Who wouldn’t be miffed?
A husband you have married for over forty years!
A man you had committed your whole life to
The father of your children
A man you married at the age of 22
Your own man!
How come she never even suspected him?
Not even for a minute?
Was it even possible?
Was it a joke? A prank?
Was she getting upset over nothing?
Of course not!
As a woman, her instincts were on full alert
Her husband was up to something!
When she got home that night
She called her children
She told the married one who lived about 30 minutes drive away to come home for an emergency meeting
She called the other two, both single and still living under her roof to return home for an emergency meeting by 8pm
They all got home on time for the meeting
She had just served her husband his dinner and waited for him to be done with his meal before broaching the topic with him
She approached her husband at 9pm
She said “I got a strange phone call today from your cousin, the one in Belgium, he told me that he was shocked one of my daughters got married and he was not invited. At first I thought he was joking, I started to explain to him that none of our daughters had gotten married and he took offence! He said he was looking at the pictures on Facebook, the Father of the bride was unmistakable, it was you! He also recognized the bride because she looked so much like you but he couldn’t recognize anybody else!”
At that point I took him seriously and I began to ask him certain questions. He spoke very freely at first but he became cagey and coy as he began to deduce that I was probing him for information. I want to ask you now, before your children, do you have a family apart from this one?
He looked at her, picked the magazine he was reading and walked out of the sitting room
He didn’t even say a word
Not one word!
The children couldn’t believe it!
How could their father not say even a word?
Their mother burst into tears
His reaction had confirmed her fears
She had been married to him for years
She knew his body language, his non-verbal communication
He was guilty!
Their first son’s heart was broken by his mother’s reaction
How could their father do this?
How could their father plot such a dramatic way to send their mother to an early grave?
He went to meet their father in the garden
They had always been best friends, himself and his father
He was hoping they could talk like men
Find a way to handle the mess!
When he got to his father
His father was on a phone call
He was so cheerful!
How could somebody whose wife of forty years was in misery be so relaxed!
His father had never been a callous man
What had come over him?
His father patted the seat beside him, motioning to his son to sit down
He took his time
When he rang off, he turned to his son and said “Your mother has no proof! Don’t be troubled!!!
He didn’t know what to think
Absence of proof does not indicate innocence
His father was practically saying “I did it but you can’t prove it”
“What sort of man would do that?
To his wife of forty years
The mother of his three children”
He couldn’t even say a word
He waited for a while and then he left
He had a good wife and a nine-month-old baby at home
The very next day
His mother called again
She promised she would kill herself and her husband if he does not confess his misdeeds
He took her very seriously
His mother had a fatal streak he was very much aware of
She could do and undo in her state of mind
He rushed home
He saw his mother pacing the floor
Walking frantically and talking to herself
As soon as he got close enough to his mother
His father walked down the stairs
He knew his father had been lurking in the shadows
Waiting for him to arrive so that he would use the opportunity to escape without engaging his mother
The moment his mother wanted to rush at his father
His father bolted for the door
He held his mother, “Mummy please, mummy please” was all he could say
His mother was like a raving loon
Her eyes all red
The hair on her head and body standing erect
He had never seen anything like it
His father never came back home after them
He claimed their mother had lost her marbles and she had become a danger to the society
It drove their mother crazy even more
She couldn’t be convinced he had not relocated permanently to be with his second family
She continued to heave and sigh
She was sure she would kill him if she set her sight on him in one breath
And she would cry and call his name to come home in another breath
She was really tormented by his absence
The children knew where their father was but nobody dare tell their mother the truth
The man was occupying the penthouse of one of his hotels
He claimed he cannot stay at home and simply wait for an unhinged woman to take his life
Anyone who tried to tell their mother this automatically became her enemy
She just couldn’t bear the thought of their father leaving her for an empty room
There must be a woman there
Any woman will do sometimes
But the second wife from the other family was her ultimate consolation
She would curse, swear, cry and speak woe to the day that “husband snatcher” was born
It took three months
Eventually the extended family called a meeting
They wanted to know what was going on
Their mother had done all her investigations
She had it all worked out
She would nail the cheat!
