LAST WEEK ON BBs: Wale prepared to resign from work, following his discovery, but he was pleasanty suprised with the wondeful job offer that was presented to him. Was this a blessing or a curse? READ ON.....
Eniola wanted to throw her mobile phone into the bin. Her mother was screaming down the phone, and she could hear her father too in the background, echoing.
‘which wedding is off? What wedding? ‘
‘mummy, Femi is married, I cannot marry a man who is married’
‘ Femi wo ? our Olufemi? married? No o.. why? When? To who?’
Eniola was very irritated. She had told her mum this story 5 times already., and she found it annoying that her mum kept asking if Femi was married, and whom to.
Eniola ignored her mum and stared into space. She faintly heard her father calling Femi a bastard. Her mum was still speaking.
‘ Ok, you say they are married, ehen, did you see their marriage certificate?’
Eniola could almost see her mum pacing up and down and gesticulating as she shouted…
‘ …or wedding pictures? Eniola? did you? That woman must have used juju on Femi o, I have to call Senior Pastor Gbenro today, we must break and bind.. break, bind, by fire’
Eniola groaned loudly.
‘ ehn? Answer me now? so what will happen to the aso ebi and gele(uniform&head tie) which I have ordered for all our friends to wear? The I.V’s were almost going to print you know? Disgrace is not our potion o.. amen.. amen.. eh, Baba Eni, talk noow….? Her mother paused for Eniola to respond.
Eniola could not believe her ears. How selfish parents could be. She cut the conversation short and slumped on the bed. She needed to speak to someone else, needed to speak to Sade; her best friend, who had become more like a sister over the years. But Sade had her own fair share of worries- besides Eniola could not reach her now, if she wanted to, her mobile phone had been disconnected for some reason. Eniola knew it had to be Sade's husband's handiwork.
She thought of Sade and smiled sadly, forgetting her own woes for a minute. Sade and Eniola were friends from childhood. Sade was stunningly beautiful, and it was natural for Sade to have been swept off her feet earlier than most girls. Sade at 20 had married a monster, who had managed to disguise his true self until after their wedding night. Eniola struggled to control her tears as she recalled how Sade had called her a week after their wedding, saying that her husband had changed from the man she'd met one year ago. Eniola was a Christian and did not believe in divorce; but it hurt not being able to tell your own sister- friend to leave an unhappy marriage. That was four years ago. Sade was still living in hell with her husband. She had not heard from her dear friend in 3 months, and did not know what had become of her. The last time Eniola had visited, Sade explained that she had been secretly applying for jobs at dawn, over the Internet, for fear of her husband finding out. She hoped Sade had found a job. It was what her friend needed to be able to draw her attention away from her terrible marriage.
Suddenly, Eniola felt overwhelmed by everything, and wondered how two childhood friends, who deserved nothing but happiness had become like this. Perhaps it was the curse of living abroad. They’d had childhood dreams of marrying at a certain age and living happily ever after. Now, Eniola knew that ‘happily ever after’ was a fragment of one’s imagination. Sighing deeply, she sank to her knees and began to pray- something she had not done properly in a while. She knew that nothing happened by chance, and that there must be a reason why God had let her come this far with Femi before discovering his deceit. She included Sade in her prayers as always, and hoped that her friend would find happiness in her marriage, as impossible as it seemed.
Rising up an hour later and feeling comforted knowing that her prayers had been answered, Eniola switched on her laptop to begin the arduous process of applying for Jobs.
Sade Coker-Williams nodded to the uniformed doorman standing in front of her husband’s £2.5 million house in the prestigious Chelsea borough of London. She stepped into their house and dropped her bag full of text books in the empty hallway. She was tired and exhausted after a whole day’s work. She had not worked in four years and had forgotten how mentally tasking it could be.
‘Madam Williams, welcome home, dinner is served’ her Norwegian cook, Ma, was bowing slightly at her. Sade smiled and walked towards the dining room. The wonderful smell of roasted duck and grilled potatoes filled her nostrils as her stomach pinged in hunger. Her cook was an elderly woman who had migrated from Norway in the early eighties. Her real name was Ingrid, but Sade’s deeply instilled Nigerian roots of respect forbade her from calling her cook by name. So Ma it was. Ma was at least 20 years older than Sade, and Sade respected her like she would her own mother. Perhaps, that was why Ma loved Sade as her own daughter.
