It was well over a week since Edirin got discharged from the hospital. However, she didn't move in with her husband, she stayed with her mother instead. As long as she was concerned, if Otuke could boldly deny her and her children before a lot of people and even to her face, she was not interested in having anything to do with him again. She loved her husband and for the one week that had past, she truly missed him. She missed his presence, his jokes, his smile and the way he usually pampered her, but, she wasn't interested in giving in to her feelings.
It was a Monday morning, mama had already gone out to her business. She had a shopping mall in town. Even though she was not getting any younger and Edirin had begged her several times to stop stressing herself, she refused. So once again, her dear mother was out, working at the shopping mall. Edirin was grateful for the fact that there were enough hired hands to help at the shop. She would have gone herself to help mama but, the doctor had made it very clear that her body was not strong enough for too much work, stress or anxiety. If she became too stressed up, or filled with anxiety, she could have premateur labour. So, she stayed at home.
Her only brother, Edward, also stayed with mama. He was still studying at the university but it was holiday time, so, he was very much around.
Earlier that Monday morning, after mama left, Edirin had a row with Edward. Edward had made it clear to her that as a married woman, she was supposed to be in her husband's house, tending to his needs and making sure no other woman took her place.
"Oh yeah? My little brother is suddenly a marriage councelor. What do you even know about marriage? You think it's the same thing as having a silly relationship or a fling?"
"I may not be married sist?" Edward said. "But I know I am giving you the best advise, one that mama and those stupid friends of yours will not give you."
"How dare you?" Edirin asked, as she rushed forward and almost gave her brother a hot slap across the cheek, but, she controlled her temper and only pointed a warning finger at him. "The next time you call my friends stupid, I will smack the hell out of your face."
"Do whatever you want sist," he said stubbornly. "The truth is bitter, but that doesn't mean I won't say it."
Their argument became heated and was about to get physical, but, being a man who understood that getting physical with a woman, and an elder sibling for that matter, was wrong, Edward quickly packed his laptop and phones inside his bag, and walked out. Where he went to, Edirin had no idea, neither was she interested. She simply shook off the anger that was already rising within and went about cleaning the house. Voke and Ese didn't go to school that day, so, they assisted their mother with the chores.
After cleaning, the children sat down in front of the television with their mother and watched all sort of cartoons. The cartoons were funny, educative and very entertaining. They were still having fun with the cartoons when Edirin's cell phone rang. She looked at the caller ID and smiled before answering the call.
"Hello my sister." She said into the reciever. "What's up?"
"A lot Edi," Kemi said over the phone. "See ehn, I can't say everything over the phone so, this is how we are gonna do it. I'm coming over now with Helen, then I will tell you two what's up."
"But you are with Helen right? Why haven't you told her?"
"I want to tell you two together, it a long but interesting story you know."
"Okay o." Edirin said, laughing. "I buy the idea. So, when should I expect you?"
"Within an hour."
"Hour? You serious?" Edirin asked rolling her eyes. "Didn't you go to work today?"
"Nope! Why must I keep going to work when there are other things I need to do? Look, just prepare something delicious okay. We will need it while we gist."
"Okay madam, I hear you." She laughed slightly. "Hope its something good sha? If its not... hhmmmm..."
"Don't worry girl friend, its very good news."
"Okay Kemi, I'm off to the kitchen, expecting you in an hour."
The call ended and Edirin went straight to the kitchen, leaving her children to enjoy the cartoon. She took her time to prepare a pot of cat fish pepper soup and ripe plantain. An hour later, the door bell rang.
"Voke! Check who's at the door." Edirin called from inside the kitchen, she had just finished cooking and was cleaning up the place. An hour had passed already so whoever was at the door was definitely Kemi and Helen.
However, that assumption changed when she heard Voke shout " Daddy!" Soon, Ese joined him. They sounded very excited to see their father.
"What's that evil man doing here?" She thought. She dropped what she was doing, and went to the sittng room. There, she saw Otuke on his knees and in a tight embrace with the children. "Oh, so he missed them a lot ba?" She thought. "Well, you have more coming. I will deal with you Otuke, for your betrayal, I will make you suffer." She remained in her position, resting against the wall and watching them. She didn't want to disturb their moment, she had something better in mind.
