Tag Archives: marriage

Vain Gain

Ben, filled with so many regrets, dragged his feet to the door. His index finger worked on his chest, on the  brownish stain on his navy blue robe and wondering why on earth he now lived alone, why his family weren’t there and why everywhere was ghostly quiet in that house, as if he just w oke up to reality.

He had lived without his family for one year, but it always seemed like he lost them yesterday. Its hard to move on. It’s just hard.

He reached for the door handle, stared at it for a while, opened the door a little and peeked into the street.

As he searched for the delivery man with neck turning left right and left, with eyes squinted against sun rays, he saw the group of onlookers gawking at posters leaning on  metal poles.What could it be they were looking at?  He pulled his head back inside the house and peeped through the window at the man hastening towards his door.

‘Mr Oy!’ The man called. ‘Come out here and see this for yourself.’

Ben glared at his robe and ran upstairs, changed into something better and joined the group outside.

He gawked at the posters. What were his photographs doing on them? What the…! He whispered as his eyes sped through the letters.

There, glaring back at him, were his secrets.

Who was out to destroy him? Joy? Janice? They were the only ones he told

Ben hurried up through the tickled readers and yanked the posters off the four tree trunks, and wished someone exploded with  idiocy.

It must be Janice. Joy would never hurt him.

What else did Janice want? She was supposed to move on after destroying his marriage and ruining his life.

Six years ago, Janice was the woman for Ben; the one he wanted from the bottom of his heart to spend the rest of his life with.

And whenever she said amidst laughter ‘One day, you will wake up to my absence’, Ben had always thought it was one of her jokes. She would never leave him.

But she did. When he needed her most.

His asthma had hit hard and he was critically ill at the hospital. She was to take care of him but she did not show up at the hospital and never showed up again. He never saw her until after he got married to Joy. Joy was the pretty nurse who took care of him at the hospital and captured his heart. But Janice would always be prettier and lovelier.

Thats why The day his wife put to bed and was still at the hospital, she stood at the door with tears in her eyes. She was sorry. She could bear seeing him in his condition. It pierced her heart to see him in pain.

Something awakened in him and forced him to reach for her hand and let her in.

Few months later, he returned from work  and saw her at the dinner table silently eating dinner with his family. Instinct told him to run but it was too late.

‘Janice here wants to have a word with you, honey. I’ll leave you both to talk. I’ll join you when you’re done.’

What wife would leave his husband alone with such a pretty woman? But his wife trusted him that much. He stared at her back as she carried baby Fortune on her shoulder and walked into the room without glancing back.

‘!Why are you here?’ He whispered

‘!Ben. I’m pregnant with our baby!’

‘How! Why!’

She got up and walked to the door. He was scared…scared his wife would find out and leave.

His wife walked back to the dinner table and stared into his eyes.

‘Why was she here?’ He heard the question but could not answer, and was relieved when she  did mot say anything further. But he was afraid of what would follow that visit.

A week passed and nothing happened.

Then two weeks later, on Sunday, he was before his computer and his wife in the kitchen when a knock came on the door. He glared at it and hoped it wasn’t what he was thinking.

It was! It was her. With a big  bag laden with God-knows-what.

She left the bag and walked past him into the house.

‘What are you doing?’ He asked. Her hand glided to her shoulder and she whispered into his ears,

‘Our baby needs you.’

‘Janice, listen up, if you know what is good for you, go and do something about that baby! I’m warning you. Stop it! I’m happily married. Dont spoil…’

His wife walked into the sitting room. Glared at them for a while before picking baby who was crying in baby stretcher.

‘What is she doing here…with a travelling bag?’

‘Ask this shameless woman! She is just like every other girl in the street looking for the owner of a child growing in their wombs!’ He said and regretted saying that. For Janice stood up, went to the door and dragged her bag into the second bedroom. They both stared at her without words.

His wife handed him the baby and walked to the door and knocked…was she not  supposed to kick the door open, burst into the room angrily and drag Janice out of the house? Why was she so soft with her.

She opened the door for her. She stared hard at him before closing the door. He did not hear them shouting.. he wished they did. As he  placed his ear at the door and listened, he heard his wife’s sob. What? Then the door snapped open and she picked their girl from him, ran into their room. He rushed after her. He met her sitting in the rock-star with Fortune on her bosom.

