Read Chapter XXVIII here.
Constance hadn’t heard from Fiifi since she sent the text and her worry deepened with every passing hour. She contemplated calling him to find out if Bisi had arrived home okay. She bit her nails nervously. She got startled when she heard sharp knocks on her door. She went to open it.
“Fii…I’ve been worried…”
“Who the hell do you think you are to mess up with my family?” He roared as he entered.
“How’s Bisi doing?”
“Oh you want to know how my wife is doing?”
“Yes, I do. She left here upset. I was worried that she might not be safe on the road.”
“Well, she’s worse than that.”
“Oh my God, did she suffer an accident?”
“No, she’s going mental.” Constance gaped in shock.
“I am a good man for not hitting your head against the wall right now. Why did you have to tell her that we slept together?”
“Fiifi, she had to know. She came here to thank me for giving you two the baby boy and I couldn’t let her leave here believing a lie in the details.”
“That wasn’t yours to tell. I told her what I did for good reasons and because of your itching beak, my wife has been admitted in a hospital where she’s talking to herself.”
“Oh goodness, are you serious? I thought you were just exaggerating.”
“I’m not. My wife just suffered a breakdown and I have no idea what to tell my kids when I get home. You just sentenced my marriage to an inevitable doom. Whether she comes out of this crisis or not, I’m finished. Are you happy now?”
“No, I’m not. It wasn’t my intention to hurt your marriage, Fii. I thought telling her would spare you the trouble of confessing to her.”
“It was my confession to make; mine! She’s never going to forgive me; neither are my kids if they find out about this. You should have told me she was coming here.”
“I didn’t know till she appeared. She used your number to text me that she wanted to meet and talk. You can imagine my surprise when I came out of my room expecting to see you and meeting her. I thought Armageddon had come. So what are we going to do?”
“We are not going to do anything. You have done enough and please stay out of it. This is the last time I want to see you and I mean it this time, Constance. You’re poison and I’ve entertained you for far too long. You’ve overstayed your welcome in my life. I’m begging you please, leave me and my family alone. Can you be compassionate enough to grant me this wish?”
“I’m sorry, Fii,” Constance said, overwhelmed with emotions.
“Sorry that you can’t leave me alone?”
“Oh no, sorry for the damage I’ve caused.”
“It doesn’t change the plight I’ve found myself in. Now that we understand ourselves, I’ll leave and let me not come here again.”
He stormed out. Constance broke into tears.
When Fiifi arrived home, the girls were waiting in the living room. Nhyira had already fallen asleep.
“Hi girls,” Fiifi said in an exhausted tone, hoping they would consider that and not give him a tough time. But he was in for a full-blown interrogation.
“How’s mum doing?”
“She has been sedated. The doctor said she’d get better.”
“What exactly is wrong with her?” Ewuresi asked.
“Apparently, she’s suffering from some sort of breakdown…”
“Breakdown? Is it stress from work?” Ewuresi asked.
Before he could answer, Kukuaa chipped in. At least, it spared him the propensity to utter another lie.
“No, it’s not from work. Mum suspected that the woman we listened to on the tape was Nhyira’s mother and she believed that it was Constance.”
“Who the hell is Constance?”
“The woman captured in the health walk photos.”
Ewuresi looked at her father with a shocked face as she gasped.
“Dad! Are you cheating on mum?”
“No, I’m not. I’ll never cheat on your mum.”
“But Constance is the baby mama, isn’t she?” Kukuaa asked.
“What do you use my phone for when you came for it this morning?” Fiifi asked, changing the subject.
“Wow, dad. What a way to answer the question.”
“I’m also asking you one and you better answer me!”
“Mum needed to contact Constance.”
“Why didn’t she just ask me for it?”
“Because you would have given it to her with no questions asked, right?”
“Listen, this matter is between your mother and me. You better stay out of it.”
“No dad, this concerns all of us. We all carry the Pratt name and if this is to get out into the public, we’ll all suffer the shame. One of my mates who happens to be a niece to one of the names mentioned on the tape is being ridiculed at school. She’s just a niece. I don’t think you have any idea what ordeal I’d go through being in direct relation with your name if it is to come out. I don’t want to be next on the list,” Kukuaa challenged.
“You won’t be if you both keep your mouths shut about this.”
“Is mum going to get better any time soon?” Ewuresi asked, concern drawn on her face.
“Hopefully yes, Esi. I need you both to be strong for her and keep Nhyira calm. If he gets wind that something is wrong, he could have another crisis and I don’t have the strength to handle a wife and son in the hospital by myself, okay?” Ewuresi nodded, tears filling her eyes.
“If something happens to mum, I won’t forgive you dad,” Kukuaa said, her voice broken.
“Nothing will happen to your mum. She’s the strongest among us all. She’ll pull out of it. We need to be strong for her.”
“Even the strongest person has her breaking point and you just pushed her there.”
“You know what, I’m very tired. Please warm up my dinner; I’m going to take a shower. I need some space to think.” He walked away from the two emotionally charged teens.
That night, Fiifi couldn’t sleep. He was disturbed physically, mentally and emotionally. He prayed to God to help his wife recover soon so his household wouldn’t fall apart. Please bring her back to me, he kept pleading.
The days that followed were the most difficult he had ever encountered. Having to keep the three children calm and their tempers down, having to explain to Bisi’s boss why she would be absent for a little while, concentrating on his work, the visits to the hospital which were getting depressing because it didn’t seem she was getting any better…he felt every drop of his strength ebbing away.
