“You might not know me,” Aunt Rose said, her gaze fixed on the doctor. “But I know you well enough.” She said. “You were the same man that was running around with Abimbola when she was younger, not so?” Durojaiye sat up with keen interest. “I’m sure she must have mentioned me a few times, after all, I was the one that took her in after her parent’s demise.” The doctor was shocked. This was the Aunt that Abimbola had lived with? It’s no wonder she gave him that contemptuous look when she saw him at the hospital the other day. He had never set his eyes on her before, and that was because Abimbola usually snuck out of the house to see him. As far as he knew, he was a forbidden topic in that household, and now, here this woman was saying she knew him well enough? “I can see you look very surprised. You are wondering how I was able to identify you, abi?”
She looked at Durojaiye and sighed “I have offended you.” She said “It was hard to believe a man like yourself would be interested in a young girl like Abimbola. I saw the opportunity, but unfortunately, she couldn’t.” She paused for a moment “I couldn’t let her throw that opportunity away, to spoil her future with her own hands. All I had to do was think fast, and speed up the marriage between you two. In all honesty, I never thought Abimbola would be stupid enough to allow this young man back into her life again. It was the perfect plan, you see.”
“So, Aunty…” Durojaiye interrupted “What exactly are you saying?” Aunt Rose knew the time was now. There was no point going back but somehow, she still found it difficult to speak. Her throat already formed a knot in her neck, and she tried to swallow hard so the knot could come loose. The doctor noticed how difficult this was for Aunt Rose. He already knew what Aunt Rose was going to say. He remembered the secret that Abimbola had shared with him the last night they had spent together, he remembered how devastated and angry he had felt, and every day he had to live with that secret because there was nothing he could do about it. What he didn’t know now was how to react once she broke the news – should he act surprised like he didn’t know, or come out plain and be truthful. He wanted to despise Abimbola the night she had told him, just like he wanted to despise Aunt Rose that very moment, but he couldn’t. “Aunty?” Durojaiye called again. “What.are.you.saying?” He asked, picking his words one after the other to lay emphasis.
“Abimbola was already pregnant when she got married to you.” Aunt Rose blurted out the same time the doctor said “Folasade is my daughter.” Durojaiye remained on the sofa, frozen in shock. He wore a blank expression on his face as he tilted his head to the side. He could have said he didn’t hear clearly, but the look on Aunt Rose and the doctor’s face told him he had heard what they had said loud and clear. Durojaiye felt so drained, he didn’t know what to say again. He felt defeated, played, used. “Tunmike…?” He asked almost in a whisper. Aunt Rose nodded “Folasade is your real daughter too Durojaiye, she only knows you as…” He raised his right hand to indicate he was done listening. He tried so hard to prevent the tears from falling down his cheek, but no one missed the single tear that escaped from his right eye. He got up and left the apartment quietly.
Tunmike was still in shock at the news. Is that what Folasade meant when she said their mother hadn’t been as exemplary as they thought? Did Folasade know? Was that why it was easy for her to send her out of the apartment the other day? It all made sense to Tunmike now. Never in a million years did she think that Sade, the same person that had always looked out for her and protected her, would send her out of the apartment just like that. The tears had become uncontrollable for Tunmike by the time Aunt Rose came in to look for her. “You heard, didn’t you?” Tunmike nodded “I don’t care what my mother did or what anyone says aunty, Sade is still my sister.” she cried. “I am sorry.” Aunt Rose said pulling the young girl in a tight hug as she wept. “Sade is still my sister…” Tunmike kept saying to herself over Aunt Rose’s shoulder.
“What exactly is going on here?” Sade stood by the door, rubbing her forehead as she tried to make sense of the current situation before her. “What’s wrong?”
<to be continued.
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