TIMES OF LOVE …PART 4

Harry came back home that evening, weak and tired. He met his mother bathing Didi in a rubber bathtub.
His mother’s face was unusual, her throat tightened when she greeted him.
“Welcome. How was sales today?”
She poured water on Didi’s hair and watched her smile. She loved water, and one of her favorite moments was bath time.
Harry stared at her and giggled.
“She loves what you’re doing to her mama.” He said and knelt beside them. He noticed that his mother’s eyes were sad.
“Are you okay? Did Atimma say bad words to you again?” He asked desperately.
“She is gone.” The faint smile disappeared from his mother’s face.
“I woke up this afternoon and discovered that she had packed most of her things. The whole room is almost empty, she left only a few pairs of shoes and few boxes.” She muttered. Harry hurriedly left her and rushed inside the room, then came out again.
“She kept a letter for you. I saw it under Didi’s diapers.” She took a white envelope beside her and handed it to Harry, he collected it and opened it hastily.
The letter reads…”Harry, by the time you get this letter, I must have arrived Lagos, waiting for my flight to leave for London on a business meeting. It’s urgent. I don’t know when I will be back; next month or in few months. Take care of my daughter. I won’t stay for too long. And if you get tired of waiting for me, you can move on with your life….One love, Atimma Gregory. ”
Harry began to sob softly. His mother dressed Didi and handed to him.
“your child needs you.” She said, as Harry took Didi slowly from her hands.
“She is gone…Whatever she wrote in that letter are all lies. She has gone with another man.”
“She is not like that mama. She is going to London, it is a good thing.” Harry muttered.
“Listen to me! don’t be fooled by a common prostitute who lured you to be married to her. She used you…Most of the times, I overheard her talk on the phone with another man, not you.”
“Mama…I have known Atimma for years now, she isn’t that kind of a woman.”
“You didn’t know her enough! She was never a good woman, she only tried to be and it didn’t work. My instincts told me the first time you brought her home.” Her voice quivered now. “But since you said she was a good woman, I couldn’t help but take her as my own daughter. She isn’t a good type Harrison. She didn’t know things will be this hard for long. she couldn’t cope.”
Harry cried out softly, tears streaming out of his eyes. And just when his mother stopped talking, Didi began to mumble baby words.
Harry held her tight to himself and began to sing lullaby for her, until she closed her eyes and slept off in her Father’s arms.
He exhaled, feeling his heartbeat settle into a natural rhythm.
*****
Atimma and Seno arrived intercontinental hotel at about evening time. They held each others hands and walked into the massive, executive suite they had booked. Atimma jumped on the bed immediately the room got opened.
“Oh no! this is beautiful honey, the bed is so soft.” She said excitedly.
The next morning, they Will leave for London. And Seno had planned in his mind that after he made love to her, he would ask her to marry him. He had ordered for a diamond ring from Abu Dhabi, and Atimma wasn’t aware. He had not also told her that he had left his Family for good. It was meant to be a sweet surprise for Atimma.
Seno was making Atimma crazy, he gave her all she wanted and it was all she had always dreamt of.
Seno made love to her that night. She screamed romantically as he laughed against her ears.
They slept naked that night till the next morning, and then they moved to London.

It rained softly that Morning.
Harry was sad, he knew that he wasn’t going to make any sales on the rain. His mother was having difficulties breathing at home, and he could not afford an inhaler.
The rain had drained his body, he became wet. He walked home on the rain. He had so many thoughts on his mind as he walked slowly with the bucket of sachet water on his head; he thought of Atimma, how she was coping alone without him by her side, even when he knew that things had changed between them. But he missed making love to her and listening to her nag about unnecessary things. He thought about Didi, how she was going to sleep that night without her diapers, because he couldn’t afford them. He became tired, and cold on the rain. He sat under a shade. He sat there, helpless while the vision of the people he loved played over and over in his head. Every time it played, he felt again the agonizing terror, the split second of unbearable suffering while he waited for the rain to stop.
The rain seemed unstoppable, he kept walking till he got home.
He wanted to wait on the veranda for a while, until he drained a little bit of water from his wet clothes; but the sound of Didi’s cry could not keep him any longer. He had wondered where his mother was. He clicked the door open, In a brighten white bulb light, he could see Didi’s tears.
His mom had slept too deep that she could not hear Didi cry. He watched her as she was all curled in on herself, sleeping as if her life depend on it. Harry felt it was his fault that she and to sleep so deep, she was tired.
Didi stopped crying as soon as she noticed her father’s presence. He kissed Didi on the forehead, but couldn’t carry her because of his wet clothes.
Then he turned his gaze to his mom for a while just to reassure himself that she was truly alright. Then quietly, slowly, he tried to tickle her, but she didn’t move as usual.
His heart felt as he noticed that she wasn’t breathing. Her body turned almost gray. He pushed his mom and turned her body over, holding her to himself and slapping her hands.
But what awed him, and frightened the wits out of him was that she didn’t move, and then he realized that she had died some moments ago.
His throat ached with emotions, but he swallowed hard and draped his arm over her waist. He began to scream…
“Mama don’t do this to me please I beg you…” Tears streamed out of his eyes like rainfall. He cried uncontrollably.
He gaze at his daughter who was mumbling baby words and sucking her hands. He closed his eyes, comforted by the her presence.
He turned tearily to Didi and whispered, “Grandma had died.”
He held his mother to himself and wept even more, he had never wept that bitterly before.
He rushed into the room and came out with a wrapper and bed sheet. He covered his mother with the bedsheets and carried Didi on his back, tightening the wrapper firmly.
He sat on the floor and got confused on what to do.
His face turned red…
He thought of how he was going to bury his mom, he didn’t have a dime.
A flicker of darkness clouded his eyes. Anger, harsh and swift, cut through him, then his knees went weak.
Harry shuddered at his mother’s painted pictures on the room wall; It was a gift the Apostolic women gave to him to pay their condolences.
The women had contributed money and made Harry’s mom’s funeral was a success.
He carried Didi on his back every night to visit his mother’s grave for two months. Harry mourned his mother for a long time.
Two months after his mother’s funeral, he knew that the rent of the new house was almost expiring, he made plans to sell out the furniture, the generator and the refrigerators, so that he can gather money for a one room apartment, where he would live peacefully with his daughter.
After he sold most of the house furniture, he didn’t wait for the landlord to chase him away, he packed by himself to a small one room apartment, where he began his dry cleaning business. He washed and iron customers clothes from home, and delivered to them in their houses.
A few times Didi helped him scatter the clothes or peed on them.
He started getting patronages from people around his neighbourhood mostly.
“Mr Harry, you wash so well.” His new neighbour aunty Udeme said shrilly, twisting her waist and winking at Harry.
Aunty Udeme was a woman in her mid forties, who had a big breast, and a big buttocks. She had wrinkles on her face, and her boyfriends were mostly teenagers.
Didi began to cry aloud when she noticed aunty Udeme walking close to her father.
“My daughter doesn’t like women around me.” Harry said boldly.
