“She will be fine. It is a threatened abortion. We should keep her on admission for a while just to make sure all is well.”
The moment Edi mentioned bleeding and Tafo in the same sentence that morning, my eyes snapped open. If we were all to pull through this trying period with our senses intact, we could not afford any losses again. Tafo was at the hospital for a week.
Her third night on admission, i was stepping out of the shower in my bathrobe back at home when Edi came into my room. I immediately regretted not sticking to my big brown towel which was extra decent. At least, it did not leave my cleavage and a major one-third of my breasts open. It did not come with a sash as the only means of securing it around my body. Neither was it lacking in adequate length.
Edi’s eyes were somewhere between apology and temporary shock. Remember i said Tafo has the curves? I really had no idea what he was staring at.
I coughed as i made for my towel draped on a chair nearby. “Need something?”
“Uhm… Yes… I don’t know. Not… Sure.” He turned to leave.
I don’t know what pushed me towards him but i was soon standing in front of him, blocking his way to the door.
As he leaned into me, his lips meeting mine in soft, gentle motions, my mind was screaming ,”HIV!!! He has not gotten his result yet. What of Jide?!?”. But just as it obtains in REM sleep, my brain was active but it seemed my body was paralysed.
His hands were already tracing a path from my hips upwards when we both noticed a persistent, hoarse cough coming from the guest room.
“I should go check on your mother…”.
He moved back, putting his hands in his pockets. ” No, i will. You… Need to…”. He gestured at my awkward ensemble of bathrobe and towel.
I nodded as he left, tying my towel more firmly across my waist.Jeez, Kokoma, what are you up to?
The rest of the week was spent avoiding each other as much as possible. I channeled all my attention to chats with Jide via whatsapp. I went to visit Tafo once, met her sleeping. So, i dropped her a note. I was not ready yet for whatever emotional outburst she was going to give me.
The day she was discharged, Edi went to pick her up. I stayed back to be with mama Edichie who was now on oxygen. When we suggested taking her back to the hospital, she had refused vehemently.
“Kokoma, you are finally here. I am fine. Whatever death wants to take me can come respectfully to my bed, not some platform in some hospital.”
Jide’s message came in about getting more information on his unknown benefactor.
“The ‘K’ is Kanayo, just like your surname. Imagine. How many Kanayos do you even know?”
“Who knows? I mean, the name is quite common. At least i know my father would rather die than have anything to do with Yorubas. No offence intended.”
“Sure, non taken. As long as I’ve not been imagining romantic and naughty things with my half sister, all is well.”
As soon as Tafo got into the house, she was helped by her husband straight to bed.
“The doctors said she needs a lot of rest and good food. Koko, i am really grateful you decided to stay back.”
“Yea, sure. I’d be with mama…”
“Wait… About the other night. I should apologise. It was… Uncalled for.”
“But you want it to happen again.”
“Yes… No, i mean…”
I left him struggling to get his confused mind in control. It felt good seeing him in that state, being the one on the receiving end of day light snubbing.
The next days were spent cooking for the house and waiting eagerly for Jide’s arrival.
“You said he would be coming tomorrow, right?”
“Yes mama.” I am braiding what is left of her hair.
“You would make sure he comes greet me even if i am asleep. Okay?”
Somehow, i was closer to her than my own mother. I had only mentioned Jide in passing to mother when she called weeks ago. She did not ask further questions after she confirmed that his Yoruba name was original, not acquired from Yoruba loving Ibo parents.
“Do you think he wants to marry me?”
“What sensible man won’t want to?”
Edi said it would be great to meet Jide finally. His enthusiastic hug and “what’s up bro” when Jide arrived was quite convincing too.
I did the introductions. Well, it was just two of them until Tafo came in. That was her first time outside the room since her discharge.
“Well, Jide, I’ve told you about Tafo, my sister… Edi’s wife.”
“Sis, meet Jide, my…”
“Boyfriend. Yes, i like how that sounds. It is nice to meet you Jide. Koko here has told me a lot about you.”
I look at my sister’s glowing skin and fresh body as she goes on to make Jide feel welcome, like a part of the family. Lies. I had not mentioned Jide to her, not once.
There’s some knocking at the door.
“I’d get it.”
Opening the door to meet Mr and Mrs Kanayo standing was not part of the plan.
“Mum… Dad… You did not tell us you were coming.”