Restore 13

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Segun came back from school to find the house empty. According to his mum, his dad was still around despite the fact that he had fully recovered and could very well function on his own. What was he still doing here anyway? His mum had insisted he stayed for a few more days so as to fully recover before he went back into the fray of the everyday hustle which would inevitably sap his strength. The man had gladly obliged. That was why Segun was home now instead of in school, they had sounded too chummy-chummy for his peace of mind and he needed to get to the bottom of this fast. He was not about to sit around and watch that man waltz in and out of his mother’s life as he pleased again. Once was enough.

He had settled in, had a bite to eat from the leftovers in the fridge, and was on his bed listening to music on the portable TV in his room when he heard the sound of his mum’s car. She should have been back from work much earlier but he guessed she had to run some errands. He went out the back door to the back of the house where the garage was. To his surprise, he found his dad getting out of the driver’s side; he said something and his mum laughed. She was the first to notice his presence.

“Segun, you home?”

“Yes mum. Good afternoon ma.”

“You didn’t tell me you’ll be coming home today,.

“Yes mum, I wanted to surprise you.” More like see what you are up to with this guy.

“Okay come along. Come help me with these bags.”

Segun moved closer to them and looked at his dad. “Good afternoon sir.” He greeted grudgingly.

“How are you Segun?” Wale smiled

“Fine.” He moved closer to his mum.

“Jade, why don’t you go in? Segun and I will see to the bags.”

Jade looked from one to the other and perceived the tension between them. “Okaaayyy.” She said slowly and went in.

“So, Segun let’s have it out, shall we?”

Segun looked surprised. He stopped what he was doing and looked at his dad. Wale smiled. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”

“What is on your mind?” Segun fired back. “What are you still doing here? You want to break her heart again?” he pointed in the direction of the house. “Make her love you and then pack up and leave once more?”

“Whoa. Young man, remember I am your father. When you speak with me, speak with respect.”

Segun seethed but said nothing. “Just answer the question, sir.”

“Whatever is happening between me and your mother is between us. I want to talk about us.”

“Oh no no, you made it my business a long time ago. Now, I want to know what you are doing.”

Wale calmed down, knowing he owed the boy an explanation. “Your mum and I decided to try this again. We still love each other and we hope to build our family all over again. That is all the explanation I am giving you, you just have to trust that I love you both and I will try my best to make this work.”

Segun relaxed and looked at his dad. He decided to let it go. He would wait patiently to see what the future helds but he would be watching. I’ll be watching all right.

“Now, can we talk about our relationship?”

“There’s nothing to talk about.” Segun bristled and busied himself packing bags.

Wale put his hand on his shoulder and he stiffened. “Relax son. Come sit, let’s talk.”

He led him to the bench at the back of the house and they both sat down. “Segun, I know I messed up. Although, you didn’t make it easy on me.” he laughed. Segun stared stonily ahead without responding in anyway. Wale sobered quickly and plunged on. “I hurt you and your mother a lot and for that I am sorry. We were buddies, and I can imagine how you felt when I left. Believe me, I was heartbroken too but the situation in our home then was too toxic even for you. You deserved better than what we had subjected you to for years and I can only hope we can do better this time around. We have to be willing to try though.  Forgive the past, let us learn from our mistakes and move on from there.

“I am promising you this minute that I will never quit this family again. I love your mum as I love you too and I will work hard at keeping us together. Hopefully, we can grow from this and mature into what we want to be. Would you be willing to give it a try? Would you like to work with me to make your mum the happiest wife and mother in the world?” Wale held out his hand to Segun.

Segun stared at it for some moments and then clasped it. “I’m willing to try.” He said quietly

“That’s all I ask for. And I am so very sorry, son.”

“It’s cool dad. Though I didn’t understand at the time, I think I do now. Let’s forget about it.”

“Okay.” Wale smiled. “Now, let’s get these things in before your mum sends out a search party for us.”

Segun smiled and did as his dad asked. Wale watched him proudly as he went in. Thank you God. Now, I know it won’t be easy but with your help I can work at repairing what has been damaged and restoring this family again.

Wale waited anxiously for Jade in the restaurant. Tonight was going to be the night. The box was burning a hole in his pocket and he couldn’t wait to pop the question. He was willing and he was ready, he could only hope Jade was too.

She walked in and everything in his world righted. She looked so beautiful, elegant and sophisticated. He couldn’t wait to make her his once more. This was where his heart was. This was home. He smiled as she approached and stood up when she got to the table. They hugged, kissed and settled down to some drinks and food.

