When you have nothing else worth losing, you place your cards on the table in a gamble and hope that it’s enough to make you win.
The following week, Kosi searched his contacts for Doctor Audu’s phone number but it wasn’t there. In a slight panic, he searched his wallet and found his card. He let out a breath in relief and dialled the number on the card.
‘Hello? Dr. Audu?’
‘Yes? Who’s this please?’
‘It’s Mr. Ogbonna.’
The person on the other line was silent.
‘Dr. Audu please. I know she’s staying with you. I need to talk to her.’
He sighed heavily. ‘I’m not her Doctor anymore so I can’t stop you from seeing your wife.’ Kosi released a breath he didn’t realise he was holding. ‘But… I’ll have to let her know that you’re coming. In the end, it’s her choice.’
Kosi nodded in understanding even though he knew the Doctor couldn’t see him.
‘That’s… understandable. Just… just let her know I want… no need to talk to her.’
‘Alright. I’ll get back to you before the end of today.’
The line went dead and Kosi let out a deep sigh.
David, I really hope this works. Kosi murmured under his breath. Eva…
Few hours later, there was a knock at the door.
‘Good afternoon, Mr. Amos, Mrs. Amos.’ Kosi greeted the couple and welcomed them into his house. ‘I’m guessing David explained everything to you.’ Kosi said as he looked at them. Mrs. Amos was heavily pregnant and she placed her hand protectively over her stomach. Mr. Amos, kept his arm lovingly around his wife’s shoulders. Kosi felt a familiar longing in his heart when he saw how warm and cozy they looked.
They nodded their heads in agreement. Their faces were beaming. Kosi immediately led them to the parlour to sit down. Once they were comfortably seated, Mrs. Amos started speaking.
‘As you can see, our baby is due soon …’ She started while rubbing her stomach. ‘… our house is too small to raise a child and hopefully more.’ She beamed as she looked up at her husband and he kissed her forehead, a smile on his face.
‘David said you both have been friends since secondary school.’ Mr. Amos began shifting his focus to Kosi. ‘David and I are colleagues at work. When he told me that you are looking for a buyer for your three-bedroom house, I was hopeful. When he told me the price you’re willing to sell it for… I was excited and felt it was too good to be true. That’s why I decided to make an appointment with you. We needed to see the house and if it’s really good, find out from you personally why you’re willing to sell it for this low. It is kind of suspicious.’
Kosi smiled. ‘I completely understand your concerns. My wife…’ He paused. ‘My wife and I are moving to a bigger house. We plan to have lots of children and we need space for practice.’ Kosi said, winking at them.
Mr. and Mrs. Amos looked at each other and smiled knowingly.
‘We totally get that. When my wife and I were newly wedded we couldn’t keep our hands off each other.’
‘Tobenna! Stop jo!’ She said, embarrassed pushing him playfully.
‘Ah Martha, isn’t it too late to pretend?’ He said playfully while looking at her protruding stomach.
Martha bent her head and used her hand to cover her face. Kosi looked at them with deep longing and got up.
‘Do you guys need anything? I have drinks…’
‘Water is fine for me. Martha, do you want anything?’
‘Water for me too. Thank you.’
‘Alright.’ Kosi replied before heading for the kitchen.
Immediately he got into the kitchen, he placed his hand on the counter and bent his head in sadness.
Eva’s laughter came clear as day in his mind. She had a habit of distracting him whenever he decided to cook for them. Eva… when was the last time he actually heard her laugh? It seemed so long ago. How could things have gotten that bad? How could he have messed up that badly? His Eva who would laugh and play like a child whenever she was around him. She made him feel like a child.
Kosi called out her name again in anguish. Seeing the happy couple seated on the sofa, looking lovingly at each other, brought a deep yearning within him.
‘Eva I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry. Will you ever forgive me?’
It took a few more minutes for Kosi to recollect himself and leave the kitchen with two bottles of water.
‘I’m sorry I took so long. Here.’ Kosi said as he handed the bottles to Tobenna and Martha. Tobenna accepted the bottles with a smile.
‘Are you okay?’ Martha asked when she noticed Kosi’s eyes were slightly red.
‘I’m alright. I was just thinking about how much I’ll miss this house.’ Kosi said, a sad smile on his face.
There was an awkward silence.
‘I’m sorry for ruining the mood. Do you want to see the rest of the house before making your decision?’ Kosi asked.
‘Yes please.’ Martha responded with a smile.
‘Alright.’ Kosi said as he got up from the couch.
Tobenna got up as well and helped his wife, Martha, up off the couch.
Kosi began the tour of his house, starting with the parlour, to the dining area, the kitchen, the bedrooms and finally the garage. They both seemed very pleased with the tour of the house. Kosi walked them to their car and watched Tobenna help Martha into the passenger seat before coming to meet him.
‘Kosi, your house is really beautiful and my wife loves it. Can I have your number so we can communicate better. I don’t want to keep going through David when I can contact you directly.’
They both exchanged numbers.
‘Thank you so much. You’ve really saved our lives. We’ve been searching for a while now and this really seems like a dream come through.’ Tobenna said laughing excitedly. He rubbed his face and smiled broadly. ‘Have a nice day, Kosi.’
Kosi watched them drive off and released a sigh.
‘I hope it’s not too late for us.’
‘Come in!’ Eva screamed from the parlour couch. Her eyes were glued to the TV. She was watching Vivo on Netflix and didn’t want to miss a second of it.
‘Eva?’ Doctor Audu called out as he opened the door a little to see inside the house. Eva paused the movie the moment she heard Doctor Audu’s voice. She assumed Benjamin was at the door, but was surprised when she heard Doctor Audu’s voice.
‘Oh! Doctor Audu. How are you? Aren’t you on-call?’
Doctor Audu entered the house properly and closed the door after himself. ‘I’m fine and no, I’m not on-call right now. I’m on the night shift.’
Eva nodded her head. Doctor Audu walked towards Eva and asked, ‘May I?’ He pointed at the chair right next to Eva’s and Eva hurriedly replied, ‘Yes! Ha! It’s your house. Do you even need to ask?’ Doctor Audu sat down and laughed, ‘It may be my house but you remember that possession is 9/10th of the law.’ Eva smiled and shook her head.
‘This one you came to see me, is there any problem?’
‘Can’t I meet my favourite ex-patient without having a reason?’
Eva shook her head and relaxed, placing both her legs on the couch.
‘Do you need anything?’
‘Don’t worry, I’m fine.’
Eva picked up the remote and was about to press play when Doctor Audu said, ‘Kosi called.’ She dropped the remote and turned to look at Doctor Audu. He continued. ‘He said he wants to see you.’
‘I told him I would have to tell you first.’
‘Huh? Oh. Kosi called. Ok.’
Her gaze returned to the TV but it was still paused.
‘Eva? Are you okay?’
‘Of course, why wouldn’t I be?’ She replied without looking at him.
‘Because you are just staring at the TV and not saying a word.’
Eva blinked multiple times and then pressed play. The sweet voice of Lin-Manuel Miranda as Vivo could be heard throughout the house but Eva was lost in thought. Doctor Audu picked up the remote and turned off the TV.
‘Eva, it’s fine if you aren’t ready to meet him. I can just tell him not to come over.’
Like a robot, Eva shook her head side to side and answered, ‘It’s fine. Let him come.’