Not So Happily Married….Episode Thirteen

 

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No, I didn’t hear right. Boye is going to burst into laughter anytime now and spit in this liar’s face. I thought, glancing at Omoboye.

My face fell and I felt tears spring to my face at the look on her face. She looked ashamed, trapped, like she wished she could disappear.

“Is it true?” I asked.

She didn’t answer, she just darted furtive glances around the room.

Femi was sitting up, one hand was held to his bleeding lip, he looked smug, his eyes shone with mirth. The room was quiet; they must all be waiting for Boye’s response. I thought.

I looked at her too and shook my head at the way she pleaded with her eyes.

So she wants me to cover her shame and do this in private? Oh, well. I shrugged. I can do that as long as she explains. But I made a decision there and then. If it was true, then it would be the last issue we would have. I was going to walk out of the marriage.

I grabbed her hand and made for the elevator. She followed crying. Several whispers and chuckles trailed us as we walked out and at that moment I wanted to cry.

Why did I marry this woman?

I must have said it aloud because she increased the tempo of her cries.

******

This is it. Jite will divorce me. There is just no way around it. No sane man will want me after this. Yeah, this man loves me but seriously how much more can he take?

I sobbed as the elevator went up but started wailing when I heard him say “Why did I marry this woman”

He had never said that. At least I never heard him say it. Not even when we were neck deep in the abortion issue.

I wiped my tears when we entered the room. It was time to talk. I had no choice; my best kept secret was finally going to come out.

“Now start from the beginning and don’t hold anything back this time.” He said.

“Okay Jite. I promise I will tell you all.”

“Look at you. You know I really want to hate you now. I thought you were a Queen, I treated you like one, I thought you were decent.” He paused and I saw tears cascade down his cheeks.

My heart broke at his tears.  He doesn’t cry. He had told me severally that only weak men cry and that he was a real man who knew how to keep his tear ducts dry and grieve without wasting body fluids. Here he was, crying.

He sobbed for over three minutes and I engaged myself in a debate trying to decide on what to do.

Boye, move close to him, console him. Oh no. I can’t do that. This man is mad enough to slap me if I do.

Okay. Tell him you are sorry. Tell him what happened, that it wasn’t intentional and why you never told him. That won’t solve anything; it will sound like bull shit to him.

So what do you want to do? Allow him to finish crying and tell you to expect his lawyer?

No. Start crying too.

That was the option I took. Why didn’t I think of that earlier, why did I stop crying? Of course that’s the thing to do. Join him in the sobbing.

And so I started sobbing too. They were not fake tears; I was feeling real pain, pain that the nightmare was starting all over again, pain that I was making my husband hurt so bad, pain at the stories that were bound to show up in blogs and newspapers, pain that my life was totally out of my control.

My weeping got louder as images of what Femi referred to flashed across my eyes. Wounds I thought were healed reopened making my heart bleed the more.

I was licking my lips, kneading my breasts with one hand while rubbing my hair with the other. A recurring laughter resounded in my ears and when I wasn’t licking my lips, I was laughing too and then I was crying out from pleasure, sinking my fingers into his collar bone and tightening my thighs around his waist. Femi’s eyes was shuttered, his mouth open, strangled noises coming out of his mouth, and then suddenly we were both quiet, the laughter stopped, the moaning stopped, the silence was marred only by the splat splat sound of skin knocking against skin and then the sound of Femi’s cry as he came mixing with the farts that came out of me in succession. The combination was almost musical and made our lone audience to start laughing again.

“Omoboye, what is wrong with you? Are you fine?”

I heard his voice from somewhere far. I opened my eyes and felt him touching my fore head.

“Boye, what is it? What were you thinking of that made your eyes look like that?”

“I am fine.” I murmured looking into his eyes.

“You are not, you looked like you were about to pass out, like something was torturing your mind.”

“I want to forget it. I am not sure I am strong enough to talk about it yet.” I said

“You can forget about it after you have told me. I won’t let you hide whatever it is from me again.”

“What happened between you and Femi?”

“What did he do to you?”

“Jite, please I want to forget.” I said, placing my hands on his shoulder. “Help me forget, love me, I need to shake these images off. Please replace them. You may walk away after that. I won’t blame you, but please help shake these images off.”

*****

“No Boye. Snap out of this. Calm down and talk to me. What happened?”

“Give me a minute”; she said rushing to the bathroom. I heard her retching and debated whether to go in and check on her.

What’s wrong with her? Guilt? No. There had been something else in her eyes, fear? Pain? Regret? shame? anguish? …. and the way tears had been cascading down her face, the way her eyes had been wide open but unseeing …..was she acting? Is she even now composing a lie to tell me? No, that can’t be. Omoboye isn’t capable of that. Or is she?

“I am ready.” She announced when she entered the room.

She sat on the bed facing me and I couldn’t help noticing how pale her face was.

No, she is not acting. I decided. She has something to tell me and it would be the truth.

******

“What I am about to tell you is something I have always liked to think was a dream. I can’t even explain how I was able to convince myself that it was; I just know I push it back into the recesses of my mind every time I think of it.”

“Boye, quit the drama and say what you have to say.” He said, I could sense he was impatient and getting irritated too.

I nodded, then yanked the blanket off the bed and covered my body with it.

“Remember Dapo?”

“Your ex boyfriend. What about him?”

“Okay. It happened when I was dating him.”

“What?

“What I am about to tell you.”

“What are you about to tell me and how does it have anything to do with Dapo?”

“I will get to that. Please Jite, just allow me to explain. The only way I can explain it is by starting from the beginning.”

“Take your time then. I am all ears.”

“It was his birthday. That was July 5, 2004. We had just made up having recently broken up as we used to do every other month. This time, it had been because he cheated on me with one of my cousins. I had been determined that I wasn’t going to have anything to do with him again but he managed to change my mind. He told me, I was his conscience and his life would be destroyed without me. I felt like his messiah and so I accepted him back.”

“It was a small party; just a few friends and colleagues. I played the role of the supportive girlfriend; ensuring the guests ate to their satisfaction and that everything went on fine. Dapo had told me he wanted Femi to cover the event. Even then, Femi was quite expensive but I managed to convince him to do it as a favor for me.”

 “I was supposed to spend the night with him so I was still there when everyone started leaving. Femi wanted to leave when the party thinned out but Dapo said no, that he wanted him to do a photo shoot for us. I was excited and even thought that perhaps he was planning to propose.”

“I was naive and stupid.” I added in a low tone. I wasn’t looking at Jite’s face despite the fact that I could feel his on mine. I didn’t want to see what I was sure would be there. Disgust.

“So?” He asked, prompting me to continue.

“So we did the photo shoot. It was fun; Dapo was at his very best, attentive and very loving. I was in high spirits too still hopeful that a proposal was in the works. After the shoot, he brought out a bottle of wine, said it was the best and that he saved it for both of us but he would however love for Femi to join us. He poured a glass for the three of us and we took the drinks.”

“I didn’t know I was drugged, I just realized that after a while Femi and I got cuddly with Dapo encouraging us. I even remember asking Dapo if he wasn’t going to be annoyed if I kissed Femi and he replied me saying. “Why would I? I would love to see that”

Although I wasn’t looking at Jite, I could feel him perspiring.

“And then I kissed Femi, the rest is still a blur or maybe it feels like that because I always prevent my mind from thinking about it, I just remember I was acting like I was drunk only it was worse than being drunk, I was not in control of me, I was wanton, pushing myself against Femi and strange thing, he was responding too.”

“Stop. Boye. Please stop. That’s enough.”

******

I couldn’t listen anymore, yet I wanted to listen.

Who did I marry?

How come she had this sort of history and I never even had a clue. How did she manage to not mention this?

I wanted to cry, she wasn’t done but my mind knew whatever she still had to to say was going to hurt me more than what she had already said. I wanted to save myself the agony but still I felt like I needed to know everything.

She looked pale, sick even. I know whatever it was that she went through must have been traumatic but I needed to hear more. She shivered occasionally despite the fact that she was covered with a blanket and yet was sweating as much as I was.

“Continue, I need to hear more.”

****

“Somehow we started having sex.”

“You and who?”

“Myself and Femi. I didn’t know what I was doing; I just knew I was enjoying it. It was as if I stood and was watching my own body do those things. At that moment it felt like the only thing I ever wanted to do and not even seeing Dapo sitting on an arm chair laughing and blowing on his cigarette changed my mood. He was there throughout and even cheered us on at some point and then when Femi was done, he took over.”

“Oh my God! No.” Jite screamed standing up for the first time since he entered the room.

“Those bastards, did you report to the police? Of course, you didn’t. Why am I asking? But why Boye, why didn’t you lodge a complaint? Was it because you enjoyed it? Ehn.?”

“Ehn, was it because you enjoyed it?” He repeated shaking me with his hands. His touch was painful but that wasn’t what made me cry, I cried because I could see my marriage crumble before my eyes.

“Stop it Jite. You think I stood a chance? Do you think I even wanted to go through the trauma of letting everyone know what happened? It wasn’t until later that I even knew I had been drugged and it wasn’t just me. Femi too.”

