Meena’s Diary#21

And MIL paid a visit.

 

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I am struggling to get my problems behind. Some days I am upbeat, and some others days I couldn’t get out of my hole of despair. I am tired of feeling hurt and betrayed. I am tired of whining and complaining. I want to get my life back, but I don’t know how.

Today is one of those days that I could help with a ray of hope and some sprinkle of sunshine. I needed to motivate myself to run my day but alas I shouldn’t have been so quick to make my wishes.

Guess who came calling. My adorable every faultfinding Mother -in – law.

“Finally my son has decided to give me a grandson. Our name won’t die.”

I was speechless. There was no love lost between my Mother – in- law and me, but this blatant display of lack of empathy was the height of it all.

My relationship with the mother in law was not always this bad.  I remember the first day, JK took me to meet his parents.

Mother – in – law was all over me with delight and affection gushing with how I had brought sunshine to her son’s life. I could not have asked for another, but somewhere along the line, the love flew out of the window. I have asked her severally if I had done anything to offend her and every time she kept saying there was nothing. Those were the days when the communication line was still open.

She rarely comes to the house anymore I gathered from JK himself, she visits him in the office or summons him to her home whenever she wanted to see him.

She was superb with her grandkids. You could not fault her in any way. They were her Achilles heel.

JK took them over to her place every weekend. I have long stopped trying to be the ideal daughter-in-law.

I grimaced with every jab she fired at me with her words as sharp as a double-edged knife.

“A woman who can’t bear a son is no woman,”

“Mama!” I gasped.

“Don’t Mama me. I am not your mother!” she shouted.

“Did you think I would sit down with my hands folded while the lineage of my dear husband dies because you are content with baring two children and stopping in the name of fashion and being modern?”

I held myself from retorting that she should remember she only had a child.

“If you want to stop baring kids then you should have been sensible to have a boy.” She hissed the words with contempt.

I felt intense pain in my heart with every word she uttered. I could feel my slender form wilting like a flower in the hot scorching sun.

“I am going to make sure that the new woman comes into my son’s house. No grandchild of mine will be born outside. You might be making JK’s life miserable, but I came to warn you to allow him to be the man he is. If you can’t bear to stay, then leave.”

What made us women our own worst enemy? Could she have a daughter and play this same role? What was the dynamics of the mother – in – law and daughter – in- law relationship that things always had to be very nasty?

To see a wounded man and rather than help him heal, you pull the dagger into him worsening the wound. That was what my mother –in- law was doing.

I sat there not uttering a word. It was not a case of being speechless, I was too tired to argue, and the fight had gone out of me. Mother- in- law said words not worth repeating I am still struggling to forget.

One good thing that came out of the visit was clarity of what I had to do. I was no longer welcome or needed in JK’s life.

In that single moment, my mother helped me make the decision I had not been bold to make. The plan I had tried to form but could not see myself taking action. I gazed at her with awe, mentally hugging her with gratitude.

I was going to disappear from their lives for good. My girls and I. I was walking away from JK, my home and all things I held dear.

After she left, I broke down and cried heartbrokenly, deep wrenching sobs racking my slim body. I vowed this was my last set of tears over my emotional turmoil. JK and I were over for good.

Call me stupid. Call me as many names as you can think. Yeah, half my mates have not gone through what I have and have stayed in their homes. You can argue why I should deprive my girls of their father or why I can’t forgive and move on.  People can voice their opinion, but they are not me. They do not wear the shoes or feel the pain. Others can tell you what to do and how to handle your challenges, but they can never be me.

Different people could go through the same problem and never take the same approach because we are all wired differently. Some are more emotional rugged and stable than others and can make it through stronger while others might fall apart slowing putting their lives together and maybe lucky to come out even stronger.

I do not have the strength you have and perhaps should you find yourself in my shoes, you might have done worse.

I love JK. It is ingrained in the woman I have become. I know without a doubt that JK loves me but the waters that have passed our bridge has destroyed the strength of the relationship we once shared. What is left are fibers too weak to withstand any further test.

Judge me. It’s my life. It is my decision, and I would live with the consequences, not you.

 

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Meena’s Diary#18

Sa’a

wordle-girlstoysI was stunned by Meena’s news. My mouth hung opened and could utter no words.

