I was married to my first husband for only three years before we packed it up.
What did I not do for Dave? That is my first husband? What did I not do for him?
I am a very industrious person and I know I can be brash, sometimes, you know. I don’t deny that. I grew up among five brothers and as the only girl, my brothers taught me to hustle and make quick money. And frankly any man should see me as as an asset but not Dave, o!
Ok, this is what happened.
After school, I went for my masters and did small contracts, you know. This and that…that’s how I began to make money. It’s not as if I come from a rich home, no.
My brothers would sometimes pass small supply contracts to me, in short, while I was still in school, they made sure I registered a company, so that I could be doing small, small jobs. So by the time I was done with school, I was doing pretty well but you know men; my brothes said I shouldn’t buy a car or live in my own flat even though by this time I had bought a flat in one of these housing estates…I paid for it in installments, over a period of three years…anyway, my brothers said some men would be intimidated. So I shouldn’t live there and I shouldn’t buy a car, even a small car sef, they said, “No, don’t buy, use taxi.”
They are my brothers o, the parents I had growing up since ours are too old. I am the last born and only girl, my mum had me when she was almost 45 and my dad was 50…they weren’t expecting me at all.
So, I was doing my small business, buy, sell, make money, roll over, buy, sell, small contract…when I met Dave; he was not like me or my brothers, so I thought, maybe he was who I needed.
You see, my people were all about business and money, he was more about books and education…he is a lecturer.
I told my brothers about him…we courted for a year and got married; he was a serious Christian and I liked that about him. Of course after marriage, I began to go to Dave’s church; not really a church but more like a fellowship, you know. He was a pastor in that Fellowship. It was started by three of them…Dave, Peter and Paul, who are twin brothers, all of them were friends.
Soon after we began to worship there, anytime we had issues, Dave and I, he would go and report me to Peter, who was the senior pastor; then Peter would call me, tell me my husband reported me to him…blah, blah, blah
I was like, me kwa! What did I do? This person reporting me didn’t even discuss the issues with me, he had gone to report to the pastor.
Sometimes it would be about me coming home late, sometimes about me travelling instead of“taking care of the home front” he claimed it was the reason I couldn’t get pregnant!
Imagine! Me that I was running tests, eating all kinds of food to be fertile…chai!
He said I was spending too much money…my money o! On what, kwa? on things for the house we live in. Chai, he told Peter that my brothers were bad influences; that they encouraged me to buy land in my maiden name…meanwhile these were landed property I had been paying for before I got married, o…he reported…
I said, “Come, Dave, why are you reporting me to your friend? Why not call me by yourself and we trash this matter?”
He said because I would always argue with him and start shouting. N’ekwam, why won’t I shout? When you are talking like a stranger.
Ok now, whenever I go to the friend, the pastor, I would tell him my side of the story and he would tell me I did well. Ok, I told him, “…so tell your friend this same thing, tell him you know I did well. I made money, I saved money, I am investing in land…tell him, I am not a useless woman…”
Peter told him, Dave, Dave stopped going to that fellowship, he said we should start going to another church…wetin be my own? I followed him now, as per the good wife.
So Peter, would call me, ask about my business, check on me, advise me on what to do with my business…he was generally doing all the things my own husband should have been doing for me. He’ll ask me: “Have you gone to see your doctor? Are you taking things easy?”
“Have you told your husband your plans?
If he hears that there is trouble in our side of town, he would call to say ‘I am checking on you guys, are you ok…’
If I told him I was travelling, maybe to Abuja, he would call to check if I arrived safe…my own husband won’t even call…you know? I am a human being, too nau.
Well, that’s how I began to tell him a few things…you know. Things I couldn’t tell my own husband because it would turn to fight. He became someone I could confide in because its not all the time I would be talking to my brothers or my girlfriends…and let me say that even when I began to think of him as a husband, I wasn’t ashamed or scared of anything, I just wished I had met him before Dave.
Anyway, somehow, Dave checked my phone and saw all the messages between Peter and I…sis, I was relived!
He made so much noise, I didn’t even apologise because omo, I was tired of the marriage; one, I couldn’t even get pregnant, I had three miscarriages, second off, he was always jealous of any progress I made, that one na husband? Biko shift!
I was done, he called me all sorts of names, I remained pim; long story short, I walked away.
I didn’t walk into the pastor’s arms, no.
At that time, he hadn’t even told me anything beyond showing concern for my general wellbeing.
When I told him what happened, he visited and just advised me to take things easy; he would call to just check on me.
Meanwhile my brothers didn’t even want me to go back to Dave; they said they would disown me if I went back to him. that’s how things began between Peter and I. Yes, o, the Pastor.
And it began like 8 months or so after Dave; meanwhile Dave didn’t even come back for me. He didn’t beg me to return or fight to have me back, it was as if he was also done with me. You know…so when I hear people say, ‘Pastor snatched’ me from Dave, it’s cock and bull, he charmed me and even after two years of marriage, I am still enchanted!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)