There was just so much he could take. As he complained to his friends…he shed tears over what might have been. What could have been.
Looking at his friends…he knew his capacity, knew he was far better. But he had missed it. And they were lucky in the decision to marry whom they had married.
So, they flourished. They were not as flamboyant…but you could see in their eyes …the mockery!
Bad belle pipo!
Even as they sympathised with him, they mocked him albeit behind his back. He knew it. He felt it. But he could not help it…he longed for their company as one who knew he had nothing at home to look forward to.
He had resigned himself. He was used to it now. This suffering and smiling.
One day, while clubbing with his pals (you see he did that a lot); he ran into one of his wife’s many lovers. The encounter left a bitter taste in his mouth. What should have been his; what was his by right…had been rubbished and lobbied amongst so many. He felt emasculated…less of a man.
When he got home; looking at his kids…their unkempt hair, their unpolished mannerisms, the dirt beneath their fingernails and the unmistakable trail of lice down their necks…he not for the first time shuddered at the irony of his situation.
This couldn’t be happening to him. He that used to be the cynosure of all eyes, the toast of the town. Nobody would have believed that his offsprings even though clothed in seeming luxury would be hiding such filth underneath.
They had mastered the art of bootlicking to get what they wanted. You see, that was the way it was with his wife. These kids knew to lie and steal to get ahead and they thought nothing of each other. It was all ME ME ME!
He had tried reasoning with them, showing them the way…but his hands were tied. He knew it. His wife knew it. His children knew it. Again he had resigned himself. Suffering and Smiling. Through it all. Story of his life.
Until that club encounter. And he knew no way would he keep suffering and smiling. He was going to change his story.
Upon seeing his wife later, the sheer ferocity of the disgust that welled up in him shocked him and brought him almost to his knees; but he knew his mind was made up. He started spreading the word…hints actually that he was considering a divorce and getting a new wife. He said nothing to her.
His wife however; sensed. But she wasn’t worried; she felt she knew the way to change his mind. She had done it on previous occassions…successfully.
Her kids were loyal..she constantly bought gifts for her in-laws. So she knew she would win if it came to that.
She decided to do some housecleaning anyway…she swept; but packed the dirt under the carpet. She bathed the kids using only water…there wasn’t enough money for soap; especially with that pair of Loubotins boots she had booked down. The rats that had made themselves at home…she gathered together and instead of killing them…she kept them in a loose cage at the backyard. Did she block the rat holes? No…it took too much of an effort.
She even attempted initiating conjugals in their bedroom…but wisely advised herself when she saw the countenance of his face.
She brought in their long lost religious beliefs and tried spiritualizing the house. Numerous visits from Pastors, Imams and all what nots.
He would come home to different fragrances of holy incense, he would feel claustrophobic with all the religious paraphernalia scattered around the house. He wondered how his kids coped. But they had also mastered the art of suffering and smiling.
His parents sat him down to speak sense into him.
“ahhh…is it not better the devil you know, than the angel you don’t?”…”See the fine clothes your children are wearing na…which other wife would treat these children this way?”
He marvelled at how blind they were…couldn’t they smell the stench coming from improperly washed bodies. Couldn’t they see the lice that frolicked on their backs and danced down their cheeks?
“So? They said? Na your case worse pass? At least she brings us yam every quarter…you want to stop that. You know the constant battles I have with your father’s goats over those yams. You want to kill us with hunger abi? Ahhh… you are not a good son oh!”
He felt so alone. But he knew he had to do what was right for HIM and his children. Eventually they will see it. Hopefully.
Luckily a few friends supported him. He gathered all the evidence that he could and was pleasantly surprised when the judge granted the divorce.
The first person he called…was .. HER!
You see, he wasn’t perfect. He had also been seeing someone else. The fact is that he had known her way before his marriage. They had a history. When he was with her, she brought sanity to his life. He thought better. Things were not as exciting or extravagant but life was unpretentious. You got what you saw.
He missed that…he longed for that…he needed that. So he reached out to tell her he was now free. Was she still available?
Of course, she said…you know I have always believed in you. It pains me to see you living below your worth.And your kids…something has to be done!
His family wasn’t impressed. She wasn’t clothed in designer outfits. No designer fragrance followed in her trail. Her hair was natural. Her nails were cut short. And…she actually knelt in their presence.
His mother couldn’t take it. Who is this one? This village girl? Thinking of the quarterly yams she is sure she had missed out on; she beat her chest and reprimanded her son…
“you have finished me. You want change abi? Okay o. You are on your own. Let’s see how long she will last ehn“.
The new wife moved in. The children were curious. Trying to get into her good books…they tried the tactics that they knew. But it didn’t work. This left them confused. What manner of mother is this? Does she not know how we do things? She will not last, they proclaimed. They even told her to her face. Especially as she attempted unsuccessfully cleaning them up.
Since she couldn’t get through to her new kids. She decided to focus on the house. She lifted the rugs and carpets and the amount of dirt she discovered was indescribable. She knew she had her work cut out for her. She didn’t complain. She had loved her husband (she still trembled with excitement at that word) for as long as she could remember. And to be given this opportunity? Nobody was going to take it from her. Nobody!
So she attacked the house… Her house constantly had a layer of dust hovering over it, and the stench from the it-seems-like-forever unwashed toilets and kitchen was choking. Visitors came in and complained. Her in-laws lambasted her for the dust and the smell…”our first wife wasn’t like this” they said while pinching their nostrils.
She didn’t bother telling them that if the first wife had done the needful; things wouldn’t be this bad. There was no point. But her husband didn’t share those sentiments.
She kept at it. Every night in the privacy of their room, her husband would massage her aching muscles and encourage her. Telling her how much he appreciated her efforts. This would spur her on the more….so each day she attacked with renewed virgour.
Due to the level of dirt; she always had to go to the market to buy more cleaning products. If she heard of a sale…she made sure she was there. Anything to help. The children complained about her constant travels to the market to whoever cared to listen. But she paid no heed.
One day; she managed to grab the youngest. Scrubbed her, cut her nails, treated her hair. She looked different. She felt different.
Her older siblings rallied round this new creature. Wondering why her nails were this short. What happened to the lice? And…as they inhaled; asked what that smell was.
Perfume she said. Feeling like a million bucks. Perfume? They all whispered… Waoh…!
What did you do, they wanted to know.
Nothing she replied. I even fought her sef, but this our new mummy is strong oh!
She had discovered a cage of rats at the backyard (who does that?). The security from the next compound had just left with them promising to dispose of them. So…she was dusting her feet on the doormat, when 2 of her new children rushed at her and asked her to do to them what she had done to the youngest. Gladly she obliged.
When he came in that night after a hard day’s job, he looked at his kids and noticed. He glanced at his wife. She seemed exhausted, her clothes still bore the marks of her hellish day; but at that moment she was the most beautiful thing he had ever set his eyes on. He mouthed Thank You and Smiled. And knew he had made the right choice.
They still had a long way to go. Convincing friends. Family. Their children. At times, themselves even.
But it had started. This change he wanted. Needed. Together, they will triumph.
If you get this story…then you gerrit!Lolz
Long live Nigeria!
I love life and everything media. An unapologetic lover of books; I also like to see myself as a writer and have a strong affinity for sweet things. My guilty pleasures are chocolates or better still anything made with chocolates and pizza!! i can watch movies for eternity…suddenly have something for Korean soaps! An ex-model; I am also an aspiring actress oo…so call me abeg! lol