Our perfect husband was finally tainted. The man we had all held him in high esteem. He was the ideal husband. A man who made us hopeful, that there were good men out there. My dearest Atiku with all his devotion did not compare to JK.

What do I say to Meena? The saying, he who wears the shoes feel the pain the most. What words of comfort do I give her?

The issue was not having a child with someone else, although, that was a significant problem. The crucial matter here is the betrayal of trust. What is happening with Meena pales, in comparison to when I thought Atiku was taking on a second wife and I attempted suicide. Ashamed to admit that now but I did.

The thought was enough to kill me despite the knowledge that my culture allows him to take up a second wife without batting an eyelid and encourages me to welcome the other woman with arms open wide as a co helpmate to our husband.

Did women fall into this world at a disadvantage or did we mould ourselves to fit the defect?

Meena must make her decisions, and we as friends can only support her. We dare not sit on our high horses and issue verdicts of what to or not to do.

We held her and cried with her. We wanted her to know all will be well even if we did not know how.

 

Meena’s Diary#16

I am a dead woman on two feet going through the motions of life without emotions. I knew the right time to smile, offer a laugh at a joke, and give a hug to the kids. The right words and encouragement to friends and co-workers.

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I was living each day with a happy and confident front fooling the world that all is well.

Babes where are you?  A message from one of the girls flashed on my phone.

Me: At home. What’s new?

Hauwau: You are late for our hangout.

Me: Gosh! I totally forgot.

Hauwau: We are waiting. You can still make it.

I missed the hangout last week and did not even remember this week. I have been avoiding my friends. I did not know what to tell them when I was still trying to process the whole situation.

It has been two weeks but I still did not know what I wanted to do or go from here.

Me: Nah too tired.

Hauwau: Thought you’ll say that. We are at your gate.

I laughed. It sounded hollow to me. Only my crazy friends would not take no for an answer.

It was less than two minutes that the girls came in and launched their Mission Attack.

“Spill. Something is eating you up. We have given you all the time to talk. Before and after Paris.”

“You don’t want to hear it.”

“We do want to hear it. The good, the bad and the ugly but leave the sex out. We don’t want our ears to cringe. We are innocent girls here.”

“Blah! Say that to the gods. The things you do behind closed doors. Your grandma will be rolling in her grave.

“If she was not worse than us,” retorted Hauwau through her teeth but turned on me with a vengeance.

“Don’t derail spill.”

“You girls care for a drink?”  I asked playing the role of a perfect hostess.

“Martini on ice for me,” Sa’a answered speaking for the first time since the girls came in.

“Does Atiku know you indulge in this?”

“Let’s just say it’s my little secret.  A little alcohol now and then is good for the body. Kobahakaba?”

I went through the motion of laughing which was the normal reaction.

I  also needed that martini and something stronger.

We moved towards the bar to make our drinks.JK never drank but had the bar full of every stocked wine you can imagine. Luckily he had friends who made good use of the drinks.

“What are you doing with that?” My two friends asked eyes round with surprise as  I mixed mine.

“Whatever is going on must be bad,” concluded Hauwau.

“In all the years we have known you. You never have as much sipped on alcohol.”

“There is always a first time,” I answered sadly and blurted out before I lost the courage.

“JK has a son with someone else.”

The reaction from my friends could have won an Oscar.

I could not have imagined any scenarios that would shut the mouths of these women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two weeks.

 

I was a dead woman on two feet going through the motions of life without emotions. I knew the right time to smile, offer a laugh at a joke, give a hug to the kids. The right words and encouragement to friends and co-workers.

 

I was living each day with a happy and confident front fooling the world that all is well.

 

Babes where are you?  A message from one of the girls flashed on my phone.

 

Me: At home. What’s new?

Hauwau: You are late for our hangout.

Me: Gosh! I totally forgot.

Hauwau: we are waiting. You can still make it.

 

I missed the hangout last week and did not even remember this week. I have been avoiding my friends. I did not know what to tell them when I was still trying to process the whole situation.

It has been two weeks but I still did not know what I wanted to do or go from here.

 

Me: Nah too tired.

 

Hauwau: Thought you’ll say that. We are at your gate.

