It literally took her breath away. She couldn’t believe it, completely astonishned. Lanre smiled in a demure yet confident way as he watched her revel at the sight of the new house at Northern Foreshore. The décor was apt. And the kitchen…it was exactly the way Lolade loved it to be- Spacious! She screamed and ran over to him. He lifted her and she rested her weight on his waist.
“Do you love it?” He asked.
“Are you joking, Lanny? I love love love this place! It’s so…homely already. And the neigbourhood too. It’s splendid.” She smiled.
“Told you I meant business.” He laughed, kissing her.
He loved it when she said Lanny.
He popped the champagne and filled their glasses.
"A toast to Lanny and Lolly." He smiled, kissing her nose.
She laughed, shaking her head.
"No body in my generation calls me Lolly."
He stared at her as she walked out of the bathroom. She had wrapped a towel round her body. He patted the side of the bed where she had been laying a while ago.
“Again?” She said.
“Yes, again.” He said.
He pulled her hand as she got closer to the bed and started to kiss her again but she retreated.
“What is it, Lolade?” Lanre asked, sighing.
She sighed too, raising her shoulders.
“Are you sure your wife doesn’t know this place. I just think she will trace us here.” She said.
He was silent for a while.
“Okay, so what if she does? It’s your house! I am your man.” He yelled.
“But we are not married.” She said.
He ran his hand over his head. He usually did that when he was confused or in thought.
“I am still on with the divorce, Lolade. I can’t contract a marriage with you while I haven’t dissolved the other. You should know better.” He snapped.
She eye balled him and hissed. Sometimes, she failed to remember that the man was nineteen years older than she was.
Lanre never complained.
He often said that the elder who wanted the child’s cookie had to relinquish all rights to respect and Lolade always teased him by calling him agbaya. He did not mind, as long as she satisfied him.
“I told you that I am ready to meet your folks. You…” He started.
“And I said no! You can’t meet my mom. She… she’s got some issues.” Lolade said underneath her breath.
“He’s dead.” She said, her tone flat.
She got off the bed and grabbed her house coat.
“I’ll be downstairs.” She said.
Nike hissed as the power was interrupted again…for the third time in an hour. She waited for about five minutes for the generator of the building to come on. Ten minutes, nothing had happened so she dialed the security man downstairs who informed her that they had not been able to get diesel due to the fuel scarcity because one union was on strike. She hissed again and looked at her phone screen. The time was eight thirty p.m already. Her staff had shut down since 5 o’ clock. She had actually not realized how late it was getting. Maybe it was because she was fast getting used to it.
Every day for three months, precisely since Lanre had moved out of their house, she had been hiding behind the screen of her computer. She was a courageous woman but her timidity outdid whatever iota of bravery she had left in her. She didn’t have the audacity to come to terms with the fact that she was now single…and lonely.
The inverter came on in a few minutes. She pushed her nude court shoes aside and walked towards the huge mirror that hung on the wall in her office. She looked at her own reflection for about 194 seconds. She started to notice the weariness in her eyes…and the bags that followed suit beneath them. She knew she had not been sleeping well. She had tried to take Valium but her insomnia seemed undefeatable.
She missed her boys…Lade and Lekan. They were the only gains she could boast of from her marriage to Lanre. No one had told them about the divorce processes yet. Just that morning, Lekan, her ten year old had called to say that he wanted to come home for Summer. Nike had lied to him that she would not be home because she had to be in Dubai for a summit and daddy had to be in Japan. All her son had said was “ok mom. Whatever you say.”
His words broke her heart. But how would she face them and announce that she was leaving their father. No. That their father had left her for a twenty three year old girl.
Lanre had been the love of her life. She had met him when she turned twenty…precisely at her birthday party at Elephant and Castle in London. He had come with a friend who happened to be Nike’s family friend as well. One thing had led to the other and they had found out that their parents were in the same social circle and associations.
He had asked her to marry him when she turned twenty four. She had been exceptionally excited and said yes without hesitating. It had been the best birthday present ever. Her parents loved him and in a few months, they had the grand big wedding and were featured in trending magazines and papers. The following year she gave birth to Lade and two years after, Lekan came along. And Lanre had loved her even more for giving him his two awesome soldiers. He literally worshipped the ground she walked on.
She still did not know what went wrong. She couldn’t place a finger on it. They decided to have the boys school in Canada because they had been born there. They had a house in Toronto and Nike’s younger sister also lived there with her husband. Lanre had said it was for the best because of his and Nike’s busy schedules, plus the boys would get a better standard of education. They visited the kids three times in a year and as a rule, the boys came over every Christmas and every other summer. It had been three years since the boys had come home. Nike knew it was for the best. She did not want them to see the way in which their father had begun to treat her.
The first time she had really noticed something was when he started to avoid coming home. He always claimed it was work. And he always had to be in South Africa today Germany tomorrow. Nike had over looked that for a while until one night when he came home drunk. The last time she had seen him drunk was when they had been dating and young and wild and restless. She had confronted him and he had lashed out at her. Then he started to skip nights at home. Then he started to ignore her phone calls.
