Sisterhood episode 89




Funke called Nkem. Nkem had blocked her sister’s number and she called Funke to tell her and ask her to wade in. Nkem told her everything. Funke was shocked. She felt bad that Demian and his mother were treating her this way. Nkem said she needed a lawyer she could afford. Divorce can be very expensive. Funke told her to call uncle Tobi for her. Nkem declined. She didn’t want uncle Tobi to know.

Funke called uncle Tobi and told him everything. Nkem needed help and there was no need to hide the problem. Funke knew if Nkem wasn’t careful, she would lose custody and visiting rights. Nkem needed a good lawyer to help her.

Uncle Tobi was upset when he heard everything. The problem wasn’t enough to disintegrate an entire family unless there were underlying issues. He knew Nkem would not talk to him directly, she avoided him. That was why he sent her an email with the opportunity and whom to contact. He respected her wishes of keeping away. He hadn’t spoken with her in a while. He got her a lawyer. He paid the legal fees and gave the lawyer Nkem’s details.

Nkem was surprised when the lawyer called her and invited her to the office. Amy listened to Nkem’s side and was surprised she and Demian couldn’t reach a compromise. She asked Nkem if truly she wanted a divorce, and she said no, she just wanted her son to be with her. She didn’t want him to be with Demian’s mother because she said horrible things about Nkem to her son. She didn’t want that.

Amy reached out to Demian for a meeting. He came with his lawyer. She told him what her client, Nkem wanted. Demian refused. He wanted custody of his son. He said he also wanted to end the marriage, he was deceived into marrying Nkem. What was presented as a front wasn’t what he expected and now the scale had dropped.

“My client agreed with you that she would relocate to Nigeria after her Master’s degree. You encouraged her to stay longer and get a doctorate. Now she wants to make use of the qualifications she got, you are standing in her way. If you want a divorce, you can file but we have to quickly have a custody hearing before she travels with the boy.”

Demian’s lawyer filed for a divorce and sole custody of his son. He was granted an exparte order for Dominic not to leave the US. Nkem was broken. She needed more time to sort this out. Nkem tried to talk to Demian but he refused to talk to her. Ada supported Demian and told Nkem to go ahead and live her life. Nkem was hurt. She was almost going crazy. How could Demian shut her out like that? What she didn’t know what that his mother was with him fueling the crisis.

The judge granted temporary custody to Demian and the child was not allowed to leave the state. Nkem could see him five hours every day. The court wanted him to be in an environment he was familiar with. Nkem did all that before she travelled to resume work. Her five hours daily with Dom were done on video calls. It helped them bond well. That was how Nkem found out his grandmother was around taking care of Dominic.


Nkem had been in Nigeria for only two months when she got information that Demian was ill and was currently in the ICU. She couldn’t believe it. Her lawyer told her because of the boy. She wanted to file so Nkem could get custody of him since Demian was unable to perform his duties.

Nkem applied for some time off from work and flew back to the US. She went to the hospital to see Demian. His mother tried to stop her from seeing him but she was still his next of kin and he hadn’t changed it. She went to see him. She had never seen him in this condition before, it was really bad. She talked with the doctor and they analysed the treatment plan. She stayed with him until the next morning when he woke up. When he saw Nkem, Demian was happy, there was no denying it. She hugged him. She stayed for an additional two weeks for him to have recovered to an extent before she left. She didn’t try to take Dominic this time because she knew Demian needed him.

She spoke with Demian every day as he got better. He wanted her to come back. He begged her to come back. She was tempted to. She asked if she could work remotely until her husband got better. She applied and was hopeful. It took another three months to get approval. She left Nigeria to be with Demian. She wanted to surprise him. She was shocked when she got to his apartment and there was a lady there. His mother had gotten him the wife of her dreams. She brought a nurse for him to marry and to take care of him. The lady was beautiful and had a curvy figure, unlike petite Nkem.

