“Yes, she has to go on with the surgery between now till the end of next week,” the doctor says to you. You do not know how you are going to raise five hundred thousand naira between today and the end of next week.
“Madam,” he calls you out of your thoughts.
“All will be fine. Just find a way to raise the money.”
Two minutes later, you leave the doctor’s office to the ward. The ward is where the only life that makes yours worthy is. She is on a life support machine and clearly in coma. You break down crying holding her hand. How are you going to raise the money? how are you going to save her from death? why is life so unfair? you wipe the tears on your cheeks, kneel down by the bed still holding her hands.
“God,” you call. “I am calling you because you are the only one that can take me out of this situation.” You close your eyes so tight trying to prevent the tears from falling but it does not work. “You have been feeding us for the past seven years even in our situation and I am really really grateful for that. Kendra here has been so grateful to you for allowing her school. We just ask of your healing. Heal my baby.” You pause to open your mouth to take in air and try to calm down from all the crying but you can’t. “Heal her. She is the only thing I have in this life.” You break down again letting go of her hands, lying down on the floor crying.
You look back to see who is calling you. Sandra, really? what does she wants now?
“Someone is at the bar looking for you,” she says.
“What?” Who could possibly know you work here in a club? You follow her out to see who it is, only for it to turn out to be someone long gone from your memories.
“Anna, it’s so good to see you,” he says and makes to hug you but you do not reciprocate the gesture.
Your eyes are watery as you just keet staring at him. You do not know when your hand gives a very loud sound as it lands on his cheek. Everyone in the club begin staring at both of you. He cannot utter a word, his hand is just on his cheek.
Mrs. Bimpe comes to where you are and holds your hands tight. You know you were in for it, but your body is satisfied that it has done what it should have done in the last ten years.
“It’s just a little misunderstanding. It will be resolved, just enjoy yourselves,” Mrs. Bimpe addresses her customers and drags you to her office. You can feel his eyes on you as follow her.
“What sort of nonsense attitude did you just display out there in front of my customers?” she yells as she shuts the door. You are mute with far tears rolling down your cheeks . “ _You no get mouth to talk?”_ she prods.
“I am sorry,” you manage to say looking away from her.
“Oh, okay. Just know that you are fired. How dare you slap my customer? Pack your things from the cubic room as you are leaving my office. Pack your things and get out of my club.”
“Yes, ma’am,” you say and she is surprised you do not. You are tired of life; how are you going to raise the money now that you have lost your job? Leaving her office, you bang the door running to the cubic room and packing your things as fast as you can to leave that environment. Not because you are afraid of your boss but to scream your head out. You run out of the room hitting the idiot you can’t bear looking at .
“Anna, I am…”
“Don’t you dare call me by my name.” You point your fingers at him warning him. As you run out of the building into the night, he follows you.
“Anna, please listen to me. I am sorry for everything. I have changed.” He keeps repeating these words to you as he walks behind you. These are the same words he had said when you were pregnant.
“Just leave me alone!” you scream and almost everyone on the street turns to look at you. You walk to an area with less spectators and he still follows you repeating the same words. You finally turn to face him. “Why are you back now? huh?! To break me the more, abi? Samuel or whatever you call yourself you don’t have a family okay. I am not a part of you again. I don’t want you in my life anymore!” You scream the last part so he can feel the the intensity of your emotions at the moment. Breathing deeply and fast, you can see he is crying.
“Anna, we got married and you had a child for me. I Love You, I was just so foolish then,” he says moving close to you and trying to wipe the tears from your cheeks. You swat his hands off before he can touch you.
“Anna is not your wife neither a mother to your child. You better get lost. Just get out of my life for good . I don’t want to see you again.” you scream and walk away from him.
You can feel the lump on your throat trying to come out. You reach your house, rush inside and lock your door. Then you finally break down on the floor, crying and letting all your agony and pain out. You S scream, shout and break things until you were tired. You crawl to your bedroom and lie on the bed staring at the ceiling with memories flooding back.
“Hey there.” Samuel hugged you from behind.
“You home so early what happened?” you ask him.
“What is it? I can’t come home early to my wife?” he kissed your neck as he rubbed your already protruded stomach.
