LARA’S FAITH: 9 & 10
Funke tossed and turned on her bed. She had suffered from chronic fever ever since her last encounter with Lara.
“What have I done to deserve such treatment from my daughter?” she asked herself.
“The child I bore for nine months, brought up at my own expense, decides to turn against me.” she gazed at the ceiling.
She counted the ceiling for a long time.
“Hmn!” she chuckled wickedly.
“So far I’m her biological mother, she must leave that marriage! Whether Tony gets well or not!” she said firmly.
She brazed up a plan, she pulled her cellphone towards her and dialled a number.
“Hello, Deji ?” she said into the phone.
“Hello, eka le ma! Good evening.” Deji said in a sleepy voice.
“Deji please, come over to my place tomorrow morning. We have something to discuss.” Funke told her softly.
“okay ma.” Deji said cautiously before ending the call.
“Deji eat and drink now, its your home o.” Funke said as Deji sipped her drink shyly.
“Deji there’s something I’ll want us to discuss.” she said after Deji finished her snacks.
“I heard of a girl back then…the girl that used to be Tony’s mistress…I mean Sophia…” she continued.
“uhum!” Deji grunted giving her suspicious look.
“Errm..Deji, I know you and your exploits, you have this city under your finger tips…” Funke appraised her.
“So?” she grimaced.
“So I want you to tell me where she is! I know you monitor her movements! Please let me have her address.” Funke explained.
“just like that? What do you want with her?” she asked.
“I’ve got some business plans, and I heard she’s good in such business…”
“Of all the business women in this city?” Deji interrupted her.
“Common Deji, just give it to me! I’ll pay any amount you need.” funke said this because she knew Deji is a sucker for money.
“hmmn, I just hope this ‘business’ won’t affect Lara o!” Deji cautioned.
“Nooo…not at all! You forget Lara is my daughter!” Funke laughed.
“Okay!” Deji said scribbling Sophia’s address on a note pad.
“Thank you, name your pay!” Funke smiled satisfactorily.
“no need for that! Meanwhile, I must go and see Lara now, I promised her I’m going over.” Deji made to go.
“Okay bye, and please don’t tell her about this o.” Funke saw her off.
She waved as Deji drove away, a donkey smile playing on her face.
First mission accomplished, next target on point!
Lara smiled absent mindedly at herself, its been a month since Tony left, he’l be back soon.
“Can’t wait!” she said aloud to the empty room. She decided to call him…
“Hello Baby?” Tony’s voice said from the other end.
“Good morning to you.”
“morning how do you do? Hope you slept well?” Tony asked.
“Not that well, and you?” she made a face as she spoke.
“same here, missing ya loads.” he laughed.
“So you’re coming back this weekend?”
“Nooo, the doctor said I should for two weeks more.” Tony explained.
“Oooh” she groaned.
“hey hey hey! Two weeks is just like two days, no need for that okay? I’ll be back soon. There are many thing I’d like to show you!” he said soothingly.
“Many things? Like?” she laughed
and on and on, their conversation went till the door bell rang.
“Hey hold on! I’ll call ya later.” Lara said before ending the call.
Deji was at the door.
“ah! Ore mi atata, my friend, welcome!” she hugged Deji.
“This one you are looking fresh ehn?” Deji teased.
“You can say that again.” Lara giggled as she served her friend.
“When is the hubby coming back now?” Deji asked gently.
Lara was taken aback, Deji never referred to Tony as ‘the hubby’ before,
“Errrm, i just called him on phone, he said next two weeks..” she explained.
“Next two weeks!” Deji echoed after her, she looked pleased by the information.
“Yea!” lara felt a strange feeling, she knew Deji very well, that look on her face isn’t for nothing.
“Excuse me!” deji said as she made a call.
“Hello, Lady?” she said.
“The client should be in town in the next fourteen days, yea, business should be cool!” she smiled mischievously.
“Okay, bye, get all arrangements ready please.” she ended the call.
“The client? Next fourteen days?” Lara asked quitely.
“Yea, just some sort of business.” Deji avoided her eyes.
“Business? What type?”
“Oooh, Lara please! I didn’t come here for an interview na!” she laughed.
“Okay” Lara sighed. Deji has been acting strangely for some time now. She hope there won’t be troubles.
“So tell me girlie! How’s Tony? His health?” Deji shoved her playfully.
Lara laughed, some how she felt more relaxed.
Lara was at the breakfast Table, when the gateman came in to tell her, that a letter was delivered for her.
She opened the envelope gingerly, she read it aloud.
‘ peace of the most high God be upon you.
How’s your husbands health? I hope all is well.
I saw a revelation last night about you, I don’t know if its a mere dream, or its a warning.
You just have to be careful about the way you do things, you are surrounded by unfriendly friends.
There is danger lurking ahead.
