…continued from UNFORGIVEN IX
“What does this mean? Why would she have written this report? Are you saying she…” the import of what he was about to imply hit Ethel with a wave and she stumbled.
“Eth, you okay?” Amaka asked.
“No. No I’m not. That bastard had the guts to take me to the hospital his wife worked in! And what is this about an induced abortion?” the picture was coming together in her head slowly.
“Er…I don’t want to make assumptions but it seems you ingested a fair amount of Mizoprostol during your pregnancy which eventually caused the loss of your baby.”
“Are you saying my miscarriage was deliberate? I don’t understand, tell me!” Ethel was near hysterical.
“Calm down Eth. Tell me, did you take any medication at any point during your pregnancy?”
“No, I don’t think so. I…wait. Yes. Both times Charles gave me some prescriptions which he said…he’d gotten from his doctor…he said he was…taking care of me…” her voice shook as the tears pooled in her eyes.
“Eth, did you…check what the medication was? Did you even ask?” Amaka’s voice was soft.
“I trusted him! He said it would make me feel better. Take away the morning sickness…” she sank to her knees, hugging herself. “He lied…he lied…he killed my babies…my babies…no…”
Amaka knelt beside her and put her arms around her; not knowing what else to say to comfort her friend.
“He lied… murderer. My babies…my babies…”
“We aren’t sure yet Eth, it might have been something else,” even as she said it, Amaka knew it was a lie. Charles was the culprit and he’d used his wife to cover up his crime.
“No! No!” Ethel thrashed around, hysterical. “No, my babies!”
Tayo rushed into the kitchen, his eyes wide in alarm.
“Babe, what is it?” he asked as he surveyed the scene before him.
“Tell you later hon. Please help me get her to bed. She’s just had a bad shock and I don’t think she can stand; please babe.”
They both helped Ethel to her feet and dragged her limp figure to the spare bedroom.
None of them could tell what was running through Ethel’s mind because her eyes took on a glazed look as they lay her on the bed. She whimpered between intervals calling out to her babies.
Amaka was torn apart as she watched her friend. She wished she could help but knew that this was a battle Ethel needed to fight alone. She’d been through a lot; that much Amaka had figured out over the past few days.
Suddenly she got an idea; she picked up Ethel’s purse and fished out her phone. She scrolled through it, found what she wanted and made the call.
Sleep evaded her like a thief on the prowl but she didn’t notice. Her mind seemed both dead and alive at the same time. The voices were louder and more frequent as she lay on the bed in a foetal position.
He killed them. My babies!
He saved you from being like your mother!
You would’ve been a terrible mother; the worst.
He never even gave me the chance!
You didn’t deserve one.
And as she lay on the bed struggling with her thoughts, her head began to replay the events of the years before.
Charles’ transformation from the angry boyfriend to an overly caring father-to-be, his constant waiting on her hand and foot. The insistence to take her to his hospital when she first began experiencing her second miscarriage.
It all made sense now; he’d planned it, carefully and without any mistakes. He’d cold heartedly taken away her babies. He hadn’t wanted to upset his wonderful, picture-perfect family so he’d taken away hers.
Will God punish him? Will He make him suffer like she had suffered, like she was, even now?
Or will he live life as usual? Leaving her scarred?
She didn’t notice when the room was bathed in darkness as Amaka left her, neither did she know when she drifted off to sleep with her tear-stained face.
When she opened her eyes, it took her some minutes to adjust to the brightness of the room.
“Eno, how are you?”
She jerked at the sound of the voice. Her mother. No one else called her that except her mother. What was she doing here?
She sat up, her head feeling heavy.
“What are you doing here? Who called you? What do you want?” she croaked, apprehensive. The memory of the previous night came flooding.
“Eno, calm down. I heard you were not…feeling too fine and I…” her mother reached out to touch her.
Ethel jerked away with a squeal. “Don’t. Touch. Me.”
“Eno, please…” her pain oozed out of every pore on her body. It was always a difficult thing when a mother was rejected by her child.
“Leave me alone! Get out! I want to be alone! Where’s Amaka! All of you are betrayers! You! Charles! All of you!” she was hysterical now; thrashing about, a near-crazed look in her eyes.
Mum stared at her, her hands spread out in a helpless motion before her.
I don’t need you anymore ma. You were never there when I needed you so get away from me! Ethel screamed aloud in her head.
“Amaka, I want to see Amaka,” she spoke out, “I want my phone.”
“Eno, she went to work. She asked me to stay with you because…she felt you needed help.”
“I don’t need your help. I don’t need anybody’s help! You are a traitor! A prostitute! Don’t you see what you are?”
The slap was unexpected. Ethel couldn’t remember when last her mother had touched her – affectionately or otherwise. She was momentarily stunned.
“Are you mad? Or do you want to be? Nonsense. Don’t ever talk to me like that. I don’t care how sick you are. I gave birth to you and raised you so you better watch your mouth, young lady,” Mum said.
Ethel refused to heed to the tears that threatened to pour, instead she pulled herself up from the bed, picked her purse that lay on the nightstand and made for the door.
“Where are you going, madam?”
She didn’t answer as she stormed out of the room, banging the door behind her.
“Eno! Eno!” Mum called, rushing after her.
“Leave me alone! I hate you!” she screamed as she dashed out of the house and into the street, nearly running into a car.
In her distraught state, she flagged down a cab and jumped in, gave him her address and smiled in satisfaction as he zoomed away, leaving her mother waving frantically at her in the distance.
No, I’m not. She deserves it. She’s terrible.
You’re going to hurt yourself.
I can’t be anymore hurt than I am now.
The voices were at it again; louder than ever this time.
“Shut up,” Ethel whispered. She didn’t notice the cab driver glance at her in his mirror.
She rummaged in her purse and took out her phone and dialled.
“Hello Charles. It’s me. Oh, yes. Ethel. I..uh…decided to take you up on your offer. What are you doing right now?” She paused, listening. “Uh…can you come to my house now? I have something special planned for you. Oh yes, I changed my mind. Because I missed you…and I can’t take it anymore. I want to see you…in like, thirty minutes. Uhmmm…yes, yes…okay bye!”
As she hung up, she felt the bile rise in her throat. She was going to see him one last time and give him a present. She’ll make him pay for every tear he caused her to shed. And for her babies he took away.
Pay-back time, Charlie boy.
When the cab driver dropped her off, she rushed to her bedroom to get ready. Charles was going to be here any minute. She opened her box, the one she’d taken with her when she left her mother’s house three years ago. It was the box that Charles had left her when he’d thrown her out. She hadn’t opened the box since she came to Abuja and restarted her life. It brought back bad memories so she had kept it locked away.
Now, as she took out the red lingerie he’d bought her years ago, the tears threatened to pour. This man, who she’d given four years of her life to, had repaid her by taking away her babies. A man she had considered spending the rest of her life with!
The rage gripped her as she thought of the past. She slipped out of her clothes, slid into the lingerie and went in search of the handcuffs.
Charles had liked kinky sex. According to him, he never had that with his wife. So, he’d bought her cuffs and a few other sex toys which she’d kept locked away.
She’d never known she would need it again. Until now.
She stroked the cuffs, smiling at her plan. If God wasn’t going to punish Charles, she was. She wouldn’t wait till the judgment day and the Lake of fire. He deserved punishment now.
Her next stop was the kitchen. She retrieved what she needed from there and went back to the bedroom.
At that point, the doorbell rang. Charles could never resist a booty call.
to be continued next week…
by Mimi Adebayo