Charity picks up her handbag to leave when Chucks opens the bedroom door and walks in.
Charity: “Thank God you are here”, she says going to meet him. “Can you please drive me to the hospital, I just got a distress call that my father is seriously sick”.
Chucks ignores her and walks past her to his wardrobe and begins to undress. He removes his shirt, wears another one and goes to sit on the bed pressing his phone. Charity annoyed at his behavior moves close to him.
Charity: “I am talking to you, Chucks. Okay fine, you don’t want to drive me there, I will go there myself”, she makes for the door but Chucks drags her dress, pulling her back.
Chucks: “You are going nowhere!” he thunders.
Charity: “What do you mean by that? I said my father is…”
Chucks: “Your father is sick, I heard you the first time but his sickness is none of my business. I have a social gathering to attend now and you are going with me as my wife”.
Charity: “Hell no, I will not attend any social gathering when I am supposed to be with my father”.
Chucks: “It is an order; you do not have a choice”.
Despite her protests, he drags her to the car and drive to the event. As soon as they get to the venue of the event, Chucks pretending to be a gentle man, opens the car door for her to step out. She, wanting to give everyone around the impression that all is well with her marriage, wipes her tears and begins to smile, Chucks excuses himself to park the car well. She begins to walk towards the door when Alhaji drives in and sees her.
Alhaji: “Cha Cha baby, where on earth have you been? I tried calling your number but it was always switched off. I asked Stella and she told me you got married and changed number and that she doesn’t have your new number. Kai, I missed you walahi. I missed your smooth and soft body, I miss how you used to climb on top me and ride like a horse. I still remember how you used to handle me in bed that I thought I would die under you, I don’t mind paying you any amount just to have a taste of you again”.
Charity’s legs begin to shake when she saw Chucks standing behind Alhaji and listening to all that he was saying about their escapades. “Alhaji, just stop!” she screams.
Chucks: “Why do you want him to stop, Madam Virginia?” Chucks voice shocks Alhaji who turns around to see his son staring at him.
Alhaji: “My son? What are you doing with this cheap whore?”
Chucks: “She is my wife. I kept my marriage away from you because of how you treated my mother. Remember when you sent us away from the house and said we must never return unless we change to your religion? That statement from a man who is supposed to be my father made an indelible mark on me and I promised myself that I would never involve you in anything I do”.
Alhaji: “You must be joking, how can you marry this public toilet that every man uses and keep in your house as a wife? Do you know how many of my friends used her to their satisfaction and passed her on to me? This girl that is wild in bed as a harlot is what you call wife? I am disappointed at you, my son”.
Chucks: “I am more disappointed at you. At your age, you still run after girls young enough to be your daughter, you should be ashamed of yourself. And never you in your life refer to me as your son again. I hate you for all that you did to my mother”, turning around to Charity who is hiding her face from shame, he says “And you pretender, what are you waiting for? Get into the car before I bundle you in”.
They drive on without waiting going in for the event they came for, leaving Alhaji behind speechless.
After they get home, Chucks drop her off in the house and hurries out and spends the night out after receiving a call. Charity afraid of what he will do to her after discovering that she was sleeping with his father decides to run away to her father before he returns.“I wish I can drive, I would have just gone with this car Chucks bought for me. But, why did Chucks warn me against going out with this car ever since he gave it to me as a birthday gift?” she thinks aloud. She tries to open the gate and the door is locked.
Charity: “Adamu! Adamu! Where are you? Come out here!”
Adamu: “Yes, madam. I dey come”, he rushes out. “See me here”.
Charity: “Open the gate, now!”
Adamu: “Ah, madam. I no fit open am for the gate walahi, oga e go kill me if e know say I open the door for you”.
Charity: “I know, Adamu. Please, I need to go and see my father, he is sick and needs my urgent attention. My husband will understand when he finds out about my father’s condition. Please, Adamu”.
Adamu: “Madam, abeg. Make I no put me for trouble. Oga go kill am for me walahi”.