Ma smiled at Sade, her kind features softening with motherly love ‘vous sont comment mon Cheri. How was school today Madam?’ Ma’s French was quite good.
‘Stressful Ma, I really may not finish the course’, replied Sade, as she made her way upstairs to change from her days clothes.
‘Ah, dear, you will, French is a tres wonderful language, I am learning and you know; nothing ventured, nothing gained’ replied Ma as she waved Sade further upstairs.
Once in the safety of her bedroom; Sade switched on the 26 inch, Bowers and Wilkins TV, which was conveniently located above her bath tub as she ran a bath.
She slipped into the warm bubbles and tried to relax her senses as she flipped through the TV channels. It was impossible. She replayed her conversation with Ma and sighed. How had her life become a web of lies and deceit?
It was his fault. Because of him, she packed her bag full of French textbooks everyday as the chauffeur drove towards Sims & Sims, only he did not drop her at Sims & Sims; he dropped her at the French school 1 mile away. Because of him, she had secretly attended Accounting classes by on-line distance learning had bagged an accountancy degree from the Open University in the process. She had secretly applied for a job; deliberately avoiding any known accounting firms, and instead choose a small IT company like Sims& Sims, where she knew he would have no contacts. It was because of him that she took extra precaution to ensure that she did not get pregnant. She would rather remain barren than to share a child with him. She had made a stupid mistake once, and had aborted it immediately she found out. She knew he wanted a child. Hell yes, Olabode Coker- Williams IV wanted a child badly. She remembered his face the night she had conceived. He had raped her as always, but this time, he was more brutal. He had looked into her pleading eyes and had barked ‘Fola-sade, this time around-a son’. Sade laughed cruelly; a son, a male heir- he had to be joking. Yes, she did get pregnant after that event. Since then she had poured contraceptive pills into her Vitamin A-Z pill-bottle, and each night she threw one tiny pill in her mouth in anticipation of a gruesome attack, but with confidence that a child would not be made, as a result of rape.
On discovery of her last pregnancy, she had, with Ma’s help travelled outside London to an unknown doctor for the abortion. She knew it was selfish, sinful even. She knew it had consequences, but she could not help her actions. However, Bode had found out about the abortion; and had beaten her so severely that she had almost lost her eye sight. Of course, Bode flew her to Germany the next day for a reconstructive eye surgery.
She spat the bubbles out of her mouth in disgust, and stepped out of the bathtub. She’d had almost every bone in her body broken by Bode. If this marriage was the price you paid for sinning, then she must be the worst sinner that ever lived.
How naive she must have been, when at 18 she had met and fallen in love with the only son of the Oil and gas magnate in Nigeria and property guru in UK, Chief Lanre Olabode Coker-Williams III. His only son, Bode, 30 at the time was devastatingly handsome and extremely charming. Sade, who had come from an average family, had never thought in her life that Bode would find her attractive. She’d met him when she had visited her uncle’s house, who happened to be Bode’s fathers’ business partner. Bode had set eyes on her that day and had vowed to marry her, at all costs. Bode was not the only man who proposed marriage to Sade at first sight, many men did.
Sade was stunning. Put simply. Her beauty was childlike and untainted. Her smooth milk chocolate skin needed no oil to shine. When she smiled, it seemed like a ray of sunlight had been cast over a gloomy day. Her teeth were well set, and extremely white. Her face was usually likened to a porcelain doll, with dimples in both cheeks so deep; they appeared to dig endless holes into her face. Her eyes were beautiful, hazel brown; tearful often, elated a few times.
Her body was firm and looked like it had been drawn from a catalogue of models. Flat tummy, thin waist and curved hips. She wore little makeup, for make up masked the beauty of the art work of The Almighty’s perfect hands. Sade made no effort to be beautiful; rather, she tried desperately to disguise her beauty, which seemed to have been a curse more than a blessing. The harder she’d tried, the more beautiful she looked. Her outer beauty radiated inside of her. Sade had been compassionate and sensitive, sweet, yet disciplined. Her trusting nature and warm aura drew people to her against their own will. In the recent years, her marriage to Bode had destroyed the most of her inner self. Sade now struggled to hold on to her desire to continue to be how she was before her marriage, 5 years ago.
