Richard frozed, just thinking about losing his child hurts.”Well, Tanure and I would go our separate ways. I know I hurt you badly but the child is mine and I won’t certainly wish my own child death”
Christine smiled warily.”I know”
‘I will do anything to make sure that it’s just the two of us again’She thought and hugged him.
She loved Richard alot,she knew about her shortcomings, but she wanted to change for him,they had been together for two years now and she was already seeing her future in his eyes.
Richard was hers alone and the bond she had with him was eternal so that village girl and her unborn baby would not ruin it.
Richard walked into his house,it was clean as usual since Tanure started living with him.
He walked into her bedroom,she was asleep and lying down in a way that her stomach was facing the wall.
He slowly sat on the bed and gently ran a hand through her hair, loving how soft it felt against her fingers.She was beautiful, more beautiful than any woman he had met before and Christine couldn’t compete with her natural features.
Her meals were the best,it always reminded him of his mother’s.Did he really feel nothing for her despite the fact that he never wanted a life with her?
He walked out of her bedroom and and strode into the baby’s room beautifully decorated by Tanure and himself.It was painted with blue and pink.The baby’s cradle, bath and other necessary things were neatly arranged.He grinned staring at the baby’s shoes and clothes.Tanure had insisted that they bought unisex clothes and shoes but he strongly prayed for a boy.
To him, girls got tired easily and all they would want to do would be to play with dolls and watch those silly barbie cartoons.
But boys….they could play football together, and run around… and watch those action movies….there were so many things he wanted to do with his son.
Why didn’t he want a kid in the first place?
In his head,he could just picture his child, Tanure and himself, there was no room for Christine.He realized he was self-centered as Tanure had said,he should stop thinking about what he wants,the deed has already been done, Christine was too perfect to be his mistress,he didn’t want to compromise things but to give up on one and face the other.
Tanure sat down on a chaise lounge reading a book titled ‘The wages of sin’ by Ibe Oparandu.She had gotten used to life in Lagos and she must admit she loved it more than life in the village, well the stress part precisely.She didn’t have to cook with firewood of fetch water two streets away.Richard had taught her how to use the flat plate and gas cooker.Life was more easier here but she couldn’t picture a life with Richard one or two years from now.
Tanure heard the gateman arguing with someone then suddenly the argument stopped and she heard footsteps coming towards the door, it was probably the gateman,she thought.
The door flung open, Tanure flinched seeing three hefty men on masks sauntering into the house.
“No time to explain, sweetheart”One of them probably the leaders said.
They rushed towards her, two of them pulling her up from the chair and holding her hands tightly,fear crept through her veins.
Tears were already streaming down her cheeks as the last one walked up to her, balling his hand into a fist,he punched her hard on her stomach.
Pain…she didn’t know existed before rocketed through her body.
He didn’t stop,he punched her over and over again at the same spot.
“Please……..”She choked out,her lungs failing her completely.
He punched her with all his might,this time,it made her feel dizzy her legs felt wobbly.
His fist clenched to punch her again.
“Enough!We ain’t supposed to kill her.Let’s get out of here,I think that’s enough”The one at her right yelled.
The others nodded and let go of her,she fell to the floor while they hurried out of the house.
She groaned painfully and felt her thighs getting wet.She shakily stared at it,she was bleeding.Her baby!
She tried to sit up but couldn’t then she crawled to the landline.
Richard’s number was written on a piece of paper,he had always kept it there in case she needed anything.
She blindly sought for it and with her head spinning,she dailed his number.
Richard heard his cellphone ringing,he stared at it to see her calling for the first time.
He picked up.
“What is it, Tanure?”He asked, calmly,there was silence at the other end of the call as if she couldn’t speak.
“Ri…..Richard…. I’m… ple… I’m….”
“Tanure, what’s wrong?Are you sick?”He panicked.
But the line went dead,he tried calling her again but she didn’t pick up.He sprang up to his feet and grabbed his jacket,he hurried out of his office,as he came by the hallway,he ran into an elevator,she wasn’t the type to play silly tantrums so this might be damn serious.
When he arrived at the house, the gateman didn’t come to open the gate,he got out from his car and found the gateman lying on the ground.He rushed towards him.
“Segun,what happened?”He asked shaking him vigorously.
Segun blinked several times and slowly sat up.
“Oga,am I still alive?”He asked in disbelief.
“What the hell happened?”Richard yelled.
“They were three armed men,they demanded to see madam, when I refused, the bottom of a gun collided against my head, that’s all I remember”
Richard grew weak..if Ahmed couldn’t stop them,then they had gone………… TANURE!
He ran towards the house and stormed into the sitting room there he saw her beside the landline, still breathing….. probably not.A cold feeling seeped into him seeing her dress soaked with her own blood.
He shakily carried her in his arms.
“Ta…. Tanure… wake up”He kept saying as he rushed towards the gate but didn’t get any response.He placed her on the backseat and hurried into the driver’s seat then he drove off like the winds.
Richard’s face was buried into his palm,it had been two hours since Tanure had gone into the operating theater.
He knew he had to call Maami but how could he possibly explain this to her?how could he face her?She would surely think he wanted this to happen.
How could he explain that some unknown men attacked her when she didn’t know anyone in Lagos?
“What if she loses the child”
Christine’s words ran through his head,he quickly shook his head,he knew Christine very well…..too well.She wouldn’t do anything as terrible as this.
A doctor walked out, Richard ran towards him.
. “How is she?”He asked, breathlessly.
“I wouldn’t want to give you any false hope,she is in a critical condition and I don’t think we can save both, you’ll have to choose, your wife or you want us to deliver a premature child whose probability of being alive is very low”
Choose? That word sounded too heavy for Richard.Tanure’s life was as important as the baby’s.who would take care of the baby?Who would cook those delicious meals for him?Who would take care of his house?God! Maami would be so disappointed.