It wasn’t until Tayo left the house did Zara realize she had been holding her breathe all the while he was around . She bit down on her lips, inhaling deeply, she tried to calm her trembling body. She felt the tiny sting of tears at the corner of her eye and blinked it away. Suddenly she felt very emotional and a strong need for affection, the tears sprung out this time and rolled down the length of her face on its own volition.
In her heart, she knew she wanted Tayo to need her and want her as a woman in a good way, but she knew it wrong to think this way, cause there was no good way to think about Tayo, so she lied to herself that she was not vying for Tayo’s attention, she tried to ignore the feelings that had been evoked by his presence.
“I am crying because I am bored and not because of Tayo” She comforted herself with her lies.
Zara loved the lord. She loved basking in his presence and loving on him but on some days she just felt lonely and craved for real physical company as if she had never experienced the ecstasy of his presence before. She was tired of hanging around her female friends, work colleagues and church members. She was tired of the usual terrain, she wanted to test new waters.
Several times she had sang ‘You’re more than enough for me lord’ and she really meant it but today she couldn’t say if he was enough for her at all.
“Oh God help me!” She prayed silently, unconsciously stroking Tami’s wet soft curly hair as she laid curled in her laps.
Prior to this day, It had been easy for her to preach purity, it had been easy for her to give advice to people, it had been easy for her to judge and scold people when they fell into sexual temptation , but now she painfully realised that it was always easy for her because no man had evoked the part of her hormones that made her lose all form of logic and reasoning as Tayo did today.
She choked on a sob. “God I am sorry I lied that it was your grace that helped me honour you with my body. Now I know I was not relying on your grace to save me .I was strong because I was simply not attracted to any of the guys to let my guard down with them” .
“Here’s my heart my lord, speak what is true” she sang
And so for the first one minute Zara sang from the depth of her heart, but soon she found herself just singing while her mind was replaying the feelings her body created when Tayo had touched her arm to get her attention and the happy feeling she got at the way his eyes had appreciated her body when he saw her hug Tami.
“Oh gosh, Tami” She exclaimed when she finally remembered that she was supposed to be babysitting Tami and not thinking of her dad and her feelings for him.
Tami seemed content and at peace, Zara had never seen her this way before. All the time she went to Tami’s class she was most times agitated, crying or uncooperative with her class teachers.
Several times her heart had cried out to God to ease Tami’s pain whenever she began to bite herself and pull on her hair forcefully. She wondered what made Tami inflict pain on herself. The reddish ugly looking marks on her skin were evidence of Tami’s trouble state of mind. But then she could not help the attraction she felt towards the child. The urge to help her was stronger each time she saw her so she had asked God for an opportunity to be with her, an opportunity to make her smile and play with her without caution , away from the wicked prying eyes of the class teachers who treated her as a plague to be avoided.
It would be unfair to be thinking of feelings when Tami needs my help Zara thought. She tucked away the crazy part of her mind that wouldn’t stop thinking of the effect of Tayo’s touch and focused all her attention to the little princess before her.
The devil is a liar, I refuse to be distracted.
“Hey Tami can I make your hair for you? It look so long and pretty” She faced the young child cheerfully.
Although, Zara knew Tami did not understand everything she said, she spoke to her nonetheless as if she understood, hoping that it will also help with her vocabulary.
“God made you so pretty my darling! God loves you my princess!”
Tami giggled more. So Zara continued to speak to her, as she gently combed the tendrils of her tender hair.
Tayo started at his wife as she layed on the hospital bed. He couldn’t be more glad to have her family members around her to give support. It saved him the emotional stress of trying to come up with a conversation or to pet her and make sure she was okay. She didn’t even look like she wanted anyone with her as she continued to stare into space, oblivious to the people around her.
He wanted to be out of the hospital already but did not want to appear as an uncaring husband in the presence of his wife’s relatives. “Please excuse me I want to call home to be sure Tami is okay”. He said to no one in particular as he dashed out of the room, his phone already dialing Zara.
She picked on the third ring.
“Hi this is Tolu”
“I am sorry, what Tolu?”
He heard the confusion in her voice. “I mean Tayo, Zara’s dad”
He heard her sweet laugh, before she replied. “Oh my days , I’m sorry, I did not look at the caller ID before picking up”
He smiled as he imagined the dimple that would appear on her cheeks. “Is everything fine? Why is there so much noise? Is the TV on? ”
“We’re fine” She laughed again. “It is Tami screaming ooo , she’s been watching frozen all day and won’t stop singing. ”
He was surprised, he had never heard Tami sing. In fact he almost certain that she lacked the ability to sing until he heard her humming a song a few days ago. “Zara are you sure it is Tami singing?” He asked again.
“Come and see for yourself or do want me to do a video recording?”
Tayo walked back to the private ward were Ibimina was receiving treatment after he wrapped up the phone conversation with Zara. He was reeling in a mixture of shock, surprise, Joy and confusion. He had abandoned his daughter because she no longer met his expectation, he had abandoned her because she did not talk like other children. Thinking about his failure as a father made his countenance fall.
“Maybe Ibimina was right when she asked if I was a sperm donor instead of a father” He thought to himself.
Ibimina’s mum watched her son in law walk slowly into the room.It won’t have bothered her if she had not heard him say he was going to call home to see if her grandchild was okay. The forlorn look on his face did not help her pumping heart. Adrenalin surged into her system causing her jump.”Tolu hope no problem? What is it? why are you looking so sad, Is Tamilore fine?”
