I ran this story by my ‘oga’s/bosses/chairmen’ them. They had plenty to say about it and after a lot of thinking,I decided to put it up.
Here it is and I hope you enjoy it…
Do have a lovely weekend.
In Bible times, there lived a man called Joseph ‘ yak yak yak’ we all know the story so I will skip to the part where his master’s wife tried to seduce him and he refused then she chucked him into prison where he spent a good portion of his youth but later emerged the prime minister of Egypt.
Welcome to the 21st century, a period of practicality.
This is 2015, my name is Joseph Thompson and this is my story-
I am a graduate of Financial Management-second class upper division but after three years of graduation, I still carry around my portfolio in search of a job, I have worn out my only pair of shoe in the process but I still strive on- I refuse to give up.
I am alone in this world safe for my ten year old brother, my mother died just minutes after giving birth to him while my father died five years ago of lung cancer-the doctor said it was an occupational hazard.
My father-‘God rest his soul’ was a horticulturist and had worked with plants, flowers and different types of pesticides, in the process, he had inhaled a whole lot of harmful substances. He died when I was in my final year so for the remaining time, I had to fend for myself and my kid bro.
One Sunday evening, I was sitting in front of the house with my kid bro when Mrs Oje came by.
Mrs Oje is an elderly woman whose garden my father used to tend, I still go there from time to time to help her out. She has been exceedingly kind to I and my brother-our own personal Widow of Zar’ephath and we are grateful for that.
‘Good evening ma’, I said smiling.
‘How are you?’ she asked.
‘I have good news for you’, she began.
My eyes lit up with expectations.
She smiled at my eager expression. ‘A friend from church mentioned that he needs a gardener cum driver and my thoughts ran to you’, she paused. ‘Are you interested?’
That is how I came to work for the very wealthy Mr Ajayi.
The pay was fair enough and it came with an accommodation in the boys quarters. My main job was as the gardener, I was to drive him only occasionally because he had an elderly driver who always drove him.
He lived in a monstrously big house, the drive way leading from the gate to the building itself was almost three kilometers long and it was flanked on both sides by beautiful albeit ill kept gardens.
The sheer beauty of the compound took my breath away and I looked around entranced wishing I had been born into this kind of wealth. The house itself was an architectural edifice it brought to mind a house I once saw in Versailles.
Haa! I got you there. I’ve never been outside Nigeria, I saw the house in a movie filmed in Versailles and since then I’ve been unable to get the image out of my mind.
In an alternate universe, I might have lived in such a house.
For the first few weeks, I minded my work but with time, I became familiar with the workings of the place. He was married with five kids-all girls, he had packed all off them to boarding house so it was just him and his wife in that huge house.
I caught sight of the wife a couple of times- a mousy looking woman wearing ugly and oversized dresses.
She didn’t look like the wife of such a wealthy man, rather like one of the servants. I thought that maybe she just dressed like that around the house till one day when he asked me to drive her to the doctor.
That was the first time I was able to observe her closely, that day, she wore uglier and bigger clothes- I wondered why.
She had this defeated look about her, a look of someone who had given up. Looking through the front mirror, I could detect faint bruises on her face-was he hitting her?
No wonder she looked like that so frail and tired. She looked like she would faint if a dog barked at her.
Wetin concern me? I mused deciding to strictly face my gardening.
I dropped her off and waited for her to finish and took her back home.
With time, I began to empathize with her; after her fifth girl child, the doctor asked her not to try again so she had to stop giving birth. Left with no male as heir, her husband took to cheating. Sometimes, he would hit her for no apparent reason. He was the reason she dressed like that, he didn’t want her wearing body fitting clothes. I had driven him a couple of times to his extramarital meetings and I felt disgusted each time I did.
Why would a man who had such a lovely and dutiful wife go outside?
What is it with Nigerians and the search for male off springs?
No be to born boy, na to born better pikin wey go dey useful to ‘im family and the society! After all, all those thief men dem na people born dem and I sure say when dey born dem, the family and friends dem gather to rejoice say dem don born boy.
One day, I was working in the garden as usual when I heard them arguing, it sounded like they were walking in the garden so I quickly ducked behind a hedge of Bougainvilleas. It was not really an argument because the conversation was just one sided and when she dared to answer him in her very passive voice he had slapped her twice in quick succession and stomped out.
After some minutes, I heard the sound of the car driving off and I came out of my hiding place. She was sitting at a garden bench sobbing her heart out. I wanted to turn around and pretend I didn’t see her but my heart went out to her and I approached her with trepidation.
