Short story: when the worst visited

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WHEN THE WORSE VISITED

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It’s our Anniversary tomorrow, been planning on how and what to do to surprise Kiki. As we lay on bed, it’s almost 12midnight and I can’t wait to wish my wife a happy Anniversary, plaster her face with millions of kisses and hand her the key to her brand new car.

I am looking at her as she snores away and I can’t but just thank God, Kiki did not give up on us or get fed up when she had all the right to.

Oh I have been everything, but a good Husband. I don’t know why she stayed, because if I were her, I wouldn’t have stayed with me.
I do not know why she allowed me get away with my ways and still stayed. I look at her as she lays by my side, tears streaming down my face, I didn’t need anyone to tell me that I do not deserve her. Kiki deserves a better husband than what she got.

I met Kiki in my mum’s church, my Mum had asked me to come to her church for a program. She wanted me to meet the choir lead singer. Reluctantly I got dressed that Sunday evening and went. I saw Kiki sing, and I liked her.

Though she was very plain, naive looking, but beautiful. Somehow I knew she was the chick Mummy wanted me to meet.

After the concert, Mummy came with her, and said to me. “Evans see your wife, I brought her to you myself. I keep calling her my daughter inlaw but she thinks it’s a joke. So my daughter you see I am not joking. This is the yeye boy, he’s my only son.”

She pushes the very shy lady to me, then turns to me, looks me straight in the eye and says. “Be a good boy Evans.” She pays my tummy, and she left. I was a bit embarrassed for the choir girl because she seem lost and surprised at the same time but stayed out of respect for my Mum. She looked like she didn’t know what to do. So I tried to make it easier for her and myself by apologizing for Mummys behavior.

We got talking, exchanged numbers. And that was how I started to call her many times in a single a day. Before long, we started to date and then we were engaged. Yes! And then we got married.

Before I met Kiki though, I had a girlfriend, and I had occasional flings like many guys did. My girlfriend was very vain and worldly just like myself. She loves the finer things in life, and made sure I got them for her, if she couldn’t. She wasn’t good for me at all, with her I committed all sorts of atrocities. After I met , and While I dated Kiki, I tried to stay away from her.

My relationship with my Ex was mostly on and off, we always had something to fight about and so when I got serious with Kiki I decided to break it off with her and this time finally. She had thought we would make up sometime later, not until she heard that I was getting married. She called to ask if it was true and I confirmed it to her that I was indeed getting married. Juliana didn’t take it well at all, she did everything to get me back, everything to make me change my mind and I refused. I needed Kiki in my life, she’s a good girl.

A good girl, she’s down to earth, respectable and godly. That is s the kind of girl a sane man needs as a wife. It was like a joke though, because all of my friends couldn’t believe I fell for a girl as plain as Kiki. I must say that she was the first plain girl I ever was with, and I married the first “plain” girl I met.

For a little while after the marriage, I tried to be well behaved. I went to church, I prayed with her, I just did the things that I thought a man who is married to a Church girl should do. I became a good boy, but with time I started to get tired of it all, more so because the church folks looked at me weird. They made me feel like they were judging me, like they could tell I wasn’t very true, I felt like I didn’t fit in. Kiki is a Sunday school teacher, she is s the choir best lead singer. I felt like I was under some kind of pressure to be something in the church too.

Truth is I wasn’t ready for the pressure I felt, the way people respected me and treated me as Kiki ‘s husband made me feel like a sinner. She is well respected in Church.
When she noticed how I felt, she asked that we change Church and attend the Church where I was attending before I married her. I said no, my Family Church where shes well known is best. The reason was because I wasn’t really a member of any church. I hardly went to church and when I do it’s because of the girl I was seeing at the time. So as a single guy I changed Church a lot, I wasn’t really a member anywhere and I didn’t want Kiki to know so we stuck to my Family Church.

Well gradually I started to make up excuses just to stay home while she went to Church. And then I all together stopped going to Church. Kiki was heartbroken, the more she tried to make me go to Church with her, the more I got defensive. She continued to nag me about going to Church, I got angrier, rebellious and defensive. One day after a little argument, infuriated by her annoying saintly behavior. I went to her face “Never in your life tell me when and when not to attend service, Kiki never again. When I feel like it i would start attending services again but for now capital NO.” I told her. I remember vividly how she wept, and left to Church in tears that day.

Knowing that I was off the pressures of all these Church stuff, I began to show my real self. Oh you can’t imagine what I did.

