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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

[Story] Misplaced Love – Final Episode

After the wedding, we spent two weeks in São Tomé
Príncipe in a hotel overlooking the sea. Dayo’s uncle
paid for that as his wedding gift to us. I will save
you the
details of what happened on the beach over there in
Tomé and Príncipe. However just five months after
wedding, my fairy tale romance with Dayo came
like a pack of cards. I was washing his clothes
when I
found a note in his trouser pocket which read,
“Baby, I will
be waiting for you in the hotel room. Don’t give me
excuses this time.” Unbelievably I stared at the note
as my
heart threatened to stop. Hot tears ran down my
face and
my head felt light. I began to cry. In the dream land
my kind of love evolved from, men don’t cheat and
one of my imaginary lovers cheated on me. With my
wobbly, I stood up and reached for my phone and
Shola, Dayo’s younger sister who had come to be a
friend of mine.
I cried so hard on the phone she thought I was
going to
die. When she came over and saw the note I found
in her
brother’s trouser pocket, she was struck dumb. We
couldn’t reason our way around the evidence of
before us. Dayo was out supervising work on the
house we
had acquired. Before he could get home I had
packed my
things and moved into another room. When he
home and I confronted him with the note, he
denied knowledge of it. To me his denial of having
knowledge of the note seemed quite genuine. He
was mad
with me for even entertaining the thought that he
cheat on me. My heart was in tatters, I did not know
to do or believe. I had never been cheated on
Dayo was my first love. To save our marriage, Dayo
brought the matter to the knowledge of his family
members and mine. His efforts to save our marriage
impressive but the problem was that my heart had
prey to morbid fear and paranoia. I found myself
every time he was away from me that he was with
woman. To drive home my plight, my mind daily
on the fringes of hysteria.
Slowly I started denying him s-x occasionally and
began to
starve him at home. Before long the love I had in my
for him was replaced with bitterness and disregard.
completely ate me up and I fell into darkness. To
save our
marriage I began to read his e-mails and went
through his
phone to prove to myself that he was not cheating
on me,
however the more I dug into his life, the more I
clues that perhaps there was another woman
sleeping with my husband when he was not at
When my heart could not take it anymore, I packed
stuffs and moved out of his house. He fought like a
bull to
keep me from leaving him, he cried, swore and even
threatened to commit suicide, but my heart was no
with him. Living with him was driving me insane.
After I
left him, almost every night I cried myself to sleep. I
wake up in the morning and found my pillow wet.
times I thought that I gave up too easily and
what mattered the most to me. But I was too afraid
Dayo dumping me in the long run, so I slipped into
my old
self who perfected the art of rejecting men’s
advances and
cried about it all night long.
A month after I moved out of Dayo’s house I found
out I
was pregnant, so I called his mother and told her.
must have told Dayo, because he did everything he
to see me but I refused to see him, even though I
about that. When I made up my mind to leave his
house, I
convinced my superiors at work to move me to
branch of the company both of us worked for. My
was swiftly considered given the good relationship I
enjoyed with my bosses. So for Dayo to see me was
difficult, and I made sure it stayed that way for long.
wasn’t sure if what I was doing was right. Everyone
told me
I was being stupid, including my parents. My father
particularly angry with me for throwing my marriage
On several occasions he called demanding I move
back to
my husband’s house. Each time I tried to explain
my plight
to him he would shut me up, yelling at me. My
summoned meetings to get me to move back to
house, but I wouldn’t budge. After some time, it
everyone cut me a slack and allowed me to follow
my way.
Even Dayo who called me off-the-hook, strangely
silent. The only person who stayed in touch with me
Dayo’s mum. She continued to treat me as though I
not left her son’s house. She was exceptionally nice
to me
and that made me feel guilty.
Things further deteriorated about the eighth month
of my
pregnancy. Dayo’s mother had called to know how I
doing; as usual I was in tears. She decided to drive
to my house to see me. I had not let any of Dayo’s
know where I was living. However, because of how
Dayo’s mum cared for me, I sent my address to her.
an hour later she was in my house. She didn’t like
the way
I looked. Living alone I had to do everything for
That evening, I had not much to eat and was too
tired to
fix a meal for myself. Dayo’s mother offered to cook
my, but on a second thought she decided to go buy
food. About a minute after she left my living room, I
a loud cry at the staircase. It was Dayo’s mum. I
ran out in
panic, clutching my protruding tummy. The sight I
met at
the base of the staircase was shocking; Dayo’s
mother was
lying still on the floor with a bloody gash on her
head. She
must her slipped off the staircase. I began to shout
loudly as I could, calling for help. Thankfully my
neighbours were already on the way to the
staircase, they
had heard my mother in-law’s cry. She was lifted
and driven off to a hospital. I ran back into my
and dialed Dayo’s number. I did not believe I would
him for any reason, but that was what I did in that
situation. Sadly his phone was off. I had to call his
Shola and told her what had happened.
