Yes, I am a side chick.
No, I didn’t set out to be one but you see the guys around me just wanted to chop and go; no one was talking marriage with me.
I had been in several relationships where the guys would just disappear after all my efforts; so when this man came into my life and told me right from the beginning that he wasn’t interested in marriage; I was happy that he was honest with me.
A few months into the relationship, he told me his wife was barren and that he was looking to having children outside wedlock.
See, this man was a spender, he spent a lot of money on me, sponsored me twice abroad, settled me in a flat and life was good. I had no intention of having a baby for him because I knew he was already married but he kept telling me that if I had a child for him, he would do so much for me, that all he wanted was to have a child bear his name. The idea of being a second wife then became appealing to me.
I got pregnant and announced to him that I was carrying his child. You should see how elated he was, how so happy like a little boy that had been given a toy he had been dreaming about.
He came to my house every evening after work, spent time with me but never slept over. At the beginning, I was cool with it but body no be wood na. I began to resent the fact that there was still a main wife. I didn’t realize the wife at home was under intense pressure from her in-laws, in short, I didn’t realize a lot of things, I was just after my own joy.
You can hardly blame me jare because, all is fair in love and war and it is every man for himself or should I say herself.
I didn’t tie her womb, I didn’t do anything to take her man, I was doing my own thing jejely when he came to me. When he told me he was married, I didn’t have any notions about having a child for him, I just wanted to have a bit of fun and move on. He was the one who pestered me for a child, he was the one who offered to rent me a house and furnish and spend time with me. I didn’t force him to, if you need to blame anyone, blame him.
Anyway, that’s how come I had my first child, a baby girl.
My man’s mother and sisters came to meet me in the hospital; apparently, they too were eager for him to have a child. They took care of me, and told me I had nothing to worry about. They took responsibility over everything and when I was discharged, his mother came to bathe the baby for a few days until my mother came from Ibadan and took over. No, his mother didn’t sleep in my house, she came everyday, though.
Now, on the day of the naming ceremony, I was told that the baby had to be named in her father’s house, that the guests and family would meet at my man’s house.
That day should have been the first sign for me to know that I had made a mistake but I was too foolish to see it.
After I had dressed up, worn the clothes and all the new materials they brought for me, I was forbidden to enter the house. I was told that since I wasn’t a wife, I could not sit with them as they named my child! Can you imagine that?
Suddenly, I was not good enough?
They said the first wife would be the ‘mother’ for that day. I later saw in the video that was recorded that my baby was given to the wife to pray for. She was just crying…to be sincere, I felt the family cheated both of us.
She, because, she had no child of her own, had to stomach praying for another woman’s child, me, because I was prevented from witnessing my own child’s naming ceremony. I was told to wait outside the gate!
After that ceremony, they entertained guests but my baby was given back to me and we were taken back to my house. No guests, no entertainment, nothing. Well, a few of my friends came and we had a quiet gathering.
I was so furious with my man and I decided to have a long talk with him. The following day, he came with gifts, money that had been given in my child’s name, he came with so many things and told me I should not rock the boat.
He then told me the story of how he and his wife had been trying to have children, how she had been going from one fertility doctor to another how every time he was supposed to have sex with her he just couldn’t get his ‘thing’ up, except with me.
I kind of felt sorry for the woman sha, but she had her own problem, so did I. Now, I had a child who might grow up outside her father’s house! I had to find a way of getting this man to at least do some traditional wedding things for me, for my pride. I didn’t want to be a baby mama. What woman doesn’t want to be married, enh?
But it was one quarrel after another with my man; he told me one day that he only came to visit because of his child. See now? So, I was no longer relevant, that was when I decided to stop him from seeing my baby.
I wanted to punish him for this and after a while, it worked, I would always find one place or another to go when I knew he was coming to visit. After a while, I went to stay with my mother in Ibadan and it was while there that I realized I was pregnant for him again.
See me see wahala.
So, I called him that I was feeling one kind, that I think I may be pregnant again…
He was like, ‘ok, come back to Lagos, this is good news.’
How old was our baby? She was almost 11 months…yes, I know it was too soon, abi?
Ok, I came back to Lagos and we became close again but I kept asking him when he would perform my marriage things, he always said he never wanted a second wife. Oho, you don’t want a second wife and you won’t leave me alone!
I gave birth to another baby girl; same way the second ceremony was conducted for her naming. I stomached the hurt for a long time but then, I finally decided to cut off from him. I barred him from coming to see the children after we had a big fight. My second daughter was about 18 months or so then.
He would send money to my account for his children; he would beg to see them but I gave him an ultimatum, marry me or you don’t see your girls!
Why did I insist on marriage? I have two children, I can’t date or marry anyone; he has spoilt market for me! Can’t you see that?
For many months, he would just send money…
Then the shocker came, his wife, I heard had taken in, she gave birth to a boy!
He has since fashied us, o. As in finally! He doesn’t call, won’t pick my calls, doesn’t send money for our girls. Now it’s as if my girls are not even human beings. I see his different posts on Facebook about him and his wife and son. So, because I had girls, my children are no longer relevant, God will judge him!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)