By the second month of dating, I got the shocker of my life from Carl. We decided to go window shopping and this took several hours because Carl kept going from one store to the other. I was not surprised because he had a wonderful sense of fashion and he was quite trendy. He could spot any fashion misfit at a go, he was that good. After the shopping he told me that we would be stopping over at ‘someone’s house and that it was a surprise. I kept on asking where we were going and he kept repeating that it was surprise. Guess what, he took me to his parent’s house!!!
We arrived at his parents’ home at 2.00 pm and immediately the security opened the gate I knew I was in for a long relationship, or so I thought. His parents Ambassador and Mrs. Akindele were so happy to meet ‘Carl’s Jules’. They said Carl never stopped talking about me. Because Jules kept coming up in every conversation, his Mum asked him to invite me to lunch. They were both very warm and I could see that Carl took the charm and sexy smile from his dad. Ambassador Akindele is an extremely handsome man who must have been a great hunk during his youthful days.
His Mum is a mixture of grace and charm. She is what you would call a mother in the real sense of it. Immediately I stepped into the room she flashed that big, hearty smile that radiated pure love. She asked me to turn around so that she could assess the beauty that his son had been talking about and this made me laugh so hard.
The lunch at his parent’s house was very beautiful. His mum told me that she spent all her days in the kitchen- she loved cooking and was quick to ask if I loved cooking too. Of course yes, you can’t go through Madam Ogundipe (my mum) without knowing how to cook.
We settled for Yam Porridge (Asaro ) and green vegetables loaded with all sorts of assorted fish and meat and it was very tasty. Of course there was Fried Rice but Carl insisted that I should not miss his mum’s lovely Yam Porridge. According to him she has a Ph.D. in cooking Yam Porridge and yes, I could attest to that. After the sumptuous meal, his Mum took me round the house and we talked at length. She wanted to know if I loved her son as Carl was their only child and if I was ready to settle down and make them happy.
I was very shy and didn’t want to say much so I quickly told her that I was fond of Carl but that I needed to get to know him better and of course her son was yet to propose anyway.
She wanted to know more but I was able to wriggle my way out of the conversation. We spent three hours with them and left but I didn’t stop asking Carl why he didn’t tell me about the visit beforehand. I would have taken my time to get a small gift for his parents but he insisted that it was a surprise and he was scared that I would have turned him down if he had informed me.
Carl loved good food and practically knew all the restaurants in town. Once a new place popped up in town, he would ask us to ‘try it out’. I was having the fun of my life so I was not bothered about anything. He also spoilt me silly with gifts and at some point I thought I was still dreaming. He was all over me and I really couldn’t see or think at all. We were simply inseparable and so much in love.
– excerpt from “Destructive Love“, by Jadesola Faulkner
Juliet Ogundipe, a.k.a Jules, is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Ogundipe, a working-class lady leaving everyday normal life and like every single lady out there, looking forward to the day she meets her prince charming.
They say, all disappointment is a blessing in disguise. But on that fateful day when the cab Jules hired to take her to work kept breaking down, she got a lift from a good Samaritan, Carl Akindele, who didn’t seem to be able to take his eyes off her.
Before the end of that week, her good Samaritan became her prince charming. And yeah, she saw her disappointment that day as her blessing.
Carl Akindele is a top executive at one of the biggest banks in Nigeria, and he works hard, day in, day out, to ensure he gets to the top of his banking career.
The day he met Jules, he was sure he had found his wife.
Their courtship was explosive, fun-filled and Jules was over the moon. She believed, Carl Akindele was certainly God’s gift to her. He treated her as a king would a queen. He showed her to all his friends and family. And they welcomed her warmly to the family.
While she rode on love’s high horse, she missed and even dismissed, certain character traits in Carl. He could do no wrong. And whatever he did was to protect her.
They say once beaten, twice shy. But not in Jules’ case, as Carl’s bed staunts wouldn’t let her leave him.
He practically beat her up at every provocation. It took a second beating for her to open up to her sister about her plight, and a third, to call out for help.
But what’s the use of calling out for help and filing for divorce, only to find yourself back in bed with a man you’re running from? What about the senseless accusations and repeat beating?
Carl had asked Jules to no longer work. Hence, she was jobless, not earning her own income and when trouble came, she had not the money to care for herself. Thank God for a loving family who understood their daughter needed to be taken care of.
Unfortunately, a lot of women, and even some men, experience different levels of domestic violence. Some come out of such union alive. Others are not so lucky.
Although Jules made a mistake of going back, and even getting pregnant, she ended up doing the right thing, backing out of the marriage for good.
What I liked more about this book is, the beatings didn’t totally get out of hand, before Jules took action. Her first priority was her safety and her baby’s. For she knew, if she died all in the name of keeping a marriage, there might be no one to care for her son, as she would.
This is what a lot of women who find themselves in abusive relationships should do. Don’t wait to be killed.
Destructive Love is written in the first person narrative. And it helps you know what signs to look out for so as to easily identify an abusive person and keep your distance. I recommend this book to ladies and men out there who find themselves in abusive relationships.
The story is a fast read. Straight to the point. But I feel more work could have been done in terms of character development and plot.
Do you find yourself in an abusive relationship? Don’t wait till you’re killed. A good thing, this book shows you how to swiftly take actions to protect yourself and loved ones from domestic violence.