by Daisy Yawson
The night was still young when his phone rang endlessly, waking him up from his sleep. The ringing stopped. Sighing, half-sleeping, half awake. The light from his phone blinded his eyes for a moment that he was unable to see who the call was from. He groaned out loud in exhaustion. Finally, when he got up from bed, he checked the caller again. 5 missed calls from Phil, Mimi’s brother. Whatever had him calling at that night could be a serious issue.
He called back and was connected after a few rings.
“What did you say?” Panic, visible on his face.
Whatever Phil said had him changing into something casual forgetting to do something about his hair. He got out in a hurry. Locking the door after him before slipping into his car. Soon, he was driving in the night at 2:00 am. Few cars were packed in the hospital when he pulled up. Phil was there to meet him, together with his mum.
“Where is she?”
“Room 303. We have already been there. She’s sleeping at the moment.”
“I’m sorry, Maa. I did not greet you.”
The elderly woman looked devastated and tired all the same.
“It’s okay. We are all worried about her so I understand.”
“Let’s go inside, “Phil suggested.
They go inside the ward. A fair nurse who looked at if she wanted to be somewhere else other than the hospital welcomed them before leaving.
Mimi’s eyes fluttered open at the sound of footsteps in the ward. She’d been expecting Ibrahim and there he was, looking shabby and unkempt than the last time she’d seen him.
He walked to her, trying hard to stop himself from giving her a bone-crushing hug. His feet moved on their own accord. Gazing into her eyes, he saw that she’d cried and he hated it.
Sitting on a hospital stool close to her bedside, he took her hand and placed it in his. His action had her in tears.
“I don’t know if he’s still alive.”
The sobbing only got louder. Holding his top, shaking miserably into his arms.
“Mum, I think we should leave them alone.”
Phil whispered into his mum’s ear.
Ibrahim held her like a baby, having her cry on his shoulder.
“What happened?” he managed to say through the pain in his heart. The pain he felt for her for having gone through it.
“I…I..felt a sharp pain in my abdomen. I… I was studying then and it happened.”
“Shhhh, it’s okay. It’s okay. Nothing will happen to our child,” he assured as he kissed her chin, patting her head with his big palm while supporting her slender body with his.
“You will not leave right?”
They had not heard the doctor come in. “Mr Mensa, I will advise she sleeps on the bed because of her condition.”
“I agree. Just a moment and I will have her sleep on the bed.”
The doctor nodded, opened up a file and read whatever was in it.
“The pain is what all expectant mother’s feel so she need not panic. Medicine will be prescribed to stop the pain. I will advise she eats well and not put herself in any form of stress. Everything she needs will be given to you, Mr Ibrahim. And she can leave today. Have a good day.”
She took leave on them.
“I’m sorry, I let you go.”
Ever since they separated, he felt trapped in Eyram’s lies and secrets. It only hurt him.
“Give me time to solve what I’m facing,” he paused, “And very soon, we will be together. How’s studies going?”
Letting go of him, she sits upright, gazing at him.
“Studies is fine. I have 5 more months to my final exam.”
“I see…I will pray for you.”
Noticing the way he looked at her lips, she leaned forward, close to his face.
Sighing, his lips touched the side of her lips so close that she almost felt his lips on hers.
“This is a hospital. Seeing you like this hurt me and if I kiss you, God knows I will not know how to stop what will happen afterwards,” he whispered into her ear before pulling back.
How can one be so handsome and rich at the same time? The thought crossed her mind and she blushed.
“What are you thinking about?” Ibrahim found it amusing the way she stared at him. Like staring at some god.
“You’re two weeks pregnant,” his large palm, found its way to her still flat tummy, rubbing, kissing and when he’d had enough of touching her, he left.
He’d been called over to the family house for a meeting, together with Eyram.
He drove home to prepare for it, though he dreaded the thought of having to be in the same space with her but he had no choice.
“Please… please Caleb… don’t do it.”
Eyram held onto his shirt in her apartment. Begging him to stop what he was about doing.
“Oh, no love. He has to know the father of the child he was spending on. I can imagine his face already,” he laughed into her face.
“Hey hey. I’m doing this for my sake, Eyram, and for my son. My family has to know. Maybe you’re just selfish. Think about it. He’s abandoned you. Do you really think he will give a fuck if you told the truth now?”
