Lipstick Stain – Part 1
Lipstick Stain – Part 2
Picking up myself from the hospital floor was so hard. I was in so much pain that I didn’t even go back into the room to check on her before I left.
My heart was hurting and my mind was racing.
How could she do this to me?
Why didn’t she tell me?
I could not fathom how she could be carrying our joy and not tell me.
How could other people have known about it without me knowing?
There was so much running through my mind. Everything I thought about her, I would feel a pain in my heart.
I never got to meet the little one. Always dreamt of having my own son.
Being Arsenal fanatics. Teaching him perseverance by supporting one of the most disappointing teams in sports history or just watching him become his own man.
I also dreamt of having a daughter, helping her find her voice in this misogynistic world, owning her black girl magic and me trying to style her hair because I got the juice like that.
But I was never going to know what that felt like. At least, I felt like I missed out.
Almost like you waited in your home all day for a delivery only to come out and see a missed delivery notice.
I cried the whole way home. I didn’t even let “D” come with me.
I felt truly alone and I just wanted to be alone.
As I pulled into the estate, I didn’t even greet the guards at the main gate. I tried to avoid eye contact.
A part of me was very annoyed with them as well.
How did someone bypass them, shoot my wife and none of them knew?
As I parked the car, I felt like something was off.
How much of it was paranoia of the last few days? I couldn’t tell.
But as I approached the main door, it appeared to have been tampered with.
There were scratches around the keyhole and it appeared someone may have tried to kick the door.
My rage boiled over, I hopped into the car and drove straight to the main gate.
As I pulled up I parked to the right side of the gate, the one not used on a daily basis and I stormed out.
The first words that left my mouth were
“Sunday, where your oga day?”
He looked taken aback.
It could have been the tone in my voice or how I was marching towards him.
“Oga wetin happen?”
Was his nervous reply.
I looked him in the face and said in an irate manner
“Person come my house, shoot my wife. Una idiots no hear anything.
Now person come try break into my house again and no security. Wetin be una job again?
Why we dey pay you?
I swear to God wey create all of us. If anything like this happen again, na me go wound una.
I didn’t even give them a chance to respond as I stormed back to my car.
I got in and drove out of the estate.
My heart was racing and it felt like misplaced anger but it also felt extremely necessary.
Like damn it! Why was everything in my life so misplaced?
I couldn’t think and I just kept driving.
I did not realize how far I had gone until I pulled into the coffee shop – Cafe Neo.
Before I could tell, I was waiting in line to order.
I took a seat while they made my drink. I wanted to cry some more but a part of me just wanted to be held.
The last few days had felt like a bad dream and I wanted someone to hold me by my shoulders, shake me and tell me that I’ve been dreaming all along.
But it didn’t seem likely at all.
I got my drink and I walked out of the coffee shop.
As I was stepping out, my phone buzzed.
Reaching for it, I moved my cup into my left hand and picked up my phone.
As I answered, the person on the phone said
“Akin, long time. How’s that coffee?
Before you start trying to figure out who I am, I just want you to know something.
Do as I say and everything will be fine…”
I was frozen but my eyes were scanning the parking lot and the side of the road. I was sure the person was looking at me but I couldn’t tell where.
I turned around to look and the voice on the phone continued
“5 million in cash or the next time, your wife won’t survive”
I asked in fear
“Who are you?”
The person chuckled and said
“I know you and right now, that is all that matters…”
I hadn’t driven that fast in a long time and trust Lekki traffic, I was stuck.
I immediately called the doctor and said
“Doctor, please make sure someone is there to look after my wife”
Startled he replied
“Akin, I just checked on her less than an hour ago”
I wasn’t having it
“Please put someone with her, I will be there as soon as possible”
Now more concerned he said
“Is everything okay?
I mean her mother is here, I can have her sit with your wife if you like”
“I don’t care, just make sure someone is with her.”
He said okay and I continued to sit there in traffic super annoyed.
At one point, I considered abandoning my car and taking an Okada.
So many questions filled my head
“Who could it be?
Were they following me?
How did they know about Lade?”
Those thoughts sailed through my head and I changed my course as soon as I got the chance to.
I couldn’t be sure if the person was following me.
About 30 minutes later, I made it to the hospital.
Rushing into the room, all I wanted to see was if Lade was doing okay.
She seemed to be asleep.
I greeted her mother reluctantly as I was still very angry about the baby.
I turned around and left the room, Lade’s mother followed me closely.
“Akin duro, je kin ba e soro”
(Akin, wait up, let me talk to you)
I turned around as she held my hand and pulled me to the side.
She fixed her glasses and said
“You are my son and a child cannot remain angry with their parent forever.
I know you are upset and to ba je emi ni (if it was me), I would be upset too.
But I want you to know that we did not keep any of this from you as a secret.
By my understanding, your birthday is on Thursday and Lade was planning to surprise you.
She found out two months ago and felt it would be a great birthday surprise gift for you.
Ma binu oko mi (don’t be angry my son)”
I tell you this now, the way she spoke to me was very reminiscent of some deep talks I had with my mother growing up.
Something about it really spoke to me.
