The Mistress and Her Conscience

 

 

Lauri-Blank5

 

The voice had been clear as it always was and as it usually did, it came in her dreams; the one where she finds herself floating over a bush of tulips.  The message had been simple and clear delivered in a chorus of a thousand butterflies;  her rival was restless they said. Mofe didn’t need anything more than that to know what her action should be.

Standing in the red room later that morning she gathered her  robe with one hand and peered into the floor-to-ceiling high mirror, a sneer on her face.

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“Some girls don’t spend their entire life preparing to be someone’s wife. Why is that so hard for some people to comprehend?” Mofe said aloud to herself hissing as she watched the woman cross the busy Ojota expressway.

“Hmm, it’s funny that you always say that Mofe. If you don’t really need a man why do you date them?”

“Mofetade leave me alone, I’m trying to concentrate here.” Mofe replied her inner voice. She didn’t believe in alter egos. She would always maintain that Mofetade wasn’t her alter ego. She was just her conscience, one she rarely listened to. To the world she was Mofe; fearless, wild and uncontrollable. But to herself, she was partly Mofetade and partly Mofe. Mofetade was gentler, upright and had the fear of God. The only thing was Mofe  ruled the body while Mofetade stayed in the background.

****

Mofe watched the woman wondering why she wouldn’t take the pedestrian bridge. She could never understand why anyone would choose to cross multiple lanes when there is a pedestrian bridge. It occurred to her that it was odd that the woman wasn’t driving and then she laughed as she watched her enter a Mercedes Benz jeep with tinted windows.

So the medical doctor’s wife decided to take my lover’s wife to a native doctor’s place. She thought, picking up the cup of tea on the side table.

“Some people never mind their business. It is true that their husbands are best friends and that the wives too are quite close. But I still don’t think she had a right to meddle in this.”

“If I decide to give her an illness to keep her busy, you will say I’m wicked ooo. Abi Mofetade won’t you?” She waited for her other self to talk but there was silence. Shrugging, she continued sipping her tea.

****

She knew the tea would break the connection but she felt she had seen enough.  She knew where her rival was going and who was taking her. She left the room and headed for her bedroom, she removed her red robe, the yellow turban on her head and the divination beads around her neck. She stepped into the Jacuzzi in her room; a luxury that came with dating Owonikoko.

It wasn’t that she had been poor before she met Owonikoko; she had been comfortable courtesy of Fowosere, the shipping magnate she was dating then. She had dumped Fowosere the moment she met Owonikoko.

 ‘‘Shipping money isn’t the same as oil money”

That was what she had told Fowosere when he dared to ask why she was breaking up with him. He ruined it all by saying he had been intending to marry her as a second wife. She had snorted and gifted him with a condescending look saying;

‘‘Who says I want to marry you Fowosere?

“You think I want to be a second wife or any one’s wife for that matter?

“You think I won’t be married if I had wanted to be?”

“Has it crossed your mind that perhaps I love being a mistress?”

“And why is your mouth open? You never thought I could do better?”

At that Fowosere had closed his mouth and left the apartment. He never came back neither did he contact her again. He never asked for the cars he had bought for her, the pent house that was registered in her name. Mofe knew he wouldn’t, when she was through with a man she made sure the man forgets she ever existed.

***

“It’s been two years now” she thought as she soaked in the cool scented water of the Jacuzzi. “Two years and I have no regrets”. Two houses in Ikeja G.R.A, two in her home town, Owonikoko had even made her a board member of his company. She had so much already and she wasn’t even through with Owonikoko. She thought of Owonikoko’s wife and her present preoccupation with destroying her relationship with Owonikoko.

“No one told that woman she didn’t need to bother”, she thought laughing heartily to herself. ‘‘Who wants her husband?” she asked aloud.

Mofe thought of how desperate the woman must be to have even thought of going to a native doctor’s place.

“You are dating her husband, why won’t she be jittery and desperate?” Mofetade said

“Mofetade wait”, I am easy going you know that. I have no desire to take their husbands.” “You know that also.” “I only render a service, make their husbands happy and I get to live a comfortable life in return.” “Why should that bother any woman but of course they just assume that I want to marry their husband, they are too narrow minded to realize that there are people like me whose life plan has no husband or children in it.” “Who says you are incomplete without both?”

“Mofe, that won’t make sense to any woman.” “They don’t care if you want to marry their husbands.” “That you are dating them is enough pain.”

“Please!”

She exclaimed raising her palms up as if there was an actual person in the room with her. “How can they find that painful?”

“I am only doing something that myself and their lecherous husbands find mutually beneficial. It’s not like I go out of my way to look for their husbands, do I? It’s not my fault that they find me irresistible. I am the ideal African woman their husbands have fantasized about all their lives. While they keep dieting to look slim, I stay voluptuous and only make sure my stomach is as flat as a milling stone.

African-Art-2

“Hmm, Mofe it’s because of women like you that they do all that dieting o.” her inner voice countered.

“See, I maintain that it’s not my fault. I certainly know how to make a man happy better than those miserable wives who view lovemaking with their husbands as a chore. When they come to me, I make each session better than the last, I satisfy all their fantasies, no holds barred.”

“Well Mofe, your mind is made up that you are doing the right thing.”

“Yeah, I’m doing the right thing” Mofe replied herself.

***

 She got out of the Jacuzzi, dried her body. She selected another robe, tied a red turban with gold sequins and then put the Jigida beads back on her neck and waist. It was time to go back to the red room – her seeing room. She had furnished the room in fiery red. The couch, the cabinet that contained her divination tools, the rug on the floor, the wall papers even the curtains. She sat on her couch and applied the black eye powder.

As always, it took only a minute after she had murmured the name of the person she wanted to see for the image to appear in the mirror.

 A well furnished room. The native doctor dressed in a green damask agbada; sitting on a throne like chair. “Nollywood needs to see this’’ Mofe thought. She had always wondered where they got the notion that all native doctors lived in hovels and had divination rooms decorated with skulls and bones.

Owonikoko’s wife and her friend were seated on a settee directly opposite the man.

“What do you want us to do with her?”

 “Do you want her to die or go mad?”

 “No sir, I don’t.” Owonikoko’s wife replied in a shaky voice.

 “I just want her to leave my husband and never go back to him.”

 “I can do that”, he replied.

 Mofe stood up irritated; she walked to the wash hand basin and rinsed the eye powder off. She looked at the wooden figure and the toy car she had set aside that morning, trying to make a decision. She wondered if it was necessary to still knock them together.

“Show mercy”, Mofe her inner voice said. “She didn’t want to harm you, you shouldn’t harm her too.”

“Okay” she answered. I won’t harm her she said putting the effigy that represented Owonikoko’s wife and the toy car that represented her transportation back into the drawer.

“I won’t destroy it yet” she decided. “I might still need it later”. “But leaving Owonikoko, of course that’s not going to happen soon.”

“Shiorr.” Mofetade hissed

“Na you sabi.” Mofe said ignoring her conscience.

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