“ ISOKENE “
(STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING)
I had just woken up from a dream, a dream about one of my younger cousins, a boy sleeping on my bed, but I was trying to get him to stand up from the bed, but he refused to stand up telling me he didn’t have a bed to sleep on…..I think I went about trying to get another mattress or something….The dream was very vague and I thought to myself “ Right now was not the time for dreams about other people….. This is not the time to help someone who has accommodation problem, my life needs some sanity right now…. “
I ditched the dream and tried to get back to sleep…
It was the early hours of the fourth day, and as I was trying so hard to get some sleep, my phone beeped, it was a message from Isoken….
I sent a reply that she could come over, I needed to get this recent happening off my mind…Maybe having someone around would not let the thought of suicide trying to gain entrance into my heart have it’s way…
With shaky legs, loose joints and pains all over my body like someone who had been working very hard, I stepped down from the bed to have a shower.
I never knew that emotional pain could actually have effect on one’s physical body. As I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, I looked messed up and lean, probably because I had not eaten in three days. It was time to shake off and think of the next thing.
Maybe it was time to relocate to the United States, my sister had been telling me to relocate with my family, but unfortunately the family will be minus 1. I would be relocating with my two daughters. It seemed like a perfect plan….
Isoken got to my place but to my shock , she had no veil on again.
“Right thinking “ was what I thought . I was grateful her myopic thought of sacrificing her happiness for one stupid husband had been erased from her mind.
She was beaming. Her smile made my heart bleed knowing I couldn’t smile anymore….but I encouraged myself that there was already a way out….RELOCATION
“ Your veil? What happened? I asked
“ God happened!”
“What do you mean God happened!?”I rolled my eyes still trying to act calm and collected… I wasn’t ready for any churchy microscopic talk
“ Divine Orchestration….” She said literally jumping…
“I told God, I wanted to Obey His word to be submissive to my husband and yet still be happy on my own…Aunty God did it in three days just like He did it for Christ, I got my life ,my smile and my freedom back”
How? Was it that she had finally separated from him?, I was hoping that was it, so that my separation from my husband won’t be hard on her… I will just let her know that “ Men are all the same” , a phrase I had always preached against in my messages. I always told women that all men were not the same, but unfortunately all that was going to change now.
“ My failed marriage is about to change the course of my ministry”. I thought silently to myself “ Hmm… So the Sucess of my ministry was actually based on the Sucess of my marriage…” Too late I was just discovering that truth now…
“ Aunty, Aunty, you are not listening to my freedom testimony !” Isoken shook me back to reality as I was just staring at her blankly…
“ I am sorry, I Was thinking about something, Ok I am listening”….I said partially absentminded, because I was wondering what my husband was doing with the widow….Was her son really ill or she just looked for an opportunity to have him to herself, since Henry had not left my side for three days?
I was wondering what she looked like? Was she more beautiful, Probably light skinned or dark…. Maybe they were even on her bed making out, I felt my brain vibrating….Was that insanity knocking at my door, No, I was not going to let a man run me mad, My father died after 10 years of insanity.
“It is not a good sight… “ I told myself . I decided to focus on Isoken and her story….
“ …So he came back…..” Isoken was saying
“ Isoken, please start all over … I am a bit Lost”
“ Aunty, are you ok?”
“Yes I am, ….the story” I managed to give a fake smile I knew I needed to start getting used to…
I hope you feel my pain, Dear DEEP THOTS reader, my heart felt like someone was tearing it into pieces, my brain was heating up so much as the thought of losing my husband to another woman was unbearable , I felt like I was losing my mind..I believe you will agree with me that RELOCATING was the best option….In the meantime, Let’s focus on how ISOKEN got her veil off and got her smile back….What happened?
“Aunty, You know I told you Ibidolo was to return three days ago which was exactly a day after I came here, but I didn’t know he wanted to give me a surprise.
Ibidolo returned the morning I was coming to your place , he said the Taxi was close to our house when he saw me coming out of our gate. He had told the Taxi man to stop immediately as he was surprised when he saw me coming out of the house all wrapped up.
