‘Baby, what’s this about?’ Mayowa asked again as soon as the doctor closed the door behind him.
‘Nothing,’ She smiled. ‘I’m sorry for reacting that way, she went on calmly.’ Look I know I’ve been very busy lately and haven’t had enough time for you or myself and all. But I promised I was going to rest? Today’s the last Saturday and-
‘That’s what you’re doing now, and obviously will be doing for some time to come, he grinned inadvertently.
‘Exactly, my point.’ But you didn’t have to put up a pregnancy scare with the doctor? It’s not that bad, I mean-
‘What? Wait up, Aanu?’ He was surprised by her line of thought- and speech. ‘Really? Seriously? You think this what- a pregnancy scare?’ He scoffed.’ Come on now baby, it’s not that bad? I know we weren’t expecting it, at least not now but it’s here, there’s nothing we can do about it?’
‘So you’re saying-‘
‘I’m not saying anything, I’m not a doctor?’
‘But the doctor said I am pregnant?’
‘Of course.’ He took her hands. ‘Come on, New’s old enough to have a brother or a sister?’ He tried to be light.
‘Oh, you think this is about New being old enough?’ She sneered. ‘God! What are you even thinking, I have a business to run? I have a very tight schedule, it’s the end of the year Mayowa? What am supposed to do about all my catering engagements and the makeovers? Disappoint my clients or what? Because I want to have a baby?’
‘Can you even hear yourself?’
‘Oh please pardon me for being reasonable!’ She snapped back.
‘No, you stop. I know you want me to rest and all that but if this is a hoax please tell me now.’
‘Of course it’s not,’ he tried not to match her raised and angry tone. ‘Baby, you’re freaking out.’
‘No, I’m not I –‘
‘I don’t even want to continue this conversation. You should rest, okay.’
‘Of course, that’s what you want isn’t it?’
‘Aanu?’ Mayowa restrained himself from saying something they’d both regret. ‘I’m just going to get you some food okay,’ he left.
She burst into tears. For no apparent reason she couldn’t bring herself to accept the undeniable fact that she was pregnant. She couldn’t believe what she’d been told. She wouldn’t even think of it. All she was preoccupied with was her catering and décor schedule for the rest of the year. It was filled to the brim, and overflowing too as she’d had to turn down some jobs and even refer some others to her ex boss. She mentally went through her calendar, she couldn’t even think of shelving any of her gigs. Her thoughts roamed to when she’d had New. She’d been practically grounded, of course by her husband, only allowed to do what she could from home and nothing more. It had been fun, being pampered and treated with tender loving care by her doting husband and wonderful friends and family. But now that she thought about it, going through all that again didn’t seem like fun. In fact, it all seemed like a dreaded nightmare. A part of her was still struggling to hold on to the unfounded suspicion it was all a big joke. She tried hard to hold on to it like a drowning man would a straw. And hold unto it, she did, until sleep found her.
But not Mayowa. And yes, sleep did try to find him. But he refused to be found. A potpourri of reflections occupied his mind. He was back in the days when he’d first met his wife. The days of distrust, of fear, of holding back and a thousand doubts. He reminisced how they’d overcame those times. His thoughts roamed to the early days of their marriage, the never ending hiccups, which as he recalled them now, were mostly baseless. He remembered how Aanu hadn’t wanted a child when they’d had their first pregnancy. Yes- their pregnancy. For he believed he had been as pregnant as much as she’d been. She’d loathed the idea of having a baby- though secretly. And the baby- no, foetus, had returned from whence it had come. If he’d perceived any lack of interest or excitement, he’d misinterpreted it for his own self concocted ideology of ‘first baby cold feet’. She’d only confessed to having resented the idea of a baby after they’d lost the pregnancy- at six months. She’d gotten over it well enough with some sense of guilt at having in some way killed what would have been her second child and a renewed enthusiasm. That had hastened New’s birth. And since New, there hadn’t been any discussion as to when to have another child. But then, there hadn’t been any discussion as to when not to either. Now that he thought of it all, he hoped the pregnancy would not go the way of the first. As he searched himself that warm evening, Mayowa found he didn’t have any particular position on the issue himself. So, he decided to assume one. He told himself he was fine, nay, ready for another child, and wondered why he wasn’t feeling too good about the whole idea. Perhaps, because Aanu wasn’t. He recalled her reaction that noon. It was totally unexpected. She wasn’t even going to accept the fact that she was pregnant? He thought of her defence – no – excuse. Work. It had been hectic at Quintessence lately but then she was her own boss? He thought of all the stress she’d been through lately- and Aanu would go to any length to make her clients happy. But you can only make them happy if you stay alive? He said aloud, oblivious of his surroundings, and loud enough to have attracted the attention of a passerby nurse who came to ask him if all was well.
‘Of course,’ he mustered a smile, somewhat embarrassed at having been caught unawares. ‘I’m just good, I was going to get some food actually for my…’ He rose.
‘Oh, the canteen’s on the first floor,’ she smiled. He left.
Aanu was asleep until about eight in the evening, during which time her mother had visited with Yemisi and the kids and left. Mayowa was dutifully by her bedside when she awoke.
He decided it was better not to re open the subject of pregnancy just yet and went about getting her to eat some food instead.
‘Wait, she looked at him after eating the very first spoon of rice, ‘am I pregnant?’
His heart skipped a beat.
‘Aanu…’ the look on her face stopped him.
‘It’s a boy, again,’ she broke into a big big grin, ‘I saw him!’
‘Wha-‘ she leapt unto him before he could take it in or respond.
‘We’re having another baby!’ She announced triumphantly as a trickle of tears found its way down her eyes unto his arm. The warm liquid jolted him to reality.
‘A boy…’ He managed and embraced her, smiling into space.