WHAT DOES MY HUSBAND WANT?
By Amah’s heart
I followed Ladi’s car without him knowing. The cab man was very helpful. He was a fine young man, who speaks very fluently.
He asked me why I was going after the man in front? I wanted to angrily shout at him to do his work which I was paying him to do but instead I try to tell him nicely that the man we were following was my husband and we have been married for over twelve years now and blessed with three children. I suspect he might have a child from another woman but kept it away from me and I’m about to find out how true this was.
I said and prayed that is not true. I hope that all that Salami has been telling me about Ladi is never true.
I hope Ladi did not have another woman outside home or even a child. That will be the worst thing that will ever happen to me.
My husband is not a womanizer or capable of fathering another child but with what I heard this morning over the phone, I was shaking inside and determined to get to the root of it.
The cab young man was very understandable, he said
I thanked him for understanding as we proceed.
Ladi kept turning from corner to corner, he drove so fast and later stopped at an eatery, I guess he wanted to buy food. I remember the lady saying that Ladi should buy her some food because the one he bought the last time has finished.
We parked at a distance waiting for him to come out of the fast-food. After sometime he came out with packs of food and entered the road again.
My cab driver who I later found out his name was Zuma followed. He kept his distance so that Ladi will not see the cab and start suspecting but he made sure he remain on track.
Ladi later got to a gate and drove inside and the gate was closed back.
I wanted to come down from the cab and go straight to the gate but it doesn’t seem wise.
I waited inside the cab for two hours but Ladi did not come out. I asked the cab man to take me to my husband’s plaza. I gave him the address and he drove to the place.
I went straight to his first shop and met only two of his worker, the whole place was looking scanty and dry. Ladi’s shop used to be full to the brim. He has a big warehouse
The whole place was owned by him and he was popular too. Is has been a long time I came around here and some of the workers knows me and greeted me kindly.
As I was looking round the place, I heard one of the old staff, Wasiu whisper to a young boy whose face was new to me.
“Arrange the materials in order, they are scattered. You know the main madam is here….
The second boy whispered back to him
“I thought the madam that use to come here with a baby was the main madam? How many wife does our boss has?
I pretend as if I wasn’t listening while looking round, close to where they work.
Only two of Ladi’s shops was remaining. The third one is closed down and some workers who were well paid then has to leave after my husband reduced their wages.
I called Wasiu who stayed despite how his wage was slashed, I asked him to trust me and he won’t get into trouble.
I asked him how the shop was doing and he said business was not as it used to be which was why my husband closed the first shop and left only two and very soon it will be only one shop remaining if he did not do something about it soon.
I asked him about the other madam who has a baby and he told me that all he knows was that the small madam used to visit Ladi even before she became pregnant and had a baby. He also learnt that Ladi did small wedding with her secretly after she insisted on getting married to him. He also opened a shop for her and she is selling almost the same thing that I sell. The only difference was that her own was gotten locally and it was all African fabrics while mine was mixed with both foreign and African fabrics.
Wasiu pointed to me where her shop was located, which was not far from Ladi’s office. And she also have two sales girls.
Wasiu told me what I need to know and even more. I thanked him with a tips as he went back to work.
I strolled down to the lady’s shop to see for myself. Now I see why Ladi is always asking for money to boost his business. She is the main reason Ladi’s business was going down.
As I was about to leave I saw Ladi’s car driving into the plaza.
I followed another route and went straight to the cab man who was patiently waiting. We drove off. This was five hours later that Ladi returned from the woman’s place.
I was going to go crazy but I need my sane my mind to keep going.
I called Salami over the phone but she did not respond. I called her upto four times and she later answered, I asked her if she can come over to my shop or I should come over to hers and she said I should come over to her house because she was home.
Zuma took me to Salami’s home. I thanked him for touring the whole place with me all through the day. I paid him for his time, he was very considerate and did not charge much for his service. He gave me his mobile number in case I need a ride to anywhere.
He try to advise me to take things easy and I nodded.
My heart beat was increasing with every realization that my worst fear was coming to light.
“I knew is just a matter of time and you will come to know the truth. My happiness is that you have found out the truth.
