It’s every female’s day-dreams come true. After years of struggling to make ends meet, she finally lands a man. Not just any man. This one is a successful businessman who lives in a multimillion Naira house, goes abroad at the drop of a hat and has exotic cars. So is it happy ever after from now on? Er … not likely. At least not for Christy. A single mother in her 30s and a fairly successful caterer with two catering outlets, she was introduced to Alaba by a mutual friend when Alaba needed to cater for a few guests.
“His regular caterer was away”, said Christy, “after I must have impressed him because he used my services quite often after that first time. Whatever fees I quoted were promptly paid, and in no time at all we became lovers. He told me he wasn’t happy in his marriage. That he led a complete separate life from his wife’s, that they had their own areas of the sprawling house they lived in because he couldn’t get over the fact that his wife cheated. As a matter of face, he said he had his suspicion the affair was not over yet. They’d been married for close to 20 years with four lovely children he adored. For their sake, he was ready to hang around and give them a well grounded future.
“He was a wonderful lover who lavished love and affected on me. I felt like a film star as he bought me clothes and rented a more spacious flat for me. It was a perfect arrangement as he barely spent time with his family. And he was always improving the décor of the flat. He had his own keys and I would come home to find a new sofa and curtains, new beds to replace the ones in my room and my two children’s room. The kitchen was fitted with units he bought from a furnishing outfit – complete with a microwave and a washing machine. The list was endless and mind bugling. I noticed some of the things weren’t exactly brand new but I was grateful to have them.
“For six years, I was in seventh heaven. Neither of us wanted more children and I had time to expand my business and buy state-of-the-earth out-door catering equipments. Then out of the blues, the bubble burst, leaving me reeling with a shock. I was relaxed and expecting Alaba to drop by when my phone rang. It was Alaba’s wife.
“She was very calm as she asked what I was doing with her husband. What a nerve, I thought, as I answered back. `He’s with me now. He’s been with me ever since you had separate bedrooms and lives’ She snapped: `We’re not separated. We’ve shared the same bedroom for years. I don’t know what game you’re playing but I intend to find out”.
I was mildly surprised. She didn’t sound like someone who was having an affair. She was quite enraged that her husband was carrying on behind her back.
“I didn’t see Alaba that night and bright and early the next morning, someone was knocking furiously at my door. It was her! I let her in and she looked stunned at what she saw. `Your flat is like a replica of ours’, she said. A flat? I thought they lived in a mansion – at least that was the impression Alaba gave me. `Some curtains’, she went on, `and that rug in the kitchen is the old one we had. I wondered where it had gone. Even the pots and units are the same as ours’. Then she gave me a murderous look, ran her eyes all over me in disgust before she led out a yelp `Where did you get those shoes from?’ she wanted to know.
They were some of the numerous gifts Alaba had given me. They are mine. I accused my eldest daughter of stealing them a long time ago. So all those things that had mysteriously disappeared from the house had found their way to yours.’
“The show-down was too much for me and I burst into tears. I felt used and was riddled with shame. That sort of calmed her down a bit as she left, telling me Alaba had humiliated her long enough. She was gong to ask for a divorce. What kind of a man had I been involved with for seven years! He obviously lived in a flat like mine – rather than the mansion he bragged about. As soon as she left, I rang Alaba. Before I could even say anything, he said, `I think it’s about time you found someone else’. I wasn’t sure I heard him right. `What are you saying?’ `The thing is, you’ve had a good time, haven’’t you? We both have. Let’s move on with our lives’. He then cut off the phone. I was stunned. I thought back over the seven years of our relationship, I’d never met any of his family. I only knew a couple of his friends – friends he brought to the flat and who I knew next to nothing about. Subsequent calls were either ignored or his phone was switched off.
“I don’t know how I made it through my appointments for that day. Back at home, I was still in a state of disbelief when my phone rang. It was Alaba’s wife. `Don’t contact my husband again’, she shrieked. `He’s told me everything. He never wanted you. He just felt sorry for you. Why don’t you find yourself a man that isn’t spoken for and leave us along?’ I told her they deserved each other and cut her off. What a mess. Even now, his betrayal hurts. Was he just stringing me along while he had the cash to do so? His money had obviously ran out, no thanks to the credit crunch, and I was one of the `luxuries’ he must now learn to do without”.