Written by Mofoluwake Omololu.
…Nine months later.
“Honey, I’ve told you again and again. You don’t have to stay home with me, at least not until the baby comes. And it won’t be here for another week, so please go to work.” Lara was saying to her persistent husband who was placing her lunch in the microwave so she could reach it easily.
She had taken her annual leave three weeks before her due date because her tummy was really big and it had become a chore for her to reach around herself, talk less of working on a table. Kola’s want to stay home with her was with good intentions but she wasn’t excited about it because he had fawned over her through out the period of the pregnancy and as she approched the end he seemed to think her incapable of even standing up from were she sat.
He was cooking and, although she tried to stop him, bathing her whenever he got the chance. She felt useless enough with the way Kola was when they were together, so his coming home to be with her round the clock she dreaded. Whereas he was bound to call every other hour as was his way with the pregnancy too, so, it would be like he was with her.
Kola held her hand and led her to the sofa and comfortably settled her in with a blanket and tissues and water and a selection of cookies, sweets and fruits she could nibble on. He set the remote controls by her side and as he stood pondering what else he was missing Lara started to laugh.
“You realise I can’t possibly sit here through out the day, right? I’ll need to use the restroom and I’m expecting mummy from church, I’ll get up to answer the door. Kola go to work, I beg!! I’m fine. My legs can still carry me and my hands can still reach for the things I need.”
“You’ll call me if you need anything, right? And please pick my calls, okay?” Kola asked almost as though he was begging.
“Of course I will, dear husband, the alternative would be you rushing back here and I wouldn’t want that, plus we need you to do your job properly. Go, I’ll call you if anything comes up.” Lara answered.
Kola planted a kiss on her head before he left and she scrolled through the television channels.
She was sleeping when her pastor’s wife knocked on her door, she felt light headed as she stood up to answer the door.
The pastor’s wife had come with catfish peppersoup because Lara had told her she had a craving for it. Lara brought plates and they sat and enjoyed the peppersoup which Lara had with bread. They talked about their different cravings and laughed through the meal.
After the incident in church where the pastor’s wife had referenced the Rio Affair, Lara and Kola had left the church. They had mutually agreed and were going to start looking for a new church to attend.
The pastor and his wife had come to see them after they had been absent two Sundays.
“We’ve missed you in church for two sundays now, hope nothing?” the pastor had asked.
“Ha, pastor. There’s nothing o, Lara and I feel the need to seek God’s face on a number of things, including the church. That’s why we’ve been away.” Kola responded.
The pastor’s wife asked if by seeking God they meant whether or not they should continue attending the church.
Lara and Kola had shared a look and then Kola answered, “Ma’am, it’s not at all like that . But, this is between my wife and I so I’ll plead that you don’t continue to ask about it. If we are led to talk about it, we will.”
Lara sat uneasily as the pastor’s wife stared at her.
“What did I say the other day that offended you?” The pastor’s wife asked.
Lara had been caught off guard with the direct question but quickly recovered with a giggle.
“How can I be offended at you? Don’t mind me, and don’t mind us. Women issues have been worrying me and I must have robbed off some on Kola. We’re indeed looking up to God for some things and would be away from church for a while or longer, we don’t yet know.”
“What do you mean “women issues”? Am I not a woman too? And an experienced one at that. This your excuse is not good enough, but it’s okay. I need you to know that you can come to me with anything though, you’re safe with me.” the pastor’s wife replied.
Lara must have been convincing enough because they didn’t press on, they enjoyed the refreshment that had been served them and adviced the couple randomly. As they chatted, Lara noticed the pastor’s wife kept stealing glances at her and maybe accessing her. She guessed she was doing it to make sure Lara didn’t hold a grudge against her but then she asked,
“Are you pregnant?”
This time the look Lara and Kola shared was both accusatory and surprised, but the pastor’s wife was quick to dispel thier assumptions.
“I’ve been watching you and there is quite a difference in your countenance, I suspect pregnancy. Is it not?” the pastor’s wife pressed on.
Lara smiled at her husband and then nodded at the pastor and his wife. There was jubilating and since then the pair of Lara and her pastor’s wife were inseparable, much like mother and daughter, to the extent that Lara began to address as her mother.
As they stood up to clear the dishes they had used, Lara felt a kick from her baby, and then a pop.
She looked at her pastor’s wife and saw that her face was elated as she announced, “it’s time!”
They tried and tried to reach Kola as they drove to the hospital but couldn’t, so, on arrival, Lara handed her phone over to the pastor’s wife in case Kola called. Her contractions came fast.
Kola rushed home when he saw the many missed calls from his wife, on arrival though she was nowhere to be found and so were the luggage she had packed and stacked for the D-day. At his realization of what that could mean he quickly dialed Lara’s number which was picked up on the first ring.
“Hello, Kola, Lara went into labour. We’re at the hospital.”
Kola was back in his car in a jiffy, he hadn’t bothered to ask who he had been talking to or how Lara was. Whether the line had gone off he didn’t know, too.
When he arrived maternity the first person he saw was the pastor’s wife. He greeted her and asked to see Lara. A nurse there said he couldn’t see Lara yet, then the pastor’s wife told him she was resting. She’d had a girl child, by natural birth.
Kola was so happy, he shed more than a tear.