“Is this not that you people’s this thing?” my husband says to me.
“Which people’s which thing?” I ask, stretching myself on the bed and cursing the fact that he has to wake up this early on a public holiday.
“This thing,” he says again.
“Doesn’t ‘this thing’ have a name?” I say, stacking two pillows together to snuggle further into them.
Looking up, I see him brandishing the pregnancy test strip I bought more than a week ago.
“Oh,” I say, putting my head back on the pillows. “Is that what you’re calling ‘this thing’?”
“When did you buy this?” When I don’t answer, he continues, “I thought we agreed not to stress about pregnancy. When it happens, it happens.”
“Yeah, I know. I went to get paracetamol syrup for Gabby, and they didn’t have change. So, I asked them to give me one of those.” As I speak, I reach for my phone to check my Lady Clock.
“Ok. I was just wondering.”
He ambles into the bathroom, and a short while later, I hear him brushing his teeth.
Just then, I let out a gasp as I find what I was looking for on my Lady Clock. My period is four days late!
Ok! Don’t get too excited, I admonish myself, recalling the last time I was late, and how it turned out to be false alarm. Besides, it hasn’t been long I went off the pill, and I have heard stories of how it takes some months before the effects of the pill wears off.
But, what if I am pregnant? I muse. That will be exciting, you know?
I chuckle a little.
I’m sure it’ll be a girl. She’ll be fair… fairer than me. And she has to look like me o! Gabby looks like his dad, so, it’s only fair that his sister looks like me. We’ll have so much fun, getting mani-pedis together and getting our hairs done –
What if it’s not a Girl?! A contrary thought intrudes.
“What am I doing sef?” I say half aloud to myself.
Sighing, I drag myself out of the bed to prepare breakfast for my husband.
“Uncle Donatus is coming today with Ifeanyi to settle the issue,” my husband says in between mouthfuls of plantain porridge.
I look up from my phone. I have been staring at the Lady Clock again.
“Huh? Ok.” My brows are furrowed as I try to refocus on the conversation with my husband.
“Are you okay this morning? You look distracted,” he observes.
“I am okay,” I assure him, locking my phone screen and concentrating. “So, what issue is Uncle Donatus coming to resolve?”
“Exactly the question I asked him! I don’t blame him. It’s Ifeanyi that invited him to this house to come and be talking anyhow.”
“Talking about Ifeanyi, where is he now?”
“He says he has gotten a place at Independence Layout. I am even supposed to go and see the place today.”
“Oh, thank you, Jesus!” I breathe out, making my husband to laugh out loud. “What? Why are you laughing now?” I ask, laughing along. “I have been praying for God to bless him, so that he’ll get his own place.”
“You are just a case!” he says, laughing some more.
“Rapum aka biko! Shebi now that he has gotten a house, his girlfriend will now be going to his house to scatter his kitchen? It’s a relief for me o.”
“This woman, allow me to go to work!” He chuckles. “M lewe gi, I won’t leave this house today.” He rises from the dining table and comes around to stand behind my chair, placing his hands on my shoulders.
“Then, I think you should keep looking at me,” I say glibly, placing a hand on his hand.
“Nne, I have to go. Don’t stress about Uncle Donatus. We’re a team, it’s me and you against them, ok?” he says, kneading my shoulders.
His words warm my heart to the core, making me melt against his touch.
“I love you, baby,” I say, looking up at him.
“I love you too,” he replies, planting a quick kiss on my lips.
Then he walks briskly back into the room, to rinse his mouth, while I help him gather his bag, phone and car keys.
Chinwe: Babe, xup now? Hw far wit the gist you promised me?
Me: Hey! Gud morning
Me: I’m fine, and you?
Chinwe: Splendid! *bbmbigsmilesmiley*
Chinwe: So, about my gist…
Me: Yeah! So, we ran into Mimi the other day at Crunchies, hubby and I
Me: She apologized, and then, told me that someone told her that Leticia, abi na Chioma was never a student at UNEC.
Me: She was just passing herself off as one, and was following men about. Then, she was found out, and was sent out of the hostel.
Chinwe: *bbmsurprisedsmiley* She was living in the sch hostel?
Me: Nope. One off camp hostel like that.
Chinwe: R u serious? We need 2 investigate more on that girl.
