The Travel chronicles of a sorry Nigerian to Asia. Chapter four Writing in progress. Related
“Secrets and lies kill relationships. No matter how careful you are, you will get caught”
Short story is written by the Prolific Jolade
The Lord is about to use me as a tool to fulfil the scriptures.
Those were the thoughts in Lola’s mind as she stares at the particular picture on the page of the wedding album held tightly in her hand. The picture in front of her had Tade, her dearly beloved husband holding her ring finger as he slots in the band that signifies forever. Till death do them part.
A vow she has taken seriously for the past 13 years, 4 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 9 hours and 25 minutes since it was exchanged. She is that good with numbers. She graduated with a first-class degree in statistics from one of the top acclaimed universities in the country and went ahead to top it up with a Masters degree from a prestigious institution in the United States.
A beauty to behold in all ramification, Lola was totally unaware of her charms. At just about 5’10 inches tall with skin the tone of honey warmed by sunshine she was a perfect shade of caramel. Her pearly set of whites arranged with precision one would assume God did a detailed measurement in setting it up. Her saucer eyes which would have looked too huge on another random female sat elegantly on high rise cheeks centered with a pert nose and perfected with lips that turns up in a sexy curve as she blesses you with a smile. She is a picture of exotic elegance even without trying. Sporting an hourglass shape top to bottom sized to perfection halved by waist so narrow many men have fantasied holding with one hand.
She could have any man she wanted but she was simply uninterested in having any relationship until she met Tade at the airport lounge on the fateful day she was leaving the country for her Masters degree abroad.
Fatal attraction at first sight.
“Hi, is this seat taken?” Lola looked up to answer the man with the rich baritone voice who happened to have distracted her from her book. Irritation flared as she prepared to have her space crowded by a stranger. So much for exclusive lounge she mutters under her breath until her eyes caught that of his. Her words died on her lips.
Tade wasn’t built like a god. By standards of measuring male beauty he was that guy you would choose last in a pool of men. Alas! He had the most mesmerizing eyes, the kind that sucks you in, in too deep making you ignore his average looks.
What was coming up as a frown on Lola’s face soon became a smile as she made room for him on the sofa she had carelessly tossed her handbag. She was the first to introduce herself as Tade made himself comfortable taking in the woman holding out one dainty hand for a handshake. He is about to get lucky, he thought to himself.
What he lacked in beauty he over compensated for in brains. Tade knew something about everything, by the time Lola’s flight was called they had exchanged numbers and she has gotten to know he was a lawyer, a partner in one of the top 4 in the city.
She was sorry to leave his company as she thoroughly enjoyed their conversation. They were on different flights but lightening had already struck. Cupid was that you? Lola thought as she sashayed towards the boarding corridor to join her flight. They promised to keep in touch and that was the beginning of a love story that was a fairytale, almost.
Three years down the line, the wedding was the talk of town for at least three months afterwards. It was loud and lavish. The families spared no expense as two golden children of relatively well-known families in their social circles signed to dotted lines to forever.
Lola’s father is a high-ranking bishop in the Christendom with strong political connections, she was brought up to uphold all the Christian tenets and her decision to keep the marriage bed undefiled until her wedding night was borne out of her spiritual upbringing and a strong moral code not to engage in fornication and adultery as she considers them the worst of sins.
As a devout Christian, Lola never thought it twice to pay her husband the utmost respect and total submission. It is in the Bible and her mother thought her so as well.
Tade soon became the center of her world, a husband she absolutely delighted in and worshiped. She kept her house clean and the food warm. She marshals the domestic staff ensuring all surfaces were without grim. Money wasn’t a problem in the marriage and they were happy.
They were the perfect couple in church, always at the center of the action. In no time their two children, both girls, were born in quick succession and life was perfect. Though her husband travels a lot for work, they spend any available time together building and fulfilling their marital vows just as the bible says.