She had told her close friend, Toju about it and Toju had insisted that there was another girl involved. Toju said her husband had done the same thing and because she would not take the insult, she decided to move out of the house. Nike did not want to move out of the house. She still loved her husband. He was the love of her life. So she had done the right thing and confronted him one day over dinner. He flared up and became exceedingly defensive. She wanted to plead with him. But she was better than that. She was Adewale Ajayi-Cresley OON’s daughter. She loved him but she wasn’t a low-life to be treated with such disrespect.
Two weeks after seeking advice from her pastor’s wife, she had gone on her knees and pleaded with him to forgive her for whatever she had done and assured him that she was ready to make things change. He had apologized too and told her he was sorry. But three days after, he informed her that he did not know what was wrong because he had lost the spark.
Nike did not understand what he meant by losing the spark. They were still a relatively young couple. What spark? He had suggested they saw a therapist or a marriage counselor but Nike did not want that because they were public figures and her father would be upset if word got out that they were having problems in their marriage.
Thursday evening was the day she came home after her trip to Canada to see the boys. She hadn’t informed Lanre that she would be returning that early. Well, they rarely communicated anyways. She knew she had tried and indeed she was tired of trying to make it work with someone who had allegedly lost the spark in their marriage. She doubted if he would be home because he rarely was. She had changed her ticket actually because she had to attend to something at the office two days before her travel date back to Nigeria.
Her driver had picked her up at the airport and brought her home. She had called Lanre earlier but his phone was switched off. Getting home, she noticed his Range Rover in the house. His other cars were usually home except on weekends. She gave the driver some money to have a nice time and released him then she went into the home.
The door was not shut. It was slightly open. That is, the door to her bedroom; their bedroom.
Lanre was on the bed, on his knees. His hands were tied to each side of it with his silk ties…one of them was the one Lade had bought him for father’s day.
He was naked. His bare buttocks were red and patched in discoloration. She could tell. He was very light skinned. His mother was white.
He was screaming in a synthesis of pleasure and pain. His conqueror was holding a belt…the Hilfiger one Nike had gotten him on their anniversary. Nike winced as the buckle of the belt hit her husband’s butt. Then the girl climbed on the bed and stood on him, each foot on his calves…in her green high heels. Lanre screamed again, asking her to put more pressure.
“Jesus! Oh Jesus!” Nike screamed, throwing her bags on the floor. She couldn't hold back. Her eyes were wide open in shock. That was the last thing she expected to behold.
The girl, Lanre's conqueror lost balance as she turned around in shock. She fell to the floor, naked. Lanre turned around and couldn’t find his speech. His hands were still tied to the bed.
"Nikky...Nike" He started to speak. The girl on the floor grabbed the duvet and covered her self.
“You disgust me Lanre Akingbile!” Nike screamed again and grabbed her phone, running down the staircase.
Tears ran down her face as the entire event ran through her mind again. She didn’t know if she could ever forgive him for what he had done. Was that the spark he wanted? Cruelty?
She loved him, despite everything. He was the love of her life and he was the father of her two soldiers.
She finally agreed to see a therapist and make things work but Lanre had become worse. And then, one day, he had moved out of their house; their home. Then he had initiated divorce processes against her. Their family members had intervened and tried to plead with him. Even her father had come all the way from London to have a chat with him but her husband was a dead end. His mind was made up.
Nike reached for her phone. It had been three months but she knew she still wanted this to work. She had even called his new muse once.
The girl’s name was Lolade. She was a lawyer.
She had offered to give her six million Naira but the girl had refused and said she was in love with Lanre.
The past weekend, Toju had driven her to the make up studio at Ikota shopping complex where Lanre had gotten for the girl. Toju had pushed Nike to confront her but Nike hesitated. She couldn’t face her. She knew she would break down in tears. She couldn’t confront her physically. She just couldn’t. Toju had hissed and gone inside the studio to do the work but the Lolade was not in. Her girls said she had gone for a wedding. But Toju had made her mark. She had yelled and cursed and informed all the staff doing facebeats and the facebeatees of how the Madam had snatched someone’s husband and was living with a married man. Ofcourse Lanre had heard about it. He had called her and warned her not to interfere in his new relationship.
Nike was sitting on the carpet now. In her hand was a bottle of Rum. She knew she couldn’t drive home and she had asked her driver to leave already. The time was ten minutes past ten. The inverter had run its course and PHCN had still not restored power. She couldn’t stay in the office. She had to go home. She turned on the flashlight of her phone, grabbed her purse and car keys and somehow remembered to disconnect the charger of her computer from the switch. Her office was on the sixth floor. The elevator was out because of the power outage so she took the staircase in the dark, clinging to the banister.
The Maximo bottle slipped out of her feeble grasp and was the first to come crashing, pouring its strong content on the tiled stairs, followed by the shattering of the glass bottle into different pieces that could not be put back together.
The security man’s brother, Akpan had been the one to find her first where she tumbled on the stairs. Her purse was at the landing of the stairs on the fifth floor with the contents scattered all over. One of the shattered pieces of the rum bottle had pierced her hand; the left one, where she still had her diamond ring on.
“Abasi Mbok!” Akpan had yelled as he dialed his brother’s number for help.
*please read, comment and share!
*Apologies for adult content.
*Episode 3 Before Our Eyes