As he sat at the bar waiting for her arrival, his mind drifted to his wife. He wondered if he was doing the right thing, if he had punished her enough and should let it go but then he sighted Opha and his heart skipped beats. He had never seen a lady as beautiful and elegant as she was in his life or so he thought. She was attired in a yellow stripped turtle necked armless gown which was way above her knees. Slung across her shoulder was a black Chanel back and a black gladiator sandals to match the hand bag. Heads turned as she made her way to where he sat, he was slightly flushed to see people were staring at him too probably because she was headed his way beaming with smiles and eyes sparkling like a well refined gold.
Opha: “Hello…hope I did not keep you waiting for too long?” she smiled, revealing her white well set teeth.
Richard: “Not at all, I just got here myself, have your seat” he said drawing out a seat for her opposite his. “How are you today?”
Opha: “I am fine and you?”
Richard: “I am surviving…What will you like to take?” he asked as a waitress came to take their orders.
Opha: “A bottle of chardonnay will do for now” she said looking up at the waitress who was beaming with fake smiles.
Richard: “Okay get one bottle of chardonnay and with two glasses” he said, the waitress nodded and retreated.
Opha: “So you were saying something on phone?”
Richard: “I was thinking whether to just let go of my beef with Rebecca. I think she has suffered enough and it’s already taking its toll on her. What do you think?”
Opha: “I think it’s a good idea but She really did disgrace you and in public for that matter. She does not have any respect for you and if you forgive her so easily, she will take it for granted even more. I think you should not forgive her just yet”
Richard: “Are you sure? I guess you are right though. You are a woman and you know women better”
Opha: “Yeah that’s right! I know women better” she said eyeing him from behind the glass of wine she was sipping.
He went back home that day feeling more resolute than ever. He wished he was married to someone else and not her. It’s a heart wrenching how you think you know someone so well and all of a sudden realise you’ve been mistaken all along. He saw her sitting on the settee sleeping and his stomach churned with disgust . “Why on earth is she not sleeping in the room? She is not probably waiting for me cos I don’t have time to exchange words tonight ” he turned to enter his room but the creaking of the door woke her up.
Rebecca: “Hey Richie! You are back? I have been waiting for you. Welcome” she said rising up to her feet drowsily.
Richard: “Just go and sleep in your room and don’t meddle in what is none of your business okay?”
Rebecca: “Okay I will be going to bed soon but the doctor asked me to tell you something, I thought about not telling you but I think it’s your right to know. At least we are still married”
Richard: “I told you I am not interested in hearing anything from you except it has to do with Sammy. Please do not provoke me tonight and just go to bed. There is a reason I left that room for you or do you want me to leave the house for you?”
Rebecca: “Not at all. You won’t have to do that and for the records, I resigned at work. I will be staying at home now to take care of Sammy and the home myself”
Richard: “Good for you but hope you have yourself planned out well? You will not be getting a penny from me for anything other than my son’s upkeep. You will be on your own”
Rebecca: “Don’t worry, I will not bother you at all… I have it all planned out. Thanks for taking your time to listen to me, goodnight! “She said calmly and left him standing at the doorway to his room. Her calm demeanour only succeeded in getting him more peeved than he already was. He expected her to flare up like she used to but the reverse was the case. He shook his head and went into his room at last.
During break time at Princeton Schools, Sammy and a pack of his friends were at the school’s football field practising relay race for their upcoming inter house sport. Sammy was very athletic and was the best athlete in his house. The house master had gone to use the restroom when a confrontation broke out between Sammy and one of the known bullies in the school.
Emeka: “So you don’t know that you are a bastard? Your mum had you for another man” he said with a scowl on his face.
Sammy: “Don’t call me a bastard again you dumb ass boy. Do you think I don’t know you bully others to feel good about yourself?”
