It was exactly 1 a.m. in Lagos and the night was stillborn. I was having the worst day of my life as my favorite club Liverpool so dramatically lost the 2018 Champions League trophy to Real Madrid yesterday, all thanks to Karius and of course Sergio Ramos who dismembered tactically our star-man Mohamed Salah to tighten a smooth oppression. It had rained a lot shortly after the game – for about two hours – I guess even the sky smelled of poultry play and had decided to cry for Liverpool.
The roads were awash in heavenly tears, but that obviously didn’t stop angry Liverpool fans from finding their way back so quickly. I was walking alone, wondering what had made the night so lifeless, even after a big game day like the UEFA Champions League final, and also since it was said that Lagos never sleeps. Suddenly, I started to hear rushing footsteps …
My heart pounded instantly, but the real man in me stabilized the beat … I boosted my spirits and watched.
A few seconds later, I heard heavy breathing up close. I hid behind an abandoned Danfo bus and narrowed my vision in that direction, using the rays reflected from the towering lampposts that stood like guardian angels. I saw a huge shadow approaching me. My heart jumped through my mouth – how the hell could anyone or anything have understood me – from my obscure position. I concluded; my days in this cruel world were over. What do I have to lose anyway, since I am neither married nor a child. Well, just my mom and only sister I would miss so dearly. I calm my breathing – “Let the worst happen,” I reassured myself, giving my time, calculating the steps of the approaching shadow and waiting for what would happen next …
The figure suddenly transformed into a heavily pregnant woman. A dozen thoughts crossed my mind. The transformation was so whimsical I wasn’t sure if I should be feeling relieved or more scared – she was running around like it was a dear life … I followed her point of view as she intermittently looked behind for see who or whatever was chasing her, (But I found out earlier that there was no one chasing her).
Even so, she seemed to be running from something. She slowed down at one point – She looked back – No one was coming – She was breathing so hard – she then lowered herself onto a gravel hip visibly destined for a nearby construction site, then slowly rested his posterior on the gravel …
Gradually, his heavy breathing stabilized. Suppressing my fascinating impulse to flee to safety, I hesitantly wandered over to her, observing her closely and intently as they would usually tell anyone in Lagos. My heart hit my chest painfully. As soon as I was close enough I tried to act as a security guard … but before I could issue a single request there was a sudden power cut … (like in the dark total).
Anyone who has lived in or visited any part of Nigeria would definitely understand what I mean, and given my current situation it was sharing mischief. How could they have passed out at this crucial moment? All I expected at that moment was some wild or mystical creature pouncing on me, or rather that mysterious woman who could be some kind of bloodsucking demon would tear or suck me blood dry … (But neither of those horrible things happened to me).
Suddenly, I heard a soft voice coming from the dark … It was the woman’s.
“You wonder what a very pregnant woman like me is doing on the street at this time of night, I guess?” You wouldn’t complain if I told you who I am or what I’ve done. She spoke in Yoruba and I understood her very well. “I did what no one ever envisioned, and my sins caught up with me … Don’t pity me! I don’t deserve your mercy …”
I was shaken by these words, and just in time, the power was turned back on, and I could clearly see her face as she continued, in Yoruba.
“Please what’s the quickest way for a pregnant woman to die?”
Hearing this one, I quickly pulled away from her. See me o. Did they send her to tempt me or something? She looked desperate, her voice was shaking, but her will was firm. I couldn’t answer, so she continued …
“I know you probably think I’m a crazy woman. No I’m not. My name is Ose, from Edo. I’m married to a man from Imo, but I reside here in Lagos with my husband. I had been married for 15 years with no problem to show. The world, to me, was a little house full of scorpions and vipers … and I was right in the middle of it all, counting the time and waiting the last sting or bite that could knock me out for good. The frustration gradually escalated to the climax when I saw the cold menopausal hands scratch me gently but with a malignant twitch. Unfortunately and to my dismay my husband was not so bothered at all by my dilemma.
Things got worse when my husband’s family stepped up the pressure on him to take a second wife. He complicated the already bad situation by refusing their requests, thus turning up the heat, and everything turned against me. They instantly laced the entire fabric around my neck, alleging that I had pinned their son with a strong juju, to make my offer.
