“Do you need anything else?” Túnmikẹ asked.
“No, I’m good,” Sade replied. “Thanks, for everything.”
Túnmikẹ smiled. “You’d do the same for me too.” She said. She was about to exit the room when Sade called her back. “Please, don’t leave me.” She pleaded. Túnmikẹ searched Sade’s eyes to see if she could discern how she was really feeling. “Okay…” Sade scooched aside on the bed so Túnmikẹ could have enough room to lay down right beside her.
“Where is Aunt Rose?” She asked.
“She is still in my room.” Túnmikẹ lied.
Sade cleared her throat. “And…the doctor?” The doctor was in the living room talking to Aunt Rose by the time Túnmikẹ came to check on Sade. “He already left.” She lied again.
“Okay…” She didn’t ask about Dúrójaiye. They both stared at the ceiling in silence. “Sade…”
“How are you feeling?” She asked. Sade rolled over on the bed, turning her back to Túnmikẹ. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Did he tell you?” Sade asked breaking the silence
“Did who tell me?”
She gulped. She didn’t know what to call him anymore. Dad? Mr. Johnson? Dúrójaiye? “Him…” She said. “Did he tell you what mom did? Why he filed for a divorce?” Túnmikẹ was confused, she didn’t know there was more. “He didn’t tell you, did he?”
“I didn’t ask actually…” She said. “He just seemed to be going through a lot, you know, with this legal matter at hand. I just didn’t think it would be fair to start questioning him about something like that.” Túnmi said.
Sade rolled her eyes. She had always wondered how Túnmikẹ could have a soft spot for this man while growing up, and she wondered till now. Perhaps the news they had all just heard was enough to shed light on that mystery. She went ahead to tell Túnmikẹ about their mother’s illicit affair anyway. Tunmike seemed unfazed by the news. She had heard enough strange things for the day, this didn’t seem so strange to her anymore.
They spoke about it and some other things for close to two hours, before Sade announced that she needed to sleep.
Túnmikẹ tip-toed out of the room so she wouldn’t wake Sade up. She needed a glass of cold water, but she didn’t feel like seeing Aunt Rose right now. She hoped the woman had already left, but she was wrong. “Peace of mind…” Aunt Rose started to say, the moment she saw Túnmikẹ “…is priceless indeed.”
“Aunty, you are still here?” Túnmikẹ asked politely. “I was just going to get a glass of water. Should I get you anything?”
“How is Sade feeling?” Aunt Rose asked ignoring her offer. Túnmikẹ told her Sade was fine. “She fell asleep not too long ago.”
“That’s good.” She said looking weary. But even as weary as her face looked, Túnmikẹ could see something else, something lighter.
“How are you feeling Aunty.”
“Now I know why Abimbola did not bother to carry me along with the divorce.” She said, ignoring the question. “For years, I was so worried your father would find out the truth. Any sane person could have realized the timing of the announcement of the baby and the delivery didn’t exactly correspond. But when he didn’t notice, I became at rest. ” She continued. “Happy that the child would be born into a wealthy home and all her needs would be catered for. I was happy for Abimbola too. She didn’t have to worry about finances – everything was perfect.”
Aunt Rose looked at Túnmikẹ amidst the tears that had now clouded her eyes. “But since the time at the hospital, when Dúrójaiye pointed out that man to me, that same man – the doctor, to be the reason his marriage with Abimbola had collapsed, I knew I could not get away with what I had started the moment I recognized him.” She chewed on her nails as she continued. “My mind became troubled.” Aunt Rose sobbed quietly. “At first I thought no one would notice. After all, she looked more like Abimbola, but when your neighbour – what is his name again, is it Kunle?” Túnmikẹ nodded. “When he mentioned taking Sade to her father’s hospital, and I saw the doctor to whom he referred to, I knew I could no longer keep my mouth shut.” She continued. “I had to reveal the truth. And I am thankful I did because now, my mind is at rest.” She nodded. “My mind is at rest.”
Túnmikẹ couldn’t deal with this right now, she had to think of a way to excuse herself and think fast before Aunt Rose started another round of epistle. “Aunty…I think you should eat something. It’s already afternoon” She said. “Let me quickly fix something for you to eat.”
“There is no need my daughter.” She said. “I am going back to Abeokuta. I cannot stand Sade looking at me the way she had looked at me earlier after I revealed the truth to her, and I don’t think she would want to see me for now as well.”
“No, no, Túnmikẹ…” Aunt Rose said. “Trust me, it is fine.” She headed out the door with her handbag. “I would call you when I get to Abeokuta, okay?”
Túnmikẹ saw her off to the main gate. Now she felt really bad for Aunty Rose. She turned around when she stepped out into the main road. “Tell Sade that I am sorry. Tell Dúrójaiye the same as well.” She wiped a tear from her eye with her handkerchief. “I only meant well.” She said before giving Túnmikẹ a warm hug, and entering the taxi that Túnmikẹ had called for her.
“Túnmikẹ? Was that Aunty Rose?” Collins said approaching Túnmikẹ who was standing by herself at the main gate.
“Collins? What are you doing here?”
“I came to visit.” He said. “You don’t look so happy to see me though.”
“Yes, and that is because you have the worst timing ever.” She growled.
Collins looked concerned “How is Sade?”
“She is fine” Túnmikẹ sighed. She looked up to the door of their apartment. She smiled as a wild thought crossed her mind. “You know what?” She said. “Let’s get out of here.” She smiled at Collins who was grinning back in excitement at her.
<to be continued.
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