Bisi’s mother dropped in to give her family a surprise visit but was shocked to be told she had been admitted at the hospital for some days. When the girls tearfully recounted the events leading to the situation (leaving out the substantial reason), she rushed to the hospital.
When she arrived, she was told only her husband was authorized to see her and she could only see her if he signed off on it. She was furious by the time Fiifi arrived. He couldn’t hide the shock when he saw her.
“What am I hearing, Fiifi? Why is my daughter admitted here? Why are my granddaughters telling me that my daughter has a breakdown? What did you do to her?” She shouted, holding him by his shirt and shaking him vigorously. Fiifi could feel his head spinning.
“Please calm down, ma. Things are not as bad as it seems.”
“Oh really? My daughter being sleeping here for four days isn’t bad enough for you? Do you want to kill her for me? What did you do that she had to end up here? What were you two fighting about?”
“It’s a private matter, ma. We’ll sort it out.”
“Where, when? When she has gone crazy?”
“Don’t say that, ma. Your daughter won’t go crazy.”
“For your own sake, I hope so. Because if something is to happen to my daughter, you’ll see an unpleasant side of me and trust me, you don’t want to. I need to see my daughter. Can you let the doctor in-charge know?”
Fiifi waited anxiously as his mother-in-law stayed inside with his wife. He had wished that Bisi would have recovered sooner so no one would even get to know this episode ever happened. But wishes were just that…wishes.
When she came out, she was in tears. Fiifi had to calm her down before seeing her off. All they had left was hope that it would turn out well in the end.
Fiifi’s heart was so heavy with guilt and sorrow that he went to see his mother to offload his emotions. And of course, she gave him his due portion of reproof and then advised him to pray for his wife and the family as a whole. She held his hands and prayed for him to stay strong for his family.
Mother’s day which arrived a day later was the saddest day in the Pratt household. Bisi’s absence had caused a profound emptiness to befall the house and their hearts. Fiifi had taken them to see their mother the day before and Ewuresi had cried the whole time they drove back home.
After church service on Sunday, the head pastor inquired of Bisi from Fiifi. When he informed him that she wasn’t well and was admitted, he was disturbed about the news. He had always been fond of Bisi and considered her his daughter. He decided to go visit Bisi at the hospital.
Bisi’s eyes were glued to the television set which was showing a Madea stage play but her mind was not in the room. She turned her head when she heard the door open and smiled when she saw the pastor enter.
“Hi daddy,” she said sweetly.
“Hi dear. How are you feeling?” He asked as he sat down next to her.
“I’m fine,” she said. He took her hand in his.
“What are you doing here, Bisi?”
Bisi looked away and said with pouted lips, “My husband cheated on me and he lied about it.”
“I didn’t ask what your husband did; I asked what you were doing here.”
When she couldn’t respond, he continued, “I understand you feel hurt and betrayed by his actions but you staying here doesn’t change anything. You have three children who depend on you. I understand if you feel like you have to punish your husband by staying away but in doing so, your children get affected. Why abandon your children and leave your home unprotected? If what you say about your husband is true, then it’s not safe to leave your home ajar. You are the one God uses to keep the family together. You leave and you risk exposing your family to any attack both spiritual and emotional. Please wake up and go back home. Forgive your husband and tend to the wounds together. Your children need you. Promise me you will.”
Tears fell on her face as she nodded. He nodded his approval and said a prayer for her.
Bisi woke up and looked around her. Where was she? As she fidgeted on the bed looking for her phone or any personal effect, she accidentally pressed a button that brought a nurse rushing into her room seconds later.
“Where am I? What am I doing here?” The nurse gasped when she noticed she had become lucid.
“You’re in a hospital. You had a breakdown…let me call the doctor. I’ll be right back,” she said and rushed out. Moments later, the doctor entered with the nurse.
“I hear you are back with us, Mrs. Prat. Welcome back,” he said and checked her vitals.
“Where’s my husband?”
“We just called him. He’s on his way.”
“How long have I been here?”
“Six days.” Bisi gasped.
“Yeah. Your husband has been really distraught. I can imagine how relieved he is finding out you’re lucid now.”
“Lucid, what do you mean?”
“You suffered a mild case of psychosis. You must have heard some bad news or perhaps the argument you had with your husband triggered it.”
Bisi blinked, hoping memories of her last lucid moments would come to her but it was taking a little longer for her brain to reboot.
“I don’t remember.”
“Okay…just to be sure. Can you tell me who you are?”
“I’m Bisi Pratt.”
“The names of your children?”
“Kukuaa, Ewuresi and Nhyira.”
“Great,” the doctor said with a satisfied sigh. “Your husband will be here soon.”
Fiifi ran to Bisi’s room where she sat, dressed up with the doctor talking to her. She raised her eyes to meet his when he appeared at the doorway. Thank God she was back.
The doctor turned to face him.
“You’re finally here. I’ll leave you two to talk whiles I see to the discharge papers,” he said and walked out. Bisi watched him as he entered and walked towards her.
“Hey…how are you feeling?”
“Great. We’ve all been very worried.” She nodded.
“How are the kids?”
“They are hanging in there. They would be relieved to know you’re okay now.”
“Please take me home. I need to see my kids.”
“Sure. Bisi, I’m sor…”
“Not now, please.” He bit his lower lip. The second part of his punishment had begun.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
Read Chapter XXX here.