“YOU HAD AN ABORTION? BUT YOU TOLD ME IT WAS A MISCARRIAGE!” Korede yelled at Chisom, while the latter stared at him mute – her arms folded as she stood in the large condo, which belonged to the former.
She had not seen him in three years. And she had made no move to contact him, he initially did but she refused to speak to him or return any of his calls and emails and eventually, he got tired.
“When did you even return to town? Huh? You return to town and the first thing you do is contact Kofo? You both couldn’t even stand each other! What the heck did she tell you that made you become fast friends with her?”
He was pacing. He knew he should stop but he could not help it really. She had vanished, disappeared totally and he’d missed her, ached for her, reached out to her but she’d refused to respond. She had shut him out. And he’d heard nothing from her, not until when she strolled in during that disastrous dinner at his sister’s.
“Say something, damn it!” He said to her, finally dragging himself to a halt. Only then did he take a good look at her that night, she was dressed in a simple top and jeans and she looked as pretty as he’d remembered her. She still kept her hair short, the “Anita Baker” way and her skin glowed like she had been paying special attention to it recently.
“I had to leave Korede. It was in our best interest” She responded.
“You were pregnant!”
“Yes. But you forget it wasn’t for you. I didn’t want to put all my troubles on you. You know how I felt doing that” Chisom interjected.
“I was ready to take responsibility, to protect you, to be there for you…” He said calmly as he moved closer to her.
“I didn’t want you to. You had done enough for me, that was asking for too much” She answered, her gaze on him now. He looked tired, she noted. It had been an eventful evening “you need rest” she added.
“I need you” he said and covered the remaining space in between them in two quick strides. He parted her lips with his tongue and kissed her before she could say another word.
Akin Bucknor had not witnessed a night as dramatic as the one he just had in a long time. Kofo had ruined everything; she knew what she was doing and had planned everything before the dinner, she just wasn’t expecting Malika’s reaction to her.
As he drove back from Malika’s apartment, he began to think of how things had gone from good to bad and now worse between him and Kofo. They had once been happy, in love, everything just seemed like a mirage now.
After Malika’s statement about Kofo’s vagina, Kofo had stormed out of the room and Korede had offered to drop Malika off, but much to everybody’s surprise, he had taken her home himself. She’d said nothing during the drive to her house and when she got home, all she did was pick her purse and walk in.
He felt bad. Felt sorry for putting her in his messy family affair. He just wanted to hold her and tell her it would be fine. But he knew she didn’t need him. She didn’t need his assurance and she wouldn’t take it. He sighed. He did care about her in a weird way and he wanted everything to be fine with her.
“Where are you coming from?” Kofo demanded immediately he stepped out of the car.
“I went to drop Malika off” He responded. She smiled bitterly, leaned against the wall and took a sip from the bottle of Vodka she was holding.
“You promised me you’d never look at another woman, that it would be just us forever, that things would never get this messy…what happened to you? What happened to us?” She asked him, tears welling up in her eyes. She wiped it off with the back of her hand and then took another sip from the bottle she was holding. “You even had the nerve to tell that little bitch she’s the best you’ve had in five years. Did things start going wrong that long ago? Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you let me know so I can fix things?”
She raised her hand to stop him from moving close or even saying another word.
“I have loved you, been there for you, sacrificed my future for you, yet all I get is for you to embarrass me with a stupid whore?” She queried
“I didn’t mean for things to be this way Kofo. I just…things just got out of hands and I tried to tell you but you never seemed to listen…” He tried to say. Things had gone awry way before that night; years before. But she had refused to see it, not even when he tried everything he could for her to see it. She had always been too preoccupied with everything but her family, everything but him.
She smiled again “it is my fault right? You fuck another woman and it is my fault you did?” She asked, now raising her voice, her eyes filled with so much rage he knew anything could happen that moment.
He decided to tread carefully. “Kofo…”
“Get the hell out of my house!” She yelled.
He stood there, not believing what he’d heard but she was serious.
“I said get out!”
Then she walked in and slammed the door in his face.
“You can’t be serious” Malika said to him when she opened the door to her apartment.
Akin Bucknor was standing at her doorstep just minutes after he had dropped her off. What the heck was he looking for that late at night and at her house? Couldn’t the man just stay away with his over dramatic wife?
“Malika please don’t shut the door” he pleaded.
“What do you want? Stay away Akin. I can’t deal anymore” she said and tried to shut the door but he stopped her with his hands.
“I have nowhere to pass the night.” He said.
“Did your bed get stolen?” She asked coldly.
“I wish. My wife threw me out of the house” he responded.
“Interesting. So how is this my business?” She asked him. Damn, she was not feeling good at all. The result of too much alcohol on an empty stomach; She was beginning to feel funny, her stomach acting like it was sending everything she’d had that night back to her throat and….“Oh my God” she covered her mouth with her hands, she was going to be sick.
