Trouble in paradise

When I was in University, life was tough for me. Every day was a struggle and it was hard for me to get by. Raising five children was no piece of cake for my civil servant father and petty trader mother but they were determined to give their children a good education even if was just a first degree.

My parents were only concerned with things like hostel accommodation, school fees, handout and pocket money, any other thing outside these was none of their business. I was supposed to survive on whatever I was given until the next one came.. and it rarely did. I depended on hand me downs from friends and neighbors.

In order for me to survive, I decided to get a job in a Lounge where I worked most evenings as a cashier. My book keeping skill was on par and this earned me the admiration of my boss Chief Mike who showed his appreciation by rewarding me with cash incentives every now and then, I was happy.

After sometime, I was no longer getting the incentives but regular deposits were made by Chief into my bank account. Then the gifts started pouring in. I knew where this would lead to and I wasn’t interested because he was a married man. Besides, I didn’t want his wife’s trouble. She was a very cantankerous woman and the last thing I wanted for myself was to cross paths with her.

As much as I liked receiving gifts from Chief, I wasn’t comfortable because I didn’t want the other staff to notice and start to talk or put me in trouble so I politely asked him to put an end to it. My pleas fell on deaf ears as Chief became more “aggressive” with the things he did for me. He was determined to spoil me and I’d be lying if I say I didn’t enjoy it. I have seen poverty head on and this new lifestyle of having whatever I wanted wasn’t bad at all. I can’t tell how or when I started falling for him…but it happened.

Chief got me an apartment outside campus, I stopped working for him, then I became his mistress. He was in love with me and wanted me to be his second wife. I loved him too but being a second wife wasn’t what I had in mind for myself.
To prove how much he loved me, Chief relocated his wife and children to Dublin so that I would stop worrying about being lynched by her.

Chief’s parents and siblings knew about our relationship. They said, I brought him stability and peace of mind and they hoped that I would eventually change my mind and marry him some day. I thought about it but I still wasn’t down with the idea of being a second wife.

My five year sojourn in the University was over and I had to go for my Youth service program. Chief cried like a baby when I informed him that I was posted to Akwa Ibom state. The few weeks I spent with him before leaving for Akwa Ibom were the best weeks of my life.

I was posted to an oil firm in Eket but the distance didn’t nothing to my relationship with Chief until Imoh came into the scene.

I liked Imoh. We struck a chord and became friends. We spent a lot of time together and before the end of my service year, we were already an item. I told Chief about him and he was very understanding. He knew that at some point I would want to get married and have a family of my own so he couldn’t stop me. It broke his heart to “release” me to another man but he had to let go.

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A part of me always yearned for Chief. He was my first love and he’d always hold a special spot in my heart. We didn’t stop seeing each other while I was dating Imoh.

When Imoh proposed to me, Chief and I agreed that it would be best for us to stop seeing each other. I spent that weekend with him and it was second best weekend of my life. I loved Chief so much. He was a good, good man. If he wasn’t married, I wouldn’t even think twice about being his wife.

Two years later, with my wedding plans in motion, I sent an invite to Chief…out of courtesy or maybe for old times’ sake. He did not acknowledge the invitation but was really generous. He credited my account with enough money to cover the total cost of my wedding.

D-Day came. I had a beautiful wedding ceremony. We were at the reception venue with our guests. Imoh and I took to the dance floor while friends and family members danced around us spraying money… typical naija style. Then I perceived his signature perfume, I could recognize that scent anywhere… Chief was around. I turned around and saw him behind me with wads of notes in his hands. He literally stole the show. Everyone else stood back and watched as Chief lavished cash on me. From the corner of my eyes I could see Imoh giving me a “who is this look”?. But I pretended not to see him. Somehow, I was happy to see Chief. I wasn’t expecting him to come but I was happy he did.

The floor was littered with cash by the time Chief was done, then he held my hands and handed me the keys to a brand new SUV that was parked at the entrance of the hall. I was still screaming when he dipped his hand in his pocket and brought out some papers and a bunch of keys.. they were for the new apartment he bought for me.

I forgot that I was at my own wedding. I was carried away as I screamed and screamed. I guess it was momentary insanity. I was mad with joy. I ran out to see my new car and people followed behind to see what was causing the excitement.

My wedding gift was a wonder on was a brand new 4Matic Mercedes Benz. I screamed and jumped into Chief’s arms without even thinking about where I was and who was watching, then I acted on impulse and I kissed him.

Chief gently pushed me away. He was shocked and I could tell from the look in his eyes. He definitely didn’t see that coming. It was the gasps and sneers from guests that brought realisation back to me. I came to my senses and looked around just in time to see Imoh walking away. There was commotion. Guests were looking at me and calling me all kind of names. People were leaving..I had made a fool of myself. Wedding was over..

This is two weeks after and I am still trying to explain myself to my parents and in-laws. Imoh has threatened to kill me if he ever sets his eyes on me. Chief has apologized for what happened, it wasn’t his attention to cause me any problems. He did not expect me to react the way I did.

Now I don’t know what am going to do.

Uduak Osaro-Edobor
Instagram @udys_chapter

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