My stepmother was the most desperate, but I understood her predicament. She was in her late sixties; and according to popular African belief, seeing one’s grandchildren before death is a sure ticket to eternal bliss. Of all the indications, I was going to deny her what she deserves – that’s why I became her worst enemy. Later, she improved her game by coming to live with us in the house; and that was the start of all that is painful. She gave me the kind of happy married life that I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy. Every time my husband leaves town, she throws my things out of my matrimonial room until my husband returns. I kept my cool and didn’t do anything she did. She continued like this until she had an urgent reason to go home. She really made my life hell, to the point that I have contemplated suicide countless times.
Titi (my best friend), suggested that we options for adoption, but my husband totally forbade the idea and even threatened to end the marriage if I mentioned the word adoption again. He gave his reasons being that adopted children often come from contaminated blood lines; because they are often abandoned children. No normal person would ever leave their child to another man, except prostitutes who must have been impregnated by criminals and do no good.
At this point, Titi gave me awkward advice again. She told me to consider finding a lover, just for me to conceive … maybe the problem was with my husband all these years. She even told me that this was how she gave birth to her four children – that had been her little secret all these years.
I had never cheated on my husband before; I’ve never considered it, never before, and my husband was indeed a champ in bed … yeah-yeah sure, he knows how to hammer and please a woman, well-well … (Lol ) … But my dilemma was deeper and darker than a mirage, because I had a very strong feeling that I was only two years away from MENOPAUSE.
For several weeks, I slept and thought. I was in turmoil; I have never known any man other than my husband. I didn’t know how to find a man who would just sleep with me, get me pregnant, and then walk away without causing any problems.
On the other hand, I thought about God, the Bible, and the teachings of the gospel. But my decision was already made. I have been faithful to both God and my husband for the past 15 years and yet no reward for it. I was already tired of all the sermons on the gospel and morals.
Titi advised me to choose a man that I could control so that there would be no complications later. I chose my housekeeper; a very handsome young man with an amazing personality even in his low status. Bayo was about 23 years old, but he was so mature, reasonable and irresistible. I always admired him a lot but I kept my distance.
When I threw my advances at him, he initially refused, explaining a whole bunch of reasons why it was so bad for him to see me “without pants”. He left me no other option but to force him to do so. I increased my incentives, but threatened to send him back to the village if he decided to refuse me again or raise a wick about it-oh, poor boy … I couldn’t stand the look of his innocent face when he undressed me (because I had it done by himself). When he finally entered me, it was like in heaven. I swallowed every inch of his creativity, and yet I wanted to know more.
Bayo’s skills have taken me through cloud nine, into the past. When I was younger I was addicted to porn and often fantasized about being manipulated by the pros – it made my dreams come true. He was so good that he quickly erased the memories of my husband’s magic touch from my lustful mind. I lost control of myself; I brought him to my matrimonial bed during the day (while my husband went to work), and crawled out of bed in his arms most nights. We consistently had unprotected sex for two straight months and I almost forgot the main reason it all started in the first place … I actually started enjoying my unholy relationship with him.
During the second month, I started to notice changes in my body. I later learned from the diagnosis that I was already two months pregnant (I couldn’t believe it). Titi was the first to hear my testimony, even before my husband. She was so excited, but curious to know and meet the miracle worker. After much persuasion, I let the cat out of the bag; Immediately she became very angry with me. She advised me again to get rid of him (as if to find a way to kill him) her reasons were that the boy was a very risky part to keep for me as he was an insider and could somehow another to find out that I had her child later in the future.
I relentlessly tried to poison Bayo on several occasions but something held me back. I quickly discovered that I was in love with him. Once again, I am sorting out Titi’s opinion. She offered to help me with a “permanent” solution. I didn’t know what she meant, but I accepted with “thank you”. The next morning, two Assassins came to the house in the form of armed thieves and took my husband’s jeep. They also shot Bayo three times, in the process … Bayo died moments later, as three of the bullets shot through his chest.
