It all began in 2002 when I gained employment in an organisation. And, in the course of duty, I got very close to a guy named Mike. I later got to know we lived in the same area and since he had a car, he was always taking me home.
In 2003, we still shared the closeness and I was beginning to get fond of him. I lost one of my parents and he attended the funeral alongside most of my ogas. It was after the burial he told me he loved me and would want to have a relationship with me. I asked him if he was single and he said yes...I visited his home one day and saw some greeting cards from a certain Nike and when I asked, he said she was his ex. I asked him why he didn't get rid of the cards and he said he just didn't think it was necessary.
On a Sunday morning, I intentionally visited his home cos I knew he would be in church. I interviewed two of his neighbours and they told me he was indeed single. They said he used to have a lady but it's been ages since they saw her and when they asked him, he said they've broken up. I was happy, thanked them and left.
We started a relationship in March and I was happy cos I already had feelings for him. After three months, he came to visit my mum and told her of his intentions to marry me. My mum said no wahala and gave him her blessings. I had already told her about him and she knew I was happy with him.
Imagine my surprise when I received a call from a woman in July and she said she wanted to speak with my guy. I asked who she was and she said she was his sister who just came in from Calabar. I was happy and told her I was yet to get to the office, but I will let him know once I arrive the office. I got to the office and excitedly told Mike his sister called me. He was surprised and asked to see the number. When he did, he said, but this is Nike's number (his ex). I said, really? I called the number again and she said I should give Mike the phone. I handed the phone to him and he shouted, why did you call this number?
I went to my cubicle and my phone rang again. Nike told me, don't think you have found a husband, Mike is my fiancee and in fact, I am 7 months pregnant for him. I felt as if my world would collapse. I couldn't concentrate and when it was time for us to go home, I told him what Nike said. He said it wasn't true and I told him, true or not, I am going to your house this night. He didn't want me to follow him home, but I was adamant.
We got to his house and I saw a heavily pregnant woman. Immediately he barged into his house, he started beating her. He beat her and rained blows on her tummy. I'm sure if that pregnancy wasn't heavy, she would have lost the pregnancy. After beating her, the woman pounced on me and tore my shirt to shreds. She started shouting, ha Mike, ma ba ti e je, ma wa ti e kan (Mike, I will destroy you).
She told me - You, you want to come and reap where you didn't sow? When he was living in a room, I was with him and now that he lives in a room and a parlour, I want to enjoy abi? In my mind I thought, so room and parlour na enjoyment shey?
After the drama, I couldn't go home that night cos it was too late. First thing in the morning, they started fighting again and I had to jejely leave for my house. I got home and my mum wondered why my shirt was torn. I lied to her cos I didn't want her to worry.
The third day after the incident, Nike stormed my office, shouting, where is that husband snatcher? Where is Dupe? Husband snatcher oshi? Ashawo, prostitute? Before I knew it, a crowd had gathered and they had to ask her what her problem was. She told them she was Mike's fiancee and I am dragging him with her.
My ogas had to tell her to go home and settle with her fiancee and stop disgracing herself in public.
Later in the day, they called Mike and me into the conference room and asked questions. Right before my eyes, Mike told my ogas I knew he had a fiancee and he told me and I insisted I wasn't bothered, that I would be the second wife. I didn't know when I started crying cos I never believed he could lie against me. He also told them I was always enticing him with gifts and money and that was why he decided to date me. I opened my mouth and couldn't utter a word. I just started crying. My ogas who were women shouted at me to stop crying and defend myself. I told my ogas I had nothing to say, but one thing I know is that even if it takes ten years, we are all going to sit down again and Mike would confess he lied against me. With that, I stood up and walked out of the room.
When I arrived home that night, I ate my dinner and when it was 12 midnight, I went outside the house, removed all my clothes. I looked up to God and cried. I said, God, you are the father of the fatherless. You know my story with this guy called Mike. You know what others don't know. If it is true I knew about Nike and still insisted on dating Mike, keep quiet about my issue, but if Mike lied against me, I want you to fight for me. I commit Mike, Nike and me into Your hands. With that, I went back inside the house, still crying.
Mike later resigned cos my male ogas were really on his case. They told him that if he could say I enticed him with gifts and money, then, he is not fit to be called a man. He had to resign when he could no longer bear the shame. On the other hand, I am still with the organisation and that singular case endeared lots of my ogas to me. They really showed me lots of care. All these happened in 2003.
Fast forward to 2013
I received a call and it was from Mike. I was shocked and he told me he decided to call just to say hi. I was surprised to hear from him and I spoke with him warmly. 10 years is a long time to keep grudges I told myself. He asked for my BB pin and I gave him. Once in a while he says hi and I reply. I was surprised when in September last year, he pinged me and told me he needed to speak with me and it wasn't a phone thing.
I told him to meet me at an eatery near my house. He came and he wasn't really looking good. He said he came to ask for my forgiveness cos he lied against me and I told him, haba, 10 years and you think I would still carry your matter for head. I told him there was nothing to forgive. He now said I should bless him and that was when I told him to go back to the office and confess to those same ogas that he lied against me. He said he would never do that. I asked him, how is your wife? Does she know you are here? He said, no and I smiled. I told him, so you want to make amends and still want your wife and my ogas to think I am all you said I was. I laugh. I left him hanging and went home.
In October last year, I celebrated my birthday and one of my ogas, who works in a similar organisation as the one I work with, called to wish me a happy birthday. He said he would like to take me and my friends out for a drink or two at the weekend.
I agreed and during the weekend, he took us out. We were eating cat fish pepper soup when his phone rang. I heard him sigh and say, na wah o, what is this again?
When he dropped, he started a story about a certain Mike in his office. He said the man is so effective, but seems bad luck keeps following him. The name Mike caught my fancy and I asked for his surname. Lo and behold, it was the same Mike I dated. I was curious and asked him for more details. He said anytime anything good is about to happen to Mike, something happens and someone else is giving the goodies instead.
He said the latest one is the issue of a car he personally approved. He said the oga patapata who is supposed to sign the final approval said he doesn't want Mike to have the car, instead he gave it to someone else who was lower in rank to Mike. He said lots of good things that have evaded Mike. I didn't tell him anything, I just kept quiet.
Mike sent me a mail and sent a text to my phone that I should check my mail. In the mail he said:
Dupe, continue to play God over my life. I know I made a mistake, why can't you just forgive me? Why must you insist I go back to that office and confess my mistakes? What's the big deal in forgiving me? We are fasting and praying in my church and one of the prophets that was invited told me to come and apologise to you and that you need to bless me to enable me move forward in life. Before this, I have been having dreams of someone asking me to come and beg you. Please, forgive me, but don't tell me to go back to that office. Let's bury the hatchet once and for all. I know you have challenges and I know you are still unmarried. What if this is because you have refused to bless me? Why don't you forgive and bless me and see if God won't turn your story around?
Now dear readers, this is where I need your advice. God knows I have forgiven Mike, but why can't he just go back to the office and tell my ogas he lied against me 10 years ago? What's the big deal in it? At the same time, I don't want to play God over anyone's life. Am I playing God by insisting he goes back to tell the truth?
Could this also be the reason she is still not married?