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Japheth who was just arriving home later that night, sauntered into his bedroom. He met his wife gently nursing a cut on her lip in front of her dresser mirror and there were obvious scratches on the back of her neck and her arms. He stood on the other side of the bed, placed his portfolio on the bed and lifted his chin as he began to loosen his tie with his eyes still fixed on her. He noticed that it was either that Yvonne was pretending not to know that he was home or she was simply too carried away with what she was doing.
He had waited enough for her to at least welcome him back home as usual but as he began to unbutton his cuffs and take off his cuff links, he spoke now in a low angry tone. “And I don’t get a welcome back from work greeting?” He asked.
Yvonne stared at him through the mirror now then quietly but reluctantly said: “Welcome.”
“Cooked anything? I’m famished!” He asked, taking off his shirt now.
“I taught you would stop at Lara’s place for dinner as usual.” Yvonne simply answered.
“You are in no place to decide where and where not I should not have my meals. What did you cook?” He retorted.
“Nothing.” Yvonne answered.
“Nothing?” He asked in surprise.
“Then what have you been doing all day? Sitting there and popping every pimple on your face?!”
“I went to the salon to treat my hair.” She answered.
“And treating your hair couldn’t have taken all day!”
“No, it didn’t take all day.” Yvonne replied with a sigh now as she turned around on her seat to face him. Most of the slaps and punches she had received earlier that day were already beginning to show dark bruises or her skin.
Japheth scrutinized her now then asked: “Why do you look like a cat got you?”
“Your girlfriend and her friend did this to me, Suleiman!” Yvonne said angrily now, jabbing a finger at her face.
Japheth shook his head and scoffed, his hands on his hips now. “You are joking right?”
“I wish I was! She attacked me at the salon this afternoon, threatening me to leave you alone! Gosh! It was so embarrassing!”
Japheth pursed his lips now as he stared at her for a moment. Surprised at his silence, Yvonne stared back at him, expecting some sort of reaction. She was expecting Japheth to get his phone and put a call through to Lara, chastising her and also warning her sternly not to repeat such again but Japheth only stared down at her.
“What? You aren’t going to say or do anything?” She asked.
“What do you expect me to do?” He asked with a shrug.
“Tell Lara to stay the hell away from me? Or probably warn her never to repeat such again or does that not sound like something any reasonable husband should do?”
“Oh, stop being such a drama queen already, Yvonne!” Japheth scolded her.
Yvonne slowly rose to her feet with a look of surprise registered on her face. “Your girlfriend and her friend attacked me in public for committing no offence at all, and all you can say is that I’m being such a drama Queen?!”
“You and I know that she’s on her right.” Japheth stated.
“On her right?!” Yvonne couldn’t believe her ears. “Did you just say that she’s on her right?! Suleiman, have you forgotten that I am the one who’s your legally wife and not Lara?!”
“But she’s the mother of my child!” Suleiman barked.
Tears gradually filled Yvonne’s eyes now and she felt weak. “So it’s true…” She said in a teary voice and he looked away, avoiding the hurt in her eyes. “So Suleiman, it is true that you have a daughter with Lara! I have been married to you for almost seven years now, Suleiman, and you have refused to let me have any child for you!… Suleiman, I have done four abortions for you!” She lifted four fingers. “Four! And this is how you choose to repay me by fathering a child with another woman who’s not your wife?!”
Japheth exhaled and turned to look at her. “Yvonne, don’t try to guilt-trip me here, just stop it! Heaven knows that I’ve tried! I have tried! What else do you want from me, Yvonne, ehn, what else?! I have done everything humanly possible to make sure you quit this marriage but you have chosen to remain obstinate! Four years ago, I offered you ten million and told you to quit the marriage, but you refused! A year ago, I threatened to marry a second wife, hoping you’ll get mad then pack up and leave but instead, you sat tight! Just last week or so, I gave you the liberty to go get yourself a boyfriend but up till now, nothing! Nothing! Why are you so damn stubborn?! Why can’t you see that there’s nothing that you’ll do that will change my mind or make me love you! Why are you bent on making my life miserable?!”
“But Suleiman, I LOVE YOU!” Yvonne cried out in despair as tears streamed down her face now. “Can’t you see that I love you so much that it hurts! Suleiman, I have never loved any man the way I love you and I don’t think that I ever will! To make sure that I commit all of me to you, I made You are my first!” She said indignantly.
He quickly lifted a finger and countered: “Point of correction! I’m not your first, Yvonne! I’m not! Have you forgotten that I saw it all?! Yvonne! I saw every single thing that happened that night! I watched you take in every inch of his dick!”
“I was in pain, Suleiman! And I did it for you! For us!” She pleaded and tried to touch his arm but he swung his arm roughly to throw her hand off which made her quickly draw back.
