Fadeke touched down in Abuja at 7.45a.m. She changed her itinerary at the last minute and decided to take the second flight into Abuja. She knew Chinedu wasn’t expecting her until 2p.m but she wanted to give him a surprise. She had called him two nights earlier and he had confirmed that he would be leaving home at 9.00a.m. Since it was a Saturday, he did not need to get to work very early; he had said. If she could get to his house before 8.30a.m, she was sure she would catch him at home or most likely on his way out since his office wasn’t too far. Even in her state, she was still very excited that she was going to see him. She had thought over and over about how she was going to break the news to him. She wasn’t sure what his reaction was going to be. He loved her no doubt; but a baby hadn’t been part of what they had planned for. She pulled out her bunch of keys from her jeans pocket. She looked at the key to his apartment and smiled. How else could a guy prove that he loved his girlfriend? He had given her the spare keys to the apartment on her last visit and told her the house belonged to both of them. She placed a call to his taxi driver and asked him to come pick her up.
In fifteen minutes, she was at the apartment and tapped the door gently. It was just 8.25a.m and the neighbourhood was quiet. She tapped the door the second time and straightened out her hair. She should have brushed it. The door opened and she saw the last person she was expecting to see.
“Who do we have here?” Tochukwu said resting sideways on the door lintel. She was dressed in one of Chinedu’s shirts which barely covered her thighs. The top buttons of the shirt were open revealing her bust. If she were a man, the sight before her would have caused a lot of heat to flow through her.
Fadeke stood unable to say a word.
“Come on in. I don’t want you attracting the neighbours and causing a scene”.
Fadeke still dumbfounded walked in like a sheep led to a slaughter house.
“Sincerely, it never crossed my mind that you were still dating Chinedu”. Since Fadeke was still too stunned to speak, Tochukwu tried to gain an upper hand in a conversation.
“What in the world are you doing here and in Chinedu’s shirt?” Fadeke screamed suddenly finding her voice.
She shrugged. “What does it look like?”
So many thoughts started running through Fadeke’s mind. How long had this been going on? She remembered what Kemi told her about Tochukwu and Kunle dating back in school. What was going on? If Tochukwu and Kunle were back together as Kemi had said, why was she dressed scantily in Chinedu’s shirt this early in the morning?
“Hey, why are you looking like the world has come to an end? Did you think you had sole ownership of Chinedu?”
Fadeke tried to talk but Tochukwu shut her up with a hand.
“I am not finished. I had always been there before Chinedu decided to look your way for reasons best known to him. I wonder what he saw in you”. Tochukwu spat as she eyed her from top to bottom.
Fadeke’s jaw dropped.
“You want proof? Kunle is enough proof. I only dated him because Chinedu decided to look your way and I was just waiting to have him back when he was through with you. And as for Kunle, I knew about all the stunts he tried to pull with you. It was just to get you away from Chinedu so I could have him back where he truly belongs”.
A tear slid down Fadeke’s right cheek. “Tochukwu, I trusted you”.
She lifted up her hand and hissed. “Abeg, spare me the pitiful face. “As you can see” – She said placing one hand on her bare thigh and the other on her bust – “He is back where he was meant to be all along. So take a walk, I don’t want him coming back and meeting you in this sorry state”.
“Why Tochukwu? What have I done to deserve this?”
“Why? Why?” Tochukwu laughed sardonically. “Because, you are just a tramp who wants to reap where you did not sow”.
Fadeke had had enough. She struggled to open the door, tears blinding her as she did.
“Bye bye”. Tochukwu flicked her hands.
“Fadeke, talk to me”. Kemi said shaking her friend by the shoulders.
“I….I…..” She tried to talk but the sobs caught her throat and she stopped.
She had gone straight to Kemi’s house after leaving Chinedu’s and she was lucky to find her at home. Kemi had planned going out earlier in the day but when she remembered Fadeke had promised to fly in, she decided to stay back till her friend called. Fadeke had refused to call Chinedu’s taxi and had taken another cab instead. She had sobbed all through the thirty minutes trip to Kemi’s house.
Kemi had tried in the last ten minutes to find out what had happened to her friend but the only thing she had gotten was that she was coming from Chinedu’s house. What could have happened there to make her sob uncontrollably? Fadeke’s body shook with every sob and Kemi was beginning to get scared. She stood up to make a cup of chamomile tea to help her relax.
Fadeke had her head in her hands when Kemi came back with the cup of chamomile tea. Kemi pushed it into her hands and encouraged her to drink. She was beginning to have a headache and she asked her friend for pain relievers. She couldn’t bring herself to tell Kemi what she had seen. How long had Chinedu been deceiving me? Was I that naïve that the three of them; Chinedu, Kunle and Tochukwu had taken advantage of me and played me for a fool? Five years of being fooled. Five years of being blind. I have been so blinded by love that I failed to realize it. She remembered the hate Tochukwu had shown for Chinedu. It had all been a farce. Or maybe it was hate that he was dating me? I have been living with the enemy for years without knowing. I was such a fool. The pain in her heart hurt so much and she felt she would pass out. She thought about the growing baby in her womb and tears started streaming down her cheeks again. This was the result of her being naïve. A result of her foolishness. A result of her absolute trust in the one she loved.
She sighed and Kemi looked at her expectant. She couldn’t tell her; No. This was her cross and she was going to bear it alone. How was she going to break the news to her parents? They were definitely going to know that Chinedu was responsible for her pregnancy. And then, her father would have proved himself right. Her hands shook and she tried to steady the cup in her hands. What did I ever do wrong? She burst into tears again.
Kemi had had enough of her tears. She was going to call Chinedu right away. Whatever, he had done to her; he had better come undo it. She remembered Fadeke had given her his number a while back. She would cajole her to go take a nap to ease her headache, and then she would call him.
Once Fadeke was soundly asleep in the room, Kemi scrolled through her phone to look for Chinedu’s number. She was grateful that she hadn’t deleted it as she never had a reason to call him before now.
“Hi Chinedu, this is Kemi calling”.
“I don’t think you would remember me but we were in school together. I was in the same class as Fadeke”.
“Oh ok. How are you?”
“I’m good. I’ll go straight to the point”. She said getting impatient.
Kemi told him about how Fadeke had come to her place that morning after leaving his house and how she had sobbed uncontrollably.
“But…..but, her flight was meant to arrive at 2p.m”. He stammered.
“Well, she is in my house right now. I had to give her some chamomile tea and cajole her to take a rest.
Chinedu was quiet for a while. “I still don’t understand. What could have happened to make her breakdown in tears?”
Kemi laughed sarcastically. “I should be asking you that question, don’t you think?”
“It is just that……”
“Look Chinedu..…” Kemi interrupted him. “Are you coming over or not?”
“Give me your address”.
“It is No 10, Mohammed Tinubu crescent. I’d be waiting”.
After the call was dropped, Kemi went to check on Fadeke in the room. She was still sound asleep but had a disturbed expression on her face. She prayed in her heart that Chinedu would come early enough to sort out whatever had caused her so much pain.
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