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Keshinro pressed the door bell again. His fingers felt sore. He had been knocking at the door and pressing the doorbell for over twenty minutes and Promise had refused to open it. Her car was parked in the compound, he was sure she was home. She had called and cancelled their date that night. What amazed him was that she had also broken up with him. Some times, he barely understood her.
Why would she break up with him just like that? She wasn’t someone who acted out of the blues. She must have thought about it. It made him wonder how long she had been thinking about breaking up with him. But, she was always happy whenever they were together. Had she been pretending?
He shook the thoughts away. Maybe something happened that night. Something must have happened. Probably that was why she cancelled their date. He wondered what made her take such a drastic decision. What happened?
Just when he was beginning to grow more in love with her, she decided to leave him. He would never allow that to happen. He dialed her number again, but it kept ringing. No response. If she was planning to frustrate him, she was doing a good job. Why can’t she open the door and allow them to settle the issue, whatever it was, like adults?
He began to pace. He cannot lose her. He must not lose her. He cannot afford to lose her. She occupied a very big part of his heart. He decided to allow her have her way that night. He would find time to speak to her in the office, no matter how tight their schedule was. Regardless of what life threw at them the next day, he would find a way to bring her back to her senses.
Promise knew when Keshinro drove out of the compound. She had refused to pick his calls or opened her door in order to avoid been seduced back into the pit she was trying to distance herself. She was not ready to break anybody’s home. She was tired of running away from God. She wanted peace back into her life. She had planned to move back in with her room-mates and return the car. Her life was more important than any gift Keshinro could ever give her.
He might not want to give up on her, but, she was done with their affair. She was through with it! There was no turning back for her now. It is simply over.
‘Thank you Lord for strength. I am eternally grateful,’ she bowed her head.
The Publication department of Yellow Tube Communications Company held a meeting after working hours. Keshinro dismissed everyone two hours later but asked Promise to stay behind.
“What is wrong with you?” He pulled out a chair and sat beside her.
She crossed her arms against her bosom and eyed him. She knew that he had rescheduled the meeting from ten in the morning to five in the evening because he wanted to speak with her before she ran home. She had avoided him for three days with success. She knew he would find a way to get her attention, but, she wasn’t ready to make it easy for him.
“Sir, I need to go home and rest. It’s being a very long day.”
“Cut the crap Promise!” His tone was laced with anger.
Why was he angry with her? It was a free world. She had the right to choose who she wanted to be with and who she wanted out of her life.
“Why are you treating me this way?” He brushed a hand over her face. She pushed the chair backwards and got up. His touch always unnerved her. What kind of crazy physical attraction was this?
‘God, I need you now!’
He reached out for her hand and drew her back to the seat.
“You know how much I love you,” he held her hands in his.
“We can’t do this anymore,” she freed her hands from his grip.
“Why? Was it something I did or said? Please talk to me, I will… ”
“You did nothing,” her voice cut across his. Their eyes met and locked.
“What is it Princess? Tell me.”
She tore her eyes away and wrapped her arms around her.
“My love… ” He cupped her jaw in his hand.
“Stop it… ” She brushed his hand away.
“I love you. If you leave me, I will go loco.”
“We can’t… God is not happy with us.”
“God?” His brows came together in a frown, “What do you mean? He is a merciful God. We are His children,” his frown faded.
“This is wrong and you know it. It is over.”
He shook his head, “It is not over. We belong together. We love each other. That is all that matters.”
“Your wife, your children… ”
“They are fine. I will always take care of them. Let’s concentrate on us.”
She sighed heavily.
“My love, you will kill me if you leave me. You mean the world to me,” he helped her to her feet and drew her close.
‘Oh God… You were supposed to save me… God… ‘
He kissed her and her train of thoughts evaporated.
Promise and her siblings arrived at Labadi Beach Hotel on Easter Sunday. Instead of spending her Easter holiday in Lagos, she decided to take a trip to Accra with Prince and Gift. Her siblings were ecstatic when they found out that they were going to tour Ghana for seven days.
She led them into the suite Keshinro had booked for her. He was a bit disappointed that he wouldn’t be spending time with her during the holidays, but she convinced him that there were more holidays to come and she would always be available.
“Promise, I hope Yellow Tube retains you. If your salary as a Corper can guarantee this kind of trip, I wonder what your salary as a full-time staff will do,” Prince opened the refrigerator and brought out a bottle of fruit wine.
“Prince is right,” Gift settled on a chair.
“Of course, I am,” he filled three wine glasses and served them.
“This wine is chilled,” Gift sipped at her drink.
