Read Chapter 42 here.
Jamal caught Ayesha before she hit the floor.
“Whoa, is she okay?” Tariq asked as he got up and rushed to Ayesha.
“I think we should take her to the hospital,” Tariq said.
“Come on T, she’ll come around. It’s just shock. Just sprinkle water on her face and she’ll come out of it,” Ida said with folded arms. Tariq gave her a sharp look.
“I don’t know if you think this is some local movie that we are starring in, but I’m not risking my girl’s life on such a bogus suggestion.”
“I’ll take her,” Jamal said, carrying Ayesha in his arms.
“Hold on; I’m afraid I can’t let you take her.”
“Why not? She’s my wife.”
“Whom you’ve just discovered got one of your twins fathered by her uncle. You may mean well but I’m not going to risk you throwing her into some bush on the way,” Tariq said.
“I’m not going to think about that right now. I’m taking her if you like it or not. If you are uncomfortable with that, you may follow me if you like. Ayesha is still my wife and until that changes, she is my primary responsibility. Excuse me,” Jamal said and turned to walk away.
“Nadia, go with them and ensure she’s fine,” Tariq said.
“Nadia, sit down,” Ida countered.
“Ida, what are you doing? It’s Ayesha we’re talking about here,” Omar spoke up.
“What do you mean by which one?”
“Ayesha, our goddaughter or Ayesha your pension baby mama?”
“One and the same.”
“I’m going after him,” Nadia said.
“No, you’re not,” Ida said, closing the door and locking it. She took out the key.
“Come on mum, you can’t be serious about leaving Ayesha alone with Jamal especially after that bombshell you dropped on him. This could be dangerous for Ayesha.”
“With everything she has done, I think Ayesha deserves whatever comes to her.”
“You can’t be serious. Ayesha is family. We can’t just leave her with him like that.”
“The last time I checked, he was her wedded husband and that makes him family too. If we want this scandal contained, then we need all parties well informed so we are on the same page.”
“So what, Bibi must know too?” Nadia asked.
“She doesn’t already?” Ida asked Tariq.
“Why should I? It’s not my story to tell.”
“Oh I see…what about your playtime with Nadia? Whose story is it to tell? Nadia’s?”
“That’s dead and buried. Could we not resurrect it back?”
“That’s not your call.”
“Jamal’s not answering,” Nadia said as she took the phone off her ear.
“Stop worrying as if he’s some psychopath. The two of them need to talk this out in private. They will be fine,” Ida said dismissively as she went for her glass of wine and sipped. The three of them stared at her in disbelief.
Jamal sent a voice message to Nadia, “Hey Nadia, on my way to the hospital. Don’t worry; she’s safe with me. Will you let you know when she wakes up.”
Jamal turned briefly to find Ayesha still unconscious.
“Oh my dear Ayesha,” Jamal said under his breath.
Ayesha woke up and found herself put on a drip, lying on a hospital bed. When she groaned, Jamal lifted his gaze from the phone he had been staring at. Ayesha was momentarily startled to see him.
“How did I end up here? Where’s everyone?”
“You fainted after Auntie Ida revealed who Kakra’s father is. There is no one here; just you and me.”
“Okay…I can imagine lots of things running through your mind right now…”
“Not now, Ayesha. The drip will soon finish and we’ll head home. Then we’ll talk.”
“When you say home, you mean…?”
“Where we share a matrimonial bed, Ayesha. I know you think I’m mad and I am, in various levels but I’m not going to hurt you so relax, okay?”
“Let me get the nurse,” Jamal said, getting up from his seat. Ayesha looked around for her phone but couldn’t find it.
“Oh no, who knows where I am?”
Jamal returned with a nurse who took off the drip from Ayesha’s vein and put a plaster on it. Jamal helped her up and out of the bed. He filled out some forms and walked Ayesha to his car. He opened the door for her. Ayesha hesitated for a moment before getting in.
Jamal closed the door and sat inside. He drove away.
