Fadeke was quiet all through the forty-five minute trip to Lagos. Her colleagues chatted on end about different issues but she chose to stay alone. She needed to brood over what had taken place last night. It had not been planned but it had happened all the same. She had woken up at 6a.m and found Chinedu sleeping on the couch in the living room. She almost thought she had been dreaming but when she saw their clothing strewn all around the room, she knew it had been no dream. She had gone to the bathroom immediately and washed herself. She tried to calculate her menstrual cycle backwards to see if she was safe but she wasn’t sure. As she got dressed in a blouse and jeans that Chinedu had bought for her during the week, she hoped they hadn’t made a mistake that would cost them their relationship. She had tried to talk to Chinedu about it but he had apologized profusely and hadn’t given her an opportunity to say anything.
He had called his taxi driver and the man had taken both of them to her hotel. He had helped her pack her luggage and she had been grateful. He had however; been so quiet that she wondered what was on his mind. Was he regretting their action? He had continued to apologize and had been careful as his hands brushed hers while he was putting her clothes into her travel luggage. After her other colleagues had called her room to find out if she was ready as a cab was waiting; she had moved closer to kiss him but he had barely touched her lips with his and had stepped back. He had however hugged her so tight that she had thought he was going to break her.
As the plane touched down in Lagos and she switched on her mobile phone, a text message dropped. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am about what happened last night. Please forgive me. I love you very much and would never do a thing to hurt you”.
She sighed and started texting back. “For how long do you want to keep on apologizing?”
“For as long as it takes”.
“Please can you quit the apologies? Is that the reason why you refused to kiss me back?” She texted back.
“I’m sorry about that. I did not mean to take it out on you”.
“Baby, I love you very much. Don’t let the event of the night cause a strain in our relationship”.
“I love you too darling. Much more than you can imagine”. Chinedu texted back.
“I’d call you when I get home”.
“Okay, my love. I’d expect your call”.
The weeks flew by and the event of that night was quickly forgotten. Fadeke was back at work while Chinedu asked his boss for a transfer to Lagos. His application was rejected as the organization felt that he was needed more in Abuja. They had enough experts in Lagos and did not see the reason why he should become a statistic in Lagos when he could stand out in Abuja. Since he couldn’t get the transfer, he decided to look forward to his vacation. He had so many things to sort out and topmost on his list was meeting with Fadeke’s father. It had to be now not later. He did not care what grouse the man had against his tribe. He was going to introduce himself to him as the man who had fallen in love with his daughter.
Eight weeks after the trip to Abuja, Fadeke started feeling sick. Since she wasn’t one who readily fell ill, she waved it aside as the stress associated with her job. She took some pain relievers and tried to rest more during the weekends. She felt much better with the extra rest and was back on her feet in a week. Chinedu was going to be on vacation in three weeks and she was already looking forward to the time she would spend with him. She had just arrived home one evening from work when all of a sudden, she felt dizzy. She tried to steady herself by quickly finding a couch to rest on. “What was wrong?” She thought. She had had lunch and she knew it couldn’t be hunger. Yes, she was tired but she did not think it was enough to give her a dizzy spell. She decided she would visit the in-house doctor in her office the next morning before getting started with work. She did not want her mum getting unnecessarily agitated, so she decided it was best to keep what had just happened to herself.
“Miss Peters, the result of the test is out”.
She looked at the doctor indifferently “Okay. So what’s wrong with me?”
“You are pregnant”.
“I’m what? How can I be?” She cried out.
The doctor just looked at her without a response.
“Are you – are you sure of what you are saying?” She asked suddenly becoming jittery.
He looked at her grimly. “Yes, I am. You are about nine weeks gone”.
She put her hands on her head and opened her mouth but no words came out.
“We treat every case with confidentiality so you can be rest assured that what we have discussed remains in here”.
She looked at the doctor’s face and wondered. “Confidentiality? That was the last thing on her mind. How could she have gotten pregnant? It had only happened once. She couldn’t believe this was happening. Her father was going to be so disappointed”.