Promise smiled at them. Her salary had nothing to do with her present lifestyle. Gifts from her lover afforded her the luxury she was indulging in. What would they think of her if they found out that she was dating a married man? Her parents would be devastated. She shook the thoughts away and drained her glass.
She was in Accra to relax and enjoy herself. Life was short, one should live it in the best way one possibly can.
“Welcome to Accra Gift, enjoyment has started,” Gift laid back on the chair and placed her legs on the glass center table.
Prince chuckled and shook his head at his younger sister. He was also glad to be in Accra. He would take a lot of pictures and buy several souvenirs to share with his friends when he returns to school. He might plan a return trip to Ghana, but he would visit with his friends. They would have a bash! He pulled out his blackberry phone from his pocket and started pinging his friends.
“Are you okay?”
She raised her head and met his concerned gaze.
“You look awful, Maimuna come and check out your friend,” Abubakar alerted her.
Maimuna watched Promise from her seat. She had been worried about her all morning too.
“Maybe those Ghanians’ dishes she ate during her Easter holiday is doing a number on her,” Ogbonna teased her and Edet started to laugh.
She ignored them. She had been nursing a terrible headache for two nights and it seemed to have gone worse. She had swallowed several antibiotics, but, nothing worked.
“Promise… ” Maimuna approached her.
“She is sweating like… Look at her jacket, it is soaked,” Abubakar examined her.
“Promise… Are you okay?” She placed a hand on her forehead, “My God!” She redrew her hand immediately and turned to Abubakar, “She is burning up, we need to get her to the hospital.”
He nodded and returned to his desk, he fetched his car keys and helped Maimuna to lift Promise off the chair.
She could barely hear anything anymore, suddenly, her world spinned and darkness enveloped her.
“She has fainted!”
Ogbonna and Edet stopped laughing.
“Abubakar help me!” Maimuna cried out.
Ogbonna lifted Promise and cradled her in his arms as if she weighed nothing. Abubakar pushed the office door open and Maimuna ran after them. Edet watched them go. He hoped it was nothing serious. He got to his feet and went straight to their boss’ office to intimate him of the situation at hand.
Keshinro and the doctor in charge of Promise’s case walked into the private ward.
“How are you feeling Promise?”
“Better doctor, but, weak.”
He examined her, “Your strength will return gradually. You shoudn’t over-work yourself in your condition.”
Her heart skipped a beat, “My condition?” She tried to sit up. Was something wrong with her?
The doctor and Keshinro exchanged glances. He sat by her side and helped her to sit up.
“Doctor what is wrong with me?” The alarm in her voice wasn’t lost to them.
He smiled at her, “Nothing my dear.”
She looked at her boss, then back at the doctor. Were they hiding something from her?
“But you said… you said something about in my condition. I don’t understand.”
Keshinro squeezed her hand, he smiled at her and glanced at the doctor, “Thank you doctor, I will take it from here.”
“All right. You are free to leave tonight, you have been discharged,” he patted her on the shoulder and walked out.
She quizzed him with a questioning stare.
“Nothing is wrong with you, trust me.”
She eyed him. Can she really trust him?
He sighed. He doesn’t know how she would take the news, but he had hatched out a permanent solution. He wasn’t sure if she would coöperate. Promise could be unpredictable at times. Wasn’t that what he loved about her? Several other ladies he had dated in the past had no atom of mystery about them. He could read them like a book.
He cleared his thoughts and tried to focus on the task at hand, “You are eight weeks pregnant.”
She blinked and stared back at him. Did he just say she was eight weeks pregnant? Was that what she heard?
“What, what did you say?”
He dropped her hand and sighed again, “Promise you are two months pregnant.
‘I am two months pregnant. How? Is that possible? But I have been taking my pills religiously. Okay, maybe I miss a day or two at times, but, but, Keshinro always uses a condom. No, no, no! This cannot be true. Oh God! What am I going to do? I cannot have a child outside wedlock. What sort of nonsense is this? What have I gotten myself into?’
“Hey… ” His voice sliced through her thoughts.
“I can’t be… This is not possible.”
“Not to worry, I have booked an appointment for you with my family doctor. It will be taken care of. Are you ready to leave?”
What was he talking about? Appointment with his family doctor? What does that have to do with her present predicament?
“I don’t understand.”
Keshinro stood and tried to help her out of the bed but she slapped his hands off. He dabbed at the beads of sweat which had formed on his forehead with a handkerchief.
“My family doctor is very good with things like this.”
Her eyes widened, the realisation of what he was suggesting dawned on her. She must have been crazy to have gone out with a married man in the first place. What did she expect?
“I have two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. I don’t want another. We need to be more careful,” he held her chin and she pushed his hand away.
