Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Quarter Of Our World..... 5

Three days after I got home, I noticed that there was a difference in the house. As if someone was there while I was at the hospital.. I ran up the stairs as much as my now-big-tummy could take me. I was only 20 weeks pregnant but it seemed my baby was trying to punish me for the months I tried covering it. When I got to Jide's room, I didn't notice anything at first but when I looked at his wardrobe closely, I noticed he must have dropped by while I was away to pack a bag. His overnight bag was missing and so were some of his clothes. I didn't know whether to be relieved or sad, but a deep part of me was glad. I called his aunt to tell her what I noticed the next morning and she also informed me she got news that Jide was in Nigeria!
Nigeria? How? When? Why? What if he went to see my parents? What would my father say? What was I to do? Stay back here or go to Nigeria to meet my husband! I was confused, and had no idea what to do. I didn't decide, but I had no choice than to stay back. My pregnancy was having complications, and I had to stay on series of bed rest, and fluids. At 28 weeks however, my mother called me and asked what was going on. They had seen my husband in Nigeria and he hadn't even come to the house. They also heard he had been home for about 2 months now. I then told my mother that my pregnancy was not safe, and my husband and I had been having issues. She said my father was very unhappy about the whole thing and that I should come home as soon as possible to stop the rumours flying around town. I assured her I would be back in 2 weeks. I needed time to pack things I needed and to shop for my baby boy on the way!

When I got to Nigeria, I had to hire a cab and lodge into an hotel. It wasn't wise, but I dared not go home with my bags. I went to visit my parents the next morning and my father as good as ignored me. I pulled my mother aside and summarised what had been going on to her. She told me she was surprised by Jide's actions, but she knew someone that went through worse and her husband turned around with prayers and they now live happily. She then continued by telling me that if the lady had not had patience and be very prayerful, she would have lost her husband. She said she would take me to a church in the morning to see a man of God. I went back to my hotel room suddenly having a very bad feeling. I prayed that night, that nothing should happen to my baby. The next day, I went home and my mum took me to the church. The man of God prayed, said it was the devil that was at work, and asked me to fast for 21 days. I had to tell him I couldn't fast; my pregnancy was scaring me and I couldn't afford to be dehydrated even for a day! My mum shut me up and assured the pastor that I would fast and be very prayerful.

Two weeks went by, and we had been fasting (my mother and I) but I was getting weak and I voiced out my concern. I went to our family hospital, and stopped for a few items on my way back. That was were I came face to face with the object of my fear... Jide was there, with a beautiful woman hanging by his side (not that I give a care about her!) And staring at me like he could strangle me. He strode to me and asked what I was doing in the country. I told him I couldn't have the child alone in the United States, and I had a right to be where my husband was. As soon as the words left my mouth though, I knew I had made a grave mistake. Right in public there, in front of over 30 people, 'his woman', and God; he gave me a resounding slap that made me loose my balance. I was weak, tired, and quite heavy so I just sat on the floor there silently nursing my wounds. A few people came to my rescue and helped me up, some even verbally expressed their displeasure towards Jide's behaviour but I heard none of it. All I could think of was "If the man I call my husband could disrespect me as such in public, then the best thing for me is a divorce". I went back home to tell my parents what had happened. My father would not even listen to reason, he only said over his dead body would I get a divorce and shame him! My mother said I had not been patient and prayerful enough and that she would take be back to the pastor. Only my sister, who was in the conversation via conference call supported my decision.. We went back to the pastor, my mother and I, and he preached about the wrongness of a divorce. He went ahead to tell me that my sin if I divorced my husband would be greater than the sin of that who had committed suicide!. He said to complete the 21 days fast and return for "deliverance".

