Tunde was watching a movie titled ‘Lord of the ring’ with his younger brothers in the big sitting room when fatihat paid him a surprise visit. She was on her way from school, the school just resumed another session and she was in her final year.
His brothers gave her a polite greeting and disappeared one after the other, leaving both of them alone in the sitting room.
“Why did you resign?” She asked bluntly as she looked down at him where he lounged on the sofa carelessly.
“I resigned because I feel like doing so.” His gaze didn’t waver from the screen. She picked up the remote control before he guessed her intention and switched off the television. “Are you okay, fatihat? What is the meaning of that?”
“At least I have your full attention now.”
“What do you want? How may I help you, Miss Delilah Smith?”
“All I want is for you to pick up your lazy butt and get back to work. I just reject your resignation letter.” She brought it out of her slim black bag, tore it into pieces and dropped it on him.
“I don’t give a damn about what you want or don’t want. I still own part of the company and I can do what I want without your permission.”
“I also learned that you are planning to sell your shares, is that right?” She went to sit directly opposite him. He gave a nonchalant shrug.
“So?” He raised an eyebrow.
She gave an amused laugh. “I need you in that company, Tunde. You are not going anywhere. I won’t buy the shares and no one else will. Don’t bother trying to apply for jobs elsewhere because I will always be ahead of you.” She said with quiet confidence which stunned him. He was momentarily speechless. “I may dislike the fact that you are my daughter’s father but I can’t change it and I want a father who my daughter can be proud of. Your office is waiting for you.” She got to her feet.
“Not so fast, Mrs. high and mighty Delilah Smith.” He stopped her with his icily cold voice as he got to his feet too.
“I’m listening, Mr. Abeeb.”She raised her eyebrow at him.
“You have nerves, Fatihat Ali. You have the gut to come to my house and threaten me with your supreme power and connection. Who the hell did you think you are by the way?” His eyes narrowed on to a slit as he rocked on his heels.
“You can try me and find out what exactly I am capable of doing. Stop wasting your time and get back to work. See you on Monday.” She turned on her heels and walked out of the sitting room. Tunde watched her go and didn’t bother to stop her because he wasn’t sure of what he would do if he tried.
“She is only working on your emotional attachment to that company. Why not take her up on the offer and just go back, instead of wasting your time at home? You have a kid to support, you know?” Wale told him from behind. He swore under his breath as he turned to face his elder brother. “You love that company and she is begging you back in her own crude way. Go back and continue what you’ve been doing. You can’t survive in another company, take my word for it.” Wale patted his shoulder and moved towards the door. “Can you imagine the nerves of her?” He muttered under his breath.
“You have plans, kid brother, go ahead and execute it. You are the best for the job. Delilah Smith knows it as well as you do.” Wale grinned. He found himself grinning back in absolute relief.
It was an open day in CTC international school, Ikeja. Gift was on the queue with her mother. She moved forward when it was her turn.
“Good afternoon, Miss Molara. Please meet my mum. Mum, this is my class teacher, Miss Molara.”
“You are Gift Abeeb’s mum?” Miss Molara, a dark complexion attractive woman in her late-twenties tried not to stare in disbelieve. Fatihat was casually dressed in sky blue trousers and white long sleeve silky blouse. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and low heel blue sandal adorned her small feet. Her face was devoid of makeup and she looked like an eighteen- year-old, instead of twenty-five. She smiled and held out her hand.
“I’m glad to meet you, Miss Molara. I have heard so much about her wonderful class teacher.” She smiled as they shake hands warmly.
“It is my pleasure, Mrs. Abeeb. Your daughter is very intelligent and smart. She even got a gift for the best hand-work in the class.” Miss Molara paused as she brought out her report sheet and hand-works.
“But?”Fatihat prompted because she sensed it in the hanging sentence. She didn’t miss the fact that she has been addressed as ‘Mrs. Abeeb’. That will be over my dead body, she thought to herself in annoyance.
“But she could get an award for the noisiest and naughtiest girl in the class. She usually led the class when it comes to causing trouble. She plays a lot too but there is room for improvement.” She continued with a rueful smile.
Fatihat gave her daughter a questioning look and the little girl stepped back from her, unconsciously. “Thank you very much, Miss Molara. As long as she is in your class, please feel free to punish her when she deserves it. That is a direct order from me.” She ordered as they exchanged another warm handshake and a sealed bulky envelope before moving away for the next parent to be attended to.
“Aunty Delilah!” A boy’s voice called urgently as she was about to get into her car. She turned around in time as the little boy launched himself against her.