I try to talk but all through the day I have been holding on to my emotions, I didn’t want to release it inside the cab. Although I kept wiping tears with a pieces quietly and did not let anyone to know what I was going through inwardly.
Emotions wailed up at my chest and I felt like screaming down the roof in anguish.
As I was about to think on why Ladi will do such a thing to me, I broke down in tears front of salami.
I wept and allowed the tears to keep pouring down.
Salami was trying to console me but I was inconsolable.
“Why…how….? Salami, I have try to understand the fact that this whole thing is actually real and not a bad night mare. The anger, fear and trauma at the realization that Ladi have another family outside our home makes me want to die. He told me he doesn’t want another child, that three was enough for him, he told me he doesn’t have all it takes for a fourth child. I pleaded, I begged Danladi to allow my baby to live but he refused. You encouraged me and even take me to the place the deed was done so that my husband will be pleased. I kill my child to please my husband and not knowing another woman was pregnant for him at same time and mine was good to be sacrificed. It won’t be so painful right now if Ladi has allowed me to carry the pregnancy and give birth to my baby…the hurt alone is too heavy to bear. The pain wouldn’t have been this hurting if my baby was alive and I later found out that Ladi also has another child outside home. But my husband…my loving husband deceived me, he killed my child for the sake of another woman’s peace who was pregnant for him. Oh Salami…where did I go wrong? How did I miss it…why did I even chose to listen to my husband and abort my child? why…why…just tell me why will Ladi do this to me?
I wept so bitterly holding my stomach and wishing I have not aborted my child, wishing I have known better, wishing everything happening now was not true.
“Miwa, I’m so sorry! If I knew that Ladi was capable of such evil, I will never have encouraged you to abort the child. I thought he was a man of honor and was not interested in another child. I regret when I found out that he was having an affair. It hurt…so badly but you have to be strong and take heart. Your children needs you. Please Miwa you have to wipe your tears and be strong…
I did wipe my eyes as evening approached, I went home to wait for Ladi to come back.
Salami dropped me off at home and gave another round of encouraging words.
My kids were home. I went to the bathroom and sat crying my eyes out until my elder child called out to me, asking if I was alright.
I freshened up and came out. I asked them to eat the available food and go to bed because I was not in the mood to cook anything.
They did and went to bed.
I sat on the dining looking back to the past at where I have come all the way from with Ladi and still trying to understand the height of his wickedness. Why he will do such evil to me.
I couldn’t place any reason to it or come in term with the fact that Ladi actually have a child who would have been my aborted baby’s age mate. Ladi killed my child and has succeeded in hurting me beyond repair.
I sat alone thinking and waiting for Danladi to return.
I was almost going crazy with every passing minutes while staring at the wall clock.
Tears kept rolling down my face until my eyes was all swollen up.
I was lying down on a long cushion located right in our sitting room when Ladi came back. I felt weak from crying, contributed to the fact that I couldn’t eat all through the day.
I remained where I was without bothering to stand up. I shut my eyes and remained still. I wish It was all a dream, I wish all this is never true.
Ladi came and saw me lying on the chair without bothering to welcome him like I used to or set up the dining table with his food.
He looked over at the dining and it was empty. He called my name twice but no reply came.
He went inside and I can hear the sound of the shower.
I remained on the chair and still did not move. He came to tap me.
“Miwa, Miwa…don’t tell me you did not notice when I returned back. Where is my food? I have not eaten anything reasonable all through today. You know I enjoy homemade food. Where is my food Miwa?
I opened my eyes and looked at him with a frown, I looked up at the wall clock and it was almost 10pm.
If it was before I will make sure his food was ready, he will eat to his satisfaction before going to bed. I did everything Ladi asked of me. I serve him and worship the ground he walks on just to prove my love, loyalty and submission to my husband. I never knew that he was taking me for granted. His new mistress calls me a maid, she practically sees me as a house help while she plays the good role of a madam and I’m left to act like a maid but all that is changing.
All I need is to get back myself because I truly feel sick to the bone marrow. I feel like dying after discovering what seem like an unbelievable act from Ladi.
