Mfon and Teye began to push their boxes to the center of the room, just as I ordered them to do. It was the easiest work their tiny hands could do.
“Mummy why are we packing?” Teye asked.
“The day after tomorrow, we will be leaving for the mainland.” I said, folding the clothes into a basket.
“but mummy our school is on the Island.” Mfon said.
I nodded silently.
“yes I know. no more questions, let’s start packing. you both should gather all your clothes, a truck will be here to start packing.”
They continued to push the drawers and their boxes with all their might.
After few moments, the kids paused.
“mommy we are tired.” Mfon said weakly, giving a childish attitude.
“me too mummy.” Teye said.
“Let’s all rest a bit.”
Teye laughed and blew an exaggerated kiss back.
Mfon and I joined in the laugh, it was a meaningless laugh, Teye made us happy.
My laughter subsided, but a wistful smile was left on my face and then we started singing. And then we had dinner.
That evening, we piled up the corridor with packed properties that we were going to take to our new home at Surulere.
The next morning was hectic.
We woke up tired and stressed, I made breakfast for the kids and drove them quietly to school.
As they alighted from the car, I heard a car door close just by my side, my eyes snapped open.
A masculine scent of a familiar perfume hit me hard on the nose, it was irritating as I felt like puking.
I had a feeling that it must be someone very familiar, but I was afraid to look, I was trying to hide my pregnancy.
“Baby.” He called out huskily.
I didn’t turn, I sat comfortably on my car seat and fastened the seat belt.
“please wait! Ekom I beg you, just listen to me.” suddenly I looked up, our eyes connecting. He was right in front of the car, kneeling down. parents who came to drop their kids stood to watch, passers by stood to watch.
I wanted to run him over. Kill him and bear the consequences.
“Just listen to me baby please.” He lifted his hand waving at me, but I didn’t return the gesture.
“look at me Ekom, just look at me.” He yelled in a baritone voice.”
He looked like he had a lot to say to me. His eyes were red, he was sweating like a full bucket of water was thrown at him.
I was surprise he couldn’t feel the weight of my angry stare, he was still there, not afraid. But I started the car immediately and zoomed off speedily.
I wasn’t sure if he drove after me, but I drove straight to Surulere, where I rented my new house.
The kids looked out of the window as we drove into our new compound.
“Our new house is fine mommy.” Teye whispered faintly.
“yes it is.”
I loved that the house was far from the main road. I loved that it was far from all the bright lights and noise, far from anyone who knew David. The estate securities were excitedly sociable.
“Wehcome madam oh….yor shilren are too bitifu.” they said excitedly in different tones as they opened the main
“thank you.” I said calmly.
As we alighted from the car, the sight of our new house was peaceful and fascinating to look at.
The walls were made of brisks. And they were coconut trees flanking on the front yard.
The kids and I began to pack out our boxes and food stuffs from the car.
“mommy, this place is far from school.” Mfon broke the silence.
“You won’t be schooling there anymore. I will register you and your sister at a new school here on the mainland.” I said with a serious face. I didn’t look at their faces.
I knew that they were not happy to leave their former school, but it didn’t matter to me anymore. All I wanted was a private new life.
The next morning, I woke up with a headache, and a light fever.
The air conditioner was on but I felt warm and sticky, I was sweating terribly.
Switching on the bedside lamp I looked at the other bed, the kids were sleeping.
I was about to go back to sleep when my phone buzz under the pillow.
I tried to ignore the call and get some more sleep. A sleepy sigh floating up to the ceiling of the bedroom, but the phone rang again, and when I reluctantly check who the caller was, it turned out to be Lizzy.
“Hello?” I said in low tone.
“Ekom, where have you been?”
” I left the Island last evening.”
” oh God. my nurses said you’ve not been coming to the hospital for your antenatal.”
“Well, I was never comfortable coming to your clinic for antenatal, I never want David or anyone who knows me to see me with my baby bump.” I said girlishly.
Lizzy laughed out so loud over the phone.
“Talking of David. He walked into my office with some bunch of holy bishops yesterday and demanded to see you. I told him that I am not your keeper. but he didn’t believe me. He said that he went to the house, and discovered that everywhere was empty and locked up. I never knew you were planning to leave, are you leaving for America soon?
“not so soon. I will be planning for my visa tomorrow. I should be leaving before my third trimester.”
“I will see you before weekend then.”
” okay dear. But please don’t come here with anyone.”
Lizzy laughed and hung up the call.
I couldn’t go back to sleep anymore. I thought of reporting David to the police for publicly harassing me, I wanted him to stay off my life forever.
I began to slightly calm down and nodding my head. I took a deep breath before answering all the questions the police men asked, my heart was beating like I was facing my worse fears.
“Madam you say na this pastor dey disturb you?” the awkward looking police officer asked, he was holding David’s photograph in his hands.
“yes, he harasses me everywhere I go. last week, he stalked me at my daughters school.”
