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Rebecca was flabbergasted and short of words, she could not believe what had just happened. She clasped her face in between her hands and started weeping.
Rebecca: “Oh! I shouldn’t be crying for my baby’s sake. I shouldn’t give them the pleasure of seeing me cry. But what do I do about all these? I am losing my husband or have I lost him? I made a mistake and that was because I thought he was taking my son away from me. I know I shouldn’t have done what I did but how am I going to survive this?

How?” she wept into her hands. She heard giggles and laughter emanating from behind the closed door and wondered what on earth was happening there. She imagined her husband touching the lady, kissing her or even going as far as laying with her but quickly discarded the thought. She felt her heart beat so fast that she thought it would stop beating altogether.

Ophelia: “Now this is such a good idea. We need to get her even more jealous. She needs to pay for what she did to you. This world is not a bed of roses, you don’t sow tars and expect to reap wheat…it’s never done that way” she said as she sat with him on the bed. “Besides, your house is quite beautiful, I love it” she said looking around the room.
Richard: “Thanks dear and I also agree with your previous statement. The funniest part is the sight of her now annoy me so much. If not for Sammy, I’d have left this house or made her leave a long time ago”

Ophelia: “Well I don’t think it has gotten to the extent of you leaving the house. Just make sure you make her regret every bit of her misconducts towards you.
Richard: “Yeah and I appreciate your friendship even more. Thanks for being here. You are the best thing that has happened to me this year” he confessed as his eyes roamed her body. He wondered what she looked like under…, as his eyes roamed back to her eyes, he knew he had been caught ogling. “I am so sorry I didn’t mean to do that” he swallowed hard.
Ophelia: “It’s okay, no love lost. Besides I seem to enjoy it”
Richard: “Oh really? Now that is an encouragement since I am really falling for you”

Ophelia: “Shhhhhhh! Your wife might be hearing you, don’t make a woman go suicidal”
Richard: “She should go to blazes for all I care. She no longer have my heart, you do and I knowing I am not making a mistake. Or don’t you have feelings for me at all?”
Ophelia: “Of course I do since the first day I set my eyes on you but you are married and I don’t wanna be the one to break your home”
Richard: “My home is already broken baby.

Just concentrate on loving me, I assure you, very soon I will do everything right by you. I only need some time” he said, reached out and …. “I love you Ophelia”. He moved even closer and perched a light kiss, he withdrew to read her reaction but when nothing negative came from her, he resumed….
Ophelia: “What do you think you are doing?”
Richard: “Why? Did I do something wrong?”
Ophelia: “No not at all, just that your wife and son are out there and I don’t want any trouble at all” she said feeling so embarrassed.

Richard: “Okay dear… I understand your reluctance, I’d be too”
Ophelia: “Not just that, I am also not ready yet”
Richard: “Will wait for you till you are ready” he smiled awkwardly.
Ophelia: “Thanks dear for understanding. I will get going now” she said straightening her dress.
He walked her out and as they stepped into the sitting room, they met Rebecca setting the table. The aroma from the food on the table was magnetizing. She looked up from what she was doing and smiled brightly at them.

Rebecca: “Food is ready. Come and take your seat please?” she said looking from one to the other.
Ophelia: “Thanks but I am not hungry, I don’t know about Richard?”
Richard: “I am not hungry either. Come on now, let’s go”
They both walked out without casting a second glance at the dining table or the woman hovering over it with tray in her hand.

Ophelia: “What is wrong with your wife? Is she really that nice or she is stupid” she said as she strapped on the car’s seat belt as Richard drove the range rover out of the compound into the street.
Richard: “She is not nice at all, she is just putting up an act to ensnare me into her web again She is a very cunning woman”
Ophelia: “Oh! Then stupid is what she is then, how can she still be calm despite our efforts to make her jealous? She must be a really dangerous woman indeed” she said and shrugged.
As weeks further drifted into months, their relationship kept deteriorating. All those who knew them even at work had tried to reconcile them all to no avail. Richard was determined to keep it at the level it was in. he was even more determined because Ophelia was in the picture. She became his world. No day passed by without them meeting. Even after parting, they took to whatsApp or calls and talked way into the night like teenagers who just found love for the first time. What however baffled him the most was the fact that she remained unresponsive to his sexual advances. It was more like she was disgusted at his touch or so he thought. She kept telling him she wasn’t ready and that he should give her some time to adjust.

