Adam, helping himself to some peanuts, sat up when there was an announcement on TV about an accident on the highway. He narrowed his eyes.
“It looks like Emily’s….Oh no.” He picked his phone and called Emily’s number. It went straight to her voicemail. He tried Karen’s number next.
“Adam…sorry, this is not really a good time. Can I call you back?”
“Where is Emily?”
“Adam, she had an accident.”
“So it’s her car I’m seeing on TV.”
“It’s on TV? Then it must have been horrible. I’m on my way to the hospital.”
“Which one? I’m coming there.”
“No, no, no; don’t, Adam. It’s a bad idea. Fitz is on his way there. It would be awkward for him to find you there.”
“Okay but could you update me on her condition when you get there?”
“Will do that. Thanks for your concern. Got to go. Bye.” The line went dead.
He stopped her from killing their baby and she almost got killed herself? Strange, Adam wondered to himself.
Two days later, I was discharged. I wished I could stay at the hospital a bit longer because I was dreading what would happen the instant Fitz and I would arrive home. Karen sensed the tension too so she suggested coming home with us to help me settle down properly but Fitz quickly shut the idea down. Then I knew I was in deep trouble. Karen and I shared a helpless look. She held my hand.
“You’re going to be well soon, Em.”
“Yeah, I hope so.” I understood her coded message too well. She meant things would not be as bad I feared when I got home. And I hoped he wouldn’t throw me out as brutally as portrayed in typical Nollywood movies.
So Karen joined us in the car and Fitz dropped her off at campus. We waved at each other as Fitz drove away and we both sighed at the same time. Her smile was the last I saw before the car sped away. I turned to look at him and Fitz wore this straight hard look which terrified me. He barely spoke to me since the doctor confirmed the bombshell and his silence was killing me. Was he the yelling, throwing or hitting type? I was going to find out and I was so not looking forward to it. I reached out and touched his arm.
“Fitz…” He pulled his arm away as if my touch repulsed him. I swallowed hard.
“Please talk to me, Fitz.”
“Not now, Emily.” No other words were exchanged till we got home. I sat frozen in the car when he killed the engine. When Fitz opened his door, I tried doing the same but my hand suddenly felt numb. Fitz opened the door for me and helped me out of the car. I walked to the front door with heavy steps. I opened it and entered. Fitz followed and closed the door. He dropped his keys on the table next to the door and sighed. I turned to face him.
This was it. I was going to see a different side of Fitz and something told me I wasn’t going to like it.
“Fitz, I know this wasn’t the news you wanted to hear…”
“Whose is it?” I could hear my heart pounding loudly in my ears. Okay, he wants to get straight to the point. I swallowed. I opened my mouth but nothing came out.
“Whose is it, Emily?!” Fitz asked again, this time his tone angry and his voice louder. He started walking towards me.
“Just give me a name.”
“Fitz, please calm down.”
“Just tell me whose it is, damn it!”
“I don’t know!” I shouted back. Fitz froze right in front of me. I stared at him. I didn’t know why I said that but I thought it would buy me a little more time…to think…or come up with a better explanation, perhaps? My time was running out and I needed to stall.
“What do you mean, you don’t know?” He had lowered his voice this time but I could feel his seething anger judging from his deep breathing.
“You’ve been cheating on me with more than one man?” He asked.
“Oh no; I’d never do that. I love you too much to…” I said, attempting to touch his face. He slapped it away.
“Ouch.” It stung harshly not just from the physical hit but more from the emotional inference.
“I have never cheated on you consciously…”
“So what, you are the Virgin Mary of our generation? I wonder what you’d be giving birth to; maybe it would be the antichrist this time,” Fitz scoffed.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Fitz.”
“Then explain to me how you’re pregnant right now because obviously I can’t take the credit for it.”
“As I said, I didn’t do this consciously. Some time back, I attended a party on campus and I admit I drank a little too much. So maybe, things went out of hand and someone took advantage of me.”
“So you’re telling me, that my wife lost control at a campus party and became the party whore?” Tears filled my eyes. I tried not to blink.
“Take that back, Fitz.”
“What for? I’m calling it what it is and you’re offended? For crying out loud, why couldn’t you exercise a little discretion; even if not for yourself now that it is clear that you’ve no respect for yourself, but for me, your husband? Whiles you sipped drink after drink, didn’t you stop to think of how that would affect my reputation? What if someone recognized you and took photos and splashed them all over the papers and on social media?”
“As I said, it was a campus party…there was no way…”
“That is not the point here, Emily! You’re a married woman, my wife! I know we reached some rough patches sometime back but for you to lose control to the advantage of any guy at that party?”
“I am sorry, Fitz,” was all I could say.
“So you have no idea whose it is?” I shook my head, losing the battle with the tears. I wiped them with my shaking hand.
“Wow…Mr. Daniel’s wife gets drunk and possibly gangbanged by party guests since she is pregnant with no idea how. Perfect headline, isn’t it?”
“Enough? I’ve not even started. Where was Karen anyway? She must have seen you with some of the guys.”
“She wasn’t at the party.”
“Of course she wasn’t. You two are like night and day, huh?” This verbal assault was getting too much for me.
Fitz turned and started walking away. He chuckled and stopped.
“I figured you were lying about the test kit giving you a false positive that is why I agreed to go out of town so that at least you’d do whatever it took to save our marriage…if it meant something to you. But obviously it doesn’t.” He turned to face me again.
“What do you mean, do whatever it took?”
“You know what I mean.”
“Abortion?” I asked, shocked that even he would have been okay if I had done it.
“You cheated on me with whoever-the-hell-it-was and got pregnant and you’re acting indignant about the idea of doing away with it as if it’s so gross?”
“I was hoping that you’d have mercy on me as a victim of unfortunate circumstances and spare the baby your rage and hate?” He laughed.
“You must really take me for a fool, don’t you Emily? Because I don’t impose anything on you, you think you have me wrapped around your finger, don’t you?”
I decided not to reply.
“I understood you were at a clinic before the accident. Why didn’t you just do away with it there after receiving the confirmation slip?”
“As I said…”
“Oh spare me that. Something tells me you know who the father is and you’re putting up this act to save him.”
“And why would I do that?”
“The same reason you thought it wise to attend some rowdy party and get wasted and used.”
“Okay; obviously you feel hurt and betrayed by my actions and I understand. And I sense you feel repulsed by merely looking at me so I think it would be better if we both had some space.”
“And who would be the one moving out?”
“Me, obviously.” When Fitz didn’t respond, she added, “I’ll go and get my things.”
Fitz sat down and switched on the TV. I went up the stairs and entered the bedroom. I heard my phone beep. I took it out of my handbag. Four missed calls from Karen. She really must be worried. I sighed and took an empty suitcase. I began to throw some clothes and a few essentials in it.
I came downstairs with my bag and Fitz sat just where I left him. He gazed at the TV set without blinking. My guess was his mind was far from what his eyes were seeing on the screen.
“I’m leaving.” He looked at me and the rage was gone. I sighed in relief. He stood up and walked to me. Okay, was he going to stop me? Would I even stay if he asked me to?
He held my face in his hands and placed a passionate kiss on my forehead. He pulled away and looked into my eyes intently.
“I wish you all the best, Emily.” I wanted to say something but my voice betrayed me. I nodded and stepped back.
“Goodbye.” I walked away, dragging the bag behind me. I opened the door and pulled the bag outside. As I closed the door, I stole a glance at him. He was watching me coolly with his hands pocketed in his trousers. I closed the door and fresh tears made their way onto my cheeks. I walked to the gate and turned to look at the mansion I was leaving behind.
I couldn’t blame anyone but myself.