By Bunmi Sofola
As Maureen’s six-year-old son Ben, waved a letter from his school at his mum, she eagerly opened it to find out why her son was so excited. Her son came first in arts and his parents were invited to the end-of-year presentation of prizes. “Your child’s first recognition of their academic prowess is supposed to be a happy moment, an unforgettable milestone in their life. But I’ll certainly never forget my son, Ben’s first,” recalled Maureen. “Because it was the day I found out the truth about Segun my husband.
“It started with such excitement. Ben was so happy getting on his smart uniform. He looked really grown-up and I was really proud of him. The school had organised a few photographers parents could patronise and we had a few shots of our happy moment. Ben was all over the place pointing out a few of his classmates and friends when another little girl, the same age as Ben, came running over from the other side of the assembly hall, grabbed hold of Segun’s leg in a hug and said; ‘Daddy, daddy!’ I laughed and started peeling this little girl off my husband.
“Bending slightly, I said to her: ‘I’m sorry darling, but I think you’ve got the wrong daddy!’ She looked back at me with confusion in her eyes and said, “No, he’s my daddy. But he no longer comes to see me and my mummy.’ I looked from her to Segun and back. Why wasn’t he putting the little girl straight? And why did he look so guilty? I glanced around to see if I could see the girl’s parents anywhere. Instead, I spotted a woman across the hall looking at us with a mixture of concern and anger. I looked back at my husband. ‘What’s going on?’ I asked him angrily.”
Suddenly, the penny dropped. This poor girl was Segun’s daughter. But how? There was no time for an explanation, the presentations were about to start. At the end of it, the parents were allowed to stay a while with the children in their classrooms. I was in a state of bewilderment. I could see the girl and her mother through the window in the classroom next to us. I could barely take my eyes off them. I didn’t hear a word of the teacher’s address to Ben’s class. I could barely speak when it was time to leave.
“As soon as we were outside, it all came surging out of me. I turned to Segun and exploded: “What the hell is going on? Who is that little girl? Is she your daughter? How can you have a daughter the same age as Ben?’ I was so angry and confused I couldn’t get the words out properly. I broke down in tears. ‘Please tell me I’m wrong,’ I cried. He didn’t have time to answer before the little girl’s mum came walking over. ‘Hello, Segun,’ she said. ‘Bet you weren’t expecting to see us, were you?’
She looked as if she was going to beat him up. Segun looked petrified, looking back and forth from her to me, wide-eyed. I really started to lose my rag at this point. ‘Someone had better tell me what the hell is going on here?’ I shouted at the pair of them. ‘You heard her Segun, why don’t you tell her exactly what’s going on?’ He looked trapped with two angry women staring at him questioningly. ‘Not here,’ he said and started to walk towards the gates. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I looked at this woman, then followed Segun.
“We were almost at the car park when Segun said to me: ‘Maureen this is Labake. That little girl is Banke. She’s my daughter.’ It was like a weird dream, an out-of-body experience, as he started to explain. He’d met this woman, Labake, while we were on break after a misunderstanding. It was during that break that I had found out I was pregnant. Labake must have gotten pregnant pretty much straight away because her daughter was born only a few months after Ben. Segun and I had gotten back together as soon as I found out I was pregnant, but he must have carried on with his double life, going back and forth from our home to hers.
“”Where the hell have you been this past two years Segun:’ Labake yelled at him.’ ‘I’ve never asked you for much but I at least thought you wanted to be part of your daughter’s life. How do you think it’s made her feel? That all of a sudden, you just stopped coming around?’ It turned out that almost two years ago, Segun had coldly cut all contact with this woman and their daughter. He’d completely stopped seeing his own child! I felt like I didn’t really know him any more. How could the man I thought I loved and married do this to me? And how could he do that to his own flesh and blood? Not only has he cheated, he was also mean and sneaky.
“When we first got married, he’d been doing a lot of over-time at his office and he wasn’t as mentally alert as he used to be. At the time I’d put it down to him having trouble adjusting to life as a married father, like a lot of men do. I’d tried to give a bit of freedom so he wouldn’t feel too pressurised. Now I know where he must have been going – and what he must have been doing. Weirdly, I felt I could deal with the fact he’d been seeing someone else. I might even have been able to forgive him for carrying on in secret after Ben was born. But what really made my blood boil was that he had turned his back on a young child and left her wondering why her father didn’t want to see her any more.
“I found that so cold and heartless it made me want never to speak to him again. How can I get my head around the fact that the man I thought I loved was a liar and a cheat? We all make mistakes all of the time – facing up to our mistakes make us the decent person we should be. We’ve been only married six years and now all the magic is gone. Segun has apologised over and over again, saying he behaved the way he did because he didn’t want to hurt me. But after what he did, it’s a bit difficult to believe him. “Whether or not this marriage could be saved depends on how soon I could forgive what Segun did …. “ ,.,
Blame It On The Slow Coaches! (Humour)
One evening, a husband and wife are sitting at home, waiting for dinner guests to arrive. After putting the casserole in the oven, the wife turns and screams, “I’ve forgotten the small chops! We can’t have a party without small chops! Go down into the garden and fetch some snails. I’ll boil them up and serve them with a little garlic butter, pepper and lemon.” The husband sets off to the end of the garden with a bucket and starts hunting for snails. No sooner has he started when a beautiful woman leans over the fence and casually asked him if he wants to pop over to her place for a quick drink. The husband thinks that a quick drink sniffer before dinner can’t hurt, so he climbs over the fence and goes in.
After downing a martini, the woman grabs the man and begins kissing him. One thing leads to another and soon the pair are hard at it in bed. So hard, in fact, that the husband falls asleep for a couple of hours. Waking up in a panic, he grabs all his clothes and his bucket of snails, jumps back over the fence and hurtles into his own kitchen where his wife has nodded off. He trips up as he enters through the door and spills his bucket of snails over the lino and wakes her. “Where the hell have you been?”, she screams. The husband looks up at his livid wife, looks down at the scattered snails on the floor and shouts, “come on lads, we’re nearly there!”