Result of Extreme Jealousy

Result of Extreme Jealousy

Her heart raced as pieces of her memory forged and melded only to shatter again. She had glimpse, a very real glimpse, of what happened that fateful day, she arrived from official trip. Tears unbidden, touched the back of her eyes, but she refused to cry again. Would not break down. In her mind’s eye, she saw her husband Kunle and her junior sister, Joan together, sweat-soaked, naked bodies entangled in the sheets of their matrimonial bed.

Sandra and Joan were the daughters of Peter Okon and Aniekan Okon. Theirs was a home you could describe as heaven on earth. Merely looking at their home, one could just so easily picture how it must have been with the first man and woman in the Garden of Edem. It was a home envied by all. They had only been married for many years, many troubled homes and couples who were on the verge of separation went to them for counseling. Peter Okon did well and his children were born into comfortable circumstances. The Okons’ home was indeed one that anyone would so easily desire to be a part of. It was a happy, blissful home.

Sandra Okon was the first of the two children in the family. She and Joan, her younger sister, grew up in a relatively serene atmosphere in Port Harcourt. But their mother had a preference for Sandra. A serious parental mistake that later affected the relationship between Sandra and Joan. Joan was very daring and adventurous. She was young, good-looking with dark hair and brown eyes, hedonist and cosmopolitan. Sandra was equally beautiful, intelligent, and humble. Everything between both girls was fine, and seemed to, until they reached their teenage years, during which Joan began to exhibit obvious traits of envy and jealousy toward her sister. Sandra never took her younger sister’s behavior to heart. She loved her still, whilst she wished she changed her way.

Nothing Sandra did could change her behavior toward her. Their father though a busy businessman, did all he could to make Joan feel loved but she accused her parents of preferring Sandra to her. As they grew, the situation went from bad to worse.

Sandra graduated from University of Lagos with a first class degree in Geology. With this performance she was employed immediately by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). This was the government agency which was in-charge about managing Nigeria’s oil wealth.

She spent the next five years working her way up the corporate ladder. There’d been no time for such things as romance, courtship. Oh, there’d been the occasional interlude with a co-worker or a friend of a friend, and she would wonder if this would be the one to change her life forever. But in time, as if by mutual consent, they would drift apart and move on. Sandra never looked back. And certainly never grieved that loss of something she’d never even had. She was very good at living her life on her own terms.

At times, she felt a twinge of regret at things she’d to sacrifice for success, but she was able to nudge it aside. She made a very good living while enjoying a satisfying career. She had a circle of friends she could count on, and an enthusiasm for life that was the envy of all who knew her. That was enough to fill her life.

Things were like this till she met Kunle in a party. As they danced, he circled his arms around her, her big hands resting just beneath the fullness of her breasts, causing a strange tingling deep inside her. After the dance, she stood perfectly still, wondering at the way her heart behaved in response to the simple touch of this man.

She wondered and was confused why she should feel this way with a complete stranger. There was something strange happening to her, something completely exciting. She had thought herself immune to these feelings, and now she found that she was wrong. Hadn’t she always believed that everything that happened in life had a rhyme and reason?

He was close and because she couldn’t do otherwise, in spite of the audience, she kissed him. Putting her hands on his shoulders, she went up on her toes to kiss him, to show him what she couldn’t say, didn’t know how to say. Kunle responded. She had not only looks, brains but also charm.

She soon got married to Kunle Benson, the son of a multi-billionaire business tycoon. Kunle who graduated from Harvard Business School was a branch manager of one of Nigeria’s new generation bank in Apapa, an outskirt of Lagos.

Unexpectedly, however, Sandra’s parents died in a plane crash in Lagos in November 2012. Kunle Benson returned from the office earlier than usual because he was going to the Muritala Mohammed International Airport with Sandra to receive her parents coming for a visit. Sandra loved her parents. As Kunle entered the house, he approached the wife who had returned earlier and said, “Darling, the plane is due by six, let’s be on our way. We better start early because of the traffic jam along the Ikeja expressway. I even have a crucial meeting with James Anozie by eight o’clock.”

“You look like hell,” she said, giving him an appraising glance. “What is the matter?”

Kunle did look like hell. He was pale, his mouth bracketed with harsh lines. He always seemed so inexhaustible; it was startling to see him drained of his usual vitality. Sighing he dragged his hand through his hair. “I’ve got a headache that won’t go away.” He rubbed his temples gingerly. “I’ve been attending to customers since morning. I feel like I’ve been hit by a trailer.”

“Have you taken something for it?” she asked.

“Yeah.”

“Because if not …”

“I’m fine. Let’s go.”

