Relationships can be funny but as for me, when I am done with you, that is it, no going back. I understand if some people can’t get over their ex-es, different strokes…
I met Eunice years before she got married to the man who is now her ex. We lived on the same street and generally had the same friends; we were friends but not close pallies; I was even at her wedding that time and I was also engaged to another woman when Eunice got married.
Eunice and I, like I said earlier, grew up in the same neighbourhood, had about the same friends because we went to the same secondary school in the area, though different universities and we often ran into one another when mutual friends had events we were both invited to.
But after a while, I lost contact with her and even with many of our mutual friends.
A few years ago, I reconnected with one of our mutual friends and over beer and suya, we exchanged stories about the people we both knew, what they were doing at that time, what was going on in their lives…Eunice’s story came up.
She had three children but had a bitter divorce from her husband who was said to have left her and their three children for one of the young ladies working for him!
The Eunice I knew then was very timid but I heard she was doing well and ran her own business; a super store.
I felt bad for Eunice because I knew the pain of divorce, I had also been divorced a year before…I had just one child whom his mother moved abroad just to make sure I wouldn’t have access to the boy; I hope that someday my boy would come looking for me.
Anyway, that’s how I reconnected with Eunice, our mutual friend gave me her number, I called her, just to say hello, there was no feelings for her then; I just wanted to reach out.
A few months after I contacted her, I ran into her at the mall in Ikeja, ICM. She hadn’t changed much, a little bulky, you know, after three children, that should happen I guess but, she was still the same person with a great personality.
We sat down at one of the restaurants in the mall and chatted about our mutual friends and promised to be in touch…we did and that’s how we began an affair.
Maybe because we were two lonely hearts, maybe because we eventually admitted we were kind of secret admirers of one another but just didn’t know what to do with our feelings since we were both involved with other people at that time. Anyway, ours was also because we felt comfortable with one another, we knew the same sets of people, had the same stets of background…so it was just easy, I guess to fall in love.
She told me I made her laugh again; she told me how her husband began an affair with his junior staff that eventually led to him moving out of their house. But that was 3 years before I reunited with her again and with divorce done, she felt alive once again to move on with her life.
But there was her ex-husband, who though had remarried began to raise dust when he found she was involved with me.
Eunice said he called her one day telling her he had been told she was seen with a man at functions…that was me, at events our mutual friends invited us to and at other places I wanted to take her to.
We had nothing to hide, so I went everywhere I could with her.
Her ex-husband then began to threatened to take their children from her telling her, saying he didn’t want his children influenced by a ‘stranger.’
He threatened to stop paying their school fees if she continued seeing me!
This was clearly blackmail.
At some point, he began to visit anytime I was around. I suspect someone on Eunice’s street must be an informant because the guy had come storming into the apartment three different occasions that I was there. He told Eunice to walk me out…which I dutifully did because he paid the rent.
Now, yes this was quite embarrassing for me and Eunice but honestly, if she hadn’t begged me to leave, I would have stayed to see what he was going to do.
This woman is divorced from you and even if you pay rent, which you are doing for your children’s sake, shouldn’t their mother have a life?
So you ask me, why didn’t I rent a house for Eunice and her kids?
We aren’t married yet, secondly, if I did, let’s even assume she would move to the place or move in with me, what of her children? According to her, though I think its bullshit, she said her ex-has a lot of influence and may take her kids from her or stop paying their fees; one is studying abroad, the remaining two go to posh schools which their father pays for.
So now am I supposed to take up financial responsibilities for a man just because I am bedding his ex-wife? I didn’t want to create any upset but I was ready to financially be responsible for the kids; while I may not be able to pay for the one abroad, I was willing to support my girlfriend with paying for the kids here I Nigeria, posh school or not!
I just felt the ex is a selfish human being; he is with a younger woman who has two small children for him and yet prevents his ex-wife from moving on with her life!
Anyway, his presence in our relationship began to put a strain on us; he was like a monitoring spirit. So bad that we cut off several occasions to meet.
I told Eunice she should call his bluff and either move in with me or visit my place more often but she had two youngsters under her care, so coming to spend nights with me was out of question.
Though we stayed away from one another, we were constantly on the phone together but I’m a grown man in my early 50s, I’ve no time to waste. I like the woman, she is divorced and so am I, what else is left?
I wasn’t going to let go just because some idiot was being mean, so I visited her one day, just to talk things out, I told myself, this was no phone talk.
At her place. I saw her ex’s-car outside…I wanted to go back but I told myself, “Omo boy, this guy divorced this woman, you have a right to be here jare.”
So I went into the apartment…Mr. Ex-husband was dusting off a plate of pounded yam and egusi soup!
You know, for me, this was wrong on so many levels; he is a married man, this apartment may be paid by him but if I were his wife, I would be upset he was cozying up with his ex, regardless of what still binds them!
I didn’t know food was the only thing he had been coming to get from my girlfriend…
You know, I got there, sat down and told myself, I would be here till he leaves.
He finished his food, generally acted like the man of the house and on his way out, told Eunice…loud enough for me to hear, “I will bring a repair man to fix the bedroom ac, it isn’t cooling well, even after 1 hour, how have you been managing it?”
He made it clear he had been in her room for one hour!
When he left, I asked Eunice, “What exactly is going on?”
She had nothing tangible to say, a 47 year old woman, talking non sense about how her ex- husband’s wife cheated with her husband and how she was taking her own revenge!
This killed the love I had for her.
I told her I was done, if she wanted to go back to her ex, she was free to but I assured her; once he finds me gone, you will lose your attraction to him.
Guess what her reply was?
“He says he wants to come back to me… his wife has a boyfriend…much younger than him and he is sorry for leaving in the first place…”
So where do I feature here?
What happened to more that 8 months of fun relationship?
What happens to me? What of his wife?
That was when I asked myself again, “Omo boy, what are you doing with this one?”
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)