Love Literati Contest: ‘Lavender Marriage’ by Hilary Nzube

Love literati contest - elsieisy blog

“Anwulika, how are you. It’s been three weeks and four days since our lengthy and strenuous discussion on how to address your husband’s sexuality. Jidenna is gay, yes. Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them. (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime –and a cruelty, too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis . As your friend and as a professional, I won’t advice you to divorce him. He needs your love, from what you told me he had never given you a reason to doubt his feelings towards you. In fact if you had not happened upon his gallery and seen those gay pornography, your marriage would still be normal. Anwulika go home your husband needs you. It’s a Lavender Marriage, work on it”.

The swooshing sound of the ceiling fan as it sliced through the air was the only apparent sound in the room. I fought hard to hold back the tears that Dr. Ofolabi’s message threatened to stir up. The tears cascaded, trickled down my sharp jawlines and formed a confluence on my lips. I tasted the saltiness in it before I wiped off the tears, switched off my phone and laid down back.

It was two months ago that I confronted Jidenna on his ‘true’ sexuality. He had left his phone on the bed to take a quick shower after returning from work. His password which was always on, was disabled. So I took the phone and decided to go through his photos. Lo and behold the first folder I opened, was a gay porn. A gay porn in my husband’s phone. When he came out, I confronted him. I was hysterical, my heart was racing as fast as a subway train. I could taste the bile on my lips and I saw the fear and horror in his eyes as I confronted him. He tried speaking at first, but stuttered. His eyes turned red and I saw the veins that crawled up his temple. “Why, Jidenna? Why? I asked him. I could feel my world tumbling right before me. My marriage, the one thing I promised to make perfect, was crumbling. I screamed at him, clawed at him and even threatened to go open with it. It was at that point that so many things dawned on me. His late night partying and his weekend getaways were all avenues to engage in his escapades. I remembered how a scale fell of his eyes after I threatened to go open with his secret, the horrifying look in his eyes as he said,

“You can file for a divorce if you wish to. I thought you could love me for who I am”.

The rhythmical flow of his velvet baritone voice and the treble movement of his beards as he spoke, startled me. At that moment I packed my things and left.

Jidenna was like a regular heterosexual husband to me. We had hot sizzling sex, he constantly dished out compliments to me; how I was the prettiest flower in his wreath, how beautiful my eyes were, how glowing my skin was, how soft and tender my lips were, how he wanted to kiss my eyes, the nape of my neck and in his words “any other place that would send tingles to my spine”.

He was a master of flattery and when he was not flattering me, he was spoiling me with highly ostentatious gifts, like the latest G-wagon model he bought for me a few months prior to my discovery of his sexuality and our subsequent fight. It was not the flatters or the gifts or his money that attracted me to him, it was just the sheer audaciousness with which he exuded these amorousness. It was extraordinarily beautiful to me that a man could love with so much of his might. But at that moment, I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know if I should believe that all his show of love was just a charade.

It was after the incident, I met up with Dr. Ofolabi my friend and a professional marriage consultant.  After telling her everything, she told me of the Lavender marriage. A marriage of convenience that most gay men and women indulge in to cover up their dirty laundry. According to her, Jidenna was a very successful business man from a reputable family, it was pertinent to him that he married a beautiful woman, make beautiful babies and keep a family while going about his sexcapades. He married me to cover up his dirty laundry, he played his card very well and I fell in love with him. But I still loved him and was willing to give this a shot.

Tomorrow is our sixth year wedding anniversary and coincidentally its Valentine’s Day eve. I will prepare a sweet and sumptuous meal, I will order the best red wine from ‘Wines & Spirits’, I will buy red candles from Deximes Supermarket, I will prepare a hot bath for the both of us and pour in enough Lavender scented gel and rose flowers into it. Over dinner, I will look into his eyes, kiss him deeply and tell him “Jidenna in this sixth year of our marriage anniversary, I promise to love you and cherish you for who you are. After all, all love is love”.

He would smile, his teeth that he religiously brushed morning and night, would Sparkle in candle light and at that moment, I will know that I am his redeeming love and it would be my best valentine’s gift to him.

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