CAN’T HOLD MY TEARS
If eyes could kill, I was pretty sure i should be dead alre-ady. I swallowed heavily as I thought I might have gone too far in my little melodramatic displa-ys. Alex seemed to be boiling with rage as he marched to the place I was standing, seizing me by the shoulder.
“Are you crazy woman?” he roared. “Was I not clear enough when I told you expressly to shut your stinking mouth? Do you have any idea as to the tenacity of what your stupidity has just caused?”
“Alex” the s£nator bellowed. “How dare you constitute a nuisance of yourself in my pres£nce? And when in the history of your life have you seen me rou-gh handle your mother the way you are doing currently? Let go of her this instant” the s£nator was on his feet in anger. I had trouble determining whose anger seemed greater as they both glared; Alex glared at me, the s£nator glared at Alex. The equation [email protected]£ balanced when the s£nator’s wife turned to glare at her husband.
“Mark, you should be in support of your son instead of scolding him because of this piece of trash here. I don’t blame Alex for treating her like a maid, she certainly looks like one.”
“Will you shut up woman” he barked at her as he faced her. “Do I blame Alex? I wonder what devil transformed him into this, and I would wager that the devil looks very much like you” she [email protected] and her face turned red. Alex’s f!ngersdug into my shoulder painfully. I had definitely done everything wrongly, I thought sternly. As much as I disliked my evil looking mother-in-law, I did not want everyone to get insulted because of me. I opened my mouth to speak but before I could jump in, the s£nator proceeded. “Why do I have the strange feeling that the whole ‘maid’ thing was your idea?” he glared at her.
“Are you insulting my mum because of this thing dad?” Alex rasped and his anger seemed to have increa-sed several degrees.
“This ‘thing’ is the woman you impregnated, and as long as you remain my son, you would have to accept her. If you don’t love her, learn to.” He said with a dead serious look on his face.
“I am a grown up man dad. As much as I respect you as my father, you cannot teach me how to run my family. I am capable to do whatever I damn well plea-se in my own home, irrespective of your opinions. You know me well enough to know that I don’t take orders from anyone” he took his hands off me and stood taller, like an immovable pillar. I knew without a doubt that he was dead serious. I could not imagine anyone ma-king Alex do what he did not want to do. Even though he was coerced into marrying me, I wondered how he had been pressured into the messy arrangement.
The s£nator smiled dangerously, ma-king my heart skip in fear as I anticipated what he was about to say. Alex was so much like his dad in so many ways, I noted, as they faced each other. I wondered within splits of seconds why Alex took everything from his dad, except his dad’s character; although the charming character had been evident in the village. It was probably just deceptive pretense, with the sole aim of getting into my [email protected], I thought. My thoughts [email protected]£ back to the sitting room when the s£nator paced gently, circling Alex and I.
“You, my son, are probably the most stubborn man on earth, I agree, but you should know that every stubborn man has a father. If I remember correctly, Amara’s father threatened to disown her if she did not get married to you.” My heart raced as my eyes wi-de-ned at the direction his words were going.
“Sir” I called, pleading.
“Be quiet, Amara, I am talking to my son” he scolded and myl-ips slammed shut.
He continued. “I would not threaten to disown you, because, apparently, you are my only child. However, the child in Amara’s wo-mb in most definitely my grandchild and I would not have you subjecting her into unplea-sant duties. If you refuse to treat Amara, your wife, with the respect she deserves, I would withdraw you from your position as the head of ‘The Bellos Crow’”
“What?” Alex [email protected] out as the words sank in. I was pretty sure I was as pale as a plain sheet. What have I done?
“You can’t be serious honey?” The s£nator’s wife said in horror.
“You can’t do that dad; I have spent several years of my life serving the company. You surely would not take it from me now.” He [email protected] out. I vaguely wondered how that was even possible since he just finished his service but that was the least of my worries.
“I can, and I will do just that Alex. Not only that, you would no longer be a member of the board at Belzinc. I say what I mean Alex, you know that”
“Oh my God” I [email protected] “There is no nee-d for all these sir. It is really not necessary. plea-se don’t fight your family on my behalf sir, I am sure I can’t bear that” I choked slightly at the thought. I had definitely done everything wrong. “As you can all see” I pointed to the sack of clothes on the floor. “I was about to leave this house. I can’t possibly stay in this house. I as-sure you that I was not pressured into that decision. Being a maid was a good thing because it kept me busy; I really am not used to having people do things for me. I am a village girl. plea-se don’t withdraw the company from him or anything for that matter. I have caused too many problems and it would be good if I just leave”
The s£nator smiled. “Like Alex rightly said, I can’t run his family for him.” He turned to Alex. “Son, the mother of my unborn grandchild wants to leave your house; it is for the both of you to decide. You either find a way to make her stay, or let her leave. Chris has been eyeing your position for years, I am sure he has the managerial abilities I look out for” he said with silent threats which nonetheless were loud enough for the deaf to hear.
