Her uncle had tried in futility to lure her out to greet her cousin and her children, but she had adamantly declined. The man had stopped pestering her when he saw and understood how devastated she was.
Instead, he had asked the maid to take her dinner to her. Daisy had also asked for juice, which was brought to her and that had been the last anyone saw her on the Friday she came visiting.
Then on Saturday, Ada had taken the bold step to go talk with the insolent young woman who though her state, should have atleast come say hello to relatives she was just meeting.
When she had entered the room with little Nedu, she had found Daisy on the bed, facing the wall. Then going over to seat, she called on her.
Ada: ‘chinwe, are you awake?’
Daisy had rolled to face her after a minute hesitation. Her eyes were bloodshot from the crying she did through out the night.
Ada: ‘God! Is it this bad?’
Daisy said nothing, just stared at her.
Ada: ‘You’re uncle John’s daughter right? The one that had been overseas all this while?’
Daisy still said nothing, didn’t feel like talking, wanted to ignore the woman by returning to her previous position, but found it rude to do so.
Ada: ‘please talk to me, what exactly is the problem? Father tells me you refused to see anyone, what is it? We are your families you know?’
At the word, ‘family’ Daisy’s tears started again.
Ada: ‘heh! Ogini mekwa nu? Why don’t you want to talk?’
Little Nedu, got out from his mother’s lap and crawled to Daisy to stare as her as if he could feel her pain.
Ada: ‘see, even Nedu wants you to talk to us’ the mother had said.
Daisy smiled, raised herself up and patted the child.
Daisy: ‘hi’ she said feebly
Ada: ‘Thank God! Now can you calm down and tell me what is wrong?’
Daisy: ‘I don’t know if i should bother you with my problems’ she said wiping her tears.
Ada: ‘biko, bother me, the whole family is worried about you’
Daisy: ‘am sorry for making them be, i just wanted to be alone…and cry my pain out’
Ada: ‘what pain is that?’
Daisy: ‘It’s my marriage, its not working’ Daisy had said with a painful sigh.
Ada: ‘odi egwu! A marriage issue has got you this down that you want to kill yourself?’
Daisy: ‘why shouldn’t I? Was it a crime to come marry him, is it a crime to love a person, why me?’ she had cried.
Ada: ‘please calm down and tell me what exactly…’
Daisy: ‘he cheated on me! The bas…bas…’ she couldn’t bring herself to say the word ‘…and he had the guts to deny everytime. Then at the end, he tells me that he’d touched, kissed and cuddled her receptive body to my face!’
Ada: ‘that was harsh of him! But was that all he did?’
Daisy: ‘what do you mean?’ Daisy asked startled.
Ada: ‘My dear, i thought you would say he sent you out or threatened to divorce you and that’s why you wanted to kill yourself’
Daisy: ‘are you saying what he did was right?’
Ada: ‘no! No! No! That’s not what i mean, am saying that worst things happen in marriage than just infidelity yet the women aren’t dead’
Daisy: ‘so i should get a divorce instead?’
Ada smiled. ‘that’s not even an option, atleast its what my Bible say. Neither is it what i meant. People think marriage is a contract where you wake up oneday and say to yourself ‘i want out’! It goes beyond that, it is a vow of ’till death do us part’ shared before people and nothing is meant to severe the cord’
Daisy: ‘yeah right! Even when the Idi,ot turns the wife to his wrestling partner, she should still stick her butt and say till death do us part? well i see one person parting tho the grave, and that’s the foo.l!’
Ada: ‘you’re right there, such things happen, but life itself isn’t a smooth road is it? I do hope that is not also the problem here?’
Daisy: ‘he can’t dare!’
Ada: ‘good! So the problem here is infidelity?’
Daisy: ‘don’t care what you call it! And can you imagine he had the guts to treat my friend badly and insinuate that i am sleeping with him! When he’s the guilty one?’
Ada: ‘the society don’t see it so bad for a husband to cheat, but when the wife does so, she’s crucified!’
Daisy: ‘that’s so cruel!’
Ada: ‘you can say that again’ Ada said drily ‘it happened even in the bible’ she added
Daisy wasn’t a bible person, she wasn’t sure she knew which passage or the story, but she believed her nonetheless.
Ada: ‘did i also add that the trend is more rampant among the ibos?’
Daisy: ‘bloody ibos, i hate them’
Ada: ‘funny you! Aren’t you a part of us?’
Daisy: ‘am yoruba now’
Ada: ‘by marriage that is. And If my memory serves me right, wasn’t it this year you got married to him?’
Daisy: ‘6 months now’
Ada: ‘and you’re gonna give up on such tender marriage, just like that?’
Daisy: ‘what do you intend i do?’ Daisy cried.
Ada: ‘you can’t give up on it, or don’t you love him atall?’
Daisy: ‘I very much do’ she whimpered.
