He tossed and turned, trying to catch some sleep. He had only been able to sleep for thirty minutes…or even thirty seconds. By the time he opened his eyes, he thought it would be 5.30am and she would leave the house as usual like she did everyday so she wouldn’t be late to work. The time was 4.45am. He would hear her as she walked out of their bedroom and rush to the kitchen for a glass of water like she did everyday. He hadn’t slept in their bedroom. He had since moved to the guest room since the abortion saga.
His mind went to Timi. She was recovering and had taken some time off work to nurse herself back to health. He wondered how she became this way…everything that had happened at her apartment the other day still seemed like an out of body experience. He grabbed his phone to pass away time. He had some missed calls…the most from Timilehin. Then he saw her twelve text messages.
Thanks for everything. You are and have always been my hero and my rock.
I miss you.
I love you so much x eternity.
I have been trying to call you. Please pick my call.
I can’t sleep…I wish you were here beside me.
He couldn’t continue reading her texts. He marked all the messages as read and tossed the phone aside.
It was 6.10am and he still had not heard the door creak from their bedroom. His mind started to go places and his heart started to thump. He started to get worried about her. Was she okay? Why hadn’t she woken up? He jumped out of bed and hurried out of the room. He was about to turn the handle of their bedroom door when he heard her sniffing and mumbling some words. She was praying. He wondered why she wasn’t going to the office but then he decided to let her be. Disappointment was an understatement for how he felt. He felt betrayed by her and wondered on how selfish she could really be.
“Damola,” She said, walking into the kitchen where he was sitting having breakfast. The time was almost 7am and she knew he would be set for work.
He turned to look at her. He didn’t say a word. She was wearing her Minions pajamas. Strands of her hair stood out and her eyes looked terribly swollen.
“Baby please why won’t you speak to me? We vowed never to sleep in separate rooms no matter what and we vowed to settle all our problems within twenty four hours. Why are you doing this to me, Damola? Please…” She said, her voice croaking in the midst of tears.
He still did not say anything. She moved closer to him and held his shoulders but he wriggled away and stood up.
“You’re saying this because it’s you who has done wrong. When I asked you to resign, did you sleep in our bed? You slept at a hotel, Ite. When you decided to terminate our baby…did you sleep here? How am I even sure it’s…” He hesitated. He did away with what he was going to say and ran his hand over his head.
“Damola, how can you even think that? How? That it’s not your baby? Damola please just hear me out, I beg you. Just give me a few minutes to explain everything to you.” She sobbed.
“Explain what? Seriously what could you possibly have to say?” He threw his hand in the air.
“I…it wasn’t…I…It was Timi…” She couldn’t get her words straight.
“Okay. You want a chance to explain? Here you go. Answer my question. Did you or did you not go for an abortion at the hospital?” He asked.
She sniffed. This time, she was the one running her hand over her head.
“I need to explain in details to you…before we went there…”
“Madam! Please answer my question. Did you or did you not go for the abortion?” He raised his voice so high that she shrieked with fear. She wept on and on. Damola shook his head and grabbed his laptop bag, storming out of the house in anger.
Ite watched as her husband left and she couldn’t help but get scared at the thought that he might never come back to the house. How could Timi do this to her? Timi was supposed to be her bestfriend! How could she? She hurried into the bedroom and took a quick shower then she grabbed a vest and jeans. She didn’t care for makeup or perfume at the time. Her brain and body were pointing to only one thing…Timilehin.
She was looking for the key to her car when she heard the phone vibrate. It wasn’t her phone. Her phone was in her pocket. She tried to trace where the sound was coming from and then she saw it. Damola’s phone. He had forgotten it on the worktable when he stormed out of the house. The call was from an unknown number. She wanted to answer the call but then again she didn’t think it was the best thing to do. Then she saw it. Eight new messages. She wanted to throw the phone in her bag and take it to him at his office but she thought about what cropped on her mind. She wasn’t one to snoop…but she needed to know if Damola was maybe already making arrangements to leave her. Maybe there was another woman. Just maybe.
She unlocked his phone. The password was her date of birth. Then she saw the endless messages. From Timilily. That was his alias for Timilehin and Ite had always thought it was funny especially as Timi had warned him to stick to Timilehin or Timi for short.
His entire message list was from Timilily. Her heart stomped harder and faster. She couldn’t believe this. What in the world was going on? Why were there so many messages? She opened the most recent.
Hey darling good morning. Did you have a great night? Guess who I dreamt of? Yes you.
She opened the next.
I made breakfast. Akara and Ogi. Remember when I made it for you during my NYSC days and you said I was your personal Iya Basira. Lol!
Then the next two messages.
I wish I had carried your baby. I would never even think of terminating it because it would be an honour.