As an influential couple, they soon became ministers in church. Lola would mount the pulpit and start her sermon with “the Bible said“. She wouldn’t live her life outside of what the bible stipulated. She was the prime example of a perfect wife and their union was always a point of contact for those looking to go into marriage. They both taught marriage counselling classes and share their beautiful love story at any given opportunity.
At work, Lola was quite the dynamite. She did her job with all honestly and rose through the ranks quickly. She was well respected and her beauty was just an added bonus to how hard she worked. Nobody could refuse or hold a grudge against her. She was an epitome of an exemplary colleague and a leader to look up to by the junior officers. Her brilliance with numbers shown brightly and she could turn the most complicated data into understandable output which earned her company big money and numerous contracts.
She ran her home and Tade’s life with the same clockwork precision until a fateful day.
The numbers didn’t jive.
Being a top shot has it own benefits. Tade kept a flexible schedule and wasn’t required to report to work at 8am like his wife. His job afforded them luxury and the right connection to the movers of the society. He is a brilliant lawyer while he worked on the heritage and pedigree his erudite father bequeathed to him. He came from a long line of lawyers so studying law and joining the firm was a forgone conclusion. It also helped that he loved being a lawyer, it made the weight of expectation easy and he had performed excellently at it. These days he hardly sees the four walls of a courtroom and most of the deals are closed at high end lounges and sometimes on the plane in the first-class section. In his early days as a lawyer he had the reputation for closing out cases faster than the average. Their firm only handled high profile cases hence they cannot afford to drag. His clientele base belonged to a certain class of the society handed over to him by his father and his own father before him. He hadn’t disappointed his father in that regard.
At almost age 45, he has done well for himself. He knew people who has the President’s ears but he wasn’t loud about it.
He is a generous provider, a loving husband and a dotting father. He made sure that his family wanted for nothing and he faithfully follows in his wife’s step in her religiosity. It makes her happy and kept the home front secure. He wasn’t a promiscuous man in anyway and If he had to follow her to church every Sunday and some week days even lie through his teeth to give her the picture-perfect home then it’s a small price to pay for Khadijat, the absolute love of his life. It was her he is faithful to not Lola.
While his marriage to Lola has all the semblance of perfection, it was Khadijat who owned his heart. he knew he should have stood up to his parents and married her against their wishes but Khadijat kicked against the idea. The day he met Lola was the same day he got the ultimatum from his father to jettison the idea of marring Khadijat, the daughter of a nobody who cannot add value to their social circle for a girl with better prospect. His father had presented him with some options of such eligible ladies within their circle of influence but it ended in a showdown.
He had rushed down to the apartment he rented for khadijat and told her he was willing to be cut off from the inheritance his legal juggernaut of a father had amassed for a chance at life with her. She called him a fool. Told him to forget about her and embrace the bright future ahead of him and not be blinded by love. It won’t pay their bills or keep him warm she said. She was convinced he would end up hating her for choosing a life with her rather than the one ahead of him. She bid him farewell with a kiss after much struggle.
He will travel to the United States and waste some of the money his father was brandishing he vowed as he headed to the airport that day.
He dug into the information he gathered from Lola at the lounge after they parted ways and decided he had really gotten lucky.
He could have his love and a wife he decided.
Khadijat already had his first child before his marriage to Lola. She was well aware that she isn’t going to be publicly his wife and she was satisfied with her station in life. She is an orphan anyway and nobody was going to ask her questions. Tade is the love of her life, they met when she was 18 working as a waitress to earn money to put herself through school. It was first his eyes, then his heart and it was a done deal for her. There can be no one else. He had taken up providing for her since then and hadn’t stopped for a day.
He was totally honest with her about his dealings with Khadijat. She owned his truth, his loyalty and forever affection. She indulges him in all the things he likes and they were both content with their arrangement and 4 kids between.
In his books, they were a family, the children call him daddy. He does everything a father does even takes them on family vacations and is present at every important milestone and activities.
