Shades Of Deceit Episode 12
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 2014.
Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.
Laide’s fingers trembled as she approached the entrance of her room, her limbs aching with every step she took but she just could not get herself to stop as she inched closer to the sound of the moans coming from inside the room.
She slid into the room through the door as noiselessly as she could and as her eyes caught the image of the conjoined bodies on the bed, she suddenly stopped.
Her legs, her breath and even her trembling fingers stopped as she watched the Siamese figures moan and groan as their bodies moved like the rhythm of the waves, rising and falling on her bed.
Laide’s lips began to tremble uncontrollably as tears streamed down her eyes, blurring her vision. And just as it seemed like she was going to be blinded by her tears, the face underneath her husband’s body came into full view, the eyes on the face were closed and the left end of her lower lip was tucked in between her clenched teeth.
Laide could hardly recognise the face before her as the face of the person she had held closely to her heart as it had become a picture distorted by pleasure.
‘Nike,’ she breathed, but the sound stayed stuck in her chest as her phone slipped out of her grasp and crashed to the ground with a clattering sound. She felt her heart-beat stop in an instant as her legs buckled under the weight of her pain, bringing her body to the ground with a thud.
It was lights out.
Yewande stared at her phone as she tapped the send button and in some five seconds later, the operator repeated for the umpteenth time that the number she was trying to call was currently switched off. Yewande knew something was definitely wrong.
‘Have you been able to get through to her?’ Pastor Ben asked as he walked into the office.
‘No,’ Yewande replied, tapping the speaker option on her phone so he could hear the operator’s voice.
‘I would suggest we go to the house immediately,’ Pastor Ben said, his voice calm and steady as he tried to speak the words without causing panic.
Yewande sprang up to her feet, ‘I’m ready Pastor,’ she said, her eyes on the door, waiting for the pastor to lead the way out of the office before the sound of her ringing phone interrupted the procession.
It was Pastor Michael.
Yewande’s heart skipped a beat as she saw the number calling her, why would her brother in-law who was supposed to be ministering at an invitation be calling her? ‘Hello,’ she replied into the phone, her voice unsure and unsteady.
Pastor Ben watched on, not sure if the call was connected with the issue on ground. He would have to inform Pastor Emeka that they were going to check the house as all the pastors were already aware of the situation on ground even though it had not been escalated to a crisis situation.
‘Okay Sir,’ Yewande said into her phone, her expression becoming a bit more relaxed than before she had picked the call. ‘Yes, I know the hospital,’ she answered, nodding her head at the same time.
Pastor Ben’s attention was on the phone conversation now as he could tell it was connected to the issue on ground with the kind of response Yewande was giving and then he heard he heard her mention his name, Pastor Ben will bring me down.
‘She’s in the hospital, Pastor,’ Yewande said, raising her head to meet with Pastor Ben’s gaze after ending the call, a smile replacing the worry on her face, ‘it’s the baby, it’s on its way.’
Pastor Ben exhaled, as he relaxed with the bit of news. ‘I’ll pass that information to the pastors and meet you up at the car park so we can be on our way to the hospital,’ Pastor Ben said as he walked out of the office.
‘Sure,’ Yewande answered as she ran her eyes around the room in a sweeping movement to make sure she was not about to forget anything. It was a half hearted task as she was soon turning the key in the lock of the door in less than five seconds, as she could not think of anything that was so important in this situation that could not be forgotten in the office, especially if it did not relate to child delivery.
She hurried towards the church auditorium to pick up Jeremiah so they could meet up with Pastor Ben in the church’s car park. Her mind was already set on being with her sister as they welcomed the newest member of the family, whom scan results had revealed to be a girl.
She was about to have a niece from her favourite sister and six year old Jeremiah was about to have a sister and become big brother.
‘We’ll be going home soon,’ Amaka said to her son with a smile as he slapped her laps with his tiny hands, urging her to get up. He was secured in a cot like wheel chair and his rib area still wore bandages but Josh was in his best form since the accident eleven days ago.
She watched him fiddle with the secure straps of the wheel chair, trying to free himself but she held his hand softly. ‘If you free yourself, the nurse will give you injection,’ she warned him, smiling as he recoiled at the mention of injection.
Watching him lie helplessly on the bed, those first days after the accident was nerve wrecking as she blamed herself for his condition. She expected Chika to do same but he never mentioned a word, even though sometimes, she could see it in his eyes as he stared at their son lying on the bed, with so many connections to his body.
As the days wore on and with Josh’s condition improving steadily by the day, the tension between herself and her husband eased up and the atmosphere in the ward became a little bit more relaxed as they chatted freely once again, spending more time together than they had ever done since their separation.
