Aunt Faïda never would disappoint us; she came on that Wednesday as promised. She was particularly happy because I gave her twin brother twins after their own nature: one boy, one girl. She drove in with Collin Raye’s country hit: “One Boy, One Girl” blaring from her car speakers. Her delight on the day was Ghanaianly gargantuan. She scampered over to the cots and spoke to them simultaneously.
While she did that, Evans and I exchanged secret glances. Of course, it was his first time seeing them in another person’s company. He was a bit nervous and jealous so he had to keep a respectfully reasonable social distance. He was a good boy, was he not?
My type of twins are a case, a real case study in the sub region. We’re told they’re called superfecundation twins. The boy looked like his father, Evans while the girl took after James. James had no share in the boy he liked so much, but he was the last person to suspect me of foul play, even if his guardian angels made a clean breast of it to him.
Faïda played with niece awhile and decided to switch to nephew. Because I knew the hazard in there, I was trying to thwart her effort, but too much of it would give the game away, because Faïda was a smart lady. It’s her smartness that had impacted Evans, though she’s not his real mother. She now lifted the boy from his crib, turned him over to slap his back, a mischief she played so she could hear the baby cry. I knew the looks on her face as she saw the baby boy but it worsened when she instinctively lifted the shirt off the little boy’s back to be able to slap him. She could have done so without lifting the shirt. And that was the doom. The birthmark on the baby’s back was too hot to be handled.
“Evans”, I mumbled out of stupendous shock.
“But you called him.”
“I did not ask you to call him.”
“Yes, coming,” that’s Evans.
“Who’s fooling who?”
“Rebecca, this is strange.”
“The birthmark on the boys back. It’s on Evans and the father. A family thing.”
“Don’t be silly Faïda.”
“How dare you?”
“Do you know the marks on my body and those that run in my family?”
“Do you want to drag this?”
“Don’t be silly!”
“Do you want to drag this?”
“I really want to. How dare you?”
My children came out of their room leaving their play. We both realized we were creating a scene so we wised up. But I knew Faïda too well; she was more than capable of putting all of us on a plane to South Africa for a paternity test. I only took consolation in the fact that she would never tell her brother what she saw, unless there was an urgent need, so I prayed that urgent need never came.
Moments later, James came home. It was a few minutes to four and one wondered what brought him home that early and even without his car. He was clutching two huge polythene bags that were perspiring: frozen food. He might have shopped on his way home. Later he explained he had a flat tyre some 300 yards from the house and thought he should bring the items home before they defrosted and deteriorated.
Evans was tasked to chauffeur him to the car and help, if necessary. Faïda and I now busied ourselves in the kitchen. One strange thing about us, we’re like male friends: our fights were over as soon as they’re over. I was glad because I was making a meal for my husbands. My school choir soprano was resurrected. I sang off key but cared not. I was noted for singing anyway. That’s what I liked to do anytime I had a fight with James. Faïda joined in when she knew the hymn.
Later, the two men drove in, chatting heartily and laughing. They must have found a common topic of interest. James did not like soccer but Evans did. James liked politics but that infuriated Evans. Later, I heard something like “Martina Hingis”. James’ voice boomed with the mention of “Pete Sampras”, and Evans said “Andre Agassi” and something like “Novak Djokovic”. I was still clueless until the mention of Serena Williams and her sister. That’s when I got to know they were discussing tennis.
They talked about tennis medals: the Olympic, USA open, France open, slams, patterns and so forth. How could my husband know so much about tennis but keep it away from me? I was shocked! The songs died on my lips.
I went to the bathroom to text Evans to be careful because he was dealing with a smarter man, a man smarter than he could handle, and that text was the catalyst that triggered our divorce. It went not only to ignite and rejuvenate suspicions but linked all dots in the jigsaw.
……to be continued.