A/N: There'll be a triple update today.
There was a huge nervous pit in my stomach and somehow I felt like just calling sick and skipping the whole thing but that would just be disrespectful which was why I was currently standing in front of Noah's parent's house along with Noah.
He had assured me multiple times on our way here that his mom was chill and I had nothing to worry about but how could I not worry. The woman is not only the mother of the person I'm slowly beginning to let into my life but she was my boss and she had the power to decide whatever happens to my job in the hospital. That was scary as hell.
Noah told me it was just his parent's and younger sister who was a twin that were around as the rest of his siblings were busy back at their home so they couldn't come along. His immediate younger sister was having a series of photo shoots, his younger brother- the other twin was overlooking their family business in place of their father and the last child was away in college.
I took in a deep breath as I heard the shuffling sound of feet approaching the front door, the door swung open to reveal a younger version of Noah's mother, the only difference was that she had the grey color of eyes that Noah also had. A wide grin appeared on her face as she practically jumped on Noah's body, hugging him.
"Kosi, how far now? It's been long oo" she said when they pulled apart.
"You're being dramatic. I call and text you almost every day"
"It's not the same as seeing you in the flesh" she replied as a matter of fact.
She turned to me and let out a gasp of breath.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry. Where are my manners? I'm Chinelo and you must be Ijeoma, it's so nice to finally put a face to the girl my mum has been talking our ears off the whole of yesterday" she blurted out all at once as she shook hands with me. "Please come in"
As we walked into the house, I felt goose bumps appear on my forearm due to the massive yet homely nature of the house – everything looked pretty expensive and I started to feel out of place in my off the shoulder zebra print flare gown.
"My mum wasn't wrong about you. You really beautiful" Chinelo said
"Thank you" I said shyly.
I wasn't used to such open complimenting especially from someone who looks like her. She was absolutely stunning and she looked like she should be on a front cover of a Vogue magazine. She was clad in a blue sleeveless jumpsuit and her hair was let down in its natural curly state.
We settled down in the air conditioned living room as Chinelo talked about herself and what she had been up to the past few years. Noah made a few inputs here and there but she was the one doing all the talking, I on the other hand just listened quietly to what she said and laughed a little when it was necessary. In the small amount of time I spent with Chinelo in the living room, I concluded that she was a very bubbly person and more of a talkative than Noah was.
"Nelo, if I catch you there ehn" Noah's mother said walking into the living room. "You better enter that kitchen before I say Jack Robinson"
She also looked absolutely stunning as well and seeing her in a home setting felt very different than when I first met her in the hospital's cafeteria. Right now, she was giving off this wave of motherly vibes in her styled African print gown which made me feel a little less uncomfortable.
Chinelo stood to her feet immediately her mother entered the living room and made a dash to the direction her mother just walked out from which I guessed led to the kitchen.
"Good evening ma" I said rising to my feet as did Noah.
"Good evening my dear. How are you?" she said with a warm smile.
"I'm fine, thank you ma" I replied with a little curtsy.
"Kosi, biko bia nyelum aka wetue wine glasses di n'enu kitchen shelf" she said to Noah. (Kosi, please come and help me bring down the wine glasses that are on top of the kitchen shelf)
"Okay" he moved in the direction of kitchen
"Uhm, Is there anything I can help you to do?" I asked his mother.
"Oh no, thank you. You're a guest here. Don't worry those two would help me set everything up, just relax and dinner would soon be ready" she said with a kind tone of voice. "Feel free to change the channel to whatever you choose" She pointed to the remote which was placed on the glass center table.
"Oh okay, thank you ma"
"No problem, my dear. In a few seconds, the dinner will be served" she said before heading back into the kitchen.
I settled back down on the couch and watched the program that was playing on the flat screen TV set; I wanted to change the program into something more interesting but the fear of anything spoiling in my hands kept me from moving from my seat despite the fact Noah mother told me to feel free.
We were all seated in the dining room quietly eating the Jollof rice that Noah's mother had prepared along with a salad and fried chicken. Noah was seated beside me and his mother and sister were seated opposite us with his dad at the head of the table. Noah bore so much resemblance to his father; the only different was Noah skin tone and hair texture.
"Soo, Ijeoma what did you study in school?" Noah's mother asked trying to make a conversation.
