Monday, April 15, 2024

No one can fill the gap (1)

I met my husband in a very funny way. We were in a commercial bus, going from Akure, in Ondo State, Nigeria, to Lagos. He was the last person to board, but I really did not take more than a passing look at him at the time. All I wanted was to get to Lagos as fast as possible to be able to keep a job appointment. I was visibly tensed because I had to be in Lagos at 9am and the bus was not filled even as at 7am.
We had barely left the park when I heard a loud noise but I couldn’t immediately make out where it came from. About three minutes after this, the bus was filled with a foul smell and everyone knew that someone had farted. While everyone was yelling and telling the driver to allow fresh air into the bus, the man sitting beside me, leaned towards me and whispered in my ears: “I did it, but I’ll disclose this to only you because I spoilt your beautiful face. Please keep it a secret. It’s the stupid beans I ate this morning. After this one, there won’t be another time.” As annoying as his action was, I burst out laughing. That was how we started talking.
All through the journey, we chatted like long lost friends. As conservative as I was at the time, I did not know when I told him all about myself; how my parents died the same day in an auto crash and I was left to cater for two younger siblings at a very young age. I told him about how a man took advantage of me because we were helpless; how the man took away my virginity and maltreated me because I had to take care of my younger ones.
He said my story was pathetic but that he was happy that my travails in life had not affected the beauty God bestowed on me. I knew he was just trying to make me happy, but after listening to his own story, I thought that he was someone I could get close to. His friend came to pick him at the park when we got to Lagos, so it was easy for me to get to my destination. They took me there and waited till I finished my interview. I thought it was very kind of them, although I did not get the job at the end of the day.
SPOUSE QAfter three days in Lagos, my mind told me that I had a husband already in this man. He was so caring that I felt as if my dead parents sent him to us after about five years of suffering. His friend later linked me with a courier company, where I was employed without stress. The salary was not fantastic or commensurate with what I should earn as a degree holder, but I was so happy that, at last, I had a source of income.
He suggested that I should bring my siblings to Lagos, that we could stay in his friend’s mini apartment. He actually paid one-year rent there. So, I went back to Akure after one month and begged my aunt, who accomodated my siblings while I was away, to allow me take them to Lagos. She did not have much to say, really, because no one had been there for us all along.
When we got back to Lagos, things went on as expected. I enrolled my immediate younger sister in a tutorial class for her JAMB and registered my brother in a secondary school. All this I did with the help of my special friend. After six months, he said he wanted to settle down and asked if he would not be taking advantage of me if he said that he wanted to marry me. I was so sure inside me that he was the man for me; so I did not hesitate to say yes.
He took me to Ijebu Ode to meet his parents. His mother was very happy to see me. I could sense that they had been waiting for the day he would bring home a wife. She took me to meet her co-wives and they made us feel at home. His father said we did not have to waste time; that they needed to go and meet my people. I arranged with my relatives and all that was done within two weeks. Then, we got married properly, the Christian way. It was low-key.
By this time, my sister had gained admission into Lagos State University. Everything was going on fine for me and I could not stop thanking God. But I became sad, when after one year, I could not get pregnant. Though my husband never disturbed me, I knew there would be trouble with his people. Aside from the fact that he was 12 years older than I was, he was the first son of 14 children, and all eyes were on him. So, I prayed very hard, day and night, for God to make my joy complete by giving me a fruit of the womb with this angel He had sent my way. Little did I know that God had his own plans.

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