May the good Lord see you through. Amen.
she read and re-read it again, what message is he trying to pass across.
Danger? Unfriendly friends?
She felt shivers run down her spine.
“God see me through o.” she clasped her hands in prayers.
Unfriendly friends? She thought. She’ve got a few friends, just Deji.
Could it be Deji? No it can’t be!
“But Deji had been acting strangely now!” she argued aloud.
She’ve been asking suspicious questions about Tony!
“Hmm!” she sighed aloud.
Just then her phone beeped. A text from Deji.
‘ hy bestie,
I’ll be travelling out of town, sorry I won’t be around for the dinner with Tony as planned.
I’m really sorry.
My regards to Tony when he comes back.”
“Talk of the devil!” Lara eclaimed as she read the text.
She shook her head in suspicion.
Truly Deji is up to something, why would she travel when she knew Tony is coming back that evening.:
Lara dressed and redressed her dress for the twentieth time as she leaned aaginst the car that brought them.
She wore make up for that occasion, courtesy of her mother-in-law.
She glanced her saphire wrist-watch, and shook her head.
She wondered what’s keeping Tony, their plane landed twenty minutes ago.
“Why is it taking Tony so long to come na!” Amara complained as she shuffled from one foot to another.
“Maybe something important.” Lara quipped.
“Hmm” came the grunt
“or maybe he’s shy!” she suggested again with a playful smile
“Shy? Tony lacks that characteristic o!” Amara laughed.
They both feel silent, as their eyes surveyed the airport environment.
“Holly Majolly!” Amara exclaimed.
“What?” Lara asked.
“Don’t look back!” Amara tried to hold her.
But it was too late, Lara’s eyes swung left and right,then she spun round, everything around her froze…
Tony was at a far end, locked in Sophia’s arm as they kissed ‘passionately’
Lara shut her eyes momentarily, then re-opened them, what she saw was real!
Her vision began to get blurred, she was inhaling and exhaling sharply.
Tony saw them, pushed Sophia away and ran hapilly towards them.
Lara saw him coming, on his own legs, no longer on the wheel chair.
She wished, she wished he never got well.
She wished… She began to slump slowly.
“Lara…” Amara said nervously as she tried to hold her.
But she passed out.
Lara lay, curled up on the darduma in the parlour. She hugged her pillow tightly as she wept. She had been like this for days now. Tony as usual was kneeling beside her, he wondered if her tear bank would ever get exhausted.
“I should have listened to my mother.” Lara muttered.
Tony sighed…back to square one he thought inwardly.
“Because of you!” Lara sat up.
“Just because of you! I ruined the relationship between I and my mother” she wagged a finger at him.
Tony backed away, she was becoming violent.
“What haven’t I done for you? Tony? This is the best way to pay back?” she tasted the saltiness of her tears.
“I’m sorry baby…”
“Thunder fire you if you call me baby again!” her eyes glinted in anger.
“I’m very sorry, its not what you think…” he felt sorry for her.
“Its not what I think right? Oh please, explain!”
“Seriously, I won’t lie to you Lara…she was the one kissing me, I didn’t kiss her…” Tony tried to explain.
“No difference! The real thing is that you kissed! And you enjoyed it!” she grabbed her pillow.
“Lara…” tony held her arm.
She pushed him away violently.
“If you touch me again, I’l murder you!”
Tony stared at her, he’d never seen her this violent before.
“I wish I have spiritual powers!” she whispered.
“I’d have made sure you get back on a wheel chair with your manhood cut off” she spat out, before sauntering to her room.
Tony watched her: frightened.
The thought of been crippled again scared him. He had heard stories of yoruba girls been witches…
He wondered what kind of bad breeze blew Sophia to the airport.
She said she came to congratulate him, it started from a hug, then she kissed him.
“Rubbish!” he muttered lying down on a settee.
He must have dozed off.
He opened his eyes lazily as he felt something on his head,
his eyes widened as he saw the noozzle of a gun.
He tried to get up, but a firm leg pressed his chest down.
“where’s your wife?” a voice growled.
He didn’t reply.
“you deaf abi?” another voice asked.
He looked around, he was surrounded by five armed men.
” una never bring the meat commot?” another voice asked walking into the room..
“no boss, the guy no wan show us where she dey.” one of the robbers responded.
“Search the house jor!” the boss commanded
the five robbers dispersed in various directions, while the boss sat beside Tony.
Tony jerked as he heard Lara scream from her room.
“Tony!” she yelled again.
He tried to get up but the boss pulled him back.
“Don’t move” he placed a sharp knife on Tony’s neck.
The robberes emerged pulling Lara with them, they threw her at their boss’s feet, she shrieked as she fell.
“Wow, this babe set die!” the boss exclaimed.
“Please don’t hurt her, I’d give you anything you want.” Tony pleaded.
