My heart has started racing faster, I can’t remember being scared about anything this much, not since I was a little girl. My throat is dry, my palms wet and despite the voices in the room, I can hear my heartbeat.
I’m going to lose him.
He is still staring at me, waiting for me to say something but words have eluded me. I reach for his hand but he snatches it from me.
I have lost him.
I search his eyes but find nothing. He is still staring, as if waiting for me to say something.
“Guess what Renny? We found letters in grandma’s room. She wrote each one of us a letter” Mobola announces to me. “Hi Kunle” she says to him and he only nods in response.
I face her and for the first time in my life, I am grateful Mobola said something. She has saved me from the hell I was in. I can at least think a bit clearly for a few seconds.
“Oh…” I clear my throat “where is mine?” I ask.
“It is with Uncle Bode. Wanna see?”
“Yes. I would join you” then immediately Mobola leaves, I face Kunle.
“Please say something” I mutter. “Please”
He doesn’t say anything and I add “I’m sorry Kunle…”
“Why did you do it?” He finally says. “Why are you hiding the pregnancy from me?”
“I… Kunle you have to believe that it was overwhelming at first and I also didn’t want to lose you” I respond.
“Lose me by informing me of the impending arrival of my child? Just for how long were you going to keep this news away from me? Nine months? Three years? You were probably going to disappear when the baby is born” The coldness in his voice is not hidden. “You even lied to me when I suspected”
Oh my gosh, no don’t be mad at me Kunle. I didn’t mean to be silly.
“I am so sorry Kunle… please forgive my stupidity. I just felt like… like we didn’t know each other enough…” I plead
“No. You felt like you didn’t know me enough. You don’t trust me” he interjects; the anger is glaring. “You felt I am like Makin or every other person that has hurt you but that’s not who I am. And I proved that to you in every way that I could. But that didn’t matter to you.”
And I realise he is right. I do not trust him not to leave me.
“Or were you going to get rid of my child?” He suddenly says
“No! No Kunle. I would never do such!”
He shakes his head, he is still disgusted at what I did “I proved to you in every way that I could that I was for real. I did things that I would normally not do. I have never gone out of my way for any woman but you… you are different. Can’t you see it?” He asks me as if he can’t believe. “I don’t know what hurts more, the fact that you kept the information away from me and lied to me or the fact that you don’t trust me despite how hard I tried for you to see that I would never hurt you.”
“Morenike!” I hear my great aunt call me. Not now. I’m just not….“Morenike! Come o. You and your husband”
Husband? Why do these people assume sef? And why won’t my great aunt stop calling him my husband? I didn’t even introduce him to her as one.
“Can I…” I begin to ask and he nods.
As we walk closer to the family, I silently pray for him to stay. I’m so scared. I thought I’d lose him if I told him of the baby and now I feel like I have overdone it. And I have done what I shouldn’t even have done. Uche was right; it is undoubtedly stupid.
“Here is your own letter”
I receive my letter and I open it. My grand mother wrote to each of her grandkids. Did she know she was going to pass? I stare at the three lines I can see. That’s it? Three lines? I look at the others, did she write them three lines as well. I drag my gaze back to the letter and I read:
Unlike the others, you don’t need two pages to know you are strong, smart and and amazing. Forgive, love & trust always.
Tears well up in my eyes. Forgiveness. I haven’t forgiven my extended family for what they did to my mom and I, I haven’t forgiven my dad for treating my mom and I coldly and I haven’t forgiven Makin for being an asshole.
Love. I have refused to love whole-heartedly, holding back and hurting myself in the process. I have refused to love Kunle Davies the way I should have, causing me to act in the most stupid way possible.
Trust. I have also refused to trust. I didn’t trust Kunle not to walk because of the hurt I have felt in the past. I also do not trust any of my extended family members.
My grandma saw through me and wrote me this; Her last words to me. Tears trickle down my face.
I love you grandma; From the depth of my very soul. And I would always remember this.
Kunle leaves my side and walks over to where my mom and great aunt are sitting. My heart skips. What is he about to do? Both women nod as he leaves them and returns to my side.
I look at him and glance at my mom and aunt; they are calling everyone to order and asking them to give Kunle their attention.
“I’m sorry to do this at this very sensitive moment, but Morenike left me with no choice…”
Jeez! Don’t tell them I hid the baby news away from you! We can settle that in a private place, somewhere far away from my extended family members, somewhere…
“Marry me Morenike” he says as he gets on one knee.
I blink rapidly, I look at my mom and great aunt, they are clearly shocked as well. He’s proposing? Why is he doing this? Because I’m carrying his child and he doesn’t want me to have it outside wedlock? I mean, he told his mother some minutes ago he isn’t ready for another commitment. He is not ready to be my husband but he wants his child close. He is not irresponsible like Makin, he wants to be a good daddy. He is so good with Oreoluwa and he wants to be there for his own child, his own blood. That’s what this is about. Being there for his kid. But that’s not what I want.
I look at him and I say “No”.