“How is our baby?” he asked.
“Great, she’s been kicking all day.” You both laughed as he turned you around. He was staring at your eyes caressing your swollen cheeks.
“I am sorry about this, for everything. I am changed person I promise.” He said with so much feelings which you thought was sincerity. You hugged him which he reciprocated.
After some time, the fireworks of tearing off clothes began. He was just so fast to undress you and himself at the same time. You weren’t yourself at that moment, lost in the world of lust and desire for your husband. With every stroke he took, you saw hope and a reason for you two to still be together. With every kiss he gave you on your bruised face and your neck, you couldn’t contain those moans of faith and satisfaction. The moment you both climaxed, you both stared at each other and immediately he got off you like he remembered something.
“I am sorry, dear. I have got to go.” He began putting his clothes on.
“To where? I thought we were just getting started. I want another round.” you murmur petulantly.
“Stop whining like a child. I just gave you a hard fuck so don’t tell me you want more.” He shouted at you as he finally buttons up his shirt. “If want more, you could go and meet Emeka.”
“What are you try to say Samuel? I just asked –”
“For another round right? Only a whore and slut thirsts for sex the way that you do. Once I give you an opportunity you just try to take advantage of it.” He left the room banging the door, leaving you wanting.
At that moment, the hope you had felt then flew out of the window. You got up putting your gown back on walking to the sitting room holding your tummy. You saw he left his phone on the dining, you did not bother to call him back. You didn’t feel the need to help the man who just called you a whore two minutes ago.
His phone started ringing, it rang over and over again. The fourth time, you went to pick the call.
“Babe, why aren’t you here now? I am already at the hotel.” A tiny voice said through the line. It was so feminine. “Babe are you there?” you removed the phone from your ear and looked at the screen only to see that he saved the number as ‘My Heartbeat.’ You sat on the floor using your hands to cover your mouth as the tears ran down your cheeks.
You hung up still crying on the floor until Samuel came in.
“I forgot my phone did you see -” He paused seeing you with it and he forcefully takes it from your hand. “So you were the one that hid my phone to through my chats and contacts abi?” He slapped you making you lie flat on the floor your hand on your cheek.
“You left your phone, I didn’t hide it,” you said in defense, crying and shifting away from him.
“You are lying!” he slapped your bruised cheeks again.
“Samuel, please I didn’t do anything wrong.” you started begging still crying. He began hitting you with his hands and feet until he stopped for some time and began looking at you. You had already gotten to the extent that you couldn’t cry and was breathing fast. The next thing he did was to remove his belt from his trousers letting it fall. He dragged you close to him ripping your underwear.
“You wanted more right? Well good news, it’s here.” He hit you with the belt telling you to open your legs. You were so weak that he had force your legs open. He hit you again with the belt as he went in with full force.
“Ah!” You shouted. The pain was too much. As he was sleeping with you he spanked you with his belt. It got to an extent that he tied you to one of the chairs with his belt. His hand was doing the spanking on your butt, cheeks and arms.
“So good.” He moaned as he rested on you not minding your stomach. He raised your ass up so he could get what he wanted. He climaxed as kissed your neck. He kissed you on the lips but you did not reciprocate. “Now that was great wasn’t it?” He asked as he untied you from the chair. You were just mute.
“I know you enjoyed it.” He patted your cheeks smiling and getting up from you to dress up. “I have to go now. Before I come back tomorrow, make sure you have taken care of your bruised body and the blood on the floor. Also spray the air freshener, here smells like cum.” Those were his last words that day leaving you on the floor to wallow in pain and bleed to death. You couldn’t move.
The banging on your door brings out from your thoughts. You hurriedly go to check who is at the door. It is your Landlord. “God this man has come again”.
“Woman, I have come to collect my rent.” He opens his hand to receive the money from you at that instant. He does not just understand that you and money aren’t friends this period.
“Please sir, give me more time to gather the money. Things hasn’t really been going well with me.” You beg.
“No, I have given you enough time. Just go inside and bring my money…”
You just stand at your doorpost resting your back and listening to all the insults and curses he rains at you until he shows up again.
“What’s going on here?” He looks at you expecting an answer.