“Hello, Olalekan. What a pleasant surprise!” Fatihat grinned as she caught him and hugged him affectionately.
“So you are Gift’s mom? She is the new girl in my class and you said you don’t have a kid like me.” His voice was faintly accusingly.
“What I remember saying is that I haven’t got a boy like you. So you guys have met then?” She looked from one to the other and her daughter shrugged.
“I don’t like him. He plays too rough.” She murmured under her breath but Lekan heard her and glared at her.
“I know what you and your dummy friends used to say about me. I don’t like you either. You act like miss high and mighty.” He told her pompously. Her daughter looked down at him over her tiny pointed nose.
“Wow! What is this? Do you guys have a crush on each other?” She said with an amused laugh at both of them. Gift turned and got into the car with a hiss.
“Hello” Yetunde approached the group cautiously. Fatihat turned around slowly and frowned slightly as she looked at the moderately tall plumpy woman who was dressed in expensive lace native attire.
“This is my mum, Aunty Delilah. Mum, meet Aunty Delilah. She was the lady that chose my bicycle for me at the store.” He held his mother’s fingers with pride and the latter squeezed it affectionately.
“It is nice to meet and know you, Lekan’s mum.” She was smiling as she held out her hand and the older woman shakes it warmly, politely.
“It is my pleasure, Aunty Delilah.” Yetunde returned the smile before she stepped back. “Lekan, have a nice day” Fatihat waved at them briefly before she turned and got into her car.
Fatihat sat on Josephine’s bed while the latter took her evening bath and came out to meet her glancing pensively through a file.
“What is that?” Josephine’s voice was muffled as she rubbed her wet hair.
“It is the report of the findings on Yetunde Kolawole, the owner of that building where I gave birth to my babies. I think I met her today.” She looked up at her sister.
The latter lowered the towel from her wet head slowly. “How do you mean?” she asked in a puzzled voice.
“There was this little boy I met sometimes ago in a departmental store. His name is Olalekan Kolawole. I met him again in Gift’s school today and his mother. Her two pictures that are here did not do her any justice but I’m quite sure it is the same woman.” She glanced down at the grimy picture that was taken at a distance and back up again. Josephine moved and sat down on the sofa, facing her.
“What else did you find out about her? Does she have other kids apart from this little boy?” She asked curiously.
“No. She is divorced and her medical record shows that she has never been pregnant, talk less of giving birth but she is quite rich, I must tell you.”Fatihat gave a faint smile. “What does she do?” Josephine robbed moisture off her long smooth leg.
“She sells clothes, pieces of jewelry and accessories in Balogun market. I think that boy is the center of her life.” Her voice ended with a heavy sigh.
“What does the little boy looks like?”
“The day I met him, he was arguing heatedly with another boy over a bicycle and I stepped in to settle the dispute. We got talking and there was this expression of stubbornness on his face which was so familiar. Thinking back now, I realized Tunde always wore the same expression on his face when he is convinced he is right about something. “She took a deep breath. “I think he is Tunde’s spitting image but wait till you see him.” She shrugged.
“This is going to be trickish and quite difficult. Assuming she is married with kids now, it would be easier but she is not even married, not to talk about having kids. I don’t know what to say about it, Lilah.” Josephine’s voice was quiet.
Fatihat shot off the bed to pace the room. “At least I’m not still sure he is mine but it is too much of a coincidence if he is not. If you don’t ask the answer is always No.” She was thinking aloud.
“So what do you intend to do? Approach her for your kid? I will come with you if you want me to.”
She gave a short bitter laugh. “It is so funny actually. The kids I don’t want years ago have suddenly become the center of my life and I seem to want them by all means. Is that not insane?” She looked worriedly at her sister.
“You convinced yourself back then that you don’t want them because you know you don’t have the means to take care of them but you do now and you want them back. There is nothing wrong with that, Lilah, stop beating yourself silly.” Josephine chided her and she swallowed hard.
“I’m going to fight for him, Josephine and I’m taking Tunde with me on this because we made him together.” Her voice was grim.
“It is going to be a bitter fight, Lilah. Please know when to step back when it gets too bitter. We can’t have everything we ever wanted in life; we just try our best and leave the rest.” Josephine said in a cautious voice.
“I will give it my best shot, Jose but I understand what you mean though. I will try to tread as softly as possible.”
“That is better. Is Tunde back at work?”
“Yeah, he is but I’ve not been going to work that much because of my Schooling, and assignment so we barely see each other.” She shrugged as picked up the file from the bed. “Are you guys making a head way?”Fatihat asked in concern and saw a blissful smile spread over her sister’s face which answered her question before she did. “Everything is under her control except for the iron woman he called a mother. We will soon pick a wedding date. Keep your fingers crossed.” She grinned at her.
