Option one: Keep the news of the pregnancy to myself. Get a lawyer to represent me through the divorce proceedings and go somewhere to start my life all over again.
Option two: Tell TK about the pregnancy just for his information, go through with the divorce, relocate and start over.
I figured these were my only options. I wasn’t going to use this baby as a bargaining chip to remain TK’s wife, considering the fact that Oladunni’s pregnancy was the initial determining factor in his decision to marry me. This time, I wanted him to take me back because he wanted me back and not because he wanted to do it for the sake of our unborn child.
I hadn’t told anyone of the pregnancy. I had told Linda the doctor told me it was stress and that I was to take things easy. I was battling serious depression and I was so concerned about the financial strain having the baby was going to put on me. My savings would only go so far and if I decided to look for a job, I would have to wait till I had the baby and weaned him or her, which would take at least a whole year, plus I wasn’t sure the financial support TK’s divorce terms would provide. I eventually decided to open the divorce papers.
In the papers, TK had accused me of adultery and unreasonable behaviour. The evidence against me was strong and I knew I didn’t stand a chance against TK in court:
1) He had pictures of Emeka and me in what could easily pass as a passionate kiss.
2) He had our flirtatious email correspondence.
3) He had obviously been portrayed by the media as the victim in the unfortunate public scandal with Emeka.
4) I had signed a pre-nup that was without a doubt not in my favour.
I called my girls Linda and Funsho for moral support. They came to the hotel to see me. Funsho: First of all, I think you should move out of this place. When Oladunni is with TK, you are here all by yourself. You need people around you.
Linda: Yes I agree! Come and stay in my house for a while.
Me: I can’t. I think I should start looking for a place to rent. Living this way is getting too expensive and I don’t know how long the divorce will take. I can’t leave Oladunni; otherwise I would have gone away for a while.
Funsho: I will talk to my husband. He might be able to sort out the accommodation issue, at least for a while.
Me: Ok thank you.
A few days later, Funsho’s husband gave me the keys to a mini flat in Oniru on the Island and made me promise not to tell TK. I knew he didn’t want TK to feel betrayed; after all, he was TK’s friend and not mine. For the sake of Oladunni’s visits, I was compelled to send TK my new location. On the day it was my turn to have Oladunni for a few days, she was accompanied not only by her nanny, but also by the one person I was avoiding like a plague…The Duchess!
She looked around the tiny apartment in disgust.
The Duchess: You know I have always told you; you like to live like this. You are not accustomed to comfort.
Me: I may not be accustomed to comfort, but I am accustomed to peace of mind, which is why I keep running away from you!
The Duchess: Your sharp tongue is back. You think you have nothing left to lose right? You better think again.
Me: Please I am done with your threats and emotional blackmail. Thank you for bringing my child to me. Please leave, this is not your son’s property and I have the right to ask you to leave.
The Duchess: Very well. I will go, but I came here to tell you this. The shame and ridicule you have brought to this family will not go unpunished. I will ensure you don’t get a dime from my family! I am sure you think you will be well compensated and you can run off with your lover…you are in for a big surprise. Me: The only thing I want is custody of my child and I am willing to fight for it. I don’t need your money.
The Duchess: I was actually beginning to respect you, but your naivety amazes me. Money and power come with a price. Not everyone around you has good intentions…don’t ever forget that!
The Duchess’s words haunted me. What did she mean by her last statement? I wasn’t a social butterfly, I didn’t have too many friends and I didn’t have any skeleton left in my wardrobe. I had been stripped of all that in the last couple of months…I was confused and worried that I was in for a big surprise.
A few days after The Duchess’s visit, I went to pick Oladunni from school and found someone waiting there for me. It was Ronke…Emeka’s ex-fiancée. Me: Ronke please I don’t want another public confrontation on this Emeka issue. I apologise for my role in your broken engagement and I sincerely regret my actions. If you are here to fight, Emeka is all yours there is no need to warn me. Ronke: I am not here to cause a scene. I went to your house and I was told you don’t stay there any longer, and that if I wanted to see you urgently, your daughter’s school was the best place to find you. I read in the tabloids that your marriage is on the rocks because of your relationship with Emeka, that’s why I am here.
Me: Oh so you are here to gloat.
Ronke: Not at all Anjola. I need to tell you something that has been weighing heavily on my conscience.
Me: What is it Ronke?
Ronke: Please, don’t think I am a bad person. I just didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
Me: Just talk!
