That whole month had been a mess.
Ibrahim knew the calls, messages and uninvited visitations would not stop unless he gave in. The lady herself had visited him one time when he was alone in his office, had tried picking up his son from school and even tried cooking for him. Something his wife hadn’t done for him. Unfortunately for Hagah, Ibrahim filed a lawsuit against her, stopping her abruptly but the old man would hear nothing of it.
“We’ll see if you can keep this up,” Those were his last words before hanging up.
Ibrahim laid down absentmindedly looking at the curtains being blown away. His son lay next to him, playing with his toy and saying incoherent words as he was still learning how to talk.
The wind was strong and rain poured heavily on the earth. You could literally smell it. Everywhere was pitch black as there was no light at the moment.
He picked up his phone from his side to call Mimi but the battery was already dead.
He goes outside to put on the generator with Enoch on his hip.
“I forgot how to operate this thing,” he said while checking the state of the generator in his backyard, the sound of someone banging on the gate irritated him.
“Dada, ouk ouk,” his son pointed towards the gate, telling him to look.
“Let’s go see who that is.”
Because he couldn’t go into the rain with Enoch, he let him down and ran towards the gate.
“Please let me in!”
The female voice startled him a bit but he opened the gate anyways. He could have checked the person behind before letting them in but decided against it.
The person was soaked from top to bottom. The rain was obscuring the tears that were on her cheeks. He instantly recalled where he’d met her.
“You’re Kadi’s house help.”
“Let’s get out of this rain first.”
They run behind to his backyard where a little boy was seen picking up things from the floor.
The boy understood and poured them down.
“I want to put on this generator, wait a bit.”
He tried several times, hitting and fixing until it finally came on but stopped right after, earning a cuss from Ibrahim. He tried once again and thus came back.
Angela followed him back into the mansion, shivering continuously.
“You can take a shower and then we can talk. I will be putting this little guy to bed also.”
She muttered a gentle ‘okay’ and left with Ibrahim following behind.
In about a minute, the two were seated in front of each other on the two-wide couch.
She could not look him in the eye whereas he stared deeply into her soul.
“I’m sorry.” the tears that were no longer on her face, dropped without warning.
Positioning himself properly on the couch, he asked.
“Sorry for what? Did you do something wrong?”
“No, it’s just..”
She broke down again. How was he going to console her? Hell, he was not supposed to do that. Those two have no relationship, not even a master and a servant kind of relationship. She worked for his mother which was kind of weird why she was there at his home at that time of the night.
“Does my mom know you’re here?”
She shook her head.
“Okay? Please speak up. I have things I want to attend to.”
Feeling his eyes on her, she spoke.
This time, she looked at him in the eye but Ibrahim looked unbelievably unbothered.
He rested his hand on the back of his palm, urging her to continue.
“And who is responsible for it?”
Her cheeks felt hot and her eyes burned from so much crying.
This time she caught him off guard.
“I’m…I’m ss….sory” she stammered.
He relaxed back into his seat with a worried look sitting on his face.
He’d made that mistake once for him to know the pain house helps go through when they break their family rules.
“You realize he’s not here right?”
“I know…he was back here in Ghana two weeks ago and…” she felt like she couldn’t say the word.
“He slept with you?”
“How old are you?”
She looked at him puzzled.
“You realize my brother is 23, right?”
She nodded again.
“That doesn’t make it better, young lady…if Kadi finds out…”
“I know…I know…” her voice was laced with emotions.
“That’s why I came to you “…please help me out.”
She knelt on the cold tiled floor, looking pleadingly at him. Already having so much to deal with, helping her even a bit was too much for him but for the sake of his cousin, he decided to help her out.
“Please sit back down…there’s only so much I could do for you because I too I’m fighting my demons. I will call Melvin now and you will speak to him…I hope you’re fine with it?”
No response from her so he figured he should back her up a bit.
“You’ll be fine, just let him know whatsup and then you two can take it from there, alright?”
Since the phone was on charge, the generator had charged it a bit.
“Go straight to the point, alright?” he told her as he spoke to the person on the other side.
“Heyy, bro” the voice on the other line said as soon as they were connected.
“Cool, bro, yourself?”
“There’s a lady here who wants to speak to you…you’ve got a minute?”
“Hello, this is Angela, from Kadi’s house.”
“Heyy,” he wasn’t too happy to hear her voice but greeted her regardless.
“Sorry for dropping this on you, Melvin. I…didn’t see my period this month…”
Hesitating for the hundredth, Ibrahim urged her on. Meanwhile, Melvin tried to understand what she was on about after hesitating so much.
“And so I sneaked out one night to the hospital and I was told that I’m 2 weeks pregnant. The first person to ever see me naked is you and so I figured you are the father of this unborn child.”
Ibrahim regretted having to hear that part regardless of the fact that he was by her side to help her put her message across.
Melvin went silent for a while, possibly trying to let it sink in.
“Hello…hello” Angela called.
“I’m still here…”
“Erm, are you okay?”
At least he managed a better response.
“Not for long…I’m 2 weeks into this…”
Melvin stopped her. “Angela…are you planning on keeping it?”
“What do you mean?…I have to. I can’t think of anything else except to have this child.”
She could hear the frustration laced in his voice.
“Fine, fine. It’s just that I’m a bit disappointed because it’s too early to bring a child into our lives right now.”
“Yes. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea that I don’t want the child. You know I’m a student and the worst I will do to my child is not be a part of his life despite the circumstances.”
