DOZ Issue 30 April 2018 - Page 38

calls. I shook my head. It was so unlike Gbenro, who had always been excited to be with me, to speak to me, but the devil was fighting hard to change all that. I encouraged myself that it was only for a season, and very soon things would take a turn for the better. I did wonder, though, whether I should inform my parents about what was happening. I decided to remain silent, after all if I had handed the matter over to God, I must walk in faith, and it was not faith to go all over town confessing that my marriage was heading for the divorce courts. When I spoke to my parents later that evening, I said nothing about the fact that Gbenro was suing me for divorce and planned to marry the woman who was pregnant with his child. The following evening, Gbenro returned from Abuja. I was reading upstairs on the balcony when his car drove up to the house. I excitedly put down the book and rushed downstairs to welcome him home with a hug and a kiss as I have done every time he returned from a trip for the last five years. However, as I rushed out to meet him with a big smile and my arms open wide, he walked past me into the house, ignoring me completely. Thankfully, the driver did not notice because he was occupied with getting Gbenro’s cases from the car, and neither the cook nor the cleaner were in sight. I fought back the tears as I called out to the driver to bring in the cases before going back inside. Gbenro had shut himself in his study. I knocked twice, got no reply, and walked away. As I did, I could hear him talking and laughing on the phone, and female instinct told me he was talking to a woman, probably Ronke. I felt a sharp pain in my stomach, and I began to ask God to give me the grace to bear what I had to while the battle lasted. That night, all effort to have a word with Gbenro failed, and once again he slept in the spare room. However, the next morning, he came into the bedroom to get something, and I quickly seized the opportunity. I hoped he would sit so we could talk, but he continued going through his wardrobe and insisted I talk if I had something to say. “I still love you, Gbenro, and I’m committed to the success of our marriage,” I said. He laughed. “If you loved me and wanted our marriage to succeed, you would have had children « 38 DOZ Magazine April 2018 by now.” It was a slap in the face, and for a while, I didn’t know what else to say. Gbenro, who had fought everyone who negatively talked about my childlessness, who insisted I had no problem and God would give us children in His own time, was now mocking me? If he mocked me, then what chance did I stand with his family members now? “Lord, help me,” I muttered under my breath. I wasn’t sure what to say or how to say it, so I said as casually as I could, “I saw the notice for divorce.” He nodded and looked at me over his shoulder. “I’m glad you did. Maybe now you will take me seriously.” Then he turned to face me. “When do you intend to leave?” My heart skipped a beat and my mouth went dry. I opened my mouth to say something, anything, but no words came out. Leave? I kept thinking. Leave to go where – back to my father’s house? Oh no Lord, that is not my portion, surely that is not my portion. Surely, Lord, you will intervene. Please help me, save me from shame. Don’t allow me to see disgrace, don’t allow unbelievers to mock me and ask, where is the God she serves? “You want me to leave?” I asked after what seemed like an eternity. “Yes, that is why I’m divorcing you, stupid, so you can go, and my wife-to-be can come,” Gbenro snapped in response to my silly question. No wonder he called me stupid. Wasn’t it obvious from the divorce suit that he wanted me gone? He interrupted my thoughts by stating matter-of- factly, “I want you gone by the end of the month, in six days. I’m moving into the spare room until then. This is our last conversation. Any future communication will be through our lawyers.” I watched as he hurriedly moved his things out of the bedroom, all the time fighting back my tears. I would cry later when I was alone, but not in his presence, never again in his presence. Finally, Gbenro said, “You are free to keep the clothing store and the car I bought you. Consider it a parting gift, even though I don’t see how you deserve them.” I nodded. “This is because I have no child.” He smiled. “You’re right.” Then he slammed the door. …. To be continued in the next issue