After the argument between Lillian and I, I came back to the hotel that night so I could see Dad. He wasn’t too excited to see me.
He gave me that strict look. “Good evening Sir” I bowed my head to him and shook his head.
“How was your journey?” I asked and he sniggered. “Daddy Deji, answer nah” Mom chipped in, “Answer what?” He asked, “Only a worthy child is worthy of receiving answers to such question
. You’re not worthy”
“If my presence isnt needed yet, I’ll just leave”
“Have you seen the way he answered” Dad asked Mom who gave me a familiar look to cooperate with him. “It’s not as if I’m the one who really a favor” I added, “You’re the one who really needs someone to run the company for you”
“So now I’m a beggar?” Dad and I scoffed.
“A good father leaves inheritance for his children, it’s even in the Bible. All I’ve tried to do for you Deji is to give you a better life”
“All you’ve tried to do is control my life. Those are two different things” “Deji you are ungrateful” Dad pointed out.
“Leave me that way. Let me be free and ungrateful”
“I don’t blame you, I blame God for giving me just one son in this life, no matter how hard I tried” he hissed
. “I would have kukuma sold you when you were born, o’ o wu lo fun mi! (You are of no use to me)” he ranted and Mom walked up to me.
“Deji think deeply on this”
“I have a life here, I’m not willing to leave all I have and go to Ekiti” I answered. “Deji” mom called out again.
Dad suddenly slumped. I was scared. I have never been more scared of anything in my life. We rushed him to the hospital.
Mom confessed to me that dad had heart failure and had been asked to stay off work and smoking too. That was why he urgently needed me.
I didn’t know who to call that moment, Henry was definitely still angry at me. I thought of one person that could make me feel okay; Lilian. I dialed her number then I erased it.
I’m the last person she would want to talk to. I called Shay and she came in the following morning.
“How’s the old man?”
“He’s in a critical state” “How critical?” She asked and I shrugged.
“How are you holding up?” I asked, “I’m scared” I replied.
“As much as I don’t like the old man, I don’t want him dead” “You’ve always wanted him dead”
“That was me being immature” I answered almost in tears. “When Dad fell yesterday, I was scared. I’ve never made time with him, all I’ve done is fight and fight with him. Lilian was right, losing one’s parents is the worst thing ever. No matter how bad they are, they’re still our parents and we owe them that respect”
“That girl has a good head on her shoulder. If I were you, I won’t let her go” she answered looking at me. I bowed my head letting out an exasperating sigh.
“Why do I recognize that look?” She asked, “You’ve screwed it up shea?” “Maybe”
“What did you do?”
“I found out Lilian works at the hotel as a maid. I just couldn’t accept it” “You broke up with her”
“Technically she broke up with me but It was my fault. I accept my fault, she was cleaning mom’s room and I didn’t show her recognition. I was ashame of her” I answered in tears.
“Have you begged her?”
“Cause there’s was no point now. I can’t bring myself down to introducing a maid as my girlfriend. I still can’t and I feel like a jerk for it. Now this thing with Dad” I cleaned my tears with my palm.
“You can still make it work” “I have to be in Ekiti tomorrow”
“And what about Lilian? Do you even care about her?”
“What can I do? I can’t accept her, what would dad think? Do I want to kill him? Besides I’ll be in Ekiti and she’ll be here. She’ll move on and find someone better than me”
I took a stroll around the clinic, then I clashed into some women praying in Yoruba and speaking in tongues. I stared at them for a moment, they were acting as though they’ve been possessed and praying as though their lives depended on it.
A man walked up to me, “Young man, I hope no problem?” He asked and I shook my head.
“I was just strolling?”
“Do you have a sick relative? He asked. “No” I lied and he laughed. I didn’t understand why he did.
I’ve never been the over religious type. I didn’t want someone giving me fake prophesies. “Do you have any request?” He asked, “God is a God that answers requests, if you have any, simply go to the altar and pray. The Spirit of the Lord dwells there” he advised and I shook my head.
“I’d pass” I answered then I gave a second thought to it. I did have a lot of request.
I walked over the altar covered with a blue rug. I knelt down and tears poured down my eyes. I haven’t cried this much since my first break up.
I presented dad’s health to God, I presented Lilian’s case. I prayed for forgiveness for the numerous hearts I’ve broken. I haven’t prayed for that in years.
“Just do something to make dad better and mend Lilian’s heart, I know I’m not worthy of answers, just give me one ” I withheld my tears. “Amen” I concluded.
When I got to hospital, I learnt dad was awake. Mom tried to stop me from seeing him. She didn’t want me to complete the job I started. I told her I had something important to tell him, “Please don’t worsen your father’s state”
“I’ll take over the company” I blurted out and Mom raised her brow at me. “Are you sure?” She asked and I nodded.