Wale fidgeted in his seat. Jade kept smiling. Her eyes shone bright like diamonds, there was so much joy in her eyes that Wale could see the reflection, they danced, they smiled and it gladdened his heart. Drinks came and they made small talk as they sipped, waiting for their meal to come. Wale kept his hands on hers; he needed the contact to keep his nerves steady.

Suddenly, he released her and went on bent knees; he couldn’t wait anymore. He took out the box from his inner pocket and opened it. He saw the surprise come into her eyes, replaced shortly by profound joy.

She looked into his eyes. “Yes.” She whispered

Wale stood up and hugged her tightly amidst claps, hoots, shouts and congratulatory words from the other diners in the restaurant. He shut them all out, filling his being with the woman in his arms. He was content, he was restored, and he was home.

THE END.

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Restore 12

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The truth was Wale had barely thought about Nedu these past days. His mind had been occupied with getting better and spending time with Jade and Segun. He dropped the phone and saw that Jade was nowhere to be found. She must have slipped away while he was speaking with Nedu; maybe to give him privacy to make his call. He remembered she had never done that while they were married; she always listened in on his call and then tried to quiz him about every single detail when he dropped the call. He had noticed so many changes in her during this time they had spent together; she seemed more like the woman he had married, only better.

He stood up and went to look for her. It was time they had some serious conversation.

Jade was in her room sorting through the clothes she would wear to work the next day. She had found the old jealousies and insecurities coming back when she discovered Wale was speaking with the lady he had had a date with on the night he had the accident when she left the living room to give him some privacy, determined to occupy her mind with something else beside petty jealousy. These past days had been so enjoyable with just the two of them; she had lured herself into a false sense of security. It was the call that woke her from her slumber; it reminded her that all was not as she wished yet.

Wale coughed to get her attention. She was so intent on her chore; she didn’t notice he had been standing by the door for a few moments. “Hi.”

“Hi back.” She forced a smile

Wale knew whenever Jade forced anything and this smile was as forced as they came. “You left me alone back there.” He pointed back to the living room.

“I wanted to give you some privacy.”

“Hmm, you never did that while we were married.”

She smiled and this time it was genuine. “Back then, I knew next to nothing.”

“Yes I can see that. You’ve changed so much.” He looked into her eyes. It got intense and Jade had to look away. Wale was not about to let her off that easily, though.

“How about that famous explanation you’ve been promising me? Can we do that now?”

She held back, still wary but Wale approached her, took her arm and led her to the settee beside the wardrobe. “Sit down, please.”

Jade sat, wondering if she could do this. Can I do this? Can I let him in once more? I don’t want to be hurt anymore. Help me Lord, take charge of this discussion. “Where do I start from?”

“Anywhere you like. I just want to know what’s been happening in your life ever since.”

She placed her hands on her thighs. “Well…let me start from when we separated.”

He nodded.

“As you may likely know, I was a mess when you left. I was devastated and I made many mistakes including being silly enough to try to turn your son against you. That was the worst and I regret it to this day.”

Wale’s mouth tightened as he remembered all the arguments and accusations that had flown from one camp to another. Jade saw this and faltered, but she was determined to go on. She took his hands in hers.

“I know I really hurt you and caused you unnecessary pain and for that I am sorry. I am especially sorry for the rift between you and Segun that I was partially responsible for…”

“Fully responsible for.” Wale interrupted

Jade smiled. “No Wale, partially responsible. You didn’t try hard enough to win your son, did you?”

“What was I supposed to do when he was living with you and I only got him when you felt like it? And that was after you had filled his mind with every sort of lie about me.”

Jade patted his hand to soothe him. “We’ve established that I was unfair. Can we move on from that? Please?”

“Okay.” He acquiesced

“So, after all that brouhaha, you can only imagine how devastated I was. It was so bad at one point that I had to send Segun to live with my mum so I could get myself back together. Then a friend of mine invited me to church and though I was a Christian superficially, I knew I wasn’t working in alignment with God’s plan for my life. So, I rededicated my life to Christ and started on the path of healing. I asked for forgiveness for the part I played in our divorce and I have been praying for the restoration of our family ever since. In a way, this accident of yours is a blessing, because it brought us back to a point where we couldn’t avoid each other anymore.”

Wale sighed. “So, what are you saying? You want us back together?”

