These women are every woman: Jasmine, the 30 year old single Pharmacist; Anthonia, the 28 year old unmarried nurse; Moremi, the 31 year old engaged social worker (and occasional tailor); Offiong, the 30 year old wife, mother, and Lawyer; and Ebele, the 31 year old wife, mother, and bank manager.Individually, they’ve got their own issues in their homes, but collectively, they are every woman.
Today, it’s Moremi’s turn to share.
Misunderstood. That is exactly what I am. I find that people tend to misunderstand and misinterpret my good intentions to be bad. My girls think I am selfish, immature, and ungrateful.Harsh words, right? I have learnt from bad experience that I am responsible for taking care of myself, and loving myself. So now, I make sure I put myself first in everything. If Moremi is not happy, then Moremi cannot make anyone happy. I haven’t always been this way, of course, but it took an amalgamation of heart breaks, unforeseen good-byes, and a lot of go-to-hell-bitch for me to realize that none of these men whom I would have died for cared for me half as much as I cared for them. So here I am, the new and improved Moremi. The wise Moremi.
My friends all think they understand me, but they don’t. They haven’t been where I have been, so they do not know what it’s like to walk in my shoes. I have been engaged to Babasola (who we all call Babz) for two months, but all together, we have been dating for about two years. To be honest, Babz is a great guy, but he seems to think that the ring he put on my finger means he owns me.Sorry Babz, that was the old Mo’; the new Mo’ is not down with all that foolishness.
Of course, if you talk to Jazz, she’ll tell you I am juvenile. She always prides herself on being the practical one, but personally, I think she isn’t so practical. If she were so practical, then she’d know to cut off all ties with that guy, Luke in Iraq.In my opinion, he’s only using her to keep himself company. His real woman (which I assume he has) is busy somewhere, and is unable to be online twenty-four-seven like Jazz. Jazz’s cell phone is always connected to her Yahoo! Messenger, just in case Luke comes online. She should just be thankful she has unlimited text messages. I’m so sick of them.They both need to grow the hell up. Besides, who knows if he will come back alive? If he does come back alive, who knows what parts of his body would still be there? And even if he comes back physically complete, who is to say for sure that his mental and psychological capacity would not be severely damaged? We’ll never find out until he chops Jazz into a million tiny pieces. I’ve heard stories like this before, so stop thinking I’m sick and deranged.
“Mo’, I’m asking you for the last time, where the hell did you go to?” Babz barked at me.
He was really getting on my last nerves. Can’t a lady have a day to herself? Why must he know all my whereabouts?
“And I’m telling you for the last time, it’s none of your business!” I had had it with being calm and collected about the situation. I never demand that he explain his whereabouts to me, so he needs to stay out of my hair.
“I’m not joking, Moremi!” He only calls me by my full name when he’s really mad at me; I guess he was really pissed then. Oh well.
“I don’t know the way you think, Mo’. Are you ready to become a wife or not? Because from the way you’re acting, I don’t think you are.”
“Look Babz, I came here to spend time with you; if you don’t want me here, then just say so. There is really no need to pick on me. If you have another woman in the closet, then just say so; I’ll leave and you can have your space with the bitch.”
“You know what, Mo’?”
“Leave my house. And don’t come back till you grow up.”
“Forget you, Babasola!”I said.
I couldn’t believe it. Babz actually sent me out of his house. Babz and I had had some serious problems in the past, but for him to actually walk me out of his house was something else. I couldn’t believe it.
I refused to let the tears rapidly swelling in my eyes to fall down my cheeks; at least, not in front of Babz. I didn’t want him to know how much he had hurt me; I couldn’t let him have the satisfaction. I stormed out of his house and jumped into my two-thousand-and-three Toyota Corolla.I drove off with so much speed that it took the Grace of God not to drive right into the curb. Once I drove off, I cried my eyes out. The last thing I want to do is lose Babz. In spite of all our troubles, I don’t want to lose him. But I’m not stupid. I know Babz is not giving me the commitment he expects of me. All I’m trying to do is take care of my own. Sometimes Babz is the sweetest man ever, but other times, he gets on my last nerves!
When I got home, I took a long shower and washed off all the hurt on me. Well, I wished I could wash off all the hurt. After the long shower and the rather erotic session of moisturizing my skin with lotion, I decided to give Offy a call.
“Hey Mo’!” She answered in her usual bubbly voice.
“Hey,” I said dryly. “Did I call too late?”