Aunty Udeme giggled. “What does this your small chubby girl know about people being around you?” She said, laughing childishly. “I only came to say Hi bro Harry.”
She picked up his pillow, and buried her face in it. It smelled like him, kind of wild and faintly sweet and musky.
Didi crawled over were she laid and bite her arms sharply.
“Jeez!” She jumped out from the bed.
“Your daughter’s teeth is sharp, how old is she?”
Harry chuckled and then replied softly, “she will be one in few months.”
Aunty Udeme kept touching her arms, where Didi had bite her. “This your baby enh…” she muttered and hissed.
“Brother Harry, I am going o.” She said aloud, as she shook her buttocks. “Before your one toothed daughter will cut off my skin.” She added shrilly.
“Thank you aunty Udeme.” Harry said boldly.
****
Harry woke up with the thoughts of Atimma. He had wondered why she had not called him since she left for training in London.
He took a keke napep to her office that morning, and when he alighted fr the keke napep, he saw a woman addressing a group of people. She was elegantly dressed in lilac colored corporate gown. She tied a lemon color yashmak on her head; Harry watched her from afar, and waited for her to finish before he could approach one of them, but his heart led him to the woman with the lemon color yashmak.
“Good morning madam.” He greeted huskily in oral English.
“Morning Mr?”
“Harry…Harrison I mean.”
“How may I help you Harry?” She asked boldly.
“My wife works with this company ma’am. She was among the people who went on training to London some months ago. I just want to find out if I can get a number I can contact her with?”
Susan looked at Harry amazingly and then said, “I am Mrs Susan Seno. Follow me, let’s talk inside the office.” She said politely, as she led the way, Harry walked behind her.
“I have been longing to see the unfortunate man who married Atimma.” Susan said, as she lowered herself gently on a chair.
Harry glared at her, but she spotted sadness in his eyes.
“I don’t understand ma.” Harry asked.
Laughter bubbled up in Susan’s chest, making her feel bold and little reckless.
“You mean you’re not aware that your Atimma is sleeping with my husband? They eloped to London to resume their love affair.”
A reluctant smile tugged at his mouth, and his heart flipped.
He gazed up at Mrs Susan, amusement intensifying his gaze.
“I can’t believe this.” He muttered.
“You mean that my wife, is sleeping with your husband? How did you get to know?”
“I know. They were dating before she married you. She wanted Seno to divorce me and marry her, but when he refused, she got married to you out of frustration. What baffles me is why they got back together. It’s my husband who got her all she has today.” She paused for a while, leaving Harry in thoughts, then asked, “What do you do?”
With a grimace of pain, Harry replied softly.
“I’m a dry cleaner.”
“Where is your office?”
“I work from home. I don’t have an office yet.”
“Oh nice…”
“I have to go ma’am, I left my daughter at my neighbour’s house.”
“You have a daughter?” Susan asked, looking surprised.
Harry nodded.
“From the same whore?” Susan began to laugh out loud, and despite the sad look on Harry’s face, he was laughing too.
“My husband will come back home to me someday. I used to believe in letting things go, but I won’t let my marriage drain that way. My best friend introduced me to her pastor, he has been praying for me, I have been praying too.”
Harry gave a loud sigh.
“And you think prayer will bring your man back? If prayer really works, my mother’s prayer would have made me a millionaire by now. My woman would not have left me for a wealthy man. I would be happily married by now, and maybe work in a good place.” He said innocently.
“Your mother’s prayer is still cooking.” Suddenly everything stirred memories inside him, as Susan continued.
“You were just unfortunate to settle for that woman. I know her more than you do. Her friend used to sleep with my husband, but she wasn’t aware. She, her friend…they are whores! You can get your life back if you believe in Jesus. My pastor says that all the time.”
“Then why are we still talking about our problems? I mean your husband is the arms of my wife, they are in London, having sex and enjoying their lives. I am here, you are here. You sleep at night alone, under the warmness of your duvet, without companionship of your husband. I would have just walked back home, and committed suicide, if not for my daughter. I do not want to make her an orphan. I do not have a life. Why should I keep praying?”
Susan giggled.
“You talk like an atheist.” She murmured.
“I am not.”
“Believe in God, and watch your life change. Mine will change soon, and you will come back to ask me what I did to get my happiness back, and I am going to still tell you that it’s the same God, I just talked about.” She said boldly, and there was wonder in her voice.
Harry stared at her for moments, the unspoken words hung in the air. Her voice rumbling through him like a faraway thunder.
*****
He fought hard to control his emotions. He was trying to get her off his mind, his daughter stared at him innocently.
He cuddled her in his arms and wept bitterly.
Susan’s voice rang like a bell in his ears. The face of Atimma reappeared in his imaginations, despite the fact that he tried to get rid of her from his heart, he couldn’t.
For a moment, Didi was silent. He stared into her eyes and kissed her playfully from her forehead to her feet, causing her to laugh out so loud.
Suddenly the anger was gone, and he was looking at her the way he did on the first day she was born. His eyes heavy-lidded, and deep browned.
His expression suddenly went blank as he shook his head slightly.
He began to search for his bible, he didn’t remember where he kept It; but he still searched until he found it inside one of his travelling Bags. It was dusty, but he wiped it with bare hands and knelt beside Didi.
“Let’s pray that daddy gets favoured.” Didi giggled, and began to speak in baby language, her father didn’t understand what she meant, but he knew that she was talking to God.

The weather was bright and clear, and seemed to smile on Didi’s birthday.
It was Didi’s first birthday, and the first word she popped out was ‘Dada.’
Harry’s heart ached with the echo of her infectious laugh; that laugh that gave him joy in his heart. He admired the way Didi walked in steps, she was scared to fall.
Her father stared at her with a smile on his face, as he held her small hands and walked with her outside.
“See beautiful didi o…she is now so big.” Aunty Udeme said shrilly. The neighbors clapped and laughed aloud in unison as Didi attempted calling her father again, “Dada!”
He loved the way Didi called him.
Moments later, he had gone to the market to buy her a pink barbie dress and a crown; She was his princess, and he was her king.
He went to the food club to buy her cake, and as he stepped into the classy, nicely scented room, which smelt of strawberries, raspberries and vanilla fantasies, his heart trembled as his eyes caught with this young woman, who had the most beautiful face he had even seen.
She had a long dark hair like Didi and looked exactly like Didi.
She tried to compose her face, but the sight of Harry standing there, made her unstable.
She was talking to a customer when Harry’s presence moved her. “Excuse me ma’am. I will be back here soon, let me attend to this guy.” She said politely as he walked towards Harry.
“Unbelievable! How did you know I work here? You never called, how is your family?” She asked amazingly.
Harry was mute for a while, he stared at her uncontrollably like he was reading something on her face.
“This is a Coincidence, I never knew you worked here Enomfon! I lost your number. I came to buy my daughter’s birthday cake. Did you brother finally leave cell?” He asked.
“Just a day after you left. You have a daughter now?”
Harry nodded excitedly.
“What about your brother?”
“He is in Abuja now, he left Uyo for abuja few weeks after he was released. He is based there now. How about your wife?” She asked loudly, as she smiled brightly.