“You are free to take a rest if you wish to”. The doctor said as he stood up to leave the room. He could see she was shocked and confused. She needed time to process what she had just heard.
Fadeke sat down in the doctor’s office for another one hour with her head in her hands. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she thought about Chinedu and the night they had spent together. He had been so apologetic and she wondered if the reason for his apologies was because he thought that single mistake could get her pregnant. She thought about her father’s threat. She couldn’t get married to Chinedu, he had said. But right now, the situation was different, she was carrying his baby. Everything seemed to be spiraling downhill and she wondered if she wouldn’t be consumed.
She arrived home like one in a trance. Her mind had barely been at work and her boss had advised her to go home and rest. He had noticed that she did not feel too well. She arrived home and found out from the doorman that her mum had gone shopping. She went in with her own key and slumped on her bed without taking off her clothes. She was grateful that she did not have to face her mum in this state. Within a few minutes, she was fast asleep.
The mobile phone in her handbag kept on vibrating and Fadeke turned over to push the bag down from the bed. When the phone refused to stop ringing, she picked up the bag and was about to switch off the phone when she saw it was Kemi calling. She had missed her so much.
“Girl, where have you been?” Kemi asked.
“Around”. She replied unenthusiastically.
“I heard you were in Abuja and you did not bother to call or check on me. That ain’t fair, you know?
“I’m sorry. We were always so busy in the office that I hardly had time to myself”.
“Hmm….but you had time to visit Chinedu, didn’t you?”
“C’mon girl. You know the way things are”. She said as she smiled sadly. “So how did you know I was in Abuja?”
“A friend of mine was just transferred from Onitsha to your Abuja office. He told me you were among those chosen to go prepare the Abuja office for them. Girl, you are big. Enjoy the life”. Kemi said as she laughed heartily.
Fadeke smiled. If only she knew what that trip had resulted into. She sighed.
“Guess who I saw some weeks back?” Kemi said excitedly.
“Tochukwu and Kunle. I think they are back together”.
“Back together? I don’t get it”.
“Yeah, back together. Have you forgotten that Kunle broke up with her in her second year?”
Fadeke opened her mouth but couldn’t say a word.
“Hello”. Kemi called thinking the line had cut off.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, I am. I was not aware that they ever dated. I’m just…..”
“You didn’t know?” Kemi asked dismayed.
“No, I didn’t”.
“C’mon Fadeke, how couldn’t you have known? She was your roommate”.
“Kemi, I’m serious. I’m just finding out from you”.
“Anyway, they dated for a year before Kunle dropped her for some chick. She was devastated and I don’t think she ever got over the pain”.
Fadeke remembered all that had happened. The night Tochukwu had come back to the hostel almost in tears. She also remembered she had asked her who the guy was the day she was moving out of the room to her new apartment. She had been evasive with her answer. It dawned on her now, that Tochukwu obviously did not want her to know she had dated Kunle. But why? Did Chinedu have anything to do with it? She tried to put the pieces together but it did not fit.
“I should be in Abuja this weekend”. Fadeke said interrupting her friend who was still chatting about Tochukwu and Kunle.
“Really? Cool. So should I expect you this time?”
“Yeah. I’d check on you”.
“Okay. You sure you are good? You don’t sound excited”.
One thing she had found out about her friend was that she was so perceptive. “I’m okay”.
“If you say so. I’m a call away if you need to talk, okay?”
“Thanks dear. I appreciate this”.
After Kemi’s call, Fadeke decided to call Chinedu. She informed him that she would be arriving Abuja on the 2p.m flight and that they needed to discuss something very important. Chinedu had tried to persuade her to give a hint but she had been persistent on discussing it with him in person. He had told her that he was going to work that Saturday but promised to pick her from the airport at 2p.m. She dropped the call ten minutes later and thought about the excuse she would give to her parents. An official trip would go down well. As she lay back on the bed, she thought. So many things were going to change between her and her parents and right now, she needed Chinedu more than ever before.