For Better, For Worse by Somtoochukwu Benedict Ezioha on ZenPens

For Better, For Worse

You’ve called him fifteen times this morning, and the network operator has been saying the same scary thing: “Dear customer, the number you are calling does not have the facility to receive calls at the moment. Please try again later. Thank you.” You refuse to believe what your mind is telling you; it can’t be true. He loved you, he said so himself. And everything he had done for the past three months spoke volumes about his devotion to you. He was your light in the dark hell of your marriage, the reason you have not listened to the demons who whisper to you when you’re alone, giving you promises of a beautiful place once you cross over.

Your mind whipped you back to the first time you met Chima, your lover. You’d gone to the chapel close to your house to pray, talking to God and asking him why he allowed you to marry a man who was your father’s age mate. But as usual, God was mute; you had come to realize that even if God heard your prayers, he either didn’t want to answer them, or he was just mute.

As you stepped out of the chapel, you started to cross the road to where your car was parked, when you bumped into him. He had been distraught, and had barely noticed that he bumped into you. As he made to leave, you had held him back, wanting to dump your frustration on him. But one look into his eyes had you hooked. His eyes had the kind of sorrow that must have been living in your own eyes. You had calmly asked him what the problem was and he had told you that his wife had left him for his best friend due to the fact that he was fired from his job.

You did not know where the courage came from and you took him out to lunch, where he recounted his woes to you. You had listened quietly, trying to quell the spark of attraction you felt towards him. You had watched his lips move, the words barely registering with you as you imagined what those dark full lips would feel like when they locked with yours; you watched his hands as he gesticulated, hoping that they would roam your body and touch you in all the places that needed to be touched.

And when he stood up to go to the rest room, his elbow had brush your taut nipples that were caged in your clothing. You had let out an involuntary moan of pleasure that you prayed he wouldn’t notice. But he did notice; his wonderful eyes had been fixed on yours for a fraction of a second, but it was enough for you to tell him that you wanted him.

Later that afternoon, in the backseat of your Lexus, he had shown you that his desire for you was as intense as yours for him. After the sex, you had been so dazed that he was the one who drove you home, stopping at the gate of the estate, and going to his house. As you drove into your house, you had seen your meeting him as God finally answering your prayers.

The next three months were filled with spine-tingling sex and love that you never thought you could have. He had suggested that you leave your husband and marry him, and although you wanted to marry Chima so badly, you wanted to make your husband pay for everything he had done to you. He had raped you when you were just nineteen, and when you became pregnant for him, your father had forced you to marry him. You had pleaded with your father, but he was adamant; he did not want his only daughter to be pregnant out of wedlock, he had his image to protect.

Over the twenty years you’ve lived with your husband, there was never a time you felt that love people said existed in marriage; instead Chris, your husband had turned you into his sex object and toy, taking you when he wanted and dumping you like thrash afterwards.

That was why you chose to empty his account as you were about to leave him. You had done that yesterday. You had laced his drink yesterday morning, took his phone and ATM and quietly crept out of the house. You went with Chima, cleared his account and deleted the message. You were even surprised that he had just five hundred thousand naira left in his account. Was he having financial difficulties that he didn’t let you know about? Of course, you reasoned, there was no way he would tell you anything about his problems.

You and Chima had plans of relocating to Cotonou, so you had given him the money to prepare everything. Today was supposed to be the D-day, the day you would be finally free from your loveless marriage. But Chima’s number wasn’t going through. Your spirit fought against the idea that he has left you, but everything screamed of his betrayal.

Then the doorbell rang. It won’t be your husband as he was still away with his friends at the club. Unless he had found out about the money. That’s not possible. God, please, don’t do this to me, you prayed. At the same time, it won’t be Chima because you had warned him to always call you before coming to see you. And as his line wasn’t going through…

You didn’t complete that though as you rushed to the door, opened it, and fainted in shock.

When you woke up, the sight before you was that you would never forget: Chima and your husband were seated on the sofa opposite yours, with Chima holding the bag that contained your husband’s money. Without any of them explaining, you know what happened, and you felt like the fool you were. It was further confirmed when you saw the paper your husband held out in front of you.

Your husband and Chima had played you. Now he wanted a divorce. You knew that he would get his divorce, and you would be thrown out on the streets, with nothing to call your own.

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