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Within that week I did not see or hear from him.

The following week, while I was at my shop Ladi came. He knelt down right in front of my shop asking me to forgive him. Passer-by were looking but he did not care. Ladi was crying. He had another plaster on his arm.

Ladi said he has truly wronged me and can see that my heart has become so hardened towards him. He pleaded and kept talking of all the ill things he did to me. I blinked back tears severally and asked him to get up. He refused and said I must forgive him from deep within my heart if not he will remain exactly where he knelt. I told him I have forgiven him. Ladi got up and after sometime he left.

He came back that same weekend, this time Kebi, my first son was around. He came in from school.

Ladi took the opportunity to ask his children for forgivenes. Kebi and Maika were not so difficult like Medi. The children forgive there father but my second son’s heart was reserved and I try to talk to him. Ladi asked every one of them not to use his past mistake against him because he knows he doesn’t deserve to be their father. He sincerely pleaded to them and to Medi especially and eventually he let all the hatred and grudges to go.

I fed Ladi that evening. He asked me if he can stay for the night and I agreed. We have only three rooms, the boys occupy one, my daughter has one and then I stay in one. There was no way I will ask Ladi to come and stay in the same room with me. Is too early and this will be his first night here.

When I asked him to sleep in the sitting room, I can see the disappointment in his face. I knew he wanted to come and stay in the same room with me but I wasn’t ready for that. He did not argue, neither did he have a choice.

He slept in the parlour, I gave him blanket to cover up if he feels cold.

The following morning, I served him breakfast. He had his bath and waited till evening. I fed him all through the day before he finally left in the night.

When Salami visited my shop the following week, I told her that Ladi asked to be forgiven and was crying while kneeling down in front of my shop. I and the children have decided to let all the pain and trouble to go.

Salami began to laugh, she said those were crocodile tears that Ladi has not change.

“He just needed to escape from Santi so the only way to do that was to act up the “sorry” drama so that you and the kids can forgive him. Those were just crocodile tears and he knows that is the only way to get to your heart so that he can always come for free food and freedom from Santi”

I told Salami that she was wrong. She said let’s watch and see if Ladi will not start asking me for money to boost his business again and asking for his food with authoritative voice when he finally moves into my house and he will also start coming back anytime he likes with the excuse of going over to see his second wife and his daughter. All those his old self will return is just a matter of time.
I hope Salami is wrong because i really hope Ladi has changed for real.

After one month, Ladi came asking me to loan him money so that he can boost his business which was gradually collapsing again. This was exactly what Salami said he will do and I was moved to loan him the money but afraid because of the past incident. I was always helping him to build but Ladi will go ahead and tear it down with his own hands or allow Santi to destroy the business while her own is moving on fine.

I have my fears as he sat in my sitting room after eating that evening and told me to kindly loan him the money and he will pay back later.

I agreed to Loan Ladi the money and he promise to pay back. I told him never to ask me for money again to add to his business. He nodded and thanked me before leaving that day. I don’t care if he pays me back or not but all I wanted was for him to be able to get back on his feet.
Maybe I was born not only to be his wife but to also help him succeed no matter what his flaws maybe. Is always difficult for me to watch him suffer or overlook his troubles.

Things turned sour between us real quick. Ladi used to be the love of my life, my hero and my all in one. I love him way too much than I ever love anyone. It was as if we were made to live happily together as one family and just in a twinkle of an eye, everything change so fast.

I never imagined that our lives will reduce to this. Living apart from each other, having to settle with the fact that I have a co wife, that Ladi has another family. It took me time to settle with all this but do I really have a choice?

I don’t have the heart to divorce Ladi like my sister has suggested. She wanted to proceed and make all the papers ready which was a good advantage for me having her as my lawyer. But I couldn’t divorce my husband and the father of my children. I was tempted at a point to do that but I refused to yield to such thoughts.

Ever since we separated, I take my mind off anything intimate between me and Ladi or with any man. I can’t even bear the touch of another man who is not my husband. Life thought me to not only rejoice when the going is good but to also remember that nothing is certain. Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Nothing is certain in this life.

