Episode 6.

Salami came around today, when I saw her I frowned. Ever since she tries to sow discord in my heart against my husband I started detesting her.
She noticed my countenance and withdraw herself from me.
Is been two weeks I saw her and she coming today, I hope is not another petty gossip she brought to share because I will not take it lightly with her.
“Miwa, how are you and the family… and also business?”
She asked trying to sound nice, I replied her and asked her about hers and she also replied affirmatively.
“I know why you decided to keep your distance Miwa, just because of what I said that day about seeing Ladi with a woman and child? I meant no harm, I just wanted you to be aware of what I saw and to probably ask Ladi about the woman. But if it was a big offense then I’m sorry. It has not gotten to the extent you are taking it. Even though I saw Ladi again at…
I did not allow her to land, I interrupted her immediately.
“You saw my husband where again Salami? Wait let me guess, you probably went to greet your pepper seller and saw Ladi hugging another woman with two children? The last time was your children’s tailor that you went to see and saw Ladi with a woman and a baby girl. Listen Salami, I don’t know what you have against Ladi or I but it doesn’t even matter all I want you to do is to face your own family and mind the business that pays you. Ladi is my husband and I did not employ you to be snitching around him. Ladi cannot even be seen anywhere around this state because he travelled and he is not yet back from his business trip. Do you understand? If you are the type of friend that doesn’t want to see other people’s happiness or progress please kindly stay away from me. I don’t need your type around me…”
I was not going to lay low and watch Salami fill my head with some useless idea. No, I won’t let that happen.
She stood to leave after apologizing again and later said.
“I’m your friend Miwa and I cannot lie or do any harm to you. God forbids such. I will do anything possible within my power to save your home when I see fire because your heart is pure and you deserve better. You cherish your family and most especially your husband and I try to make sure your home is not invaded by hooligans. My wish is for you to be happy at all time and to do what is pleasing to your husband so that your home will be at peace but I just realize you may be the only one on the ship because Ladi may not be all he claims to be. And presently he is within this state. I have seen him twice. Last week and also this week when I visited my mother inlaw that lives in a different local government. I took my eldest daughter there and we decided to stop in a fast food eatery, she wanted ice cream and chicken. I was sitting with my head bent on my phone, with a donut and pineapple drink in front of me when my daughter who was enjoying her ice cream and chicken tapped me and pointed at a man on the queue who came to buy food. My daughter said “mummy, is that not uncle Ladi?” I looked up and there he was. I watch him buy different packs of food and took it to a table at another far end where the same lady with her baby was seated. They ate and even took some away. He did not see me but I saw him. Miwa, you need to confront your husband with what I just told you and see if he will deny it. I know one day the truth will surface….”
I asked her to leave my shop and she did.
How can she come up with such lies again? What is Salami’s problem and why is she forming stories that does not sound real.
Ladi was on a journey far away in another state. He is far away from this town or the next town. Is probably a ghost or somebody else that Salami saw and mistake him for my husband.
Ladi hardly eat out, he doesn’t even like all this fast food or restaurant. I make food for him and package in his food flask most time if he is going to work and he comes home to meet home made fresh food. He enjoys eating at home rather than eating out. Only on few occasion he will ask me not to worry or when I’m not too strong to wake up early to make his food.
Salami is a liar and I will never believe anything she says ever again. How can she see Ladi who was out of the state in a fast food, buying food and eating with a woman?
She better get something doing instead of poke nosing into other people’s affair.
It was after a week that Ladi returned from his trip and as usual I made his favourite meal and he ate to his fill.
After two days I decided to tell him what the big mouth Salami said that she saw him in a restaurant.
Ladi looked away and did not say anything. He did not deny it neither did he agreed to it. He was just quiet.
I continued talking.
“…I did not believe her, I cautioned her and warned her never to come to my shop again. As far as I’m concern she has cease to be my friend.”
All Ladi said was “Good”.
I assumed he doesn’t want to talk about things that does not make sense so I let the topic to slide.
