord it’s hard for me to see
All the thoughts and plans
You have for me…
But I will put my trust in You
Knowing that You died to set me free
And I don’t know what to say
And I don’t know where to start
But as You give the grace
With all that’s in my heart
I will sing…
Jide and Clara prayed till they received a confirmation in their hearts that the Lord has answered their prayer that night. It was like a kick in their thought. Caroline too received a kick. Same night,Charles could say that he kicked the devil out of his life.
The following week
“Charly,it’s a pity you behaved the way you did. You really did hurt your wife,” said Mr Akin-Williams,Caroline’s father,as he returned to the sitting room. Charles looked down in shame and remorse.
“This is the third time that I’ve gone inside to beg your wife to come out to the parlour to meet with you. Well,as you can see,it appears like she’s not yet willing to talk with you…” He said,throwing up his hands and then sat down beside him. Charles was motionless on the cushion chair with a very sorry face. He shook his head repeatedly in self-blame. Why did I do this to myself? He breathed heavily and exhaled loudly.
“Not to worry,Charles. She’ll come around. I guess you have to be on your way home now before it’s too late,” suggested Mr. Akin-williams. He nodded in agreement,tears trickling down his bony cheeks.
“Pull yourself together!”
He nodded again and prostrated to bid him farewell.
“Stand up Charly. He who accepts his faults is never kept on his knees forever. We will talk to your wife. She should give you a call as soon as possible. Or possibly join you at home soon. All’s well that’s ends well.” He admonised him. He stood up,stretched his neck and looked down the passage to one of the rooms where his wife is said to have locked herself in. Caroline had the door to the room locked in on her and her mum. Eight hours had passed since the time he arrived his in-laws house. He stood up and made to go.
The following day
Jide and Clara Martins came over to the Akin-Williams’ to further intervene in the Caroline-Charles matter. Charles had called the couple the previous night to help him. Thirty minutes after they arrived,Caroline and Clara were left alone by all as they had a sister-to-sister chat for close to an hour. Much later,they appeared to be on a lighter mood as they reeled into laughters and giggles from time to time. Whatever it was that they were discussing,no member of the family could decipher it but every one then heaved a sigh of relief. It was Jide that first muttered “Praise God” and mummy and daddy replied with “Halleluia”. Meanwhile Caroline and Clara continued with their happy-go-merry talk.
“Wait,you mean Charles and you didn’t know you were pg?”
“Honestly. Until Dr. Sophia of Saving Grace Hospital showed me the result. And I almost fainted that day…for shock…cos I didn’t know myself…at all,at all” She slapped a palm against the other,and vice versa,to emphasize her utter surprise.
“Isn’t it amazing that all the times Charles and I were so worried about getting pg,I was already six months pg…and we didn’t know! Isn’t it amazing,Clara?!” Caroline asked,giggling.
“It’s more than amazing. There was a time or two when I viewed a programme on TV titled ‘I didn’t know I was pregnant’. Then I used to think it was impossible for one to be pregnant and not know….but since it happened to you,my sis…I believe it now,” explained Clara. Caroline laughed. And Clara too. They couldn’t contain their joy.
“Clara,are you saying that none of you in the family noticed on my behalf too,until I was at the hospital. So funny! Especially you…you who can decipher a pregnant snail.” Caroline laughed at her.
“Well,shall we say my psychic Octopus failed this time,and must thus be roasted for…. barbeceu!” Clara returned in jocular sense.
They reeled into laughed once again.
Changing the topic slightly now,Clara asked,
“Have you called your husband? Have you discussed….”
“…Discussed? No! We’ve not discussed.” Caroline answered. “But I’m no longer angry with him.” She quickly re-assured her sister.
“What I want is to make it a big surprise for him. My problem is,I don’t know how to package the surprise!” She confessed to her kid sister.
“Oh,you want it a secret still?….wrapped up…let’s say…until dd?”
Clara asked Caroline. She nodded.