Jade smiled. “I never stopped loving you Wale. I was just so blind and stupid to throw away what we had. I don’t know if it was inexperience or insecurity, but we were pretty young when we got married and it could be that youth that made me destroy the best thing that ever happened in my life.”

Wale took her hands and looked into her eyes. They stared at each other for a few moments before he drew her into his arms. “I never stopped loving you either.” He whispered in her ears.

He withdrew but didn’t release her hands. “I was selfish too Jade. I didn’t work hard enough at our relationship. I didn’t have to flirt with all those women and I could have handled your jealousy better. As you said, we were young and we made so many mistakes but are you sure we can continue from where we stopped?”

“That’s exactly the point. I don’t want us to continue from where we stopped. I want us to start again; anew, afresh, with God at our side and in our home. Can we do that?”

“Hmmm. Let’s see how it goes. I don’t want us to rush into anything. Let’s just take it a day at a time and go from there.”

“Okay, I’ll like that. I can work with that.”

He drew her into his arms once again and they sat together, holding hands and talking about their past and all the future may have in store for them.

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She looked into Segun’s room but was surprised to find the room empty. She searched through the house and eventually found him in the kitchen making some sandwiches for himself.

“Hi mum.” He called. “Would you like some sandwiches?”

Jade realized she was famished. She had not eaten anything all day and she just started feeling the hunger pangs now. “I’ll like some dear.”

“Okay ma.” He added more bread to the ones on the plate. “So, how is he?” he nodded towards the hall.

“Actually, that’s what I want to talk to you about.” She found a kitchen chair and sat. “You left him alone in the living room earlier.”

“Yeah, well I thought he needed his rest.”

“Hmm, is that all?”

He shrugged. “I didn’t want to disturb him, mum.”

Jade understood perfectly. Although he acted more like a grown up, Segun was just a teenager; and like any teenager, he was afraid of getting hurt. “It’s okay dear but do you think you could warm up to your dad in time?”

He shrugged again. “We never know what the future holds. I’m surprised you forgave him easily after all he did to you.”

“I forgave easily because I realized I was unfair in my treatment of him most of the ten years we were together. I was to blame for most of our squabbles. The truth is your dad was a good husband and a great dad but I was insecure and very selfish. I have since learnt my lessons though.”

“That’s all well and good mum but what about him? He could have fought harder for me, you know.”

Segun placed a plate of sandwiches in front of her and Jade took a bite off one gratefully. “You were a brat Segun. You made his life miserable and I accept the blame for that too. I shouldn’t have tried to poison your mind against him, which was what I did.”

“It was not you alone mum. I was hurt he left us and me especially. He was my idol and my heart broke when he left so I acted out.”

Jade sighed. “Can we try putting the past behind us? The truth is I want your dad in our lives now. Even if it doesn’t work out between him and I, I would like you to have a great relationship with him.”

“Okay mum. I’ll try my best.”

“Good.”

He took a bottle of soda drink out of the fridge and settled down to enjoy his food.

 

Some five days later, Wale was having fun with Jade as they played chess together. Jade had  just came back from the office and after they had had some lunch had suggested they played some game. Wale had readily agreed, he was so tired of watching TV. His mistake though, was in thinking she would be an easy win. She already had all his knights and was working towards capturing his very vulnerable bishop while he had just two of her knights. The game was not going in his favor at all.

He found an opening and took one of her knights, glad he could at least chip off some of her confidence. She just laughed and knocked down his queen. She had seen an opening and taken it, just like she sneaked into his heart when he wasn’t looking. He didn’t know how or when it happened; he just knew he was in love with her all over again. He watched her laugh gleefully and his heart smiled. He was glad to be in her presence, basking in her favor.

“Game over.” Jade said cheekily. “You thought you had me, didn’t you?”

Wale smiled. “You can’t fault a guy for trying now. I had to do something before you stripped me of my manliness.”

“Oh pooh.” She dismissed. “Manliness had nothing to do with it. It’s all about brains.”

He feigned a wounded look. “So you are saying you are smarter than me?”

“Yeahhhh.”

Wale laughed. “I rest my case.” He surrendered.

Just then his phone rang and he saw it was not a number he recognized. “Hello.” He said cautiously into the receiver.

“Hello.” Nedu replied

“Yes, who am I speaking with?”

Nedu could not believe Wale just asked her that question. Who is he speaking with? Ok, I’ll play along. “It’s me, Nedu.”

