April 12th, 2013
I was finally able to speak with Diana today and, just as I feared, it wasn’t the easiest thing I have ever had to do.
As soon as she heard my voice, she started crying…and she wept silently, for another 10 minutes. I didn’t even know what to say to her. This was a woman who had been my rock, when I was so paranoid after Ejiro’s miscarriage. What was I supposed to say that would offer her any comfort?
“How can I be here for the next 28 weeks?” she wept. “What is going to happen to my wedding? Faith, are they saying Phillip and I won’t be married before the baby gets here?” and in a more high pitched voice “Or before Akunna has her own baby??!!”
“Diana, all of those are secondary! The most important thing is keeping your baby safe!” I said, as soothingly as I could. “It might even be a blessing in disguise! What’s 28 weeks, if it means you will have a healthy baby in your arms? Phillip is yours, and having a ring won’t change that. Once the baby is here, we will have a fantastic wedding celebration!”
As much as I believed that, I couldn’t help but share her apprehension over the delay in the formalization of her union with Phillip. There are too many things hanging in the air! The impending birth of his first born child…and a son for that matter…and this sudden bone in the neck wahala, called Idara! After hearing about their long time affair, I will not be at ease until my brother is fully committed, in wedlock, to Diana.
After work, Phillip asked me to accompany him to see Akunna, at the hospital he has transferred her to, in Lekki Phase 1. Getting there, I actually heaved a sigh of relief over the fact that my unborn nephew is already receiving better health care. God forgive me if I’m being snobbish, but that Isolo hospital no make am abeg!
Getting to her room, Phillip lingered behind me, as I knocked and let myself in. Akunna was propped on her bed, watching Africa Magic, and she already looked way better than how I had met her earlier in the week. Thankfully, her Mom was nowhere in sight.
I saw her eyes light up, when she saw Phillip, and for the first time, it struck me that she is still head over heels in love with my brother. And, at that moment, I felt such pity for her! I couldn’t imagine being pregnant, and not having the blessing of having my baby’s father in the picture, especially if I still love him. And the fact that he is getting married to someone else, must really truly sting. For the first time, I saw her through the eyes of a fellow woman, and not as the leech trying to inconvenience my family.
“Hi Phillip” she greeted, her smile genuine.
My brother cleared his throat. “Hi…” he responded awkwardly. “Are you…are you comfortable here?”
She smiled broadly. “Yes…very! Thanks. I have been treated like a queen since I got here!”
He nodded, and coughed again. “I’m glad.”
We stood there in more awkward silence for a few minutes, before she suddenly remembered me.
“Hey, Faith! How now?” she said, smiling at me with dancing eyes. Gosh, see what an effect seeing Phillip was having on her. “Won’t you sit down?”
“Actually, we won’t be staying that long…” Phillip bleated.
I glared at him, before turning to smile at her, taking a seat. “Thank you my dear! How are you feeling now? What’s the situation?”
“Under control now. I haven’t dilated any further…” she answered.
More awkward silence followed.
“This film looks interesting oh!” I lied through my teeth, as I can not stomach Nigerian films for anything. “Is that…is that Rita Dominic?”
Akunna laughed. “No, it’s Tonto!”
“I’ve signed the document.” Akunna said, handing Phillip the brown envelope.
He smiled for the first time since we got there. “Thanks.”
“How is your fiancée?” she asked.
He nodded. “She’s fine, thanks!”
“Your wedding is….”
“Soon,” was his curt response.
“We’re having a boy!” she said, desperately trying to impress her stone-faced baby daddy.
“Yes, Faith told me. That’s excellent news!” he said, with another stiff smile.
You could cut the tension in the room with a knife.
Just as I was racking my brain about anything I could say, or do, to break the ice in the room, the door opened, and in walked Akunna’s mother, followed closely by none other than my ED, Akunna’s Aunty Josephine!
“Faith! Fancy running into you here!” she remarked snidely, giving my brother and I the dirtiest of looks.
And just like that, the situation went from bad to WORST!