It's been less than a week, and I'm currently hanging by the thread. I went to my husband's family to plead with them (on my mum's advice and urge), at least to let me give birth my child in their home (as my father cares more about his image than his daughter), I begged n begged that Jide could marry as many wives as he wanted as long as he left me in peace with my child bearing his name. It was as if I had asked for the impossible the way Jide and his mother erupted. His mother kept screaming at me about not wanting her son to be happy with the woman he had loved for years. I wasn't even sure I heard her right, as Jide was determined to manually abort my almost-eight months pregnancy. None of his family members did anything but watch, none of them even tried to stop him. They all seemed to have reached an understanding that what he was doing was the best. His mother did not even cast any pitiful look on me even with the fact that I was carrying her 1st grandson, she just kept screaming about how long Jide has had to wait to marry his girlfriend of 10 years (I haven't even known him that long!). Jide stopped beating me long enough to go get something, and I didn't want to find out what it was. I hurried up, as fast as I could manage, in pains and I knew I may not make it out of the house alive. I dialled the last number on my phone and told my sister I would be dead in less than 2 minutes in Jide's family house. Just as I opened the door to rush out, something hard and painful struck my back and that was the last I remembered.
I woke up about 2 hours ago, yet to see my family, but in enough pain to know the doctors are fighting for my life. I'm being taken into the theatre any moment now to have a caesarian section. My baby is barely 8 months, and I have to bring him out prematurely so he doesn't die due to the impact when I fell unconscious. I have a displaced lumbar disc in my lower spine and will need surgery, that is, if i survive. The doctors have been battling to save my life due to the internal bleeding I suffered. My knee cap will have to be replaced as it is broken, and worst of all, I am weak, too weak to bear all this; too weak to believe I will survive; too weak to even pray for strength!
My family was allowed in to see me, and I saw tears in my father's eyes. I kissed my sister goodbye and gave her a brave smile. My mother prayed for me while trying to remain strong for her family, and my father just stared at me saying sorry with his eyes (almost as if he didn't believe what was going on). I smiled at them, before being rolled into the theatre. I do not blame my parents, and I certainly don't blame my father. They loved me and provided the best for me while growing up. They continued instilling discipline in me, and always wanted the best for me. Who I blame is myself, I should have taken more time to know who I wanted to marry; I should have suspected something was amiss when his attitude towards me changed. I should have stood my ground and let my father know I was old enough to make wise decisions on my own; I should have divorced him when I had the chance, when he first hit me; I should have stayed back in US, at least until I had my baby before coming to risk our lives here.... And as I said the last prayer for my baby to survive, I blanked out staring at the bright light on the ceiling.....

Con amor

A Quarter Of Our World..... 4

Jide did not return home that night, nor did he return the day after. In fact, he stayed away for 2 whole weeks and I was frantic! I could not have an abortion, and I was scared of what he may do when (IF) he returned. Some part of me still hoped and prayed that he would change his mind; that I could reason with him. I went to work the 1st week after my husband left home, partly because I needed some distraction and because I had to get medical attention at the hospital. I didn't bother hiding my bulge anymore and it was a relief. I called my parents, to share my news with them and they were ecstatic. Although, they were hurt that I delayed telling them the news for so long, and I had to lie to my parents that I needed to be out of the danger period before being sure it was going to stay. They asked after my husband, but I didn't (more like couldn't) tell them about the problems we've been having nor could I voice out my fears. As a proper yoruba girl, I was brought up never to air out my dirty laundry so it felt natural not to tell anyone about my predicament.

Days went by without the appearance of my husband, and I had to voice out concern. I took the 2nd week off work and searched for him everywhere I could think. I went to his friends' places, then called some his colleagues. I also went to his place of work, where they told me he had taken a 3week vacation. I then decided to go to Maryland to see his aunt (the one I reported Jide to in part2), to at least let her in on what was going on. Besides, I was fast approaching a dead end on the search for my husband and this was the last place I could think of in the United States. I got to Aunty Ola's house before 2pm that day, and I had to stay outside to await her return. Who knows, maybe she already knew what was going on; maybe Jide already called; maybe she knew exactly where he was; maybe she could help with my predicament and talk to him on my behalf. That was all I could think of while waiting for her return, and by evening, I was feeling very optimistic. Yes, I have a job and yes, i'm doing very well. Taking care of a baby alone, isn't the worst thing that could happen to a mother and I have to admit that there are a few times when I actually imagine how my life would be living alone with my child. Its usually a very beautiful life in my head, but I scrap the idea as soon as it comes. I just can't do that to my family. What would my father say? He would be so disappointed, and the shame it would bring him? I can't even start to think of that. I remember what my mother told me the night before I got married to Jide. "Ireti, you're about to be a married woman o, and I know you're a good girl. Act as you have seen me act in your father's house. Yes we have arguments, but nobody ever knows when its bad between us. I have never reported your father to any of my family, nor have I ever reported him to his. People are wicked, so try not to talk about your life to friends. You kuku know I, your mother do not have friends. Don't come back to this house with your luggage after tomorrow o, Ireti. Don't let our enemies laugh at us, you need to make your marriage work forever. Thank God you also know your father is not a very easy man to deal with, but I have managed so far by remembering the daughter of whom I am. You have to remember who you are at all times where you're going. The marriage institution isn't all rosy, most women are actually suffering in their homes but the quality of a good woman and wife is that whom do not allow anyone see the affairs of her home and smiles to the public that she is married to the best man alive. Whatever you choose to do or any actions you decide to take in Jide's house, you should do it while considering the effect on your family especially your father. A word is enough for the wise, and I wish you happiness and lots of children in your marriage". Those words she said, and the night she said them are the things that have been playing frequently in my head since we got to the United States. In fact they're the only reason I have stayed in my marriage this long, the only reason why I'm standing in front of another woman's matrimonial home to seek her help.