The D-day came
The meeting started
Their father arrived quite early
He was unruffled
Their mother surprisingly comported herself
She didn’t throw any tantrums
The family members came
The head of the family arrived last
He was eighty-six years old
The meeting started
Their mother spoke first
She had gathered evidence
Their father had a factory in Benin
He went there almost every fortnight
That was where he met and married the strange woman
The woman had three children for him
The woman’s first born was a few months younger than her own second child
The illicit affair had been going on for over twenty-three years
The first child of that union got married recently
Her husband was there to give away the bride
He also spent so and so amount at the wedding
Her husband had cheated on her for over twenty years
He had a second family
He had other children
She would like the elders to judge if she had been treated fairly
The elders listened
When it was her father’s turn to speak
He was all smile
He said “I must confess that I have put my family through a lot all in the name of fairness,
I wanted so badly to do the right thing that I found my own neck in a noose of my own making!
Why are we here?
My wife, my own wife, the woman threatening to bring down hell on my head for siring other children with another woman in Benin knows for sure I am not the biological father of my three children!
She thought I would never find out
But I did!
I met my wife through my elder brother
He was the one that promised me heaven and earth if I married her
As you all know my elder brother was a man of means
He was a millionaire by the age of 24
I was just finishing from the university at the time
My wife was his secretary
I fell in love with my wife and married her
But I didn’t know that my elder brother and I were tending the same garden
I travelled to Benin one day and met a beautiful woman
She wanted to be with me
But I was married!
I rushed home to be with my wife
I guess I arrived home too early
I saw her and my elder brother on our bed
She told him she was pregnant with his second child
They both laughed and made plans
I got into the car and drove back to Benin
I also had a ready lap waiting for me
I never made mention of it
Not even to my elder brother
As you know, my elder brother’s marriage didn’t produce any children!
I inherited all he had after he and his wife died tragically in a motor accident five years later
He told me the truth on his death bed
He made me promise that I will treat her and her children as my own
He also included the instruction in his will
I was instructed to hold everything in trust for my brother’s children
And I did
As soon as the first child clocked 25 and the last clocked 21, I handed over their properties to them
I was merely a caretaker
I cared for my brother’s properties in his absence and also for his children
My own family was in Benin
Starved of my presence and affection for this woman and my brother’s children whom I love and consider as my own
God had blessed me too in the course of the last twenty years
I had built my own businesses and God blessed me with a kind woman
So, I gave off my daughter in marriage!
Since when was that a crime?
I had patiently waited for the opportunity to spend time with my wife
I knew if I leave a moment too soon, this selfish woman could harm her and my children
She had grown more and more selfish over the years that all I do is pity her
But now that everything is out in the open, I know my wife and children will be safe”
Nobody said anything afterwards!
His “wife” had suddenly lost the urge to seek redress
She sat there, lost somewhere inside herself
The children were shocked!
The eighty-six-year-old elder waited for like five minutes
He didn’t say anything
He walked slowly back to his car
One by one all the family members left
Only the five of them remained
Their father, legs crossed with a wry smile on his face
The children whose realities were turned upside down in one afternoon and
Their mother whose sudden Peter like tears streamed down like Ikogosi waterfalls
Their mother: So while two of my own children are still unmarried, you were marrying off your own children
Their father: Hahahaha
He: Mummy, shut up!!!! (He didn’t know where it came from, it just came!) He had more respect for his father than ever before! Rarely would one see a brother so faithful!
Any other person would have done everything to keep all the properties to himself and maltreat his unfaithful wife!
His father didn’t do that
He kept the properties for them and he really brought them up as if he was their father
He walked to his father and prostrated “Thank you sir”
His sister followed suit, they knelt down and thanked their father
Their father then did something shocking
He went to their mother and hugged her!
She cried bitterly
He cried too
It was obvious that they really loved each other
She couldn’t imagine life without him
But he was way beyond her reach!
He left later that night!
Ps: He remained their father
They couldn’t see him in any other light
Their mother found a way to cope
It really hurt her to be without him
He came around once in a while
But things were never the same between them
Their mother still couldn’t bring herself to accept his wife and children
This event happened in Akure, Ondo State