It was 5.30 am and Mofe was awake, he’d tossed and turned all night unable to sleep. It had been the trend for a few days now, and he knew he couldn’t go on like this. Talking to his aunt had helped a bit, She had been shocked for the first few minutes at the news but had gone on to advise him to put his anger in the corner for a while. Being angry with Ezinne would only cause more harm than good.
He’d told her the story, everything, from how he’d never really put her from his mind to how she was now blind and didn’t know who he really was. She’d advised he stop all the deceit and just come clean with Ezinne, the both of them had a lot to talk about. She had advised he do more of listening, and know her reasons for keeping their daughter away from his knowledge.
He doubted he could have a sane conversation with Ezinne, what other reason could there be than she didnt want him having a role in their daughter’s life? That was the highest form of meanness to him and a part of him wanted her to pay dearly for her actions but his aunt was right,it would only do more harm than good.
Azora was ten years old now and goodness knew what trash Ezinne had told her about her biological father. She probably hadn’t even told her anything and the girl believed Ekene who was now late, had been her father.
He sat up, he would take his aunt’s advice and try to approach this carefully especially as he wasn’t also a saint himself. His aunt had reminded him of the deal he’d made with her father and had told him he wasn’t so pristine himself.
He’d tried to argue it out saying, they were already broken up at the time but who was he kidding? He should never have taken the deal, even though he’d needed the money badly he should have held out, what he did had been shameful.
He picked up his phone from the bedstand beside him needing to get his mind on other things, he put a call through to Eve. Their relationship was a bit strained now and he had to smoothen it since it was his fault afterall.
She picked on the second ring, the time was about ten thirty p.m and she would be about ready to go to sleep.
“Hi love, wasn’t expecting your call, how have you been?”
He took in a deep breath before replying her“I’ve been an ass babe and I’m sorry, can you forgive me?”
He heard the smile in her next words “there’s nothing to forgive, you are going through quite a lot at the moment, so it’s probably normal for you to act like an ass sometimes”
He had to smile, she always made excuses for him, he could do no wrong in her eyes.
“Still, I’m sorry Evie, you know I cherish you right? You know I do love you?”
She was silent.
“Evie?” He questioned
“MJ….I won’t lie to you, I am scared, I’m scared you’ll go back to her….I know you want to love me and you want to leave her behind but….”
Mofe took in a ragged breath, he said softly “Baby, I’m with you now, there’s no going back…”
“Then why would you keep things away from me? Why won’t you tell me what’s really going on over there?”
“I don’t want you to worry, I want you to trust me. Evie….Baby…I love you and that’s the truth. I will work through this and we will be together.”
“You sound more like you are trying to convince yourself ….” She said quietly.
Mofe sighed frustrated, what would it take for her to believe what he’d said was true “What do you want me to do, how can I prove I mean what I say?”
She sighed “Come back home MJ, right this second. Just pack up and leave and forget her forever.”
He closed his eyes, that was not in anyway possible “Evie….I…I..”
“I know, you can’t do it… you want to see her, you have a deep desire to know what she’s like now or maybe you want to know why she never reached out to you or you want to know if she is just as haunted as you are, I don’t know MJ, but I have this nagging feeling I will lose you to her.”
“You’re torturing yourself unnecessarily, Evie. you should just stop these crazy thoughts already.”
“Have you found her? I know you have.”
“Don’t lie to me please MJ,” she begged.
“And she isn’t doing too good.”
“Is she sick?”
“She’s a widow now…And…And she’s blind.” He told her but that wasn’t all.
There was a pause on the other end before “oh…. so is this about pity?”
“No, it’s not… It’s something else.”
“What is it?”
“Evie… it’s complicated.”
“Oh gosh, just say it already.”
“I have a ten year old daughter with her.”
“I said…. “
“I heard you the first time, Mofe…..and she’s kept this from you all this while?”
He sighed “Yeah.”
“Are you sure she’s yours? She could just be saying it to get money from you….”
“She’s not, Eve, ” he wanted to add that Ezinne hadn’t confirmed it to him, she’d not even told him and she didn’t even know he was back because he had lied about his identity to her but it all seemed so much and so overwhelming to offload all at once.
“Why not? You said it yourself that she couldn’t have her sight anymore, she could be looking for a free meal ticket, she……”
“It’s not like that Eve,”
“You don’t know that, women can lie just to ……”
“Trust me, It’s not like that,”
“MJ, trust me I have seen women lie and get really imaginative especially when cash strapped and they see their baby daddy is quite well off. Don’t give into her claims, you need a DNA test to be…..”
