“You seem to be spending lots of time in the hospital these days.” Ruth Badmus looked up from the bible she was reading. It was Wednesday. Michael was in school. Rebecca was off-duty but she was already dressed up to go out.
“I have some private patients I work with. I spend more time with them when I am off-duty from the hospital roaster.” She shrugged, even as her conscience pricked at her.
“You work too hard. You should be resting when you are off duty. You have lost so much weight.” Ruth complained as she took in her slim, curvy figure.
“Well, it is good for my health. I don’t want to be fat.” She laughed heartily as she picked her handbag.
“Looking haggard is not good either. We are much better off now. I think you should ease up a little bit.” Ruth’s worried look got to her.
“Mum, we need to work hard. I don’t like seeing you sitting at home and doing nothing. We have paid for your shop. We are gathering capital to set up your business again, no matter how small. Can you see why I need to work harder?’ She put her hand round her shoulder as she drops onto the seat beside her. Ruth sighed heavily.
“Thank you, I appreciate your assistance. You need to live your life too. No matter what happened in the past, leave it there and move on.” Ruth turned to face her older daughter. “So who is the man in the hospital?” She asked quietly.
“Who are you talking about?” Rebecca was taken aback, even as her mind worked furiously to bring up an explanation.
“The one that you have been discussing with Roseline. Who is he? I believe he is the one you are going to check in the hospital.” Her gaze didn’t waver.
“He is Josephine Coker, our former family driver. There was an attempted murder on his life. He was brought into the hospital a few weeks back but he is responding to treatment now.” She picked up her handbag.
“What did he do to deserve that? He is such a responsible young man.” Ruth frowned.
“Well, it is the fight for power in his new influential household. I will give you the full gist when I have the time.” She glanced at her wristwatch.
“Is he Michael’s father?” Ruth picked up her bible with a little smile.
“Excuse me?” Rebeca’s jaw dropped in absolute shock.
“Is that a yes or No, dear daughter?” Ruth raised her eyebrow to her.
“I am a married woman, mum. I don’t like your insinuations at all. Excuse me.” She turned on her heels and walked out in anger.
Joseph was responding to treatment. He had been moved into a private ward but he was always asleep whenever Rebecca visited which she was grateful for.
Naomi was arranging and organizing the room when she walked in.
“Good morning, dear. How are you today?” Naomi smiled at her.
‘I am fine. How is he?” She moved to check his vitals by herself, even though she knew the doctor on duty would have done the same a few hours ago. “He is doing very well. Thank God for that.” She answered her own question before she turned round to face the older woman.
“Thank you for the assistance. I do appreciate your help.” Naomi took her slim hand, squeezing it gently in gratitude.
“You are welcome. You do need to rest more. There are shadows under your eyes.” Rebecca observed in concern as she studied her face. Naomi laughed softly.
“It is because she refused to go home and rest. She doesn’t trust me to look after her son.” Olayemi said with a glare as he shouldered the door open, he was loaded down with provisions and bags of take-outs. He was smiling but she could tell he was angry as well.
“Ola, don’t start. This is not the right time for this.” Naomi murmured under her breath. “Can a mother rest when her child is not hale and hearty?” She turned to Rebecca for support.
Rebecca didn’t want to interfere in what she could sense has been an ongoing argument between the couple. Fortunately, her phone rang and she turned away slightly to pick it up. It was Michael’s class teacher.
“What is wrong?” Naomi asked in concern as she studied the younger woman’s worried expression.
“That was my son’s class teacher. She is worried because he has been throwing up and vomiting since morning. I need to go and see him now.” She picked up her handbag.
“I am sorry to hear that. He has probably eaten something that does not agree with his system. Are you driving?” Naomi asked in concern.
“No, I am not driving. I will just take a cab out there.” She smiled as she moved towards the door.
“No, please take wait. I will drop you off.” She turned towards Olayemi with a raised eyebrow as she snapped her fingers in his face. His face split into a wide smile as he dropped the car key in her outstretched hand.
“Thank you.” He grinned as he went to hug her.
“Don’t worry about me, ma.” Rebeca began to protest but the big smile on the older man’s face made her swallow the protest. He was eager to stay alone with their son so his wife can go home and rest.
“Take your time, Ife. I won’t eat him before you come.” Olayemi teased as he patted her bum fondly.
“You can cut him into pieces and cook him before I get back.” She swatted away his hand with a smile and followed Rebeca out of the ward.
“I don’t want to say this but I can’t help it. I am so happy for you.” Rebeca smiled tentatively as she drove out of the hospital premises.
“Thank you, dear. I still find it difficult to believe I am not dreaming.” Naomi buckled her seat belt with a smile.
“You both deserve to be happy.” Rebeca grinned as she pressed on the accelerator. “This car is a dream. I miss driving.” She patted the steering wheel of the Porsche.
“Everyone deserves to be happy. What happened to your car?” Naomi tried not to glance at the speedometer as the scenery rushed by.
“I have sold it. Things were not so good at home.” She fiddled with the tape until the Car was vibrating with loud music.
“You are worse than Joseph, I swear.” Naomi winced slightly. Rebeca laughed out loud.
