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Thursday, December 17, 2015

He's my fiancé and my Mum's lover too! (3)

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Dennis was busy entertaining some friends of his who had come visiting when I arrived his house that Sunday evening. We were supposed to go out on an outing but I was not in the mood. So, after his guests left, I took him by the hand and led him to his bedroom.

He looked up at me askance as I stood, gazing down at him.
"What's the matter, Meg? You look so serious! Did anything happen?"

 "That's what I want to know. What's with you and my Mum?" I queried.
"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, looking at me quizzically.
"I want to know what you've done to her that she seems to dislike you so much! That she doesn't want you around me! What is it?" I demanded.

  He shrugged.
"I don't have a clue. Perhaps you should ask her..." he stated.
"Please don't give me that! I know there's something going on and I want the truth!" I was determined to get to the root of the matter no matter what it took.
Dennis was silent for a while, then he said quietly:
 "I think it will be better if you ask your mother. She will explain things to you better."
 "Explain what?" I asked, my curiosity piqued.
 But no matter how much I pressed him, he refused to speak more on the matter.

  The revelation
 Back home, I confronted my mother as soon as I stepped in through the front door. We had the house to ourselves as my father was at a meeting and Harry was at the home of a friend who lived on our street.
Initially, she was reluctant to speak, but on seeing the determined look in my eyes, she later opened up.

 What she told me shocked me to the core of my being.
 "It happened over ten years ago," she began softly. "It was that time your dad travelled abroad for a course, his company sent him for. Remember?" she stated.
  I did. I had finished secondary school and was preparing to go to the university.
   I nodded, impatient for her to continue.

 "When your dad left, I missed him terribly. I felt so lonely without him. To add to my loneliness, you were away on campus and your brothers, Joe and Paul were in boarding school. Harry was not born then. I'm not trying to make excuses for my behaviour but just to give you an idea of what made me do it."
She paused briefly then continued:

  "I met Dennis one evening on my way from work. My car had a flat tyre. I was standing by the car confused and wondering what to do as I didn't know how to change a tyre when this young man came up to me. He helped with the tyre and out of gratitude, I gave him a ride home. His office back then was close to where I used to work before my resignation. So, after work, I would wait for him to close and I would drop him at home. That was how we became friends. And before long, it developed into something else and we became lovers."

I just stood gaping at her as the words sank into my mind. Was this real or a dream? Was this really my mother, a woman I loved and respected more than any other person on earth confessing to an affair? With my fiance? Was she really telling me she had cheated on her husband, my dad while he was away? But she was still speaking...

 "I know, Meg that this must come to you as a shock. I don't know what came over me that made me do it. It was temptation and I guess I was too weak to resist. You are now a woman and you can understand these things," she stated. She added that she ended things with Dennis when my Dad returned to Nigeria.

 She then said that because of the affair with Dennis, I could not continue with the relationship with him and should call off the wedding.
I gazed at her as she spoke, my mouth turned up in what must look like disgust to her. It was bad enough her cheating on my dad with my fiancé. Now she was even justifying her bad actions!

"Mum, how could you do that to my father? Don't you have any conscience? Don't you know it's a big offense in our culture for a married woman to have an affair outside her matrimonial home? How could you?" I raved at her, getting increasingly worked up.

 The thought of my mother in bed with my beloved fiancé, the man I loved so much and wanted to marry was nearly driving me crazy. After I had screamed and ranted at her, I stormed up to my room and began packing. I couldn't bear the thought of continuing to live under the same roof with such a woman who could betray her husband so cheaply. To the outside world, my Mum presented this veneer of respectability of a married woman. She covered herself with a moral veil, as if she could do no wrong. This was a woman who was always advising me about men, not to be loose and to respect myself. See what she had done!

The veil was torn now, revealing her true face!
I called my friend Pat to pick me up. As I was throwing my clothes and other stuff into my suitcase, my Mum came into my room. She looked surprised to see what I was doing.
"What are you doing?" she queried.
"What does it look like?" I countered angrily.

 "Don't tell me you are moving out of the house! It's late. Where will you go by this time of the night?" she stated.
I didn't care where I went as long as she was not there.
 As I dragged my large suitcase downstairs and made for the front door, my mother kept begging me not to go, that I should stay so we could sort out things.

 "Please don't go, my daughter! What will your father say when he hears you have packed out of the house?" she said, holding onto my hand.
I shook her hand off. That was her problem not mine. She caused the whole mess and she should clean it up.

  A few days later, Dennis came to see me at my friend's place where I was staying temporarily. I was still angry at what they had done, but after he spoke to me, I calmed down a bit.
"I was young and stupid then. It was all so long ago. Please honey, don't let what happened in the past between your Mum and I spoil our relationship. I love you," he pleaded.

 That was the problem. I love Dennis so much that the thought of breaking up with him is making me ill. How could I go on without him? If I listened to my mother, that was what would happen. But why should I sacrifice my happiness because of what my mother did in the past?
I love Dennis too much to give him up. Based on that, I have decided to ignore my Mum's words and continue with my relationship with him.

 My problem now is my father. He is still unaware of the reason I moved out of our home. He has been calling, wanting to know what caused the quarrel between my Mum and I. There are times I feel like confessing to him what my Mum did to him. But when I think about the devastating effects it could have on their marriage and our family life, I keep quiet. I'm not sure my father, who is a traditionalist to the core, will recover from the shock of knowing his wife cheated on him even if it was long ago.

I don't know what to do. Should I tell my Dad or let what happened in the past remain in the past? And did I take the right decision by staying with Dennis despite his affair with my Mum in the past? I've been told it's a taboo in our culture for a mother and daughter to sleep with the same man. Please I will appreciate if readers can advise me. Thanks.

The End!

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

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