Demian was surprised to see Nkem. He avoided talking about the lady in the apartment. She knew who she would get the information from. Agnes told her everything and for how long the lady had been with Demian. Nkem was upset, “So while we were talking he was with her? I asked for a month to work remotely so I can be with Demian but he is with another woman. Not a problem. She asked her lawyer to resume the divorce proceedings and for them to fight for custody. She returned to Nigeria.

The divorce dragged on for more than six months. Demian didn’t want to divorce Nkem but Nkem was adamant. Demian’s mother called Nkem a gold digger. She insulted her at every opportunity she had. She did it in Demian’s presence and he said nothing. Nkem avoided responding to her although she was reaching her breaking point.

The custody issue was the major problem. It was taking too much time and was emotionally draining. Demian called Nkem. He went to meet her where she was staying. He tried to reason with her but the questions she asked made the matters worse.

“Are you sharing a bed with the lady in the apartment?” Nkem asked.

“What kind of question is that?”

“Do you still love me or I should let you be?”

“Nkem, you left. I asked you not to but you left. Why did you have to make things difficult for me? Our paths are different, I can see that now.”

“I remember telling you this when you wanted a relationship. I explained to you but you insisted on being with me. But that is in the past now. She can’t raise my son for me. Can I have my son, she will bear her children, I have only him.”

“You can also have other children.”

“One marriage is enough for a lifetime, Demian. You thought me a big lesson I will never forget. I can never give my heart to anyone.”

Demian was quiet. He stretched his hand and took Nkem’s hand in his and said, “If you are ready to come back home, we can drop the case and be with each other.”

“Did you have sex with her?”

“Does it matter? You left me.”

“And your mother quickly got you a replacement. I can’t believe I could be easily replaced in your life. She is there and I want my son. Please let me have him.”

“He can spend holidays with you but he cannot remain with you permanently. That is the best I can do if you are adamant. Stay and we can remain a family.”

Nkem was at a crossroads. She saw her marriage crumbling before her eyes. She still loved Demian and wanted to be with him but she couldn’t bring herself to forgive him for the betrayal. He didn’t stand for her against his mother and he accepted the lady his mother brought to replace her.

She needed candid advice and there was only one place she would get it devoid of sentiments. She had to swallow her pride and call uncle Tobi. Uncle Tobi listened to Nkem and heard the desperation in her voice. He knew most of the details but she filled in some of the gaps. When she began to cry, it broke his heart. He knew Demian wasn’t right for her from the beginning but she wouldn’t listen to him. His mother was the brain behind the disintegration of the marriage. She poisoned her son’s mind against his wife, especially her relocation bid.

“What do you want from me, Nkem?”

“I don’t know what to do.”

“Leave your son with them and agree to see him during the holidays. Come back home and begin your life. That young lady will soon find out she will not work in America except to tend to Demian. That is what his mother wants. She won’t last. Watch and see. He will come back for you but by then you would have moved on.”

“Can I move on? Will I be able to get over all this?”

“You will, my dear. Time heals all wounds. In future, you will look back and ask yourself why you made all this fuss.”

“I want to believe you.”

“Have I ever lied to you? Come back to Abuja. I have reserved an apartment for you to live in. You no longer need to stay in hotels. I will take care of you as I have always done. Let Amy finalise the divorce.”

“You hired Amy?”

“Yes, I did. You don’t want any of the matrimonial assets?”

“I am not a gold digger, I don’t want anything.”

Everyone was shocked when Nkem walked away. She signed for Demian to have full custody and she would have Dom during the holidays. She didn’t take anything from Demian as a settlement, she just wanted to leave and start her life afresh. She was ashamed she couldn’t keep her marriage.

Nkem’s mother was not happy with her. She asked her to go back to her husband and forget about her career or build one with him there. Nkem told her not to bother because she had taken a decision that was in her best interest. “I am doing what I love, mum. This is what I wanted most in my life and I am on the verge of achieving it. Nothing will make me change my mind.”

