The question that keeps running through my mind is this – which is better, the one that is married and is unhappy in the marriage or the one who is longing for marriage and hasn’t found hubby? That, people is the million dollar question. Internally, I thanked my stars. I could have been Mrs. Onisokame today, beaten, bruised and battered. All of this has made me rethink and redefine this my finding hubby quest. Why should I allow myself to be defined by my marital status, or Mrs. Who I am?
Toke tried to call Ossy’s phone with Gloria’s line but he kept cutting the call off. She tried with her own phone but got the same treatment. By the time we tried with mine, his phones were switched off. We sat there, as we waited for Dr. Phillips to come out of the emergency ward.
A little later, restless, Toke decided to ping Ossy impersonating Gloria. The BBM read
“Ossy, you have killed our baby, I’m in the hospital, and the doctor says I’ve had a miscarriage. And you aren’t taking my calls. What did I do to deserve this? Marrying you?”
The bbm didn’t get delivered to him immediately, as his phones were off. After what seemed like an eternity, the motherly figure of Dr. Philips came into the doorway and beckoned on us to come in to see Glo.
When I saw my friend, I burst into tears. She had a cut above her eye that had been patched up, the lacerations I had seen the day before had become fresh again, and her black eyes had become even blacker. All this, after the doctor had worked on her. I wondered what Toke would have seen when she picked Glo up initially. We all stayed silent for a while, grieving in our own different ways. The bubbly, lively and mischevious Gloria I knew was gone, on the bed lay someone else, a shadow of her old self. Just a few months ago, we were phone selecting, Mr. X-ing and all the likes. It seemed we had lost ourselves in the quest for hubby.
Toke broke the silence, saying what the circumstances would not permit me to say and which Glo’s nature would not bring her to say. “That marriage is over. I read on some blogs how a Nigerian guy stabbed his wife to death recently. We will not wait until you are dead and become bloggers’ fodder before this madness ends.”
Gloria’s BB beeped in Toke’s hand, and it seemed a welcome distraction from the tension soaked hospital room. That was until she read the message. “It’s the idiot,” she hissed. “What did he say?” I queried. Rather than answer, Toke handed the bb over to me.
“The idiot! The frigging idiot!” I exclaimed, raw anger seething through every pore in my body. Gloria tried to sit up, anxious to see what was on the bb. She winced in pain as she tried, so she lay back down. I wasn’t inclined to showing her exactly what he had said so I paraphrased for her.
“He said the baby can go to hell, and that you had better get back home to do your duties as a wife. He’s threatening to haunt you if you ever try to leave him.”
Gloria spoke quietly “He’s been threatening me every time he beat me. I would have left him earlier if I was not afraid. Ossy doesn’t handle rejection well at all. Ossy forced me to come to your wedding Oyin. You couldn’t see me that day, but I had been beaten. If you were close enough, you would have seen the marks.” She sobbed even more quietly, as her body shook.
“Gloria, as I said,” Toke continued, slamming her hand on the hospital bed railing, “the marriage is over. While it’s painful, thankfully, there are no kids involved just yet.” She continued “and as regards his threats, we will teach that foolish wife-basher a lesson he will never forget.”
Dr. Phillips came back in just as Toke was rounding off her (quite imaginative) plans on handling Ossy. We knew our time with Gloria was over. I screengrabbed the chat from Ossy and emailed it to myself. Those kinds of things should be documented. You never know, cos people will never believe an Ossy could say something like that about his own child. Or beat his wife like that. I asked Toke if she had taken pictures of Gloria the night before. My smart Toke had. She forwarded all of them to my email.
Gloria was able to leave Dr. Phillips’ clinic by Sunday afternoon and we brought her over to mine. I have missed my girls. Even though it was something like this that brought us together, that night was one of the best nights I had had in a long time. It brought back memories of a time that wasn’t too far away in the past, when we were just girls having fun.
So I know you are dying to know what we did to Ossy. First, Glo was to go back home as if she had accepted her fate and act the part of the submissive wife who was afraid of leaving or offending him, and do all she could to avoid provoking a beating. I was tempted to give Gloria the gist of Ossy stalking me and all the Mr. Poet Ossy series, but Toke and I agreed not to. She was hurt enough as it was and it would just rub the hurt in some more. Monday morning, bright and early at my desk, just as Gloria was supposed to be returning to the house (which she confirmed she did without any event) Ossy sends me an sms
“Take a risk with me”.
The bile in my throat rose but we had a plan and I had to act my part. I wished with all my heart I could ignore it, but I responded
“I’m in a meeting oga. Stop disturbing me and making my phone beep.”
