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It was Monday. Nora was set to resume work. Walking her to Nosa’s car outside, Racheal hugged her daughter and advised her to think very well on what they had discussed. “I will mum, I will give it a careful thought.” Nora told her mother.

As Nosa drove her to the station he told his daughter the details of his new job and how her grand parents were doing in Benin.

“The asked after you” he told her.

“Well I miss them too, especially grandma, you know what dad?” Nora said. “Sometimes I used to feel my grand father hated me. it seemed to me he loved my brother more than me. I don’t understand dad. why was he so mean to me?” Nora added ,frowning.

Nosa was quite for some time.

“No my dear, my father has always been tough with women. Even your grand mother knows that.” He laughed assuring her.

“I don’t know dad. I don’t just look at it that way”

“Any way. So tell me more about your patient.” Nosa changed the subject.

“What can I say ?” Nora smiled thinking of Joe and Nathan. “He’s getting there it’s only that it will take a bit of time for him to recover completely. but he’s doing fine.”

“Good!” Nosa said. “I’m sure you are having good experience there.” “Yeah sure dad” she smiled.

Over the weekend she had gotten enough time to reflect on the emotions she had towards Nathan and Joe. She was able to conclude what she felt for Joe was more of pity and concern. But she still wasn’t sure about Nathan. She had no clear idea whether he liked her as much as she did or he was just being nice to her. She felt like a fly trapped in the spiders web.

She had concluded to stick her mind to her work, and also to see if she could help Joe start practicing how to walk as the doctors had recommended. She prayed soon to be out of that house and the dilema she was caught up in.

She boarded a bus and arrived Umege 2 hours later. Just as she thought of getting a taxi to the Aloba’s residence, her phone rang. She checked the caller’s ID, it was Joe. She had called him earlier to let him know she was on her way. “He probably wants to find out how far I am” Nora thought.

“Hello!” she answered putting her hand bag on her shoulders.

“Hey Nora” Joe responded in a low tone. “Are you still on the way?” He asked

“I just got off the bus and I’m heading to the taxi park right now.”

“NO!” Joe told her “I asked Nathan to pick you up from the main park, he should be near, just give him a call he will come get you.”

“Alright Sir ”

Nora had disconnected the call when she realised she didn’t have Nathan’s phone number. She felt bad that she had to call Joe and ask for his son’s number when she had stayed with them for weeks. As she was still contemplating on what to do, whether to get on a cab instead or call to ask for Nathan’s number, She felt a tap her shoulder, she turned sharply and there stood Nathan wearing his dark blue Cago pants and a white body top. His feet in black sandles making him look like some actor from the American movies she had watched.

“Hey! ” He smiled “welcome back” he said looking at her.

“Oh” Nora sighed in relief “Thank you I was almost calling you I just finished talking to your father.”

“I see. And how did you plan calling when you have never bothered to ask for phone number?

Nora was immediately engulfed by guilt. ” I’m sorry I just.”

“Anyway never mind” Nathan cut in “I’m sure it’s not so necessary after all.”

Nora felt a bit disappointed but concealed it

“Well shall we go then?” She asked.

“Sure” he said. Is that all your luggage?” Nathan asked pointing at Nora’s bag.


“Okay then we are good to go.”

For some time they drove to the house, no one spoke, except the slow tracks playing on the car radio. Nathan later broke the silence, ” So how are your parents?”

“They are all good” she told him. ” They sent their greetings.”

“Hmmn I’m sure the greetings are for dad.” he said, avoiding her gaze

Nora looked at him, she shook her head, “It seems you have a problem with me Nathan, do you mind to explain why you are talking to me like that?” She asked sounding offended.

“And what makes you insinuate that? “Nathan answered as he drove into the yard.

” Forget it.” Nora responded opening the door before the car came to a halt, grabbing her bag she walked into the house and dropped her bag on the bed. She walked to the kitchen and got herself a glass of water as she greeted the maid. “Where is Mr Aloba?” she asked as she finished a cup of water and rinsed the cup from the sink.

“He’s in the study” the maid told her. “Today he spent the whole day there.”

“Okay, let me check on him then.”

Nora knocked on the door softly ignoring Nathan who just entered the house. He paused to look at her but said nothing and went passed her to his room..

“Come in!” Joe answered..

“How is my patient doing?” Nora greeted in a high tone .

“Same as you left me” he said smiling ” Still sitting on the wheel chair.”

Nora smiled “It’s just a matter of time. Remember what the doctor said, the spine is responding well and with much exercise which we are beginning tomorrow you will be able to run.” She said standing opposite the table between them. She looked at Joe’s hands, he held a picture, though she couldnt see the image properly.

“Your wife?” She asked pointing at his hands. Joe opened the chest drawer and placed it back and pushed his wheel chair towards Nora.

“My first wife” he told her.

“Oh I didn’t know, you had a woman before Nathan’s mother?” She asked surprised .

“Yes my dear” Joe said looking sad. He told her to sit.

“I dont know why am telling you this Nora. I bet I just felt sad today”.

Nora looked at him and listened attentively.

“I was was maried to a beautiful and tender woman. She loved me with all she had and trusted me, but I failed her. I abandoned her and treated her like nothing.” Joe laughed softy. “I wasn’t even there when she gave birth to our son. I was just stupid and now I live each day regreting throwing away what really mattered in my life. Now here I am lonely and sad on a wheel chair. My wife left me with the new baby Nathan” he paused..

“I married Nancy the woman Nathan still believed is his bilogical mother. I never loved her and somehow my son figured that out and now he hates me and blames me for her death.”

“I’m sorry that happened to you Sir, em..Joe”. She corrected, when Joe gave her a reminding look of not addressing him as ‘Sir’

“But I’m sure your son might understand if you tell him the truth. He deserves to know that, don’t you think?” She asked him looking at his sorry face and his eyes meeting hers.

Joe shook his head. “He can’t find out yet the burden will be too much on him to bear, besides I’m afraid he will hate me for pushing his biological mother away. Trust me Nora. I know my son, he’s not as strong as he seems. He has a delicate heart like his mother. Please promise you wont say a word of this to him. I will handle it myself when the time is right. ”

“It’s okay” Nora assured him touching him on the knee. “My mouth is sealed” . She stood up and walked to the door, then stopped. “I’m sure Nathan is old enough to handle situations. Maybe you should trust him more.”

Joe nodded. “Thank you Nora”

She smiled before opening the door and going out.

Joe moved back behind the table and looked at Racheal’s photo once again and replaced it back, sad memories tormenting his mind.

To be continued…


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