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Home Post 10067-chapter-60-finale

10067-chapter-60-finale

*Maduka’s POV*

“Daddy, I love you. You made food for me today. Thank you. And you put plenty milk!”

“I love you too, my princess. I want you to grow big and strong.”

“How is Mummy today? Can I go and see her?”

I suppress a sigh so Kora won’t see how worried I am. “Of course, you can. Mummy would never chase you away. But first, finish your pap and akara.

Kora gives me a bright smile and focuses on her meal. It is just the two of us at the table today, having breakfast. Nwanyieze was unable to make it out of bed this morning, because she has been suffering from morning sickness. Her emotions have been all over the place. Right after throwing up, she had burst into a fit of tears, and I had held her for a while but I had to leave because Kora, our four-year-old daughter, was already up.

So I had taken Kora out for a ride this Saturday morning to buy akara for breakfast, supervised her bath, and dressed her up. It is essential that I take part in these activities, so she knows she can count on both parents to take care of her every needs.

Her dark hair is in two puffs, adorned with a fancy headband and colourful clips, courtesy of our combined efforts; she chose the style and accessories, I executed it.

“Daddy, you’re doing great,” she had complimented an hour ago while I struggled to firmly hold her damp, curly hair without pulling too hard. “I’m proud of you, Daddy.”

And I had looked at her precious face in the mirror, my heart full of pride and happiness. She had smiled back at me, her almond-shaped eyes holding my gaze.

My daughter had inherited her mother’s thick hair and dark eyes, and my long limbs. But she bore none of our complexions– she is lighter than we are, almost like my father had been. I can’t explain how genetics had played this role, and as no one knows what Nwanyieze’s parents had looked like…

“What will you do today, Kora?” I question her even though I know all she has planned because she had been singing about it all week.

“I want to visit Grandma and Grandpa today,” Kora replies. “I also want to see Adanna and Mama. And after that, I want to go to the beach.”

“All in one day?”

She nods vigorously, her mouth full of pap. For a four years old, Kora speaks well and is bold enough to always make the first move whenever she meets people. I suppose she got that trait from me. She doesn’t shy away from eye contact, either.

Yes, definitely me.

I hear feet shuffle and Nwanyieze comes in through the kitchen door, her movements slower than usual. But her smile tells me that she is feeling stronger.

“Good morning, Mummy,” Kora greets.

Nwanyieze kisses the top of her head and runs her hands over Kora’s face. It’s a ritual between them, but I know how much she still marvels at our daughter. Each time she does it, I see her think, She’s ours. We made her. This little human being is ours. Kora giggles and kisses her mother’s cheeks in return.

“Your hair looks great, baby,” she compliments our daughter.

“Thank you, Daddy made it.”

“Improving our hairdressing ski||s, I see,” Nwanyieze compliments me, giving me a quick kiss on my lips. I almost lean into her hungrily, but Kora is watching and might start asking questions about how babies are made again…

“Aunty Somto is coming to get you. She’ll take you along with Prince, Max and Noel to see Grandma and Grandpa. Let’s start there, alright?” I tell Kora. I’m not sure I can do all she asks, but I can at least try. Some of her cousins are visiting my parents this afternoon, and she has been talking about it all week.

“Yess! I’m done now, I’ll go and pack my favourite Princess Bag. Thank you for the food, Daddy.”

Off she goes, hopping off the seat and charging out of the kitchen in her small pink gown, with her bare feet slapping against the tiles. The moment she’s gone, I pull Nwanyieze against me.

“How are you feeling, my Queen?”

“Normal now. It will get better over the next few weeks.”

We both suspect that she might be pregnant with our second child, but we haven’t run any tests yet. I understand that the pregnancy with Kora had been tough, and I’m worried about her wellbeing. But I remain positive, because I have to be strong for her when she doesn’t feel strong herself. I just hold her there, moving in a slow, rocking motion. She obliges me, wrapping her arms around my torso. “Here we are.”

“Here we are,” she echoes against my chest. “One day at a time led us through seven years.”