I began to show my real self, it felt good and free to finally be me. I started to drink, I even stocked my fridge with spirits and wine. She wouldn’t have none of it, she would nag me to get the ‘devil’s water’ out her fridge. So I went and got myself a table fridge for my alcoholic beverages.
We started to fight a lot. I hated to see her sad, but I just thought she was the problem. I thought she was just to righteous, too rigid, I thought she needed to loosen up a little bit.

Anytime we fought I would be so angry that I’ll drive straight down to Juliana’s house. Juliana, my ex, would be so happy to see me, she’ll really take very good care of me. I was beginning to see another side of Juliana that I didn’t know existed. She would cook, give me a massage, listen to me wine about how rigid and funny Kiki is. It got to a point that the devil would just tell me I made a terrible mistake marrying Kiki.

That I married the wrong girl, I should have married Juliana instead. I started to believe it, i knew that, because I would go home and just avoid my wife as much as possible. I would take one look at her and secretly regret marrying her. She would come begging, crying on her knees, asking me to come back home. I would come back home, but before long we would fight again and I am back to Juliana’s arms. By the time we were married for there years I had no emotional, romantic love for Kiki anymore. I had fallen out of love for her but we lived together still.
We fought non stop, If it’s not about how i came home really late , it was about the smell of female perfume. Or romantic text messages, or something. We just always fought about something, she wouldn’t let me live my life.

Juliana told me to let Kiki go, that she was wicked and a hypocrite.

One day, I had come back home from a weekend with Juliana, but before I left I had told my wife that I was taking an official trip. Unknown to me she had found out I didn’t leave town. Trust Kiki to……

One day, I had come back home from a weekend with Juliana, but before I left I had told my wife I was taking an official trip. I told her I had a meeting in Abuja, you know how many men deceive women with meeting this, meeting that. Well unknown to me she found out I didn’t leave town. So she set a trap for me and I foolishly fell for it.

“So how is portharcourt? I heard twas raining like mad last night.” She asked as she helped unpacked my bag.

“Oh you don’t have an idea, it’s was so cold I couldn’t use the AC in my hotel room.” I lied.

“Hmm! Sorry dear, hope you didn’t catch cold or catarrh?”

“No! Not at all, but it rained all evening and night, even till this morning. If not because I have promised to come home today, and you would be worried. I would have stayed back till tomorrow. I was even scared they’ll cancel our flight for this morning . But they didn’t, they only delayed it.”

“It was that bad?” She asked.

“Yes! Very bad, a very heavy pour.”

“In Portharcourt or Abuja?”

“What?!” I asked angrily

“You told me the meeting was in Abuja, before you left here on Friday, But now it’s Portharcourt. Evans.”

“What are you saying?!!” I fired back

“Evans you didn’t leave Lagos. Evans you were with her again right?’

“Again with that? I cannot believe you don’t have an ounce of trust in me.”

“Evans, you were with her.” She started to raise her voice.

“With who Kiki? With who?”

“With Juliana. You ‘shacked’ up with Juliana all weekend while I was down with Malaria and no one to take care of me . Evans, where did I go wrong with you? Was it wrong to have fallen in love with you and married the man I fell inlove with? What did I do to you? What do you want me to do? I’ll do it Evans. I love you. What do you want from me? You know how much I do love you!!”

“Well I am no longer inlove with you.” I said

“What?! What did you say?” She asked, obviously shocked.

“This whole marriage was a mistake.” I said.

“A mistake! O God, a mistake?” She repeated as she slowly, and weakly sat on the bed, and tears flowed down her cheek.

“You see?! This is what I’ve been trying to avoid, making you cry. I don’t want to hurt you, but this whole thing is a mistake, we don’t have anything in common. I am very different from you. You don’t like the things I love and I don’t really fancy the things you love. You are just too plain for me. I don’t feel love in my heart for you anymore.” I found myself Saying.

“But I tried, I learned to do make up because of you, and I started to wear them Evans. You said you like it, you said I was beautiful.” She wept.

“And you are, Kiki. You are a very beautiful woman, but my heart just isn’t here anymore. Ok see, you had to wear make up just to please me not because you like to wear them. That’s what this marriage is all about, pressure! So much pressure to be what and who the other person wants.”