Nkem had a last moment with Dom before she left the US. She explained the circumstance behind her leaving. He was young and couldn’t understand but she tried to make him understand. She explained that his father wanted him to remain in the US so he could see him every day. She told him they would have their adventure when he comes to Nigeria. They spent the whole afternoon together.

She brought Dominic back to the apartment. The lady was there to receive him. She thanked her for taking care of Dominic (Dom said nice things about her) and Nkem asked her to also take care of Demian. She gave the lady her Nigerian phone number. She was quite nice. It didn’t stop Nkem from feeling bad.

Nkem finished packing and went to take a bath. She came out of the bathroom to some pounding on her door. Initially, she was scared but as she asked who it was, she heard a response. She peeped through the peephole and saw Demian. She was surprised. She opened the door for him to come in.

“What are you doing here?” Nkem asked Demian.

“I thought you didn’t want to see me, I didn’t know you were in the bath.”

“You haven’t answered my question, what are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see you before you go.”

Nkem walked away from him into her bedroom to put on her nightie. He waited for her to come out. She sat down and said, “I am here.”

“We let this get too far. I am taking some of the blame. I could never believe you would go through with a divorce, I could have sworn you wouldn’t.” When Nkem didn’t say anything he continued, “The divorce is not final yet, can we stop it and reason this together.”

“What can we do that we didn’t do before? I will still move back to Nigeria, regardless. That aspect cannot change.”

“This is the problem, you are too rigid. It is your insistence on having your way that caused all this. I was not against your ambition but you were not soft when asking to leave. You made it sound as though I had no choice.”

“Did you ever say I shouldn’t relocate back to Nigeria when I began the interviews? Did I mention relocating before then? Demian, you know I hate living here. I managed it because I was with you. I was ready to come regularly because of you. You withdrew from me and got your mother to do the dirty job. Why couldn’t you talk to me directly? Why couldn’t you give my option a trial? Every day I lived here was to make you happy. I have been miserable while keeping you happy. I have found my joy in this work and you tried to kill it. I wanted you and my career but you forced me to choose.”

“Yes, I did and I can’t compete with your ambition. I still love you. I still want to be with you. This was all a stupid mistake. I let it get out of hand. Agnes asked me to be reasonable and Iyke told me I was a fool letting you go. It is not pride but the fact that I would lose you if you go. I don’t want to lose you.”

Read – Fate of love episode 7

“Why would you lose me? We were friends for years before we began a relationship and got married. Did you lose me then? Why would you lose your wife? No, I don’t believe that. You stopped making love to me. Demian, you made me feel unattractive to you. I wondered if there was something wrong.”

“There was nothing wrong. I let it get out of hand. I should have known better. I should have given it a try before I said a blatant no. I knew you were unhappy here but I thought our being together was all we needed.”

“It was enough for me.”

Demian moved closer and asked for an embrace. Nkem went into his arms. He hugged her tightly and said, “I still love you” and then he kissed her. Nkem was already vulnerable. She responded to the kiss until it got deeper. Before she knew it, their clothes were off and they had sex. Nkem needed intimacy. It made her feel better about herself. Demian made love to her the way she liked. He kissed her all over and took his time to possess her body. She wept when she reached orgasm because she knew it would not happen again with Demian. Something was biting at her soul.

“Was it that amazing that you had to shed tears?” Demian asked as he kissed her and pulled her to himself.

“Did you have sex with the lady in your home while I was in Nigeria?”

“Nkem, why are you bringing this up now?”

“You never answered me. Did you?”

“It is not important.”

“So you couldn’t stay faithful in the presence of adversity? You couldn’t resist her because we had a falling out? Or because she had a body you couldn’t say no to. Do you know men ask me out? They also want me but I resist them because I am dedicated to you. You broke the vow.”

