The pain coercing through me is so unbearable. It
felt like the end of the world was just a breath
away. Everything I thought of, everything I saw,
everything I felt was pain. My water broke just as
I played chess with my step-mum. She had been
staying with us for two weeks now. Richard’s mum
wanted to stay also but Richard still could not see
eye to eye with his mum. Through my efforts, he
has been able to release some of the hurt he felt
but he still could not handle having his mum
helping me through the pregnancy period. He
lamented that some of her promiscuous nature
could be transferred. I felt he still held a level of
grudge against her. Months flew by without me
actually noticing it. My belly rose and rose and with
each passing day, my joy increased and anticipation
rose. Richard stayed at home most times, leaving
the hospital in the hands of doctor felix.
Something I never anticipated happened: we became
friends with Kelvin. The past was buried and we
became family friends. Life is a lot better when we
forgive. I had always said that most women always
exaggerate their labour pains. Even when Prisca was
heavy and in labour, something still told me that it
could not be that painful. Experiencing it now was
giving me the first hand idea of what it is all
Richard drove in like a mad man, after the gateman
had opened the door for him. He did not even kill
the engine or shut the door of the car, instead, he
rushed to take over from my mum; Prisca’s mum to
be precise, who rushed inside to take a box filled
with baby clothes. The scan had confirmed Prisca’s
suspicion, I am expecting a boy. I tried to be
brave, holding back the pain but I let out
exclamations unconsciously every now and then. He
murmured endearments, slowly moving me to the
backseat. Mum ordered him to hand her the keys
and seat with me at the back. There was really no
time to argue, so he obeyed immediately. She drove
in a sane manner, still on top speed.
Richard’s face was carefully guarded as he caressed
my hair, dropping kisses on my forehead. He was
visibly worried. I looked at him and smiled through
the pain. Even in pains, my head still worked to
“Honey” I whispered and gasped as another wave of
pain seared through me.
“Yes baby. You would be fine. Just take in lots of
air.” Even as a doctor, he was I nodded filling my
lungs with air.
“Would you make me a promise?”
Richard looked at me with dread. We had watched
so many movies with this line of action, they don’t
always end well.
“Don’t scare me Bell, please don’t. You would be
fine” he murmured, his hands shook as he held
I smiled weakly. “If our son comes out and he
happens to be as handsome as you are, especially
possessing your blue eyes, promise me that you
would forgive your mother. Totally”
Richard heaved a sigh of relief. “I promise, just
promise me you would be fine. We are meant to
grow old together, remember?”
I smiled. “I love you”
Richard paced the waiting room restlessly. He could
not even sit down for two seconds. People who
were also nervous were trying to calm him down
but it did not work. His parents, step mother,
tony, Prisca, Mr. and Mrs. Jegas, and Kelvin were
also with him. All the BRH workers were also in
anticipation and seeing Richard so distressed made
them even more anxious. Everyone had a prayer in
their mouth. Doctor Felix was with Belina along
with four nurses. They had refused to allow Richard
in. Richard had wanted to go in, even if only to
hold Belina’s hand through it all but doctor Felix
Mr. Branson, Richard’s father went and held Richard
in a tight hug. He had watched his son move
restlessly and felt the deep urge to reassure him.
“She would be fine. God is in control. She needs
your faith, now more than ever” he patted
Richard’s back while Richard nodded. He has never
been in this situation before and now that was, his
heart has changed location and is now residing in
his mouth but that did not stop him from praying.
“I remember feeling this way when you were to be
born” Richard smiled when he heard that. “It is
well” Mr. Branson whispered.
Richard heaved a sigh and said, “Amen”
Oyinade rolled and tossed on the uncomfortable
mattress in her one room apartment. The mattress
lay on the floor without a bed and the more she
laid on it, the more her discomfort. She had rushed
out of her own house some months ago and since
then; her life has been a living hell. She had heard
of the visit of the officials sent to her house to
get her barely five minutes after her departure and
she had thanked her stars for leaving early enough
although her leaving happened to be the worst
thing that had ever happened to her. Her account
was frozen so there was no way she could withdraw
any money. Her house was seized and she was left
with only one thing: her car.
She had to pawn her expensive car for two hundred
thousand in order to secure an apartment. Due to
the fact that she was on the run, she left
Lagostotally and got an apartment in Ogun state.