I finally gained entrance into the room. Dad wasn’t too thrilled to see me. “What do you want?” He asked and I pushed a seat close to him.
“I want us to talk”
“I’m not ready to die oh, just carry your wahala and go”
“I’ll do it. I’ll run the company” I announced. The shock on his face was indescribable. Talk about the prodigal son coming back home!
I’ve had enough of Henry and his secretary drama. Emmy was my eyes and ears but it didn’t make things better.
Henry has been refusing to have sex with me and we’ve been having more arguments. All I wanted was a peaceful relationship but I wasn’t going get one with that tramp around.
I’ve been using my job as a means to get my mind off the thought of her stealing my man.
Saturdays are for weddings! And this particular Saturday was a friend’s wedding, one of my best friends. I had my make up done and Henry picked me up at home.
Mom was super excited to see him. “When are you going to pop the question?” She asked and Henry laughed. I think the question made him nervous.
“Jummy isn’t getting old. I want to plan a wedding too”
“Very soon Ma” he answered.
We got into the car and then he drove off to the wedding venue. I noticed some difference in him. He was thoughtful most of the time.
At the reception, I couldn’t help but rant about how I wanted my wedding to be. “It’s going to be the talk of the whole town. The newspaper and blogs all over the nation will carry it”
“There won’t any wedding” Henry blurted out and I scoffed.
“Are you joking?” I asked looking around to find out if anyone heard him. “Are you crazy? What do you mean by no wedding?”
“It’s exactly what you heard”
“Henry you’re a year older than I am, I’m not getting younger. I’ve waited for you all my life”
“I’m sorry about that Jummy but let’s be honest with ourselves. We can’t have a happy home”
“We haven’t even tried it”
“Not when you’re always jealous” “Is this about my jealousy? I’m jealous because I love you. Okay can we not talk about the marriage topic again. I’m sorry I brought it up”
“I can’t do this anymore. Jummy i don’t feel the same anymore…. ” “Are you breaking up with me?” I asked and he held my hands.
“Is it because of her, it’s because of that s–t shea?” “Don’t call her names” “I’ll call her whatever I want!” I yelled and people turned head towards us.
“You’re leaving me for her Henry. you’re leaving me; you can’t do that, I’ll let your mom know”
“I don’t care who you tell” He answered rising up.
“Henry I waited for you” I cried.
“I wasted my life just for you, you can’t leave me” “This thing between us can’t work, we’re still together because of family ties. I’m sorry I’m no longer in love with you”
“Is she the one?”
“Yes… Adesuwa is the one I love”
“What does she have that I don’t have?”
“Good attitude, she understands me, she listens and respects me” “Everyone respects their boss, she’s just faking it!”
“You’re wrong” I answered and Jummy knelt down before me. “Oko mi (my husband), Oyin mi (my honey), I beg you with the love I have for you and the love of God. Please don’t leave me. I’ll change! Is it my bad behavior? I swear to God, I’ll change. I’ll stop nagging, I’ll stop getting jealous. I’ll even make that s–t my friend. Please don’t leave me” I cried
People turned towards me but I didn’t care. “Don’t do this to yourself Jummy” “Please”
“I’m sorry” Henry apologized. “Do you want a ride back home!”
“Why would I need a stupid ride back home? Go!! Idiot just go!” I yelled and he heartlessly.
I was on the verge of going mad. I picked my phone and I called Emmy to meet me there. By the time I got home, Mom and Dad was at the sitting room laughing over what I had no idea of.
They stopped the moment I walked in. My make up was ruined, Emmy held me from falling. I’ve been drinking at the party.
“What’s all this?” Dad asked, “What’s wrong with my princess?” He asked. “I thought Henry took her out, why didn’t he bring her back?” Mom asked and I busted in tears.
“Jummy you’re scaring me oh, what happened?”
“Henry heartlessly broke up with her at the party” Emmy answered and I sniffed.
“What happened? Jummy what did you do?” Mom asked.
“Nothing oh, Mommy, my friend didn’t do anything. He just brought it up like that. Mommy you need to see the humiliation that Jummy faced. Upon the fact that she was kneeling and begging. Henry refused to listen” Emmy explained as though she saw the whole thing happen.
“He even pushed her again” she exaggerated.
“Are you serious?”
“Mommy, Daddy I would never lie to you!” She answered and Dad looked at me once again. “You mean that little boy of yesterday did this to you?” He asked and I busted in tears.
“I’ll die if I don’t get married to Henry. I swear to God, I’ll kill myself” I threatened and Mom placed her hands on her head.
“Marry what?” Dad asked, “A man that had the effrontery to treat you like trash. A whole Jummy Coker? Where was his parents when we started making money?” he added.
“That boy must pay!”
