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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Saturday, 22 October 2016

97 Wives Eight Divorces And A Whole Lot Of Mess


    Dangling unripe and without strife, for all to see, like two mangoes on a Fruitful tree. Out union is a dream, a fusion so supreme, merged by love or convenience, it's the thought that counts. Two beings forged by time and formed high and wide, to prove to the world their love works. Or to escape from a place that lost cause? The reason makes a lot of sense or none at all. So, when you are one of one hundred and seven wives. You make history as the one that stayed or the one that escaped. The description of my experience can only be seen, felt and voiced out by me. Although, the pair of one hundred and one in-laws plus, makes making this work, a living nightmare or a crazy lifetime adventure. Should I tell you which it is?
        Oh well, I can't. Because this is not my friends story or mine. Although, I have cited this as an example to Celine. I do not want a single lady's experience to guide her, like mine. The logical thing to do is to point out, an almost impossible marriage situation.
 Does she buy any of it?
'Ade, I am telling you his ex wife is back in the picture and you are telling me about some random guy with an infinite number of wives'
'One hundred and seven, to be precise'
    I say with a giggle. I was laughing because, I was in shock and trying to gather my thoughts carefully.
'Also, I think we all take life too seriously. If they can make it work, shouldn't we?'
'Abeg leaf story. I am sure, some are ignored and like it that way. This babe, can not be ignored'
'Celine, I know. But, I feel like there is more to this story. Didn't you say, his wife the mother of his kids died?'
'This is another woman'
   From where now? What is all this, why did Celine not say anything before now?
'Tell me again, about this woman'
      Really, how come I don't know this gist?
'Ade, so you were not listening'
'No vex, it's my by-force-friendship driving me nuts'
 I spin on my bed and adjust the screen of my laptop.
'You and Nnoye are now friends?'
'Talking at least, but I have threatened to sue and press charges. If she ever tries it again, and Henrik's idea of having dogs sounds appealing all of a sudden'
'Ade, don't be childish'
    I was laughing and she was not.
'Okay ooo. Don't mind me, tell me about this mystery woman'
'He married her, to get papers'
'For where?'
  It was a rhetorical question in pigeon English but it's aim was lost.
'But he is based in France and French'
'He wanted to start a business there and she had leverage'
'Plenty dough, so Pierre was once poor'
'Not poor, looking for more or better opportunities'
  She put up a shield, a defense mechanism, to make him look good. And I was distracted enough by my own problems, to make such a stupid comment about her man. Eyeing me with angry eyes, that quickly softened as Celine continued to tell me about her unique predicament.
'Apperently, she was his first love but the parents didn't approve'
'Why not?'
'They had her set to marry into some royal blood or something like that'
'It's not true'
    It sounds all, soap opera-ish to me I think. Celine was picking up on my, I'm not buying this story vibes. So she tried not to sound as gullible as I think she is right now.
'Exactly, it all sounds like excuses to me'
 But I am her friend and I have to try to see this mess, from her point if view.
'So, wetin come concern you and this woman now?'
'They never divorced and he declared her dead'
'Why? Celine, I swear, it all sounds very Telenovela to me'
  There was no need to hide my feelings, so I started to buttress more, of what was on my mind.
'Ade, wait and hear the rest now'
'Oya, Celine talk, talk let me hear'
'They were... Errr'
   My dear friend was scratching her head and started biting her fingers. I did not like how and where this was going, why was Celine hesitating?
'They were high, a lot'
'Not, Pierre. He would never'
 I think I sound unconvinced but she did not pick up on any of it.
'Late teen Pierre was floating one of those underground clubs with pills and drugs'
'He was a drug dealer?'
   Now I am afraid for my friend, what kind of trouble is this?
'No, a party addict with friends into drugs. He said he knew but looked away and eventually got out'
    I exhaled hard, all this news was exhausting.
'So, what is going to happen, now, this minute?'
'He is trying to get it annulled and she is trying to come back'
  I replay every information she has coughed out and one makes the least sense to me, so I ask.
'Why did he think she was dead?'
'Plenty overdose and plenty near death experience'
'Why would she want him now?'
   I hit my forehead, another stupid question. Pierre is now a top French designer, who brought club wear to the fashion runway and made it chic. My dear friend, has her own, different opinion.
'The parents want her to settle down and regret not supporting their union'
'With all the drugs?'
'No, their parents didn't know, they suspected but...'
'Celine, don't make excuses for them, she is after his money and fame'
'I know ah, and I'm angry'
'I'm confused, Celine what next?'
'She wants to declare his dead wife's union null and void. And mine impossible'
  Celine was massaging her forehead and running her fingers through her own natural afro hair. She was tensed up and under a lot of stress.
'I reject it in Jesus name'
'Amen oooo'
'So, what is he doing?'
'His lawyers, are working on it and even her parents thought she was dead for seven year's or fourteen. I've lost count'
'Does Pierre want her back?'
'No way, I suspect she is still using'
'My goodness, if he's an addict or was an addict. This is not good'
'There's a restraining order to keep her away from me and the kids'
'So, the koko is, will your Wedding take place?'
'That is the question and I have, no Idea how it will all end'
       The silence that ensues, is scary and of all the worse scenarios I have imagined. This could never have come up.
'Have you told Ajoke?'
'Once she gets back from her honeymoon, not before. I beg'
 Celine rubbed both flat hands together and I nod my head and agree. It sounds like a mixture of warnings and I understand why. She needs time to think, without judgement from any of us. I was not as opinionated as Ajoke, so she could talk to me. But no matter what, she would have to make a choice and face the consequences.

