Excerpt from episode 4:
Tope and I still communicate once in a while. She still vows to wait for me no matter how long it takes. I know what happened was a mistake and it still remains a secret but for how long? Two years and Ella still wasn’t properly guided on my sexcapade with Tope. Somehow, someday, as I showered in the sink, a message dropped in my phone. Ella was close-by so she checked it. The look that followed after she had checked scared me. Is she now “properly guided”?
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I kept my head down in pain and anguish. The slap that landed my cheeks didn’t give much of a choice what to do next. No reprisals, no words, I just kept mute. When I finally regained my voice I muttered, “Ella it’s not what you think, I’m so sorry I should have told you”.
Ella kept crying huskily. She tried to explain her pain but her voice had been seriously spoilt by the mix of sobs and intermittent hiccups. I felt terrible. Tope’s message was short and simple, it read: “My love, Tosin can walk now and he already knows how to mutter one or two words. When will he know his father?” This is the message Ella saw on my phone.
I know you all may not know Tosin. Do you remember the last time I slept with Tope two years ago when she said she was safe and has passed her ovulation? It was untrue. Tope became pregnant that very last day we had sex and I ejaculated into her. She gave birth to Tosin in London. It has been our little secret for about a year now. She never told me of the pregnancy period until she was delivered of Tosin. It came as a shocker and left me in stitches but what would you have me do? I couldn’t tell my mum nor could I, Ella.
“How could you do this to me Adeoluwa? Was it Children I could not give you? Was it love? What else did I not do for you? Why didn’t you tell me about her all this while? I thought we were best friends.” Ella kept sobbing innocently.
Every wail she let out smeared deep into my head and banged it. I couldn’t control my own tears anymore. I was already in a quandary; a mess I didn’t know how it all cooked up. Sometimes as they say, the truth is better not said because people cannot always handle it but what becomes of you when people know the truth without you telling them? Trust me, in my case, Ella knowing the truth externally did more damage.
“Ella I’m sorry. I can explain everything to you I promise,” I tried to calm her pulse but no, she flourished another slap on my face again.
If it were just slaps, I had no problem. I felt damned and destroyed from my innards to my externals. I felt wicked because Ella truly wasn’t supposed to be in the middle of this mess. She knew nothing, did everything for me as a wife but as much as I tried to keep it from her, she knew anyways.
“Ella please it’s not time to call Mama, let me explain to you. I’m sorry I never told you. Please sit down and let me explain,” I persisted.
Ella slithered to the floor and kept sobbing. I managed to raise her up to the chair and set out to tell the whole story but there was a problem; Ella knew only about Tosin. She had no idea whether there was another, but there is – Junior. How would she feel if she got to know the whole story? Wouldn’t she be all the more besmirching that I kept the tale this long? Again, I had no choice. I had to make a clean sweep of the story by putting all my cards on the desk for her to see.
“Ella it happened many years ago when I was serving as a graduate in Kogi State. There was this girl, Tope. We were in love with each other then. She was the First girl I knew in a biblical sense. When I left Kogi, some years at about the time I knew you, she located me and told me she was pregnant. Remember those times I went for incessant travels, didn’t pick your calls, returned with feigned bouts of headaches? It was Tope I was visiting. Then, she had a son for me already, Junior. That was my first son.”
As I explained, she severed my speech by saying, “Who the hell is Tosin then? How many years are you talking about?”
Apparently, she was confused but I had to calm her down to hear me out. I continued, “On a particular occasion, I went to the apartment I rented for her to stay with my son. One thing led to the other, he had sex again and I mistakenly let it out into her. I had no condom and I didn’t know what to do. She hypnotised me! She told me she was in her safe period and I was happy. My mum and I arranged to ply her out of the country and we did. She took Junior with her and since then they’ve been together. Sadly, she told her over there that she was delivered of Tosin after nine months of her departure and her last sex was with me; the misguidedly safe intercourse. I was too scared to tell you. I feared it would jeopardize our marriage. Please understand and bear with me.” I pleaded with compunction. She was speechless to the tonsils.
After my narrative, Ella wiped her tears. She silently went into the room. She lay on the bed with her eyes glued to the racks above. Her silence was loud. Her silence made me feel guiltier. Her unexpected quietude blighted the hopes of a rapprochement between us. Maybe the story tore her completely. Just that moment there’s nothing left to cry or complain about.
That night, it was frustration meeting with sleeplessness. I tossed about in the bed carefully avoiding a convergence of our eyes. She didn’t sleep either. She had her back raised above the edge of the bed and placed a pillow in between herself and the wall. She was pensive. What she had in mind was unfathomable to me. Perhaps she would get over it, I assured myself. The flowing blanket meant for the both of us broke at the middle because she wasn’t in it.
By morning, I scurried out of the house to go to work. I left her at home because she was still on bed. At work I barely spoke to anyone. When I finished from work, I went home to Ella but she was no more. She painstakingly packed to the minutest of her belongings out of my house. She left all the presents I had bought for her on different occasions. She left her ring on the reading table in my room. Everything we shared, she dropped it. Worrisomely, she took our daughter, Opeyemi with her. I had no idea about her whereabouts. I hurried to my mum’s to check on her but she wasn’t there. My mum, needless to say would always ask me authoritatively what has transpired. After narrating the ordeal, I received the third slap for the whole drama I had caused. Thanks to chatting with Tope.
I went to Ella’s parents’ house but she wasn’t there as well. Confused, I started visiting all her friends in fits and starts and I knew them. Some asked the whys and wherefores of my abrupt visitation. To some I confided, to others, I rebuffed. Ella had gone far away and she wasn’t taking her calls. Two months and counting, I was still searching for Ella. I searched hopefully that fatefully I would chance on her and keep at apologising until she agreed to be with me again. Indeed, it was another fateful moment, one I will not forgive in a flurry.
I called at a bar after work to have a beer or two before I would saunter back to my house. I wasn’t drunk. I knew what I saw. It was Ella sitting opposite one particularly homely man dressed in a suit with stubbles incongruently matching his completely shaved head. I managed to subdue a gale of laughter. They both looked very unbefitting. I thought I still had Ella until I noticed how carried away she was by the talks of this man. She laughed and was smug. I was angry and depressed at the same time as I gazed from afar. It’s hopeless, she’s gone, something said within me. Just when I thought it was a mere evening date, this man brought out a small white box which seemed like a talisman given by a local witch doctor. On a closer look, it was a beautiful white box. Oh my God!. As he made to the floor with his knees, I shouted.
This was the beginning of my story as a married man, a husband and a Graduate.
To be continued…
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