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Starting a battle is not the problem. Winning the war sometimes is… because sometimes, what happens is; you win the battle and lose the war.
I focused on the road and unusually had both hands on the wheel as I drove myself home from church.
I didn’t know whether it was right for me to smile, frown, cry and jump or just feel less concerned but as far as I was concerned, the two reports Kate gave me were good news and bad news… No don’t get it twisted. I mean each one of the two news were both good and bad.
…”Yep. So which do you wanna hear first?” She had asked, staring at me straight in the face, eager to spill something and had both palms against each other.
I thought for a while, what the good and bad news might be. I rolled my eyes, bent my back, racked my brain and got no clue. So I shrugged and replied.
“Let’s hear the bad news first.”
“Ok… Do I have to edit and sugar coat it in a way it won’t sound so bad but you’ll still get the message?”
“Ok. Ok… Give me the good news first then”
“Err… Err… Err.” She tried adding some suspense effect I guess or whatever she thought she was doing but suddenly becoming a stammerer “I’m now in a relationship!”
In a really fast instant, I had slapped Kate thrice… In my mind.
“Aww!…. I’m so happy for you.” I smiled and stretched out my hands, gave her a nice hug and continued. “…So who’s the lucky guy”
“Tunde” she replied quickly.
“And I’m supposed to know who Tunde is?” I gave her an ‘excuse me’ look.
“Yes!… The Etisalat guy you’ve heard a lot about. He’s coming to Lagos soon and you’ll meet him. Jay, he’s a really handsome and cool gentleman. I stayed with June throughout my stay in Abuja and she was the one that introduced us. Immediately, we zinged!… I’ve never felt that way with anyone before. Not even with you, although we’ve not really not being together like that you know” She chuckled like a five year old and continued. “He’s so nice and I really like him. The chemistry between us is so unexplainable, like old buddies reconnecting. You know if…”
At that point, I realized this lady would go on and on about her new found love and I had a lot of things to do, Article’s deadlines I had to meet asides trying to squeeze out time to go see my own love too.
“Ok… Ok. Congratulations dear. I can see that you’re still in the shacking stage. Everyone’s been there. Wish u all the happiness a relationship’s got to offer.”
“So… To the bad news… Give it to me like it is. Don’t hold anything back.”
“The night before I was to come back to Lagos, I and June had arranged my things, gathered my bags together and called it a day. I had chosen to sleep at the guest room that night cos I didn’t want to disturb her with my late night extra packing. In the middle of the night, I heard gagged mumbling and indiscreet voices like June was struggling with someone. I opened my eyes and lay still on the bed, hoping it will stop and it did but only for a short while cos when the sound returned, it returned as noise. June was crying and my first thought was that there was someone in the house. I was scared and couldn’t even stand up to lock the door.”
I was kind of enjoying the story as I had just three possible endings to Kate’s intentionally elongated tale. I knew it had to be one but I must not ruin the moment. I knew I had to look as clueless as possible, else I’ll just knock Kate off her imaginary stage.
“Oh… Ok. So, what now happened?… Who broke into the house?”
“Calm down bro. So as I was saying. I could still hear June crying and she was saying something like No! No! No!… When I summoned up courage and began to tip-toe towards her room cos at least, if something were to happen to my home girl, let it not be said that I just hid somewhere and chickened out.
So as I walked past the dining table, I picked a knife and continued towards her room. I got to the door and opened it slowly and what I saw just made my jaw drop.
Should I continue sir?”
“Ah!… Yes!… Go on” I stole a quick glance at my watch, looked around to see how fast people were disappearing from the church compound. It was just like everyone couldn’t wait to leave cos a couple of minutes ago, the dense crowd couldn’t have been imagined to have evaporated to this level in that short period of time.
Kate gave me a slight tap and continued.
“As I entered the room, June was lying down there in bed covered in blood. My knife dropped and I rushed to where she was. Immediately and involuntarily I said ‘shit!’ Cos I knew what had happened. I rushed her to the nearest clinic. We spent the night there and came back home the next morning. I couldn’t leave that day since I had to stay with her. So I left the next day. It was so sad I swear…”
Although I couldn’t say I did not fully understand what Kate had just narrated, I fully understood it and while one part of me felt very sober, another part of me felt like jumping on Kate in celebration while singing “When Jesus says Yes, nobody can say No” but I had to keep calm and be professional about the whole thing.