Few days later, I heard a dream about a strange woman chasing me with a big stick. I was running and saw Ladi standing, he was carrying a baby in his arm. I ran to him to save me from the woman but instead he pushed me away and hugged the woman instead. The strange woman laughed out before lifting the stick to hit me and I awaken. I sat up from the bed, looking round.
Ladi was lying awake. He asked me what the problem is, he said I disturbed him with my restlessness and finally woke him up and I told him I had a bad dream.
He said nothing, no sign of care, he turned to the other side and remain still.
When morning came, I couldn’t get the dream out of my mind. Throughout that day the dream of how my husband couldn’t save me but instead cared for another woman and her child more, who was about to kill me with a heavy stick before I wake up occupied my mind.
Ladi was no more the man I married, he has changed or am I over reacting because of a common night mare?
How can I even be thinking negatively because of a mere dream?
I waved it all off and refused to think about it. I love my husband and he loves me and will never do anything that will hurt me. He will chose me over any woman. Ladi usually say that to me and I will also chose him over any man.
He is my better half and I still thank God the day I met him working as a servant to his wicked master that does not care about him.
I remember how I stole for him and was punished by my parents. No man has ever caught my attention like the way Ladi did. Even when his master’s son was doing everything to have me, Ladi was afraid and thought I will leave him because of his master’s son. He was crying like a baby, I consoled and assured him that I will never leave him and I kept my promise till date.
During his birthday, I bought him expensive phone. He was happy and thanked me. I made different dishes. It was not a big celebration just family thing. I always wanted to make his day special.
I thought we are indeed meant to be for life until one day, Ladi was preparing to leave for work, sometimes he takes his phone to the bathroom or drop it with a password on the table. That is his new method and I did not argue over whatever he chose to do with his private phone. I don’t go through his phone.
I found out he changed his big and expensive phone which I bought for him on his birthday, a month ago.
He was using another smaller phone, I was surprise and wonder what happened to the phone I bought for him.
The small phone was ringing while Ladi was in the bathroom that morning. He shouted for somebody to get him the phone immediately.
My husband do not like me or the kids mingling with his things, I don’t get close to his private things. I respect him on every side. But with the phone’s continues ring, I began to wonder why Ladi did not take his phone to the bathroom as usual.
Is probably his business associate that was calling him. I took the phone and saw the name on it which was in an abbreviation. I was about taking the phone to my husband when my hands mistaken clicked on the answer button.
I tried to rush and give the phone to Ladi but the voice coming from the background stopped me. I gently lifted the phone to my ears.
“…the baby was crying throughout last night. I told you to get me a nanny because I can’t be doing this all by myself. Taking care of a baby is stressful. Whenever you are coming over remember to buy more food from that fast food because the one here has finished and I can’t be taking care of a baby and be stressing myself again to the kitchen. She is running temperature this morning and I need you to drive down here as soon as possible. I guess Ziza want to be with her daddy. Your daughter needs you and I also need you. I don’t understand or care how you want to do it but I’m no more comfortable with this shift. I’m also your wife Ladi. You are here today and over at your maid of a wife tomorrow. I want to be with you at all time… I and Zazi want you here or you take us to your big house. Your maid of a wife is not the only one that deserve the good things…. I also want to live in that big house with my daughter. Ladi… Hello Ladi… why are you not talking? Why are you not saying anything… you just kept quiet…hello…. hello…”
I quickly ended the call and dropped the phone when I heard Ladi coming out.
Water dried off from my mouth, my leg shakes. I must have heard wrongly or could this be a dream, was it a wrong number? Is the woman insane to have mistaken Ladi for someone else?
What is happening? Could this be real?
Questions crowded my mind. Ladi was in the room in no time.
“Miwa, I thought my phone was ringing? I asked somebody to get me the phone… why didn’t you bring it since you are close to it?”
He asked authoritatively while drying off his body.
I try to sound calm and collected.
“I’m sorry! I was about doing that when the caller ended the call. I was waiting for it to ring again so that I can get it to you…”
I was still talking and was about to ask him where he kept the big phone I bought for him when his phone began to ring again.
It was same abbreviation name that makes no meaning to me.