Charity: “What is wrong with you, Adamu. Are you out of your mind? Open the gate now!” she runs to the gate and begins to pound on it furiously. “Madam, no vex with me, naoga cause am for everything walahi”, he says scratching his head.
The horn of Chucks car causes Adamu to jerk up and run to the gate. “Tou, oga e don come”, he opens the door and salutes Chucks who speeds in like one who is being chased”.
Chucks: “What is wrong with your head, Adamu. Why did it take you so long to open the gate?” he barks getting out of the car.
Charity: “Thank God you are here, Chucks”, she interrupts Adamu’s speech. “Tell Adamu to open the door for me”.
Chucks: “And why would I tell him to do that?”
Charity: “My father is still sick like I told you yesterday, my attention is needed there urgently. I was told he slumped, and he has not been able to talk or move since then”.
Chucks: “What is my business with what happens to your father? Are you a doctor or a nurse? Why must you go there?”.
Charity runs to him and kneels down at his feet.
Charity: “Please, don’t do this Chucks, I beg you in the name of God don’t do this. My father is the only parent I have in the world, he took care of me after my mother died, now that he needs me, allow me go and take care of him”, she says sobbing.
Chucks: “You are a married woman, you are supposed to take care of your husband not your father. His wife should take care of him”.
Charity: “His wife left him some years ago. Please, he doesn’t have anyone to take care of him except me”.
Chucks: “If your father needs your attention, let him call my number and seek permission from me”. He drags his legs from her hands and goes into the room. Charity runs after him pleading, with tears in her eyes.
Charity: “I said he can’t talk, how then can he seek your permission? How can you be this heartless? What did I do to offend you?”
Chucks: “You have the audacity to talk to me in this manner after what I found out about you today right? Okay, oh, you don’t know what you did to offend me right? After sleeping around with my father and attempting to deceive me that you are a virgin?”
Charity: “I don’t know what that old man we met yesterday was talking about, probably he is mistaking me for someone else. I married you a virgin, didn’t you notice how very tight I was then?
Chucks: “No, I didn’t. I only noticed the fake stain you call the blood of virginity on the sheets. And yes, I confirmed that you were not a virgin when I entered you for the first time but I decide to pretend so you can continue making a fool of yourself.
Charity: “What is it now? Must blood come out the first time? A girl can lose her virginity by exercises, horse riding and other things. The hymen can easily be broken, that doesn’t mean that one is not a virgin. In fact, studies have shown that 63% of women don’t shed blood the first time they have sex, so why do you think my own is different?”
Chucks: “You are such a clever little liar. But you know what, I am a step ahead of you, prostitute!”
Charity: “Allow me go, I don’t want to live with a monster like you again. I am tired of this marriage, allow me go. You can have your house, your car and all the things you bought for me, just allow me go back to my father’s house”.
Chucks: “What! You call me a monster? Me, monster Charity. I am a monster and yet I have been tolerating all your lies and pretense even when I know the truth? Okay, I am a monster I agree. I will show you how monsters behave”, his eyes red from anger, he grabs Charity and throws her to the bed and begins to beat her. As one punch after another hits her, Charity begins to cry and wish for death. Having used up her strength to struggle, she gives up and resigns to fate. Having beaten her to his satisfaction, he throws her legs apart and begins to tear her clothes.
Charity: “Please, don’t do this again, Chucks”. She drags herself out of the bed.
Chucks: “You called me a monster; I will show you what monsters do today”.
Charity: “Please, I can’t take this anymore. You cannot continue raping me to satisfy your animalistic desires, I am tired, I want to go back to my father’s house”. She pleads with her last strength
Chucks: “I will do whatever I want with your body because it is mine and I paid for it”. He unzips his trousers and forces himself into her. The pain of his forceful penetration causes her to shut her eyes as hot tears run uncontrollably. After satisfying himself, he pushes her away, spits on her and walks out of the house”.