He responded instantly (which part of making my phone beep did he not get, oniranu oshi) “So sorry”
“Stop beeping me! I will call you later” I responded.
I nearly slammed my phone on the floor when another text came in from him “Really? You will call?”
I ignored him.
Later in the day, I brought myself into the right frame of mind and called Ossy up.
Me: “Hey Ossy”
Ossy: Oyinnnnnnn. I’m so glad you called. You can’t begin to imagine how glad I am. How have you been? All I’ve done is yearn for you.”
I was so incensed that this guy who was pounding my friend black and blue could sound so excited talking to me. These animals are the ones that look nicest and most normal outside. I remembered the plan and swallowed the bile that was rising in my throat.
Me: You know you hit me real hard, but in my heart I know you meant right. And I’ve missed you ni jare. You know good friends are very hard to come by.
Ossy: I’m blushing here o. Me, good friend. Okay. We should hook up and catch up on many things now.
Notice he doesn’t bring up my friend who happens to be his wife. The cow is already falling for the bait.
Me: Yeah, that would be cool. How about Angels in Phase 1? You know the place abi? And you won’t need Chris to hook that up.
Ossy: Of course. Wasn’t it me that showed you the place before? Would have tried there for our last date, but didn’t want you to suspect it was me at all at that time. I showed you this town now.
Me: True talk. I had forgotten. Let’s do Friday evening, so we wouldn’t be in a hurry as we catch up.
Ossy: Alright dear. Would definitely make that a date.
Me: Aite dear (ewww). Talk to you later.
I hung up. I called Toke and reported the conversation immediately.
“Can you imagine that bastard? He didn’t even mention Glo once, all he was thinking was how he would get lucky on Friday. Kai, I so cannot wait to deal with him!”
“Well,” I responded “his oju kokoro (lustful eyes) has made him fall easily for our plans. It’s over to you now.”
“Okay, let me go and get dressed and hit the road,” Toke said as she rounded our call off. Ossy would not know what hit him. I extracted the pictures of Gloria’s battered face plus the screen munched image and got to work.
The days flew by and I kept a string of calls going on with Ossy to keep him encouraged about our rendezvous. I skillfully dropped subtle comments here and there to drive the thought into his head that I wanted to commence a secret affair with him. He swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Shebi it is what was already in his mind to do. All that was required was a little encouragement and he was game.
Friday came quickly (since we were so looking forward to it) and Toke left the base (that’s what we called my house for this operation, military feeling sturvz) to begin her arm of the operations. I had the whole beauty treatment I did on the week before courtesy Ossy to thank for the outstanding glow of my skin. And then I wore this gown! The neckline was plunging, revealing a good portion of my 36D in glorious Technicolor. The thing hugged my figure, and thanks to my flat tummy, the valley it created accentuated the mountain on my chest. Don’t let me describe what my hips down looked like, before some of our male friends… *cough cough*
I set out and sure enough, tall dark and handsome Ossy was waiting for me in all his lasciviousness. You know when some men look at you and you can see that they have undressed you totally in their heads.
Angels is one of those exclusive places inside Phase 1 where there was a drinks bar in front of the building, and large chalets further into the compound. These chalets were small bungalows that had all the trappings of a house and all the Island big boys and girls came to do all the things they wanted to keep secret. Ossy sure thought he had me.
The conversation was annoying but I smiled sweetly and laughed at all the jokes. He successfully twisted and tilted everything we said towards sex. I had never seen this part of Ossy before and couldn’t imagine what Gloria had been put through. Eventually, after I got a message from Toke, I sent him a BBM. It read “ask for Chalet 5. I’ll be waiting there. Make sure you’re naked before you come in. I’ll be waiting exactly same. You have exactly ten minutes to get to me after I leave otherwise deal is off”.
I waited for the BBM to be delivered and saw the red light indicator on his BB blinking and then leaned over to him seductively and whispered. “I’ll be waiting. Read your BBM when I’m gone”. Then I stood up and strutted my stuff before his lust-filled eyes and went to the chalet.
Then I sent a BBM to Toke “it’s all set.”
Ossy was not quiet as he approached the Chalet at all. I had left the door opened and a note on the door (lessons from my stalker, Ossy himself) instructing him to undress as soon as he entered the door. There was a small hallway between the door and the parlor in the chalet where he could do that, and all the lights in the hallway were off and the door leading into the parlor was shut. As I heard him come in, I pinged him “I’m waiting… #bbkisssmiley#”. Thankfully, the network behaved and the message was delivered instantly and he read it. I heard him hustle out of his clothes and then bumble towards the door.
