PART 1 & 2
TASHA (PART ONE)
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
Thick clouds had gathered, it turned dark grey. I looked up at the sudden change. The wind howled as breeze started to blow, raising dust and dirt along with it. I covered my nose with my handkerchief so I wouldn’t inhale the dust. I stood by the roadside frustrated. After several unsuccessful attempts at getting a bike to take me home, I resorted to walking. Boarding a bus was out of it since the traffic was at a standstill. Seeing it was going to rain soon, I gathered what was left of my strength and started the long trek home.
I stepped out of the shower feeling relaxed, thankful to had made it home before the rain started. My feet ached from the long walk. I applied some ointment and massaged it a little after which I put on my night dress, ready for bed. The growling sound my stomach reminded me I was yet to have dinner. I would rather go to bed hungry. I was that tired. Ditching dinner, I opted for sleep. I would have slept for some minutes when I suddenly woke up to the creaking sound of the door. My husband stepped in. “Welcome” I greeted as he sat down pulling off his shoes. “How was your day” he replied. “Good” I answered. “What’s for dinner” he asked after some seconds had passed. “Didn’t you encounter the traffic? I came back tired”. “I took another route” my husband replied. “Good for you but sorry I prepared nothing” He looked at me for some minutes, got up and headed towards the door.
I watched my husband as he stormed out of the bedroom angrily. I’ve never seen him that angry before. Was it really anger? I wasn’t sure myself. I wasn’t ready to find out just yet… maybe not in this state. It would be wise to hold on until things had cooled off. My day had been quite stressful, really emotionally draining. Bode shouldn’t add to it. I just needed to go to bed and put things behind me. I would have to deal with the situation with Bode much later, probably in the morning. Determined to get the sleep I so much needed, I nestled back under the sheets.
I stretched to put off the lights, something caught my attention. It had always been there, at the same spot we put it three years ago but somehow it seemed I’d not noticed it in a long time. It looked new to me altogether. I got off the bed and tip toed towards the direction, wondering why I had to tip toe.
It started to rain. The sound of rain pitter-pattered on the roof top. I took one more step ; my eyes closed on it’s accord, my head spinned. I tried to hold onto something for support but was unable to. I heard someone scream, I later realised the scream had come from me. I slipped… everywhere became dark…
TASHA ( PART TWO )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
“Natasha, Natasha” my husband called. He hardly called my name in full. The few occasions he did that, something was wrong. What have I done this time? His voice seemed distant. “Natasha!” He called out again but this time with so much force. Then, something followed. I could feel some liquid stuff trickle down my chin, it felt so cold against my skin. The liquid hit my face again, and again and again. Someone jerkerd me up, I woke up with a start.
I woke up to my husband’s outstretched arms, his expression was a mixture of worry and joy. Still confused as to what had happened, I took in my environment. We were both in the bedroom, everything seemed intact. “My God you scared me dear” my husband uttered and pulled me into his embrace; my confusion increased. Is Bode actually doing this? I couldn’t remember the last time my husband gave me a hug. My body went stiff not knowing what to expect. Then, he pulled me closer to himself. Deciding to enjoy the moment while it lasted, I melted into his embrace. I felt so protected, so secured. I’ve never felt this way in a long time.
“I thought I had lost you, tell me you won’t ever leave me, I love you very much” he said, running his fingers through my hair. Love, did he just say he loves me? The word sounded so strange coming from him. This got me curious, I released myself from his embrace. “What is happening here?” I demanded. “Sweetheart we need to get you to the hospital first thing in the morning”. I cast a long look at my husband to be sure of what he had just said. “Hospital? I am not sick” I muttered. “You fainted”. “Fainted, how did that happen?” “I have no clue as well. I was in the kitchen trying to fix something to eat when I heard you scream. I rushed here immediately and found you lying on the floor, you had passed out. I placed you on the bed and the process to revive you began. Thank God you are fine, I was scared”. “Why do you care?” I asked the question without thinking. Realising what I had said, I placed my palm over my mouth in a bid to prevent myself from spewing any rubbish further. “I’ll prepare you some milk”. My husband stepped out of the room to get me some milk pretending not to have heard what I said.