Harry lowered his head and then said, “we are separated now.” He said, his voice tinged with bitterness.
Enomfon became quiet for a while. She had wondered in her heart why someone would ever leave a handsome and calm man like Harry.
“I am so sorry. let me show you the cakes we have now.” Enomfon said, as she grabbed Harry’s hands in a friendly manner and walked towards the cakes counters.
“You own this place?” Harry asked.
“It’s family business. My mom is a caterer, everyone in my house is a caterer except me.” she chuckled.
“So what are you?” His words echoed around her. Remorse, sharp and husky, streaked through her.
“I am a nurse. I work with a private hospital Downtown, I only come here to assist my mom on my off days.”
Harry looked at her straight in the eye, and knew with the instinctive knowledge of lovers that they loved each other since the first day he had seen her at the police station.
With a broad grin, Enomfon handed a huge chocolate cake to him. “I can’t wait to see your daughter myself. Happy birthday to her.” She said. Harry took the cake excitedly and looked at it with a surprise look.
“This is quite big, I needed something small, for a small amount.”
“Don’t worry Mister, it’s my own special gift for your little girl.” she whispered near his ear.
“It’s Harry, my name is Harry, not Mister.” Harry said, there was love and passion in his tone, as he gave a soft smile.
“Okay Harry, I would have love to come for your daughter’s birthday, but I will be busy in church this evening.”
“And this weekend?”
“I will be in church. We are having a program. A serious program tittled ‘walking into your destiny with God’…Will you like to attend?
Enomfon asked.
Harry looked skeptical and then nodded slowly.
He wanted to be in church too because she was going to be there.
“Yes.” He whispered.
Didi’s Barbie ball gown was a mere whisper against the concrete floor. She had used her hands to deface the surface of her chocolate cake, she started eating the candles and licking the butter icing.
Her untamable mass of full black curly hair tumbled wildly. She had loosen the ribbons and the hair clips her father attached to her hair, and ate them, spitting the damaged ones out from her mouth.
“Didi!”
Harry said her name sharply, reaching for her. She scuttled away with surprising speed. He ran after her, and took her under his arms, kissing her on her forehead.
when Harry tried to removed her barbie dress, she screamed, the shrill sound hurting his ears. She wanted to sleep with it and never remove it, it was the most beautiful dress she ever had. But her father tricked her and removed the dress.
He bathe her that night, and after he fed her with bird custard and milk, he cuddled her until she slept off in his warmness.
He began to untie the gifts the neighbours had given Didi on her Birthday; the toys, they earring and a little dress that aunty Udeme had bought, and a lunch box for a nursery school beginner. Harry smiled with delight as he kept them in a small box and waited for morning to come so that he would thank them for the gifts.
He began to iron some of his customers clothes, as he placed them neatly in a nylon bag, waiting to be delivered the next day.
He slept that night thinking of Enomfon, he found her delightful, she was exactly the kind of woman he wanted.
*****
The next day, Harry prepared himself and Didi for the church program Enomfon had invited him.
Didi began to hum excitedly like she knew where her father was taking her to.
Her father wore her a flowery sleeveless gown and a black shoe. She held her father’s hands tight, as they left for church.
Enomfon was waiting desperately for Harry and Didi outside the church auditorium.
Moments later, She sighted Harry alighting from a tricycle. She smiled as she saw little Didi in his arms.
She fell in love with Didi’s hair, with her little pretty face…
She walked hastily towards them and when Harry saw her, his heart melted and Didi gave a wide smile that revealed her two teeth and two hidden dimples. She took out her two hands toward Enomfon excitedly. Harry became surprised that his daughter would follow and love a stranger at first time. The only persons she ever bonded with was his mother and him.
“She is such a beautiful baby..” Enomfon said girlishly as she kissed Didi on the forehead. Didi tried to do the same thing to her, by kissing her on her forehead too. Enomfon and Harry laughed.
“She likes you…I am really surprise that she followed you.”
“She thinks I am her mommy.” Enomfon chuckled.
But Harry didn’t find what she said funny.
His frowned deepened.
“I don’t want you to be her mommy. You’re a woman of virtue, you can’t be compared to her mommy, she doesn’t even know her mommy, she hated her when she was even more tender. You can’t be her mommy.” There was an edge to his tone and a strange undercurrent emotion beneath the impish expression.
Enomfon turned away thoughtfully. She sensed that Harry didn’t like what she said about being Didi’s mom. Harry never heard any responds from her. He knew that she was aware that he didn’t like it, and he hoped she will never say such words again.
Harry walked gently behind Enomfon, as she led the way to the crowded church auditorium.
Didi had laid her neck On Enomfon’s shoulders. She loved the smell of Enomfon’s cherry plum mist.
Enomfon held Didi in her arms until the pastor finished preaching.
The pastor’s voice rang in Harry’s ears, until he wanted to cover his ears with his hands.
The prayer moments came, and Harry saw himself weep like a baby.
“You have seen my struggles, you have seen my pains, tears and sorrows. Change my story dear lord, prove to me that you’re God and that you answer prayers. Manifest your power!” He prayed aloud.
He prayed until something left his body, he became weak as he gazed at Enomfon; her eyes were closed, she was praying in soft whispers.

Atimma inhaled the chill air gratefully. She was sitting by the window and waiting for Seno to come out from the bathroom.
Moments later, he came out. Scanty splashes of water were on his body, and he had a white towel tied loosely around his waist.
“You stayed for too long in there. I overheard you talking to someone on phone for a long time. Who was that?” She asked shrilly. A worried expression deepened the furrow between his eyes brows.
“I was on phone with Susan.” He said sheepishly.
“What does she want?”
“She called to inform me that she had taken over the company a month after I left.”
“What do you mean by she has taken over the company. Is it her company?” Atimma asked critically.
Seno eyed her strangely.
“The company is hers. She was the boss before I met her. She handed to me when we got married. She wanted to be a stay at mom for years, until our kids grow to a certain age.”
Her heart gave a foolish lurch.
“And now, where will you be getting money from?”
Seno began to clean his body with the towel, revealing his nakedness.
“From my savings, until we can get back to Nigeria.”
“Are we going back to Nigeria?” She asked looking amazed.
Seno nodded.
“After I am done opening a branch of our company here in London, we will be going back to Nigeria as soon as possible.”
He sprayed the perfume all over his body and wore his boxers.
“Again? I thought we were never going back there anytime soon?”
“I have changed my mind now.”
He wore a T-shirt, a pair of jean and a baseball cap. He was about to walk out of the door when Atimma stood boldly on his path.
“You can’t do this to me. I left my family because of you, how can you do this to me? What face am I going to look my husband with?” She said fretfully.
“Get out of my way!” Seno said smugly. “I never said we are going back to our families!”
“Shut up, stupid. You said we were going to be married immediately we get to London, are you saying we are not getting married anymore? I have been wearing this ring for over eight months, why is Susan still calling you?” Atimma growled.
Seno gave her a shove and a kick. Deliberately she stared hard at him. Seno was tempted to hit her hard on the face.
He gave a loud sigh and slammed the door.