“I am sorry, mother. I just wanted to enjoy this car a bit before I drop it.” She was grinning as she drove into Sunrise Montessori School.
It was with regret that she pulled up at the school park and handed over the Car key.
“Thank you, ma. I will see you another time.” She picked up her handbag.
“I am a mother, Becky. I want to know how that boy is faring before I leave.” Naomi got out of the car and followed her.
Joseph was discharged from the hospital. The first visitor he received during his recuperation at home was Elizabeth Badmus.
“Who did this to you, Darling? I was so worried. How are you feeling now?” She sat on the bed beside him, staring at the scars on his chest.
“I am fine, Lizzy. How did you know my house?” He asked as he sat up bed.
“Don’t be rude, Joe.” Naomi chided quietly as she got to her feet.
“Good afternoon ma.” Elizabeth blushed as she got to her feet. She didn’t notice the elderly woman sitting in the corner when she hurried in.
“Good afternoon. Thank you for coming.” Naomi smiled at her before leaving the room.
“I brought you some fruits and provisions.” Elizabeth reached for the grocery bag at her feet.
“Thank you. Can you drop it in the kitchen for me?” He smiled at her.
“I am glad you are out of the hospital. I miss you.” She caressed his cheek with a smile.
“Cut it out, Lizzy. I have told you so many times that I can’t date you.” He frowned at her.
“We will see about that.” She winked at him as she reached for the doorknob. The door opened before she could turn the knob and a woman stood in the doorway.
“Hello. You are beautiful.” Titilola’s smile flashed as she gave her a thorough look over from her face to her half-concealed boobs in the body con blouse she wore to her well-rounded fanny in the tight blue jean. Elizabeth felt thoroughly undressed.
“Thank you. You aren’t bad either. What is the name?” Elizabeth wanted to know if she needed to guard her territory.
“Titi Coker. We are siblings. He is totally safe from me.” She laughed huskily. Elizabeth blushed. “I don’t mind having your digits though.” She tapped her phone.
“Sure. Why not?” Elizabeth called out her number and went out of the room.
“What was that all about?” Joseph frowned at her.
“That is my business, brother. Are you back finally from your overseas training?” Titilola was furious as she stood over her brother. Her throat hurt and burn with tears as she stared at the pink scars on his chest. She didn’t want to imagine the horror and pain he must have gone through.
“Come here, baby.” He reached out for her hand and pulled her down beside him.
“My God! The bastard did this to you.” She murmured in a teary whisper as she lightly touched the scars. Her eyes filled up with tears and spilled over.
“I am alive. That is all that matters.” He pulled her into his embrace and patted her back as she sobbed.
“He deserves to rot in jail. Don’t allow them to cover it up. It is not right.” She leaned back to stare at his face. He sighed heavily.
“No matter what happened, he is still our brother. To some extent, I also understand his grievance. It is just that he has taken it too far.” He sighed again.
“So what are you saying? Are you telling me you are going to allow him to go scot-free?” She sprang to her feet abruptly with balled fists.
“Sit down, Titi.” He pulled her down forcefully when she resisted. “This is not about me any longer. What happened between the two of you?” His eyes were intent on her face.
“Nothing. I just hate him.” She stated coldly as she looked away. He kept staring at her face in silence. She sighed. “He raped me when I was 12 years old.” She blurted out abruptly. Silence hung heavy between them like a cloak.
“He did what? Is he mad or on drugs?” He asked in a whisper. She laughed bitterly as she got to her feet.
“We have never been close as kids. He started by touching my small budding breasts. I will scream and yell but we were almost always alone except for the nanny. I reported him to our mother but she never believed me. To her, he is the epitome of all that is good.” Her smile grew fierce. His fists clenched at his side.
“He graduated to slapping me on my butt when I walked past. At times, he would walk into my room when I just finished taking my bath. I started locking my bedroom door whenever I am indoor.” She took a deep breath as she stared at somewhere above his head.
“I just turned twelve. The drainage in my bathroom was blocked and a plumber was supposed to come over and work on it later in the day. I went to the guest room to take my bath. When I came out, he was waiting with two of his friends. Before I could run back into the bathroom, he tripped me and they carried me unto the bed. I screamed and thrashed but they were stronger than I was. I later found out they have locked the nanny into the closet. One of them held my hands and the second held my legs down and apart. He raped me mercilessly.” She wiped her hand down her face.
“And the friends?” He held his breath.
“He didn’t allow them to enter me but he compensated them by allowing them to touch my boobs and fingered me. Thank God for the small mercy.” She laughed mirthlessly.
“I am sorry, baby.” He struggled to his feet and pulled her into her embrace.
“Sit down, Opemipo. You are not strong enough.” She led him back to the bed gently.
“I feel like strangling him with my bare hands. He is a bastard.” He gritted through clenched teeth. A vein throbbed in his head.
“Yes, he is. Try and sleep now. I will keep your babe occupied.” She pushed him gently unto his back. He didn’t argue. His forehead was throbbing and his limbs were throbbing. He closed his eyes gratefully.
“She is not my babe.” He murmured as he drifted off. She laughed softly.
Please drop your feedback. Thank you.