Read Chapter VIII here.
Fiifi and the girls were having breakfast in silence when Bisi joined them. It took just a glance for Fiifi to notice that Bisi hadn’t slept well. She had been restless for most parts of the night and her eye sockets had sunken a bit. Was it work or the added stress of having an unplanned for baby around, he wondered.
“Are you okay, mummy?” Kukuaa asked.
“Yes dear,” Bisi replied with a smile which did not reach her eyes.
“You don’t look like you slept well. Thinking about the promotion?”
Fii and Bisi’s eyes clashed and Bisi looked away immediately. Fii sipped his tea quietly.
“Must have been the weather.”
Just as Fiifi was working up to ask the obvious question, Bisi got up.
“Going to check up on the baby,” and with that, she disappeared from the room.
Fiifi cleared his throat. Kukuaa looked at him.
“What promotion were you talking about, Kuks?”
“From work. She told me yesterday. You didn’t know? I guess I’m mummy’s best friend now,” she said with a triumphant smile. Fiifi said nothing. They heard Nhyira give out a shriek. Fiifi got up and headed upstairs.
“Daddy to the rescue,” Kukuaa said.
“Daddy really likes baby Nhyira,” Ewuresi said.
“He loves you too, Esi.” She nodded.
Bisi was rocking the baby when Fiifi entered.
“Let me have him so you can have your breakfast.”
“Have you finished yours?”
“I’ve had enough. Let me.” She gave him the baby. She went downstairs to eat.
Ewuresi ran to her dad as he came downstairs.
“Goodbye, daddy. Going to school.”
“Wait, let’s all go together.” Bisi and Kukuaa glanced at him curiously.
“Won’t you be going to Grandma’s house?”
“I will; but I can still make it to work early.”
“Fine; if you want to take the girls to school, I will head off…”
“No, we’re all leaving the house together…as a family.”
“Okay…” Bisi said, dragging it a bit. She knew Fii wanted the opportunity to drill her about the promotion pop up from Kukuaa. She had to prep up for the confrontation. She went for the baby bag and took him from Fiifi. They got settled in the car and Fiifi took off.
There was silence in the car except for the music playing and Kukuaa humming to it. Ewuresi joined in soon after. Bisi stared at the baby. A flashback of what she had said to herself in the mirror the last time before she lost her baby came to mind. She winced as a fresh piercing pain slashed through her chest. Her eyes remained closed for a while as she recalled her pregnant self with the girls; how they had been happy being expecting parents. She opened her eyes when she felt the baby tug at her blouse. Nhyira wore a toothless grin but Fiifi noticed Bisi not smiling back.
Oh God, what have I done? He thought regretfully.
He arrived at the girls’ school and they got down after Ewuresi requested for chocolate as her going-home snack from her dad and Kukuaa reminded her mother about a new set of colored pens. Both parents nodded and then they blowed one another kisses. Fiifi drove off.
As they waited for the traffic lights to turn green, Bisi started playing with the baby.
“You do know that he likes you, right?” Fiifi pointed out.
“Babies like whoever takes care of them.” Nhyira giggled when Bisi tickled him.
“You sound very impersonal.” Bisi rolled her eyes.
“Don’t start, Fii.” The light went green and he stepped on the accelerator.
He pulled over at his mother’s and they both entered. Bisi handed the baby to his granny and after a few pleasantries, they left.
Bisi began busying herself on her phone.
“What promotion was Kuks talking about?”
“Huh?” She asked absent-mindedly, typing on her phone. Fii gave her a sideway glance and took her phone from her.
“Seriously, Fii? I was in the middle of an important conversation.”
“Uh huh…please get my reports ready by the time I get in,” he read from the screen.
“Should I press send?” He asked. When she didn’t reply, he tapped on enter and put the phone in his breast pocket.
“Let me have it, Fii.”
“Are you going to tell me about it or am I going to have it dragged out of you?”
“Tell you about what?”
“Okay; I’m going to play along. What promotion was Kuks talking about?”
“What promotion do you think she was talking about? Obviously it wasn’t for being the mother of the year.”
