One thought that was certain for Abimbola as she laid on the hospital bed that evening was that if she had super powers, it would be the kind that would give her the ability to manipulate time so she could go back in time to make better decisions. To correct all her mistakes, all the lies she ever told thinking they would be relevant and won’t hurt anyone. Her daughters had returned back to their call of duty; Túnmikẹ was in school, and Afolasade was back in Abuja. Neither of them knew she was at the hospital that very moment, and she wanted to keep it that way.

“Hello Abimbola.” The doctor came in with an awkward smile plastered on his face. “You seem to be doing very well.” He said. “How do you feel?” Abimbola wore a blank expression on her face. She could have given the automated response but at that moment, ‘fine’ wasn’t even close to how she felt. The doctor approached her “I know how hard this must be for you, but you have to understand it was necessary.” He stroked her cheek, wiping the tear that just escaped from her right eye. “Very necessary.” She hated that she felt so vulnerable, that people kept treating her like some fragile human who wasn’t able to stand up on her own two feet.

“Take me home?” She asked the doctor, but he hesitated. He knew that she didn’t just expect him to just drop her off at home. She wanted something extra that even he couldn’t give right now. He had a pregnant wife at home that grew suspicious of his frequent late nights, a pregnant wife Abimbola didn’t know about. He didn’t know why he couldn’t resist the woman that lay on the hospital bed in front of him. Even after all these years, he could still feel his heart beat faster, and his ‘johnny’ rise in excitement whenever he set his eyes on her. Even in her weary state, she still looked so beautiful. He never hesitated to tell her how beautiful she was, or how she always made him feel. “I don’t know…” He started to say. “Please.” Abimbola pleaded. “I can’t be by myself right now. I need someone by my side, I need you.” He sighed. He was the major reason she was at the hospital today, and he couldn’t let her down again. “Okay, let me just round up some things and I would take you home.” He smiled.

The silence on the ride home afforded Abimbola ample time to reflect on what could have been if her Aunt hadn’t nabbed her attempt to run away with the doctor many years ago, or if her parents hadn’t died, and she had finished school. Her aunt couldn’t afford her university education, and had put away every protest of hers to work and make money for herself to go to school. It was always about Dúrójaiye, the wealthy man who had taken interest in her, and could not wait any longer for the marriage, or how lucky she was that a man like Dúrójaiye took interest in a girl like her. ‘What is the point of going to school again when the money you want to be making with your certificate, this man is about to shower it on you in abundance.’ her aunt would always say, and end with  ‘I am doing you a favour here, you will thank me later.’ Well, she wasn’t thanking her now, that’s for sure.

After the first few years of marriage, she had quickly learnt the kind of man Dúrójaiye was, and what he wanted – a puppy dog yielding to its masters wants except, she was no puppy.  She was a woman – a human being with her own wants, desires and needs but she had to endure the beatings, fear and reprimands, and learn to silence herself, to yield. She had to learn to be content with the fact that neither she nor her daughters lacked anything financially. That was how things were supposed to be, but as soon as she had reconnected with her old lover who was now a doctor, she knew life was more than all the money they had, and she couldn’t take being held like a prisoner in her own home anymore. The hunger pangs she had shut out for years from the need to feel loved, to express and be herself, to be human all came rushing back.

The doctor couldn’t keep his eyes off Abimbola as they cuddled on the bed. For all he knew, he had made up his mind that this would be the last time he would be doing this with Abimbola. He had to focus on his marriage now that his wife was expecting a baby. He had chosen this night to confess, let Abimbola know about his three-year old marriage once and for all. “What’s on your mind?” He asked observing how oddly quiet she had been. She smiled and teased “Do you really want to know?” He tilted her face towards his. “Of course I do.” He replied. “I actually have something I need to tell you too.” He said feeling very nervous. Abimbola noticed “Is it bad?” The doctor took in a deep breath.

“How about we just drop what we have to say together at the same time.” She said. “But first, we have to promise each other that whatever we say now, would not leave the four walls of this room.” The doctor nodded. “Okay…One…” The doctor thought about his pregnant wife at home, and how much he needed that marriage to work for his unborn child. “Two…” Abimbola thought about the abortion she just had at the hospital that day, and gathered the strength to tell the doctor what she had always wanted to say to him right before she became a married woman. “Go…”

<to be continued.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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