Ogbeni, Hear Word!

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Beatrice Femi-Isaacs
It was another bright day in the city of Lagos, and I couldn’t be happier. The smile on my face enlarged as I rolled over to the other side of my matrimonial bed… and he wasn’t there. I wasn’t really sure what I heard him mutter last night. My husband, Femi Isaacs, announced to me he was travelling to the colorful city of Calabar on business. ‘He left me for Calabar on Independence Day. A public holiday!’ At this point in my marriage, if at all I could still call myself a married woman, I didn’t care anymore. I was already eight months into my first pregnancy, and would be due any time from now; a caring husband isn’t supposed to be taking unplanned flights at a point as crucial as this.
I remember the time when we were still courting, when he wanted more than anything for me to say yes to him, there was nothing my Femi wouldn’t do for me. He couldn’t even bear to be away for more than a day. The reverse was the case now. Our seven-year itch arrived too early, and it’s disgusting. Shortly after our wedding, Femi started to exhibit behaviors I never knew he had. He returned home with different vices almost everyday: lipsticks visibly emblemed on his shirts, drunk, tired, and on very good days he’d come back with a different shirt all together. I complained to my mom and confided in his mother, but both woman chalked it up to me overreacting. The day I decided to leave him was the day I discovered I was pregnant, that was when my woes doubled. Femi assumed I purposely wanted to leave with his baby, and he turned me into his punching bag. If there’s one thing I regret, it’s my not sticking to my decision to leave that day. Months later, and that decision still haunts me, but then, better days are ahead.
Luckily, I’ve had plans to unwind with my friends today, and with him out of town, it was the perfect opportunity to travel. We had a flight to catch to Calabar too, to visit our friend, Ini. What a coincidence!
Femi Isaacs
…Life is short and fleeting, and the best thing is to enjoy its beauties before time runs out.
The above has always been my view about life, it has been the major thing guiding most of my decisions, actions and inactions. On its principle, I married Beatrice, my wife, the most beautiful creature on this earth, too perfect for me; yes, I know she is, I love her for always being her. But, it’s also on this principle that I can’t seem to let any loveliness on skirt pass without turning my head for a second view. Within my circle, my guys know my prowess, ‘Dem no dey use me joke,’ they know what I can do. Because of this principle, I was risking the safety of my pregnant wife for one night in Calabar, with the delectable Linda Bassey.
Calabar babes are well known for their inborn aggression in bed. With a libido as high as mine, Linda has been the only lady to top it. I couldn’t miss the chance to have her again. She called me last night, telling me that her boyfriend was away on a job. According to her, I was one of her best to, and she wanted more. Who am I to say no to such invitation?
Here was I, before her door, and without a care for anything in the world but my third leg. In this life, if you don’t take care of matters, they’ll always be there waiting for you. She opened her door, and I walked in to my happiness.
I and the girls, Ada and Bisola, left Calabar city mall after roughly thirty minutes of mostly window shopping. We were waiting for the address of our accommodation from our mutual friend, Ini. She was based in Calabar, and had promised us an explosive night in the city; with the trip to her home, we were already feeling the vibe. We braced ourselves to avoid getting surprised at what we see at Ini’s. We all grew up in Lagos, until Ini got married to a wealthy expatriate, and relocated to Calabar three years ago.
On arrival, the joy on all our faces couldn’t be quantified, we were happy that the reunion/meeting was turning out to be a success. Ini was the happiest to see us, especially me, with my protruding stomach.
“Where is it?” I asked Ini. She had assured me of something, and I was more than eager to see it.
“This way,’ Ini said. I could clearly hear the excitement in her voice. The girls were happy for me. I was happy for me.
With unsure steps, I followed a little behind Ini as we strolled the large compound to another building, secluded, and with a gate of its own. Ini knocked gently on its door, and a young lady answered. She had only a scanty towel tied.
“Is it ready?” I heard the young lady ask Ini, who in turn replied, “Sure.”
I watched intently at the scenario playing out before me, it was getting harder to not develop cold feet; Bisola convinced me to see it through: it was a long time coming.
We entered the house on Ini’s beckon, and there Femi was on the bed of this strange woman. I wasn’t surprised, I was prepared for this reveal. It was Femi I sort of pitied, he had surprise, shame, and confusion written on his face at the same time; he wasn’t ready for this.
“Beatrice,” he managed to call my name.
“Yes,” I answered him calmly; I knew the next thing he’d say, and I wasn’t disappointed.
“I can explain.” He said.
But there was nothing to explain. What Femi didn’t know was that I was in charge of this situation. If only he was as attentive to the things I told him while we courted as he claimed, he’d have remembered when I mentioned I was a vindictive bitch; it was time for him to reap all he’d sown.
His lady, Linda, handed over a memory card she recovered from a camcorder she’d strategically placed to Ini, who in turn handed it over to me; “so you see, it was me all along,” I told Femi.
After Femi hit me for the first time, I miscarried. The pain and guilt I felt losing my baby was so great. I felt dirty. I wondered how my own husband could muster strength to hit me when I hadn’t done him any wrong. It took the intervention of my girls to bring me back up: they made me see the light again. From there, I gave up on him, and started to plan my revenge. It was elaborate, well plotted, I wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. Femi cared for me so little that he never noticed what I had carried in underneath my cloth for nine months was foam. Now, I had proof to show my mother and mother-in-law, who both married me to a chronic cheat to further their business alliance: I wasn’t going to be a pawn in anyone’s game. I was my own person, and I do not intend to keep dancing to anyone’s tune.
Femi was too shocked. He had the most to lose should the video and news of his marital problems become public knowledge; he was on a deal to further expand his PR business. It was his headache. His life, his rules, his choices, his consequences. I was done playing second fiddle. I served him the divorce papers I had brought along with me (Remember I said this plan had been on for a long time).
“Happy independence,” I said to him, and walked out, never to look back at him again.
– Talius Dike
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