I laid back on the bed. “It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman. The words of our pastor’s wife flooded my heart. She had read out the scripture from proverbs chapter 21 verse 19 during the women’s fellowship in church. Reflecting on this, I felt bad about how I had treated my husband in the past few days, always antagonising and opposing his judgments. I quickly defended myself as the scripture kept replaying. “I am not a contentious woman, neither an angry one” I said aloud as if to silence the scripture. Bode is to be blamed here. Why is he suddenly acting all sweet. For almost two months, my husband had been cold towards me ; I decided to follow suit. If he was good at playing the game, I would let him know I’m a better player. We had been reduced to mere housemates. I still managed to prepare his meals, though that happened whenever it was convenient for me.
I looked towards the direction of the photograph on the wall and remembered I had stood up to get it down when I slipped and everything turned dark suddenly. I must have passed out then. I looked at the photograph of our wedding three years ago, Bode and I were all smiles, looking into each other’s eyes. What happened to our marriage? The joy we used to share had suddenly vanished. We had been each other’s confidante, we told each other anything and everything. Our love had been infectious, you couldn’t come around us and not feel it.
I put my hand to my head, it ached a little. Bode returned with a glass of milk and a sandwich, he beckoned on me to rise. He fed me himself and gently tucked me under the sheets. “Go to bed” he whispered in my ears as he put off the bedside lamp. In the dark, I looked at my husband and wondered what would be going on in his mind. This guy must think he’s smart, he must have thought I was unaware of his moves. Anyway, I have to be steps ahead of him in this game. The downpour continued… Proverbs 21:19 replayed again, I cringed, tossed a few times and eventually drifted off to sleep.
PART 3 & 4
TASHA ( PART THREE )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
“Hello, hello”… The sound of hello brought me out of my thoughts. I looked up as my colleague Ekene snaped her fingers at me. “Where did you go?” She asked rolling her eyes at me. “I’ve been standing here for almost five minutes, calling your attention. Let’s go for lunch”. I watched her head back to her desk muttering inaudible words to Eve. I wasn’t in the mood for lunch, I’d rather be by myself in the office. I watched my colleagues step out.
Before Ekene jolted me back to reality, my mind had wandered back to what had transpired between my husband and I earlier. I had woken up feeling much better; ready to face the day. Bode asked that we pray together…I was shocked. When was the last time we prayed together as a couple? Deciding not to cause trouble, I obliged. We held hands as my husband led the prayer. I kept opening my eyes at intervals, just to be sure he wasn’t up to something. Could he be trusted?
“Sweetheart, since you insist on going to the office, let’s get you to the hospital before resuming for work” my husband quipped as he held my waist while I brushed my hair facing the mirror. I rolled my eyes, obviously fed up with his incessant talks of visiting the hospital. I observed him from the mirror, he wore a boyish grin as his dimples deepened. “Fine boy” I thought to myself. “No, I wasn’t going to allow him disarm me with his charm. I quickly checked myself as I almost smiled back at him. Turning around to face him, I yanked his hands off me.
Taken aback by my reaction, he gazed at me. “Don’t even give me that look Bode, I already told you I only passed out due to stress. Period! Why bothering me tirelessly? I am not going to the hospital and that’s final.” “I am your husband, it is my responsibility to take care of you. Don’t make things hard for me”, Bode said softly. “Really? You suddenly realize your responsibility towards me as a husband” I retorted, arms akimbo. Someone else took over that responsibility a long time ago”.
“Natasha!” Bode roared, his eyes flashed with anger. I watched him raise his hands in an attempt to hit me. I cowered, covering my face with both hands inorder to dodge whatever was coming. As if on a second thought, he brought down his hand, picked up his car key and left the room. I heaved a sigh of relief and sank on the bed.
Eve walked into the office, Ekene came in behind her few minutes later grinning from ear to ear with a pack of food as she found her way to me. She dropped the pack of food on my table and flashed me a smile, revealing her gap tooth and well defined set of teeth. “Dave asked me to give you this. He”… “Dave?” Eve cut in, interrupting Ekene. “I thought you said you got it yourself.” “What difference does it make? As long as Tasha gets to eat, that is all that matters. Besides I knew you would start your boring lectures once you realized Dave bought it and I wasn’t in the mood”.