Ada: ‘And you’re gonna let some lady from nowhere dig her claws on your man? You’re the one he took to the altar, you’re the one wearing his rings, you’re the one bearing his name, so why let a loser feel she can come between you and your husband and make you cry out your heart? That is an error!
Ada continued: ‘Let me tell you a secret. Two years into my marriage, i felt my husband was playing a fast one on me, but i didn’t cry, no! I confronted him, but he denied squarely. Okay! No problems, i let peace reign, forgot everything and moved on. But i waited. Waited for the day I would personally see that lady in my house or making out with my husband, then i would tell her that i am the real woman in his life, the one he comes to every night, i would fight against her with all i have and scare her away from his life. Then if he eventually comes to his senses, i will forgive him and take him back to my bosom. Because if I push him away, then all my battles has been lost and he would go back to the seductress. Then what will that make me? A failed woman! A loser! That, i tell you, would be devastating to dignity of all the women in the world.
Daisy: ‘in the world!’ Daisy asked. Awed at the strength of the woman before her.
Ada: ‘yeah all the women in the world i think’ A smile, ‘never mind my wild assumptions, but the point still remains that you become a loser, losing both your man and your dignity. Don’t call us desperate, we are just fighting for our man, ourselves, our daughters and our sons!’
Daisy listened with rapt attention. She hadn’t seen it from this perspective, had been so bent on revenge that she didn’t see a reason to fight, just a reason to cry and hide.
Nedu was already fast asleep.
Daisy: ‘but…’ Daisy wanted to ask
Ada: ‘No buts my dear, I’ve been married for ten years now and this is my success story. I apply 3 keys to my marriage: Forgiveness, communication and companionship. These keys will never fail you’
Ada: ‘don’t whoa! Just go home, go and talk with him, get his perspective, maybe there’s something he’s been trying to tell you, why he did what he did. You’re a very pretty and endowed woman…’
Daisy blushed then.
Ada: ‘…i don’t see what that other woman have that you don’t. Tease him, taunt him with your body, you’re a woman for Christ sake! But don’t starve him. Also remember the communication and forgiveness part, though they seem the hardest, but they solve more problem than you could ever imagine. Offcourse, you also don’t forget the God factor, its Very important!’ Ada completed and patted her sleeping son.
Daisy exhaled deeply ‘all i can say is whoa! You’re awesome, you know I’ve never heard it this deep before? Are you a counsellor somewhere?’
Ada: ‘just a secondary school teacher, but i have a way with words’ she said and winked.
Daisy: ‘thank you’ Daisy said sincerely.
Ada: ‘you’re welcome dear, now you owe me one. You have to get up, bathe and follow me to the market. I need to get stuffs for my mum and you will accompany me, No excuses’ Ada said, rose up and lifted the sleeping child. ‘let me get Nedu to my room, i just hope his siblings won’t disturb him. Then i shall come back for you. I trust you’ll be ready’ she smiled at Daisy and left the room.
Daisy didn’t reply, just smiled, enjoying the relief and new energy she felt . As she took her bath, she resolved then to go back home and apply the three keys her wonderful cousin had taught her.
Finally, Jide found his breath and tongue.
Jide: ‘Grace what are you doing here?’ he asked, astonished.
Grace: ‘oh please, dont stare at me like that! I know your house remember?’ Grace replied and brushed past him, walking seductively to the parlour.
Jide closed the door, but that was after he caught Adamu stealing glances at them. High time he changed that man who had no sense of security! He thought.
Turning back, he saw Grace still standing and batting her eyes at him.
Jide: ‘and i still want to know what you’re doing here?’ he asked, making no move away from the door.
Grace: ‘gush! Do you have to be like that? We are not enemies you know?’
Jide: ‘yeah! And we aren’t friends either!’ he said almost shouting.
Grace: ‘could you just calm down? Am not here to start a fight or something. I just felt lonely and wanted to talk’
Jide: ‘and i was the one you chose!’
Grace: ‘you are a friend and an ex’ she retorted drily.
Jide: ‘that exactly is the issue!’
Grace: ‘what issue? This lady ain’t here for trouble ojare’ Grace said bad naturedly ‘she just wants us to be like old times’ she added, pursing her lips.
Was this chick for real? Jide thought. ‘I have so much on my mind right now, and don’t need complications okay? If you will just kindly leave, that would do my world some good!’ he said and left the door for his seat.
Grace: ‘complications? That also is my reason for coming. I heard the docile pet, Daisy is missing’ she said with venom in her voice.
Jide stopped in his track. ‘who told you that?’ he asked surprised.
Grace: ‘oh, news travel, though i didn’t get mine on flight. Ade told me about the fight you had and how our American wife has gone awol’
Jide: ‘none of your business! You both can go to hell for all i care’ Jide retorted and went to seat down.
Grace went over to sit at the settee after his.