“The next morning, Dapo sat us down and laughing at the bewildered look on our faces told us he drugged us both with Ecstasy and when I asked why, he said something that haunts me to this day.”

“You are too good for your own good Omoboye. You need to do bad from time to time. I hate your sanctimonious guts, I always have.”

That wasn’t all, he said he hated that I always made him feel so guilty for cheating on me and for not being a good boyfriend and that I always reminded him of the sacrifices I made for him and how he was my first and only.

He said:

“Boye, I needed to spoil you, At least now, you can’t say I am the only one you have slept with anymore.  I needed to make you have something on your conscience too”. He said he tried to push me into cheating too but I was too wrapped up in self righteousness to even cheat if only for revenge.”

“And then, he apologized to Femi saying he was just an unfortunate pawn. You needed to be there Jite to see the smug look on his face, to see the……”

My voice broke at that point and for the first time in six years I allowed myself to relive and mourn those moments.

****

I wanted to commit murder. Any resentment I felt towards Omoboye was gone replaced with a fierce sense of protectiveness.

“Boye, why didn’t you trust me enough to tell me?”

“How could I? I needed you to see me as me not as a victim of abuse. I needed you to love me, I wasn’t sure you would still love me if you knew all that happened. Besides the closer we got, the harder it was to tell.”

“Was Femi aware of his plans?”

“No, he was a victim like me. Dapo likes playing silly games just for the fun of it. He wanted to make me pay for always making him look like the bad guy and for leaving him so he wooed me back with the intention of punishing me.”

“I am going to kill the bastard.”

“God forbid. You won’t be a killer.”

“No, I am not a killer but he is going to die. I swear by my late father’s head. He is a dead man.”

“No, Jite please don’t say that. I have left him to God. All that matters to me right now is that you are not so angry with me anymore.”

“God, I can’t believe you went through something like this. But why will that idiot say that about you knowing what happened was not something you did in your right senses, which brings me to another question, why did you continue to work with him?”

“I really don’t know why Femi has been the way he is since we got here but I think he said what he said because he wanted to hurt me for telling you and he probably was jealous that we were still cool with each other in spite of the fact that I told you.”

“I guess.” Jite replied, shrugging.

“As to working with Femi, I didn’t really have a choice. As you know after we did the beauty magic competition in which our pieces were both chosen, one of the terms of the prize and our contract was that we had to work together whenever beauty magic had their beauty pageants/fashion shows which is every two months. So basically despite what happened I knew I was stuck with him for the five years of our contract but I could have cut ties with him after that but somehow we got past it and managed to keep up a professional relationship. He never acted inappropriately; we never even talk about it as he had been mortified about it as well.”

“But he must have been nursing some feelings for you. It’s the only explanation for what he did tonight. Anyway, I want you to enter the bathroom now and take a shower. Rest well because we will be leaving for Lagos very early tomorrow morning. There is a business I need to take care of.”

Perhaps, it was something about the way he said the “there is a business I need to take care of”. I just knew it had something to do with Dapo. I didn’t say anything, I just resolved to stay close to him and ensure he does nothing stupid.

When I came out of the bathroom, he was still sitting in the same spot, staring ahead.

“He is the one who impregnated Boladale”. I said before I could stop myself.

 “He basically used that girl too, looking back now I am thinking he might have even used Ecstacy on her too.” I added wondering why it never occurred to me before.

“Tell me what he did to her. Everything.”

When I was done, he said;

“Another reason for the bastard to die.”

PS: Should we kukuma allow Dapo to die?

photo credit:google images

Not So Happily Married ……. Episode Twelve

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I could almost hear my heart beat in my chest. How long had he been standing there? He couldn’t have seen anything, could he? If he had seen us, he wouldn’t stand here with that needy look on his face.

Oh God, what is wrong with me? Why am I not rushing into his arms, kissing him and telling him how much I wanted us to settle our issues?

“Boye, please be rational.” I heard him say.  My vision blurred at his words, my eyes clouded with unshed tears.

What have I become? I thought, leaning against a door. Why am I so confused, so disoriented?

“Boye”. I heard him call. He was close to me now,  the scent of his body spray teasing my nostrils.

“Things are not the way you think they are, that’s why I am here, to end this anguish for us both.”

“Did you have to come? You didn’t have to.”

“Errrm”  Someone cleared his throat. It was Femi. I had forgotten he was there. Jite and I glanced at him.

“Boye, I will be going downstairs to join the others. I think you should talk to your husband but if you are bent on throwing him out, I will be here. That’s a joke.” he added at Jite’s startled look.

I watched him leave, his words echoing in my head. “If you are bent on throwing him out, I will be here”

Is that what I have been doing? Throwing him out? Does Femi now say such things to me?

“Let’s find somewhere to sit Boye.”

I led the way to my room and he followed.

*****

I am not a saint. Omoboye’s behavior was infuriating me and I wanted to do what my head was telling me. Turn back and look for an ATM machine to withdraw money from.

But I felt I had to do the best that I can to salvage our marriage. Heck! We hadn’t even done six months and we already looked and sounded like a marriage counselor’s nightmare.

I followed her to her room thinking of Femi’s remark. What did he mean by he was there for her? Was he planning to take advantage of Boye? I felt my fists clench at the thought. Would he dare? They were friends, they work together. That was all I knew, so what was that comment about? I didn’t want to dwell on such unpleasant things and decided to focus on Boye and the things we need to discuss.

I took in the room, “great place.” I said just to break the silence.

“Yeah.”

“The whole place is so peaceful and quiet.”

“Yeah.”

Okay, this is going nowhere. I thought.

“Omoboye, let’s talk.”

“Okay”.

“First thing, I am sorry for not telling you about Skipper. I will like to do that now.”

“Not yet Jite.” She said.

“I am going to faint if I don’t say what’s on my mind now. I feel so guilty and dirty. I just have to say it.”

My heart constricted at her words. I swallowed the saliva that instantly pooled in my mouth, my hands shook in dread. She feels guilty and dirty, she feels guilty and dirty…….why would she feel guilty and dirty? I felt a faint headache starting as I said the words over and over in my head

****

If we were going to talk, we might as well bare it all. I had made up my mind I was going to open up to him only that the decision was easier to make when he wasn’t there, seeing him face to face , it was hard to talk.

But still, things had to change and there was never going to be a good time. He needed to hear everything and then he could decide if he still wanted me.

“Jite” I began pausing as I saw the fear on his face.

Oh my God, he knows already and it scares him. But I felt compelled to say it.

“Jite, Femi touched me.”

“Oh Lord”. He whimpered burying his head in his palms.

“It wasn’t a touch touch like that. It’s not what you think.”

****

“So what kind of touch was it?” I asked raising my head up.

“I was upset, I was crying and then he was trying to comfort me.”

“In the room?”

“No, Jite, we were outside, just by the door. I didn’t even plan to cry, the tears just started flowing when he asked why I was without make up and if I was having problems with my husband.”

“He was hugging me, consoling me and then he placed his hands on my bum.”

She paused.

“And….”?

“And nothing Jite, nothing. I stood there, I didn’t flinch, I didn’t remove his hands, I didn’t say he should remove it, I did nothing, not for several minutes and that’s why I hate myself so much right now. How could I stand there and do nothing? I have always imagined myself as the kind of girl that took no nonsense, as the type nobody except my husband could touch. But Jite, I let Femi touch me. I don’t know who I am again. I find it hard to recognize me.”

I said nothing. I just stared into space for several seconds.

“So where were you going ?” I asked

“He said there was this sightseeing organized by some of the guests. He wanted us to go too.”

“I see.”

“What else were you going to just stand there and let him do?”

“Nothing. I swear. He offered to take me back inside the room so we can talk but I said no.”

“The bastard.” I said through clenched teeth.

So Femi is one of those people I have heard about all my life. The Lizards who stand around waiting for cracks in a marriage’s walls so they can sneak in, and to think my wife just stood there and allowed another man touch her backside. My own property, the one I was supposed to be the only one that ever touched.

Easy Jite, don’t be too hard on her, remember why you are really here and be grateful that it didn’t get worse than that and above all be thankful that she told you.

“Anyway, I am grateful that you told me this Boye”. I said placing a hand on her exposed knee.

“I know you very well or at least I think I do. I know you are not the wayward type and I will like to believe that you won’t cheat on me. So I am not going to dwell on what happened between you and Femi. All I will say is you won’t be working with him ever again. I think as your husband. I can still say that right? I am still your husband or aren’t I?”

****

“Yes Jite. You are my husband.” I said warmth filling me and removing some of the guilt that I felt.

I don’t know if it was the hand that he placed on my knee or hearing myself call him husband but I was suddenly so aware of him. I smiled at him, my heart open and ready to make peace as my mind visualized a night of passion.

“Alright then Boye, so we are done with that. Now to the Skipper issue, I am sorry I didn’t tell you about her.”

“Did you read the note I gave you in your Mum’s house?”

