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Introducing my BACKSTORY SERIES – That “gossip” part of the story we may want to know. Reconnect with the human side of all your favorite characters from Sinmisola Ogúnyinka.
Johnny knew he was looking where he was going but she still bumped into him. Miriam was her name, and she always seemed to be all dressed up whenever he saw her, even as far back as two years ago before he left home. She couldn’t be more than fourteen then. Now, a full-blossomed lady!
“Excuse me.” He gushed. “Accept my apology. Please.”
She fanned herself, and Johnny thought he caught the glimpse of a thin layer of sweat on her pale forehead.”
“Oh dear. You do know you walked right into me, Johnny.”
“I am sorry, ma’am. I must have been lost in thought.”
They heard giggling sounds and Johnny turned to where it came from. Two girls stood right across the road, and not only gawked but giggled loud enough for everyone by a mile to hear them.
Johnny bowed and stepped aside so Miriam could pass by him.
“Ma’am! I ain’t no ma’am, Johnny Holt!” Miriam cried.
“I’m sorry, Miriam. I didn’t mean to call you, ma’am!”
“I ain’t Miriam. My name is Charlotte!” She hurried across the road, and her two friends hugged her. The three walked away quickly.
“You sure got one less by the way,” Gilbert said.
Johnny swerved around to see his friend at the entrance of the office. “Gilbert Goodling! I didn’t know you were spying on me.”
Gilbert laughed. “Come on in, old boy! Before another abrupt lady falls into you. Never knew you were back.”
The two entered the mayor’s office. Johnny stole one last glance at the road but the ladies were gone.
“I thought her name was Miriam. Delightful little thing.” Johnny sighed. “I should buy her flowers and ask her forgiveness.”
“Well, you have all of the summer to fall in love!”
Johnny sighed. “I want to fall in love, Gilbert! With Charlotte.”
I had promised myself two things I found rampant amongst young women in my community, and tribe in general: 1. we got married to married men and 2. We got pregnant before marriage. So annoying and disturbing were these two things to me, that I made a sticker over my mirror and read them to myself every morning. I prophesied over my destiny. By the time I was midway through high school, at least five of my classmates had either gotten pregnant and aborted or were pregnant. Five may seem a small number but it was quite disturbing to me.
I focused on my studies and came out top of my class. One hurdle passed. I got into university and continued to be focused. It wasn’t as easy in university as it was in high school, and my hour-glass figure did not help matters. But alas, after four years, I graduated with honor’s in Accounting and Financial Studies. I got a job immediately at the accounts department of an airline. There, the temptations soared. Men hounded me. I had the most attractive, and richest of the bunch. They came from all walks of life, different countries, and it was easy to hit on me as a client of the airline. But one baboon got me.
He was soft-spoken, incredibly handsome and rich. He was a frequent-flier who had his account mixed up somehow when his “sister” needed to travel.
To cut a long story short, I fell head over heels in love. He as well.
I had only one question for him, “At thirty-eight, why are you still single?”
He was twelve years older than me, but the difference didn’t bother me. Only his marital status did. No wife or ex-wife, no kids? At that age?
He replied. “I want to meet your family and you’ll meet mine. You’ve been to my house, and there’s no wife or kids. When you meet my people, they will confirm it to you.”
Within months, he visited my parents and asked for my hand in marriage. I took time off work to meet his family and they were very happy with me. He tossed my concerns out and they all laughed. One aunt didn’t but my fiancé shielded me and as my heart thudded, my intuition told me they were all lying about something.
I went digging. We had fixed a wedding day, and preparations were well underway. He even insisted on a small ceremony to pay my dowry ahead of the main occasion. My parents urged me to move in with him after the bride price was paid and I did.
Thank God, I did.
On one of his many business trips, I had a chance to turn the house upside down, searching, trying to absolve me and I found what I was looking for, dated just a week earlier, divorce papers returned unsigned. The name was the same as that of the “sister” who had brought him to our office.
She had a little sticky note attached to the form: I will never give you a divorce, dare me!
I call this #baboon – married single. There are many of them out there, and it is heart-breaking how they prey on unsuspecting women. Are you one?
All the best in your love.
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