Wale had just come back from the office and slumped on the chair, when he saw a note on the center table in the living room. He took it and after reading it flung it away. His wife Onome told him she was going on a trip and when she was back, they had to see a marriage counselor.
“It is too late to work on this marriage” he muttered to himself and then he switched on the television. The first picture that hit him was that of Tehilah. She was on the news and they were saying she was pregnant, but before the thought could settle in his mind, there was a flash of Haliru telling the public that he was the father of Tehilah’s baby.
“She was cheating on me? How dare she make a fool of me” he flung the television remote controller and began to pace his living room. He had to confront her, because there was no way he was just going to let sleeping dogs lie. Besides, if she was sleeping with the both of them, then there was also a possibility that the child was his.
“Guess I am going to Lagos” he rushed into his bedroom and began to pack an overnight bag.
Onome looked out the window of her hotel room to the beautiful scenery. But the farthest thing from her mind was the scenery in front of her. She was thinking of Tehilah and the child in her womb. If Wale had any feelings left in him towards her, they would all vanish when he found out about Tehilah’s baby. She had seen the longing in his eyes whenever they went out and came across a family with kids. He would smile at the babies and even put up funny faces for them. Wale loved children, but she would die before she allowed another woman give him what she couldn’t give him. She took out her cell phone from the pocket of the pajamas she had and dialed Tehilah’s number. It rang twice, but she did not pick up.
“I guess I will just have to pay her an unexpected visit tomorrow” Onome dialed her gynecologist for the first time in months.
“Hello, good evening, what brings you here?” Tehilah asked with a smile she did not feel. She knew Adara was on the board of the company, but she also knew the woman didn’t like her, for what reason she couldn’t fathom. It was a surprise to see her at her doorstep, wearing the face of death.
Adara put her hand in her pocket and brought out a piece of paper. “Here, all this is for you if you leave Bamanga and never come back”
“And why would I want to do that?” Tehilah asked, her anger beginning to come up to the surface. She had told Haliru in a fit of anger that she was leaving the company, but she knew she couldn’t disrupt her career like that, especially with the expectation of a baby.
“Because I am Haliru’s fiancée and you are causing him so much grief. He had to lie to the press that he was the father of your baby just to save the reputation of the company, but I think you are a sinking ship and I need to protect my fiancé” Adara clenched and unclenched her fist as she spoke.
Tehilah did not allow her shock show, she smiled to push the tears back. Haliru had just confessed to her that he was in love with her, when he knew he had a fiancée. Was there a sign on her head that said any man could come and play with her? She only took Haliru as a friend, but still his supposed deception hurt her.
Tehilah took the check Adara was pushing towards her, just to keep her hand active and stop it from quivering. After looking at the ‘six million naira’ prize, she tore the check into two and flung the pieces at Adara.
“All I see is an insecure woman. I signed a contract with Bamanga and if you want me out so bad, then you have to get the board to approve. In the meantime, I would like to get back to my cooking” Tehilah said and slammed the door on her face.
Just as Adara turned to go, she saw Haliru’s car drive on to the driveaway. It was too late for her to leave without being noticed, so she stood her ground and glared at him as he approached.
“What are you doing here?” he asked her, trying to keep his fury away from his voice.
“What I am doing here is none of your business” Adara made to go past him, but he pulled her back and slammed her against the wall. With her eyes bulging out in shock for it was the first time Haliru ever handled her roughly, she stared up at him.
“Take this as the last warning you will get. Stay away from Tehilah or else you will force my hand” Haliru spoke slowly, laying emphasis on every word. “Read my lips” he pushed her away and went to ring the doorbell.
When Tehilah opened, she was surprised to see Adara shaken up and the veins on Haliru’s head popping out, like he was trying to hold on the reins of his anger. Why was he so angry?
“Haliru, I didn’t expect to see you here”
“I need to talk to you, but first I had to put this woman in her place” he flung this last part at Adara with such derision.
Tehilah let him in, only because she needed answers too. “Is Adara your fiancée? Why did you hide it and why do you say you love me?”
“Adara was my fiancée, years ago and I wasn’t lying when I said I love you” he told Tehilah of the history between him and Adara.
“Wow, that is one woman” Tehilah was shook. “You have been through a lot yourself and I have just been acting like I was the only woman with a problem” Tehilah led him to the kitchen, where she dished spaghetti into two plates and made them eat by the kitchen table.
“I apologize for causing you so much grief, but I cannot return your love. I want to give my heart a break. So accept my friendship as it is all I have to offer” Tehilah said as she went to her bar to bring a bottle of fruit wine for them to share.
“I hope that one day your heart will heal enough to love again and I hope I am the first person you would think of”
Tehilah smiled, because she knew it was never going to happen. She was done giving her heart to any man. But if there was one thing she could give to Haliru, is the chance to right the wrong his father had done. Tehilah decided that she was going to trick Adara out of those shares she had in her possession. She would have a lot of fun kicking her out of Haliru’s company.