We met at the bank, and he bumped in front of me. I got really upset and he apologized. He told me he was standing there before, and just popped away to pick up a form. I said I didn’t believe him. Unfortunately, there was also no one to verify his claim. After me talking too much, he politely apologized again and allowed me to go before him.
After my transaction with the bank teller, I went out to wait for a taxi. I no longer had a car, but that’s a story for another day. That day I went to the bank to pick up the last amount I had in my account and it was just N35,000. As I cradled it in my handbag, I kept looking left and right to make sure nobody snatched it from me.
It was beginning to get cloudy, I could not believe it, Taxi wasn’t coming, I took out a nylon bag, covered the money and waited, just then a jeep stopped beside me, the driver rolled down his window and asked nicely if he could give me a ride. I peeped in the jeep and saw it was the man with who I had a squabble in the queue in the banking hall. I declined, he insisted, told me it was about to rain and Taxi’s hardly came this way. So I said, okay, but he will drop me at the bus stop.
His name was Adejare. Calm, good looking and looked rich, I wasn’t sure, but he drove a brand new Prado Jeep, so I guess he was comfortable. That day he insisted he drops me off at home. I was tired of men, I didn’t want anything to do with them, but this one, I knew how to put off. I was staying with my former nanny, she took care of my 3 children, which my husband currently had custody of. When he sent me packing he got rid of all my staff and employed new ones except my nanny who was elderly and had been with us since I started having babies. She was my only link to my children.
Anyway, she took me in without my husband’s knowledge, she lived in a neglected area of Lagos, somewhere after Iyana Ipaja. Every Friday evening she will come home and leave to stay with my children, at 4 am on Monday mornings. She had to get to Ikoyi before 6 am. Anyway, Adejare took me all the way, and he didn’t complain. I said thank you and he left, he didn’t ask for my phone no or anything. He only told me his name.
A couple of weeks later, I was getting my hair woven in front of the building when I saw a brand new Prado park. Out steps Adejare with a carrier bag full of stuff. He came over to me, said hello and asked if he could talk to me. I said no, I was busy and asked what he wanted. He said he just popped by to say hello. I said, okay, you have said it. Bye. I could see he was really disappointed, but he smiled drop the bag and left. The lady doing my hair said I was unfair, that couldn’t I see I hurt the guy, I thanked her and told her to mind her own business.
Day after day I pounded the street looking for work, with no luck. My nanny brought me pictures of my children, they were growing so fast. I missed them so much, but there was nothing I could do, my hubby was powerful and rich, and he warned me not to come near him or my children or he will kill me. He cut me off without a penny.
After about two months, I didn’t have any money left I had spent all I had on going out to look for work, so I decided to work for the lady who owned the canteen opposite our building, she didn’t need extra staff but she took pity on me when she heard my story. I started cooking for her and earned a bit of money. A few weeks later, I was leaving the canteen and saw the black Prado again, I was about to step back into the canteen when I heard him call out my name “Kate, please don’t go back” I was shocked, how did he know my name. Anyway, I agreed to go sit down somewhere with him to have a drink.
Adejare, apologized for behaving like a stalker, as for my name He met the lady who did my hair up the street and he stopped to ask for my name. He then said I should give him a few minutes to tell his story-
“I was born in America, my parents had gone there to study. Unfortunately, my mum had complications and died in childbirth. So I never knew my mum. My dad was devastated, and he kept me with him for a couple of years in America I had nannies look after me when the stress of combining work with looking after me got too much for him, he brought me back to Nigeria. Bought a house and asked his mum to stay there and look after me. He sent money for our upkeep and paid for a cook, driver and house help that my grandma supervised, so she wasn’t stressed. I went to the best nursery and primary school. When I was 8 my father came back to Nigeria finally, even though he would come 2 or 3 times a year to visit us. I was delighted when he finally came back. He remained single until I was 15.
Then he met Titi, she had a son for a guy who didn’t want anything to do with her. My dad was very cautious, he told her he didn’t want to remarry because he doesn’t want any stress for me. She said she felt the same way cos she had a son. It was a lie. As soon as my dad got married to her, she made my life miserable. I didn’t want to tell my dad cos I didn’t want him upset. So I lived with her verbal, mental and physical abuse until I left for university at 17.
I became withdrawn, and I wouldn’t go home. If my dad called to ask I would say I had to stay in school to read or we had a school trip. When I finally went home I would only stay a week. This went on until I graduated and went for my master’s in the US at my father’s insistence. I stayed put after my studies. After 10 years of me being there and I turned 32, my father came to the US and said I needed to come home and get married and that he has found me a nice young girl to marry. You must understand I loved my father so much, the only other person in my life was my grandma and she died when I was in my first year at University. My mum was an orphan and I didn’t get to meet any of her cousins or relations, so my dad was it.