“Noo, mr man, we didn’t come for you, we are paid to work on her.” The boss said pulling Lara towards himself.
She shivered, tears streaming down her cheeks.
He tilted her chin up, and his eyes met her frightened ones.
His eyes widened in recognition.
“Lara the class monitor!” he exclaimed in suprise.
“Bayo?” she gasped.
“What are you doing here?” he couldn’t help asking.
She felt weak, the suprise she got made her whole body numb.
Bayo was her classmate/best friend during her secondary school days.
“I’m sorry for…errm..the…erm” Bayo whispered wiping her tears.
“Boys make we waka!” he told his boys who were grumbling.
“Make we dey go jor!” he added firmly, sauntering towards the door.
“Just like that?” one of the boys queried.
“Wetin again? We no fit touch her na! Make we just go!” Bayo replied.
“we no fit trust her, she know you, she fit call police..” they grumbled again.
“She won’t!” Bayo chuckled.
He left with his boys following suit.
Tony held the trembling Lara as she wept. She rested her head on his shoulders holding him tightly.
He led her towards his bedroom.
He kissed her tears dry, the salty taste made him want to suck some more tears out of her eyes.
She clutched him tightly as he searched for the zip fastener of her night robe
Tony stole glances at Lara as they ate breakfast, she seemed interested only in the choco she drank, her toast was still intact.
“Madam, you are not eating…” he said without looking up.
“anything wrong?” he asked again, since she kept mute.
“What i’m thinking…does it matter?” Lara toyed with her scambled eggs.
“It does, it matters to me…tell me.” Tony urged
“Do you have to go to work every morning?”
Tony smiled, he was expecting that.
“I stay at home-alone everyday, till you come back by evening, and.. And…” Lara complained.
“You are laughing? If you laugh again, you won’t go work today!” she pouted
“you see..that’s why I said you start following me to the office, there’s a chair for you! You could sit and gaze at me all day!” Tony said smiling.
“No thank you.” Lara laughed.
“you said you’d be going out today.” he stated rather than asked.
“Yes, yes, I’d be going to see my mother, its been long since I saw her.” Lara explained.
“aiit! But…be very careful.” Tony intoned picking up his jacket.
“bye baby..” he gave her a peck.
“bye…” she laughed.
“hehn! Omolara, so you remember me today.” Funke said as her daughter flopped on a settee beside her.
“Mummy, don’t start o! I’m too tired!”
“so you won’t even eat in my house, ehn?” Funke gestured at the tray she placed on a stool.
“Mum, not like that! I don’t have appetite…” Lara said slowly.
“hehen!” Funke clapped and looked her all over.
“you are looking so fresh! Enjoyment right?”
“Enjoyment ke! Mum I came to discuss something serious o” Lara sat up.
“hmm, go on”
“Mum, I think there’s something wrong with my body, I’m becoming fairer, changes everywhere…my bosom, my hips…my…mum you won’t believe I now have a protuding navel…” Lara explained.
“Seriously mum, I’ve lost taste for food, even Tony is becoming worried.” Lara concluded.
“Wonderful!” Funke said absentmindedly.
“When last did you menstruate?”
“Errmm, I think Two months ago.” Lara informed her.
“Wow! How did you become pregnant? I thought your husband was impo…”
“Mum please! Lets not talk about Tony!” Lara stopped her.
“I have a doctor friend, we shall go and see him.” Funke said giving her a searching look.
“I’ll call to tell him we’re coming.” Funke walked into her room, to make a phone call.
Lara watched her closely, she wasn’t expecting such kindness from her troublesome mother.
“Thank you Doctor.” Funke smiled as Olakija walked into the office carrying some papers.
“Omolara right?”Olakija asked Lara who nodded.
“From our test, you are seven weeks pregnant.” he informed her.
“Wow! Oh my God!” Lara jumped happily, hugging her mother.
“Thank you Almighty God! I’m so happy! Mum I’m pregnant! You’l have a grandchild!” she shook her mother excitedly.
“Oh my! I need to call Tony…” her hands scrambbled through her bag for her phone.
“Errm…there’s no need for that.” Olakija said quitely.
“Oops! Its prohibited to make calls in your hospital?” Lara quipped.
“No…its..its just that..that..there is a complicative issue.” Olakija sighed.
Lara’s face dropped.
“The foetus is not formed properly…”
“Yekpa! My grandchild! Haaa!” Funke threw her hands over her head.
Lara kept a straight face.
“I…I..don’t understand…this..this..” she stammered.
“Well…” Olakija exhaled sharply
“For your safety, you need to abort it, else it might get more complicated and ..worst of all, cost you your life.”
Funke began to sob.
“what have I done to deserve this ehn? Can’t I have a grandchild ehn? Awon Aje! Those witches are responsible.”
“I…errm…doctor…let me go home, and inform my husband.” Lara said quitely.