“I don’t think I did. I didn’t. I hope I have not misplaced it though because I can’t even remember where I placed it.”

“Don’t sweat it. What I wrote there was that Bisade is not pregnant for me and that I am sorry once again about what happened with her. Right now, I am hoping you would forgive me totally. I know you still harbor hurt in your heart and that’s why you can’t trust me. I can’t blame you too much. It’s only human but Boye, we need trust if this is going to work. We can’t keep doing this or we would have to dissolve this marriage.”

“God forbid. Anyway, God will only forbid if Skipper’s pregnancy is not yours.” I added searching his face.

“No baby. I dated Skipper years ago. I am sorry I didn’t tell you about her, she was someone I wanted to forget. It was a turbulent relationship, she was not only a sex addict, she also had Borderline personality disorder, she was clingy, controlling too. It was more than I could handle. I just wanted to forget that one year of my life.

“Yet, you kept her pictures…”.

“I know it’s crazy to keep them, but I am the kind of person who finds it hard to trash pictures, messages or any other thing that connects me to someone. Even if I have forgotten that they exist.”

“So where did you meet her? School?”

“During NYSC.”

“Oh!….so she is the weirdo you once mentioned that you dated during service. The one you said got a nick name that had to do with a skipping rope just because she had an uncanny ability to skip classes and still pass.”

“The very one.”

“Oh! Oh my God!” I covered my mouth as the pieces fell into place.

“So that was why I thought the name was familiar.”

“You know she called the morning after we made love all night. That was back in Zanzibar. You were sleeping and you asked me to check who was calling you. I did and I saw Skipper and felt the name sounded familiar. Somehow I saw a text she sent to you where she said she loved you and had something to discuss with you, something that was very urgent. I decided to assume that it was Bisade’s name that you stored as Skipper.”

“Are you serious? So that’s why your behavior changed; I kept worrying about what it could be. Why didn’t you just ask me?”

“I don’t know. I just couldn’t. I also deleted the message and the call record and I felt ashamed afterwards and couldn’t tell you because of that.”

“You see why we need to talk to each other. To think you were obsessing over someone that means nothing to me.”

“Jite, you know this is so funny.” I said putting a hand to my mouth to suppress laughter.

“What’s funny?”

“As in I am a joke. I kept looking for flaws in her; a pimple, darkened knees or something and yet she had all of these issues and looking at her you wouldn’t know.”

“Yes, you wouldn’t. At least not until she opens her mouth.”

****

She was smiling. I felt all the tension in me ebb away. I stood up from the couch, pulled her up and embraced her.

“Jite, hold on.” She said sighing.

“We are not done”.

“Okay. What else is on your mind?”

“I think I may never be able to conceive.”

“And why would you think that?”

“It’s just a gut feeling that I have. Besides I have had enough time to take in since we got married.”

“Relax Omoboye. No need to worry. I want children, I am not going to pretend that I don’t but the fact remains that I want you more than I want children so not having them won’t change what I feel for you. It was part of the things I wrote in that note. Children or not, I will still love you. Worst case scenario, we will adopt children. I keep thinking that there are several children out there praying to God for a mummy and daddy, we could be the answer to their prayers especially if we can’t have ours.”

“Jite….hmmmm….are you sure? Because all these things are easier said than done ooo especially since we both know this is my fault. ”

“Shhh, Boye. Don’t go into that”

“You see. It still hurts you to think about it, so you are pushing the thoughts away.”

“No Boye. You are not entirely right. True, it hurts that we might have been parents by now but I am willing to let go of all of that and see what the future holds.”

“Jite, I just hope that future holds something positive because Mum promised to make my life a living hell if I don’t have a protruding stomach or a baby by our anniversary.”

I laughed out at her words.

“Are you for real?”.                                                                                                                             

“Yes , she said plenty things o about how she will make sure the whole world knows what I did and how my life will be miserable. Really scary things o”

“There is no problem baby. Your mum can’t cry more than the bereaved. Besides who says anything is wrong with you. It’s still early days Boye. We haven’t even been married six months yet. I need you to get over the paranoia and just relax or we could go for a test just to know if everything is okay.”

“Why does that sound so scary Jite?”

“Don’t be scared. Like I said earlier, I will still love you, Children or no Children”.

“Oh Jite, I don’t deserve you.” She said sitting on my laps and wrapping her arms around my neck.

“No, baby. I think we deserve each other. We are both crazy”.

*****

“I think I am the crazier one here Jite.” I said pressing against him.

“Well, since you insist, I  have to agree that you are the crazier one.”

“Something about us is odd, Jite. I feel like we always do this and then we go back to our quarrels.”

“You mean we always make up somewhere out of our own house and then not long after something else happens that takes us back to where we started.”

“Exactly!”

“So what do you suggest? That we stop making up?”

“I don’t know Jite. I am just tired of our wahala.” She said frowning.

I laughed at her words and tickled her ribs till she joined in the laughter.

“I have a suggestion.” I said when we stopped laughing.

“I think we should do a vow renewal.”

“No. Jite. That’s a no no. Vow renewal when our marriage is not even up to a year?”

“It doesn’t matter; even if it’s two days into marriage. What matters is we know why we want to do it. You and I know our wedding day vows weren’t exactly heartfelt. We know our wedding was just a show for our guests.”

“You are right though. So the vow renewal will be like the one where we say our heartfelt vows right? I think I like the idea.”

“I knew you would. We will organize something small, invite some of our friends and do it. No priests, no dressing up, just two souls baring their hearts to one another.”

“Won’t our friends suspect that something is wrong with our marriage?”

“Do you care if they do? Boye, we need to start paying less attention to what people think. Let them think what they will so long as we are happy.”

“Okay then. But I don’t agree with the no dressing up thing oo. Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well and so we are going to make it a grand party”.

“Seriously, Omoboye, I want  a small party.”

“Leave story jare husband and kiss me. Kiss me like your very life depends on it, then I want you to make love to me, do it like I am this bad girl that you want to set straight, like you want to punish me for all the stress I have been putting you through.”

“You have been watching porn?” I asked before shutting her up with my mouth.

*****

Sometimes you think you know what your husband can or can’t do and then he shocks you by doing the unexpected.

The time for Dinner came and we went down. We were all over each other, basking in the afterglow of great sex. I made sure we sat at a table far apart from everyone else. I wanted to avoid Femi as much as I could and hoped that he would do the same.

For a long time, we ate our dinner in relative seclusion. We were undisturbed save for the occasional one or two people who came around to chat with us. Femi was the last person I wanted to see, I still felt some shame for allowing him to touch me the way he did  and so I was very uncomfortable when he walked up to our table.

“Hello Mr&Mrs, you guys seem cozy; everything cool in conjugal land now?”

And then Jite spoke through clenched teeth.

“Femi, excuse us please.”

“Sorry to bother you. I was only being nice.”

Femi looked sincere as he spoke and I could have been fooled if I hadn’t recognized the mischievous glint in his eyes. Jite wasn’t impressed either.

“Thank you Femi, we appreciate your niceness. Now excuse us.”

“What’s with the attitude? Is it my fault that you guys are having problems?”

He said that aloud and my eyes darted around the room desperate to see if anyone was taking notice. They were; several pairs of eyes were trained on our table.

“No, it’s not your fault.” Jite replied. “But let me warn you, the next time you as much as lay a finger on my wife, you would wish you were never born.”

I fixed my eyes on Jite, my heart doing flip flops. I had never seen him that angry. His fists were clenched, there was saliva hanging at the far end corners of his mouth.

“Jite, please ignore him.” I pleaded. “Let’s not cause a scene.”

“Baby, stay out of this.”

“Wow, wow! Such honesty amongst couples. This is so cute.” Femi said.

“But Omoboye seriously? I can’t believe you told him about our small adventure this afternoon. Makes me wonder if you also told him about how I use to ram you so hard, you farted for …….”

He didn’t finish the sentence before Jite’s fist shut him up.

I was mortified. I wanted the ground to open and swallow me up. I still don’t know the one that affected me most; the shocked look on the faces of the other diners, the damage that Jite’s fist did to Femi’s mouth, the clicks of cameras as  pictures were taken or the look of excruciating pain on Jite’s face as he turned towards me.

P S: Ladies, do you think Boye should have told Jite about the bom bom incident? Do you think she would have been better off not talking?

 I find it hard to make up my mind on whether it’s better to hold back some things or spill all .

Not So Happily Married ……. Episode Ten

Hi All,

We have done Ten episodes so far. I can hardly believe this. That means TEN WEEKS. Wow! Thank you for being here every week. I love you. Mwaaaah.

This Episode is dedicated to my brand new Nephew. Mobolaji Oluwadamisi Omoikudu Daniel-Bello. Aunty Toyin loves you so very much. May God always be your strength and shield. Amen.

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She walked towards me with her arms outstretched and combined with the smile on her face; you would think I was her long lost sister.

So this calls for a hug? I asked myself as she wrapped her hands around me. Still smiling she drew back and inspected me from head to toe.

She turned to Jite when she was done. He was still looking angry but she acted like she didn’t notice.