By 10: pm in the night, doctors gave us a terrible
Dayo’s mother had gone into coma; her head had
taken a
terrible hit when she tumbled on the staircase.
late into the night there was still no sign of Dayo.
was at the hospital including my parents but Dayo
nowhere to be seen. I had to pull Shola aside and
her why Dayo was not in the hospital. She was
angry with
me as was everyone. I was blamed for what
happened to
my mother in-law. They all believed that if I had
agreed to
return to my husband’s house, my mother in-law
not have slipped on the staircase. Judging by
mood, it seemed to me she was going to beat me
up. I
could tell she was having a hard time controlling her
anger. Possibly to let me realize how selfish I had
Shola decided to tell me what everyone had agreed
not to
let me in on, “Runaway-wife, when you came into
family we thought it was for good, but as it is, when
came death was following behind you. If you care to
Dayo has been lying sick for three months at the
He has colon cancer. The way things are; he is not
going to
survive it.” I still can’t explain what happened next.
All I
remember was going down in a heap as my head
The next day I woke up in a hospital bed, crying to
Dayo. Everyone in the room sighed, and I could
understand why they did so. It was already late. My
to forgive what actually never happened had ruined
marriage and the relationship I had with those in
family. Nonetheless, I continued to cry, demanding
to be
taken to him. After I had recovered from my shock, I
taken to see Dayo at the hospital where he was.
The first
thing he said when he saw me was, “Baby, I did not
on you, and neither have I known another woman
the day we exchanged our marital vows.” My
parents who
had taken me to see him had to steady me. I
seemed to
totter at the sight of the gawky figure which lay on
the bed.
In just three months cancer had eaten up my love
and left
him looking like a retroviral patient. All I could say
tears, as I sat next to him was, “I am sorry. I
believe you,
please forgive my stupidity.” Raising his frail hand
he ran it
on my big tummy and asked, “How is the baby?” I
not say a word, hot tears were gushing from my
eyes as
guilt stabbed at my heart.
In the weeks that followed, I moved back to Dayo’s
I was eager to make the brief moment we had to
together the most memorable ones we had spent. I
had to
go apologize to Dayo’s father and siblings for my
failure to
forgive Dayo a wrong which he consistently
confessed he
did not do. His father was quick to forgive me, but
siblings dragged their feet. They believed I had
their family. While I was on knees crying to be
forgiven my
phone rang, it was Esther. We worked together back
I worked at the same branch with Dayo. At first I
her call, but when she persisted, I had to take the
meaning to ask her to call me back later, but what
followed was unbelievable. I heard Esther crying and
asking me to forgive her over the phone. She
wanted to
see me immediately. When I asked her what I had to
forgive her for she said she was the one who
planted the
note which broke my marriage with Dayo and had
sent the
suspicious e-mails I read.
I was so deeply hurt that I went into labour in that
moment. Dayo’s father and siblings could not figure
why I cried the way I did. At first they thought that
had passed on. Shola had to pick my phone which I
in her direction to find out whom I spoke with over
phone and what he or she might have told me. After
I had
successfully delivered my baby, Shola gave me the
full gist
of what she had found out from Esther. Esther
to have had a crush on Dayo, and had hope of
nailing him
down until I took him away. Determined to win him
herself, she went to work to destroy my marriage.
these were strange to me, I had heard stories of
stealing other women’s husbands, but I was too
naïve to
believe any of it. I believed that men leave their
because they want to. When I mentioned Esther’s
confession to Dayo, he didn’t speak a word for over
minutes. He simply turned on his bed and faced the
It turned out that after I moved out of his house,
began to pester him to let her move into his house
so she
could take care of him. It hurt Dayo so much
because he
did not make the connection when Esther pestered
and threw herself at him at every chance she got.
She had
to confess what she did because a native doctor
had told
her that if she did not, she would never get married
(I do
not believe this was the reason she confessed. She
confessed only because she saw that Dayo was as
good as
dead. Perhaps guilty conscience wouldn’t let her
move on).
However the thought of Esther visiting a native
doctor for
whatever reason scared the living day out of me.
where I come from I did not hear of such. I saw
girls flaunt
their bodies to catch the men they wanted, but did
hear of any visiting native doctors.
In all, I learnt that I was naïve about love and life.
Dreaming about love did not mean I knew jack
about it.
Right under my nose, a fellow woman took my
and smashed it on the floor. You can dream about
love all
you want, if you do not work your fingers sore and
how to love and keep your man, you might lose him
those who want him more than you do. On the other
hand, the birth of my son seemed to give Dayo a lot
reason to fight and live. He did not survive the
cancer, but
he lived long enough to see his son say, “Dada.” My
mother in-law woke from coma about a month and
weeks after I had my son. She still treats me like an
in spite of my folly. I still regret my stupidity. I
should have
believed Dayo when he swore to me that he knew
about that note. Cancer may have killed him
anyway, but
we would have lived happily all those months I left
Maybe…just maybe my love would have stopped the
cancer. Someday I might get the chance to love
again, and
even if I catch my man pants down with another
woman, I
won’t throw him away, until I have heard the whole
The above story was narrated by Angela Ighalo
name withheld)
By Olubunmi