Twenty Ways I Thought I Died. Part Two. Chapter Thirteen.
It was a Tuesday and exactly three weeks since I turned down David’s proposal. It was a very devastating day for both of us as his looks said it all. He wasn’t expecting me to say no, but he was expecting me to love him without him making an effort. Did I appear that desperate to him, or even desperate at all? I took the whole proposal the wrong way according to him. How could I feel an intelligent, beautiful and outgoing girl like me was about to be tricked by a guy as educated and mature as David? Those were father’s words.
David had brought me back home, and had left without even saying a word to me. Dad didn’t bother calling out to him because he could see he was in pain. Father was aware of David’s feelings for me, and the whole proposal thing. Infact David had asked my hand in marriage from father before asking me. That I got to know after I had turned David down.
As I sat on my luxurious bed, I heard aunty Ejiro and father exchanging pleasantries as she entered the house. She had called me on phone that she was coming over but never said anything about the proposal. So for a second I thought she knew nothing about the incident and was just here to check up on me, but I was wrong.
Ufoma. She called out as she approached my bedroom.
I am in here aunty. I called back.
So you are so comfortable breaking a man's heart in this state you are in. She blasted me as she walked in.
Aunty what do you mean?
Don’t act dump please. That’s the least I expect from you now. She said angrily.
So you know? How many people did David tell before he proposed to me? I can’t believe I was the last to know.
That’s why it’s called a proposal! Ufoma you are not suppose to know.
At least I am suppose to know we are dating, and in love and there should have been questions asked and outings observed. What kind if generation is David living in? I asked angrily.
Ufoma you are just a confused woman. Were you not the one who complained about Stanley’s slow pattern?
I hope you didn’t tell David about Stanley and what I said about him being slow?
I did. She admitted.
You did? Like seriously aunty Ejiro you told David about Stanley and how I complained about him being slow to ask me out?
Yes I did. I had your interest at heart so I wanted everything to work. I only confided in him what I thought you appreciated more and could work.
God have mercy! So you made that guy look stupid?
No I didn’t! You did. Ejiro defended. If not that you are just a confused girl who doesn’t even know what she wants, I would have been planning a wedding by now.
Aunty Ejiro you didn’t advice that guy well o. At least you should have consulted me first before giving him such information. What I expect form Stanley, may not be what I expect form David. They are two different human beings. Besides, the way I met the both of them matters.
Ufoma you are just like your father! Infact your father has spoilt you with his heartbreaking skills. This is what I have always been afraid of, that’s why I never wanted you to live with him in the first place. But that stupid judge gave a stupid verdict and influenced you to stay with your father.
Aunty Ejiro why are you been worked up over this issue? Its my first proposal! I can choose to say know. I defended.
What’s your reason for saying no?
I thought I had a reason before, but after listening to you now, I don’t. You made him do what he did when he did it, and how he did it. If you had allowed him carry it out his own way, maybe it would have worked.
Ufoma there is something I need to understand. Where you Lying to me when you said you love David and he is now under your skin?
I never said I loved David. I said he has gotten under my skin.
So? What’s he difference? What does that mean to you?
Aunty Ejiro please can we just drop this topic? I asked coldly.
Why? Why should we? Is it because you getting guilty? Or you just don’t want to admit that you have become pathetic as well. Ejiro fired back.
But what’s all this na Aunty Ejiro? Na your proposal?
Don’t ever ask me such a stupid question! You better call up David now and apologize for what you did, and tell him you didn’t know what came over you that day, and your answer is now yes.
Haba! Aunty who does that na? Want kind of automaton is this?
Ufoma! Don’t think small. That’s all I can tell you. When you have done what I just told you, then we can talk.
With that she walked out of my room, and out of the house. Aunty Ejiro had never been so angry at me. Infact she has been the one to always understand me and plead for me. David Adekose has succeeded in bringing a rift between I and my precious aunty.
While I was lost in my thoughts, father entered looking worried and sad.
Dad what’s the problem? I suddenly forgot about my own problems.
There is something I need to tell you dear.
Oh no don’t tell me you want to sell this house and I have to go live with grandma?
Ufoma, am not joking and this is more serious than I thought.
Father you are scaring me. What’s all this about?
I messed up big time dear. I ruined everything and I don’t even know how to look into your eyes. Everyone hearing this will blame me for the act you putting up, resisting getting married.
Who is resisting marriage? I asked confused.
But that’s the only reason I can give for you not accepting David’s proposal!
Dad please go ahead with what you came in here to tell me because I know its nothing about David.
