Before you judge me, just let tell my story first, ok? I have had enough from my friends and family that my ear is bent. That one don do me, biko. So in the spirit of gisting, let me tell you my story.
I met my current boyfriend at an old school reunion. I have known James for over 25 years. He was my senior at school. I never had any serious interactions with him while we were in school and likewise. The only thing I remember about him is that one day, he punished me for leaving the dining hall with food; at another time, he called me to run an errand for him. I didn’t think he liked me because he never said anything to me. He would just look at me and look away, like, you this girl…hummn.
James and I met two years back at the reunion and it was a R.E.U.N.I.O.N! I had been divorced for about two years. I have just one child, a girl. She is five years old now. What led to my divorce? Oh, my ex just won’t stop beating me every time we quarreled. One day, I got tired of the abuse and pulled a knife on him. He moved out the next day. He said he was afraid I would eventually kill him. Yes, that thought crossed my mind; I will never know if I would have truly killed him but with stories of women killing their husbands every day in the news, the rascal borrowed brain and ran like the coward he is.
He moved in with his mistress shortly afterwards and filed for a divorce. I didn’t contest it, I was relieved.
As for James, he too was getting a divorce, at the time we met, he’d been separated from his wife for about a year at that time, too and they have two young twin boys.
Anyway, today is not the day to talk about my ex. As I was saying, James my boyfriend said so many things about his wife, she nagged, she was lazy, she was a woman who couldn’t hold down a job, she was always critical of him, she never supported him, she was generally a witch of a woman, so he asked for a divorce.
He moved out of the house and they were in the process of divorce when we met. That was the reason I didn’t feel bad going out with him. I hadn’t been with a man for more than five years because I wasn’t sleeping with my husband even before he left the house.
James and I are adults so, we pretty much knew what we wanted. He was nice to me, he encouraged me to go into real business. I was selling smoothies and fresh fruit juices. James encouraged me to quit my job and focus on it. He said since Nigerians have begun to adopt healthy lifestyles, I would make good money delivering smoothies, healthy drinks and I could even add healthy meals and indeed, I did just that and so far, I have no regrets. I bake cakes and cookies as well. The money isn’t tumbling in yet but I can put a comfortable roof over my daughter’s head and pay the outrageous school fees.
Things started well with James and I, but after about a year or so, I began to see him for who he truly is. I mean, as they say, the veil had been lifted off my eyes. At that time, we were living together partially. He sometimes came to spend the weekend at my place; and on days when he didn’t need to get to work early, like public holidays, he would just come by after work and be there until the first day work resumes. After a while, he was living in my house more than at his place. But that’s ok. I had no problems with that because I wouldn’t have moved to his place because I have a young child.
What did I notice? First, see me so, I don’t like sloppy men. I mean, a man has to be neat, pick up his own clothes and undies because as you see me so, I am no one’s nanny. James would eat and leave his plates on the table, drink and leave cups and cans of empty beer lying around. Where is the house help? My daughter is still young though she runs small errands but I don’t want her picking up his dirty socks or shirts or boxers or cans of beer, she is just 6 plus.
At first, I picked up after James but I told him that I would like him to pick up his own items. I have no maid. I work hard and don’t want to get home to nurse my daughter and a bigger child. But he wouldn’t stop and many days when I work late, I would come back and James would be waiting for me to come and cook for him.
Ha, I said, come o. I didn’t sign up for this at all. I am not a young girl hungry for a man by all means; if a man can’t bring anything to the table, biko shift!
What’s more, he began to borrow money that he never returned, he would promise to do something for me and renege…fix the plumbing, he would forget, light bulb, long story, it was soon obvious to me that this guy might have actually been the problem in his marriage.
I was soon to discover that the so called divorce hadn’t even been fully done; his wife is still asking people to go talk to him to return to their home. I heard she had been telling people that I am responsible for her man leaving the house.
Nekwam! I wasn’t even on the scene when their wahala started but you know what? She is more than welcome to have him o. I don tire, just that the bagger does not want to go, but he will o, he will! His wife should come and take him, I can’t deal with this spoilt brat!
(series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)