Joe walked around the house having no idea what to do with his baby who has started crying. He slowly lifted the baby and a letter fell off. The letter was addressed to Nathan. Nathan was the name he and Rachael had planned to give their child when they were told they were having a baby boy months before. He couldn’t pay attention to the letter because Nathan was still crying. He placed the note on the chest drawer. Just then his phone rang. He checked the caller, it was Jessy .
Still trying to calm the baby, he held the phone and picked the call.
Hello” he responded
“What’s happening?” Jessy shouted “I can hear a baby crying? Can’t you give it back to the mother? ”
“Oh Jessy ” Joe sighed.. “you have no idea what is happening..my wife left leaving the baby with me and now I have no idea what to do. He won’t stop crying.” He explained..
Jessy laughed. ” You are joking right?” She said. “I’m serious babe I really don’t know what to do”.
After that conversation, that was the last Joe had heard from Jessy. She ignored his calls. She once chased him out of the flat when he went to see her.
“I’m not going to be part of your baby drama ” she had told him.
He struggled and managed to buy the baby milk and hired a nanny to help take care of Nathan. His mother was ill at that time so she could not help him care for the child.
As months passed by Joe had put himself together and decided to be there for his child. Even when he resorted to drinking beer at home. He was there when Nathan started crawing, when he took his first steps until the time he was 3 years old.
Joe’s effort on reaching Rachael and beg her to come back home failed, he tried to contact her relatives but it seemed no one really knew where she had gone. Day and night Joe wished he had acted differently and had put his mind to his marriage. The only comfort he had was the smile of his fast growing son. Nathan was growing fast, full of energy and in good health. Joe’s parents and friends adviced him to marry again. But he told them he wasn’t ready yet.
Meanwhile months after Rachael left her son and husband. She refused all her mother’s advice and overtures to go back and mend her home. “If you trully loved your husband and child, you would have looked past the hurt and pains. You would have trusted God to help you. running away isn’t a solution”. Her mother preached.
She never considered going back to her home and with time she started forgetting her husband. Especially after she left Benin and went to work in with an NGO in Lagos. No matter how Rachael created this cloud to cover her past and live normally like a single woman, deep down her heart she missed and longed to be with her husband and child. However she was determined to forge ahead and obliterate her past.
She was lost in thoughts and didn’t realise her boss was standing in front of her well carved wooden office table talking to her.. “I’m sorry Sir” she apologised when he shouted. “Rachael!” He called her, “Did you even hear a word of what I said?” He asked with a look of concern.
Mr Nosa was Racheal’s boss. He was slim and tall. He had set his eyes on Rachael since the first time she joined the organization and he knew from her curriculum vitae that she was single. He couldn’t stop wondering how a beautiful lady was still single at 30. She was good looking and also intelligent. He had invited her a couple of times for dinner but she seemed not so interested in him..
Nosa was not however willing to give up. He vowed to crack the wall that Rachael had built around her and win her heart.
So here he was looking at her silently lost in thoughts. He had called her twice but she didn’t move an inch..
“Oh am so Sorry Nosa ” she stood up. “I was just…”
“Yeah I noticed ” Nosa cut her sentence.
“I was asking if you are leaving soon. Am heading out and I can drop you off if you don’t mind, I mean since your car is still at the garage” he said.
Rachael smiled at him. ” Thank you, you are so kind.” Nosa moved closer to her and held her hand. “You know I like you and am just waiting for the time you will give me a chance and let me in your heart.”
Racheal sighed. “I’m sorry Nosa, I don’t think am ready for any man right now, we can just be friends nothing more.”
Nosa felt a grip of disapointment but decided to play it cool. “Sure”. He said letting her hand free. ” Let me know when you are through, I will be in my office” he said and walked out of her office.
Rachael watched him disappear in the passage. She shook her head and sighed.. recalling the exciting times with Joe. she felt pain in her heart and as the tears started dropping, she quickly placed a small piece of tissue under her eyes and wipped the tears. “I’m done crying for you Joe” she whispered. Adding a little makeup on her face she stood up head high and walked confidently to Nosa’s office with a grey handbag which matched her grey skirt.
“Am ready!” she announced as she entered Nosa’s office.
“Okay” he responded, picking up the car keys and briefcase. “Let’s go then”
Reaching her home Rachael invited Nosa in. “What can I offer you?” she asked as she motioned him to sit on her cream white couch.” Nosa admired the clean and nicely arranged room. He turned on the flat screen TV mounted on the wall as he waited for her.. She had disappeared to another room.
Rachael came back with a glass of water he had requested and handed it to him. She sat opposite him as they started chatted.
All the time as Nosa talked and narrated events of his past, Rachael nodded and smiled. She had said nothing about her past. All she had talked about was her work life in Benin and Asaba and also her family. Nosa had no idea that the woman sitting in front of him had abandoned her marriage and her baby.
What had started as a simple friendship developed into intimate relationship over the months.
Nosa proposed to Rachael and they got married a year later.
Rachael didn’t expect much from Nosa. She accepted to marry him just to get rid of all the pain she had suffered from her marriage to Joe. However, Nosa was not as she thought he would turn out to be. He was a wonderful and caring husband, he didn’t change as Rachael anticipated he would. His love for her was genuine. He showed lot’s of patience even when his wife showed little interest in the marriage.
Years passed and Rachael slowly started falling in love with Nosa. She woke up one night and found him praying.
“Lord please let my wife open up and love me. I dont know what has caused this wall around her but I trust you can brake it and give her back her peace and freedom”
Rachael watched him as he prayed and felt a guilt within her. All she had done is give the man who genuinely loved her a hard time. From that day she decided to forget about Joe and live happily with her husband.
She knelt close to him and he looked at her when he opened his eyes. ” I love you.” She whispered. “And I’m sorry I have not been a good wife to you. I promised to be that woman of your dream.”
Nosa hugged his wife joyfully. That was the begining of their happy marriage.
To be continued…