He picked it and told the person to calm down he will call her back. He apologies for something and answered yes to so many things the caller was saying before the call ended.
Ladi got dressed and left the room and out to his car in a hurry. He told me that some customers were waiting for him and he needs to go and see them.
He did not even eat the breakfast I left for him on the table.
As he was about driving out of the compound, the only idea that came to my head was to follow him and know where he is really heading.
I quickly changed over to something less suspicious. Picked up a taxi instead of using my car and asked the cab man to speed after my husband’s car.
To Be Continued…….
Men! Men!! Men!!! How many time did I call you people??inside life

Episode 7.
I followed Ladi’s car without him knowing. The cab man was very helpful. He was a fine young man, who speaks very fluently.
He asked me why I was going after the man in front? I wanted to angrily shout at him to do his work which I was paying him to do but instead I try to tell him nicely that the man we were following was my husband and we have been married for over twelve years now and blessed with three children. I suspect he might have a child from another woman but kept it away from me and I’m about to find out how true this was.
I said and prayed that is not true. I hope that all that Salami has been telling me about Ladi is never true.
I hope Ladi did not have another woman outside home or even a child. That will be the worst thing that will ever happen to me.
My husband is not a womanizer or capable of fathering another child but with what I heard this morning over the phone, I was shaking inside and determined to get to the root of it.
The cab young man was very understandable, he said some men are ingrates and do not appreciate the woman they have at home. He was not in support of such and was ready to help me get to the end of it.
I thanked him for understanding as we proceed.
Ladi kept turning from corner to corner, he drove so fast and later stopped at an eatery, I guess he wanted to buy food. I remember the lady saying that Ladi should buy her some food because the one he bought the last time has finished.
We parked at a distance waiting for him to come out of the fast-food. After sometime he came out with packs of food and entered the road again.
My cab driver who I later found out his name was Zuma followed. He kept his distance so that Ladi will not see the cab and start suspecting but he made sure he remain on track.
Ladi later got to a gate and drove inside and the gate was closed back.
I wanted to come down from the cab and go straight to the gate but it doesn’t seem wise.
I waited inside the cab for two hours but Ladi did not come out. I asked the cab man to take me to my husband’s plaza. I gave him the address and he drove to the place.
I went straight to his first shop and met only two of his worker, the whole place was looking scanty and dry. Ladi’s shop used to be full to the brim. He has a big warehouse and three shops that he had nothing less than four workers each.
The whole place was owned by him and he was popular too. It has been a long time I came around here and some of the workers knows me and greeted me kindly.
As I was looking round the place, I heard one of the old staff, Wasiu whisper to a young boy whose face was new to me.
“Arrange the materials in order, they are scattered. You know the main madam is here….”
The second boy whispered back to him
“I thought the madam that use to come here with a baby was the main madam? How many wife does our boss has?”
I pretend as if I wasn’t listening while looking round, close to where they work.
Only two of Ladi’s shops was remaining. The third one is closed down and some workers who were well paid then has to leave after my husband reduced their wages.
I called Wasiu who stayed despite how his wage was slashed, I asked him to trust me and he won’t get into trouble.
I asked him how the shop was doing and he said business was not as it used to be which was why my husband closed the first shop and left only two and very soon it will be only one shop remaining if he did not do something about it soon.
I asked him about the other madam who has a baby and he told me that all he knows was that the small madam used to visit Ladi even before she became pregnant and had a baby. He also learnt that Ladi did a small wedding with her after she insisted on getting married to him. He also opened a shop for her and she is selling almost the same thing that I sell. The only difference was that her own was gotten locally and it was all African fabrics while mine was mixed with both foreign and African fabrics.
Wasiu pointed to me where her shop was located, which was not far from Ladi’s office. And she also have two sales girls.
Wasiu told me what I need to know and even more. I thanked him with a tips as he went back to work.
I strolled down to the lady’s shop to see for myself. Now I see why Ladi is always asking for money to boost his business. She is the main reason Ladi’s business was going down.
As I was about to leave I saw Ladi’s car driving into the plaza.
