Double Jeopardy 2

If you are just joining us, welcome! If you missed out on the first part of this story, you can read the previous story here . Enjoy your read.

“They say Marriages are made in heaven…but so is thunder and lightning.

It is not lack of love but lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages – Friedrich Nietzsche”

Despite your husband’s protest at the knock on the door, his PA insists he must open to receive the business call on hold.

When he steps out of the room, you look around. The room is lush, comfortable and speaks volume of Nelson’s money but it lacks something. You try hard to figure what it is and then you realize – Ray is missing in the picture. You remember his chiseled face, his bright lips, the aura of masculinity that exudes from him, his firm thighs, his muscled arms, the abs and the ‘V’ outlined down his torso…

You allow your thoughts to drift back to that cramped room of his, located around bunkery road, Effurun, a less expensive part of Warri. You picture him again sitting close to his window, penning down poetic words, his forehead furrowed.

When your husband comes back in, he is apologetic.

“Hunnay…” he starts as he reaches out to touch your arm. You flinch unconsciously and you are somewhat surprised at your body’s behaviour. You make a mental note to try to accommodate at least his touch.

He looks at you with a small smile as he settles besides you. You wonder what he is about to say that makes him look unsettled.

Hunnay…we may have to reschedule our honeymoon to Barbados? I have an urgent business meeting to attend to…” He grits his teeth. His words resembles a request rather than a statement and if you say no, you are sure he would budge to cancel the meeting. He will do anything to please you.

“It’s fine.” You say “We can always fix it for some other convenient time.” You exhale.

Are you sure?” He looks surprised.

You nod in affirmation as you pick at your breakfast.

He looks down at the tray “I don’t like your eating habits hunnay. You need to add some more weight.” Add some weight indeed and become a jelly bah…you laugh at him inside your head.

He reaches to touch your cheek. This time you close your eyes and try not to flinch. “Be right back.” He winks at you and you feel nauseous. Contrary to mama’s advice, you doubt you will grow to love this man with jelly like fat.

*******

Marry Nelson and deliver your family from shame. Raymond is still young, he will definitely find another girl. He is not ready and your time is ripe.” Mama had reasoned when Nelson first showed up at your house unannounced.

You roll your eyes at Mama’s statement. Ray will find another girl your foot! Did it look like you wanted him to find another girl? You are already his girl! And this Nelson, wanting what he cannot have. “I cannot stand him mama. He looks like doughnut.”

“He is not a doughnut Ovie, he is a well to do man and it shows on him.”

“Did I say he was a doughnut mama? He just looks like them!” You retort back. You do not understand why papa is quiet about all this, looking at the TV like some magic will appear from inside. You do not like the man, how hard is it to understand?

Ovie, a woman’s mind is flexible. You will grow to love him. How long do you think it will take before Raymond finds his feet? That is if he ever will. This is Nigeria not America.” She continues to handpick the particles from the beans.

Papa looks up from the TV and looks at you. “Ovie…” he starts “are you not happy God has brought Nelson your way? We keep asking Him to help us daily in our prayers and now he has sent a helper through this man, you want to reject his offer? You better start to think of what you want to do with your life. Do you like the way I am here waiting for my pension payment from our so-called government? Do you want us to keep relying on your mother’s petty business? Why do you want to be an unfortunate child? You better marry the man we chose for you or you are dead to us!”

You stare hard at papa and wonder what has made him talk. Mama is nodding. “Ovie, you have heard your father.”

You look around your environment, at the copious stains on the wall, the untiled cement floor, the old gas cylinder and the rusted green stove. You admit you want a better life for yourself and your family. You admit that you need money to solve the problem. You admit that you need a good money paying job but you refuse to admit that you have to leave Raymond to achieve that. You refuse. Then several thoughts gather up in your head like traffic. You are unsure what to do with your parents demand.

This was many months ago.

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