“Oh, spare me that crap!” He snapped. “All you were shedding that night was nothing but crocodile tears! You took in every inch of that bastard’s long cock and you didn’t even bleed! How do I know you had not been sleeping wity him at my back before that fateful night?! How do I know if both of you didn’t set me up so that you can both torture me psychologically! I was made to watch everything! Every single thing, Yvonne! Do you know how that felt?! Do you know how it felt to see my wife being fucked like a slut on our honeymoon?! No, Yvonne, no! In fact, I have told you before and I’ll continue to tell you again and again! I stopped loving you that very night! I stopped yearning for you! In fact, I HATED you! If I could kill you, I would have strangled you with my bare hands that night! I would have ended this a long time ago and spared myself the headache!”
Yvonne burst into more tears now at the mention of being hated by her husband. She felt helpless and collapsed to the floor, still crying. “Suleiman, please don’t do this to me.” She said softly, slowly shaking her head as she pleaded. “You are turning all this on me when it was your own doing. Suleiman, you and I know that it was for you. Between God and man, it was all for you.” Her shoulders shook from her sobs.
Japheth only stared down at her in disgust. “I didn’t ask you to enjoy it, Yvonne, so save me the flimsy excuses because I’m not buying it! By the way, get over yourself already and do what’s right, for once. Grow some nerve, bitch!” Then he squatted in front of her with a hard look on his face. “I have a feeling that the reason you are holding on so tight to me is because you know that no other man will desire you. You are worthless, Yvonne and any sensible man will see that from afar. You hide under the facade of a good, caring and godly wife when deep inside of you, a slut struggles to be set free. Why not prove me wrong by showing me that another man could actually desire you as much as you desire me. That a man looks at you and feels like running his hands down your body the way you have always wished I would, but no! They don’t even know that you exist!” Then he rose to his feet again and added: “You know what, Yvonne? My patience is running thin and I’m at the verge of doing what I should have done a long time ago! I’ll be travelling to Canada on Tuesday and I’ll be gone for three months or so. By the time I get back and you have still not found yourself a man or given up on this bondage we call marriage, I’m filing for a divorce!” With this, he walked away to the bathroom to have his shower, leaving Yvonne on the floor.
Yvonne who had quieted down now and had finally reached a resolve, reached for her phone on the bed, then slid into her messages and typed the words: “Babe, concerning the party, count me in.” Then she clicked send. Seconds later, a message popped up to indicate that the SMS had been delivered to Bernice and Yvonne placed her phone aside and leaned her arms and head on the bed, still crying.
On Tuesday, Yvonne and Bernice sat in her office, discussing the unfortunate incident that had occurred the previous Saturday.
“But babe…” Bernice said in pity. “Those ladies really dealt with you o. Thank God you wore turtleneck long sleeve top to cover the bruises.”
“And I had to use a red lipstick which I hate to cover the cut on my lip too.” Yvonne informed her.
“God will punish that Lara of a girl! How can a side chick be fighting the main wife over her husband! I wonder what this world is turning into! That lady has no iota of shame. If she really loved your husband in the first place, why did she dump him to follow an Arabian man to Qatar. Now that she has eaten enough shit and they have uselessed her pussy, she decided to come and retire on your husband. A bitch without class, that’s what she is!”
“My dear, I can’t count the number of times I have treated STIs. I have told my husband several times to use a condom but he doesn’t want to believe that Lara is sleeping around.” Yvonne answered.
“It’s either Japheth is blind or foolish or he’s both at the same time. I have a feeling that he knows that Lara is still doing her side-runs but he’s just living in self-denial. Who knows how many STIs he has secretly treated himself because I’m certain that he’s not immune to all these STIs you have complained about.” Bernice stated.
“Anyway,” Yvonne exhaled then said sadly: “It’s all in the past now, Bernice. Suleiman has made it clear to me that he would no longer let me have sex with him until I do what he wants. He says my only solution is to get a boyfriend or to file for a divorce.”
“And do you have anyone in mind, like an ex or an old admirer?” Bernice asked with interest now.
“Not at all. Suleiman is my first man ever. I never really paid any attention to any other man.”
“Chai! You didn’t do enough sisi be that. With all these fine curves, you could not even keep a rebound. Anyway, that’s why I’m glad that you have finally decided to go to the birthday bash with me this Friday. I’m sure that after I package you up in a sexy dress and good makeup, men will be running after you like flies.”
Yvonne gave an unsure frown now. “Bernice, seriously, I don’t know if I have the nerve to flirt back with anyone who flirts with me… I mean, I haven’t felt attracted to any man besides my husband for the past nine years.” Yvonne said with a grimace.
“Don’t worry. I’ll chaperon you. All we need to do is to rekindle the sisi in you and other things would fall into place themselves.” Bernice assured her. After a slight pause, she asked: “So, has Japheth travelled to Canada?”
Yvonne nodded. “Yes. I even offered to give him a ride to the airport but he refused and said Lara would do that.”
“Hmm!” Bernice heaved a sigh. “Babe, you don suffer o! You really done suffer! Your husband denies you of sex, treats you like crap and cheats right in your face and there’s nothing you can do about it! Have you even reported this rubbish to your pastor?”