By 8pm, I had filled Aunt Ola in on what had been going on in my marriage for 5months now. She looked aghast, and I'm sure the look on her face when I told her about Jide's proposed abortion, was genuine shock. "WHAT?" She said, looking furious. "Jide asked you to get an abortion? What is his problem? Does he not know it's God's gift? Look at your tummy, this baby is past aborting! Where is he? Is he at home? I have to see him. I can't just call him, he needs some common sense instilled in him, and he needs it right away!". I could only smile as she concluded her statement and started fuming. I knew she was the best person to come to. A woman that understood what it felt like to be scorned by husband's family for years without a baby. As soon as she gave birth, her kids have been pampered and given the best of everything. Yes, she was definitely the best person to tell... I thought to myself as I told her that her nephew had been away from home for over a week. It was obvious she hadn't heard from him judging by the look on her face. I proceeded by telling her how and where I've looked, and that I had no idea where else to look. She then asked if I had called his mother in Nigeria, because she knew Jide couldn't do without calling his mum for more than 3days. Yes, he loves her that much and I also thought about it but I told her I couldn't. His mother practically and technically hates me! The woman doesn't let go of any opportunity to blame me if something isn't going her way. Before our marriage, she adored me (or so I thought), and she would jest with me. As soon as we said "I do" however, she suddenly took a dislike for me and she absolutely hated seeing my face. At first, I thought she was acting that way cause she felt I had taken her place in her son's life, so I didn't think much of it. I simply doubled my effort at trying to please her, but nothing worked. The moment Jide told her he had won the lottery and were moving to U.S was the day I was sure I had made an enemy out of my mother in-law. Ever since, she had tormented me and I have learnt to block her out of my head. My heart flipped with fear as Aunt Ola picked up her phone to call my mother in-law (her voice alone does worse to me). I listened to the one-sided conversation and I knew my mother in-law had started her bad talks about me again, but I didn't mind because it was obvious she had spoken with Jide though she had no idea where he was.

Con amor

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love? Yes, please!

I read a story on the internet about a couple that were so in love and the husband usually gives his wife 46 bouquets, and a note that reads "my love for you grows", on every valentine's day. Her husband died, leaving her alone with 4 kids, but on the next valentine's day, she received her flowers (46 bouquets) and a note from her husband. She thought it must have been a mistake and called the florist who then told her that her husband had prepaid for many years and made them promise to continue sending her bouquets every valentine's Day with his note attached. Oh, the new note read "my love for you is eternal"
Can you imagine having that kind of love in real life, these days? A love that is beyond physical and that goes on even after death? A love that is thoughtful and sweet? People like me would want to fall and stay in love!!

Moving on, I surfed the net (precisely facebook) and I saw a cute picture. It was a colourful cake that looks like it may be delicious! On it, were the words "Can I Pamper you Tomorrow?" (The picture was posted yesterday, 13th february). This is one of the most thoughtful and sweet things I've seen during any valentine's celebration. The fact that he or she thought of doing something for his/her partner before the much awaited St Valentine's day makes the gesture sweet. Also, he/she actually asked if his/her partner wanted to be pampered on Valentine's day, thereby leaving room for "option". He/She didn't just assume that the partner would be free to be pampered. Thirdly, the word he/she used on the cake is one I love "pamper", he/she didn't say "can I take care of you?" As most people (men) do (as if you can't take care of yourself without their help *eyesrolling*).. When I hear the word "pamper", what comes to mind is; waking up to breakfast in bed, a special home cooked meal for your partner that you've obviously put a lot of effort in, and a personal massage to ease your partner's tension/stress (doesn't matter if you aint that good). Whether it was a man or a lady that gave the cake doesn't matter in the end, as they will both feel a certain thrill at being so thoughtful to each other.

