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Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Officer's Woman (5) stronger than pain

 “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

I opened the door and stood frozen at the scene before me. There was my beloved Harry in bed with another woman. Making love to our so-called guest who turned out to be a thief, a husband snatcher who came to rob me of my man!

 And the man? So engrossed in whatever he was doing, he was unaware I was watching the whole action!

 "Harry!" I cried, stepping into the room.

  He raised his head and turned towards me, before rolling off her.

  Anger, bitterness and rage swelled up in me against both of them, but especially against Harry for his betrayal...

 Any man caught in such a compromising situation would show some remorse. Even shame and perhaps guilt. But not him.

 "What are you doing here, Ene? You're supposed to be in bed sleeping," he stated as he got up from the bed and pulled on his boxers. Tilda on her part, was sitting up on the bed, eyeing me warily, no trace of fear at being caught out. 

 "Is that all you can say, after being caught in the act? Has it come to this? Where you bring your whores into this house? How could you Harry?" I said furiously.

 The stupid girl spoke up then.

 "And who are you calling a whore?"

 She was about getting up from the bed when Harry pushed her down.

 "Stay out of this. I'll handle this!"

  Then he took my hand stating:

  "Come with me!" 
  
   But I flung his hand off angrily.

  "I'm going nowhere until this thing," I said, my fore finger pointed at Tilda, "Leaves this house!
As for you Harry, I'm coming for you!

 "Tilda or whatever you call yourself, I want you to take your stupid self and get out! Out now!" I ordered.

 "And where do you expect her to go at this time of the night?" he demanded.
 "I don't care! She should just leave before I do something crazy!" I fumed.

  But Harry would not hear about her leaving, insisting she must stay till the following morning.

 He left the room, with me following closely after him.

 "She has to go! She must leave now! This house isn't big enough for both of us!"

 "She stays! She's going nowhere. If anyone should leave, it should be you!" Harry responded.

  We stood arguing, my anger and resentment against him growing by the minute.

 "Look at you! Shameless he-goat, bringing your girlfriend into my home! And you dare support her against me! I don't want to ever see her in this house again or don't blame me for whatever happens to her! You are so wicked, no conscience at all, sleeping around with anything that walks..."

   ***
 The morning after

 That night, I did not sleep a wink. I stayed awake, tossing and turning for the rest of the night, sleep eluding me. How could I sleep after what had happened, after catching Harry with his mistress?

 He did not even come to our bed but remained with her. 

  No shame at all, I thought, tears snaking down my face onto the pillow.

 I knew, that night I had reached the limit of my tolerance level for his infidelities. I would no longer turn a blind eye for the sake of peace but take a stand. It was for my own sanity too, before I went crazy with frustration, jealousy...

 Something had to give.

  It did quite alright but in an unexpected way. 
  Early the next morning, Harry threw me out of the house, stating he was tired of me, my nagging and jealous ways.

  "You are making my life difficult. I can't take this anymore! I can't have peace in my own home because of your nagging and jealous ways! I'm fed up with your attitude! I'm sick and tired of you as well! I think it's time for you to leave! Just go! Get out!" he said furiously.

 And he began to throw my things out of the house. Initially, I thought it was a joke. Harry would not do that to me, would he? 

 But it was for real!

 His mistress should be the one leaving not me! Yet, she was there, sitting pretty. Worse, she stood in the living room, a smirk on her face, a gloating look in her eyes as I argued with, no, actually pleaded with Harry to reconsider.

 "Darling, you can't do this to me," I said earnestly. "After all these years we've been together, you can't end things this way! I love you! Baby, I can't live without you! You're my life!"

 "You can and will live without me because I can't stand you anymore! I'm going inside and when I return and you are still here, be prepared for the worse," he threatened. 

 Then holding Tilda by the shoulder, he said:

 "Come, Sweetie. I want to show you something in the room."

  ***

 My sister, Sarah later came and took me to her house. The whole thing was like a bad dream.
 I could not believe that it was all over between Harry and I.

 It could not be. We had come a very long way, been through so much together, weathered so many storms in the relationship.

 "We are supposed to be getting married, not this!" I stated in a mournful tone, close to tears.

  Sarah sat by me, drawing me close to her. 
 "It's ok, Ene. These things happen. Be strong," she consoled.
 "Why, sister? Why should Harry treat me this way? He knows how much I love him, care for him! My life will be empty without him!" I broke down and cried then. 

 Sarah did her best to comfort me, reassuring me that all would be well in the end.

 But things never worked out between Harry and I. Despite all the pleadings from different concerned parties- his parents, my sister, Sarah, our friends- Harry bluntly refused to take me back.

 His excuse?

  "Ene has changed! She's not the girl I fell in love with," he told Sarah. "All she does is nag, shout at me, disrespect me and quarrel with any lady she sees close to me! I'm the man in this relationship and I deserve some respect! I'm sorry, I can't do this anymore!"

 That was how Harry and I broke up. Expectedly, the break up left me devastated, heartbroken. I was in a state of shock and despair for a very long time.
 Six years of my life gone down the drain just like that with nothing to show for it.

 It was a horrible time for me. 

 Sometimes, I felt as if I was going crazy, as if something was pounding in my head and it would explode any minute. 

 I was stressed up, anxious, full of nerves...

 There were times I wished for death to take me and end it all. I saw no reason going on living without my Harry. 
 What was the point, I often wondered.

  I felt hurt, lost, like one who was bereaved. It was an intense pain that refused to go away.

 It  took me a long time to get myself together, to recover from losing my love, Harry...

 Three years later

   ...A fresh start

 After my experience with Harry, it was understandable that I steered clear of not just military men but all men generally. I found it difficult trusting any man again. 

 But Gen. Ben turned out to be different. 

 Right from when we met, he told me:

 "Ene, I don't want anything from you. Just the chance to take care of you."

 No man had ever told me that and I felt touched. Perhaps, it was that that made me lower my guard about getting involved with any man again for a long time.

 A widower, Gen Ben had three children, two of who were already in higher institutions. He was not interested in an affair.

 He wanted to marry me. 

 "I knew you were the lady I had been searching for the minute I laid eyes on you," he said when he proposed. This was six months after we met.

 I was reluctant at first but with the encouragement of Sarah and Ben's sincerity, his obvious love for me, I finally accepted him.

 We got married. Truth was, I didn't love Ben. My heart still belonged to Harry despite all he had done to me. No matter how I tried, I could not get over him. He was my one true love and I still loved, still longed for and wanted him and hoped that one day, we could get back together...

 I'm however fond of Ben. Besides, he had been so good to me, treating me like a very precious being. Based on that, I try my best to make the marriage work...

  Some months after I married Ben, something happened...

  Ben's ADC had gone abroad for a course and a new replacement had been sent to him.

 "He'll resume work with me on Monday," Ben announced one evening on his return from work.

 "That's good," I said, as I took his briefcase. I wondered what the new man would be like, whether he would be as hardworking and dedicated as his predecessor, Captain Nuru...

  
The concluding part of Ene's story will be published on Sunday. Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!


To Be Continued...

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