There was a short pause on the other end. Is he trying to remember me? This guy is such a bastard. I can’t believe I wasted time on him.

“Nedu…Nedu…” Wale murmured trying to place the name.

“Yeah.” Nedu seethed. “The teller at the bank?”

A light bulb suddenly went on in his brain. “Oh yes Nedu! How are you?”

“I’m good. You?” Nedu asked ungraciously

“I’ve been better.”

“You promised to call the next day. It’s almost two weeks now and not a beep from you.” She accused

Wale was taken aback by the venom in her voice. What’s with the acid in her voice? “Well, I was involved in an accident while driving home from your place that night.”

Nedu was speechless. “Oh my God! Are you okay?”

“I’m fine now.”

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry. And here I was angry with you for not calling.”

Wale smiled grimly. “It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not. Where are you? Can I come and see you?”

“I’m at a friend’s place and I’d rather you didn’t come for now.”

“Why? I want to see you Wale.” She said petulantly.

“It’s okay Nedu; I’m fine where I am. I’ll call you as soon as we can meet-up.”

“Okay then.”

Nedu knew a brush-off when she heard one. It did not take a prophet to tell her she wouldn’t be hearing from him anymore. Besides, he probably considered her bad karma; after all he had the accident while coming from her place. Nedu dropped the call, sad that yet another eligible man just slipped from her fingers.

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One week later….

Jade unlocked the door to her home and Segun helped Wale in, supporting him by the side and leading him into the room. He helped him to the sofa and Wale sat down carefully. He looked around and was impressed by what he saw. Jade had really done well for herself despite his absence.

“Make yourself comfortable Wale.” She invited. “Would you like some water, or maybe juice?

“I would love a stronger drink than that.”

“You know you can’t drink spirits or anything alcoholic just yet. Besides, I don’t drink.”

“Since when?” Wale asked

“Well, for about two years now.”

“Hmm.” Wale gave her a shrewd look. “Why?”

“I’ll explain to you some other time, it’s not a story for today. Now, you need to rest but first, would you like anything?”

“Water is fine. I need to take my drugs anyway.”

“Okay.” Jade headed to the kitchen.

“I’ll be in my room.” Segun said and escaped from the living room.

Wale watched him go. The past week had not improved their relationship in any way. Segun had been in school all through the week and only came back home this weekend to help his mum move his dad in. Although Wale had called him twice during the week, that conversation hadn’t been any easier than the ones they had had face-to-face. But Wale was determined to persevere, even if the relationship between him and Jade was done, he would like one with Segun no matter what he had to do.

Wale had been as surprised as Jade when she said he could stay with her in her house till he was fully recovered. The doctor had emphasized the need for him not to stay alone and to have some form of help while he recuperated. While he was explaining to the doctor that he was a bachelor and still trying to explain the presence of Jade whom they had all assumed was his wife, she had jumped in and told the doctor she would take responsibility for his care. She then invited him into her home. He could tell she was as surprised that she had offered as he was as surprised at the offer. He was not about to question his good fortune though, a few weeks of good home cooked meals and tender loving care was just what the doctor prescribed; literally.

This past week, she had been very supportive. She had helped him find out about his car, and all of his belongings in it. His car had been towed to a nearby mechanic’s workshop and fortunately all the paraphernalia in the car were still intact. Wale had been surprised but grateful that his stuff were okay. The car though didn’t suffer a similar fate. The back of the car was really totaled and it broke Wale’s heart to think of what it would cost to repair the damage. It couldn’t be avoided though, and the insurance would take care of it. He had called his mechanic for an estimate of the cost as soon as Jade retrieved his mobile number for him. He couldn’t wait to drive his cool car once more.

Jade came back from the kitchen with a glass of water and found Segun gone. She had hoped he would at least spend some time with his dad. I guess it’s not going to be as easy as I thought. Father, it’s in your hands; as for me, I intend to do everything I can to win my man back so help me God. She found Wale laid back on the sofa with his eyes closed.

“Wale.” She called. “Here’s the water.”

He opened his eyes and sat up gingerly. “Thanks dear. Can you help me with the drugs? They are in the inner pocket of that satchel.” He pointed at a satchel on the table.

Dear? Hmm, I rather like the sound of that. Jade pulled the satchel towards herself, looked through it and brought out the prescriptions. She removed them from their various packets and bottles and handed them to Wale. He took them gratefully and swallowed them.