“No, you broke the vow. You left. You should have stayed and fought for your family. That’s what a good mother will do. She will put her husband and child first before everything. You didn’t do that. You gave room for me to try something new.”

Nkem stood up from the bed. She stood naked before him and she said, “You have a live-in lover, why are you here? Why did you have sex with the woman who has abandoned her family? Why didn’t you go back to your lover now I have freed you? We cannot be the same. You will not realise what you have lost until much later. Demian, I was dedicated to you for years. I made you happy. We had issues and you jumped into bed with another woman. How was she in bed? Did you give her the loving you give me?”

“Hold it there! When you asked that question, I stopped having sex with her. I messed up, I agree. But you are to blame. You gave the devil a chance. I didn’t want a divorce, you asked for it.”

“I wanted custody of my son. You wanted the divorce. Seeing her in your home made me realise I had lost you. I hope you know this won’t happen again. I needed this so badly. I am fine now. You can leave.”

“Nkem, it is not too late to retrace our steps. I will let you go and we can try what you suggested so we can see if it will work.”

“If you want to show good faith, let me go with Dominic. I bring him back as suggested. I will never disappoint you. If I can’t bring him, my mother will bring him. I swear to you, I will cancel the divorce and be faithful to you even in death.”

“And you will let my little indiscretion go? You will never mention it again?”

“I promise you. But she has to leave the house.”

“Postpone your flight for another three days. Tell your lawyer not to file and I will tell mine. I need those days to get Dominic ready to go with you. My lawyer will prepare the agreement for us to sign and register it. It is for a one-year trial. I think that is fair.”

Nkem jumped on him. He was laughing as she lay on his body. She kissed him and said, “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too.”

“Are we really doing this?”

“Yes, we are. I love you, Nkem”

“Demian, I love you too.”

Nkem postponed her flight and bought a ticket for Dominic. She was happy when Demian left her in the morning. They kissed by the door like teenagers. She called her lawyer and asked her not to file the papers. She told her what happened and their agreement. The lawyer replied, “Sounds good. I can stall for a couple of days. Don’t keep your hopes up though, he is not the one in control. I watched him closely, he doesn’t want to leave you but his mother cannot wait for you to leave.” Nkem tried to convince her otherwise. She claimed Demian had stood for her in the past. The lawyer wasn’t interested.

Demian came back that night. Immediately he entered the apartment, he wanted to have sex. Nkem was uncomfortable with the urgency and observed he was not keeping eye contact. She asked for the custodial agreement his lawyer was supposed to draw up, but he ignored her. She asked again after dinner. He said he was still working on it. Nkem was uncomfortable. When he made a move, Nkem said she wasn’t interested. She told him the sex was messing with her head and she wanted a clear head to make the right decision. She said instead let them pray. Demian became upset and left the apartment.

Nkem was suspicious. She called her lawyer and told her to find out from Demian’s lawyer about the agreement. The lawyer didn’t know what Amy was talking about. Nkem suspected he was using another lawyer. She gave him the benefit of the doubt. The following day, she called Demian to find out how far and she also wanted to see Dominic. He told her to pick him up. How far, he did not reply. Nkem picked Dominic up. She asked him if his dad had told him he was coming with her, and he said no. They had not packed in preparation for the trip the following day.

She deliberately brought Dominic back very late. She talked to him and prayed for her son. She held back her tears. She hated herself for being vulnerable. For allowing Demian to use her. She dropped Dominic back at the apartment. Nkem gave the lady $2000 and asked her to please take care of Dominic. She promised to send things to her. “Also, I want him here with you and not with his grandmother. Do not allow her to take him. You will become irrelevant if she (Demian’s mother) takes him, they can discard you. Take my word for it. I gave you this money because you will need it. That’s all I can say.”

Demian came to Nkem’s apartment. She answered him by the door. He was surprised. She asked if he came with the document or if he came to waste her time. He was quiet. “Let me in, we need to talk.”