I was not happy. I certainly didn’t ask him to kill the innocent boy. I should have understood her nuance when she used the word “permanent”. I had assumed that she was going to somehow kidnap him and maybe force him into exile or something of that nature … in fact, she actually said she was going to lead him to exile for good. I had no idea what kind of exile she meant. It made me sever my relationship with Titilayo from that day on, but I did not tell my husband what had happened between me, Titi and Bayo or what even led to his death.
I noticed that my husband was so sorry about Bayo’s death but didn’t bother to ask why. One early morning, I was in the 7th month of my pregnancy, my husband woke me up. He looked very upset and depressed. I asked him what the problem was, but he knelt in front of me and told me he had a big confession to make.
“Honey I’m so sorry, I haven’t told you the truth all these years”
I was confused … what truth is he talking about? I got curious … (Could it be that I’m not the only one with a red skeleton in his closet?). At that point, he began his confession.
“Baby, many years ago I had a very difficult life in college. I had contracted an STD and was too ashamed to go to the hospital. I opted for local preparation. instead, but later when I left college I had medical complications … The untreated virus had already damaged my testicles and left me helpless forever. ”
“What honey?” I couldn’t contain my shock! But knowing what I had already done, I didn’t know how to best act as if I had been cheated … My husband calmed me down … he had another confession.
“Baby, please forgive me…” he continued, “I didn’t know how to tell you all these years. But before the infection, I had a girlfriend in school who got pregnant for me. gave her money to abort the fetus, but she categorically refused. I broke off the relationship afterwards, but nine months later she brought a little boy to my mother on the long vacation. I couldn’t reject the baby this time around, so my parents agreed to take responsibility for it while I was finishing my studies. This is the same girl who gave me the STD, but died a few years later from other medical complications. “
At this point, I felt that my husband was moving away from his confession, as I was not interested in what had happened to the woman who had become pregnant for him. I was only concerned about the boy’s well-being, so I asked him;
“Honey, don’t worry… I forgive you. But how is this boy now and where has he been for all these years?”
My husband paused for a very long time … moments later he took a very long breath and then continued his narration.
“Honey, he lived with us. It was Bayo our house boy… I didn’t want you to know his true identity. I was afraid you could mistreat him or even kill him like most women do. do to children who “I was born in their marital home to another woman. I wanted to protect him because I was not going to be able to put a pregnant woman back while I was alive… ”and then he started to cry like a baby.
I froze in place. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. Then to top it off, said my husband;
“Dear, please. I am not mad at you. I knew all of this while the baby in your womb is not mine. But I was too ashamed to confront you. Now that everything is. revealed in broad daylight, please tell me, who is the father of our unborn child? “
For hours, I couldn’t say a single word to my husband. I also didn’t know how to start my own confession. How can I admit that I really cheated on him on several occasions, under his nose … and how can I even admit that I did it with his own son? Worse, how can I tell her it’s my fault her son died?
At this point, she paused for a long time … I waited patiently for her to continue her confession. I wanted so much to hear the end of her story (at least her husband’s reaction to her confession) … But she remained cold, silent and remorseful.
I knew she still had a lot to say. I waited patiently for her to speak again. Moments later, she suddenly grabbed my arm and moaned;
“Promise me! Promise me that you will tell my story to the world! Promise me!”
I managed to contain my shock, then I responded reassuringly;
“I promise you. Tell me everything, I’ll write a book in your name.”
She took a deep breath and then nodded twice. We looked each other in the face. I wanted to ask her a lot of questions but I couldn’t risk making her work. She took her time to tell little by little the remaining part of her story, and I listened very accurately not to miss a single fragment.
His story was quite an intriguing story. I thought about leaving her for a few moments and rushing home to get my pen and paper. I just couldn’t afford to miss a detail. On a second thought, I considered convincing her to follow me home so that we could be more comfortable. It took a while for me to calm her down and of course gain her trust, but after a lot of persuasion, she agreed and followed me to my family’s house. My mother being very moved, didn’t even bother to inquire about her identity – seeing her alone with me was enough to attest to such curiosity – again, given that she was very pregnant (as he It is customary in Africa to care for pregnant women with care and compassion devoid of class or personality (including crazy pregnant women). After settling in all night, Ose told me her story. I took my time to organize all the details, from the threshold to the conclusion.