Yvonne smiled sadly. “I once did on our first year of marriage. Well, he told me that the devil is only testing my marriage to know how strong, patient and understanding I could be. Then he told me to go home and fast and pray fervently and that one day, my husband would change for good.”
“Pfft! And yet, this is almost seven years. Prayer ko, prayer ni.” Bernice hissed.
Yvonne rose now, grabbing her handbag after glancing down at her wristwatch. “Babe, I’ve got to get to class. I’m giving my students a test today.”
Bernice rose too. “Hope you are free tomorrow because we have to go shopping for what you’ll wear to the party this Friday.”
“I’ll check my schedule and let you know.” Yvonne told her as she walked away from her desk towards her door. As Bernice followed after her, she suddenly caught a glimpse of a red colour in the waste basket by the wall then she moved towards it and pulled out a black box wrapped in red ribbon with a big bow on the top.
“Yvonne, what’s this?” Bernice asked with a puzzled look.
“What?” Yvonne asked, pausing and turning to look over her shoulder. When she saw the box, she recognized it immediately. “Oh! It’s just a gift. A Val’s gift like he said.” She said indifferently.
“That boy… What’s his name again?” She asked no one in particular as she tried to remember his name. “Oh yes!” She finally clicked her fingers now and stated. “Tafida!”
“Really?” Bernice beamed now. “That fine boy, right?”
Yvonne rolled her eyes. “There’s nothing attractive about that boy. He’s just daring and impudent which I find repulsive!”
“If I hear!” Bernice snorted as she turned the box here and there, examining it. “So what was the gift in the box?”
“How should I know? I didn’t check it, I simply dumped it in the waste basket the day he gave it to me.” Yvonne answered.
“Craze dey worry you?!” Bernice exclaimed. “You didn’t even check what it was and you dumped it in the waste basket?! You have a problem o, a serious one, Yvonne.” She began to pull one of the end of the ribbon to untie the bow.
“Why should I entertain gifts from a boy old who’s probably seven years younger than I’m?” Yvonne asked, seeing nothing wrong with what she had done.
“Abegi! Who age help?! As long as he’s a stud in bed, who cares about his age?! E be like say small boy never knack you well-well make your pussy still dey twitch reach the next day, abi?” Suddenly she exclaimed: “Oh my God!”
Startled, Yvonne drew closer and asked. “What is it?!”
Mouth wide open, Bernice turned to show Yvonne the content of the box. “Diamond earrings!”
“You are kidding, right?” Yvonne asked skeptically.
“I’m not! Take a look at it na!” She stretched the box towards Yvonne’s face.
Still not convinced, Yvonne said with a frown. “What if this is just ordinary glass? That boy does not strike me as one who can afford such an expensive jewelry.”
“Then it’s obvious that you do not know him that well then.” Bernice replied. “Babe, I’m telling you that this is real diamond. I know one when I see one. This probably costs nothing less than four hundred and fifty thousand naira.”
Yvonne’s brow quirked then she snorted. “Like hell it does! Who in his right mind would spend such a huge amount of money on just a pair of earrings?”
“A boy who’s probably crushing on you and who’s also fucking rich too.”
“Please, abeg… He’s not rich. He’s just a stylist.” Yvonne dismissively waved her hand at Bernice as she turned back to the door. “See, I don’t have the time for such nonsense, Bernice, I have to go now and I definitely don’t want to be late for my class.”
“But what about the earrings?” Bernice asked, closing the box.
“I don’t want them. Return that box to where you found it.” Yvonne answered.
“So you are going to let such a beautiful and expensive gift waste just like that?” Bernice asked in surprise.
“Like I care.” Yvonne stated as she walked out after acknowledging her secretary who was busy at her desk.
“It’s now that I know that you are not only stubborn, you are mad too.” Bernice said, following her out of the faculty. “Know what? I think this is the best thing to wear to the party. I’ll keep them until that day for you.”
“I’m not wearing those, Bernice.” Yvonne stated resolutely. “I have got a ton of earrings at home that I haven’t even worn. Has it even occurred to you that he might have stolen these earrings?!”
“Steal? When he’s not Ethan Hunt! You are so wearing this, Yvonne, end of discussion!” Bernice insisted.
“Whatever.” Yvonne murmured and started for the parking lot around the building.
“I’ll see you when you get back!” Bernice yelled after her.
“I’m not coming back! I’m going straight home from the class!” Yvonne shouted back as she rounded the corner.
Bernice smiled, shook her head and returned into the faculty while Yvonne unlocked her car door, got in and close the door. Then she adjusted the rearview mirror a bit so she could check the cut on her lip to be sure that it was well-concealed by her lip stick. Not satisfied, she fetched her lipstick from her handbag, puckered her lips and began to reapply her red lipstick when she suddenly heard a voice behind her.
“I’m beginning to imagine those Scarlet lips on mine.”
Startled, Yvonne gasped and spun around to look at the back seat. “Jesus!” She exclaimed when she saw Tafida smiling at her. “How the hell did you get in here?!” She asked.
To Be Continued…
© Angela Okoduwa