. . . It is ten-thirty five in the morning and Shola is curled up in bed tending to her wounds and longing for some love. Her head feels like the expert yam pounders of Mama Ekene’s restaurant taking turns at the pestle. As much as she tries to ignore the intense ache it becomes progressively worrisome. She curled up for some more inviting sleep but it became increasingly unpleasant. Her head gained a few pounds as she roused herself, lately, it had become frequent, the headaches, a sick feeling, falling asleep in the most awkward places and eating next to nothing. She had lost weight in the process yet her mammary glands felt fuller than normal.

Naivety beclouded her as she popped some analgesic in hope for a much needed relief. Soon she was speeding across the room with a hand over her mouth and clutching her abdomen heading for the convenience. The pills came right out in a pool of undigested food and warm fluid as she tried to catch a breath in between. Weakly, she spread the shower curtains with her left hand and led herself slowly into the tub for a wash and then it all made sense.

She was two weeks late and she was terrified; she didn’t want to be pregnant, not right now when Emma was barely available and had metamorphosed into the night beast. Moreso, He had barely touched her in months. If she was with child it certainly wasn’t his and there was no pinning on this one.

Confusion brewed even more as she gazed at the two red parallel lines on the HCG strip. She sought recess on the white porcelain toliet seats as thoughts went through her mind, there was no stopping, what he would do to her if he ever found out; he had beaten her silly over a late meal and this was an appeal for murder on the fastlane.


It wasn’t her intention to let in another man, she would never do that. She had been a hurt and betrayed woman seeing the condoms and hotel receipts in his brown chinos as she did the laundry in the wee hours of dawn as Emma slept. They had neither been intimate nor in that line in months so why did he need them. Like a mad woman she marched into the bedroom, then to his bedside and vigorously shook him to reality and like the biblical David and the Philistine Big bully demanded a detailed explanation. Well reality played out on this one and she was barely done speaking when he accused her of snooping around his business and disturbing his beauty sleep; he ranted on and on about her disrespect, arrogance and her parents’ failed marriage and when she dared to scream back she got a beating in overdose.

Ernest had been a shoulder to cry on since it all started, he had walked in on her crying inconsolably in the past as she laid it all bare. At all times he respectfully maintained a safe distance, and only made contact when he offered paper towels. Today it was different, he walked right up to her, lifted her to her feet by her hands and held her in a warm embrace. As they both held on longer, he could feel his member engorge and her, let down her guards. His hand slipped further down her back and so did hers, their lips parted free, consumed in desire. Ernest hadn’t been so lucky with relationships either. It felt wrong all the way yet so right.