Ignoring Ekene, Eve looked to me. “Tasha, this is not right. For heaven’s sake you are a married woman, a born again child of God. Your closeness with Dave is becoming worrisome. I’ve always told you there are better ways to solve problems. Seek wise counsel, go on your knees in prayer. Remember the Bible says a wise woman builds her house but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down”. “Uhn, she has started, Mrs know it all,” Ekene stated.
I looked at Eve, fuming. “Please don’t go all churchy on me. Like you rightly said, I am a born again child of God just like you. We both attend same church remember?” I looked on as tears filled my eyes. I couldn’t hold it back as I started to sob. Eve came over to comfort me. “It’s okay dear, everything will be fine”. “My husband is cheating on me” I blurted out amidst sobs. Eve went mute, surprise written all over her face. Ekene gave her a look that seemed to say “now you know”. “Your husband, cheating on you? No, it can’t be” I looked at Eve who found it hard to believe. My tears flowed in torrents, refusing to be comforted…
TASHA (PART FOUR )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
“Don’t even allow anyone talk you out of what you know to be true. He is cheating on you because you are yet to give him a child. I mean, what is marriage without children? Men are not to be trusted, I keep telling you this. It has nothing to do with being a Christian. Two times I have been married and two times I have been divorced. I’ve concluded that marriage is a scam”. “You can’t say that Ekene. By the way Tasha what are your proofs? What makes you certain that your husband is cheating on you?” I kept tidying my desk, ready to head home. I listened as Ekene and Eve went on and on. “Tasha, any proof?” Eve repeated. “When you think a man is cheating, he is cheating. Besides, he has been acting up for the past two months and what more? Ekene says so. She has been seeing my husband with another lady. That confirms my suspicion”. “Huh, suspicions? Eve looked at me bewildered. “I’ll have to go now girls, but let me drop this. Tasha, you have to confront your husband. Just do it right away, possibly tonight. Let him know you are fully aware of his ‘kurukere’ movement. Give it to him hot, you know he wouldn’t admit to it easily. I don’t know why you keep procrastinating anyway. It’s close of work, go home as well. See you guys tomorrow”.
The moment Ekene stepped out of the office, Eve sat me down and looked me straight in the eye. “Tasha, you’ve gotten it all wrong. I really can’t believe you are talking this way about your husband. Your husband, not just a random man. You are accusing him of adultery and your proofs is based on what someone else has said. To think you have been receiving counsel from Ekene all the while? You surprise me truly. What has happened to you, you used to be a vibrant christian. It’s imperative you retrace your steps. Don’t partner with the devil to destroy your home”. With this kind of talk, I would have snapped at Eve but I restrained myself, sat still and digested what she had said. One thing struck me from all she said. “You know what Eve, you are right on one thing. I need proofs, solid proofs and I am determined to get that. I’ll need to play the detective.” “My God Tasha, you are impossible! Eve sounded frustrated. “From all I’ve said, all you could hold on to is getting a proof. Don’t be blinded by your own folly. What happened to retracing your steps and fighting your battles on your knees like we used to? Has God ever failed us?
“Oh yes, like I have been fighting on my knees for three years and I am yet to conceive. Have you ever stopped to think for a moment if this is a battle I need to fight myself, maybe this is a battle I need to fight on my own.” I lashed back at Eve. “By strength shall no man prevail. God has not forgotten you at all, he makes all things beautiful in his time and with him delay is never denial”. “It’s easy for you to say. Didn’t you get married few months after me? Yet you have two kids already. Besides, that is not the bone of contention. My husband is cheating on me and I have to teach him a lesson for humiliating me. I’ll let him know I can play the game as well”. I stood up to leave, my phone rang. seeing my husband as the caller, I ended the call and hissed. “I will keep praying for you, but remember that giving attention to another man is not the way out. The Bible makes us understand that there is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death. Also please don’t spread rumours like this about your husband. It is disrespectful.” Can Eve just shut up already? I thought to myself. “Ouch”, I winced as I felt a sharp pain in my stomach.
