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Saturday, January 04, 2020

A Cord Of Three...(3)

“I hope she’s alright.”
“Yes, she is. She couldn’t go for her routine antenatal visit during the week so she decided to pop in today to see her doctor before coming over. Quit changing the subject, Mina. How did you lose so much weight in such a short period?”
“I started working out, like you suggested.”
“I don’t think that just working out would have given you these results so quickly. What else are you doing?”

“Do I have to be doing anything else?” Mina asked, looking away from Adaora’s intense gaze.
“Mina, what’s going on?” Adaora asked quietly.
 Almost rebelliously, Mina looked at Adaora and said, “I’m not nursing Sotonye anymore.”

“Really? I thought… Never mind that. How does stopping breastfeeding relate to an extra-skinny Mina?”
“Yeah, I know I said that I would nurse her till she’s at least nine months. She’s thriving on infant formula and I’ve started her on a few solids too but I feel so guilty for stopping earlier than I had planned to. But…”

“But, what?” Adaora said when Mina kept silent.
“Ada, you have to understand, I needed to do something drastic, to save my marriage. Baridi was already talking about the possibility of getting attracted to someone else and I didn’t want that happening.”

“What’s going on, Mina and what have you done?”

After the argument Mina had with Baridi, five weeks earlier, about her changed looks, the next few days had been tense in their household as Mina had avoided Baridi as much as she could. They had still slept on the same bed but could have been in separate rooms for all the attention she had paid him.

 Any night he had reached out to her, she had coldly rebuffed him. In those days, whenever Mina got back from work, she made sure to quickly get Baridi’s dinner ready. As soon as he returned from work, Mina quickly served his meal and to avoid talking with her husband, quickly went upstairs to their room.

One day at work, she had gone for lunch with a colleague of hers, who had just come back from maternity leave.

“Tayo, you look amazing! No one would believe that you have three children and they would certainly not believe that one of them is a three-month old,” Mina had said as soon as they sat down on a table. “Biko, share the secret. I’m still struggling to lose weight six months after having Sotonye and I was even slimmer than you before.”

“My sister, I no wan make Lagos babes snatch my husband, abeg,” Tayo had replied, rolling her eyes. “A lot of these girls don’t care if a man is married so as a woman, you have to protect your turf well, make your man no stray.”

“Tayo, I think about that all the time now o! But, wetin I go do, naa? My body seems to be having a love affair with any fat that enters into it, so much that they cling to each other. I’ve drastically cut down on my food portions, yet, all I achieve with that is this constant feeling of faintness. I’m still breastfeeding too so that doesn’t help matters because the craving for food is so much a lot of the time.”

Na wa for you o!” Tayo had said. “Na you dey cause problems for yourself, naa. Jide is barely three months and I haven’t nursed him for almost a month o!” At the open-mouthed look Mina had given her, Tayo said defensively. 

“My sister, a girl has to do what a girl has to do. I gain weight while breastfeeding so I usually stop early so that I can safely start a diet without worrying about the effect it’ll have on my babies. When I’m away at work, they take formula so completely stopping nursing at two months is not such a big deal. I just replace with infant formula.”
“Hmmm. So, what kind of diet have you been on?” Mina had curiously asked.

“A friend of mine is a distributor for a company that sells herbal weight loss products. I could hook you up with her.”

“You take diet pills? Those are not safe.”
“They’re herbal supplements, my sister and are completely natural. So, there’s nothing unsafe about them. I don’t need to work out while taking them so I have something that is absolutely perfect for me as I hate all manner of exercises. They really work so…”

That conversation had stayed on Mina’s mind the entire day. Tayo had given her the name of the company and while researching their products on the internet, Mina had read wonderful testimonials from other users and had become convinced.

When Baridi came home that evening, to his surprise and relief, she had a hug and a wide smile for him. Mina had made his favourite meal and they had dinner together.
Later, drifting off to sleep in her husband’s arms, she had thought, No way am I losing you to Lagos girls.

“How long have you used these products for?” Adaora asked after Mina finished her story.

“Tayo’s friend got them to me, at work, a little over four weeks ago and I started using them immediately,” Mina said.
“We saw each other three weeks ago and you never said a word.”
“I couldn’t, Ada. I knew that you’d be worried and there’s no need to be. They are not diet pills.”

“Do you know the long-term effects? Are there records of that?”
“Ada, why do you always have to second-guess everything? They work right now and have no side effects and that’s all that matters. I’ve been working out too so that I don’t have to use them for too long.”

“Mina, you’ve always been a very beautiful woman. Even when you were heavier, you still looked amazing. I’ve never been able to understand where your obsession about your weight comes from.”

“When your husband reminds you that as the manager of the customer care department of a large multinational telecommunications firm, he comes in contact with a lot of beautiful women, you just might understand what my obsession, as you term it, is all about. Abeg, leave me o. Na person wey wear shoe know as e dey take pain am.”

“Mina, tell Baridi about the last time or I will,” Adaora said, quietly.
“Threatening me now, are you?” Mina said, heatedly. “How dare you, Ada?”
“I dare because you’re one of my best friends and I love you dearly. I dare, Mina because I won’t stand by and fold my arms while you go down a path that may hurt you terribly.”

As Mina was about responding, the doorbell rang and Adaora got up to get the door, leaving Mina muttering to herself.
When Azuka came into the room with Adaora, Mina glanced at her and said, “Hi, Zuky.” She quickly looked away, but not before Azuka had seen the mutinous look on her face.
“What did I miss?” Azuka said, glancing at Adaora, before slowly lowering her body to the sofa across Mina....

 To be continued
 Hope you all had a great holiday, my dear readers and followers. May all your dreams and desires be realized this year! Stay blessed everyone!

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