“Thanks. I’ll just like to sleep for a while. That journey from the hospital wore me out. I can’t believe you’ve been coming to see me every day from this distance.”

“Well yes but most times I come from the office.”

“Same place I know?”

“Yeah, I’m still with City Solutions. Although I was thinking seriously of leaving at some point, but then I stayed.”

He looked at her face. “Really? What happened? I thought you and your boss were pretty tight?”

“Yeah well, things change…life happens.”

“What happened.” He was curious, but Jade could see he also needed to rest.

“Another story for another day.” She smiled

Wale sighed. “I guess we’ll have a lot to talk about in the coming days then.”

“Hmm hmm.” Jade murmured. “Come, I prepared the room for you already. You’ll sleep better on the bed.”

“Okay.” He yawned and followed her to her bedroom.

They got to her room and Wale paused at the door, looking in. it was a nice room with a double bed, a huge wardrobe, a dressing table with a mirror attached to it just by the corner, a settee beside the wardrobe and an ironing board off to the other side. There was a door that led to the toilet and bathroom directly opposite the bed.

“Wait a minute, is this your room?” Wale asked on noticing the different beauty gadgets arranged neatly on the dresser.

She turned back to look at him. “Yes?”

“Oh no no no. I can’t impose on you like that, I’ll manage the sofa.”

“Don’t be silly Wale, we were married for ten years; you can impose whenever you want. Besides, there are only two rooms in this house and Segun’s got the other one.”

Wale looked chagrined and very uncomfortable. “Jade…”

“Don’t worry so much, I’ll be fine. Now, come get some sleep.” When he still hesitated she added, “Look at it this way, the earlier you get your strength back the better for both of us.”

He smiled. “Well…since you put it like that, I’ll best oblige.”

“Good.” She smiled too.

When he had settled down, she gently closed the door and went in search of her other man. It’s time I set some things straight, she thought.

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Wale opened his eyes slowly. The drugs were still clouding his brain but he could think more clearly now. He remembered seeing Jade here earlier and everything they had talked about. He looked around the room and was surprised at the disappointment he felt to find her gone. Do I really want her around?

He wondered why she came at all after everything that had happened between them. For the last four years, they had had minimal contact and had only seen each other a handful of times when it was unavoidable that they had to meet to talk about their son. Most of their ‘talks’ were done via phone or email. Theirs was a very ‘socially conscious’ relationship.

Wale wondered where his precious car was. He had dreamt thieves had stripped it of all its parts where it was abandoned on the road. He wondered who he could ask about it. His phone and some personal effects were in the car too. He hoped everything was still in there. Maybe a nurse could enlighten him on the state of his properties. He looked around but found no means to call the attention of anyone. There was no intercom or bell…. nothing. He was completely on his own.

He tried to sit up, to test his strength and see maybe he could walk just to the door. The sharp pain in his abdomen dissuaded him from that notion very fast. He laid back on the bed very gently.

Just as he was about to let out a bellow as a last resort, a nurse walked in. it was a different person from the one who had come earlier.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Adeniran. How are you feeling?”

“I’ve been better.” Wale muttered

“Don’t worry, you’ll feel a lot better soon.”

“Thanks. When can I go home?”

“That’s left for the doctor to decide. But you shouldn’t be here for more than a week, and even when you leave you’ll still need constant care. You know you had a major surgery.”

“Yes I do. Thank you.”

“Where can I get something to eat? I’m so hungry.” He confessed

She smiled. “Have you passed gas?”

“No.”

“I’m sorry; you won’t be able to eat until you do.”

“Okay.” He acquiesced.

She gave him some injections and was about to leave him be when he asked. “Say, do you happen to know anything about my properties? Or about the person who brought me here?”

“No. I’m sorry I don’t, but I’ll ask the nurse who was on duty that night. She might be able to help.”

“I’ll appreciate that. Thank you.”

Segun knocked on his mother’s door and when there was no response after a few moments, he cautiously opened the door and peeked in. He found her sound asleep on the bed and was about to tip-toe quietly out the door to allow her have her rest when she moved.

“Segun, is that you?”

“Yes mum.”

“Oh.” She rubbed sleep from her eyes. “I slept off.”

“Yes ma. You’ve been in here for a few and I thought to check on you when I didn’t see you after two hours. I know you don’t take that long to get ready.”

She yawned. “I’m so tired. I barely slept last night.”

“You can relax for a few minutes more. There’s still time to visit dad later. Or maybe tomorrow.”

