He rocked the baby back and forth in his arms. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life. She had his small eyes, Bola’s petty nose and lips which were as pink as rose petals. She even smiled at him once revealing a little dimple on her left cheek. He wondered where she got the dimple from since neither he nor Bola had it. He was so enthralled with the beauty of his new born child he was oblivious of every other thing around him, any other emotion he was previously feeling was long gone and replaced with pure love for his baby.
She walked towards him and when it seemed like she wasn’t getting any closer enough to him, she tied to run but found herself gliding towards him instead. She got to them at last and flashed a smile at him…
Bola: “Ta-da!” she said into his face but he did not react. He did not even act like anyone was talking to him let alone in front of him. “Ife are you ignoring me now? Oh my! Look at how beautiful our daughter is, can I have her for a minute please?” she said and stretched her hands towards the baby but it went through it, yet Ife was still oblivious of her presence.
“Ife… what is happening to me? Can’t you see me at all?” she tried to touch him too but her hand went through him like she was a wisp of smoke. “Oh no! Am I dead?” she cast a quick glance around the room and despite all her shouting and drama, no one had taken notice of her. Her baby looked up at her, smiled and reached a hand towards her.
Ifeoluwa: “Who are you smiling at honey? I thought I am your first love? Are you already in love with that boy over there?” he said smiling at his own silly joke.
Bola: “I am the one she is smiling at you dim wit. At least someone can see me, thank you baby” she blew her a kiss and disappeared. She found herself at the ICU. She needed to confirm, maybe Ife and the people at the nursery were playing a prank on her but then, there she laid on the bed with different kinds of machine connected to her. She was still breathing through the ventilator but barely.
A nurse came in to change her drip…
Bola: “Excuse me nurse can you hear me? I am here and I am also there, what is happening to me? Am I dead?” she screamed at the nurse who went about her business with no form of panic even after checking her pulse and other vital signs. “Can’t you hear me? I am talking to you. You guys are not competent in this hospital, how can I be here and still alive over there? What are you guys doing to me?” she yelled even louder but the nurse only murmured something to herself and kept quiet, dribbling with a very bad handwriting on a file she had with her.
The sun was glaring fiercely when she came out of the church after church service that afternoon. Adunni decided to try locating the address her daughter had sent her some months back, praying in her heart that she will still be there. When she got there, her numbers told her she hadn’t come back home the previous night. Those who truly knew her told her she must have gone to Ife’s place but she neither knew his place nor his address. She asked them but none of them knew too. They made her know she was in a very good health before she left home and that nothing was wrong with her. She left the place with a heart which wanted to believe her daughter was really okay but couldn’t. She kept having that nagging feeling but she felt helpless, not knowing where to look or who to talk to anymore decided to go back home.
She jerked her head backward when she heard the door creak open. Ife walked in with the baby warmly wrapped in a new shawl in his arms. His steps were unsure and uneven. She could see tears clinging to his eyes as he fought to keep them at bay. He stood by her bedside while she watched him closely wondering if he finally fell in love with her or it was just too much overwhelming emotions playing themselves out in his mind. The baby was fast asleep in his arms and she smiled at how comfortable she was there, he was going to do a great job even in her absence.
Ifeoluwa: “Bola, here is our baby. She looks so much like me not you, I think I won in this race anyway. She will probably become an OAP like me and make us two proud. How I wish you are here, she hasn’t even fed yet, she hasn’t taken a real breast milk yet she is so quiet and understanding just like you. Bola, I am sorry you are like this and I cannot help you at all, I need you to know I will always be here for you, I will do all it takes to see us back together as one family” he could no longer keep the tears at bay as they went shattering down. He went into the baby’s shawl like a baby.
Tears, hot tears began to drip from her eyes too. She looked at her body on the bed and realised the tears were rolling down her face for real and quickly cleaned the one she was able to.
Ifeoluwa: “Hey you are crying? I am so sorry, there are so many things I am not good at. I could not make you happy while you were okay, I can’t even make you happy while you are lying here. I am so incapable of many things” he lifted his shoulder up, bent his head and cleaned his tears on his shoulder, careful not to disturb the sleeping baby.
Bola: “You are doing just fine Ife. I will be with you every step you have to take”
As soon as he got home with the baby, he called Angela over because he didn’t know what to do with her. she needed a change of diaper, she needed to feed yet all he could do was stare at the wailing baby. Angela arrived there within the twinkle of an eye and was surprised at what she saw. The baby laid on the bed- wailing while Ife stood over her, confused.
Angela: “What is going on here? whose baby is this?” she asked in bewilderment when she looked around and so no other woman in the house.
Ifeoluwa: “She is mine. I and Bola’s baby”
Angela: “Wow! I thought she wasn’t due till next month? Where is she?” she reached for the baby, scooped her up and started dancing around with her. even she did not know what to do with her but she wanted to believe she did.
Ifeoluwa: “She is in coma at the hospital”
Angela: “Oh my God! What happened to her?” she feigned acute surprise.
Ifeoluwa: “Accident. Please the baby’s diaper needs to be changed, teach me how to do it or you could help me do it?”
Angela: “I don’t know how to change a baby’s diaper either. And hope you aren’t going to push the responsibilities of taking care of this baby on me? I think this is the time for you to call her grandmother”
Ifeoluwa: “Which grandmother? My mum is dead” he snapped.
Angela: “Not yours. Bola’s. I cannot carry the cross of another woman on my shoulders when I am not even married to you. We don’t know when her mother will come out of coma so it will be better you call her mother or find a nanny. Just that nannies cannot be trusted, they might kill your child nd run away or sell her off to a ritualist. The best thing would be for you to get married” she suggested.
Ifeoluwa: “I don’t have her mum’s number and I don’t know her house either. Wish I had gone to pick her up all those times she begged me to. I was a total jerk to her” he said regretfully while the baby increased the tempo of her wails.
She sneaked the man into one of the rooms upstairs which were always locked. He had offered to pay him as much money as he wanted provided he did everything without letting a soul know about it. He instructed him on what to do and pushed him inside, closing the door behind him.
He was scared out of his wits when he saw what was inside the room, it was covered from wall to wall with red curtains. There was an altar which looked like a shrine with different types of tied figurines in the earthen ware on the table. There was a bell with red string tied to its handle and a huge mirror resting on the wall at the left wing of the room. He looked around in horror wondering what he was doing there until he saw the girl sprawled on the floor, she was wide awake but seemed oblivious of her surroundings.
Question: Is marriage the way out for Ifeoluwa and his baby? Who is the girl on the floor and what is the man to do with her?
Stay tuned for Episode 11 (You don’t wanna miss this!)…AdeLove Stories…Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
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