“Does Doyin know about this?” Mom asked and I shook my head. “I didn’t know how to tell her”
Mom picked her phone dialing her number. Dad dragged the phone from her. “Doyin” he called out, “Are you aware of what that your son Henry or whatever he’s called did?” He asked, “Don’t tell me to calm down! He broke up with my very own daughter. He even had the effrontery to push her. I thought he was a human being. Your son is an animal” he snapped, there was a long pause, “See i don’t have anything to say to you.” He added and Mom collected the phone from him.
“We’ll stop by later so we can speak better” mom summarized hanging up. “This isn’t something we’ll speak over on phone. We have to talk with that Henry and he’s going to say right in our presence, the same thing he said to our daughter.”
Mrs Babalola’s POV
Mom would always tell me that everything she did was for my good and I’ve always believed her. I still wonder why my kids are being rebellious against me.
I was never rebellious to my parents, not once. My parents gave me out to Theophilus Babalola, I was never in love with him.
I didn’t grow with the notion that you had to love to make it in marriage. I made it in marriage because I learnt to love and endure my husband.
Tosin left the house because she didn’t see herself getting married to Clem. Okay fine, he wasn’t too attractive and all but I wanted her to marry him so she could have a secured future.
Clem was rich, very rich. I knew she would have a good future with him but she bluntly refused and she left the house.
A call from Wunmi Coker that afternoon drew my attention away from the t.v show I was watching. “Hello Wunmi” I said with a big smile only hear her husband’s voice.
“Doyin” he called out, “Festus” I said in shock, why would he use his wife’s number to call me.
“Are you aware of what that your son Henry or whatever he’s called did?” He asked, “Please calm down Sir”
“Don’t tell me to calm down! He broke up with my very own daughter. He even had the effrontery to push her. I thought he was a human being. Your son is an animal” he snapped, “Mr. Festus are you sure about this? Jummy might be mistaken. Let’s talk face to face over this”
“See i don’t have anything to say to you.” He added. The next voice I heard was Wunmi’s. “We’ll stop by later so we can speak better” Wunmi Coker concluded, “This isn’t something we’ll speak over on phone. We have to talk with that Henry and he’s going to say right in our presence, the same thing he said to our daughter.” then she hung up.
I quickly called Henry. He didn’t pick up at first. I continued until he finally picked up the call.
“Good afternoon mom” “There’s nothing good about the afternoon Henry. Tell me it’s not true.
. Tell me that Jummy got the wrong idea”
“It’s true mom. It’s over between Jummy and I” he answered and I laughed hysterically.
“You can’t be serious about that, are you drunk?”
“Mom I’m not drunk. For the first time in a long time I’ve never being more okay. I’ve made my decision. I can’t be with Jummy anymore. I don’t love her”
“Who cares if you love her or not? Who says marriage is built on love? Henry you’re going to pick up your phone this moment and you’re going to call Jummy and you’re going to apologize to her parents. You’re going to tell them you weren’t in your right senses, but now you’ve come to realize that” I didn’t finish my sentence when my own son hung up on my call.
“Henry?” I called out in shock.
“Theophilus!!!!” I screamed my husband’s name in anger and he came running down the stairs along with some maids.
I was fuming.
“We’re going to the hotel now!” I demanded, “Now?”
“Are you deaf or was I speaking in french? I said we’re going to the hotel and you’re asking me now? No oh next year” I snapped then I looked at the maids.
“What are you all staring at?” I shouted and they all ran away.
“You really want to know?” I asked and he nodded. “You almost gave me a heart attack, I deserve to know”
“Your stupid son broke up with Jummy Coker” “Oh now he’s my stupid son”
“He definitely got the stupid gene from you” “So what if he broke up with Jummy, he’s a young guy and you know young men these days, they love to make their own decisions and they break up and make up all the time”
“Theo you’re so stupid, I don’t even, I don’t even” I stammered. “How did I even get married to you? I’m hurt here because of what your son did to that poor girl. You’re here taking his sides”
“I’m I getting this wrong idea Doyin? Did we actually give birth to Henry or Jummy cause I know where my loyalty lies, where do yours lie?” He asked and I tightened my fist.
“Oh” I moved close to him.
“See who’s talking about loyalty, you have none! You’re not loyal to anyone, you’re not loyal to your family or even your kids. Do you still want me to remind you of what you’ve done?” I asked and he shook his head.
“If you know what’s good for you, you’ll go to that car right now and drive us over to the hotel and maybe talk some sense to your son, capiche?” I asked and he sighed.
“When would you stop bringing that topic up?” He asked and I moved even more closer to him.
“When it stops hurting and haunting me” I replied and he picked the car keys up.
“I’m not going anywhere with you dressed on a simple polo and shorts”
“You can just call me your driver, I won’t mind.” He answered walking out the door.
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