  Sweet sunny Saturday, the results are in. Okay, I forgot to tell you what happened at the doctor's office. Well, let me update you.
  I had a major panic attack, passed out and woke up with the doctor asking me questions. In my state of confusion, watched Henrik for about a minute and then watched him wave the paper at me. I think he repeated what he just said.
'Sorry doctor, my love... I panicked', i said apologizing to the doctor and my fiance.
'You need to take it easy'
 The doctor was checking my pulse, my eyes and temperature. As if suspecting something else was wrong with me.
 I nod my head and sit up, I'm embarrassed and giggle a little. The slight headache made me stop.
'Im fine, Am I?'
  I wanted to know and both men shake their heads. I was relieved and  breath in deeply. And ask clearly, I don't want my confusion to get my information mixed up.
'So doctor, I am negative?'
'Yes, you are HIV free'
 I fall back into the hospital bed and hug the result and laugh. Yes, say it. I am such a scary cat, I lift my hands and squeezed Henrik's and kiss it. I don't know why but I did. Everything is on track now, nothing can stop my wedding.

  Usually, on Saturday's I hang with Henrik or with my two closest friends, go out and just have fun. But today is different, I promised the Almighty, that I would attend a church program and give to charity.
  I am sure you are wondering why I was worried, even though I am abstaining from sex. Well before now, I wasn't. And I was dating a man I later found out, had at least eight sexual partners, including my former bestfriend Khadijatu. And I know she dated at least two men. Also, half of Frank's side chicks were married. So I had every reason to be afraid. I tested myself, after and took a vow to be celibate. But sometimes, there's a false negative or positive. It's best to check again and I am happy I am clean.
   Oh and Henrik too and as Ajoke advised, i have a medical file proving that I am.
Not because I don't trust Henrik, but something she said made me cringe. Her poor cousin was accused of infecting her abuser. A test confirmed the virus was in him, long before he infected her. The poor girl, but she is married now and has two HIV free children. Thank God for technology and modern medicine.
  Speaking of the Almighty, I made a verbal promise to him. I prayed and begged and swore if I was free, that I would go to church. The only person in my life, close to me who still does regularly, is my mum. I pick up my phone to call her and she is calling me. Talk about familial bonds, eh.
'Mummy, Eka a ro ma'
'Ka ro, omo mi. Ba wo no, sho sun daa da?'
'I slept well mummy, what about daddy?'
'Your dad is fine. How is Henrik?'
'Eh Hehn, I said I should tell you. Aren't you two going to come to church for counseling?'
 I asked my mum, feigning ignorance.
'You and Henrik need counseling'
'Since when?'
'Ade, you need guidance'
'Mummy, I have you and daddy'
'I married your dad when I was eighteen, defied everyone and had a very rough patch. Counseling would have helped'
'Henrik and I don't...'
'Talk to him'
'Mummy, what will work will work'
'Are you angry with God?'
'Mummy, why will you say that?'
 Very odd question coming from her, I wonder why?
'Because I know you, and as far as your father is concerned. You are atheist'
 I rolled my eyes at her, as if I was in front of her. Annoyed by his fanatism and her blatant support of it.
'Tell daddy to stop telling people that, I don't believe in God. Because, I don't go to church every Sunday'
  Did she listen? For where? She continues with her words, defending her husband and her beliefs.
'But you don't fellowship with him'
'I pray and after all, the prayer of a sinner is an abomination...'
'Have you broken your vow of abstaining?'
  Now, that shocked me and shut me up at the same time. How on earth did my mother know? My silly brothers talk too much, I'm sure my sister would not reveal that kind of secret.
'My dear, keep yourself for as long as you can'
  Wait o, did I just hear right? My mum still thinks I'm a virgin. I chuckled with the phone away from my face of course. But then again, abstaining is like become one all over again. It's good my brother's didn't give out my secrets. They would have heard plenty from me.
'So, your favorite Aunt has hee Ikore today'
 That's thanks giving and an opportunity for me to give thanks for keeping me HIV free.
'So you are not going to be in your church?'
  I was hoping it would be in her Pentecostal church, without the drama of my Aunt's church.
'Your Aunt wants you there, please come'
 I was frowning, because of the mere mention of my nosy Aunt. But then again, what harm was there?
'Okay mum'
'Bring Henrik'
'Henrik is in Port Harcourt'
 I lied point blank. I don't want it to be an opportunity to see vision about me and my marriage. I will take head on, any challenges I face. No one is going to hijack my future and twist it all up. Like they did to my mum and dad's. It's a miracle they survived all the witch branding, emere catching and future foretelling crap.
 You can tell that I don't believe in visions, right? I believe they hijack your life and force you to try to fit your life into it. This was not going to be good.

