June 8, 2019

A Chance Meeting (2)

By Yetunde Arebi


I will not waste our little space with introductions again. If you missed last week’s edition, please visit the Vanguard website for the first part of Gbenga’s story about his failed marriage to an old friend.

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“However, the truth as I soon discovered was that Ade never stayed at the shop, so the girls just used her shop and equipment for their own private businesses. They dupe her in every way possible because they were also in charge of the account books. To crown it all, Ade was a spend thrift. She dipped her hands in the account as she pleased, so sometimes when the girls did same, they just wrote it in her name. These were some of the ways the money went. But don’t forget also that Ade loved partying and you know what that means for you women. You must have money to finance it. You will require new clothes and other accessories on a regular basis, and they don’t come cheap.

These were the issues we used to quarrel about and not the lies she told you people and her parents. Ade preferred to ignore the issues that caused the disagreement between us but insist that my mother was the problem because she did not like her. Ade expected everyone to just like her simply because she was the daughter-in- law without making any effort to be a nice person too. It did not take us two years before we had to split the kitchen into two so she can be responsible for the maintenance. Ade never liked cleaning the kitchen after use. She expected my younger sisters to clean after her, which might have been possible if she was considered a nice person.

After we had our different kitchens, she was still not satisfied, she wanted us to move out of the house. By this time, my mother had withdrew my daughter from Ade’s care because she was tired of her style of motherhood.    My mother was convinced Ade could no longer be trusted to take care of her properly. But the truth was that, her own children were not treated any better. Many of my friends insisted I spoiled her, and I think they were right.

One day after one of our quarrels, I returned home from work to discover that Ade had packed some of her things and moved in with her parents, taking her two children with her. I had expected her father to send her back without even bothering to find out why we’d quarrelled, given the picture of him I had in my mind. But her parents allowed her to spend the night and even a whole week. Since it was too late for me to set out for her parents’ place that night, I decided I would after dropping my daughter in school, but her father sent her brother to call me early that morning, so I had to just go back with the guy. After much wrangling over nothing, the matter was settled, but Ade did not return    home until after a week. The gist was that she had some parties for that week and she did not want me to disrupt her plans. Though I did not like the way her parents handled the matter, there was little I could do as they had my children, more    so, I still considered them as my parents. Besides, my mother was against separation. Ade returned home and I was expecting a sober Ade, more caring towards her family. By then, I had decided to concede to her demand for a place of our own. I had a piece of land I had planned for future development for the children, so I began making plans to construct    something on it. Little did I know that there were more horrifying things up her sleeves.

Shortly after Ade returned, I got a rude shock from one of her brothers. He had accused me of tricking his sister into marriage only to begin maltreating her for my mistakes. I learnt that during her short stay at her parents , she’d had told them several lies against me, which she claimed were the cause of our problems. According to the guy, she only got to know about my daughter after the wedding. Her refusal to accept the child had been responsible for our quarrels. She also attributed the child as the reason my mother turned cold towards her, finding faults with everything she did. Ade also told her parents about my activities in the University, that I was part of a Mafia group, and expressed regret for not listening to friends and colleagues who’d told her I was a bad guy and not good enough for her. She also told them I was a promiscuous guy who was always making unnecessary sexual demands on her, despite the fact that I kept a chain of girlfriends outside. My other offence was that I was always trying to monitor her movement and finances and refusal to tell me always turned into quarrels which often earned her serious beatings as times.

It was only natural for Ade’s parents to be surprised about their daughter’s revelations and when they flung it in my face, I had no choice but to defend myself. I told them that Ade was very much aware of my daughter’s existence right from the get go and that it was her idea that we kept it away from her family so as not to add another reason to their disapproval of me. It was a pity because they did not believe me as her father went on and on about my responsibilities as a husband and father towards Ade and her children.

Anyways, her return did not improve anything as she kept to her old ways, coming back very late in the night almost every day. The house was always dirty and I was not surprised to learn from the children that they had gone to bed without eating sometimes because she came late and food was not ready or that they even slept before she returned.    By then, she had stopped the children from eating at my mother’s. Sex was another problem and even without being told, I knew Ade had become a pro at adultery.    “How do you know that”, I asked. “Ahh Yetunde, you can’t be serious with that question now. Only an unserious novice would not know that. I am a professional too, remember? Not all women can hide it, there will always be a disconnection.

I had resigned to fate at some point, believing I would just bear it for five or six years to get all the kids off to boarding school. I never knew things would end so abruptly and quickly too. Three days before Ade moved out finally, we had a quarrel about who would pick the kids from school. I had an important meeting that afternoon, so I asked her to pick them. As usual she declined, insisting she also had an important appointment with a client. I don’t know what got into me that morning, but I was angry and dared her not to pick them. I told her that she would also be doing the school runs like other loving mothers from then on. I was surprised that she did that day and the next. The third day, Ade walked into my office about 9.30pm asking for the kids. I was in the company of some friends who were already aware of our problems. We concluded that since neither of us had gone to pick them, they must still be in the school. I must confess that up till today, I don’t know how I managed to remain so calm all through. The guard at the school told us the proprietress had taken them home after waiting several hours. Because the woman is a distance relative, we went to her house. By this time, it was almost 11.00pm. They had gone to bed but she stepped on to her balcony to tell us that our children were already in bed and we could pick them in the morning.

Ade tried to pick a conversation as we drove home as if all was well, but I ignored her. At home, she began preparing for bed and as soon as she climbed into bed, I dragged her off it, telling her that if she does not want trouble that night, she should just find herself a seat as neither of us would sleep a wink because I did not know the condition my children were. Immediately, she began shouting, raining abuses at me. I was angry and slapped her across the face. She jumped at me and the fight started, but my mother came, so I could not beat her the way I felt like doing that night.

We were at the proprietress place by 6.00am but they did not allow us in until 7.00am, and she really gave it to us in the presence of the children.    As soon as we got into the car, Ade started abusing the woman. I didn’t go to the office until later in the afternoon, but Ade left as soon as we got back home. I was shocked when I arrived home that night to see that Ade had pack her things once again and gone.

This time, she left nothing behind. My mother informed me that she returned shortly after I left home with a truck. She took the boys with her and this made me very angry. I’d warned her never to try such a thing again. I didn’t bother to go looking for them that night as I already knew where they would be. Early the next morning, I went to her parents but they denied seeing them. Then to my surprise, Ade’s parents began abusing me, asking me to produce all three of them or face the consequences. I may have money, they said, but I am not god. I was no longer surprised at their unfair critique and could not be bothered anymore. I told them they could keep their daughter as she was no longer expected to step into my house, but gave them an ultimatum on when they must return the boys. I went to the shop only to learn that Ade was there the previous day to pay the workers off and locked up the place. I could not be bothered. I went to the boys’ school only to be told that they did not come. Later, a friend informed me that they saw them at a school on Airport Road. I went there with some security guys and took them home. That was the end of my life with Ade.

Shortly after, I learnt through friends that Ade had actually fallen in love with an older guy she met at one of her parties. The guy, a divorcee lived alone after and preyed on women. Ade had misinterpreted his intentions and so sacrificed our marriage for what she thought was a bigger catch. She lived with him for about a year before he kicked her out. Her parents later apologised for their behaviour towards me, but all that is in the past. To think we were not even divorced when she moved in with another man was a surprise for me. I never thought my SU Ade could grow into such a man eating monster! ( He broke into a loud laughter). Ah You women! May God forgive her soul, where ever she is.

Unfortunately, Ade died from complications from cervical cancer 15 years ago. Do have a wonderful weekend!!