“Not at all.You know you can call any time; I was just putting Ekky to bed.Mommy always has to pray with her and read her a story before she goes to bed. But getting her into bed is a workout; I swear I burn at least three hundred calories trying to catch her. Ekky thinks it’s fun for me to chase her around.” She lets out a deep breath and adds, “Terrible twos!”
“Ekky,” I said. “Who would think that girl’s name is Ekanem?”
“I know, right? Don’t mind Nia and her nicknames. Thing is, I really like them.”
“I do too. How is Paul?”
“He’s gone to bed.He’s just a big baby.”
“Aren’t all men?” I joked. I thought about Babz and wondered what he was doing. Or who he was doing. For a minute, I considered calling him, but I changed my mind. I wouldn’t let him have the fulfillment.
“You okay, Mo’? You kinda sound down.”
“I’m fine.” I lied through my teeth. “I was only calling to confirm we’re still on for tomorrow.”
“Yeah Mo’, of course! I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”
“Alright then. I’ll see y’ll tomorrow. I’m exhausted. Gotta get my beauty sleep.”
“Okay then.Good night!”
Before Offy hung up, I heard her husband, Austin, saying, “Baby come to bed, please” to her. I’m not the envious type, but when I heard that, I became possessed by the green eyed monster of jealousy; why couldn’t Babz be more like Austin? Instead of wallowing in my grief and shortcomings all night, I decided to climb into bed and sleep.
I stared as the neon digits glowing on the alarm clock on my night-stand changed to three-sixteen A. M., and that was when I came to the conclusion that I was suffering from an acute case of insomnia due to Babz’s foolishness, as evidenced by my inability to do anything but think of Babz. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I unplugged my cell phone from the charger and speed-dialed seven for Babz. It was about to ring when I hung up, and decided that perhaps, a face to face confrontation – or discussion rather would be better. I put on a pair of blue jeans and a white sweater and stormed out of my house. I kept telling myself that what I was doing was risky, considering the fact that it was past three in the morning, and Babz just might be with another woman. The woman in me told me to go for it.
It took me less than fifteen minutes to get to Babz’s house because there weren’t impatient drivers fighting for their lanes on the road,
although I drove carefully in case in ran into a drunk driver. During the day, it takes me more than twenty minutes to get to Babz’s house. When I got to his house, I could see from outside that the lights in his bedroom were off, and I considered calling him instead of just walking into his house, but the woman in me told me to go ahead and use my set of keys.
When I got into his bedroom, I half-expected to find his face buried between the thighs of some heifer by the name of Cocoa, but to my pleasant surprise, he was snoring away. I have never been so excited to hear my man snoring. It took only a few taps on his shoulder for him to wake up. And can you believe he had the nerve to give me a what-the-hell-are-you-doing-here look?
“Moremi,” he said, not even attempting to hide his disappointment in seeing me in his house.
“Babz, we need to talk. Sit up. “I wasted no time in stating my mission.
Sitting up, he asked, “Talk?”
He looked at the alarm clock on his night stand, and said, “Moremi, I have to be up in about three hours.”
“Your point being?”
“My point being, we can talk in the morning.”
“No. We have to talk now!”
He got up from bed and walked around the bedroom for a few seconds. “Where was all this desire to talk when I was asking you questions before?”
“I’m not here to talk about that.I am here to tell you how I feel about the foolish stunt you pulled this evening.”
“I, I, I – that’s all you ever care about. It’s okay for you not to give me the answers I need, but you walk in here at three in the morning and expect me to give you a listening ear?”
“As a matter of fact, I do. You didn’t have anything to say that was worth listening to when you were asking me silly questions.I, on the other hand, have come here to have some serious talk.”
“Really?” He asked, bewildered.
“Yes, really.”I cleared my throat and began.”Babasola, just because you put a stupid ring on my finger does not mean you can boss me around.I am a woman. You may be my fiancé, but you are not my God. I am not obligated to tell you my whereabouts, so don’t you EVER in your life be so thoughtless as to tell me to leave your house. The next time you decide to be so incredibly stupid as to ask me to leave your house, you will never see me again. Do I make myself clear?”
There, I said it. After giving my wonderful speech, I expected a crowd to appear from somewhere and give me a standing ovation for speaking my mind, but I had no such luck. Babasola just stood there looking at me. He was probably wondering where and how I mustered up so much courage to walk into his house at three in the morning and demand that he listens to me. In fact, I was wondering myself where I summoned up such courage. He stood there for several seconds with his arms folded across his broad chest. He seemed to be lost in thought.