Ophelia did not know what to do so she visited Gloria at her home. Luckily for her, her husband was away on a business trip to Dubai so they had all the time in the world for their chit-chat and little little more.
Gloria: “And what were you saying earlier?” she asked
Ophelia: “I seem to really be fond of the man. Not that I am in love with him, just that I really care about him and this issue of sex is about to break us apart. What do I do?”
Gloria: “Hmmmmmm! You sound like someone in love”
Ophelia: “Well I am not in love… I am just trying to help a friend out here. A friend I don’t want to lose”
Gloria: “Then you have to just do it with him. There is nothing you can do about it. All you have to do is lie back while he does whatever he wants with you. Close your eyes really tight and touch his back occasionally. That will make him cum more easily than you just laying docile”
Ophelia: “Are you sure that would work?”

Gloria: “That is what I do with my husband and it works so I guess it will work with him too.”
Ophelia: “Awwwwww really? Don’t worry I will be here to render more of my service to you. I shall not disappoint ever” she said basking in the euphoria of the moment.
Gloria: “Follow me down to the cellar so we can grab some wine my dear. This moment feels too glorious for us not to celebrate” they held hands and left the huge and beautiful bedroom she shared with her husband together.

Ophelia: “To our endless love for each other” they both toasted after they had selected a bottle of champagne from the barrage of wines in the cellar. They both sipped on the wine and stretched forth their neck to kiss while sitting at the bar in the sitting room. As they kissed, the door of the sitting room burst open and Gloria’s husband barged into the room with his protruding stomach, the agbada he wore could hardly hide and a suitcase at his right hand. He was startled out of his wits when he saw them…
Gloria’s Husband: WHAT? What’s happening here…

They quickly pretended as if they were whispering something to each other as the business mogul approached them with a look of bewilderment and skepticism on his face.
Johnson: “What were you ladies doing just now when I stepped into this living room?”
Gloria: “Oh honey you are back? Welcome back” she said trying to collect his briefcase from him.
Johnson: “Get your hands off my briefcase and answer the damn question.
Ophelia: “I don’t get…”
Johnson: “Hey you keep your mouth shut, it’s not you I am asking but my wife” his voice reverberated in the house.

Gloria: “How can you talk to my friend like that?”
Johnson: “I said what were you two doing?”
Gloria: “She was just whispering something to me. I don’t even understand what on earth you claim to have seen that you should be barking this way. It is not fair. Hi omeano on+233544142683 to be added to storybaze, storyline, unlimited story platform to get more episodes from there. Are you trying to defame I and my friend?”

Johnson: “I know what I saw and it was more than whispering. Do you take me for a fool? Why will you two be whispering when there is no one in here with you? Oh God!” he threw his brief down and put his hands on his head.
Gloria: “It’s not what you think honey, the house boy was hovering around and I didn’t want anyone hearing what I had to tell her. You know what they say that the walls have ears. I and Ophelia have been friends since secondary school and no one ever caught us in a compromising position. Are you sure it’s not your eyes feeding you thoughts?”

Johnson: “Okay…whatever games you two are playing, I guess it’s high time you stopped it. If I as much as get a whiff of foul play between you two, I will get you arrested for lesbianism. Don’t dare me!” he threatened and walked out on them with his agbada trailing after him.
Ophelia: “Wow! That was a close call” she commented heaving a sigh of relief. “I thought you said he was not due to be back for another two days? You could have put us in trouble with your carelessness”
Gloria: “Well that was what he said when I called to ask him earlier. Only God knows what happened for him to be back already” she said obviously piqued.
Ophelia: “Well it’s okay. I want to get going now before he comes back with more conviction. See you soon, go and attend to your husband’s needs, you should be able to convince him with that body of yours” she said sizing her up lustfully, looking around to be sure there was no prying eyes around.

Gloria: “You are sick. Just don’t forget what I told you, make him happy” she said winking at her naughtily and scurried off towards the bedroom leaving her friend to find her way out herself.
On her way to the junction to get taxi, she dialed Richard’s number and when he picked the call, she asked him to meet her at the National Theatre so they could have some time together without the prying ears of his wife.
As she drove home from the hospital that evening, what the doctor told her kept reverberating in her mind.
Dr. Wilson: “Madam, I told you to take things slow, keep yourself happy so your heart don’t further deteriorate but you didn’t seem to have heeded to my advice, why?” he asked looking intently at her. She felt his eyes boring holes into her.
Rebecca: “I don’t get it. But I am happy, what is happening doctor?”
Dr. Wilson: “By now, it’s your husband I am supposed to be talking to, where is he?”