Me: That would be nice, but how do we go about it? Hire a private investigator, like in the movies? *bbmlaughingsmiley*
Chinwe: Yeye dey worry you!
Chinwe: Dnt worry, I have ma ways.
Me: Ok now. Will your ways give you d info before this evening?
Chinwe: I dnt know, why?
Me: Long story, but my hubby’s uncle (whom I dislike) is coming today to ‘settle the issue’. I need to give them something to chew on.
Chinwe: Lol! Let me c hw it goes sha.
Me: Hw is Chukwuebuka? Abi is it Chukwuemeka… your new boyfriend
Chinwe: Hehehe! He is fine.
Me: Ehee? Gist me now! Why are you hiding stuff about this new guy?
Chinwe: Is not a bbm gist jaré! I’ll gist u later, when we see.
Me: Ok, so, when are we seeing?
Chinwe: Would have said today, but they called me to come in to work. I’ll start preparing to go once I finish this chat.
Me: Ok oh! Keep hiding him. Very soon now, it will be that he isn’t who he says he is. Leticia mode! Lol!
Chinwe: Back to sender!!
Chinwe: Oburu ogwu, ogaghi erere gi!
Me: *bbmrotflsmiley* *bbmrotflsmiley*
Me: Oya, go and prepare for work oh! See you when we see each other.
Chinwe: Ok, bye *bbmkisssmiley*
Deciding to check on Gabby again, I get down from the bed, where I’ve been lounging and chatting. I intend to let him sleep to his heart’s content today, as it is a public holiday. Besides, I have house chores to attend to; so, I can do without disturbance for a while.
After checking on him, I decide to tackle the house chores, starting from my bedroom.
I catch my reflection on the mirror immediately I walk into the room. Naturally, I am drawn to it. I run my hands over my face, checking for acne. There is just a few. My new face-cream is really working, it seems. My face is even glowing, just a bit. My gaze falls to the pregnancy test strip on the dresser. I decide to use it anyway.
I pick it up and head for the bathroom.
One stripe. Negative.
“Well! Not as if I expected anything,” I say, pouring out the urine in the bowl, and rinsing it out. “It’s just as well.”
I walk out of the bathroom to tackle the house chores.
“Mummy, tititia!” Gabby says, crying and pointing at the plate of food I have been trying to feed him in the last ten minutes.
“What is tititia now?” I ask him for the umpteenth time, getting frustrated. “Oya, take water.” I lift his drinking cup and offer it to him.
He slaps my hand away.
“Oya, take Caprisone.” I offer him the drink.
He sucks a little out of the straw, and then, shoves my hand away again.
I lift the spoon with the food in it and offer him once more. “Take.”
“No! Tititia!” he starts his mantra once again, pointing at his plate.
I am almost at the point of pulling at my hair, when my phone rings. I drop the spoon and glance at my phone screen. It is Chinwe calling.
“Hello? Nne, keekwanu?”
“Hello, this is not Chinwe,” an unfamiliar female voice comes through the earpiece.
“Who is this?” I query, walking away from the dining table and Gabby’s ruckus.
“This is Chinwe’s colleague, Vivian. Chinwe slumped on the stairs at the office, and she has been rushed to the hospital. She asked me to call you.”
“What?! What happened to her? Which hospital?”
“…hospital…just along…” Static intrudes as the voice cracks through the line.
“Hello? You are breaking up! What hospital is she in?” I holler into the phone, frantic with worry.
The call ends. I re-dial Chinwe’s number and place the phone in my ear. Realizing that the house is quiet, I turn to the dining table.
Gabby is calmly eating his food on his own.
“Oh God,” I say softly “‘Tititia’ means ‘I can eat on my own’? How does that even rhyme?”
Just then, the MTN automated voice speaks into my ears: “The number you have dialed is currently switched off…”
Without waiting to hear the rest of the message, I end the call and re-dial, while searching my mental rolodex for whom else I can call, anyone I know who knows Chinwe or can connect me to her office.
Rapum aka biko – Leave me please
M lewe gi, I won’t leave this house today – If I keep looking at you, I won’t leave this house today.
Oburu ogwu ogaghi erere gi – If it’s jazz, it won’t work for you.
Written by Adaku J