He turned to his wife and said sternly. “I believe we should be heading home. We have a lot to talk about” he murmured. For the first time, the s£nator’s wife seemed agitated. They both swept out of the sitting room and within seconds, I was stunned to find myself alone with the man who was supposed to be my husband.
My knees started going weak from all the tension I had just experienced, but staring at Alex as he paced, I discovered that facing his wrath would be much more sapping that what I had just witnessed. I was exhausted though, and was not in the mood to get into any meaningless arguments with Alex. Watching him pace was exhausting enough.
I walked silently towards my sack with a heavy heart. I could not believe that I was being separated from my husband, ba-rely a week into the marriage. Normal couples would still be on their blissful honeymoon by now, but we are definitely not the picture of a perfect couple. It felt like a heavy weight had just landed on my shoulders as I thought of leaving. Why does it hurt so much to leave Alex despite all he has done? I wondered. I surely should not still love him after all these! I swallowed painfully as I cleared my throat.
“So I guess it is goodbye Corper” I said. It had felt so good to call him Alex in the pres£nce of everyone. But now that everyone was gone, I decided it best to call him Corper. Calling him Alex now would create a picture of intim-acy and I did not want that because it would make my exit more unbearable.
“And where the hell do you think you are going to?” he growled, coming to a st©p at my front, ma-king me shiver. Whether from fear or reaction to his nearness, I could not tell.
I swallowed. “To wherever I can find peace. I want a divorce, or an annulment since the marriage was not consummated after the wedding” I said with a raise of my head.
“Oh, so you can rejoice in the fact that you left me destroyed right?” he asked in anger and chills went throu-gh my spine. He glared at me then paced again. “In case you don’t know, let me tell you. ‘The Bellos Crow’ is my life. After my secondary school, I spent four years learning the managerial tactics from my father until I [email protected]£ an expert, even much better than my father. After gaining admission, I [email protected] managed the company from school by giving orders of what should be done, even without being there. The company grew tremendously until it [email protected]£ as big as it is today. I would be damned if someone else would take over what I have toiled for all my life.”
I felt for him. With the way he talked about the company, I knew instantly that he really loved the company. Though I noted this, I saw no reason why all these should affect me. Surely the s£nator’s threat was not real, was it? “I still don’t see why you are telling me this” I said to him and his face softened slowly, with embarras-sment creeping in slightly.
“You can’t leave this house, you have to stay”
I inhaled as anger set in again. “You want me to stay? Sacrifice my happiness and freedom for you? Just because you want to keep your company? How dare you?” he really had a lot of nerves. “You have given me nothing but sadness. If not for this child, I would have cursed the day I set my eyes on you. Where is Corper Bello, because this man standing before me is not the man I met in my humble village” I ranted as I paced too.
A pained expression seemed to cross his features but it was gone in a second. “I am sorry, I know this is selfish of me but plea-se look at it positively. Your parents would still disown you if you leave me and you would have nowhere to go in this large city. You could stay here instead, have a roof over your head and food also” he started pacing as if he could not believe the words coming out of his own mouth. “It is your only choice cos I won’t give you a divorce”
I laughed softly. “You think that would st©p me?” I asked. “I would rather live on the streets than be a maid in my husband’s house”
“You don’t have to be a maid. You would be recognized as the… woman of the house. You would have your own room upstairs, including everything you nee-d” he rasped in irritation.
I swallowed. “But there is one thing I cannot have, right? I can’t have my husband” I said.
He nodded. “We would both live together but have the freedom to do whatever we like. You have the right to go anywhere and do anything you like with anyone and I also have the same rights. We can be mature enough to manage this situation we found ourselves without inconveniencing each other in any way”
“In other words, you want us to live in the same house like tenants, or strangers, right?” I asked bitterly.
“You must admit that it makes perfect s-en-se” he said.
The drama just never seemed to end. From being a maid, to being a housemate in my husband’s house. Can life get any worse? I sighed. But thinking about it, the proposition was not totally bad. In fact, it sounded ok. Once I get rid of the ridiculous motion that Alex would come to love me as much as I still foolishly love him, I should be able to live by those rules. I swallowed. “Ok” I murmured finally, feeling the last of my strength drain out of me.