“Hmn…..I don’t envy you but I’m happy for you anyway. It is good to know.”Fatihat smiled as she headed for the door.
“Thanks. So what is happening with you and Tunde?”Josephine asked as she stepped out. “There is nothing going on between us. I’m not a lovesick puppy likes you, darling, so please keep your romantic dream to yourself.” She shouted back and heard her rich and hearty laugh behind her.
Fatihat needed to see Tunde urgently but she has been so busy at school and knew the only way she could see him would be to go to his house. She finally had a chance on Sunday and drove to the Abeeb’s residence in the evening. She locked up her car and moved to the main house where she pressed the doorbell and waited. The door opened after a moment and Yemi peeped out.
“Good evening ma.”She bowed slightly with a blank look and walked past her into the corridor which led to the sitting room.
“Good evening, Fatihat. I hope there is no problem?”Yemi locked up the door and turned around to follow the young woman walking in front of her. She was dressed in a baggy combat knee-length shorts and a black tank top that barely covered her navel. Her feet were tucked in a fluffy black house slipper and a black hair band secured her jet black hair from her youthful face. She looked nothing like the mother of a 7yr old girl, Yemi thought grimly to herself.
“Evening, Fatihat.”Ayo, Tunde’s immediate younger brother said from where he lounged on the sofa.
“Evening, Ayo. Where is Tunde?”She rocked on her heels as she dangled her car key.
“I guess he should be in his room.He was down with slight fever since yesterday.” He picked up the remote control and changed channels.
“Thanks.” She took the staircase two at a time.
“She doesn’t look like a mother at all. I really wish to see my granddaughter.”Yemi said with quiet longing as she sat down beside her son.
“I doubt if she will look like a mother, even after six kids. She has always been a beautiful girl even back then when all she wore were rags. You can talk to Tunde if you want to see his daughter but I doubt if he sees enough of her himself.” He shrugged. She sighed heavily.
“Hi, Fatihat.”Tunde closed the business journal he was reading as his bedroom door opened and she came in without knocking.
“Hello. How are you? Ayo said you had a fever.” She notched the door closed and leaned against it.
“I was stressed out at work these past weeks but I’m feeling better now. Why were you not at work all these days?” He asked accusingly.
“I’ve been busy going to school, running my other business and taking care of your daughter.” She told him coolly.
“I see. You must have been very busy indeed.” His voice was heavy with sarcasm. Her gaze narrowed with rising temper.
“You are quite right. I want to claim my son back and I need you to be there with me all the way because he is yours too.” Her voice was blunt and watched his face go blank. “What son? Do you have another kid beside Gift?” He asked in obvious confusion.
“I told you I gave birth to a set of twins, a boy , and a girl. The girl is Gift and I’ve found a woman I could attach to my son. I’ve been investigating the whole issue and I think I’ve met my son.”
‘How did you come to that conclusion, fatihat?”He asked in shock. He has to admit he was a bit scared to be suddenly saddled with two grown kids he hasn’t known existed all because of a stupid mistake he made in the past.
Fatihat paced the room as she explained the whole issue to him and stopped directly in front of him when she was through. “So what do you think? Are you in or out?” she asked bluntly and he took a deep breath.
“It is going to be a very tricky situation. That woman doesn’t have any other kid apart from our boy and we want to snatch her only source of happiness. Moreover, if she takes it to court, we can’t win because a couple who needs custody of a child needs to be married and we are not married. I’m not even sure if we are friends.”
Her brows knitted together in thought as she considered his words. “I guess you are right.” She nodded as she moved to lean against the door again.
He got out of bed and she was surprised to realize he was clad in only his boxers’ shorts. “Fatihat, do you want this kid because he is yours or you are actually ready for motherhood?” He asked quietly, watching her steadily.
“What is that suppose to mean? Are you telling me I’m not capable of taking care of my own children?” She snapped in anger and her jaw dropped in surprise when his hands settled on her bare waist.
“What is it?” He grinned at her stunned expression and dropped a kiss on her open mouth.
“Tunde, get away from me this instance before I do something you won’t like.” She glared furiously at him as she struggled to move away but his arm only went around her and held her against him effortlessly.
“Look at me in the eyes and tell me you don’t want my kisses. Tell me with all sincerity that you are not as attracted to me as I am to you.” He said quietly, solemnly, trapping her against the door with his two hands on both sides of her head. His gaze was locked on hers and the denial which rose swiftly to her tongue died there as she stared back at him.
