One quiet and cold night, Grace laid in bed and listened to the sound of raindrops that splattered on her window. Loneliness engulfed her as memories of past times with her husband filled her mind. She remembered how he used to hold her in his arms and cuddle her like a baby until she fell asleep. Those good old days existed only in her memories now.
“What did I do wrong that made Jude abandon me without considering my feelings?” she asked herself. Though her husband, who was based in Canada, was sending large sums of money to her weekly, yet Grace was not happy. “I can’t take this anymore; I am a woman with flesh and blood running in my veins.”
“I have been in this wretched condition for seven years like a widow without the touch of a man. I must find a solution to this before I go insane,’ she affirmed within her.
In the past, many advisers had urged her to remarry with some even introducing her to all sorts of men. But she never took their advice until the desire to be with a man began to torment her.
In the beginning, she took to drinking which made her situation worst. “This is not working, I am going to find myself a man and I don’t care what people will say; this is my life and mine alone. After all, since my husband has been in Canada, am I sure he has been faithful to me?” she said, shaking her head. These thoughts went on in her mind until she fell into an uneasy asleep.
Jude left the country for Canada in search of a better life when Grace was pregnant with their second child who was now seven years old. She could remember how he had promised to send for them once he had settled down. Grace waited and watched as days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years.
“Sweet, I am trying my best to see that I send for you and the children…the way things are done here is different from the way things are done back home. Just give me some time, I promise to come for you and the children,” he promised her during one of their many phone conversations. However, the promise never came to pass and her husband never sent for them as twelve years elapsed. This made Grace to look for an alternative.
On her search for male company, Grace dated both young and old men whom she spent money on. Then, she met Melvin whom she fell in love with eventually. Melvin was jobless, homeless and a no body but handsome. He lost all he had due to a fire-out-break that razed the shopping complex where his shop was situated.
When they started their affair, Melvin only came over to Grace’s home at weekends. Later, he moved in to live with her.
“Grace, who is this stunning looking young man I saw leaving your house?” asked Felicia, a friend of hers who paid her a visit unannounced.
“Oh! That’s Melvin…he is my husband’s brother who just finished his Youth Service and he is here in search of a job,” she lied.
“Can you introduce him to me?” Felicia asked. “Why?” Grace queried. “I think I like him,” she revealed.
“Please, don’t go there,” Grace warned her. “Can’t you see that he is a small boy who is just looking for a job?”
“I don’t mind. I can help him with his quest of getting a job in my office if he can play by the rules,” she offered.
“Don’t bother, good Samaritan! He will be going for an interview at Landover Bank on Monday,” she said.
It was in the middle of their discussion that Melvin walked into the living room and called Grace, ‘Baby’, which got Felicia dumbfounded; she wasn’t sure if she had heard him right. She waited patiently as the exchange of kisses from one person to another ended and she could hardly wait for Melvin to leave the living room before she popped the question.
“I thought you said he is your husband’s brother?” Grace beckoned on her to be quiet because her children might over hear them.
“I will explain later,” was what she said.
“That’s my friend!” Felicia hailed her but warned her to be careful.
Return of Jude
As Grace continued her love affair with Melvin, she threw caution to the wind. She did not even care what her children felt about the strange man who had taken over their father’s position; though they called him uncle, they knew very well that he was not their uncle but they dared not ask their mother if the stranger which was the name they tagged him with was really their uncle. Melvin, on his part, tried all his best to see that the children saw him as their uncle.
On a fateful Saturday morning, Jude arrived at his doorstep in Nigeria after sixteen years without informing his wife that he would be coming home to get her and the children. His joy was shattered when a man wearing boxers opened the door and asked him who he was looking for.
“I am looking for Grace, does she live here?”
“Yes and who are you?’ Melvin asked the intruder who he thought might have missed his way.
“I am her husband,” he replied with seriousness and disappointment in his tone which changed to rage when he heard his wife say:
“Darling, who are you talking to?”
Melvin was subdued, drained and short of words because Grace told him that her husband had died years back.
“It’s a man who says he is your husband,” he replied.
Grace panicked on hearing his words. Before she could reach the door, her husband had left, entering the cab that brought him. She ran after him to plead.
“Jude, please let me explain,” she said anxiously.
“Explain what!” he asked impatiently. “Is this what you have been doing since I left?”
As they exchanged words, the children came out wondering what was going on. Jude’s attention shifted from Grace to the children whom he didn’t know were in the house with her lover.
“How could you be this callous? You brought another man into our home, in the presence of the children; what kind of a mother are you? What example are you setting for these children? I am ashamed of you and regret having you as a wife and the mother of my children,” he stated angrily.
Later, Jude took his children who were happy to see him and left while Melvin stood still, confused, not knowing what to say or do about the situation.
“Jude, please, its the devil. I am sorry,” Grace begged and begged but her husband never looked back. He left with his children and never came back; so did Melvin whom she had invested so much on.
“What have I done to myself? I have brought shame to my children, my husband and my family.”
Grace regretted her actions for the rest of her life…
Note: images are from the internet.
A true life story. Names have been changed....
Written by Udemma Chukwuma