Short stories

Physician heal thyself

June 12, 2012 Ezer Kenegdo 0 Comments


As hard as I tried to listen to Bidemi, I couldn’t help but sneak peeks at my watch. I felt for my friend, but her situation was a no brainer. The thing is, she’d recently found out her husband had been having an affair. As expected, Bidemi was completely hurt and embarrassed to find out he’d been cheating on her for the past 3years. She knew they’d been having problems, but she didn’t think things were that bad! 

You see, 4 years ago her husband had been transferred to Abuja. Their marriage survived the distance for almost a year before cracks began to appear. Everything had come to a head a few days ago when she’d received a call from a hospital in Lagos asking her to come there as her husband had just been admitted. She’d thought it was a mistake because her husband was in Abuja. However, when she’d tried to contact him with no luck, she decided to go to the hospital and was shocked to find it was indeed her husband who was on admission. She held off asking for explanations until he'd recovered.

2days ago she’d left the office early to attend her daughter’s ‘Parent Teacher’ day and decided to stop by the hospital on her way to the school, but was unable to reach her husband on the phone- he’d requested she call him before she made her way to the hospital. She’d thought that was strange- but then again he was strange like that. However, nothing could have prepared her for what she saw when she walked into her husband’s hospital room - a slender light skinned girl bent over him, planting kisses all over his face. The girl quickly introduced herself to my friend as ‘the girlfriend’ who thought Bidemi was ‘the younger sister’ who had been taking care of him. Bidemi stood speechless as ‘The girlfriend’  proceeded to thank her for taking care of him, explaining that she’d been away on an extended all inclusive holiday which ‘he’ had paid for . This was how my friend found out her husband had been transferred back to Lagos 3 years ago and had been playing house with ‘the girlfriend’.

Me: Bidemi believe me, I know how you feel- but the bible is very clear on this issue. As a Christian you just have to forgive him. I know you still love him; he still loves you and is extremely sorry for what happened. You....

Bidemi: Oooooh you can’t understand what I’m going through.  How could he do this to me?! 3 years Chibuzor! 3 whole years.

Getting up, I pulled my best friend into a tight hug. I hated to leave her like this, but I couldn’t stay a minute longer. Fred was going to be home in a few hours and he’d requested I make his favourite meal for a special dinner he wanted to have tonight.

Fred and I had been having problems for a while (if you call 5 years a while), but since my mum passed away 2 months ago he’d really been trying and things seemed to be getting better. I guess my fasting and praying had paid off. The first 2 years of our marriage had been like heaven. Then it was like he literally changed overnight, and I honestly couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong. At first I’d thought it was because he’d been given more responsibility at work. But as time passed, things got progressively worse- and all I could do was pray. So although I was sad when my mum passed away 2 months ago, I was glad because Fred’s attitude towards me changed. He seemed more caring and when he’d called today, asking me to pick up ingredients to make his favourite for dinner, my heart leapt with joy.

Me: Sweetheart I’m sorry, but I have to go. This isn’t over. I’ll be back tomorrow. But remember all I’ve said, you just have to find it in your heart to forgive him. Remember what we say....what would Jesus do?

I hugged my friend again and left. In the 30years we’d been friends I’d never seen her down. She was always the strong one. It felt strange having to console her in this way.


*****

“Oh no, oh no, oh no” I mumbled to myself as I pulled into the drive way to find Fred’s car in my parking spot. What was he doing home? He was 5 hours early. I hurriedly got out of the car and rushed into the house with the shopping bags I’d picked up on my way home. I desperately hoped this wouldn’t ruin the beautiful evening we’d planned. I dropped the bags by the front door and made my way straight to our bed room. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw- My husband was leaning over a Ghana must go full of clothes and kissing the average looking girl that was sprawled over my matrimonial bed.

Fred: Oh Chibuzor you are home already?

I was still in shock when he pulled the girl off the bed and whispered in her ear to give us a few minutes.

Fred: I’m sorry you had to see this; I was hoping to be done before you got back from the market.

His mouth was moving, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. Was I dreaming or did my husband just kiss a stranger on our matrimonial bed?

Fred: I’ll get straight to it. I want a divorce. You can stay in the guest room till you find alternative accommodation; you obviously can’t stay here with us and.....

Me: Fred is this some sort of a joke? What...

Fred: There’s no use doing this. We are both adults so it doesn’t have to be this way. Truth is I’ve never loved you, and I really never will. Now that I have control of your mother’s company, I see no need to continue this farce of a marriage. My happiest moment in this marriage was when your mother passed away and I knew the company would finally be mine.

At that moment, I snapped. I felt no pride in begging for my marriage. With tears pouring down my face I got on my knees, held on to his leg and begun to beg. This couldn’t be the same man I married. This man who now looked at me with disgust, who allowed his new wife to drag me out of my own room! A room we had both shared for the past 7years.



After what seemed like hours, their voices begun to fade away. I tried to speak, but I couldn’t. Even the tears had stopped flowing. I couldn’t move. That was when I realised - I was having an asthma attack.


*****

The doctor said I was lucky. He said it was a miracle that I survived.  Aunty Labake, my mum’s lawyer had stopped by the hospital a few times, but I wasn’t receiving visitors.  But as I left the hospital, I wondered if I should stop by her place. I was sure she wanted to discuss my brother Chinedu’s situation with Fred. I’d attempted to apologise to Chinedu for getting us all into this mess, but he seemed surprisingly ok about it all. So I asked him to make a quick stop at Aunty Labake’s before taking us home.


*****

I knew I was being dramatic, but I didn’t care.  Chinedu tried to get me off my knees but Aunty Labake asked him to leave me alone. I held that piece of paper tightly in my hand, threw my hands in the air and sang like I never had before. God had taken my shame away with a single piece of paper. The piece of paper that contained the proviso my mother mentioned in her will. The one that stipulates if Fred leaves me at no fault of my own, everything reverts to me until Chinedu is ready to take over.


*****

                                             

As I sat at what used to be Fred’s desk, I wondered how possible it was for me to feel nothing for the man I’d loved for the past 8 years. As he asked me to forgive him and take him back all I could think of was his total disregard for the children and I when he’d watched his new wife drag me out of the house. All I wanted to do was show him the same courtesy he showed me and have security escort him out in a less than dignified manner. On the other hand I thought of the conversation I’d had with Bidemi, how I’d told her to forgive her husband. How can I then turn around and do the opposite? I'm so confused about what to do.

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