She yawned again. “No, not tomorrow. Just give me a few moments, I’ll be with you.”

“Okay mum.” He stepped out.

Jade looked at the alarm clock beside her bed and saw it was a little past four in the afternoon. She rolled to the other side and yawned again. She looked at the empty space beside her and wished that Wale was lying there beside her. She sighed. Father, you know the desires of my heart, but I still want your wiii to be done. Not mine Lord, but yours.

She stood up and stretched, then put on the jeans and top she put aside earlier before she slept off. She had lost a lot of weight since her divorce and had to change her entire wardrobe. Now, she chose the jeans and top not for style but for comfort. After putting on some light make-up, earrings and sandals, she was set to go. She took her car keys from the stool at the foot of her bed and went to meet Segun.

Segun was anxious but at the same time excited to see his dad. They had not seen in so long, close to two years now and he was not sure what he would do when they eventually did see; hug him, prostrate for him or just shake his hand?He settled for a handshake.

When they got there, they found Wale lounging on the bed watching TV. To Segun, he looked okay albeit a little bit older.

Wale stared at his son for a full two minutes and smiled. “Segun, is that you?” he whispered

“Yes sir.” Segun couldn’t bring himself to say dad yet.

“Wow. You’ve grown so big, I could barely recognize you.”

Segun felt uncomfortable under the scrutiny. He wished he was anywhere but there. Then again, he wanted to see his old man. Talk of conflicting emotions.

There was a soft look in Wale’s eyes as he observed his son. “How are you, son?” he asked

“I’m fine sir. How are you too?”

Wale smiled. “I’m better than yesterday.” He spread his hands. “I’m glad you are here.”

Segun nodded. An awkward silence ensued.

“So, how are you feeling this evening?” jade tried to break the awkward silence.

“I’m fine. Thanks for your help so far.”

“It’s my pleasure.” She answered  demurely.

Wale raised his brows. Really? She keeps surprising me. And when did she get so beautiful? Her skin is looking so flawless; I could almost see my reflection in it, and that face… “Well, I’m glad you guys are here. I can’t wait to get out of here. And…I’m so hungryyyy.”

“Oh my!” jade exclaimed. “I didn’t even remember food. I should have prepared something for you. Oh my!” she placed her palm on her mouth

“Oh don’t worry about that. The doctor said I can’t eat until I fart, so there’s no harm done.”

“Oh. Okay then.”

“Yes.” He looked at her shrewdly. Does she still care? Can’t believe she still cares for me, but her actions clearly show she does. Hmmm.

In all this time, Segun didn’t say a word; he just kept observing his parents’ exchange wondering what was going on. It was obvious they still cared for each other, but they were both trying so hard to hide it. Adults and their idiosyncrasies.

A few minutes more of awkward silence, small spurts of conversation and staring at the TV screen in silence did it for them all. Jade made their excuses and they left, both she and Segun secretly glad to be out of the tension-filled room. Little did they know they would all soon be thrust into a situation where they would have to live together.

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Segun unlocked the front door to their home and went in. He had expected to find his mum at home but he guessed she was still at the hospital. He walked into his room, pressed the light switch and dropped his duffel bag on the floor. He then slumped on his bed.

Segun did not know what to think or feel about his dad. He frequently alternated between anger and sadness, hatred and loyalty with indifference in the centre of it all.

He had been quite young when his parents had divorced four years ago but he had been old enough to know what was going on. Although, he was only ten at the time, he had felt the stigma of been from a divided family everywhere he went be, it school or church. In this part of the world where divorce was not common, it had taken some getting used to. In school, he had been teased about it and asked why his family was different. All these just made him hate his dad more and it had not helped their relationship any. Now, to call it strained was an understatement.

Segun heard the front door open. “Segun, are you home?” his mum called

“Yes mum.”  He bounced off the bed and met her halfway in the hall. Jade hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheeks.

“Hi baby. How was the journey?”

“Really mum, I’m not a baby anymore.” He replied sullenly. “The journey was fine, faster than I expected.”

“Humph. You are still my baby no matter how old you get. Besides, you are barely fifteen, trust me, you are a baby.”

“I’m not joor.”

“Mmm, hmm.” Jade smiled. “What would you like to eat? Come along.” She led the way into the kitchen.

Segun opened the refrigerator and brought out a tetrapak of fruit juice. He was about to slug it directly into his mouth when he saw his mum’s murderous look. He quickly took out a glass and poured the juice into it. “Mum, you look positively haggard. Have you been at the hospital since last night?”

