CAN’T HOLD MY TEARS SEASON 2
Tina whimpered as the pain became an alarming throb, eating at her senses.
“I really should call the doctor” Aisha said worriedly.
Tina shook her head. She had already become weary of constantly having doctors examine her. She was tired of it, and each day she spent in the hospital reminded her of her mounting hospital bills. “No! Don’t call the doctor. You should go home and rest Aisha, you look so exhausted.” She breathed in pain.
“I can’t leave you” she returned. “I would get the doctor” without waiting for her approval, Aisha rushed out of the room.
Tina concentrated on taking calming breaths, but it did not seem to help reduce the pain she was feeling. The pain had escalated severely, and try as she may, she couldn’t keep it from showing on her face. She was used to making sure that people don’t worry too much over her, she mightn’t be able to stomach people running from pillar to post, just to see to her needs. The door opened slightly, and she closed her eyes, not ready to face the inspection and examinations of the doctor. She sighed with her eyes closed, waiting for the doctor to ask the usual questions. “Do your worst” she murmured, but when she didn’t hear anything in response, she reluctantly opened her eyes.
All thoughts of pain vanished from Tina’s mind as her mouth dropped open. The human looming over her surely cannot be from planet earth! She felt winded as her eyes took a slow travel from his silky hair to his handsome face. Oh! That face! It was enough to make a woman swoon. A slow sexy smile crept up his face, and just when Tina thought he couldn’t get more handsome, he became breathtaking. Her breath caught in her throat and she whimpered. “Am I dead?”
Maxwell’s smile widened. “Thank God you are not” he murmured. Tina’s awed gaze had left Maxwell feeling more handsome than he already was. It was probably the way she openly gaped at him, not hiding under the shyness that most ladies were accustomed to around him. For someone who was obviously bedridden, the lady before him, though not the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, had this beauty that he couldn’t explain. Had this face that could easily be imprinted in the minds of men.
“For one second, I thought I was in heaven” Tina answered, still gaping at him. Her eyes travelled to his chest, lingered, then sailed back to his face. “Are you a new doctor? I could get used to seeing your face” Her face broke into a small smile.
Max stared at her, not knowing what to respond with for the first time. Women were always speechless around him, not the other way round! So why was he just staring at the woman without thinking of a response?
“He is not” a nurse responded, looking amused. For the first time, Tina noticed the other people in the room. There was a nurse she saw often and beside the gorgeous man stood Tega – Amara’s secretary. She frowned.
Tega spoke before she could voice her question. “Good afternoon Miss Tina, I hope you are feeling better” she said with a smile, although, she could see that behind the smile was deep worry.
“I am getting better” she lied. Glancing at the man before her, she wondered who he was.
Remembering himself, Max spoke up. “Pardon my disgraceful manners Miss, I am Maxwell”
Her eyes widened. “Babs? Maxwell Babs? You were Amara’s blind date right?”
He grinned. “Am I right to assume you were the one behind the mischief?” The woman was just full of surprises. Miss Tina! He remembered.
“I surely am. Why did I never go on blind dates myself?” She asked rhetorically with a frown. Maxwell chuckled slightly. Tega shifted impatiently beside him.
“Sorry to interrupt you miss, but have you seen Miss Peters today?”
Tina looked at her with a frown. “She slept over with me yesterday and left very early this morning to prepare for work. What is wrong? Isn’t she at work?” She asked.
“No, and she is not at home either. Her car is at home, including her phone”
“I am sure it is nothing to worry about” Maxwell hastily cut in, immediately he saw Tina move and wince on the bed. “I am sure she is fine, probably had to rush off somewhere. You need your rest, we shouldn’t have bothered you”
“I am not a puppet for God’s sake, I am tired of resting all the time. When Amara came yesterday, she was terribly worried about something, but she wouldn’t tell me; then she called Kelvin over and over but couldn’t get through to him”
Max frowned. “Who is this Kelvin to her?” He asked quietly.
“Oh, they are really close, have been for years actually” she answered shortly, too preoccupied with worry to even notice the narrowing state of Max’s mouth. “She hadn’t been able to reach him when she left early this morning and I could tell that she was very worried. Maybe she went in search of him or, God forbid, heard that something happened to him and rushed off in a haste” she concluded.
Max nodded briefly. “I just hope she is safe”
Amara sat inside the taxi, looking unseeing out of the window. She had envisioned the time she would be making this trip, over and over, she never imagined she would be in such a rush. But she couldn’t help it. In all her life, she had never felt so utterly alone. It was a feeling she was used to, in a way, but then again, she wasn’t used to it. Maybe because, despite all that happened to her, she had Kelvin to rely on. But now, she had no one. It would be foolish of her to unburden to Tina, who already had more than enough problems.