He began playing country music in the car.
“Do you have my phone?”
“No…must be back at Auntie Ida’s place. Why?”
“I need to check up on the boys.”
“Don’t worry; they are fine. Auntie Ida and Nadia will watch over them. But you can reach out if that will put your mind at ease,” Jamal said, handing over his phone to her.
She thanked him as she dialed Nadia’s number.
“Jamal, where are you? Been trying to reach you.”
“Hi dear, it’s me.”
“Ayesha! Hope you feel okay. Where are you?”
“I’m good, thanks. Got a drip at the hospital. On the way home now.”
“Okay. Will be in touch. My regards to Jamal.”
“Alright. Talk to you soon. Bye.”
Ayesha gave the phone back to Jamal. She gave out a huge sigh. She didn’t know whether to be anxious, scared or nonchalant. What could she say that could win her some sympathy instead of contempt?
When they arrived home, Jamal brewed tea and warmed up some frozen pizza. They sat down and ate quietly.
“How long has this been going on?”
“Well…it started soon after the passing of my mother. Auntie Ida left abruptly for the UK and it seemed unlikely that she’d return. Uncle Omar and I have always been close and honestly, I’ve always crushed on him. I remember having a breakdown as I was grieving my mum and…it happened.”
“You mean he took advantage of your vulnerable state?”
“I’m not going to say I wasn’t complicit in it, a part of me wanted to but you know, all I can say it happened, Jamal. And the rest is history.”
“So all the time we dated before marriage, you were still seeing him?”
“It wasn’t an affair, Jamal. It was more of…”
“You were at his beck and call. He called you when he needed to get laid.”
“He used you, Ayesha. I don’t know if you see it.”
“Ah well…it is what it is.”
“Wasn’t I enough for you? Yeah, I get that he tried to fill a void when your mother passed but wasn’t I enough when we married?”
“You’re more than enough, Jamal. Trust me. I love you more than you know. But being with Uncle Omar is like an itch I can’t get rid of. I know I shouldn’t but I can’t seem to help it. I’m sorry, Jamal. Please forgive me,” she said and reached out for his hand. He held and squeezed it gently.
“I love you too, Ayesha. I’m sorry that I couldn’t see through his deviant attitude towards you. I should have protected you from him but I didn’t. And now, I’m going to with all that I have.”
“You’re not going to leave me?”
“You are the woman after my heart and the mother of my son. How can I ever leave you?” Jamal said and kissed her palm.
“I don’t know what to say, J.”
“Say you love me and promise me you’ll never be with Hon Omar again.”
“I love you Jamal and I promise I will never cheat on you again.”
“That’s enough for me.”
The following morning, Omar left the house early to the gym. He was seated in his car in the parking area about to make a phone call when he heard a knock on his door. He startled for a minute. He sighed when he saw that it was Jamal. He rolled down his window.
“We need to talk, Honorable.”
“If that is so, you know what to do. You book an appointment and then we meet. But creeping up on me this early in the morning is not only rude, it’s very thoughtless of you,” Omar said.
“I’ve been tossing and turning all night, wondering why a man of your stature with a beautiful wife like Auntie Ida would stoop so low to take advantage of a girl as young as your daughter, one you knew was fond of you when she was at a lowest point in her life?”
“Wait, what? What story did she tell you? That I took advantage of her? She freaking jumped me for crying out loud!”
“Wow…you experienced old man are admitting to being helpless to the advances of a girl young enough to be your daughter?”
“Listen man, let bygones be bygones, okay? If you don’t want anything to do with Kakra, that’s fine. I’ll take him and raise him myself. I’ve always yearned for a son, anyway.”
Omar opened the car door and got out.
“We are a family now, Jamal. And we cover each other’s backs. This might hurt but you need to man up and for your own interest, keep your mouth shut.”
“The only one getting shut up is you,” Jamal said and rushed towards Omar. He screamed.