 

I laughed. It sounded hollow to me. Only my crazy friends would not take no for an answer.

 

It was less than 2 minutes that the girls came in and Mission Attack began.

 

“Spill. Something is eating you up. We have given you all the time to talk. Before and after Paris.”

 

“You don’t want to hear it.”

 

“We do want to hear it. The good, the bad and the ugly but leave the sex out. We don’t want our ears to cringe. We are innocent girls here.”

 

“Blah! Say that to the gods. The things you do behind closed doors. Your grandma will be rolling in her grave.

 

“If she was not worse than us,” retorted Hauwau through her teeth but turned on me with a vengeance.

 

“Don’t derail spill.”

 

“You girls care for a drink?”  I asked playing the role of a perfect hostess.

 

“Martini on ice for me,” Sa’a answered speaking for the first time since the girls came in.

 

“Does Atiku know you indulge in this?”

 

“Let’s just say it’s my little secret.  A little alcohol now and then is good for the body. Kobahakaba?”

 

I went through the motion of laughing which was the normal reaction.

 

I needed that martini and something stronger.

 

“What are you doing with that?” My two friends asked eyes round with surprise.

 

“Whatever is going on must be bad,” concluded Hauwau.

 

“In all the years we have known you. You never have as much sipped on alcohol.”

 

“There is always a first time,” I answered sadly and blurted out before I lost the courage.

 

“JK has a son with someone else.”

 

The reaction from my friends could have won an Oscar.

 

I could not have imagined any scenarios that would shut the mouths of these women.

 

 

 

 

Meena’s Diary#15

They say heartbreak is the worst pain, but I think it’s fair play compared to betrayal.

 

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My love, best friend and confident. I could trust JK with my life. I could overlook a casual affair as time goes on, but a constant reminder of his adultery packaged in what I had not been able to give him was a pain akin to no other.

It’s been three days of hell.   Funny how the pain from my thought and speculation that there was someone else dulled to what I felt now.
My brain has not been able to process beyond the fact that JK had a child outside with someone else while we were married.

What game was destiny was playing on me?  Okay, it had never bothered us the sex of our kids. We had two lovely daughters, and nowJK had a son to carry his name that was not borne by me.

Where did I go wrong? How did I get so careless that my husband was now in the league of those who had children outside wedlock?

I stole a look at him beside me on the plane back to Lagos.
We had not spoken since he dropped his bombshell.
Well, that will not be true. I  was the one who has not talked to JK.  He had been doing all the talking, but he could have been speaking to the statue of liberty or the statue of the three wise men in Lagos.

He begged, apologised and asked me to meet out any punishment I wanted, and he would gladly observe. He promised me heaven and earth, but I was far gone to care whatever he said.

There was no using crying over spilt milk. JK did commit a sacrilege to our marriage, and its effect will be in our lives forever.

I  still did not know my next step. I was exhausted and still in shock.

My life and all I had built with JK had come crumbling down like a pack of cards.

Meena’s Diary#14

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The silence in the room could break a glass. I was screaming on the inside but uttered no word. Weeping yet no tears. It was one thing to speculate and conclude but another to find out all your fears had come true. Worse still, someone had given your spouse what should have come from you, but you have been unable to provide.

“Say something,” JK whispered.
Why was he whispering anyway we were still the hotel room.
I refused to look into his eyes or acknowledge his request.
It was over between us. I knew that as sure as I knew my name, but I had no clue what my next plan was.

I had lost faith in the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life.I had lost faith in marriage, and it’s promise of forever.
I had lost faith in myself that it was possible to hit rock bottom and still go further down.

I sat and stared at nothing. Then I felt JK’s hands like a scotch of fire. I withdrew mine instantly. I could no longer bear any close contact with him.I did not need some days to work this out.I knew it was over for us.

I take a mental stock of what we shared and still can’t understand how we got here.
We sat there saying nothing. JK was speaking, but the hurt would not let me hear the words or make sense of his pleas.
Yes JK was in tears, but I was beyond any emotion.
I had returned to who I was before we met –  “The ice queen.”
The girl with a wall built around her heart to shield off possible hurt by friends.

I had my close group who could never match the ice queen to the hot, fun living girl they knew but that was my defence mechanism.