I packed my bags and came back with my dad. He had already bought me a house in Ikoyi, furnished it and paid for an office, recruited lawyers and told me to own it. I began to practice law, I already had a master’s in law, specializing in taxation law. So getting jobs with foreign companies coming into the country was my forte. The money came in quickly, the business was really good and if I must say I was very good at my job.
Shortly after my dad organized a small party for me when I turned 33. That was when my stepmother introduced this girl to me, Mosun. She was a graduate worked in a bank and lived in Magodo with her parents, she was 27. The first thing I noticed about her was her manners, she had none. Very off-handish, the way she ordered the servers around, no, please, no, thank you, despite her stunning beauty, I was put off immediately. But I pretended for everyone’s sake.
We exchanged numbers at my Step mother’s insistence and I left. One thing led to another my father encouraged me to date her and in short before I knew what was happening we were married. I was miserable. Mosun could not be bothered all she wanted was sex, all day long, she drank and smoked and decided to stop work as soon as we got married. I gave her a huge allowance every week, but she wouldn’t lift a finger to cook or clean. Soon we had 6 servants in the house, one for the cooking, one for cleaning, one for washing clothes and the others just helped out the others. All wore uniforms and what did Mosun do all day, order them around?
The funny thing is she was always immaculately dressed, whether in the morning, midnight or afternoon, I can’t honestly remember if I saw her without makeup. After 5 years of marriage, I was 38, she was 32, no children, I suggested we go to London for IVF.
When we got to the clinic the doctor ran some tests and asked us to come back the next day. We went back to the hotel, actually, I went back and she went shopping. We got to the doctor the next day and he gave me the shock of my life, he said due to the 7 abortions Mosun had, her womb has been badly damaged so her chances of carrying a baby are 5 % to none. My mouth was ajar, he had to call me twice before I came out of my trance. I looked to my left, Mosun had left. I thanked the doctor and got out just in time to see her get into a taxi.
I sat down on the pavement, my legs were weak and cried. A white man came up to me to ask me if I was okay, I said I wasn’t, he led me to the pub and I poured out my story as I drank whiskey which I hadn’t tasted alcohol for years. Anyway, when I woke up I was in a strange bed. I got out of the bedroom and there was Richard my stepbrother. I was shocked at how I got there. He said the white man went through my phone and saw the UK no, which was his and called him to come to pick me up because I had passed out in a pub in central London.
Richard cooked me some Rice, then we talked, I couldn’t believe I had missed out on an amazing relationship, he was very nice, nothing like his mother, the last time I saw him was before I went off to University and he also went off to England to school. He told me that when his mum and Mosun came to London to shop for our wedding, his mum and she planned to frustrate me so that I would divorce her and she will get all your inheritance, “they wanted to involve me in the scheme but I declined.
Adejare, my mum does not like you, she said your dad has willed 80% of everything he owns to you. She saw his will,” he said. I thanked him and told him what happened with Mosun. He also mentioned that Mosun had a boyfriend. His mum actually planned with them to dupe my dad and frustrate him as well. I thank Richard and we talked some more, then We made a plan together and promised that no matter what happens, we will be brothers forever.
I got back to the hotel the next day Mosun had left, I flew back to Lagos that night. When I got back, she wasn’t in our house, one of the servants said she came packed a few things and left. I was just settling down when my stepmother walked in, calling me names and asking why I treated Mosun that way, she didn’t let me put a word in. I let her rant and rave, and then I excused myself and went upstairs, as I left I could hear her call me a bastard but I ignored her. My dad called me that night and asked to see me, I said I was sorry I would only meet with him in his guest house, where I was sure we will not be disturbed. he agreed and we fixed 9 am the next morning.
My dad asked me what the matter was, and as I sat in front of him the next day, I told him what happened in London and said I hadn’t seen my wife since then, only my stepmother. My father said she was in their house, and she came back crying saying you disgraced her and hit her, so she had to run for her life that’s why she took an earlier flight. My dad said he knew she was lying, but his wife would not let him talk. I told my dad of the plan to dupe him and frustrate me, so we hatched a plan of our own. In three months. he was free of his wife and so was I. Since then I have stayed away from women until I saw you in the bank”
He stopped and looked at me, waiting for me to say something, I looked back and said, Actually we do have a lot in common, you might as well hear my story- “I grew up struggling, my parents were relatively broke most of the time but very hardworking. My father was a factory worker and my mum was a petty trader, she sold vegetables and fruit in front of our house. Which was a room and parlor. it was just me and my older brother they had. My brother left home when he was 16, and I haven’t seen him since then.
Now there was this old man, He came to the office near our house to visit his friend, His name was Chief Coker, he was retired, he stopped at my mum’s fruit stand to buy fruit almost every day, sometimes when he saw me he would call me his wife, saying that I was going to marry his son. My parents thought it was a joke, but I guess the old man was serious because he would pay double for the fruit and always leave some money for me. Then one day he came, saw me selling and asked why I wasn’t in school, I told him I passed my jamb, but had no money to go. The next day he gave my dad a check for N500. 000. Told him to Pay for my Fees and buy me some clothes for University. From that moment he was responsible for my education.