Ronke: I met Emeka through my friend at an event a few months ago. He seemed nice and friendly and told me he wanted to get to know me. I was interested and after a few dates, he told me he needed a favour from me. I was already falling for him, so I decided to help him out.
Me: What was the favour?
Ronke: He told me he wanted to get even with his ex-girlfriend, who had treated him badly, that he had just returned to Nigeria and he wanted to make her jealous. So, he needed me to pose as his fiancée, so she would think he was doing well without her and she would come begging, so he could pay her back in her own coin. I thought he wanted to be with me, so I decided to go ahead with it. He also was very generous to me financially. Me: And then what happened?
Ronke: I didn’t think anything harmful could come out of it and frankly I was in love with him and the financial support he was providing was a big bonus for me. I just finished my Youth Service and I haven’t been able to get a suitable job. Running into you at the supermarket that day wasn’t a coincidence, we followed you there.
After the initial meeting at the supermarket, where he introduced me to you, I thought that was all and that he would focus on our relationship, but he seemed distracted and seemed to have eyes for only you. I was getting jealous and then one day he instructed me to go to your house and warn you to stay away from him. I was glad because I thought finally it was over and he would focus on getting to know me better.
Me: What was his motive for asking you to come and warn me?
Ronke: He told me that he only wanted to make you jealous, but your constant communication and flirtation had gotten out of hand and he didn’t want to break your marriage, so he wanted me to scare you off, so you could focus on your home and he would cut all communication with you. Of course, this worked in my favour. So, I eagerly went through with it.
After that, he wanted me to go to your husband and accuse you of having an affair with him, but I refused because the whole thing no longer made sense to me. I was very hurt, when he gave me a picture of you kissing him and intimate emails you had exchanged with him. I was jealous because he had never been that way with me and then it dawned on me that he had been using me all along. He was in love with you and he had been using me as a pawn to destroy your marriage, so he could have you to himself and you won’t suspect a thing. I pretended I was still on board, but I began snooping around for information that I could use in blackmailing him to stay away from you so I could have him to myself. That was when I stumbled on the truth. I left that day without a word to him and I haven’t seen him since. I decided to stay away, but seeing what his scheming has done to your marriage, I had to come and tell you my side of the story. I am very sorry for the role I played. I was deceived like you were.
Me: What truth did you stumble on Ronke?
Ronke: I can’t tell you. I shouldn’t have even come to you, but I know you have a little daughter and my conscience wasn’t at ease.
Me: What was the point of this visit if you refuse to tell me? If you really want to clear your conscience then tell me all you know!
Ronke: I am sorry I can’t. You have to find out for yourself please. I have to go.
I watched Ronke scurry off like she was afraid of being seen talking to me. With her allegations against Emeka and The Duchess’s words to me about the people around me not having good intentions, I knew there was something bigger going on. I had often wondered what Emeka’s obsession with me was, but my craving for a fairy tale romance had led me to believe he just simply couldn’t live without me.
I didn’t know whether to ignore Ronke’s story. What if this was all part of a crazy scheme to send me on some self-destructive path. I wanted to seek counsel from my friends, but The Duchess’s words stopped me…how did I know all the people around me had good intentions? I thought about hiring Linda’s guy again to dig into whatever Emeka was hiding, but considering the mix up with the TK “project,” I decided it was best for me to uncover the truth for myself once and for all. I decided to stop waiting for someone to come and slay my dragons and rescue me from the tower; I was going to climb down the tower myself. It was time to hang my damsel in distress boots.
I went to Emeka’s house and waited till he returned from work.
Me: Hello Emeka.
Emeka: Hi Anjola. What are you doing here?
Me: I believe you have something to tell me.
Emeka: I’m afraid I am not quite following you. Me: Stop the silly act Emeka! I know you were never engaged to Ronke. I know there is a bigger reason behind your obsession with me and if you don’t tell me the truth right now, I will make your life a living hell!
Emeka: Let sleeping dogs lie Anjola. I promise I won’t be a nuisance to you or your family anymore. If you still want me to talk to your husband I will, even though I’m pretty sure my next encounter with him will probably cost me my life, considering how our last meeting went.
Me: My husband has filed for a divorce. Emeka: Then I will testify on your behalf and clear your name.
Me: Emeka. I have never asked you for anything, since the day I met you. I am asking you for this because my entire future and that of my children depend on this. Please tell me what you need to tell me.
I decided to appeal to whatever conscience he had left.
Me: I am pregnant. My world is falling apart…if there is something I need to know, please tell me. I cannot handle another shocker.
Emeka: Are you sure you are ready for this?
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