Read Chapter III here.
The tears were still running down Bisi’s face as her friend and doctor wheeled her to the hospital’s main entrance where Fiifi stood waiting. He offered to help her up the wheelchair but she refused. Eva gave him a sympathetic smile.
“Thanks for your time, doctor. Thanks for taking good care of her.”
“Don’t mention it, Fiifi. I hope we were having this conversation under happier circumstances.”
“Yeah, me too. Maybe that day would come.”
“Let’s hope so.” They shook hands and Eva entered the hospital. Fiifi turned to find Bisi already in the car. He joined her in the back seat and the driver took off.
Back at the house, Grandma was having a hard time juggling a restless baby and two worried children.
“Granny, what is wrong is mummy? Is she going to be okay?” Ewuresi asked.
“She’s not dying, is she?” Kukuaa added.
“Your mummy’s fine. What you saw happens sometimes. She’ll be back home soon; don’t worry.”
“Are you sure?” Kukuaa asked, not convinced.
“Yes, my dear. Now give me some space. I need to feed the baby.”
“Whose baby is that?” Ewuresi asked curiously.
“That’s your brother, Esi. Isn’t he cute?”
“He’s not our brother. My mother didn’t give birth to him,” Kukuaa challenged. Grandma sighed. This wasn’t going to be easy. Kukuaa walked out of the living room and came back with her mother’s iPad. Ewuresi seemed to enjoy touching the baby’s cheek as Grandma bottle-fed him.
“Hey, mummy told us not to touch her iPad without her permission,” Ewuresi reminded her sister.
“I’m just googling something.” Ewuresi joined her on the sofa.
“How did you know mummy’s password? She changed it.”
“Yeah, she either uses my birthday or yours. Those are the only passwords she knows how to use,” Kukuaa said. Ewuresi nodded, glad to be privy to such useful information.
“What are you searching for?” She asked curiously.
“I want to know what happened to mummy.” Fiifi’s mother couldn’t hide her shock. The kids of this generation, she thought in astonishment.
She typed ‘why do women bleed’ in the search bar. She looked up.
“What’s mens…truation?” she struggled to pronounce. Grandma rolled her eyes, grateful for the diversion.
“I told you it’s normal. It’s a normal thing that happen to women. Soon, you two will experience it too.” Ewuresi obviously didn’t like the sound of that. Grandma thought Kukuaa would let it go but she began typing something else: ‘why pregnant women bleed’. Her face looked serious for a moment and when she looked up, she looked terrified.
“Is mummy’s baby going to be okay? Mummy was saying she was losing it.”
“Let’s pray so, my dear.”
“Can I play Temple Run?” Ewuresi asked her big sister with pleading eyes. Kukuaa handed it to her. Ewuresi sat back with a huge grin on her face as she began swiping across the screen. Grandma watched Kukuaa as she appeared to be in deep thought.
“Kukuaa, are you okay?”
“Yes, grandma.” But she could tell she was worried. This girl is too smart for her own good, she thought.
Kukuaa got up when the front door opened and her parents walked in. Ewuresi hid the device behind her. Kukuaa ran to her mother who was wiping her face with tear-soaked tissue.
“Mummy, are you okay?”
“Yes, dear. I’m fine.”
“And the baby?” she asked, her hand on her tummy. The look Fiifi gave his mother confirmed her fears. Bisi forced a smile.
“Why don’t you two go to your room? I’ll attend to you soon, okay?”
“I’m hungry, mama,” Ewuresi moaned.
“I’ll fix something but please go to your room. We need to talk to Grandma.”
“Hurry up, girls,” Fiifi asked. Kukuaa gave her father a suspicious glance before walking away with Ewuresi behind her, Bisi’s iPad in hand. Bisi sat down.
“It’s gone; I lost it.”
“I’m so sorry; this is terrible. Please take heart, my dear,” Fiifi’s mother said consolingly.
“I need some time and space to mourn my…fetus so I’d appreciate it if you left with your mother.”
“Bisi, please let’s….” His mother stopped him.
“Okay, Bisi. We’ll honor that. But we still have to talk about this baby.” Bisi cast a sharp glance at the innocent baby. She didn’t want to see the little thing right now. She got up.
“I’d advise you take everything you need to keep you comfortable at your mother’s,” Bisi said coldly without looking at him. She walked to the kitchen. Fiifi glanced at his mother helplessly, hoping she’d say something on his behalf. But all she said was, “Go on, Fii; I’m waiting for you.” He sighed and went upstairs.
Bisi fetched herself a glass of water from the dispenser and gulped it down. She broke into sobs again but she covered her mouth to muffle the sound.
Fiifi entered the girls’ room. Ewuresi was engrossed in her game whiles Kukuaa sat quietly on her bed, with arms folded, staring into space.