“Let me have a talk with my aunty…”
“Are you being serious right now? I can’t believe you’re doing this?” She broke down again.
“I’m having a hard time accepting this as you are. Give me money to support myself and the unborn child and you won’t hear from me again.”
He was silent once again, listening to her cry on the phone.
“Send me your bank account number on my brother’s phone. I will send you enough to feed you and the child at least until you have it.”
Those words broke her heart into a million pieces but she never expected the kind of generosity he was offering. He was okay with her keeping the child and on top of that, he was giving her money.
“Give the phone to my brother.”
She handed over the phone not believing everything that had happened.
Ibrahim hung up shortly after the brief exchanges.
“You can leave tomorrow morning. I don’t want you going out at this time of the night.”
Her eyes were not attentive right now, she could only stare into the ceiling.
“I’m sorry, what were you saying?”
Ibrahim heaved a heavy sigh. “I said you can leave tomorrow morning,” clasping his hands together, he continued.
“Melvin wants me to make sure that you leave Kadi’s house but I let him know that I’m a busy man with priorities so he will probably let one of his minions do that. Be safe.”
Ibrahim left her alone in the hall.
What was she going to do right now?
Even with the money, how was she going to get a cheaper place to live at? Even though they bothered her, she slept without answering those questions.
The shorter night ended with the sun already coming out. She had given her account number to him and just as he’d promised, the money was sent into her account.
She knelt in gratitude to the man who stood before her.
“Please, get up.” He knew he hadn’t done anything worthy of praise but allowed it anyway.
“How do you plan to get your belongings from that house?”
“I have no plans. I will walk in and take my stuff” which sounded stupid in her ears however, she could do anything for her unborn child. Her motherly instincts kicking in.
Meanwhile, in Kadi’s house, all her house helps had informed her of Angela’s late departure from the house last night and she found it puzzling but seeing her come in through the gates lifted her mood.
Her head was bent low and she had on a clean straight dress, different from what they usually wear. Her messy hair was tied up in a bun with streams of tears dried on her cheeks. She had been crying all the way to the house.
“Where were you last night?”
No words came out. Before she could exert punishment on her, she received a call.
Hearing her mention Melvin, her head shot up.
Her throat dried up and the legs supporting her body felt weak.
Kadi spared her a few glances whiles listening to him.
Anger was visible on her face after she’d ended the call.
“I need to speak to you briefly.”
Ushering her into the marbled floor balcony, they both took a seat.
Kadi became silent for a while before speaking.
“I know you’re carrying a child.”
“And I know it’s my grand-nephew you’re carrying.”
Did she hear wrong? It sounded as if she’d accepted the child into the family.
“I know what you’re thinking but Melvin seemed to have changed his mind on something and I have no idea what. I don’t know what you two discussed before but he wants to father the child.”
She forced saliva down her dry throat trying to comprehend what she’s just heard. 30 minutes ago, she thought she was walking to hell but everything she was hearing now was too good to be real.
Her baby will finally have someone to call Dad.
Of course, this was too good to be true.
“On the condition that after the birth, you will keep serving in this house however, you will have no right to claim the baby. The child will not know that you’re his mother and you will not disclose it.”
Her mouth flung open.
“This is my condition and not Melvin’s. If he can’t marry you, then there’s no way he will go against this.
So basically I’m saying that you cannot leave this house until you give birth.”
“I want to speak to Melvin.”
“My dear, you’re in no position to ask for favours but if he calls, I will be sure to let him know.”
“From here onwards, you cease to be a maid till you have this child. I don’t want any damage to the child.”
“Is that clear?”
“How can I deny my child like this?” She shook with rage but decided against anything that will put his child in danger.
“I can’t answer your question but you messed up when you got into bed with Melvin. That boy’s parents have high hopes for him and having a child out of wedlock is not one of them. Just do your duty and we’ll have no problem.”
She sat in class with her stomach grumbling from hunger. The boy he’d met at the cake shop (Tani) smirked at her and looked back at the old lecturer.
“What? I’m hungry.”
“I can get you something if you want.”
“No.I will be fine.”
“You sure about that? Cus it seems you’re really, really hungry.”
She texted Miss Boakye to make her something to eat as something kept pricking her stomach with needles. She thought her second pregnancy was supposed to be much less difficult but nothing was different about it at all.
“I wish I could eat anything at all but I can’t.”
Ever since he’d helped her at the cake shop, she kept bumping into him on campus like it was some form of a trick.
“You allergic to something?”
“Let’s say I am at the moment.”
He didn’t press on because what she said was not different from the usual.
“Then let me take you back to your hostel after class.”
“I can go alone.”
“Cmon, I want to help a friend to…”
“I said no!” She had shouted on top of her voice and now the entire class had turned to look at them.
“Please, just let me be…you know nothing about me,” she said, for only his ears before exiting the hall with tears threatening to fall. These hormones made her cry at the little things that it was starting to become embarrassing.
Unknowingly, he had followed her to the train station.
“I don’t know you but at least I know some things about you. I know you’re married and I know you have a kid.”
He pointed to the ring on her finger. “Maybe you think people are too daft to not know but there are some like us who pay attention…the kid I saw with you with the other time had called you ‘mama’. My ears are sharp, believe it…but most importantly I want to apologize for everything. I’m not trying to come unto you or anything like that. I have a girlfriend. You look so much like my sister I couldn’t help but follow you around.”
He turned to leave.
“Sorry for yelling at you too,” she managed to say.
He nodded before leaving her.
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