“Jite, you picked a very pretty one this time.” She said giving him what looked to me like an intimate smile.

That is it. I am done. I thought clenching my teeth. Who told her she could date my man behind my back and still act patronizing?

“Jite, I am leaving, I will see you later.” I said walking away.

I didn’t look back to see his expression but if he had called my name I would have heard.

******

You would think I was dumb. I didn’t say a word throughout the encounter, not even when Omoboye walked away. Skipper left right after Omoboye did giving me a jubilant look before she entered her car.

Is our marriage jinxed? I thought as I sat back inside the car. Why is it that every time we make some progress something happens that reverses it all? The weekend was supposed to be spent in relaxation. We were supposed to talk and sort all our issues but then Skipper decided to show up. How did she even know where we were? I wondered. Was she tailing me? It wasn’t something that was beyond her. She was psychotic enough to do worse.

Skipper! She was someone I had hoped Omoboye would never meet. She was someone I never wanted to have anything to do with. Again.

We met during my one year National Youth Service. I was determined to marry her and have three kids with her all in the first five minutes that we met. It was a classic case of Infatuation at first sight even though at that time I thought it was Love. I had been standing under the sun for hours waiting to be registered for the orientation camp and there were just about ten more people before it would be my turn when this lady walked up to me pleading with her eyes that she would like to enter the space in front of me. It wasn’t like she needed to plead, I was taken already just by looking into her eyes. Who wouldn’t? Not with her kind of looks. She had the kind of face, frame, skin and body that you get when you mix Edo, Igbo and Fulani genes.

I didn’t even think it through; I just motioned for her to get in. It didn’t matter that I had to contend with the other people on the queue especially the females. I made feeble attempts to make up a story about how she had been there before but the looks they shot me said they understood why I couldn’t say no.

I stayed glued to her even after registration. I was the dude who took her bags to the female hostel, the one who ensured that she got two buckets of clean water every day. I also took her feeding as my responsibility. She didn’t like the food served in the dining hall. She said it wasn’t up to standard, I agreed with her. She was too beautiful to eat the kind of food they served and so I took care of breakfast, lunch, dinner and the snacks and drinks she took whenever we were on the parade ground. She rewarded me with her attention; we spent almost every free time together. We wouldn’t go to our respective hostels even after the bells for lights out had been rung. We would remain entwined in one of the numerous dark corners until a Soldier chanced upon us or sleep became too hard to hold.

She wanted me to make love to her the first day we met. I declined. I believed she was too beautiful for that. I told her she was a delicious dish that one was meant to savor. She didn’t seem too happy about that and by the third day she threatened to give her attention to other guys who needed it. And so I obliged her even though I would have preferred that we do it on a regular bed. We had to make do with the parade ground and concrete floors. That first day and on subsequent days she brought a wrapper along from her hostel room which we spread on the floor or field whenever we wanted to make love. I told her how I felt, but she laughed it off saying we weren’t the only ones after all. I felt she was more beautiful and classier than all those other girls and I told her so but still it made no difference. That was when I started hearing the alarm bell that must have been ringing the moment she started pestering me for sex. What kind of girl does not mind being slept with on a parade ground? But I ignored my fears and we continued our escapades.

It wasn’t until we got posted to the same ministry and we started living together that I realized she was a sex addict. Skipper just had to have sex; nothing could stand in her way. Not menstrual periods, not fasting, not Malaria or Typhoid, not even having an audience. Nothing. I couldn’t keep up and wanted to break the relationship but I couldn’t not after she told me she had borderline personality disorder and could commit suicide if I left her. So I was stuck with her for the rest of the service year. I was ecstatic as NYSC drew to an end especially after she told me her parents wanted her to go for her Masters programme in Cyprus.

We parted on the passing out parade ground. She made me promise I was going to call her every day. I made the promise and a host of others that I had no intention of keeping. I liked her a lot, she was and is still very beautiful but she was much more than I could handle. She however wouldn’t let me be. She became my official stalker, I had to close my Facebook account and even change my email address because of her but still she always had a way to get in touch. She would use my Mom, friends and anyone else that could give her access to me. That went on for two years and then there was silence. Three years of silence. No calls, no mails. Nothing, until the day Omoboye and I got back from Zanzibar.

My heart had skipped a beat when I saw “Incoming call from Skipper” on my phone. I was never going to delete her number; I wanted to always know it was her calling so I could ignore the call. But that day I picked it and then she screamed my name saying how glad she was to have found me again. I didn’t ask why she had to call after I had given thanks to God that she was gone forever. She apologized for not keeping in touch for so long saying that after her Masters programme she took up a humanitarian job in Asia, something that had to do with educating children in remote villages. So why did you leave the needy children of Asia or did you just wake up one morning and realized there were children with greater needs in Africa? I wanted to ask her that but I didn’t instead I asked why she was calling.

“Jite that hurts me; you shouldn’t be asking me that. You are the only man I have ever loved and you know that. It wasn’t like I ever forgot you, I thought of you all the time and when I got back I wanted to call but I decided it wasn’t time yet. But then a few days ago, I was quite bored and I decided to check a blog that a friend told me about. Going through the blog, I saw a link about some popular make up artist’s wedding and when I opened the link I saw you Jite.”

She said the last few words in a pained voice. I knew what was coming even before it started.

“Why Jite? Why would you marry another woman? That should have been me you were holding Jite. We had so much promise. But anyway let’s leave all that. I think I am over it now, although I cried for hours after seeing your wedding pictures, but I am fine really. I will just like you to do me a favor. Can I meet her? I will like us to be friends.”

“Friends ke? I wouldn’t even allow you guys to meet.” I replied ending the call. But Skipper kept calling every day and her request was the same every time. She wanted to meet my wife.

I started the car deciding it was better to go look for Omoboye. I decided to go the house praying I would meet her there. I could imagine what was going through her mind. She probably thought the pregnancy Skipper was carrying was mine.

Why is it so easy for my wife to believe the worst of me? I am so not trusted. I sighed driving away from the Supermarket.

*******

Getting a cab wasn’t hard, there was a taxi park few yards from the Supermarket and I hopped into the first one I saw.

“Where?” He asked.

“Just keep driving towards Ajah.”

“Where in Ajah?”

“Just keep moving.”

“We charge 2,000 naira for anywhere in Ajah oo.”

“You talk too much o jare. Just move the car.”

I was calm. It was strange. My typical reaction would have been to cry or tear my hair out. But I was calm. I knew what I had to do. It was to get out of Lagos for a few days. I needed to be out of Jite’s reach at least for a few days and I knew just where to go. Calabar. I should have been there that weekend. There was a fashion and beauty exhibition organized by an international clothing line that was being held in Tinapa and I had been invited together with the photographer I work with. Femi.

He had been excited about us going together but I had declined thinking it would be better to spend the weekend with Jite.

Calabar is where I need to be. I decided. I gave the cab driver the directions to our house praying I would be able to pack my things before Jite would get home. I placed a call to Femi and was glad he hadn’t left. He was about leaving for the airport and I told him to get me a ticket and come pick me up on his way to the airport.

However, there was something else I needed to do before I leave. A pregnancy test. It was time to know I decided. If Skipper was pregnant then it was only fair that I should be pregnant too. Let’s see who Jite will pick between his wife and mistress. I thought.

I was glad to see Jite wasn’t around when I got home. I had a short time for everything I wanted to do. Jite could come home any minute. I had bought some Pregnancy test strips on my way to the house and grabbing three, I rushed into our bathroom.

Fifteen minutes and three used strips later, I had what had to be the result in my hand. It was negative. There is nothing in this stomach after all. I murmured. I had no idea how much I wanted to be pregnant until that moment.

“Three months and you are not pregnant. You are barren Boye.” I wailed images of several childless women that I knew flashing across my vision.

Not So Happily Married ……Episode Eight

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Some questions are not meant to be answered and most times the questioner knows the one who is being questioned does not have to answer. Some other questions however are meant to be answered and most times both the questioner and the one being questioned knows it. The latter were usually the hardest questions to answer; the type of questions whose answers stuck to the roof of one’s mouth; hard to spit out, yet harder to hold in.

Omoboye’s question had to be answered, she also expected it to be answered only I couldn’t answer not because I didn’t know the answer but because the question both enraged and hurt me. It told me in clear terms that I was neither forgiven nor trusted.  To be fair, it was only natural. I shouldn’t expect to be trusted and forgiven just like that. Omoboye wasn’t God, was she? Even God has to be beseeched to not remember one’s sins. My only wish was that she would talk to me about the bitterness or pain that might be left in her heart but it was as though there was a wall; a very thick one that stood between us.

It is funny how our roles became reversed in such a short while. I thought. Just some few weeks before, I had been the one who refused to forgive and just when I let go of my resentment and anger, Omoboye brought her own issues to fore.

She didn’t repeat the question. She didn’t even say her usual “have a nice day” when I dropped her off.

As I drove away, something told me she might have taken my silence as “Yes” and I felt like racing back to tell her the answer was no but I didn’t instead I thought of another way to answer her question. It seemed easier.

