Less than one year into our marriage, my husband was already sleeping around.
How did I land myself in this sort of dilemma, you ask?
It was my need to get married; I wanted to be Mrs. Somebody and I didn’t look well before leaping into this sorry idea of a marriage.
I am the first of my parents’ children but at almost 42, I was nowhere having a boyfriend, not to talk of getting married and having my own children and I so longed to have my own children.
So when Jacob came along, said a few nice things to me, I fell for it.
He was one of the contractors we dealt with at my office; he supplied cleaning staff to a number of companies, ours included.
The first time I met him was when a colleague of mine who worked in HR with me went on maternity leave and I was in charge of ensuring the smooth running of operations in the company. One of Jacob’s staff had fainted in the toilets. I was called upon to help get her out and call for help…it turned out the girl was three months pregnant. Anyway, I called her boss, who is Jacob and told him to come pick his staff…he also ensured the girl was replaced by another girl to make up for the numbers we agreed to clean our office…so that’s how we met and even after my colleague came back from her mat leave, six months after, I was still in charge of that part of our work…the cleaning and even the drivers were under my jurisdiction.
Anyway, that’s how things began with Jacob and I.
He flattered me a lot and told plenty of jokes.
He asked me out a few times; I invited him to my place a few times…he said he wanted to settle down as he wasn’t getting any younger and he told me he was just 38 years old.
Though he looked older, I still kind of felt a certain way, dating someone who was much younger than me. You know, 5 years gap is no joke. But he kept assuring me that nobody would know there was such a huge gap between as I looked a lot younger than him and I think I do.
So in a matter of like 8 months of courtship; we were married, it wasn’t up to one year, it wasn’t. I was ready, he was ready, we were both mature, so we went ahead to do a small wedding. No need for noise, that was it.
I moved into his place in Akute, it is a house he had been building but hadn’t completed, you know, decking. It was a five bedroom, he intended to complete it with another storey and we would rent that out. I wasn’t feeling anyhow about the house not being completed, a lot of houses in that area too were like that, half completed and people living in them already.
More so, we won’t be paying any landlord, this was our own house, in time, we would complete it.
Thankfully, a few months after our marriage, I took in.
At 43 years and pregnant with my first child, it was a dream come true for me. At this time, too, I still worked at my old office and still supervised the cleaning crew…my boss is a kind man. He didn’t complain, he just said Jacob should give him a discount since he gave Jacob a wife, meaning me.
6 months into my pregnancy, I was told we were expecting a baby boy; I was so happy.
Then things began to unravel.
I began to notice that my husband was always on the phone late into the night. He would get up to receive phone calls outside. At first, I thought maybe he didn’t want to disturb me, so he took his calls outside but after sometime, I began to creep behind him to hear his conversations. It didn’t take long for me to realise he was on the phone with another woman.
I would hear him say, “…Sorry my dear…I have sent the money, my love…my sweetie, how are you…”
I was in pain but I quickly borrowed myself brain. Here I am, married and in less than one year, expecting a child at 43…do I need to start fighting a man over his amorous moves? I decided not to. I pretended not to know what was going on. I told myself, “se bi he still comes home to me? Se bi he is expecting a son from me? Why kill myself over someone outside?”
I now don’t know if that was a wise decision because, a few weeks after I gave birth to our son, my husband went missing…
That day, he had called to tell me he was going to be late coming home.
As usual…he was always coming home late, so I didn’t even bother until around 9.30pm that day, I called his number, he said he was in traffic. I said “Ok, be safe.”
I must have fallen asleep, it was my baby’s cries that woke me, I checked the time and it was past 11pm! My husband still hadn’t come home!
I called his number, he told me he was meeting someone for work but he would be returning home soon.
After that, I called very hour, it would ring out.
The following morning, I tried several times during the early hours, his phone was switched off. At exactly 5am, I called his junior brother to tell him my husband didn’t sleep at home and his phone was switched off.
His younger brother was at our house around 8am and together we went to report to the police in our area.
The police said we should wait another 24 hours; in between that time, we made several attempts to reach him but the phone was still off.
The following day, we went to report at the police station again, this time, to say, he was missing. We paid some money so that the police could help us track the last place his phone functioned. They zeroed in one house in Ikorodu.
The police contacted their colleagues in Ikorodu about the matter, they discovered my husband’s phone beeped in one rea there; it turned out he was sighted at that palace with a woman.
This was after several days of investigation; the woman was discovered to be the cleaner girl I said fainted in our office that time. You remember?
Anyway, the girl was located and arrested and she claimed not to know where my husband is. She said true, he spent the night at her place but he left the following morning. She said she had dated my husband before he married me and that he often came to sleep over at her place, though she claimed he wasn’t the father of the baby she had months back.
After several investigations by police, they released the girl because they said they couldn’t find evidence of foul play on her part. And that since my husband’s phone beeped at another location after her place, she was released.
Well, it’s been more than two months now, my husband is still missing.
Was he kidnapped and used for ritual because nobody has called me for ransom; did he enter one chance? Was he involved in any accident?
I don’t know!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)