She knew he was in considerable pain. An African man will say he’s fine even if he’s just had a limb severed and he is bleeding to death in front of you. It is regarded as the sign of masculinity.

“I could get you some painkiller,” she said cautiously. “If you –“

“I said I’m fine,” Kunle snapped, and turned to leave the living room to the car. “Come on, let’s get started. We are running late as it is.” When they were seated in the car, Kunle said, “Boniface take us to the airport.”

“Yes, sir.”

It was just five minutes before the plane expected time of arrival when they drove into the airport. Boniface found a space in the parking lot and packed the Prado jeep. They disembarked and walked to the Arrival Lounge to await the arrival of the plane, while Boniface stayed outside watching the tarmac.

Ten minutes past six, Boniface ran into the Arrival Lounge. “The plane bringing the Madam’s parents has just crashed,” he announced breathlessly.

Sandra Benson thought she hadn’t heard right. She felt her pulse jumping beneath her skin, in her cheeks, and throat and the insides of her arms. The news of the crash of the plane had hit her like a gut punch. Her body was rigid with shock; it came off her in waves. She looked pitifully confused, but Boniface said nothing else, only waited for them to respond.

Kunle struggled up, “Darling I’m going to see what they are doing to rescue the victims.”

Her vision blurred for a moment, her teeth clenching. “Oh, my darling parents! God why?” she shouted, tears springing to her eyes, she hardly was able to see through the bitter slick of tears.

“Do you want to follow me to the tarmac?” Kunle asked.

On their way to the tarmac, they met Roland Jackson, a family friend whose child was in the plane. His son attended University of Port Harcourt and was coming home on holidays. “Mr. and Mrs. Benson, there is no need going to the tarmac, all the passengers are dead, including my son,” he said in tears.

“Christ!” Kunle muttered. He heard Sandra give a little sigh and didn’t have to ask to know what she was feeling. Because he felt the same. Horror. Revulsion. Pain. And overwhelming sadness. It was just an ordinary night for some people, whereas for the Bensons and some other families, unimaginable thing had happened.

He held Sandra’s arms. He felt a chill crawl up his spine. Sandra’s face burned. She stood tensely, knowing if she relaxed even one muscle, she would collapse. Kunle was able to take Sandra home with considerable difficulty.

After the burial of their parents, Sandra had no choice but to try to take care of Joan. She tried to look at the world as fascinating and complicated place –a territory to explore and enjoy, rather than confront or fear.

Joan seemed softened a bit by the turn of events in the family. She began going closer to Sandra. Sandra was very delighted about the new development. But she was soon to get the shock of her life.

Actually, Joan never did have a change of heart. She only put up a show to make her sister believe that all was well, while she naturally had a very cruel agenda in mind.

All the events in Sandra’s life only helped to infuriate Joan even more. Joan’s major grouse had always been that life was fair to Sandra all the way, while she struggled through every phase of life. Sandra had it all smooth. And to Joan, that was totally unacceptable.

With all these ill motives that Joan bore against Sandra, never did Sandra stop taking care of her as her junior sister. As soon as their parents died, she insisted that Joan moved in with them. Even though Joan had not altogether welcomed the idea, Sandra’s constant nudging left her no choice than to accept. Sandra saw to it that her sister’s every need was met. She was responsible for the payment of her school fees, clothing, feeding, and every other thing one could imagine.

Being in the exploitation and exploration department of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Sandra had to travel often. And on one occasion she had to see to exploration of some oil field in Niger Delta. She was billed to be away for two months. Her intelligence and her willingness to do difficult jobs had helped her climb rapidly in her office. But there were times when it was a curse instead of blessing.

A day to her journey, Sandra cleared her desk. Every piece of paperwork was signed, mailed, or filled; every email was read, deleted, or answered, every phone call was returned. She was so worried about her husband in her absence. Sweet relief swept over Sandra when Joan returned from school that evening on a three-month vacation. She was happy there was someone to take care of her husband in her absence. And it wasn’t just anybody. But her sister.

Unknown to Sandra, Joan had waited long for an opportunity to show her that life didn’t always have to be for her alone. Her bitterness had grown over years into resentment and a very strong aversion over the years. She saw Sandra’s absence as the opportunity she had sought for. How would she go about that? She sure had a conceived plan. She would lure her sister’s husband to bed. Even she cringed at the thought of doing such abominable thing, but she was too bitter to care. She was insanely jealous of her sister. She just had to let Sandra know that she couldn’t always have all of life’s good.

It was not a new thing that one friend betrayed the other. However, for a sister to seduce the husband of her own sister was something that sent shock waves down the spine of not only Sandra but close associates, relations and all that heard the unfortunate incident.