She hadn’t slept much that night as a result of her chaotic thoughts. She wept uncontrollably under her duvet, she wept until she slept off.
****
When the pastor called out the people who want to be born again, Harry’s legs shook. His heart trembled as he struggled to walk down the aisle to the church podium. He knelt down.
People clapped thunderously as the pastor laid his hands on him.
Enomfon felt she had won a soul for Christ, she tried to control her tears as Harry repeated after the pastor.
“Lord Jesus, I give you my life….”
After church service, Didi was clapping her small hands together. It was time to go, and she didn’t want to leave Enomfon’s hands. She screamed when
her father wanted to take her back.
“She doesn’t want to come with you anymore.” Enomfon said delightfully.
Harry gave a loud laugh and tried taking Didi from Enomfon’s hands again, this time forcefully, until he pulled her out.
“Come to daddy my angel.” He teased.
But Didi cried aloud.
“Maybe you should bring her to food club tomorrow, so that she can play with other kids at the playground. I will bring her to church, and you pick her from here.
“Okay, thank you so much. I will be a bit relieved. At least, I will be able To iron and deliver a few clothes to customers before church service.”
“Nice…My lovely Didi, You will be with me all through tomorrow okay?” She said as she kissed Didi on the cheek.”
“What food does she eat?” She asked in concern.
“Golden mourn, Bird custard, garri and foofoo. She eats anything.”
Enomfon nodded with a smile as she held Didi’s small hands in hers.
The sand writhe with tan bodies, loud music and yelling children.
The food bar and amusement park was filled with children.
The scent of water and suntan lotion mingled in the heavy, hot air. There wasn’t even a breeze to stir the mix together.
Didi woke up to the cool, classy music that took over whole place.
She was lying on Enomfon’s office bed. When Enomfon noticed that she was awake, she gave a wide smile and ordered the waitresses to attend to customers, while she concentrated on Didi.
“My princess.” She teased Didi as she kissed her on her forehead and carried her on her laps.
She began to sing and dance for Didi, shaking her butt and causing Didi to laugh out so loud.
“Are you hungry baby?” Didi replied in baby language.
“Huhhuh…my baby wants to eat golden mourn and some delicious banana cake. And after that, my baby is going to have a warm bath, and after that, I am going to teach my baby how to count from one to tennnn!” She said excitedly, almost singing like a song as she placed her lips on Didi’s navel, blowing whistle with it and causing her to laugh more.
Enomfon tied a bib around her Didi’s neck as she mixed her cereal for her. She had shopped for Didi’s food earlier that morning without Harry’s awareness.
Didi took the spoon of cereal one after another, until the plate got empty.
She played and ran around the whole place, pinching other babies diapers and pushing then to fall on the sand. Enomfon had gotten her a small pink coloured swimming trunk. The swimming drunk revealed her diapers as she ran up and down the sandy floor.
Evening came, and Harry couldn’t wait to carry his daughter.
“You’re here already.” Enomfon said with a delightful smile.
“How has your day been? I hope Didi didn’t bother you much?”
“Not at all…She made my day.”
“Will she like to follow me even?” Harry asked desperately.
“Sure. But before I bring her to you, I have something to talk to you about. What course did you study in school?”
Harry lowered himself on the chair and stared into Enomfon’s eyes. “Petroleum engineering.”
“Oh great! I have this friend who lives in America. He works with chevron. He is our family friend, I used to stay with them when I was schooling in New York. My school of nursing was close to them…”
“Okay?”
“His company is hiring. They will be writing private examination next week in Lagos. I don’t know if you will want to do it. It’s remaining just two persons to be registered for the exams and the deadline is tomorrow. I would have discussed this with you since yesterday, but then I remembered my brother said something about you studying these courses relating to petroleum while you were in cell you guys talked about it.”
Harry nodded calmly.
“Are you sure they will take me?” Harry asked calmly, I have written exams for oil companies in the past, none worked.
“This one will work. Write a prayer request on this. Whatever you say to yourself, that is what will happen.” She said pensively as she clamped her mouth.
“What about Didi?”
“Don’t worry…” She whispered softly. “I can take care of her, I will talk to my mom about her. she will love her, we’ve not had a baby at home for a while now.” She said with a bright smile.
“Can I register now?”
“That is the spirit! of course we will do that before we go to church…but first, let me get your daughter and food.”
“food? wow…” Harry giggled as he relaxed on the chair.
Enomfon strode out and came back with Didi in her arms, and a waitress behind her back with a plate of seven colored rice and liver sauce. Didi could not hold her joy when she saw her father, she began to clap her hands and smile widely, exposing her two teeth. Harry held her tight to himself. He perceived cereal, strawberries and cherries on her.
“What did Aunty Enomfon give to you enh?” He asked, mimicking a girl’s voice and kissing her all over her body.
Harry offered Enomfon a friendly nod and kissed Didi on the cheek and then started Walking toward the bus. “Good luck Harry!” Enomfon said as she waved at the same time. Didi waved too, she didn’t know what it meant, but she waved excitedly.
Didi was growing into a miniature version of both Harry and Enomfon, everyone in the park said to Enomfon “Your daughter is beautiful.” She nodded excitedly.
Enomfon drove Didi home that morning in her car. Didi enjoyed the ride in a car, it was her first time.
Enomfon had thought of what she was going to tell her mother about her new little guest. She grabbed Didi out from the car and held her small box with the other side of her hand.
“Who owns the pretty girl?” Her mother asked, she stepped into the sitting room. She was mixing batter for fruit bread.
“My friend mom. He has gone to Lagos to write exams, so I told him that I was going to take care of his daughter. He is a member of our church.”
“He is a single father?” Her mother asked pensively.
“Yes mommy.”
“What about the mother of the child?”
“We don’t talk about her. I think she doesn’t exist anymore.”
Enomfon said shrilly.
“Bring her to me, let me cuddle her a bit.”
Enomfon became happy as she carried Didi to her mother.
“What’s her name?”
“Didi”
“oh my pretty girl, come here…” Enomfon’s mother teased and grabbed Didi gently out from her daughter’s arms.
She patted her back and sang for her. Enomfon stared at the both of them excitedly. Didi threw her arms around the woman’s neck and laid on it softly.
“Mom, I am on night duty today. Will you take care of Didi for me?”
“Sure will…I will wrap her around my back and make her sleep.” her mother responded soothingly.
Didi’s stay with Enomfon was a memorable one. She was pampered and loved by Enomfon and her mother.
*****
Atimma woke up to the voice of Seno’s voice conversing with someone over the phone.
She froze at his words.
“Please beg Susan for me.”
He was conversing with his best friend Segun.
Atimma’s heart was filled to burst. She got up from the bed immediately and grabbed the phone from his hands and threw it on the floor.
“Come here.” He reached out to her, and she almost yielded, but then she pulled back.
“What? You lied to me, you told me that you loved me and wanted to spend the rest of life with me Seno.”
Seno sat slowly on the bed, and watched her pitifully.
“I am sorry, things have changed. I don’t know what came over me. I miss my family.