Life strike me in an unimaginable way, in a way I never expected but I managed to scale through it and bounce back again.

One day, I decided to visit Ladi’s plaza to see how things were going with his business. Ladi was surprise to see me, he smile as he ushered me into his office. He explained that he was back to business fully and working hard to make sure this time it will grow instead of collapsing. He pointed out his mistakes, his extravagant lifestyle with Santi and said he has already told her clearly that he will no longer be responsible for her flashy lifestyle,

she can do that with her own money since she has a big shop of her own, car and a nice place to stay. Ladi said they had another battling quarrel and he did not let her use any weapon on him like before, he threaten to throw her to the street and collect everything from her if she continue with such irritating attitude. Anytime she ask for something if he doesn’t provide it for her it will become a problem and will lead to a fight. But is been over three months he stopped such and he is saving up money for all his children’s fees.

Ladi also mentioned that Santi is now calm and different ever since she suffered a miscarriage for the second time. Santi was heartbroken that period and hardly talks to anyone. she automatically changed from how cruel she used to be. according to Ladi.

Ladi thanked me for being different and very understanding and also for taking charge of the kids when he was foolishly misbehaving. He said he will resume paying all the children’s fees again and other expenses on their head. He will also pay me back the money I loaned him by next month because business is beginning smile back at him. With time he will extend the business to another shop making it three shops and he will maintain that number.

We talked extensively, something we have not done for years, ever since I moved out. Ladi went on apologizing again for everything he did to me and also the kids.

I walked round the shops with him, pointing out things that needed to be changed and few other things that requires renovation. Ladi took notice of everything I pointed out and promise to see that is all done.

As Ladi was walking me to my car, I saw Santi and her daughter approaching us. Her daughter shares in Ladi’s facial features. Is been four years I saw her last and I was taken aback at the speed she has grown. She has Ladi’s resemblance in a beautiful way.

“Hello Miwa, is been ages. Never thought I will see you around here. I’m glad to see you again. How are you and the kids?”
Santi asked looking at me with a smile. She was not mocking me or trying to spite me with her tone just as before. She was actually asking without grudges.

I replied her cheerfully. I also mentioned that Zazi was growing so fast. She smile before asking me if I will like to come over and check out her shop. I looked over at Ladi and he urged me to do so with a pleading nod. Santi also pleaded for me to come over to her shop for some minutes. I followed her while Ladi went back to his own side, leaving me and Santi.

Santi showed me round her big shop and introduce her three staffs to me as her senior wife. We talked as if we have never quarreled before. Since she was almost in the same line of business with me, except that mine was more of foreign mixed with African fabric. I was able to point out some business ideas to her since I have been in the business for over a decade.

I also got to know that Santi has suffered two miscarriage ever since after giving birth to Zazi. Just as Ladi said earlier. She opened up to me on the pain and how saddened it was for her. She carried out her frustration on Ladi but is all in the past now.

We talked for some time before I decided to take my leave. She offered me drink but I declined and told her that next time I happen to come around we can both have time to sit, sip some juice and talk.

She walked me to my car, as I was approaching my car, I guess Ladi saw me going and came down.

“I really appreciate you coming around. It means a lot to me Miwa. Thank you for everything and for being so kind and loving ever since I know you. I’m sorry to have ever taken any of your uniqueness for granted…”

Ladi said in front of Santi who was smiling. I gave a nod to Ladi’s words.
Santi stepped in to say.

“I wish you had more time to spare, we could have had many more things to talk about. I also do appreciate you Miwa, you are a nice woman. Not many of us have such a loving, forgiving and enduring spirit. I don’t know how to be patient like you and forgive but I’m beginning to learn.

If we must be united and be a one family then we should be ready to tolerate, love and over looks wrongs. After my second miscarriage early this year, I have learn to appreciate things better and thank God for the people in my life. You are a good woman and I can’t even compete with you on that. I thought I can have all it all but your good heart keep paving ways for you. I’m sorry for all the pain and tears I caused you. I wish I can go back in times and right every wrongs…. thank you Miwa for everything. You deserve my respect and honor…”

To be Continue


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Comment ( 1 )

  1. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

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