****

He didn’t answer my question.  Bisade must be pregnant. That was what I kept thinking as I walked into my make up studio. There was work to be done. My students were there waiting. They were supposed to have a practical session but I rescheduled it and locked myself up in my tiny office.

Anger coursed through my veins, I wanted so desperately to call him, vent all the anger that I felt. I wanted to curse Bisade to her face but I didn’t even know where she lived; I didn’t know where she worked. I knew next to nothing about her. I decided I could go home and rummage through some stuff and see if I would find the information I needed somewhere.

I didn’t know what exactly it was that I was looking for but I knew Jite had a box filled with papers on the top of our wardrobe. I decided to start my search from there.

The box was filled with letters, printed e-mails, photo albums, greeting cards and some notebooks.  I told myself I had a right to go through my husband’s stuff and so I began to read the letters.  The letters evoked several emotions in me and I forgot the pain I felt and the real reason for the search. Some of them made me laugh, some made me turn up my face in disgust and going through some, I felt pangs of jealousy. There were too many girls, some of them were familiar names but majority were names I had never heard of.  Jite and I had had  shared stories about exes while we were dating. He had told me there were too many to talk about but had mentioned the name of the notable ones.

I had what could pass for fun until I reached a Blue coloured envelope that had the word that had been giving me nightmares written on it in Jite’s handwriting. “SKIPPER”

I sat up immediately I saw it and began to open the envelope with shaky hands. It was filled with pictures taken in several cities of the world. Whoever you are Skipper; you are one heck of an Ajala the traveler. I murmured going over pictures with backgrounds like the Burj Al Arab, the Eiffel Tower, the statue of liberty….there were about sixteen pictures in all and Skipper looked exquisite in all of them. The pictures all had an inscription on the far right corner; “Love. Skipper”

“Who is Skipper?” I asked for what was could very well be the thousandth time?

“Why not ask Jite?” I thought

“Why ask him?”

“For your peace of mind, for your sanity, is it not better and easier to ask?”

“No, I don’t think I want to know. But still, I want to know.” I told myself sighing.

Skipper is beautiful; I had to admit that even though it was painful to admit it.  I stared at the one she took in Paris, in front of the Eiffel tower wondering why anyone could be that beautiful and why Jite had never mentioned her. Was she that special? She must be. He had even created a different envelope for her pictures. I stared at the pictures for another fifteen minutes trying to find a flaw – a crooked or broken teeth? K- leg?  dark spots?. I found nothing. There must be a flaw somewhere I concluded. No one could be this perfect.

I didn’t stop looking for faults until the words of the text message I read in Zanzibar and its implication jumped into my mind. Skipper was in Lagos and she didn’t know Jite was married, she hadn’t wished him a happy married life. I obsessed over that for a while before other thoughts set in. Those calls that he took in private and which always turned out to be from Skipper. Could it be they were already meeting? She must have told him she called and sent a message, how come he didn’t ask why they went missing on his phone? What does Skipper want from my man?

*****

Sweets,

Bisade is not pregnant, at least not for me. Like I told you earlier, we used protection. That’s not the only reason I know though. I have spoken to her after we came back from Zanzibar. I know I promised not to have anything to do with her again, but I felt like I needed to see her, I felt I needed to know there were no problems. I know how much it would hurt you if it turns out she was pregnant. I also needed to apologize to her because I feel like I used her. In case, you are wondering, we didn’t do more than talk.

She assured me I was forgiven and she wasn’t pregnant. Once again, I am sorry for this mess we are in. it was all my fault. If only I had forgiven you in the very beginning. My behavior was inexcusable. Omoboye I am sorry and I love you. Even in all this madness, I still love you. I must also add that I meant it when I said we should slow down on the pregnancy thing. I want you first before any other thing, and I mean it when I say it won’t matter if we never have children. I would still love you. We would adopt fifteen kids or whichever number you wish. Just don’t lose yourself in this mess. Let’s be happy babe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jite

The idea of giving her a note sounded like what a coward would do and I had a feeling that Omoboye would feel the same way. Why do I find it so hard to talk to Omoboye about stuff? I wondered as I slipped the letter in my pocket. I knew it would be better to say those things to her face but I didn’t want to see the disbelief and distrust in her eyes. I could only hope that when she read it, she would think about it and believe me.

****

I wanted to burn the pictures along with Jite’s box but I felt that would be too dramatic. My mind was in turmoil and the unanswered questions kept revolving, who is Skipper and what was the urgent thing she needed to discuss with Jite. After over an hour of thinking about Skipper, I decided to leave the house. I didn’t want to face Jite not with the way I was feeling.

I also wanted him to suffer, wondering what could be going on in my mind.

I packed a bag and left for my Parents’ place. I knew Mom would want to ask why I wanted to sleep over at their place and I had a story ready. Jite was out of town.

****

Jite,

I would be at my Parents’s place. I will tell Mom you travelled. It shouldn’t be for long. I need to clear my head. We should talk when I get back. I will appreciate if you don’t come to the house or try to tell Mom what is really happening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Take Care

I read the note for the third time and afterwards placed the one I drafted for her beside it. I wrote her a note, she wrote me a note. Only hers got delivered while mine couldn’t reach her. Are things this bad? I wondered. Why would Omoboye leave my house to clear her head in her father’s house? Did she not know how wrong that was? Every responsible and wise woman knows how wrong it is to leave her husband alone for any reason. I felt anger well up in me as I looked around the house, checking for things she might have packed to help give a clue on how long she might be gone. The wardrobe looked untouched; I could barely notice that anything was missing. That is good. I thought hopeful that it would be for a few days.

****

Being at my Parents’s place wasn’t fun, it was the reason I stopped living with them after graduating from the university. My mother was too bossy, too judgmental.

She had snorted when I told her Jite was out of town and I didn’t want to stay alone murmuring something about how the matter that a man says Baba must not hear would eventually be settled by Baba. I had ignored her, pretending I didn’t hear her words.

I stumbled on “I didn’t know I was pregnant” the day I got to my parents’ place. Mum usually slept before 9pm and that gets reduced to 8pm on days when Dad wasn’t around which was usually five days in a week given that he worked in Ibadan. After Mom slept, I saw a movie until 11pm and turned in for the night but I couldn’t sleep, I kept tossing around.

At first I thought it was because the air conditioning was too much but I later realized it was something different, something that brought tears to my eyes. I was missing my husband. It’s amazing how something you have done all your life suddenly becomes alien. Before marriage, I had slept alone without any discomfort but there I was without my husband for just one night and all I could think of was how soothing it would be to have him beside me.

After two hours of trying for sleep, I went back to the sitting room. I scanned the stations to see if there was any program that would interest me.  It was while checking through  the channels that I saw “I didn’t know I was pregnant”. The cases the program featured were a bit different from mine but it was still similar in a way. These were women who didn’t know they were pregnant until the day they started having contractions. One of the cases I watched that night was someone whose baby just dropped on the floor of their sitting room. I was excited. Perhaps I was pregnant after all. The only difference was I suspected I was pregnant while they never had a clue. anorexia

Their stomach size didn’t increase while mine was increasing. They didn’t have symptoms while I was having symptoms but still I was glad to see the programme. Perhaps my contractions would just start one day and my baby will drop too. If I was pregnant, it would be around two months. That is too early for other people to notice, isn’t it?  I thought excitedly. I slept happy after that confident that I was truly pregnant and ignoring the tiny part of me that was still in doubt.

****

I didn’t talk to Omoboye until the third day after she left the house. It wasn’t because I wanted to honor her wishes and not call. It was because I couldn’t. Her phones were switched off and I know she would be upset if I called her Mom. I knew very well how much she hated people thinking there was anything wrong with her life. When the call went through, I didn’t ask why she switched off or why she didn’t contact me, I just asked how she was doing.

She assured me she was fine and would be home soon.

“Jite, I feel much better now. She said. I should be home in two days time. There is so much we need to talk about when we see. I have some questions I need answers to.”

“How about I come to your Mum’s place?”

“No, you can’t do that. She would wonder why. She already suspects that we have issues.”

“Okay. I understand. But Boye, why don’t you just come home today. I have missed you so much. This house is empty without you.”

“I hear you Jite but I would like to stay for two more days. However, there is an option. You could come around late this night and say you had to cut short your trip. Make sure it’s really late so that we can say we would rather sleep over instead of going back to the house.”

“That’s okay with me Boye. I can do that.”

“Jite” She called in a tone that made my heart skip a beat.

“Yes love”. I answered half hoping she would say I love you.

“We would be sleeping in separate rooms and don’t ask me why.”

With that she dropped the call, I didn’t have a chance to respond, not that I would have said anything. I was still very worried about her state of mind and was prepared to do anything it would take to make her happy.

****

After Jite and I spoke, I decided it was time to talk to Boladale. Although I hadn’t deleted her contact on my Blackberry messenger and phone, I wasn’t picking her calls; neither was I acknowledging her messages.

