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Monday, November 09, 2015

My cousin is married to a conman but who will tell her?' (2)

Ella had been married for about two years and I and the rest of the family were beginning to warm to him when his true colors were revealed. And it came about in a way no one expected. It happened this way. My husband, Eric, is a businessman and he does a lot of travelling in the course of his business.  
Sometime ago, he was on a business trip to a neighbouring country when by chance, he found out certain things about Jack's past that shocked everyone of us who heard it. Eric was to have stayed about two weeks in the country but he cut the trip short to return home. 
"Honey, what happened? I wasn't expecting you till next week!" I said as I hugged him before taking his bag. 
He sighed then sat down on the couch and said:
"Something came up and my plans changed. Come and sit." After I had sat down, he brought out a newspaper which he gave me. I looked at him askiance, before glancing at the paper. It was a foreign one, from the country he was returning from. It was opened to a page and a picture on it immediately drew my attention.
"What's this? What's Jack's picture doing in a foreign paper?" I asked my husband. 
 "Why don't you read the text?" he said. I did and what I read left me stupefied. It was a public notice declaring Jack wanted by the police for fraud, extortion and other offences. He was said to have made away with a large sum of money running into nearly half a million dollars said to belong to his wife.
"What? Could this be true? Jack has another wife? How come?" I asked, the questions tumbling out. I just could not believe it. Though I had had some misgivings about my cousin's husband right from the beginning, I never in my wildest dreams knew it could be this bad. 
 I listened as Eric narrated what had transpired on his trip. "The hotel I stayed in distributes free copies of the paper to guests. So, one evening in my room, I was going through my copy when I chanced on the picture. Just like you, I was shocked; the name is different, probably a fake name, but it's definitely Jack. Unless he has a twin we don't know about. Anyway, the following day, I called one of the numbers listed there. It happened to be the said wife whom he had swindled. 
 "I pretended I was a private detective and offered my services to her, stating I could help her trace her missing husband and recover her money. She seemed interested. We met up some time later and that was when she narrated the whole sordid story. She said she met aback at a nightclub in the city, got talking and later became friends. Jack, the woman stated claimed to be from Cameroun, the English speaking part and was in the country for business. One thing led to another and she fell in love. Before long, they got married and Jack moved into her house. 
 Some months after the marriage, Jack, she stated suggested they should go into the importation business together. "He told me computers and mobile phones and accessories sold like hot cakes in his country and that if we imported them in large quantities from China, and took them to Cameroun, we would make double the amount we invested. It sounded like a good proposal and I decided to invest in the business. I gathered all the cash I had and even sold one of my buildings that I rent out, to raise the amount he said we needed for the business. He called me the first few days after he travelled then to my shock, the calls stopped abruptly. No calls, contact, nothing. I could not reach him on any of his phone lines? All this happened nearly three years ago.
 "Initially, I thought he was involved in an accident or some kind of trouble. But I found out later that he never travelled to China as he claimed. It was Dubai he went to and from there, he disappeared to God knows where. I later sent someone to Cameroun, to his house address where he claimed his parents lived. But we were told there was nobody like that living there. The address is a workshop where welders and other artisans work. The bastard duped me and made away with all my life's savings. It will never be well with him wherever he is! I'm ready to spend whatever it takes to get him, so he can pay for what he did to me," the woman had vowed.
After Eric stopped talking, we sat down for a while in silence. It was a shocking story; the type you read about in the papers but never think it could happen to someone close to you. God, how could this happen to Ella, were my thoughts as I mulled over things.
Later, we discussed the next line of action, especially how to break the news to Ella that the man she was married to was a big time con man, a '419' (in local parlance), a man who could marry a woman on false pretences just to clean her out of her hard earned money.
Was he planning to do the same to my cousin, Ella? Ella had a lot of money and investments so was that his plan in marrying her so quickly after they met? How would Ella take the news? She was already pregnant with their second child, so was in a delicate situation. How do you break that kind of news to someone in her condition, I thought glumly.
 "So, what are we going to do now? Should we tell her the truth about Jack?" I asked Eric.
"Obviously, yes. We can't keep this kind of information from her; it's only fair that she be informed," he replied. 
The issue now is, who is going to tell her? I was reluctant to do it because I know how much Ella loves her husband. Besides, she has invested so much in the marriage that such news would be devastating to her. Is it right that we should break her illusions, shatter her dreams of marital bliss? Should we tell her as my husband has suggested or let sleeping dogs lie, hoping that she will discover the truth by herself?
What if he ends up duping her like he did to the other woman whom he married before? What should I do? I'm really confused and will appreciate if someone could suggest a way out of this dilemma. Thank you.

The End!

Did Amanda do the right thing by ending her marriage to Bennie? Readers reactions are welcome.

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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