Sweet-smelling evil (1)

 

“D

ear, I can’t keep this pregnancy. What will your wife say? What will people say? What will…” she cried.

 

 

“What will this say, what will that say! You think about what everybody will say! Have you thought of my feelings? Your own feelings don’t matter too?” He screamed at her.

 

 

They were in Tami’s house. She had been crying since the doctor dropped the bombshell. How would she face her friend with the truth?

 

“I have betrayed a friend, a sister. What will I do? Why did I lose my self-control? Why, why, why? Why must it be my friend’s husband? Why not any other man?”

 

Tami worried until her head ached. Something nibbled at her mind. Yes, a doctor said something about her womb not being fit for pregnancy to occur!

 

“Haaaaaa the doctor said I would need a surgery to rectify it, that that was why I did not conceive when I was trying for a baby with Tunji,” She told herself.

 

 

She always felt sad anytime she remembered Tunji.

 

 

They dated for four years and were preparing for their wedding when he had an accident and died. Tunji had gone on an official trip to Kaduna and was on his way to Kano the day she went for a medical test. She had been waiting to discuss what the doctor said about her needing a surgery. But he didn’t make it back alive. 

 

 

During her two years relationship with Dele, they were careless a few times but it never resulted in pregnancy. Why now? It was only that first day with Tume that they did it without protection. After that, they had always made sure a sheath was within reach. Now, for the first time in her life, she had conceived. World she be considering an abortion at 40 years?

 

 

She sighed and looked up.

 

 

“Are you back?” Tume asked her. He had been watching her intently. It was obvious something was eating her up.

 

“Where did I go,” she tried to say lightly, but Tume wasn’t fooled.

 

 

“Tami, I understand how you feel. But you should know that we’ve committed a sin already. We shouldn’t made a bad situation worse by attempting an abortion. We are…”

 

 

Tami cut in, “We’ve sinned once, why can’t we sin more? Why can’t we, Pastor Tume? When we were sneaking up and down, didn’t you remember hell fire? Look, lemme tell you, hell has no cooling centre!”

 

 

She was screaming and crying now. Tume reached out and pulled her into his arms.

 

 

“My dear, am also aching. My heart is breaking. I am confused. Nessa is almost cracking up now…” At the mention of her friend’s name, Tami looked up.

 

“I need to see her. She needs us now,” she said.

 

 

 

Tume agreed, but secretly, he was worried.

 

 

 

 

 

After her last miscarriage, Nessa had taken stock of her life and concluded that she might not try for pregnancy anymore. She would discuss the issue of adoption with her husband.

 

 

She confided in her friend, Tami.  She told Tami that she had a feeling that her husband had started trying for a baby elsewhere. After her close shave with death the last time, she wasn’t sure she would risk her life again.

 

 

“My friend, I really feel for you. I had prayed that you have this baby but it didn’t happen. Who are we to question God? What has happened has happened. You and your husband did everything possible to make it stay. You tried your best. What didn’t you do? You left your job for four months, you rested. I just believe it wasn’t meant to stay. Take heart my friend,” Tami consoled her friend.

 

 

Nessa replied, “Thank you my friend. What would I have done without you? You have always stood by me like the Rock of Gibraltar. Even Tume knows that you have been more than a friend. He once said that you are a family member. Thank you very much. May God hasten the steps of your husband to you. You know, I just realised that I was so carried away by this pregnancy thing that I forgot you also have a life. Anyway, you are really looking very well fed. Watch the weight though. It’s getting too much.”

 

Tami winced, those words from her friend were like hot lead on her skin. She felt like she was being stabbed with a knife. It was like some invincible hands were squeezing the very life out of her. She smiled weakly and stood up.

 

 

“I have really done nothing, dear. What are friends for? As friends, we should be ready to stand by each other during trying times. We should be able to help out a friend in need in whatever way we can. We have to look out for each other’s interest. That’s what I have done. Nothing more,” she stammered and realised she must leave immediately.

 

 

As she picked up her bag from the couch, Nessa stared at her.

 

“What is the problem? Where are you going? You are having dinner with us today. Tume is almost home. You can’t leave now,” Nessa said.

Tami looked wildly around and said nothing.

 

Nessa asked again, “Are you alright? You look like you saw a ghost. Talk to me Tami!”

 

Tami turned to her friend and smiled.

 

 

 

They had been friends since Nessa’s family moved into their compound about 30 years ago. They were both 10 years old then and were in Primary 4.

 

 

Tami remembered that Nessa’s family moved in on a Saturday. There was no school that day and she was standing on the balcony of the top floor of the one-storey building when a moving van pulled up in front of their house. Another car pulled up behind the van and a family of four alighted from it.

 

 

Tami had her eyes on the neatly dressed young girl who stepped out of the car. She was putting on a replica of a gown she owned and loved so much.

 

 

The young girl looked up, their eyes met and they waved at each other and smiled. That was the beginning of their friendship. They became inseparable. Their parents also hit it off nicely. They become one large family. Tami and Nessa attended the same schools – primary, secondary and university. They separated briefly when they went to different states for their National Youth Service Corps’ orientation. Tami’s father, then a director in an indigenous oil company, ensured that they were redeployed in Lagos. Since then, they had been together.

 

 

“Tami!” Nessa called out sharply, adding, “What is the problem? You have been behaving strangely.”

 

 

“Oh nothing. When is Tume coming back? I am hungry!” she told her friend and smiled.

 

Nessa looked at her and shook her head. “I think you need a special prayer.”

 

“Yes o! I need special prayers, not just one,” Tami replied with a small laugh.

 

“Truly, I need that special prayer,” she muttered to herself and burst into tears.

 

“What is the problem, Babes? Talk to me now!” Nessa said and ran to hold her.

 

She continued to cry and Nessa joined her. They held on to each and cried, each grieving her personal ache.

 

The door opened and Tume walked in. He almost had a heart attack as the two women looked up and wailed.

 

“OMG! I am finished. Why did she tell my wife? Haaaaa, I’m finished. How will I get out of this? Do I run away? Do I kneel and beg for forgiveness? Who will I blame? The devil has been overused for this purpose.”

 

As he opened his mouth, he had no idea what he’d say but at that moment, his wife moved towards him and whispered, “Baby, what do we do for my sister? She’s lonely…”

 

 

Tume silenced her with a light kiss on her lips. He then drew and placed her head on his chest, all the while looking at Tami and trying to get her attention. When Tami looked up, he raised an inquiring brow at her.

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•Send your observations to:   julietbumah@gmail.com

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