“Demian, you can go, there is nothing to talk about. My lawyer was right, you don’t call the shots. I won’t forgive you if you take Dominic to live with your mother. I don’t mind him staying with your girlfriend but not your mother. That’s all.”

“I know you are angry but try and understand. How will I live without both of you? You have been my peace. Reconsider and stay.”

“Demian, thanks for wasting my time. I bought a ticket for Dominic based on your word. I spent so much money only for you to do this? I have asked Amy to go ahead and file. I won’t forget this betrayal.”

Nkem left for the airport very early in the morning. She had focused and held herself. She arrived in Nigeria in the evening. She landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. She came out to get an airport taxi when she saw Uncle Tobi. She was happy to see him. He helped her put her luggage in the vehicle and he drove her to her new apartment. It was in an estate. She came down from the vehicle and helped carry some of her luggage upstairs to her apartment. One of the security men guarding the house gave her a hand too.

She walked into the apartment and fell in love with it. She turned to uncle Tobi and said, “I can’t afford this. I don’t want to be indebted to you any further.”

“I have cancelled all debts, you owe me nothing. How are you feeling now? Take a bath and rest. There is food in the kitchen. Welcome back. I hope you stay this time and not pack up and go back to Demian.”

Those words made Nkem sober and tears flowed from her eyes. Uncle Tobi had always seen her as a tough girl but she looked so tender and defeated. He took her to the couch and helped her sit down. He gave her his handkerchief and asked her what had happened. In between tears, she told him how Demian made her change her date with a promise of reconciliation and the release of Dominic.

“Was this before or after sex?” he asked her.


“I’m sure he came back for more while stringing you along.”

“It happened once and when I didn’t see what I wanted, it didn’t happen again.”

“Don’t beat up yourself about it. I am sure it was not based on the sex you had that agreement. You love him and he is the only man you have been with. He wants to remain that. He knows you can’t resist him. I will advise you to focus on this job and make the best of it. Avoid seeing Demian. If you make yourself scarce, he will long for you. He will look for ways to see you. Don’t give him an audience. Once the divorce is finalised, you will be free to date someone that shares your dreams.”

“I don’t want to be with any man again. I want to be left alone. I will go back to being celibate.”

“It is easier said than done. When you heal, you will find someone. You are a beautiful lady, men will want you. I know you will choose wisely this time. I know with everything going on, you didn’t shop for your resumption. I did the honours of shopping for you. Tomorrow, I will send a driver with a car for you. He will take you to the salon. You don’t have to look like what you have been through, it is time to live.”

Nkem thought about her life and all those that contributed to her frustration. She blocked her parents-in-law’s numbers on her phone. She blocked Ada too and all Demian’s relatives. She didn’t tell anyone she was back in Nigeria. She needed time to heal so she blocked her friends.

She resumed her work as a completely different person. From her hairstyle, (she made braids on her hair) to her corporate dresses, shoes and bags. She had some designer bags and shoes Demian bought for her but she hardly used them over there. She loved looking simple. But uncle Tobi told her the case was different here. She had to look the talk or she will be looked down on. When she went to the meeting, she got the message loud and clear. She made a to-list of items to unpack. She would not be intimidated by this job.

Some ladies tried to be friends with her but she had always been weary of female friendships except her ‘sisters’. But Jemima and Cindy persisted. Nkem promised herself never to disclose so much of her personal life to them. Two other guys also joined their group, Larry and Sodik. They were good friends. It was nice being friends with them because it distracted her from her problems.

She enjoyed her job. She looked forward to going to work every day. She always had something to contribute during the weekly meetings where they wait for her to talk before others spoke and they were always brilliant ideas. She was shortlisted to join the Minister of Finance at a seminar in Geneva. She and Larry went. They became closer and worked together. It made the other members of the group speak up during meetings. She was shortlisted to travel to the UK for a conference. She went with Jemima, Cindy and Larry. Sodik went to South Africa for another conference. Their bond became stronger.