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Of marriage and broken cords – Yetunde Arebi

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I met this lady whose story you are about to read last week at a friend’s place. Of course you know most times, the gist is about men. Her story, though not peculiar, reminds me of famous musician, TuFace, his women, and some other women I have come across. Do you call them confident women who know how to fight for what they want, or spoilers?

While under the pressure of circumstances several years ago, Tutu, (not real name) took some rash decisions and has had to live with the consequences since then. Now knocking on 40 years, she said she regretted one of the decisions she took back then and would give anything to turn back the hands of the clock.


Her story:

“I met Dave at a party hosted by one of his friends who was going out with my cousin too. It was a stormy affair right from the beginning. We obviously suited each other in a way. He was one of those smooth, fast guys. Very popular, good career potential and good looks to complement it. He won my heart almost instantly. Then, I admit, I was also moving on the fast lane.

But I have given up all that now. I am older and more aware of the essence of life.   Whenever I think about the various events that led to Dave’s marriage to another girl, I cannot but ask myself if indeed I had taken the right decisions at the time. Perhaps, a little patience would have set everything right, but God knows best. He has been married for over 10 years now, while I am yet to find a suitable partner.

When I met Dave, I knew he had strings of girlfriends. Some I met in the course of my visits to his flat. He would always have one excuse or another for them calling on him. Some of them were quite nice looking and well mannered. But once a while, I’d met some girls and wondered how he could degenerate to the level of dating such girls.

It’s not that they were ugly, but they looked like typical ‘Owanbe’ or pepper seller with uneven bleached skin, bad makeup and ill manners. You know those type that looked like they were ready to fight and tear your clothes over any flimsy issue. There was one occasion that he asked that we pretended no one was in the flat so that when the lady knocked without anyone answering, she would leave.

I cannot recall the number of times we fought or called off the relationship, but we would always make up again. My cousin who was dating his friend had similar problems with him too despite the fact that they’d been dating for over five years at the time. She it was, that gave me courage to continue always begging on his behalf and insisting he loved me and wanted to marry me.

I got pregnant twice and terminated them because of his insatiable desire for the opposite sex and our regular quarrels. One thing was sure about him, he was fun to be with and a near perfect gentleman when it came to caring for a lady. So, like his many other girls, I was also in love with him and when I became pregnant a third time, I decided to leave it.

Initially, he was a bit reluctant but when I insisted I was keeping it and that if he loved me as much as he claimed, it was time to prove it, he accepted and asked me to inform my mother. Finally, I felt relived and happy that I had won the battle and would soon have him to myself. I never knew I was far from Eldorado. By the time the truth hit me, I was too devastated to do anything.

Due to the nature of my job, (an international Air hostess) I was always on the go and this gave him more opportunities to engage in various activities which were not open to me at the time. My mother was very happy about the news and the fact that I would be settling down   because she did not really like my job. But she was not very happy about my getting pregnant out of wedlock and wanted us to formalise things before the pregnancy became visible.

Arrangements were already in top gear about how his family would meet mine for the initial formal introduction, when I discovered that Dave had also impregnated another girl. She belonged to one of those popular families from Lagos Island, and was born and raised there too. I was at his place one Saturday morning when the girl came bouncing in. It was as if she had come there just to find me.

When I saw her, I immediately knew she was his girlfriend because she had that typical look about her. She eyed me coldly from head to toe, hissed loudly as I walked into the   bedroom, leaving them to sort themselves out. Soon, I began hearing them shouting at the top of their voices. The girl’s name I learnt was Joke and she kept ranting that she would not get rid of her pregnancy. She said she was prepared to give anything and assured him that he was going to have two wives since he enjoyed having sex so much.

She said her mother was coming to see him very soon after which they would go to his mother. More abuses followed and then I heard some shuffling. I peeped out to see that they were fighting and Dave was shouting “get out of my house! I say get out of   my house!” After   some   time, everything was quiet, but I didn’t dare venture out as I wasn’t sure she’d left. When he finally came to me, he wanted to explain what had happened, but I was in no state to listen properly.

He told me he had met the girl in Lagos while visiting his mother at her shop at Balogun market where she sold clothes. The girl’s mother also sold clothes in Lagos. They dated a few times and it was over. But the girl contacted him recently to say that she was pregnant. He said he insisted she must find a solution to it as he already had someone he wanted to marry but she refused. She swore not to get rid of it and that he would have to marry the two of us.

To be honest, Dave appeared at a loss and pleaded with me to understand his plight and support him to sort things out.   He asked me not to tell my mother or anyone until he’d figured out what to do. All sorts of emotions raced through my being and mind. All my earlier premonitions were confirmed at last. I was filled with anger, self  pity, hatred, fear and shame all at once. Of all, fear was the uppermost on my mind. I was afraid of the type of girl Dave had chosen to mess with. This was one of those girls who could do anything, including juju to achieve their goals.

For all she cared, I did not exist and she could even delete me and my child if need be. If Dave managed to “sort her out” which I doubted at the time, would she be my mate or rival? Would we have to share Dave? How do I explain that to my friends, family or even colleagues at work? I will be the laughing stock of everyone. I have seen this sort of things happen and I was not ready to be a victim.

That was not the kind of life I wanted to live.   My mother and siblings were worried sick when I told them that we had decided to postpone the wedding plans for some time. I told them we had problems with his parents that needed to be resolved. A few days later, I confided in my mother and her reaction did not help matters too.

Though she agreed that we needed to be patient since Dave had made up his mind to marry me and not the girl, she went on and on about how we were taking off on a very bad note and expressed doubt that I would have a successful marriage. In one instance she would be trying to assure me that things would work out, and the next instance she would be wailing all over the place saying; “this is beyond me oh. I don’t know the type of problem you’ve gotten yourself into this time oh! I don’t know anywhere to run to except to my God.

You have to hold yourself together and make up your mind on what you want to do with this boy oh!”. I had to take time off work as I was greatly disturbed. Meanwhile, my baby continued to grow and I became more miserable by the day. Things just seemed to spiral from bad to worse. Whenever Dave came   to see me, I would decline, asking my younger ones to tell him that I was not in. And when we did see, we must end up quarrelling over one thing or another. Then, one day, my cousin (the one dating Dave’s friend) called that she had a terrible news.

She’d over heard her boyfriend discussing with someone about Dave and Joke’s traditional wedding. She’d confronted him and he confessed that it was to be a small quite one, so that he could still go ahead with plans for our wedding. Convinced that there was a mix  up, she wanted to know my position. Like my mother, she too went on and on about how my marriage to Dave had already hit the rock before it took off. She said she was afraid of the girl and asked if I was prepared for the consequences of such a marriage.

That did it! The humiliation was getting too much for me. I did not want such a lifestyle. I decided to do what I thought at the time, could free me from my predicament. The following week, I travelled to England and   there had the pregnancy aborted. I sent a message to my mother that I had fallen ill and had a miscarriage. Everyone sympathised with me, but I knew they were relieved in a way too.

Of course, I called off the relationship and Dave went ahead to marry his queer wife. Together, they have four children. It’s over 10 years now and I have not found a husband, nor had another pregnancy. Having waited this long, I just don’t want to have a child out of wedlock. I want to get married and I am believing in God for my own miracle.

Hmm! It is pretty difficult to criticise someone, unless you’ve walked in their shoes. I wish Tutu all the best. Do have a wonderful weekend!!

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