Assumption is the mother of all mess ups!
I thought I had been through it all with TK, I thought there was no bigger surprise that my husband could spring up on me but I was wrong! The news that Bella was his daughter not his mistress was way too much for me to take in. I would have thought he was lying but the look on his face removed all the doubt from my mind. TK was telling the truth and I knew it. My knees were wobbling and a wave of dizziness hit me. I sank into his chair helplessly.
TK: I would ordinarily feel like I owe you an apology and explanation but given the level of deceit that has plagued this marriage on your part, I feel no such obligation.
Me: How can you say that? Is that the sort of information you should withhold from your wife? Is your family even aware you have a child?
TK: No one knows and I would like to keep it that way for now!
Me: I demand an explanation!
TK: I demand that you leave my office!
I was too drained to argue. I left his office and drove back to my hotel. I felt like I was in a trance. A few minutes after I got to the hotel, someone knocked on my door. I opened it and it was TK. I let him in.
Me: Did you follow me here?
TK: I have known where you were since the day you checked in.
Me: Why are you here?
He didn’t respond to my question. He just went straight to the point.
TK: Bella is my daughter and she just turned 20. Before we got married, I told you about someone from my past whom my mother paid off because she felt she wasn’t good enough for me. Her name was Hauwa, we were engaged but my mother offered her a full scholarship to Harvard in exchange for leaving me and she took it. I nodded. I remembered him telling me this before we got married.
TK sat on the bed and pulled out a cigarette. I wasn’t surprised. He is incapable of carrying on a heavy conversation without a cigarette in his hand.
TK: When Hauwa got to the United States she found out she was pregnant but my mother had made her sign a contract that she would never contact me again. The same contract she tried to make you sign when she offered you money. Hauwa was afraid to contact me and she was sure I hated her for leaving me and for taking the money, so she decided to keep the baby and raise it as her own.
Me: So when did you find out?
TK: Let me talk!
TK: Hauwa raised Bella on her own as she never got married and Bella has been bearing Hauwa’s family name. A few years ago, Hauwa was diagnosed with Leukemia. Six months ago, the doctors told her she was running out of time so she decided to tell Bella the truth. She had previously told Bella her father died in a car crash a few months to their wedding. When she told Bella the truth, Bella began to look for me after all it was Hauwa who wasn’t allowed to contact me by virtue of the contract and not Bella. Obviously, I wasn’t very hard to find. I got an email from Bella one day and the next day I was on a flight to New York to confirm her claims. At that point, Hauwa had been hospitalized. I realized her claims were true as confirmed by a DNA test and my heart went out to both of them. Bella was struggling with her finals in school and taking care of her mother at the same time. Hauwa’s aged mum still lives in the North here in Nigeria and her father passed away years ago. Hauwa was the only child of her parents so there was no family to turn to.
TK: Yes…was. She passed away a few months ago. That is why I have been travelling so much the last couple of months. Bella needed time off to study for her finals and I had to be there with Hauwa so she would not be alone during her last days. She eventually passed away and there were funeral arrangements to be made, legal issues to sort out. It was a really hard time for me trying to sort things out there without allowing my business or family here to suffer.
Me: Why didn’t you tell me?
TK: I wanted to but quite frankly Bella was my first concern. She had just lost her mother and I didn’t know how you would react to her existence. I was going to tell you in a few weeks when I was sure she could handle meeting her stepmother and half sister and I was also particularly concerned about my mother’s reaction towards her. You know how my mother can be.
Anyway, before Hauwa passed away I promised her I would look after our daughter. So after her death, I brought Bella to Nigeria, got her an apartment in Ikoyi and have been looking after her since then. She is currently preparing for her Youth Service and she told me only yesterday that she is ready to meet you and Oladunni but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her the situation of things. She was hoping to come into a loving home but now I have to tell her that I failed her for the first twenty years of her life and now I’m failing her again because I still can’t give her the family she craves.
Me: Why didn’t you just tell me TK! I would have accepted her because she is your child!
TK: Do you think it would have been easy for me to do? I was there trying so hard to be the man of your dreams to make up for the rocky foundation our marriage suffered.
First you found out about my brief marriage to Nicole, and then you found out about the indiscretion that almost landed us both in jail! How easy would it have been for me to come and spring a 20 year old daughter on you?
Me: I thought you were cheating on me TK! All this while, I thought you were cheating on me!
TK: Why would you think that? I have been too busy trying to clean up the mess of my past mistakes. You think I have the time to chase after other women?
I couldn’t believe how easily I had jumped into conclusions and allowed them to determine my actions. How foolish of me!
Me: The late nights, the constant traveling, not being where you said you would be, text messages on your phone, powder stains on your shirt. One day you called from your hotel in Washington there was a woman in your room I heard her voice!
TK: That was the week after Hauwa passed on! I had to go to Washington for business and I couldn’t leave the poor child alone in New York so I took her with me. What does marriage mean to you Anjola? If you thought I was cheating, you should have asked me! You should have confronted me and made an effort to save your home. Is that why you started the affair with your former lover to get even because you thought I was cheating?