Plan hatched, Joan wasted no time at all. She immediately plunged into action. For three weeks, she tried without success to seduce Kunle. Unknown to Kunle she was two months pregnant for her former boyfriend. She had that bad-girl, love-them-and-leave them attitude. How many hearts has she broken? Men always fell for her because she had ‘come-get-me’ eyes. Men were like potato chips to her. You couldn’t eat just one.

Her big break however came when within the fourth week of Sandra’s absence, Kunle returned home heartbroken and drunk. His bank had been duped by his staff amounting to several millions of naira due to what the bank headquarters felt was due to Kunle’s carelessness.

He was obviously susceptible this time. She quickly took advantage of this situation. Pretending to console Kunle, Joan leaned over, hugged him and brushed her tongue across his ear as if trying to whisper something into his ear. She teased him with her hand, causing him to groan and shift on his seat. Kunle was fascinated by her expertise in frivolity. She played ceaselessly on his senses, deliberately keeping him in a permanent state of yearning for the erotic fulfillment of her touch. She had only to offer a hint that this ecstasy might be within his grasp to make him her abject slave because of his drunkenness. Right now he wanted to swear to her that what he felt for her was deeper than anything he felt for her sister.

His eyes were fixed on a sudden parting of fabric that gave a tantalizing view of her generous breasts. She was wearing a new seductive outfit. She looked very pretty in the flowered print that showed off her figure to its best advantage. Her lipstick was blood red. She was utterly irresistible.

At the door of his bedroom, he leaned over and kissed her gently. “I gather you want to come in.”

“Just as badly as you want me to,” she answered playfully.

It was all Kunle needed. Opening the door he pushed her inside. The door slammed and the room was dark.

And for the next one month, Kunle was returning home and into the ever waiting but destructive arms of his sister-in-law. Like their first sexual encounter, each subsequent romp began with long, continuous kisses as they undressed and, as time went by, their magical, exhilarating game continued. Each time made their coupling more exciting.

Soon, the two months exploration was over and Sandra returned home. Everything seemed just fine, except that she could sense there was something mighty wrong with her husband. When she asked, he tried so desperately to assure her that nothing was the matter. Joan still had a month before returning to school.

Kunle continued to live as though nothing ever went amiss. But Sandra couldn’t be fooled; she was sure something terrible had happened to her husband. Communication was strained between them, and every time, there was this lost look in his eyes. What was eating him up? She battled with this and many more questions. Her once blissful home had gradually metamorphosed into an ominously calm sea, with heart-shattering undercurrents.

And then reality burst in on them in the cruelest way of all. Suddenly, Sandra returned home one day earlier than usual and burst into their bedroom. They were so carried away by their sexual activity that they didn’t lock the door. She stopped, at the trail of clothing and the two people, obviously lovers, completely naked. They were entwined. She felt a stab to his heart as he recognized them. Kunle’s hands around her sister and she was riding his thighs her eyes closed.

She felt the white heat of betrayal. Her steps faltered. Her hands shook. Her head was spinning, and she reeled between waves of giddiness and nausea.

“Damn the two of you,” Sandra burst out. “Damn you.” There was incredulity on her face, and disbelief in her voice.

Kunle wanted to speak, to say something, but his pride was lacerated at having so far condescended as to sleep with his wife junior sister. He was appalled at his own lack of control.

The heat of embarrassment rose inside Kunle. He knew that as long as he lived there would be the humiliation of that evening in his memory. He started to speak, but Sandra gave him such venomous look that he turned away and didn’t say another words. He felt chilled to the bone. That she hated him was all apparent.

Tears slid down Sandra’s cheeks. She stared at Kunle with a sick feeling that her life was never going to be the same again. Her love for Kunle had led her to a disgraceful end. He wanted to eat his cake and have it back. Now, it was impossible. He had hoped to make love with Joan and still remain married to Sandra, but fate had played a dirty trick on him.

Sandra and Kunle became intimate strangers. They shared the same house but not the same bed. When they talked they quarreled. They had nothing much to say to each other. As often happens in times of turmoil, Sandra and Kunle’s differences in outlook, interests and manner became more obtrusive. They were bitter, disillusioned, withdrawn, and silent as if afraid that conservation would deepen the wound. In that sense, they were repressed; they couldn’t talk directly.

Sandra should have been more suspicious or at the very least, more wary, especially after the experience with Joan before their parents died. She wanted, really wanted to believe she was exactly as she presented herself; a somewhat changed, lovely young girl.

A couple months later, Joan showed up from school. Only this time, she came with a bulging stomach. Sandra stopped short when she saw her sister’s bulging stomach. After she managed to muster the strength to talk to her, she asked, as calmly as she could.

“What’s this, Joan? What happened? Who did this to you?”