“You won’t tell your boyfriend abi? _Wo_! In fact, let me tell him myself.” Baba faces him.
“Your girlfriend is owing me rent money.”
“How much is it?” He asks.
“Just Fifty thousand naira.”
You watch him as he brings money from his pocket and it gives it to him. “Give me your account number let me pay the balance now.”
Baba reels off his account details. In the next one minute he got an alert.
“ _Wo_! Thank you, my son,” Baba says eying you as he pat his back.
“You better be grateful to him that he paid in advance for you,” he says leaving you with him.
“I…” You didn’t let him finish his statement. You bang the door right in his face. He needs to know that there are some sins that can not be easily forgiven.
“Anna, please I am sorry. Forgive me.”
* * *
Early the next morning, you get out to go and clean the roads. At the end of working, you find out the pay isn’t much.
“Hello,” You answer your phone.
“Are you serious? I am on my way.” Your heart cannot contain the joy that Kendra is finally awake.
Quickly, you rush home, have your bath and wear clean clothes. She mustn’t know what is going on. You quickly come out and board a taxi to go to the hospital.
On getting there, you are smiling and greeting the nurses until one says something that disturbs you.
“Madam, your husband is around.” You turn giving her a disturbed look as you run to your daughter’s ward and barge in seeing Samuel holding her hands. You are furious but you cannot do anything. You do not want any of this negative feelings get to her.
“Mummy,” she calls out to you opening her arms. He turns to look at you.
“Sweetheart,” You call back claiming the hug as a tear glides down your cheek. You quickly wipe it off. “So how is my sweetheart?” You ask smiling and slightly rubbing her face.
“I am great. I was hungry but Mr. Samuel here bought something for me to eat.” she smiles. She doesn’t even know him, how can she take something from him.
“He said you sent him over to look after me before you come around.” She adds. You just nod your head giving her a fake smile. You clear up the paper plates.
“Uhm, Samuel, can I see you outside? Now.”
After you guys walk out of the ward to the reception where you trash the paper plates, you asked him to sit.
“First of all, you shouldn’t have come here. Secondly, how did you find this place?” You ask giving him a stern look.
“I have to keep up track with family.” He answers.
“We are not family. I am so not your wife and Kendra isn’t your daughter…”
“Stop lying. The resemblance is clear. She has my features. See, I know I shouldn’t have left you both. I should have been there when you were having her. I am sorry.” He begs trying touching your arm. You shrug him off.
“Sorry isn’t going to suck the pain you put me in for ten years.” You get up and go back to the ward.
“Mummy, the doctor came looking for you… Wait, are you crying?” She gives a confused look.
“What?” You did not realize your eyes had started bringing water. You clean it and walk to her.
“I am just glad you are back.” You both smile.
“Mummy, is Mr. Samuel my father? We look so much alike.” Why can’t she just wait till you both get home before you talk about this, you wonder? You wouldn’t blame her. She is just the curious mofo like you are.
“Yes, he is,” you say and smile at her.
* * *
“What about the surgery?”
“I did it for her. You weren’t having much and I couldn’t look away,” the doctor says.
“Thank you so much, sir. God will bless you for this thing you have done. Thank you, sir.” You are so happy. God is the only one who helped you in this and you know it.
“She will be discharged next week if nothing goes wrong. We are watching her for this week.”
“No problem, sir.” You put your hands together grinning as you leave the office back to the ward.
Sam and Kendra get along so fast you think as you see them playing. You do not know if it is right to give him another chance. You do not want Kendra to be caught up with his drama. She is too young for that kind of emotional stress.
A week after she gets discharged, she resumes going to school. You give Sam the chance to bond with his daughter because you know it is the right thing to do. He is the one picking her up from school and taking her to his house. You usually go there to pick her from work. You finally got the job of a receptionist for a firm. Thanks to Sam.
One day, you get there expecting he would bring her outside with her lunch box and everything but it doesn’t happen.
“She is asleep,” he says.
“Do you mind coming in?” He is nervous, you can see it. You nod your head and step in.
The house gives
you a cooing feeling. You jerk as he shuts the door.
“I am sorry I scared you.” He touches your arm.
