I raised my hand weakly and rubbed my hot face. I heard knocks on the door but totally ignored it and the voices that came afterwards. Even if I wanted to answer, there was no strength left in me to talk. I mustered enough strength to push myself off the bed and almost fell back down.
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I had stayed in the room ever since I received the bomb shell from Alex and even now, the words still made me double over in pain. During my three days of ‘room arrest’, I have cried more than I have ever cried in my life. The tears just kept pouring and pouring until there was no strength left in me to cry. The water from the tap in the toilet’s washing-hand basin was the only thing sustaining me.
The three days have been terribly hard, filled with pain and intense hunger which was almost maddening, probably because I am pregnant and my baby was demanding food. I whispered to my baby every now and then, telling myself that I am not alone. I continued to comfort my child, begging him to bear with me. The isolation was necessary.
After staying alone, the reality of loneliness dawned on me. I finally reached a resolve. I have reached my terminal where crying is concerned. I have finally realized that crying over Alex was a hopeless cause and a waste of time and energy. All I have in this world is my child, whom I would continue to cherish, no matter what I am up against.
I managed to drag my dehydrated self to the bathroom and relieved my full bladder before quenching my killing thirst by drinking from the tap in the toilet. My eyes seemed to have sunk into their sockets as I looked at myself in the mirror. I was a shadow of myself and I knew I would have to change that. Despite my starvation, my breasts were much fuller than they were months back, giving me a more shapely body than I originally possessed and I knew it was due to the pregnancy. After drinking my fill, I washed my face and left the bathroom slowly. There was no strength left in me due to lack of food and the water I just drank woke up a hunger that could not be ignored. It was disheartening that I had to treat Tina the way I did but I just could not see anyone. If I had seen her earlier, I was pretty sure I would take my anger out on her and that would be terrible since she did not deserve it.
I opened the door of my room and walked out weakly, grabbing the walls for support whenever my legs shook. I was on the verge of a new beginning and the first step would be to quench this abominable hunger. I held the railings of the stairs in a viselike grip as I went down. Immediately I got to the landing of the stairs, Tina and Tola stopped the search they involved in and turned, nearly jumping out of their skins when they saw me.
“Amara” Tina gasped.
This was the first time she called me by my name since she discovered that I was Alex’s wife and I was pleased by the timing. Now, I could confidently call her my friend. “Christ! You have almost killed me with worry” she jumped to my side instantly. “This is terrible! How can you be so inconsiderate in your condition?”
“Thanks Tina” I managed weakly as I bent from extreme hunger. “And you too Tola” I whispered, remembering that I heard her worried voice, minutes ago. “Thanks for your concern” I swallowed. “I am terribly hungry though” I smiled weakly at Tina.
She jumped to action right away, going into the kitchen and working with lightning speed, condemning my actions like a mother as she worked. I sat in the kitchen with her, contented to hear her angry words. Tola hung around, not saying anything. I smiled softly at her and relaxed against the backrest of the chair with my eyes closed.
A plate of indomie was placed at my front faster than I imagined and I attacked it like a hungry lion. As I ate, she took a large piece of chicken from the microwave and put it on my plate. I ate like I have never eaten before and the rich aroma of piping hot tea drifted to my nostrils and my desire to eat increased several degrees. She placed the steaming cup before me and stood back to watch me eat. I grabbed the cup instantly, taking a careful sip before continuing my meal, muffling my thanks between mouthfuls.
After draining the last drop of tea minutes later, I could confidently say that my hunger had been quenched.
“Why did you lock yourself in?” Tina asked with a disapproving frown.
“I was charting a new course”. I smiled at her confusion and stood up, walking out of the kitchen with Tina at my heels. “By the way, where is Alex’s mistress?” I asked unconcerned as I made for my room. Tina followed me, probably to make sure I did not lock myself in again.
“She went shopping” she responded.
I nodded with my smile still intact. “I would take my bath and get dressed. I need you to follow me somewhere. Are you free” I asked.
“Of course. Where are we going?” she asked as we entered my room.
“We are going shopping”. Her eyes widened.