(STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING)
Written by Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde.
“ Henry, If they leave this house, I am leaving as well, I have told you to be a good man that you are , and let them stay” Margaret had said
“ Really? “ Henry said looking very angry. He drove out of the house angrily and didn’t come back…
Till late that night, We were expecting him. We stayed in my room like hostages who couldn’t move around in my own house. Margaret sent the maid to bring us food which I refused, but Gold jokingly said
“ Mum, she can’t kill three of us at once, Mum we need food for this Battle” ….We all laughed as Emerald rushed at the food…
“ Mum, We haven’t called the Aunty Isokene…”
I suddenly remembered I had not called her, but it was about 11pm, knowing who Ibidolo her husband was, I couldn’t call her at that time.
“ It’s really late, I will call her in the morning”
“ Although, I am surprised I have never heard anything about her, can you describe her”
I decided to give Gold and Emerald the full story of Isokene, how we met and what she faced with her husband..,
I noticed Gold stopped eating, especially when I told her Isokene sacrificed her smile to make her husband smile… I was surprised to find Gold crying when she said…
“ Mum, you mean she covered her face in order to stay in marriage, you mean she decided to stop smiling to stay in Marriage…” She stood up and walked towards the window. Gold was a very good mathematician , so I was wondering what Maths, she was solving in her brain…
“ Mum, the best way to solve a math is look at the example, I believe God gave you the example of Aunty Isokene so you could solve your own challenge”
“ How?” I asked
“ Aunty Isokene’s husband wanted to be happy at the expense of his wife’s happiness, Just the same way, Daddy wants to be happy at your expense. Dad wants to take away your smile and still be able to smile, he doesn’t want you to show your face in public anymore, because what testimony does a marriage counselor have when her husband is married to someone else” Gold was saying as she was seriously solving a math in her brain
Gold was right , Ibidolo had told his wife with his WORDS to stop smiling, but Henry through his own ACTIONS was telling me to stop smiling…Any man who was cheating on his wife or plans on taking another wife was telling his wife not to smile anymore… Hmmm.. Henry was just like Ibidolo
“ Mum do you get?” Gold was saying, all I did was nod, because I didn’t know where the conversation was heading.
“ So Mum, we need to apply the same Formula Aunty Isokene applied, which is playing the fool till your Joy is full, and giving Daddy exactly what he wants to make him happy…”
“ Which is?” I asked
“ We leave his house for him and his mistress!”
“Ha!” What kind of counsel was this? At that point I was beginning to sense it was possible she was beginning to talk like a child that she was…
“ How does that help me in getting back my family back together. Gold, if I leave this house for the mistress , It is over, this is my matrimonial home ”
“ Mum, it’s not the building that makes the home, it is the people in it, we can make that little boys’ quarter become home for Daddy as time goes on, if you do what I think God wants us to do”
“It’s not the building that makes the home, but the people in it” Those words hit me so hard… Was Gold right? Was I going to get a Henry back even if we were not in the same house…?
“ Gold, I built this house with your father!”
“ If you play the fool Mum, and our Joy becomes full, you both can build another one together…” Gold said reassuringly
There was silence in the room.. Gold took my phone and dialed her fathers’ number, it rang several times but he didn’t pick up…
Gold and I had a sleepless night and I suspected Margaret was also not sleeping as we heard a lot of movement from her room….
For two days, Henry did not come home.. Margaret was becoming tensed as she kept making different phone calls. By the evening of the third day, Gold walked up to me where I was lying down….
“ Mum, Stand up! we are leaving, I don’t want things to get worse than it is, the lady is so tense she might lose that pregnancy and if that happens Dad will never forgive us….”. Gold said authoritatively…
I honestly did not know why I started behaving like the child and Gold behaving like the mother. She and Emerald were parking our boxes already.
“ Mum, Your phone?” Gold took my phone and sent a text to her father which she showed me before sending
“ We have agreed to move to where you want us to go, please come home, your pregnant wife is worried sick, we don’t want anything going wrong with our Baby, From Betty and the kids”
I felt I swallowed a very hot meal as hot tears dropped from my eyes…
You wouldn’t believe Henry came back in less than 15 mins. Without saying anything to me, he asked the driver to transfer all our stuffs into a big Jeep.