“I am fine Ma. There’s nothing wrong” He replied forcing a smile. “I am serious ma, everything is fine”
“Maybe you should go home to take care of Tami or should I go home so you can stay with your wife?”
Tayo rejoiced inwardly, he was happy he did not have to make the suggestion even though he itched to be out of the hospital.
“Ma, Thank you so much” He bowed slightly . “Don’t worry, Let me go home instead to take care of Tami , you know she’s very selective, I’ll come back to check on Ibimina”
“Okay dear take care of yourself, I’ll send someone to bring food for you at night”
“No no don’t worry Ma. We’ll sort ourselves out”. He bowed again to show great appreciation.
He placed a quick peck on Ibimina’s cheek, thanked his mother in law, and the other family members and dashed out of the hospital.
But as he drove, he tried to remember what was making him eager to go home.
The thought of seeing Zara and hoping to have her in his arms or the miracle of his child singing?
“You were created in his Image and after his likeness! Tami Tami Tami can you believe that? He did not call you into existence, he took his time to make you pretty one!”.
“Tami do you know are unique and loved of God. And I love you very much”
Tami smiled brightly, she jumped around in her happiness for she really liked when Ms.Zara’s spoke to her.
She felt peace, the darkness did not come, the fear did come, the pain did not come. Tami wondered what had happened to stop them but she was too happy to bother her little head. All she knew was that Ms.Zara was in her house and she had come with something that made her happy.
“Huh! what are you saying ” Zara frowned in confusion as she tried to decipher was Tami was saying
“Oh you mean pretty?” She laughed heartily.
Within the couple of hours that she had spent with Tami, she understood her way better than before . She was not entirely weird, she just expressed herself differently and at her own time, in her own way and she seemed to talk a lot with her eyes rather than with her mouth.
“Wow Tami, It took you two long hours to realise that you have a new hairstyle and to acknowledge that your hairstyle makes you look pretty”. She held her cheeks with both hands, shaking her head from side to side.
She watched the little child giggle. But it was when she saw walk to the mirror to admire her reflection did her heart stop its usual activity and the tears came.
“Wow you’re really improving on your cognitive Tami” She squealed in delight
Tani looked at the sparkle in Ms.Zara eyes become brighter. She did not know what she did that to make Ms.Zara happy but it made bubbles come to her stomach.
She wished she could do more so she could receive more hugs,kisses and smiles. Ms. Zara was the only one that smiled to her even when the bad thing came and made her afraid.
“I love you Ms.Zara, My hair is Pretty, I am pretty!” Tami sang in her mind as she was unable to put words to her emotions. She continued to shout ‘pweety’ instead and then she remembered her happy song, and sang it louder – Let it to go , let it go let it go
“Tami you’ll hurt yourself ooo”. Zara laughed as Tami ran around singing ‘Let it go’ from the ‘Frozen’ cartoon she had played for her when she was making her hair.
Even though she cautioned Tami not to hurt herself, she was glad to see Tami being a child. In fact she felt her heart expand to take in more love for her . It was the first time she heard Tami say something so clear. It was a miracle, cause just last week the headteacher had interviewed a number of speech therapist to help Tami at school.
“Whoa, this is mind blowing. Your dad would be so excited”
Mee. Zara! sing! sing!” Tami cried. She had seen the tears in Ms.Zara’s eyes and also Ms.Zara had stopped singing. She liked when Ms.Zara sang, it brought more peace and more joy.
“Okay Tami, stop shouting , I’ll sing with you”
But in that moment Tami was not ready to sing again, for it had just dawned on her that she had not seen her mum. She frowned when she remembered it wasn’t her mum that made her body squeaky clean in the morning, she frowned even more when she remembered it wasn’t her mum that fed her. Tami continued to look at Ms.Zara expectantly, she hoped she’ll be able to hear the questions that made her worry.
“Where is my mommy? why hasn’t she come to see me? When we should play with me like you play with me? When will she sing for me like you sing for me? When will her eyes sparkle like your eyes does? Will the big fine smile man in white follow her as he follows you?”
Zara began to fidget, Tami was looking at her strangely and with so much intensity it made her uncomfortable .
“What is this girl thinking about? I hope she’s okay? God help me on this one. Should I touch her or leave her? Should I ignore her ? Tayo where are you ?
“Holy spirit please take control”. She added last when she realised that even Tayo was clueless when it came to dealing with Tami.
She took a deep breath and summoned courage to reach out to her. “My princess, beloved of God, you know I love you and God loves you too. I am going to walk down to you and hug you. Would you let me hug you please?”
Tami watched Ms.Zara walk slowly towards her, the twinkle was gone from her eyes. In it place was something she saw in her Mommy’s eyes often. She did not know the name but it was the opposite of a sparkle. She simply needed someone to understand what she was saying and the fear was coming back but then she saw the big smiling man that always followed Ms. Zara about .He looked at her with kind eyes and she knew he understood her, he smiled at her and the fear went away.
She smiled back at him and forgot all about her worries . In a louder voice Tami sang her happy song Let it go! And Zara watched the transformation take place before her and it made her even more confused.
“Now this is weired”
Look out for next episode. Subscribe to the blog to get it hot as it drops. Thanks for reading!