LOVE, LIES AND DIVORCE
‘It’s okay, I totally understand, we all have bad days.’ Edima smiled and warmed up to where Amaka sat.
Just like old times, they laughed and gossiped, only that one person was missing…
She had gone out to buy some meat from the frozen store down the street, Femi hadn’t spoken to her for days now, ever since their last fight.
She had been married to this man for six years now but they had one issue… His family wouldn’t stop interfering in the marriage.
Maybe he encouraged them as their constant visiting had led to their last fight.
‘You do not like my people? What’s wrong with my niece coming over here so she could stay with us and go to the University from here?’ he’d yelled angrily.
‘I am not saying anything is wrong but we can give her money for the hostel. We need our privacy Femi. We don’t even have children yet, we should be focusing on that.’ she’d replied calmly.
But he’d said the most hurtful thing to her….
‘You’re talking about children? Our inability to have kids is clearly your fault. You are barren Lola, face it!’ He spat those bitter words that left her crying all night.
But that pain wasn’t as enormous as what she faced right then.
He wasn’t in the house when she’d left, he’d written her a note telling her he’d be gone to the barber’s shop to get a clean shave.
So on her return, she was a bit shocked to find his car well parked and the door she’d locked was open.
‘Femi?’ she’d called but there was no answer.
She dropped the meat into the freezer and poured herself some yoghurt that Zainab had prepared herself. Speaking of Zainab, she pulled out her pocket diary and realized they had a date.
‘Gosh!’ She was going to be late and the other girls would be so mad. She gulped the contents of the glass hurriedly and decided to take a shower. She needed this, she needed to see her friends. It had been a very long time.
‘Femi? Please talk to me?’ She called again but there was no answer. Then she walked slowly at first towards his bedroom to spy on him. As she approached, she heard the sounds… What was that?
His door was slightly parted and the moans of the woman became louder… She saw her husband of six years thrusting in and out of the lightskinned young lady on her matrimonial bed… Yes, each bed in the house was sacred.
‘Femi!!’ she screamed and they broke apart that moment but they soon ignored her and continued.
‘Close the door Lola, can’t you see am busy?’ Mockery laced his voice.
‘Come here darling….’ The young woman drawled, ignoring her completely.
She was lost, what could she have done? She was still lost as she moved to the kitchen and sat on the tiled floor.
This wasn’t the man she’d seen while dating Femi. Yes, he’d cheated on her severally but he’d been a little too bold this time around.
Pain soured through her, numbness embraced her bones and her thoughts flew across the skies. How could a man bring his mistress home? How could he make love to her in their own home? It only meant one thing, Femi had no respect whatsoever for her.
She picked up her phone, hesitant and confused… Was it right to tell Zainab and the girls what had happened? Why was she always the unlucky one?
Out of their four marriages, hers had been on the rocks right after the honeymoon. Femi had been one of the nicest guys back on campus but after they got married, he suddenly changed… or did he change? Had he always been like this? Had she been blinded by his looks and flamboyance?
She had come from a very lowly family. She met Femi in her first year at the University and they had both fallen in love with each other. There was no denying the attraction between them. He loved and adored her very much.
There was nothing as precious to him as Lola back then. But after the marriage, he changed totally. He still cared for her no doubt, he’d told her to stay back and look after the house so she’d declined the jobs that she’d been offered by some foreign companies and became a housewife.
Femi always paid the bills. He bought her clothes and jewelries.. When It came to provision, he was the perfect man but his ways weren’t straight when it came to the marriage bed. Femi was an unrepentant infidel.
This had done it, grief choked her throat and she groaned in pain… How could he hurt her like this? She couldn’t believe Femi had the heart to unleash such cruelty but she wasn’t dreaming, it was real.
‘Zee… I cannot make it…. I am in trouble…don’t wait up for me….’ Without thinking, she had dialed Zainab’s number and spoken those words hurriedly.
‘Hello? Lola, what’s wrong? Talk to me… Did something bad happen?’ The anxiety in Zainab’s voice was glaring.
‘It’s Femi, he brought a woman to the house. I don’t know what to do, I am totally confused.’ she sniffled.
‘Hey, calm down it’s okay. Are you sure you really wanna be in that house? Why don’t you come over to my place and spend the night?’ What Femi had done was despicable.
‘I don’t know Zee, I think I’m going crazy… Can you call back later?’ Lola brought the call to an end when she heard footsteps approach the kitchen.
‘Are you done reporting me to your stupid friends?’ Femi walked into the kitchen, leaned on the cabinet and studied his wife briefly.
‘Is that all you have to say after bringing that whore into our house?’ Indignation rose to her neck as her fair complexion became a bright red… How dare he?!
‘Our house? You serious about that? I built this house with my money so, stop saying ‘our’…’ he scoffed and fetched himself a beer from the fridge.
‘Why are you doing this Femi? Why are you hurting me? If I have done anything wrong, you should tell me…’ tears flowed unrestricted from her eyes.
‘Hey! Hold up, why are we even speaking to each other? My life ended the day I married you Lola, can’t you see?’ he swallowed the drink greedily.
‘How could you say something so callous? Do you think I’m some toy made in China? You think I’m some inanimate object? I’m human Femi, I have feelings…’ she wiped her face and launched a plate at him.
‘Wow, great move’ He dodged and moved from where he stood.
‘I want a divorce.’ He spoke curtly.
‘What?’ Maybe she hadn’t heard him well, the words faded the moment he spoke them.
‘I want my freedom Lola. Marriage was never for me. I don’t wanna be with you anymore so just go wherever… I’m done here.’ He licked his lips and drank some more.
‘No, this cannot be happening. No Femi, You can’t do this to me.’ Her sobs increased. How could he throw to the birds everything they had shared.
‘It is happening baby. I know you married me because of my wealth. I promise you, you wouldn’t lack anything even after the divorce. I just want to be free…’ he continued and almost chuckled at her dramatic display.
‘No, you are drunk, that’s the beer speaking to me right now. You’re sick if you think I’m gonna let you dump me just like that. We’re in this together, for better and for worse. Please Femi I love you…can’t you see? I loved you from the first day we met in the library. My heart is in your hands, please don’t break it.’ She walked towards him and held his hands. She sought warmth, she yearned for comfort in his hands but they were cold, just like his eyes.
‘I am being honest. What have you offered me, Lola? I needed children, this would be our seventh year in marriage and it isn’t working out as we planned. How many doctors? How many hospitals have we visited? Just look at me. Look at us. We weren’t like this before. We need to go to our separate ways. I’ve already called a lawyer, he’s arranged the papers, I just need you to sign it, thank you.’ He released her arms and began walking out the door but her question stopped him.
‘Wait, Femi… Are you doing this because of your family? Did you ever love me for real?’ Her eyes burned with fresh tears as she waited for the truth.
‘No Lola, I am doing this for me. And as for your other question.. Yes, I once loved you but love fades.’ He turned around and left.
‘God, let this not be real! Where do I start from? How do I get over him?’ All her life, she’d lived for this one man and he’d betrayed her. He’d broken his promises to her.
‘I might just have to take Zainab’s offer….’ She whispered fearfully as she tried to shake off the burden that weighed heavily on her.
…. To Be Continued.
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