As, we were about leaving, Margaret and her two sons about 6 and 8 years old respectively came close to us, her eyes were so red, it seem like she had been crying, I couldn’t contain my hurt… I faced her and said
“ God will judge you…” Before I could finish my statement, Gold had covered my mouth…
“ Mum!” Gold scolded me and she faced Margaret
“ Aunty, I am sorry for the way I spoke to you the other day, forgive my Mum too and my manners as well , please take care of my brother, I name him Diamond and Emerald wants Vinyl, although I told her people don’t bare that, Anyone you choose will be fine… Gold had tears rolling down her eyes as she spoke. Emerald ran into the Jeep….
I walked into the Jeep really hurt and broken, as Henry tried not to maintain any eye contact with me…
And we journeyed to the outskirts… I cried all through out the Journey….
We travelled in TOTAL Silence, and coincidentally, Henry was playing a song in his Jeep “ Only You can do what no man can do” by Nigerian Gospel Artist Ada. This was bringing out more tears from my eyes.
There were moments my eyes and that of Henry’s met in the mirror, but it didn’t last long. There were moments I want to blurt out at him, but Gold had her right hand locked in my left hand as a way of cautioning me. Whenever, I made the move to speak, she would clutch my hand. Gold felt like the Holy Spirit was living in her and was working through her. We travelled for over two hours before we got to our destination. The outskirt was a very local place, with lots of potholes and lousy people shouting each other’s name in greetings. Was this my new abode? I thought silently, this was playing too much of a fool.
Henry dropped our bags, gave us the key to the house and got back into the car without entering. All he said was
“ I promise to come and see you once in a while”.. A promise he never kept….
He got into his Jeep and zoomed off, even though when he zoomed off, he stopped some meters away like someone who was reconsidering his actions, he reversed a little but stopped and zoomed away again…
That was the last I saw of him for two months, but a lot happened within two months….
For starters, when we got into the BQ (Boys Quarters), I started crying, but Gold started Praising God… She was thanking God for all the amazing things we had and indirectly referencing me…
“ God, I thank you for what you have been doing, Thank you for Emerald and I, thank you for Mum and Dad, thank you for Mum, because I know according to your word which Mum taught me, We should always give thanks in all things. I am so happy because I know you are with us”
And surprisingly, Gold brought out her small music box and started playing some gospel songs. Gold was a dancer, so she started dancing…Emerald joined her, they pulled me to join them but I was not interested.
“ Isokene!” Yes, It was about time I called her. I took my phone and stepped out of the BQ. As I stepped out, I saw the large expanse of land, Henry was yet to build on…
“ Hello, Aunty….You are back?” Isokene said the instant she picked up
“ Yes!… “
“ Oh Jesus!,” She also burst into a song of praise…” Thank you Jesus!, Thank you for answering my prayers, Halleluya… Aunty, I am so on my way to your house right now”
I had to tell her everything that happened and how I was no more living in the city… I told her to come over the next day, but she insisted she was coming over immediately…I insisted because of Ibidolo and she saw reason with me. I hung up and I felt relieved.
The house was really dusty, so Gold and Emerald spent the rest of the day cleaning the house, while I sat outside in the compound. Once again, I looked at the land that had been unused. Maybe Gold was right, I could build an edifice here with my savings… No ! That was not right! What if Henry never came back…Hmm.. What if he just came here to dump us… what would happen to my dream of Gold having her university education abroad…? I asked myself….
The best thing I thought of was to go fix my money in the bank for My children’s University education. And find something doing temporarily to keep body and soul together….I thought of a lot of things I could do, but the environment I was , was not business friendly. A boutique would be a failure, a supermarket would be a failure as well.. I was still at my thought when I heard Gold shouting …
“ Mum, Emerald is having her attack!”
