She fumbled the first curveball life threw at her.
She fumbled it badly.
She was working with Nigerian Airways when she met her husband. He was working in the same organization. They both met during a workers’ training programme organized by the federal government in conjunction with the British government.
She didn't see him coming. The sleek young fresh graduate who slipped into the seat beside her during a very important training session and whispered, "Your skirt is stained, I know you didn't notice and I don't want you to be embarrassed by standing up later without being told."
Wow! It was her period; it usually came at odd times and she had not mastered the signs of its coming as much as she should have.
He sat there with her, chatting like an old friend until they were the last two people in the hall
Then he offered her his jacket to cover herself as they made their way home later that day.
They became friends and one year later she married him. She was 23 at the time, he was 25.
She had her son a few months later (She was pregnant before they got married). Then she had her daughter two years later.
While she was pregnant with her daughter, her husband went for a six months training in the UK.
The training was essential for every staff and she should have gone with him but for the pregnancy.
It was a government-sponsored training and it was essential for the advancement of her
He wrote to her often and called whenever he could especially during work hours. There were no mobile phones at the time.
He returned just two weeks before she delivered their daughter. She nursed the baby for three months, returned to work and when the baby was six months she traveled to the UK for her own training.
Naturally, the government gave every staff member funds for their feeding and accommodation during the training. Members of staff with friends and relatives in London, stayed with their relatives in order to keep the money. It was good money.
Her husband stayed with a friend and upon return to Nigeria used his own savings to buy a Peugeot 504. She planned to use her savings to purchase a land so that they could then build their own house.
She had no friends or relatives to stay with in London so she asked her husband to make arrangements with his friend so that she could stay with him.
Her husband's friend had a two-bedroom flat in London. She would be at the training all day and would only have to sleep there at night and on weekends.
Her husband didn't have an option but to call his friend on her behalf.
He had enjoyed the same advantage after all and it would be unfair to deny the family the extra income. She would have hated him if he said no.
It would indicate that he didn't trust her or desire her well-being.
His friend agreed and picked her up at the airport. London was enthralling for her.
She was seduced by the city as soon as she stepped out of the plane. It felt like coming home.
Her husband's friend was an engineer, a British/Nigerian citizen who loves to live life to the full.
At first, he was courteous, then he became nice, and then he became kind.
Somehow, she warmed up to his affection and one night after they had spent the entire Saturday night dancing and balling at the club, she found herself in his bed.
It was two adults without a consciousness of their boundaries acting like children. She knew she had fumbled the ball.
The next day, she cried her eyes out. Both of them saw the ditch a mile away.
She was the married one and she knew she was playing with fire.
She saw the signs and acted like she could handle it. Well, it handled her!
The wise thing to do was to move out of his apartment immediately.
It was almost impossible for two adults who had gone there not to go there again
She knew this.
Her husband's friend however convinced her to stay, promising to behave himself and reminding her that her husband would become suspicious if she left abruptly.
She knew it was a bait. She bit it all the same.
By her fourth month in London, they had slept with each other everywhere in the flat.
They even booked a hotel for the weekend and had a blast. She felt there was no point pretending.
What happened in London would stay in London.
Then again, man can only propose.
She got pregnant. Her husband's friend proposed.
She weighed the pros and cons. She married him.
She felt her husband would move on and he eventually did.
She felt her children in Nigeria would understand.
She felt it was the best decision under the circumstances.
She was given a shovel, what other option did she have but to dig?
She insisted things just went wild somehow and that she did her best under the circumstances.
Her children were raised by her ex-husband's mother. Of course, they called her names to their faces and didn't stop reminding her children that she was scum.
Her ex-husband took the blow of her betrayal out on her children too. Sometimes he would go a whole year without visiting them in the village where he abandoned them with his mother.
Her children grew up in the village, hawking pepper after school and cursing her daily.
Twenty-three years later, she returned to Nigeria for the first time for the burial of her father.
She was shocked by what she met.
Her son hated women.
Her daughter was dating a man who had five wives already.
Those she had entrusted with the care of her children did a terrible job.
The three children she had in the UK had been taken by her husband when they got divorced.
He helped her with the relocation of some of her relatives and threatened to have all of them deported if she dared to contest the divorce in any way.
She had too much to lose and had to walk away from the marriage empty-handed.
Her hope was to mend fences with her children in Nigeria.
She knew it would be tough but she didn't expect it to be impossible. Her children simply didn't recognize her. Not only physically, but also psychologically.
They refused to respond when she talked to them or acknowledge the good things she did for them from London. She sent them clothes, and money for their education, she called when she could and tried very hard to be a part of their lives from afar.
Of course, it wasn't ideal but it was the best she could do under the circumstances. She apologized, begged, pleaded, and wailed.
The family called a meeting and begged the children to forgive and embrace her. They did but the distance between them emotionally was unbridgeable.
She couldn't even give them any form of counsel or instruction. She didn't feel like their mother or like anyone's mother for that matter.
When she got to her wit's end, she reached out to the Brother in Jeans and T-shirt.
"Sir, the way things are going, I will have nothing to show for my life if God does not help me." She lamented.
The Brother in Jeans and T-shirt met with her children first. It took some time but they healed.
He told them their mother's story and pains.
He told their mother their story and their pains.
It was weird but hearing both sides brought both parties to tears. The Holy Spirit forged in them a new kind of bond.
They grew in fellowship and bonded in love and friendship.
Two years flew by. Everything changed.
Keji, the daughter, is got married in Ekiti, January, 2023.
Kola, the son, has been out of depression for two years and is married with a son.
Guess who sent a selfie beaming with joy?
PS: It is not always that such broken walls get rebuilt but as believers, we have a duty to rebuild such walls. Not condemn and slut shame and insist actions have consequences.
We have a duty to bring the lost back to reason and heal the brokenhearted.
Let's do so today.
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