“Who is he? Do you know him?”Ruth asked curiously from behind as she came to stand beside me. “Jummy, what are you doing here?”My uncle found his voice at last and I had the satisfaction of seeing sweats bead on his forehead. “Can someone tell me what is going on here? Have you guys known each other before?”Julia asked as she looked from me to him and back again. “It seems so, Julia.I’m sorry for the awkwardness but I don’t like this man.”I gave him a disdainful look and moved to the bar. “A chilled bottle of Smirnoff please. What do you want, girlfriend?”I turned to my friend who I knew was already dying from curiosity. “I can get my own drink, babe.Damn it, release me from this suspense please.” she hissed angrily into my ear and I took a sip of my drink before I could burst into laughter. “He is my favorite uncle –in law, the one that got the award for the best husband of the year.”I told her with a straight face. “Really? I think I need my drink now. A shot of whisky with ice please.” she told the bar man as she sat on the tall stool beside me. “I can see why he couldn’t get his wife pregnant. He has been busy donating the fertile sperms in him to the young girls and the useless one to his wife.”I said with a shake of my head and emptied my glass. “Hmn……..he is sure good-looking.”Ruth leaned forward to take another look at him and grinned at him. “He is gone. He will be thinking you would be on the phone by now.”Ruth laughed softly as she sipped her drink. “Where would I tell my aunty I saw him? I would be in soup at home. Moreover if his wife cannot see him for the cheat he is, that is their problem and not mine.”I said with a giggle and poured the last of my drink into the glass cup. “It would be a great experience to have slept with him and find out who he was after that.”Ruth said with a mischievous grin and I gave her a jab in the rib. “Let’s roll, babe.There are other men here who are not my uncle abeg.”I got to my feet and looked around. “Yeah, let’s rock.”Ruth threw the rest of her drink down her throat and we mix with the crowd to rock the party till dawn.
“Babes, how was your weekend?”It was on Monday and we are back at work again. God! it was one very short weekend, I groaned inwardly as I contemplate the days ahead. “It was fine, mama twins.”I answered automatically with a smile as I turned to watch the very pregnant woman rush into the bathroom and came back seconds later, panting with relieve. I and ruth burst into laughter. “You are laughing.it will soon be your turn.” Tayo bakare is the head of marketing department and was a senior colleague by several years, not only at work but in age and status! She is close to forty in age but She looked years younger than her age and just got married a year ago luckily to a young single man, probably a few years younger than she was! I was never sure. “Don’t worry, mama twins. I will take one home when you give birth to them.”Ruth said with a grin. “I will come and take him back when he is old enough to go to the market.” Tayo said so solemnly we all burst into laughter. “How are you feeling this morning, mama twins? You look kind of tired.”I asked with genuine concern as I studied her lean face. “The baby is just so impatient to get out, I guess. I’ve been visiting my gynecologist almost every weekend now.” she paused as rubbed her swollen stomach. “Once the baby start kicking me at mid-night, I also kick my husband as well and keep him awake as long as I’m awake.” she said with a grin. “That is fair enough. I love you.” Ruth gave her a smacking kiss on the cheek and she laughed again. “Talk to you girls later. I need my breakfast.” she said as she moved out of the rest room and Ruth turned to me. “You seem to like this woman a lot and I heard she is a dragon to work with.”Ruth said conversationally as she dabbed tissue on her lips to soak the excess lipstick. “You are right. I just connect with her on a personal basis probably because I knew a lot about her personal life and I could feel her.”I said quietly and Ruth gave me a close look. “Is there something unsual about her personal life?”She asked curiously. “Amebo, Na everything you wan know.”I stuck my tongue out at her and she scowled in return. “She came from a Muslim home and they were not allowed to marry from a Christian home but unfortunately, all the Muslim men she had ever dated end up jilting her. The guy she eventually marry was a Christian and a former classmate when they were in school who she had never given a second glance, not even when they were in school.”I said as I put my make-up stuffs together and returned them to the bag. “Is she happy now?”Ruth asked curiously. “What do you think? The guy practically worshipped the ground she walked on and his business seem to be growing every day ever since they got married. They did a low-key wedding but the last time I was in their home, I bow to the power of wealth.”I saluted mentally again and she nodded with approval. “The only problem they had when they first got married was child issue but after a few visits to a very expensive hospital in the heart of Ikeja , the issue was resolved and the pregnancy stayed.”I brushed down invisible lint from my charcoal-colored suit and picked up my bag. “And they lived happily ever after.”Ruth said in conclusion and we both burst into laughter.
Tayo had been absent from work for close to a week and her phone was switched off. I was getting worried and I found out I was not the only one in that category until her husband showed up at the office a few days later. I met him on my way in from the bank the following Tuesday and nearly jumped on him. “What is wrong with mama twins?”I asked anxiously. “She went into premature labor and the baby has to be removed by caesarian when she couldn’t cope any longer. The baby is fine.”He smiled at me. “And the mother?”I held my breath and he shrugged. “She is still in coma but the doctor said she will live.i hope so.”He cleared his throat and tried to smile but I squeezed his hand in reassurance. “She will be fine by God’s grace.”I collected his phone number and the address of the hospital and promised to be there. By the time, I got there the following day, she was out of coma and she grinned when she saw me. “Jummy baby, how are you?”I nearly cried with relieve as I hugged her fragile body. We gisted for sometimes before I decided to leave so that she may rest and promised to be back by weekend either she is home or still in the hospital.
The following day which was Friday, I resumed in one of our offices in town to troubleshoot and relieved one of my colleagues that reported in sick. My phone rang abruptly at noon on the dot and I was surprised to see Christy ‘s name flashing at me. “Hi Christy.”I said in an annoyed voice: I was still angry at her for telling me to resume there that morning. “Tayo’s husband is dead.” she told me in a tearful voice. “Which tayo?”I asked stupidly. “Tayo Bakare.He died last night in the hospital where his wife was admitted after receiving a call and they came to break the news in the office this morning.”Her voice droned on but the phone had slipped from my hand as I stared unseeingly at the wall and I did not realized tears was running down my face till I tasted salt in my mouth. What kind of useless and meaningless life is this?, was my last thought as I put my head on the desk and cried as if my hearts will break into tiny little piece that cannot be put together again!