Rebecca: “I am yet to tell him” she didn’t dare look him in the eyes as she said this.
Dr Wilson: “Oh good! Very good! Why didn’t you?”
Rebecca: “I haven’t gotten the opportunity to, he keeps writing me off each time I try talking to him about I and the pregnancy” she said fighting back tears.
Dr Wilson: “Okay at least you have siblings? Someone whom you could be coming with at least till further notice?”
Rebecca: “No there’s no such person. My parents are late and I was their only surviving child. The rest of my siblings had died of one illness on the other. My husband and son are the only people I call family”
Dr Wilson: “I am sorry to hear about that madam. But you have not improved at all and it pains me so much. Please try telling your husband and refrain from anything that will make your heart skip beats. That is, don’t put pressure on your heart, you need to start doing things that would keep your mind off your worries, your health is still very very important” he emphasized on his earlier point.
She was brought back to reality by a loud honking of horns of different peeved drivers. Many of whom rained curses on her for being so careless on the wheels. She readjusted on the seat and realised she was almost at Costain bus stop. She decided to branch to the national theatre so as to clear her mind a bit. She needed to heed to the doctor’s advice. “That place is quite serene, I will stop there for a moment and get my worries behind me” she said to herself and drove into the gate of the Lagos state National Theatre


Richard and Ophelias sat opposite each other on the lawn right in front of the theatre. Lovers, families, friend sat clustered on the lawn with picnic baskets. Some gisted and laughed while some busied themselves with taking pictures trying to capture the beautiful sculpture of a man riding a horse with their snapshots.
Rebecca walked around just revelling in the euphoria of the love she felt in the atmosphere. She admired the couples there who were busy playing love, she wished it was she and Richard all alone in such beautiful environment. She quickly checked herself when she realised she was drifting away from her purpose of going there which was to find some peace and tranquillity in the midst of her chaotic life.

Ophelia turned back and placed her head on his laps gently, not knowing how to broach the topic to him.
Richard: “Is anything wrong love?” he asked when he noticed her discomfiture.
Ophelia: “Nothing really. I just wanted to tell you I am ready now” her cheeks flushed bright red
Richard: “Ready for what?”
Ophelia: “To finally have … with you”
Richard: “Hey babe! You don’t need to feel pressured about this okay? I am not in a hurry at all”
Ophelia: “I know you are not pressuring me at all and that’s why I want to do this. I don’t think I have ever been this nervous before in my entire life”
Richard: “But why are you nervous exactly? Is it that you’ve never had … before or what?”

Ophelia: “No ooo I have had … several times before just that it’s been very long I had … last so I might not be as good as I am supposed to be”
Richard: ‘Well you’ve got nothing to worry about at all. I will help you through but why did you stop having it? Did something happen?”
Ophelia: “Well my boyfriend whom I loved so much broke my heart and cos of that I swore never to have anything to do with any man again till I am fully sure he is the one for me”
Richard: “and baby, I love you so much. Thanks for counting me worthy. I promise never to disappoint you” he said, bent his head and gave her a long lingering kiss on the lips just then he heard a faint “Richard” he looked up and saw his wife looming over them with her protruding stomach kissing the sunset.
Rebecca: “Richard… how could you do this to me? How?”

Richard: “What are you doing here? Please go back home” he said as Ophelia sat up.
Rebecca: “Why? Why? She repeated weakly and slumped down on the floor.
Richard: “Oh God! Quickly help me, let’s get her to the hospital” he said emotionlessly to no one in particular as people gathered around to know what was going on.
Sammy sat in his room wondering why his parents were not back by that time of the night. He felt sleepy and tired after a long day at school for their weekend training pending the inter-house sport but he knew he had to wait for them. They had never left all alone by himself like that especially when his nanny was on leave. He felt jittery with fear. The horror movies he used to watch went haunting him like a terrible nightmare. He had to hide himself under the blanket, yet he felt like the haunted ghost of the wizard was under the blanket with him. He closed his eyes tightly and imagine how it would be like when his sister arrives.

