I couldn’t feel anything, I couldn’t hear anything…I was at peace. I couldn’t see my reflection but I knew what my face would look like…I would have a big smile across my lips and my eyes would be wide open in excitement.
I was oblivious of my surroundings, all I could keep track of were my memories of my life, and they kept flashing through my mind. The happy ones from learning to ride a bike as a child, to the day I lost my mum, to the day I met Emeka…my first love, to meeting TK, to our wedding day, having Oladunni, finding out I was pregnant again and the last memory of TK holding my hand while I lay on a hospital bed trying to give him his first son…I saw my life flash through my eyes like a movie trailer.
It was quick, exciting and short. It was short because it stopped abruptly and I wanted it to continue but it stopped. Just like that, it was a bad ending and I didn’t want it to end that way.
I tried to call out to TK but I couldn’t speak, I didn’t even know if he was there. Then I heard the most beautiful sound in the world, it was a baby crying…even though I couldn’t see anything around me, I knew it was my son. I wanted to meet him, I needed to hold him and tell him I loved him. My eyes fluttered opened and I saw TK sitting beside me holding my hand, his head was in his hand and he was mumbling under his breath. I was too tired to speak loudly so I squeezed his hand. He sprang to his feet.
TK: Anjie you’re awake! Oh my goodness! I was so worried! Don’t ever scare me like that again please!
Me: What happened?
TK: I should have brought you to the states earlier. You were too weak to keep pushing. They were unable to change the baby’s position he was suffocating and you were tired so I had to give my consent for a Caesarean section.
Me: How is he? TK: Chubby and cute. Let me tell the nurse to bring him. A few minutes later TK returned from the nursery with a nurse carrying the cutest baby boy I had ever seen wrapped in a blue blanket. Nurse: Mrs. Kessington, meet your son.
*Three Months Later*
Dear Diary, It’s almost time for Olakitan’s christening party. Sorry, I haven’t been filling you in on all that has been going on with me, being a new mum doesn’t afford one much time to write. Olakitan is a handful, the midnight feedings are constant and I can already tell he is going to be an exact replica of his father, his facial expressions are already giving him away. Oladunni is such a sweet older sister, except when she gets jealous that her father is paying more attention to Olakitan than her…then she starts to throw tantrums! Drama queen, she’s always vying for TK’s attention…TK, Ade ori mi (crown of my head). What would I have done without that man? Every time I replay the script of our life together in my head I understand more and more why we were destined to be together. The unconditional love we share is so reassuring and whenever we remember the price we paid to keep that love alive it makes us ensure we keep it burning.
Unfortunately, not everyone’s story ends that way. The Duchess and TK’s dad have been living apart for months and even though TK’s dad has decided to end things with his long-time mistress his mind is still made up about not taking The Duchess back. In his words “she is not suited for companionship because she always has to be in charge”.
Even though we had asked Bella to come back home after my return from the States, she has insisted on staying with The Duchess at The Villa. I can tell they have formed a bond while I was away and I am glad. The Duchess really needs someone by her side to help her deal with the end of her marriage after almost forty-five years. The person who is most badly affected by the breakup seems to be TK’s only sister Tomike.
Tomike is angry at her dad and barely speaking to him for breaking the family apart but she recently met and started dating a young banker named Kevin. He seems responsible and level headed, we all hope if they end up married, the third time would be a charm for Tomike.
TK’s brother and his family made an announcement a few days ago. They were planning to relocate to Canada so Adaobi, TK’s sister in law can get the master’s degree she had always wanted. She wants to go back to work…yes she is going back to work even though she is an Ayo-Kessington wife! Remember the family tradition: Ayo-Kessington wives don’t work? Well Adaobi who is usually quiet and timid has broken the jinx. She had expressed her frustrations about being forced to give up her career for love a few weeks ago and had told Tomiwa her husband she could no longer cope and wanted out of the marriage for her own personal fulfilment.
Tomiwa had come to TK crying that his wife was leaving him and TK had confronted The Duchess, and guess what? After a showdown which I cannot believe I missed (even though Bella’s narrative of the event was very juicy) The Duchess had to back down and allow the tradition to change with approval from TK’s father of course. I guess generations of Ayo-Kessington wives would have Adaobi to thank for being able to pursue their ambitions. It was Adaobi’s courage that finally sparked the cord in me too and I finally realized what I want to do. I am going to start a foundation that helps women and young girls discover their passions and get the support they need to start pursuing their dreams… they would get access to counseling, training, seed capital to start a business and mentorship.
I know it would be complicated and tasking but TK has pledged his unwavering support and of course in his words “if it doesn’t work out, being my baby mama would always be a lucrative job”. He constantly teases me about being his “baby mama” and I know he is trying to distract me. He is trying to distract me from the fact that we can’t have any more children. I suffered some complications following the Caesarean section to have Olakitan and the doctor had informed us that the chances of me ever conceiving again is less than 20%. I am grateful I have two children of my own and a daughter fate has blessed me with –Bella. They are enough for me besides there is a new addition to the family on the way.
Lily, Afolabi’s wife is pregnant for their second child after so many years of trying. He and my father arrived from India just a few days after a successful transplant. Chief Badmus would be making his retirement announcement in a few weeks and Afolabi would be taking over as the custodian of the family estate. Afolabi has decided that as soon as his second child is born his family will relocate to Nigeria to join him here.
Everything is falling into place and I am so happy. I can’t wait for the party to start so Linda and Funsho can come and give me all the Lagos gist I have missed. Emeka would be at the party too…with his wife. Yes…his wife he had done his traditional marriage while I was away and his white wedding is coming up in a few weeks. I have a feeling there is a bun in the oven but since he is coming with Sophie his wife, I will get to confirm my theory.
Banke would be here too with her baby. She has decided to move back to Nigeria and start over after the annulment of her abusive marriage. She has been through so much lately especially with the loss of her mum and no support system around her, my heart has been reaching out to her. I just find myself constantly calling her to ask if she is ok and comfort her. TK says I am only using her as a test case for my foundation for women but I disagree, I think we are actually becoming friends again…one step at a time.
Dear Diary, you have no idea how pouring my heart out to you has been so therapeutic, so comforting, so….necessary. You have helped me put things in perspective when I was confused, been a shoulder when I was sad and been a best friend when I was alone. However, I feel like I am at a point in my life where I need to be able to deal with the things happening around me without running to you as a place of escape or a hiding place. What I am trying to say is Dear Diary, this is my last entry.
It is not because I don’t appreciate the role you have played in my life, it’s simply because now I must grow up and be the woman you have helped me become. I hope I make you proud in all the decisions I make now and always. Thank you for being there to always share my thoughts and listen…I love you! Anjola Ayo-Kessington
Dear Reader, Our journey with Anjola has come to an end. I hope you enjoyed reading her diary entries as much as I enjoyed writing them. What lessons did you learn from her experiences? Who was your favourite character and why? In what ways did you relate to her story? Please share your thoughts with the other Diamond Woman community members in the comment box below.
Best Wishes Always!