Read Chapter 41 here.
Ayesha chuckled nervously. “Auntie, the only father I know to my boys is my husband. Why is everyone finding it acceptable that I could conceive from two men and deliver on same day?”
Ida’s eyes rose to meet her daughter’s who cleared her throat and looked away.
“Nadia, tell me, do you know anything about this?”
“About what, Ayesha’s baby daddy? I know what she has told us.”
“You see, I remember the last time we had dinner together and you had Kakra on your laps…it was like you were holding your brother or son…the resemblance couldn’t be missed,” Ida said to Nadia.
“So he’s a fine little boy. What’s your point, mum?”
“Which begs the question, my dear, how do you have a son who looks like my daughter and shares a condition with my husband?”
Ida grabbed Ayesha by the chin and stared into her eyes.
“Is Kakra my grandson or step son?”
“Tell me!” Ida demanded.
“You left, Auntie. You left when I was in my most vulnerable state after my mum passed. Yeah, looking back now, it was perhaps a stupid way to deal with my grief but that’s where I received comfort. I’ve always been fond of Uncle Omar and aside my dad, he made me feel I wasn’t alone. I didn’t mean for this to happen but one thing led to another and…”
“Are you saying Omar took advantage of your grieving state to make you his…I don’t even know what to call it.”
“I’m not going to say he took advantage but one thing I do know is, if you were here, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Ida sighed, taking a step back. She stormed out.
“Wow…you sleep with your auntie’s husband and make her feel like it’s all her fault? Ayesha, I don’t know if to be impressed or frightened,” Nadia said in sheer disbelief. Ayesha turned to face her in the chair, wiping the tears she had managed to shed in her exchange with Ida.
“Oh honey, I don’t plan to go down alone when the time comes. Everyone comes along with me.”
“I hope you won’t be the reason behind my parents falling out again. I hated it when they were separated and I consider it a miracle mum came back…”
“Please Ida, let’s not, okay? You don’t get to parade your complete family illusion before me knowing well I’ve lost mine.”
“Fine…but painting my dad the way you did…”
“He just lied to me about his condition. I get to paint him in any damn color I so wish.”
Omar turned when the bedroom door opened. Ida entered and closed the door. She leaned against it and stared at her feet.
“What is it? What did she say?”
“How could you, Omar? How could you take advantage of a grieving girl in such a manner?”
“How did it start with Ayesha? Do you even remember? I can’t even imagine…for goodness sake, you bathed her a baby, Omar! How could you?”
“Are you, really?”
“I don’t know, Ida. I can’t change the past. Besides, you weren’t here.”
“Are you also going to pin this on me? Seriously, you two are going pin this gross abominable act on my absence? For real?”
“Come on Ida, let’s take out the judgmental words here, alright? It’s not like when you even returned, you were the epitome of a good wife around here. What happened between you and your trainer again?”
“Even if you were going to cheat, which I’ve known since forever that you do, have the decency to sow your wild oats elsewhere; not in your very own goddaughter and father a child by her! So what are you exactly to Kakra, grandpa or daddy? This is a scandal on all levels just in case you don’t see it, Omar.”
“It won’t be if you keep mum about it.”
“Jamal is bound to find out soon. How are you going to manage that?”
“How will he unless someone tells him?”
“Does Tariq know about this?”
“About what exactly?”
“That you’re Kakra’s father.”
Omar cleared his throat.
“Oh goodness! Then it was true all along! When I left, you two sick men, decided to have play and mess with the girls…daughter swap? How disgusting can you be, Omar?”
“Keep your voice down, Ida. You’re shouting.”
“This is my home and I’ll shout till I’m out of words to continue. Does this mean…Nadia knows too? Am I the only one in the dark about this?”
Omar said nothing.
“You know what, call Riq and tell him to be here tonight. I need to look him in the eye and give him the chance to lie to me again. I’ll castrate you both so help me God,” Ida said and stormed out.
“And where do you think you’re going?” Ida asked. Ayesha was holding two bags with the boys behind her. She turned.
“I thought it would be best if I left sensing the tension here right now.”
“You better go put the bags back in the room before I release my fury on you. No one leaves this house till we trash this out once and for all.”
“Don’t auntie me, young woman! Leave and the next person I’ll call will be your husband,” Ida threatened.
Ayesha swallowed. “Okay.”
“Oh gosh, things are unravelling too fast, man. We need to put a cap on this.”
“Surely she’s pissed but Ida has her brain screwed on right. After she calms down, she’d realize it’d be in everyone’s interest to keep this within the family. In order for to sort this out, we all need to assemble.”
“I have a debriefing meeting with the President.”
“Yet to confirm that but I’ve been asked to keep my evening open.”
Ida entered the room.
“It seems he has a meeting with the commander in chief today,” Omar told her. She gestured to him to hand her the phone which he did.
“T, I don’t care if you have a critical surgery today, I need to see you here tonight or help me God, you’ll be daughterless this time tomorrow.”
“Calm down, Ida. I can imagine you are very emotional right now but we can resolve this if we all have cool heads…”
“Cool heads? I asked you more than once if you were messing around with Nadia and you had the guts to lie to my face and now that I find out what you two have been up to all this while, you’re asking me to calm down?”