Me: It was not an affair TK. I never slept with him. I just felt like I was losing you and he just happened to be there. Giving me the attention I craved from you, listening to me, being there for me. I just found myself slowly sinking into a state of confusion about what I wanted in my life.
TK: I hope you are clear on what you want now.
Me: I want you. I want us.
TK: Anjola I have two daughters to raise now and I don’t think I want to raise them with you. I am going to file for a divorce and sole custody of Oladunni. I will pay for your legal fees and make sure you are taken care of. But as for both of us, we are done!
Me: TK please don’t do this.
Before he could respond, his phone rang. He picked it and I saw the blood drain from his face.
Me: What is it?
TK: Ope’s Mum is dead.
I couldn’t believe it. Ope and Banke’s mum had been like a mother to me growing up and I hadn’t even gone to visit her after her stroke because I was so mad at Banke. Now it was too late!
TK: I have to go.
Me: I’m coming with you.
When we arrived at Ope and Banke’s family house, the place was already full of people coming to pay their condolence visits. We spotted Banke first. I was surprised to see her, I assumed she had gone back to the states. She came over to us. TK gave her a warm hug and went to look for her brother. Banke: Hello Anjola. Thank you for coming.
I couldn’t help myself I hugged her and tears started streaming down my face. Me: I thought you had gone back to America to have your baby.
Banke: I couldn’t leave her Anjola. She was in so much pain; I just wanted to be here when it happened.
Me: Your mum was like a mother to me. I can’t believe I allowed my anger towards you deprive me of seeing her before she passed on. I don’t think I can ever forgive myself.
Banke: It’s ok. You know she kept asking after you especially after every visit from TK. I eventually told her what had happened and why we are no longer friends and she insisted I try to reconcile with you. That was why I was so adamant to see you and apologize to you. Once again, Anjola I am sorry, please forgive me.
Who was I not to forgive her? We all make mistakes; I had made my fair share of them and would probably continue to make them.
Me: I forgive you Banke.
We hugged again and then she said
Banke: I know what is going on with you and TK. I overheard him telling my brother the other day. I have never seen a man more hurt, he was crying Anjola, like a baby. Your husband loves you…I don’t know what your marriage and life with him has been like but I shared my story with you and I won’t wish it on my worst enemy. I won’t judge if you made a mistake with Emeka and if you decide that he is what you want but don’t just throw your marriage away. If you want to stay married to TK, fight for your marriage and keep fighting. He loves you and I am sure of that.
Banke’s words kept haunting me. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to lose my home, custody of my child, and I didn’t want to lose the life I had sacrificed so much to build. I had been a little naïve thinking I could eat my cake and have it. TK dropped me off at the hotel without saying a word to me. I was angry at him! He also owed me an apology but as he had cleared his name, I also needed to clear mine and there was only one person who could help me do that.
I sent Emeka a message to meet me at our usual spot. I knew he would turn up and I was right. When I got there he was waiting. Emeka: Hello Angel.
Me: Emeka I need your help.
Emeka: Anything for you.
Me: My marriage is crumbling. TK wants a divorce because of the pictures and emails you sent to him. I haven’t been granted access to my daughter since that night. My world is falling apart and this is your opportunity to right all your wrongs. Emeka: What do you want me to do? Me: I want you to go to TK and tell him the truth. I want you to tell him I never slept with you or cheated on him and that you promise to stay away from our family for good. That is my only chance at saving my marriage.
Emeka: Never! He doesn’t deserve it! Has his mistress come to tell you the same?
Me: She is not his mistress! She is his daughter!
Emeka: What! That is a blatant lie! It is not possible.
Me: It is a long story Emeka but it’s the truth. He has cleared himself now I need to clear myself and you are the only one that can help me.
Emeka: No. I won’t give up on us. Don’t ask me to!
Me: Can’t you see there is no future here? I am sorry I led you on for so long. I am sorry I allowed you tokeep dreaming about us being together but I love my husband and I want to try to save my marriage. Especially now that I realize I was wrong about so many things. Please Emeka help me.
Emeka: I can’t because I want you.
I was so angry I picked up my purse and ran out of the restaurant and towards my car in tears. Emeka chased after me. He caught up with me just beside my car and grabbed my arm.
Me: Leave me alone Emeka! Don’t touch me. I never want to see you again!
Emeka: I am sorry Angel but I can’t live without you.
He was trying to hug me and kiss me at the same time and I was trying to fight him off with all my strength, he kept trying to press my body against his. All of a sudden, I saw TK emerge from behind my car and charge towards Emeka. I couldn’t fathom what he was doing there.
TK: Get your filthy hands off my wife! He pulled Emeka off me and his fist instantly connected with his jaw. Emeka staggered and regained his balance and punched TK right back in the face. The next thing I knew both of them were on the floor in the restaurant’s parking lot, their bodies pressed against each other as they tried to overpower each other.
They began to roll dangerously close to the sharp edge of the water fountain in the parking lot. I didn’t know what to do so I let out a blood chilling scream!