She shouted on him and walked out. What had caused that he didn’t know. He had only asked her a simple question, or so he thought. What he expected her to say was yes or no. she did say yes, but it came as a shout.
Quietly, he left the room and went to the dining room where he saw that Dinner was already set.
Was dinner ready? He had asked her, and she yelled as if he was asking for an umpteenth time.
He watched her as she served him; she had grown from being energetic to being indolent. He noticed that the things she always did in a jiffy was now taking her moments. He thought of what could have been wrong with her, but it took him days of observation before he arrived at a guesstimate.
At first, he wasn’t sure of what it was but he knew she had started behaving harsh and carefree like before. Not wanting to be self-assured, though optimistic Richard suggested she see a doctor.
And they were both fortunate after using series of prescribed drugs, the doctor confirmed Lilian was pregnant. Richard was the first to notice; he would not forgive himself if he failed a second time.
His happiness knew no bounds and Lillian started living a new life. She was treated like a queen. The only thing she did in the house was to sleep eat and bath, every other things were either done by Mary, Tobi or Richard himself. Richard made sure that she lacked nothing. He would sometimes go as far as giving her a feet-rub. But disaster struck at the fifth month of Lillian’s pregnancy. She lost it.
A day before she lost the baby, she could not sleep, she was feeling all too edgy. She wanted to tell Richard how she felt, but he was looking so tired when he came back from work. She decided to tell him the next morning before he went to work, but it was late, too late.
Richard took her to the hospital where she was treated, the bleeding stopped and the remnant was taken out. The doctor said her womb was weak because of the initial incidence.
The initial incidence, her baby had died in her womb and it had taken time before she got healed, physically and emotionally. Lillian could not blame herself for losing her second pregnancy; she knew that even if she had actually told him, there was probably nothing he could have done other than to take her to the hospital and she would have even insisted they went in the morning.
Why would she even blame anybody, she gave It a second thought. She shouldn’t blame anybody for her misfortune. Shouldn’t she be grateful enough that she could conceive? If she wanted to blame anybody, it should be fate, she thought. She should blame fate.
While Lillian blamed fate, Richard blamed himself. He knew he was the cause of the first and technically the second. The beatings had affected her womb, and now it was weak, it could not carry a pregnancy, not for long. However, if anything relieved him, it was the fact that he could impregnate a woman, and with a flash of hope, he anticipated he would again.
The doctor told them not to worry, that the next time she got pregnant, she would be on drugs to help her, but she was likely to be operated on, because she just might not be able to deliver on her own.
The doctor noticed their discomfort when he mentioned operation, and he took his time to explain how it works to them. “You see Mr and Mrs Badmus” he started. “Gone are the days when caesarean operations take time and energy, but know” he faced Lillian “you could be awake while we carry out your baby, you don’t have to be drugged to sleep” he explained further.
Richard felt a bit relaxed. That was not even the problem at the moment, the problem was having another pregnancy and how long was it going to take them this time. At first, it took them six years, the second time it took them three years, now he hoped it would come quicker compared to any of those years they had waited. All he could hope for was a miracle.
It took her two months to get over her grief. At first, Richard thought he could handle it alone. He had to call Debra to come spend some few weeks with her so she could get better. If he knew Debra had the charm to make her feel better in days, he would have called for her long before.
As much as she told herself she was not going to let her grief deprive her of her happiness, she could not just help it. The grief came back as soon as she let it go. But she was grateful to her mother; she always had the doses to her problems.
Debra came almost as soon as Richard told her about Lillian’s state. She wanted to pack for two weeks, but she knew Lillian would heal before then. Debra knew her daughter well, she had seen her troubled, and she knows just how to bring her back to her normal self. Although, Lillian had not turned out to be what she expected her to be, but then she loved what she turned out to be. As a mother, while Lillian was still very young, she thought her daughter was going to grow into a very lousy and dependent woman, but she grew to be the direct opposite, stoic and independent.
As a child, Lillian could not do anything on her own, she was always looking for help and she would not even ask for it politely. She used to be a talker, she was very nosy, she always wanted to know everything around her. Debra didn’t think it was a bad idea for her daughter to be that forward as long as she was intelligent and brilliant. But as soon as she started her high school, her behaviour changed.
It took Debra one year to understand her new daughter, at first, she thought Lillian had a psychological problem, but as time went on, she discovered that she just took her real form.
Lillian grew from being lousy to being quiet and stoic, she learnt to do things herself, and she would even turn down offers to help her. She even found it hard to talk about her problems except she was pressured, she had the feeling that whatever her problem was, no matter how big or small it was sized she would get out of it.
Having studied her through the years while growing, Debra was sure she had the right words for all her problems.
Many months after Lillian lost her pregnancy; Richard had another attack in a meeting and he was rushed to the hospital. As soon as he was revived, he requested to see his wife.
Lillian got there immediately. She felt sorry for her husband lying on the hospital bed, who even in his sleep looked so pale and bitter. By the time she got there, he had fallen asleep. She sat by his side on the bed holding his hand in her hands. She wanted him to know she was there, that she would always be there for him, but she knew he had to rest.
When Richard managed to open his eyes, Lillian’s met his. All the while he slept; she was watching him and praying silently that he be restored. He smiled at her. Even though he knew he couldn’t fool her with his smile that all was well, he knew she knew all was not well.
It had been two years now that Lillian lost her pregnancy. After she got over her misfortune, she did not go back to it. At least nobody not even her husband caught her moody except when he actually knew what brought about it. Throughout the months, what kept her going was the fact that she was not a barren woman and that she had totally found a space, a huge one in her husband’s heart.