“She’s mine, Eve.” He cut her off.
“Don’t say that yet, you can’t be so sure until you have proof…….. “
“I have all the proof I need…. she’s got……” he was about telling her about the birthmark when she cut him off.
“No you don’t! ” she snapped “No you don’t! Not until you have solid proof! Don’t get taken for a fool Mofe just because you feel sorry for her, she doesn’t deserve your pity …..”
“Are you going to let me chip in a word at least? You seem to have come to your conclusions all by yourself in all of five minutes.”
“Yes, because I believe your judgement is clouded! When it comes to her, you act strangely, i have been with you for two years to know how she affects you.”
“Eve, this is different….. she doesn’t even know..”
“No, it’s not any different, you think she cannot lie? What is she above that or something? Is she some sort of angel that can do no wrong to you?”
“Eve…. will you just calm down for a second and hear me out?” he couldn’t recall when he’d seen her this annoyed.
“I’m not going to listen to you make excuses for her MJ, because when it comes to her you act like a fool, a fool for love…. you know what, I have to go now, I have to go before I say something l’ll regret because right now, I’m kinda losing it.'”
“This is exactly why I had wanted to keep you out of all this, I knew you couldn’t handle the truth …. finally, I decide to let you know something and you blow through the roof with your own conclusions.”
“All I’m saying MJ, is that you should get proof and be sure the kid is really yours so you aren’t taken advantage of!”
“She is mine!” He thundered “and I don’t need a frigging test to prove it!”
“Is she? Or is it that you want her to be yours? You want so badly to have some connection to this woman, someone who didn’t think you good enough for her years back?”
“I can assure you, you wouldn’t have thought much of me either had you met me back then.”
“How can you say this? You don’t know that! “
“Oh please… “
“You bastard, I have been with your annoying commitment shy ass for almost three years now and this is really what you think of me? That I’m shallow and with you because you are successful?”
“Eve…” this fight had gone too far ” Eve, please this has gone far enough.”
“You’re damn right, it has… “
“let’s just let it go,”
“No, not until you answer my last question!”
“What question?” He couldn’t even recall the question.
“Do you think I’ve hung on this long to ud because you’re wealthy and successful?”
“Eve, would you really have given me a second glance if I’d been a cab driver? A manhattan lawyer like you, senior partner in your law firm with a Cabbie, really?”
“We really do not know the answer to that question but I’ve gotten the answer to mine…You think you’re all that, don’t you? Well it’s myself who is to blame for loving you so much and hanging on, hoping…,” Her voice faltered.
“Eve,” Mofe called sharply “This is going quite far now and I really don’t like where it’s heading.”
“You can go back to the love of your life….. fake baby mama, I don’t care-“
‘She is not the love of my life, not anymore. Why won’t you believe me?” He asked exasperated.
“Because i know how she affects you, and now with this kid who I’m sure she’s playing you with…”
“She isn’t playing….
“She is taking you for a fool and you can’t see it because you badly want to be connected to her!”
“Now Eve, the last thing I am is a fool, if after two years you don’t know that, then maybe you don’t know me as well as you think… I never should have brought you into this, I knew you couldn’t handle it.”
“Oh please, ” she scoffed “when you wake up from that daze of yours and do that DNA test, you can give me a call if you are going on ahead to adopt a kid whom you aren’t sure is yours, I am out of here for good.”
“Eve?” He was amazed “you are going to leave me, really?”
“Get a dna test, Mofe.”
“You are going to throw us away just because i have a daughter?”
“No, because you are letting her take advantage of you!”
“I can’t believe this… I can’t believe you. I had called hoping to straighten things out because the tension between us has been frustrating for me, I’ve not been able to sleep decently for days now. I decide to open up to you and this is what you are really going to do?
“Just get the test, Mofe”
“You know what? I won’t! I’m not getting any damn test because you say so. She is mine, i know it, I have confirmed it my own way and if you don’t like it and you can’t trust my judgement then I guess you can walk but you don’t give ultimatums!” He spat now losing the last shred of his temper.
“You know what you are, MJ? You are a fool!” She said and the line went dead
Mofe grabbed on to his phone, squeezing tightly, trying not to give into smashing the piece. Was Eve for real here?
What had even just happened? Was this all because of his child?
‘No, it was because you refused to get a test,’ he reminded himself.
And what was that nonsense about him needing to feel connected to Ezinne? That was preposterous, he wanted her out of his damn life so he could move on.
They were probably just really annoyed with each other at the moment, when tempers cooled they would make up. There was no way they could give up years of being together because of some silly test he didn’t need.