“You are not going to like this sweetheart but I kissed someone. You need to know, I didn’t sleep with her though.” Richard told his wife on Saturday morning.
They were sat in a cafe enjoying servings of cappuccino and shortbread biscuits. He had insisted on them having coffee together before driving to Dalston market.
“Do you feel better now after doing it?” Eniola asked. “I know you were angry with me but how could you have stooped so low. We are good Christians Rotimi.”
“Please forgive me sweetheart,” Richard reached for her hand on the table.
She pulled it away quickly, recoiling as if
stung by a bee.
“I was mad,” he continued.
“When I called you after I found out about ….., you said you went back to…. him because when I proposed you were not sure if you loved me….”
“And you put the phone down before I could finish. I meant to tell you that I came back to marry you because I realised that I was falling for you,” Eniola interrupted him.
Tears started to run down her blush-dapped cheeks but she didn’t stop to clean her face. “I came back and
And I am sorry that you are not Junior’s
biological father but you are the only father he is ever going to know. Gbenga can not lay a claim on our son. It is
too late. Junior is almost a fully grown man.”
“So, we can move on with our life.” Richard said, passing her some tissue paper he found in her bag.
He wanted to distract himself because he didn’t want to ask the questions in his head, like how long she had suspected
that Junior might not be his for example. Or how much she had loved her ex for her to have considered going back to be with him in Nigeria.
“So, who is she?” Her eyes were nearly digging holes in him. “Who is the woman you had an affair with?”
“Eniola, it is not an affair. It was just that we got a bit close when I was down. We kissed but we didn’t have sex,”
Richard lowered his voice when a couple walked in and took up a table beside them.
He saw the look on Eniola’s face and cursed himself for thinking it was a good idea in the first place to tell her. He knew if he had asked any Nigerian man, any sane man for advice, they would all have told him not to tell his wife he nearly cheated.
But they didn’t have secrets. Secondly he was doing it to save himself and his marriage. He wanted to severe whatever
was developing between him and Desola.
Telling his wife would mean that she would keep an extra eye on him. He would have to behave himself. Strictly work, home and church. He wouldn’t be able to sneak out to help any sisters in distress.
“Clearly you think I am a fool Rotimi. If this thing you call it was just a kiss, you wouldn’t be telling me, would you?”
Her soft voice was louder by a few decibels. He knew he was in trouble.
“It was just a kiss Eniola. It won’t happen again.
And there is no need to ask me who it was because all I know is, I love you more than life itself. If you can forgive me, we can move forward babe.”
He wanted to tell her he forgave a bigger lie. That he raised another man’s child all because of her.
Eniola stood up and picked up her bag. He was about to ask her where she was going, when she shouted, “Get up and take me home. I have had enough of your lies.”
Before they got in the car, she threw up by the side of the pavement.
He helped her into the car, aware of her glaring eyes burning into him as he buckled her in.
Her morning sickness was severe this time. She hadn’t suffered like that with her previous two pregnancies.
The guilt was ripping him apart. In the car, he tried to explain that what he did
meant nothing but she told him to stop explaining. She would listen when he was ready with the whole truth.
Every single thing that happened between him and the mystery woman.
He dropped her off at home and left for Dalston with Junior ten minutes later. Eniola gave him four different shopping lists.
Dalston market, Sainsbury’s supermarket, African bakery and Boots chemist that by the time he had finished doing the shopping, he started to think she was punishing him. He didn’t mind the punishment, as long as forgiveness followed.
Desola was with Grace in their flat the same day. Her flatmate returned from her night shift and found her on the house phone trying to get her half sister on it.
After putting the phone down, Desola told her she needed to speak to Fausat. She told her Fausat was pregnant and that the man responsible was older.
Telling Grace her uncle was responsible for her sister’s pregnancy just didn’t seem like the done thing.
“This is why I discourage girls from dating older men, dear.
Usually they only want one thing.” Grace said, yielding to the suppleness of the latter’s bed and parking her plump body on it. “Look at you and Richard…..,”she continued.
“Sister Grace!” Desola sat up straight. “I told you nothing happened. He kissed me but I stopped it. He was angry at his wife about something. I was ….”
“So, he decided to use you to get back at his wife,” Grace interrupted pointing a finger at Desola. “Do you know what people in the church will do to you if they were to find out?
We both know the worshippers in our angels’ church only take the man’s side. I know it is wrong that the woman is usually held accountable for things like this, but my dear you should have known better.
You should not have let him close enough so that he could plant his lips on yours in the first place.
