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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Two Brides And A Ring (6)




  ***


"What?"  Ebuka said. "Is this a joke or what?

Ama felt suddenly dizzy and she sat down on her bed, the hand holding the phone to her ear shaking slightly. What did he mean by
that? Why would she joke with something life changing as this, she thought sullenly.

 "I'm serious Ebuka! Mama and I went to the hospital this morning where it was confirmed..."

A brief pause from the other end. Then:

"My God! For real, Ama? You're really going to have my baby?"

 "Yes! It's almost three months old," she said, with some relief.

 "This is great news, babe! I'm going to be a father! I feel like flying back home right now!"

 She laughed softly at his words.

 "You sound so happy! I thought you'll be mad at me. Maybe, even tell me to abort or something..."

 "What? Why would I do that?" he said in a surprised tone. "I can never ask you to abort my baby!" he said vehemently.

Ama smiled, her hand touching her stomach protectively. "Ok. But what about Comfort? And your parents especially your mother. I can't see them jumping for joy at this news."

"You're right. There'll definitely be opposition to this. But don't worry. I'm responsible for this situation so I'll take care of it," he said.

She felt reassured by his words and felt less apprehensive about the future especially about the fate of her unborn child.

'Are you still coming home next month?" she asked.

"Yes. I can't wait to see you again! Is your tummy already big? Are you showing yet?"

 She laughed again.

 "It's too soon! Still have some time to go before I grow fat like a pig!"

He chuckled softly then said: "Take care of yourself, baby and our baby. Love you!" he said.

 "Love you too, Ebuka!"

     ***

A month later

''How was your trip, dear?'' asked Mummy Ebuka, embracing him warmly on his arrival home from the airport. "You look tired."

 He smiled warmly down at his mother. "It's a long way from Toronto, Mum! Comfort, how are you doing?" he said turning to his wife and holding her close.

"Am good!"

"She should be since her husband is home now!" his father quipped, eliciting laughter from everyone.

 "You should be hungry. We've prepared your favourite food," said Comfort, looking up at him lovingly.

 Later, after freshening up and eating, Ebuka picked up his car keys and said:

 "I'm going out Mum, to see a couple of friends."

 His mother looked at him in surprise.

 "But you just arrived home! At least rest a bit and spend some time with your wife before going out!"

"There will be lots of time to do that later, Mum. I gotta go. It's very important, " he said.

His mother and wife stood at the door watching as he got into the car and quickly drove out of the compound.

"He looks very excited. Have you told him? About the baby?" the older woman asked.

Comfort shook her head. "Not yet. Am keeping it as a surprise for him when he returns," she said. She smiled a little, thinking of the look on his face when she told him the good news- that he was going to be a father.

She patted her still flat stomach, wondering what their baby would look like and the name they would give the child...

  ***

 "Have you told them?"

 "Not yet," said Ebuka, rolling on his back on the bed, his hands behind his head,

 "You have to do it soon," insisted Ama. "You know soon, the pregnancy will start showing and people will start talking, that I got pregnant, without a husband. You know how our people love to talk and gossip." 

He turned to face her on the bed, cradling her head on his chest.

 ''I've told you not to worry about it. I'll take care of it at the right time."

"Promise?"

 He kissed her softly on the mouth. "Yep. You know I'll do anything for you. I rushed here to come see you as soon as I arrived though my Mum wanted me to spend the day with them at home."

 His hand moved down to her stomach and stroked the slight bump, then moved up to cup her breast.
 
 "Glad you came, darling. I missed you so much!"

 "Missed you more" he said. He drew her close and kissed her mouth then buried his face in her chest.

 ***

Ebuka knew what he would be up against when he told his parents about Ama and the baby. So, he was prepared when he sat them down on his return home later that day and began to speak. They all listened, including Comfort, in disbelief and shock as he spoke.

There was silence for a while and a tensed atmosphere pervaded the living room when he stopped speaking.

His mother was the first to break the silence.

"Ëbuka, what have you been drinking because what you're saying doesn't make sense at all to me. Who did you say is pregnant for you?"she queried sharply.

 He breathed deeply, glanced quickly at his wife who was staring at him strangely, then said:

 "It's Ama!"
 
 A look of shock appeared on Comfort's face and for a moment, he thought she was going to faint.