‘She’ s pregnant with your child!’ When he did not say anything she said, ‘ You cheated on me with your ex!’

‘Joy, I’m sorry for this. I’ll make sure she left.’

‘Tell that to yourself because I’ve called my sister to pick me up. She will be here any minute.’

‘No, Joy! Honey, you’re my wife. You can’t do this. Fight for your right!’

‘Leave this room, Ben, before I lose my cool! Leave!! This minute!!!’ And he left. Hurried to Janice and dragged her bag out of the house and pushed her out of the house. But Janice was a hard nut to crack.  Before he knew it, his sister-in-law was already there in front of the house. And without a word to him picked Joy, screeched her tires on the driveway and zoomed off.

Joy left him. He did not feel good about it. He couldn’t have. She and Fortune were the  best things that have happened to him.

But when Janice turned into an angel and made him feel greater than he had ever felt, he felt that losing them was sort of blessing. Little did he know that he was being fattened for the slaughter.

They got married…he and Janice after three months.

Two years later, he found out she was having an affair with his boss at the office. It came as a surprise. How did they meet?

It was too much to bear! And he did walk into his boss’s office and punched him in the face for shamelessly admitting to have slept with her even though he was sorry.

Janice was sorry too. But that did not stop him from serving her a divorce letter and didn’t mind when she took their child with her…after all, he needed a paternity test.

In the midst of all the turmoil, he began to feel this wired desire to be all by himself, isolated. This feeling cost him his job and now he was a depressed as hell.

Two weeks later, a knock came on the door. He refuced to open it.

But he jumped to his feet when Joy called his name. His daughter wanted to see him. Ben knelt down and hugged his girl.

‘I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry!’

Florence Ezekafor

Still Searching

He fell in love with a song from the late 1970s’, Still Searching by Bongos Ikwue. It was one of his father’s favorites and his mother always swayed to it each time it played. He loved the song so much that he played it after tying the knots, in his car, in the house, in his office and anywhere else he could.

🎶🎵🪕🎼
I've been searching for
For true love
And I'm gonna
keep on searching
Till I find.
Nothing good comes easy
Best I know
Gonna keep on searching
Till I find...

For an obvious reason his wife hated this song and wanted him to stop listening to it. She said it’s the worst song for a happily married couple.  

‘This old school, honey reminds me of the good old days. That’s all.’ He said as if present days were bad.

‘Give it up,’ she said, ‘Can’t stand it. Can’t just stand it.’

His brows heaved up and his eyes narrowed when he saw her red eyes. She was certainly reading meanings into why he listened to the song. None of his explanations made her feel better about why he listened to the song. For him it’s about the sound, nothing else. He loves the sound, a lot.

He couldn’t just stop. Not yet. Not ever.

 One day he came home and she was gone. She left him a note; 

I hope you find your true love. If I’m the one, get rid of that song and come get me. You have only twenty four hours starting from now. – Love

He glared at the note. Such a trivial matter! How could she?

But he had to choose between her and his choicest old school song.

He got rid of the entire album and wondered if his father could have done the same for his mum.

Cast Away

It was a cool evening on 5th October, the same week Nigeria got her independence and transition spirit filled every street of Aba. Helen’s twenty-first birthday was on the way, in addition to that, she was bursting with the loveliest news. When she tapped on his door, he opened it. She jerked on seeing his scary face. 

‘Sit down. We need to talk,’ he said. She dropped her bag on the cemented floor and lowered herself beside him in the colourful fabric cushion. her eyes were glued to his eyes, searching for a clue. 

‘Is there anything you would like to let me know? Concerning your background?’ her mind raced and her eyes rolled and the only secret she kept from him popped up in her mind. She was not going to tell him. Not now, not ever. A month ago, he proposed to her and she was not going to end the fascinating relationship with the truth.

‘Nothing that I know of?’

‘Are you an outcaste?’ she pulled her eyes from him and cast them on the floor before plopping her knees on it sniffing. 

‘My great grandfather was. He’s long gone. Does that make me one?’ 

‘Yes, it does and you knew this and didn’t tell me all along. Marriage between us is impossible.

