Not So Happily Married …. Episode Nine

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It felt like when we were dating. There I was getting flowers, smelling several bouquets, trying to get a perfect blend of Tulips and Roses, just the way she liked her flowers. When was the last time I gave her flowers? I thought, a pang of guilt coursing through my veins. Flowers, chocolates and every other silly thing that women love; It was close to a year. I had stopped being who I was right after the abortion issue. A part of me reassured me it wasn’t really my fault but the part that loves Omoboye unconditionally faulted me. It told me I was wrong to stop being me. Love forgives all.

By the time I was done shopping, I had three goody bags filled to the brim. One look at me and Omoboye’s mum would know we had been fighting. I thought chuckling. Since I was supposed to be coming back from a trip, I decided to add two loaves of bread to my load. I went home after I was done, there was five more hours before night fall.

****

“No, Boladale. You did not!”

“Tell me I am wrong. Tell me right now. Tell me it’s not who I am thinking.”

“Omoboye, please calm down.” She whimpered.

“I should calm down?” I saw through the corner of my eyes that we had an audience and I almost imagined the security of the eatery throwing us out any moment.

“Boladale, I will calm down because I need you to start from the very beginning. I need you to tell me that I am wrong, that it is not Dapo that you are pregnant for. So I am going to calm down right now, I am going to sit down and you will do the same and we will have a very calm discussion, just make sure you tell me it’s not Dapo.”

That was when she broke down in tears. Frantically drawing out her handkerchief, she blew her nose and I turned up my face in disgust. I hated her so much at that moment. There was no denying it, I had to be right. It must be Dapo or why else would she feel this much guilt. I thought.

“Omoboye, I didn’t plan for this to happen at all. He is not someone I would want to have anything to do with given the history between you two and the fact that he is married.”

“Wait, Boladale.” I said as calmly as I could.

“Are you saying Dapo is the father of your unborn baby?”

She nodded.

“Babe, I don’t want you to nod. I want you to say it. I need to hear his name on your lips.”

“Yes, Boye. It’s Dapo.” She said choking on her tears.

“It’s Dapo.” I repeated placing my head in my palms.

“Boye, you don’t have friends.” I told myself. Why would this girl do this to me? She knew what Dapo put me through, she knew how much he maltreated me, she knows how much I hate him, she knows everything that ever happened between us and how I hate to hear his name mentioned.

“So you are pregnant for Dapo?” I said after raising my head up. “It’s okay. Now I want to hear exactly how that “mistake” happened. The whole story mind you.”

She then started a story that could qualify for a full episode of a “Why do hoes fall so quick” series. (If someone ever decides to do such)

I didn’t interrupt, it was too sweet a story to spoil with comments or questions. Here is how she told it;

“We were just having fun as we usually do at work and that day someone brought up the topic of married men and single ladies. The married women on my desk said it’s totally wrong for a single girl to date a married man. They went on and on about how stupid it was and how shameless such girls were and how nemesis will catch up with them when they also marry.”

Boladale then said although she agreed with them, she decided to play the devil’s advocate and side with the guys. I didn’t ask why she did that but she said it all the same. She said the ladies were too full of themselves, that they saw their being married as a trophy of some sort and looked down on single girls like her. She said she told them she saw nothing wrong in a married man dating a single girl because it doesn’t matter to a single girl whether the man that can fulfil her physical and emotional needs is single or married especially when the single ones are not forthcoming.

“The guys hailed me” she said. “They called me a “correct girl”  but the ladies shot me looks of disdain and went on to give several reasons why they believed I was very wrong. Boye, I stood my ground and kept defending my point even though I didn’t really believe it.”

I wanted to smile at that point, and the part of me that was still a diehard fan of Boladale wanted to give her a thumb up. That was vintage Bola; she never backed down in any argument even when she was wrong.

But still I didn’t interrupt; no words, no smile, no thumbs up and she continued.

“After a while, we moved on to other things. Later that day a male colleague told me since it was Friday night, they wanted to go to a Karaoke bar and restaurant that just opened on Ligali Ayorinde Street, they asked if I would like to come and I felt it was okay given that it wasn’t so far from my house. So I followed them.”

