By Raymond Ogah
I left my house early enough in order to be there before 2pm, considering the traffic. I was there by 1.43pm and she was not yet there, so I bought a drink to pastime. Some minutes after two, she came in and found me where I was sitting. I stood up and welcomed her with a hug. Then she sat down with a smile, asking if I went to church. I replied positively. She said, “Good. I would have spanked you.”
With a smile, I said thank God. I asked if she would have anything, she said she was okay, that a bottle of water would be perfect. I got her one. “So honey, what’s the problem?”
I knew the hour had come. Looking her directly into her eyes, I said, “I have a son.” I paused to see her reaction but she was very calm and then I went straight to say, “I cannot carry on with the wedding.” Ella voiced out, “Ade! what are you talking about?”
“Ella, I love you. You’ve been my heart desire since we we’re in school but during my service year, I met someone else. I fell in love with her but we couldn’t keep in touch after my service year. After my proposal to you, I got a message from her that she needed my help only for me to go back to Kogi to see that she has a son for me. I didn’t mean to hurt you but having her back into my life, an empty hole which I never knew was in me has been filled and I cannot bear not living with her or maybe hurting you after we’ve been married by cheating on you with her because she’s the one my heart truly desires.”
Ella was already in tears. “Adeoluwa, you cannot do this to me. Why are you trying to ruin my life? Please tell me you’re joking. You cannot be serious Adeoluwa. What have I done wrong to deserve this shame and disappointment? Please tell me you’re joking…”
I tried holding her to console her but she hit my hands and pushed me away. With tears rolling down her cheeks, she pushed the table towards me, picked up her back and stood up to leave. Before I could try to calm her down, she fainted! The restaurant attendant rushed to come help me. She brought water and we sprinkled on her face before she regained consciousness but she was too weak to stand. “Ella! Ella!!” I called with no response from her. I got scared that she might have really injured herself while falling so I carried her to my car with the help of the restaurant attendant. I quickly thought of the closest hospital and took her there. I couldn’t concentrate. On getting to the hospital, the nurses took over and immediately I called my mum, explained to her and told her to come to the hospital. I thought of Ella’s sibling closest to me to call but I considered someone that would be more understanding so I called Ella’s eldest brother. I just told him that he should come to the hospital, that his sister had a ”minor fall”. An hour later, my mum was in the hospital and she located the ward Ella was admitted into. Not so long, Ella’s eldest brother was there with Ella’s direct elder brother and Ella’s younger sister. It was a full ward!
They all asked me what happened. My mother couldn’t ask because she already knew what’s up. I couldn’t tell them anything. Ella was on drip and because of the noise, she opened her eyes and immediately I rushed to check on her. Tears started coming out from her eyes and she yelled, “I hate you Adeoluwa! I hate you! Leave me alone! I don’t want to see you! I hate you!” Immediately, my mum came and drew me out of the ward. Her siblings ran to attend to her and not so long after they were with her, I heard the voice of her eldest brother screaming, “Come back here Sheyi! Come back here!” Before I knew what was going on, I saw Sheyi (Ella’s direct elder brother) run towards me, landing a blow on my jaw. He was pushing me to the wall to give me more blows when his elder brother rushed to the scene to rescue me.
Sheyi was shouting, “Leave me alone lemme teach him a lesson! He feels he can hurt my sister and get away freely! Who does he think he is! Leave me alone lemme show him that he’s messing with the wrong family!” The eldest son was busy holding him back and calming him down while my mother was dragging me out of their presence. I knew I deserved that blow. Thank God the eldest son was around, only God knows how much more I would have received. I was in the reception hall with my mum when their eldest brother came to us. Before he could talk, I was already apologizing, telling him that I didn’t mean to do what I did. He said, “Don’t worry, it’s alright. We’ll talk about that later. Go home now; my brother is really mad at you and he is ready to wound you. My sister is not willing to see you, at least for now, so go home. Everything would be settled.” I thanked him so much and went home with my mum.
At home, my head was filled! I was thinking to myself, I needed a break. I picked up my phone and called my boss who was also my friend. We spoke at length and I explained everything to him. He understood clearly, and said I could take two weeks break until everything had been settled. That night, I called Ella’s eldest brother and he said that she’d been discharged from the hospital and at home but I couldn’t come till the next two days because things were really hot in their family. I ended the call, telling him how grateful I was for his understanding and help. The next day, I started making calls…
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