By Bunmi Sofola
Susan and James had been married for eleven years when they decided that their futures were taking decidedly different routes. After a few painful scenes, Susan finally left her matrimonial home with the only child of the marriage. “This was a time when we’d been looking forward to a trip back to the North to see long-missed families, but in the end, James made the journey alone. Although it is awful to lose both your husband and your home, I’d been trying very hard to be ‘civilised’ about the break-up,”explained Susan.
“So when James – who was totally incapable of doing anything for himself – kept on phoning to ask what kind of suitcase he should buy and so on, I was anxious to help.
“I was lucky to be offered a decent self-contained boys quarters by a very close friend but when I discovered there wasn’t any washing machine in her house. I decided to use the one in my former home – afterall the house was half mine- so was the washing machine; and no one would be home. But when I opened the washing machine, I found some soiled sheets. I knew right away that James had slept with a girl the night before, in our bed, and was hiding the evidence. It hardly mattered that we were separated – I still felt horribly betrayed and humiliated.
“I was so furious that I stormed upstairs to the bedroom and yanked the mattress off the bed. I don’t know how I managed to struggle down the stairs, through the door and along the path with it in the rain – it was king-sized. And I can’t believe that I managed to stuff it in the back of my SUV. But I did. Then I took a very expensive bottle of his favourite brandy, I then drove the brandy and mattress back to my borrowed residence, drank myself into a stupor and fell asleep on the mattress. That became my bed for the next two years. The knowledge that James would never screw anyone else on it was some sort of consolidation. And the fact that he never mentioned its disappearance was satisfying too.
Only now do I realise that it was childish behaviour and I get sad when I recall how desolate I felt that day – and how crazy I must have looked to the neighbours. As Saturdays go, it was the worst – and so was the hangover. Some bad behaviour can go dreadfully wrong; when men end up feeling pity instead of anger, the women have played their strongest card – and lost.”
Hell, it’s believed, has no furry like a woman scorned. Laide and Phil weren’t married but theirs was a long-term relationship. When he wasn’t working abroad, they practically lived together. “He had a nice flat but it was cold and unlived-in, and he mostly used it for storing things,”says Laide. “I’d say we were as committed as most couples and I thought he liked our arrangement and the fact that I was career-orientated. So it came as a dreadful shock when he got back one weekend, took me out to dinner and told me he’d fallen in love with and was going to marry another woman!
“She was only 26, at university, writing her thesis and with her head in the bloody clouds. She’d never done a day’s work in her life, thanks to her rich parents, and didn’t know the first thing about the real world. Phil thought she was wonderful, said she made him feel anxious and protective and needed. At this point, I went off to the loo and threw up his expensive meal.
“We had an almighty row and I screamed, cried and threatened and amazed both of us with my anger-which only convinced him that I was the kind of tough nut who could fend for herself and that Little Orphan Annie needed him more than I ever would. I don’t remember much about the weeks that followed, but one afternoon, I took out my keys to Phil’s flat and went round there hoping to wait for him and try to talk him into changing his mind. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me, but I didn’t expect them to be living together. Yet her things were everywhere – bits of lacy underwear, bright sex dresses in the wardrobe, make-up in the bathroom. But it was the flat that was the biggest shock; it was filled with new furniture, new carpets, a CD player and all the touches that a woman gives to a place.
“I could never – not even now – find the words to tell you how much it hurt to see all that domesticity. The kitchen was full of knick-knacks for clever cooks – and the designer knives were really sharp. Yes, you guessed it. With one of the knives, I made a bee-line for the sofas and added interesting designs to the dinning table, the walls and the expensive curtains.
I must say his new girl had taste. Then I cleared the kitchen shelves and trampled ketchup and marmalade into the carpet. And just as when I was running out of things to attack, I found her thesis. All her tapes, the pile of neat notes in her funny little scrawl, the carefully typed manuscripts and the two sets of copies and took all of them with me!
“Of course Phil came steaming round to my digs that night. He was so furious he hit me, but doing it hurt him for more than it hurt me. I denied I’d ever been near his place. He threatened to go to the police and I told him to go right ahead. I knew he was too soft-hearted to press charges. ‘Just give me Tina’s work and we’ll forget the whole thing”, he kept on pleading, and that’s when I realised just how much it meant to her – and how much she meant to him.
“The hate I felt was incredible. I went on denying absolutely everything and, one year later, my story’s still the same. I’ve still got his girlfriend’s work hidden away somewhere – I can’t quite bring myself to destroy it. My clearest memory is the look on Phil’s face when he finally left my place – disbelief mixed with loathing would be a good description. Which is a shame, because now I think that I would have liked him for a friend. Sometimes, I feel bad about what I did to Tina. But then I convinced myself that she’s young enough to start all over again. I only wish I was.”
The Wife On The Side Of The Law! (Humour)
A man and his wife leave a party in their car late one night. After a couple of kilometres, a police car signals the man to pull over. The policeman walks up to the couple. “Good evening sir,”he says. “Do you realise you were doing 80kmp in a 55kmp zone? “”I’m afraid I didn’t,”the man says, “I must have put my foot down to keep up with the traffic,”the man’s wife suddenly shouts. “He clearly told me he was going to thrash the car’s arse off to get back in time for football.”
The policeman nods his head. “I also noticed you were wearing in and out of the traffic in a reckless manner,”he says. “Yes, I was,”the man replies. “An insect flew into my eye and I lost control for a moment. I’m very sorry. Next time I’ll pull over”. “He’s such a liar,”the man’s wife interrupts again. “He was laughing like a madman and pretending to be James Bond.”At this point, the man finally snaps. “For goodness sake woman”, he bellows. “Shut your blabbering mouth before I fill it!””Doest he always speak to you like this?”the cop asks his wife. “Oh no, officer,”the wife says. “Only when he’s had some bottles of beer and a couple of bottles of wine.”