Read Chapter IV here.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Fiifi stopped in his tracks. He turned to face his mother. He had forgotten how irritating it felt when you overstayed your welcome at your mother’s.
“I’m going over to my house, mother. I’ve to get ready for work and I’ve no change of clothes.”
“Then you might as well take your ‘experiment’ with you. I’m too old to be doing this, Fii.”
“Come on, mum. I promise he’ll off your hands the moment I settle things with Bisi.”
“And when will that be exactly? The last time I checked, she had kicked you out of the house.”
“No, she didn’t. She can’t kick me out of my own house.”
“Is that so? You’re here running your mouth whiles you’ve no change of clothes.”
“I’m going to talk to her before she leaves for work.”
There was a knock. Fiifi opened the door.
“Good morning, boss. Madam asked me to bring these suits over. She said you’d need them,” his driver said. Fiifi glanced at his mother who tried to stifle her laughter.
“I can’t believe she’s keeping me out. Is she home? Or did she take the girls to school?”
“Yes, she’s home. I took the girls to school. That’s where I’m coming from.”
“Okay; thanks. You go; I’ll be right behind you.”
“Yes, boss.” He left.
“I’m going to speak with her. I’ll come back for him. Besides, you should be enjoying this. This is exclusive granny experience,” he said with a wink and left.
“Hey, Fii!” Nhyira began crying. She started rocking him.
“Don’t worry; you’ll be home soon.”
Bisi checked her watch. What was keeping the driver this long? She was running late and the Accra traffic wasn’t going to spare her. She heard the car pull over and she sighed in relief. She stood when the front door opened. To her surprise, it was Fiifi who walked through the door.
“Hello Bisi; we need to talk.”
“Sorry; I’m running late. Where is the driver?”
“Waiting for this?” He asked, dangling her car key. She reached for it but he dodged her.
“Sit down, B.”
“Listen, you may be running your own group of companies and might not have anyone to answer to but I do have a boss who takes no excuse for being late.”
“Yeah, I forgot.” He pulled out his phone from his phone and dialed a number.
“What are you doing?”
“Calling your boss.”
“No, Fii don’t!”
“Hello, Mr. Addo; this is Fiifi Pratt, Bisi’s husband. Yeah, I’m good. Listen, Bisi would be reporting a bit late today. There is some urgent family situation we have to sort out. No, the kids are okay. Thanks, have a nice day.” He ended the call.
“See? Problem solved. Could we just sit down and talk?” Bisi did so reluctantly. Fiifi sat next to her.
“I know what I did was selfish and wrong on so many levels and I’m deeply sorry. For costing us our unborn baby, I’m so burdened with guilt that I couldn’t even sleep. I know I’ve hurt and betrayed us. But I need you to forgive me. If you still insist that I stay away for some more days for you to get yourself together, I will respect that but I would totally be in your debt if you would take Nhyira in.”
“Oh, so you don’t have faith in us enough to wait for a baby boy but you trust me to raise one from a human incubator somewhere?”
“I know I’m asking for too much and whatever you want in return, I’m ready to give it.”
“Whatever I want? I would be a good woman to divorce the hell out of you and keep the house, the girls and half your group of companies as a cherry on top for emotional distress.”
“Which I wouldn’t mind obliging you if only you’d accept the baby.”
“What’s about having a male child that you’d throw away our life together to the wind?”
“I didn’t throw us away, Bisi. You and the girls are my life.”
“Then what is it? Is it the future of your companies you’re worried about? You don’t think Kukuaa and Ewuresi can hold the fronts? Is it because they literally lack the balls to succeed you?”
“Hey, that’s not fair; Bisi.”
“Make me understand, Fii. What is the difference between the girl and boy child if not the genitalia?” She stood.
“I can’t believe you’ve been lying to me this past year. When you got me that gift on our anniversary, when we celebrated both our birthdays and on Valentine and you promised your undying love to me, you were running Operation Baby Boy behind my back. How did you do it? How could you sleep by me each night and yet be so far away in your heart? What did I do wrong? Is it because I asked us to hold on with the next baby and denied you sex a few times? Did you do this to punish me?”
Fiifi stood and held her.
“No, Bisi; I didn’t do this to punish you. It was a crazy idea and I went ahead with it. I have Nhyira and should be celebrating but my joy can never be complete without you sharing it with me.”
