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On the flight back to Lagos, we talked about almost everything under the sun except anything that had to do with what happened in Calabar. I tried not to think about the incident too but when we got to the house, I couldn’t think of anything else.
Why was I so quick to judge her? She was a victim like me; I should have understood and empathised with her.
I decided to call her.
‘Hey babe’, I said, hoping I sounded lighthearted enough.
‘Omoboye,’ she said flatly.
‘How are you?’
‘I was thinking about the whole Dapo issue and realised I didn’t handle things well. I want to apologise for that.’
‘Hmmmm, it’s not important.’
‘No, Boladale, it is important. I should have known better considering I have had a firsthand experience of how Dapo can be.’
‘I know, which is why I was surprised at the way you took it. I expected you to be angry but I thought by the time I was done explaining you would understand.’
‘I should have, but at that time, I was having lots of issues and it majorly had to do with women who get pregnant for other people’s husbands.’
‘Oh…..are you and Jite having problems?’
‘No. At least not anymore,’ I added, remembering how Jite had said I should care less about what people thought.
‘Oh my God, hope nothing serious?’
‘Not really, we are over that now. In fact we are having a vow renewal.’
‘A vow renewal? So soon? Are you sure everything is fine? Should I come around; will you like to talk about it?’
‘Relax Bola, we are fine, the worst is over. The renewal thing is just for us to say some things to each other, things we were going to start doing differently and all that.’
‘Ok, Boye. Just know that I am always here in case you need to talk. So when is it?’
‘We haven’t concluded, I will get back to you when we do.’
We talked about other things after that and then I asked her about the pregnancy and what her plans were. She said she was able to get the email address of Dapo’s wife and she had sent her an email about her pregnancy. I gasped at that, my heart aching for the poor woman. I asked Boladale why she felt the need to do it and she said she believed it was best that the woman knew the kind of husband she had. I was sure she would know that already but I said nothing.
I had no intention of killing Dapo, at least not with my own hands, but what does a man do to the man who abused his wife? Even if it was before she became his wife, the effect was still the same. It still hurt like hell.
The intriguing thing was if anyone had asked me how I would feel about hearing such things, I would have said I would be repulsed but all I felt was anger that anyone could take advantage of Omoboye so and worse, get away with it.
I knew people who could mess him up and I thought of how to contact one or two, but still I hesitated.
There was bound to be some bad press given what happened in Calabar and I knew I needed to be there for Omoboye through it all. I resolved to concentrate on weathering the storm first and renewing our vows, before taking on Dapo.
‘Jite, about that renewal thing, when do you have in mind?’ Boye asked, breaking into my thoughts.
I looked at her as she walked out of the room and noticed her eyes looked tired.
‘I thought you weren’t interested.’
‘Yeah, initially, but remember I later agreed it would be a good thing. I think it’s a great idea; it would be like we are starting anew.’
‘Yeah. But I think we should wait for a couple of months so the media can get tired of you first. I expect that the Calabar story will break soon and I have a feeling it might be ugly.’
We didn’t have to wait long. I had calls pouring in by the evening of the same day.
‘Babe, what is this that I am seeing everywhere?’
‘Someone just cooked a horrible story about you. But wait ooo, they also have pictures.’
‘They said your husband caught you in bed with another man. Who did you offend, Boye?’
‘Boye, you need to make sure they yank off that story, I know someone who knows someone that can help with that.’
‘Don’t mind those bloggers, they are crazy people. But wait o Boye, did it really happen?’
The calls kept coming in and at a point we had to switch our phones off.
Later, we decided to check out the stories ourselves. Jite suggested that we go to a particular blog which was notorious for breaking unverified and usually false stories first, but I told him I would prefer to Google my name just to know the extent of the damage.
The result of the search was astonishing and despite my ‘I don’t give a damn’ stance, I felt my eyes mist over as I glanced at the web page.
‘Popular makeup artist in adultery mess.’
‘Caught pants down; MUA Omoboyede lover rats her out in public.’
