When the plane taxied at Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, Tehilah deplaned and took a taxi. The sun was setting, and casted a beautiful glow over Abuja, it was a sight to behold. Tehilah momentarily forgot her predicament and enjoyed the scenery, as the taxi driver navigated the rush hour traffic. She loved the city and was already beginning to think that, it wouldn’t be hard to adapt to a life in Abuja, with her child and Wale. She told herself that everything would be alright because nothing could go wrong in this beautiful city.
While she boarded a taxi, she called Wale to tell him she was on her way, but his number was unreachable, so Tehilah, decided to drive straight to Wale’s house.
When the taxi trudged up the asphalt driveway, Tehilah saw that her boyfriend’s car was not there, so she knew he was not home. She was however surprised to hear music coming out of the house. The taxi driver honked in front of a bungalow impatiently, as he murmured under his breath. He was expecting Tehilah to alight from his car, so he could leave, but she was hesitant.
“Madam, we are here, are you not coming down?” he said in accented English.
“Please, just give me a minute. I am not sure he is around. You might have to take me to a hotel” Tehilah alighted from the taxi, and walked to the front door. She pressed the door bell and waited.
“Who is that?” she heard a woman’s voice inside the house. Minutes later, the door opened, and a dark skinned woman stared at her, ominously. “Who do you want?”
“Huh, who are you? I thought Wale lived here alone” Tehilah stuttered, then blinked. “Forgive my manners, I am asking for Wale”
“How can you come to my house to ask me foolish questions? I am Wale’s wife and he is not at home” the dark skinned woman said bitingly.
No…it can’t be…not again
“Uhm…maybe I got the wrong house” Tehilah managed to say and turned to go, because she didn’t believe that the woman standing before her was Wale’s wife.
“You asked for Wale, and I told you he is my husband. It seems you are one of the foolish girls who flock around married men. I know you, you are that new author everyone is talking about” the woman who would be no more than two years older than Tehilah stepped out of the balcony, and looked Tehilah from head to toe. “Stay away from my husband, or I will talk to the reporters about your ‘other’ lifestyle”
Tehilah held her chest, as it felt like her heart was breaking in pieces and the shards were piercing her through. She could not move or bring herself to say a word. She just looked on with a dazed look, and with tear drops cascading down her cheeks, in torrents.
“Madam, I wan dey go oh. Abeg save my time” the taxi driver bellowed, and Tehilah turned and entered the taxi again slowly.
“Where I dey go?” the taxi driver asked, seeing as Tehilah had not said anything since they left Wale’s house.
“Take me to the airport” Tehilah said, without turning away from the window.
Throughout the journey to the airport, she sat dazed, without a single sound or movement. It was like she was in a trance.
The driver looked at her with worried eyes. There were so many things happening in Abuja these days and he didn’t want to be in trouble over something he didn’t know about.
Abeg make I come drop this one before she die inside my moto.
As the plane rose up to meet the sky, Tehilah nursed her broken heart. She curled herself into a ball in the spacious business class cabin she had booked, and cried unabashedly. Thanks to the barely filled aircraft, there was no one for three rows, to witness her break down.
“Oh no…not again. What have I gotten myself into?” She cried throughout the flight to Lagos. She had felt right about this, how had it happened that it had all gone to hell like this?
When the plane touched down at the Murtala Mohammed airport, she took her car out of storage and drove straight home. Bimpe was the first person she called, as she laid on her bed, with soiled tissue papers littered around her.
“Bimpe, I was really a side chick. It has happened again, why does this always happen to me, don’t I deserve to be loved?” she cried into the phone.
“Calm down my darling, and tell me what happened” Bimpe tried to take control of the situation. She had never heard Tehilah sound so broken. Tehilah narrated to her, how she had gone to the house and met Wale’s wife.
“Oh no, I had my reservations in the beginning, but afterwards, even I was fooled, I thought him genuine. I am so sorry but you have to act like the big girl you are”. “So what if he turned out wrong, it is his loss, he lost a gem” Bimpe tried to soothe her friend”
“You don’t understand. I am six weeks pregnant. What do I do?” Tehilah sounded like she was going crazy, such that it scared Bimpe. “I was not cut out to be a single mother”
“Nobody is cut out to be a single mother, wait…” Bimpe paused, as she thought of what she thought she heard. “You said what… pregnant?” Bimpe asked in surprise.
“I am pregnant, and I don’t know what to do” Tehilah burst into fresh tears.
“I am coming over right away” Bimpe said and hung up.
Wale got into his house and could not shake off the thought that he could smell a whiff of Tehilah’s perfume. His wife was home for the weekend, something she rarely did, as she was an air hostess who was either in one country or the other. A lot had been on his mind on the drive back home. On an impulse, he had bought a diamond ring.
What was I even thinking? I cannot engage Tehilah, while I am still married to Onome.
Wale decided to have a talk with his wife this weekend. They had to consider divorce, seeing as their marriage couldn’t work. He was married, yet he felt like a single man, because his wife had decided that her air hostess job was more important than their marriage. They had been married for three years, yet it was getting harder to try for a child.
Going our separate ways is the solution that will make everyone happy. It is time I stopped living a double life.
“My love, you are back” her voice intruded into his thoughts, as she embraced him.
“Onome, how are you finding the house?” he asked because it was the first time she was coming, since he was transferred to Abuja.
“Sure, it has a woman’s touch. Did you contract a home decorator?” Onome asked, with her lips in a tight line.
Wale remembered that Tehilah had come over and turned his bare house into the heaven it now looked like, but he couldn’t tell his wife that. “Yes, yes I did”
“Go on and have your bath, I am giving you a dinner treat. You like Chinese, so why don’t we go out” Onome pulled her husband by the hand towards the bedroom. “I know a great Chinese restaurant in Gwarinpa”
“All right” Wale looked puzzled by his wife’s new behaviour. He was still pondering her change of attitude when she dropped another bombshell.
“Baby, a celebrity was in our house, that writer called Tehilah” Onome watched her husband, while still flashing him a toothy smile. His eyes were almost out of their sockets.
“Really, what did she want?” he stuttered, wiping invisible sweat from his fore-head.
“She said you guys go way back, how come I never, ever met her?” she inquired, with a wry smile on her face.
“Oh, she is a girlfriend of one of my colleagues, and she rarely has time to socialize. I am surprised that she came here” the lies flowed out of his mouth, effortlessly.
Onome pretended like she was going to the kitchen, while her husband entered the lavishly furnished master bedroom. She waited a while and entered suddenly. Wale jerked suddenly, and dropped the phone he was holding. It became obvious to Onome that, just as she expected, Wale had wanted to call Tehilah.
“Baby, thought you were already in the shower. Come on, into the shower while I dress up” she helped him undress, and when he had entered the bathroom, she took his phone.
Na me lose if I no find who get this number.
She jotted down the number on a sheet of paper, and tucked it into the pocket of her trouser.