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Will you stick out your neck for him/her?

By Chioma Gabriel

A notable society lady who died of cancer sometime ago perhaps would have lived longer if her man had stuck with her during the grey days. But he did not. Immediately she took ill and the doctors confirmed her illness, the man packed his suitcases  and left. He went back to his former wife whom he had already divorced before marrying the one that took ill.

As if that was not bad enough, he kept denying his marriage to his ill partner, telling his friends that the woman only moved in with him and they did not formally tie the knots. He fooled a few people with this tale but the question he did not answer was why the lady bore his name till she died and he did not complain even though she had no child for him.

Strangely too, the death of the woman seemed to negatively affect  the life of this man to the extent that even though he is still alive, he is socially and financially dead and  their friends treat him as if  he does not exist.

The true test of love and friendship is the ability to stick with your partner in the most challenging circumstances, the ability to dwell with him/her when it matters most to your partner, when all don’t seem  well with him/ her and he/she needs your moral support to scale through the circumstances.
Will you stick it out with your partner or are you a fair-weather beau who packs his/her suitcase and leaves when your partner needs you most? What manner of lover, wife, husband or friend are you? As they say, your friend is the first one that walks in when the whole world has walked out on you. Who are you?
Lawrence, a business man shares his experience in the hands of the woman he vowed to love, a woman who equally exchanged the vow but turned her back on him when things went sour for him.

She made away with all I had, Lawrence, 34.

I was repatriated from one of these Asian countries where I served a jail term of seven years. Apart from being labelled an illegal immigrant even though I had a residency permit, I was accused of being a drug dealer but no drug was found on me. I was arrested on the streets alongside some African brothers who came to patronise the restaurant I floated. All we did was hustle; doing  a few odd jobs here and there to survive.

In 1999, I made it big through a Swiss  girl I dated who brought me into the family business. We thought we could get married but my family kicked against it. I had an understanding with the lady and we parted ways amicably believing we could do business  together outside a love relationship. I made a lot of money working with her and in the year 2000, I came back to Nigeria and bought a lot of properties. One of the things my parents suggested was that I get married which I did. Although they opposed the woman I close to marry, they caved in after I threatened that I would travel again and marry a foreigner.

My wife became pregnant shortly after marriage. She was somebody I’d always known because our families both lived in Jos. Although my mother had a few issues against her parentage, I didn’t take her seriously. I bought a house for my parents so they stopped being tenants. I also did same for hers and then  another house which we rented out. I opened a business for her to be managing so that whenever I came home to Nigeria, we could survive on it even when things turned out contrary to our expectations.
My wife had a baby girl in 2001 and we had a lavish thanksgiving. My parents were calm and were beginning to accept my wife.

I was happy they were able to work out things and so, when I was about to travel back to my country of  base in 2002, I left everything, including the documents of the business, the cars , the houses and other valuables in the care of my wife. I travelled in April of 2002 and by August the same year, I ran into trouble with the authorities of that country. I thought it was a small thing but the whole thing ballooned into a big affair. I didn’t push drugs. I was not an illegal immigrant. I was just a hustler. The only thing was that my Swiss lady friend had married another man by the time I got back. Unfortunately, I could not work in her father’s firm anymore and so I opened a restaurant which blacks from different countries, mostly immigrants patronised. My place was tagged a house of sin by the authorities and we were all bundled into the jail.

I was communicating with my family throughout my jail term  and was a bit shocked that my wife decided to stay with her parents. I could not reach her through her number I used to know. My mother asked me to be calm, that my wife was disturbed and needed to be with her people. I did not communicate with her for six out of the seven years I was in prison and when I was repatriated eventually, I realised to my dismay that I was back to square one. I didn’t know my parents were only trying to distract me from the real thing.  My wife did not just walk away. She took everything that I had and sold my house and the one I bought for my parents telling them to start paying rent. The business I opened for her to be managing was a mere carcass.

All my cars were gone and when I eventually traced her, I realised to my dismay that she has married another man with whom she has two other children. She told me she obtained a divorce in my absence and had to sell my cars and the house so she would be able to take care of my daughter. I  realised she had changed my parents house into her personal property and had informed my parents they would start paying rent. Actually, she thought I was going to be hanged but my return took her by surprise.  She said the story was everywhere that I was hanged for drug pushing and she could not stand the scandal. My parents told me she did nothing to defend me and even when they assured her that the story making rounds was not true, she refused to be associated with it.  I was able to recover my parents house and the documents of the business even though it was a carcass.

My life has gone back to square one. The only thing I have now is the house. I’m trying to refurbish the business but I don’t have the means to bring it to the level it was. I have gone to court to retrieve my other properties but the cars and the other valuables I left are gone. My wife is now with another man and I’m back to where I begun. I’m planning to travel to another country but that plan has not materialised yet. You know the strange thing, I still love my ex-wife but I guess its stupidity on my part now.


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