She paused at that point and swallowed hard. Go on Bitch, I wanted to say. At least they didn’t rape you or did they? Go on bitchy Boladale, let’s hear how you slept with your friend’s married ex.

“We had fun  and then the other guys started pairing up with girls, every one of them except Dapo. At a point, we were the only ones left at the table. I really don’t know what happened, but I am pretty sure I wasn’t drugged because I didn’t leave my seat at all and I opened all my drinks myself. But somehow the atmosphere changed. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I have been celibate for over Eight months.

Mstcheww, perhaps it’s due to the fact that you are just an unrepentant hoe! I wanted to say but I didn’t interrupt her and so she continued.

“Suddenly, Dapo’s perfume felt like the sweetest thing I ever smelled and I could feel myself getting moist just looking at him. He must have felt something too because we just kept looking at each other. Boye, do you know that place? Da Real? If you know it, perhaps you would understand. They have these enclaves that are dimly lit, cozy, cool and so romantic. Perhaps that was part of what affected me. But before long, Dapo got all feely touchy and I didn’t stop him. I knew I should have but I didn’t.

Of course I didn’t know Da Real and I didn’t understand how a cozy enclave could make a woman lose her senses, maybe I am just biased but I didn’t answer her yet again. I just stayed mute listening.

“And then, we were walking and I somehow hoped we were going outside where I could breathe fresh air and get over the lust. I knew I won’t be able to say no if he decided to kiss me or do more than kiss.  I  followed him when he entered one of the back rooms. You know those rooms they keep in anticipation of such things. Looking back, I think Dapo must have booked it earlier because I can’t remember him booking a room. I didn’t allow myself to think, I was afraid common sense will tell me to flee. Not even when his lips sought mine, not when my clothes started dropping like onion peels. It wasn’t until I felt the first wild thrust that my brain started warming up. It was at that point that I started murmuring. Oh no, we didn’t do this. No I didn’t do this. He didn’t say a word in reply Omoboye, he didn’t say a word. Not shhhh, not “don’t worry” not even “yes Bola, we are doing this”. Nothing Boye, he just kept thrusting in and out. He never paused, not until he was done. Boye, I didn’t even enjoy it, I could not. The first thing I did when he got up was confirm that he had used a condom and then I put on my clothes hurriedly and without a word ran back to my car.

I was crying by the time she was done. We were both sobbing, my tears were silent; hers were a bit noisy. A part of me felt sorry for her, that part of me wanted to console her. I knew very well, the kind of man that Dapo was and I felt sad he hadn’t changed. I knew I should forgive Boladale but I couldn’t stop thinking of Dapo’s wife, her angelic and sweet face kept coming to my mind.

“How will she feel if she knows you are pregnant?” I said aloud.

“Boye, that’s my greatest nightmare right now but I can’t abort. I can’t afford to.” Bola said amidst the tears. I didn’t fail to see the determination in her eyes.

I had no intention of advising her to abort her baby; I didn’t even want to say anything more to her. At least not yet so I wiped my face clean, picked my bag and walked out. I didn’t glance back but I could feel her watery eyes trailing me as I walked out.

****

I still can’t decide which was better between that night and our first night in Zanzibar. It was beyond beautiful for want of a better adjective to use. The very sane part of me kept wondering if our relationship was that type that was only sweet when misunderstandings and making up are mixed in the right blends.

I got to the house about Eight pm and Omoboye gave me a very warm hug. The hug was warm but her eyes were not and I knew the hug was just for her Mom’s benefit. We could still go home if we wanted to but I understood that it was important for Omoboye’s ego that she stayed that night just as she had said when we spoke on phone. Her Mom was watchful and kept trying to see if there was any awkwardness between us. We both had enough experience in keeping up appearances so I think we succeeded in fooling her.

My mother in law went to bed few minutes to Nine pm and bade us good night after ensuring there was an extra cover cloth for me in Omoboye’s room. My wife however took it to the guest room immediately her mom went to bed reminding me she had said we were not going to sleep in the same room.

