The Other Side Of Love 3
Vivian Osagie sat on a black sofa in the living room. She rested on two pillows. Her husband sat beside her. He wore white guinea brocade and she was dressed in blue lace. Anita and Edward sat opposite them.
The house was quiet except for the servants who moved around attending to the needs of the Osagies. Three oil paintings adorned the white walls and Benin bronze works were placed in strategic positions around the ground floor. A huge grand piano stood beside an imposing staircase which rose up from the ground like a king cobra about to strike its prey.
“You worry too much,”Vivian said to her husband.
“Why shouldn’t I? You fainted and almost fell down the stairs.” Nosa Osagie said.
“I told you to build a bungalow but you wouldn’t listen. You insisted on building a three storey mansion because it is befitting of your status. Now I have become too old to climb your elegant staircase.” She said.
“If you want a bungalow, I will build you one,” chief Osagie said.
“Men! Now he listens to me after spending so much money,” she spread her hands and shook her head.
“Mom, is everything okay?” Edward asked.
“I am fine.” She sat up in the chair and looked at Anita. “Who is your pretty friend?”
“Mom, dad, this is Anita Batubo. She is a fashion designer.”
Anita stood up and genuflected to Edward’s parents. She returned to sit beside him.
Nosa looked at his third son and the stranger he brought home.
“Which Batubo is this? Where are you from young lady?”
“I am from Bayelsa state, the Ijaw tribe to be precise. My father is chief Gogo Batubo.”
A dark frown settled on Nosa’s face. “Which Gogo is this? What does your father do?”
“He is an industrialist,”Anita felt something bad was about to happen.
“You are Gogo’s daughter?” He stood up from his chair suddenly. “Edward, come with me.”
Edward and Anita looked at each other, but he didn’t stand up.
“Darling, you need to watch your blood pressure,”Vivian warned her husband.
“Dad, what is going on?” Edward asked.
“Go with your father,”his mother said in a tired voice.
Edward stood up and went into his dad’s study. Moments later Anita heard chief Osagie raise his voice.
Mrs Osagie looked at Anita. “You don’t look like your father.”
“I took after my late mom,” she said. “What is going on ma?” She asked.
Vivian looked her in the eye. “Anita do you want to pretend that you don’t know what is going on? Has your father told you nothing?”
“He said there was a business problem between him and your husband many years ago.”
Vivian sat up. “Business? It had nothing to do with business. Your father always had a way of hiding secrets. I see he hasn’t changed much.”
Several thoughts ran through Anita’s head. What secrets was this woman talking about?
Vivian Osagie continued talking.”Ask your father what happened in May, 1979.”
“Why don’t you tell me now?”
She smiled weakly. “It is best you heard it from your own father.”
“Is this going to affect my relationship with your son?”she asked.
“I really don’t know.”
“I love Edward very much and I want to get married to him.”
“This has nothing to do with you my daughter. Do you know what? Call me tomorrow and let me know what your father tells you.” She called out her phone number and Anita saved it on her phone.
“Thank you ma,” Anita said.
A plus size lady in tight jeans and a flowery Hawes and Curtis shirt entered the Living room. She had a look of entitlement about her, like she owned the place. She took off her designer glasses and looked around the living room. She didn’t greet Anita but went and knelt down beside Mrs Osagie. “Mommy, I came as soon as I heard,” she said.
“Ese, thanks for coming to see me. Why does bad news travel so fast?” Mrs Osagie asked.
“I bought you some fruits,” Ese said. “They are in the kitchen.”
“Thank you my daughter. Have you met Anita?” she pointed in Anita’s direction.
“No, I haven’t,”
“She is Edward’s friend,” Mrs Osagie said.
“His Fiancé,” Anita said watching Ese.
“Really?” Ese got up from her knees.
“Ese, please prepare me some fruit. You know the way I like it.” Mrs Osagie said.
“Yes ma,” Ese said, gave Anita a very bad look, dropped her bag angrily on a chair and entered the kitchen.
Anita watched her enter the kitchen, questions rolled around her mind. Who was Ese and why was she so angry?
Just then the doctor arrived. He was tall and dark.
“Vivian, I heard you almost fell down the stairs.”
“Rotimi, I am fine. It is your friend Nosa you should Be concerned about. He is about to give himself high blood pressure because of her,” she pointed at Anita.
Doctor Rotimi turned to look at Anita and smiled.
“She is Gogo’s daughter.”
The smiled disappeared from his face. The stethoscope in his hand shook slightly. He quickly turned away and bent over Vivian to take her vitals.
Edward came out of his father’s study looking very upset.
He saw the doctor and greeted him. “Good afternoon sir.”
“Good afternoon Edward.” Doctor Rotimi said.
When she saw the look on Edward’s face Anita carried her bag and stood up.
“Mom, we are leaving. I will see you by the weekend.”
“Please bring Anita along with you when you are coming to see me,” Vivian Osagie said.
“Your mom needs some rest. Where is your dad?” The Doctor asked.
‘He is in his study,” Edward said.
Just then Ese came out of the kitchen carrying a bowl of fruit salad.
“Hi,” she smiled at Edward.
“Ese, how are you? I didn’t know you were around.” Anita thought Edward smiled like a child who had just been given some chocolate cookies. She looked at Ese again. What was Edward so happy about?
Anita carried her handbag on her left arm. She tugged at Edward with her right hand and gave him a ‘let’s-get-out-of-here’ look.
“We were just leaving. See you around,”Edward said.
There was silence in the car as they drove towards Victoria island. Anita broke the silence.
“What did your dad tell you?”Anita asked.
“Baby, I don’t want to talk about that right now. He said a lot. I need to think about some things,”Edward kept his eyes on the road.
“Are you keeping secrets from me now?” she asked. Was her dad right about Edward? Why didn’t he want to tell her what his father discussed with him? He had kept his past and business issues from her. Can she trust him?
“Let’s talk about this tomorrow,” he said.
“Edward, do you love me?” she asked.
He hesitated for a few seconds. His eyes were strained on the road. He swallowed hard.
“I love you Anita, I really do.” He didn’t sound too convincing.
She wanted to ask him about Ese but changed her mind.
Anita wanted to get married. Edward was her choice, but was he God’s choice for her? She was sure before her dad brought up the discussion last night. After that things just started falling apart for their relationship. Anita sighed deeply and Edward stole a look at her but said nothing.
No one could accuse Anita of being spiritual. She attend church when she could and didn’t get involved in too many church activities. However, from the way things were going, she knew she needed some sort of divine intervention in her life. She didn’t want to lose Edward like she lost two previous suitors.
Anita turned away from him and faced the door of the car. She began to mutter and pour out her heart to God in quiet prayer, completely oblivious to the noise of the surrounding traffic.