I froze for a while before answering "Uhm, I was studying business administration but I dropped out because I got pregnant with my daughter"
The minute I said it Noah's mother spat out content of her wine unto the table as she started coughing seriously and her husband gently tapped her back whilst Chinelo used a clean napkin to clean up the spilled liquid spots on the table. When his mother finally settled down, the silence that ensued was as thick as it was uncomfortable, the only sound made where from the clanking of the cutleries against the plates.
At the moment, I felt like running out of the house and never coming back. I just couldn't take the thought of any one judging me in their minds especially Noah because I hadn't really told him anything about my past and so this was basically news for him too with the exception of the daughter part.
Part of my worries floated away when Noah slowly grabbed my trembling hands from under the table and ran his thumb ran across the back of my palm in a soothing manner. A couple of more choking silence passed before Noah's mother cleared her throat.
"So, how old is your daughter?" she asked softly.
"She's two" I replied and she nodded her head.
The silence returned but this time a little less intense as the previous one, I felt like they were all trying to wrap their heads around the whole thing and they didn't know what questions to ask and what not to ask. I could literally see the wheels turning in his mother's head and so I excused myself to use the bathroom to take breather and also give them time to recollect their selves.
Chinelo was ordered to show me where the bathroom was and on the way to bathroom she didn't say anything which I was thankful for. I entered into the bathroom and released a deep breath I didn't realize I was holding before actually using the bathroom.
In the meantime
As soon as Ijeoma and Chinelo left the room, my parents turned their gazes towards me. I continued to eat my food quietly ignoring the intent staring that was directed at me.
"You don't look particularly surprised so I'm guessing you already knew" My father finally spoke up.
"And you're fine with it?" my mother interjected.
"What about the father of her child? Where is he?" my father inquired
"He's not in their lives"
"What does that mean? Is he dead or in jail or what?" My mother questioned
"I don't know. I'm still easing myself into her life and getting her to trust me because whoever the father is - hurt her bad and left her with a lot of trust issues. She hasn't told me anything about the father of her child yet because she's not ready and when she is I'm willing to listen" I said defensively
My mother inhaled deeply. "Look Kosiso, we're not going to discourage you from continuing to pursue a relationship with her but I just want to make sure that you understand what you're entering into fully. You're not only in a relationship with her alone but with her daughter too and it will not be fair to any of them to just up and leave when it gets too much to handle especially when she's been hurt by another man in the past"
"I believe what you mother is trying to say is – are you ready to be everything that girl needs you to be and most importantly be the father figure to her child?" My father said
"I think so"
"You can't think, Kosiso. You need to be sure" My mother argued
"Nobody is ever a 100% sure about anything --- all I know is that I deeply care for her and her daughter and I want to be the one to provide for them, protect and care for them" I burst out
My parents became quiet as they shared knowing looks between each other like they were communicating with their minds.
A smile appeared on my mother's face. "We think you're ready too"
I looked at them with utter confusion as to what just happened; they had weird smiles on their faces which was grossing me out.
"Can we at least see pictures of the child?" my mother asked expectantly
I took out my phone, unlocked it and passed it over to them. My wallpaper was a picture of Zozo squealing her head off on the carousel when we went to the amusement park. She looked so adorable and I couldn't just help but take a picture of her.
My mother gushed over the picture as she pointed out how adorable Zozo was and all.
Back to the bathroom
I used a paper towel to dry out my hands before throwing it into a waste bin that was placed at the corner of the bathroom and then stepped out of the bathroom.
Chinelo was leaning on the wall outside the bathroom with her phone in hand; she put the phone into her pocket and fell into line with me as we walked silently to the dining room. On reaching the dining room, Chinelo finally broke the silence between us.
"I'm not judging you --- and I'm pretty sure my parents don't either. We were just surprised by the information that you gave to us. I just wanted to let you know that" she blurted out.
"Thank you" I said, feeling a lot better.
We returned back to the dining room and the room felt clear and less stuffy unlike how it felt before I left for the bathroom. Noah's parents carried on like nothing had happened; there were no weird stares or looks. In fact, they were actually trying to make me feel more comfortable. We all had ice cream for dessert and his mother insisted I took a small tube for Zozo back at home and before we left she made me promise to bring Zozo over at least once for them to meet her to which I agreed.
I felt really emotional thinking of how easily Noah family accepted me whilst my own family --- well, that was another story.
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