I will never forget that name for as long as I live. And I do not pray to ever come
across anyone with that name for the rest of my life. Because all that name rings for me is pain, sorrow, betrayal, and heartbreak.
When the hurricane called
Ashiedu blew through our lives, JJ and I had been married for just about 2 years, but had been a couple for 12 years. In my very first year at UNN (Enugu campus), I had become captivated by this good looking Lagos boy, who also had been captivated by me. We had fallen in love very quickly, and very hard…and had been more than just lovers. He quickly became the older brother I wished I had, my father-figure (especially considering I didn’t have a good relationship with mine), my confidant, and my best friend (yes, unseating Chidera!). Even as my weight kept piling on, he had eyes only for me. I was the center of his life, and everyone in school, and even beyond, knew how tight our bond was.
After he graduated, everyone wondered how I would cope on my own, but they didn’t have to wonder for too long. Once a month, my JJ would come to Enugu to see me. Come rain, come shine, he was there. Even when the country was on fire, in the wake of the annulment of the June 12 1993 elections, my JJ made it to town to see me.
It was a no-brainer that I would find my way to Lagos after my graduation, which I did. And after a few years of dating, we got married. It was the inevitable happy ending for this longtime couple.
At the time of our marriage, JJ’s construction company was still very small, and it was still struggling to find its footing. The staff strength was very small, and everyone was working towards a common goal. Growing the company.
I had my first son in early 2000, but unexpectedly conceived again when he was just about 6 months old. So, in early 2001, just like I had done with my first son, I had started preparing to return to the States, to have my new baby.
Shortly before my trip, JJ’s longtime Personal Assistant had resigned, so that she could join her husband in South Africa. I had never had a problem with JJ having close female employees. You could have been standing in front of my husband stark naked, and he wouldn’t have given you a second glance. When he had hired Feke, his outgoing assistant, everyone had thought I was crazy. We were already engaged at the time, and Feke had once been a Miss Nigeria contestant…to show you how pretty she was. But I hadn’t even been the least bit bothered. And just as I thought, she could have been a man for all my JJ cared. Her alarming beauty went fully unnoticed by him. Soon, Feke and I became very close friends, and she had even been on my bridal train. When she met her husband, I had been part of the ‘screening committee’, and gave her countless relationship advice when they started dating.
So, when he employed this Ashiedu woman, I hadn’t even thought twice about it. In fact, on the face of it, she had been even less of a threat than Feke had ever been. Compared to Feke’s supermodel looks, Ashiedu had been plain and borderline unattractive. She always looked unkempt and her hair was a perpetual mess. I had even once called her aside, to give her advice on grooming for professionalism. If only I had known that she was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
As soon as I was on the plane, Miss Ashiedu had started making moves on my man. She had studied him enough, because she didn’t do it in the obvious way of flashing breasts and thigh, as not only did she have neither, that tactic wouldn’t have worked on my JJ.
No, she was way smarter than that
She had warmed her way into his life. Cooking him meals, dropping by the house to ‘make sure everything was fine’, ensuring they had ample time together, so that they could talk about all his favorite things…that kind of thing. But the real coup had come when she lied about being robbed at home, and had somehow managed to convince my husband to let her stay in our BQ, until she felt safe enough to return home. My dumb husband had agreed, and that had been all she needed. As she had already tilled the ground, it hadn’t taken long for my husband, the love of my life, my JJ, to fall right into her trap. She found her way from my BQ, straight into my bed. Their affair had been brief, as JJ had ended it after a few weeks. But instead of firing her, the silly man merely redeployed her to another department.
When I returned home, I knew something was wrong somewhere. My husband was suddenly moody, and could barely look me in the eye. And there was a smell in my bedroom I just couldn’t shake. It hadn’t been perfume, or anything distinctly feminine…but more of an odour. I ended up concluding that it had been because the room hadn’t been cleaned thoroughly since I’d been away.
Until one day, I had gotten an e-mail from an unknown source, and had been shocked to my bone marrow at the pictures I saw. They were deep, dark and graphic pictures of my man, my husband, my JJ, in different sexual positions with that dirty woman.
I know for a fact that my heart stopped beating for at least a minute. In fact, if there had been just one more picture, I would have gone into a medical state of shock. My whole world had come crashing down.
I had hit the Forward button, and had sent them all to JJ. Just as I was trying to decide whether or not to go make a scene in his office, the Ashiedu herself had called me, and asked to meet me at a neutral location. So, I had jumped into the car, leaving my 1-year old son and wailing infant in the care of the nanny, my breasts dripping milk, and had gone to meet the foolish woman at the place she had suggested.
There she had been, all smug and satisfied. I immediately knew she had been the one who’d sent those pictures. Heck, I knew she’d been the one who’d taken those pictures herself. She then opened her mouth to tell me how she had been sleeping with my husband while I was away…how they had had s,x on my matrimonial bed, and pretty much every corner of our house…and basically how she could have him if she still wanted to.
As she talked, I just listened. The rage in me was building with every word rolling from her tongue. I waited for her to finish her narrative, before I had landed a hot slap on her face. She hadn’t seen it coming. Powered by all my raging hormones, I had descended on her, and would have beaten her to a pulp, if it hadn’t been for the intervention of the other patrons of the bar.
Incensed, but satisfied that I had at least drawn some of her blood, I drove back home and, predictably, JJ was already there, his face ashen as a result of the realisation that I knew what had happened. When I saw him, I lost my mind. I attacked him with everything I could find, knives, china, electronics…everything! I was a raging beast, and nobody could restrain me. When I was satisfied, I had bundled my babies into the car, and left, first for a hotel, and then later to a small apartment I rented.
Our reconciliation had been long and painful. It had taken JJ’s entire (and I mean entire) family, our Parish Priest, and eventually my sisters, almost a year to help us patch the gaping hole created by his infidelity.
I agreed to move back home just after New Year of 2002, and slowly, we had rebuilt our relationship. The trust took a lot longer, but he soon had been able to earn it.
And now, 8 years later, this little Onyinye heifer is trying to take me back to a place I have no intention of returning to?!
Nah! It aint gonna happen!
And if my dear husband knows what’s good for him, as she’s getting her Christmas rice and oil, she better be getting her termination letter.
Because nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to drag me down to hell again!