“Noo…we can’t let you go now! We have to do it now, since your mother is here. We can call your husband later. If we let the baby stay anylonger, it might cost your life.” Olakija protested.
“Noo…” Lara began to say.
“omolara, I prefer your life to a million grandchildren o! Doctor please help us, if possible remove her womb so that she won’t have complicated issues again o!” Funke said holding her daughter.
Lara sensed trouble.
“but doctor…why the hurry? What if I’d not even see you today.” her voice wavered.
“talk to me doctor! What’s the hurry all about!” Lara said with a frown.
“We have to hurry my dear, for your life! Your mum still needs you around her! We have to make haste while there’s yet time” Olakija explained.
“Omolara don’t be strong headed na! I can’t lose two things o! I can’t lose my grand child and my only child o! Follow the doctor’s advice.”
Lara shook her head rising to her feet.
“The baby has a father, the father needs to give his full conscience, Tony has to be here, else nothing should touch his baby!” she said in a fierce whisper.
“young lady…your husbands presence would only worsen the situation.” Olakija tried to hold her.
“I still demand to let Tony know! He doesn’t even know I’m in a hospital right now!” Lara pushed him away.
“What if I died in the process? Tony would never forgive me! Besides its against my faith to kill! I can’t kill my baby!” she turned to face her mother.
Funke thought for a while, she exchanged some looks with the doctor.
“Okay, call your husband to come now.”
Lara looked from her mother to Olakija, somehow she felt her mother was up to something.
“Hello pumpkin” Tony said from the other end.
“Hello baby…” her voice became shaky.
“Hello…. hello…hello? Honey are you alright?” Tony sounded worried.
“Ye…no…yes! Tony please…can…you come over..over..to Anukpo specialist hospital now? Please…”
“Hospital? Lara are you okay? Tony said again.
“Just come, now please!” Lara ended the call.
“Excuse me….” Tony walked into the room
“G’afnoon Doc.” Tony shook Olakija.
“Good day ma’am” he greeted his mother inlaw.
Lara hugged him weeping profusely.
“Easy now baby…don’t cry..I’m here okay?” He whispered as he rocked her.
“Doctor, what’s wrong? I mean..what going on?” Tony asked the doctor.
“is it that serious? How bad is it?” he asked again after Olakija explained the situation to him.
“The situation is worse!” Olakija sighed.
“Can’t we..I mean..don’t we have time to think about it…I have to inform my parents..” Tony was trying his best to be strong.
“Parents ke! Were your parent there when you impregnated my daughter? Ehn?” Funke shouted at him.
“you better allow the doctor do his work o! After all you did to my daughter you still want her dead abi? Nothing should happen to my daughter o”
“Hope you know your daughter is also my wife!” Tony glared at her.
“See who is talking o!” Funke clapped.
“Let them do it…I don’t want to die.” Lara said amidst tears.
“You won’t die…” Tony held her tightly.
“Errm..Doctor..I think we need time to think about this…” Tony turned to the doctor.
“Lets go home!” he helped Lara to her feet.
“There’s no time.” Olakija protested.
“There is always time!” Tony said as he led Lara towards the door.
“Where are you taking my daughter to? Ehn?” Funke tried to stop them
“To a more reputable hospital! I won’t let some quack and ill-experienced doctors use my wife as a sample for experiment! Besides the hospital itself is not fit!” he shot at her.
“Tony please…” Lara began to plead.
“Lets go.” he said holding her hand.
Lara rested her head on Tony’s shoulder, she was tired from crying. Her in-laws were both there with her; sitting on a waiting chair.
The hospital was “reputable and standard” as Tony puts it.
Amara shuffled to her feet as Doctor Myles walked in.
“Sit down please.” Myles smiled taking his seat.
Lara pursed her lips, she was fighting back tears, she could hear Tony’s heart pondering dangerously against his chest.
“Well, it still beats my imagination..I mean..what kinda doctor would opt for an abortion just like that?” Myles adjusted his glasses as peered at some papers.
“ermm…so…doctor, what have found out?” Ifiora said gently.
“Yes..yes, oh yes!” Myles smiled looking up at them.
“I’m glad to inform you all that there’s nothing wrong with this pregnancy” his smile widened.
“Did you check well? I mean…did…did You conduct the test properly? You’re sure there isn’t a mistake?” Tony intoned.
“All is well.” myles laughed.
“Both the baby and its mother are in perfect condition.”
“Oh my God!” Amara hugged Lara affectionately
“Are very sure doctor?” Ifiora wouldn’t believe.
“Very very sure! You can go check in another hospital to confirm the authencity.” Myles chuckled.
“Come over here, baby…” Tony whispered as he hugged Lara.
He was relieved all was well.
He shut his eyes as he savoured her hug. That witch! He thought.
He was definitely going to deal with his mother in-law. How could she be so wicked?!