“Yes dear. I had to stay until I was sure he was okay.” She took a pack of food out of the refrigerator. It contained jollof rice. She put it into the microwave and set the timer. She then leaned on the counter to watch her son.

He returned the juice to the fridge. “Why? After all he’s done to you; he doesn’t deserve your help.”

“Segun, the man is your father. For that alone, he’ll always have a place in my heart. And we are all he has, so for now, we are it.”

“Okay.” He agreed grudgingly. “How is he?” he asked quietly

Jade looked at him and saw the worry he was trying so desperately to hide from her. “He’s fine, a lot better. We spoke for a while before I left this afternoon.” She went to him and held his face in her hands. “It’s okay to be scared for him son. And it’s okay to still love him. God knows I still do.”

He gave her a surprised look. “You still love him?”

“Yes, I do dear. You don’t love a man for twelve years and then suddenly stop because of some differences. The love stays with you.”

“Sometimes, I don’t know what to feel.”

Jade nodded. “Believe me, I understand the feeling.”

The microwave pinged and Jade brought out the bowl. She served the rice in two plates with a piece of fried meat each and they sat down at the dinning table to eat.

“So, how is school? Is it everything you thought it would be?” Segun had just got admission into the University of Lagos and Jade was so proud of him. He was an exceptional boy despite the absence of a father. God had really helped her with his upbringing.

“Yeah, it’s fine. The past few months have been challenging but enjoyable too. First semester exams are around the corner  so I’ll have to go back soon.”

“That’s no problem. Did you grandma call you?”

“Oh yes. She threatened to haunt me to the ends of the earth if I dare join any cult. Ma k’egbe kegbe o Segun ti o ba fe ki n pa e.”

Jade laughed. “That’s your grandma. But don’t overlook her words though. I’ll join her to haunt you if you dare.”

Segun smiled. “I’ll be fine mum, don’t worry about me.”

“Will you go with me to the hospital later in the day to check on your dad?”

“Yeah I will. I’m here to help you, remember?”

Jade arched her brows. “Okay dear.” If you say so. She knew he was dying to see his dad.

He stared into space for a few moments while Jade watched emotions flicker across his face. “Will you get back with him, mum?” he looked at her

Jade’s heart broke for him. He was so young but acted like a grown up. The absence of a father, which in most children would make them wayward, had the opposite effect on Segun. Instead, he acted much more matured and always felt the need to ‘protect’ her. Although she was grateful to God for a son that was ‘sane’, she sometimes wished he would act more his age.

“I don’t know son.” She whispered. “I’ll love to but it depends on the plans God has for me, and your father too, of course.”

“If he doesn’t want to get back together with you, will you remarry someday?”

“That still depends on God’s plans.”

He nodded.

“What is it, baby?”

He frowned. “Nothing mum, I’m just asking.”

Jade placed her hands on his where it lay on the table. “Don’t worry so much my dear. God’s got this, okay?”

“Alright.” He paused. “I often wondered why you didn’t have any other child after me. You and dad were together ten years before you divorced.”

“We tried for some time with no results. Although, after a while my mind was no longer in it because of the problems we were having. I didn’t want to bring another child into such fray.”

“That’s ok, I get it now. I really hope you’ll find happiness someday mum because you deserve it.”

“Thanks dear but I’m happy now too. I’m complete because I have God.”

He nodded but didn’t look convinced. Jade stood up and patted his shoulder.

“Let me freshen up before we head back. I can smell me from a mile away.”

Segun smiled and wrinkled his nose. “Great idea, mum.”

Jade laughed and went to her room. Naughty boy, she thought.

Restore 7

driveway-3-0729

Wale opened his eyes to the blinding light streaming in through the window. He closed his eyes and groaned. Where am I? Why did I leave the window  open while I slept? This doesn’t feel like my bed. What’s going on? These thoughts whirled through his head while he tried to get the bearings of where he was.

Jade heard the groan and quickly came to the side of his bed. “Shh shh, try and relax. It’s okay. You are fine.”

“Whaaaa…?” Who is that? Sounds like Jade. He tried to turned to get a better view of the owner of the voice.

“It’s okay Wale. Relax please.” Jade said calmly

“Jade, is that you?” he tried to turn again but he felt some sharp pains all through his body. He groaned again.