Just like Salami said, I need to be strong for myself and for my children. If I die, Ladi and his mistress will treat my children as an orphan.
I couldn’t reply Ladi, I may try to say something and burst out crying again or even dig a knife to his blackened heart. The best I can do was to remain calm and quiet. I did not even want to see his deceiving face.
I turned my back on him and shut my eyes again.
Ladi left me alone and went into the kitchen himself. I can hear him opening pots and fridge, micro wave and plates.
He was probably looking for food. I was supposed to cook that day but since my children has eaten the available food and went to bed, I don’t have anything to worry over.
Things are indeed changing and will never get back to normal. Ladi has stabbed me beyond repair.
He came calling me again and asking me to go into the kitchen and make something for him to eat. He was using his usual authoritative voice but I ignored.
“Miwa, get into the kitchen and make something for me to eat. Why are you lying down here without saying a word? I said I need my dinner and it supposed to be ready before I return from work. Go to the kitchen and get me something to eat…
I did not even move. i kept my eyes shut. Maybe by morning I will find my gut and courage to face him. right now, I can’t because I will end up crying again.
I don’t want to give him reason to laugh and gloat over me with his mistress. I will pretend to be strong and will never be the maid he took for granted.
I wiped a tear rolling down at one side of my face while still facing the other side.
His mistress makes him buy food from the fast food, she doesn’t cook for him or respect him the way Ladi demands of me.
I does everything for him. I follow every law of marriage that says wives respect and obey your husbands but Ladi threw my submission, my love and respect to the dogs.
He treated me like a rag, hurting me deeply. Is not only because he got a family outside which he kept as a secret but mainly because he took a life out of me. He made me kill my unborn child so that his mistress can have her own child.
Ladi knows the way to many fast food joint now and he also knows where the kitchen is located. If he is really hungry then he should sort himself out.
And that was my conclusion as I remain still and refused to talk or turn to see his disgusting face.
He left me alone and went to the room. I slept in the sitting room and did not bother going to the room.
The following morning I was up to get breakfast ready. I prepared my children for the day since the school bus will be coming to pick them by 7:30am. They had breakfast and their lunch box was packed before running off to join the school bus that was already waiting.
I try to be strong, I sob quietly as I prepare food in the kitchen. I later had my bath and freshened up for the day. Ladi was up and I did not say my usual cheerful good morning to him.
He looked at me like a stranger before going to the bathroom.
I couldn’t just overlook the fact that he may be hungry since he did not eat last night. I dished out his food on the table and was sitting there picking at mine when he came out all dressed for the day.
He sat where his food was, looked up at me and said nothing.
After eating several spoons, he drank half of the cup of water in front of him before saying.
“Last night you did not set out dinner for me, knowing well I will be hungry Miwa. That was unlike you but let me assumed that you are probably not feeling strong. You slept in the living room and did not come to bed or care if I may need you during the night. You saw me this morning without greeting or saying a word to me. I hope it stops here because this is not an attribute of a good wife or mother. My staffs told me that you came to the plaza yesterday. You never mentioned it to me yesterday morning that you will be coming to the plaza and you also did not call me over the phone. If it was because I closed one of three shops then you are behaving like a child. You should ask me why I have only two shops that is not as full as before instead of acting like a baby and I will explain to you. I may also be needing some money from you Miwa because as usual business has not been moving on fine. I need you to give me some money to be able to get goods. Business is not smiling this period again and I will be needing the help of my wife just as usual. Miwa, did you hear all I just said that I will be needing money….please?
I looked up from my food and stare right at him.
I manage to curve a smile before saying.
“Since we are two rocking one ship, maybe you should ask the other partner for money or anything you may be needing from now onward. I’m gradually retiring for good. I think I have served faithfully and submissively to you all this years and I just collected my retirement letter yesterday with a shaky hands and a broken heart but I accepted it anyway. I have always accepted everything you throw at me but that is changing soon Danladi. Did you ever think that I will never find out? You played me a smart one but my foolishness served its purpose and you just forced me to grow up and be wise. When are you going to tell me about your other family?
Ladi stopped eating and looked up at me surprise but not shock.
