‘Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday Dear Bola, Happy Birthday to you’.
‘Hip Hip Hip, Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’
‘Blow the candles love and make a wish’ I said.
‘What did you wish for?’ her friend asked. ‘My mommy and daddy back together’ Bola quietly answered but not quietly enough for me not to hear. She looked at me with hope in her eyes.
It is Bola’s Tenth Birthday Anniversary. Kunle and I had decided to throw two separate parties. The divorce still fresh and his budding relationship with Maggie, we didn’t want it to be awkward for Bola and her friends. My party was first, followed by his party.
I wanted to throw an extravagant party for her but she had refused saying ‘I want something small. Just my family and a few friends’ and so ‘small’ was what I organised if you call buying three cakes, hiring an outdoor caterer and a DJ, two canopies and 3 dozen of chairs, 3 dozen invites and drinks that could fill up an ocean.
I’m newly single. I need something to focus on, work and Bola happen to be it.
‘Great, one more thing to feel guilt about’ I mumbled.
‘What did you say?’ TY asked me. ‘Did you hear Bola’s wish? She want her Daddy and I to get back together’ I replied.
‘I keep telling her it is not going to happen, why won’t she listen?’ I was truly angry.
‘She’s a child. Children hope and believe in the impossible. Just give her time, she’ll come around’
‘I would prefer if she was angry with us but this sadness I can’t stand it. I’m angry at Kunle. Why can’t she be angry with me?’
‘Stop sounding selfish, Kemi. By the way, this cake is good and the food too. Angela’s Kitchen deserves an award’
‘I know what you are doing, you’re trying to take my mind off it’ I said.
‘Is it working? Because the food is really good and there is so much to drink, I hope I’m able to find my way home’
I laughed out loud. TY smiled.
We were watching the children play the musical statue. There were just three children left and Bola was one of them. She looked so happy, laughing and dancing with her friends.
TY cheered Bola on ‘That’s my little darling. Show them all what you are made of’ Bola smiled and continued to impress her Auntie TY and I.
By 5pm, the party was over. Bola’s friends had gone home. Her cousins – Remi and Laitan and TY were the only ones left. I had requested that Remi and Laitan come spend the holiday with Bola. I wanted children her age around her and my sisters had agreed. My hope was the company of her cousins would cheer her and dull her pain. The plan worked. She had stopped bed wetting and she smiled more often. I was scared of what would happen to her when Remi and Laitan returned back home.
‘What are you thinking about? You look miles away from here’ TY interrupted me thoughts.
‘I was thinking about what I would do once Remi and Laitan returned back home. I spoke to my sisters, Faith and Fisayo are cool with their children staying a while longer. Maybe I should send Bola to live with one of them until she gets used to the idea of Kunle and I’
‘Bad idea, love. She needs you more than ever now. Faith or Fisayo won’t know what to do with a moody 10year old and though they may tolerate her because they love her after a while she will tire them. She need her mother and that’s you’
‘How am I suppose to help a 10 year old overcome her pain and disappointment?’. I sighed. I was truly tired, emotionally and physically.
‘You will figure it out. You may not know this but you need her here as much as she needs you. She’s a child and she loves you unconditionally, warts and all. Let her love help you heal Kemi’.
‘Thank you TY. You are my strength’ Tears welled up in my eyes. I tried to blink them back but to no avail. She smiled at me ‘You’re my strength too dear so lets pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate you and Bola’s recovery’