Finally, he said, “Mo””,
“Yeah?” I noticed that he had suddenly gone back to calling me Mo’. I guess the talk we had must have really touched him and made him realize what a fool he had been.
My head did a mental flip. For a second, I was lost in a trance, trying to figure out what I just heard. Surely, I did not just hear what I thought I heard.
“You heard me. Get out right now!”
I stood there looking at him and waiting for him to tell me he was only pulling my legs, but instead he opened the door to his room and held it open for me.
He gave me a what-are-you-still-standing-there-for look, and said, “I mean, right now!”
I tried to remain calm, collected and unaffected by Babasola’s recent madness, but my emotions failed me. Before I knew what was going on, I had become a beast in a woman’s skin. Tempers flared and in addition to what I had previously told Babz, I also told him to go straight to hell and kiss the devil’s ass. I even called him a scandalous, hypocritical, selfish, insane bitch. I think that was what really got to him the most; though I don’t know what part exactly.
As soon as I exhausted my will to pour more verbal abuse on Babz, I immediately regretted the words that came out of my mouth. Paul, the popular follower of Christ was right when he said that if human beings could control their tongues, they would not have any problems. I have never been good at controlling my temper, and Babasola has always known about it. I just hoped he would be forgiving this time.
Babasola let go of the door he was holding and walked towards me. His eyes were bloodshot and filled with hatred; or maybe it was rage. He walked towards me, and for a moment, I was afraid for my life. Even though Babasola had never hit me, or given me any reason to think he might one day be mad enough to hit me, there is always a first time, so I was afraid. If he had decided to hit me, he would have sent me back to my Creator.
He walked right up to my face. He was so close; I could smell his morning breath, though it was not too strong.
“You know what, Moremi?” He asked.
I was afraid to answer, so I didn’t even say anything. I just watched him in total fear.
“I have tried my best to be the best man I can be to you. I have tolerated all your shortcomings, even though you hardly ever tolerate mine. What haven’t I done for you? How dare you come into my house and call me a bitch?! I treat you like a queen, Moremi. You know I’ll give you the shirt on my back. When your car broke down last year and you were broke, I bought you a new car, even though I was broke myself too. I had just invested my money into the business in Nigeria, but did that stop me from taking out a loan to buy you a car – even though you could take a loan out yourself? Did I ever ask for that money back? Have I ever demanded that you give me anything you cannot give me? You come in here with your insatiable desires milking me dry everyday.I give and give and give. And all you do is take, and yet you have the nerve to come in here and call me a bitch? I guess I cannot blame you. I have after all put your needs ahead of mine. But trust me, that has changed. Leave my house right now. And don’t come back.”
“Don’t, please.” He stopped me from talking. “Just leave my house and don’t come back. I love you Moremi, but I can’t deal with your bullshit anymore. I have had enough. Everyday I try to convince myself that you’re a wonderful woman, but I really don’t believe it myself, so please, leave.I hope you find a man who isn’t a bitch. We’re done.”
I convinced myself that Babasola couldn’t have possibly meant what he had just said, so I stood there with my tears running down my cheeks unceasingly, hoping my tears would move him to come and hold me and tell me he didn’t mean what he had just said.
Babasola has never been able to stand me crying.
Instead he said, “Dammit, Moremi leave! I have to be up in the morning. I’ll bring your shit to your house tomorrow.
With my face moistened with tears, I began my walk of regret out of Babz’s bedroom. I had opened the main door when he called my name and ignited in me a glimmer of hope.
“Leave the stupid ring on the table, please.”
I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel, or what I was supposed to do, so I just took my beautiful engagement ring off and dropped it on the table. I guess my trip to Babz’s house wasn’t a fruitful one. I left his house feeling emptier than I was when I came in. The only difference was that now I was literally empty. I entered my car, started the engine, and drove off knowing I was a damn fool.
While I was driving, I was crying hysterically. I had so much tears in my eyes that I had to pull over on the shoulder of the highway. My tears were clouding my view. After about ten minutes of parking on the highway, I decided to continue my drive back home. I was glad when I finally made it inside my house. Though I had gone and come back safely, I felt like I would have rather been in an accident than live through what I had just lived through. How could my relationship with Babz be over?
You never know what you have until it’s gone; that’s a true saying indeed, but I really didn’t care to find out on my own. The fact that he had collected my ring even made it worse. My finger felt so empty, physically and emotionally. I decided to call Babz to let him know I was home, but he didn’t pick up.I was hoping he would care enough about my safety to pick up the phone and make sure I was alright, but no such thing happened. Wow, I guess he really is done with me .
What am I supposed to do now?