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Thou shall not covet thy friend’s spouse (2)

By Yetunde Arebi

Hi Last week, I gave you the gist of how I stumbled upon what I called a double barrel story. I had accompanied a friend to a small family meeting. For me, top on the agenda was to listen to the juicy story of her cousin who had recently lost his wife to a much older man and close family friend. Though I’d been privy to the story long before then, an opportunity to hear it from the source was too good to be missed.

Surely, I was not disappointed as I got two juicy gists for the price of one. The side attraction, told by her uncle in counseling the younger family member was what you read last week. Today, I bring you the main gist.

What would you do, if you discover that a man you look up to like a father/uncle, role model and benefactor is having an affair with your wife? While still pondering on this, you discover that your wife has been impregnated by the same man! What do you do? who do you blame, the man, your wife or yourself?

Every time this story crosses my mind, I marvel at the audacity of some women. What propels such actions? Is it waywardness, greed, self-centredness or downright evil possession? Though Yemi, an Estate Management graduate and business man tried very hard to keep his head high all through the brief period he spent at the gathering, the pain of his wife’s hideous betrayal was etched all over him. This much I was able to gather from him of the whole drama.

 

His story:

“Even before we were introduced by providence, he was someone I’d admired for as long as I could remember. He had achieved a lot as an individual, he was a business and family man as well as a community icon and was therefore a role model and an inspiration to many of us young ones. We are from the same town in Osun State. Our paths actually crossed when I, through an uncle was nominated as one of the upcoming young men of the community to assist in a fund raising ceremony in commemoration of a community event.

I was determined to put in all I could as I saw it as an opportunity to establish a link with my source and also do some networking for future personal benefits. Uncle as I would later call him was the chairman of the whole planning committee and all other sub committees referred to him. Fortunately, he chose me as his secretary. That was how we became friends. Despite our age difference, he took me as a pal, son, and confidant, or so I thought. To me, he was even more than a father, even though we all called him uncle.

After that ceremony, we became even closer as he helped with a few contacts and did actually open some doors for me with his connection and clout. In the course of our relationship, I became close to his wife, whom I also called aunty. I had initially called him daddy as he was old enough for the title, but he turned it down and politely told me that uncle made him more comfortable.

His four children are my age mates, though I later discovered that he had two very young children from another woman who lives in the United Kingdom, a relationship that almost ruined his first marriage when it blew open. It was only natural that I would introduce my family to them too, my wife and two children. We all soon became like family members, always in and out of each other’s houses. Uncle and aunty lived alone with their house helps as their children were married and lived outside the country.

I thought nothing of it whenever my wife said she was visiting them, even when aunty was not around. Sometimes, he would ask me to tell her to see him either at home or the office. He was instrumental to a few successes in my wife’s business too, and so, I just assumed that God had indeed sent our own Messiah to us in the person of uncle.

Sometimes, when aunty might have travelled, my wife would inform me that she was going over to the house to cook for him as he wanted something special or different from the cook’s food. I felt it was a great honour and pride that he could appreciate my wife’s cooking, and so I even encouraged her to make her cooking services available to him. I never in my wildest thoughts imagined that uncle could be sexually interested in my wife, or that my wife too could be interested in his attentions.

It was not as if she was not privy to information on some of the things he did on the side with women. I used to tell her about some of his escapades with women, especially young undergraduates. Sometimes, I would even ask for her opinion of what made some women take such reckless risks as to date such men.

Sometimes, I would tell her about the very young undergraduates we came across at the clubs and other places. Sometimes, I could not help but wonder if I would still be interested in very young women when I get to uncle’s age. She knew so many things about his activities and even used to lament about how sorry she felt for aunty.

This was because my wife knew that aunty was aware about her husband’s many dalliances with other women and was only pretending ignorance or keeping up with a front so as not to rock the boat. My wife used to say that if she were in her shoes, she may not be able to hold on the way the woman was doing. There was just no way to suspect that something sinister like that was going on between uncle and my wife. So, by the time everything blew open, it came as a great shock to everyone of us, including aunty who thought she’d seen it all.

It all began when I realised that Shade had suddenly changed. She was no longer the dotting wife or detailed woman and mother she used to be. Our discussion became less frequent by the day and the same went for intimacy and all other little things we used to do. We were attending a Pentecostal church before, but in the course of our interaction and discussions with uncle, Shade returned to the Orthodox Church while I remained at the Pentecostal, but I sometimes worshiped with them too. In fact, our lives and uncle’s had become almost inseparable, with a lot of people who did not really know, assuming that we were blood relatives.

Initially, I used to report some of Shade’s tantrums to uncle. At least, the little I thought I could as a man. At other times, I had asked aunty to help talk to her. I’d even reported to her mother, but it was clear that the devil had taken over Shade as no sooner had they talked to her, she would return to her old ways. And this time, with a more dangerous twist. Eventually, I had no choice but to report to our pastor who she surprisingly said was no longer her pastor, as she refused to see him.

Few weeks after this, I noticed some changes about my wife’s appearance and was trying to decide if it was actually pregnancy or that some other things were responsible. I had been reluctant to ask because, I felt sure that if she was, I would be the first to know, even though we were not really prepared to have another child as we’d planned to give about five to seven years gap between our second and third child, going by some calculations we’d projected.

So, when I eventually summoned the courage to ask her, I was surprised that she only answered me with another question. She asked me, “What do you think?” Then I responded; “I don’t know what to think. You look pregnant, but could not be because if you are, you would have informed me”, I said. But her response threw me off balance and sealed the little glimpse of hope that things could be patched up after all. My wife just replied that if she was and refused to inform me, did that not suggest something to me? “Like what”, I asked. Then she said, “figure it out yourself”, and she walked out of the room.

I did not know for how long I stood on the same spot, perhaps trying to figure it out as she suggested. By the time I got out of my trance, I could only think of one person to go and inform straight away and that was uncle. When I reported to him, he betrayed no emotions or involvement in the whole sordid affair, advising that I dealt with the matter with caution and asked me to ask her to come and see him.

Two days after this, my wife moved out of our matrimonial home into a house in GRA Ikeja. It was only then that I remembered that a friend had told me that she saw my wife supervising some construction works somewhere in the area. She left the children behind. Initially, I thought something had happened to her when she did not return home after the day’s work. I called her friends and those I thought ought to know but no one had a clue. With the spate of kidnapping and insecurity in the country, I thought the worst had happened. But uncle and everyone told me to relax as she would either return home or call to tell us where she was.

After two days, she did get in touch to give me her new address and told me the kids could stop by to see her there if I wanted. For what she doing there, I was directed to ask “my uncle”. I’m still in shock, it’s almost unbelievable. I have been hearing such stories, I never thought it could happen to me. I learnt Shade is expecting a set of twins, a dream she has always had. Aunty had left for the US, without even bothering to speak to me or even answering my calls. Perhaps she is blaming me, but I don’t understand why I should be blamed.

As for Uncle, I have also refused to speak to him after my initial outburst which resulted in insults, threats and other nasty things. When I get over the shock, I will know what my next action will be”. But what would that be?

Do have a wonderful weekend!


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.