It was like she could see that I was trying to hold the anger and she continued
Lade needs you more than ever right now. All of this does not make sense but God is in control.
You are the head of this family and God will do another for you two but right now, you need to be a rock”
I nodded as she reached up to hug me.
I wiped off the tears streaming down my face as she rubbed my back.
“It has been a rough couple of days, you need to eat and go home to get some rest.”
I shook my head and said
“I can’t leave her. I have to be there when she wakes up”
She smiled and said
“Well before you came, the doctor said they will keep her induced for another 2 days to make sure everything is okay.
I am sure you can get some rest.
I will stay and her father will come and join me later tonight. “
Reluctantly, I agreed.
She then said
“I have asked my cook to make you some food.
She will be here any moment, go home and get some rest”
I wanted to tell her about the call I got but I also can confidently tell you that an African mother is the last person you want to tell that a hit has been put out on her daughter.
So I said
“The only way I can leave is if you can guarantee that someone will be with her at all times”
She nodded and said
“I will not leave her side.
The driver and the cook are outside, come let us go and put the food in your car quickly”
We walked out into the lobby and outside to the car.
The driver immediately stepped out and the cook was in the passenger’s seat.
Someone else was in the back but I couldn’t see till I got closer. The back door opened on the owner’s corner and it was Lade’s cousin, Lolade.
She stepped out and walked around the car.
Lade’s mom’s face lit up and she said
“Ah Lola, Iwo ni. (Oh Lola, it is you)
How are you my dear?”
She knelt and greeted her aunty before I gave her a hug.
I had stopped by to drop something my mom wanted to give you and I heard about what happened to Lade, so I wanted to come and check on her.
Akin, how are you holding up?
Has she woken up?”
I forced a smile and said
“Trying love. Just staying positive. No, she is still under. ”
She nodded and said
“It is well.”
I told her the room number while I collected the food from the cook.
I walked over to my car parked on the other side of the lot and opened up the trunk with the remote.
As I lowered the cooler into the trunk, I noticed something out the corner of my eye.
Tucked away in the left side of the trunk, it was staring at me.
I was shocked.
How did it get there? I thought to myself.
I quickly turned around to make sure that nobody saw it.
I noticed Lade’s mom walking towards me as she gave instructions to the cook.
“Akin, there should be efo, obe ata ati rice.
Ila alasepo naa wa n be”
(There should be spinach stew, pepper stew with rice and okra)
She said as she walked towards me.
“Thank you mummy”
And quickly closed the trunk.
My heart was racing and I was feeling exposed.
Someone was clearly trying to set me up.
We walked back into the hospital and Lade’s mom took her seat next to her.
I was going to leave but I wanted to also make sure that Lolade knew the importance of keeping an eye on her.
Lolade and Lade were born in the same month and their mothers are sisters, so they gave them similar names and raised them together.
You couldn’t separate them growing up until they went to college in different countries and even then, they still remained very close.
As we stepped into the hallway I said
“Lolade someone called me today and asked for 5 million or they would try to hurt Lade again
I need you to please keep a close eye on her and anyone that comes into the room.
I am going to try and get the money today”
She replied with shock
You are going to get the money today? From where?”
“I don’t know but I have to. Nothing can happen to Lade”
“Well nothing will happen to her here.
But don’t worry, I will watch her”
“Also, her parents cannot know. Only you know right now”
We walked back into the room and we were met with elation.
Lade’s mom was standing and quietly motioning us forward.
She was waking up!
As we approached, I stood by her side and held her right hand.
There was a huge smile on my face.
As she smacked her lips and blinked her eyes, she looked at me and smiled.
She looked to the side and saw her mom.
There was a quick frown, almost one of confusion. I think it was then she realized she was in a hospital bed.
She opened her eyes and looked at me closely. I was still smiling and I am sure I was almost crying.
She lifted her hand as if she wanted us to remove the air mask.
I lifted it off her mouth and she swallowed hard before asking
“Where am I?”
I replied and said
“Baby don’t worry about that. We are just glad you are okay”
Before I could continue, I noticed Lolade was walking out of the room.
Lade’s mom said
“Lolade, please help us get the doctor”
Those words were like missiles because instantly, I felt Lade squeeze my hand tightly and say
“What is she doing here?”
Not reading anything into it, I rubbed her hand and said
“Babe, that’s your cousin Lolade”
She tilted her head forward and said
“I know. But what is she doing here?”
The mood in the room quickly changed.
Lolade’s mom and I looked at each other, very confused.
We looked over to Lolade and then to Lade, she looked angry.
“Lade, what is going on?
That’s your cousin. Are you okay?”
Her voice was still weak but her angst was strong.
“Why is she here?
She is the reason I am here”
Lade’s mom gasped and I turned my gaze to Lolade standing by the door.
Her look had changed and she had a scowl on her face.
Her next words were
“You better fucking relax Akin.
Out here trying to play Superman for this one. When the baby wasn’t even yours”
Also, please check out my midweek post “Take Me To Church“.
Huge thank you to everyone leaving comments and sharing the series with their friends! I appreciate it all.
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~The explosive Part 4 drops next Saturday! Do not miss it~
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