“I can’t believe you are suggesting that I should have an abortion.”
“I am not suggesting, I have made my decision, this is what we are going to do,” his tone became firm.
She swallowed hard, “Don’t I have a say? This is my body we are talking about. My womb, my, my…”
“My family doctor is a professional. I don’t want to discuss this anymore. Let’s go, I will drop you at home.”
She crossed her arms against her chest. Who the hell does he think he was? He doesn’t own her. He had no right to make decisions on her behalf. This was her life they were talking about. She wished she hadn’t accepted him back into her life. Was this God’s way of punishing her? She had been fornication with Keshinro, she wasn’t ready to add murder to her list of sins. She couldn’t bear to have that on her conscience.
“I am not going anywhere with you.”
“What is wrong with you?!”
She had not seen him this angry before. She didn’t care. He could jump into the Atlantic Ocean if he wanted to. She would not risk her life. What if she didn’t make it? She would end up in hell fire. She shuddered at the thought.
“You heard me. I am not going anywhere with you.”
Keshinro stormed out of the room. He was tired of arguing with her. She can find her own way home, after all, she was an adult.
Promise picked up her phone and called Kabira. She would rather return to her flat with a friend than an angry lover who she was beginning to distrust.
Kabira and Abubakar picked up Promise at hospital and drove her home.
Keshinro waited for them to leave before driving into the compound. He headed for Promise’s flat and rang the doorbell. He had not been able to return home that night. Her condition laid on his mind like a burden. The earlier he sorted out their differences, the better.
Promise opened the door and frowned when she saw him, “What are you doing here?”
“Please, let me come in.”
“No, you can say whatever you want to out here,” she stepped out and closed the door behind her.
He placed a frustrated hand on his forehead and tried to calm his frayed nerves.
“What can I do for you? It is late and I need to get some rest. You heard the doctor, I must not over-work myself.”
He slipped his hands into his pockets, “My love, please, let us get rid of your pregnancy. I don’t need another child. If I do, my wife is capable of bearing a child for me. My family doctor has been doing this for years and no woman has died on his operating table and none has lost her womb. You will be in good hands.”
She folded her hands across her bosom, “What about God?”
“Yes God, this is murder!”
“I did not sign up for this.”
“Neither did I.”
“Look, I need to rest.”
He glanced at his wrist-watch. It was eleven o’clock on the dot, “Can I get a glass of water please?”
She eyed him, “Just water, nothing else.”
“Yes, your highness,” he bowed.
She tried to hide the smile spreading on her lips. She opened the door and they both went in.
He followed her into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of cold water from a bottle in the fridge.
“Have you eaten?”
She shook her head, “I bought snacks on my way home, it’s on the table,” she hurried out.
He took out another glass and filled it with yoghurt. He watched the doorway and brought out a sachet of tablets from his Bosom pocket. He threw a few into the drink and mixed it with a spoon.
Promise returned with her snacks and offered him some. Half way through her meal, she began to feel dizzy.
“I don’t feel well… ”
“Don’t get up, I will be right back,” he walked out and dialed his family doctor’s number.
“Doctor Femi, I have given her the drugs.”
“Good, it will knock her out. Bring her here immediately.”
“All right doc. Thanks,” he hang up and returned to the kitchen. He found her dozing on her seat.
Promise woke up on a strange bed and in an unfamiliar room. She tried to sit up but the pains that spread through her body made her to scream.
A nurse hurried into the room, “Please madam lie down. Your medication has worn off. I will inject you with another.”
Her heart began to race, “Where am I? How did I get here?”
“You are in Redemption Hospital. I will get the doctor,” the nurse injected a pinkish fluid into the drip hanging above her head and walked out. The pains began to fade and she relaxed.
The last thing she remembered was dozing off in the kitchen. Where was Keshinro? What was she doing here?
An elderly man in his sixties came into the room, “Good morning.”
“I am Doctor Femi, I am Keshinro’s family doctor.”
She closed her eyes. ‘Oh Lord God almighty. Keshinro must have drugged my yoghurt and brought me here. No wonder I was feeling dizzy. God! I have been such a fool. I shouldn’t have allowed him into the flat last night. I can’t believe he did this to me.’ Her face became wet with tears.
“My dear, the whole process went well. You are in perfect shape. The foetus has been disposed. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. You will encounter some pains for a few days. A few discharge once in a while, but, in a week or so, you will be your normal self.”
She heard the doctor talking but whatever he was saying wasn’t registering on her mind. She was lost in her world of regrets. Would God ever forgive her? Would she be able to forgive herself? What has she gotten herself into?
‘God… Are you there? Can you hear me?’
To Be Continued…