I miss your hands on my skin…
Ite lost it. She felt her blood rush with endless rage. Was her husband having an affair with her bestfriend! Was that why Timi had stopped calling her as frequent as before. So many thoughts ran through her stressed out brain. She wanted to drive down to Timi’s office immediately. She didn’t even know whom to confront first…Timi or Damola. She went to his sent items. There were no responses to Timi. She laughed, shaking her head. Smart man. He had deleted everything.
She hurried into her car and reversed without caution as she headed for Lekki Phase 1.
She brushed her hair one last time then she adjusted the fit of her bra. She was good to go. She went to the kitchen and grabbed the basket of jollof rice and chicken that she had prepared for him. She didn’t want him going to restaurants all the time. a good wife needed to take care of her man and to also be prudent. Those were part of the qualities of the Proverbs 31 woman. She picked up her umbrella just in case it rained.
The traffic from Jakande was quite heavy so she had delayed a bit but still, she arrived his office right in time. By her watch, it was 11.49am. His lunch break was from 12.15pm. She tried to call him but he kept on rejecting the call. Maybe she had sent too many messages. Maybe he was beginning to feel harassed. But she couldn’t help it. Love was to blame.
Damola wondered why he couldn’t find his phone. He knew he would have a lot of missed calls on it. He had tried to dial his number with a colleague’s but no one picked it up. He wasn’t exactly sure if he had taken it out of the house that morning. The whole event at home had destabilized him such that he even almost had an accident on his way to work. Probably the phone had fallen under his car seat. As soon as it was 12, he hurried out of his office to check the car. Besides he also needed to get something to eat.
Timi saw him as he approached his SUV. She looked at her watch. That was unusual. How come he was going early for lunch. Or was he meeting someone? The other day she had seen the way his female colleague gave him a hug before he left for home. Was he meeting a woman up for lunch? She hissed. He was a good looking man and she understood that many women would not be able to help themselves over him.
He had pulled back the car seat and was checking underneath and beside it when he felt a hand on his bottom. He jolted immediately, pushing the person in the process. She staggered a little but caught her balance.
“Good afternoon, Damola.” Timi said, smiling.
“Are you….Timi! Are you crazy?” He started to yell but lowered his voice.
People had started to come out of the office building to grab a bite. Besides the company drivers and other staff were gathered outside the gate. He hissed in anger. They had probably seen what she did.
“Don’t talk to me like that now.” She said.
“Timilehin what are you doing here? For God’s sake I have explained to you that I am not down with these games you’re playing. All you can be is my friend. I can’t….this is just extreme, please.” He said.
“I brought my husband lunch.” She smiled, holding up the basket covered with a blue checkered napkin.
“I am not your husband. You’re beginning to take this too far.”
“You are my husband!” She yelled. “You said you would marry me that day at my apartment. Can’t you think of everything I have sacrificed for you. Look at my arm, Damola.” She held up her arm. The one she had pierced with a razor. It was covered with plaster and wool all the way to her elbow.
“I am not, Timi. What do you want me to do?! Why me?” He shook his head.
She parked her car and hurried out of it, forgetting to press the lock button. She had spotted them. The cheats. Damola and Timilehin. She started to run towards them. She didn’t know what she was going to say but she had to be there. She still couldn’t believe what she saw. She had actually thought for a second on her drive down there that perhaps Damola was clean but now, she had seen it with her own eyes. She had seen Timi touch her husband’s butt!
“Well done! Bravo! You have done well! She now touches your behind abi!” Ite clapped her hands, looking at Damola. He was surprised to see her. So was Timi. Ite was livid, crazier than Damola had ever seen her.
“Ite…” Damola stuttered. “Please let me explain. It’s not what it seems…”
She laughed throwing her hands up and her head back.
“Oh really? Like you heard me out this morning and before right? God, Damola, you are a damn cheat! And you had the guts to accuse me!” She yelled some more. She reached for his shoulder and pushed him. Timi tried to stop her.
“Please leave him alone. Don’t push him like that.” Timi said.
Ite stopped for a moment, then she turned to face Timi.
“O dabi pe o tin ya were abi? (It seems you are running mad.) Are you a fool? You deceived me! So you were having an affair with my husband that’s why you told me to have an abortion! And you, Damola. Here is your damn phone. You have a billion messages from this slimy slut!” She threw his phone in his chest.
“You need to be calm, okay. I know this is not the easiest thing for you to do or accept but Ite, we have been together since about four years. Before you guys ever met. He has been looking for how to tell you everything but he didn’t wanna hurt you…”
Ite couldn’t take it again. She grabbed Timi’s neck and started to hit her without control of her self.
Damola hurried and held his wife's waist, pulling her away.
