Tola can hear the megaphones of the church down the street blaring.
She hisses and draws her blankets up. She pops in her earphones and presses play on her Ed Sheeran playlist.
At least she can still sleep in peace.
Subconsciously she reaches out to the other side of the bed, Niyi’s side.
It is cold and empty. The way she felt the rainy evening he left. The day he found out about the abortion.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Niyi is spitting furious as he clutches the receipt from the nondescript clinic where she had the D&C.
His cold words and disdain sting even as she struggles to explain herself.
“How could you do this to us,Tola!“, he thunders
She is mute.
Soft spoken to a fault,Niyi has never raised his voice at her in all their years together.
Still furious,he continues: “it was our child! Our child! How could you kill it with no qualms? No fear! You had an abortion without telling me! How could you?”
His voice drops to a broken whisper
“How could you?”
Tola can’t find any answer.
All her reasons at the time seem to have evaporated. She can’t say anything justifiable, not with the naked hurt on his face.
Niyi looks at her as if seeing her for the first time.
Then with a look of distaste,he turns and stalks into their bedroom where he begins to toss his things into one of his duffel bags.
Tola finally finds her voice.
“Niyi,please. Don’t leave. I can explain.”
He laughs ,a mirthless sound.
His voice is as cool as ice.He is still tossing his things into the bag,his back turned to her.
“When we first met,we both agreed that our careers came first. We didn’t plan for this. This was a mistake.I couldn’t put this on you!”
“How thoughtful“, he says coldly.He whirls around to face her,his face furious.
“You should have told me,damn it!“, he rages.” It was a part of me too! I was entitled to know,Tola! You call it a mistake?How could you be so selfish?”
“I’m sorry “,she whispers in a cracked voice” .
“Please don’t leave“.
He stares at her but his eyes are those of a stranger,cold and impassive.
“I can’t talk to you now, Tola. I don’t want to. I have to go“.
With that ,he zips his duffel closed and leaves without a backward glance.
The apartment door slams shut.
Alone,Tola sinks to the floor and gives in to her tears. She has never been able to cry daintily and her sobs are loud and throaty,racking her petite frame.
She has never felt this alone.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
It’s been a month now and Niyi hasn’t still picked her calls and her trips to his office have been futile.
She has called his brother,Deji to inquire about his whereabouts but Deji’s hasty denial confirms that he knows. Niyi must have told him about it.
Tola has left endless remorseful messages on his answering machine and sent him emails and texts.
His only response is to mail back his own keys to their shared apartment.
Tola, finally coming to terms with this,the end of what they had, is an emotional mess.
And it starts to reflect,even at work.
Finally,she takes two weeks off to regain herself,whatever that means. It is what her boss suggested in that no nonsense manner of hers after she burst into tears in the middle of a meeting.
Now,on this Sunday morning,the last day of her forced leave, this church people are putting paid to her plans of sleeping in till twelve.
As she burrows in deeper,the megaphones seem to get louder as if reprimanding her.
She can’t recall when last she went to church.
Niyi wasn’t the churchgoing type and neither is she.
This church which is two blocks from her apartment is one of the new generation churches. Its enthusiastic members are always showering her with pamphlets,inviting her to this progamme or that.
Niyi used to tease her about actually honouring one of their invites.
Tola suddenly hit by an unshakeable resolve rolls out of bed and hits the shower. Then she hunts up an appropriate dress and heads out.
She walks the short distance to the church and is ushered in by a smiling usher.
She takes a tentative step in and hears the melodious peals of the singing choir.
Tola is struck instantly by an indescribable feeling,one that she hasn’t felt in a long time.
It is one that calms the turbulent emotions swirling inside her.
She feels a weightless sensation,as if she is floating in the air.
Her remorse seems to fade away.
She is at peace.
Written By Miracle Eme
Published by Great Opara