IT took three years of playing one man against the other to finally convince Ada to decide on who she thought would be the better man to get married to. In the end, she settled for Dan. Four years later, and with a three-month-old baby in her hands, she walked out on her marriage.
“Dan was a drunk, a brute and a chronic womaniser,” she said sadly. “I don’t really know why I preferred him to Levi in my courting days. Levi was always a gentleman. Predictable, almost to the point of irritation. Dan on the other hand took me to interesting places and we did very daring things. I realized later that excitements like that shouldn’t be taken into marriage.
“Levi was his predictable self when he found out about my separation from my husband. He took both me and the baby over completely. He changed the baby’s nappies, took us for medical appointments and was forever giving us money. When his building was completed in one of the suburbs of Ikeja, he not only gave me a flat but equipped the living room so I could use that for my legal firm.
For two years, I rushed through my divorce convinced that Levi and I would eventually get married. The month my divorce came through, I went abroad to buy much-needed law books and also to give myself a breather. Levi bought my ticket and gave me a generous cheque for my shopping. I was confident in the love I thought he had for me.
“When I came back, I was a bit surprised to see my younger brother waiting for me at the airport. He said Levi was in the car waiting to talk to me. He looked so embarrassed that I knew that something was wrong. Very wrong. Levi had this stony look on his face as soon as I came out of the lounge. He came out of the lounge. He came straight to the point.
His fiancée was pregnant and he’d already moved her into the house. His fiancée? I knew he had a girlfriend but he scarcely mentioned her when we started going out again. When I told him I didn’t know he was still seeing her, he looked at me as if I was out of my mind. ‘As at that time we met each other again’, he reminded me ‘you were already married.’ Surely, you didn’t expect me to throw away a single woman I’d been involved with for years for a married woman who once ditched me? I was shocked to say the least.
“But what about all the things you did for me? For us?” I wailed. “Well, what about them?” he asked, looking distant. Suddenly, he was like a total stranger. A monster. “I was doing all I could afford to do for you before you decided to marry Dan. Surely you didn’t think I would take you seriously a second time and let you hurt me all over again?
“It was then the penny dropped. Levi was trying to avenge the hurt I caused him ages ago. And he did pay me back ten-fold. He’d moved all my things from the flat to my parent’s house – including my law books. The shock was so much that a week later, I took an over-dose of pills. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to die as I was discovered in time and rushed to the hospital. The doctor who treated me arranged for me to be counselled by a psychiatrist and that helped for a while. That was five years ago – I’m going to need a really long time to get over the depression that now gets hold of me some of the time…”
Lola thought she was a hard-working professional with a thriving public relations outfit. “After over six years as a widow I thought, by the time I met Donald, that I knew his type!” said Lola. “I’d met plenty like him since I lost my husband. They all had big friendly smiles and such sincere desire to help the poor, lonely widow move heavy objects in the house or see to her car, or arrange for general security measures in the home.
As soon as you let them get too familiar, you’d discover what calculating rogues they were. My best friend’s husband once cornered me as I struggled to fix a new bulb into its socket and tried to persuade me into having a relationship with him, saying that since I was still young and attractive, I had no right to deny myself the privileges at his disposal!
“Donald was a professional. There is no other word to describe him. He was a pleasant change from men who imagined they had an automatic right to a girl’s compliance just because they took her out for meals. Donald had obviously discovered that a girl was more flattered if he called just when she least expected it.
His tactics were to leave the impression that she had seen the last of him, especially when the first meeting had gone so well. Then he pounced. He is what is known as a patient fox! The time with him was good and part of the few moments I cherished. But then, like I said, he knew his onions – too clever by three quarters; and so sharp that one of these days, he “cut himself”.
“I knew all this modus operandi, laughed at it secretly yet felt hopelessly in love with the cad. When he finally dumped me, like I suspected he would, I was physically sick, yet I knew why he wanted me. It wasn’t because he particularly loved me. Obviously, I was just another possession – like his posh flat, his flashy cars, his arrogant designer linen clothes. I was merely a beautiful woman whose presence by his side inflated his ego. There are always girls like me for him for the asking – only they’re now younger!