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Half Mast

January 15, 2021

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He was a cheat
The first time she discovered he
was cheating on her was two
weeks to their wedding
She was four months pregnant and
had woken up that morning with the
intention of paying him a surprise
visit at his crib in Magodo
He was still sharing a flat with
three of his friends at the time
She got to Magodo at about noon
The apartment was right behind the
main house and the gate was almost
always locked
Usually she would call call him once
she got to the gate so that he would
come and open the gate for her but
on that fateful day, she met the
gate ajar
Someone was driving out of the
compound and the big gate was wide
open
She walked in, climbed the stairs to
the boys quarters and met the door
open
She walked in and found them (Her
man and a lady) doing it
It was the last thing she expected
to see, especially because
he had never given her a reason to
assume he was unfaithful
The good news she wanted to share
with him evaporated immediately
She found her feet trembling and
her knees buckling
It was a terrible experience
The lady saw her first and shrunk
from him in shock
He looked at her and
quickly rolled off the bed
Her first thought was to walk away
and not to look back, she didn’t see
any other sensible option
Her people will say when you put a
foot in the river and a crocodile
pounces on it, you don’t need to put
the other foot in the river before you
know you are doomed
She had walked halfway towards the
main gate before he caught up with her
She couldn’t explain how she walked
so fast
She wanted to run as fast her legs
could carry her but she had to settle
for speed walking in her condition
He touched her elbow and told her
to calm
She didn’t think twice about what she
did next
She had wanted to do it from the
moment she saw them
She had told herself if he ever touched
her again she would do it
She gave him a dirty slap
The slap stopped him in his track
She continued to walk towards the gate
He turned back and walked back to
his crib
He didn’t call or text for three days
She wanted to call the whole thing off
but she lacked the courage to do so
She knew he was waiting for her move
As far as he was concerned it was over
She kept telling herself breaking off the
relationship would be
giving him what he wanted
They had been together for four years
Since she was in her final year in the
University and he was rounding off his
MBA programme on their campus
He was a chartered accountant
She was studying Economics
It was love and a lot of rubbish at
the start
she waited for him to become mature,
to propose to do what other reasonable
and sensible men do with their girlfriends
He didn’t
He wasn’t a cheat (As far as she knew)
but he wasn’t also a serious minded guy
who wanted to build a future with her.
She left him briefly when she was
posted to the East for her NYSC but
none of the guys she met that year
could hold a candle to him
He was her stitch in hand
She wanted to change him but she
couldn’t find a better replacement and
she didn’t want to end up empty-handed
She was already twenty-seven when
she met him and she had a lot of
catching up to do
He had this thing he does
Asserting that she was her own woman
and he was not interested in controlling
or owning anyone
Other ladies complain about having
possessive, jealous, domineering partners
Her man insisted he was a feminist and
was all for women doing their thing by
themselves and for themselves
The problem with that was a strange
loop of freedom that hung around them
as a couple
If she introduced him as her boyfriend,
he doesn’t mind but he never introduces
her as his girlfriend
He never asks her where she
was or who she was with
He says she is her own person and doesn’t
have to answer to him
It always made her very uncomfortable
because things around them was always
weird
She had to operate on a lot of assumptions
because he defined nothing the way
others did it
He was a strange
guy
A week after she caught him with the
other lady, she asked him to meet her at
an eatery
He showed up
She asked him what he wanted
As usual, he told her he would go along
with anything she decided
She knew he wouldn’t beg or even
apologize, she wasn’t expecting him to
but she
really wanted to know if his infidelity
was just a one-off or something she
would have to deal with all her life
She needed to ask but she didn’t
know-how
So she said “Will you be cheating on
me again? If you are it is best you
call this marriage off now because
I can’t cope with such”
Again she knew he would never take
responsibility like that!
He didn’t propose until she got pregnant
and cried her eyes out with worry
He was too laid back and unassuming
It had always been a problem
She should have walked away but she
didn’t
She didn’t know how to start
all over
Her mother told her every married
woman had to contend with one thing
or the other
He was not the assertive type
His nature has both its positive and
negative sides
The only thing she didn’t consider was
the fact that he could cheat
By nature, he doesn’t chase skirt but
it seems if a skirt chases him, he would
not be assertive in saying NO!
That was the aspect she didn’t see
until two weeks to the wedding
He didn’t call off the wedding
She didn’t call off the wedding too
Two weeks after she caught him
cheating, she said “I do”
He said “I do too”
The challenge became very prominent
after they got married
He could handle himself very well around
passive and mildly tempered women but
the moment as an assertive, domineering,
and/or aggressive woman comes into
his life, everything goes out of order
He was not a weakling, he
was just weak around some certain
kinds of women.
When he got a new boss at the office,
he started coming home very late
because he didn’t want to displease
“Madam”
He wasn’t sleeping with the woman
but he would lie awake all night
worrying about many things because
he didn’t want the madam finding fault
with anything he does
The madam’s opinion mattered a lot
to him
When the madam was transferred and
he got a male superior at work, things
became better
He slept better, treated her and their
daughter very well, and was less irritable
The same pattern
held sway at the church
Aggressive ladies (like the pastor’s wife)
can get him to chair a committee or visit
some members even when it is not
convenient for them as a family
He simply can’t say no to assertive
women
It was irritating for her and she tried
very hard to protect him
from such women but she cannot
follow him everywhere
in 2017, he traveled to the UK for a
fellowship programme with a University
It was a global grant sponsored programme
Somehow he got caught up in a torrid
affair with his boss
He stayed in the UK for 3 years
She knew something
was going on but she had no proof
He kept telling her the fellowship
was extending his contract
After two years of arguments and
bitter rows, she turned to God
She told God she wanted her husband
back home
She had just delivered their second
child before he traveled
She was tired
In August 2020, her husband
returned home
Three weeks later, she received a
package from the UK
Her husband’s boss sent her pictures
and other proofs that they had been
together
The package was titled “Just for your
information”
She knew what the woman wanted
to provoke her to do
A week after she got the package,
she presented it to her husband
She wanted him to see that his weakness
was hurting the whole family and to
take heed whenever she told warned
him off certain kinds of women
Her husband apologized and they
both started seeing a Marriage Counsellor
PS: I do not write stories to entertain or
become popular
I wanted to stop writing in 2021 altogether
because I don’t have the time anymore
You are not under any compulsion to read
If you do read, however, please keep big
English and foul opinions away from me
Read and be blessed

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