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“I don’t think I am following this conversation.” Toba said as he dropped his full glass of alcoholic wine on the counter. “Do you mean to tell me that Lisa tried to abort Amara’s pregnancy and is now in police custody?” He asked stupefied.
Alex sighed and downed his drink at a go, ordering the barman to refill the glass. “Precisely. My life has turned into a circus ever since I encountered Amara. It has been from one problem to the other ever since she showed up. She seemed to have changed from the innocent village girl whom I willingly placed a bet on, into a dangerous viper, ready to bite with poisonous venom at the slightest provocation. Nothing works against her” he picked up his glass and drank the cup halfway, allowing the alcohol to burn down his throat. “Just imagine: I rid her of her virginity, and what did I get? She got pregnant” he pointed out, with his arms swinging in the air. “She showed up and when I suggested abortion, what happened instead? I ended up married” he roared in indignation. “I made her a maid in my house to punish her for making my life hell on earth but what was the result? My father threatened to take my position and I stupidly went ahead to get an agreement which allowed us both liberty to do whatever we wished. That is really one of the most stupid things I have done in my life” he swore angrily.
“Amongst many other stupid things” Toba inserted annoyingly.
“Thanks. I brought Lisa into the house when she declared her pregnancy, mainly to spite Amara, but what was the result? My house became hell on earth. I told her of the bet to destroy her morale and confidence but what did I end up achieving? She completely transformed into a monster. You advised me to beat her to a pulp and I did, but what was the result?” His voice rose several degrees as he drank the rest of the wine at once, slamming it frighteningly on the bar. “I got a bloody suspension letter from my own father’s company.” He boomed and Toba scratched his head in exasperation. “Lisa tried to use drugs to bring down Amara’s child and she was stupid enough to use Tola instead of doing the dirty job herself, but what did she get? She landed behind bars” he hissed through clenched teeth. “No plan works successfully against her.
Toba sighed and decided that his drink was necessary, drinking it all at once. “That girl is not normal. She is either a witch or a mermaid.”
Alex picked up another full cup and started drinking again. The alcohol was beginning to make him feel lightheaded. “Do you know the worst part of this entire charade? Amara looks more beautiful by the day” he shook his head. “She looks completely different from the village girl she was. I don’t know how that is even possible. Pregnant women always look shabby and ugly to me with their protruding bellies and all but Amara looks totally different from that image. She is practically glowing. She was beautiful before with her uncommon shape and complexion, which is why I considered sharing a bed with her in the first place, but now, she looks even shapelier. Her eyes glow when she laughs and her cheeks seem to have a reddish glow. It makes me think and…”
“Shut up man” Toba barked. “Are you alright? Don’t tell me you have started nursing stupid feelings for that tramp”
Alex hissed. “Don’t be stupid. She is a woman and I am definitely not a wood. She has a certain sexual appeal and I am bound to react to it”
“Just listen to yourself. That stupid reaction of yours is what brought you this far. Besides, you were not just talking about her body, you talked about her eyes and… did you mention cheeks? If all you want is minutes of sex, you won’t notice her eyes; you would notice something more sensual”
“Are the eyes not part of the body?”
Toba hissed. “I pity you. That girl is not normal. She brings bad tidings. Any involvement with her again would be like jumping from frying pan to flaming fire. If I were you – which I am so grateful I am not – I would be looking for a way to get Lisa out of jail. When she was there to give you free sex, you were not thinking of Amara’s eyes and cheeks. The sensible thing to do would be to get her an apartment because bringing her back into the house might be another terrible mistake. She might try something against Amara, maybe even try to kill her, and if she succeeds, you both are in for trouble. Big one!” he emphasized. “Prevention is better than cure” he breathed. “In the meantime, I think you have to get used to being a father because it looks like Amara is here to stay. Besides, you have to children to look forward to” he grinned.
About two weeks after Lisa’s arrest, I was beginning to feel sorry for her. Her departure from the house brought laughter and freedom back to Tola and Tina and we rarely saw Alex. He seemed to have abandoned the house, only to show up on few occasions. Tina and Tola talked easily and laughed freely now and I did not want this to change. For the first time, I was actually enjoying my stay in the house. I knew that Lisa did what she did in an attempt to get rid of me and I pitied her situation a bit but the detective had promised to keep her behind bars until the case was charged to court. He said that it was dangerous to have such a person roaming the streets of the federal capital.
I walked with the ladies, as we took in the beautiful garden – the only part of the house where you can find complete peace. “I think you both are gifts from heaven” I said suddenly, changing the subject. “I never thought I would be this close to you, especially you, Tola, who seemed to hate me for no reason”.
Tina whistled and Tola smiled. “I never thought so too. I have having the company of new people, especially one who would have to share my responsibility. When you became my boss’ wife, I was angry and I… I wanted to turn you and Tina against each other when I was apparently ignored in the house” Tina and I cast a quick glance at her and she hastily continued. “But when you bought clothes for me, you immediately won me over. I love dressing up nicely and a new wardrobe and also liberty to wear what I feel like instead of the maids’ gown was the best thing that has happened to me in a while. It was surprising that you thought of me despite all I did to you and it made me realize that you are really a kind hearted person. I wanted to do something to repay you” she said.
“Confession Time!” Tina declared, standing with squared shoulders. She did the cross sign across Tola’s chest. “Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more”
I laughed and so did Tola. “What do you think about setting up your own businesses?” I asked suddenly and they both froze.
“What do you mean?” Tola asked.
I had given this a lot of thought and decided that I was not comfortable with the fact that my friends were apparently working for me. “Don’t you both want to be independent? You know, be on your own?” I asked tactfully, shrugging nonchalantly.