I followed another route and went straight to the cab man who was patiently waiting. We drove off. This was five hours later that Ladi returned from the woman’s place.
I was going to go crazy but I need my sane, my mind to keep going.
I called Salami over the phone but she did not respond. I called her up to four times and she later answered, I asked her if she can come over to my shop or I should come over to hers and she said I should come over to her house because she was home.
Zuma took me to Salami’s home. I thanked him for touring the whole place with me all through the day. I paid him for his time, he was very considerate and did not charge much for his service. He gave me his mobile number in case I need a ride to anywhere.
He try to advise me to take things easy and I nodded.
My heart beat was increasing with every realization that my worst fear was coming to light.
I told Salami that she was right all this while. I apologists first for not listening to her, for insulting and calling her bad friend.
“I knew is just a matter of time and you will come to know the truth. My happiness is that you have found out the truth.”
I try to talk but all through the day I have been holding on to my emotions, I didn’t want to release it inside the cab. Although I wipe tears out without allowing anyone to know.
Emotions wailed up at my chest and I felt like screaming down the roof in anguish.
As I was about to think on why Ladi will do such a thing to me, I broke down in tears.
I wept and allowed the tears to keep pouring down.
Salami was trying to console me but I was inconsolable.
“Why… how….? Salami, I have try to understand the fact that this whole thing is actually real and not a bad night mare. The anger, fear and trauma at the realization that Ladi have another family outside our home makes me want to die. He told me he doesn’t want another child, that three was enough for him, he told me he doesn’t have all it takes for a fourth child. I pleaded, I begged Danladi to allow my baby to live but he refused. You encouraged me and even take me to the place the deed was done so that my husband will be pleased. I kill my child to please my husband and not knowing another woman was pregnant for him at same time and mine was good to be sacrificed. It won’t be so painful right now if Ladi has allowed me to carry the pregnancy and give birth to my baby… the hurt alone is too heavy to bear. It wouldn’t have been this hurting if my baby was alive and I later found out that Ladi also has another child outside home. But my husband… my loving husband deceived me, he killed my child for the sake of another woman’s peace who was pregnant for him. Oh Salami… where did I go wrong? How did I miss it… why did I even chose to listen to my husband and abort my child? why… why… just tell me why will Ladi do this to me?”
I wept so bitterly holding my stomach and wishing I have not aborted my child, wishing I have known better, wishing everything happening now was not true.
“Miwa, I’m so sorry! If I knew that Ladi was capable of such evil, I will never have encouraged you to abort the child. I thought he was a man of honor and was not interested in another child. I regret when I found out that he was having an affair. It hurt so badly but you have to be strong and take heart. Your children needs you. Please Miwa you have to wipe your tears and be strong…”
I did wipe my eyes as evening approached, I went home to wait for Ladi to come back.
Salami dropped me off at home and gave9 another round of encouraging words.
My kids were home. I went to the bathroom and sat crying my eyes out until my elder child called out to me, asking if I was alright.
I freshened up and came out. I asked them to eat the available food and go to bed because I was not in the mood to cook anything.
They did and went to bed.
I sat on the dining looking back to the past at where I have come all the way from with Ladi and still trying to understand the height of his wickedness. Why he will do such evil to me.
I couldn’t place any reason to it or come in term with the fact that Ladi actually have a child who would have been my aborted baby’s age mate. Ladi killed my child and has succeeded in hurting me beyond repair.
I sat alone thinking and waiting for Danladi to return.
I was almost going crazy with every passing minutes while staring at the wall clock.
Tears kept rolling down my face until my eyes was all swollen up.

Episode 8.
I was lying down on a long cushion located in our sitting room when Ladi came back. I felt weak from crying, contributed to the fact that I couldn’t eat all through the day.
I remained where I was without bothering to stand up. I shut my eyes and remained still. I wish It was all a dream, I wish all this is never true.
Ladi came and saw me lying on the chair without bothering to welcome him like I used to or set up the dining table with his food.
He looked over at the dining and it was empty. He called my name twice but no reply came.
He went inside and I can hear the sound of the shower.
I remained on the chair and still did not move. He came to tap me.