His two families don’t live in the same city and he is thoroughly satisfied with his life. He has been doing this for almost 17 years the 3 years he dated Lola inclusive.
Khadijat is happy, Lola is happy, his 6 children are happy, he is a happy man.
The only reason Lola called Tade that morning was to inform him that she needed to make an urgent trip to Ghana on behalf of her company and since she doesn’t do anything without the consent of her husband, she needed to tell him immediately before she had to travel same. Tade was out of town as usual but his phone had been ringing without being answered. She needed to make arrangement for their children since they were home on holidays and she won’t be around for 2 day. She desperately needed her husband’s input.
She called him again and the phone was picked up immediately but the voice wasn’t Tade’s. “sorry my daddy is not here he forgot his phone at home please call back thank you”. The line went off.
These network providers and their madness, Lola muttered while dialing the number again.
Before she could say a word, the same voice was reeling off the same lines. The phone fell from her hands like it was hot coal burning her fingers.
Nothing makes sense. How can it make sense? Its Tade’s number she called who owns that voice? A child’s voice calling Tade his daddy. First, they don’t have a son and that was definitely a young boy’s voice. There must be a mix up somewhere. That’s the only logical explanation. Nothing else makes sense. To make sure she isn’t hallucinating and confused about the number she could recite if woken up from a deep slumber she called again. This time around an apologetic sounding lady picked the call while admonishing the child for picking the phone earlier. Good day ma, sorry Barrister is not available. He went out earlier with his wife but forgot his phone as they were rushing to take Tokunbo for his exams. I can take a message if its important. Or I can tell him to call you back if you would prefer.
Within those few seconds that felt like hours Lola saw her whole world crumble in slow motion but she managed to compose herself while she muttered a feeble never mind don’t tell him I called.
She closed the door to her office and bawled like a wounded tigress. Her life as she knew it has ended with one phone call. It’s unbelievable to her. Her perfect gentleman husband. It cannot be real.
She sent an email to her director declining the trip stating urgent personal matters as reason. She picked her car keys and drove home on auto pilot. As she drove she recalled instances when she had called her husband when he is out of town on various trips, the times he has asked him questions when the background noise sounded like it wasn’t an hotel room. He would say TV then would turn it off. Was he turning it off or moving away from his other children? For how long has this been going on? Many questions needed answers and the only person to provide those answers is the reason for the questions but data can provide her the truth unbiased.
Her life has definitely ended. How would she face the world? Society? Her family? Her children? Her Church! Her life is truly over.
She got into the compound with the remote access from her car. She walked quietly like a zombie thorough the walkway she ensures was properly manicured at all times. the beauty of the flowers she so much loved totally lost on her. The lavender didn’t tantalize her nose like it used to neither did the mini fountain she had installed quieten her spirit. No one was expecting her to come home that early, she never does. She didn’t respond to the greetings of the domestic helps scurrying around upon sighting her because she couldn’t see them. she dropped her car keys on the armoire on the right side of the stairwell leading up to the bedrooms and private living room of the lavish duplex she had lived in with Tade and their two girls for almost 10 years. They had moved in after their second child was born, it had been Tade’s gift to her. The documents were in her name. He had told her it was his gratitude to her for giving him 2 beautiful girls.
Not even the cheerful glee of her children was enough to shake her from her grief.
Her Forensic Data Analyst has forwarded a comprehensive report on the cell tower Tade’s phone was pinged from to her email. The full information of the residence and everyone in it is waiting for her to read up.
She had never had a reason to dig up data on her husband before but now she knows everything. She knows the deceit was older than her marriage and she had been living a lie but the numbers don’t lie.
She looked at the picture in front of her again remembering her vows. The full report of her husband’s deceit sat pretty on her dresser mocking her.
Tade will be back tomorrow on schedule, she knew right there what she had to do. She will do just as the bible stipulated.
It is in the scriptures and she was going to fulfil it.
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