I called her up that afternoon and informed her I would like to see her. She asked if I would like to come to her office and I said I would prefer if we met at a Sweet Sensation outlet close to her office.

She hugged me as soon as she saw me and I hugged her back. It was a bit awkward but I smiled at her. I needed her to think we were cool.

“Babe, what’s up? How is married life? I don’t even need to ask, I can see you are glowing.” She added.

Something about our friendship had changed. Before the pregnancy issue Boladale and I could talk for hours about just anything but there we were acting like two siblings who were meeting for the first time.

“I am fine Bola. I am sorry I wasn’t picking your calls, I was just so annoyed with you but I am past that now. I don’t want to sacrifice our friendship because of something so trivial.”

“Thank you Boye. Thank you. This makes me feel so better.”

“It’s okay. No problems at all.”

“Boye, I didn’t tell you everything the other day. I want to tell you now but promise me you would forgive me.”

“Bola, I can’t make a promise when I don’t know what’s involved.”

“Omoboye, please promise me.”

“Boladale I can’t promise you.”

“Hmm, either way I just have to say it. I have to lift this terrible burden off my shoulders. When I am done saying this, Boye you can kill me and I would deserve it.”

“Boladale, what is it that you have to say?” I asked in an impatient voice.

“Remember, when I said the father of my unborn baby is a married colleague, I didn’t mention that he is someone close to you. Someone very close to you.”

I shivered, a sudden cold enveloping me. It was as though a bucket of chilled water was poured on me. “Someone close to me, someone very close to me. Someone that is your colleague” I murmured.

“No, Boladale.” I shrieked, flying out of my seat as comprehension set in.

Not So Happily Married …. Episode Six

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How stupid you are Omoboye, how stupid. How did you let this girl do this to you? But you have a brain right? Don’t you? You can think for yourself Omoboye, can’t you? I asked myself those questions in quick succession as I read Boladale’s messages.

She had put a crying symbol after I said she wouldn’t dare get pregnant.

“Boye, please I am sooooooooory. In fact I am dying here bits by bits.”

“Die quick bitch” I thought surprising myself. I wasn’t going to say a word to her again, I was sure of that. The rage I felt was like nothing I ever thought I could feel.

“Omoboye, my life is messed up. The guy I’m pregnant for is a colleague and he is married. We just had a one night stand and we used protection, I don’t just understand what happened.”

“Yes, bitches never understand.” I wanted to say; instead I switched off the phone.

“She must pay.” I muttered under my breath remembering how she had been the one to start it all when Mope – our other friend got pregnant. It shouldn’t have been our concern or even mine and at that moment I cursed Blackberry and the opportunity it provides for meaningless discussions to happen. She had been the one to send me a message that Mope was pregnant. I hadn’t seen anything wrong in it as long as the father was ready to marry her but she had insisted that it was wrong and selfish of Mope, that she had been too desperate and must have intentionally gotten pregnant just so the man could marry her.

I had been reluctant to judge and had simply said; it’s not a big deal as long as the guy marries her.

“No, he is not marrying her.” Bola had announced. She had added that she didn’t feel any pity for Mope and I shouldn’t also. Fool that I am, I had gone with her to Mope’s place a week later and instead of providing her with succor, I had joined in lecturing her on how it was bad to be pregnant out of wedlock. You would think I was a virgin with the way I had acted all sanctimonious delivering my lecture. I had told her how I believe a woman can decide when or when not to get pregnant and that it was such an insecure thing to trap a man with pregnancy.

As expected, it had been a big problem when I got pregnant myself, how do I face the same people and announce that I was pregnant. Wouldn’t I look like a hypocrite? And so I had decided to terminate the pregnancy. It sounded like the easy way.

Sitting there and looking at the phone in my hand, I told myself it would have been easier to apologize to my friends for being a hypocrite and let them know I was pregnant. Isn’t that what Bola is doing now? I asked myself.

“I am a joke.” I muttered ignoring the circles Jite was drawing on my shoulders. Bola’s situation was even worse, yet she is having her baby while I had aborted a baby whose father was ready to marry me.

“Baby what’s wrong; you are not looking too happy?” Jite said turning my face towards him.

“Jite, Bola is pregnant.”

“She is?” “That should be good news.” “Aren’t you happy for her?”

“I am it’s just that the father is married.”

“Oops! That’s a tricky one and wrong too but don’t forget she is a grown woman and is responsible for her decisions so that shouldn’t make you feel down.”

“Yes.” I replied absentmindedly.

I had a sudden urge to tell Jite everything but I was sure it would be a bad idea. So I decided it had to be the secret I will carry to my grave.

I resolved to concentrate on getting pregnant and at the same time look for a way to make Boladale pay.

____

We left few minutes later. I had lost interest in everything and just wanted to leave the beach and set the plan forming in my mind in motion. It was simple, give an overdue apology.

We entered the room; there was a note on the freshly made bed. “Dinner at 7” it read. I checked the time; 6.05pm. Time enough to do this I thought slipping out of my beach wear.

Jite’s back was turned to mine; he was trying to remove his wristwatch.

I went down on both knees and held this leg.

“Baby, what’s this? Why are you kneeling?” He asked turning to face me.

“Please Jite, let me remain this way. I need to be on my knees, I want to ask for your forgiveness.”

“Fine, but please stand up and put on your clothes.”

“No, Jite let me be like this. Please indulge me, please my husband.”

“Okay Omoboye, but I don’t like you kneeling like this before me; it makes me feel like I am maltreating you.”

“You are not Jite. I just want to say some things. I might sound stupid, in fact I think I would sound stupid, but allow me and please don’t laugh. Please.”

He nodded and so I began;

                                                              ” Before you, Jite,

                                                               before your blessed presence,

                                                               naked I kneel…

                                                               a prodigal…

                                                               lost in your love…”

                                                                         An aching prodigal,

                                                                        kneeling at your feet

                                                                        An aching prodigal,

                                                                 Who would make miracles

                                                               To understand the simple given

I was so afraid he would laugh, but he didn’t. He just pulled me up when I was done and hugged me hard.

“Christopher Okigbo; Heaven’s Gate.” He said simply, pulling back to look into my eyes.

I nodded. black_love_art_2~~element286

“Jite I am sorry, with all of my heart soul and body. I am sorry. I truly regret aborting that child.”

The tears were streaming down, it was easy to cry, I was feeling real pain. The anger and thirst for revenge forgotten for the moment.

****

She is so beautiful. It was the only thing I thought of as I looked into her eyes, she wasn’t looking at mine, she just kept murmuring about how sorry she was. I felt my heart ache.

“It’s okay baby. Please stop crying. I am also sorry for how I have been. Please forgive me. I shouldn’t have been that hard on you. I am sorry.”

“Jite its okay, I deserve everything that happened.”

“No, Boye you don’t. Love forgives all, I should have forgiven you and I had no excuse for cheating on you. I am so sorry about that, please forgive me. I promise to cut all ties with Bisade. I won’t even wave to her if you don’t want…”

“Sshhhhh”, she said looking into my eyes. “It’s okay Jite. I forgive you.” But I won’t forgive Bisade. I added under my breath.

I was relieved; it felt good to finally admit that I was wrong. She pressed her body to mine and I rubbed her bare back.

“Boye, we should still have some minutes before dinner right?”

She didn’t answer, she only nodded.

“How about putting that time to good use.”

“How about skipping dinner altogether.” She replied.

“Skip dinner ke, baby you would need that food oo because I intend to exercise my right as a husband this night and I must warn you it might be a bit exerting.”

“I can’t wait Jite.”

Much later, after we had made love for what seemed like the hundredth time, she asked a question;

“Jite, do you still have the condoms?”

“Baby, don’t tell me you are now addicted to those things, just when I was thinking we should get you pregnant.”

She smiled then running her fingers through my hair.

“Would you forgive me if I said I gave it out knowing this Island would hate such things?”

“No baby, I won’t forgive you I will have to punish you for that.” I added claiming her lips.

*****

He still snores, I thought with a smile as I removed his hand from where it lay possessively on my chest. I was so happy I could actually forget that I needed to deal with Boladale and Bisade, only I wasn’t going to. It didn’t matter that I did not know how to go about it or what exactly to do, I just knew I had to find a way. It’s the only way I will feel less like a fool. I ran a hand over my flat stomach wondering if I could be pregnant already. It amazed me how something that I had never bothered about was suddenly so important.

My mind went to the previous night and how the Jite I knew had re-appeared.

“Why did it take me so long to apologize?”

It was a question I found hard to answer. Perhaps I am a proud person after all I reasoned wondering why I had always seen myself as humble.

To think I kept telling God I was sorry, asking him to forgive me while neglecting the human I wronged.

My husband was here and it was major. My heart constricted with love as I remembered how during one of the bouts of sleep that we had during the night I had stood up to use the toilet. He must have woken up and realized I wasn’t there. It was his voice that brought me out of the toilet.

“Baby, Sweets where are you?”

I had been out in a flash, alarmed at his tone.

“Jite, I am here what is it?.” I asked as he wrapped me in a warm hug.