“No no no no Evans. I wasn’t under any pressure, I did it for you, for us. If you are happy I am happy too. That’s what Marriage is about, sacrifices, Compromise. A open mind, trying everyday to please each other, submitting to each other. And that’s what i did. I don’t like alcoholic beverages ? Yes because they are wrong for you, they ain’t good for your liver. They are demonic outlets for those who drink them. It’s all for you, not cause I judged you or thought you were evil because you drank. I could never stop loving you, I learned what love truly is through you. God used our marriage to change me. When last did you hear me nag you or try to change you? When Eev? I have learned to pray for you and I do it on a daily basis. And you come to me with this? Evans?” She asked me.

“Kiki I do not mean to make you cry or hurt you. It’s not just working.” I tried

“Don’t you pity me Evans, I do not need your pity. If you didn’t mean to hurt me you won’t be saying this things to me right now. I just caught you on a very big lie and …..”

“I am just trying to…”

“To what?” She interrupted. “You don’t know what love is, you don’t even know what you want Eev. If this was your job someone is trying to take from you, you would fight for it, if i twere a business someone is try to take from you or your car or our house. You will fight for it but see how Jilliana wants to destroy us, and you won’t even lift a finger, and try to fight for us……that’s how little we mean to you Eev?!”

“Don’t you say that to me cos I tried, I tagged along so this won’t happen I tried to save this marriage but…”

“But Juliana won’t let you?” She interrupted me again. “How do you say you are trying to save us when you still go to her, when you keep defiling our union. When you couldn’t even guide your heart from drifting. We have a problem and you are off to her place all the time, we argue, you are gone. You don’t try to talk it over and you tell me you tried to save our marriage? Did you ever ask yourself if when we fought I went to be with another man everytime, if I won’t be the one asking to leave this marriage right now? Ehn Eev?” She asked me.

“I don’t know.” I answered feeling boxed to a corner.

“You dont know? ……. You know what? For the first time since I married you, I see and accept where I went wrong. Kowing you weren’t born again still marrying you cos I fell inlove. That was my greatest undoing, and see how I am paying for it? See? Do not be unequally yoked but I disobeyed. So Eev love, you do whatever you want to do. I am tired of you not knowing what you really want, not knowing what’s good for you, what’s ideal for you, cause this is the same girl you told me you left because you always fought. She always went to be with other guys just to hurt you back when you hurt her. The same girl you said had little or no conscience, she lives a reckless life bla bla bla. How are you sure you won’t wake up one day, and you are out of this your love for her?” She asked looking steadily at me.

“She and I have been together for a very long time plus she’s changed….”

“Okay then go, go to her.” She said. she was beyond angry, and started to pack my clothes back into the bag. “Go to her, go and think about what you want, when you are sure, you come to me and we talk. Now leave.” She ordered.

“What? What’s wrong with you Kiki? ” I stuttered
“Leave now Eev, carry this bag and leave my house. I don’t need you or your pity. I said leave now before I loose my mind completely. Trust me you don’t want to see me when it happens.” She warned. I looked at her.

As I lay in bed in my hotel room, very confused and ashamed of myself. I started to sob (I must say here that I am an emotional guy but I hide it well) I didn’t know what to do exactly.

Is Juliana the best for me? Should I return to Kiki even though I don’t feel love for her anymore. Juliana brings out the boy in me, when we get intimate, she does crazy things with me. She almost doesn’t care what I do or how I do them. She doesn’t get mad at me for returning late or not at all. She just loves to have a really good time with me. She makes me laugh a lot too, but then she’s too worldly for my liking. When she wants a dress, a designer jean, she has to have them, and they don’t ever come on a budget.

Could it be true that I really do not know what I truly want, and what’s best for me? Growing up as an only son, my Mum loved me to a fault I must say. I have two big sisters, they all worship me. It’s just the three of us, I am the youngest. And i got what ever i wanted above what they want. I was helped with everything.

They don’t let me lift a finger, helped me with everything, from getting admitted into the University, to getting a Job and then to finding me a good wife.

Then I thought about my wife. Kiki is a good woman, she loves me, and I can’t deny that. I have my own excesses, a whole lot of them, I remembered how she’s always picking and cleaning up after me. I don’t clean, but I sure do know how to make a mess, and she’s never for once complained. I remembered how good of a cook she is, she makes the most delicious meals for our home. She would make sure I leave home ‘belly full,’ like she calls it, looking smart, sharp and clean. She organises dinner parties real well for my friends, colleagues and family members, and makes me look good before everyone. Everyone who has been to any party hosted by Kiki, tells me i made a good choice of a wife, and that she is an excellent cook. Yes, Kiki is very homely.