“Hi angels, I’m here to say goodbye. I’d be leaving with grandma. There are a lot of things I have to do at work.”
“But you just returned from your trip,” Ewuresi said.
“I know but work is work, my dear. It’s important.”
“What did you get me from the trip?”
“Your favorite: Toblerone chocolate.” Esi clapped her hands in excitement. Fiifi smiled. He leaned forward and kissed the top of her head.
“Be good and don’t stress mummy out, okay? She needs to rest, all right?”
“Yes, daddy,” Esi said sweetly. He pulled her cheek playfully. He glanced at Kukuaa who still seemed to be in a world of her own.
“Kukuaa?” She turned her head to look at him.
“Are you okay?”
“Is mum okay?” she asked back.
“Yes, she is; she’ll be fine.”
“Then I’m okay.”
“Won’t you give daddy a goodbye hug?” She got up from the bed and walked to him and hugged him. He planted a kiss on the top of her head.
“Take care of mummy, okay?” She nodded and pulled back. He pulled her cheek. His heart felt heavy in his chest. He needed to be here at such a time as this, to comfort his wife and reassure his kids. But Bisi was in great pain and if his absence would help her feel better, he had to respect that.
“I love you both. I’ll see you soon, okay?”
“My chocolate!” Esi said.
“I’ll bring it tomorrow. I left it at Grandma’s.”
“Ei, she’ll eat it.” He smiled.
“No, she won’t. I told her I bought it just for you.” She nodded. He waved at them and left their room.
“Where’s B?” Fiifi asked his mother when he came back downstairs.
“Still in the kitchen.” He walked towards the kitchen. Bisi sat on a tall stool, her head on the slab.
“Are you sure you don’t want me here?” He asked softly.
“Yes, I’m sure,” Bisi said, not lifting her head.
“I’m really sorry,” he apologized earnestly as he placed his hand on her shoulder. She shrugged it away. He walked out. She lifted her head when she heard the front door open and shut. She waited to hear the car drive away and sighed. She walked to the sink, opened the tap and splashed the water on her face.
“Mummy?” She closed the tap and wiped her face with a napkin. She turned to find Kukuaa watching her.
“Kuks? Hungry, huh? Give me thirty minutes tops.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, sweetie,” she replied, sitting down again.
“And the baby, is it hurt? You were bleeding.”
“Um…the baby…is gone, Kuks.”
“Miscarriage,” Kukuaa said, recalling what she had found online. Bisi nodded.
“What happened?” Her mother shrugged.
“It happens sometimes. One of nature’s little mysteries.” Kukuaa’s face became downcast.
“You wanted to surprise dad today.”
“Yeah, sometimes things don’t go the way we expect them to. But in all things, we should give God thanks,” Kukuaa said and stopped herself. She hadn’t meant to say that. In her pain, she was in no thanksgiving mood. But someway somehow, she had been reminded on what to do at a terrible time like this. Kukuaa rubbed her mother’s back.
“Are you sure you can cook?”
“Yeah, I have to. I can’t let you and your sister go to bed hungry.”
“Well, we could always order pizza,” Kukuaa said, half expecting her mother to reject the idea outright.
“Yes, pizza!” Ewuresi shouted with her arms lifted as she entered. Bisi smiled. She could use a night off cooking dinner.
“Fine, make the order.”
“Yay! I’ll make the call today,” Ewuresi said, running towards the hall.
“No, it’s my turn,” Kukuaa said, running after her.
They were such amazing kids. Why their father would go out to get another child, Bisi still couldn’t wrap her tired head around it. She got up. She needed a shower.
“I should be with her at a time like this, mum. It was my baby too. I have the right to mourn with her,” Fiifi said regretfully.
“Yeah but since you killed the baby with your bombshell…” his mother said. Fiifi glanced at her.
“Technically, you did; Fii. Seriously, what were you thinking? You could have discussed this with your wife if you really thought it was the way to go.”
“She wouldn’t have agreed to it.”
“Do you regret it, knowing that you could have had a son with Bisi?”
“I’m sorry for the tragedy but I can’t regret having Nhyira.”
She shook her head. “You are indeed your father’s son.”
When Bisi was ready to go to bed, she knelt down by it and prayed.
“You know how much I’ve prayed for a baby boy. You gave me a baby and You took it away before I could even tell my husband. But you have given him a baby without me in the picture. Maybe it’s all for the best. Maybe, I wouldn’t have made it with the one I had…maybe it wasn’t going to be a boy after all. So, in my pain, I’m asking You for strength to live above the situation. Order my steps and give me the grace to forgive my husband and continue to love him regardless…this I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Although she felt better after the prayer, she couldn’t hold back the tears as she lay down to sleep. Farewell to the baby that could have been but never was.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
Read Chapter V here.