He exhaled in relief. “Perfect then. plea-se ask Tina to show you to one of the rooms upstairs. There are four rooms there, you can choose anyone you like” he said in total indifference. I have to go out now, when I get back, I would give you a credit card for you to use for whatever you might nee-d. I would also have a lawyer draft an agreement in order to make this arrangement legal. This would protect both our rights. I hope this is ok?” he asked and I nodded numbly. He turned towards the door instantly and was out of the house within seconds.
I did not know what a credit card is but I let him leave. I have had more than enough and I nee-ded some space to as-similate the turn of events. I knew instinctively that Alex was probably going after the saucy girlfriend but I quenched the bitterness I felt at the thought. Since I have agreed to this insane arrangement, I would most likely experience this s*** on a regular basis. And the legal agreement he talked about would definitely give him the legal rights to do that; I surely hadn’t seen that coming. I turned on my heels, walking slowly towards the kitchen. There was only one thing I wanted to do with the last iota of strength in me.
I got to the kitchen and met the two ladies looking as though they had just fallen into a ditch. I was sorry for keeping this away from Tina who had been extremely helpful from day one.
They both looked scared but Tola looked like she wished the ground would swallow her. There was no mistaking the fact that they had heard everything. I smiled. “Tola, I want you to select a very good room for me upstairs, preferably anyone that has a good view of the beautiful garden. Make sure it is sparkling clean without a spe-ck of dust, do you un-derstand?” she was silent. I glared at her. “Do you un-derstand me?” she nodded stiffly and I smiled. “Good girl”.
I smiled softly at Tina and left the kitchen.
I pray for everyone re-ading this story, God will turn your life around for good in the eyes of your enemies and make them your stepping stone in Jesus name.
CAN’T HOLD MY TEARS
I smiled softly at Tina and left the kitchen. The excitement of taking everyone by surprise vanished with each step I took, replaced firmly by an overwhelming sadness. By accepting this arrangement, I have given Alex the right to hurt me the more. Since we could both do anything we liked, I knew that he would take advantage of that by having as many women as he liked. I closed my eyes and prayed that I would have the ability to withstand what was to come.
Two weeks dragged by and the swell of my tummy [email protected]£ visible for all to see. Unfortunately, the only things that saw the swell [email protected] from me were the four walls of my be-droom and the sparkling furniture that were hung in several places.
Alex had brou-ght the agreement, just like he talked about, two weeks ago and I had signed instantly, wanting to get the deal over with. Ever since I endorsed the do¢v-ment, I have not set my eyes on him. It was not surprising since I almost never stepped out of the room. I had everything I nee-ded there; the soft warm be-d, the enticing bathroom which I learnt had h0t and cold water a f!ngerti-p away and a refreshing view of the soothing garden from my window. I initially paid Tola back in her own coin, ma-king her do everything, ranging from washing my rag-like clothes, to washing the be-d sheets every blessed day. It was not much work since I learnt that they used a machine to do all these, but the fact that I was ordering her around was enough to frustrate her. It was not long before I grew weary of this because it was not in my nature to have people do the chores for me, so I decided to apply maturity by allowing Tola have her space. She was surely regretting her earlier actions, it seemed unnecessary to add more fuel to the fire.
Tina was helpful as usual, never letting me rest. She tried to see me as the madam that I was but I was not comfortable with it. Living big was so strange, it was almost scary, and I nee-ded a friend to stand by me. After carefully schooling her and letting her know that I would rather have her as a friend than my maid, she finally gave in, though, she still showed great levels of respect.
Tina has been responsible for ma-king sure that I eat, and she would talk me to death if I don’t eat anything. It was annoying sometimes but many times, it was refreshing because it felt good that at least someone cared for me. I wondered why my mum hadn’t visited. If my dad didn’t visit, it would be great in saving me mental and physical stress but I nee-ded my mum more than I could express. Even though she behaved too soft many times, ma-king other people ride her easily, I still loved her so much. And despite my dad’s awkward behaviors, I still loved him nonetheless, but would be happy to avoid him for some time. Our poverty state seemed to have changed his mentality.
I sighed and rolled off the be-d to answer nature’s call. I had been urinating a lot and Tina attributed it to the pregnancy. After re-leasing the content in my bladder into the water closet and flushing, I walked back into the room. I heard a knock and instinctively knew it was Tina. I had grown so accustomed to her knocking pattern.
“Come in Tina” I said as I sat on the be-d carefully. The dizziness had gone, thank God and my appetite was improving, thanks to Tina’s unrelenting efforts.