Susan is the woman who has made me what I am today. I can’t just break my home like that. I have thought about this, again and again. And there is absolutely nothing that can me make me stay here In the next four months.” He said huskily.
“You bastard! What about my family? My daughter, my husband?” Tears running through her eyes.
“You should think of going back to them too.” Seno said softly.
She glanced down at Seno again and wiped her face.
“And what if he doesn’t take me back?”
“Then he never loved you.”
Atimma’s mouth went dry with sudden apprehension.
She walked towards Seno, and gave him a loud slap on his face.
He pushed her to the floor and beat her up mercilessly.
“Go call the police for me as you did for your weak husband! You think I am poor like him? if you dare try this shit again, I will lock you up! You wanted money, and I gave you affluence. Do not ride on my head. I am done with you prostitute!”
Seno yelled, his voice sounded like thunder.
Two months later, Harry came back from Lagos. He had been talking to Enomfon and Didi over the phone. Even though he didn’t understand the things Didi said he translated them to his own meaning and understanding.
Enomfon hurriedly dressed Didi in a denim jean trouser and a sweater she had bought for her from a kiddies boutique.
She had bought a baby car seat for Didi. She placed her in it and slammed the car door as she drove hastily to the airport.
When they got to the airport,
she heard Didi scream excitedly in her arms, struggling to come out from her arms.
“Dada!” she yelled.
Enomfon glanced up and her heart skipped as she saw Harry. He had changed. His skin changed and everything about his looks captivated her.
She let Didi off her arms, Didi ran towards him and jumped into his arms. He hugged her tight and walked hastily toward Enomfon.
A smile curved his mouth as he hugged her tight to himself too.
“We didn’t expect that you would stay for that long.” Enomfon said excitedly.
“I didn’t either. They needed two persons urgently for a job in Quatar. That was why I couldn’t call you. The company asked us to wait. Paid for hotels and gave us a few trainings. I got my acceptance letter yesterday by email. I will be resuming work fully in two months times.” He reeled off huskily.
“When you told me you got the job, I was so excited. Thanks be to God.” Enomfon said as she hugged him again.
“This calls for a big celebration, I need to take you two out.” He said as he kissed Enomfon on the forehead.
Her heart felt as She held his hands firmly. They got his luggage and Harry took the car keys from her as he drove to a bar that afternoon.
“Didi can talk now.” Enomfon said excitedly. “She calls me ‘Enyofon’ and calls my mom ‘momo’. She knows how to count one to five and she knows how to turn off the television. She knows a lot of things.”
Harry laughed out so loud. “Can you imagine my Didi of yesterday o. I am so grateful to you Eno. You’re a rare specie.” He said boldly.
Didi dozed off before they got to the bar. Harry saw her sleeping time as an opportunity to lure Enomfon into kissing him.
He turned her face to her and held her body gently toward himself.
He offered her his lips and she took it gently. His lips were warm, drawing emotions from deep inside.
“Enomfon.” He called her name boldly.
“Yes.” She whispered softly.
“I am in love with you. I have loved you a long time ago. While I was away, all I thought of was you. I want to be your lover…my daughter already agrees.”
She loved the sweetness that laid at his heart. She loved the way his voice hoarse with emotions.
Before she could even say something else, he kissed her deeply.
He tasted of ham and cheese and cola.
“You had snacks at the airport?” Enomfon asked. He nodded and grabbed her face again to his, he kissed her again with incredible tenderness, he slid his arm around her waist and reached for her hands.
“You’re my good luck charm…and the Queen of my heart. You make me feel like a teenager.” He said and kissed her again, stealing her breathe, stealing her thoughts.
She cuddled close to him, closing her eyes. His grip tightened on her, and her arms slid around his neck. His mouth was near her ear. He was aware of each breath she took, of each movement she made, and it stirred the fire higher and hotter within him.
She wished she could stay there forever, safely in his arms.
Atimma woke up early in the morning, hot and thirsty. She saw Seno, packing all the clothes in the wardrobe into a bigger bag.
She sighed.
“Why are you packing?” She asked weakly.
“I am going back to my family. They need me.”
He said as he kept fixing piles of clothes in a big box.
“I am pregnant Seno.” She said softly.
“What did you say?” Seno asked in dismay.
“I just said that I am pregnant.”
He smiled to himself as he dropped the last piles of clothes in a box and walked slowly to Atimma.
“Listen, if this is a way you wanna trick me to stay back with you, you’re wasting your time.”
“I can’t trick you. I am already three months gone. I didn’t know we were going to have issues that might end our relationship. I wanted to tell you on your birthday. It was supposed to be a sweet surprise.”
Seno giggled. “You mean that you’ve been pregnant for over three good months?”
Atimma nodded. “And you’re saying it was meant to be a ‘sweet’ surprise?” He chuckled. “What’s so sweet about surprising a married man who has two kids with his wife that you’re pregnant?”
She looked at him oddly and when Seno caught her gaze, she had to look away. Tears running through her eyes as she began to sob softly.
“What do you want me to do now Seno?”
“Abortion! I have two kids already, and the worse that can happen is to have the third out of wedlock. I will rather go back to the arms of my wife, fuck her, get her pregnant and accept the bearable mistake, than to have that mistake out of wedlock.”
“Infanticide? you want me to kill my baby?” She asked tearily.
“Is this going to be the first baby you’re gonna abort? Call it whatever you want, Atim. The last I can remember, you did aborted a pregnancy that was mine in 2014, and another one in 2015, and two In 2016; so tell me my darling, what is so fascinating about this particular pregnancy? If you think you can lure me back to your life with this, I think you’re a big joke.”
“You’re not making closing remarks here.”
Atimma said tearily, but shrilly.
“Trust me. This is more than a closing remark.”
“When am I going to leave here?”
“Anytime you want. I am going to give you some money as compensation. If you like, you can get rid of that bastard, if you like you can keep it.” He Said boldly.
“And what If I get to tell your wife about us, about this pregnancy?” She asked bleakly. Seno laughed aloud and sat on a trunk box, staring at her oddly.
“My wife knows that one slutty bitch, tried taking me away from her. She is aware that you forced me to make love to you that day you begged me to offer you a job. She saw all your messages and emails. I fell for you, because I loved the way you twisted your waist when you rode on me. I loved the sound of your moans. I wanted more, I had to do all I could to get them. You were my special sex toy, I couldn’t resist you. My wife has taken a lot of shits from me. I am not ready to break her heart. I will let her know about your pregnancy, even before I get to Nigeria. I am afraid for you, not even for my wife. She won’t be surprise, we’ve been fucking in this house for over a year now, or more. I mean without protection, so she won’t be surprise that I got you pregnant along the run.”
His words were like tiny razors, flaying her heart.
“You must be a fool, to think that sleeping with me makes you superior. You fell for me out of sympathy to offer me a job. you stood so low to fall for me. You left your family to spend a year and a half with a woman you just wanted to have sex with…how stupid.”
Her anger was carefully controlled.
“At least I am better than some people who left their poor husbands and an innocent baby just to come have sex with a foolish man in London, because of the money she could not work for, or? should I say because of the money the man she married could not give her? Am I right whore?”
