I sat still and pondered the evil of the past months. I have been ordered out of the bedroom out of the main building guest house. And now Tony, my husband wants me out of the compound too. Several options ran into my mind. Did I fall so cheap like a blackmailer victim? Maybe “I had resisted from the onset, it would not have got this bad.
But there I was in my matrimonial home, being ordered about. Instantly, he broke my train of thought with his hardship question about what I felt was the best option.
“You can’t wake up and throw me out like a piece of rubbish, I deserve some respect, I’m your wife for Christ’s sake!” I screamed.
“Point of correction, you were my wife, Kemi, it was good while it lasted but for now I’m opting out. I’m tired! I repeat, I’m tired of your face around here. What do you have to show for five years of marriage, nothing. No kids, nothing!” he said.
Kids? That was one of the rare times he was expressing his bitterness for me over children. Yes, we have been married for five years. We had not been lucky to be blessed with kids. And overtime, I had seen the romance grow dim and wane into the utter ‘hatred’. Tony was confessing to me.
Truth, however, is that Tony never really bothered me about it. He just hoarded it in his heart and kept pretending as if all was well until his behavior started changing.
After analyzing the situation, I told him I was willing to leave on the condition that he would be making monthly payments to me.
“I don’t intend to be seeing you on monthly basis. I will prefer to pay you off. I will give you a lump sum and you go your way,” he said.
“How much do you want to give me?” I said.
“I will pay you one million naira.
Then I will rent you a three-bedroom apartment which I will pay in two or three years: he offered.
“No way!”, I said.
“I want N10! I want a house. l need the Benz and the Toyota.”
Let it not seem as if I am asking for too much but I knew Tony well. He is rich and I know how much he is worth. I can emphatically say that the amount I was mentioning is chicken
feed to him. So how would I agree to leave a rich husband and go home empty handed?
That would ‘be the greatest stupidity of the century. Since he wanted to make my life miserable, I was also ready to pay him back in his own coin.
The moment he heard my requests, he rose on his feet and walked across to call someone on the land phone.
“She’s not bulging. File the papers and move on”, he said and his conversation told me it was his lawyer.
“Kerni, he will get across to you.”
From then on, the negotiations progressed between me and Chief Bankole, Tony’s lawyer. He had tried in the past to reconcile us but when it seemed as if Tony was hell bent on making me leave, he turned and started supporting him.
Of course, we negotiated and at the end agreed that Tony would be paying me N80,000 monthly. The agreement also covered a three-bedroom flat and two cars.
Then I was to maintain his name until I remarried.
All these were worked out and in no time, I packed out of Tony’s house, to be with Frank. it may seem I was walking out of bondage but leaving Tony in spite of his aversion to me was not easy. A lot of realities kept confronting me.
Who would marry me when they hear I was driven away by my husband? What about being lonely without the presence of a man in my life? They were all glaring facts waiting to confront me.
I moved all the same. And the first few months were not particularly easy. If not for my friend, Banke, it was really a cold world. It was so difficult that I could not even concentrate on my painting which used to occupy my time in Tony’s house, I would make a stroke, and suddenly I would realize how I had grown less creative.
But like everything, time healed the wound. About a year later, I started crawling on my knees. However, once in a while, thoughts of Tony will flush through my system. I would remember those early days when he used to woo me, when he would tell me that I was all that mattered to him. When he would tell me that he would love me until the world came to an end. Where is the love? At such times, I would feel betrayed and pebbles of tears would roll down my cheeks.
Where the hell is the love?
I carried on with life in spite of the odds. But a year and half later, Tony stopped paying my monthly allowance. I thought it was an oversight but somehow I waited for it the next month, and still nothing came. When it failed to come for three months, I contacted the lawyer and complained. I threatened that I was going to sue him if he failed to abide by the agreement.
I meant it, this, however, meant another turn in our roadmap to bliss.
I was at home one day when I heard someone knocking on my door. I hardly received visitors except Banke and she had just left after spending three hours with me. When I opened the door, it was someone I least to see.
Tony stood there, his face contorted in fury. He apparently was infuriated by my complaints to the lawyer and had come to warn me. But the moment he saw me in that cream-coloured lingerie, his face melted into a smile, the type victory heralds.
…To Be Continued