‘I rammed you so hard, you farted non-stop.’ Femi Brody to Omoboyede Osereme’
‘Boye of Delicious Makeovers’s young marriage falls apart.’
Jite’s face was impassive. He slipped an arm around me, opened all the links and together we went over them.
‘This is preposterous, why did they decide to twist the story like this? Can’t we do something about this, Jite? This is falsehood.’
‘Baby, relax. We knew this was going to happen, didn’t we? Besides, we both know most of these bloggers are useless and will publish just about anything if they think it would make them get some hits.’
‘But we can’t ignore this Jite, imagine them saying you caught Femi and I in the act and that we have broken up because of the incident.’
‘You are not happy they didn’t say you are pregnant for Femi?’
‘They dare not, I would have sued them.’
‘You know you wouldn’t, baby, they don’t deserve that much attention. I give this story four days at the maximum; everyone will forget it and move on.’
‘Four days? How will I cope with this way of existence till then?’
‘Holing up in the house with our phones switched off.’
‘Of course, we won’t be that way after today. My plan is that we would even go out, so that people can see us. Is there any event that we can go to? If there is, we should go. When they see we are cool, everyone will shut up.’
‘Good idea Jite, but I can’t think of any. I think we should just make a video recording, tell everyone we are cool and what happened between you and Femi was just a misunderstanding.’
‘No babe, that will be attaching too much importance to this issue. We are going to ignore this.’
I wanted to argue, I wanted to tell him it was easy for him to say we should ignore it considering he wasn’t the one whose name was being bandied all over the town, but common sense prevailed.
It can’t be easy for him too. No man wants to be pitied; no man wants people to think his wife was whoring.
Busybodies thrive on attention. You give them some, they come back for more. I believed they were all going to get tired of the story soon enough and Boye agreed. When we put on our phones, we told friends and family that we were fine and that my wife didn’t have an affair with anybody. To the bloggers we said, ‘no comments’. Boye felt they would take that to mean the allegations were right but I told her we shouldn’t care what they thought.
With that behind us, it was time to plan our vow renewal party. Boye and I agreed that it would be a small party with fifty guests at the maximum.
We slated our vow renewal for our 6th month anniversary which was two months from the day we got back from Calabar. In an effort to rekindle my friendship with Boladale, I got her involved in the planning. I love elaborate parties but Jite wanted it to be a simple one and so Boladale’s other assignment was to constantly remind me of this.
A week to the renewal party, we were on our way to the caterer’s shop when Boladale received a phone call.
‘Oh Christ!’ she said repeatedly as she took the call.
‘What is it Bola? What happened?’ I asked as soon as she got off the phone.
‘What about him?’ I asked, my fingers shaking as I remembered Jite’s threat to kill him.
‘He has been admitted to the Neuropsychiatric hospital.’
‘What?! Who told you that?’
‘One of my colleagues just called. Apparently, his wife left him and he was trying to celebrate when it happened.’
‘Hold on, a minute. His wife left him and he was celebrating?’
‘Yeah, I am not surprised about that. He has always said he would like a situation where she gives him breathing space so he could have the freedom to do as he pleases. He is always excited whenever she travels and would even tell us he would be glad if she stayed longer wherever she was.’
‘Hmmm, why am I not surprised too? But, how exactly did celebrating land him in a psychiatric hospital?’
‘The details are quite hazy but my colleague was saying something about drug overdose and how he started acting funny and his children called the neighbours.’
‘Oh my God, so his wife left her children?’
‘Yeah, I learnt he didn’t allow her to take the kids; something about how no one could take his sons from him.’
‘Bastard! How was he hoping to take care of two young children?’
‘Who knows, maybe he was planning that his mistresses would be their stand in Mum.’
‘I guess they will be fine, his wife will go back to get them now. I just feel a bit sorry for him because he might lose his job. Our boss is a certain way; he won’t want to have anything to do with someone who has been admitted for mental issues. And that’s assuming Dapo recovers.’
I sighed deeply. ‘Well, he brought it upon himself.’ What about you Bola, will you be fine? He is your baby’s father after all.’