‘I want to go home with my daddy,’ Josh had cried three days ago as Chika stood up to retrieve a card from the breast pocket of his jacket. The boy had mistaken his father’s movements as a sign that he was about to leave.
She watched as father and son engaged themselves, amused at the effort Chika was putting in to explain to the boy that he was not about to leave for home, but it was all in vain as Josh continued crying.
Chika was stunned. ‘Are you just going to stand there smiling and not help me out with this?’ He asked her as he went about consoling the boy.
‘He thought you were leaving,’ she replied as she drew closer to the bed to help with consoling their son. She had scripted the whole plan by telling Josh to insist on following daddy home, but Josh was definitely acting past the script as she had not pictured him crying.
‘You know I can’t leave now,’ Chika said to her, lowering his voice.
She knew that too as he usually left the hospital after Josh was asleep and that could sometimes be as late as midnight. ‘He always asks after you when he wakes up at night,’ she whispered back to him.
Chika had smiled almost wearily, turning to the boy on the bed who had grown quiet after the intervention of his mum. ‘If you get strong enough tomorrow, you, mummy and daddy will go home,’ Chika said, speaking to the boy like he was talking to an adult.
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Josh’s recovery after that night was nothing short of dramatic as even the doctor was amazed that the little boy whom he had predicted would only be strong enough to be discharged on Friday was fit and raring to go by Tuesday. He however insisted on an extra day of observation in the hospital, delaying the discharge till Wednesday.
‘When is daddy coming?’ The young boy asked, cutting into his mother’s thoughts. ‘Daddy said he’s taking us to our real house,’ he said, making a dancing movement with his head and wearing a big grin on his face.
‘Daddy will soon be here,’ Amaka replied smiling. She tapped on her phone as she tried to put a call through to her husband to find out where he was at the moment. He had been delayed at the office by an impromptu management meeting but the last time she had called him, he had told her that he would be with her in fifteen minutes, saying he could not talk at the moment as he was close to a police post even though it didn’t sound at the time like he was driving.
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Pastor Michael stared blankly into space in the waiting area in the maternity ward of the hospital, his mind flooded with thoughts that threatened to break his sanity. He rubbed his head vigorously with his left hand, muttering some incoherent words to himself as he tried to convince himself that this nightmare was really not happening.
The picture of his wife collapsed in a heap in the room as he had sex with another woman on their matrimonial bed was always before his eyes, so much so that he had to shut them as a way of escape. And even when his eyes were shut, the picture re-appeared on the canvas of his mind tormenting him mercilessly.
How would he face her when she came around?
How could he hurt the one he loved so much just for pleasures that were momentary and fleeting?
How would he begin to ask for her forgiveness this time, seeing that he had so cruelly disrespected her on the eve of their tenth year wedding anniversary, in their house, in their room and on their bed?
‘Hey!’ He exclaimed as the severity of his actions hit him and as the questions to which he had no answers raced across the lanes in his mind. He had messed up this time and he had messed up big time.
He had been so confused at the time of the incident that after placing Laide in the car, he wanted to drive her down to the hospital wearing only his boxers until Nike called his attention to his bizarre outfit. ‘You can’t go to the hospital dressed in your underwear,’ she reminded him as she tried to get herself together, buttoning the top of her blouse. Only then did he realise that he was wearing just his boxers.
Laide lay lifeless as they stretchered her into the theatre with the nurses racing around the place as they tried to make sure everything was in the correct order.
Your wife’s blood pressure is extremely high, it’s a case of pre-eclampsia and the only thing we can do right now is a procedure to get both the baby and the placenta out. If you’re not opposed to that, you can fill out the documents at the reception, while I and my team get started, there’s really no time. It’s the only way we know to save her life at this moment.
The tone of the doctor’s voice was grim but the news that his wife who looked dead to him still had a chance of life was in itself a big miracle.
‘Jesus please help me,’ he prayed an umpteenth time as he couldn’t think up anything else to say. He sighed, tapping his right leg continuously on the epoxy floor finish of the hospital until the almost distant cry of a baby seeped into the waiting area from the closed lobby that led to the theatre.
His glanced at his sister in-law who was sitting on the opposite side of the waiting area, with her hands clasped on her laps. Her eyes turned to him too at the sound of the baby’s cries. She looked really worried but not half as worried as she would be if she knew the truth about the situation and the events that led to her sister going into labour. That truth would however have to wait until Laide regained consciousness as he was not ready to begin a confession and neither was Nike whom he had tactfully asked Pastor Ben to drive to the house under the guise of baby-sitting who had fallen asleep.
He could not allow a situation where Laide would wake up to see Nike by his side in the hospital. It made no sense.