“Mum and Dad told me they never did for once reveal to my husband that I’m pg. I hope you and your husband haven’t unwrapped my surprise gift already to Charles?” She asked with a chuckle.
“Nah,nah,nah!” Clara replied,waving her index finger for an emphasis. “Not at any time…But please,call your husband. It’s not been easy for him. I think pg or no,the guy wants you back. And he wants you back for good. He’s changed…” implored Clara.
Four weeks later
“Hello,Charly boy. Your wife,your beautiful wife,my daughter,wants to see you.” The line was fluctuating but he recognised the voice.
“Daddy,oh thank you!” He smiled.
“But can I speak with her atleast?” He asked in a tone showing unleashed excitement.
“I’m sorry,you can’t!”
“I can’t? Why?” His excitement metamorphosed into a rude shock.
“Hospita….lised? I’m confused….. What’s happening Daddy? What has happened to my wife?” The Nokia handset fell off from his hand and splintered on the floor. He gathered them hurriedly. He looked at the wall clock. The time was a quarter to four in the morning. Though the day had not fully dawned,he rushed out to the garrage and drove out in a hurry to her in-laws house.
At Saving Grace Hospital
Charles arrived the hospital with Mr. Akin-Williams at about six in the morning. His shock was worsened when he met Caro’s mum,her sister and Jide,all waiting at the reception. His heart skipped beats on end.
“What’s going on here?” He asked everybody. “What’s happening?” Sweat gathered on his forehead profusely.
“Relax Charly. It is well,” placated Caro’s dad.
Charles was ushered into one of the wards by a nurse with the tag-name of Ngozi Nwuzor. Clara,her mother,her father and Jide,all followed behind. His wife was all smiles as she threw her arms around him.
“Congratulations dear. We have a baby boy!” She announced. He didn’t think he heard right. He held her back,and looking her in the face with puzzled roving eyes,asked,”How? When? Am I ok? Are you ok?” He felt drained by all the suspense going on.
“Here is your baby!” Nurse Ngozi presented the baby boy to Charles Olaonipekun.
“My baby? I need explanations please?”
“Carry your son first of all,” replied Mrs. Akin-Williams,” because if you look at him closely,you’ll get the explanations from your resemblance.” He took the child in his hands and excused himself into a corner with Jide Martins his bosom long-time friend. Jide explained everything to him from the beginning to the end…as the others looked on and laughed intermittently.
“So you see…Charles my Pally,you didn’t send only your wife packing o. You sent your wife and your son packing together.” Jide informed with a wide grin on his face.
Charles took a cursory look at the baby in his hands. His pointed nose,the birth-mole on his right temple,and his earlobe are all a replica of his own. Oh this is my son! He thought as he smiled at the baby.
“I’m so sorry son,forgive me!” He apologised. “Forgive me my darling wife!” He moved over to her side on the bed. She patted him at the back and said,” You’ve been forgiven tay-tay my love.” He looked around and begged the whole family.
“I’m sorry Dad,Mum,Clara and Jide for all my mistakes. Please,I apologize!”
“Apology accepted!” Chorused everyone.
“Can we change the topic?” Demanded Caroline. Just then,nurse Ngozi re-entered the ward to ask everyone to excuse the mother and child for some minutes. She closed the window blinds as the baby was beginning to squint at the incoming rays of the rising sun. As they stepped out,some nurses passed them by,and Charles overheard them gist. The first nurse started,”Wow,that should be the father to that baby in Ward 2! See the long nose and long pinna.” Charles rather felt commended and smiled in a self-congratulatory manner. He stepped outside the building. Jide followed him but kept a distance. Charles lifted his hands up in the sky and adored the Lord his God. With tears of joy in his eyes,he said,”Oh thank you Jesus. From the rising of the Sun to the going down of the same…You remain true. Your faithfulness is forever. Even when we are unfaithful: you remain faithful. Thank you for the sunshine you’ve brought into my world today. Thank you!”