Few years into her marriage, things became uneasy for her. But because of the kind of person she groomed herself to be, she thought she could pull through alone. On and on, things got worse, if it got better for some two weeks, the next two months, she would wish she had spent it in hell, because her marriage was hotter.
And when she lost her first pregnancy, she gave up on building a marriage that could work. Luckily, and with help from her mother, she was able to fix some things and she got back with her husband.
She took in two years after she lost her second pregnancy. The pregnancy was barely one month when it was confirmed by the doctor because Richard would always want her to go for a check-up if she complained of a slight headache. Even when he noticed that she slept late than usual or she threw up, he made sure he took her to their doctor.
Richard knew he should have been a father if it was not for his nonchalant attitude and hot temper. When he got his wife back, he promised to make things right and he meant it. He waited every day for a sign of pregnancy in his wife after she lost the second baby. He made sure that he did his own part; he followed the advice and prescription of the doctor.
As it was earlier said, Lillian was placed on drugs. Richard became a newer man than he was. He made sure that Lillian used her drugs exactly how and when the doctor asked her. He made sure that the only work she did in the house was to bath herself. He even told her that if she wanted, he could get her an extra maid to feed her or make himself available even at the detriment of his office.
Five months after the pregnancy had stayed, the doctor confirmed that Lillian was okay and that her womb was firm enough to carry the pregnancy. The doctor asked her to continue with the drugs until the sixth month and he told Richard to make her do some chores so as to make her strong enough for delivery.
It was after the fifth month that Lillian began to do some chores in the house apart from her usual routine of sleeping, bathing and eating. At the age of thirty- three, she had experienced three phase in her marriage.
The first phase was bitter- sweet, the second was sweet because things changed totally from what it used to be, she no longer get to be spanked at every mistakes, and the third which she was still experiencing was the sweeter phase. Richard became totally submissive, all too caring and over pampering. At times she wondered why he wasn’t like that when they just got married. It wasn’t as if he didn’t care at all, but not that much.
As she noticed, every of the phases either began with a pregnancy or ended with one. She knew Richard couldn’t do more than he was doing, she didn’t even want him to do more because practically he was doing everything she wanted, so she knew there wouldn’t be a fourth phase.
Even as Richard took Lillian to the hospital at regular basis, he also went to see his doctor. When he confirmed again from the doctor that she was perfectly alright and the baby was in good position, Richard took Lillian with him to the office. The first two weeks, they went together and Richard made her do his work as the chairman of the company. Lillian made all the decisions, attended meetings with Richard and whatever opinion or endorsement that was asked of Richard was done by Lillian. After the two weeks, Richard was convinced that he wasn’t mistaken about his wife’s capability. He knew she was intelligent and capable but he needed to drill her before his exodus.
Throughout the first week, Lillian thought her husband was just placing her on exercise as advised by the doctor. Way into the second week, Richard told her that she was going to take over of THE COMPANY. He explained to her that he needed to travel to the U.S.A. for a business transaction and that it was going to take him a month.
Lillian was not puzzled that he wanted to travel for a month, but she was because she could not understand why he had to put her in charge. That would not be his first nor seventh time of travelling, and he had never made her look after THE COMPANY.
When she asked him why he wanted her to look after it and not his General Manager as he always did, she got a well explanatory but not satisfying answer.
“The only reason why i want you to take over is because after this business transaction in the U.S. I will not be around for a while” he smiled at his puzzled wife.
“What do you mean you won’t be around for a while?” distress danced in her eyes.
Richard who was sitting across her stood up and sat by her, he held her hands in his. “Am having a branch in the U.S. my business partners abroad suggested i have another office, and in the U.S.”
Lillian was amazed “really?” she asked. “But why did you keep this from me?”
“Am sorry dear, I wanted to be sure everything would go as i hoped.” Lillian hugged him and by the time they came apart, she found a tear in his eyes, it was obvious that he was fighting them back.
Lillian looked at him, she was speechless, she tried to read his mind and know why he was shedding tears or holding back. He sounded happy when he was telling her about the new company, but the tears now flowing freely didn’t apply to her as the ‘tears of joy’. “what is wrong” she managed to ask after swallowing a ball of spittle that had blocked her throat. She was looking dreaded; the last thing she wanted to hear was a bad news.
Richard managed a smile. “ nothing my lily, just that am going to miss you” he wanted to say it the other way round, he wanted to tell her she would miss him but he knew better than to tell her that. “I would miss you, he repeated” and hugged her tightly.
Lillian could interpret something about the hug, she knew it was different from the usual ones they share; it was longer and more passionate. However there was something else she could not point out.
She was days into her seventh month when Richard flew. He had told her he didn’t know for how long he was going to stay, but he promised to make it before her delivery.
Richard would call her every day in the evening. Each day he called, he spent nothing less than thirty minutes, he would ask her how she was fairing, he would ask about the baby and how well she was managing THE COMPANY.
One of the times he called, Lillian had told him that she wanted to do another scan to know the sex of the baby, but Richard refused. While she was still on medication to help her womb strong enough for the baby, the doctor had done a few scan to check if the baby was okay. But he never saw the sex; the legs were never apart, always closed.
“The baby will either be a girl or a boy” that was the reply Richard gave her. “we should be grateful for which ever that comes”.
Few times, they had had a humorous disagreement about the sex of the child. Lillian said she wanted a girl child while Richard said he wanted a male child, but deep within them, they knew whichever they got would be treated like an egg.