I didn’t mind, I had guessed she wasn’t going to back down anyway. We didn’t speak after her mom left and she even ignored my enquiries about how she was doing and when we were going to have the discussion. She kept her eyes glued to the television watching a program where women found themselves in labour without any prior knowledge of being pregnant. The program seemed drab and un-real to me. How could you possibly tell me someone was pregnant for nine months without knowing? But above all, It was quite depressing to see Omoboye was still neck deep in her Somatization and pregnancy obsessions.

I left the sitting room after watching the program for about twenty minutes. I walked up to her as I was about leaving and slipped the note I wrote earlier in the day into her bra.

_

I must have been so tired to not have heard when the door opened, but I opened my eyes immediately she entered the room. It was her scent that alerted me; the scent of Frederico Mahora’s Pheromone that had become permanently registered in my brain.

She was on the bed before I could say a word, lying on my chest. I hugged her hard and kissed her lips. We didn’t speak, we just held each other at first and then I splayed my hands on her rear. It was smooth despite the fact that I was touching it through her sleep wear. The kind of smooth that makes you realize she was wearing nothing under. We didn’t speak; I never even opened my eyes throughout. I just made love to her with my eyes closed. My hands were familiar with every part of her and her soft little moans told me where exactly she wanted me to linger.

It was like our best ever, perhaps because we knew her Mom was just down the hallway and we couldn’t afford to make animal noises or maybe it was because we both channelled the unresolved issues between us into a sexual energy of some sorts or maybe it was because we didn’t allow each other to come fully. She kept vibrating in my arms for a long time after we stopped, grinding her body against mine. I smiled a smile of contentment certain she was going to follow me home the next morning.

*****

How could I say no when he asked if I would go home with him the next day. First I knew Mom would ask what the problem was if I didn’t but I could have explained that away so it was more like I followed him because I wanted to. It was hard to fight with him after the explosive night we spent together. It was as if Mom knew too because I caught something that looked like a wink in her eyes when she asked me what I thought my husband would like to eat.

We left after breakfast. I carried the flowers that Jite brought the previous night. They were well preserved. I am a sucker for Roses and Tulips and I think I temporarily forgot every bitterness I felt the moment he walked into my Mom’s house with the flowers in his arms.

We were not going home. Since it was a weekend, I suggested that we go to a resort outside Lagos to unwind and he had agreed readily. I told him I would prefer if we discussed on a neutral ground, somewhere different from our house.

We had stopped at a supermarket to get some toiletries when a car parked in front of ours and a woman stepped out from it. I frroze. It was Skipper in real life. She is even more beautiful than her photos I thought disappointment clouding my eyes. I had hoped for a blemish, but I could see none from where I stood.

Jite stood rooted to a spot, he looked angry.

Bastard! I thought, he never expected his mistress to trail us and reveal herself this way.

“Wow, you must be Boye.” Skipper said excitedly.

I didn’t answer; I just gazed at her stomach as she removed the shawl draped around her upper body. She was sporting an unmistakable bump. I was sure it was pregnancy; it was the only thing I knew that could curve a woman’s stomach that way.

She is pregnant I wanted to say but the words didn’t come out. I just looked from her excited face to Jite’s angry face trying to decide if I should scream or run.

“Boye, I am so glad to meet you. This man here is so desperate to hide me.” Skipper said smiling and revealing deep and beautiful dimples.

So she also has dimples too.

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 Seven

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“The days ran a bit too fast abi Boye?” I asked as the flight attendant announced that we were about to take off.

“Yeah it did.” she replied closing her eyes

Something about her was different.  It started the morning after our reconciliation. She seemed lethargic, angry and bothered. Perhaps I was naïve to have imagined everything would just go back to normal. I thought looking at her taut face. There was something distant about her. The sex on our reconciliation night had been great but that too had changed afterwards. It became almost clinical. She would always insist that we do the missionary and that I stay in for a few minutes after climax. She would also refuse to clean up preferring to lie there on her back with her hips wide apart.

It was weird especially since she would only give an indulgent smile whenever I ask. My confusion brought about a lot of “what ifs”. What if she was being too desperate to get pregnant which of course would be my fault. What if she was finally beginning to get angry about what happened between Bisade and I?