Soon, the trio pulled out of their embrace and the children started with their first request.
"Daddy are we going home with you today?" Voke asked. "I'm tired of this place, I want to go home."
"Yes me too. We miss you." Ese said.
"My children," Otuke said, almost crying. "I miss you too. I really want things to be okay so that you can come back home with me, in fact, I want to take you home today."
"Yeeeeeee!!!" They chorused happily.
"I will go and pack my bag." Voke said and turned to leave.
"Well sorry children, you are going no where with daddy. That is my final decision." Edirin said.
It was then they even noticed her presence in the sitting room. Otuke stood up from where he knelt before his children and walked up to Edirin.
"Dont call me that." Edirin said, raising her hand.
"But I missed you." He said in a calm and almost emotional voice. "Let us trash this issue between us, once and for all."
"There is nothing to trash Otuke, especially since you prefer to deny what you did that day."
"But I am telling you the truth. The man you saw, was not me."
"Christ, Jesus, me! What? Was I blind? I didn't see you? The kids didn't see you? You didn't deny them? And that whore you were with didn't insult me? What do you take me for? A complete fool?"
"Edirin, in our nine years of marriage, I have never cheated on you, I have never lied to you. What will I gain by doing it now?"
"Well, you gained a whore I guess."
"Hold it! What are you begging for? Since you claim to be innocent, please turn around and walk out, with pride. You imbecile."
"Edirin, that's not necessary. You don't have to become abusive."
"Why not? In a matter of days, or weeks, we will be divorced. So why can't I insult a total stranger?"
"So you are planning a divorce? You want to leave me. What's your motive behind all these? You obviously met a man you want to be with and so, the first thing to do is to get rid of me, right?"
"What is this one talking?"
"So why divorce? Why can't we just settle this problem?"
"Because we can't. I don't want to settle anything with a man who denied me and my children to our faces."
"Okay, do whatever you want, but, I will not sign any divorce paper. I'm not letting you run away from me and then into the arms of some stupid lover."
"Well you have no choice." Helen said from behind.
The duo were too busy arguing that they didn't notice Kemi and Helen walking in through the open door.
"Oh, thank God you girls are here." Edirin said. "Please help me get rid of him."
"This is a problem between us Edirin, not your friends." Otuke said, with a frown.
"Well, it is our problem too." Kemi said. "You've hurt this woman enough and this woman, so happens to be our best friend."
"Sorry Otuke, but we can't allow you hurt her again." Helen said. "She is asking for a divorce and as a lawyer, I'm going to be handling that. For your own good, when the papers arrive, make sure you sign them."
"And if I don't?" Otuke scoffed.
"If you don't," Helen said, as she moved forward to stand in front of him. "I promise I will investigate you and when I find enough dirt on you, I will sue you. I will put you in prison, I will wreck you and your business, I will make sure you regret the day you hurt my friend."
"Is that all?" Otuke asked, frowning.
"No its not." Kemi answered from where she stood. "Its just a tip of the iceberg. To save yourself further problem, make sure you sign the papers."
"You two can bark from now till next year, but you can't do anything. I will deal with you for spoiling my marriage. So this is it ehn?" He turned to face Edirin. "Your two timing friends tell you I cheated, you believe them and now you put up all this drama? For how long have I begged you to let us settle things. First you accuse me of something I didn't do, then you allow your friends insult me? Don't worry, I will give you the divorce, since you've obviously lost your senses, I don't want to remain married to a mad woman. But, I want you to know, I will fight for the custody of my children, even the one thats still in your womb. I won't allow them live with an evil woman like you."
"Stop trying to turn the table around Otuke." Edirin said. "You are the evil one here and I assure you, you will never have my children. I will never let them live and then become influenced by their father's immoral activities."
"We will see about that." Otuke said. "I won't come here to beg you again. I will simply start fighting for the custody of my children. As for you," he turned to face Helen. "Start preparing those divorce documents. As soon as they are ready, I will sign them and be rid of your stupid circus."
That said, Otuke walked out of the place without looking back. The ladies watched his retreating back with an expression that said good riddance to bad rubbish.