The matron opened the door to the lobby that led to the theatre and signalled to him.
He rose up from his chair, his legs heavy as lead as he also beckoned on Yewande to join them.
‘Who’s she?’ The matron asked curiously.
‘My wife’s younger sister,’ Pastor Michael replied.
‘Oh! That’s good, she can be of help,’ the matron said with a sweet smile. ‘The baby is a girl.’
Yewande face also creased into a smile, her little niece had arrived.
‘And my wife?’ Pastor Michael asked almost disinterested at the news of the baby. His wife was his first concern at the moment.
‘I should believe the worst is over, they’re closing her up about now,’ the matron replied still smiling as she led them along the lobby.
Pastor Michael’s countenance relaxed hearing that the worst was over. He was now in a better state of mind to meet with his daughter as he trudged along the lobby behind his sister in-law and the matron. As much as he tried to pre-occupy his mind with the thoughts of the new-born all he could think about was how he would face up to his wife when he was finally allowed to see her.
Chika gazed at the decorative wall paper plastered on the wall of Josh’s room and he loved the work. There were pictures of cartoon characters printed on the wall paper and the only character he could recognise from amongst them was Tarzan or was that Mowgli from jungle book? He was not even sure, but he liked what he saw all the same.
It had been Emem’s idea to redecorate the house and give it a freshness as he asked her about ways to make his family’s home-coming special. She had suggested yesterday morning when he told her that Josh was being discharged from the hospital today and for the whole of the day up until this moment, all he had busied himself with was getting the house ready for home-coming.
Telling his wife that he had an impromptu meeting was just his way of buying time but as he inspected the finished works in the house, he felt content at the amount of time that he had put into the work. His big surprise was finally ready.
His phone rang again and without looking at the device, he was sure it was his wife calling to know exactly where he was. ‘Hello,’ he said, as he stepped out of the sitting room, his eyes catching the big Welcome Home banner, sitting on top the television area. ‘I should be with you in fifteen minutes,’ he said as he locked the door, ‘I’m close to a police post so I can’t talk now,’ he lied as he cut the call. He smiled to himself, excited about the thought of what his wife’s reaction would be when she walked into the house.
Even if she managed to mask her surprise at the Welcome Home banner, he could literarily hear in his mind a gasp of Wow escape from her mouth when she finally step into their room.
He had instructed that their room be remodelled with a romantic theme and the result was simply fantastic. With a very deep red lighting background to almost envelope the room in darkness, an already set table of a bottle of red wine with two glasses was brought into focus by the shimmering star-like glitters from the spotlight installed on a board on the wall. The rose petals sprinkled on the ground from the doorway to every part on the bed and the unlit Ylang Ylang scented candles positioned in strategic places in the room was also an important part of the magic that he couldn’t wait to unleash on his wife when Josh was finally asleep in his cartoon haven.
He had planned out the selection of classical love songs that would be playing when he finally would lead his wife into the room and yes his favourite love song of all time, I’ll Make Love To You by Boys II Men was the first track on his playlist. If he was going to do this after seven months, he was sure going to make it memorable.
He honked his horn to get Adamu to open the gate as he reversed the car, bobbing his head to the song playing on the radio. He normally would skip such songs but today was different as he chanted along, surprising himself with his knowledge of the song even though all he had to say was ijo shoki, terere,terere terere, Ijo shoki, terere, terere terere.
‘Oga, postman bring letter for you when you dey inside house,’ Adamu said, poking an envelope at him through the glass.
Chika received the envelope and tossed it on the passenger seat, still dancing to the song booming on the radio and as he waited for the gate-man to push open the gate, his eyes fell on the logo on the envelope and immediately his thoughts raced to the one subject he had dumped in the recycle bin area of his thoughts -his DNA result.
He picked up the envelope from the chair and saw the hospital name crested at the top, left end corner. He reduced the volume of the music to the minimum as he tore open the envelope. He didn’t want any distractions at this time and the music was a very big distraction.
He peered at the table of result in his hand, staring blankly at the figures inserted in columns under headings STR Locus, Allele Range, Alleles Called, and could not understand a single bit of the words staring back at him.
He ran his eyes down to the bottom of the page and then stopped abruptly. He had come across the first words that seemed to be written in English language and his lips moved in sync as his eyes scanned through the section, word for word.
Statement of Results: Alleged relationship is excluded.
Based on the DNA analysis, the alleged Father, Mr Ezenwa Chika, is excluded as the biological Father of the Child, Ezenwa Joshua, because they do not share sufficient genetic Markers. Of the genetic identity systems tested, 9 of 15 do not match and the applicable Combined index is less than 100.