“You can’t be blamed for cheating on your wife. It’s a man’s world. It’s fair enough that you have not thrown her out of the house or filed for divorce. All you need do is make sure she does not find out about the other woman and her pregnancy until the time is right”. Instantly, my mouth went dry. “Did I hear correctly?” As if to confirm my fears, mama reiterated “knowing about the other woman can be dangerous for now, your wife must not know about it.” My husband had finally impregnated his mistress, I couldn’t believe my ears. My whole world came crashing down. I slouched against the wall with both hands on my head.
My mother-in-law had come into town the previous day unannounced. She had been nothing but sweet to me. Infact, she had been too real to believe… showering so much love on me. Was this her mission? Not until I overheard her and my husband talking in the living room, I would have thought she was still the sweet mama I knew. I peeped through the opening by the door and saw Bode laughing with his legs sprawled on the couch. He must be laughing at my ignorance and stupidity I presumed. My anger increased. If only I could lay my hands on Eve this minute, I would squeeze the daylight out of her.
It’s been three weeks since I decided to heed her advice. So much for fighting my battle on my knees, things had gone from bad to worse. I should have listened to Ekene and confronted this cheating husband of mine a long time ago. Obviously, she had been right all along. Enough is enough! Yes, I would confront him right away and put an end to this nonsense. I gritted my teeth in anger and clenched my fists battle ready as I made to open the door. The moment I opened the door, I swayed and watched the countenance of my husband as he looked terrified. I followed his gaze down to my legs, then I saw it. Blood trickled down my legs… mama screamed… “Omo mi kileleyi”?( My child what is this)
PART 5 & 6
TASHA ( PART FIVE )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
“Sorry for your loss”. I listened as the doctor spoke again, looking from me to my husband. “Madam, you just experienced a pregnancy loss but unfortunately, the tissue wasn’t completely expelled so we would need to carry out a dilation and curettage procedure on you”. “You mean a D&C?” my husband asked. The doctor replied in the affirmative. “Ahn, ahn” what is Bode saying again, has everyone completely lost it? I thought, enraged. “I am not pregnant doctor. How could I have experienced a pregnancy loss. How can one lose a pregnancy without being pregnant? You need to check well to ascertain what you have just said”. I declared .”Yes, she is not pregnant. Something else must be responsible for the bleeding” my husband supplied. I threw my hands in the air, thankful that someone’s reasoning faculty was still intact. The doctor smiled and spoke calmly. “You were eight weeks pregnant Mrs Bridge. Cases like yours are not uncommon. We have women who are pregnant without knowledge of it. The cause of your miscarriage is as a result of an infection which had been left undiagnosed and untreated”.
I tried to grasp the possibility of being pregnant. How could that possibly be. My period had never ceased. Isn’t that the first sign of pregnancy? My mind flashed back to some women who had experienced such. Our doctor had always been right about her diagnosis and she has been our family doctor over the years. The reality of what had happened hit me and on impulse, I placed both hands on my tummy. I had hoped to get pregnant someday. The thought of a mini me or a mini version of Bode running around had thrilled me. My husband and I had looked forward to this moment since the past three years and the lack of it had caused a rift between us. I got to know of my baby when I lost it.
“Gently”, mama said as she helped me sit on the bed after a sumptuous meal of which I had taken a small portion. “Relax and don’t stress yourself”. “Mama, i am fine. You don’t need to fuss over me, I have recuperated well. Besides, the surgery was a minor one”. “I’ll go get your drugs”. Mama returned with the drugs and made sure I used all as prescribed. “My dear”, she said as she put her arms around me. “I know you would still be hurt emotionally, but don’t be too hard on yourself. You will carry your rainbow baby soon, you are always in my prayers. I ll leave you to rest now”
I watched mama as she exited the room. “Hypocrite” I mused. How could she show me so much care when are intentions towards me are impure. Why care when her son was expecting another baby from his mistress. The thought of my husband’s mistress feeling cozy somewhere, with her baby bump gradually showing made the pain of my loss intense. It’s been two weeks since my return from the hospital. Guilt started to set in as my state of shock and denial was starting to wear off gradually. I felt guilty for not protecting my baby. If only I had not ignored some of the possible signs my body gave me. If only I had gone to the hospital as my husband suggested…the if only’s could go on and on. A major ‘if only’ lingered on my mind for long.