Tina entered with a big smile on her face which effectively made me smile also. I was just so blessed to have her at a time like this. “Good morning. How is my madam doing today?”
I smiled. “My name is Amara. How many times would I repeat that?” I asked softly. The tray in her hands caught my eyes and my mouth watered when the tantalizing aroma as-saulted my nostrils. Whatever was in that tray would definitely be devoured by me because I heard my tummy [email protected] response to the aroma. My child seemed to jump up in excitement.
She grinned. “You may be my friend but you are still my boss. You can perceive the aroma, right?” she asked knowingly. She was the best cook I had ever seen. I vowed to learn how to make some of the complicated delicacies from her, as soon as I am able to get myself off this mess.
“This aroma is more than enough to awaken my taste buds.” I murmured, with my mouth salivating as she lowered the tray.
“Thank God, I won’t have to f0rç£ it down your throat” she said with a smile. Immediately she opened up the glas-s plate, I confirmed my suspicion. There was a large piece of de-ep fried chicken, which was largely responsible for the aroma. A small quantity of jollof rice was beside it, and I noticed the fried plantain with great joy.
I smiled wholeheartedly. “I see you are bent on ma-king me happy today” I said.
She nodded. “I can’t have you starve the little angel in your tummy, can I?”
I dismissed her words and started eating immediately. Tina sat by the be-d, watching me eat, with a calm smile on her face. “If this is what it takes to make you eat, I might cook this everyday”
I nodded vigorously with my mouth full. I truly would not mind this delicacy, if it tastes like this all the time.
She looked at me softly. “I was actually planning to ask you something” she said and I nodded my head for her to continue. “Are you not going for antenatal care?” she asked.
I raised my brow. “What is antenatal care?” I asked ignorantly.
Her eyes wi-de-ned as though she could not quite believe her ears, but she soon wiped out the facial expression. “Oh, antenatal care is used by hospitals to monitor and guide pregnant women throu-gh the stages of pregnancy” she said.
I almost st©pped eating. “I have never heard of it. Hope it is not too late” fear gr!pp£dmy heart at the thought that something might have happened to my child.
“Of course not. I can follow you to a hospital this evening if you like” she offered.
“Of course. Thanks Tina” I said gratefully and she smiled.
I pu-ll-ed my faded go-wn over my head as stared at the full length mirror. The gentle swell of my tummy brou-ght joy to my soul. Notwithstanding what I was going though, my child was my happiness and I have made the habit of talking to my child before I sleep, believing that the fetus could hear everything I said. This would be the first time I am stepping out of the house and there was a tiny feeling of excitement. My hair was pu-ll-ed ti-ght into a pony tail and I turned away from the mirror, not looking at myself for a long time. I stared at the credit card that Alex gave me two weeks ago. How could there be money in this plastic card? I wondered vaguely. I picked it up nonetheless. I hoped that Tina would be able to use it since we might be nee-ding money.
I climbe-d down the staircase and found Tina waiting for me. Even in a maid’s cloth, her appearance was way better than mine but I did not give a damn. I would be damned if I would accept Alex’s money for my own personal expenses. I would only take whatever is necessary if my child is involved.
We walked to the door together talking quietly and out of the corner of my eyes; I caught Tola staring at us. I paused slightly and turned to Tola. “plea-se take care of the house, we would be back soon”
“Yes ma” she said bitterly.
I turned and proceeded out of the house with Tina. “Do you think you can walk? The hospital is not far but if you can’t handle the walk, we can ask a driver to take us”
I laughed. “Oh Tina, the pregnancy is not on my feet. If I can’t walk now, what would happen when I am nine months gone? I am sure I would not be able to lift a f!nger.”
She laughed and we both started down the beautiful street. I stared shamelessly at the beautiful surroundings and decided that taking a stroll every morning would be a fantastic idea. It would be good to leave the depressing house every morning, I told myself. It did not take long for us to get to the hospital. I went throu-gh the registration process and was made to take lectures with many pregnant women. It was refreshing to see women who were also pregnant, especially the heavy ones who looked like they were carrying nothing less than a dozen children in their tummy. I wondered what I would look like in the next six to seven months. I smiled at the thought. I might look three times my current size but I did not care. I was always a lover of children and the thought of having my own was too exciting a thought; I would not let thoughts of the child’s father kill that silent joy.
Before leaving the hospital hours later, a female doctor approached me. “Hi” she said with a soft smile.
I was in a really good mood for the first time in a very long time, so I smiled gaily at her. “Hello doctor”
“I don’t think I have seen you here before” the nurse said.
Tina smiled. “Actually, she is new in the environment” she said hastily.
