Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one who saw Titi’s tear stained face the previous day. Apparently Christy had seen it too when Titi was walking back home because by midday the next day she was knocking on my door. Somehow that woman manages to see everything from her window. How she does that in between watching African magic and forever fixing her nails I’ll never know. Ok, maybe I exaggerate a little.
“So what was wrong with her?” Christy demanded to know.
Did she think I was a psychic?
“She told me she thinks it’s the stress of the move. That it affected her nerves,” I said flatly.
Christy laughed in disbelief. “Tell that to the birds my friend!”
“I told you since the first day I met her I knew she was hiding something. Maybe she’s in some financial trouble. Only politicians can afford that kind of house which I doubt she is. Or maybe she has a terminal illness like cancer. Or maybe her husband is cheating on her…”
“Christy stop, just stop speculating!” I said and raised a had attempting to halt the conversation.
“We should be praying for the woman not speculating about what is happening to her.”
“Yes, we should pray Chinelo. But is it not better to know what to pray about so our prayers would be focused? You should have asked her Chinelo. If I was here I would have got it from her.”
I’m sure you would, I thought dryly.
Aloud I said: “It doesn’t matter Christy. We can pray for her all the same.”
Then in an attempt to put an end to the subject, I put on the TV for her while I excused myself to change and feed the baby. While doing that, my mind kept reverting to something Christy had said about her husband. From the way Titi reacted it seemed plausible that the cause of her upset could stem from her marriage, because I had just mentioned her husband’s name before she burst into tears. Whatever it was, I had a strong hunch that it had something to do with her husband. How to find out the truth and how to help her I didn’t really have a clue.
Ike came back home the same way he left looking perplexed and bothered. My tall handsome muscular husband with a perpetually smiley face now having worry wrinkles on his forehead and a frown was not something I was used to. Still, he would not talk to me or reveal what the problem was. I wanted to force a showdown. Talk to me or else…
Then I thought better of it. It may only make things worse. He would talk in his own time. Then a thought crept into my brain. He better not be cheating on me or else…I could feel myself breaking into a sweat.
T got down on my knees and prayed. God was the revealer of secrets. He alone knew what was going on in Ike and Titi’s minds. Baby needed my attention and I was getting ready to feed her when Ike came into the nursery.
“’There’s been an investigation in the company Chinelo,” he said plopping down beside me. We had auditors come in and now I’m being accused of corruption. Myself and two other branch level managers.”
I nearly put the baby down as the icy hands of fear gripped my heart. No, this could not be happening.
Ike’s voice droned on. It seemed like it was coming from far away. “I have been suspended for two weeks until this issue is sorted out.”
His hands grip mine. “I don’t want you to worry Chinelo. We’re going to be fine.” I nod dumbly while I see flashbacks of the Louie Vitton bag he bought me for my birthday and our trip to Paris last year. It couldn’t be that it was true, could it? I knew Ike. He wouldn’t do a thing like that. Or would he?
I knew I was supposed to say something encouraging to him but I just nodded dumbly.
He answered my unspoken question. “I didn’t do it Chinelo,” he said softly.
I hugged him in relief. “Of course you didn’t,” I whispered in his ear. Nonetheless my safe secure world had come crashing down.