She stood up.

‘What if I told you that your child is growing in me?’

‘That doesn’t change anything. Nothing can. You know what to do–’ he went the door and opened it for her to leave.

She went on all fours and crawled his feet and clutched on them. He stooped and held her shoulder and looked into her eyes. 

‘Marriage can’t happen between us because of who you are. Understand this and leave.’

‘What about our baby?’

‘I can’t have it. But if you want to keep it, that’s your decision. I’m not and will never be a part of that child, ’ he plucked his hands off her shoulders, opened the door wide, picked her arms and dragged her to it.

When she anchored her hands and feet on the door frame. He left her. She staggered back to the room. He rushed at her and pushed her out and slammed the door shut.

When he threw her bag out through the window, she knew it was over. She went crazy in the street. Residents peeped at her through their doors and windows. She knew what they thought of her; she was nothing but the girl who threw her body at a man who had not paid her bride price. She was shamed as she went home.

Four days later, she went back to his apartment but to her surprise,  he had moved out. Someone else occupied it. He was nowhere to be found.

Her tears fell on her mother’s laps for weeks. Eight months later, she had her baby girl.

She later put her in the convent where she would never experience the humiliations due to the people of her kind.

~~~~

More flash-fiction

Lost To The Past

The curtains drifted apart and the sun rays crept into Chidi’s bedroom. He lay carelessly on the bed and his overgrown beard made him look a bit older than 36.

The stranger stood there by his bedside waiting. His face was expressionless as he transferred his briefcase to his left and brought out a paper from it.

He tapped Chidi again and moved swiftly to the other rooms and looked around.

Chidi heard unusual footsteps moving towards him and it seemed like another of his usual apparition had come. Ever since the disappearance of Amara and the kids, he had been seeing things. Images and sounds that came and went, like flashes of light. The illusion would soon disappear like the others – but he spoke.

“Get up. I need you to sign this.” he extended the paper to him.

Chidi’s eyes shut open and the first thing he saw was the white paper.

“What document?” Chidi asked nonchalantly before waking up to reality.

He jumped to the other side of the bed and backed away towards the closet but the stranger followed calmly with the document.

“I’m not holding any weapon, Chidi!” The stranger said to amuse himself.

“Who are you? How did you enter my house?” Chidi asked frantically.

“What does it matter? Chidi, I don’t have much time to spare. I need to return to my boss on time.”

“Who are you? Who sent you? I don’t have any agreement with anybody concerning signing any document.” Chidi almost shouted.

“Sign the paper and stop asking questions,” he said firmly and began to walk away.

“I heard you lost your family.” He said as he reached the living room door. Chidi was hypnotised by the sentence. He followed him.

“Yes? My wife and kids have been missing for five days now.” Chidi stopped as the man entered the living room. He picked up his phone for a quick call. To inform his friend Kc about the trouble in his house.

“What are you doing?” He peeped through the door. “Drop the phone. Not until I’m gone.” Chidi stopped dialling.

“What if I told you that someone I know knows where your family is?” He said and Chidi dropped the phone and moved closer to him.

“My family? You know where my family is?” Chidi asked in his softest voice, looking at him without blinking

“Yes,”

Chidi sat slowly on the sofa, bent his head, and wrapped his occiput with his entwined fingers. He brainstormed for a while before smiling as though he had solved his hassle.

He took the document, it’s the same one he had refused to sign for a year now.

“My wife is your boss?”

“No, her fiance is.”

“Ralph?”

Chidi laughed. Something had gone wrong with the world. How could someone married with kids run away to her lover? Married woman in her late 30s – blessed with 2 kids. Something is wrong with the world Chid lived in.

“Amara! Amara!” Chidi said calmly and bent his head.

She had told him about Ralph. She was only being stupid. Even though he was the man she had always wanted to marry, he had left her and never called because her parents said he would not marry their daughter.

He was from another tribe. She had talked about how deeply she loved him. When he left and travelled back to the US where he lived and never spoke to her, she had cried on Chidi’s shoulder who had loved her all along even when he knew he loved another man that deep.