Amara wiped tears from her cheeks as finally, the Taxi driver slowed down in front of a building. She got out of the car instantly and paid the man, rushing inside the compound. As she got to a door, she paused to catch her breath. She raised her hand to knock and hesitated. She hadn’t come all this way only to chicken out at the last minute! Taking a deep breath, she tapped the door three times. She held her breath as her heart skipped out of control. When she heard no response, she knocked again.
“Who is it?”
The voice penetrated her senses, bringing back memories she had kept locked away. Her hands shook out of control as her heart raced. She jumped slightly as she heard the lock being pulled back. Tears formed in her eyes and she bit her lip nervously.
Immediately the door was wrenched open, an audible gasp rang in her ears. Tears slipped unhindered down Amara’s cheeks. “Mama” she cried.
Alex glared at the lady before him. “I heard that something happened to Amara’s company and I know you are involved. I never told you to tamper with her company” he boomed.
The lady strolled to the window of the hotel room. “If you want Amara all to yourself, you must leave me to do it my own way” she answered.
Alex hissed. “And you plan to do that by destroying all she has worked for? Do you know how hard she must have worked to get to the place she is now?” He barked at the back of the woman.
“If I wanted to destroy her, I would have done it already” she said softly.
“You are a snake. You are using me to get back at Amara, I don’t know what she even did to deserve such hatred from you”
She chuckled. “You have no idea”
“You should be careful with the way you spew your venom, I can’t be implicated in whatever you are doing” he warned sternly.
She pulled away from the window, walking towards him, her tight leather leggings was making him imagine things and he kept his eyes on her slim long legs as she advanced. She smiled coyly and sat on his lap, wriggling gently. “You don’t have to worry about that” she whispered in his ear. “Do you have my money?”
Her body was more than enough distraction and he hastily nodded, pulled open the bedside drawer and produced an envelope. He eyed the bed in anticipation. She collected it, opened the envelope and peeked inside. She smile. “Good” she breathed and placed a chaste k!ss on his lips. Jumping up before he could take advantage of anything, she walked away from him, swinging her body as she went out through the door and closed it gently.
Amara jumped into Mrs Peters’ arms, crying profusely. Mrs Peter’s hands shook as they held Amara close. “Amara my daughter” she breathed shakily. “Is this really you?” She asked, not believing that she actually had her daughter in her arms.
“It is me Mama” Amara sobbed. “It is your Amara”
“Oh my God!” Mrs Peters cried as mother and daughter held on to each other, crying profusely. “I never thought… I would see you again my child” she said between sobs.
“I am sorry mum, I am so sorry” she cried.
“Shhhh… It is ok… Shhhh”
This was what she needed. A shoulder to fall back on. Not just a shoulder! The shoulder of a mother who would always understand. A mother who would always see beyond her mistakes and love her unconditionally. She missed her mother. She pulled back slightly. “Please forgive me mum; I should have come earlier”
“Shhhh…. It is OK. I am just glad you are here now. My God, look at you!” She said, giving Amara an assessing look. “You look so mature now, totally different”
Amara wiped the tears in her mother’s eyes and managed a weak smile but she ended up crying again, before hugging her mum. “I have missed you so much mama” she m0aned.
“Oh Amara, if only I could tell you just how much I have missed you”
Amara pulled back. “Where is Papa?” She hurriedly asked.
“He went out not quite long… he would be so happy to see you. We talk about you all the time my dear” she said, cradling Amara’s face in her arms. “Come inside, you must be so exhausted. How did you know where we stay?”
Amara did not want to begin to explain that because it was such a long story. She had made sure she knew about her parents’ whereabouts, but she hadn’t been ready to visit, mostly because of her father. A part of her was glad that she didn’t meet him at home. She had always anonymously sent money into their account, because, despite it all, she would always be grateful to them, and would always see them as her parents.
Mrs Peters’ eyes were gleeful with over-excitement. “Sit here, what can I offer you Amarachi?”
Amara smiled for the first time. “Oh mama, I am not a guest now”
“I want to pamper my baby girl, don’t blame this old woman” she said, smiling.
The years hadn’t really changed Mrs Peters and Amara noted delightfully that her mother still looked as beautiful as ever. She stood up and wrapped her arm around her mother’s waist. “Well, I won’t mind having this beautiful lady pamper me. Papa has been taking good care of you ooo” she winked at her mother and kissed her cheeks. Oh, how she had missed her.
She shook her head. “You haven’t changed”
“I have missed your meals” she said, smiling.
Amara knew that she had no appetite whatsoever, but then, her mother’s meals have always remedied that.
Mrs Peters grinned. “Well, you won’t find another mother who can cook better” she answered and turned to the kitchen. Amara followed her into the kitchen instantly, holding her firmly by the waist.
