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Mending Faulty Lines

July 2, 2021

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The storm hit their marriage at the time
when they were both extremely vulnerable
His mother was diagnosed with cancer
and he brought her to their flat so that she
can be cared for
She couldn’t object but she didn’t like it
She knew she was on a tight rope
Her husband would take offense if she
insisted she didn’t want his sick mother
under their roof
She would be depicted as callous, heartless
and wicked but caring for the sick was not
her thing
She couldn’t stand it when her own mother
was ill
She was unable to cope and her husband
knew it
She wondered how spouses tend to expose
their partners to weaknesses they were
aware of deliberately
Her husband expected her to firm up
She tried her best but it was a disaster
His mother died within a month of her
arrival at their home
She couldn’t do much, so her husband
got two nurses who waited on his mother
He expected her to drop in and spend
time with his mother
She still couldn’t do it
She hated death and the sight of the
poor woman’s life ebbing away day by
day
She didn’t know how husband was holding
it against her
Immediately his mother died, he turned on
her
He branded her a witch, claiming she treated
his mother like an object of derision
She knew that was how she was going
to be perceived but in her opinion, that was
not the truth
It was like placing fried meat before a cat
and expecting it to discipline itself and
not touch it
She had told him she couldn’t deal with
it, he knew she couldn’t and yet he dumped
it on her laps
She expected it to blow over
It didn’t!
Her husband left her with their two
children
At first, he said he was going to the village
to arrange for the burial
He never returned to their matrimonial
home
He didn’t inform her about the burial
She and her children were frozen out
She was a teacher and they built the
house they were living in together
She waited and prayed
Eventually, she went to see his family
members to complain
They all told her to give him time
She knew they didn’t really approve of
her too and find whatever her husband
told them that she did condemnable
After three years of waiting without a
word from him
She was counseled by some friends
and relatives to move on
She gave it one last push
She went to the house he moved into
in Lagos
She met him and his live-in girlfriend
at his flat that fateful morning
She had been warned that he was
cohabiting with someone
She didn’t lose her composure
She only wanted to know if the marriage
was over so that she can move on
When she knocked, his girlfriend recognized
her and opened the door without responding
to her greeting, and then disappeared into
the room to call him
She sat at the seat nearest to the
exit and folded her hands across her
chest
She was prepared to run for it if things
got out of hand
Her husband emerged from the room
wearing a singlet
He sat beside her and to her amazement
he began to cry
He apologized and promised her he
would sort things out and return home
She took his words well and returned
home with a glad heart
That was how she began a second spell
of waiting
Months rolled into months
No word, Nothing!
After another two years, she responded
to the overtures of the headmaster of
the school where she was teaching
He was a young widower and he really
wanted to be with her
She had kept him waiting for over a
year
They couldn’t meet in her house
She felt it would be unfair to bring a
man to the house built by her husband
especially since they had not been
officially divorced
It was not what she wanted
She would gladly forgive her husband
and take him back if that option was
open to her but it wasn’t
She started meeting with the headmaster
at hotels and one of his friend’s houses
She was weary of going to his house
because he had two children and
she didn’t want to upset the dynamics
until she was sure things would progress
beyond the level of seeing each other
After three months of “Take it easy”
“It is too early”, “I am on my period”
“Are you angry with me because I
didn’t sleep with you?” etc
She gave in one evening
It was raining and there was no light
Her children were being watched by
her younger sister
It was too good a moment for her to
say no to
He knocked and she opened unto him
effortlessly
He was patient and he said sorry too
often
She decided she had to make it up to
him and went back the following day
to give him a better version of herself
They had been at it for two months
and were already talking about meeting
each other’s people when she got home
one day to meet a baby boy
Her children said a lady came to drop
him with a note
The boy was her husband’s child
The lady that came to drop him was
her husband’s live-in girlfriend, the one
she met in Lagos
There was no explanation whatsoever
She didn’t know what to make of it
The next day, her husband arrived
He said he would have returned earlier
but his babe realized he was leaving
her and played the “I am pregnant card”
He said he had to wait for her to deliver
the baby before telling her it was over
He said he took off from the Lagos the
moment he was informed she had
dumped the child at his house
She couldn’t believe it
Her prayers were answered
She got her husband back but with so
much baggage
He begged for her forgiveness
She gave it and happily adjusted
He just wanted her children to
grow up in a family with as little
differences as possible
