DOZ Issue 35 September 2018 - Page 36

“ It was in the middle of all this preparation that something very strange happened. One morning, Ray was travelling on short notice, so I rushed off to the laundry to pick up some of the clothes he wanted to take with him. the entire weekend indoors making love. It seemed he couldn’t get enough of me and that the honeymoon was far from being over. When I teased him about it, he jokingly said he was only trying to make up for the period when he wasn’t allowed to touch what he saw through the trash clothes I was wearing the first time we met. That really cracked me up. Six months into our marriage, I discovered I was pregnant, and Ray was over the moon when I told him. He really began to fuss over me, spending more time with me and not allowing me to do any house chores. He was really good to me, and then when it was time for me to have our baby, he flew me to the US and left his business to be with me. Not even assurance from Mildred that she would take good care of me made him leave my side for a moment. He was practically glued to my side and accompanied me to the labour room because he insisted he wanted to watch as his child was born. And he did watch with excitement as his daughter made her way into the world and he cut the umbilical cord. She was the most beautiful baby I ever set my eyes on, a perfect gift from God, and because Ray believed she was an angel, he named her Angel and doted on her. We returned to Nigeria after one month, and I became very busy catching up with my schoolwork and taking care of Angel. Ray’s mum and mine were wonderful as they took it in turns to help with Angel so I could face my schoolwork. For a long time, I didn’t travel to Asaba because Ray didn’t want Angel on the road all the time. He rearranged his schedule so he could be with us « 36 DOZ Magazine September 2018 in Benin every weekend, and he moved me into a bigger flat so that I could be more comfortable, as I had my mum practically living with me at the time. He was a wonderful man, generous to me, generous to my family, and I could not have asked for a better husband. After another year, my degree programme came to an end, and since we agreed I would not take part in the national youth service, I returned to Asaba to live with my husband. We planned to have another baby right away, after which I would remain in America with the children for eighteen months to study for a master’s degree. It didn’t take long for me to get pregnant again, so we began to arrange for me to travel with Angel to America. Ray would go with us and remain until the baby was born, and after that he planned to visit us a few times before my degree course was over. It was in the middle of all this preparation that something very strange happened. One morning, Ray was travelling on short notice, so I rushed off to the laundry to pick up some of the clothes he wanted to take with him. I had never been to the laundry before because I had lived mostly in Benin after we married, and Ray usually took his laundry in himself. He gave me directions and I drove off in a hurry to try and locate the place and get his clothes. When I got there, I discovered that the man who owned the laundry shop was someone I’d known in Agbor. During the period when I lived in Agbor and dated Andrew, the man had a laundry shop in Agbor and used to wash Andrew’s clothes. When