“I’m not amused about this either, Ida. The issue with Kakra is really dicey but you should remember that we are public figures…”
“You think I freaking care about that at this point? My goodness, I’m sure Tamar is rolling in her grave right now! I’m not going to give you a particular time to get here but make sure you do after you’re done with whatever.”
“Good.” She ended the call. She threw the phone at Omar who caught it right in time.
“I don’t know if I’m trapped in a dream hole or what, I think I can’t breathe.”
“Calm down, Ida. The last thing you’d want is to break down…” Omar said, going to her.
“Stay away from me. I can’t even look at you right now. How could you do this? How could you both do this to our girls?”
“I’m sorry. They were available, they were legal, we just thought, why not?”
“Do you know how much this hurts? What a big betrayal this is? How would you feel if you were to find out I was sneaking around with T?”
“Oh you never did?”
Ida’s jaw dropped in shock. Omar laughed.
“You should see your face right now. Oh, I should frame that look. It’s priceless.”
“That’s not funny, Omar. For you to even think it normal to sleep around with your best friend, that shows how sick you are, Omar.”
“Sorry, I forgot that you choose not to mess up on your own lawn; but you definitely have no qualms about messing up not too far away. Drop that tone. We’re both not saints. Can we at least admit that and move on?” Omar said and walked out of the room.
Ayesha and Ida turned at the sound of Omar’s footsteps. They were watching Power Rangers with the boys.
“How’s mum doing?”
“Furious as hell. I need me some fresh air.”
He walked to the front door and tried opening it. It was locked. The key wasn’t in the hole.
“Who locked it?”
“No one steps out of the house today.”
“She can’t camp us in here the whole day.”
“Why not? The house is big enough for us all – her words not mine,” Nadia said.
“Women and their drama,” Omar said with a sigh. He walked up to Ayesha.
“What was that about; telling your auntie I took advantage of your grief?”
“Didn’t you?” Ayesha asked innocently.
“I’m not that old to forget events. You came onto me, Ayesha.”
“Don’t do something that would cost us all, Ayesha. We’re all in this boat together.”
“Oh I know that very well. I’ve been thinking of what I could use as a life jacket and I believe I just found it,” Ayesha said with a mischievous smile.
“Whatever mischief you’re planning, stop it.”
“You shouldn’t have lied to me.”
Omar left the room. Ayesha’s phone beeped. She picked it up to find a message from Jamal.
We need to talk. Can we meet at our usual hangout at 8pm?
Unfortunately not tonight. Have a family meeting that I can’t miss. Rain check?
She put the phone down. She looked at Nadia.
“Aren’t you hungry?”
“Just your nerves,” Nadia replied, scrolling down her Instagram feed.
“Well, they are communicating hunger. Help a sister out?”
“This is your home too, Ayesha. Just go to the kitchen and sort yourself out.”
“Well, considering how your mum is pretty mad right now, I don’t know if I won’t be making things worse by walking around the kitchen like I own it,” Ayesha said.
“You’ve been shagging her husband and using her as a nanny for all this while and your only worry right now is how she’d feel seeing you fix a meal in the kitchen?”
“Well, the kitchen is a full house of weapons. Just a moment of no self-control could end up in a domestic homicide.”
“Are you seriously afraid of getting murdered by my mum?”
“Well, finding about such a huge betrayal could make anyone snap. I don’t know what I’d have done if I were in her shoes.”
“Fine. Let’s go to the kitchen together.”
Ayesha smiled triumphantly as they both got up.
Nadia watched Ayesha as she fetched water from the dispenser and drank. She noticed her hands shaking slightly.
“Are you that scared?”
Ayesha looked at her and sighed. She nodded.
“I don’t know what’s going through your mum’s mind right now and I don’t wish to be her honestly. I know I’ve hurt her because of how much she loves me. I don’t know if she can ever forgive me. I never brought myself to think of this whenever I was with your father because of the illusion I had entertained that she’d never know. Believe me, I don’t regret all the times I’ve been with your dad but I never meant to hurt your mum. She’s been a mother to me all these years. And you…you were okay sharing her with me even if it meant getting half of what you’d usually receive. I know I should apologize but I’m afraid I don’t have the right words to say…” Ayesha said in a shaky voice and sniffed.
Nadia hugged her.
“We’ll figure something out. We always do.”
When lunch was ready, Nadia and Ayesha went back into the hall to find the TV on but the boys not there.
“Let me check the other living room,” Nadia said.
She opened the door to find her mother with the twins. Ida looked at her.
“Um…lunch is ready. Should I bring it here or serve it at the table?”
“Bring it here.”
“Yes please,” she said and closed the door.
“They are with mum,” she told Ayesha.
“She’s not strangling them, is she?”
“Relax. They are her grannies.”
Ayesha sighed in relief.
Nadia placed the tray on food on Ida’s lap. When she turned to leave, Ida spoke up.