“Oh really? Throwing punches, huh?”
“I was called for a promotion offer which included more work hours, obviously. Just thinking about it. No big deal,” she summarized.
“And why am I now hearing about this?”
“It was only yesterday; why are you making a big deal out of this?”
“I mean why does Kukuaa know about this before I do?” Bisi chuckled.
“Why are you referring to Kuks like an outsider? She’s our daughter.”
“Uh huh and I am your husband. We are a team, B. I thought we established that when we got married. We have each other’s back. We are each other’s best friend. Everyone else including our children are just guests.”
“Yes, guests. They will get married and move out and we’ll be left with each other. When everyone grows up and moves on, all we’ll have is each other. So I should be the one to know what’s going on with you first.”
“I wish you had that in mind when you were making your latest addition to the family.”
“Okay, I deserve that. But I don’t really see the reason why you’d keep such information away from me. You know I want what is best for you and whatever makes you feel happy and fulfilled I consider a priority. Unless you thought I wouldn’t be happy to hear about it.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Well, this promotion clearly indicates that I can’t be there for Nhyira as much as you would like me to.”
“As much as I’d like you to? I can’t like you to do anything. You can only be the mother you need to be to Nhyira as you will it. I can only hope. And besides, you should be grateful for Nhyira coming into our lives. I did this for you!” Bisi’s brow arched a definite 180 degrees.
“Uh huh; I spared you the pain and anguish of pregnancy and labor. No back pains, no swollen feet, no weight gain, puking, spitting and all of the other things. You didn’t to push for him. I gave him to you already made!” Bisi couldn’t believe her ears.
“Oh wow, I didn’t know you were expecting me to hand you a thank-you card for giving me a child from a human incubator! Wait, do you think you did me a favor by what you did?”
“Come on B, you should have realized the pros here. You get to keep your form, no big tummy or drooping boobs…” Bisi gaped in shock.
“Oh gosh, who are you and where have you hidden my husband because you’re a disgusting version of him,” Bisi spat, with no attempt to hide the disdain in her voice.
“I know what I did was unconventional but you should have gotten used to this by now.”
“And you’re wondering why I didn’t tell you first.”
“I’m not saying I don’t want you to take the offer. You deserve it, B. But something tells me you’re hesitating to take it because you know the right thing to do.”
“Which is?” He shrugged.
“It’s not mine to say.”
Bisi could feel her blood boiling. How dare he? He had completely ruined the day for her before it began.
He pulled over at her workplace.
“Could you tell the driver to bring my car over? I don’t want to take a…”
“I’ll come for you.”
“You don’t know when I’ll close. It could be…”
“I’ll come for you.” He took her phone from his pocket and handed it to her. She took her bag. He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek, a gesture she found irritating. She got out of the car.
“Have a nice day, sweetie.” She ignored him and walked away. His phone rang. He answered it.
“Yes boss. Yeah, sorry about that. Her phone was with me. We were having a baby conversation. Oh yeah, we got a new baby…adopted, kind of. Yeah, thank you. I just dropped her off. She must be walking in right now. Okay, bye.” He drove away.
Bisi entered her boss’ office to greet him. He had just gotten off the phone.
“Good morning, boss.”
“Good morning, Bisi. Just got off the phone with your husband. I was calling you but you weren’t picking up.”
“Sorry about that…”
“It’s okay; he explained it. I didn’t know congratulations were in order.” Bisi gave him a ‘huh?’ look.
“The baby you two adopted.”
“I guess that’s why you were a bit hesitant about the offer I proposed yesterday. I understand. Let’s hold on with that for a while as you nurse the baby. We’ll talk later, okay?”
“Don’t worry; Mrs. Pratt. You’ll continue to be one of the gems of this company. We’ll talk later.”
Bisi nodded. When she closed the door behind her, she could feel tears in her eyes. Fiifi had ruined everything for her.
Father, forgive me for I’m going to kill someone’s son, she muttered under her breath.
Josephine Amoako (c) 2016
Read Chapter X here.