“You know, he will.”
Still, he got out of her apartment with the boy in his arms. None of the family knew of his return and thinking that it was the best time to show himself with such news, he convinced her he wouldn’t disclose it so she would go with him.
And then she went without warning.
Upon reaching, Eyram kept asking to hold Saeed only to be refused.
“Relax. Let me hold him.”
They walked inside together. A few people sat on plastic chairs outside. People he recognized as his aunt’s and stepmom. Ibrahim sat relaxed in his chair although he had a lot on his mind. When one lady mentioned Caleb’s name was when they all turned to look at him.
Mother’s know a lot when it came to children. Kadi seeing the way he held the child disturbed her that what she was assuming at that moment would be true.
“Good morning, Maa,” Caleb greeted his stepmother. Said hi to the few present and sat down with Saeed on his laps.
Now it looked obvious to the others of this father and son act.
Eyram tried getting the child back but he would not budge.
“How have you been, brother?”
The mocking look on his face upset Kadi. Ibrahim tried suppressing his anger. Brushing off some silly comments he made once in a while.
“Now, let us begin the meeting. I’m glad you all made it.” Kadi started.
“Let me interrupt you, Maa. My son needs a nap.”
Faces looked into faces.
Caleb got up.
It was as if Eyram had been hit by a train. She stayed in her chair, still and quiet.
Ibrahim forced himself to look at her and to confirm his suspicion, her expression gave it away. She was sleeping with his brother.
Shocked like all the others, he stood up from his chair.
Kadi knowing very well what his son would do took Saeed from him before a punch landed on his jaw causing him to stumble to the ground.
“Eyram! My brother? My brother, Eyram?” he barked, passing his palm over his head. He felt like going crazy at the sudden revelation.
“I loved you. Did everything I could do to make you happy and this is how you repay that love, huh? Talk… Why won’t you say anything!”
His hands kept pressing on her shoulder for answers.
“Son, stop it!…stop it now.”
He let go, kicked Caleb who was now wincing in pain and stepped out of the house. The meeting ended even before it started.
Kadi had been the calm one ever since she learned about the child not been his son’s.
“Why do you have to make your brother so angry. Is it even worth it, huh?”
Ignoring Kadi, he also left the house.
“You should take responsibility for having brothers fight. Those boys never saw eye to eye but do you have to come along and make it much worse?”
The words pricked at her conscience. In a lot of ways, Kadi was right.
“You saw them. Both will be out there drinking their minds out. Pray, nothing happens to my son, lady. Else God knows what I will do.”
“I’m sorry, Maa,” was all she could say. Obviously, she wasn’t sorry. Just had to say something because it was the right thing to say.
Soon, she was also out. Caleb had left with the car and she stood there like an idiot. She hadn’t noticed the fairly handsome man with his butt on a blue car. SUV Montana.
“I can take you.”
Startled, her eyes settled on the face of the voice.
“Oh, I’m okay.”
“You sure should trust me. Let me introduce myself. I’m Anthony, a cousin to Musa and Caleb.”
Wondering how he had just popped out from nowhere gave her a cause to be suspicious.
“You still don’t trust me. Well, I came to see my mother but it seemed there was a meeting so I had to stay back till it was over. On the contrary, he looked a little like them except for the dreads on his head.
“So do you believe me now?”
Hesitating for a while, she nodded her head.
“Then, I can take you back home?”
“I thought you said you came here to see your mother?”
“Yes, but how can I leave you standing here when I have got a car?”
“I think we will be fine, thanks.”
Without much persuasion, he left her.
Standing there alone with Saeed caused uninvited thoughts to visit her memories.
It was after she’d given birth to Saeed.
Ibrahim, the most anxious one in the hospital, stayed late by her bedside till morning when she woke up. There was just one nurse in the room, waiting to teach the new mother how to put a baby to the breast. The child lay in her arms, still, she didn’t make any move.
“Cara, if you deny him milk, it’s like denying me food. See. Look at him. He’s a part of us. Of you and I. Yesterday you were super tired so I agreed that you take a rest to have your strength back. Now do what you have to do.” He stated and gave her a kiss on her forehead.
Those bittersweet memories. Realising how long she stood staring at nothing, she got herself together, then called an Uber home. There was one thing she had to do. At least she owed Ibrahim that.
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