“na tiv him be.” another police officer said.
“no. na kidnappers dey follow people like that, when they know that you get fine motor, they follow you everywhere. ”
“madam, do you know the man or where he lives.” another officer asked.
“he is my ex husband.” I said, my voice faltered as I brought my head down a bit.
The police officers looked at me with their mouth wide open.
“You mean am madam?”
“yes. My ex husband ”
“so Una wan carry Una family affairs come station abi?”
“oga please, that shouldn’t be your business. All I want is for you people to stop this man from bothering me and my children.” I said furiously.
“is okay madam. you go give us moni for fuel wey we go drive go him church go warn am well, well. money for pure water, money wey we go use buy gala hold belle and pocket money for the boys.” he reeled off, as he smiled with his brown tooth wide open.
I dipped my hands into my handbag and brought out clean notes, counted it roughly and gave to one of them.
He smiled widely and got the money excitedly.
“madam go, your problem is over. This man will never ever bother you again. Go and sleep with your two eyes close.”
“thank you oga.” I said. I felt a sudden urge to smile, but didn’t. I walked out hastily.
I melted into my car seat like a bulb of ice cream.
While I drove home that afternoon to pick the kids from their new school, I felt something so powerful.
Love. Broken love. like a dying sun about to explode.
“Tell me about your new teacher. Have you two made new friends yet?” I asked the kids excitedly, as I drove them home from school.
“the school is boring mommy.”
“They don’t have a play tree. ” Teye retorted with a frown.
“You will get use to it soon.” I said calmly.
I was almost approaching the house when my phone rang. Mfon picked the call and pressed the Speaker button.
“Ekom there is problem.” Lizzy said, she sounded terrified and worried.
“What is it?” I asked, my voice trembling.
“I just got a call from pastor Akintola that some police men badged into David’s office and almost Tortured him to dead.”
The kids began to shiver as Lizzy continued.
“he was rescued by some pastors. According to what I heard, he was warned never to go after you again. Why are you involved in this Ekom?” She asked sadly.
When Lizzy hung up the call, I became afraid as my heart fluttered. I felt like my problems got bigger by the day.
“mummy, what did you do to my daddy?”
Teye asked, as she gave me a leveled gaze.
“Don’t ask me silly questions!” I yelled.
I was feeling so down and unhappy, nothing could calm me at that moment. There was heaviness in my heart. A combination of sadness, worries and regret.
I wished I had a time machine where I could turn back to the time where this conflict all started.
From when I left for America, to when I went to report David to the police.
“mummy stop, we are home!” Mfon said shrilly.
I sighed and took a reverse immediately.
My mind had gone far in thoughts.
That night, sleep ran away from my eyes. when I closed my eyes, all I saw was David brutally beaten by the rude police men.
My thoughts were interrupted by my phone, and my sister Abigail was the caller.
“Ayeneka, abadie?” I asked in a low tone.
“Sister, I just got a message from Georgina now, what have you done? she said her son has been hospitalized because of you.”
“Oh that…..her son was harassing me, I reported him to the police….”
“What? why? I mean what happens to the woman of God in you? why would you report your husband to the police? ”
“he is not my husband!” I yelled angrily and cut the call. Suddenly, I heard a loud knock on the door.
I walked hastily towards the door and opened it immediately without checking who it was, my heart tremble at the horrible sight of Georgina, there were police men behind her, and then Lizzy whose eyes were already filled with unreleased tears.
“What do you want?” I Asked with a furious stare.
But before I could say any other word she gave me a loud slap on my face.
“No madam! You don’t slap a pregnant woman that way, can’t you see she is heavy? Heartless Georgina!” Lizzy yelled, as she struggled out of the hands of the police officers and pushed Georgina down.
“Bishop my foot! stay off her!”
The police men held Lizzy with all their might. I stood at one corner with my hands on my cheek, watching Georgina in tears.
” She said you are pregnant?” She laughed a disgustful laugh and clapped her hands back at me.
“Who are you Deceiving Ekom? You ate to your fill, your stomach is filled with food, there is no single foetus in there.” She said, her mocking voice squeaked as she laughed sadistically.
“You are not God! shame on you devil!”
She wanted to put another slap on my face, when I held her hands tight.
“Get out of my house!”
“Arrest this barren woman, poor, wretched idiot, who got lucky to marry my son.”
The police men pushed Lizzy aside and grabbed my hands firmly.
All I heard was Lizzy’s voice, she was talking on the phone, I couldn’t see her clearly anymore.
“hello? Pastor David there is a problem. Your mother is here to arrest your wife..
Yes….we are at Bode Thomas surulere.”
Lizzy Said in a shaky tone as she attempted dialing another number, Georgina took the phone from her hands.
“mummy, mummy” the kids cried out.
The police men took me into a black maria.
Before I finally lose consciousness, a calm voice whispered something to me, “I will fight this battle for you.”