During the holidays I would go there to help out in the house, but to be honest all I did was listen to his stories and watch old black-and-white movies with him. All the house staff knew I was his daughter-in-law-to-be. On my graduation, Chief Coker came with a couple of friends, he gave me the key to a brand new apartment and car keys for a brand new Toyota Corolla and a job offer letter. It was surreal. I couldn’t believe it, I hadn’t even met his son and he wasn’t even sure he will like me, but he just loved me.
I started work at a Human resources firm, I did my youth service as a full-time staff. The apartment was in Lekki Phase 1. My Parents had already been upgraded to a 4 bedroom flat in Ogba by Chief, just after I was in year 2, in university. He also got my father a Bus he ran as transport interstate. So they were at least comfortable. And I still hadn’t met his son.
A year after I had started work, the chief called me and said I should please come to the house after work. I thought it was one of our usual movie nights, which we still carried on even after I started working, so I went home first, showered and put on a pair of slacks and a top with black sandals, packed my hair in a bun. As I walked into the living room, I was like “Daddy am here” and there he was with this fine, drop-dead gorgeous dapper-looking guy. I froze, and then he called me “Kate my dear, meet my son. Your fiancé, Goke”.
Goke came over to me gave me a peck on both cheeks, then spun me around and said “Dad I approve, she will do.” That should have been my first warning sign. 5 months later we were married, Goke picked out everything, including my wedding dress, he was completely controlling.
We honeymooned in The Gambia, I wanted to go somewhere else but oh no, Goke always had to have his way, we went to the Gambia, and he told me what to say, how to walk what to wear. I must admit I was the envy of every woman though, he was amazingly gorgeous. He was loving and generous, but extremely possessive. A year later, my parents were travelling to the village, and they had an accident and died. It was a horrible time for me, Goke flew me to Dubai for a month, where his dad had a house. I was there, and Goke will fly in every weekend. In short, I found out I was pregnant while there.
Goke was ecstatic, it also took my mind off my sorrow a bit, he celebrated by buying me a new Jeep.
I worshipped the ground that he walked on, I wouldn’t do anything he didn’t want, I loved his dad, he had saved my life, so I transferred that love onto Goke. 6 years later and 3 children, his father died. Goke started to act funny all of a sudden. He would go to London and not return for 2 months, if I asked he would just ignore me. 9 months later he came back with a lady and said that was his first wife, he was already married before he came back, but couldn’t tell his father because he had promised to marry me. So now I had to move into a different house and let his first wife occupy the main house. From all indications, she had no children.
Of course, I refused, I said I had 3 children for him and no way was I moving. To cut the long story short, one day I came back, and all my clothes were outside the gate. The gateman had instructions not to let me in, but that wasn’t all. Two guys with a gun forced me to sign divorce papers. And I was kicked to the curb with nothing. With no one to tell and no money, I moved in with my kids’ nanny and that’s my story”
Adejare could not believe it. He looked at me and said Kate I guess we are both at CROSSROADS but not to worry, we will get your children and all entitlements back. I asked Adejare how, and he said he had some of the best legal brains working for him. He was sure they could come up with something.
A couple of weeks later Adejare and I met almost every day, we were like teenagers falling in love for the first time. We had both had our spouses thrust upon us and now they had left. So finding each other was God ordained. He was God-fearing, kind, funny and gentile, and he loved me so much, I was so happy for the first time I was with someone who felt what I had to say mattered, the difference was clear, I dotted on him, cared and prayed for him every day, he said he was the happiest he’s ever been. Adejare asked me one evening when we were together, where had I been all his life?
Two weeks later, I got to his office and the guys told me my EX Husband Goke had been served with papers by the court. We were due in court 4 weeks later. I couldn’t wait, a month later I sat in court next to Adejare and his team, Richard was home as well so he came along to court. Goke turned up in court with his wife and my 3 children, as soon as they saw me they ran over calling, “Mummy, mummy, we missed you, why did you leave us? Daddy said you ran away and left us, I couldn’t believe all the things they were saying, I broke down crying. Goke just glared at me, I guess he was wondering how I could afford the best lawyers in town. The proceeding was quick, at the end Adejare did a brilliant job, I not only got custody of my children, but I also got half of what Goke had and a monthly allowance of N2m for our upkeep.
God was great, Adejare loved my children like his own. We moved in with him, actually, he bought a bigger house, 7 bedrooms and we all moved in together. We have been married for 2 years, I have a new baby boy for him and he says we have enough children 2 boys and 2 girls. Adejare is a blessing. I trusted in God and he made a way for me.
The Bible says in Proverbs 3 v 5 to 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” We were both at CROSSROADS but Destiny brought us across each other.
Image from Freepik.