“So did you notice you haven’t told me what happened?… Did you mistakenly stab Kate or the person that broke in stabbed her and escaped?”
Kate looked at me for around ten seconds without saying a word and I could bet what ran through her mind would be similar to words like “Look at this dumb guy. Someone who is pregnant slept and woke up in a pool of blood and you’re still asking what that means. You deserve a round house kick.”
“Miscarriage Jay!… Miscarriage!… June just suffered a miscarriage. That’s what happened. She’s back home though but she said she won’t tell Dave until she’s fully recovered both physically and emotionally. I feel really sorry for her and I want to ask a favour from you”
“Wow!… That’s too bad. I pray God will comfort her. What’s the favour?”
I knew she was about asking me to keep it a secret.
“Please don’t tell anyone. And by anyone, I mean anyone. You understand right?”
I nodded, checked my watch, quickly asked about her health and rounded up the conversation.
How many people get this lucky?… Darn!… What would’ve been the permanent stain on some people’s lives; the stigma and the only regret in their lifetime.
Somehow, it sounded or looked like opening a cage and letting a captured bird who had one way or the other flew into the cage by itself go.
I’m sure Dave’s testimony won’t be the first there is and won’t be the last but when nature itself decided to give u a second chance, you had better make the most of it before one mistakenly bags himself or herself a set of triplet… You know what they say about mother nature and her mischievous sense of humour.
All of a sudden, I decided to do something I would almost never do on a very normal day. I parked to the side of the road and pulled out my phone and began dialing Lizzy’s number. Instantly, my psychic thing told me to press the red button and go home but I refused.
“Hello. Liz… Hello?”
“Tammy!… How are you?”
“I’m fine. How are you Uncle Jay?”
“I’m ok dear. I’ve missed you… Where’s your mummy?”
“I’ve missed you. She’s in the…”
“Jay!… Whatsup?” Liz snatched the phone from Dorothy and spoke up. She sounded stressed and gloomy and I could say I partially understood why.
“I’m good dear. How are you?”
“I’m fine. I’m at Aunt Sarah’s place”
“What?!… Why?… And you couldn’t tell me?” I sounded very dissatisfied with Lizzy’s decision to leave for her fortress without keeping me updated about her movements.
“I’m sorry Jay. It was impromptu and I was so scared, I couldn’t just divulge it to anyone. Dorothy’s dad came to my place yesterday.”
“I’m telling you. Only God knows how he got my address ‘cos all I heard was a knock on the door and there he was, standing on my entrance pouch. I stood there speechless for a few minutes and the next thing he said was. “I’m sorry”… He was looking very very different. He asked if he could enter and I ushered him in. I went to sit down and he just came straight to where I was sitting, knelt down in front of me and started crying, begging and apologizing for all the times he’s been away and neglected me and Damilola. He said everything he has been saying to me over the phone is the truth and he can’t just say how sorry he is unless I let him show me.”
“So how did he get your add?”
“He said he kept asking people and he got an anonymous text from a number he didn’t bother to call back cos immediately he received it, he just got on the road. I asked him for the text and the number was my cousin’s number. I’ve called her and she said he sounded like he was about to die when they spoke. Like his life depended on reaching or seeing me someway somehow, so she was kinda choiceless and had to send my address and she’s sorry if she crossed a line or something.
I did not know what to do after he left and told me he’ll come back the next day, than to pack a few things and leave my place to stay at Aunt Sarah’s. I’m a bit confused and I need to clear my head. I’m unhappy and I don’t know why. Everything is just so twisted than it seems. Do you understand Jay?… Jay?!”
“Yea I understand” I understood perfectly that my love still had feelings for her ex and rightfully so, since she already had their child in her custody.
“Could you not call me till I call you?… I need some lone time to get my head straight and let this time pass.”
“Sure. Anything you say.” I replied quickly and wiped my face with my handkerchief at the realisation that I was sweating.
“I don’t know how that sounded but I’m really sorry Jay… I need you to that for me. Take care of yourself for me. ok?… Bye. I love you.” Her voice was somewhat shaky.
“Love you too. Bye.”
Physicality. Spirituality. Mentality. Emotionality.
Did you spot the odd word? Right. Never force it if you’re afraid of getting hurt.