Amaka woke up in Tobi’s bed alone and went downstairs to the dining room for breakfast. She paused. Lara and Nonso were already eating.
“What are you doing here?” She asked, surprised.
“Good morning, Auntie.” The kids greeted her.
She ignored the greeting. “Shouldn’t you kids be in school or something?”
“Today is public holiday.” Lara informed her.
Anita nodded, remembering. She sat down and called out. “Edith!”
“Ma!” Edith answered from the kitchen and came out to meet her.
“Good morning, ma”
“Get my breakfast.”
Edith went back to the kitchen. Amaka brought out her cigarette pack.
“What’s that?” Nonso asked curiously.
“What? You’ve never seen cigarette before?” She replied harshly.
“What do you do with it?” He asked again.
“You smoke it.”
“Really? Can I have some?”
“No, you will die if you smoke. Our teacher said so.” Lara said.
Anita scoffed and looked at Nonso. “Listen to your sister.”
“Auntie, you’re going to die.” Nonso announced flatly.
Anita stared at him, stunned. “What?”
“You said you will die if you smoke. And you’re going to smoke. So, you will die.” He explained logically.
Anita’s face contorted with rage. “Edith!”
Edith ran back to answer her. “Ma?”
Anita shook her fist at the kids. “Get them the fuck out of here!”
Lara gasped. “Auntie, that’s a bad word. Mummy will beat you if she hears it.”
“Shut up, you little brat!” Anita screamed at her. She turned angrily to Edith. “What are you waiting for? Get them out of here!”
Frightened, Edith took the children and left. Anita sat back, thoroughly pissed. She brought out a stick of cigarette and tried to light it. Then she dropped it, suddenly losing her appetite.
At a law firm, Tobi entered Amaka’s lawyer’s office. The lawyer, a no nonsense looking woman in her forties, was already seated with Amaka. Tobi’s heart fluttered with delight at seeing his wife again. She had lost weight and looked like she hadn’t slept in days even though she tried to cover it with makeup. But in his eyes, she was the most beautiful woman on earth.
“Good morning.” He greeted.
“Good morning, Mr. Williams. Please have a seat.” The lawyer replied, gesturing.
Tobi sat down and smiled at his wife. “How have you been, babe?”
Amaka looked away, which hurt him but he kept quiet.
“You didn’t come with your lawyer?” The woman asked.
“I don’t need him.”
“Alright, let’s begin.” She opened a file and leafed through it. “The case is straightforward. My client, Mrs. Chiamaka Williams is seeking for a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. She’s willing to share custody of the children with you. She doesn’t want anything else. So sign the papers and it will be over.”
He merely stared at them for a few heartbeats. Then, he turned to his wife. “Can I talk with you privately, please?”
“Mr. Williams, she’s my client. If you want to talk to her, you have to do it in my presence.”
“Fine.” He looked earnestly at Amaka. “Babe, I’m so sorry about Anita. I never thought that my wild past will come back and haunt me. Please don’t leave me. I love you. And I always will. Think about us and what we’ve built together all these years. Think about our beautiful children. Don’t throw us away. Don’t let that woman destroy what we have. I promise you, Anita will be out of our lives very soon.”
Yet Amaka refused to look at him. But he could see he was getting to her as a single tear fled her eye and fell down her cheek.
“Babe, look at me.” She refused. “Look at me, Amaka. Please?” he pleaded again.
She finally looked at him. He smiled gratefully at her. “I love you. Don’t sign this divorce, I beg you. I will fix this.”
Later, Tobi drove home in a happy mood he hadn’t felt for days since his wife left. Although Amaka had refused to come home with him, she had at least agreed to stop the divorce. That was progress.
He parked at his garage and entered his house. Anita was waiting for him.
“Are you finally divorced?” She asked calmly.
“How do you know about that?” He asked back, surprised.
She shrugged. “The walls have ears. You haven’t answered my question.”