The silence was deafening.

It was their first night together at the le meridian hotel and golf resort.
Harry had paid his tithe the previous Sunday, and now, he made out time to spend with the two women he loved so much.
They had gotten a two bedroom suite; one for himself and Enomfon, and one for Didi girl.
Didi finally slept after a lot of talking and playing.
Through the endless sleepless night, Enomfon had yearned for the comfort of Harry’s long, warm body and a deeper closeness.
She had not been in a relationship for years, or made love to a man. She tried to control her emotions and what she felt for him.
His hand ran up her back to her neck and he wrapped his fingers around her nape, his thumb tracing her jaw.
His mouth touch hers, the taste and feel so familiar; so welcomed, it made her want to cry. She shivered. A cry longing escaped her throat when he dipped his hands into her pyjamas. He devoured her mouth as his hands fondled her nipples slowly.
His desire was unleashed at last and it tore through him.
He stared at her long dark full hair, which fell loosely on her back, her dark skin sheened like stainless steel. Her face was sweet and angelic, he could not stop staring at every part of her body.
He pulled her into his arms, kissing her tenderly, slowly, unlike before. Then they both had been desperate, needy, their passion almost savaged in its intensity.
Now, he was going to take his time. It had been a long time since he made love passionately to a woman. He wanted to savor every inch of her body.
He ran his hands up her slender legs, marvelling at the feel of her.
She touched his hand as he caressed her breast, and he lowered his head to take the erect tip of his mouth. Enomfon gasped and tightened her fingers in his hair, as his lip and tongue played over her body.
He coaxed her, teased her, building the passion slowly this time. He tortured himself by waiting. He suddenly stopped and turned away.
“What is it?”
“I don’t wanna do it anymore.” He said softly. “I don’t wanna take advantage of your body, just because you’ve been good to me.”
“But I am your lover. You love me right. You’re in love with me, you said so.” She whispered softly against his ears.
He suddenly kissed her wildly again, and then eased himself into her, holding his breath to try to remain in control.
Her eyes burned with tears. He was crying too after a long, passionate moment. When he probed deeper, she moaned aloud with even more pleasure.
“I love you.” he said as he drove into her, unable to control his urge and longing. She flung her arms around his neck as she moaned softly.
****
After the two days vacation at the golf resort, Enomfon decided to drive Harry home. Didi was behind in her car seat.
“When I return back from work again, I should leave this area for town.” He said softly.
“I can get an agent to get you a house in town. You will write down your description. ” Enomfon retorted.
“Is Didi coming home with me?” Harry asked.
“No. Her temperature was high last night. I need to run some tests on her and give her some medicines.” She said soothingly.
She dropped Harry, and drove home with Didi. As soon as Didi alighted from the car, she ran into Enomfon’s mother’s hands.
“momo!”She screamed.
“My princess.” she carried her into her arm and stroked her hair gently.
“Momo, Enyofon do Dada kiss, kiss.” She said girlishly, trying to kiss her on her mouth.
Enomfon’s mom paused for a moment, then understood what Didi meant.
They got to the sitting room and Enomfon greeted her mother softly, but she ignored her greetings and asked, “Are you dating Didi’s father?” Her question cut into Enomfon’s heart.
“He is my friend.” She faltered.
“Friend? What friend? you kissed your friend before his daughter?” She asked with a stern stare.
Enomfon looked confused, she became dumbfounded.
“I really want to talk to you. I heard from someone that you’ve been seen hanging out with this guy a lot of times. I know you two are dating of course. But are you aware he was once married? and that his marriage wasn’t up to a year, his wife ran away because he was always beating her.”
Enomfon’s heart broke as tears clouded her eyes. She lowered herself gently on the sofa and stared at her mom like she had never seen her before.
Ridiculous tears stung Enomfon’s eyes.
She managed to ask Didi lightly, “Where did you see your daddy and I kissing?”
“In ka…momo I see enyofon and dada do kiss, kiss in car…” Didi said innocently.
Enomfon’s jaw set. The pulse in her neck quickened, making her ashamed.
“You just lied to me. You’ve been kissing a married man Enomfon? You’re a christian girl, I didn’t groom you to be wayward and loosed. What has come over you?”
“It’s not that kind of kiss mom. It was just a peck. Didi doesn’t know anything, don’t believe her mom.”
“How did she know that such ever took place. You think she does not know? I don’t want to see that man around my house, or anywhere close to you again. I don’t want to have issues with this innocent child. He should go reconcile with his wife and stay off your path.” Her mother said sternly and dropped Didi gently on the sofa.
She looked at Didi, Didi flashed her a grin and her heart stood still. She felt so enervated as Didi smiled at her.
She ran a test on her that morning and got her medicines. Later that day, it rained softly. She wore Didi a cardigan and drove her to Harry’s house on the rain.
Her eyes were wet with tears, She clasp her hands tight and thought of what she was going to say to Harry. She took out her phone and dialed his number.
“I am in front of your House. Come get Didi.” She said tearily.
Harry sensed something was wrong. He could predict it from the way she spoke.
He rushed out on the rain with an umbrella and opened the driver’s car door.
He stared at Enomfon in the eye and then held her hands. Enomfon took her hands off his and signed loudly.
“Did anyone hassle you today?” He asked in soft whispers. Enomfon was still mute. He held her two hands tight with his left hands and locked the car the car with one.
Didi had slept off, he took her out of the car, placed her on the bed and went out to carry Enomfon.
“What is the problem. Share with me sweetheart.” He pulled her out of the car and held her closely to himself.
The unexpected contact was electrifying. For a moment neither of them moved.
“Harry.” She breathed his name softly. He shook his head quickly as if to clear it.
He stared as if he was trying to see past her words, to read her chaotic thoughts.
“Why did your wife leave?”
Harry gave a loud sigh.
“It’s a long story.”
“Have you divorced her yet?” She asked, her voice quivered now.
“Not yet. She is nowhere to be found. She ran away. She left me when Didi was still a little baby; a year and a half now. I haven’t thought of her for a long time now…”
“Liar! she left because you used to beat her. You abused her, you’re a bad person and it hurts me that I fell for you…” She cried.
“No, that’s not true. I have never ever laid my hands on any woman before. She was sleeping with her boss, because I didn’t have money.”
“No woman will do such thing you liar! I took away my pride as a christian girl and made love to you, I gave you my heart…” She wept bitterly. Harry’s heart broke as he threw away the umbrella, and hugged her tight to himself. He was scenting of a strong masculine perfume, which clinched to her hair and her wet dress.
“Whatever you heard is a lie, believe me.”
He said weakly. Wind driven rain continued to beat against them. He tried to kiss her, but she grabbed her car keys firmly from him and slammed the car door.
Harry tried to stop her, but couldn’t. She drove off angrily, and with deep pains in her heart.
*****
Seno arrived Uyo that night.
Susan and their sons had made different delicacies and smoothies for his home coming.
His wife gave him a warm hug as he stared at her with fear in his eyes.
His sons; Ubong and Eugene greeted him oddly. He knew that something was wrong, but he wasn’t sure until he got home, there was a surprise welcome party, it was one that changed Seno’s life forever.