She was only able to secure a one room apartment
in order to buy some foodstuff and clothes cos she
had only left her house with the cloth she had on.
Hunger raked her tummy and she grimaced. All she
had left from the bag of rice she bought months
ago would not last her a week. All her foodstuff
was on the edge. Getting a job had proved to be a
futile effort because she had to lie low for fear of
being arrested. All these happened because of
Belina. That little witch. Oyinade hissed, combing
her hair with her fingers. She had watched Belina
on television barely a month ago attending a red
carpet even with Richard, Tony and Prisca. She
almost used her eyes to abort the pregnancy
through the screen. She made a pledge to have her
revenge. She definitely would do that, even if it
happened to be the last thing she did, she vowed.
Tears rolled out of my eyes, going in the direction
of my ears. I lay on the hospital bed, in labour.
Sweat covered my face in the air conditioned room
and a nurse was mopping my face, with words of
comfort floating out of her mouth. I gasped as I
took in enough air, as directed by the doctor.
“Push”, I heard the doctor say. I gathered all my
will and groaned as I pushed hard. I gasped, filling
my lungs. I had been pushing and pushing but it
seems like the baby would never come out. The pain
was so unbearable that I started doubting my
ability to go through it all. I held on to God, the
only one that could help me through it all. I
envisioned God standing there with me and I got a
renewed strength. The echo of ‘push’ rang in my
head and I gave it all I could. I could only feel
pain coercing through me like a thousand knives.
The cry of a baby pierced the room and swallowed.
A weak smile was displayed on my face as I weakly
took the baby from the doctor. I laughed weakly in
tears as I stared at the tiny creature I was
holding. The love I felt there and then is one
which I have never experienced before. Even though
I felt weak and semi-conscious, I knew that I
would not leave my baby for anything in the world.
The second I held him in my arms, I knew I would
love him forever.
Ronke grimaced as she stared at her profile in the
mirror. She did not believe she could be dressed so
moderately. Her usual bum shorts pant and showy
tops were not the ones she had on. Who would have
thought that change could locate her? She had
been visited by the person known as Christ and
everything about her had changed. Even though she
had been spending stolen money, she hadn’t been
able to get happiness. She felt more miserable by
the day. She hadn’t even spent quarter of the
One day she just stood up and started walking on
her street in Abuja. What prompted her, she could
not even pinpoint. She had entered the church that
always caught her eyes. Since that day, her life
had changed. She stopped spending the money and
started a teaching job. Returning the money was
foremost in her mind but she was too scared to do
it. She hoped that she would gather that courage
after meeting with the pastor. She hoped that the
people waiting to see the pastor would be few,
being a mid-week service. She grabbed the small
bible she purchased some weeks ago, put it in her
bag and marched out with a song on her head.
Richard was becoming more restless by the minute.
He could not understand what could be taking them
so long. He swallowed hard as he stared at the door
countless number of times. If he hadn’t been so
worried, he would have known that the time he had
spent, waiting was not over-stretched. The time
only seems longer when you are involved with the
His heart skipped several beats as the door opened.
He rushed there, along with everyone. Doctor Felix
had a smile on his face. “Congratulations sir, you
have a bouncing baby boy”. The once quiet room
became noisy with jubilations. “And Bell?” Richard
Doctor Kelvin smiled. He had expected that. “She is
Richard unleashed his joy as he yelled happily. He
knelt down there, giving all the glory to God. He
started receiving hugs from everyone. He even
hugged his mother without noticing it. The last
person he hugged was Kelvin. Prisca lifted Patricia
in her arms, turning round and round until she
became dizzy, saying ‘now you have a baby
brother’. Patricia giggled and giggled, like she
knew what had just happened.
Kelvin felt genuinely happy for Richard and Belina.
Belina definitely deserves happiness and no other
person can give her apart from Richard. He had felt
a sickening dread during the waiting period and
seeing Richard that worried gave him cause to
panic. He had kept his extreme worry hidden even
though his restlessness often took over him. He
still loves Belina. He has accepted that they could
be only friends but that did not stop him from
feeling the way he did. He was content though. It
is better to be her friend than have her as an
Richard finished his display of gratitude to God,
and headed towards Belina’s room. All the workers
in BRH were full of rejoicing. Not only is Richard
the best employer you can have, he is also a friend.
