Right, I forgot to tell you, I’m married and it’s not to Ken.
“Where have you been?”
I stared at my husband, Jide, for the longest five seconds of my life, unable to
utter a single word.
“I said where have you been?”
“You are back” I managed to say with a fake smile “I wasn’t expecting you today”. I was trying to think, I had to think fast so I could avoid selling myself out. I knew I should have called my PA back, but I’d been so distracted. The missed calls probably meant he had gone to my office to pay me a surprise visit and met my absence. I had to be quick and anticipate whatever he was going to throw my way.
“Shiza, what’s going on? Why are you avoiding my question?”
“I’m not. Fine, I went out with Funmi”
“You left work to go out with Funmi?”
Funmi is my friend whom Jide detests to say the least, so it made sense that I’d go to see her and keep it away from him. Thanking God for fast reflexes I said
“Yes. She is having problems with Chinedu again, so she called me crying.”
“And you left your office all day to play the therapist”
He clearly wasn’t buying it, it was obviously time to take it up a notch
“He hit her this time Jide, she was scared”
If Jide had a weakness, it was a beaten woman.
“Why would he do that? No matter what she did. If I see him, I’m going to talk some sense into him”
“He’s clearly a bastard and this has gone too far” I heaved a sigh of relief as I walked to the bathroom.
This wasn’t the welcome I should have given my husband I hadn’t seen in almost two weeks, but damn, he had taken me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting him for another week, this was too close. I couldn’t afford the risk.
“Honey, hope everything is okay” I shouted from the bathroom “I wasn’t expecting you for another couple of days”.
“Everything is great, I got done early and I didn’t see the point of staying back. Besides I missed my wife a little to much”
I stepped out of the shower and into the bedroom. I put on my old-maid nightie and got ready for bed. As I laid on the bed, he wrapped his hand around me and i shivered.
“Are you cold?”
“Yes I guess”
He pulled me closer and started nibbling on my ears
“Not tonight baby”
“Come on honey, I missed you”
“Seriously Jide, not tonight” I pushed him off
“I haven’t seen you in almost two weeks and you don’t want to have sex with me?” He sounded shocked and hurt
“No, it’s not that. I just had the darndest day. You should have seen her face, swollen and all. I just need to sleep. We had so much icecream I think I’m going to puke. I’ll make it up to you” I pecked him on the cheeks and turned my back to him. I slept off waiting to hear him sleep but that wasn’t happening anytime soon.
I woke up the next morning to an empty bedside, the smell of breakfast filtered upstairs. I was hungry.. I laid in bed a little while longer, trying to recapture the previous day. It was like a dream, a surreal experience. But for my sore vagina, I could swear it was all my imagination. I quickly ran into the bathroom, maybe if I was ready for work, Jide wouldn’t bother me with sex. I felt like I’d be cheating on Ken, stupid I know but that was my reality. I got ready for work and went downstairs, Jide was already ready for work.
“Hey baby, didn’t want to wake you up”
“It’s fine, how was your night?”
“Was good, thought you’d rush down immediately you woke up”
“Had to quickly get ready, don’t wanna be late for work”
he walked over to where I sat, staring at me deeply with those eyes that seemed to read souls “something looks different”
“Something? What are you talking about?” I focused on checking for God-knows-what in my bag
“I can’t place it, but you are glowing”
“Glowing?” I forced a laugh “is that the best you can do? Besides, osnt that a good thing?”
He reached out and touched my face “it’s not the best I can do, but it’s the best I want to admit” he held my face in both hands, forcing me to look at him
I swallowed hard and forced myself to not break eye contact
“what are you talking about babe?”
“I’ll ask you point blank, and tell me the truth” I was held spellbound by the intensity of his gaze
“Is there someone else? Are you cheating on me?”
“What?” I chuckled nervously
“Are you sleeping with someone else?”
“Where did that come from?”
