Read Chapter XVII here.
Nhyira was discharged a couple of days later to everyone’s relief but it was Bisi who went under the weather after the whole ordeal. Shuttling between the hospital, home and work drained her of all strength. The doctor was kind enough to prescribe some drugs for her which Fiifi purchased at the pharmacy.
Bisi retired to bed early whiles Fiifi handled dinner and the kids.
When he entered the bedroom, he sighed in exhaustion. Bisi turned.
“Sorry I woke you. Thought you were deep asleep.” He joined her on the bed.
“I can’t sleep, Fii. I’m too tired.” She rested her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around her.
“I know; you’ve been through a lot these past few days. Thank you for holding us down,” he said with a kiss on her forehead.
“Have they all gone to bed?”
“Yeah; Nhyira wanted to come say goodnight but I told him you were already asleep.” She nodded.
“He is a strong kid.”
“That’s because he has you for a mother. You’re an incredibly strong woman, Bisi Pratt.”
“I thank God I have you for a husband. You keep me strong. I didn’t know I could pray this much and actually believe in its power till I married you, Fiifi.”
“Oh yeah, I do need prayers; lots of them.”
“That’s what keeps me strong.”
“And I thank you for that.” He kissed her forehead again.
“You’re still warm. You might have to sleep in tomorrow.”
The next morning, Fiifi came out of his bedroom to check if the kids were getting ready. The girls were up but he found Nhyira still in bed.
“Why are you still in bed? Is your alarm clock not working?”
“It is. How is mummy feeling?” He asked as he sat up.
“She’s sleeping but I hope she’s better. Get out of bed and get ready for school.”
“If mum’s not going to work, then I won’t go to school.”
“Mummy was by my side at the hospital the whole time and now she’s sick. It’s my turn to look after her.” That thoughtful remark brought a smile to Fiifi’s face.
“That’s very sweet, Nhyira; but I believe mummy would want you to go to school.”
“Today is Friday, daddy. I just came out of the hospital. I’m sure my teacher would understand if I miss school today.”
“Mummy won’t agree.”
“Let me go and tell her.” Before he could stop him, Nhyira had ran out of the room and entered his parents’ room.
“Mummy?” He called as he approached the bed and touched Bisi’s forehead. It felt normal. Bisi slowly opened her eyes.
“Nhyira…are you okay?” She asked, wondering why he was in the room.
“Yes, mummy. I wanted to know if you’re okay.”
“Yeah, I think so. Thank you for checking up on me, dear.”
“Will you go to work today?”
“I don’t know…maybe not. I need to rest.”
“Then I’ll stay home with you so we rest together.”
“Oh no, Nhyira. You’ve missed school almost the whole week. You have to go to school today.”
“But I also have to rest.” Fiifi had entered the room.
“I told you mummy won’t agree.”
“I want to look after you, mummy.”
“Aww…darling; that’s sweet but daddy will look after me just fine.”
“But daddy will go to work. Let’s rest together, mummy,” he said pleadingly. Bisi looked at Fiifi. He shrugged.
“Okay, if you insist.”
“Yay! No school today!” He said triumphantly with his hands raised. He ran out of the room to tell his sisters. They both chuckled.
“It’s so sweet of him to want to take care of me. I wonder where he gets that from.”
“Hello? I’m here,” Fiifi said with a wave. “He’s learning from me.”
“Yeah, and I’m totally enjoying the male competition for my affection.”
“Oh yeah, you know he’s no competition.”
“Oh you think so?”
“I have more experience than he does, B.”
“But he’s cuter. Oh gosh, the girls will soon start swooning over him and I’ll play the overprotective mother.” Fiifi laughed. He lay next to her and faced her.
“Hope you feel better.” Bisi nodded.
“Good.” He leaned forward and planted a kiss on her nose. There was a knock on the door.
“I thought you were getting ready, daddy,” Kukuaa said, walking inside.
“I am getting ready.”
“Uh huh; by giving mummy her morning dose of love. Got it.” Bisi chuckled.
“How are you doing, mum?” Kukuaa asked as she sat beside her.
“I’m doing better but Nhyira and I are staying in today.”
“Yeah, he came announcing it. I think Nhyira is in love with you, mummy. How do you do it, make your own son fall in love with you?” Fii and Bisi laughed.
“Well, you treat a guy no matter his age like a king and he’ll treat you like a queen. That’s my secret. Keep that in mind, young lady,” Bisi said, touching her face. Kukuaa nodded.
“Point noted. Daddy, could you please…get ready?”
“Sure, honey.” Fiifi got up from the bed and entered the bathroom. Ewuresi entered.
“Good morning, mummy!”
“Good morning, sweetheart.”
“Mwuaah!” Ewuresi gave her mother a loud kiss on the cheek. She sat at her other side.
“I wish we could all skip school and babysit you, mum.”
“Awww…that would be a dream come true. I appreciate the thought.”
“It’s been a while since we had a girls’ day out. We should do that some time,” Kukuaa said.
“Yeah, we’ll do that; one of these weekends. Have you guys eaten?” They both shook their heads.
“Oh, so that’s why you are here. You want me to prepare you breakfast.”
“That’s one of your specialties; we don’t want to take that away from you.”
“Yeah right,” Bisi said, getting up.
“Let’s go. Where’s my boy?”
“He’s in his room.” They went downstairs.