He said, he knew the body was mine but why was I wrapped up ?. He said Instant Anger rose up in him, thinking I was going out to meet a man. He told the Taxi man to trail me. Ibidolo said he was fuming in the Taxi wondering where I was going. He trailed me till I got here. He said he was quite shocked when he saw you coming out of your house to meet me at the gate….Aunty Betty, you won’t believe Ibidolo stayed in the Taxi for the 3 hours I spent at your place…
After I left your place that day, I went straight to the market to get some food items all still wrapped up, my thought was since Ibidolo was to return the day after, I wanted to get his best meal prepared and have the house really clean.
I was still wrapped up, even though I was all sweaty and uncomfortable, all I kept telling myself was. “I am playing the FOOL now, so that my Joy can be FULL”.
“ I am playing the FOOL now, so that my Joy can be FULL!
I am playing the FOOL now, so that my Joy can be FULL”.
I must have said this like over 100 times though the hot sun was telling me what I was doing all wrapped up was a wrong thing…
I got to my junction and waited for over 15 mins to get a bike home, but I couldn’t get one.
Ibidolo parked at a far distance and gave me a phone call…
“ Did you suspect He was around?” I asked Isoken as the story was quite intriguing
“At all, even when we were speaking on the phone I didn’t suspect a thing…So Aunty, please let me continue my story” She laughed heartily
“ Hey Isokene my dear” Ibidolo had said when he called
“ Ibidolo, my love how are you? how is Abakaliki… I am really missing you….”
“ I miss you too, Will be home soon, don’t worry”
“ Tomorrow is not soon ooo, It is too far for me.. because I have a big surprise for you, something that will make you smile”
“ Really! tell me…I can’t wait to hear it” Ibidolo said
“ It won’t be a surprise anymore if I tell you”
“ Come on… do you want me to tickle you over the phone” ibidolo said laughing
“ Now, You are making me laugh, Ibidolo”
“ Wait ooo, where are you that you are smiling this way, hope it is not where everyone can see you?”
“ I can assure you that no one can see my smile, because I have found a lasting solution to it,”
“ That’s the surprise… doesn’t my voice sound deep”
“ Yes it does like you have a cloth over the phone!”
“ That’s it, I am not saying anything again”
“ Aunty, I laughed and hung up but little did I know that Ibidolo waited till I got a bike and trailed me till I got home. “
He said his heart almost burst, he saw a woman who loved him so much and was ready to sacrifice her smile for him…He didn’t know when tears fell from his eyes and the taxi man said..
“ Oga,( Sir) even though your wife is a veiled woman, you still don’t trust her?, but thank God you have seen that She doesn’t have a boyfriend….Sir, please trust your wife, it will give you peace of mind… I have been in the cab business for 30 years and my wife is a beautiful hairstylist, my friends told me I should keep her indoors since Most times I am always on the road and I only get to see her for few hours in a day, but I choose to trust her… and till now she is still my wife after 35 years”
Ibidolo said he couldn’t explain to the man I wasn’t a veiled woman as he couldn’t find his voice yet. He paid his fare and walked in….
“I didn’t close the door behind me as I rushed into the kitchen to drop all the foodstuffs I had bought.I literally forgot about the door, So Aunty you can imagine how my heart must have felt…it almost jumped out of my body when I felt Ibidolo’s arm around me from behind. I jumped and turned and there he was looking at me. His eyes were bloodshot red, he hugged me so tight and was weeping like a baby and kept saying…
“ This is not what I want for you, I am not that wicked, I know I am selfish, but not wicked, I am sorry”
I kept telling him it was ok and I was fine doing it, to make him happy….
“ How can I be happy when I am putting you in bondage?”
Still weeping, he Unwrapped me by himself
“ Please, Don’t you ever do this again, You can smile to the whole world if you want. Your smile is not just for me, it is for you as well.. I won’t allow my insecurities affect you”
Ibidolo sat on the floor, sobbing. I knelt before him wiping his tears and I said…
“ I did this to show you I was committed to you, though the foundation of our Marriage was wrong but I decided this marriage was going to work. Please don’t feel bad, even if you want me to be a veiled woman, I won’t resist it, but thanks for giving me back my freedom and I promise you today that I will not give you cause to regret giving me the liberty to smile… I love you”
“I love you so….”
