Uncle Steve was a workaholic. His job took him to different parts of the world so he was always travelling. It won’t be wrong to say that he had little or no relationship with his family. For a very long time, he left the responsibility of running the home to his wife, Aunty Shirley whom we all called Sisi. She didn’t like to be addressed as ma’am, aunt or madam because she said, “it made her feel old”. So Sisi was her name of choice.
Uncle Steve provided every material and financial need for his family but he was a non-resident father and husband. This put a big strain in his relationship with Sisi. After a while, she got tired of complaining about her marriage and chose to remain in the marriage because of her children.
By the time her children grew older and left home for boarding school, Sisi was left alone at home and she discovered a new level of freedom that she was ready to explore to the fullest.
She had always been a housewife, so when she asked Uncle Steve for money to set up a business, he didn’t even think twice about it. For him, the business would keep her busy and she would not have time to think much about whether he was home or not.
Her idea of a business was a high-class restaurant/bar that had secret guest rooms for exclusive customers. Her services were top-notch. She provided all types of fun for men that were willing to pay for her services and she also had men who took care of her sexual needs since her husband was no longer working in that department.
Uncle Steve knew what his wife was up to but he turned a blind eye to all her atrocities. He admitted his shortcomings and he knew that he would not be able to fulfill his marital obligations to his wife so he let her have her way for the sake of peace. Besides, he had young ladies in every city he travelled to and they were always ready to fulfill his sexual fantasies. Sisi had become too fat and she couldn’t do the things that made him go wild in bed.
It wasn’t surprising when we learnt that Uncle Steve had suffered a heart attack which led to a stroke. (Finally, something to make he slow down). He was in a bad shape and we thought we were going to lose him.
Sisi never left his side for a moment. One would think that she would abandon him like he’d done to her all those years but she stayed by his side and played the role of the dutiful wife. Little did we know that Sisi was a schemer, This was a bitter woman and she was only buying time to carry out her plan.
One day, a nurse walked into Uncle Steve’s Hospital room and found Sisi forcing him to sign cheque books and documents. It was a struggle for him because his right hand was affected by the stroke and he could hardly hold the pen. Sisi, held his hand as she tried to force him against his wish. Uncle Steve couldn’t struggle or argue with her. He could only cry as Sisi poured out her pent-up anger and frustration of many years on him. She abused him as she wished him quick death. She obviously thought he was going to die but she was wrong. Uncle Steve was like the proverbial cat with nine lives. The nurse saw everything that happened and prompt reported to the Medical Director who gave a warning that Sisi should no longer be allowed into the hospital talkless of anywhere close to her husband.
Mallam Bature was Uncle Steve’s closest friend and long-time business partner. He came at the nick of time and suggested that his friend should be flown out of the country. Uncle Steve was taken to Saudi Arabia for treatment and within a few months he returned to Nigeria looking like a brand-new version of himself. He looked healthy and squeaky clean. like a brand-new kettle
He decided to shed his work load and spend more time with his family. He had a second chance at life and he wasn’t going to mess it up. His children were excited about their brand-new Dad but Sisi couldn’t care less, she was busy running her restaurant. It was her turn to exert her own pound of flesh. It was payback time. She was going to make him have a taste of his own pill. She wanted him to see and feel how it felt to be lonely.
Uncle Steve knew that he had not been a good husband. He would have loved to work on his relationship with his wife but the stunt she tried to pull at the hospital had put more strain on their relationship and pulled them further apart, they practically lived like strangers.
As the days went by, everyone went about their businesses trying to avoid each other as much as possible until Sisi became very sick. When the diagnosis came out, we discovered that she had HIV- AIDS. The speed at which it was ravaging her body was alarming because she also had under lining ailments (High blood pressure and Diabetes). Within weeks of the diagnosis, Sisi has shrunk beyond recognition…then she began to cough badly.
Uncle Steve ensured that she got the best medical care possible, after all she was still the mother of his children. Six months after the diagnosis was made, Sisi died in her sleep as a result of complications from HIV- AIDS and Tuberculosis.
Everyone that heard of her death was shocked. It happened so fast. One minute she was boisterous and full of life and the next minute she was gone. I believe that if anyone had told Sisi that she was going to die before her husband she would have laughed at the person.
Sisi is gone and Uncle Steve is still here. Who would have thought?