The Trust Series: Stranger In My Bed

         

                Image © Nevit Dilmen 

           Today is like yesterday and yesterday, like the day before. Time is in limbo or perhaps it’s me? I can’t make sense of anything anymore. Thinking conjures memories and memories, emotions. I can’t have that, so I lie here desperately trying to murder my ability to feel.
          It’s not working.
          Is there no respite from this pain? Ten years, Kunle, ten years of selfless love and endless sacrifices and this is how you repay me? Oh God! You have allowed my enemies to mock me. What happened to preparing a table for me in the presence of my enemies? What happened to all things working together for my good? Have I not served you faithfully? Have I not done all that you require of me?

**********

          Meeting Kunle Kunle ten years ago was an answer to prayer. We were both Christian and determined to do things God’s way. We prayed and got people to pray with us till we were convinced we were meant for each other.
          Our wedding night was beautiful. It happened eight years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a first for us both and unlike the many stories I’d heard, wasn’t awkward. There was no confusion; we instinctively knew what to do. I felt so much closer to him afterwards and he said he felt the same way. We were eager to start a family and didn’t use any contraceptives. Kunle was thirty-two at the time and I, twenty-eight. We had our whole lives ahead of us and stayed up many nights sharing our dreams for the future.
          The dreams started to develop a mind of their own when a year into our marriage, I hadn’t conceived. Who has sex every other night, without contraception, for a whole year and doesn’t get pregnant? We were concerned and decided to get tested. We visited the best fertility clinic in Lagos, emptying our pockets for the privilege and the news was good; there was nothing wrong with either of us. His sperm count was above average and his swimmers were Olympic quality.   My eggs were healthy and gagging for a hatching. The doctor told us not to worry, it would happen soon enough.
          Two years later, it still hadn’t happened. At this point we’d been married three years and both sets of parents were getting restless. We couldn’t bring ourselves to tell them we were trying so we lied, said we weren’t ready to start a family. They didn’t believe us. What thirty-one year old woman in Lagos didn’t want a child? Desperate, we decided to get a second opinion at a fertility clinic in London. Thankfully, on the fat salaries we both earned, we could afford to. We flew 6,218miles, coughed up thousands of pounds and endured intrusive pokes and prods only to be told the same thing; there was no medical reason why we weren’t pregnant. I broke down. Had I offended God? Why wouldn’t he bless me with a child? It was Kunle who comforted me and encouraged me to trust that God would give us a child when the time was right.
          On returning to Lagos, we came clean to our parents. My mother, true to form, broke down and started wailing about how I was bringing shame to the family. My father just looked on like I hadn’t said anything. Kunle’s dad told us not to stop praying and believing it would happen but his mother smirked and muttered something about bareness being incurable. My spirit broke as a woman that once declared me the best thing to happen to her son stared at me with venom oozing from her eyes.
          I begged Kunle to consider IVF but he refused, said it was us sending a message to God that we didn’t trust him to give us a child the natural way. Sometimes I agreed with him, other times, I didn’t. Didn’t God create science and give doctors the wisdom to come up with the whole IVF thing? Be it by IVF or other means, I wanted a child. I watched my friends children enter the world, say their first words, take their first steps and celebrate birthday after birthday with a heavy heart. Kunle on the other hand refused to be depressed about it all. His faith that God would bless us eventually was so strong that on my dark days, I drew strength from it. I thanked God for blessing me with a man of faith, a man that wasn’t swayed by his mothers repeat suggestion to take a second wife. My love for him grew in exponential proportions as I watched him protect me from his mother’s razor sharp tongue and my mother’s wails of despair. In time, I was able to match his faith and together, we prayed and patiently waited for God’s time to coincide with ours.
          It’s been eight years since we got married and still we are waiting. I am now thirty-six and truth be told, have accepted the reality that I may never have children. I have suggested adoption but Kunle says we’ll consider it in a couple of years if we still haven’t gotten pregnant. What did I do to deserve such an amazing man?