As good as her mother’s meal was, Amara couldn’t eat beyond a few spoonfuls. The news of her child’s existence was still too fresh in her memory; along with the painful throb of Kelvin’s betrayal. Her fingers shook as she held the spoon, toying with the food in her plate. Distantly, she heard the voice of her mother as she filled her in on all the things she had missed the past six years. She was the one who asked her mother to do so, but now, she wasn’t listening. She couldn’t, not because she wasn’t interested in knowing how her parents had been faring, but because her brain kept on replaying her enormous dilemma.
Utter silence descended on the room and this time, Amara heard it. She didn’t raise her eyes from her plate because she feared that her brimming eyes would give her away. She didn’t have to though.
“What is wrong Amarachi?” The concern in Mrs Peters’ voice almost made her weep for real. Amara shook her head, not trusting her voice to come out without betraying her emotions. “Something is bothering you… I can see it clearly” Mrs Peters persisted.
The urge to tell her mother all her troubles was overwhelming. Her hand shook as she shook her head. “No. It isn’t right to unburden to you now mum” her voice broke halfway through.
Mrs Peters was out of her chair at once. “What do you mean by that? There is nothing more right than having you confide in me” she pulled a dinning chair closer to Amara and perched on it. She put her hand against Amara’s chin, forcing her to look at her. “I am listening”
Amara burst into tears at that. Mrs Peters pulled her close, holding Amara’s head to her chest with a frown. “Oh mama” Amara sobbed. “You can’t possibly fathom what I am going through now” she raised her head to look at her mother’s eyes as more tears slipped down her cheeks. “My son is not dead Mama, he is alive”
Mrs Peters stiffened, almost turning to a statue. Her face turned slightly pale as she stared at Amara as though she had lost her mind. “What… what are you saying?” She gasped out. “Stop saying nonsense Amara”
Amara stood up them, too tense to remain seated. “It is not nonsense mum” she laughed bitterly. “I almost fainted when I heard it today. My son is alive; has been alive all these years”
“How come… how did that happen?”
Amara sighed and told her everything Kelvin told her that morning. The more she said them, the more they hurt terribly, but she refused to think about Kelvin and his betrayal now. Her child was more important.
Mrs Peters’ face grew paler the more she talked and soon, she was looking into space. When Amara finished, silence descended into the room for several seconds. “I have a grandson” Mrs Peters whispered almost to herself, as though she couldn’t quite believe it was true.
Amara nodded gently as her eyes watered again. “Yes ma. A grandson”
Her mother jumped up suddenly, her eyes widening with a brightness Amara had never seen. “Oh my God Amara. I am a grandmother” she squealed. She pulled Amara close for a two seconds hug, and released her quickly from over-excitement. Mrs Peters was practically jumping up and down, with great smiles on her face. If only Amara could bounce about happily like this! Mrs Peters took one look at her face again and her excitement reduced. “Why do you look so pale my child? This is a really good news!”
Amara slumped into a chair. “I am scared mum. I have always thought that my life would be so blessed if I had my child, but now that it is happening, I am so scared” she raised her eyes to her mum. “What if I can’t be a good mother? What if he hates me? I have not been with him his whole life, do I expect him to jump into my arms?” She shook her head and looked away. “I totally have no idea how to be a mother”
Mrs Peters sobered considerably and sat close to Amara. She grabbed her hand and held it firmly between hers. “Look at me Amara” Amara did. “You don’t need to know how to be a mother; you are already a mother” she stated. “You don’t train to be a mother, my child, you are trained on the job. Don’t be scared that he might hate you, even if he does, all you need to do is win him over. A mother never gives up on her child, and surely, if the mother’s love is true, the child would come around and come to love her dearly”
Amara’s eyes watered as hope flared in her. “You think he might love me?”
Her mother smiled and raised her hand to Amara’s cheek. “Of course Amara. He would love you very much. Do you know how I was when I found you?” She smiled and shook her head in remembrance. “After trying for years, I had already accepted that I could not have a child. Then, I found you” she laughed. “You were so small, so fragile; I have never seen a child more beautiful”
Amara wiped the tears on her cheeks but her face grew wet again.
“I took you home but I didn’t know what to do. I was in complete confusion; I didn’t know anything. You used to cry a lot” she grinned, her own eyes also growing misty from the remembrance. “I didn’t know if you were hungry or wet whenever you cried”
“What did you do mama?”
“I continued to take care of you the best way I knew how, I got advice from some mothers, but after some time of practice, I became used to it. No one is a perfect mother Amara, love and determination is all you need to bring your child up”
Happiness floated through Amara and she hugged her mother fiercely. “I knew you were the best person I could come to mama, thank you so much” she murmured, loving her mother the more. Mrs Peters might not have been her birth mother, but she was definitely the best mother in the universe. “I love you mum” she whispered against her mother’s shoulder.
Mrs Peters held her close. “Oh my child! I love you too”.
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