August 10, 2019

Food for the elders (2)

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Food for the elders

By Yetunde Arebi


For those who read the first part of Uncle D’s story, here is the concluding part. Today, he narrates how he discovered that his young lover had been cheating on him and how she talked her way out of their relationship. Please visit the Vanguard Website if you missed last Saturday’s edition. Cheers!

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I got pregnant to force my parents to allow me to marry Pretty Okafor(Opens in a new browser tab)

“According to Bimbola, she had been having a difficult time telling everyone she was not interested in the guy. Many of her colleagues were convinced they would make a perfect couple. Those who said they knew the guy very well, vouched for his good natured personality and urged her to give him a chance. However, It suddenly dawned on me that there was more to the story she was giving me. Why was she harping on the guy and people’s opinions about them, if there was nothing to it? I was so annoyed that day that I even had to park by the side of the road to call her again on my way home. To think this was someone I was making my wife go through hell at home over, only to discover that she was about to take me for a ride.

Adult Kids: Parents should sympathise with children still living at home!(Opens in a new browser tab)

I’d always thought of myself as a smart Lagos guy, a smooth operator and someone who could make things happen until that night. I could not understand what or where I’d gone wrong with Bimbola. Women are supposed to love money and power and Bimbola seemed appreciative of all that I’d done for her and was ready to continue doing. So, why the sudden turn around? There could only be    two reasons; either she had been pretending all along with the plan of getting as much as she could off me, or that something had happened recently to make her change her mind.

So, I decided to do more for her. I promised her a trip abroad for her next annual leave. However, I think she read my mood and realised that I meant all I’d warned her against. She changed thereafter, shedding off some of her coldness, but stopped mentioning the guy in her accounts about her office. Even when I asked after him, she would just hiss and wave it off.

Stupidly, I thought she had gotten over whatever I had imagined was happening. I got the shocker of my life about two months later when I met the guy at our apartment. I had travelled out of the country for business but decided to return two days earlier. I wanted to inform her but somehow, I decided not to. Perhaps, it was natural basic instincts. I’d decided to spend the night with her before going home the next day. But this was not to be. Immediately after the initial shock of discovering that I was at the door, Bimbola just told me that she was not expecting me and that she had a friend sleeping over. She just dismissed me by saying that she will see me the next day in my office. Then, she closed the door on me.

I passed the night in a hotel because I could not sleep over at our love nest.

Bimbola had a guest. I could not go home too as I was in the murderous state. If I did, it was clear that I would take it out on my wife and children who deserved much better from me. Besides, shame and guilt, could not allow me to face my wife just like that. I had been maltreating her indirectly all this while to cover up my cheating on her. Now, the person I was cheating with was now cheating on me. I felt like a fool. So, all my warnings and threats about not bringing anyone to the flat had fallen on deaf ears. She had encouraged the guy, after dismissing him as nothing to me. After all, he couldn’t have had the guts to come and sleep in an apartment I pay for and maintain, had she told him that she is my ‘wife’.

I don’t know for how long I stood there, staring at the door with my mouth agape. In fact, I didn’t know what to do for the first few minutes when it dawned on me that I would not be sleeping in my apartment. I had already dismissed the driver for the night and he would not be coming to pick me until the next morning. I was hurt, angry and sorry for myself at the same time.

So, this is how Bimbola was going to repay me for all I’d done for her? Why was she being so heartless? It became clear to me that all those restraints I’d noticed in her were actually not imagined, they were real and I had not heeded the warning signals. I felt insulted to be so shabbily treated. I wanted to do something, break the door down, beat her and her lover up, throw them out into the streets and thoroughly disgrace them.

But there were three other flats in the compound with several occupants. What of others in the neighbourhood?    If I did that, I might only be disgracing myself as they might not see her as a slut, but me as a fool. Besides, what excuse would I give my wife and friends when the news leaks that a little girl had locked me out of my own apartment. Bimbola may have wittingly won that night, but I made up my mind that she would pay for her grave mistake.