And today that girl had returned. I would never place myself in the position to be hurt again.

Meena’s Diary#13

Still, in France, I leave the details out, but the least was I let loose to have the fun of my life. I threw my problem to the bottom of my concerns. We will deal with all that when we get back home. One could not deny herself the pleasure of living a carefree attitude even if it was false and fleeting.
wordle-girlstoys
I shopped with JK, and he was the ones choosing most of the outfits. That guy has a sense of fashion that beats me and put mine to shame. He should have been in the fashion industry and not the IT techy world.

I did many crazy things in Paris. Top three were

One, a permanent tattoo lined eyebrow. Yes! I did those perfect arcs. That I no longer had to stay in front of the mirror each morning drawing and my brows.

Two,  I tinted my lips red. I never in my life have to bother about those anymore.  Hubby was rooting for me like a maniac.

“This vengeance on looking young is severe. What else do we need to do?” JK asked tongue in cheek.

“Is it you that we are putting all this on? Calm down. I am going into self-actualisation mode.”

“Ha! It is me o. Don’t you know your body is mine?”

I did my un-lady like snort, rolled my eyes again and managed a “get out” under my breath.

The third almost brought the whole hotel room down. I got a second piercing on my ears and one on my nose!

“Meena biko! He pleaded in the Igbo language.  Is your new look not becoming too much. Do you want to compete with the 18-year-olds?

I stood there staring at JK blankly.

It is bad enough people take you for a teenager, but this one will leave no doubt in their minds.

“You did not discuss this with me before you did it?”

“Is this for real?” I ask myself with sparks flowing out of my head like the ones you see in a cartoon.

“JK, don’t worry, in my momentary transformation, I will try not to disgrace you,” I said sarcastically.

He looked at me with confusion which was more common these days. The bewildered look he gave on some of my comments. I would blow hot where I should be blowing cold. Pass comments not relevant to our discussion but trying to talk about his affair and not going about it directly. I was in a back and front motion. Some days I’ll be moving forward, other days getting stuck and some other times just going back.

“Babe that is not what I meant. It looks good on you, but I don’t think it is something you should be doing? When you do this, then trust the girls will do more.”

“Oh that will be their choice, and I can’t be held responsible for that,” I replied in self-defense knowing he was right but refusing to agree on it with him

“You are their role model. Where you stop is where they will. It is not about whether something is right or wrong. It about the kind of message you are sending out.”

“Where would our sons start?  Please note here we had none. Two wives and a harem of girlfriends?”

I blurted out!

Meena’s Diary#12

wordle-girlstoysI opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. I was not one to be short for words.  I had a rich vocabulary for My vocabulary was whatever situation. However,  for the first time in a long while, I found myself speechless!
“You should be excited to see me,” accused JK standing at the door with an overnight bag hanging over his right shoulder.
His words brought my senses back.

“How did you know I was here?” I asked eyeing his bag with disbelief. JK was the only person I knew who would pack so light to travel anywhere in the world.

Yes, my friends knew I was in Paris, but no one knew the hotel I stayed. There were several hotels in the city.A wild guess could not have been this precise.

“You left a trail of everywhere you have been with your debit card. I rushed down here to join you in spending our money so that when we get back, we can move to a one bedroom rented apartment in Mushin area or Agege.”
I scowled and turned back in. “I am exhausted and trying to catch some sleep. I am not in the mood for one of your jokes.”

“I am surprised you were awake. I thought I would have had to sleep at the door till morning, your knight in shining armour or personal bodyguard on duty,” he chuckled at his joke choosing to be oblivious to the annoyance displayed in my face like a shield.
I let out a small smile, trying hard to stay angry.
“I have to go back to bed.  I have an early day tomorrow.”
I refused to look at JK as I could see his eyes searching mine with questions in them.
The old me would have been too excited, jumping, hugging and chattering none stop of all I had seen and done.
“That’s okay, I should grab some sleep too, and we hit the road together in the morning.
“What! You have never loved shopping with me. ”
“A guy can change, can’t he? I did not come all the way to Paris to sleep. I came to spend time with you.”

Some weeks back, that would have been the sweetest words he could have uttered, but today they made no meaning to me.He broke my trust and love has flown out of the window. Our lives could never go back to what it used to be, or so I thought.

