Read Chapter XXXIV here.
Fiifi arrived at the school grounds and questioned Nhyira’s teacher about the supposed lady who picked his son up. The description though unclear, pointed to Constance in many ways. He didn’t want to believe that she could be capable of such a despicable act but he didn’t have a choice but to confront her. He and John drove out of the school compound in their separate cars.
His phone rang. It was Bisi calling.
“No. The teacher couldn’t really give any useful description of the said lady.”
“Could it be her?”
“Who?” He asked weakly; his own suspicions betraying his tone.
“You know who, Fii. Have you called her?”
“No. I really didn’t want to contact her again, B.”
“I know but I’m giving you the go-ahead this time. This is about our son, Fii. And if she happens to have him, gosh I don’t even want to think about what lies she could be feeding him right now.”
“I’ll call her. Sit tight, okay? I’ll be home soon.”
“No; go to her place. Maybe he’s there.”
“Okay. I’ll let you know what happens. Sit tight, B.”
“Take care, Fii.” The line went dead.
Fiifi searched for the number; which had been saved under Nhyira’s name. He felt guilty doing so. Oh God, if there’s any other way than poking the lion, that would be great, Fiifi thought.
“The thing is, I’m your mother, Nhyira; your real mother.” Nhyira blinked and then shook his head.
“No, my mother is Bisi Pratt.”
“Well, she raised you but she didn’t give birth to you. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I doubt you have seen any photos of Bisi being pregnant with you.” Nhyira scowled at that statement as it triggered old memories.
“I’m sure Bisi is a good woman who has taken good care of you but she…she took you away from me. Your father and mother were having problems. Your dad wanted a baby and your mother didn’t want to that is why your father came to me. And when Bisi found out about you, she threatened to take away your daddy’s money and company unless your father took you from me and give to her to raise as her own child. Your father still loves me and wants us…the three of us to be a family but he’s afraid of Bisi.”
“That is not true. My father loves my mother. He tells her all the time.”
“Of course he does. If he doesn’t, she’ll take away the house you live in and everything your father has.” Nhyira stood.
“You’re lying! I want to go home!”
“You don’t believe me? Fine, I know your heart hurts sometimes. My father had the same problem. Have you noticed any of your sisters having your heart condition?” Constance’s phone rang. She took it and looked at the screen. She showed it to Nhyira.
“If I’m lying, then why is he calling me?”
“Because he told you to take me to his office and you brought me here!” Constance sighed. She answered the call.
“You’ve really got some nerve to call me that. Where is he?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Cut the crap and tell me where you’ve taken my son!”
“Oh you mean, our son? I was just telling him who his real family is and he’s finding it difficult believing me. Maybe you could confirm it to him? Talk to your daddy, Nhyira.”
“Buddy, are you okay?”
“Auntie Constance is scaring me. Please come for me.”
“I’m on my way, Nhyira. Where are you?” Constance took the phone from him and placed it against her ear.
“Now that’s enough. I’m not at home if that’s where you’re headed.”
“Yeah, right. As if you have any other place to go to.”
“I don’t want you to come for him. Let Bisi come.”
“Listen to me, you are in no position to be making demands. If you know what’s good for you, you’d release the boy to me the second I arrive at your sorry excuse of a house.”
“Whoa, you’re angry. You sound better when you’re angry.”
“Don’t say another word to him. And don’t think there won’t be consequences for your actions.” The line went dead. Constance smiled at her phone.
“Don’t worry honey; your daddy is on his way. And he’ll tell you the truth. The whole truth. I’m sure Bisi would come up with another story to make you believe her but I’m sure you’re smart to recognize the truth.”
Nhyira glared at her, clenching his fists. He now understood why his mother had told him never to follow strangers anywhere.
Fiifi killed his engine and got out of the car. The instant he raised his fist to pound on Constance’s door, it opened and there she stood with a smug face. He pushed her aside and entered. He approached his son and touched his face.
“Are you all right, buddy?” Nhyira nodded.
“Thank God. Let’s go home.” He took his hand.
“Aren’t you going to tell him?”
“I don’t have time for your jokes, Constance.”
“Is it true, daddy?” Nhyira asked, stopping in his tracks, forcing Fiifi to stop and face him.
“We’ll talk when we get home, okay?”
“I want you to tell me she’s lying. That she is not my mother but Bisi Pratt is my mother.”
“Bisi Pratt is your mother. Constance was just playing a cruel prank. Ignore what she said.”
“So why are there no photos of mummy carrying me in her tummy?” Fiifi sighed. Not the photos again.
“We’ll talk when we get home,” he repeated.
“Why don’t you just…?”
“You better shut up,” he said under clenched teeth, pointing a finger at her threateningly.
“My car is parked outside. Why don’t you go sit inside and wait for me? I’ll be out in a minute.”
“Bye, Nhyira.” Nhyira ran out of the room.
“You really went too far this time, Constance. This is below the belt; even for you.”
“Oh yeah? Maybe the waistline went an inch lower for me,” she said with a lewd wink.
“Do I need to slap your face with a restraining order for you to finally get it? You and I had an agreement and you’re blatantly breaking it.”
“I’m just claiming back what is mine.”
“My son isn’t yours. Don’t try anything funny or else I promise I’ll unleash my explosive fury at you.”
“You need to get your head examined.” He shook his head and stormed out.
Constance smiled wickedly. She just had to wait for nature to take its course.
Nhyira was silent on the way home. Every question directed at him was answered with either a nod, a shake of the head or a single word. Constance must have really shaken him up. He killed the engine when they arrived home. Nhyira got out of the car and ran into the house.
Bisi was on her feet when Nhyira came in running.
“Mummy!” They hugged. She held his face.
“Are you okay, honey?” He nodded.