“How can you possibly expect me to celebrate with you? I lost my baby. Anytime I look at him, it will remind me of the baby I could have had. How can I be a good mother to him?”
He palmed her cheeks.
“I know you are more than able because of what an amazing mother you’ve been to our daughters. I know without a doubt that with you as a mother, Nhyira would grow up to be a fine gentleman. All I’m asking,” he said and went on his knees, ‘is for you to overlook my shortcomings and love Nhyira like your very own. Everything I own and all what I’ve striving to accomplish are for you and our children.”
“What are we going to tell people? That’s he adopted?”
“No. Adopted will make him feel sidelined as he grows. He won’t feel part of the family and it would make things harder when handing over the…”
“Huh? The artificial ‘bastard’ gets the company? So that’s what this is about? Kuks and Esi are not fit to run your companies because they are girls!” Bisi threw her hands in the air in despair. Fiifi got up.
“I’m not saying that, B.”
“And the girls, how do you expect them to understand and accept this?”
“We can both talk to them or you can do that alone if you think it will make it easier.”
“Oh no, you’re not going to delegate that responsibility to me, Fii. You made your bed and you must lie in it.”
“Fine; we will do this together.”
“Where’s the mother or should I call her the volunteering incubator?”
“In the States.” Bisi gasped.
“What? You flew her abroad? Do I even want to know the bill for her expenses? Wow, this boy must be some golden egg to you. So that was what the trip was about, going for your golden egg from the hen?”
“Bisi, that chapter is behind us now. Let’s not go into that.”
“Oh no, it’s obvious we’re not on the same page. I need to be brought up to speed. Does she have the right to come back for her son whenever she runs out of cash and decides to play on your emotions for money?”
“Don’t worry; I’ve handled all that. She has waived all rights of access to the child. You know me not to leave any stone unturned.”
“Yep; no wonder you keep on being adjudged the best Businessman of the year,” she replied sarcastically.
“You are hurt and I understand but I’d appreciate it if you don’t transfer the anger onto the child.”
Bisi rolled her eyes.
“Wow, Fii; you really know to prep someone to be a wicked stepmother. All you’ve done is making me feel no love for this child even before I meet him.”
“I know you, Bisi. You’ve a good heart and that is why you could love a flawed man like me.”
“And you took advantage of my goodness.”
“Please…if you still love me, do this for me.”
“Don’t pull that card Fii.”
“I’m out of them.” Bisi snatched her car key from him.
“I’m off to work.” She began walking away.
“I love you, Bisi.” The loud slam of the door was her reply. He smiled, knowing he had won her over.
The girls arrived home to find their dad in the living room. They ran to him for a bear hug.
“Hope school was fun today.”
“Yes, daddy. You’re not going anywhere today, are you?”
“And my chocolate?” Ewuresi reminded him. He smiled.
“Check the fridge.” She ran to the kitchen. She came back with Bisi. Bisi sat opposite him and just watched him with folded arms.
“Girls, why don’t you sit down? There’s something your mum and I need to tell you.” Kukuaa sat next to her mother whiles Esi sat next to him. Kukuaa could sense the tension between her parents which prompted her to ask, “You two are not getting a divorce, right?”
“What? Of course not, Kuks,” Bisi said.
“Your mother and I are stuck with each other forever. Isn’t that right, honey?” Bisi flashed him a fake smile.
“I recall a similar scene from a movie; that’s why I asked.”
“Don’t worry; we won’t do that to you.”
Ewuresi’s focus was on the chocolate she was feasting on.
“Esi, you’ve had enough. Go put the rest in the fridge.”
“Dad bought it for me.”
“I know and no one’s going to touch it. Just go and put it back. You can have another piece tomorrow.” Ewuresi glanced at her dad with pleading eyes. He smiled as he wiped the chocolate on the side of her mouth.
“Your mum’s right, Esi. Too much isn’t good for you.”
“You always take mummy’s side!” Ewuresi wailed, obviously disappointed.
“That’s what married people do, my dear. She talks for me and I talk for her.”
“Why, you think alike?” Kukuaa asked.
“Mostly, yeah. Hurry up, Esi. We need to tell you something.” She got up and walked to the kitchen.
“And don’t forget to wash your hands, dear,” Bisi said. Esi came running back and she jumped onto her father’s lap.