“Seven good years with you. I’m yearning for the future.”

Our seven years hadn’t exactly been rosy. Through therapy and counselling while working on our relationship, Nwanyieze had decided she wasn’t keen on having children. The reason, she said, was that she feared she would be a terrible mother. Sometimes we argued over it. She wanted to remain with me, but she didn’t want children. It had affected us, but we still stuck together.

I had proposed two years later, and she had accepted. Fast forward to a year after our marriage, where I had let her take her time (and her birth control pills) until she surprised me one night after we’d just made love.

“We’re having a baby.”

“Excuse me?” I had stuttered, raising my head from her chest to look into her eyes.

I still remember it clearly: we had been lying down bonelessly on the kitchen floor, half-naked and breathing hard. The lovemaking had come after a heated argument over her busy schedules while trying to start up a publishing company. Work had been taking a toll on her, making her stay up too late. She was under a lot of pressure, and it showed when she fell asleep at the strangest times, refused to eat enough, and had spells of sudden memory loss, like forgetting what she had said a few minutes ago. It had worried me. And after our apologies had been said, she had kissed me and one thing had led to another…

“I’m pregnant, Maduka.”
And then she had begun to cry right there.

“Oh,” I had said, wary about my words. Of course, I wanted to scream, “That’s great!” but I wasn’t sure if this new development was a mistake or deliberate, since she had stopped me from using condoms in my bid to help her and show support, as the therapist had suggested.

“I stopped taking my pills early last month,” she sobbed. “I really want children but I was so scared I would fail like my mother-”

“Shhh.” I had scooped her into my arms and held her there, saying soothing words. “You are not your birth mother.”

“I thought really hard about it. I told myself that if I have you here with me, we can do this. We can have a baby or a few and we can raise them in a loving home. With you, it won’t be scary. You’ll be a great father and I’ll be a great mother.”

“Thank you,” I say, feeling grateful. “Remember, we are in this together. It’s not just you alone, baby girl.”

“I know,” she had whispered.

The day Kora was born, I had insisted on going into the labour room with my wife. The moment they put her in my arms, slippery and wailing with her eyes shut and her fists clenched tight, I had started crying. Nwanyieze had fainted immediately after the final push, too exhausted.

Kora amazed me, and still does. Having a baby isn’t an easy task, with late nights, soiled diapers, money being spent, and constant worry about the health of your child among others. But between those issues, had been so much love and wonder I felt my heart would burst. I had willingly embraced it all, bent on being the best husband and Daddy in the whole world at all costs.

Somehow we had pulled through and got better at parenting. Nwanyieze proved to be a good mother, trying her best despite her fall into postpartum depression. She willingly received therapy, determined to do the best she could. There were times I would come home to see her crying quietly on the floor of our bathroom, dressed in her loose clothes with the front of her shirt wet with Břě@šťmilk while Kora was fast asleep in her cot in the bedroom.

“I’m leaking, I’m tired, I feel ugly, I’m scared,” she would sob. “I’m not a good mother, Maduka.”

“Oh, baby, no,” I had soothed one time, settling on the floor beside her and hugging her. “These feelings are perfectly normal. You’re a new mother, and you’re doing amazing. And you’ve got me. It’s good you’re telling me these things. I’m here with you in this.”

“We can’t change what has happened.”

“We can’t, my love. But we can try to make our future good. Come, follow me.”

I had led her to Kora’s cot, a few metres from our own bed. Nwanyieze had stared at our child for a minute and said, “She’s perfect. She means everything to me and that’s why it’s so scary. What if I can’t protect her?”

“Having a child is not a walk through the park. Your body housed another human being for almost a year; you are bound to feel this way. Kora will be fine, we will protect her with our very best. I appreciate your efforts. I’m grateful. I’ll be with you every step of the way.”

“Thank you,” she had said, turning into my embrace for comfort. “We can do this.”

“Yes, we can.”