Isoken is pregnant for me.
I don’t understand what you just said. Please repeat yourself.
Babes its something that has been bothering me for sometime now. And that’s why I wanted you to just marry David. But I can’t believe you turned down a proposal that we all worked hard to make happen.
Please excuse me a bit. You all planed this proposal you say? So I am so pathetic and such a burden that you all want me out of your sight? Father I thought you love me.
Ufoma don’t you ever question my love for you. You know you are my life! You know you always said you wanted to get married before me, so I have to make that possible.
Wait a minute. I paused him. What is really happening here because I need to get something right. You got a woman pregnant? How could you father? And which Isoken are we talking about?
Honey please you need to calm down.
Father I am calm, its you that isn’t. Because if you were calm, you would be controlling your manhood.
Ufoma please. Father pleaded.
Father, how many times did I beg you not to date Isoken? So you have the guts to humiliate me this much, and even get that Benin witch pregnant! Did you forget what that woman and her sister did to me?
My God! My father has called my past into my present. I screamed. So you want to remind me of Gideon? The man I fell in love with but broke my heart like it was nothing and got married to someone else? And that someone else he got married to is the sister of the person you said you have gotten pregnant!
Ufoma I know this is a blow to you but you need to calm down and let’s rationalize this issue.
I should calm down? And rationalize? What is there to rationalize? My God! Men are wicked! In fact they are uncontrollable beasts! Father, so you have become this insensitive? Even to me?
Ufoma it just happened. Father defended.
It just happened? How? And it had to happen with Isoken? The Lady that came to warn me and fight me in my fathers house? Has now become my father’s mistress? And now carrying this child? That will now become my half brother? Jesus!
Ufoma I am sorry okay. That’s all I can say.
No that’s not all you can say dad, you have a lot to say. So tell me, why are you marrying me off to David Adekose?
I need you to marry before me. That’s why.
So you want to also marry Isoken?
Yes dear. What would you rather want me do? Oni has made it clear that she doesn’t want another illegitimate grand child. And I love my parents a lot that I can’t continue to humiliate and disappoint them.
Really! Haa! So finally Isoken won? Those sisters win against me again? I mean, what do you men see in those women that you find so hard to resist? I really want to know. I asked crying.
Ufoma please don’t cry. You will break my heart all the more. I have been finding the right time to tell you but trust me, I couldn’t. Isoken is about to give birth anything soon, so I just want to go pay her bride price before she puts to bed. That’s why I am forced to open up to you now. He said with his head bent.
From that day, I understood the true meaning of betrayal. Really, you should never put your trust in nobles of any form. Father truly disappointed me. If he had even gotten any other girl pregnant, I would have swallowed it. But getting Isoken pregnant was the height of it all. So I was going to become in-laws with Gideon? The very man that broke my heart and went for his ex. So his ex will soon become my sister in-law? So I would have those people to my face again? Life really had a way of throwing lemons at me.
As father had said, Isoken was heavily pregnant and two weeks later, father and his parents went ahead to pay her bride price even with all my pleadings. Grandma was the most joyful of all women that very day, and didn’t even care about my feelings. To her, I was just being a spoilt child that didn’t care about her father’s wellbeing.
I was forced to accompany father and his parents over to Isoken's village in Benni city to pay her bride price. How could I have escaped? I couldn’t use my legs as I wanted. If I could, I would have escaped and ran a million miles away.
Life is just full of unexpected events. Here I was face to face with Gideon and his wife Adesuwa . Gideon was a full grown man now and a father of three children. Adesuwa was busy flaunting everything she got at me. From her cloths, to her children, her husband, her car, even her words. She would say, the Adodo sisters are the hottest! No man can resist us! Where we don enter, we don enter! No mama, no pikin can put asunder.
Isoken was busy flaunting her big tommy, and looking for every avenue to make dad hold her and pet her tommy. It was so annoying to watch. Her mother came and and announced that her daughter is carrying Efe Ogaga Jr.
For the first time in my life, I wished I was a boy. I would have answered Efe Jr and not this bastard.
Gideon walked over to me at the reception and tried to be friendly. Ufoma, let’s put the past behind us please. He pleaded.
Okay. I bluntly answered.
But what has happened to you? You are on crutches, and still single? What’s wrong? I’m really concerned as an in-law now.
Are you mad? I asked him.
Ufoma please control your temper. That has been the problem with you from small.
See who is talking? Your wife don beat you for house finish, and you come out here dey talk say I get temper? The Mohammed Ali in woman form, that you call your wife is what? Cool headed?