You look into his eyes only to see a person in pain. You do not want to feel pity for him you look away, removing your hand from his grasp and gripping your handbag. “Come on let’s sit in the living room. Food would be ready soon.” He gestures his hands to the left where a large television is facing you both.
“I am not hungry,” You say as you walk into the living room.
“But you look like you could eat something.” he tries to persuade you. You give him a stern a look.
“Okay.” He finally leaves you alone in the living room climbing up the stairs. He changed his house why would he do so you wondered. Under the television there is a small cabinet with pictures. You see your picture in it, that picture was taken by him when you both went to the beach. Getting up you pick the photo and smile.
“I actually kept that pic for the past eleven years.” You jerk once you hear his voice putting the picture back.
“I want her back” He says staring at you.
“She’s dead already.” You sit down back and there is a moment of silence before you break it.
“What happened to your other house?”
“I sold it,” he answers sitting in the dining section.
“Why?” you ask. He smiles and gets up from the seat.
“In life there are some things you need to let go,” He answered criptically to you. Samuel isn’t the type of guy that talked facts or well.
“Since when did she start sleeping?”
“Like thirty minutes ago.”
“Okay.” You can feel his eyes on you until he walks to you and squats in front of you.
“Let’s start over again.” His eyes are boring into yours. You hve to look away.
“No. I don’t want to go through it again. You can have a life with your daughter but not with me.”
“Anna, I told you … I have changed…. I am not the Sam of nine years ago, I am not the same guy that left you out of foolishness because of another woman……”
“And I am not the same woman you molested then.” You let him know your mind. He is already on his knees.
“Babe, please I am deeply sorry. I will make up for everything in any way you want it. Please you are my life.” You look at him in his eyes when he called you his life, standing up.
“Really, “life?” if really I was your life why would you change after marriage, why would you hit me, why would you always rape me with any chance you get? Wounding me even at my pregnant state?” The tears are already falling as he stands up trying to hold you.
“Don’t touch me!” you yell at him. “Samuel, you left me for another woman after you left me bleeding in the living room. You have no….. no ……” You breath in. “Compassion.” You complete.
“I admit it, I was wrong but we can change things now. I am not the guy who flirts anymore or sleeps outside or would run away. Anna please let’s work this out even if it’s not for my sake…”
You pick your bag facing the door about to leave the house. You are not going to let him talk you into getting back.
“Let’s do this for Kendra’s Sake.” You pause as he completes his statement. Kendra is so young, you do not want her to go through any emotional stress. You are just leaving the house without her. Your thought made you gasp dropping your bag.
“Mummy” You turn seeing your daughter coming down the stairs with joy holding a teddy bear. She hugs you. “why are you crying?” She asks.
“It’s nothing.” you wipe your eyes and smile.
“Daddy, Your eyes are red.” She called him daddy!
“It’s nothing, sweetheart, I had something in my eyes.”
“Okay. Mummy there’s something I want to ask you.” She says holding her teddy to her tummy. “I want to spend the weekend with Daddy and I would love if you stayed with me here.”
“I don’t know….”
“Mummy, I have not seen him in ? years, I want to spend more time with him,” She begs.
“What about me?” You pout your lips.
“That’s why I want you to stay here with me so that I can spend time with you both. The way my classmates always told me they spend time with their parents watching movies, playing and going out. I just want to try it with you both.” She looks from you to Samuel.
“I don’t know why you don’t want us to come here and spend the rest of our lives here, but I know it’s a good reason coming from you. Let me just use this weekend and probably every other weekend to enjoy the love parents bring.” She smiles holding your hands.
“Darling, it’s fine. I will let you stay and stay with you.” You kiss her on her head.
“Yippie!” She jumps still with the teddy bear.
“Dad come let’s show her to your room.” What? His room?
“Why his room?” You ask making Kendra turn and putting her hands on her waist.
“Parents sleep in the same room.” She answers.
“Who told you that?” Sam asks her.
“A friend. Do you have a problem with that?” She winks at you. Oh no! She has started. “Come on. Let’s go.” She hurries up the stairs as you and Sam follow.
“We have one hell of a daughter,” Samuel whisperes.
“Nothing,” he says.
You shake your head and smile. “I heard you.”