All these questions, she asked within a hair’s breadth. With her face set, Joan rudely told her that her husband would be in a better position to answer the question. Sandra was thrown into utter confusion. She looked from her husband, who was now bowed, to her sister who held her head so high, a triumphant smile resting on her lips the whole time. As what she was feared might happened had happened. Sandra sobbed silently. She fervently prayed it was all some bad joke, and that very soon they would burst out laughing, before she went mad.

It was when Kunle began to speak that she realized she wasn’t actually dreaming, and they were not pulling her legs, either. She looked around the room with growing irritation. He talked about how he had fallen for Joan’s seduction, when he was drunk. When she called him to say that she was pregnant, he tried to talk her into going abroad to have the baby, since he didn’t support abortion being a Catholic. But she had insisted that she would have the baby under their roof. Sandra could even hardly make out the words he was saying.

She tried hard to hide her disappointment, tried not to look at him, his mouth. And failed miserably. She bristled with the need to hurt Kunle and still she didn’t dare. Life was a perilous road at times, fraught with demons and miseries.

She packed and left the home when she could no longer bear the situation. But two weeks later, Kunle traced her to the hotel she was staying until she could rent a flat.

Sandra didn’t flinch. Damn his handsome lying face. He’d pulled a fast one on her, betraying her, using her, and dumping her. How had she been so blind? She’d asked herself the same question for two weeks and had come up with no answers. Not one lousy explanation.

Damn but she’d loved him, thought they’d spend the rest of their lives together, and he’d betrayed her. Big time.

She ground her back teeth together. Remembering was a form of torture. “What the hell do you want?” she asked, hating how scared she sounded. She was furious with him, her heart rattling, her mind screaming at her to call the police.

“Remember what he did to you,” an inner voice reminded her.

“I need to talk to you,” he said, his voice quivering.

A faint frown marred her lovely face. “What do you have to say?”

He hesitated. “I think you’d better let me inside.”

“No way,” she was shaking her head violently, her braided hair brushing the back of her neck.

“Sandra, please. I am sorry.”

Adesuwa swore under her breath.

“I bet, you are,” she said trembling inside, her emotions nearly strangling her that she couldn’t help staring at him. Pain zigzagged through her as she remembered how she saw him naked with her sister on their matrimonial bed.

He lowered his voice even more. “I mean it. I need to talk to you.”

“I’ll be damned if you’ll set one foot inside my suite. It’s over, Kunle. Got it? Over!” She felt in the pocket of her blue jean trousers with left hand, found her cell phone, and held it up. Good Lord, she’d been a fool to love this man so fervently. How blind she’d been. “I’m calling the police.”

“Please don’t.” he frowned, his lips twisting in that familiar thin line of frustration she’d witnessed dozens of times before. He muttered something to himself then said, “Please hear me out.”

“You don’t think I will? You think I’m bluffing?” she began pressing buttons with her thumbs.

“Damn it, Sandra. I didn’t come here to make trouble.”

He stepped closer to the door. She noticed how tired he looked, how the bags under his eyes had become more pronounced. “Please forgive me.” His voice was unsteady.

Her eyes darkened. “So you can betray me again? Liar! Betrayer!”

“Such a thing will never happen again.”

She paused, her pulse drumming.

Could she trust Kunle Benson?

No way.

She remembered a ghostly image of two lovers entwined. She squeezed her eyes closed. This was a mistake of gargantuan proportions, an irreversible error. She couldn’t trust him. Not for a second! Stiffening her spine. She said, “Leave.”

“What?”

“Get the hell out of here, Kunle.” Still trembling inside, she crossed her arms under her chest and glared up at him. “I don’t need you or want you around me again. Ever.”

“Sandra. Wait a minute.”

“Get out.”

Was there a lesson here? Had she ever really cared about the needs of her family, or had she squandered all her energy on the pursuit of her career? She started to feel guilty. “Sandra, you’re a clever woman. But there’s blindness in you for your marital responsibilities,” an inner voice told her. Sandra, with her warmth and her smile, her intelligence and curiosity and bravery had performed abysmally in her marital duties.

God did come to her rescue. Six months later, Joan had the baby, before then she had been led to the Lord. She gave the baby up for adoption. She confessed to her sister and her husband that she was pregnant before she seduced Kunle. She gave birth to the baby girl two months earlier than she would have if it was Kunle’s. She wept and begged her sister for forgiveness for all the pains she’d caused her. “It was the devil at work,” she said. Sandra forgave as she came to terms with the fact that it was her own sister that she was pitched against.

Kunle was very happy when Sandra accepted to return home. And Sandra resolved to be more careful and watchful over her household. Now they live as one family.

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