I had totally forgotten about Emerald’s asthma, the dust must have been too much for her. Her inhaler was no where in sight! When I asked Gold to search Emerald’s bags we realized Emerald had left it in the former house 2 hours away from us….
I couldn’t Lose Emerald… No God! Please God!
I was sweating profusely, Emerald was gasping for breath. I had to think, there was no car.
That was the moment it dawned on me that My car was actually at the other House. Was I so dumb not to have taken my car? It was half past nine in the outskirt that had no electricity. I was not even sure of where the nearest hospital was. I suddenly remembered a home remedy I heard was good for kids with asthma….
“ Gold, get me the coffee we brought back with us…and boil water as well”
“ Boil water? with what ? Mum there is no power!” And at that same instant I knew God was on the throne…. A miracle happened
The power company supplied us light….Gold shouted the obvious…
She dashed into the kitchen to boil the water. I carried Emerald and pulled along with me one of the dining chair outside the house. I knew she needed fresh air. I placed her on the chair and made her sit upright…
“ Emerald, I know you can hear me, try to breath slowly, baby… I give you the blood of Jesus Christ to drink…You shall not die in Jesus name. My marital crisis will not affect you in Jesus name… God, please have Mercy Lord…. I am sorry for not taking care of my home front … I am sorry for leaving my husband behind “…
Ever since this whole marital drama started, I had not completely accepted the fact that I was the one to be held responsible for my marital problem, but here I was asking for Mercy when the reality of another member of my family slipping off my hand hit me…
Gold brought the warm coffee and I gave to Emerald in little drops, as she swallowed, she was getting relieved….
“So Betty, that was how you would have lost Emerald? I said trying to talk sense to myself…
“ So Because a woman took your husband, Should that end your life? Shame on you Betty…”
“Really? So this is all the strength you have in you?And so what if, Henry says he is no more interested in marrying you, should you become a piece of vegetable ,lose your children and self worth… So should you also lose your ministry…Oh Preaching about Christ should be when all things are rosy? No Betty? Even in this state, you ought to brace up ,this is another phase of ministry telling other women not to neglect their homes, not to ignore their husbands,not to give room for the mistresses, because when they come in, it’s always hard to get them out… Your life is a perfect example…
Betty! Get a grip on your self!”
I didn’t care if anyone could hear me yelling in the compound, but I knew Gold was standing somewhere behind me… Emerald was asleep and Gold had slept earlier, but I guess my voice woke her up….
“ So Mum, what’s your resolution!” I heard her saying
“ I will take a day as it comes, you might need to change your school, as I may not be able to pay the fees for your school.” I said
“ I appreciate the fact that you are taking charge of your life back, but are you losing hope on getting back your husband?”
“ What is the point of a husband if I am not mentally ok… Gold, as it is , right now, I have forgiven your father and the mistress… in fact they will be in my prayers and if it is the Lord’s Will for Henry and I to come back together, All praise to God!”
With those last words I went to sleep and for God to know I was truthful to myself ….I prayed this prayer on my knees beside my bed
“ Father, I thank you for what happened today, I know it was a wake up call for me and sincerely from my heart I forgive Margaret and Henry. I pray that Henry truly finds you back and knows your perfect will for his life and Margaret, I really don’t know the kind of prayer you expect me to pray for her, but …”
And just like a flash the dream I had months back flashed through my mind…
The dream where I saw a male cousin of mine sleeping on my matrimonial bed and when I asked him to stand up from there, he told me, he wasn’t going to get up from my bed since he didn’t have another bed… In the dream, I went through the stress of looking for another room for him and started laying the bed for him… It was until I found a new bed for him that he left my bed….
I stood up from my kneeling position as the interpretation of the dream became clear and I heard the voice of the HolySpirit….
“ Most mistresses are not evil, they are just desperate to find a resting place, If you want her out of your home, help her find another home!”
“Jesus Christ!” Was all that came out of my mouth… God was asking me to pray or help my husband’s pregnant mistress find her own husband….
You should have seen the big look of shock I gave to God in my room…
Was this right?Praying for my husband’s mistress….CAN YOU DO IT? HONESTLY?
To be continued ….