I had done a quick mathematics as to when the pregnancy occurred and discovered my husband was responsible. I covered my face in shame at the fact that I even had to doubt the paternity of the foetus that had lived inside of me. One thing had led to the other with Dave my colleague and I ended in bed with him. I had unprotected sex with Dave. How shameless! I must have contracted the infection that led to the loss of my baby from him. How did this happen, how did I get entangled in this mess. I would have to live with this secret for the rest of my life. “We need to talk” a voice interrupted the flow of my thoughts, I turned to see the intruder…
TASHA ( PART SIX )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
Beads of sweat broke out on my forehead instantly as the room suddenly became stuffy, the air conditioner notwithstanding. Bode’s look pierced straight into my heart and I imagined him hearing my thoughts clearly. I shifted uncomfortably in my position knowing that my exposure was imminent. Bode looked at me intently as he spoke without shifting his gaze for a second while I looked down at intervals, rubbing my palm between my thighs like a child caught in the very act of stealing.
“So my dear….chlamydia, how did you come about that?” Bode asked with a tilt to his voice.
“I…er…em…uhm”. Words failed me as I stuttered, looking for the right words to use in order to make what I had to say coherent. Not finding the right words to use, I feigned ignorance. “I don’t understand what you mean by that”.
Bode smirked. “I’ll make you understand. The doctor made it clear that the miscarriage was as a result of the infection chlamydia, which altered your immune response against the pregnancy. I just need to ask a simple question. Who got you infected?” I remained silent for some minutes which seemed like forever. “Natasha, who got you infected and who was responsible for the pregnancy you carried?” Bode roared at me.
Terrified at his outburst, I looked into his eyes and replied the pregnancy part of the question. “You Bode. I got pregnant for you. Why would you even ask me that?” Acting as though I was irritated by his questions, I raised my voice a little. “Why would you think so lowly of me?” I burst into tears.
Unmoved by my act, I listened as my husband continued. “I’m not buying any of that, I won’t fall for the tears you are shedding. Rather, I put it to you that you have been cheating on me. How could you be so shameless!
Shameless? How dare he call me shameless. He does not need to rub it in. He had crossed the line. I let loose my guard and retorted angrily pointing a finger at him.
“Are you any better than I am? Haven’t you impregnated your mistress, so much for being the head of this home. You are nothing but a public dog, you…
I couldn’t finish my statement as I was silenced by a burning slap that lashed across my face. I staggered and fell across the bed. Putting my palm to my cheeks, it burned badly. I looked at Bode and I could see his face fuming with so much anger. For the first time in our marriage, my husband hit me. Determined not to be intimidated by his actions, I sprang to my feet immediately and continued where I left off.
“Yes Bode, you led me into all these. I am fully aware of your escapedes. The way you have been moving around with a strange woman. You suddenly became cold towards me, neglecting me and neglecting your duty as a husband”. I couldn’t place the expression on my husband’s face. Nevertheless, I went on talking, glad that I was able to silence him. “All I needed was a proof and boom! You fell right into my hands. Remember the day you sat down discussing with mama, how your mother advised you to make sure I do not find out about the other woman and her pregnancy, how she even went on to encourage you that it is a man’s world? I overheard the conversation between mother and son and all you could do was sit there, laughing at my ignorance with no remorse at all. So, dear husband, your game is up; your secret exposed. If you call me shameless still, I take it as a compliment because that makes us even.” I screamed.
Satisfied at my display, I stared hard at Bode, hoping to hear the lies he had to say to cover up his misdeeds. My husband remained quiet.
Realising he had nothing to say, I quickly chipped in. “Truly you can’t wriggle your way out of this one. My proof is tight”.
There was complete silence in the room for some minutes. One could hear a pin drop. After some awkward moments, Bode opened his mouth. Finally…he was going to say something. I thought. Instead of talking, laughter was all that came out of his mouth. I looked around to see the object of his laughter. I couldn’t see a thing.
He looked at me some more and increased the pitch with which he laughed. His laughter echoed throughout the room.
PART 7 & 8
TASHA ( PART SEVEN )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
Bode gave a final laugh and shook his head at me in pity. “Truly, I laugh at your ignorance. You have known me for how long?”
