This particular Friday was more special than others. More so for me, Kingsley Dike because not only is it Valentine’s day, it is also my one year wedding anniversary. I made up my mind to go all out to impress my wife. She is after all the wife of my dreams. All I want to do is worship the ground she walks on. We decided to wait for a year before having babies so I am also excited that after this anniversary, it will be a free pass. I have been home all day with no meetings to attend. I finally dressed up and left home around 2 pm.The lady I paid to come decorate the house is going to pick up the key under the mat of our lovely three bedroom flat in Festac town. I am heading out to pick the cake and buy the three course meal like I had planned. It promises to be a memorable anniversary and valentine.
I finally got back home around 6pm, due to traffic and the fact that I made a quick detour to a supermarket to buy her a perfume in addition to the other gifts I had gotten. Nothing is too much for Esther. She just has it all. I knew she was going to get home at anytime and the decorating team had definitely exceeded my expectations with petals and candles every where. The bed is definitely a masterpiece and even our bathroom was not left out. All glitters and sparkles everywhere. Esther will definitely be impressed. I put the wine in the fridge and went ahead to set the table. I decided to make sure she ate first before going to the shower and letting it go from there.
While I sat down waiting, my mind drifted back to two years ago when I met Esther. Our meeting was quite strange. Who would have thought that it was one of the many strange Nigerian situations that will bring me to my wife. We met at a petrol station during fuel scarcity. We were both on the queue trying to enter the station while a man tried to boycott the line and drove straight into her front from nowhere. Trust my wife never to be quiet when she feels cheated, she got out of her car and just would not stop raking. I watched her from behind in my car looking so beautiful and classy even though she was terribly angry. I had to get down later to calm her down but I knew from that moment I had met my wife. The sound of her car driving in jolted me out of my reverie. I looked around to make sure all was set and stood by the side so that once she opened the door she could see the candles and petals first.
The smile on my face however faded away so fast immediately she came opened the door and saw it all, she shouted,
“Kingsley, what the hell is all these bullshit?”
As it got closer and closer to closing time, the thought of valentine and my wedding anniversary I had tried pushing out of my mind all day began to creep in. I cannot believe I have been married for just a year and it had all come crashing down in my face so fast. Even though we are still together, it all seems like a facade now. I really cannot even explain why we are still together. Today is supposed to be a happy day but it makes me feel more depressed. I have been seeing flowers and gifts fly around the office all day and every one seemed to intentionally stay out of my way. It felt like my shame was obvious to all. The walls of my marriage crashed down barely six months after the most elaborate wedding of all time.
My wedding was indeed the wedding of the century. It was one of a kind and I had everything just as I wanted it. My wedding planner made sure of that. Nothing could go wrong even after, our honeymoon was superb and it was all very beautiful until reality made me start to fall out of love with my husband. When I met Kingsley two years ago, he was the husband I had been waiting for for so long and I knew that the moment we met. I was already 33 years old and he was 35 years old so I agree I was quite eager to get married. I am the first born of four girls and three younger sisters had gotten married and had children. The questioning looks were weighing me down so I stopped being choosy. I decided that work as the Business Development Manager of one of Nigeria’s leading banks was not the height of fulfillment. I had to get married immediately and that was the mistake I made.
King ( that is my special name for him) and I met again in in the cinema the Saturday afternoon after the filling station debacle. It felt like fate was bringing us together; meeting twice in one week was definitely not a coincidence. It was my first time of watching a non Hollywood movie in the cinema and I had prepared my mind I was going to regret deciding to watch a Nollywood movie in the cinema. King sat beside me as he came inside just as the movie was about to start. He recognized me immediately and the conversation started. We shared the same sentiments about Nigerian movies but we were disappointed that day which was quite refreshing. It was my best cinema experience ever. We walked out together after the movie and decided to grab a bite. He practically took me on a date that night without planning for it. We seemed to have so much to talk about and so much in common. We talked and laughed and laughed, I ended up spending about 4 hours with him after the movie. In that short time, he told me he worked with British American Tobacco and lived in Victoria Island. We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to keep in touch.
Due to the nature of both our jobs, we usually saw only during the weekends. We hung out in different choice restaurants for the first two weekends and by the third week, he invited me over to his apartment in Victoria Island. Absolutely stunning apartment I must add. One of those flats that made me say to myself, “I had caught the right fish”. At least I was not going to be the bread winner. That had been my problem with most of the guys from my past. Falling in love with King was quite easy. He was thoughtful, kind, generous and domestic. He cooked for me when I went to his house. That day in his apartment, we decided to start a relationship, he pointed out to me that he wanted a wife and not just a girlfriend. He had already decided that he wanted something serious as he was tired of playing games. Of course I had the same goal in mind and it seemed like I finally found a guy that was on the same page with me.
We dated for 6 months before he proposed and it was so sweet and intimate. He proposed in the privacy of my apartment. I still believe that was the last romantic moment we had. One month to our wedding, King told me he had taken his accrued annual leave to have time to plan for the wedding and relax. I was really happy about that because I was going to be working till 2 days before the wedding. About two weeks later, I asked him to come take my things to his house so I could just move straight there after the wedding but he kept giving me different excuses. The first red flag came a week to our wedding when he told me his landlord asked him to move out because he wanted to give the apartment to his brother coming into the country.
“Esther, aren’t you going home?”
The sound of my colleague’s voice cut into my thoughts, I checked the time and realized it was already 6:30pm. I totally lost track of time. I quickly took my bag and headed for my car. Time to face another day at home. I never really know what to expect from King…
…to be continued on page 3