He could hardly contain his excitement as he waited for her at the Igbinedion’s hotel and suites restaurant. He had always wanted to take someone he loved to that restaurant. He looked around noticing the well dressed and classy people in the restaurant, the beautiful waitresses who strutted around taking orders and the neat way the tables were set. His breath caught when he saw her walk in, the world ceased to exist to him, it was just she, his woman, his soon to be bride walking towards him with her catlike eyes sparkling from the distance.
She had on a light pink off-shoulder polyester mini dress which flowed behind as she walked on calculative steps due to her stiletto heels. She was a sight to behold with those smiles on her face. She finally reached him amidst admiring stares and gazes. He stood up and drew a chair out for her opposite his, still enthralled in her beauty. He wondered if he was ever going to get over the way she made him feel.
Jessica: “Why are you staring at me like that?” she asked after a waitress had taken her order and left.
Andre: “You are just so damn beautiful Jessy” he took her left hand in his, admiring how slender, long and smooth they were. “Everything about you is just so beautiful even your glasses”
Jessica: “You are acting strange today though. Summoning me here on such a short notice is even stranger. Thanks for all the compliments though. I am blushing so hard” she used her free hand to fan herself.
Andre: “I am blessed to have you Jessy”
Jessica: “And so am I Andre”
The waiter brought her order- a cocktail drink and chops.
Andre: “Before I even forget why I brought you here, I have a good news for you”
Jessica: “Oh really? Please spit it out already” she said clapping her hands together excitedly.
Andre: “I have gotten a job at CBN as a chartered accountant. I am to resume work on Monday in Abuja”
Jessica: “Jeesus! Andre… this is more than good news do you know that? I am elated but you didn’t even tell me when you went for interview, why?”
Andre: “I wasn’t sure it was going to click. I didn’t want to raise your hope for no reason. Sorry dear”
Jessica: “I am going to miss you” she said sadly.
Andre: “That is why we are getting married. Jessy please will you marry me? I cannot imagine a lie without you. You believed me when no one else did. You helped me when I had no one. You held my hand and walked with me when I had nothing. Now I want you to help me in building my empire. Please do this for and with me and I promise to love you and you alone. I have known rejection, smelt rejection, walked with rejection but today, I have the most beautiful woman on earth sitting with me” he said with his eyes glistening with unshed tears. He bent on one knee, took out the diamond ring he had taken his time to choose at the jewelry store and held it out in front of her. she was weeping silently as people crowded around them, clapping and taking pictures.
Jessica: “Yes! Oh yes!! I will marry you Andre, I will be by your side until death do us part”
He slipped the ring into her middle finger, stood up and gathered her into his arms, whirling around joyfully as they both laughed joyfully. The people’s clapping became music to them as they basked in the euphoria of the moment.
Mary: “Ah no oo. I can never do a thing like that. Why will I sleep with a filthy looking man like you? Am I mad?” she shot to her feet and made to stand up but he pulled her down forcefully.
Prophet: “I am the prophet and it has been revealed to me that we must do this and we will do it. I do not disobey the voice of the angels so behave yourself now and let me dance as much as I want” he grunted as he wrapped his arms around her, forcefully pulling her onto the bed with him. he got tired of struggling with her and struck her in the face twice, making her more breathless than she already was.
Mary: “You will pay for this you devilish man” she cursed with clenched teeth as he struck her with his hands even more when she refused to open her legs. She opened it willingly when he raised his hand to strike her yet again and he finally found his way into her; grunting and speaking gibberish as he thrust into her on and on.
He rolled to his side breathlessly when he was done reaching heaven and back with messages from the angels, messages of victory for Mary.
Mary: “You have done your worst and I am going to destroy you, prophet” she stood up panting and unable to open one eye.
Prophet: “I have a message for you from the angels…”
Mary: “To hell with your messages you scumbag!” she kicked furiously at the air, gathered the remnant of her dignity and walked out of his holy chamber to the sitting room and out into the street.
Since she had gone there by public transport, she had to walk to the junction in order to get a bike going to their estate. Opposite the junction was Igbinedion’s hotel and suite and she could see people coming out of there and talking excitedly, staring at their phones. The moment she flagged a bike down, she saw Andre lead a very beautiful lady out by the hand while she giggled like a new bride. He opened the door to his Toyota Corolla for her and shut it after her.
Mary quickly crossed the road and sprinted towards the car not minding her bad eye.
Mary: “Andre hello. Thank God I found you at last. I have been trying to reach you all these while” she said squinting her bad eye against the sun.
Andre: “Who are you plea… Mary?” he exclaimed, sizing her up from head to toe.
Jessica got out of the car on hearing his voice.
Jessica: “What is going on here hon? Is she a mad woman?” she asked walking across to them.
Andre: “No o, it is Mary, the same Mary I told you about”
Mary: “Who is she? Are you her driver? By the way, I want us to talk. I am tired of that old man and I have been missing ad thinking about you a lot lately” she said getting close to him. he squinted his nose against the odour of sperm emanating from her and moved back from her.
Andre: “Meet Jessica, my fiancée. We just got engaged some minutes ago. If you may excuse us, we have important stuffs to do at home” she said and led Jessy back to the front seat protectively.
