Miriam was in Regina’s house the next weekend.They were planning to shop for the end of month get together Regina was due to host all the ushers to. Each usher took one month, till they all got the opportunity to play host.
“Ekene is on cloud nine O!”, Regina began. She was applying make up. Miriam was lounging on her bed, peering at a magazine.
“So I hear”
“The guy seems really serious”
“This one he is all over her, I hope he is for real. Not that once she opens up to him, he’ll be on his way” Miriam wondered.
“He seems genuine”
“Wait for a proposal, before you envy her” Regina warned.
“Is Pastor Shedrack in the country? ”
“Why do you ask?” Miriam turned.
“I want to see him for counselling”
“Really? Care to share? ”
“My bobo. He has changed. Ever since I told him I am pregnant and he said I should abort it” Miriam announced.
“Miriam! You’re pregnant? ”
“Yeah! 2 weeks gone”
“O ihe I ji nwayo ekwu? (And you’re so casual about it?”
“What do you think Pastor will say?”
“He may not approve…….” Miriam murmured.
“But, I don’t want to carry the burden alone”
“This is the sort of thing you discuss with us, not pastor. Haba!”, Regina stood before her, arms crossed over her chest.
Miriam shrugged again.
“You’re not joking, are you? ” Regina came forward to hold her gaze.
She shook her head. Regina sat beside her and put her arms around her, leaning her head on hers and sighing.
“How do you feel?”, she asked.
“When did you tell him?”
“Few days ago”
“He said 2 other girls are pregnant for him and since they told him 1st, I should get rid of mine” her voice was wooden, unemotional.
“What! The nerve!” Regina sputtered.
“I reminded him that he had promised to marry me and he laughed. That his wife’s family is very rich and influential and if he asks for a divorce, they would destroy him. His father-in-law owns the company he works for”
“What an oaf!” Regina cursed.
“That is not a problem. I can take care of my child. The only thing is, I want Pastor to know on time. That way, he will sympathize with me, rather than condemn me”
“Are you going to tell him you were raped?”
“No. I’ll tell him I thought we were headed for the altar and so I let down my guard”
“Plus, would he rather I had an abortion?”
“You know I would never support that. I still have those nightmares about Pastor Dennis and my baby. The thought of you going through it scares me”
“I can imagine what Ekene will say” Miriam laughed suddenly.
“She’ll be so shocked, she’ll probably be speechless” Regina laughed.
“It is well” Miriam sighed.
“God of Gateway will make a way” Regina agreed.
Ijeoma was cooking. Magnus was chatting with Regina via blackberry messenger. Jonah and Kevin were playing in the kitchen.
“So, how was your day? “, typed Magnus.
“Stressful. I don’t know why I insist on driving myself. This Lagos traffic is enough to drive one mad”, Regina typed.
“Get a driver, then”
“It’s my only compromise to please my mother. She is convinced I am still single because I appear unapproachable”
“But, you’re so easy to talk to. I can’t imagine any man hesitating to pick you up”
“I hear you”
“For real. You are very down to earth, a good listener, and an intelligent converstionalist”
“Hold on…. Let me get my dictionary. Ahem….repeat please”
“Lawyer big English!”
“Those were simple terms. Why do you tease me so?”
“Cause you have a great laugh”
“Hahahaha! This is a chat, remember? ”
“O, but, I love the way you laugh, though I can’t hear it right now”
Ijeoma called from the kitchen. “Magnus, could you take these kids off me? I am trying to cook here!”
“I’m really busy. These documents have to be submitted tonight”, he replied.
“Please, take them to the living room. Let them watch cartoons or something. They are in my way”
Magnus got up reluctantly and shooed the kids out of the kitchen. While they watched a cartoon, he resumed his chat.
“Are you still there? Ping!”
“k. I thought you had dozed off ” Magnus typed.
“Nah…you’re boring but not that boring”
“So what are you’re plans for the weekend?”
“Nothing concrete. You?”
“Biking with Ekene and Miriam. We are trying to keep fit, so we joined a bikers’ club. Besides, it’s a great place to meet eligible guys, I hear”
“You had to chip that in?”
“What do you want me to say? You have someone to curl up to in cold weather. I’m here freezing”
“I wish I had someone to curl up to”
“Did she travel?”
“Frigid thing! Let’s not discuss her. Just know that I ain’t getting none. It’s either Pre or post or mentrual pains. Meeeeen!”
“No. I just thought marriage is a licence to get your freak on”
“Freak? I dare not suggest anything out of the ordinary”
“You’re laughing? ”
“Just thinking, I am so adventurous, I hope these holy brothers can keep up with me”
“Now you’re just tormenting me”
“Didn’t mean to”
“You know, you are just the kind of woman I should have married”
“Story of my life!”
“We would have a ball. Arguing over our different clubs……”
“That reminds me, when do I get my money? You lost your bet that Arsenal would thrash Liverpool”
“Is it not money?”
“Lol. I will send it in coins”
Kevin interrupted, asking for his dad to wrest his toy from Jonah who had exercised his seniority. Magnus got up to intervene and saw that his wife was laying the table.
“Can we do this later?” he typed
“Sure. Night” Regina replied.
“Miss you more”
Ijeoma was at a PTA meeting. Magnus had stayed back to mind the children. She was wearing a black skirt with a yellow blouse and black pumps. Having arrived late, she snuck into the only available seat at the back.
“Sorry, that seat is reserved”, the lady seated beside the seat muttered and placed a hand on the chair.
“Does it matter”, she replied testily. Lifting her Gucci handbag, she dropped it on the seat.
“Let me sit till the person comes in, if you don’t mind”, Ijeoma whispered.
“She’s just outside. She went to take a call. Ask them to get you a chair”
“What? You are late!”
Ijeoma refrained from uttering her unkind thoughts and moved to the back of the room. One of the teachers noticed her and signalled someone to get a chair for her. However, she had to stand there for 15 humiliating minutes before it arrived. She wondered why the teacher did not give up her chair for her.
“Probably because I don’t drive the kind of car that would impress her or tip as much”, she thought bitterly.
Ijeoma sulked throughout the meeting. She kept watching the lady who placed her handbag on the chair she had already lowered her backside to sit on. She was wearing a fabulous white dress that was obviously expensive. Her shoes were green louboutins and and her make up looked professionally applied.
“Who is this mysterious person that owns that seat?” she wondered throughout the meeting.
She hardly heard a word that was spoken. At the end of the event, Ijeoma realized that the mysterious seat owner was the Gucci bag. She bristled with fury. Every fibre of her being longed to confront the lady but for some reason, she could not. It was obvious that it would lead to an altercation she would later regret. Besides, she was not dressed for the occassion. If she had, at least, the Michael Kors bag Ndidi had got for her during her trip abroad with her family, maybe. Unfortunately, it was red and didn’t match her outfit. She didn’t want to attract insults.
“That’s what you get from marrying a stingy man”,she thought.
Without exchanging pleasantries with anyone, she stormed out of the venue.
TO BE CONTINUED.