“Oh thank God. Why don’t you go up, change and shower? I’ll warm up dinner for you.”
“Yes, mummy. I’m sorry.”
“For following Auntie Constance. You told me not to follow strangers.”
“I’m glad you’ve learnt your lesson. Now hurry up and come eat dinner.” He smiled and ran upstairs. Fiifi walked in. Bisi approached him and they hugged.
“What did she want with him?”
“To poison his mind against us.”
“What? He is too young to be manipulated like that. Where are her maternal instincts?”
“I guess she sold them off when she got paid. I need to find out exactly what she told him. He asked me about the photos again. Constance must have told him there were no pregnancy photos of Nhyira because you were not his real mother and that she was.” Bisi gasped, covering her mouth with her hands. He took her hands away from her mouth and held them in his.
“So we need to have a unified front when talking to Nhyira. We need to debunk whatever lies he has been told.” Bisi nodded. This was a matter of urgency.
Nhyira spoke little at dinner and he avoided eye contact with any of his parents as they spoke. Halfway through the meal, Nhyira said he couldn’t eat anymore and went to his room.
“He looks upset,” Bisi remarked.
“I’ll go and talk to him. He’ll be fine. And I think I agree with you, he needs to be far away from here.”
“I’m happy we can agree on this. I thought or should I rather say hoped that Constance was out of our lives for good. I was wrong,” Bisi said.
“She is crazy. I want to keep her away from us without it backfiring.”
“Maybe I should go speak with her.”
“No. I don’t want you going anywhere near her, B. She could hurt you.”
“Maybe that’s what we need. Let her try it and we have valid grounds to get her institutionalized. This way, we can be sure she wouldn’t be a threat to Nhyira.”
“As clever as that sounds, I don’t want to risk anything happening to you. Maybe a restraining order is the answer.”
“And if she talks to the media? Or worse still, starts blabbing on social media? There would be no getting out of that one.” Fiifi sighed.
Fiifi entered Nhyira’s room to find out exactly what Constance had told him but Nhyira feigned sleep when he entered. His eyes snapped open when the door closed behind his dad. His mind was racing, trying to fit the pieces together. He had overheard his sisters talking about Auntie Constance being the cause of mummy falling ill and getting admitted at the hospital. Why, was it because she was coming back for him? Was Bisi really his mother? Was he living in the wrong home?
Constance’s words kept playing in his head. He winced as he touched his chest. It was hurting. He remembered her words about his condition. How did she know about his heart? He sat up on his bed with pain.
“Let me say goodnight to Nhyira,” Bisi said, heading to the door.
“No need. He’s asleep.” She turned to face him, surprised.
“Already? That’s strange.”
“He’s had a long day. Let him sleep it off.”
“Don’t worry; I won’t wake him. I’ll be right back.” She said and left the room.
When she entered his room, Nhyira was sitting on his bed.
“Hey…can’t sleep?” When their eyes met, Bisi could tell he was in pain. She rushed to his side.
“Are you okay?” He shook his head, tears in his eyes. She touched his chest.
“Does it hurt?” He nodded.
“Can you breathe well?” She prodded, trying to keep her own panic under control.
“Good. You’re just upset. Why don’t you lie down?
“Will you pray for me?”
“Of course, honey.” He lay down and Bisi put her hand on his chest. He covered hers with his cute hand and closed her eyes as she prayed. He noticed her voice was shaking and opened his eyes. Tears were falling from her eyes. He wiped it from her eyes. She ended her prayer and opened her eyes.
“You were crying.”
“I am just relieved you’re back home with us. Does it still hurt?” He shook his head. She smiled and kissed his palm which was wet with her tears.
“I’m sorry for making you scared.”
“It’s all right. Get some sleep, okay?” He nodded.
“Love you, mummy.”
“Love you too, sweetheart.” She got up and left his room. She wiped her tears before entering the bedroom. She rested on Fiifi’s bosom, her heart pounding. Fiifi looked at her.
“Are you okay? You seem to have a rapid heartbeat.”
“I’m sorry for bringing her into our lives. This is my fault.” There was no argument there.
“Let’s fight this another day. I just want to sleep,” Bisi said. He kissed her goodnight.
Constance heard a sharp knock on her door the next day. She opened it to see Bisi staring coolly at her. Constance couldn’t help rolling her eyes as she made way for her to enter.
“I wasn’t expecting you,” she said as she closed the door.
“No? You abducted my son from school and you didn’t expect me to make an appearance? Wow…I wonder what kind of mother you’d be. First of all, what you did was stupid and wicked. If you really care about him, you wouldn’t put him through such trauma. He almost had a crisis last night. Are you proud of that?”
“I was willing to let go of Fiifi and the boy but then I realized that wasn’t wise. I was giving up on what is mine.”
“Yours? What is yours, my husband or my son?”
“Yes, my son. You have no legal claim to any of them,” Bisi said with a cool smile.
“That’s not what my pastor told me.”
“Your pastor?” Bisi scoffed. “You mean, you actually go to church? Interesting.”
“He revealed to me that my rightful family was being snatched by someone else and it was about time I stood my ground and got it back.”
“Rightful family? Have you ever been married?”
“He told me the father of my baby is supposed to be my husband and the three of us are a family ordained by God.” Bisi chuckled.
“Oh now, I’m just feeling sorry for you, dear. You’re letting a quack pastor put you on a wild-goose chase over some false vision. I’m warning you to stay away before I’m forced to take legal action against you.”
“Like you can.”
“For my family, I’ll do anything. Don’t you underestimate me. And the next time you’re bored and in need of some activity, you can go volunteer at the psychiatric hospital. I’m sure you’ll get free consultation for that.” Bisi walked out.
“We shall see about that.”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
Read Chapter XXXVI here.