Sade sighed as she recalled the memories. She’d had 3 weddings, the first with all and sundry in Lagos Nigeria. The second, a week long dinner and suite package with close friends at the Dorchester Hotel in London, the last, 2 weeks with closest of friends on the Island of St Lucia in the Caribbean. They’d flown back to the UK after a month long honey moon in Paris, Spain and the Virgin Islands. Sade had never seen so much money exhausted on a human being. Her husband spent money on her. Lavishly, but not foolishly. No, call Bode a monster, or a lunatic, and Sade would give you a million pounds for precision, but not an unwise man. He was a guru with investments. He did not rely solely on his parents’ money. Bode had built his own empire in the UK, on his own. His vast knowledge of the Nigerian, London and New York stock exchange, coupled with his swift judgment of the stock market was admirable- or so everyone thought. His friends called him the African Warren Buffet.
Her friends had envied her and said so. Her mum had been so thankful of the fact that her only daughter had married young, and well. What more could any mother wish for? If only her mother could see her battered body now. She reached for a brush and began to brush her long silk black hair as her mind continued to wander.
The first time he hit her could never be forgotten. He had hit her countless of times after that, but she did not remember them, only the first one counted. They had been on honeymoon in Spain, a week after their wedding. Sade had worn a lovely bikini that her best friend Eniola had given her during her bridal shower. As she and Bode laughed on the beach, she’d noticed a young Spanish boy in his early teens blush at her before waving. Unsure of what to do, Sade had waved back and smiled at him, after all, he was barely 14 years old. Bode, seeing the exchange suddenly snapped, and within seconds his laughter had been replaced with accusations of adultery. When Sade tried to protest the innocence of the situation, Bode had spontaneously slapped her face three times. The young lad scampered away in embarrassment, but Sade would never forget that day.
She was glad to have been offered the job at Sim& Sims. The pay was not much, but it was a step towards gaining financial and emotional independence from her husband. So far, he did everything for her, and forbade her from doing anything herself. He kept her locked up in the house; for fear that another man would see her and fall in love with her. The last time she had gone shopping at the local Tesco and a male admirer had stared at her openly, Bode’s chauffeur, Mickey had been quick to report to his boss, who had beaten Sade and banned her from Shopping.
The only reason why her husband allowed her to attend French school was because it was an all female catholic Languages college. The chauffeur had been given instructions to drop her at the door of the school, and pick her up on the dot of 4, when the school closed. So far, Sade had enrolled on the French course delivered by the college- duration 3 years. Long enough to gain work experience from Sims& Sims; and definitely long enough to plan her escape from hell. Bode had personally paid her fees- which cost him 10,000 pounds per year. She wished she could siphon the money as part of her escape plan, but her pride would not allow, besides, the only reason why the French school paid little attention to her extreme absences and allow her to disappear each morning was because the hefty fees had been paid in full £30,000. She knew he would kill her if he ever found out that she was not attending any school, but was in fact an accountant, and working for her own money- and planning a great escape.
She got away with it by walking into the French school at 8pm, and stealing out again at 8.15am when Mickey drove off, to begin the 15 minute walk to Sims&Sims. It was her third week with Sims& Sims, and she was loving it. it was like a breath of fresh air. Working was now only thing that kept her sane, especially since Bode had forbidden Eniola, from seeing her, his reasons being that Eniola would ‘corrupt her’.
Sade frowned as she remembered the way he had embarrassed Eniola out of their house 3 months ago, when Eniola had come to announce her recent engagement to Femi, and both had been thrilled with the prospects of having a wedding to plan. Bode had never allowed her to visit Eniola's house, but Eniola had been always welcome at hers, until that day when something in his head had snapped, and he included her beloved Eniola in the 'banned list'.
After the incident, her husband had stamped angrily on her mobile phone, destroying the beautiful Bang & Olufsen Serene Mobile he'd bought her. He forbade her from getting a new one; so she could no longer reach Eniola, except she called her from a pay phone. Yet, even the freedom to stroll to a pay phone was a luxury she could not afford.
Her only hope of friendship with anyone was from this new job. Luckily for her, she had just been introduced to, and had chatted briefly with one Wale guy, the only other Nigerian, who was a data analyst at Sims & Sims’ IT department. He'd lost his uncle last week and she had gone to sympathise briefly. She was very surprised to have found him incredibly attractive... there was something about his face.....
Her intercom buzzed and startled her out of her deep thoughts. It was Ma, asking her to come down for dinner before it went cold. Sade took one final glance at her beautiful face and stepped out of her bedroom, to enjoy dinner alone, before the monster she’d married came home from work……….
Thank you for reading BBS and God bless u.. see you on Thursday, by Gods grace.....