“That is ridiculous!” She forced a smile and tried to look away but he held her chin with his fingers.
“You are so lovely!” He murmured against her mouth before tugging on her lower lips with his teeth. He nipped softly.
“Tunde……..”She began in protest which died in her throat when he kissed her fully on the mouth as he swept her into his arms and headed straight for his bed. The kiss deepened even as he laid her gently in the middle of his bed and settled between her legs.
Fatihat moaned softly as her arms went around his neck and passion threatened to consume them both. He rolled onto his back, carrying her with him and his palms caressed her smooth back lightly. His fingers came into contact with the clip of her bra and undid it rather easily, and then he had easy access to the back of her neck.
Blood pounded vigorously in his veins and his body was sleek with sweat but he was not near getting satisfied. He broke the kiss and reached for the tank top which he yanked away from her head. Her skimpy pink bra followed immediately and he dived for her lips again while running his fingers up and down her back, then to the side of her breast. She broke the kiss with a shudder and stared at him through eyes, hooded with desire. She moved slowly, sensuously, rubbing the tips of her breasts against his naked chest and he groaned out loud. He rolled her beneath him again and stared down at her kiss-swollen red lips.
“I want to make love to you. I need to…”He paused slightly, his voice husky with passion and he trailed a finger from her navel up to to her flat Tommy and stopped beneath one-rosy tipped breast. She caught her breath and he could feel her trembling with desire. “When I do, I don’t intend to use any protection. Are you on pills?” He asked softly. “I’ve stopped using pills since last month because …….”She stopped abruptly and glared at him.
“You are not seeing any man at the moment.” He stated matter of factly, watching her steadily and traced a finger very lightly over her nipple. She shuddered violently and slapped his hand away.
“Stop that and let me think. Why don’t you want to use protection? You don’t have any in your room or what?” She asked puzzled voice.
“I don’t have any at the moment. Believe it or not, it is a long time since I’ve slept with any woman and even if I have one, I won’t use it for you.” He told her firmly.
“That is crazy. What if I get pregnant? I’m off pills and I’m not in a safe period for now.” Her voice was blunt.
“I would love it so much to have another baby from you, in fact, it would be the best thing that ever happens to my life.” He grinned down at her shocked face as he patted her flat stomach.
“You are crazy. I am just confirming that now” She raised her hands to push him away but he caught them easily and silenced her effectively with a deep kiss which rocked her to the bottom of her soul.
“Do you still smoke?” He asked huskily when he broke the kiss and tugged at the strings on her shorts.
“Hmn……once in a while. Gift is always around and I have to be careful of what I do in her presence.”She tried to clear her voice.
“It would be nice to have this second baby on the way. It will keep you quite busy and away from those naughty friends of yours.” He gave the short a final tug and got it out of the way.
“You are one dumb ass.”She hissed viciously as she rolled away but he caught her easily and held her beneath him again. The next moment they were lost in their own world of passion and rising desires, oblivious to the outside world until a knock was heard on his bedroom door which at first did not penetrate the fog of passion until it came again, louder and stronger.
Tunde raised his head and stared at the door for a moment.
“Tunde, please remember to lock the door when fatihat is leaving or is she staying the night so that I can lock up now?”Ayo’s voice came through the door. She bolted upright. “Will you stay the night? Please?”He asked quietly as he glanced at the wall clock and could see it was an hour to midnight. Her gaze followed his and her jaw dropped in horror.
“Oh my God!” She catapulted off the bed and started putting on her clothes one after the other.
“It is late already, Fatihat. Don’t be a stubborn idiot. Why can’t you spend the night?” He asked in exasperation as he watched her dress up in a hurry but she only glared at him and started looking for her car key. “It is almost midnight. You can use the guest room then and I promise I won’t disturb you.” He added solemnly.
“I must be out of my mind if I believe what you are saying. I’ve driven at 2 am-midnight before in this same Lagos city and nothing happened to me.” She spotted the key under the bed and retrieved it. “Tell your brother to leave the doorway.” she told him quietly.
“What!” He asked with a blank look and realized with a shock that she was embarrassed. Ayo moved away from the doorway, laughing quietly to himself. He heard their conversation as he turned up at the door and had an idea of what was going on before his appearance at the door.
“I can’t believe this! Fatihat Ali aka Delilah Smith embarrassed?”Tunde grinned to himself as he opened the door and saw his brother’s retreating back. “The coast is clear.” She shot out from behind him before he finished the sentence and bounded down the staircase two at a time.
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