The words of an old friend kept coming to mind. He believed the worst set of people were those who forgave too easily and too early. He believed most of them never truly forgave but were merely trying to push the grievances to the deeper recesses of their mind. He would go on to say that such people were not only dangerous but also capable of revenge when the anger finally comes to fore.

I glanced away a sudden fear enveloping my mind. What if she hasn’t forgiven me?

******

Somehow I felt constantly drained. The strange thing was I loved feeling like that. My emotions were in a quandary or should I say my hormones suddenly had a mind of their own. Could one possibly feel symptoms of a four day old pregnancy? I couldn’t help wondering. At least it was only four days since we had our first un-protected sex as a married couple so if I was pregnant it couldn’t be more than four days old. Why then do I feel pregnant and what does it even mean to feel pregnant? I mused.

Common sense told me I couldn’t possibly be exhibiting symptoms so early. The last time I was pregnant, I didn’t even know for two months so how could I know in four days. But still, I enjoyed the feeling. I wanted to share it with Jite but somehow I knew he wouldn’t get it and I believed his negativity could jinx my pregnancy. I am not even sure if I could call it pregnancy yet. Anyone could easily dismiss it. I could imagine Jite saying he didn’t agree that my stomach was a tad bigger and that he doesn’t think the light headedness I feel could have anything to do with pregnancy. I was sure he would also disagree that my palms were pale and so I kept shut.

There was a lot to think about and that worsened my sour demeanor. I still didn’t know who Skipper was although I had a strong suspicion that it had to be Bisade. I had thought it interesting that there was no contact named Bisade or Abisade or anything similar on Jite’s phone. There was also Boladale….and the fact that I wanted to deal with her. For that I had an idea. Let her stew for a few weeks, talk to her and pretend I was okay with her pregnancy, get her to tell me the identity of the colleague and take it from there.

****

I am certain Omoboye’s behavior can’t be normal but I didn’t know anywhere else to seek help except Google. It was three weeks since we returned from our honeymoon and things seem to be going from bad to worse. She walked around the house like she was carrying a three month pregnancy; she was even spitting, constantly rubbing her stomach and throwing up. That should be normal and exciting only I think it is weird considering she had her monthly period a week after we got back – something she had been quite determined to hide from me.

That too wouldn’t have been too strange if not for how it happened. I had wanted to make love to her; she had been quite un-responsive and had said she was tired. I asked if she was in her menstrual period and she had denied it. I couldn’t sleep for a long time after that. I had felt it while touching her – I had felt the sanitary pad. I had enough experience with women to know it when I touch it so why would she lie about that? I had then watched her closely for the next two days and discovered she was truly menstruating and was intentionally doing all she could to hide it. That was a grave cause for concern.

I would be the happiest man alive if it turns out she is pregnant but her behavior was disturbing. My fears grew after I asked her to take a pregnancy test and she declined.

I kept wondering if she felt she needed to fake a pregnancy. I decided it was best to do some research to help me understand what was happening and so I turned to Google.

“Can a married woman fake a pregnancy? Having symptoms but menstruating and insisting on not taking a pregnancy test.”

I knew the words were too long but I was hoping someone somewhere would have had a reason to ask a similar question. Typical of Google, there were so many links to open. I opened all the links on the first page. As I hoped, there were lots of people who had asked similar questions. There were web sites where people tried to answer those questions. I read through almost every answer and considered most of them useless until I saw a particular one in response to a question about a woman faking a pregnancy.

“I think she may be somatizing. She is probably desperate for a child and the emotional upheaval is getting to her. It might not be that she is faking it. It’s a disorder kind of. See a doctor to understand it better”

There was something intriguing about the word “Somatizing” I had no idea what it meant but was sure Google could help.

******

It was the third week since we got back from Zanzibar and I believed my stomach was getting bigger although Jite didn’t think so. He wanted me to do a test so we could confirm if I was pregnant or not. Truth is I was scared to do the test because I was afraid it could turn out negative. My period started a week after we got back but I didn’t tell Jite. I didn’t want him to tell me what I already fear; that I may not be pregnant. I like to think that I am one of the few women that will be pregnant and still menstruate.