“And what has that got to do with the issue on ground” I replied, wondering what he was up to.
“Everything Natasha, everything”.
“The issue on ground is a serious one and you are trying to make a joke of it. I just accused you of adultery. What is so funny about that?” I told Bode in a bid to wake him up to the reality on ground.
He moved closer and gave me a stern look. “Like you rightly said, ‘accused’. That I am accused of a crime does not make me guilty of the crime. You are the adulterer here”.
I tried to digest what he had just said. Was he trying to excuse himself out of the crime he had committed, making me feel like the wicked one?
“Don’t try to be smart with me Bode. Yes I cheated on you same as you did to me, but you pushed me into this mess and I totally regret my actions. Don’t be a hypocrite, just as your mother mocked me that I would carry my rainbow baby soon, knowing fully well that you have put another woman in the family way”…
“Ssh…shut up. Can you just keep that mouth of yours shut and stop spewing rubbish” Bode snapped. “That woman you call a hypocrite has been doing nothing but upholding this family with prayers. Who has messed with your head Natasha?”
Those times you said I was acting cold towards you, I was actually under pressure at work. I was being framed for committing a fraud I knew nothing about and I couldn’t share with you because you were in a delicate mood at the time. You were literally depressed at your inability to give me a child to which I always told you the Lord would do it in his own time. Whenever I try to get close to you, all you do was frustrate my effort consistently. Mama was only narrating the story of one of her neighbour’s son to me. That was the exact advice the woman gave to her son whose wife was yet to conceive. Mama has always treated you like her daughter, and that is the way she sees you…you are the daughter she never had. Has she ever bothered you for a grandchild? She admonished me that day against such behavior. She said we should put our trust totally in God. I had laughed out loud at what she said. I would never cheat on my wife.”
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I listened to Bode. I had misjudged my husband. I felt so helpless, I was humbled. I wished Ekene would appear suddenly to help me out of this since she was the one that led me into it. Truly, I was a foolish woman who did not apply wisdom in building her home. I wept profusely as I went on my knees pleading with my husband.
“Forgive me please, I am sorry. One thing is true though, the pregnancy was yours”
“Do you really expect me to believe that? Is that supposed to make me feel any better?”
“I am sorry. Let us settle this between us”. I held on to his feet as I pleaded for what seemed like eternity.
“You dishonoured our marital vows and desecrated our marriage bed” He said. He yanked my hands off him and exited the room.
TASHA ( PART EIGHT )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
“How did you get in here. The door is locked so how did you get in here?” I asked Ekene, surprise written all over my face.
“Oh that” she smiled pointing at the door. “That is never a barrier”.
I watched her as she made her way towards me. She got to the bed, jumped in and made herself comfortable between Bode and I.
“Ekene this is not right. This is my matrimonial bed, we can discuss elsewhere”. I got up, thinking she would take a cue from me but she pulled me back. I gestured at my husband who was obviously fast asleep.
“Don’t worry, he can’t hear us”. She replied.
She flashed me that smile. Whenever she smiled at me that way, the resolve to do the right thing vanishes. Like one being controlled, I laid back on the bed. “What brings you here, where are you coming from?” I smiled back.
“Uhm, let’s say from going to and fro in the Earth and from walking up and down in it”. She smiled and said.
“What! I know where that verse is in the Bible and that statement was made by Satan.
Ekene clapped her hands in excitement. She tugged at my cheeks as one would a child. “You’re so brilliant. You know the scriptures a lot but it’s been a while you lived out the scriptures”.
“So what are you insinuating” I quipped.
“Let us skip that part Tasha. I came to thank you for making my project an easy one”. She laughed loud and continued. My position right now on your matrimonial bed is exactly what I have done to your marriage. I have succeeded in separating you and your husband, but not without your cooperation. I was the strange woman in the picture all along but because you couldn’t discern, you welcomed me with open arms. With you, every other person was the problem except yourself. That gave me a smooth ride knowing fully well that you wouldn’t put yourself in check”.
Unable to fully comprehend all she had said, I asked her to explain exactly what she meant.