“I know I’m a far cry from a perfect mother but I sincerely thought I did a fair job by you and Ayesha. For you both to jump on your godfathers’ laps and beds the instant I leave the country makes me wonder what terrible a job I did raising you two.”
“Did you know about Kakra being your brother?”
Nadia clenched and unclenched her fists.
“How could you be okay with this, Nadia?”
“It wasn’t supposed to happen. I didn’t know…even Ayesha didn’t know Kakra was dad’s until you revealed that dad has hemophilia.”
“But you knew they were seeing each other even when I returned home, even after she got married.”
“Ayesha has always had a mind of her own, mum. When she sets her mind to do something, there’s little you can do to persuade her otherwise.”
“I see. Thanks for the lunch.”
“You’re welcome. And we’re sorry, mum.”
Ida ignored her and started eating. Nadia left the room.
Ayesha got up from the bed when she heard a car drive onto the compound.
“I think dad is here.”
“Okay good. Let’s get this thing done and over with already,” Nadia said.
“Hi. How’s it going?”
“Well, no glasses have been shattered so I guess we’re good. How did your meeting go?”
“Not bad. Just have a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks. Where’s Ayesha?”
“In the room with Nadia. Had dinner already?”
“Yeah. And Ida, how’s she holding up?”
“She’s been very quiet. Which worries me: is she planning on killing us all or what?” Omar said as he poured himself and Tariq a drink. They clinked glasses and sipped.
“Hey sweetheart.” Ayesha hugged her father.
“Are you okay?” She nodded as he planted a kiss on top of her head.
“Good. Everyone’s here. Let’s all sit down, shall we? Nadia, kindly get us some wine,” Ida said.
They all got seated in the hall.
“So it seems a lot has been happening right under my nose for years now and I’m beyond shocked at what you have been engaged in. I’m going to start with you, Tariq. When I chanced on your texts with Nadia, the two of you insisted that I had misunderstood what I read and there was nothing going on between you. Care to correct that?”
“I thought that was behind us,” Nadia said.
“Oh no, tonight we lay all cards on the table. You are all going to own up to your dirty deeds.”
“Including yours?” Omar asked.
“Fine, I’ll start with mine. I’ve done my fair share of um….”
“Entanglements?” Omar offered. Nadia and Ayesha stifled their laughter. Ida rolled her eyes.
“Yeah…I was with this guy for a bit…my trainer for a while but that’s over. I did that because my dear husband was having too much fun with his best buddy out there and I thought, why should I be left behind? Besides, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
“Sounds fair,” Nadia said.
“So tell me, who initiated this daughter swap affair?”
“What makes you think it began with us?” Omar asked after Ida glanced at him and Tariq.
“Or perhaps, I should rephrase: the father swap affair?”
“I don’t think how it started matters now as much as the dire situation we find ourselves in…I mean, the situation I’ve brought upon myself,” Ayesha spoke up.
“But it matters to me,” Ida said.
“I’ve always admired Uncle Omar since I was a little girl and when my mum passed, I became needy. When he offered consolation, the moment was ripe for what I had fantasized for years.”
“And when did you join the bandwagon? Why did you do it, as a counter to Ayesha sleeping with your father?”
“No, like Ayesha, I’ve always had a crush on…”
“Oh goodness. So when mama bear left, you all decided to play, huh? And common sense didn’t prick you to stop when I got back?”
“We did or should I say we tried? I got married so I ended it. Ayesha promised me she was done upon getting married,” Tariq said.
“Jamal is great but I enjoyed being with Uncle Omar so although I had resolved not to continue, I always found myself going back to him,” Ayesha confessed.
“And you couldn’t be the bigger person and stand your ground to help her keep her marriage vows?” Ida asked Omar.
“I’m terrible at self-control, okay? I don’t like to say no,” Omar said with a shrug.
“Okay so moving forward, how do we handle Ayesha’s husband? Do you think he’ll see reason and keep this secret?” Tariq asked.
“Why on earth would he do that? He doesn’t owe us anything.”
“Our reputations are on the line here, Ida. We can’t afford a scandal at this point when my career and that of your husband are at the takeoff stage,” Tariq explained.
“I don’t care about your reputation, finding out the stinking persons the two of you are. I’m not going to cover up for you.”
“Come on Ida, I’ll make it up to you in any way you want but we need to contain this,” Omar said.
The doorbell rang.
“It’s not Bibi, is it?” Nadia asked. Ayesha got up to open the door.
“Jamal! What are you doing here? I thought I said…”
“I know but I need us to talk and I can’t wait another day.”
“Jamal, is it? Let him in, Ayesha,” Ida said.
“Listen, we have a family meeting right now so we can’t talk. Let’s make it tomorrow, alright?”
Ida joined Ayesha at the door.
“Hello Auntie Ida.”
“I know you have many questions on your mind, young man. I can’t imagine what’s going on in your head. I’ve news to share with you; I don’t know if it would make you feel better or worse but I’ll leave that to you.”
“You want to know who Kakra’s father is? It’s my husband, her uncle, Hon. Omar.”
Jamal’s eyes widened in shock.
He glanced at Ayesha who looked like she was about to faint. She did.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2021
Read Chapter 43 here.