The wedding was a very quiet ceremony, Chuka’s parents
didn’t attend, only his uncle and his wife who resided in Abuja and Rita’s parents attended. Rita’s parents arrived that morning and while her mother fumed that the wedding was
rushed and not as lavish as she would have wanted, her father complained that
he had no idea of who his son in law really was. As soon as the ceremony was
over and all the papers signed, the newest couple in town went out for
pictures.
Rita had worn a pale cream peplum lace dress and teamed it
up with nude heels and a small light pink fascinator. Chuka looked the dapper
man in a navy blue suit and black shiny shoes. At the end of the ceremony, the
couple treated family to a buffet at the one of the biggest hotels in Maitama. As
they ate, Rita’s father spoke to his son-in-law.
“So Chuka…don’t you think you rushed this wedding?” Rita’s
father was very used to saying his mind and he didn’t care that everyone was present.
“Well…we decided not to wait any longer…” Chuka said.
He had hardly finished his statement when a tall and slender man walked up to their table.
“Good day everyone….” The man greeted.
Chuka instantly recognized him and cringed.
“Chuka…how are you?” The man greeted.
Rita had no idea of who the man was even though he looked so
painfully familiar as he bore a close resemblance to someone she knew, but who?
She thought.
“Good afternoon sir…” Chuka greeted in a shaky voice. “Err…can
we talk in private?”
“It seems like there’s a party…” The man said.
“Yes…my son in law Chuka and my daughter just got married
at the registry. You are welcome to join us.” Rita’s father, ever the diplomat
said.
“Oh….really? I am here on business and not pleasure…”
The man said stiffly.
“Oh…good to hear…” Rita’s father said.
“I see…you got married huh? You’ve forgotten the love you
had for my daughter, Aisha. You forgot how much you used to love each other,
even till her death. I know my daughter, and I knew how much she loved you.”
“Err….sir….” Chuka started, standing up.
“What would it have taken you to come and pay your last respects?” Aisha’s father said sounding disappointed.
“Errr..sir…I am very sorry…” Chuka said leaving the table and moving towards him.
“No…I don’t want you to leave your party…I just want you
to know that no one finds peace where there’s no clear conscience.” The man said
and walked away.
As soon as Aisha’s father left, there was silence, Rita’s
father shook his head in disappointment while her mother began conversations
with Chuka’s aunt.
It was needless to say that the little get together that
Chuka and his bride had planned, ended sourly.
**********
Tosin was about to go to the office, it was a Saturday morning
and just a week away from the opening of the company. She was just about to
leave the house when her phone rang, she didn’t recognize the number and
praying with all her heart that it’s not Bode, she answered the call.
“Hello…”
“Hey…it’s Priscilla…”
“Oh…hello Priscilla…how are you?” She greeted.
“I am very well thank you. What’s up with you this Saturday?”
“Nothing much, I am on my way to work…” She said.
“What? Don’t tell me that you don’t ever have fun…”
“Well…I have a short space of time to cover a whole lot
so…” She started.
“Now way! I can’t let you have a bad impression of Abuja…I
am coming to pick you for a day of relaxation at my spa and beauty parlour.”
“Wooow….really? Hahaha…but I have a lot of things I
haven’t done yet at the office…can I get to that first?” Tosin asked
laughingly.
“No! You are under arrest my dear lady, I am coming to take
you with me whether you like it or not!”Priscilla said.
“Okay…err…some of my associates came over to help me out
from Lagos, I guess I can let them handle some of the stuff, while I come over
to your spa…”
“I’ll be waiting…don’t let me come and get you myself…”
Priscilla said in a laughing voice.
Tosin smiled and hang up, Priscilla made her remember her
single days and she loved the feeling.
********
Jumoke had spent two nights at the hospital by Bode’s baby’s side, Bode had taken his kids home on the first day and when they were
about leaving the hospital, Shade had turned to her and placed her finger
against her lips urging her to be silent and she had nodded.
But Jumoke couldn’t keep silent, the little girl had been
sexually abused by her cook and the worst thing was that her mother knew about it
but had warned her to keep silent and not let her dad know about it. Jumoke was
torn between telling her boss or keeping the little girl’s secret, but then
again, the little girl had no idea of what had happened to her, so she was in
no position to tell her to keep such grievious offence a secret.
She stood up from her chair when then nurse walked into the
room, her back hurt and she desperately needed to have a bath and a change of
clothes. Her mother had promised to send her sister with fresh clothing and she
hadn’t seen her yet. She had spent the whole of yesterday studying for her exams as the baby
was so peaceful and only cried whenever he was hungry.
“He is getting better and might be discharged today…” The
nurse said to her.
“Oh…thank God!” Jumoke said as she reached out to carry
the baby who had awakened and was reaching out for her.
“Are you sure you’re not this boy’s mother?” The nurse asked
again.
“No…I wish I was but no…” Jumoke said with a soft laugh.
“Wow! Are you his mom’s sister or something?” The nurse
asked as she checked the little boy’s temperature.
“No..I am his dad’s P.A.” She replied.
The nurse raised and eyebrow at her and turned back to the
baby concealing a smile.
“I saw that look…” Jumoke started.
“No…I didn’t do anything…” The nurse started.
“Really?”
“Well…you must be very close to your boss to go the extra
mile for him.”
“No, on the contrary, the boy needs a woman’s care and that’s
why I’m here…”
“Well… I saw a nanny bring him here two days ago, she’s a
woman…” The nurse said.
“Hahahaha…yes she is but she has the older kids to look
after…”
“Don’t mind me…I kid alot but honestly, if I were your
boss, I’ll give you a huge raise.” The nurse said.
As soon as they ended the conversation, Bode walked into the
room carrying a bag in his hands.