She came to my office as promised the next day, but it was not to apologise. Bimbola came to inform me that she was no longer interested in the relationship. That she had made up her mind to marry the guy she had been telling me about and who was actually at the flat last night. She told me that she had been nursing a heavy burden of guilt on her conscience for a long time. She said being a woman, she could not help but put herself in my wife’s shoes all the time. She was not happy that she was the source of pain and hurt in another woman’s life. Who told you that, I interjected? But she ignored me, insisting she did not want to be responsible for anyone’s broken home.

She urged me to look at things from her angle as well, and not mine alone as that would be very selfish of me. I was dumbfounded. Bimbola informed me that having been raised in a polygamous home, she had experienced the violent and unhealthy competition between the wives and their children, which sometimes even forces siblings from the same womb, to turn against each other in preference of their half siblings. A result of the dysfunctional and unwholesome situation they often found themselves.

She said whenever she saw my children and the way we related with each other, she did not want to destroy that loving relationship as she knew what it was like being the first child of her parents. Above all, after living as the other woman for over three years, she was not sure if that was the kind of lifestyle she wanted to live for the rest of her life.

She said also wanted to be able to go everywhere in the company of her husband, live and wake up in his arms every morning and not bid him goodnight everyday to go and sleep in the arms of another woman. Bimbola finally told me not to see her as a bad person but a very good girl who loves and appreciated me and wanted the best for me. Really, Why not let me decide what is good or bad for me, I asked her? She said was no gold digger, and so wished to marry her own husband. At this point, she went on her knees and asked for my forgiveness.

One would have thought that all her explanations ought to abate the anger and pain that had been raging in me since the previous night. But it did not. All I could think of was that she had taken me for a ride. That she knew she did not want to marry me, yet encouraged me to invest so much in her and her family. And even more painful was the realisation that she had been cheating on me all the while without me realising it. I was so sure it was not her first time of bringing the boy to our love nest.    I kept thinking of my wife and how she would so laugh in my face, if she were ever to know what I was up to. I thought about all those that had advised me against making my relationship with her official, as well as those who were in support, especially my elder sister who had never liked my wife.

She’d been so supportive of Bimbola from the first day I stopped over at her house in Bimbola’s company. Every time they met after that, my sister would always ask her why she was not pregnant already so she would be convinced that she was really serious about me. (Hmm!) But I could only ask her if her parents were aware of her decision, especially her mother. And to which she said yes and that they approved of him. Then I asked if he was aware of our relationship and how she came about the apartment and car. She said she already explained everything to him and that their decision was the other thing she wanted to discuss with me.

Then, Bimbola announced that they had decided to get married later that year and she was moving out of the apartment. At that point, I knew I had lost her and there was no going back. I had to accept it was over. All the harsh words I had planned to scold her with dried in my mouth. I felt helpless. It was no longer about my money but my ego. I wanted to make her feel bad. I reminded her of how many times I had come to her aid, how I had been generous to her family and made life easy for her and asked if she was sure the guy would make her happy. But Bimbola held to her decision, informing me that she would soon move out. That was the end of the relationship. A very wasteful venture.

She moved in with one of her aunts a few weeks after, taking the car I bought for her along. I wanted to ask her to return it, but I could not find the right words to do so. She got married that December. I was invited but turned it down. My friends wanted us to attend, and some even gave her money towards the ceremonies. I did not feel that generous, I was still hurting. Even now, I have still not totally forgiven her.

I used the flat until last year for all sorts after she left. Many of my friends also used it to entertain their ladies. But things were not the same again. It soon lost its beauty as there was really no one taking care of it. Besides, I had no interest in travelling that path again. I still chase the girls, but nothing serious. I have decided to keep my family the way it is. No extra baggage. If my wife knows, she has never asked and does not ask about my private activities, except as a joke.”

Hmmm! Do have a wonderful weekend!