Somehow I knew I wasn’t pregnant yet I loved walking like I was pregnant, turning my face up at almost everything from the smell of fried beef to Jite’s perfume. He looked confused most of the time and would bury his head in his ipad. Sometimes I would wonder if I was scaring him or if he thought I was developing a mental illness. He would look at me when he thought I wasn’t taking notice and it was not the lover’s look. It was a look of concern or alarm. He didn’t talk about his feelings the same way I haven’t talked about Skipper. There were times we would be sitting together and he would walk away to make or receive calls. I would trail him with my eyes and later check his phone to see who the caller was. I was never really surprised to realize it was Skipper yet I didn’t ask him. I still tried hard to bring the memory of who Skipper was to fore but it remained elusive. I could have asked him but I didn’t.

****

I wasn’t prepared for what somatization turned out to be. After four hours of going over several articles, I was sufficiently scared. Who knew words like Somatization even existed but it was the only thing that explained Omoboye’s behavior. After reading some of the articles I was left in no doubt that my wife was not pregnant and she wasn’t faking the symptoms either. She was having them quite alright only it was her mind that was making them happen and not her body.

According to Google Somatization is when you exhibit physical reactions to illnesses that do not exist medically. I didn’t really get alarmed until I saw something about “undifferentiated somatoform disorder” and one of the examples listed was pregnancy symptoms. It made sense, she was anxious about being pregnant, desperate even. She was adding weight,  throwing up, eating excessively and was looking pale and still had her period and was refusing to take a test. It had to be the undifferentiated somatoform disorder. I was sure of that after four hours of web surfing. Trouble was how do I get help for her?

The treatment described was even scarier and sounded long term but I believed she would be fine if she could talk to a psychiatrist only I wasn’t sure if such existed in Nigeria. I got the information I needed on the website of a high brow hospital in Lagos only there were two more issues. One I would have to ask Mom for financial help. Secondly, I didn’t know how to tell Omoboye I believed she might have a mental disorder.

From what I read I knew I could also help her psychologically. I knew it could be because she feels pressured to get pregnant so she could make us both forget about the baby that was aborted. I knew I had to find a way to allay her fears. I had to find a way to make her relax. I decided I needed to assure her that I would still love her even if we didn’t have children.

*****

“Baby, I noticed you have not been feeling well.  Don’t you think we should see a Doctor?” Jite said one morning while driving me to my make up studio.

“I’m fine Jite; there is no need for that.” I replied

“You are not fine ooo Boye. You keep throwing up, If not that I’m hoping you are not pregnant yet I would have said you were pregnant.”

“You are hoping I am not pregnant? That’s so good to hear coming from the man that almost chopped my head off for aborting a pregnancy.”

“I mean it Omoboye. I will like for us to have a whole year to ourselves. No pregnancy, no children. I mean we could use this first year as a honeymoon period, just fun no stress. Do you get my point?”

“No Jite I don’t get your point. In fact I don’t know what you are talking about. If you really believed that why am I just hearing about it? Why have we been making love all this while without protection? And don’t even tell me that was why you used protection on our wedding night because we both know that wasn’t why.”

“Okay, Omoboye I agree it’s a recent thought. I have been doing a lot of reading and I have realized there are usually a lot of issues in the first year of marriage and somehow children add some sort of complications. We are going through a lot already; imagine how it would be when you are pregnant. You know all those hormones and all will only make things worse. Then giving birth again would bring a new kind of stress, we would be parents and somehow lose an intimacy we are still trying to find.”

“Jite, I know all that but don’t you think this is coming too late? What if I am already pregnant?”

“Baby we can find out, he replied. I think you should do a test.”

“No, Jite. I am not ready for that and let’s drop this issue. We will talk about it later.” I replied busying myself with my phone.

Wonders they say will never end, the same Jite that was so sad about losing an unborn baby he almost gave me depression. Why don’t I believe this new found theory?

A crazy thought entered my head that perhaps Bisade was pregnant already and he was hoping I wouldn’t get pregnant so he could divorce me after a while. Was he using something? I wondered remembering an article I once read about hormonal birth control pills used by men. Could Jite be using such? Is that why I haven’t gotten pregnant yet? My heart pounded.

“Jite is Bisade pregnant?” I asked before I could stop myself.

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.

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