  A road trip is exactly what I need, to watch nature untouched. To drive past people's home, untouched, unadulterated by the need to catch up with modern amenities and be completely happy.
 I had my car keys in my hands and I'm ready to go, when I hear a car drive into the compound. Henrik can't be back from his meeting and I'm not expecting anyone.
 The door swings open and then I see her and we scream and hug and jump up and down. God knows I missed her so much.
'Ajoke why didn't you tell me you weee back from your honeymoon?'
 My friend is really back and excited to update me. And the surprise is a nice one, but I am dressed and ready to drive to my mum's house to pick her up.
'My driver will take us'
  She announced and tells me about everything. I laugh and enjoy it all as I munch on Malteasers, she had for us to munch on. It's been a while I tasted them.
'Celine is ignoring me, tell me what you know'
'It's a white garment church we are going to'
'My mum attends, why are you stalling?'
'Did you get me shoes, because I need them'
'I got you a full suitcase of shoes and another of clothes. We will open them, when I get back'
 I was placing my hands in the babies palm and loving how they grabbed them.
'Hassana and Hussain look so cute'
  I missed the twins a lot and made baby sounds at them, loving their adorable smiles.
'Celine said you should not tell me right?'
 I ignore her.
'Mr. H and Baratu are getting married'
 I look at Ajoke.
'Celine said I should not tell you'
 The news did not go down well.
'She is carrying his child, so it makes sense'
 I said, boiling. Not because of the news but because Celine kept it from me. Two can play this game, you know.
'It's Pierre and another woman, right?'
'His first wife'
'The mother of his kids?'
'He was married before?'
  Surprise, surprise. The entire world has so many secrets and not many remain hidden.
'She wants to get his second marriage annulled and stop him from marrying Celine'
'That is too much'
'I know'
'But, why will Celine want to hide something like that? It's not a big deal'
'Pierre was an addict and had a club where drugs ....'
'No way'
'Celine should end it'
  I had a feeling that there was more to this story.
'Celine has dated a Pierre before'
  Ajoke exhaled and throws her head backwards.
'How? When?'
'In the university, an underground strip club owner at bar beach'
'She went with a university club chief she was dating...'
'...Celine was in a club in school?'
'... Automatic membership for mixed race girls'
'Are you for real?'
 This was news to me.
'And pretty girls like you, I'm sure you got invited a lot'
'Yes, but my boyfriend was insecure and too quiet. He hated clubs and well made me not to go'
'You still sound better'
'No, just would have liked that in my memory bank's
 I said pruning. Ajoke slapped me lightly.
'Let me finish my gist, that's how she met Mike'
'He owned the underground club outside school for grown ups. Shaa, Mike collected her from the club chief and spoiled her rotten. She sold the clothes she made, expensive to him for his girls. Then got addicted'
'To what?'
'For real?'
'She lost a year in school and another to rehab'
'You knew Celine back then?'
'I heard about her back then, it was one guy I dated that ran into us that told me. Celine was embarrassed and made me promise not to tell a sole'
'But you are telling me'
'...Because once an addict..'
'Celine wouldn't'
'Stress could push her back'
  The car parks and my mum and Aunt get into the car. They have been waiting at the gate for us.
'Ajoke, when did you get back from your honeymoon?'
'And you came to see my niece'
 My Aunt said, holding on to the information. The women gush over the twins as the car revs off.
 I am just try to digest all I have been told.
   The drive there took four hours and it was shocking to see that Ogun state was not that close. Staring at the old homes lining the streets and thick forests made me think deeply about Celine's predicament.
   The church service was beautiful and all the perfume and lit candles made it all heavenly. They passed around sugar and honey and blessed water and were as intense as I remembered.
 There was no compulsion and no visions that scared me. It was all blessings and prayers. Although, I missed wearing my shoes, I watched my toes and wiggled them.
  The head woli, danced and spun around and marched towards us and stopped. He started talking, foretelling and speaking.
'There's is someone here, the first wife is back from the dead and ready to destroy everything. Pray for strength not to backslide, fast and pray, so that you will not relapse and be lost for another two years'
 Ajoke looked at me and I looked at her, she rocked her babies steadily and intensely.
 Then people stepped out for prayers and I could not move. I was in shock and scared.
'Come and see me or the wrath of God will multiply the tribulation time. Stand up now, stand for your friend, stand for your sister, stand for who you claim to love'
   The prophet was staring at me and Ajoke dug her nails into my arm.

 You see why I don't like spiritual churches, they always somehow know what's happening and it's scary.

  Right now, I don't know what to do. What am I supposed to do?

**Season 1, Episode 77**

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Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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