The few times I have been sick she never left my side, she would pray, cry and all. I remember Juliana telling me to go home because I was throwing up, and she couldn’t handle it, so she sent me home to Kiki. I came home, and Kiki took care of me, never brought up the fact that I had left home very angry the day before. Who does that? How is she able to love me like that?

Oh what about when I almost lost my job? Kiki assured me things would be fine and said she won’t rest until the case is resolved in my favour. I remembered how she fasted for a whole 21 days while she cooked my meal and made sure I ate well so my opponents at my work place wouldn’t think they have anything on me. I remembered her words, She said “Let me do the battle, you need to eat and not loose weight or sleep over this. Let my father handle it.”

“O Kiki!” I wept.

She lost so much weight, she would wake up 12 midnight every night that 21days, to pray for me until the case was ruled in my favour. I remembered how happy she was that God answered her and didn’t her husband to shame. She said she would love to go out with me to celebrate, and I was more than happy to take her out. She said all she wanted was to take a long walk with, that’s all. She and I had gone to the mall, and coincidentally Juliana was at the mall too. Kiki ignored her while Juliana continued stalk us, eyeballing her all through our shopping .

Plus Kiki has the best ‘God instinct’ in the world. if she tells me not to do a business, I dare not because if I dit, it goes wrong. If she tells me that she does not have peace concerning something, I better listen.
She also gives the best business advice to me, I have a problem I would run to her because she knows just how to calm me down.

I always believed what ever she says. Kiki sure has been through a lot for me and she’s my legal wife. What a jerk I have been? She’s endured, been patient with me only for me to think I have the right to dump her now? What right do I have to cheat on her not to talk of make my behavior look like it’s okay? I felt truly bad for the first time for how I have treated Kiki.

It was as if all of a sudden something stronger than myself is revealing all of my faults and all of my wife’s qualities, I couldn’t just put into word how bad I felt. I became so disturbed, I was going crazy. I popped some sleeping pills but couldn’t sleep still. All I thought was all the good Kiki had done me, and I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. I have to go back home to my wife and do good with her and by her. I couldn’t wait for morning, I checked my watch and it was 3: am, What?…….

3:am or not. I am going home. I picked up my things, and headed back home that instant.

I got home some minutes after, that morning, to see the door wide open, “What the heck?” Scared! Kiki had left me, she had left !
“Oh Lord! What have I done?” I whispered to myself. I then ran straight to the bed room to see if her things were still there. Then I saw my wife face down on the floor, crying and praying at the same time.

“What?!” I whispered again. She’s still in the same dress she wore when I left. So she’s been here since I left? “Oh my world!” I have made this woman whom I promised to love and cherish all my life go through a lot. Look at my wife on the floor crying, all for what? All for what Evans? For what? Just because she married a jerk, a fool like me. Isn’t this beautiful woman better staying unmarried?

I fell on my knees, and picked her up. I felt so much love for her, this time it was unexplainable and real. As I touched her.

“I am sorry Kiki, I was a very foolish boy but……. but now I am a man Kiki. I am sorry and I love you more than anything, and anybody in the whole wide world.” I held her still, and my heart melted for this woman. “I am so sorry. You are my everything, my everything Kiki. I am sorry, please forgive me, please.” I cried. There was no need hiding my tears, I couldn’t if I tried.
She was surprised to see me, she hugged me and we wept together.

“I’ll never leave you or our home ever again. I will not.” I promised. “I love you, I truly do.”

********************************

“Baby what are you doing? Kiki jolts me back to reality? Are you crying or what?”

“Oh, lost in thoughts my love.” I said, I must have been in thoughts for so long cause it was 2:am, and I was only waiting for 12midnight to surprise my wife.

“What are you thinking of?” She asked.

” Hmmmn, you wanna know?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Been thinking of all I made you go through…and all you’ve been….been to me love.” I replied.

“Silly you.” She smiled .

” Hahahahaha. And oh happy 10th Anniversary love.” I said as I hand her the key to her brand new car, and kissed her.

“What?! ” She jumps up and hugs me.

It’s been sweet, beautiful, and I have loved Kiki even more since the Juliana incident. We ‘ve had two lovely kids since then too. Life can’t be better. There’s nothing like having a Praying Wife. I would have been dead, lost if not for her.

Just because a mistress meets certain needs don’t mean, your woman don’t meet more than a mistress does. If you said ‘I do,’ please do. Guard your heart? by
(The End)

Ijeoma Popoola. Shalom.
Written 2016, for ‘I AM MRS ‘

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