BANDIT BABY SEASON 2
Those words sank deep into my marrow.
As I was trying to figure out the meaning of what she said, my phone rang.
Guess who called.
What a wrong timing for the call!
“Hello! Can you just…”
“Hello Doctor Ezekiel!” she interrupted. “How is the journey going? I just say make I hear from you. Please let me know when you get home. My regards to your wife and kids.”
She hung up.
I was still holding the phone close to my ear even as the call was over.
“Your wife and kids”? I muttered.
I dropped the phone and turned to Enobong.
“Madam, what do you mean by Abisoye not being the father of these kids? Who is their father? Who is your husband? Why did you travel to Lagos?” I asked many questions.
“I have done what I ought not to have done. I have messed up everything. I don’t think I will follow you to Akwa Ibom,” she continued to lament.
Then she removed the ring from her finger, put it in her wallet and locked it.
She held my hands again. I felt the pressure she exerted in holding my hands.
She looked at my eyes again and said:
“Abisoye said he is not their father.”
“Abisoye said he is not their father. Then who is their father and who is Abisoye?” I asked amidst confusion.
“I called him when we were at the hospital. I told him I have put to bed. But… but…”
She kept crying.
“It’s ok. Don’t cry please. What did he say?”
“He told me he was not their father. He said I should not bother looking for him, that I should go and look for their father.”
“I don’t understand. You should go and look for their father at where?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. That was why I said I have messed up my life.”
“Wait! Are you legally married to him?”
“No. He said we were going to get married as soon as he returns from overseas.”
“And has he returned?”
“Yes. He’s in Lagos. We made a video call a day before we came to Lagos. So yes, he returned.”
“Ok fine. So when is the wedding holding?”
“Which wedding? There is no wedding my brother. No wedding. I have been used and abandoned with three kids.”
She cried bitterly.
“Did he tell you his reasons?”
“Did Abisoye tell you the reasons for his sudden change of plans?”
There was no response.
“Was he really the one who asked you to come to Lagos?” I asked.
“Yes. He was the one.”
One of the kids woke up and began to cry.
“Breastfeeding time,” I said.
She got up and moved to the baby, lifted her up and returned to my side.
As she was breastfeeding the girl, she continued.
“I do not know why he is doing this to me. Just before I met Abisoye, I prayed that God should bless me with a man who would love me. I promised God that I was going to stop my wayward life if he gives me a caring man. When I met Abisoye, at that early point, I didn’t know he was serious. Two months later, he made his intentions known to me. I still did not take him serious. He told me to stop my ashawo business that he was going to marry me. That was when I decided to stop. Ever since then, na only one man I don make love with and it was just once. It has been Abisoye all through. I have changed. I am not doing all those things again. I swear. I…”
“Do not swear, my dear. Do not swear. I believe you. So this man, I mean the one you made love with just once, where is he now?”
“I do not know. I only met him once.”
“Ok. So is he the father of your kids?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t even know what he looks like.”
“Didn’t you save his number?”
“I didn’t. Even if I did, what would you have me do now? Call him that I have three kids for him? Who would accept it? No one will do that my brother.”
She wiped her tears and looked at me.
“Would you accept if you were him?” she asked.
“I…I…for now, I don’t know,” I stammered.
“You see? That is why I said I have messed up. Everyone knows I am married, but here I am. Still single. Not just single, but a single mother abandoned by the father.”
“Let me ask you a question. How did Abisoye know that he is not the father of these kids?”
“I do not know. I do not. Maybe he is just playing me. I think he doesn’t want these kids. Come to think of it, I have never met him in his own house. It has always been in a hotel.”
She got up and dropped the girl who was already fast asleep.
“You said you have a family.” She asked as she returned to her seat.
“Yes. A wife and a four year old son.”
“Have you spoken with them?”
“When last did you speak with them?”
“This morning. Just before we started the journey. Any problem?”
“No. Your family is so fortunate to have you as a father and a husband. You are a good man. A very good man.”
I faked a smile and thanked her.
She looked at me without returning the smile, then she said:
“I want you to do something for me.”
© Ezekiel Umoren