See? That's proof that I'm actually not anti-love, I'm actually a very huge fan of lovers (:D ). I'm also not an anti-valentine's day person, I just hate what we've turned love into. When I expressed what I considered to mean "pamper", take note that everything I said there are expressions of love that can be done any day of the year and as many times as you desire. I guess it can be done on St Valentine's day as well, since its also a day like any other (and to me, simply 14th of february) but gestures of love like this should NOT ONLY be expressed on Valentine's. I wrote an article this day last year, emphasising that if a man can not show me love on a regular day, then he shouldn't bother showing extra love on St. Valentine's day and I meant it!: Read here-

Love, is a beautiful thing, whether single or not and the thought of knowing you've loved, been loved, and are still in love has to be the best feeling in the world (of course, it also means you aint so bad and someone somewhere can tolerate you... Hehehehe). Seriously though, love is worth being celebrated: I just don't believe it should be celebrated once a year because a man died on the 14th day in february ages ago (as if that is something to be celebrating), but it should be celebrated at every given chance and opportunity! Love should be expressed in different gestures daily (those little gestures count more than diamonds or 100K gold once in a year), and NOT just on St. Valentine's Day!!!
P.S:- Try not to make single people (like me) feel like jumping into the ocean to escape all the annoyances flying about! Thank you, for being so considerate (in advance) and have a thoughtful day with your lover.

Cuando te digo la belleza del amor, es porque me ha encantado!

Con amor

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Two can break hearts...

I'm so sorry it took me forever to post another topic on this blog. Unfortunately, I've been down emotionally and psychologically these past weeks especially with valentine's day approaching (my worst part of each year so far..). Anyway I'll post the final part of Ireti's story (A Quarter Of Our World) right after this article, and I hope to tell you precisely why I hate february 14th after that so please bear with me.

The other day, I listened to an interesting programme on radio and it got me laughing as well as thinking. Really, who is the deadliest heart breaker between men and women? I thought about this for hours and couldn't come to a conclusion. As a lady myself, and rapidly growing into a fine woman, it's natural for me to support my gender and point the accusing finger at the men. But is this truly the case? I think we're all the same though, and we all have our share of heartbreaks dished to us, as well as dished out by us!

What I've led myself to believe is that women don't break hearts, they only leave it unattended. Men on the other hand, don't just break hearts. They also crush it! Don't crucify me guys! Read on..

Let me try and analyse this (any disagreements can be raised please);
If a lady is ready to leave a guy, she firsts dissociate herself from him emotionally and physically before breaking the news to him. Such that, even the guy knows what's coming before she says it. Women have been psychologically proven to want attention from their partners (most reason for break-up) and are often emotionally attached in relationships (especially ones that are sexually active). A lady that is pretty attached to you will sure soften the blow, cause she knows most of the hurt will eventually be dished back to her. I'm not saying there aren't a few bad eggs in the feminine gender, all I'm saying is that about 80% of ladies don't break up cruelly. Also note please that I have not said women don't mess up in relationships, I'm just giving an instance where all is rosy in the relationship and she just suddenly loses interest. A lady in that situation will consider your feelings (as well as hers), and try to make the break up as soft as possible. In plain words, if I hurt a guy I'm terribly in love with... then I might as well confess to hurting myself beyond repair!

A guy, on the other hand, may just make the decision to end it, and instantly ends it without considering HER feelings. Note that I used "guys" instead of "men". That's because I want to believe anyone who calls himself a man should be mature/man enough to handle a break-up without leaving blood trails behind him. Which is less than what I can say for the generation of "guys" we have now. These guys are brutal (Yes, I said it!), and they do as they please, not wanting to grow up. The ones I never pray to come across, are those who do all to chase after a girl just to get in her pants. Some even hook up with ladies because of a stupid bet they made with their friends. I can't decide on the set that are worse. They lie, deceive, give false hopes, degrade morally, psychologically, n emotionally, use a lady's body as they please, and then discard her like a piece of trash! To be fair though, men also love attention and psychology studies show that men have more insecurity issues than women. This study has been used to explain most behavioural habits that men exhibit towards their women, most especially cheating and having multiple sex mates. In other words, if you constantly add to your man's ego and tell him beyond reasonable doubt how amazing he is, he may actually start believing you ain't leaving him (though I really doubt it if that can curb infidelity in most guys).

I may have spoken from the female perspective, but that's why I welcome comments and suggestions. You decide who the worst heart breaker is. I still believe we all break hearts proportionately and get our hearts broken in return. So, I won't conclude but who do you think the worst heart breakers are? Men or Women?
Please comment!

Con amor