Grace: ‘I’ve known that girl as a bad luck, see how she’s come between two friends like that!’
Jide: ‘Ade was never my friend and i will not have you talk about Daisy like that!’
Grace: ‘okay, okay, sorry if i struck some dumb marriage cord’ she drawled. ‘who cares about Ade? I’m not even here to banter with you over innocent Daisy’ she scoffed.
Jide was forced to look at her now, what was her mission then? He wondered.
Grace moved to seat on the arm of his seat, then crossed her hand across his shoulder
Grace: ‘I am here for you and only you’ she cooed softly looking intently at Jide. ‘I want you to love me the way you’ve done before, all other men don’t compare to you, my body remembers your touch and has long ached for it. Your wife is not here, so what’s the worst that can happen? I will be discreet and…’
Jide just sat transfixed, adrenaline surging through his body. He knew he should have stood up and pushed this seductress away, but somehow, he didn’t have the power to do so, not when his eyes were faced with the cleavage of the lady luring him with her words and teasing him with her gradual movement on his body. He knew this was sweet temptation, so ripe and ready to be plucked. He loved his wife but…
Grace: ‘…see this skin’ Grace slowly drew her hand across her exposed thigh ‘…they await to feel you. So what you gonna do rude boy, decline this no strings attached offer?’ Grace took his hands and placed it on her bosom. ‘there, they need your squeezing too’ she winked and licked her lips
Jide: ‘you’re crazy, you know?’ Jide whispered a failed attempt at shouting.
Grace: ‘yeah, i am, crazy for your love and…’ she positioned comfortably on his laps ‘…your kiss’. With this she drew her head slowly and kissed at his lips before going for the kill.
Jide tried to fight it, but at the end, he lost control and drew Grace closer.
Grace: Yeah! that’s what am talking about baby! Grace thought in triumph as she pressed closer to him. She had wanted to prove a point to herself, that Jide could still fall for her charm and so far she was very successful.
What you gonna do now Daisy? You don’t mess with a desperate Nigerian girl! she thought proudly as she clinged to Jide enjoying the ride and determined to go all the way down!
Daisy alighted from the Taxi at the front of her gate and brought out her bag, smiling contentedly. She was feeling so happy and believed that nothing could ever go wrong, even the sun seemed to smile at her.
Daisy: ‘so, how much is my fare?’ she asked all smiles.
The driver hesitated a while, before he shrugged and said. ‘madam bring 2000’, expecting her to bargain.
Daisy dug into her bag and brought out exactly 2000 naira.
Daisy: ‘here’ she handed him the money and walked away. She didn’t notice or care about his surprised stare.
The driver perused the neighbourhood he just dropped his passenger, shrugged and drove off.
Adamu was already at the gate, smiling sheepishly.
Adamu: ‘madam welcome oh’ he greeted flying his hands by his sides.
Daisy raised a brow before smiling. Hmm, even Adamu too was happy for her. ‘thank you! How’s work?’ she asked as she walked past him into the compound, Adamu following behind.
Adamu: ‘fine oh madam. Why you come go leave us?’ he asked.
Daisy, quite unlike her, stopped to chat with the man.
Daisy: ‘you know, i had to clear my head, but now am back…for good!’ she said excitedly.
Adamu: ‘welcome oh!’ he replied still smiling sheepishly.
Daisy: ‘Thanks. I trust Jide is around?’ she asked, now walking away.
Adamu: ‘yes…erm…yes oga dey’ he stammered, his smile immediately faded and his hands flew to his head.
Daisy didn’t look back, she sighted Jide’s car and felt a deeper urge to resolve their problems as soon as possible.
Daisy: ‘I’ve got a feeling, uh oh, that tonight’s gonna be a good night…’ she sang merrily as she walked on, Stopping briefly to peer at the pool with longing.
Daisy: ‘soon we shall be united’ she chuckled and walked on.
Back in the parlour, Jide and Grace were still on with their business, the heat and tempo higher. Grace’s gown was already high up her thighs while Jide hands were everywhere on her body.
Grace: ‘tell me i do you better’ Grace moaned.
Jide didn’t answer, just continued working with his lips, while his hands ravaged her body.
Soon, the door flew open and in walked Daisy. Her duffel bag was the first to hit the ground as she stared dumbfounded at her husband and and…Grace!
The cuddling couples immediately disentangled when they heard the noise.
Grace gracefully straightened her gown while she eyed Daisy with victory and contentment on her face.
Jide, still breathing heavily had this ‘busted’ look mixed with remorse, guilt and shame. He just stared at Daisy wishing the ground would swallow him there.
But It didn’t.
Daisy’s face was already wet with tears from her gland.
Daisy: ‘what…is going on here?’ she managed to say.
Grace: ‘duh…you needed to ask?’ Grace replied, arms crossed on her chest. She was so ready for action however it came.
(Do you think Daisy should stop running away from her shadow and face the reality?)
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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