“No, I’m not divorced.” He answered harshly.
“I couldn’t get it.”
“You couldn’t get it or you wouldn’t get it? Do you think I’m stupid?”
He glared at her. “For your information, there are many things involved in getting a divorce. Getting custody of the children, paying alimony. I have a lot of assets and Amaka is demanding half of them. We’re still negotiating. So, it will take some time to get the divorce you want.”
Anita looked him for some moments. Then, she smiled. “I know what you’re doing. You’re stylishly delaying this divorce and giving me crap for an excuse. It’s okay. I’m not surprised. I knew it would happen.”
She walked up to him and stared at him face to face. “I give you three months to finalize your divorce. Just remember, Tobi. Your life is in my hands and I will not hesitate to destroy it if I don’t see those papers. This is my last warning.”
Meanwhile Mike and his wife had gone to their village for a family occasion. So, Tobi was forced to take his children home pending their return. Anita didn’t like that. Seeing the kids every day got on her nerves. She became crankier and more unbearable. The kids tried to avoid her but kids being kids, they would sometimes forget and try to play with her. And she would snap their heads off.
One day, she was passing through the corridors when she heard a muffled cry in Lara’s room. Curious, she quietly opened the door. Lara was crying on her bed obviously not wanting anyone to know.
Anita wanted to leave her to cry in peace. She didn’t want to be involved in the little girl’s problem. It wasn’t her business. But before she knew it, “Why are you crying, Lara?”
Lara jumped and wiped her tears quickly. “I’m not crying.”
Anita arched her brows at the obvious lie. “Yes, you are. What happened?”
“Nothing.” Lara said quickly.
That made Anita more curious. “You’re lying. What’s going on, Lara? Tell me.”
“I can’t.” Lara said, fresh tears brimming in her eyes.
“Why? I want to help.”
“But you don’t care about me and Nonso.” The little girl pointed out.
Anita winced inwardly in shame. She went and sat beside her. “It’s not true. I do. Please tell me what’s bothering you. I promise, I won’t tell anyone.”
“It’s Bobby.” Lara said after a pause.
“He’s from school. He’s always bullying Nonso. He called him a cockroach. I told him to stop calling him that and he pushed me to the wall and injured my hand. Then he said he will call his friends and beat Nonso every day if I told anyone.”
“What!” Anita asked incredulously. “He did this to you in school today?”
“Yes my hand is paining me, Auntie.” She cried. Anita was outraged on the little girl’s behalf. Her maternal instinct surged in full force.
“How dare he? A boy shouldn’t beat a girl, ever. I’m going to your school tomorrow and I will report to your headmistress to punish him. Is he mad?”
“Auntie, no. You promised you won’t tell anyone.” Lara said in fear.
“I know, honey. But if we keep quiet, he will do it again. That’s not going to happen. You’re beautiful, smart and strong. No boy should dare to touch you. And this Bobby won’t touch you again, I promise.”
Lara looked at her with hopeful tear filled eyes. “Really?”
“Really.” Anita assured her. “We girls should look after each other. Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
Lara hugged her gratefully. “Thank you, Auntie. You’re the best Auntie in the world.”
Anita hugged her back, her heart melting with love. “I love you too.”
Later, after she had cuddled Lara to sleep, Anita left and went to her room. She laid on the bed and sighed. How did this happen? She thought. How did those kids bring down her defenses and planted themselves in her heart? She loved them and it’s making things more difficult for her.
Her phone rang. She answered the call.
“Are you alone?” A male voice asked on the other end.
“Yes. What’s up?”
“Is everything ready?”
“Good. It’s time to bring the motherfucker down.”
“Okay.” She hung up and sighed. A part of her, the foreign part that still felt something, felt sorry for Tobi. She slammed the feeling down. This isn’t time for sentiments. She thought. Tobi deserved what he was getting. Karma is a bitch and her name is Anita.
Episode 8 will be available of Thursday. Please post your comments and share.