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 the 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#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.

wordle-girlstoys

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.

 

wordle-girlstoys

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#11

For seven days I roamed the City of Love,  another name for Paris, shopping till almost dropped dead. I should be feeling guilty spending our savings on myself, but I was far too gone to care. I was neither remorseful nor calculating our mortgage payment. I was on me and mone alone trip. After all, who knows what waits for me at home. I might be moving out and finding myself on the singles lane again.

wordle-girlstoys

The thought sent a shock of pain through my heart. Was that what I wanted? Was this pain ever going to go away? But was it all worth it to throw away twelve years of marriage away.

Why was I going agog on this infidelity thing? If it pained me so much, why, don’t I pay JK back in his coin? We could live together and have separate lives. You do your own thing, and I do mine. We could go out with whoever we wanted to.

I dropped the shopping back on the floor of my hotel room. Turned on the tap to run water. I wanted to soak myself in and wash away all the toxic feelings.

I came to Paris on a whim trying to get as far away as possible  from my problem but the whole thing was constantly in my thoughts.

JK sent series of WatsApp message to my phone, and I replied none. He had called me severally, but I did not pick his calls. I still had not confronted him before I left and I was not going to either.

Falling into the soft fresh bed, I reached out for the TV control on the bedside and flipped through channels looking for something interesting to watch but finally settled for an English news channel.

My French was horrible from Bonjour to  Cava bien mercie to Oui. I can’t remember where I was when my mates were taking French in high school. I must have been taking one of the three Nigerian languages.  And later during the one-year compulsory service after university Alliance francaise was the in thing. I  sill was not found on the foreign language zone. I was struggling with professional exams.

Every morning I wake up and hear the bellman’s greerings, I  am not sure if he is cursing beyond his “ Bonjour Madam.” But If I am to go by the smile that lights up his face. Then he must be singing blessings on me.I reached out for my phone and scrolled to my Facebook page. I had posted pictures of myself while I was shopping on the streets of Paris today.

I needed something to distract me, or I would go crazy.I still was not ready to talk about my problems to my friends.

“Oga Ju! We can see JK’s hand,” a friend commented.  People read what they want. Who was to know that the heart of the smiling face they saw was in turmoil.

“I go love o,” another comment. If only they knew.

“Where is JK in the picture?” Another asked.

“Making the money while his Babe spends it,” yet another friend commented.

“If only Ibrahim can do half of what JK does,” moaned Khadijah.

“You sure do not want him to do a pinch of it. Infidelity sucks!” I muttered to myself.

I closed the Facebook page and checked my twitter account; there would be some serious stuff there.

I checked for updates on work related issues and finally gave up switching off the phone to avoid JK’s calls.

I tossed and tossed in the bed trying to find a comfortable position to sleep. I was tired, but sleep eluded me.

 I gave up and went to the balcony of my hotel room,  beholding the beautiful city with all the lights in the night. The midnight sky filled with bright tiny stars bore no similarity to my feelings, and I sighed sadly. There was a time in my life when I believed the stars will always shine. Especially those moments when JK cast his gaze upon me. You could see the feeling of adoration and love in those eyes.

We loved looking at the stars then trying to outdo the other person with how much stars you could count and wishes you could make. JK always said he would give me the stars and more. It was for me to ask. I never did ask because I knew he would do everything to get them. I smiled. That was the kind of person he was. I am yet to comprehend what he has become. It was not in JK to cheat on me. I held his heart securely but maybe not enough. Somewhere along the line, I lost his heart and did not realise it until it was too late.

I sighed and walked back inside. It was like a lifetime away. How was I to know that all our dreams will be snatched away by JK himself? That he would take away the stars that made our lives so beautiful for an intruder who was maybe half his age, his age or twice his age.

I went to the kitchen for a glass of water, when I heard the knock on my door. It could not be room service at this hour. I quickly put on my dressing gown over my negligee and opened the door more curious than afraid.

I stood rooted to the spot with shock JK!

 

 

 

Omowashe Omorishe#32

Some friendships are like fresh air

 

second-chanceI  walked  briskly,  then ran up the stairs and pressed the bell.I could barely contain my excitement.An unknown robust black middle-aged woman opened the door with an infectious smile. She looked too groomed to be the house help but did not look like my friend’s mum.

“Good afternoon madam, Mummy twins will join you,” she announced leading me to the living room on the west wing of the house.

I settled into the familiar living room and could notice the little changes here and there.Was it so long ago we had worked with the interior decorator designing the house while running around for the wedding? How true the saying “time flies.”

“Mummy twins would soon be with you”, said the woman I now presume must be the house help and served me a cup of orange juice with chopped pieces of dried spicy beef.

I eyed the meat hungrily. Threw cautioned to the wind and settled to devour it. I was still savouring the delicacy with much ecstasy when I heard the voice.

“I hope you enjoyed my peace offering.”

“It’s truly a peace offering,” I concurred rising into a warm hug.

“Mummy twins” I teased.

“You have barely been here five minutes, and Madam Rose has indoctrinated you.”

“I was first taken aback when I heard, but I love the sound of it. Please where are the young men I came to see?”

“They are being dressed and drilled to be of good behaviour. They are meeting their godmother for the first time.”

I felt both honoured and elated to receive such role, and I took it seriously vowing to be the best godmother who ever lived. Madam Rose came with the boys, and I lost my heart to them at first sight. They would be the cutest pair of babies I have seen.

“Jason and Jaden meet your god – mummy,” cued Peju on what I presume was baby talk. I held Jaden first and then Jason.

“I am so glad to meet you and feel very honoured to be your god- mummy,”I cooed in the new baby language I seemed to have acquired by instinct.

What a shame, she can’t risk getting pregnant. She will never carry a child” I heard the voice of one of my family members, and it kept echoing. “She will never carry her baby.” I also heard my mum’s voice refuting the declaration but I still heard it in my head days without end, and today, it was ringing loudly.

A tear dropped.  “They’re both lovely and so identical, you can hardly tell them apart,” my voice cracking and betraying my emotional state.

“Yes Lana, I bawled like a baby when I first laid eyes on them. How could these precious tiny cute beings have come out of me? You can hardly tell them apart, but I know although Phil always confuses them.

I played with the twins till Madam Rose came to take them away from me for their nap.

“Motherhood looks good on you. See how more beautiful and radiant you have become.”

“Is that to say I have been the ugly duckling?”

“You have always been pretty, but you look breathtaking now.”

“Please tell her,” Phil came in, giving his wife a full kiss on the mouth and turning his attention to me.

“I must seek your forgiveness for whisking your friend away. She had a difficult pregnancy, and we had to move her out to a calmer place without the drama of family and friends. I have been apologising to almost the whole world since we came back. No one told me I married the town’s sweetheart.” He had a twinkle in his eyes, drawing Peju closer to him.

“You are forgiven. I cannot be upset with those two cutie pies I just held in my arms.”

“The easiest and fastest forgiveness ever. I now know why you are Peju’s closest friend.”

He chatted with us and took his leave.

“Please give me some time to attend to him. I will be back. And please don’t go away. Please,” begged Peju hilariously batting her eye lids.

“I will advise, you keep that for Phil. It has no effect on me but if you send more of the dried meat my way. That should suffice.”