She never disappointed me. We supported each other. Our families chipped in, offering to babysit so we could have some time alone as a couple and make things work. She’s the best mother any child could ask for, and the most dedicated wife. We are busy with work, but Kora comes first and in our absence, there is extended family to fill in.

“What are you thinking about?” She questions me now.

“Everything.”

“I think I want-”

“Mummy, I can’t find my other red sandal!” Kora complains as she stomps into the kitchen, dragging her bag.

Nwanyieze chuckles. “I hid it. You want to know why?”

“Because I kept them careless.”

“Carelessly, darling.”

“Careless-ly. I will be better next time, Mummy.”

“Okay. Now, follow me.”

While they are gone, I prepare breakfast for Nwanyieze. I already know what she would prefer: A fruit and yogurt smoothie, some crackers, and a glass of warm water with lemon drops to help with the nausea.

“Thank you,” she tells me with another tempting kiss.

“Daddy, you are so nice,” Kora observes.

“Thank you darling,” I reply.

“That’s why Mummy likes you. Isn’t that right, Mummy?”

“You are such an smart girl, Kora. High five!” Nwanyieze replies, stretching out her hand to Kora, who smacks her little palm against it.

In the next hour, Somto drops by to pick Kora. She jumps up in excitement when her older cousins troop into our sitting room. Soon, she drags them into her bed room to view her new wallpaper, and, too smitten to tell her that they are way too old to fawn over pink wallpaper, they follow her, anyways.

“You look down,” Somto observes Nwanyieze. “Is my brother taking good care of you at all?”

“Yes, he is an absolute darling,” Nwanyieze replies. Her hand rests on my thigh as we sit beside each other on one of our sofas.

I give Somto a smirk and shrug in a ‘Shebi you see am?’ way.

“What you two need, is some really good segz,” Somto whispers.

Nwanyieze laughs spontaneously while I almost choke.

“And I mean the one where you rip off each other’s clothes. Trust me, it will work. You’ll feel so good afterwards.”

“Somto!” I exclaim. “Our children are in the house!”

“Who is in the house, Uncle Madi?” Noel questions, walking into the sitting room. She is now on her way to clocking ten years old, and I like to remind her of all the trouble she had put me through as a toddler.

“Just us,” I reply sheepishly.

“We’re ready, Mum,” Max says, following his sister.

At the door, Nwanyieze hugs and kisses Kora for the tenth time. “I miss you already, baby.”

“Mummy, only small time, okay? Small time, I will be back. Bye, Daddy! I love you!”

“So it’s your turn to shine now, baby boy. Enjoy yourselves!” Somto winks at us before turning to walk towards her car, which the children have already occupied.

“What are they enjoying, Mum? They will just stay at home all day while we get to eat ice cream at Grandma and Grandpa’s,” Noel says cluelessly from the front seat.

It only makes us laugh harder as we wave them goodbye. Upon closing the door behind us, Nwanyieze pulls me closer and touches her lips to mine. I respond hungrily, sliding my hands underneath her shirt. She makes a long, throaty sound, raking her fingernails lightly over my back.

“Somto’s suggestion does make a lot of sense,” she whispers.

“Should we rip each other’s clothes off?” I ask her, my voice thick with desire. Her hands roam over my chest, her lips leave wet kisses on my neck, on my Adam’s apple, on my collar bone. Anticipation makes my skin feel sensitive all over.

“What do you think?” She replies before taking my ear lobe between her teeth and nipping it gently.

“I can’t think now,” I say between groans when her hands slide into my sweatpants. “Oh, my…”

A squeeze and a stroke, and my legs are turning to jelly. Somehow, we make it to the couch and she gently pushes me onto it, a smile on her face, her eyes alight with desire, mirroring mine. I know she’s preparing to do something to me, something that will undo me, turn me into a mass of shivering pleasure, and probably have the neighbours come knocking on our front door to check if we’re alright.

“Let me do the thinking for us, my dear husband,” she says before descending on me.

My mouth curves into a huge smile. My life feels complete with her. And exciting. “I’d very much appreciate that.”
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THE END.

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