**********

          Kunle’s job sees him clocking plenty of air miles so when he said he had to go to Abuja for the weekend, I dropped him off at the airport as usual, kissed him goodbye and told him to hurry back. He stroked my hair, said he’d be back before I knew it and disappeared into the crowd of travellers struggling to get past the police men at the entrance to the departures terminal.
          Kunle and I typically spent Friday nights at a couple’s fellowship but that night; it was the last place I wanted to be. I missed my husband and didn’t want to be surrounded by couples making gooey eyes at each other all night. Instead, I decided to grab a take-away dinner at Marco Polo and sit in front of my TV catching up on the last series of 24.
As I walked into the restaurant, I noticed a couple tucked away in a corner. The man had his back to me but something about him was familiar. The lady was stunning, super model stunning and her laughter which was what caught my attention, had a warmth to it that was endearing. Our eyes met and the startled look in her eyes had me puzzled. Had we met before? I smiled tentatively. Startle descended to panic and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. The man she was with turned around to find out what was causing her distress and it was then, life as I knew it, ended.
          Kunle, my Kunle, whom I had personally dropped at the airport less than six hours ago, was sat at the table opposite this mamiwater of a woman. I stared straight into my husband’s eyes, down at their linked hands across the table and then back up into his eyes. The guilt in his eyes said it all. I spun around and fled from the restaurant.
          I waited three days for Kunle to come home and explain himself. Three days filled with an endless flow of gut wrenching tears. When he finally showed up, it was to tell me our marriage was over. The woman from the restaurant was the mother of his two children. Two boys he said; Kunle Jnr and Kayode. I stopped breathing, I swear it, my heart stopped. Kunle had children?! The older of his sons had recently turned five and the other was two years younger, he causally informed me as he folded his clothes into suitcases.
          “I’m sorry Kemi, I know this must be a shock for you,” he said apologetically. He would allow me time to come to terms with what was happening before beginning divorce proceedings. He was a reasonable man, he was willing to split our assets 50-50. I could keep the house; he had another where his whore and children lived.
          Was I supposed to be grateful?
          I stared at this stranger I’d dedicated the last ten years of my life to, the only man I’d given myself to; mind, body, soul and spirit. My heart had a lot to say but my lips refused to cooperate. I watched in silence as my husband packed himself out of our house.
          It’s been six months and still, my lips have refused to speak.

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17 comments

  1. Waila!!! Where do u get ur inspiration from?! Kai! How cold, numb and almost dead I felt as I came to the end of this story I doubt I will ever be able to articulate it. When the Bible says the Heart of Man is depeserately wicked this story aptly describes it. I KNOW that if I devoted myself to someone the way this woman in ur story did and this happened to me I WOULD die of a Broken Heart. God help us all.

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  2. Thanks O.G! Inspiration come from none other than God himself 🙂
    Although it’s fictional, I loathe to think that this story rings true for too many women 😦

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  3. So sad…….Where does she go from here?

    I hope her faith is strong enough to endure her heartache.

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  4. wow!!!!…..where do i start….the story or the writer’s gift??

    Amazing piece. And amazing talent.You have the ability to draw a reader into your character’s world in minutes. I’ve read over 200pages of some books and never experienced that.
    My heart actually stopped with hers and broke as well…..5yrs of deception….the heart of man is desperately wicked!!!!

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  5. Oooh my goodnesss…..how painful.My heart broke for her. I really don’t knw how I would react in such a situation and I don’t doubt that there are people out there going through similar situations. May God help us.

    Osayi….wellll DONE!!!!

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  6. Oh my goodness! *eyes wide open*.. So sad! Where would she start from? How would she hold her faith at this time?
    I think one of the most heartbreaking realisation for me was that Kunle’s mistress recognised her, so she knew about her and the writer was the only one in the dark, the apparent ‘fool’.. For any woman, that’s incredibly heartbreaking to come to terms with.. To know that the exclusive bond and intimacy you share with your husband has been a sham all along, coupled with the fact that he had his own children, wow!

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  7. Ooooh my goodness…. this is so sad… where does she go from here?? I refuse to imagine myself in her shoes, cos I do not know how I will survive.

    Great read as usual… Impeccable writing… Well done….

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  8. Life is wicked but truly it’s human being that makes life a wicked place. Such a man can kill to have hid such info from her.
    But honestly I have seen it happen.till date I still weep in my heart for the lady but that’s the selfish world live in.

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  9. As in…I won’t lie. This story made me sad. Very sad. How could he do that to her? How could he pretend, stroke her hair? Why??? This story probably is true for some women out there and my heart goes out to them. However, I will add that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and no matter how low life gets, He will always make a way where there seems NO WAY.

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  10. This right here is where one asks, how do you love with all your heart, knowing that one person’s choices can alter your life’s course?
    Yet we cannot truly experience love without being vulnerable. We all pray that it never happens to us, but what if it does?

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  11. @Gbemi- That’s the risk we must take if we are to truly experience love in all its fullness. Like you said, we can only pray that it never happens to us!

    @J.A- I agree, God always makes a way but the ride isn’t always a smooth one. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. That’s the assurance that we have; no matter how unlikely it may seem, all things really do work together for good to the that love him!

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  12. Thanks guys! I’m glad you enjoyed this story and the writing. Truly grateful for the encouraging responses.

    Special shout out to Ijay who is fast becoming my most active reader. Thank you for always making an appearance. x

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  13. Am devastated @ hearing dis news poor woman!how can people be so callous!it feels me with despair @ d cruelty of fellow human beings why did he do this to d woman wt was his intention of marrying her wen he has a woman out there with kids,God will surely deal with him cos he has already killed dis woman God will pay him back in his own coins for sinners will neva go unpunished.I pray that God will give her d grace to pick up d pieces of her life and rise on her feet again.

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