As Seno got into the house, he tried to summon peace of mind. His sons appeared in his side with plates of rice, soup and chicken in curry sauce.
The Antihistamines and beer he had in the plane made his head swim dizzily as he staggered to a seat on the dining.
“Are you okay daddy?” Eugene asked boldly?
Seno nodded as he took a glass of water from the table and gulped it down his throat uncontrollably.
Everything seemed different in his eyes; His sons grew taller. Eugene was twenty two, while his youngest son Ubong had clocked twenty a week before Seno’s return.
They both graduated from Army schools. They had gone all gruff and macho when their dad asked them to sit so that they could talk.
They waited anxiously for their mother to come to the dinning table with the bowl of chicken; while they glanced at each other.
Susan appeared in the dinning moments later with a bowl of chicken and a sword.
She placed the Chicken on the table and curved a smile as she lowered herself gently on the Chair with the sword on the floor.
“What are you doing with a sword?”
“It’s for keeps.” She chuckled.
“We missed you Darling, welcome back home. The boys missed you so much.”
Susan said shrilly as she forked a chicken lap into her plate and passed it on to Seno.
For a few minutes, only sounds of cutleries were heard until Ubong broke the silence.
“Daddy, where have you been all these while?” He asked gruffly.
Seno choked as he took the glass of water and gulped down the second time.
“Emmm…London, yes. I was London.”
“Doing what?” Eugene threw the question at him rudely.
“Didn’t your mom tell you guys?” Seno asked, looking confused.
“We wanna hear from your mouth that you were living with a woman In London!” Eugene exclaimed.
Everyone dropped their cutleries as they all stared at Seno sternly.
Seno turned to Susan and then said, “Susan, you told the kids about our misunderstanding, that wasn’t right.” Susan got up immediately and poured the juice from the jug on his head. He yelled and got up from the dinning table, but his two sons held him down firmly.
They took a rope under the dinning table and tide his hand and legs to the chair.
“What are you doing? let me off!” He yelled shrilly.
Susan took the sword from under her feet,held it in her hand firmly.
“So Seno…You walked into this house with full confident, that even as a woman who loves Jehovah, I will let you in just like that?”
Seno shook his head desperately. His heartbeat accelerated and a bead of sweat limned his upper lip.
“I am sorry Susan, so sorry please…” He said, breathing heavily.
“I have been hearing this for twenty three years now. ‘I am sorry Susan.’
You spent all my hard earned penny on women. You bought them cars, built them houses, slept in five star hotels with girls and came back falling sick on me. You came back with STDs and Infections I spent so much money to get rid off. And after every pains I bore, you still came back to say ‘I am sorry’.
When Eugene was born, you left me on that hospital bed, and went away with Mercy your former staff…For Three consecutive months. I came back home and did the work of a boss and a mom, all alone. And then when she finally eloped with the company’s money, you came back home pained and walked right into my arms. You still said ‘I am sorry.’
We started from square one, I suffered, sold my family’s gold, sold lands that I wasn’t supposed to, just to start up life over again.” Her voice broke down, as she sobbed softly. Tears running down her sons eyes.
“And after we picked up, and the company name became firm again, you slept with hundreds of girls, came back home drunk and weak.
I took over my company, and you came back begging that things were going to change, and that you were going to be a good father to our sons and a good husband to me.
I came down and handed to you the position of a CEO, you took advantage of it woefully. You failed again. This time, even worse.
You eloped with your staff, worse a married woman. A woman who had not been married for even a year, you ruined her home and took her away from her child and her less privileged husband.
And now, You’re here again to tell me you’re sorry.” She broke down and wept bitterly, then comported herself. Her countenance changed, she unexpectedly held Seno’s fourth finger and chopped it off, blood oozing out. His son’s faces were stern and mean.
By the time his brain registered, he yelled and screamed uncontrollably; his voice echoed.
Seno’s words rang in Atimma’s head several times. She imagined his face when he said them. She walked around the house, murmuring words to herself.
She was pregnant, and the signs were beginning to show on her face. She counted the money Seno gave to her over and over again.
She had missed home, she missed Harry and Linda. She had wondered what her daughter might look like now, and thought of how she was going to face them. She had Harry’s number off hand, but she was ashamed to call him.
She stared at her phone for a while and then began to search for Linda’s number. She dialled it and placed the phone slowly to her ears.
“I have been planning to call you, what’s happening? I feel everything isn’t right with you. I saw Seno with his wife at the ibom tropicana yesterday, he didn’t see me. I tried calling you at that moment but your number didn’t go through.” She said shrilly, reeling off.
Atimma was mute for a while, then she suddenly broke down in tears.
“I am pregnant Linda, I want to get rid of it.”
“You’re pregnant for who?”
“Seno of course. We broke up two weeks ago, he left Nigeria and said it was over, that he was going back to his wife.”
“How can he say such a thing? After using you for how long? No, you can’t get rid of the pregnancy. Keep it. Come back to Nigeria and let him know you’re still carrying his baby.”
“What if he doesn’t accept?” She asked through a hard breathe.
“Tell his wife. When you do that, he is going to know you’re serious.”
“I thought of that too. But I didn’t want problems.”
“Babe, na wa for you o. How can you think of getting rid of a whole Seno’s baby. Do you know the kind of share of wealth you will have by keeping his baby? you might even have him back sef.”
Atimma became relieved as she held her chest.
“Have you been seeing Harry and my daughter?”
“No o, the last I saw him was at the market. He was selling water as usual. Abeg, leave that poor thing. You should think of coming to see your daughter.”
“She won’t know me.” She said pensively. And then became quiet for a moment.
“I just hope to see her soon.” She muttered.
“Okay. thank you for calling me o, I will be expecting you in Nigeria soon.”
“Thank you bestie, you always help me out when I am bothered.” She said softly, as she hung the call.
She began to search for her international passports and ID cards.
She started making calls to find out about ticket bookings.
****
Didi woke up with a fever. She had been shivering and crying all through the night, keeping Harry awake all through the night.
He gave her the medicines Enomfon brought the previous day, but she vomited them with everything she had in her tummy.
“Enyofon, Dada enyonfon…awant enyonfon.” She cried out softly.
Harry stood stiffly beside her on the bed, hurt and pained.
He held Didi in his arms and tried to sing to her. Didi placed her small hands on his mouth.
“You don’t like the song honey?” She nodded softly.
“What song should I sing for my angel?”
“Enyomfo…dada…enyomfo…” She became cranky.
Harry took his phone and typed a message to Enomfon… ‘Didi is ill. She has been calling your name for hours now. I need to take her to the hospital urgently.’
Within a minute, his phone rang. He stared at it, his heart trembled as he saw that she was calling him back.
“Hi.” He said huskily.
“I want to be sure you’re not tricking me, place the phone on Didi’s ears.” She said in soft whispers. Harry placed the phone immediately on Didi’s ears and whispered “it’s Aunty Enomfon. Say hello.”
“Enyomfo, come, come…” She said softly.