Iyabo in the house she rented for herself after she left her husband some years ago is now a shadow of herself. When she parked out of the house, she had invested all the money she had in her business from where she paid her rent and feeds herself. Her business is thriving well but recently she has been having sleepless nights marred with several night mares about her husband. After she packed out of the house, Mr Jide had made several efforts to get her to return but she had ignored his pleas. She remembered when he was operated upon, his brother had visited her to plead with her to return back to her husband’s house but she had chased him out of the house. She was sitting in her shop yesterday when she received a call from his brother telling her that her estranged husband was hit with stroke and was unconscious in the hospital.
“How can I face my husband now? Will he even recognize me now that he is unconscious? I heard Charity is married to a very rich man. Will she allow me come near her father?” She signs. Jide took me up from the village and cleaned me up when I had no one to help me, I can’t just abandon him like this. I will go and see him, yes I will go”.
It has been few days after Charity received the call about her father’s health. She had tried all she could to leave the house but the gateman under the instruction of Chucks had prevented her from stepping outside the house. Chuks is always sleeping out and tired, she has stopped asking about his whereabouts. For two days now, he had gone out without informing her and when she called, his number was switched off. She decides to trick the security man into leaving his duty post so that she can go out. She opens the bedside drawer and grabs some naira notes which she stuffs in her bra alongside her phone and then she staggers out crying and holding her stomach.
Adamu: “Madam, wetin I dey make me cry?”
Charity: “My stomach, I am dying”.
Adamu: “Madam, wetin I chop abi I don get belle ne?”
Charity: “Take me to the hospital before I die”.
Adamu: “Hospital? I no know any hospital for here walahi”.
Charity: “Call my husband, tell him I am dying”.
Adamu: “I no get am for credit for my phone”.
Charity still holding her stomach falls on the ground and begins to roll as one experiencing excruciating pain. “Go inside the house, my phone is on my bed, pick it and call my husband”, she orders Adamu who quickly runs into the compound on seeing her condition. She seizing the opportunity, opens the gate and runs out. Luckily, she sees a taxi and she boards it to the hospital.
Iyabo, restless locks her shop and goes back to her house where she prepares vegetable soup and cat fish just the way her husband likes it. She takes her bath and perfumes her body after wearing the dress he bought for her few months before she packed out of his house. She puts a call through to her bike man whom she always calls to take her to the market. After waiting in vain for him for more than 30minutes, she picks another bike and heads to the hospital where her husband is on admission.
At the hospital, the receptionist directs Charity to the ward where her father is on admission with his younger brother sitting beside his bed. Seeing him looking very fragile and feeble, her tears begin to flow. She runs to his bed and hugs him.
“Daddy, I am sorry. I should have listened to you, I remember you telling me that all that glitters is not gold but I was carried away by the love of material things. Forgive me, dear father”. She says amidst sobs.
Mr Jide: “My daughter, I am proud of you. On your mother’s death bed, I promised her that I will make sure that I train you well. I was afraid that men will take advantage of the fact that you have no mother and that is why I told you that it is a sacrilege to lose your virginity before marriage…I…I…I”, his speech seizes even as he struggles to say something. His breathing becomes labored and his eyes begin to lose their sparkle. He begins to jerk and struggle for air. Noticing the change in her father’s behavior, Charity runs to call the doctor on duty.
Charity: “Doctor, doctor!”
Chucks receives a call from an unknown number. It is Alhaji Garba
Alhaji: “Hello! My son”.
Chucks: “Hello, who is this please?”
Alhaji: “It’s me, Alhaji Garba, your father. My Son, please listen to me. I need to talk to you. It’s urgent and important”.
Chucks: “How did you get my number, old man?”
Chucks, realising it’s Alhaji, his biological father calling, presses the “red end button” on his phone. The line gets disconnected
Question: Will Mr Jide survive the illness? Will Iyabo meet him before he dies? What will Chucks do when he finds out that Charity has left the house?
…SEE Final Episode 21 Below (You don’t wanna miss this!)
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