Choose Your Partner Wisely
Take Note of Weaknesses and Strengths
Diana and Lewis had been childhood friends. They were born and bred in the same village. Lewis could remember vividly their days in the village; packing sands to mold houses, playing at nights, while the illumination of the moon made everywhere look like noonday. The emerging moon most of the time then made it impossible to distinguish day from the night, so they would run about doing the normal moonlight play children in our village engaged in whenever the moon was shining. But when the moon could not give its illumination, they sat with their parents at home and listened to folktales before they retired to bed.
We only parted when Lewis got to primary five and he had to travel to Lagos with my uncle to learn how to sell automobile spare parts. He started apprenticeship with his uncle immediately he got to Lagos which kept him far away from home for so many years but Uncle Davis would make sure he celebrated New Year in the village, which offered Lewis the opportunity to see his parents and his old friends once a year.
Diana had started her secondary education in Awka, when they met accidentally during December festivities. He lost contact with Diana in her last year in secondary school when he didn’t go to the village for Christmas celebration and for another three years he didn’t see her. The fourth year when she got admission into the university and that was the last he heard of her until they met again several years later in Lagos.
After his apprenticeship with his uncle, he started his own business. In order to settle down as a young man attaining a height of more responsibilities, he relocated from Palmgrove where he lived with Uncle Davis to settle in Ebute Metta. Like any young man, he still had time to relax after the day’s work. He ate at a restaurant nearby and maybe drank two or three bottles of beer before he retired home. As a busy businessman he didn’t have time for cooking.
There was a particular day Emma, his closest friend, suggested they stop patronizing the restaurant because of police invasion of the place from time to time to harass, arrest and extort money from arrested people who are later released. In the new restaurant they patronized, it did not take long to find out that ladies patrol the whole place soliciting for attention and customers. Lewis knew they were prostitutes. The ladies did unthinkable things to woo men. The color of the bulbs that lit the environment would not allow one to quickly recognize anyone and probably that is why Diana did not see me before she came to us for business.
“Hello and good evening,” the voice greeted.
Before they responded, she had already taken her seat and hanged her arm around his shoulder. That made him turn to look at her face and like a drama as Emma sat watching them, he shouted her name in bewilderment. “Diana.”
She was shocked but Lewis found out she was not even ashamed. She was only shocked because she didn’t believe they could meet. “Lewis, that’s me,” she tried to respond. He looked at her again perplexed. He looked at her mode of dressing which was not different from those ladies he’d seen around, he knew she was into prostitution.
“What are you doing here, Diana?” he asked curiously but confused too. “What is happening?”
“You have seen it all, that’s me,” she said with impunity and before he gave another close of question she said. “That’s life for you, only God knows what the future holds for anyone.”
He tried not to embarrass her; he calmed himself and ordered a drink for her. Emma remained neutral, he didn’t say anything, and he didn’t even appear to listen to them when Diana was narrating her ordeal.
According to her tails, her plight commenced immediately her uncle that was responsible for her education died in a road accident in the first semester of her 200 level in the university. She knew immediately that end had come to her education because there was no one to help her anymore and in order not to end up residing permanently in the village, she followed a woman who promised to find her a job so she could complete her studies by part-time program to Lagos. “Aunty Chioma came to the village and I followed her down here,” she said. That was how Diana found herself in prostitution. She was forced into prostitution.
She was to come along to know his house that same night but she said she was waiting; to meet her customers, and then he gave her money and left for that night. He got home but couldn’t sleep quickly, the discussion he had with Diana filled his mind. Compassion filled his mind for her and he decided to do something about her if should agree.
He went to see Diana the fifth day and they discussed at length. Diana left the hotel and started to live with him. Life continued fine until sometime after their wedding. They went to the village for our traditional wedding but came back to Lagos to meet her pastor for blessing in the church she was attending before they met. The pastor did not know she was engaged in prostitution while she was attending the church.
He left home that fateful morning leaving Diana lying in bed at home because she told him she was ill and would not go to her supermarket that day. But around 1.00pm, Lewis just had an urge to go home and see her. He hesitated because he didn’t want to leave his customers at that time but he was worried about his darling wife’s health.
He expected to see Diana in bed, judging by how he left her at home that morning. He did not expect she could be that healthy to the extent of laughing the manner he met her as she walked along the corridor of the house with the man that came to see her. She was shocked to see her husband and quickly left the man and followed him into their apartment. That was the first problem that erupted between them but they later settled it when she apologized. He remembered those times she would stay at home instead of going her business, he thought that must be the time she had dates with other men. He, therefore, tried to interrogate a neighbor who always stayed at home; she had her kiosk in front of the house where she sold petty things. She told Lewis everything she knew, she said she initially thought probably those men that came visiting were his friends but later wondered why they would come only while he was away.
Lewis kept it to himself, he didn’t tell her anything because he didn’t want the issue to brew any other problem since the first one had been settled but he kept monitoring her.
Then God chose to reveal Diana’s evil deed. She told him she was confirmed pregnant the previous week and he had given her money to register for ante-natal clinic. She was careless that evening to have left this letter on the bedroom table.
“Diana, if you don’t want trouble, tell your husband he is responsible for your pregnancy. If my wife find out I’m responsible for your pregnancy, there’ll be serious trouble so make sure you hang the pregnancy on your husband,” Morrison wrote.
Cold ran through Lewis as if I saw a ghost. Morrison was their landlord, he is a banker. Lewis later learned he had known Diana before he even brought her home but he never knew they had been dating when Diana was still in the hotel but when he brought her home, he never saw them even talk to each other once not to talk of having affairs, but he heard she normally went to meet the man at the office. He left Diana and relocated to another apartment and filed for divorce.