“Jummy, did you put sleeping portion inside that meal? You won’t believe I actually slept off while waiting for you to come and announce our August visitor. Who is it?” Femi’s husky voice proceeded him into the sitting room and brought me back to the present. He stopped short a few steps into the room and swung his gaze from me to the other woman and back again. “What are you doing here, Shade?” He asked in a very cold voice. “I came to tell your latest fling to stay away from you because you are not available. I wonder when you will realize you belong to me and as long as I am alive, you won’t and can’t marry another woman.” She said with a resigned expression and gave a long-suffering sigh as if she was talking to a disobedient child. What kind of sickness is this? I thought with absolute wonder as I stared at the young, beautiful woman who thought her life began and end with a single man. “I guess this is not the first time you will be doing this, right?” I spoke for the first time, addressing her and her gaze came back to me. “No, this is not the first time. I know when he start seeing other women and I know how to get rid of each one of them. You sound like an intelligent woman, Jumoke and a very nice one at that. A word, I think is enough for the wise.” She said with a flitting smile as she got to her feet and picked up her back-pack. “I cursed the day I set my eyes on you, shade and I regret the day I slept with you.” Femi said with a bitterness that scared me to my toes. “I think it is too late for that. Either you like it or not, we are bound together and no mortal on this earth can separate us. Enjoy your evening!” She smiled at me and opened the door to let herself out.
There was complete silence for several seconds after she left and we both stayed where we were, lost in our individual thought. What have I got myself into? ,I thought ,surprised at myself for not getting angry but instead ,I was scared and bone-deep sad but I knew I couldn’t continue this relationship any longer. I got to my feet and moved towards the bedroom to pack my few belongings. “Jummy, please don’t go. She is just bluffing and can’t do anything to you.” He pleaded desperately as he held my arm and came to kneel before me. “We both know that is not true and you don’t even sound convincing in your own words. A bluffing woman would have fight me physically and I would have fight back. Why did you lie to me about your daughter?” I asked quietly, staring down at his handsome face. “If I tell you she is my daughter, I will have to tell you about her mother. I am sorry for deceiving you, please forgive me.” Tears filled his eyes and he hugged me around the waist. “Femi, How old is your daughter?” I asked unrelentingly and he took a deep breath. “Come, jummy. I will tell you my part of the story, even if you are still going to leave me.”He got to his feet, took my arm and pulled me to the sofa where we sat side by side.
“I met shade in my final year in med school at a departmental party and we were over each other the first few months that we dated. I had no thought of marrying her because marriage wasn’t on my agenda at all and I made no promises to her. I was very careful, not to make any promise to her and when we have sex, I used protection at all times, despite the fact that she told me she was on the pills. I knew the pills because she showed me and as a med student, I know the medication works very well but I still didn’t take any chance. This is the weird part.” He scrubbed his hands over his face and leaned forward. “I noticed that since the night we were together, my luck changed for the best. It was subtle at first and I tried not to notice it but it become obvious with time. Once I mentioned a challenge or a problem in her presence, it got sorted easily or miraculously in ways I least expect. The first major event that really got me rattled was the issue of my housmanship. There was this high-brow hospital on the island that I truly admired and really wish to do my program then and almost all my mates wanted the place but we all know it is only the truly connected or those that come from influential families that got placement there. Shade was in my room the day we were discussing or rather fantasizing about it and after my roommates left the room, she asked if I wanted my placement in that hospital. I said yes and grinned at her. She only smiled at me and went back to the novel she was reading. Two weeks later, I received an invitation letter directly from the hospital’s management.” He looked at me for the first time since he started his narration and I stared at him, stupefied.