That thought brought a smile to his face and he forgot about his parents and the ghosts for a moment. Just as he started drifting off to sleep, he heard the blaring of his dad’s car horn, sprang to his feet and sprinted for the door and waited there for him to step into the house.
Sammy: “Daddy…” he ran and embraced his dad as soon as he had stepped in.
Richard: “Hey little Champ! Aren’t you sleeping yet? You should be on bed by now” he said holding him by the hand as they stepped into the living room which laid juxtaposed to the main bedroom.
Sammy: “Where is mum?” he asked ignoring his dad’s rhetoric
Richard: “Sammy I will need you to be strong. Remember you are a strong boy? Ghosts don’t scare you anymore right?”
Sammy: “Dad where is mum? Is my mum okay?” he asked like an adult intolerant of people who beat around the bush.
Richard: “Hmm… “ he sighed
Sammy: “Dad, what do you mean?”
Richard: “Ok, tell you what? Your mum is not coming home tonight” he said looking down at his feet.

Sammy: “What do you mean by mum is not coming home tonight? She always comes back home. Where is she? Take me to her please!” he wept.
Richard: “Sam, I told you to be strong, didn’t i? I told you men should be strong and you are a man”
Sammy: “Why do you keep telling me to be strong? I cannot be strong without mum so take me to her daddy or ask her to come home. Daddy please?”
Richard: “Hmmm….” He sighed again “Your mum is in the hospital, that’s why she wouldn’t be able to come back today”
Sammy: “Hospital? Is she okay? Is it time for her to get delivered of my sister? But she told me it will be due in two months’ time?” he said with eyes blazing with tears.

Richard: “She suddenly fell ill. But she will be fine, doctor said she will be fine”
Sammy: “When do I see her? Tomorrow right?”
Richard: “Yeah sure! I will take you to her tomorrow. Go back to sleep now okay? And don’t worry, your mother will be fine”
Sammy: “How about you? Will you be fine? Just know that if anything happens to my mum, it will be your fault. Your fault” he said and ran off while his dad watched from where he stood with mouth agape. He could not believe he was aware of all the happenings in the house. He raked his fingers through his neatly kept afro hair and sighed heavily.
He walked slowly to the room he had shared with her for years, the room that had both good and bad, happy and sad memories they shared together in it. He looked around and saw the huge mirror at the side of room, the place she sat first thing in the morning to tend to her face and every night to do same. The wardrobe still had some of his things in it, he saw a bag at one corner of the closet, opened it and saw it contained baby things. Cute little girl cloths and he realised how much he had missed out. How much he had neglected her despite her apologies to him. At that moment he knew he had to make things right, he knew he had to make amends if she will forgive him. He still loved her.

That night he slept in the main bedroom, pretending to have her wrapped in his arms and whispering sweet somethings into her ears. His sleep was filled with dreams of her.
At the hospital the next morning, Sammy watched as the doctor and his nurses ran to and fro his mum’s ward. He knew something was definitely amiss. He looked at his dad and noticed he was pacing up and down the hospital hallway restlessly.
Sammy: “Daddy what is happening to mum?”
Richard: “Sammy I am not in the mood to answer any of your numerous questions now. I am really really tired so pardon me for now please?” he replied and continued pacing around.

Sammy: “He could have just answered the question rather that all those he just said. What a waste” he muttered to himself.
The doctor appeared at the hallway and beckoned for Richard to follow him.
Richard: “Wait for me here. Don’t move from that spot okay?” he said to his son.
Sammy: “Okay daddy” he admired the retreating figure of the doctor with his labcoat flying in the air behind him till they disappeared into another hallway leading to the consulting rooms.
Dr Wilson: “I am very disappointed in you Richard. There’s no way i will lie to you about this. I have known you guys for quite some time now and I can’t say you don’t have your own faults in the conflicts between you and your wife. She made a mistake and she apologised to you with the last drop of her blood but this is how you paid her back?” he said as soon as he entered his consulting room and shut the door behind them. There were mirage of people in the hallway.

Richard: “What is going on? What are you talking about?”
Dr Wilson: “To cut the whole story short, your wife is suffering from a heart disorder called peripartum cardiomyopathy. I am sure you have heard of it before since she didn’t just develop it?”
Richard: “Shit! Shit!! Shit!!! I am damned. She did not fucking tell me all these while?”
Dr Wilson: “She said she tried telling you countless times but you kept shutting her out. Saying you don’t wanna hear anything about her and the baby. What kind of a man, husband and father says such to his pregnant wife?”
Richard: “Oh my God! I had no idea. I really had no idea. Wow!” he paced around the office aggressively.

Dr Wilson: “We have to operate her in order to at least save the baby. The baby is in danger as we talk, your wife’s heartbeat is already too faint, it can cease anytime. So I need your permission to carry out the CS?”
*_To be Continue

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