She didn’t think twice about the
Headmaster
It was great while it lasted
She put in for a transfer and left
the school within three months of
her husband’s return due to the
awkwardness of their meetings
after her husband’s return
Six months after her husband’s
return, she went for a teacher’s
conference and met the headmaster
again
He demanded to be treated with
maturity
He asked if he had done anything to
her to deserve the way she treated
him
She knew she had been unfair
Later that night she went to his hotel
room to explain and ease his pain
She had no intention of sleeping with
him but she ended up doing so
It was a farewell and I am sorry gesture
He was a good man who deserves more
Three weeks later she realized she was
pregnant
Her husband was overjoyed but she
knew the baby was not his
She was sure of it
She had the baby nine months later
He looked exactly like the headmaster
Nobody knew this but her
Everybody said the baby looked her
her or her husband
Her heart started palpitating in a
strange way
She wanted so much to tell her husband
the truth but she was sure that would
be the end of everything, especially her
dream of raising her children in a
home where both parents would be
there to love and care for them
She thought about her daughters, they were
aged ten and eight at the time
How would she explain to them that
she was not the pious, longsuffering
example they had known and loved
all their lives?
She would have aborted the pregnancy
but she was sure her conscience would
kill her for it
So she took everything in her stride
She raised the four children as equals
They grew and got married
After their marriages, she told her
husband the truth
She just wanted to set her conscience
free of the torture that had plagued
her from the day she brought the
pregnancy home and pinned it on her
husband
It was a mistake…
Her husband of over thirty years
with whom she suffered and for whom
she waited faithfully acted as if she just
handed him a death sentence
He turned white the moment she told
him
The next thing he did was to pick his
car keys and without a word he left
again
At first he went to stay in a hotel
After three weeks, he moved to the
house he built in Akure
He never told anyone what happened
She never did too
He blocked her phone number and
every means of communication
He sent the children to deliver messages
to her and she did the same
He didn’t remarry, even though she
knew he would most likely be seeing
other women
She didn’t remarry too and she didn’t
see any other man
She was happy she told him
She was able to sleep soundly from
the moment the truth left her lips
The children kept wondering what
had happened between them
She didn’t mind them knowing but
he had to be the one to tell the
story otherwise she knew she would
incur his wrath
As long as he kept mum, she respected
his silence
The silence dragged on for four years
until she came across a story on
gbengawemimo.com, the story felt
like a reflection of her life
She reached out to the brother in
Jeans and T-shirt and told him her
story
Is there home for me?
The Brother in Jeans and T-shirt
asked her if it was possible for him
to meet with her husband
She said her husband would be
celebrating his 65th birthday and
retirement from the Electricity
Company in a few weeks at a hotel
in Lagos
Her husband had invited her to play
“wife” for that day so that he wouldn’t
have to answer questions but she
knew he would simply lock up after
He had done the same through the
weddings of the last two children
and nothing seem to touch him
She just wanted him back
His forgiveness and love and all
To be paid back in the same coin
as she did several years before
The Brother in Jeans and T-shirt
met her husband briefly before
the party commenced
They held hands and prayed
together, thanking God for his
mercies and then he left to attend
to other engagements
She played the role expected of her
at the party
The day after the party, her husband
arrived at their house at 6:30 am
It was the first time he stepped into
the house since the day she broke
the news to him
When he walked in, he told her he
couldn’t sleep all night and felt
she would be able to sleep if he
came to the house
She set up the guest room for him
He slept until evening
Later that night, he had dinner and
they watched TV together
She was expecting him to pick his
car keys and say his goodbyes
He didn’t
The next day, he woke up and asked
her to invite a carpenter to the
house
When the carpenter arrived, he said
he wanted their bedroom to be
remodeled
Later that night, he invited her to stay
in the guest room with him
That was it
Her dream of growing old in her
husband’s arms and sharing the
twilight with him came to pass by
the power of the Holy Spirit

PS: Today makes it a year since
her husband returned home
She called by 5 AM this morning
singing praises and testifying of the
goodness of God
She said it was the most peaceful,
progressive and joyous year of her
life
In the last one year, they had built
their third house, dedicated three
new grandchildren and went on their
first international trip (defying Covid)
together
She says God has been gracious
to her and I agree
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Is your marriage going through a
tough time? Dont despair!
Keep the word of your confession,
trust in the Lord with the whole of
your heart
The lines have fallen unto you in
pleasant places!
Hallelujah

 

 

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