Emeka: “Look at you. You think you are that good just because people say so? Don’t you know your mum is a husband basher? Your dad is a weakling, you think I was not there that day at Mr. Biggs when those soldiers were beating him up? He was just saying please! Please!! Please!!! Whimpering like a dog on heat” he said and the rest of the boys laughed out loud. Some covering their mouths so Sammy would not know they laughed.
Sammy: “You bastard!” he lashed out and plunged for him. They both rolled on the floor throwing punches at each other while the other boys cheered them on. Mr Sam the housemaster arrived and separated them, surprised at what big damage could be done at such little time.
Mr Sam: “What on earth is happening here?” he said fuming.
Emeka: “He is the one sir, I did not do anything to him” he said bursting into tears.
Sammy: “Sir! He called me a bastard and my dad a weakling in front of everybody here”
Mr Sam: “The two of you should come with me now!” he turned and walked away while the two boys trailed after him on wobbly feet.
Rebecca: “Sammy why did you beat that boy up in school? How can you disgrace me like that?” she said when they got back home. she had gotten a notice from the school authority to come by the school that day where they had narrated to her what transpired between her son and the boy.
Sammy: “It was not my fault mum. Why is no one believing me?”
Rebecca: “But you threw the first punch at him didn’t you?”
Sammy: “Yes I did but he called you husband basher. He said my dad was a weakling… all these is your fault mum! You made my dad into a weakling that day and now he is not even talking to you”
Rebecca: “Yeah it’s all my fault and that is why I am trying to make amends. I am trying to put things right and just so you know, your dad is not a weakling, he is a strong and good man”
Sammy: “Do you still love my dad?”
Rebecca: “Of course I still love him very very much”
Sammy: “Then why did you keep fighting him? I used to feel sorry for my dad but not anymore though”
Rebecca: “Well I am a changed person now and so is your dad. Do you know I am pregnant? You will have a baby sister very soon” she said drawing him closer to her bosom.
Sammy: “Is that true mummy?”he said with eyes glistening with joy and excitement. “When will you give birth to her? I want to see my sister fast fast”
Rebecca: “Very soon my dear, and promise me one more thing? You will take care of your sister right? In no ways will you allow anyone hurt her when i am not here”
Sammy: “Are you going somewhere?”
Rebecca: “I am not sure yet but I might be going somewhere. So I might have to leave your sister to your care” she said fighting back tears.
Sammy: “Okay I will take care of her but promise me you will come back soon? You will not stay too long where you are going to?”
Rebecca: “Let’s wait till then” she said and embraced him tighter while he struggled to disengage from her.
Sammy: “Mummy I am now a big boy o, I will even be a big brother soon but you keep treating me as if I am one small boy”
Rebecca: “Sorry dear big boy. I am already envying your sister. Wish I have a big brother like you. Your sister is lucky, I know I’d be leaving her in good hands”
Just as she said this, they heard shuffling of feet outside on the floor. Richard and a very beautiful lady entered the house looking all cordial and comfortable in each other’s company. They probably didn’t expect to meet Rebecca in the sitting room.
Sammy: “Aunty… I was not the one who looked for trouble first. It really wasn’t my fault ma” he said feeling jittery with fear.
Opha: “Hey Sammy! I am not here to punish or reprimand you. I am here to see your dad so no worries at all. I know you are not a troublesome boy, Emeka is. So I believe you” she said stooping down to hold his to shoulder. This gesture melted Richards heart and he smile fondly down at the two of them while his wife watched him in sheer disbelief.
Rebecca: “Thank you Miss Opha for believing our Sammy but what exactly brought you here?”
Richard: “Go inside your room now Sammy”
Sammy: “Okay dad” he said and ran off.
Opha: “Well I am here for Richie not you”
Rebecca: “Excuse me? What business do you two have together? The last time I checked you were only my son’s class teacher”
Richard: “And how is that any of your business? I told you not to infringe on my space. Please lets go to my room dear” he said and drew Opha along with him…
To be continued…