Nifemi looked around for her sister or Olusegun. Bunmi was alone with her daughter. “Didn’t you hear me? What are you doing in my house?” she yelled hysterically.
Bunmi frowned at her for making such disturbing noise. Then she eyed her a good deal before hissing loudly. Bunmi rocked the baby in her arms instead.
Nifemi could not believe her eyes. Her jaws dropped in utter disbelief. “Gbadun! Gbadun!”, she called out in furry when she found her voice.
“Sista mi”, she answered from the bedroom.
“Who is this person you let into my house?” she raised her voice.
“Welcome”, Gbadun greeted as she approached her sister to help take the bags of groceries she had in her hands.
“Please leave me and answer my question”, Nifemi snapped. “What is the meaning of this? I left you home alone with my children and you let a total stranger in? You even have the confidence to leave my child with her. What rubbish!”. Before Gbadun could find words in response, Olusegun emerged from their bedroom. “Hello dear, I didn’t know you were home,” Nifemi said in a low tone. She let Gbadun have the bags in her hands and asked her to take Fareedah along with her. She watched her sister leave the premise before she started again. “What is happening here?”
“Can I have a word with you privately?” Olusegun requested.
Nifemi was stunned but she quietly followed him. Full of rage yet afraid of the worst, she braced herself for what he was going to say to her. Bunmi just sat there unconcerned about what was about to happen. She hissed loudly again as she watched them leave her in the sitting room.
Olusegun held out the bedroom door for Nifemi. She looked at him with a mixed feeling of rage and disappointment as she shook her head in disbelief. He had never held the door open for her before. He shut the door behind him as he let out a sigh. When he spoke, baring it all, Nifemi wanted to go mad. She wanted to cry or beg him perhaps. There were a thousand questions running through her mind but she didn’t know which to ask first or how exactly to react to what she heard. She shook her head constantly hoping he was joking.
“On my birthday?” she asked. “You have the effrontery to give me this news as a birthday present? Tell me it isn’t true”, she begged.
Her pain echoed through the room. He had not remembered it was her birthday. He was devastated beyond what he could bring himself to show. He struggled to be tough for the sake of the other woman sitting in the living room yet he was scared of losing the woman who truly meant the world to him.
“Why are you telling me this now?” she spoke again after a long silence. “Why didn’t you have your mother or family members tell me you have a baby by her?” Nifemi could not call her name. “We just our second child.” She didn’t have to remind him.
Olusegun just sat there quietly. Nifemi took his silence for arrogance.
“Why won’t you say something?” Nifemi yelled. Then in the twinkle of an eye, she could almost see moments from her life flashing before her eyes. How her parents had almost disowned her when she disobeyed for his sake. She did it for the sake of the love that she believes in, without any inkling that it would someday wane. Nifemi fell to the ground and broke down in uncontrollable tears. She was so furious that she didn’t know when picked herself up and hit Olusegun across the face. He was shocked then angered.
“Forgive me”, was all he said before he left the room, leaving her crying on the terrazzo floor.
Nifemi stayed on and cried her eyes out. Was it all over so soon? They had not even got around to tying the knot and he already messed it all up. Her mother would throw a fit but Nifemi quickly discarded her mother’s disappointment from her frantic mind. Nifemi stayed there, crying then thinking, then crying again before she finally knew what she wanted to do. She quickly packed her bags full of clothing.
“Gbadun!” she called out from the entrance of her room. Her voice echoed all over the house.
“Sista mi”, she answered at once. “Is everything alright?” she inquired on seeing her sister’s eyes swollen and red.
“Yes. Please bring the children and get them dressed. Get your things too, we’re leaving for Lagos now”, she emphasized.
As much as Gbadun wanted to ask questions, she knew better than to delay in executing that command. By the time they were packed and ready to leave, Nifemi was surprised to see Bunmi still seated in the living room, breastfeeding her baby. Their eyes met but they said nothing to one another instead they eyed each other aversively. Nifemi was glad Olusegun was nowhere in sight for she didn’t want to see or hear him talk when she walks out the door. She wanted to leave him forever and so she did.