I can see you don’t want us to talk like adults, so I will take my leave.
Yes please! Take your bloody leave!
I screamed it so loud that everyone around us heard. It was news to spread around, as everyone began to notice I wasn’t in support of the union.
David and I were still in talking terms but our relationship was not as before. He was very mindful of translating any signal I gave him. I really wished he could ask for my hand in marriage again, but he didn’t. I sensed he still had feelings for me but was going very slowly now.
One faithful day after Isoken had moved in with dad, I sat in my room crying. Stanley gave me a call with a local line.
Hello. I answered without knowing who it was.
Hello Ufoma its I Stanley.
Stanley? I sat up delighted. Where are you I asked.
I just returned to Nigeria. I am presently in Warri. Had to go see my old ma first.
Wow! I am so glad you are finally back. I said delighted.
Are you sure about that? He asked surprised.
Yes. Why? Don’t you believe me?
Okay. I will be coming to Lagos tomorrow. Can I stop at your house to pay you a visit?
Ofcourse! Why not. I can’t wait to see you again. I smiled broadly.
Okay then. Tomorrow it is. He concludes.
As he hung up, the next thing that came to my mind was what I would wear for his visit. That night I couldn’t sleep and all I could wish was that Stanley asked me to marry him and take me away from this house I had come to hate.
Dad was of course very nice to me still, and very understanding. But I just couldn’t stand Isoken. She was trying her best to make me like her. The more she tried, the more I disliked her. I was so angry with everyone, everything and including myself. If only I had said yes to David, then I wouldn’t have been in this mess. Isoken's date for delivery was due, and here I was wishing she could just die when giving birth. Yes it was that bad. I was angry with the world.
The next day finally came and I was all dressed up in a bright yellow dress that highlighted my dark skin. I had stopped using crutches, but could limp a little while I walked.
Father had taken Isoken to the hospital for checkup and had said they might both spend the night at the hospital if the doctor suggests so. I was glad I would be alone with Stanley when he came.
I added more fragrance and more powder to my nose. I looked at myself many times in front of the mirror and even gestured how I would greet Stanley when we meet.
At that moment, I remembered aunty Ejiro. How I missed her! She had travelled to England for IVF and was so busy with it that she never really called again. She had not really forgiven me for what I did to David, and was finding it hard to trust me again. I felt like calling her to let her know Stanley was back, and was coming to ask for my hand in marriage. That would have made her heart rejoice and would have given me few tips on how to act and what to say.
At that point, the door bell rang. I knew who its was and didn’t need anyone to assist me down the stairs as I leaped to go welcome my Stanley.
When I opened the door, there he was standing with a bundle of red roses and smiling warmly at me. Right there I noted the difference between Stanley and David. Stanley was a man, while David was a boy. The difference was clear.
Please come here! I opened arms to hug him. He gladly accepted, and led my hand to the couch facing the entrance.
You shouldn’t stand for long. You must not put pressure in it.
Hmmm another doctor in the house? I teased.
How are you dear?
What can I say? I am a twenty seven year old single lady, still living with my dad and his new wife, who happens to be the sister of the woman who stole my man.
Ufoma you need to get your life back on track. I need you to get hold of it. Edirin had hinted me a lot about the stress you have been going through lately as a result of this.
You can not begin to imagine baby. I flirted.
Ufoma if I may suggest, I feel you should begin your masters degree now, get a skill like Home Decorating and get busy with life. You can get a driver to take you around for now. I want you to become that strong woman I met a year ago. Oderochana ede ofa. Tomorrow is another day. Look ahead of today and plan for tomorrow so it doesn’t overtake you with grieve.
Omevwe chereguo re. I replied with my head bent.
You are. He encouraged. You just need a friend to lift you up, and I want to be that friend. I know you have been through a lot lately, but I believe you can heal. And I want you to heal first before anything. Okay?
Omevewe guo no oyno gaga. I need to study hard. My mind is lost now so it will take a lot if effort to pass.
At least try. It will do you a lot of good. Biko.
Okay I have heard you. Let me get you something to drink.
No please. Don’t stress yourself.
I insist please. It’s your first time in my place and you have come from far. At least water.
As I walked to the kitchen, I wished my legs could hurry more before the tears I had been preventing gave me away.
Here I thought I was getting another proposal, only to be called a friend by the man I had been waiting for. Why was life this tough with me. I cried hard, as I got water from the fridge.
When love calls you friend.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jade George Anibor