When he didn’t come for her, she accepted to marry him. Four years into their marriage, he showed up. And she started seeing him behind his back. The day she brought the divorce paper for him to sign, he couldn’t believe she could be that stupid. He had refused to sign. Not with kids involved.

“Don’t tell me you’re leaving me and the kids for this home breaker who left you for because of a little conflict! how are you sure he isn’t married with kids?” he had been very mad at her but she never uttered a word. He talked to her at length and she had agreed to never see Ralph again.

Six months after a lovely and peaceful relationship during which Ralph was never mentioned, she disappeared with the kids. He was sure Ralph had gone back to the US but he could have come back for her.

“Where are my children?”

“Sign the damn paper, your kids are waiting to join you.”

“Of course.”

Of what use would it be for him to fight for his right when she’s made up her mind to leave?

“You know when you love someone and she loves someone else? That feels terrible. She only married me because he left her and never spoke with her. He left her because he couldn’t fight for her. You see, he’s not the right man for her. I am. But, unfortunately, she can’t see that.” The man stood up and extended his hand to take the paper from him as if what he was saying was falling on deaf ears.

“Her parents died two years ago in a car accident. He didn’t call her. Now he’s back as if she’s still single and I, an intruder.” He said amidst tears.

“Too bad man… Sorry. But you know, I’m only here to do my job. Emotion is not tolerable during work” He took the papers from him and made a call.

Few minutes passed and Amara came in with two new black trolley boxes.

She had returned the kids to him and apologize to him.

“Chidi I’m sorry it has to end this way. Please take care of them.” Silence ensued as Chidi bonded with the kids.

“Please know that Ralph is innocent, I’m the sole offender in this case. Please don’t go after him because nothing will bring me back,”

“Oh Yeah! I can see the glory around his crown for taking another man’s wife. No problem. Just go,”

“If you ever need my help, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.” Chidi took the kids and wrapped his arms around them again.

She left.

Chidi glanced at the door while the kids went to the balcony to watch her. “Mommy! Mommy!” Her seven-year-old called but got no answer, Raph drove her away.

Within two weeks, she announced to him over an e-mail and to the kids that she had moved to the US with Ralph.

She kept sending him emails to ask about the kids and had been sending money into his account for the kids, but all those gestures were annoying. He never touched her money and never told the kids about her emails.

Three months later, she sent him an e-mail.

She’s stranded in the US. Ralph had been married to an American lady and had introduced her to his wife as his sister. She was devastated and couldn’t stand America. She was coming back to Nigeria. She was sorry but wasn’t expecting him to take her back.

Chidi didn’t reply to any of her emails.

©Florence Ezekafor

Happy People Play

“Are you alright?” James asked while sitting close to his darling.

“Do I look alright to you?” She moved away from him.

Silence.

“Is it wrong to show I care?” He moved closer.

“Were you suppose to ask questions you already know the answers to?” He looked surprised.

“What do you think I should’ve said instead?”

Tone high and firm

“Why do you always want me to put words in your mouth?” she stood up and vibrated. The kids rushed to the closed door and listened, surprised at the new development.

“Why have you turned this difficult Grace?” He stood and walked closer to her.

“Have you ever thought you might be the one reason why life’s so miserable for me and why I’m ‘this difficult?” The kids gasped.

Shouts

“What did you just say to me?”

“What did you hear me say?”

“Would you please repeat your second to the last question?” James moved menacingly towards her.

“Will you answer the question if I repeated it, or hit me?”

The kids glared, eyes wide.

“Why are you looking at me that way?” James asked.

“What way am I looking at you and what did see me with? Mouth?”

“What’s that in your eye? Anger? Hate?” He asked almost giving in.

“What do you think it is?”

“What are you…a hawk? .…a tiger or something?”

“Which one do you chose to call me?”

Silence and smiles.

“Where’s everyone?” He asked surrendering.

“Ain’t you breaking the rule of the game? Don’t you know you’re not allowed to change the topic?” Grace asked still strong and ready?.

“Okay, I give in. You won!”

“Yeeeeeeeah! Again! I won! Ten times in a row! I’m on a roll!!” She said jumping up and down like a child.

“Awesome. Now, give yourself a loud applause.” James said and they both laughed andclapped and the kids couldn’t believe their ears.

~~~


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Get a little childish play daily.

Just a little will do.😆