After all na me find trouble… She might just transfer the aggression to me and dash me one better slap.
Her face was covered with her palms and she was sobbing into them so she didn’t see me approach. A short distance from her, I stepped on a twig and she looked up reflexively.
She was bleeding through her left nostril.
Without a word, I turned back and went to my quarters. I came back with a small bowl of cold water and a clean towel, she was still sitting in that position and I approached. Gently, I pried away her fingers from her nose and tenderly wiped the blood away.
‘Thank you’, she said looking up at me.
‘You are welcome’, I replied. She was still crying so I held her hands and whispered consoling words to her. I didn’t even know what I was saying but my words seemed to soothe her.
Then she leaned on my sweaty shoulder still sobbing quietly…
Then she kissed me-it was less a kiss than her pressing her lips to mine.
Startled, I released her and got up from the bench.
‘Is there something else you want me to get you?’ I murmured in embarrassment.
I had no reason to feel that way but somehow I did. She had this thing around her that made her look like she could do no wrong so somehow I blamed myself.
‘No’, she whispered and got up.
I stood watching her walk back to the house listening to the swish-swash of her bulbous skirt.
The next day, she came to my quarters. I was stepping out of the shower when I heard a knock.
‘Come in’, I said without thinking. I hadn’t expected it to be her.
I could see the shock on her face when she walked in-yes I have that effect on females. I was naked from chest up with just a towel around my waist.
Back in NYSC camp, I had won Mr Macho and even though I don’t visit the gym, I still do my own form off workout with the gardening and all so I know what effect I was having on her-the very sheltered Mrs Ajayi. She lowered her eyes and mumbled incoherently while I grabbed the nearest shirt to cover myself.
‘I’m sorry for barging into your room’, she said with eyes still looking downwards. ‘I just want to apologize for yesterday. I’m sorry if I put you in an awkward position.’
‘No need to apologize ma’, I cut in.
‘Please let me finish’, she said sternly looking up to stare into my face. ‘It’s been so long anyone cared about my welfare and I’m sorry I acted the way I did…I just don’t know what came over me’, she cried out.
What is it with women and tears? I just tire.
I stood there at a loss, not knowing what to do. Should I reach out to her or not?
She was still sobbing so I got her a clean handkerchief from my drawer.
She sat down on the mattress without an invitation and sobbed into the handkerchief.
‘I’m so lonely’, she sobbed. ‘He sent my babies off to boarding school…he wouldn’t let me visit my family…he wouldn’t let them visit me. I can’t even have friends’, she moaned blowing her nose into the handkerchief.
‘He blames me for not having a male child… I’m just tired’, she cried. ‘I wish I could just die…I just wanna die’, she sobbed harder.
All this while, I was standing in front of her. I was wary of reaching out to console her make wetin happen yesterday no happen again but when she talked about death-my heart went out to her and I reached out.
Crouching before her, I held her face. Her eyes were red rimmed from crying-she looked like a little girl.
‘You shouldn’t talk so casually about death’, I scolded lightly. ‘What do you think will happen to your girls if you give up now?’ I asked.
I was trying to console and encourage her-one thing led to another and we were kissing.
We had sex that day and it was surprisingly amazing.
During the pillow talk, she confided in me that the last time he had sex with her was six years ago-before her last child. After she put to bed and it was a female child, he stopped touching her except for the few times when he would order her to fellate him.
She thanked me profusely for making her feel like a woman again before sneaking out.
Looking at Mr Ajayi, it was hard to believe that he was capable of such cruelty. I hated him so much and somehow, I didn’t feel guilty about his wife.
The sex became a regular occurrence; he was always away so we had numerous opportunities to make love. She had been starved of companionship for such a long time and was glad to find someone to talk to. She was shocked when she heard about my result and promised to help me. Her eldest brother was the CEO of a multi-national company. He was many times richer than her husband.
She arranged for me to meet him and he interviewed me.
He gave me a job with one of his branches and just six months on the job, he sent me abroad for my Masters.
Today, I am a success story.
I’m married with a set of twins-boys. You already know my wife-the former Mrs Ajayi.
Yes, she left her husband for me and we are living happily with our five girls.
This is how it happened; while I was away for my Masters, Mr Ajayi got two of his mistresses pregnant and they moved in with him-it gave my wife grounds to divorce him and she did, leaving with a generous settlement from him. He still visits the girls from time to time.
I love my wife so much and each day, I’m grateful for not missing the opportunity I had.
I’m definitely not going to justify my deeds but I dare you to condemn me!