Friday, August 27, 2010
Six years, eleven month and three weeks (Part 3)
Taking time away from my usual routine was something I always longed for so when Derrick invited me to come to Ghana I was so relieved. He seemed so excited, well then again he was always like that. The way we met was kind of odd. He came to see my boss one day. My boss had given me strict instructions not to bother him and Derrick was all in my face wanting to see him immediately. His arrogance was amazing and I could tell from his accent he wasn’t Nigerian. That just angered me the most. “You think you can come into my country and behave the way you like abi?” I thought to myself. We had a little argument which finally turned into us being friends. He nicknamed me ‘super woman’. Then the gifts came, and the dinners followed and before I knew it we were seeing each other.
I never really liked him at first and dumped the gifts in my wardrobe but when life got tough for me with the death of my boyfriend, I felt just as vulnerable as a widow. Tolu was everything to me; even my parents didn’t love me as much as he did. I would know because I’m an orphan. Since the day I met him, my life was pretty simple. He catered for my every want and I think that was where he went wrong because he spoilt me. He knew several men hit on me every day so he made it a point to keep me satisfied. When he died I believed Derrick was a replacement but the thing about Derrick was that, he was married.
I didn’t have any feelings for Derrick at all, in fact there were times I actually pitied him. He had more to lose than I did and he couldn’t even see. One thing men fail to see is that, an affair is like a two edged nail file, as you file my nail off with it, yours is also reducing. But who was I to complain. He paid my bills, I owned the trendiest clothes and could afford to take my girls out...all five of them. Then again this money was probably just a slim fraction of what he made so he felt he was enjoying a lot while giving nothing failing to realize that this ‘nothing’ included his reputation, marriage and dignity. I guess the male mind and the female mind work very differently.
I honestly thought Adjoa had travelled so when she showed up at the hotel, I almost panicked. When Derrick came up with the Jamaican story I almost slapped him, but surprisingly Adjoa completely bought it. What a bimbo. Now I understood why he had been having an affair for all these years and she never found out. “Nice to finally meet you Adjoa. Ya hair look lov’ly.” I said to her. The Jamaican accent wasn’t hard to fake, I like dancehall music. I was just inspecting her arms. If she ever caught us, she would easily disfigure me! Don’t get me wrong, I did feel guilty but I was in too deep.
In the car with Derrick, I couldn’t help thinking about the size of his wife. Maybe she wasn’t that smart but it’s the dumbest people who are the strongest. I was deep in thought but finally spoke. “You know this game can destroy your marriage right?” He seemed to be rather offended. To think I was beginning to be concerned. Human beings are so strange. He went on and on about her never finding out. I just nodded and looked out the window till we got to their house.
Adjoa set up the guest room for me. That night was the longest I have ever seen. I barely slept. I woke up early but stayed in bed till about 10am. After all I was jet lagged. I only came out when I heard Adjoa drive off. Derrick was watching his sons play outside. He had genuine happiness in his face. I walked to him. “Good morning, I think we should talk.” I said. He turned to look at me and smiled. “Are you ready to go?” He asked. What was wrong with this man? “Auntie Denise, do you know how to play basketball?” One of the boys said, holding up the ball to me. I was startled. I didn’t know how to relate with children. I never even planned on having any. Derrick was smiling so I nodded and took the ball. “I haven’t played in years.” I said, forgetting my accent. They didn’t seem to notice. “Auntie Denise shoot!” They shouted and I did just that. Rimless! “Wow, I want Auntie on my team!” one said. “No, I gave her the ball. She’s on my team!” The other said. They were both holding on to me. I laughed my head off along with Derrick.
When we got to the hotel we had all sorts of decorations. I started to sort out the stuff immediately. Derrick hugged me from behind. “What are you doing? Leave that and come here.” He said. I gradually pushed him off. “Derrick, you have a beautiful family. You shouldn’t be doing this. Your sons are amazing; your wife is so nice.” I finally said. He wasn’t moved. “I know, that’s why I married her and had them. Denise, I didn’t fly you all the way here for nothing you know?” He replied. What was I to say to this? He kissed me and I moved away. “Ok, let’s just make this our last time ok? I promise.” He pleaded. What won’t a man say to get what he wants? The pity came in again and I refused to agree this time. He took off his shirt and pushed me onto the bed. “Derrick, what are you doing?” I asked alarmed. He had never been this forceful before.
The next thing that happened was so fast I almost couldn’t catch the details. The door flung open and Adjoa was there with two men. One was a house keeper and the other was Derrick’s younger brother. She had fury written all over her face. “Derrick so this is how you treat a relative eh?!” She thundered. If it wasn’t for the men she was with, she would have beaten me to death. I did receive a number of well deserved slaps from her just before I rushed out. I dared not go back for my bags. Unfortunately my passport and return ticket were in them. I decided not to wait an extra second in Ghana. I went to the nearest bus terminal and took the next bus to Lagos! I had lost my passport, a luxurious return and a lot of money but I had also gained my dignity and it felt good knowing I was on the right path now. I never heard from Derrick again and your guess is as good as mine.