It was an invitation meant to bring me out of depression. Yes, it earned me a temporary relaxation but it eventually threw me into confusion, frustration and humiliation. Though I didn’t want to travel, I was persuaded to join my other friends to attend a funeral in Ikogosi Ekiti. An old school mate had invited us to his dad’s burial. The invitation was displayed on our class set’s WhatsApp platform, but I didn’t consider it a priority, not even with the spate kidnappings and abductions on our highways these days. However, some of my friends, especially Moremi mounted pressure on me and presented the trip as an opportunity to get away from the hassles of Lagos to merry and mingle with old pals and experience the wonders of Ikogosi Warm Spring. I agreed albeit reluctantly.
But not without informing Fala, my darling husband who was studying for his PhD in South Africa. He had been away for three months. He encouraged me to go anyway. I took my only child, my 8-year old daughter to my sister’s house in Gbagada.
We arrived Ikogosi Thursday night and we were checked in to a hotel. It was a great reunion. We mixed freely and relived sweet memories of our university days. We ate, drank and danced excitedly, particularly, after the wake keep. Most of the time, I danced with Longe, my ex lover who I had not seen for 16 years. Longe, happily married, lives in the UK.
After the Merry go rounding, we all retired to our respective rooms. Later, Longe invited me for a discussion. We met at the open bar but obviously, the noise from the big speakers in the lounge was unbearable. He suggested that we go to his room. I obliged.
In his room, I sat on the only seat available and he, on the bed. We talked about our school days romance and dwelt more on our families. He actually led the conversation with an enthralling account of his meanderings in Manchester and his marriage to a British woman. He has a 12-year old son and would have loved to have more, being an African. But his wife who is about four years older than him, is content with just one.
It was my turn and he listened with rapt attention as I took him through my own story. I’m married to university lecturer, Fala, who is currently on study leave in pursuit of his doctoral degree in Johannesburg, South Africa. We had six years delay before we had our only child who is now 8 years old. And we have been trusting God for another child since then.
It was getting late. I became drowsy, with repeated yawns and stretches. I stood up, moved towards the door. Longe stared at me as I waved him goodnight. He held my hands, pulled and hugged me. Then, he pushed me to the bed and kissed me intensely. I struggled feebly to free myself from his grip. It was too late. Longe’s fingers were already inside my pants, caressing my clitoris and his mouth on my nipples.
He made love to me, thrusting rapidly and rigorously; reminiscent of our undergraduate escapades. I enjoyed him. I longed for more of Longe’s mercurial touches. I finally left his room at about half past one in the morning.
After the funeral, I returned to Lagos on Saturday. Four weeks later, I missed my period. But I was not bothered. I thought it was one of those occasional signs that would raise and dash my hope. I had experienced many of such in the last seven years.
After days of doubt, I summoned the courage to do a pregnancy test. It was positive. I knew who was responsible. It was Longe. I was confused. First, I rushed to my elder sister in Gbagada and phoned my friend Moremi, who talked me into the Ikogosi trip. Finally, I called Longe who was already back in the UK. He was excited and told me to keep the baby. For me, that was gibberish. I was angry. I hung up on him.
My husband returned to Nigeria exactly two weeks after I had the pregnancy test. A day before his arrival, I confessed to my parents and they contacted his parents. My mum scolded and put me down as an embarrassment to my family. My parents in law, too, were unsparing. After the reprimands, the two families agreed to break the news to my husband. And they did. Fala was shattered but he took it with philosophical calmness
Shame overshadowed me as I knelt before my husband, weeping and begging for forgiveness.
He was quiet for a moment. His face bore furrows of anger and disappointment. His silence choked me into depression.
Finally, Fala spoke. ” You have to remove the pregnancy ” he declared with definitive authority. ” I love my wife and I’m not ready to lose her to one irritant ” he told my parents and his to steer clear of the matter. That he would forgive me provided that I agree to terminate the pregnancy.
I informed Longe about my husband’s decision. He flared up and threatened legal actions against my husband and I, if I dared abort his baby.
The matter got more complex. Really, was I ready for abortion? Certainly NO! I have been trying to get pregnant for about seven years. How on earth would I abort a baby that I have been looking for, regardless of the shameful circumstances of the conception.
Longe calls me everyday, restating his position and his readiness to marry me. But I love my husband. Yet I can’t obey his instruction to have an abortion. Never! I will rather move out of his house. To where? Longe promised to rent a house for me. Which means my marriage to Fala has collapsed? Oh nooooooo!