 "My God! You mean, you're the 'mystery' man she has refused to disclose the identity, who's responsible for her pregnancy?" she cried in disbelief.

"Ïs it the same Ama that comes here often, your wife's best friend?"asked his father, looking perplexed.

"Yes, Dad!"

"Son, you've really messed up this time. Do you know the enormity of what you've done? How do you plan to handle this?"

 His mother was shaking her head.

 "Daddy Ebuka, there must be a mistake somewhere,'' the woman said. ''This can't be true. Ebuka will never do such a stupid thing!''

 ''It's the truth Mum!'' he cut in. In a clear voice, he told them about his relationship with Ama which began during his last visit home.

''So, all the time, we were planning our wedding, you were secretly seeing my friend behind my back. How could you do that to me, Ebuka?'' Comfort said, close to tears.

 ''I'm sorry, dear.''

 ''Sorry? Is that all you can say?'' she screamed at him.

 ''Ebuka, you can apologise all you want, but you can't have anything more to do with that girl. You have a wife here, Comfort. She's the only one we know or want to see you with,'' insisted his mother.

 ''That's not possible, Mum. I love Ama and I'm...I'm going to take care of her and the baby she's carrying.''

 ''Oh God! Ebuka has killed me. I'm finished!'' Comfort said and slumped on the floor in a dead faint...
.  

   ***

The bedroom was softly lit by a lamp by the bedside which cast soft shadows on the wall.  He stood by the door observing for a while the lone figure that lay curled on the bed. 

 Then he sat down and touched her face, his fingers softly stroking her cheek.

 Her eyes opened slowly at his touch, then on seeing him turned round to face the wall.

"How are you feeling now, dear?" he asked drawing close to her.

"What are you doing here? Go away and leave me alone!"

 "Comfort, please! We need to talk, sort things out!"

 She sat up abruptly and glared at him. "I've made my stand clear on this matter. I'm your wife and I'm not sharing you with anyone, least of all that conniving little bitch! So, if you keep insisting on keeping her , then I'm done with this marriage! I'll pack and leave so you can have your precious Ama with you!"

"Ah! You can't do that Comfort! We've barely been married for three months! What will people say?"

"Who cares what they say?"she said hotly. "You didn't think of that when you were busy screwing my best friend. Now, see the mess you've caused!"

"I'm really sorry things turned out this way. You were my choice from the beginning but things later happened I didn't plan. Now, she's carrying my baby. I can't abandon her in her condition. It won't be fair to her."

"And what about me?" said Comfort angrily. "I'm pregnant too. Or don't my baby and I mean anything to you?"

"Of course you do! I care for you very much, Comfort. You know that!"

She laid back on the pillow and turned away from him.

 'I'm tired and need to rest. so, just go! Leave me alone!"


***

The following day, Comfort was ready to carry out her threat of leaving Ebuka but his parents prevailed on her to reconsider.

 "How can you leave in your condition? Who will look after you and the baby? Forgive him this once and don't leave. Please..."so they pleaded with her.

 So, she remained with him and tried to work on the unforeseen problem facing their new union. A few weeks later, they moved to his newly completed building in one of the GRAs in the city. They settled down in their new home and she did her best to play the role of a loving wife to him. But always at the back of her mind was the thought of how he had betrayed her with her best friend.

 She knew he was still seeing Ama; some of her friends had reported seeing them together in town, acting all lovey dovey like newly weds. Such stories often made her blood boil and she often thought of different things she would do to her erstwhile friend to make her feel some of the pain she was going through.

 All the thinking and worrying was however, affecting her peace of mind and health.

 "Your blood pressure is a bit high, Madam. You need to rest more and take things easy. Is there anything in particular that's bothering you?" her doctor had said during her last ante-natal class.

 Ama was what was disturbing her and would not let her rest or enjoy her marriage. She knew she could not do much in her condition but she vowed to herself that after she gave birth, she would deal decisively with the 'two-faced bitch'.

Then one day, Ebuka, who had gone out earlier in the day, had returned that evening dragging a large suitcase into the house

Standing behind him, was a heavily pregnant Ama, who looked as if she would pop out her baby any minute.

 Comfort looked enquiringly at her husband then glared at Ama.

 ''What's going on here!'' she demanded...


.
To be continued
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