I’m one of those skeptics who never believed outlandish stories; where one’s dad would be sleeping with one’s friend or mum sleeping with one’s husband. I just never truly believed it could happen or even happen to me!
But it did!
I was raised by my mum after my father walked out on us when I was much younger…he was a lecturer who claimed he fell in love with one of his students and before my mum knew what hit her, he relocated abroad with the lady…they have four kids today…oh yes, they are still very much together.
Naturally, my allegiance lay with my mum. She raised my sister and I alone! From primary school through to university level.
I saw my mum sell her George, you know those wrappers that women from the South- South cherish? My mum had several designs, several textures, those were very expensive back in the day. My mum sold them and her earrings, her gold earrings, chains… sometimes to cover the cost of tuition or feeding for my sister and I.
In fact, we had a particular mallam we went to then, as soon as we needed money, my mum would give us a piece of jewellery or George wrapper to go sell to the mallam, he would give us cash and we would go to the market to buy food or whatever we needed. I saw my mum cry many times she thought we were not watching her and this increased in me the desire never to have any man in my life!
I vowed never to let any man do what my dad did to my mum…I didn’t want to get into any relationship that was deep enough for any kind of commitment.
So I dated older men. Older men don’t want to marry you, they just want to play with you and since I wasn’t out for marriage, I needed the money and the life they could provide. It’s easy to look at me and say, see ashawo…no, I chose to do older men because I didn’t want any form of seriousness.
So that was it!
I didn’t want to end up like my mum, much as I loved her!
Then I met Collins. I had served and was looking for something permanent as in a job, now. I met him at a friend’s party. He came with another friend of his. He was almost 26 years older than me but we hit it off from the get go.
I told him, I didn’t want marriage, he told me he was not looking for a second wife. Collins was different. I told myself, after dating him for almost a year, that, if he asked me to marry, him…I would. I mean, he was just right for me…yeah, I know. I changed my position on marriage and commitment.
Ok, so, you know before Collins, I had never introduced any guy to my mum. She kind of knew I had boyfriends but never met anyone of them…I told her over the years that I didn’t want to get married after what my dad did to her but she said I would change my mind…I never did until I turned 28 by that time, I had dated Collins for about one year.
Ok, so I confided in my mum and no, we didn’t live together, I moved to Lagos and of course my mum remained in Port Harcourt. When I told my mum about Collins, I told her I had met someone but he was married, my mum went ballistic on me!
She said I was doing the same thing my father’s wife did to her. She begged me to stop seeing Collins and I was like, wao…I thought she would be happy for me!
Anyway, I didn’t stop seeing Collins, in fact, I didn’t tell him about what my mum said. I also stopped talking to mum about Collins.
Fast-forward to a few months later, my mum came to Lagos to see one of her cousins, aunty Jane, who’s husband died. Naturally, mum stayed with me…that’s how she met Collins.
I didn’t tell mum that was Collins because I was afraid she would embarrass me. The two of them hit it off! I swear, I was surprised. Even when my mum knew who Collins was, she was like, “I wish he was someone else, I wish he didn’t have a wife and kids, you still have to stop seeing him.”
Let me cut it short here. Collins kept coming to visit even when I was not home and though they both informed me about each of these visits, sometimes, I myself would leave them for long hours, staying at the place I am at, thinking if my mum got to know Collins better, she would stop asking me not to see him…
Apparently, they were doing more than bonding.
I came to know some six months later, but before then, after my mum went back to Port Harcourt Collins stopped having sex with me.
At first, I thought Collins was just worried about things…his wife, work…he began to withdraw. I was waiting for him to, you know, make our relationship more permanent… since he’d met my mum and all that. He just kept posting me. The bloody fool called me one day, told me he didn’t want to continue with me again and that he was seeing someone else…
I just couldn’t believe it.
I called my mum to tell her and she told me it was for the best.
Hummn. What is amazing to me is how the two of them thought they could continue a relationship without me knowing?
How did I know?
My younger sister called to tell me!
She told me Collins has left his wife and that he had been transferred to PH…oh yesss! He works in a bank!
Yeah, my mum did to Collin’s wife what Rita, my dad’s wife, did to her and she hated it!
I’m so ashamed of her!
I still can’t believe what my own mum did, she told my sister she was trying to help me! Can you imagine that?
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)