“Miwa, Miwa… don’t tell me you did not notice when I returned back. Where is my food? I have not eaten anything reasonable all through today. You know I enjoy homemade food. Where is my food Miwa?”
I opened my eyes and looked at him with a frown, I looked up at the wall clock and it was almost 10pm.
If it was before I will make sure his food was ready, he will eat to his satisfaction before going to bed. I did everything Ladi asked of me. I serve him and worship the ground he walks on just to prove my love, loyalty and submission to my husband. I never knew that he was taking me for granted. His new mistress calls me a maid, she practically sees me as a house help while she plays the good role of a madam and I’m left to act like a maid but all that is changing.
All I need is to get back myself because I truly feel sick to the bone marrow. I feel like dying after discovering what seem like an unbelievable act from Ladi.
Just like Salami said, I need to be strong for myself and for my children. If I die, Ladi and his mistress will treat my children as an orphan.
I couldn’t reply Ladi, I may try to say something and burst out crying again or even dig a knife to his blackened heart. The best I can do was to remain calm and quiet. I did not even want to see his deceiving face.
I turned my back on him and shut my eyes again.
Ladi left me alone and went into the kitchen himself. I can hear him opening pots and fridge, micro wave and plates.
He was probably looking for food. I was supposed to cook that day but since my children has eaten the available food and went to bed, I don’t have anything to worry over.
Things are indeed changing and will never get back to normal. Ladi has stabbed me beyond repair.
He came calling me again and asking me to go into the kitchen and make something for him to eat. He was using his usual authoritative voice but I ignored.
“Miwa, get into the kitchen and make something for me to eat. Why are you lying down here without saying a word? I said I need my dinner and it supposed to be ready before I return from work. Go to the kitchen and get me something to eat…”
I did not even move. I kept my eyes shut. Maybe by morning I will find my gut and courage to face him right now. I can’t because I will end up crying again.
I don’t want to give him reason to laugh and gloat over me with his mistress. I will pretend to be strong and will never be the maid he took for granted.
I wiped a tear rolling down at one side of my face while still facing the other side.
His mistress makes him buy food from the fast food, she doesn’t cook for him or respect him the way Ladi demands of me.
I does everything for him. I follow every law of marriage that says wives respect and obey your husbands but Ladi threw my submission, my love and respect to the dogs.
He treated me like a rag, hurting me deeply. Is not only because he got a family outside which he kept as a secret but mainly because he took a life out of me. He made me kill my unborn child so that his mistress can have her own child.
Ladi knows the way to many fast food joint now and he also knows where the kitchen is located. If he is really hungry then he should sort himself out.
And that was my conclusion as I remain still and refused to talk or turn to see his disgusting face.
He left me alone and went to the room. I slept in the sitting room and did not bother going to the room.
The following morning I was up to get breakfast ready. I prepared my children for the day since the school bus will be coming to pick them by 7:30pm. They had breakfast and their lunch box was packed before running off to join the school bus that was already waiting.
I try to be strong, I sob quietly as I prepare food in the kitchen. I later had my bath and freshened up for the day. Ladi was up and I did not say my usual cheerful good morning to him.
He looked at me like a stranger before going to the bathroom.
I couldn’t just overlook the fact that he may be hungry since he did not eat last night. I dished out his food on the table and was sitting there picking at mine when he came out all dressed for the day.
He sat where his food was, looked up at me and said nothing.
After eating several spoons, he drank half of the cup of water in front of him before saying.
“Last night you did not set out dinner for me, knowing well I will be hungry Miwa. That was unlike you but let me assumed that you are probably not feeling strong. You slept in the living room and did not come to bed or care if I may need you during the night. You saw me this morning without greeting or saying a word to me. I hope it stops here because this is not an attribute of a good wife or mother. My staffs told me that you came to the plaza yesterday. You never mentioned it to me in the morning that you were coming to the plaza and did not call either. If it was because I closed one of three shops then you are behaving like a child. You should ask me why I have only two shops that is not as full as before instead of acting like a baby and I will explain to you. I may also be needing some money from you Miwa because as usual business has not been moving on fine. I need you to give me some money to be able to get goods. Business is not smiling this period again and I will be needing the help of my wife just as usual. Miwa, did you hear all I just said that I will be needing money…. please?”
