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.

 

 

 

 

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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.
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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.

Meena’s Diary#10

I loved the thrill I got from the shock in JK’s voice. The one-minute silence before the barrage of questions. When did I plan the trip? What was I going to Paris to do? Who was with the kids? Why did I not discuss this with him? What is happening here? When are you coming back? To we need to talk when you come back. As the questions flew like gunshots, I was fuming and daring him in my head to forbid me from making the trip. I had thrown caution to the wind and wanted to hurt him in every possible way, so he felt the same pain I felt at finding out, I was no longer at the top of his priority list. I had been displaced by someone else.

 

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Was I curious? Yes. I wondered who she was. What she looked like and what attracted him to her. Am I going paranoid? My daily browsing through his phone convinced me he was about to or into an affair. Although, I still had not confronted him with on what I knew. Somehow I wanted it to be a lie, hoping that by not talking or acknowledging, it would all go away. I was hurting and lashing out. There was no rational or logical approach to my recent actions.

I ended the call entirely satisfied. It was just the beginning. I was going to make JK pay and go through the same hell I was living in now.

I settled into my seat with the hope that I might be able to sleep during the flight but alas I had this woman beside me who was too chatty for my liking.

I tried answering all her questions with monosyllables and nods with smiles that said I want to be alone but either she chose to deliberately ignore or was just psychologically stupid not to pick up my innuendos. The former I later found out was the case. I gave up on sleep and chatted with the dimwit woman, or so I thought and found I had met a soul mate even though I was reluctant at first.

She brought out a book “Love Dare” which piqued my curiosity. “What book is that?”

“It’s a 40 days devotion on saving your marriage. They also have the film and the novel – Fireproof.  You might be able to watch the movie on the flight.”

“No, give me a book on how to wreck a marriage. I am done with saving. It’s just too tiresome and yields no result.”

“Why don’t you watch the film? It’s a long flight, and you can tell me your thoughts on it.”

I reluctantly watched the film and had a thing or two to say. It looked like where my marriage was, but it was not in us women to wander. The unfaithful partner here was unbelievable the woman.

“It’s not for us to be unfaithful,” I commented to my new friend.

“But that is not to say we are saints. Can I let you into a secret? I have almost been there before sanity snatched me from the highway of destruction I was willingly walking.

It felt so right that it started as an innocent, genuine friendship. The man was having issues with his wife at home, and my husband was battling to save his business. Our lives were too busy and at varying tangents. I could do with a friend who genuinely cared.

We crossed boundaries with every red light shining, but I always rationalised it. Until the day we found ourselves in a hotel kissing and groping at each other. Like a flash of lighting, I was fortunate to come back to my senses. I knew it was wrong.  I could not do it. I picked my clothes and ran out of the room.

My ears tingled as I looked at the woman before me. Infidelity is never written on faces and if it were, certainly not this lady sitting beside me. She looked noble, respected and contented. I wondered why she was telling me. She did not have a clue of what I was going through but was hitting deeply at the issues of my heart.

Why did you run? What came to your mind? I asked curiously wondering all the while if I had it me to be unfaithful. However doing it to hurt JK seemed a good excuse.

“Marriage is a covenant. Some say it’s a contract you do your part I do mine. When a marriage goes through stuff, it might be one person tirelessly doing the right thing without expecting a reward till the partner comes around. Therein, is the test of all marriages.

“I buy the contract school of thought. I am not stupid. We both come half way to the table. No one is superior to the other. You can’t go about misbehaving and expect the second party to keep doing it all to keep the home. I am at a place in my life where I am wondering if I should walk out or stay put,”

“I won’t be able to tell you which. I have not walked your road, but deep in your heart, you know what to do. You might want to try this before throwing the towel and walking away.

Meena ‘s Diary#9

The Sa’a saga is all behind us, and our lives returned to normalcy. We found out that our old classmate did start a rumour of the supposed relationship with her sister who worked on one of the teams handling the project. Atiku’s visits to their father were strictly business dealings and connected to the project he was overseeing in Dubai.

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On the day Sa’a had tried to commit suicide.  She had wrongly accused Atiku of planning to take a second wife and the trip to Dubai was not purely business.Atiku too angry to dignify her accusation with a response stormed out of the house. Sa’a took that as a sign he was guilty and the rest of the story, we were a part of the drama that ensued.
Her foolishness almost cost her life and yes! as soon she was out of the woods. I gave her a piece of my mind.

Oh dear! The drama we women create out of nothing. But hey!  Our instincts do some overdrive at times, but it is never wrong.