“You are dodging the question”
“How dare you ask me that? You know me. We have been together for five years, married for two, you think I’d cheat on you?
“Calm down, you are overreacting. I only asked you a simple question”
“On what basis?”
“On the basis that my wife refused to have sex with me even though she hasn’t seen me in two weeks”
“So because I refused to have sex with you, it means I’m cheating?”
“You left the office yesterday without telling anyone where you were going to, not even your PA and you always tell her”
“My friend was beaten black and blue by her bastard of a boyfriend and I decided to go be with her, what’s the harm in that?”
“It’s unlike you and it’s mighty suspicious”
“So because I deviate from your norm, I’m cheating?”
“No it’s not just that, I just..”
“You just what?”
“Nothing, I just thought..”
I cut him quickly “you know what? Fuck you and fuck this. It’s only a cheating man who accuses a faithful woman of cheating because your cheating eyes are making you see signs everywhere”
“Shiz, come on” he tried to hold me
“Don’t you fucking touch me, you fucking cheating pig. You travel every where for days and weeks and I’m stuck here alone at home, faithful to you and you dare accuse me of cheating?”
“Shiza please, stop abusing me. I’ve never cheated on you, you know me.”
“I thought I did, and I thought you knew me too”
“Let’s forget about this, I’m sorry. You don’t have to have sex with me if you don’t want to.”
I was crying now. Crying because I was overreacting and it was all because of Ken. Crying because I just flipped a fuckboy script on a good man, who I’d sworn to love and be faithful to before God and man. Crying because I knew he didn’t deserve it, Jide was a model husband. A dream come true, straight out of Cosmopolitan magazine.
I walked to the door and turned around “I’m not coming home tonight, don’t wait up for me”.
“Shiza, I’m sorry, please don’t ”
“Don’t, please don’t”
I got to my office and sat down. I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I had to think, and I had to think fast.
There were two men in my life, one my husband, the other my first love. Jide had loved me when I thought I was unlovable, he had taken his time to mend back the pieces of my heart. He had loved me and brought my heart back to life. What Ken had destroyed he had repaired. Showed me what love really was. I’ve known him for five years, but he’d spent two of those years cleaning up after someone else. Mending what someone else tore. I can’t believe I was willing to throw all that away for Ken. Selfish, selfish Ken. I knew what to do, I’d go over to Ken’s and break it off.
Decision made, I tidied my desk and called my PA.
“I’m leaving, but I’ll be back. If I’m not back before work ends, go home.”
As soon as I got to Ken’s room, I realized I’d forgotten in my hurry to call him before I got there. Well, I was here already, nothing we can do about that now.
I knocked on his door
There was a pause and the door opened
“Hey babe, I could get used to this” he grabbed me by the waist and pulled me in, kissing me deeply. I kissed him back, well, we could talk later.
A short while and lots of sex later, I said “we need to talk”
“I’m fagged out, can we do it tomorrow”
“It’s pretty important”
“My husband suspects”
Ignored him and continued
“I think we need to chill for a while”
“I thought he’s out of town”
“He came back yesterday and came to the office to surprise, me but I wasn’t around. That’s what my assistant kept calling me about”
“So what do you want to do?”
“I want to take a break”
“Awesome!” He sat up “So you are going back to London with me”
“No, I’m taking a break from you”
“Are you trying to be funny?”
“Don’t do this a second time”
“You did it the first time”
“Please, think about what you are doing”
“I have, and I’ve made up my mind. You left me, he’s been there ever since”
“Now I’m back, please don’t go”
I walked into the bathroom to take a bath, when I came out, he was still sitting on the bed.
“So you are leaving me?”
“Don’t make it awkward”
“You’ll be back, Shiza”
“You have always been cocky”
He grabbed my hands “we are destined to be together, no husband or marriage can change that”
I was getting angry now “stop it, just stop it”
“I love you, you just don’t throw that away. Does he make you quiver the way I do? Do you scream his name in bed the way you scream mine”
His phone started to ring
“Just listen to yourself, just hear yourself talk. What else can you offer me apart from sex?”