Five minutes later, Omar sat on the ground, next to his car, bleeding on his side. He tried calling Ida but she didn’t answer. He tried Nadia’s number who picked up at the third ring.
“Get an ambulance. I’m bleeding,” he said faintly.
“Are you alright, dad?”
“Get an ambulance. I’m at the gym. Hurry.”
“Stay on the line, dad.” Nadia took her other phone and called for an ambulance.
“Dad, are you there? The ambulance is on its way. I’m coming there too.”
“Yes I’m here…” Omar said faintly.
“Hold on, dad. Please keep your eyes open. I’m on my way…”
The doctor entered his office to meet an anxious mother and daughter seated.
“How’s he doing, doc?”
“Honestly, it’s not looking good. The stab was a fatal one. He lost a lot of blood. We tried blood transfusion but unfortunately, there isn’t enough at the blood bank.”
“Oh no, so what do we do? Should we donate our blood?”
“For now, we are monitoring him.”
“To get better, I presume,” Ida said.
“Well, this gets trickier considering his hemophilia condition. It seems we’re fighting a losing battle here. I’m not saying lose hope but as much as we keep the hope alive, we should also prepare for the worst.”
“Mum, what is he saying?” Nadia asked, about to cry.
“Everything will be alright, dear. Don’t worry.”
Ayesha picked up Jamal’s ringing phone as she bit into a piece of bacon.
“Hi dear, what’s up? It seems my phone is at your place.”
“Dad was attacked this morning.”
“Who, which one?”
“My dad. He was attacked at the gym’s parking lot this morning.”
“By who? Did he say? How’s he doing?”
“Not good, Ayesha. The doctor says we should prepare for the worst.”
“What, that serious? Where are you now?”
“At Ridge Hospital.”
“Okay, I’m on my way.”
“Okay. See you soon.”
Jamal came out of the bathroom as Ayesha ended the call.
“Um honey, I’ve got to rush to the hospital.”
“Why, what’s wrong? You’re not feeling well?”
“No, Nadia just called. Uncle Omar was attacked this morning at the gym. Apparently it was that fatal. The doctor isn’t even optimistic.”
“Okay…and you’re going there because?”
“Excuse me? This is Uncle Omar. This is family.”
“Uncle Omar, the one who keeps you as his plaything whenever he is in the mood?”
“Don’t use that tone with me, Jamal. You said last night that you’re going to leave everything in the past.”
“And I am…as long as you keep the past where it belongs. Behind us.”
“That’s fine. But I need to go to the hospital. Nadia needs me.”
“And I need you here.”
“You’re not asking me to choose, are you Jamal?”
“Do you want this marriage or not?”
“You know I do but I can’t turn my back against Nadia. She’s my sister.”
“And I am your husband! The one you’ve cheated on shamelessly throughout our marriage! For crying out loud, you made my son share the same womb space with his!”
“I’m not listening to this,” Ayesha said and stormed out of the room.
“Oh dad, who did this to you?” Nadia asked, holding Omar’s hand when he became conscious.
“Don’t move too much,” Ida said.
“What happened, dad?”
“Jamal? What did he do?”
“He did this.”
“You mean Ayesha’s husband tried to kill you?”
“Because you’re Kakra’s father? Is he high?”
“Nadia, there’s something I need to tell you.”
“What about, dad?”
“Which boyfriend, dad? I don’t have one.”
“The one who died.”
“Taye? What about him?”
“We were behind it.”
“What?” Ida exclaimed.
“Who are the ‘we’, dad?” Nadia asked anxiously.
Ida and Nadia exchanged a shocked look.
“He’d have leaked your relationship with Tariq to the public. We wanted to avoid any scandal.”
“And the only best way you could come up with was to have him killed? How cruel of you!” Ida said.
Nadia sat down still in shock. This couldn’t be true. Ayesha was her sister. She couldn’t have done that. No. Her dad must be lying. Ayesha wouldn’t betray her like this.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2021
Read Chapter 44 here.