I’ve been at the gate for over half an hour and it sure is looking like I’m the one in for a surprise.
‘Dola’s call came in at that moment,told me he was out of town and won’t be back till after five days. Disappointed I wasn’t informed earlier, I told him about the pregnancy to which he sounded elated. “Oh baby, this is the exact answer to my prayers. If he’s a boy, we’ll name him Junior, if a girl, we’ll name her queen, ’cause she’ll always be my queen”. “Really? What does that leave me? I asked with a hint of jealousy. “The queen mother” he replied and we laughed it off heartily.
Seven months gone, pregnancy well advanced and not a word from ‘Dola. The last time I heard from him was the day I informed him about the pregnancy. His line has been off and his house placed under lock and key ever since then. After months of searching, I gave up and decided to focus on raising my baby girl, for all I know this guy could be a ghost. Maybe marriage isn’t just for me, I consoled myself.
“You have a visitor ma” said Yejide the 14yr old live in help I hired. Got downstairs to find ‘Dola on his knees, sweating profusely. I stood there stupefied. A part of me wanted to scream at him to get out of my house while a part of me wanted to hear his cock and bull story. “What are you doing here?” I asked with a hushed tone that surprised even me. He immediately prostrated and started apologizing while I sat there glowering at him. “I don’t expect you to ever forgive me Kofo, after all I’ve done to you” he started. I cut him short and asked what exactly he was doing at my house. “I was never a deputy manager. The house at Lekki was never mine. I’m a divorcee with four children and a long distance driver by profession, he blurted out.
“Did I hear you right?” I screamed,my eyes bugged out. “I’m sorry Kofo, I really am”. “What??! That’s all you have to say??! You are sorry??! Out now, out! I yelled. I made up my mind never to forgive ‘Dola. How could he be so wicked and deceitful? I wondered. ‘Dola kept calling and sending texts for almost four months before I decided to give him another chance. After all, he’s still the father of my princess, Isabella.
I issued a cheque of two million naira for ‘Dola to start a business and rent a decent apartment for himself and his children. He finally proposed this time around to which I said yes because I never wanted to have children for different fathers. Our wedding was slated for the twentieth of August which coincidentally falls on Isabella’s first birthday.
Six Saturdays to the wedding and I just got my wedding dress. It’s been a fun but tiring Saturday,a bit exhausted and all I wanted was just a quick nap. As soon as I laid on the couch, a call came in. ‘Dola got involved in a ghastly accident, he gave up the ghost on the spot”, his brother groaned over the phone. I replayed the call again and again in my head. “This can’t be happening. Just when everything started falling into place. Just when I thought life has started treating me fairly, death turned round and dealt me a huge blow, I sobbed.
‘Dola was buried three days later and it was like a part of me was buried with him. I became a shadow of myself. Life, once again has refused to smile at me. I accepted my fate because I realized I have to be strong for Isabella. Life really has to go on.
“Why would a queen be walking around in this scorching sun?” I heard a familiar voice say. I was stunned to see Fred walking right behind me. It was a sunny Sunday and I felt like taking a stroll down the street. In all sincerity, Fred was the last person I ever expected to set my eyes on that fateful day. He told me how he recently got back into the country and just secured an apartment around that area; How he got divorced six months into his marriage and how much he has thought about me through these past years. I narrated my story. He looked longingly into my eyes and said, “Maybe this is our destiny, maybe this is our fate. Kofoworola James, you are the only woman I’ve ever truly loved. Will you marry me?” I became astonished and aflutter at the same time. Astonished, because I wasn’t expecting this, ever. Aflutter, because I never for once stopped loving Fred.
Five weeks later and we are here walking down the aisle. “This can only be the beginning of wonderful years ahead, can’t wait to start this great journey with you. I love you so much Fred and forever will”, I said, as I slip the ring through his ring finger. I finally found happiness. I finally found joy. This really, is the beginning of my forever.
Kofoworola James Kolapo.