“I woke up, I didn’t see you, and I was worried.”

“Worried how? What could possibly happen to me here?” I had asked my heart glad at being so loved.

“Nothing. Baby. Nothing will happen to my wife, now let’s go back to the bed.”

I still wanted to use the toilet but I didn’t have the heart to say so. Not with the way he held me.

The shrill sound of Jite’s phone broke into my thoughts and also reminded me that my phone was still switched off.

“Baby, check who is calling”, Jite said in a very sleepy voice.

“Oga when will you stand up or we are not going out today?” I asked walking to the table where the phone was.

He mumbled something that was quite in coherent.

“The caller’s name is Skipper.” I said shrugging as I heard his snoring become renewed.

See, I am not the type of girlfriend or wife that checks her husband’s messages or go through his call history and so I would never have seen the message if Jite hadn’t installed an SMS flasher on his phone.

Just one word caught my attention before the message disappeared; “Sweetheart”. My first thought was who the heck was calling my husband sweetheart and then I went to the inbox to check the message. It was from the person that had called earlier; Skipper.

“Sweetheart, we need to talk as soon as you get back, there is a big problem on my hands here and you are the only one that can help with it. I Love you.”

“Sweetheart”, “problem”, “only one”, “Love you”; words that stuck out and brought a dull ache to my temple. “Who is Skipper?” I muttered under my breath; a memory dancing on the fringes of my mind. There was something about that word, “skipper” that was familiar only I couldn’t place it. I knew I would remember if I put my mind to it but first I deleted the message and the call record.

Not So Happily Married…. Episode Three

Couple_ToyinFABBB

Did you read Episodes One and Two ?

If you didn’t, find them here Episode One , Episode Two

 “How long are we going to do this Jite? You should have called off the wedding since my sins are too great to be forgiven.”

“We will do this for as long as it takes for me to come to terms with what you did.”

“Now, do you want us to make love or not?” He asked holding the pink coloured condom in front of him. I looked at the object in his hands disgusted beyond all measure. I wondered why he felt the need to buy a coloured one. I glanced at the condom case and smirked at the strawberry pictured on the case. Oh crap, perhaps it’s scented too.

“Jite, don’t call this making love; it would be better put as sex.”

“Okay, then do you want  to have sex?”

“If yes let’s get it over with and if no let me go back to sleep peacefully.”

“Okay let’s do it.” I whispered shrugging

*****

Tears poured from my eyes soaking the soft pillow beneath my head.

 “I shouldn’t be crying.”

“This is my wedding night.”

“I should be deliriously happy.”

Those were the words I kept murmuring to myself as I curled up on the only bed. I felt worse than a prostitute probably feels.

“You are a horny fool.” I told myself.

“Why would you agree to being used like that?”

I watched Jite. Sprawled on the bed, he looked content, sated and seemed to be sleeping peacefully. I thought of hitting him with something, anything but I didn’t move. I couldn’t move. “Mea maxima culpa. I brought this upon myself”. I murmured. I made a good man turn into what I could no longer recognize.

*****

I hate condoms. I see them as an unnecessary hindrance. Using them I feel like I am sharing the woman with a piece of polythene, somehow the sharing always ended in one of us being bitter while the other gets discarded in fury.

I felt a sadness that ran deep. I just had the worst sex of my life with my wife on our wedding night. It’s not like the condom was necessary in any way but somehow I was not ready to take the risk of having unprotected sex with Omoboye but most importantly I wanted to humiliate her.  Who knows if she still wasn’t ready for a baby?

The memory was still too raw to take the risk of it reoccurring.

I was at the clinic when you called. She had said as she opened the door of her room. I had visited her that evening after she missed a date we both agreed on.

Really, what’s wrong with you, are you ill? I had asked in quick succession touching her temple with my palm.

“Not really.  I was feeling funny so I went to the hospital immediately I left the salon.”

“I am fine now anyway. I just need to rest.”

“Okay so what exactly did they say was wrong with you?”

 “They said I was pregnant. Imagine that. Imagine me two months pregnant six months to our wedding.”

“What’s wrong with you being pregnant? Isn’t that good news?”

 “Well, it could be good news, except I don’t think it is.”

“If it’s about your stomach being big on the wedding day we could shift the event closer, besides that’s not even a big deal. A lot of people do it these days.”

“Jite, I know but I can’t do it. I can’t carry the pregnancy.

“Well, you can complain and argue all you want but you know you don’t have a choice right?”

“At least you can’t say you want to abort.”

“Why can’t I?”

“I can’t believe you asked me that question. You would abort a pregnancy few months to our wedding?”

“Yes Jite and it’s done.”

I had laughed certain she was joking.

You are not serious Boye, You would abort a pregnancy and still look like this and how would you have even done it so fast. Last I checked, abortion was still illegal in Nigeria.

Jite you have obviously been seeing too much of Nollywood movies.” she replied as she lay on her bed and covered herself with her Ankara wrapper.

“How so?” I asked my heart already palpitating.

“See, abortion is not that complicated; forget what they try to tell us in those movies. There are a good number of qualified doctors that do it on the side and it’s pretty simple. They bring out the foetus and you bleed for some days. You also take come antibio…”

“See, Boye spare me the lecture. What exactly are you saying?”

I’m saying it’s done already.

Omoboye, you can’t be serious. I replied searching her face for a hint that it was a bad joke.

****

I know it’s unheard of to abort a pregnancy when you are already engaged. I know that. I also know a lot of people will like to crucify me over it. But at that time it seemed like the reasonable thing to do. Even my mother had gone ballistics when Jite told her.  

‘That unborn child will haunt you for the rest of your life.”

Mummy, I had gasped.

“It’s not a curse my dear. You would always think of that child, you would feel the loss, if not now, in the future. You would wonder if he or she would have been fair or dark, tall or short, intelligent or dumb.”

“Mummy stop.”

“Stop what? You have done a great evil in case you do not know. My advice to you is that you don’t come crying to me if that man refuses to go ahead with the marriage. Any sane man will call it off because you are not worth it. You are a vain creature with sand paper as brain.”

Mummy this is enough, stop right now or I walk out.

“Feel free to walk out because I have no intention of stopping until I’m done. If Jite eventually marries you because I don’t expect him to, God help you if you don’t get pregnant in your first year of marriage. I would be the one to tell your husband’s people what you have done.”

“Mum! Why are you making this look like a big issue? It’s not like I killed someone.”

“Oh, Omoboye, that’s exactly what you did. You killed someone; you killed a child.”

“Mom, it was a two month old pregnancy, something that was more of blood than any other thing.”

“May thunder strike that stinking mouth of yours.” She screeched sending a slipper flying at me.

I ducked and shivered wondering why she was taking it so violently.

“You called a whole human being something that looked like blood? You were once like that too, imagine what would have happened if I had aborted you.”

“Now get out of my sight, but Omoboye go and pray hard that your husband finds it in his heart to forgive you. If he doesn’t and the wedding is called off, I will tell anyone who asks me. I will tell them what you did.”

Driving to my flat that night I had been mad at Jite for telling Mom but I wasn’t in the position to show it, not when he was too angry to even pick my calls. Later that night after several calls to Jite still went unanswered I asked myself if I was under some kind of a spell. I was certain I had to be the biggest idiot ever. A smarter person would have kept her mouth shut. I kept asking myself what I had expected Jite’s reaction to be. Joy that I aborted his baby?

 

***

This has got to be the worst wedding night in the history of the world. I mused listening to her sobs. Why am I this way? I wondered trying to decide whether to comfort her or not.

But what’s with women and tears anyway?

They find it easy to break down in crocodile tears expecting the man to come rushing to wipe them off. That is not going to happen, I decided.

If I was a woman perhaps I would have cried too. I would have mourned the baby she murdered. Boy or girl. I am never going to know.

All my life, I have tried my best to ensure no girl gets pregnant for me when I am not ready for fatherhood. I made myself so versed in the art of withdrawal that I swore by it and even preach it to friends.

“It’s pretty easy.” I would say. “It’s all about self awareness and mind control. You have to be in control and make sure you are out in the split second before you climax.”

Somehow I must have relaxed after Omoboye and I got engaged and I was certain that must have been why she got pregnant. I felt like a bereaved father. As crazy as that sounds it’s still a fact that I have a child in heaven or wherever it is that fetuses go after they die.

Lying beside her and listening to her sobs, I thought of how we could easily make another baby. All I had to do was draw her close and ditch the condoms. But it was a risk I was reluctant to take. Not until she gets cured of her vanity and I was going to ensure that happens. I decided telling myself it was time to shut out her sobs and go to sleep.

****

Use your head, Omoboye. Think! I told myself.

 Mom always said you were going to be a lousy wife and here you are proving her right the very first day.

I sat up suddenly cleaning the tears on my face with the edge of my night dress.

“What would a smart woman do?” I murmured taking myself back to the moment we entered the room. A smart woman would act like she didn’t know he was acting up and take to pampering him to make him loosen up. My lips curved in a smile as the ideas started flowing.