I still struggled to sleep but kept my eyes shut and rolled as far away to the end of the king size bed.

I smiled when he got on the bed and stayed on the other end. Message sent out and received. That was communication, but somehow I would have loved him to make an effort to come closer. But I still would have insisted I needed the rest and did not want to be disturbed. Did I know what I want? I wanted the old JK who was true to me. I wanted our old relationship filled with love, honesty and transparency not where I was now. There were hurt, doubt and mixed feelings.

In the morning, I woke up with a start as confusion clouded my mind. Who was in my bed?  I have played with the thoughts of infidelity but was not planning on carrying it out. I was about to scream when I realised it was JK who had his arms wrapped around me.
“Hey gorgeous, you look like you had a nightmare.”
I was about to reply he was my nightmare but kept my mouth clamped shut. Pressed my temple and fell back on the bed. Just a few more minutes to recollect my thoughts and I will be ready to start the day.
The events of the night before came flooding back. The knock and JK in my room. So it was not a dream.It was real, and I had no clue how I wanted to deal with the situation.

I rolled out of bed and dragged my fatigued body to the bathroom shutting myself in. I still had not said a word to JK this morning. I was angry with myself and angry with him. How do people deal with infidelity? I have had to advise a friend or two, but that was many years ago when they were dating and not married. My stand was if a guy cheats on you with another woman take a walk. If he raises his hand at you, not even hitting you, take a fast walk and never look back. If he hits you, married or not take a flight out of that relationship.
So the advice was given to others, and here I was. “Take a walk.” Every day I hear that in my head. Take a walk but is that what I wanted. I hear other advice like go out with someone to hurt him.   Would that not be in the extreme? I could not do that even to my enemy. Others were, make life miserable for him. But how long will he put up with such and not be driven entirely into the hands of the other woman?
I remember the book the woman on my fight gave me, and I wondered if I had it in me to do all that. Can I sweep it under the carpet, forgive and move on like nothing happened. At what point do I confront him? Would he deny or confess? Was this the first, second or the last?
I must have been in that toilet for a while because JK came to knock on the door and asked if I was alright.

I am touched by the concern in his voice but quickly reminded myself of what he was doing to our relationship. I had to be strong and not get carried away with whatever love and devotion he threw my way.

I cleaned up and came out to dress. Ordered breakfast for two after asking JK if he wanted anything special.
“My ice queen wife has decided to grace me with some words.Today must be a beautiful day.”
“I am not much for talking today. I got a lot on my mind.”
“That you have refused to share.”
“I can’t share with you because I have lost you along the way and  I am now alone. I peeked to look at his face watching intently to see his reaction.
There was a moment of hesitation like a self-check. I think, but there was something in those eyes that was gone before I could put a word to it.
He came close to me and took my hands placing them on over his heart.
“You got my heart babe! Every piece of it.  You have the whole of me. I might not be the perfect husband, but I love you with all I have got.”

Should I mention that the words were so genuine and, I wanted to believe it and wish whatever it was I think I had found out will go away or was just my imagination or something similar to my friend Sa’a s situation.
Can the man before me declaring his undying love still be the same person exchanging text messages? To be honest, nothing was incriminating from his messages sent out, but the words from the other end left little for one’s imagination.
As much as I was torn as to what to believe, and wish the problem away, I could not go past my hurt. I was also not sure I wanted to spend the rest of myself without JK. I did not know what to do.
Love him through this. The words came slowly to my head! What! I blurted out.
JK looked at me confused.
“What is what?”
“Nothing,” I shrugged.
He prodded me, and  I had to think of something to say
“What if you stopped loving me and start loving someone else?” I choked the words out.
“There could never be another you. I can never love another person like the way I love you.”

But you could love someone else like the way you love them. I finished sadly in my head. The guy was smart. I can give him credit for that.
I hope I could love him the way I should because to love JK from now onward would be thoughtful and hard work. It was not the natural love where your emotions were involved, with chemistry, hot and sizzling enough to melt ice. I was a long haul to loving him and that book, “Love Dare” might be worth trying. If it does not work, then I might have to take my advice to take a walk. No need staying in a loveless marriage.