“Yes, it’s me Wale. Try and  relax please, so you don’t pull your stitches.”

“Stitche….stitches? What?” he turned his head and regarded Jade. By this time, his eyes had adjusted properly to the bright light and he could see her clearly. “What do you mean by stitches? Where am I?”

Jade smiled. “You are at the hospital Wale, you were involved in an accident. But you are fine now.”

“Accident?” Wale exclaimed and tried to sit up on the bed. The pain in his abdomen sent him back down. “Awwww” he moaned

“Wale, I said you should relax. You had a major surgery and you shouldn’t pull your stitches. In fact, I’m going to call the nurse.”

She went out and got the attention of a nurse. The nurse told her she would be right there and she went back in.

“A nurse will be in shortly to check on you.” She told Wale.

The nurse walked in right after that. “So, you are back from the dead ehn, Mr. Adeniran?” she said and cackled at her own joke. Wale looked at her askance as if to say ‘how is that funny?’ Jade turned to the wall as she tried to hide her smile.

She was not perturbed though. “Your wife has been so anxious about you. She’s been here all night.”

If Jade was white, she would have blushed at that statement. This nurse and her big mouth. Wale looked at her but she refused to acknowledge the look. She was so embarrassed.

The nurse went about her business, oblivious to the tension in the room. She took out some injections and syringes and proceeded to fill the syringes with the liquid. Wale grimaced as he watched her. He had always been wary of injections; they were not his favorite things.

“Turn to your side, sir so I can give you some analgesics and antibiotics.” Wale shifted slightly to the side and the nurse did her business. “There, you will feel better soon.”

“Thank you.” He croaked

She waved his thanks away and after packing all her paraphernalia, sailed out of the room as quickly as she came in.

An awkward silence filled the room as soon as she left. Wale laid back down carefully and turned his head so he could observe Jade from a better vantage point. Jade felt self-conscious, she had not had a bath all day and she was wary that Wale was seeing her after all these years, less than perfect.

“What are you doing here, Jade?” he finally asked

“I told you. You had an accident.”

“Yes I heard that but what are you doing here?”

Jade shrugged. “My number is listed on your driver’s license as your next of kin so I was called.” She tried straightening the bottom of the bed to give herself something to do.

“Ohhhh.” Wale whispered. “I’m sorry about that.”

“It was nothing, I’m glad to be here for you. You gave me a fright though.”

Wale looked at her, surprised. Jade was surprised herself; it seemed the fright and anxiety had addled her brain or she never would have made that statement in a million years. The tension in the room escalated.

“I’m sorry. The last thing I remember  was driving back home from Bodija. The next thing I knew, I found myself here.”

“Why were you out that late anyway?” she asked. “Never mind, it’s none of my business.” She looked away.

“I was out on a date.” He said quietly

Jade felt the old bitterness rushing back. Out on a date? While I was home pining after him? She caught herself and schooled her face. After all, we are divorced and I have no claim on him.

Wale watched all these expressions flicker across her face. He had always been able to read her face easily and what he could see there now spoke plainly of jealousy. She’s at it again, he thought. “It was just a casual thing.” He felt the need to explain himself.

“You don’t have to explain yourself to me. Like I said, it’s none of my business.”

Wale thought it wise to change the conversation. “So, you’ve been here all night?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I needed to be sure you were okay.”

Why?

Jade stared at him. What does he want me to say? That I couldn’t bear to leave his side for fear I might lose him? That I’ve been scared out of my mind all night? “You were sick Wale, besides, there was nobody else.”

He conceded her that point. “The nurse called you my wife?” he raised his brows

She shrugged. “An honest assumption.”

Wale decided to let that go too. Besides, he rather liked the assumption that she was still his wife. “How about my car?”

Jade walked to the window and looked out. “I really don’t know Wale. It’s probably still at the site of the accident.”

“Okay. Who brought me here?”

“A good Samarian probably.”

“Hmmmmm.”

A few moments later, Jade turned back to look at him when she didn’t hear his voice anymore. She discovered he was fast asleep. She walked towards the bed and covered him gently. He didn’t even stir. The drugs must have taken effect.

Now is probably a good time to go home and freshen up, she thought. He wouldn’t miss me while he’s asleep. She stood up, grabbed her purse from where it lay neglected on the floor and went out of the room quietly. She left the door slightly ajar so he could call if he needed anything.

“I’ll be back.” She told the nurse at the information booth and walked out of the hospital into the sunshine.