Harry placed the phone back to his ears and said, We need you badly sweetheart.”
The sound of their voices melted her heart, she couldn’t wait for another moment. She took her car keys and drove speedily to Harry’s house.
Harry was already waiting outside for her, with Didi covered with wrapper in his arms. Enomfon ran out of the car, threw the car key at Harry and got Didi from him.
She held her tight like she was never going to let her go. They sat behind the car, humming songs together as Harry drove hastily to the hospital Downtown.
After the nurses and Doctors had attended to Didi, Enomfon injected the syringe into her soft, small buttocks. She screamed in the hands of her father, who held her hands and her legs tight.
“You’ll be fine darling.” Enonofon said soothingly as she disposed the used syringe and took Didi from Harry’s hands.
Didi sobbed until she slept off in Enomfon’s arms. They both watched her sleep peacefully.
“You called back immediately I sent you the message, weren’t you sleeping?” Harry asked huskily.
Enomfon glanced at him and took her face away immediately.
“You were thinking of me.” He said in soft whispers.
She closed her eyes, trying to keep the tears that was burning in her throat from escaping.
“Tell me the truth, what happened between you and your wife.” She asked softly.
Harry held her hands. “She isn’t my wife. I made a mistake, I have told you this a lot of times….”
Harry went on to narrate how Atimma dealt with him and how his mother died. Tears running through their eyes uncontrollably. She watched his mouth move, and couldn’t wait for him to tell her more of his bitter experiences. She grabbed him to herself and kissed her passionately, throwing her phone and car keys on the bed.
“I love you, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” he said, holding her face with his hands.
“I want to shower, I am hot.” She said weakly as she led the way to the bathroom in the hospital.
“Won’t they nurses come to interrupt?”
“They won’t. I work here. They know Didi already, they think I am her mother. Nobody will come, except I sent for them. She began to remove her clothes before him. He averted his gaze when he saw that she was naked. But she held him to the shower.
She stood underneath the water, hoping it would wash away all the painful memories Harry had experienced. The incredible tenderness with which Harry coaxed her into response, the unbearable pleasure that his hands, mouth, and body had given her, the explosive completion he’d shared with her.
Her knees felt water soluble, melting away under the steamy spray.
Enomfon put out a hand against the wall of the shower to steady herself as the echoes of passion pummeled her more effectively than the shower spray.
She felt whole for the first time, when Harry began to touch her. He removed his clothes and threw them on wet floor.
She blushed when he stared at her lustfully.
“I love you Eno.” He moaned, as he pulled her to himself and began to do magical things to her body.
He pinned her to the wall, blocking her exit. He put his hand around her neck, carressed her nape, an act that never failed to make her crazy with the need to kiss him.
*****
Atimma arrived Uyo in the early hours of a Monday morning. She took a cab to a hotel room and after she placed her luggage in the wardrobe, she became calm. Thinking.
She went to her former house and was told by the new tenant that Harry was no more staying there.
“Do you have any idea where they are now?” she asked.
“I don’t even know them.” The man responded rudely.
“Shit! shit! shit!” She said, banging her hands on her forehead. She took a long breath and walked away hastily, heading to Seno’s office.
The securities cheered her up as she walked passed them and stepped into the elevator.
As she walked on the hallway that led to Seno’s office, her eyes narrowed with suspicion and wariness.
She opened the door slowly, she didn’t knock. Her heart trembled as she saw Susan face to face for the first time. They had always seen themselves in photos and the company’s end of year party or gala night.
Susan took a deep breath, clutching a mug in both hands and looking at Atimma sternly. She didn’t blink an eye, she didn’t show any expression of shock or surprise of seeing her.
Her peripheral vision was filled with the long expanse of her husband’s bare flesh.

Susan leaned back against the chair watching her closely.
“You have no modesty, no shame, Atimma.” She got up slowly to the door and locked it with a key, then walked majestically back to her seat with the key in her hands.
With a shake of her head, she took her eyes off Atimma who had been quiet all the while.
“So finally, you’re back from London?” She gulped down the substance in the mug and kept it slowly on the table.
“It’s my pleasure meeting you face to face. I mean God is good right?” She giggled. “He puts our enemies right in our hands…”
“I am not an enemy.” Atimma interrupted shrilly. Susan gave a loud laugh and fell on back on the Chair, and looked at her oddly.
“Did you hear that? She said she isn’t an enemy.” She laughed out so loud again, like she was possessed.
“You’re the biggest enemy of my family. You’re the biggest enemy of my company. You’re a terrible woman, a very terrible one. You see this?” She took out Seno’s fingers from a shelf and pointed at her.
Atimma glared at the finger, her eyes widened.
“Whose finger is this?”
“I don’t know.” Atimma Whispered shakily.
“Jeeezzzz, you don’t know your ex lover’s finger? Amazing…
This is Seno’s finger. I chopped it off last week and was about feeding him with it when my sons pleaded. I had to chop his fourth finger because he doesn’t deserve to be married, neither are you. The both of you. But thanks be to Jehovah, the lion and the tribe of Judah…He created me with a heart of gold, I forgave him and took him back as a good woman I have always been. I had to give him a mark on his body so that he will never ever cheat on me again. I am going to do same to you.” She said boldly.
Tears ran out from Atimma’s eyes as she began to shiver.
“Your husband deceived me. He told me you both had issues, and that he was going to marry me.”
“You’re shallow minded and stupid. He pulled your panties and forced you to bed? He dragged you out from your husband’s house with chains and ropes? He smuggled charms into your drink that made you to be this stupid? Your husband came here weeping like a child, the poor man was so unlucky to have met a cheap, greedy slut like you. You’re so pathetic. ”
Atimma’s chest was suddenly so tight, it felt paralyzed.
Susan took a razor blade from her drawer and stared at it for moments.
“I have been wanting to dispose this razor blade, but my instincts said to me ‘a day will come when you will need it.’ So I kept it back. I will always listen to my instincts, it is always right.” Her voice had cracked, as she became stern and looked strange.
Atimma clenched her fists on the table and looked down at them. All she saw was the terrified look in Susan’s eyes.
“I am so sorry Susan.” Atimma whispered. Susan looked at her, surprised at how hazy and sweaty she looked.
“You still had the effrontery to come back here, in search of my husband. You still had the guts to send him messages of how your pregnancy has made you miserable.” She paused and then whispered. ” You’re pregnant for my husband.” She giggled.
“It was a mistake. ” She cried out.
“You walked into that mistake with your eyes wide open. I will not ask you to get rid of that baby, of course I am not going to be heartless like my husband. I am a child of God, daughter of the most high God…I don’t support infanticide. You’re leaving here with your pregnancy, but with bruises on your skin!” She yelled a she grabbed A penknife from the drawer and slitted Atimma’s skin bit by bit. She was so powerful that she grabbed Atimma in her legs and chopped her right hands off, blood splashing all over the place; Atimma wailed bitterly. Her loud scream attracted the security men who ran helter skelter and bounced on the door hard till it almost fell. By the time they entered the office, they all looked terrified at the bloody scene.
They all held Susan to a chair, while they managed to take Atimma out.

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