“Let go of me, you bastard! Let me go!” Ite burst out crying. “Let me go…Damola!”
Damola held on to her, refusing to let go.
A crowd had started to form and people had started to make small talk.
“I am not the other woman, Ite. You are. Its difficult to accept but…please. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen and its not me. This is God ordained.” Timi said softly.
Ite tried to free herself from Damola’s grip. He was holding her too tight.
“He doesn’t know how to tell you…he doesn’t love you. Look at this!” Timi continued, showing Ite her ring on her left hand.
“Put me down! Put me down Damola!” Ite screamed.
A bigger crowd had formed and Damola knew he couldn’t go back into the office. He carried his wife and put her in the back seat of his car, then he got in the driver seat and drove off immediately.
Timi hissed in anger. She couldn’t believe that he had left her standing there like a fool in the midst of all those people. He had left her alone. He had chosen Ite. He had thrown her love right back in her face. And she did not like it.
“Please just calm and listen to me.” Damola said. They were sitting in a hotel room. Damola had locked the door and put the key in his pocket in case she went over the top and walked out.
“Ite, listen to me. Please.” He said for the umpteenth time. She was getting tired from all the yelling and fighting. She had calmed down a bit and was now sitting in a couch.
“I have nothing to do with Timi. She is…she is crazy.” He started.
“I have never known her to be crazy and she has been my best friend since teenage years. There’s something you aren’t telling me.”
“She came on to me. She said she had a vision from God since when we met and that God told her that I am her husband. She sent me a message the night I proposed to you…”
Ite shot him a sharp look.
“What?!” She gasped.
“Ite, I have nothing to do with her. She started getting crazy about this vision. I went over to her house and I told her that I couldn’t be with her because I am with you. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. She hurt herself with a razor and I had to get her to the hospital. She refused to stop harming herself unless I told her I would marry her.”
“And you did.” Ite said, raising an eyebrow not on fleek.
He nodded again.
“But I can't possibly do that. Ite believe me.” He said.
“Hmmm. I read her texts!”
“I never replied any of them. I just told you she is crazy. She bought a ring and told people I proposed to her. Ify your friend was the one who told me.”
"What? Ify knew? And she never told me?" Ite shook her head, feeling betrayed by everyone she held dear. She crossed her arms over her chest.
“Damola this has been going on before we even got married! And you never thought it fit to tell me. I am your wife! God, she’s crazy. Does she think you would really leave me?”
He sat on the bed in the hotel room. Then what he said shook her world to the very end and melted all the anger and betrayal she was feeling.
“Ite, I don’t know about that yet. With this whole abortion thing…”
She hurried over to him and went on her knees, holding his legs.
“Damola…what are you saying?” Her voice started to tremble.
“Everything. Your job, you don’t place me first, your selfishness…how am I sure we can still have babies? Ite…I just need some space and some time apart.” Damola said.
“I…Damola I’m sorry. I have resigned! I quit.” She said. He was taken aback.
“I’ll explain later but I quit. I left! And more importantly I did not abort the pregnancy.” She said.
She sobbed, still holding on to his legs.
“Timi said it was a good idea to terminate the baby. We went over to the hospital. She…she said the doctor was a personal friend she had met sometime ago. She wasn’t in the theatre with me, Damola. She wasn’t. I got scared and I told the doctor that I needed some time to catch my breath. I told him to give me a few minutes and I felt I needed to pray. Ofcourse God wouldn’t tell me to abort a baby but I just needed some sanity and balance. I stepped out for a bit and my mom’s call came through. Oh God…” Tears streamed down her face.
Damola had pulled her up to sit with him on the bed but she remained on her knees.
“Mom called me and asked where I was. I told her I was at work. Then she said she had a bad dream about me and that she wanted to pray for me and that I would live long and bear great children that would do good in the land of the living. Those were her exact words. Damola…I felt maybe that was God speaking to me through her. I went back inside and told the doctor that I didn’t want to go through with it anymore. I paid him nevertheless. I asked him not to tell Timi and that was just because I didn’t want her to pressurize me into going back. She seemed so anxious when I said I was going to terminate it. I had no idea she had her crazy head wrapped around my husband!”
“Damola please, I beg you. I am sorry. I’ll take a job closer to the house and something less tasking. I can’t choose my job over you. It’s not even worth it. I am sorry. I love you entirely and I’ll never compromise that, baby…”
Her husband hadn’t heard anything else, other than the news that his once terminated baby was no longer terminated.
By the time they got back to the front of Damola’s office so that Ite could pick up her car, they discovered that the four tires had been slashed.
Ite didn’t have to ask her husband who was responsible for the act.
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*Rollercoaster Episode 8