‘Yeah, he is, but I have decided to see it as a sperm donor situation. The child is going to be mine alone; she will be taking my father’s name too. I don’t want her to have anything to do with that lunatic. To buttress that further, I have decided I am naming her Teminikan.’
‘Oh, Bola, that’s a good one and I am excited to hear you are having a girl! We are going to dress her up in the prettiest dresses ever and I know she will be so beautiful. In fact, I can’t wait. Have you started shopping for her? I would like to join you.’
‘Awwww, thank you ore. Which reminds me, when are you and Jite starting a family?
‘Oh us? We want to wait for like a year, we are still having fun and stuff.
‘Yeah,’ I replied, ignoring the inner voice that reminded me I was not supposed to be lying about my life issues just because of what people would say.
The day we renewed our vows, I wore a blue Guinea Brocade Buba and Sokoto while Boye wore a blue dress by some fancy designer. I had told her I would like for us to wear the same outfits but she said matching outfits were outdated. I didn’t argue.
Like I predicted, the stories died a natural death especially after Femi granted an interview where he said everything he said about Omoboye were lies and that she was a good woman and wife. Another good thing was the oil tycoon Skipper got pregnant for agreed to marry her and she had become his fourth wife in an elaborate ceremony that had the whole of Lagos talking for weeks.
The morning of the renewal, Omoboye asked if it was still necessary, considering we were already doing things differently. We were talking more, laughing more and fighting less. I told Boye it was necessary; since we got married under false pretenses, it was only right that we redid it in the proper way.
I felt like a bride. At last I knew how my wedding day should have felt. I tried to laugh at the irony of it all. We had spent so much money on decor, food, outfits and still we had both felt like we were being sentenced. This was different however; I was all smiles as I got ready. This time there were no bridesmaids, no hair stylists or makeup artists. Just myself and my husband.
‘So baby, what are you planning to tell me today?’ He asked. ’You will find out soon sir, shey we agreed we won’t tell each other beforehand?’
I know Boye, I’m just curious,’ He said, moving close to me.
I closed my eyes as he planted a kiss on my head. He wrapped his arms around me and I wrapped mine around him. We stayed that way for about five minutes, rocking to a beat that existed only in our hearts.
Marriage is beautiful, I thought, the smile on my face becoming broader.
Who would have thought that talking more and assuming less would be the secret to our happiness? One month and no drama- I intended to keep it that way.
‘Those dark months must never come back,’ I said aloud.
They won’t if we don’t want them to, baby.
I know that now, Onajite.
Thirty minutes later, we were in the restaurant where our renewal party was scheduled to hold. I was glad to see the people there weren’t more than forty. I knew Jite would be pleased. Everyone there was family except for Boladale and her Mum. It was a day I would always remember; everything was perfect, the food, the decor, and our vows too.
Simple yet perfect.
When it was time for our vows, Jite went first. With each word he said, a fresh tear fell. He said;
Omoboyede, with God’s help, I will always be your friend, champion, defender, protector, lover and confidant. I promise to never second guess you, I promise to always give you the benefit of doubt, I promise to never stay mad at you, I promise you my heart’s devotion, a smile to chase away every tear of sorrow, a love that’s ever true and growing, a hug and a kiss each day and a love devoid of suspicion and rancor. No matter what happens, I promise I will always love you, even when you grow old and wrinkled, with shaky legs and a toothless mouth, you will still be to me, the most beautiful woman on earth and baby I will love you till death.
I was still crying when he hugged and kissed me. The claps and hoots were deafening and out of the corner of my eye, I saw both our Mums hugging each other. They must have been worried for us, I realized; especially my Mum.
And then it was my turn. I asked Jite to sit down and then I knelt in front of him, holding his hand. Onajite, Like your name, you are enough for me. Truly, you are more than enough and I have asked God to help me to be the wife He wants me to be and I know He will. I am grateful for your love especially because I know I don’t deserve it. I have made silly mistakes and yet you always kept a space for me in your heart; for that I will always be grateful.