The doctor smiled kindly. “Oh. Have you done your scan?” she asked and my heart froze. I definitely knew what a scan was, throu-gh extensive re-ading. But what I did not know was if I was re-ady to know the S-x of my child.
“I… I don’t think…erm…” I stammered in anxiety.
Tina faced me. “Actually, that is a very good idea ma’am” her brows crea-sed in a frown. “Why not? It would help you know the kind of clothes to buy. You might even be carrying twins” she squealed in sudden excitement.
I fidgeted with my go-wn in anxiety. She really had a point, and a [email protected] of me really wanted to know. In fact, all of me wanted to know. My only wish was that the man I loved was there with me holding my hands. I swallowed, quic-kly changing my line of thoughts. I smiled weakly at the doctor. “Can I do it now?”
She nodded excitedly. “I am sure you would be glad you did the scan.” She said. “Come with me”
I followed her and the pres£nce of Tina was really a life saver. I did not know why I was so agitated. Probably because a [email protected] of me knew without a doubt that the child would be a boy. I swallowed. It was also probably because the scan would remind me vividly of the time the life in my tummy was created. How Alex worsh!pped me with his hands, b©dy and words. I concentrated on breathing properly as the doctor led me to be-d in the lab. I [email protected] the be-d with my heart pounding and fixed my wi-de eyes on the screen ahead of me. Tina was standing beside me, hopping anxiously too. The doctor did some things on my tummy and an image appeared on the screen. My heart skipped and raced wildly as tears [email protected]£ to my eyes. I saw my baby! My baby! My thoughts centered on the life growing in me as my love for my child grew several degrees.
“Oh so cute” Tina cooed and jumped like a four year old girl. I wiped my tears which was ma-king my vision blurry and fixed one hundred percent attention on the child. Oh, how could I not love the child?
“A boy right?” I [email protected] out. Even my voice sounded strange in my ears. I swallowed ha-rd .
“Yes. A boy” the doctor grinned happily. The baby turned slightly, as though in confirmation. I [email protected] and my hands flew to my tummy as my eyes blurred with tears again.
“My baby. My baby boy”
I entered our large house several minutes later. Today had to be the best day of my life. I was bubbling with excitement. I was having a baby boy! Wow. The thought was so plea-sant. Tina was right. Right now, all I could think about was clothes. I wanted to buy so many clothes for my child, and I tapped the credit card in my hand with excitement. I could not wait to buy tiny clothes for my baby boy.
I opened the door to the sitting room and entered. As soon as I stepped fully into the sitting room, I froze. Tina almost bu-mped into me but I was not looking at her. My gaze was fixed on Alex and the woman with him. Everything I had experienced during the day evaporated as I stared at them. I had avoided Alex for several days, why did he have to show up today of all days? That was not as annoying as the fact that he was with that lady who-re. The very same one he brou-ght the other day. I wondered why she went back to him after knowing fully well that he was married. She really had no shame. Anger coerced throu-gh me and I felt Tina t©uçh my arm softly but I snubbe-d her. I approached the two people who apparently were too busy [email protected]£ss!ngone another to notice my pres£nce.
I raised my voice. “Like I said the last time, you both should be s-en-sible enough to restrict your shameful act to the be-droom” I yelled, gaining their attention at once.
Alex’s gaze pierced throu-gh me and instantly, the agreement I had signed [email protected]£ to my mind. I froze slightly as I swallowed. I had thought this would happen but why did it feel like a knife was been stabbe-d into my soul? More [email protected]
The girl rose from Alex’s [email protected], seeming more confident than she was last time. She smiled like a serpent as she ran her gaze over me, st©pping on the slight swell of my tummy. I placed my hand on the evidence of my superiority in the house. She smiled.
“I wonder what Alex saw in you. You look worse than a one night stand. But don’t think that because of this thing in your tummy and that wedding band, you have won” she grinned. “On the contrary, you have just signed your death warrant because I would make your life hell on earth. Apparently, I have Alex’s heart” she said with a grin and turned to gaze at Alex. “And I have something else” she continued frighteningly. “I also have his seed growing in me”
The rotation of the earth seemed to st©p at that. Alex seemed to have gone pale. The little witch placed her hand tenderly on her flat tummy. “I accepted you back because of this Alex. I would have told you the other day but this thing showed up and shattered everything. Since then, I decided I would like to have her in audience when I break the good news.” She paused slightly and then grinned happily, with her eyes shining. “I am pregnant Alex”
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 9
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Can’t hold my tears Episode 7 & 8
CAN’T HOLD MY TEARS