“I can offer you my heart and a life in London”
“And my job? My family?”
“We will sort all that out later, for now, I just need you to agree to leave with me”
“Are you stupid? I’m a married woman!”
“We already had sex. Four times. That’s grounds for divorce, even in the bible”
His phone kept ringing but he ignored it
“Please pick up your phone, the caller’s persistence is annoying”
“Don’t worry I’ll call her back?”
“Yeah. Listen Shiza, we can go back to the way we were. Remember the university days?”
Of course I remembered. I remembered it all too well. I sat down on the bed, my heart wanted an enternity with Jide, just the way our young hearts had wanted. But my head said “NO”. It wasn’t right. Just then a skype call came through on his iPad, I was closest to it so I picked it up to pass it along and out of impulse I checked the screen. Skype ID read “Mrs Ebuka💍”, with a profile picture of him and a beautiful white lady kissing. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I totally wasn’t expecting this
“I know that look, listen it’s not what it looks like” he walked over and squatted in front of me
” it looks like you are married Ken Ebuka, is that not it?
“We are going through a rough patch at the moment”
“Are you married or not?” My voice was frighteningly calm
“I am but…” Before I knew what I was doing, I slapped him
“You bastard, you freaking fucking bastard”
“Calm down Shiza, I think you are over reacting” he tried to hold me but I pushed him off and stood up
“Lose my number, I mean it” I started to get dressed
“We are getting a divorce, I was waiting for the right time to tell you”
“You wanted me to give up my whole life for you while you were still married, how could you? Haven’t you hurt me enough? ”
“Now, I’m trying to make things right”
“By keeping something of this magnitude away from me?”
“I didn’t want to hurt you”
“And look at me now, you totally did not hurt me”
“There was no right time to say it. What was I supposed to say? Hey Shiza, long time no see, I’m married.”
“Shut up. There were lots of times”
“Like when I told you I was married, like when we were playing catch up. Hell, even when you were deep inside me. Anything but me finding out like this”
“Would you have had sex with me if I’d told you?”
“Is that all this is to you? Sex?”
“Now you are going to pick on that? Really?”
“I’m not doing this with you, please just leave me alone” I tried to walk out but he wouldn’t budge
“Shiza you are totally overreacting”
“Overreacting?.. You are pathetic. Please, go back to your wife. Forget about me, I’m going to do the same” tears were streaming down my face now
“We are destined…” I picked the ipad which wouldn’t stop ringing and threw it at him
“Bastard!!! Come near me again and I’ll scream rape. Fool” I picked up my shoes and bag and walked out
I got home, walked up the stairs, my legs heavy. I made up my mind to be the best wife Jide had ever imagined, I was going to spend the rest of our lives making it up to him. Probably revisit the idea of having kids, I’ve been refusing for two years now using work as an excuse. This would be my little secret, I’d never tell him. I opened the door and there my husband was, on the sitting room floor, a bottle of vodka by his side. My heart broke, I walked up to him and sat down by his side
“I’m home, my love”
“Welcome wife, now you won’t believe who I ran into today”
“Who?” I took the bottle from him and walked to the bar
“Chinedu the woman beater with amnesia”
I turned around, as if in a trance “and?”
“I was so mad at him for not remembering he beat his girlfriend, he took me to her office and guess what?”
“What?” My hands were shaking and my heart was racing
“You should have told her you were lying in her name”
“She even showed me her ring, and she told me you hadn’t seen it yet”
“If you weren’t so busy skipping work and going on scarlet runs, maybe you’d know your friend got engaged two days ago and they were attending therapy”
“I swear, I…”
He raised his index finger, silencing me. He walked up to me, took the bottle of vodka from my shaking hands and sat me down at the bar
“Now tell me all about your escapade”