Dele’s phone rang as he sat at dinner with his family that evening. He picked it up and the code name for her – EBONY, appeared. The sight of those five letters made his heart quicken and his hands tremble. This must be urgent; he had warned her never to call him at home.
“Hello, who is this?” He pretended not to know.
“Sweetheart, it’s me. I feel so alone and desperate. What do I do? This baby grows by the minute and you are not doing anything?”
He stole a sideway glance at his wife. God forbid that she even knows about this conversation. He had to find a way to settle Ebony and permanently cover his silly recklessness.
“I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll give you a feedback then.”
“Make sure you do” Ebony dropped the call before he could blink.
His heart pumped harder as his wife asked ever so casually, “Who was that?”
“Nothing. It’s official.” He picked up his glass of water and drank long and hard.
The next day at her home, she gave him an ultimatum. “I’m not taking this any longer. I don’t like the way you are taking me for a ride. You either give me enough money to have an abortion in a proper hospital or,” she paused, “ …. you marry me.”
The accumulated apprehension of the last few days erupted in his throat as a croaky laughter. “Marry… what? You must be joking.”
She eyed him and sneered. “It’s not marry, what! It’s marry me.”
“Don’t even think about that. It’s not possible. I love my wife, I love my kids, I am not going to disrupt their lives because of my foolishness. No way! Please get that idea out of your mind.”
“The idea doesn’t sound evil to me, but if you think it is, well – no problem. I will not argue with that. It just makes things much simpler – give me two hundred and fifty thousand for an abortion and we part ways.”
He was silent for a while. “I can’t do that either. I believe abortion is murder.”
It was her turn to laugh. “My dear lover, you are an intelligent man and that is why I respect you. You must know that can’t eat your cake and still have it. Even the bible asks, ‘Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?’ Just listen to yourself, you are not making sense at all…”
He wondered about her quoting from the scriptures but then he had to make her see things from his point of view. He was a Christian and he couldn’t do an abortion. There were many reasons why he couldn’t marry her. In spite of his indiscretions he really loved him wife. What madness had made him decide to have an affair. And now he didn’t even love her anymore. Jesus.
“Look this is what we will do. You will have the baby. I will take care of you and the child. I will pay for your rent, school fees, hospital bills, and upkeep, anything you want.”
“No way. I won’t mortgage my future for you or anyone. Who will marry me if I have a child and keep it’s away father in tow perpetually. You are happily married, what makes you think I too don’t deserve a home some day soon. Abortion or Marriage and that is final”
He was confused. He had not bargained for this; all he had wanted was a little spice. There and then, he took a decision. He knew what he must do next.