“Good morning sir…” Jumoke greeted.
“Hey dear…how are you doing?” Bode greeted reaching out to
give her a hug.
“Good news, the nurse said baby might be discharged today!”
“Oh good news…” Bode said.
The nurse left them alone and Bode carried his baby from
her.
“I brought you a change of clothes….they are my wife’s, I
hope you don’t mind. I don’t know if you’d like to wear them.” He said.
“Noo…never mind, since he’s being discharged today, there’s
no need….” She said.
“Oh …that’s true…” Bode said. “Jumi, I owe you alot…”
“It’s nothing …honestly, I loved taking care of him.”
Jumoke said.
“Once this is over, I’m treating you to something nice…”
He said.
“I have something to tell you…” Jumoke said
matter-of-factly.
“Don’t tell me you are resigning…” Bode said in fear.
“No! It’s not that. I need to tell you about Shade, she told
me something in confidence yesterday and I would like to share it with you.”
“What did she say?”
“The reason your cook went missing was that he was
caught…sexually abusing her…” Jumoke said.
Bode almost pushed the baby he held on the ground in shock.
“What?” Bode asked with eyes wide.
“That’s what she told me. She said she and her brother were hungry and
that she had gone to meet the cook to ask for lunch and he said that she had to
lie with him on the bed and do a horse ride for fun…before he gave her food.”
“Stop it! It’s not possible! How come I know nothing about
this? Shade is just five years old…” Bode thundered.
“Well…that’s what she told me two days ago and I’ve been
meaning to tell you…”
“Who knew about this? Who caught him in the act?” Bode
asked.
“Your wife…” Jumoke said silently.
Bode closed his eyes in pain.
“Are you serious? My wife caught him in the act?” Then
suddenly remembering her fidgety nature when he had asked were the cook was, he
screamed in anger. “I asked her where the cook was and she gave some kind of
flimsy excuse! What? Why didn’t Shade tell me?”
“Well…her mom told her to keep it a secret.”
“To what? I am calling the agency that sent that cook my way
and I am suing them for damages! What? I will not rest till that pervert is
behind bars! Do you know what this is? This is a very grievious….oh…Tosin!
Tosin! Why did you keep this from me? Now I know why she kept it secret, she
put her career first and didn’t want a situation where I’d hold her back.” Bode
said.
“You can’t be too sure…” Jumoke said.
“No…I have known my wife for as long as I can remember, I
know what she considers priority and what she doesn’t. I am calling her now to
demand an explanation.” Bode said and handing over his baby to Jumoke, he
brought out his phone from his pocket and began to dial his wife’s number. 
It
never went through.
*********
It was their first night as man and wife and Rita was a bit
jittery. Her parents had taken the last flight out of Abuja and had phoned her five minutes ago that they were already in Warri. Now, she was in the lavish master bedroom
arranging her clothes in the wardrobe. Chuka walked up to her and held her tenderly from
behind.
“I am so sorry about what happened at lunch today… I guess I should have gone to offer my condolences to her family.” He
said.
“No…it’s not a problem…it skipped your mind.” She replied.
“We never shared a kiss even at the registry…” He said discarding that topic as
he pulled her closer.
“I was trying to …err…hang up my clothes…” She said
quickly and a bit nervously.
“Shhh…let’s leave that for now, we are newly-wed remember?”
He said as he turned her to face him. 
Then, Chuka kissed Rita and she kissed him
back. Soon, they were headed towards the massive bed, shedding their clothes
and falling over each other.

There in the room was an unseen presence, Aisha, she stood
there and stared at them, a look of pure grief crossed her features.
To be continued tomorrow….
Happy New Year dears….

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