By Temi Akintade

It was Frank who drive me to the hospital. It was still him who took us to Gwagwalada specialist teaching hospital when Hadassah was referred to the University of Abuja teaching hospital gwagwalada. We never exchanged words.

Even when he had managed to pay Hadassah’s hospital bill, and Mama Judith kept thanking him profusely, I said nothing.

Instead, I sat at the almost empty reception, with thighs clasped and lips tight like a bereaved woman.

THE CHAT ROOM : PART 21 – 30. Thingscouplesdo

“Hadassah only had convulsion you know. She’s not” I heard Frank say. He was no longer dressed in his suit, he only had his white shirt on his black trouser.

My eyes strayed to the first two buttons that were undone on his shirt. I imagined that Regina must have unbuttoned them with those perfectly manicured false nails.

Maybe if I had done my nails or fixed false lashes like Regina- maybe he would have looked at me differently? I shook my head. I was a bad mother.

How could I be thinking of Frank and his Fiancee while my Hadassah was in pain? “She’s not dead but she’s suffering from high malaria that could have klled her.” I scoffed.

“And because I went to a stupid dinner, I almost lost my daughter.” My eyes were misty with tears.

We remained silent for a long time. Until the day started to break because the red-haired nurse in the nursing station already parked her night bag.

She was ready to hand over to the hairy nurse for the morning shift. It was then, that Frank spoke.

“I’m sorry.” He chuckled. “Even though I am not sure of what I’m sorry for?”

My insides burned with anger. How could he feign innocence? “How dare you pretend as though you aren’t aware that you have been leading me on?

From the care to the love shown by you to my child, how could you show up in this? Telling me about your fiancee? I fell in love with you Frank.” I broke into tears. “For your information I love you.”

His jaw dropped open. “Paulina I’m so sorry. But I’ve always seen you as my younger sister.

If I had wanted to marry you I would have let my intentions known long before now. You are 18 for goodness sake! You just made a mistake and you attempt to fall into another?”

My head buzzed as though millions of angry bees were in my head. “Throw it to my face! Tell the whole world that I’m a teen mom!

I hate you Frank and my love for you has turned into hate! Don’t you ever come close to me! Thank you for the help so far but I think I need to walk through life on my own!”

I heard him shuffle on his feet then he said. “You have a lot of things to work on Paulina. Your emotions are in a mess.

You need to work on your emotions so that you can become a psychologically balanced lady and so that people don’t take advantage of you. God only uses emotionally balanced people. Allow God to work on you, Paulina.

I still love you and will still care for Hadassah.” He strolled away from me after whispering something to mama Judith then he gave her some money.

I didn’t realize he had left because I was busy thinking of his last statement.

“You behaved childishly Paulina.” Mama Judith said. She took a seat beside me.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a child.” I stared straight ahead at the hairy nurse attending to the next patient.


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