Amaka had not seen this coming.
She had always picked her maids verrry carefully. They were not allowed to be yellow (because hubby liked light-skinned women), tall, endowed or even remotely beautiful. They wore uniforms to ensure that they didn’t dress seductively and she had made this foolproof by making doubly sure that she was the picture of pure feminity in sharp contrast to their plainness each and every day. How could her husband sleep with her every night and then still have time to sleep with that little, flat-chested rat?
She was the ideal wife. She never threatened his manhood; never nagged or quarreled, she cooked all his meals, was adventurous in the bedroom (she knew the karma sutra like the pope knew the bible) and always looked and smelt good. She had only failed in one respect; for five years now she had been unable to conceive. She had done three IVFs and they had failed. The doctor had told her to have faith that in some cases, it happened naturally. But really was that enough reason for a man whom she had given everything to disrespect her in such a manner? He had broken her heart, her spirit and her mind. She didn’t think she could ever forgive him.
She looked at Mamus and Toke and tried to make sense of their many words. She heard jazz and she shook her head. Chuka could not have been bewitched, it wasn’t possible. She was a prayerful woman; she refused to believe one Babalawo somewhere had the magic ingredient for breaking up her home. One of them had pointed out that the help could have gotten pregnant for someone else and was just blaming her husband because he was rich and successful and big, fat tears rolled down her eyes as she remembered the confrontation at home…
Chuka had not denied it. She had pleaded with him to tell her it wasn’t true but he had stayed mute, a crestfallen look in his eyes. How could he be such a dog? And that bloody b*tch, she wished she could wring her neck and snuff out the life from her pathetic body. How dare she? She was an ungrateful wretch if ever there was one and both she and Chuka were going to pay for this dagger they had plunged through her heart.
She got up suddenly.
“Where are you going?” Mamus asked with concern
“Should we come with you?” Toke added
“No, I am fine. Thank you for listening. I have to deal with this on my own.”
“Please don’t do anything rash dear…”
“Thanks Mamus, I will try, thanks Toke…goodbye”
As she drove off, she saw the concern in their eyes and thought about how she had gone from having the perfect life and being the envy of all to being pitied. She had actually thought of concealing the matter but for her sanity’s sake she had sought out her friends. There was only so much that coffee could do. She picked up her phone and called her dad. He picked on the second ring. Ten minutes later she had downloaded her whole sob story to the one man who would kill for her and he had asked her to come stay with him for a while. As she dried her tears, she had gently turned down the offer. Yes, daddy was an ex-governor and liked to be in control of everything but this was her fight and just knowing her family had her back was enough for now. She knew her mum would be calling her soon and she put her phone on silent. She wasn’t ready for her just yet.
She drove to her house and was surprised to see three cars parked in the driveway. She had sent the maid packing this morning and expected her house to be quiet. The front door was unlocked and when she entered the living room, her mother in law, the maid, her husband, his close friend Gideon and two of her husband’s uncles were seated, obviously waiting for her.
“Good afternoon my daughter”
Amaka stared at her MIL for a couple of minutes and then finally responded.
Five minutes later, she had been coerced into sitting and listening to serious crap. It was like watching a Nollywood movie. They had apologized on her husband’s behalf and then asked her to please accept the new wife (WTF) and the unborn baby as hers. She scarcely heard anything after that. There were Igbo proverbs here and there, bible verses interspersed (imagine oh!) and vague, empty promises. She desperately needed some coffee and her hands quivered slightly- she wasn’t sure if it was the coffee craving or the loads of bull sh*t she had been listening to since she walked in through the door. She suddenly felt sick.
“Please excuse me” and without waiting for consent she dashed up the stairs and into her bedroom. The tears stung her eyes as she splashed cold water on her face. She had to be strong, had to be brave. She picked up her phone and sent a message to Irene, her travel agent.
‘Need a trip to someplace serene, book me a flight for tomorrow morning. Will be gone for two weeks, you know the visas on my passport so plan accordingly. Thanks’
She felt better afterwards.
Tonight she would be lodging at the most expensive hotel she could think of. She needed her sanity back, needed to be away from all this rubbish. She felt numb and as if in a trance began to pack a few clothes and personal effects into a small travel bag. She threw in her passport and zipped up the bag. She took a deep breath and walked down the stairs, plastic smile on her face.
“Mama I have heard everything you have all said, to err is human, to forgive divine. I am not divine unfortunately. I need time to think, please don’t try to contact me and I do not want this girl in my house.”
“It is my son’s house-“
Mama never finished what she was saying because Chuka who had been on the phone when I came downstairs rushed into the sitting room, a panic stricken look on his face.
“Amaka you can’t do this to me I beg you, please.”
He knelt down, tears in his eyes and I looked at him with a mixture of anger, disgust and immense sorrow.
“You should have thought of that when you f*cked the maid!”
Amaka walked out with her head held high and started her car engine. Just then she got a text message.
‘I just finished speaking with the bastard. I not only fired him but had my boys freeze his entire assets including his bank accounts. It’s my business and my money AND no one messes with my baby girl. Love you hon, please come home your mum is worried.’
She smiled, a small smile which was a first, considering the sort of day she had had. Nobody messed with daddy’s princess. She wasn’t going home however, she loved Chuka and even though an elaborate punishment was her plan for his betrayal, she was not about to let go of her marriage.
…for better for worse
To be continued…