“Wonders shall never end” I murmured under my breath. “And I knew I was in trouble.” He added after a moment and continued to stare into space. “I resumed for my program, half-expecting to be sent away or to be told it was a dream and was offered accommodation along with an excellent pay. It was a dream comes true but deep inside me, I knew something was not right. Shade paid me a visit one week later, even though I have never brought her to my new address and she told me she was pregnant. How can that be? I was mad and enraged and practically threw her out. She turned up weeks later with her father and the father laid down an ultimatum for us to get married, I bluntly refused. The next thing was for shade to turn up at my parent’s house with her luggage and quite heavily pregnant. My father called me and told me to come home right away. It was a very ugly scene.” He gave a harsh laugh. “She said it was her father who located your parent’s house.” I said quietly. ‘She is lying. She knows whatever she want to know and apart from that first time, I have never met any of her family.” He sighed heavily. “How am I even sure he is her father? I denied the pregnancy outright because I was damn sure we did everything humanly possible to prevent it but my father insisted she stayed until she gave birth and we can run a proper test. She gave birth to my daughter and there was no need for test because the child was my carbon copy. I fell in love with Oreoluwa immediately.” He said with the first genuine smile since shade left and my heart constricted in pain. “Why didn’t you marry her mother?” I asked after a moment and he looked at me as if I just asked him to jump off the third mainland bridge.
“How can I marry a woman I don’t know or understand? She is interfering in my life in a way I don’t like and that is scaring me. I have stopped sleeping with her ever since she told me about the pregnancy and we don’t even talk except when it concerns Oreoluwa. I have no emotional attachment to her any longer but she refused to let me go.” He took a deep breath. “One day, a woman that was heavily pregnant with a set of twins was undergoing a caesarian section and the procedure was becoming complicated. We were about to lose the mother and her babies. I was excused in the middle of the operation to get in touch with another senior surgeon urgently. A text message came into my phone immediately I raised it to make a call and it was from shade. I can still remember every words in details. “Get the bottled water inside your second drawer, pour little in your palm and rubbed it over her two feet. You won’t lose any of them.” Now how would I do that in the presence of other medical personnel, even though I didn’t believe in it but I was desperate enough to use whatever works to save the poor woman because it was the first pregnancy since she got married 8 years ago. Secondly, I don’t know how the bottled water get into my drawer in the first place but at this junction, I didn’t care or thought about it until much later. I went into the theater with the bottled water in my hand, trembling from heads to toes and the other surgeon gave me a questioning look. As I opened my mouth to say something, the light flickered off and there was a collective gasp from everyone. I went straight to the foot of the bed and rubbed the water over the cold feet of the half-dead woman. The feet began to warm up almost immediately and I dropped the bottle as the light came back. The operation was successful and it earned me a huge promotion.” He took a deep breath. “There are days that she will send me texts not to take one route or the other and I will later find out there was an accident or robbery going on in that area. It’s as if she knows every action I am taking in my waking moment and always turned up whenever I stumbled or about to get into trouble. It is downright scary, Jummy and I don’t care for it.” He gave me an earnest look.
“You are scared because you don’t understand her and you have not taken the time to do so. Obviously, she has a supernatural power but has she ever hurt you or your daughter in any way?” I asked in a matter –of-fact voice and he shook his head in the negative. “She always come to your rescue when you are about to get into trouble or when you would have walked into danger and she has helped you achieve your dreams, even though you keep shutting her out. She is home waiting for you patiently and taking care of your daughter while you sow your wild oats and yet all you can offer her is hatred and ungratefulness. What else are you looking for in a woman, Femi?” I asked angrily and his mouth dropped in surprise as he stared at me. “You are just selfish and ungrateful. I don’t trespass on other people’s property and I won’t start now. Thank you for wasting my time and emotion.” I got to my feet and went straight to the room to pick my few belongings. “Jummy, please wait till morning. It is late already.” He pleaded as he tried to hold me back but I side-stepped him and anger propelled me out of the house. I heard him calling my name as he tried to catch up with me and hailed the first taxi that came my way.
The interior of the cab was dark and I couldn’t see the face of the driver but was desperate to get away as fast as possible. I was already in the back seat and was about to tell the driver my destination when I realized I was not alone in the back seat. As I turned my face to look at who was sitting beside me, the portent smell of chloroform assailed my nose. Oh my God! I have just been kidnapped, was the last thought that flitted through my mind as I floated away into deep darkness.