Jay stared at Gabby. Their growing up years flashed through his mind as he tried to come to terms with what he was saying. Of course, he had always known Gabby to be fair in his judgement. If he said he would help, he would definitely do, and if he wouldn’t, no amount of persuasion would move him. He had promised to see Adele on his behalf and had done just that. According to him, the Adele he met wasn’t the almost timid wife he had known for years. The woman he met had not only changed physically, but mentally too. She was looking so confident and acting so too. She knew what she wanted and she was going for it. Gone was that subservient look that made her seem she would take flight any moment. In its place was the mien of a woman who had been tutored in the act of self confidence and had imbibed every knowledge she garnered. She was done and dusted with Jay. Even her new looks said it all.
Gabby was amazed at her transformation. Her blonde shorn hair glittered and her carefully made up face looked like something out of a world class fashion magazine. There was something velvety about her appearance, all the hard edges smoothened out -a look only opulence would bestow on someone.
“My dear, you know I love and respect you and your family a lot. I have always sought your opinion on issues and heeded your advice. However, on this issue, permit me to disagree with you. I lived with Jay for over 20 years and it was more than two decades of horror for me.
When you see most women laughing with well made up faces and expensively clothed bodies, you don’t know the nightmare they’re masking. I’ve been there and I speak from experience. No one tells it better than who experienced it. I’ve been there. You won’t want to hear the sordid details. Tell Jay to stop disturbing my aunt. He felt he was being smart when he refused to complete my marriage rites. Like the elders say, what an elder sees while sitting down, a young person won’t see even if he climbs the tallest Iroko tree. Please let him know that in my culture, a man cannot claim children he sired by a woman he didn’t conclude traditional marriage rites on. So, as it is, our three children belong to my father!”
Those were Adele’s words to Gabby. They left him stunned.
When he relayed the message to Jay, Jay was deflated. He had an urgent urge to ease himself, which he did and repeated at short intervals. Beads of sweat adorned his forehead for a while before they ran down his face. He needed not be told that the news had spiked his blood pressure.
“What do you think I should do now?” Jay asked.
“Jay, you have a really bad case. It’s only you that can help yourself,” Gabby told him.
Jay nodded for Gabby was right. Suddenly, his mind cleared. He nodded again and smiled. He knew the solution to his problem. He never loved Adele! Yeah, he never did. She was never his spec. He went for her then because she was related to the manager of the company where he was working. He wanted promotion but the manager, a dour-faced man in his early fifties, was an obstacle. The man was also in charge of an arm of the company that dealt with contracts. Jay was interested in the juicy contracts the company was getting. He wanted to be moved to that department, but it was almost impossible. Then one day, a young lady visited the manager. For the first time, they saw the manager’s face light up.
Jay made discreet inquiries and found out that the young lady was the manager’s niece. Being a smart guy, he set to work. Luckily, the young lady, a working class lady, was naive. She swallowed all Jay told her hook, line and sinker. It was easy for her to fall in love. She was an orphan -an only child. She desperately wanted someone that would give her unalloyed attention. Jay was all over her. In less than seven months, they were married.
After that, promotion came rapidly and he was moved to his choice department in the company. Then, he began to show his true colour. That naive, lonely orphan was Adele!
Jay shook his head. Losing her wouldn’t really cost him his life, but his children meant a lot to him. He would look for a way to get them on his side. Once he had them on his side, every other person could jump into the lagoon for all he cared. Anyway, Adele’s next of kin were their children. So why fight for properties that would eventually return to him?
“Gabby, I’m not going to beg anybody again. Let Adele do whatever pleases her. I’m just going to enjoy myself. Did I tell you that a lady is pregnant with my child? Life goes on,” he said.
Gabby stared at him, mouth agape…
Living on the fast lane isn’t the best. Debola had fully realised that. However, she also realised that it was never too late to retrace one’s steps. There’s dignity in labour but not every labour is dignifying. Why would someone labour in a farm that belonged to another? A farm you had no rights to? She caught her fun, yeah, but what else? Twice, she almost lost her life while trying to steal what belonged to another woman. She should have learnt from her first experience. Anyway, she had learnt her lesson.
She sighed as she watched diners move in and out of the restaurant. She monitored the waiters as they took orders from customers. She paid particular attention to their mien. She would put that into consideration when assesing them at the end of the month. She smiled.
Debola was back to her old working place. She was so lucky. At the time she took the decision to get back to work, she swallowed her pride and went back to her old employers -a fast food company. She was lucky. The company was about to open a new outlet and needed
experienced hands to manage it. It needed an experienced hand to join the designated manager. It was at that point that Debola walked into the manager’s office, seeking re-employment. Her former employers were glad to have her back because she was an invaluable staff while she worked there. When asked why she resigned her employment many months ago, she told them she went to get married but it didnt work out fine. She got the job of a deputy manager in the new outlet!
A phone call got her out of her reverie. It was Jay. She allowed it to ring out three times. The fourth time, she answered.
“Hello. How are you my dear,” Jay said.
“Hello,” she replied.
“It’s me, Jay, my dear,” he said.
“I know you’re the one,” she said.
Jay was taken aback by her tone. She didn’t sound enthusiastic. It was almost as if his call was irritating to her.
“My love, you don’t sound happy,” he said.
“What exactly do you want from me?” She asked.
“My love, I really don’t understand you. Anyway, how’s my baby doing. I need to come see your mother. We need to talk about our getting married,” he said
“It’s not necessary,” she said.
“What do you mean by it’s not necessary? But that’s what you’ve always wanted,” he said.
“That was then, interest has changed,” she said.
“What’s that suppose to mean? What about my child growing inside you?” He asked, incredulous.
“Which child? A child you denied? Anyway, it’s no longer there. The child probably knew it wasn’t wanted and decided to abort his journey into this world. Bye and good luck,” she said.
The phone fell out of Jay’s hand.
Her aunt took a very deep breath and let it out slowly. She had aged greatly since her husband died. She loved him so much. Everybody knew what great bond existed between them. Family members were scared that she wouldn’t get over his death. But at the point they thought they were losing her, she pulled through miraculously. Adele stood with her during those dark days. She would visit every other day, cooked and cleaned the house for her. At a point, she took over her laundry too.
“My daughter, I’ve taken time to study him. There’s an aura of goodness and honesty around him. But it’s not for me to say. Go and think over it again. Let’s talk about this again some other time. It’s a good thing both of you are not in a hurry,” she said.
“Thanks aunty. Thanks for being there for me always. But, would my marriage to Jay stop anything?” Adele asked.
“You were never married to Jay. He knew, for he was told. I wouldn’t know why he came to take you away from us when he knew he wasn’t ready to perform the marriage rites. Enough of him. Let’s get back to Bolan so he doesnt think we’re planning a coup here,” she said and they laughed.
Bolan was waiting in the living room. He stood up when the ladies entered.
Adele went straight to him and he enveloped her in his arms. He kissed her forehead and looked at the old woman.
“Ma, I promise to make her happy always. She means the world to me,” he said.
It was their fourth visit to her in less than two weeks.
Aunty smiled and nodded at Adele who was smiling at her.
Phew! It’s been weeks of this gripping journey with Jay, Adele, Bolan, Debola and others!
Did you find it interesting? Do write in and share your thoughts.
Meanwhile, look out for another gripping intellectually masturbating series on this page soon!
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