She laughed some more. “All I am saying is that your husband never cheated on you. My job is to come for either of these…to kill, to steal and to destroy. I merely pitched my tent at your quarters”.
“What about the pictures you showed me? The pictures of my husband and the lady at different locations and destinations. They were real. Ain’t they?” I asked with a shaky voice.
“How stupid can you get Tasha? Getting the picture of your husband and a lady together is one of the easiest things for me to achieve”.
Realising my stupidity and gullibility, I remained quiet.
“I’m off to the next assignment,I’ve got my eyes on the next target she announced as she got off the bed”. “Why did you come after my marriage?” I asked tearfully.
“Your family was going to witness Christ to the world, a strong force to contend with. I wouldn’t stand that. I had to strike the moment I saw a crack in the wall. Without the opening in the wall, I wouldn’t have been able to penetrate”. She stood up, swung her hips as she made for the door. As if on a second thought, she turned around. “And Dave, Dave and I are together in this”. She smiled and winked at me. “Dave?” I asked surprised. Before I could ask any questions further, she disappeared.
I hung up the phone after speaking with Eve. Eve had disclosed to me that Ekene and Dave had resigned earlier in the morning. I checked the clock, it read 3:05pm. What sort of dream is this.
It’s been four days since my husband left the house. Four days since I last heard from him. I had decided to seek the face of the Lord and ask for forgiveness and mercy. Perhaps, my marriage would be restored. I had slept off while praying, then I dreamed. The first thing I did after I woke up was call the office.
Ruminating on the dream, I cursed the day I met Ekene. I had been nothing but a project in her hand. Truly, she was on to the next assignment. That explains her resignation. I remembered the part where she said Dave was together with her in this and Immediately fear enveloped me. To think that I had been fraternizing with the devil and actually slept with the devil, I shuddered as the reality of it hit me. “Lord have mercy on me!” I screamed as my tears flowed.
The sound of the door bell caught my attention. Ding dong! Ding dong!! It went. Who could it be this time. I prayed it wasn’t Ekene coming to show herself in the flesh. I couldn’t bear the sight of her. I moved slowly towards the door and opened it. I stood face to face with my husband. Not knowing how to react, either to shout in excitement or hug him tight, I maintained my position. He made his way in and shut the door behind him. He looked at my tear stained face, ran his fingers through my disheveled hair and pulled me into his arms as he embraced me.
PART 9 & 10
TASHA ( PART NINE )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
I trudged along, carrying my shopping bag with a shawl wrapped around my head. The day was unusually sunny. For the past days, it had rained heavily and I had prayed that it wouldn’t rain today. I just wanted a cool weather; not this sunny.
Few blocks to my apartment, I could hear the shouts of “welcome mummy, welcome mummy” and the splatter of little feet running towards me. I smiled contentedly as the noise coming from the children warmed my heart. They gave me a big hug and relieved me of my luggage.
Getting to my apartment, I handed each a box of chocolate. The sounds of “thank you mummy” rented the air. The youngest of them climbed the couch and planted a kiss on my cheeks. They held their box of chocolates like a trophy and raced out of the apartment giggling. I smiled as I watched them leave.
Today is my big day. I had gone shopping earlier to get myself gifts and some goodies. I looked myself over in the mirror and I liked what I saw as I put the final touches on my make up. I pulled my shoulder length hair tight in a ponytail and adorned my ear with a silver stoned chandelier earring. I felt like a princess in a flowing sky blue chiffon gown as I walked briskly to the living room. The table was well laid and lighted with scented candles. I swirled as I sniffed, taking in the scent of the candles. Sighting my cake sitting pretty, I winked at it and pulled a seat to sit.
Today is the day, the day I turned 40. My big day indeed. I had thought of inviting a few friends over, but cancelled at the last minute deciding it was best to be by myself. That would afford me time for some reflection. Looking around, the sitting room suddenly seemed so huge while I looked so small in it. Now, I wished I had had some friends over. Eve also encouraged that I invited some friends over.
“I can’t travel down, you know I am heavy and I’ll be due anytime soon. Though I wish to be by your side on your special day. So please have some friends over to celebrate with you”. Those were her exact words to me the last time she called, deeply pained by the fact that she couldn’t be there for me this time. Eve dear, God bless her heart. She had been there through thick and thin.