Ibidolo covered his face as more tears flowed. I hugged him and I was wondering what Kind of God I was serving who through the wisdom he gave me broke my husband down and made him see things clearly.
Aunty, we had fun, we cooked together and did some loving up…You know……” She said smiling
“ and guess the highlight, the day after he took me out and he was so comfortable with me smiling infact there was a point I was not smiling , he jabbed me playfully by the side and said
“ Why are you not smiling?” And out of Joy I gave one of those Epic smiles of mine of which Ibidolo just shouted “Don’t stop that smile”. He brought out his Mini camera and took a picture of me. Aunty, can you believe after we got home, Ibidolo did a panting of that picture overnight….You know he paints right?
“ Huh…Huh, I think you mentioned it to me once”… I said
“ Aunty, I have been over the moon for the past four days…. I obeyed the rule of being crucified by the one you love, I killed my personal interest in obedience and God Himself resurrected me. Surprisingly, afterwards came my victory, Just like Jesus!”
I found myself clapping for Isoken and telling her a big congratulations.
“ So no more divorce or separation for you?” I asked
“ Aunty, do I need it anymore? God has healed my marriage, a little playing the fool and my joy is full”
“ Well, not everyone can play the fool!”
“ You are so right ma! and that is why a lot of people lose their marriages and other good things, so where is Uncle?”
“ With his mistress” I blurted out before knowing I did….
And there was silence in the room for about a minute, I know Isoken was wondering if she heard me well and I was also wondering what came over me…
“ His mistress? What do you mean ma?” Isokene asked in a very soft confused voice, a voice that broke me into uncountable pieces.
I must have wept for over 10 minutes as I recounted everything to her. She was as shocked as the word shocked.
“ Jesus!” was all she kept saying…
After about 30 minutes, she asked me the million Naira question…
“ So what you planning to do, Aunty?”
“ I …I am planning to relocate to the US, start a new life with my children and watch what God will do. If Henry returns back to his senses, all well and good but if not , still good. The end of a marriage is not the end of the world”
“ Just like that….You plan on giving up just like that on your 15 year marriage, Aunty all those messages you used to preach, did it ever register with you or you were just giving people like us Spiritual food and starving yourself” Isoken asked
“ Isoken, this is too much, Henry loves the woman and he has threatened me that if anything happens to the other woman, he will hurt me…..To avoid problems , Let me just be on my own”
“ No you can’t be on you own, God didn’t create couples to live separate lives, but as husband and wife….So we just need the wisdom of God, Yes we are going to pray, but more of wisdom, submission….”
“ Sub What?” I thought to myself …“How can I submit to a man who was hurting me..Isokene didn’t know what she was talking about. At that point, I just tuned off, I didn’t hear a bit of what she was saying anymore, her mouth was just moving….
After about 45 minutes , she told me she was leaving. After she left I called my sister just to say hi and I mentioned that it was possible we were coming for a short break at her place in Texas.
Days passed, Henry didn’t come back home and my pride didn’t let me call him either. Isoken, (now Officially Isokene since her husband spoke to me over the phone telling me he was over his insecurities and now everyone was permitted to see his wife’s smile and even call her Isokene which was His personal way of calling Isoken) was always calling me on a daily basis asking how I was doing….
After 8 days of Henry’s absence from home, I officially became enraged. I picked my phone to call him to give him the blasting of his Life….
“ Hello, Henry so the witch has officially caged your brain? You left me broken and not even a phone call to check if I was ok. what if I had committed suicide?” I said boiling in anger…
“ I know you can’t do that…Betty I am sorry, Margaret is the one holding me down here, she has refused to let me go, she said now that you know everything, you might stop me from seeing her”
“ Jesus! Was this my husband speaking or a 5 year old boy….?” I thought as I wanted to scream out but rather I just said
“ Give her the phone” and just like a baby Henry handed over the phone to the She-devil….
“ Hello Ma”…the husband snatcher/She-devil said with the most beautifully alluringly textured voice I have heard in my life….If the circumstances were right, I could have fallen in love with her voice….