I saw Pastor on my way home. He is suggesting you seduced his son. I had no idea he knew.”
“He saw Uncle Richard talking to me at Naija spice and jumped to conclusions.” Desola told her.
Grace sighed. “He thinks there is something going on.
He actually asked me to evict you from the flat. I am not shocked that he has asked me to evict you, but it’s my flat not his. Pastor used to like you dear before all this mess.”
Grace added when she saw that Desola eyes were beginning to fill with tears. “Don’t worry Desola.
I know you are not that kind of a girl. Let the whole church take the Pastor’s son’s side if they want, I will take your side.
Pastor should deal with his son, he is older than you at the end of the day. He should have known better.
But whatever happens, you have me. Okay dear?”
Desola smiled a weak smile. “Thank you. I promise I will stay away from him Sister Grace. I feel terrible.
How did I let that happen?” When Grace hugged her, she let her tears flow.
How could a woman she had only known for two years be this kind to her?
A woman from a different path of the world from her.
A woman she met, thanks to Ife when she was looking for a new place to live.
The hug reminded her that despite thinking that her problems were only for her shoulders, she could confide in Grace
completely and she wouldn’t judge her.
Few hours later, after the women had eaten and rested, Grace decided to bake some cupcakes for the church service the next day. When she saw there was no baking powder in the cupboard, Desola volunteered to go to the shop to get some. Grace asked her to go to her friend, Agnes on the third floor instead to ask for some.
That would be quicker. Agnes, Grace’s friend who had just become the choir leader at Our Angels church, loved baking cakes and taking them to the church, just like Grace.
Desola hurried upstairs, taking the flight of stairs, two at a time. She felt better than she had that morning.
Grace and her had decided that she should give the church service a miss for the next two or three weeks to let the dust settle.
When she got to Agnes’s door, the positive feeling evaporated because standing in the middle of the lobby was Agnes and Eniola. Eniola was holding the door open with one of her hands.
She looked angry.
Desola made for the lift immediately, she wasn’t tough enough to face Richard’s wife for the second time that week.
“Desola, is that you? Come here. Where are you going to? I need to ask you something?” Desola was too late.
Eniola’s voice was different.
Desola started to panic as she ambled into the flat tentatively. She wondered if Eniola knew. Did Richard tell her? Or was it Agnes?
Agnes was giving her shifty looks, her back on the wall of her unlit lobby.
Desola spotted Agnes’s teenage son in the
lounge watching MTV base, his whole petite body on the sofa.
She wondered if the boy would be strong enough to rescue her from Eniola’s grasp.
“There is no need to ask Desola to come in. We can sort this.” Agnes said.
“I think there is every need sister Agnes.” Eniola said, her eyes on Desola.
“Tell me Desola, have I ever done anything wrong to you or anyone in the church?” Desola did not answer.
She was not sure how to start apologising. “No,
Desola, I am a saint in the church. Me and my husband help you all out as if we don’t have a family of our own. So,
imagine my surprise when I ask Sister Agnes to tell her juvenile delinquent son to stay away from my son and she takes offence.
I caught her son smoking in my garden. The boy never comes to church and he is so rude. I don’t want Khim anywhere near my well behaved children. It is not my fault that he doesn’t have a father to teach him how to behave.”
Agnes started crying at the last statement. Her son got up, ran into the lobby, not stopping despite Agnes shouting his name.
He pushed past Desola and ran out of the flat.
Desola went to a visibly shaken Agnes and started to guide her into the lounge, hoping Eniola would take it as a cue to leave.
“I just want him to stay away from my son, that’s all. We have enough problems of our own.” Eniola left, slamming
the door behind her.
As soon as Agnes had calmed down a bit on the sofa, she turned to Desola.
“Please can you go and talk to James for me. Please. He does stupid things when he is angry. I don’t want him to go and meet the dodgy gang he hangs around with at the shopping centre. Please, he will listen to you.” Desola left immediately.
She knew James would listen to her.
All the teenagers at the church usually did because she didn’t mind putting herself at their level.
She took the stairs because she was hoping that he was still in the building. She paused on the second floor to catch her breadth and stopped altogether.
On the landing of the first floor – at the bottom of the stairs – was the body of a woman lying face down.
She knew it was Eniola when she saw the woman’s skirt. Her left leg was twisted sideways. Desola ran down the stairs.
At the speed of lightning.
She started to scream.
More in shock than to seek help because Eniola was unconscious- making Desola think that she could be seriously hurt or worse, dead.
Watch Out for Chapter 7…