Back to my world. Each day as I struggled to connect with JK. I found the distance in our hearts widening. I did not know how we got there and I certainly was clueless how to get us out.
Try a little conversation here. Did I hear you say? It is not that easy.
Like, hey stranger, let’s connect and automatically the connection comes. Yeah, I wish it was that simple.

Few weeks down the line, it’s his birthday, and I organised a surprise get away for the weekend. Bought him an expensive watch which cost me three months salary.
We had a good time just us, no kids no work. Food, movies, chit chat, sex and more sex.
You can’t put the right words to it, but you feel it when you are lost in a relationship. And mine was a shipwreck.

Tang! Back home and the same distance.

What drove me out of curiosity was what killed me. I picked JK’s phone one morning while he was having his bath and scrolled through his calls and text messages.

There was a recurring name on that phone. Nothing implicating but more reoccurring than my number.
I became both hot and cold at the same time. Fear laced with dread caused tangles in my heart.  No, it’s just a coincidence. It can’t  be. It is not in JK to have an affair. I rationalised and argued. JK worshipped the ground I walked on. That was a lifetime ago, came a voice in my head.

I put the phone down as I heard the shower cease and slipped into the kitchen.  I could not face JK. I needed to know what to do with this new information.

I was still in the kitchen when I heard him behind me.
” Hey, babe! Good morning,”  and he tried to kiss me on the cheek.
I stifled at his touch, subtly avoided his lips as I lifted the kettle to pour a cup of coffee.
“Got to run, call you later,” and he was gone. I did not know I had been holding my breath. I fell on the kitchen floor and wept silently not to wake the kids.

For days I secretly cried in the bathroom wondering where did I go wrong. Was I not beautiful enough? Had I not sacrificed myself for the family? Denials of holidays,  clothes and accessories, so the family budget was not exceeded. And I get paid by infidelity?

There were moments of self-doubt then anger followed by hurt and depression. I looked at the kids and wished we had none. It would have been easy to walk away. Leave it all behind. I recalled my conversation with Hauwau a few weeks back and laughed bitterly at my foolishness.  There were no happily ever afters.

I tried to look normal, act normal but my heart was broken and hurts in-depth and intense. I did not think I could come out. I bought a ticket to Paris on a whim. Called my mum to help with the kids and told JK at the airport I was out. I could imagine his stunned look as he asked in shock what I was going to do in Paris. “To get me a new boyfriend,”  I joked but would not have minded if I could go through with it.

Meena’s Diary#7

Reflections

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“He is taking the first flight out of Dubai,” I informed Hauwau triumphantly.
She rolled her eyes. “It means nothing to me. Let Atiku focus on his wife and family.”
“Isn’t that what we all want from our husbands, the happily ever after, a romance that won’t end with the wedding but continue in the life of the marriage,” I thought out loudly.
“Sadly, we don’t. Romance dies once the wedding gets consummated,” replied Hauwau.

“But you have it all?” I challenged her.
“You think so, my dear? Is it because I show you what you want to see?  A perfect husband and marriage?” She laughed bitterly.”Meena, I have learnt to live with the pain, smile through the hurts and betrayal and be content in the success I get from my career and love from friends and family.”
“What are you trying to tell me?” I asked shocked at what I was hearing but refusing to let the reality sink in.
“I have said it in plain English. You are naïve to the truths and ways of life. In your naivety, you have shielded yourself from harsh reality, so you live in the past because the present is far from what you wish and you have no idea what the future holds.”
The alarm on my phone went off reminding me I had to go and pick the kids from school.
“Don’t move,” I will be right back I commanded. “This heart to heart talk must continue.”

Hauwau’s words kept playing in my head. To think that I felt she had it all together. There she was struggling and hurting on her own. My thoughts moved to my present relationship with JK. We were okay in a sense we neither argued nor had disagreements but no longer connected the way we used to.

He called me at the start of work, lunch and just before leaving the office. Every call ended with the perfunctory “I love you” we talked about our day in the narratives without depth to our feelings. Our sex left me yearning for more than just a physical connection of our bodies but our hearts.

Many times I recollected telling him I sensed I no longer had his heart but he would reassure me of his faithfulness. I am and would be the only woman in his life. The words were what they were, mere words which did not connect to my heart.
I argued with myself severally that I had nothing to worry about and we were in a phase that would pass away with time. How long that would take, I did not know. Sometimes I stare at JK and wonder if we have not become two strangers connected by the kids and the four walls of our apartment.

Hauwau’s words have jolted me into reality. My marriage might even be over, and here I was downplaying a fire that has started slowly, the smokes giving the signs but ignored by me. Would it take an inferno to wake me up to how far I was from the kind of marriage I wanted and wasn’t it possible to have it all – romance and happily ever afters?