My husband is a romantic, I am not.
He is the type that would put notes in secret places for me to find; prepare meals for me, just so I can put my feet up for a while; buy me stuff and hide them where I would find them while looking for something else.
My 40th birthday was approaching a few months before all thos Coro wahala. I told my husband he should do something else with his money rather than throw me a party. At that time too, things were a bit tough for us financially, so there was little talk of a birthday party.
He said “ha 40 is a milestone.”
I told him not to worry and since I knew we didn’t have much in terms of cash at that period, I didn’t think he would do anything but come home early from work and spend quality time like I planned to; since our kids were in boarding school.
A few weeks before then, I would catch him whispering on the phone and when I drew near to him, he would start speaking loudly. If I asked who it was, he would say the mechanic or a colleague from office or his cousin…you know, weird behavior.
A few times he would actually go outside to make calls. Isn’t this how men who are cheating on their wives behave?
Who was he sleeping with?
When did it start?
What does she have that I didn’t?
I confronted him, he denied it. What else would he have done, I asked myself afterwards.
Then on my birthday, there was no’ Happy Birthday’, nothing…he had forgotten!
He was rushing out…he had a presentation, he had one thing, that thing, he rushed out, and as he was rushing downstairs, he was talking fast on the phone but looking furtively behind him to see if I was watching him…you know?
I got ready for work and left the house; we both worked on the mainland; but you know I was hurt!
I was boiling!
I expected my husband to at least call to greet me, say nice things to me…nothing. ok, so I decided to call him around noon, you know, tell him my mind because I know I would never forget his birthday, never!
His phone was busy…he didn’t call back because he must have seen I was trying to reach him, not so?
30 minutes later, I called again, he cut me off and didn’t call back!
By this time, I was a volcano. I just packed my bag and told my colleagues I was going home because my head was about to explode!
I had got close to the gate of our house when I saw my husband’s car packed outside, I saw him hug a woman at our door as she entered the house.
Our people say in order for your eyes not to see evil, the whole of your body must actively participate, the legs will carry you far away from that evil, your neck will turn away from it, your whole body will move such that your eyes will not behold that evil…so I turned and began to walk in the opposite direction.
I may have walked for say maybe five minutes or more because you see, I was confused when my brain began to function again.
I told myself, “You, you are running away from your matrimonial home because of why? Someone has come to desecrate your home, you are running, are you mad? C’mon run back and break their heads!”
So I did a 360 and began to run. I wanted to catch the cheating baggers and break a few heads. My mind was full of anger and bitterness! Men indeed are scum, after all my years of sacrifice and on ny 40th.
I got to the house and my husband rushed out quickly as if to stop me from getting into the house.
He said, “Baby’m you are back early, come let me show you something at the back of the house…”
I screamed, “Where is the lady that entered this house? Where is she?”
I felt cheated, I felt angry, I was mad and I was pulling and scratching at my husband because clearly, he was trying to prevent me from getting into the house!
I struggled past him and kept shouting, “You are such a disgrace, you brought a woman into our house, you should be ashamed of yourself…“You ingrate, animal in human skin…”
“Is this how you will treat me? I picked you from the gutter, I will drop you back…”
“You ingrate… animal in human skin…”
Unprintable names…I was screaming like a witch on fire when I saw people emerging from behind the couch, behind the dining, from our kitchen, from the staircase…my friends, my family, a few of our neighbours…
They all shouted, surpriseeeee!!!!
I didn’t see this coming at all! My husband had planned a surprise 40th party and I had no idea!
I was so ashamed of myself, I mean everyone heard me curse my husband, threaten him…I was so ashamed of myself…I couldn’t truly enjoy the party. Since then, I have been begging him to forgive me but the things I said can’t be unsaid.
(series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true story)