As soon as Ossy opened the door, Toke turned on the lights in the parlor and all the people in the parlor shouted “Surprise!!!” Ossy stood stark naked, in front of the small crowd in the parlor, and instinctively, he tried to retreat back into the hallway. But one of my friends from The Marquee stood behind him to block his exit. A hush ran over the people in the parlor on the sight of naked Ossy. Toke and Gloria and gone to great lengths to gather all of his friends, his bosses and colleagues at work, his main customers, his friends from my company, his family, her family, everyone that mattered in Ossy’s life basically. The ruse had been that she was organizing a surprise party for her husband to celebrate his recent promotion at the bank. They had all come to celebrate with Ossy who was a clear star in the eyes of all of them. Now, to have him walk in naked sent murmurs, hushes and disbelieving exclamations throughout the gathering.
Gloria wasted no time. She quickly projected the images of her looking radiant and beautiful side by side with the images we had taken in apartment of her right after battery. The images was like this
Fine Gloria + Ossy = Beaten Up Gloria
“This is what this fine career gentle-pig does to his wife at home. Some of you might not believe, hence I will give you a live flesh and blood result of his work.”
Thanks to her skin, the marks of beatings on her face became clear the moment she removed her scarf and glasses. The crowd let out a shocked oooh. Ossy stood there, looking ashamed, unable to take his eyes away from the ground, his only exit from the room blocked by a no nonsense bouncer.
Next, Gloria beamed screen-grabbed images of BB conversations where Ossy had threatened her with violence if she ever left him onto the screen. The last screengrab she displayed was one in which she was talking about the baby they had lost to his last beating and his callous responses to her. “My husband killed our baby, and feels not the slightest remorse for it. The words are not manufactured. He is on the BBM of everyone in this room and I’m sure you all recognize the contact name and display picture.”
She produced papers already prepared by Toke. “These are our divorce papers. I have taken the liberty to sign it. And don’t be afraid, I don’t need anything from you so I’m not asking for any of your things. All I need is your signature, before these witnesses, before you leave here now. And know that if even one single hair on my head or any of my friends is hurt, everyone here will point their fingers at you, so you better pray that we’ll be okay.”
With that, Toke took the papers to Ossy, and gave him a pen to sign. He hesitated briefly and the bouncer behind him touched him on the shoulder to remind him that he wasn’t going anywhere until he signed. Trust Naija people, the guests just kept watching the film unfolding before them ni o, no intervention nothing. Ossy signed and Toke inspected all the places he was supposed to sign against the signature on the wedding documents that Gloria had provided. The signatures were genuine. She nodded to Gloria and then the bouncer allowed Ossy out of the door.
I then smiled sweetly and thanked all those who had come and told them there were refreshments if they still required any. All done, we, the three Lagos musketeer babes stepped out into the waiting car and drove to mine to celebrate.
We learnt later that Ossy left the country without trace, not leaving his destination with even his family. We hoped never to see wife battering face again. As we sipped on the Martini I had specially ordered to celebrate, Toke’s phone rang. I forgot to mention, but I have noticed that she’s been receiving calls from some guy recently. But I’m getting worried, because she would normally have told me about this new guy. But for some reason, she was being secretive. She would try to be alone to receive his calls, and she had turned off chat history. We had just rescued Gloria from one bad man. I wasn’t about to allow Toke walk down the same path. I allowed her go and receive her call away from us as she had now made a habit. It was Gloria that voiced my thoughts “Why is Toke going to the room to talk? There’s no music playing and we are not outdoors. That’s very un-Toke-like.”
“I agree”, I said, “She’s been acting funny like this for a while. And while we are at making sure about things…” Toke entered while I was midsentence and our eyes met. She sensed what was about to happen and tried to start a new conversation to deflect talk from it. We were not having any of that. “Toke”, I began, “who’s calls have you been taking secretly?” “Secretly ke? I haven’t been taking any calls secretly now. abi which one is secretly again?” “So why did you have to leave quiet here to go take the call in the room?” She didn’t answer and Gloria chipped in “we cannot have you doing any shady things. Babe, you’re 35 and if a relationship is right, you shouldn’t be hiding it from us. You’re making us feel there’s something wrong with whoever you’ve been receiving calls from. And we want to hear it today, right now.”
With her attention on Gloria, I snatched her phone from her and checked her last received call. “Who is Lumi, babes?” “Olumide”, she responded. I raised my eyebrow and Gloria went to seat on the arm of her chair. “Well, we are listening.”