“Are you okay?” Akin asked, suddenly worried as he watched her cover her mouth with one hand and hold her stomach with the other.
She couldn’t respond as she ran into the house, heading for the guest toilet to relieve herself.
Akin followed her after closing the door behind him.
She reached the toilet and held the seat with her hands while she emptied everything in her stomach through her mouth.
Akin helped her clean up when she was done.
“Stay the night. But be gone before I wake up. I’ve had enough drama. And please use the couch.” She said and with her hand on her head, she entered her room to search for painkillers.
Chisom quietly got out of bed, trying her best not to startle Korede who still slept soundly beside her. She checked his bedside clock and realised it was 7am in the morning. She had slept so deeply during the night and she’d woken so late. She never slept past 6am; this was a first for her.
Stepping into the bathroom, she relieved herself of Korede’s old shirt that she’d slept in the night before.
He’d refused to make love to her, even when she knew she’d have let him if he tried. He still was the gentleman she knew, the gentleman who stood for her when everybody was against her. Everybody including her own parents.
She turned on the shower and was grateful again that morning that she’d decided to be a woman with short hair as she let the water fall on her and soak her while she stood there, enjoying it.
When she stepped out of the bathroom, wrapped in his towel minutes later, he had woken up and was getting dressed.
“Early day today?” She asked.
“Not exactly. I just need to check on Malika. She had a very funny day yesterday and I kinda took her to the dinner. Just felt it would be right to see how she’s doing.” He responded and Chisom nodded. He was that selfless man still and she adored him for that. Maybe they’d have that which they couldn’t have three years before now. The time was right now.
“I told you to leave before I wake” Malika said to Akin when she discovered him in her kitchen that same morning.
“How are you feeling this morning?” He asked her as he poured a cup of hot water and made coffee.
“I’d feel better when you leave.” She snapped and collected the cup he handed to her.
He smiled. “I just had to say thank you for last night by making sure you’re fine before I leave” he said to her as she walked out of the kitchen.
“Good. Leave now.” She said as he followed her to the dining room.
He smiled at her again. “I will”
“By the way, why here Akin? Why not a hotel or something?” She asked as he made to leave.
“I had no cash whatsoever on me. I didn’t think I’d be thrown out of my own home. Here just seemed like the closest option, I’m sorry I bothered you”
Malika nodded. She just needed him to leave. He grabbed his car keys and moved closer to her.
“I promise you that you’ve seen the last of me and my family drama” he said to her as he raised her chin with his finger and Malika found herself hoping he’d kiss her. Was she mad?
“I hope…” She said and for a minute they said nothing to each other as he kept staring in to her eyes and she, hoping she wouldn’t do anything stupid.
But she did anyway, kissing him with fervour; as if her life depended on it.
Korede walked into the apartment without knocking, only to discover Malika and his brother in law kissing and for some reason, he was disappointed.
“Wow” He said and the duo turned to face their company.
At the Bucknors’ residence, Kofo paced the room restlessly while running the events of the night before in her head. Suddenly, she stopped moving around the room as a smile slowly crept on her face.
She knew the only person who could bring sense back to Akin’s head. She raced to her bed and scrolled through her phone.
“Hello mummy…”She began, feigning tears. “Akin has packed out of the house and moved in with another woman. Help me!!”
“Ehn?! Ori e daru ni? I would be in Zest Ville in twenty minutes!” The woman on the other end of the line responded. It was Akin’s mother.
Kofo ended the call with a grin on her face. Now that bitch Malika stood no chance.
“For how long has he been doing this nonsense?” Akin’s mother asked her daughter in law as they sat in Kofo’s office less than an hour later. She couldn’t believe her son had the nerve to cheat on his wife of sixteen years, a woman who had sacrificed everything for him, a woman who had made him, a woman who had been everything the family needed as at the time she came into his life.
“Hmm…. mummy for weeks now o. And the girl is my friend o” Kofo responded. She had purposely decided not to use make up; all she had on her face was powder and nothing more. She’d wanted to appear really disturbed and sad when her mother in law arrived and as things were going, she seemed to have triumphed.
“Iru oloriburuku omo wo niyen? Has he gone to work? Where is he now?” Akin’s mother asked
“I don’t even know mummy. We rarely talk these days” Kofo answered and sniffed. A little more acting wasn’t bad to get her husband back.
“I would call him and find him.” The other Mrs Bucknor said and got to her feet. She grabbed her bag and then added, “please tell me you have not told Alhaja.” – Alhaja being Kofo’s mother.
“No I haven’t” Kofo responded.
“That’s good. Things can still be salvaged.” She said relief clearly written on her face. “O ba ni ko ti baje” she reiterated in yoruba and headed for the door.
Kofo smiled triumphantly as soon as the older woman departed her office.
Now she’d get Akin back and work on punishing Malika, the little brat needed to know nobody messed with Kofoworola Akin-Bucknor.