Mary: “But I still love you Andre. Please don’t do this to me. Consider all the sacrifices I made for you in the past”
Andre: “You disgust me Mary. I can’t believe I was once in love with a she-devil like you. I must have been really hopeless” he retorted, entered his car and jammed the door against her as she tried to peep in. He reversed and drove off leaving her drooling after him.
Mary: “Imagine how handsome and neat he looks. I can’t believe i let such a man slip through my fingers just because of that old man. Now I can’t even get any property from him. I am done for” she bit her finger regretfully, still thinking of what to do”
Joseph on seeing his wife had left home quickly called his lawyer to withdraw the case since he didn’t have money to waste anymore. He looked around at the emptiness of the house. A house which used to be filled with love, joy and laughter not left with nothing but emptiness and regrets. He remembered the look on Morenike’s face the day he burnt all her belongings and threw her out like a piece of rag just because he wanted a younger woman. He remembered his son’s pleas each time his horsewhip landed on his back and the blood it drew. He remembered the way his daughter clutched her tummy begging him for food which he never gave and their tattered school uniforms which he never bothered to change and he bit his fingers regrettably gibbering to himself.
Mary returned and was surprised to see him sprawled on the floor. He had had heart attack. She rushed him to the hospital and after series of tests and treatments, it was revealed that his spinal cord had been affected and he was never going to be able to walk again.
Morenike and her sister headed for the commissioner’s office immediately to got back to town. He took them to his house where she saw her children with the other kids, playing with numerous toys.
Abiodun: “Kemi see mummy” he pointed happily toward the approaching women and bounded for them. Kemi followed suit.
She bent down and gathered the two of them into her arms crying silently.
Kemi: “Mummy don’t cry. Happy girls are the prettiest” she wiped the tears on her mother’s face with the back of her hands, crying too. “Mummy where have you been? I was very hungry one day and I went to take food, aunty saw me and called me a thief. She beat me very well. Abiodun was sick because daddy did not allow him to come out and he was hungry too, the officer gave us food one day but aunty poured it away. Mummy we missed you” she narrated in one breath hiccupping at the same time. The two women were in hot tears, even the commissioner could hardly hold his back. The girl was hurt and she was not hiding it.
Morenike: “I am sorry dear. Mummy is here now. No one will ever hurt you again. She hugged them over and over again.
Commissioner: “Please let’s go inside okay?”
While inside, he told them how Joseph had withdrawn the case all of a sudden and had refused to come out since then. They all decided to pay him a visit.
Mary on realising that her husband had become incapacitated in all aspect, picked few of her belongings and left him in the house, leaving the door and gate unlocked. The robbers she sent to rob Joseph and to rape the little girl had been caught and they had confessed that she was one of them. They had told the police how she gave them information for most of their robbery operations and so as soon as she stepped out of the estate, she was bundled up into the police van which was on its way to arrest her already.
Abiodun: “It is a pity daddy. It is a pity that you used your own hand to destroy your own life. How could you have picked her over us; your flesh and blood? Did you love her more than you loved our mummy? Daddy, did your conscience not tell you what you were doing was wrong when you left us hungry, when you and your wife fed us fish bones from your plate? Did you not feel hurt when the blood tickled from my back while you whipped me?. How did you feel when my mother begged for mercy as you threw her out and burned her belongings or did you decide to pay deaf ears to you inner voice?” he was in tears as he watched his once able bodied father roll his eyes on the wheel chair, unable to utter a word.
They all surrounded him, shaking their heads.
Morenike: “My son has said it all already. These are the questions I have been wanting to ask you but since you cannot reply anyway, of what use is asking? Where is your young wife now? The strange woman you allowed to intoxicate you with her sweet wine? Didn’t you ever know that sweet wine would turn to venom in your stomach? Commissioner, please can you have your boys bundle him up and take him to a Cheshire me. I am not ready to nurse a grownup man now who almost destroyed my life and that of my children”
Commissioner: “I hope all men will learn from your case friend. The happiness of your wife and children, their wellbeing should come first above every other thing. Do not chase after strange pleasure, it intoxicates and destroys at the same time. You might not be as lucky as the other man who did it and went scot free” he ordered that his boy bundle him out into the van and take him away. The children wept while their mother consoled them.
Morenike and her children soon packed back into the house and were receiving monthly pensions from the oil company. She was able to complete her schooling and established a school in later years where she trained the children of the less privileged for free.
Mary developed an undiagnosed sickness in the prison which affected her private parts and ate away her insides little by little. She begged the prison warders to take her to the hospital but none of them paid any heeds to her. it was a slow but painful sickness, by the time Morenike established her school, Mary had become a walking corpse- dying every day yet alive, praying for death yet unable to die. No one dared go close to her anymore, the smell oozing from her could make a sane man lose his mind.
Morenikeji travelled back with her husband to the States when they found out she was pregnant and needed maximum care. They let out their house and made sure the money went through their lawyer to them rather than the family members who clamoured to be the house’s caretaker. Akanke was sent back home empty handed.
Thanks for taking your time to read till the end. Share your thoughts on the story and the lessons learnt. Thanks and God bless you all.
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