“God please be with me on this.” I whispered.  

I moved to the side of the bed where Jite was and knelt beside him.

“My husband you must be tired.” I whispered placing my palm on his forehead. His eyes remained close but the frown on his face assured me he wasn’t sleeping.

“Sweetheart, I think we should eat something.”

“Should I order?”

“I’m not hungry.” he growled.

“You are not? What about a drink or something light. We didn’t eat anything at the reception you know.”

“I said I’m not hungry, are you deaf?” I cringed at his words; it was so unlike him to use such words on me.

 “Okay then. Can I rub your shoulder blades, you look tense.”

“See, I don’t need a back rub or anything else, if you are so bored, pick a magazine or a novel, I packed some for this honeymoon thing. Read or sleep and if its sex that you want let me know. I have enough condoms to last the entire honeymoon.” 

“Oh, Crap.” I said sitting on the bed with a force.

“Jite, why are you being so impossible?”

“It’s not like you were forced to marry me, you could have said you couldn’t do it. Look here, I’m not going to live the rest of my life like this.”

“In fact, how soon can we get a divorce?” I blurted out before I could stop myself.

Not So Happily Married … Episode Two

Couple_ToyinFABBB

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR EPISODE ONE.ENSURE YOU READ IT BEFORE READING THE ONE BELOW (smiles)

Did she just say make me happy? I thought a scowl covering my entire face.

Some people commit evil and expect the people they wrong to act as if it never happened. Even God forgives but he doesn’t forget.

I know people will ask why I am marrying Omoboye if I am yet to forgive what she did. But really I can’t imagine her being with another man. I can’t imagine her carrying the fruit of another man’s seed.

She was mine from the first time I saw her. I knew that even then. She had looked so beautiful and innocent in a red chiffon dress that was so long it swept the floor; she had been standing in front of a row of cookware and looking lovingly at a set of pots. Pretending to want to buy the cookware set was something I had done on impulse but it had worked out eventually.

It’s not like I don’t love Omoboye; I do love her, there is no doubt about that. I love her the way a father loves his daughter, the way a brother loves his sister and the way a man loves a woman. But she had to suffer for what she did to me. She stabbed me in the back. She robbed me of what would have brought me great joy. I was not ready to forgive that.

To think she wanted me to hold her. If she had known how much the sight of her in the tight fitting wedding dress irritated me, she wouldn’t have mentioned anything about me holding her and she would have even removed the dress and walk naked instead. The dress was a constant reminder of her betrayal but she was too insensitive and self absorbed to realize that.

****

We got to our hotel two hours after leaving the reception venue and throughout Jite and I never spoke one word to each other. Our flight to Zanzibar was for the next day and our travel agent had booked a hotel for us close to the airport.

Jite hugged me the moment we came out of the car. He draped an arm around me protectively and kissed me on the cheek as we waited for the agent to walk up to us. I wanted to cringe and move away from Jite’s embrace but I couldn’t deny the comfort it brought so I decided to enjoy it for as long as it would last. The agent greeted us and led us through a private entrance that led to our suite. He handed the keys to Jite, assured us that everything was ready for us and left.

Champagne Gold, the colour and lighting of our room, the bed was huge and my heart sank as soon as I saw it. A huge bed meant Jite could take one side while I took the other. The bed covering was of rich damask and I sat on the bed and held it in my hands reveling in the thick texture and watching Jite as he undressed.

What was the use of this room, the honeymoon and everything if we couldn’t even talk to each other? I thought. He glanced back and saw me watching him. He paused and holding his belt buckle in his hands walked over to the adjoining bathroom to finish undressing.

Sighing I got up and moved to the wardrobe, our luggage had been carefully placed there. I saw the bag I had tagged ‘‘honeymoon stuff” and a sad smile played on my lips. I opened it and selected a night dress. The Coral night dress, the one Bola my maid of honour had excitedly chosen for me saying “babe bobo yen ma se e lese if he sees you in this one, bad ass night dress’’ she had said hitting me on the buttocks in her usual playful manner.

I held the dress out and prayed that Bola would be right.

****

Jite was wearing an Aquamarine blue satin boxers when he came out of the bathroom, I glanced at him cautiously not wanting to be caught staring. My body tinged and flushed at what I saw. He looked so handsome. I felt like throwing my arms around him. I wanted to beg him to look at me and hold me, tell me that everything was alright, that he still loved me and was glad to have me as his wife instead I watched as he picked the TV remote, crawled under the sheets and drew the Eider down up to his throat.

I fixed my eyes on the gold lamp on the dressing table as I undressed. I wanted to look back and see if Jite was watching but was too scared to do so. I decided to assume he was and began to make it a show. I slipped off the wedding dress and was left with the garters and silicone bra that the Victoria Secrets Salesperson had claimed would make any groom go crazy. I prayed in my spirit that it would work. I half hoped he would be so turned on and jump me but nothing happened. I moved to the front of the bed where I was sure he would see me and began to strip slowly. I finished and was completely naked and then I stretched and walked to the bathroom naked. Fail. He didn’t even stir. The show was all for nothing.

The massive Jacuzzi in the suite was white and was so clean it looked like it had never been used. I lay down inside the warm scented water and allowed the waters clogged up in my eyes to flow freely.

“I’m finished”; I whispered aloud,

“I am finished.” I whispered again biting my lips till I tasted blood.

“Jite doesn’t love me again, I’m dead.” I said the words coming out louder that moment. I hugged myself and allowed the tears to flow as freely as the water of the bath.

“Oh God, Jite doesn’t love me anymore, why did I marry him?” “No, I always wanted to do that; I shouldn’t say that.” I chastised myself immediately

“But God, I’m sorry for what I did. I’m sorry for going ahead to marry Jite despite knowing he was yet to forgive me. God I’m sorry, just let Jite forgive me and I won’t ask for any other thing ever again.” The water swirled on and I held my head, the tears mixing with the mucus running down my nose.

Tan Brown, the colour I saw through my puffy eyes, the colour of Jite’s hands, the one he used to draw me out of the bath. My body convulsed in sweet relief when he held me in his arms and rubbed my hair with his right palm. I watched in utter disbelief as he took a towel and dried my body.

“God, is this how fast you work?” I murmured. He kissed my forehead and wrapped the towel around my body.

My veins pulsed, excitement filling my soul. Here was my man cradling me in his arms carrying me towards the bed. Please let this not end I prayed silently. He placed me gingerly on the bed and picked the night dress I laid out. My eyes clouded in disappointment. You are not supposed to be dressing me husband. I thought. You should be making sweet love to me right now.

I started having weekly spa sessions eight months to the wedding. After months of milk baths, Moroccan baths, Thai massages, Swedish massages and countless sauna baths my skin was fresh and as luminous as a freshly budding flower. I expected Jite to be unable to withstand the smoothness and suppleness of my skin. Instead he raised my head and put the dress over my neck. When he was done, he patted my shoulders and ran his hand over my neck. He then made for the other side of the bed. I watched helplessly as he picked the TV remote and drew the bed covers to his chin. Back to square one. I thought my heart sinking.

I was enraged. Why did he give me hope knowing he was going to turn me down, knowing he had no intention of giving me real happiness? What now? I thought. Do I have to go and beg, do I have to crawl, do I have to tear my skin out? My back was turned to him; the room was silent except for the music from the TV. I decided to be brave and so I lay on the bed drawing the Eider down to cover my body.

He removed his wallet from under his pillow the moment he saw me get under the covers. I lay on my side and watched him, his face was straight looking directly at the TV even as he removed the wallet and all the while he was opening it. My heart thumped violently. Go. Move. Try. I willed myself. Touch him. He won’t be able to resist it my mind told me. I was just about to follow the instructions of my heart when he pressed a switch, moved towards me and wrapped his arms around me.

The room was filled with muted Red light immediately Jite switched off the light. It was a room designed for romance, a place for love. My eyes became instantly filled with Red hot passion. Along with the passion came disgust.

What game is he playing? Why he does he give and withdraw affection whenever he wishes?

I cringed as I felt him raise my dress. This isn’t Jite. I thought frowning; the man I knew wouldn’t just raise my dress, he would have taken me to the crescents of passion with his hands, breath and lips and then undress me slowly. He raised my dress,  paused and I heard the tell tale rustling of latex.

“Wait Jite.” I screamed moving frantically towards the light switch. I switched on the light and saw it in his hands.

A condom.

“Jite what is that for?” I asked pointing a perfectly manicured finger at the Condom.

“Do you want this or not?” he asked a nerve twitching in his forehead.

“Yeah, baby I want you but hey hello ooo this is our wedding night, our first night as a couple. What on earth is a condom doing here?”

“ It’s not like we even used it when were still dating so what is it doing here?” I asked again my eyes blazing.

“Oh, you don’t know?” He asked sarcastically giving me a disdainful look.

Strawberry Pink. The colour my face would have displayed if my skin were not so dark. Embarrassment and shame washed over me as I realized why he wanted to use a condom.

“Are things this bad?” I asked in a voice so weak it came out as a whisper.

to be continued

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