I’ve been calling the number Etomi gave me for the past ten minutes but no one is answering.
Could she have given me a wrong number?
After this won’t call again.
I called and he answered on the third ring.
“Finally! ” I said
” Who is it?” he asked weakly
“This is Ronke Adebayo, Etomi’s lawyer. I need to see you. How soon can we meet? ”
” Now ” I heard him scream.
” Now please ” he said again
That was pretty desperate for someone who doesn’t love his wife.
” Okay. I’ll text you the address ”
About 20 minutes later, I heard a knock on my door.
” Come in”
The door opened and I froze at the sight before me.
“Don’t look so surprised. This is how you look when the woman you love is leaving you and..
“Love? I beg to disagree Mr Adeniyi. With all I’ve seen and what your wife told me, there is no proof that you love or ever loved her”
“You think I don’t know that? I know okay? I’m broken. I’m losing myself. I know I can’t claim to love her with how I treated her but I do love her. I was just brought up with the wrong notions. It’s a long story ”
” Please, do tell. I’m not in a hurry ”
Adeniyi went ahead to narrate all his mother told him and those he witnessed too.
” So you see miss Ronke, I cannot be solely blamed for this. I know I have no excuse since I made decisions for myself but it was based on what I was taught. My upbringing. ”
“Ronke please, I don’t want to loose her. I love her and I’m ready to do anything to win her back. Help me please”
“There is nothing I can do. It has already been served ”
” All I’m asking for Is more time. I know you can do something. I beg you please ”
I could see the sincerity in his eyes. He was shattered and broken. I pitied him.
” I’m not promising you anything but I’ll see what I can do”
What just happened in there? Did Niyi just beg me? Did he just apologize to me? Was he crying? Did he just go on his knees?
I laughed and pinched myself.
“wake up Etomi ”
I felt the pain from the pinch. It wasn’t a dream. It was real. It all just happened.
Why didn’t you do this all along? Why now? Now that all I feel for you is hate and anger. Now that I can’t bare to have anything to do with you.
What happened to him?
*two weeks later *
“Thank you for both availing yourself for this meeting. “I addressed Adeniyi and Etomi.
” I have a court session in less than an hour so I’ll be brief. ”
I cleared my throat and continued.
“I brought your case before the judge and after everything, he agreed to sign but with conditions. You both have to undergo the waiting period. In the waiting period, you have to see a marriage counsellor at least twice in a month. ”
“Waiting period? Marriage counsellor? ” Etomi asked
” Yes. You both have to stay together for 3 months…
“What? 3 months. I can’t even bear staying married to him for another second talk more of a solid three months. Why do I have to? ”
I saw Niyi squint in pain. Poor guy. He couldn’t even say anything. He just sat there and sulked.
” Etomi, it’s normal procedure. For one it’s not mutual, Niyi doesn’t want the divorce. Secondly, you don’t have a job. How do you intend to care for yourself and the kids. You didn’t even file for support. ”
” Ronke three months is too long and why do we need to see a marriage counsellor? Can’t it be a week or something? ”
” I’m sorry Etomi. It’s court procedure. Besides, you don’t have to live like you’re married. It’s just a given time to rethink and put things together”
“So I don’t have to act like his wife? ”
” You don’t have to”
Etomi left my office angry.
Adeniyi said a weak ‘thank you’ and stood up to leave.
“Niyi, don’t make me regret doing this”
“You won’t. I promise ”
We got home late in the evening at about some minutes to 8pm. Etomi had insisted on taking the boys back as she was going to stay in the house for a while. I tried to convince her otherwise but she wouldn’t even give me a chance to speak.
We had to make a stop to my mother’s place and carry them. She took longer than expected though.
“Go and take your bath and change while I fix dinner” she said to them when we got home.
“You don’t have to worry. I’ll make us something to eat” I said
“I don’t need your help ” she replied coldly.
” Etomi I…
She moved backwards on seeing that I was coming closer.
“Stay where you are. My ears are working fine ”
” Etomi I beg you. Please find a place in your heart to forgive me. I’ll do whatever you want me to do. Please ” I pleaded
” You’d do whatever I want?
” Divorce me! Sign the papers. Let me go and maybe, just maybe I might consider Forgiving you ”
” Anything but that. I don’t want you to go. I can’t imagine life without you. I love you Etomi and I’m willing to do anything to prove it to you. Just don’t leave me”
“Well you are too late. I want nothing with you. Look Adeniyi, for the three months, do well to keep your distance. Stay away from my children and I. ”
“Please Niyi. I’ve had a long day and I still need to prepare dinner for my kids. Excuse me”
On the way back, I stopped at my mother in law’s place to pick up my kids. Although Adeniyi tried to dissuade me, I wouldn’t hear of it.
There was no point living them there since I was still going to stay with Niyi. I’d love my kids around.
It took me some time to convince them to go along with me. They even tried to persuade me to say there with them. They were scared their father would beat me again.
I had to take my time to explain everything to them and made sure they understood it. From the divorce to the waiting period.
“Are you sure dad will not be able to hurt us again? ” Shawn asked.
” he won’t dear. I promise ”
While they were inside arranging their things, Niyi’s mother tired to talk me out of the divorce.
” Maami, I stayed and bore everything Niyi did to me for seven long years. Isn’t that enough? Do you want him to kill me? ”
” he won’t. He is a changed man. ”
” Too bad he changed too late. My mind is made up. ”
I took them and we left.
How do I even handle Niyi? I know he’s not going to leave me alone. He’ll keep apologizing and I don’t want it.
He tried taking to me when we arrived the house but I didn’t want to listen. Nothing he will say or do can change my mind.
After I made dinner, the boys and i ate and settled in to sleep. I cared less if Niyi eats or not.
I heard a knock at the door. I opened to find Niyi standing there.
“yes? What do you want? “I asked
“Then why are you here?
“I just wanted to say goodnight ”
” You’ve said it. You can go now” I said closing the door.
I heard him scream. My heart missed a beat. I opened the door to see him holding his fingers.
Did I bang the door on his fingers?
“OH my God. I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to” I said
I grabbed his fingers and stock them in my mouth. I sucked on them for a while then brought them out and blew on them gently.
“Does it hurt? ” I asked looking at him.
I saw him smiling. I quickly dropped his hand and hit him on the shoulder.
” This means nothing ” I said and went back into the room.