“So what is it, daddy?” Fiifi looked at his wife. Bisi cleared her throat.
“It’s about the baby you saw Grandma holding.”
“Oh, the baby! He was cute!” Ewuresi said excitedly, clapping her hands.
“What about him?”
“The baby is going to join us,” Bisi said.
“Why, you’re adopting him?” Kukuaa asked.
“Um…something like that.”
“But why, you have us. Why would you want to adopt a baby?”
“Well, the thing is…”
“I love babies! I want to play with one.”
“Babies are not dolls, Esi. You can’t break his hands when you’re bored and plait his hair,” Kukuaa said, rolling her eyes. Kukuaa looked at her mother.
“Kukuaa, the baby is called Nhyira and he’s actually your brother.”
“My brother, from where? You lost your baby, mum.”
“No, from another mother.” Kukuaa gasped and glanced at her father.
“Daddy, you have another wife?”
“No, Kuks. Your mother is the only wife I have.”
“So where did you get the baby from?” Bisi bit her lower lip.
“Um…your daddy wanted a baby boy so he got one.”
“From where, the mall?” Ewuresi asked. Bisi almost laughed but checked herself. If she didn’t know better, she’d have thought Esi was being sarcastic but she was too young to know what that even was. But not Kukuaa.
“Why will you get a baby boy from outside, daddy?”
“You don’t love us?”
“Of course I love you both, Kuks. It was a decision I made…”
“With mum? Mum, did you agree to this?”
“Um…Kuks, we just want you to know so we can all adjust to it.”
“You were crying holding the baby and then you were bleeding. Did you lose the baby because of the boy?” This girl was drilling her parents too hard.
“It’s not that simple, Kuks.”
“Where did you get him from?” Kukuaa continued her interrogation.
“From the States.” She stood.
“What? He was born in the States whiles we were born here? Is it because we are girls?” Kukuaa cried out, very offended.
“Kuks, calm down. It’s not like that.”
“You took him to be born in the US because he’s a boy? That’s not fair, daddy!”
“Don’t worry; I’ll take you both to the States for holidays,” Fiifi said.
“It’s not the same thing! He gets to be called a citizen and Esi and I would just be visitors!”
“We’ll get you citizenship when you get older, Kuks.”
“Why didn’t you leave him with his mother? Why should he join us?”
“Because we are the only family he has,” Bisi said. Kukuaa shook her head.
“No, the baby is not welcome here. You are our parents and we are not sharing you with a baby from outside. My brother died in my mummy’s tummy. We have no other brother.”
“He is your brother, Kukuaa.”
“Half-brother, mum! Which means he’s not really part of us.”
“I’m sure when you meet Nhyira, you’ll change your mind. He’s a sweet baby.”
“Why did you name him Nhyira and not his local birth name like Ewuresi and I? Why does he get a special name?”
“Nhyira sounds nice,” Ewuresi said, out of sync with her sister’s rage.
“Kukuaa…you’re upset. Sit down and let’s…”
“No; I’m going to my room. This baby should not come here!” Kukuaa ran to her room.
“Kukuaa!” Bisi called after her. They heard the door slam shut.
“Esi dear, why don’t you go and check up on your sister?” Fiifi asked, putting her down.
“Okay.” She left the living room. They both sighed.
“I had no idea Kukuaa’s mind could interpret the situation the way she has. This is not going to be easy for her,” Bisi said.
“Well, she has to get used to it because I’m bringing Nhyira over,” Fiifi said firmly. Bisi nodded.
“All the best with that.” She got up.
“You’ll speak with her, won’t you?”
“Because she listens to you, Bisi. She’ll accept the baby if you tell her to.”
“I’ll try but we can’t force her. She has to come to terms with it by herself.”
“Fine; I’ll go and get him.”
“Why don’t you stay over at your mum’s one more day whiles I try and calm Kuks down?”
“Come on B, I miss our bed and I miss you in it.”
“Such a small price to pay for what you’ve caused this family, don’t you think?”
He conceded with a nod. He hugged his wife.
“Thank you for standing up for me.”
“Did I have a choice? You’re my husband, Fii.” He smiled and kissed her cheek.
“God bless your heart.”
“See you tomorrow, sweet.”
Josephine Amoako (c) 2016
Read Chapter VI here.