It’s been two years since the divorce. Yes, divorce as I called it, since my husband suddenly vanished into thin air. Bode had ended our marriage on the grounds of infidelity. Could he be blamed?
My mind flashed back to the moment he returned having gone four days. He pulled me into his embrace that day and apologised for hitting me. I had thought for a fleeting moment that he had come back so we could make up. I smirked at another miscalculation on my part. I decided to move to another city to start a new life.
I’ve always looked forward to celebrating my 40th birthday with my family, never had it crossed my mind that I would eventually celebrate it as a divorcee without kids. “Uhm”, I sighed deeply. The irony of life. I thought of the memories with Bode, bitter – sweet they were. My eyes turned misty, blurred with tears. I blinked as it dropped. I refused to let it flow, not today.
Today, I chose to be grateful. Having learnt some lessons from my experience, I believed there would be light at the end of the tunnel. I raised my hands upwards and thanked the Lord for the gift of life, knowing fully well that there was hope for me. I drew my cake closer, set the camera and took some pictures. Memories of the day had to be kept. After few poses, cutting of the cake and popping the champagne, I laughed heartily and moved my body slowly as I danced to an imaginary music.
I must have danced to my imaginary music for what seemed like ten minutes when I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder. What could that be… Then it dawned on me, the ‘black tie’. They were the notorious group that had terrorised the community, robbing people of their valuables as they went from house to house. Finally they had come for me. Why today? Is this supposed to be a birthday gift?. Fear gripped my heart. I stood rooted to the spot, my heart beat faster…
TASHA ( PART TEN )
Written by : Ibrionke Bolodeoku
Rooted on the spot, I thought of the next line of action.I scanned everywhere looking for an object of defence. I stepped forward to pick a knife, then I perceived the smell…
The scent of the cologne hit my nose. These thieves’ ve got taste I thought, the cologne didn’t come cheap. I sniffed again, the scent was familiar…the same Bode used to wear. Could this be Bode, now a robber? As if he read my thoughts, he replied “it is me Bode”. I turned round at the sound of his voice. Breathing suddenly became difficult as I beheld him. Shocked, I collapsed into his arms.
“You scared me” I said as we made ourselves comfortable on the sofa. “How did you get in here” I asked further?
He pointed at the back door which was slightly ajar.
“Oh, I completely forgot to lock that. How come I didn’t hear you come in?” I quipped.
“You were obviously engrossed in the dance, you wouldn’t have heard a thief break in.” His looks suddenly turned serious as he clasped my hands in his.
I pulled my hands from his and asked him frankly. “What brings you here Bode Bridge and how did you locate me?”
He paused for some time and spoke after few minutes.
“Eve, she told me how to locate you. Eve led me to you. Please don’t get angry at her”.
Did he just say angry…on the contrary, I was overjoyed.why would I get angry? I thought within me.This is God answering my prayer. So Eve had this up her sleeves, so much for being heavy. No wonder she didn’t show up on my birthday. I decided to put up an act like one who was truly angry. I stood up angrily.
“Why would Eve do such a thing and why would you even listen to her?” I retorted, arms akimbo.
“I am sorry” Bode said as he knelt before me. “Forgive me for the years of silence”.
I sat down and asked him to rise. He told me how he had experienced the love of God in a new way.
“If God could forgive me over and over, who am I not to forgive you. I want you back in my life Tasha”. I listened as he spoke.
Is this really happening? This is a dream I do not want to wake up from.
Again, as if he could read my thoughts, he replied “it is real, I want you back. Please don’t say no”.
He leaned forward to hug me. I hugged him back and allowed my tears flow this time. Tears of gratitude to God for saving my marriage. I could feel him cry too as sobs racked his body.
“I am sorry for everything”, I said amidst tears.
After some seconds had passed, he released me and looked into my eyes.
“Happy birthday my love” he said.
It sounded so special coming from him, I felt special. My tears flowed all over again. He pulled me closer for a hug, I signalled for him to hold on. Picking up my mobile phone, I sent a message to Eve. “Thank you for sending me the best birthday gift ever. She replied with “go baby, go”.
I smiled contentedly as I melted into my husband’s embrace.