By Yetunde Arebi

Hi!

Remember mummy and daddy Samson? Yes, the young, beautiful couple with four lovely kids whom I’d always thought were the perfect   couple. Or so it was until the great revelation one fateful night. The story concludes below. From what I gathered that night, their fights had become a regular occurrence in the compound. The more I processed all that I was hearing, the more the respect and admiration I had built in six months for daddy Samson slipped away.

What kind of monster is this tall, dark, handsome, soft spoken gentleman, I began thinking. Surely,   it is true that you cannot judge people by mere appearance or position. You may be shocked at what lay underneath the cool mien if you dig deep enough.

This I was determined to do. Mummy Samson went on ranting, madam; you cannot understand what I am going through living with this man. He does not take care of me and the children at all. For someone working in the bank, all he says is that he has no money.

But he has enough to carry women and enjoy himself. If my husband was half as caring as your husband, I will have no reason to complain at all. We see you all the time. You drive any car you want, you go out and come home anytime you like. You are enjoying yourself, so you cannot understand what I am going through.  Following these strange outburst, everyone fell into silence. I was shocked but quickly gathered myself together.

‘Mummy Sammy, how can you say such a thing? Every married woman has a story to tell and you can only know it when she opens up to you. You don’t know what I am going through in my marriage. All that glitters is not gold. I have my own problems too’, I told her. But she retorted back, ‘If I have what you have, I won’t have any problems’.

The eldest of the men gave a loud hiss, turned and walked away while the other woman took over from me on the need for mummy Sammy to stop comparing herself with other people as every relationship has its own flaws. At the end, we were all forced to retire to our flats when it became obvious that the duo were not going to end their dispute on a positive note.

Truly,   they continued all through the night. I felt deeply sorry for mummy Samson as I saw her as a confused woman who had been forced for several years to endure her husband’s abuses and maltreatment. For me, the height of it was bringing home his mistresses. None the less, for the sake of their four children, surely, the marriage was still worth saving. So, once again, I made my way down the stairs but this time, to the old man’s flat.

After reviewing the events of the previous night, I went straight to business. I asked why he displayed so much disaffection towards mummy Samson even when it was obvious that her husband had done a very terrible thing. What the old man told me turned my bones into jelly. According to him, daddy Samson might have erred but it is nothing compared to what his wife had been doing over the years.

He said since I was new in the compound, it was my first time of witnessing their fight. They are all so used to it that he had resolved to ignore them anytime they have a dispute. He said the woman is a very wayward woman and that together, she and her younger sister caused the separation of the couple who previously lived in the flat I now occupy. The younger sister, with her knowledge had dated another woman’ husband and that both of them had done it to exhort money from the man.

To show how callous she was, they became very disrespectful to the man’s wife and openly made fun of her until someone in the neighbourhood decided to let the secret out to her. He said though the woman looks as beautiful and gentle as a dove, she is indeed a wayward and adulterous.   He said it is actually the man that has been managing the relationship contrary to what   most people must be thinking.

That it is not the first time that the woman has been caught entangled in adultery related issues. That a few years back, she was in a relationship with one of her son’s teachers. My jaw dropped! Beautiful, shy, innocent- looking mummy Samson? A woman married to a banker dating a teacher? Her son’s teacher? Yes, he said, her secret affair was let out when her husband intercepted a letter between the lovers from the son.

Their son? Yes, he was aware and acted as the intermediary. It should not surprise you ma, he said, the boy is only showing the true signs of a bastard.

The man is not the father, they only call him by Samson’s   name because they arrived into the compound together. He is actually some other man’s and was brought into the marriage. The mother had dropped out of school in JSS 1 when she got pregnant with him and the story is that she does not know the father. Daddy Samson must be commended for accepting the boy along with the mother.

(Really? Now I think it makes sense that the boy would actually assist his mum to kill the husband. What a shame)! The elderly man continued, “please madam, don’t bother yourself with this woman. She knows what she is doing and will never listen to anyone. If what we know is correct, she is only plotting how to walk out of her marriage. The gist is that she is having an affair with a man in the neighbourhood and is planning to leave her husband for him.

She has been telling her close friends that she has met the man of her dream who she is sure will take care of her to her satisfaction and that she is ready to share him with his wife. If mummy Samson is bent on leaving, no amount of pleading with her would make her stay. I thanked him but insisted I will still talk to mummy Samson even if it would yield nothing. She was not in her flat but at her friend’s, upstairs.

So, why didn’t they bother to show up all through the fight? They insisted they did not hear all the noise. My intervention achieved nothing, not even for the sake of her children whom she had decided to leave behind. I asked her if she was not going to remarry after leaving her husband. The devil you know is better than the saint you don’t, I reminded her.

Besides, at her age, it will definitely not be easy to find a young single guy. So, why leave number one position to go and live as number two or three? She stayed with her friends upstairs for another two days before finally leaving the compound. Shortly after, news reached us that mummy Samson had indeed left because of another man and was now living in one of the man’s houses. She left her children behind.

All these happened almost eight years ago. Last we heard was that the relationship had ended on a sour note and mummy Samson was now back on the prowl, looking for another prey. I never would have guessed all these, but for that one fateful night. Indeed, perception might be wrong, you cannot stay afar and claim to know anyone. I’ve learnt a good lesson about life, love and relationship. Never again will I jump the gun again! Do have a wonderful weekend!

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