I looked up from my food and stare right at him.
I manage to curve a smile before saying.
“Since we are two rocking one ship, maybe you should ask the other partner for money or anything you may be needing from now onward. I’m gradually retiring for good. I think I have served faithfully and submissively to you all this years and I just collected my retirement yesterday with a shaky hands and a broken heart but I accepted it anyway. I have always accepted everything you throw at me but that is changing soon Danladi. Did you ever think that I will never find out? You played me a smart one but my foolishness served its purpose and you just forced me to grow up and be wise. When are you going to tell me about your other family?”
Ladi stopped eating and looked up at me surprise but not shock.
“You knew? Miwa… I was waiting for the right time to do so. I’m sorry you found out. I know one day I will certainly let it out but I was just waiting for the right time…”
He doesn’t look or sound remorseful. He was only looking sorry because I caught him unexpectedly.
I can’t believe this was the same man I was killing myself all over for. The same man that made me quit school. I supported him until he became what he was today. I disobeyed my parents’ orders, I was insulted and beaten because of this man sitting right in front of me but I did not care about anybody’s opinion. Danladi was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It was because of me that my parents decided to support him and all together we made him the great man he was. I can’t count the many good I have done for him because he cannot pay back and I was not doing it to get a payback. I did it out of love. I thought Ladi was worth the trouble and stress, I thought he was the man that truly complete me. As I sit here staring and listening to him do all his explanation I began to wonder how I can love a man so much and still hate the same man with passion that I wish he never crossed my path.
He stood to leave after his flimsy excuses. I couldn’t hold myself anymore.
I threw the water inside cup at him and this time he was shock as he stare at me unbelievable.
I walked straight to where he stood, water was dripping down from him, I carried his own remaining water inside the cup and poured down at his head.
Ladi was speechless and couldn’t believe or utter a word as he stare at me angrily.
“You are a monster DanLadi. I was your biggest supporter, I betrayed all rules and law just to prove how much I love you. I joined hand to build an empire with you so that we will not ever go hungry. My old mother and late father was also your backbone. They accepted you as a son, you were a son of a nobody Danladi but my family decided to make somebody out of you. Anytime you complained of business failing I gather all my savings and give to you. Even if you say is not enough I’m ready to go the extra miles to make sure you have it all. What exactly was my offense? Tell me Ladi. What do you want that I did not do for you? What did you ask of me that I refused to harken to. What really did you lack that will make you go to have another family outside our home after assuring me that you don’t want another child. You, Danladi made me commit murder when I agreed with you to abort my child. So I and your mistress were pregnant at almost same time and you made me the scape goat? I was the maid you tossed up and down who obeys your every command. Danladi you… if I was ever told you will turn to be a devil I will never believe it. Never! I did everything for you and was ready to do more but see what I got paid with, betrayal. What exactly do you want Ladi that I have never done for you or willing to do for you. Why… why on earth will you do this to me?”
I was crying this time because I couldn’t hold it back.
He said with a harsh voice.
“I know you are going to remind me of all you did one day but you forgot so easily that I also paid back in different ways. I opened a big shop for your mom and did many uncountable things far more than what you did. Stop making it seem I never did anything Miwa… because you sound ungrateful right now trying to remind me of all that you did for me. If you support me, is a normal thing because wife are meant to support their husband. Is never a big deal please….”
He picked up his car keys, with his wet cloth he stormed out of the house in full rage.
I sat on the ground crying.
Ladi have the gut to tell me that he paid me back by opening a shop for my parents and doing many things. He actually said I sound ungrateful.
Danladi, said that to my face.
Who is the ungrateful one? I risked my life, education and career for Danladi. My parents sacrificed so much for him and he has the mouth to talk trash.
Ladi did not come back that day or the next. He stayed away for two weeks and it gave me time to nurse over my heart and to plan on how I really want to live this new life he threw at me.
To Be Continued……

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