From today husband, I promise you a tongue that speaks good tidings and blessings, a heart that trusts, a heart that forgives all wrongs. I promise to obey you and love you with everything I have. I will always be your best friend and confidant, the one who has your back anytime, any day. I promise you a home devoid of stress, rancor and bitterness. With all that I have, I Omoboyede will love you forever.
He drew me up when I was done and kissed me, whispering, ‘This dress is so beautiful, did I tell you that earlier?’
‘No, you didn’t,’ I replied, feigning hurt.
’Guess I will have to do penance for that then. I am thinking I could help you take it off later, just to show how much I like it.’
‘I will be looking forward to that,’ I replied.
Afterwards, our parents prayed for us and then it was time to eat. Bola had organised a band. Even though it wasn’t part of the plan, she said she decided that would be more fun and I agreed. The strangest thing, which also turned out to be one of the highlights of the evening, happened when I went over to Boladale to ask her if she had paid the band.
‘Good afternoon Mummy, I am so glad you came,’ I told her mum, kneeling to greet her.
‘It’s my pleasure Boye, I am grateful to you for how you have supported Boladale through this pregnancy wahala and I am so happy to witness this beautiful ceremony.’
‘Thank you ma, ire a kari.’ I replied, kneeling again.
‘Rara o omo mi, you shouldn’t be kneeling down anyhow like this oo, it’s not a good thing given your condition.’
‘Mummy’! Boladale exclaimed. ‘You have started again.’
‘Which condition?’ I asked looking at Boladale.
‘Your baby,’ Her Mom responded.
‘Baby?’ I asked, glancing at my flat stomach.
Boladale sighed. ‘Boye, my Mum has this strange, almost psychic ability to detect pregnancies. She even claims to know day old pregnancies. I have always told her it’s embarrassing and that she should try to keep it to herself but she wouldn’t listen.’
‘Oh, really,’ I asked, looking at her Mum. ‘But Mummy, I am not pregnant.’
‘You are Boye, you are carrying my dear.’ Her Mum replied, drawing me up.
‘See ehn, Boye. I am sorry about your one year no pregnancy thingy but if Mum says you are pregnant, then you are.’ I smiled at her words and quickly changed the topic, but all through, I was bubbling with excitement and praying she was right.
For two months, I had not thought of pregnancy, I had just focused on loving my husband and I prayed that Boladale’s Mum was right; I didn’t want to be reminded of pregnancy only for it not to exist.
My eyes never left Boye as she moved around the room, and I watched as she left Boladale’s seat and walked back towards me.
My wife forever, I thought as she sat beside me.
‘How is my bride doing?’ I asked.
‘She is confused.’
‘Something Boladale’s Mum said.’
‘What is that?’
‘She said I am pregnant and Boladale said she is one of those people who can see even a day old pregnancy.’
‘She may be right.’
‘You can tell when someone is a few weeks pregnant too?’
‘No. It’s just that I can tell when you have not been menstruating. You haven’t for two months now.’
‘And you didn’t tell me,’ she replied, rubbing her belly.
‘I didn’t want you thinking about it yet. I was too glad to notice you were over that obsession.’
‘Oh, Jite, you are so going to pay. When is this show ending so we can go home and I can start my revenge?’
‘Not before we dance baby. Everyone has been waiting for that.’
‘Then let’s dance.’
We walked to the platform and started dancing to Boye’s favourite song – From This Moment On by Shania Twain.
We had danced to it at the wedding too, but this time it was different.
‘Errr, wifey, your revenge might be delayed a bit; our mothers want us to come over for dinner, it’s holding at your parents’ place. They said they want to celebrate us.’
‘Who says it will be delayed, you have forgotten the mind blowing sex we had the last time we were at my parents’?’
‘How can I ever forget?’ I replied. My heart melting like butter on a hot pan.
She moved closer to me and placed her head on my shoulders and so we remained for several minutes swaying to a beat that existed only in our hearts, totally oblivious of the songs that were being played. And although we knew not what the future would bring, we were certain that together we could weather all storms.