Tina sighed. “Of course. I have definitely thought of it millions of times but it is easier said than done. The world out there is harsh. I have some money saved but it is definitely not enough to open a restaurant, which is what I dream to open”
“Yeah!” Tola put in. “I want to open my own salon. But the money I have won’t do anything. Even if I get a shop and some things with the money, where would I live, what would I eat? That is why I prefer to stay here for the meantime, until I get enough money.
I nodded. I wanted to do something tangible for them without it looking awkward. “Alex should be able to see to setting you both up, shouldn’t he? You both have been working for him for some time; he should be able to establish you both”
“What are you saying Ama?” Tina asked in shock. Tola had gone mute.
“Well, it would take a little persuasion I guess but we all know that Alex has the means to do it” I continued, seeming not to notice their agitation. “It is what you both deserve after working for him for so long, putting up with him. It is your right” their faces looked funny and I found myself smiling. “If you still don’t know what I am talking about, all I am saying is that I would talk Alex into establishing your businesses for you”
Their eyes widened and they both screamed suddenly, jumping on me like I was a mysterious father Christmas. I squealed.
I rubbed my eyes as I walked down the stairs groggily. I had slept late the previous night, just listening to Tina and Tola as they talked endlessly about their dream shops and all. It made me happy to know that at least, some people’s dreams can come true. Even if mine seemed destroyed due to my mistake, I can at least take pleasure in knowing that Tina and Tola would at least have what they had always dreamt of. Who knows, I might still be able to salvage something out of my life.
I nearly jumped out of my skin and came fully awake at once. The sitting room was half filled. My parents were there, the senator and his wife, Alex’s three drivers, our gateman, Tina and Tola and three or four people that I could not name. I was not just surprised, but shocked. It was surprising that I did not remember my own birthday, October 5.
“Happy Birthday my baby girl” my mother said, approaching me, and I still stood at the foot of the stairs, looking frozen in my night gown. I laughed nervously as my mother hugged me tight.
“I… I…” I stammered as my face reddened. I laughed nervously again. “I don’t know what to say. I even forgot my birthday” Tears gleamed in my eyes and I tried hard to blink them away. My father came to hug me and then, when the senator came with his smiling face, the tears rolled down my cheeks. He hugged me and wiped away the tears. I continued to murmur thanks to everyone and Tina and Tola propelled me up the stairs hurriedly. The sitting room was a sight to behold and the fact that it was decorated for me brought fresh tears to my eyes. The senator’s wife looked glum, like she had been dragged here, but she was the only one who did not seem happy.
When we entered my room, I hugged Tina and Tola tightly. “Thanks a lot, I am so happy today”
They grinned. “It was your father-in-law’s idea” Tina said, surprising me.
“Yeah” Tola agreed. “Now, enough of that, we need to dress you up. It is party time” she squealed.
They took their time dressing me and Tola really outdid herself in making my hair a sight to behold. When I looked at myself in the mirror, minutes later, I could not believe my eyes. I looked like a movie star. I had to agree that Tola’s talents were best in a salon. Happiness filled my heart and I jumped up like a baby. The glowing gown I wore showed my protruding belly a little but I looked so exceptional in it, and I also wanted my baby to have part of the attention. The music coming from the sitting room was already floating to the room. I looked at Tina and Tola. “Let’s go party” I screamed.
“Yeeeaaahhhh” they squealed and we bundled ourselves out of the room.
I have never had so much fun in my life. I have danced with virtually everyone in the sitting room, except my mother-in-law of course. Tina had cooked so many things and I could not stop eating. I had a feeling that I would be twice my current size within the next twenty four hours if I did not reduce my consumption.
Several hours after, the door opened and Alex entered. His eyes found me and he seemed to freeze on the spot. I watched in irritation as his eyes raked my body slowly; what surprised me though was that I was not reacting to him the way I used to. My skin did not break out with Goosebumps, or anything. I nodded internally and gave myself a good pat in the back. This was definitely a good sign.
“Is this the time you are supposed to be arriving for your wife’s birthday? Where have you been? You definitely were not at work and neither did you sleep here” the senator scolded.
Alex ignored him totally, obviously angry with his father.
“You look really beautiful Amara” he said, surprising everyone into complete silence. I stayed there for several seconds, unable to believe he had just said that. Instead of feeling delight, anger ran through my veins at his audacity. I turned to grab a cold cup of water to quench my sudden thirst and anger, passing by my mother-in-law but she suddenly grabbed me; the first time we actually touched all day.
I was stunned. “Did I do something wrong ma?” I asked, instinctively knowing that the excitement was finally over.
“Can’t you greet your husband? You have no respect for my son” she snarled.
“You are hurting me ma” I squealed in pain as her nails bit into my flesh.
She caught her husband’s eye and instantly let go of my hand. I hurried past her and filled a cup with a much needed cold water. As I drank and walked back, my mother-in-law shocked me again by grabbing me. Something seemed to have caught her eyes and she froze. Before I could think, she turned me around suddenly and tugged on my left ear. “Where… where did you get that?” she stammered.
“What is the meaning of this nonsense Katherine?” the senator boomed, calling his wife’s name for the first time.
“Do you have a problem with my daughter?” my mum asked, moving closer.
The senator’s wife looked pale. “Where did she get that black dot behind her ear?” she asked shakily.
My mum shifted. “It has been there since her birth. Why?”
The senator’s wife released me and shook her head furiously. “N… No… Nothing…” she stammered. “It is nothing.” She laughed nervously. “I feel sick. I want to go home” she hastily said and headed outside. The senator looked stupefied at the drama and hastily said.
“Uhhh… Don’t pay attention to her. She is like that when she does not get enough sleep. I think we have to go” he came towards me and kissed my cheek before going after his wife with a confused look on his face. I stood there frozen, trying hard to come up with a reasonable explanation for what just occurred.