“Oh dear, please do not say a thing like that.” Paul said, as he leaned on the car, beside mine.
I stared lost into space. What am I doing? What is my life turning into? I thought to myself then felt hot tears run down my cheeks. I did not want Paul to see the tears; did not want him to know that I was already having issues in my marriage, but Iwas too weak and confused to put up a facade at this moment. I needed clarity; explanation; advice; a way out; anything but a facade.
I sniffed and he looked at me and said,
“Oh Juju stop crying. Let me take the widest guess; your husband is the reason for all this, right?”
I nodded, took a deep breath and said,
“Tell me Paul, are all men really the same? Please tell me about your last relationship. In fact, tell me about your worse relationship; who cheated and who got jilted; you or the lady?”
“You probably wouldn’t believe it Juju, but I lack experience in that field. What I get these days are ladies yielding themselves to me, too easy, it disgusts me. After every conversation with each lady, I can just smell her desperation. Feels like someone placed an extremely high price tag on my head and every lady is willing to do any and everything to win the bet.”
“You wouldn’t blame them now, would you? You are a young and handsome gentleman, who has done well for himself; and let us not forget the God fearing part. You are certainly every lady’s dream man.” I replied.
“Except yours, of course.” He chipped in.
“Paul, I think it is time we went inside, before people start to wonder where we went and make up silly assumptions as humans do.” I anxiously said to him, fighting hard not to meet his piercing gaze that suddenly made me feel uncomfortable.
“I do not care what assumption anyone makes; last time I checked, the only person I cared about in this church was you. Tell me one thing Juju; why did you pick him over me?”
“I can’t talk about this Paul, we are in church for crying out loud and the service will soon commence.” I said, taking a careless glance at my wrist watch.
“This question has hunted me, day and night, I would give anything possible to get an answer to it”, he pressed on.
“I didn’t choose him over you. There was no you at the time; well, my mind didn’t recognize you. I had been in a relationship with this man for over six years and I loved him. I had invested my all to make the relationship work, you cannot even imagine. I figured that amidst his unflattering behaviors, if I could have stayed with him for six years; then, I could do another twenty to thirty years. A decision I now regret.”
“If the tables were turned Juju, will you pick me over him?” Paul asked.
I was silent for a long moment, he sounded like he needed the affirmation, it was an ego thing, I could tell. He needed me to massage it; hell, he was dying for it. So I nodded and walked into the church to continue my cleaning or whatever had the capacity to distract and occupy my mind.
Half way into the sermon and I realized how big a mistake I had made attending the service:
The senior pastor of the church was preaching and the title of the sermon was: What women need to do to keep their homes. He talked about what he called: The new generation ladies. Their characteristics: No longer having time for their men and homes; starving their husbands of their biblical marital right, ‘SEX’; using sex as a weapon to get whatever they wanted; not willing to contribute to their homes financially and the fact that men hated liabilities; rather hang out with their friends than cook good meals for their husband. Then he asked,
“Why then do you complain when the man looks outside?
That was the point when I stood up and left the church. As I walked out, I kept muttering the word “Really, really, really?
I gave Tunji sex. I tried out some kinky things with him, just to satisfy him. I shopped for the sexiest lingerie every other week, I prepared Amala and Ewedu soup almost every night, because it was his so called favorite meal. And this pastor had the right to judge me? On what basis? Who even gave him the right to judge?
I walked faster, then started to run, I ran to the car park and straight to my car. Searched out my phone from my bag and put a call through to Tunji,
“Hello, hello Juju are you there?”
I ended the call, then dialed his number again, then let the tears I had been fight back flow freely. I had become a crying mess.
“Hi Tunji, I didn’t know you had picked up, my Mum needs me to attend her friend’s birthday party with her, so I have to leave church now. I will see you in the evening.” I said then ended the call.
I felt a tap on my shoulder, flinched and looked above my shoulder to find Paul behind me.
“I am sorry about that. The whole message, if I had my way; I would have stopped the sermon from the moment I heard the topic.” He said.
“Is anyone in your apartment? Like any girl or whoever?”, I asked him.
“No Juju, no one is”
“Do you have alcohol at home?”, I asked again.
“I think I have something.” He responded.
“Then lead the way to your apartment will you?”, I said, then entered my car.
I know what you are thinking: How stupid is this lady? Does she want to sleep with another man? Doesn’t she know that is called adultery? What a useless new generation wife (if you were like my pastor). Two wrongs do not make a right.
Well, if you really are thinking these things, then you have never had your heart shattered into pieces before. You have never been in my position. An apt case of the popular saying: Do not judge my life until you have walked a mile in my shoes.
Luckily, we didn’t have to drive for long, because Paul lived just fifteen minutes away from the church. As we drove into his compound. I instantly wished I could hook him up with my friend, Chioma. The guy was very comfortable and this is me being modest. In fact, he is really rich. He could take care of any lady in the most luxurious way without breaking a sweat and I was a waste in that sense, because my life was too complicated for him. He lived in a mighty house, on Fola Osibo street, at Lekki Phase 1.
When we got into his apartment, he showed me to his living room and excused himself while I got very comfortable. I took off my high heeled stilettos, my black blazer and sat on the couch; then untied my ponytail bonded hair, letting it run free down my back, as I rested my neck on the couch and allowed myself absorb the beauty of his home.
My gosh, it was an elegant living room, carefully designed with the most exquisite furniture I had ever seen. Everything in the living was white: his 79″ Full HD OLED Flat-Panel television, the couch, center table, furniture. Everything.
Some ten minutes later, he joined me, with a bottle of Jack Daniel and two wine glasses. That was when I realized that the camisole I chose to wear that morning revealed just too much of my cleavage. I tried adjusting it, but Paul stopped me and said,
“You have to learn to be comfortable with me, my darling Juju. There is nothing you want to hide now that I haven’t seen before, is there?