The most humble man you can ever come by. They
had all prayed for a day like this for him. Belina
was more of a friend to them than a boss. If there
is anything like a perfect match, the coming
together of Richard and Belina would be their own
description of a perfect match. Their childlessness
had affected everyone and they never failed to pray
for them. Individually, they started thinking of
what to wear to the naming ceremony.
It is the naming ceremony day. Saying that I am
the happiest woman alive is definitely not an
understatement. Our extra-large compound seemed
to have become a market place because everywhere
was filled with people. Everyone in Nigeria seemed
to have their eyes fixed on Richbel’s Estate as
journalists came enmass to capture the event.
The large and beautifully crafted events centre in
the estate is the venue for the naming. The crafts
and art works were inspected by everyone that
came. The flowers gave the environment a sweet
smell and those who were not flower freaks started
developing interest in them. My native attire
dazzled and accentuated my body as I went from
one place to another greeting people. It is certain
that I would not be able to greet half of the
guests but I still went about welcoming people. My
mum was taking care of the baby and Richard has
been held down by a group of friends. I saw some
of those friends coming with Richard and I smiled.
Richard and I had the same costume on and my
heart swelled with pride as I gazed at my
handsome husband. They took me before I could
even protest and placed me beside Richard, with
their cameras in hand. I laughed as we both tried
to find a wonderful position and style. I ended up
standing right in front of Richard. He had his
hands on my waist and my hands were placed on
his, my back resting on his broad chest. Everyone
around joined the friends, bringing their phones and
Ipads out and clicking away. We laughed and smiled
as flashes of cameras continued to beam.
“How are you feeling today after close to three
years of no issue” I heard a journalist say, standing
right in front of me.
I smiled at the camera as all the journalists
gathered round to capture my speech. “I feel
ecstatic. I am so grateful to God for a day like
this. I feel I am the happiest person alive. Nothing
compares to the joy of being a mother. To my
loving husband who stood by me throughout the
waiting period, you are the best husband ever. I
owe it all to God. Speaking of children, I have to
get back to my angel. Chao” I turned back and
The ceremony was very interesting and wonderful.
It ended after about two hours. Our pastor was the
one that did the naming. My son was giving three
names: Roland, Samuel and Promise. We were asked
to dance after the ceremony and we danced and
danced. People came around and danced with us.
Immediately after the dance, someone stood in
front of Richard and i. Richard’s mum was glowing
in her native attire and her beauty was evident.
How could she not give birth to someone as
handsome as Richard? I wondered. Even at fifty,
she easily turns heads. I looked at Richard,
reminding him of his promise with my eyes. He
smiled. The reconciliation is long overdue. He went
forward and hugged his mum tightly. Cheers filled
the air, as cameras clicked. Tears flowed from the
eyes of Loretta, as well as Richard. They helped
wipe the eyes of each other and held on to each
other again. Tears threatened to go down and it
flowed down unhindered as I looked at them. She
took little Roland from my hands for the first
time, beaming with the joy of being a
“I am proud of you” I whispered to Richard and he
beamed. We both watched as my mother-in-law
held Roland with so much love. Richard’s friends
came and took him. It all happened within the
twinkling of an eye. Loretta let out a scream and
before we knew what was happening, a gun was
placed against her head.
“Nobody moves or I’ll blow off this woman’s head
along with this thing she is carrying” I heard a
familiar voice say.
I saw with horror as Oyinade’s face came into view.
Richard was moving closer slowly, I saw from the
corner of my eyes.
“Don’t you dare move. Don’t dare me. I would blow
her head off. I swear” she yelled at Richard.
Obviously, she had seen him.
A sickening dread covered me. A fear I had never
felt before. “Leave my child out of this Oyin, your
problem is with me.”
She laughed. “Really? He is the reason why you
won. Tell me something: don’t I have the right to
be with the man I love?”
“You don’t have the right to be with another
woman’s husband” I said quietly.
She laughed. “Well, I don’t have the time to
banter words with you. Since I can’t have Richard,
you also would not have the chance to be with him.
My face grew pale. “No”, I heard Richard yell as he
ran towards me. The gun shot echoed, shattering
the silence that had once engulfed the air.