“You knew? Miwa…I..was waiting for the right time to do so. I’m sorry you found out. I know one day I will certainly let it out but I was just waiting for the right time…
He doesn’t look or sound remorseful. He was only acting “sorry” because I caught him unexpectedly.
I can’t believe this was the same man I was killing myself all over for. The same man that made me quit school. I supported him until he became what he was today. I disobeyed my parent’s orders, I was insulted and beaten because of this same man sitting right in front of me but I did not care about anybody’s opinion. Danladi was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It was because of me that my parents decided to support him and all together we made him the great man he was. I can’t count the many good I have done for him which he can never pay back and I was not doing it to get a payback. I did it out of love. I thought Ladi was worth the trouble and stress, I thought he was the man that truly complete me. As I sit here staring and listening to him do all his explanation I began to wonder how I can love a man so much and still hate the same man with passion that I wish he never crossed my path. That I wish I can dig the fork in my hands to his throat and watch him bleed to death.
He stood to leave after his flimzy excuses. I couldn’t hold myself anymore.
I angrily threw the water inside a cup to his face and this time he was shock as he stare at me unbelievable.
I walked straight to where he stood, water was dripping down from him, I carried his own remaining water inside the cup and poured down on his head.
Ladi was speechless and couldn’t believe or utter a word as he stare at me angrily.
“You are a monster Danladi. I was your biggest supporter, I betrayed all rules and law just to prove how much I love you. I joined hand to build an empire with you so that we will not ever go hungry. My old mother and late father was also your backbone. They accepted you as a son, you were a son of a nobody Danladi but my family decided to make somebody out of you. Anytime you complained of business failure I gather all my savings and give to you. Even if you say is not enough I’m ready to go the extra miles to make sure you have it all. What exactly was my offense? Tell me Ladi. What do you want that I did not do for you? What did you ask of me I refused to harken to. What really did you lack that will make you go to have another family outside our home after assuring me that you don’t want another child. You, Danladi made me commit murder when I agreed with you to abort my baby. So I and your mistress were pregnant at almost same time and you made me the scape goat? I was the maid you tossed up and down who obeys your every command. Danladi you….if I was ever told you will turn to be a devil I will never believe it. Never! I did everything for you and was ready to do more but see what I got paid with, betrayal. What exactly do you want Ladi that I have never done for you or willing to do for you. Why…why on earth will you do this to me?
I was crying this time because I couldn’t hold it back. I was screaming on top of my voice. My emotions were on fire. Danladi was looking at me like a ghost. Oh! how much I wanted to explode like bomb to his face but all I did was to scream and cry.
He said with a harsh voice barking right back at me.
“I know you are going to remind me one day of all the things you did for me, but you forgotten so easily that I also paid back in different ways. I opened a big shop for your mom and did many uncountable things far more than what you did. Stop making it seem I never returned the favor Miwa…because you sound ungrateful right now trying to remind me of all that you did for me. Yes you supported me whenever my business is crashing, that is a normal thing a loving wife supposed to do. Don’t make big deal out of it. wives are meant to support their husbands. Is never a big deal please. I’m a man Miwa, I have the right to make decisions that will favor me. I’m sorry you found out this way. Stop reminding me of all you helped me to achieve. Get hold of yourself and be the good woman that you have always been…
He picked up his car, with his w€t cloth and stormed out of the house in full rage.
I sat on the ground crying.
Ladi have the gut to tell me that he paid me back by opening a shop for my Mom and doing many other things. He actually said I sound ungrateful.
Danladi, said all those things to my face without any sign of remorsefulness.
Who is the ungrateful one? I risked my life, education and career for Danladi. My parents sacrificed so much for him and he has the mouth to talk trash.
Ladi did not come back that day or the next. He stayed away for two whole weeks and it gave me time to nurse over my heart and to plan on how I really want to live this new life he threw at me.
He who fetched firewood infested with ants shouldn’t fear when lizard comes to fest In his house.
Danladi has just fetched an infested firewood, so he should be ready for whatever may come after now.
My so called husband broke me into pieces, he shattered my heart beyond repair.
I don’t know if life will ever be the same again.