When daddy and daughters were done with breakfast, daddy hugged mummy whiles sisters kissed their kid brother on either side of the cheek which got him giggling. The girls hugged their mother.
“Take good care of mummy, okay? I’m counting on you,” Fiifi told Nhyira. Nhyira nodded. They gave each other a hi-five and they left.
“So what are we going to do today, young chap?” Bisi asked.
“Of course. But we are going to have our quiet time first. Let’s go.” She took his hand and they went upstairs.
The secretary entered Fiifi’s office after a knock.
“Your sister is here to see you, sir.”
“A lady who claims to be your sister is here to see you, sir. Should I ask for further verification?”
“No; let her in.”
“Yes, sir.” She left the office. Fiifi dropped the pen in his hand and waited. The door opened and Fiifi’s face turned into a scowl. The lady closed the door after her.
“Hello you. Been a while. Got your message and I could sense the urgency in your voice. So I decided to come here and find out what is wrong.”
“How dare you come to my office, Constance? I have already forbidden you to come this close.”
Constance sat down.
“I’m sorry I broke protocol, boss but considering the fact that you were wishing me a speedy trip to hell meant that there was no time to arrange a meet.”
Fiifi contemplated what to say next to her.
“By the way, how’s my son doing?”
“Another thing I forbade you to do. Never call him that.” She raised her hands in mock surrender.
“I’m still his baby mama; you can’t take that away from me. How’s he doing?”
“Okay so what was the issue about my medical history?”
“Do you have a heart condition?” Her eyes widened.
“Oh God, he doesn’t have one, does he?”
“Answer the question, Constance.”
“I don’t. My dad did. Tell me, does he have it?”
“Why didn’t you mention it?”
“It didn’t come up.”
“It didn’t come up? Are you kidding me?”
“Does it look like I’m joking? I wouldn’t jeopardize the life of your baby on purpose, Fiifi. What do I stand to gain by that?”
“Perhaps the thought of the money I was willing to give you kind of shut the door of your conscience?”
“How bad is it?”
“How bad is your father’s condition?”
“He’s dead.” Fiifi sighed.
“But he was a notorious drunk, Fii. I’m sure that’s what killed him. Please tell me Fiifi, how bad is the boy’s condition?”
“Just get out of my office, Constance.”
“I have the right to know.”
“No, you don’t. He was just a ‘package’ to you, remember? And it’s my wife’s name on the birth certificate not yours so don’t you come in here and tell me what your rights are.”
“You are mad, I understand and I wish I could do something about it but your words have got me worried. Tell me or else I’ll go and find out by myself.”
“Don’t you dare go near my son; that’s a warning just in case you couldn’t tell.”
“Oh it’s not the boy I’d go looking for. It’d be your wife.”
“Don’t you even think about it. She is out of bounds to you. We agreed on that.”
“We did but you leave me with no choice.”
“Okay, he fainted some days back and we almost lost him at the hospital but he’s fine now. Satisfied?”
“Was that so hard?” Constance took her bag and got up.
“When did you come back from the States?”
“Oh I’ve been around for more than a year now. I was thinking of calling you up so we meet and you know, reminisce when I came across your message. I think the universe is sending us a message,” she said slyly.
“You’re so cute when you are mad. Kind of turns me on.” Fiifi got up suddenly which startled Constance.
“Okay, I’m leaving. You should learn to loosen up sometimes, Fiifi. Life is too short. I’ll see you around.” She walked to the door and opened the door. She turned, winked and blew him a kiss before leaving the office. Fiifi sat when the door closed. Why did he suddenly feel like contacting her was such a huge mistake; one whose ripple effects could ruin everything?
Bisi and Nhyira were eating spaghetti for lunch when a text alert appeared on her phone. She picked it up.
Just saw some lady enter and come out of your husband’s office. She doesn’t look familiar and she has this funny aura around her. It seems she came in claiming to be his sister. Does my description fit his sister? Bisi sat back.
Fiifi’s sister was in the UK and she was pretty nice. Fiifi hadn’t mentioned that she was in town. She didn’t like the fact that this ‘by-force’ friend at the office kept spying on her husband for her although she hadn’t asked her to. But she must admit, she sometimes appreciated it.
Who could it be, she wondered. She texted back. I can’t tell; it could be her. Thanks for the heads up.
That would shut her up. Was it one of Fii’s exes?
“Mummy, are you okay?” Nhyira’s voice broke her out of her thoughts. She forced a smile.
“Yes, dear. You’ve finished your plate. Well done.” He smiled.
Later in the evening, Bisi noticed that Fiifi was quieter than usual at dinner.
“Honey, are you okay? Did something happen at work?” She probed.
“I’m fine. Just have some things on my mind.”
“Got a phone call or a visit from one of your ex-girlfriends?” He sent a stern look her way.
“Did someone tell you an ex-girlfriend came by?”
“Oh no; I’m just assuming. The last time you were in such a mood, one of your notorious girlfriends had passed by.”
“No one passed by.” He got up.
“Are you done? You haven’t eaten much.”
“Don’t have much of an appetite. I’ll be in my study.” He walked away.
Something was wrong. Bisi could feel it.
How could she tell? Female intuition or did a bird at the office sing to her? Fiifi thought. He had to tread cautiously, he warned himself.
Josephine Amoako (c) 2016
Read Chapter XIX here.