A month had passed and Kemi had not yet returned from her trip to Ghana.
Back home in Nigeria, Edirin was minutes away from signing the divorce papers. Helen prepared the documents and was already on her way with them. Ese and Voke were not at home. They had started going to school again, but Edirin made sure it was a different school; one where their father couldn’t locate them.
Mama was at home that day and so was Edward. Knowing what their daughter and sister was about to do, they stayed back to try to convince her. They repeatedly advised Edirin not to sign the papers.
“But why, mama?” She asked. “Do I have to wait for my husband to do worse before I divorce him? To worsen the issue, he keeps denying what he did. He is trying to make me look like a liar.”
“My daughter,” Mama said. “I have spoken with Otuke. If you ask me, I think he is innocent. Give him a chance to explain things to you.”
“See what I’m talking about? You don’t even believe me. He has turned you against me, right?”
“It is not about who believes who, Edi. It is about saving your marriage. Otuke is a good man. You won’t find another man like him.”
“Yes I will, mama. I will find a good man and then I will make Otuke pay through his nose. For every pain he has made me feel, I will make him feel times two.”
“Did you even listen to his own side of the story before doing what you are doing?” Edward queried, rather than ask.
“Edward, you know my stand. Either you accept it or leave it.”
“Well I won’t leave it. You are making a grave mistake.” He said, stubbornly.
The three of them had a heated arguement until Helen arrived. Kemi could not be around because she was still away in Ghana.
“Please advise your friend right.” Mama pleaded with Helen as soon as she stepped into the house. “She is making a mistake. Her husband did wrong, yes, and he is paying for it. Divorce doesn’t have to come in, its never a way out of marital problems.”
“Mama, I understand what you are saying.” Helen said. “But since this is what Edirin wants, I will not stop her.”
“I’ve send it before, you are a bad friend.” Edward said. “But now you are a wicked friend.”
“Edward,” Helen said, feeling seriously offended. “The day you say that nonsense again, that’s the day I will forget the love and respect I have for mama and Edirin. I will so deal with you that day.”
“Do whatever you like.” Edward insisted, ignoring her threat, “If you are a good friend, you will do everything possible to help Edirin’s marriage stand. Instead you are here doing everything possible to end it.”
“You think I’m doing this because I don’t want her marriage to stand? I was the very first person to encourage her to go ahead with Otuke when they first met. So if I’m changing my mind now, its because I have also seen him in town, several times, with another woman. I’m sure its the same woman your sister saw him with at the beach.”
Helen stood her ground on her decision as she brought out the divorce papers. Since all plea and reasoning fell on deaf ears, Edirin signed the documents. Helen promised to make sure half of her husbands wealth came to her.
“Thank you.” Edirin said, feeling sad. She had been so determined to sign the divorce papers and now that she had signed them, she suddenly felt sad and confused. “So what’s next?” She asked, trying to keep up a brave front.
“Nothing on your part,” Helen kept the documents neatly in her briefcase.
“I will now go to Otuke’s office. One of his workers informed me earliar that he is on seat.”
“Can I come with you?”
“There is no need for that Edirin. Why do you want to torture yourself?”
“I just want to see him, as my husband, for the last time. Please.”
“Okay, your wish is my command. Let us go.”
Mama and Edward were very sad as they watched the women get into Helen’s car. Soon, they drove out of the compound and into the dry, dusty road.
“My child has made a mistake that she will forever regret.” Mama said, as silent tears flowed down her cheeks.
“Don’t blame her, mama,”Edward hugged his mother from behind. “Blame her stupid friend. A friend who doesn’t know what good advise sounds like.”
About 30 minutes later the women arrived at Mobile Planet, Otuke’s phone manufacturing company. Edirin felt very uneasy as the car drove into the compound and came to a halt at the parking lot.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Helen asked with a worried expression.
“No. I can’t do it.” Edirin said, as tears flowed down her cheeks. “I will sit here and wait for you. I can’t face him. I know I’m really not giving him a choice.”
“You are not giving him any choice at all.” Helen said. “But at the same time, you can’t take nonsense from him. Don’t worry, you will get over it dear, just relax. Time will heal your wounds.”
Edirin nodded in agreement, “I hope so.” She said.
Helen stepped out from the car and walked into the office building. Few minutes after she left, Edirin saw him again, her husband, with the same girl he was having a go with at the beach. They drove into the compound, parked close to Helen’s car, got down and walked hand in hand, in a romantic way, towards the office building.
“You bastard!” Edirin growled. “And you still had the guts to deny everything I said I saw? I’m here feeling guilty for a divorce and you are there showing off your new catch. I’m going to disgrace you today. I swear I will.”
Not minding her protruding stomach, Edirin quickly got down from the car and followed them behind, quietly. When she got into the building, a staff who knew her as “oga’s wife,” greeted her. However, Edirin was too angry to respond. She simply ignored and followed the couple behind, while keeping a reasonable distance.
They were heading to the main office. As soon as they got there, they stopped briefly to talk to the secretary. Edirin was a little confused about that. Her husband definitely did not need to take permission from his own secretary before going into his own office. What was happening? Did he forget he was the boss?a
She hid very well behind the wall at the end of the long passage and watched them. As soon as they got into the office and shut the door, Edirin moved. She didn’t even bother asking the secretary for permission. The confused secretary, who didn’t know who Edirin was because she was new in the company, tried to stop her but to no avail. Edirin burst into the office and was about to rain abuses on Otuke when she saw something she never thought she would see. Helen was sitting across the table, facing the man who was obviously her husband. The divorce documents were on the table, between them. On the other hand, the couple who just got into the office stayed close to each other, as they looked at her with creased brows.
“You again?” The man holding the other lady asked, obviously angry.
“What do you want in my office, Edirin?” Otuke quickly cut in, as he got up from his seat and came to stand in front of his wife. “So you went through with your divorce threat right? You signed those divorce papers and asked your friend to come here, insult me and try to make me sign?”
“I didn’t insult you.” Helen defended. She looked confused as she stood up from where she sat. Her eyes kept darting from Otuke to the second man in the office. Since he was with the same woman she had seen him with several times, she was sure he was the same man she had seen in town. Whoever he was, he looked identical to Otuke.
“I…. I…. oh God! ” Edirin said, dumbfounded as she looked from her husband to the other man. “I… I thought.. I thought…” That was all she could say. She passed out.
To be continued…
©Karo Oforofuo. All Rights Reserved
First published 2014 by Karo Oforofuo in my old blog
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