Adebimpe pulled over at Ikeja City Mall and stepped out of her Mercedes Benz Jeep in a skimpy pink flowery hip dress and a thick pair of black leggings. She picked up her hand bag, locked up and cat-walked gracefully across the spacious car park.
It was a cloudy Sunday afternoon, and a fresh cool breeze slapped her pretty face as the wind whistled by. It felt like a kiss from heaven and she shivered as the chill of it bathed her soft chocolate skin.
Her 24-inch Brazilian hair was fully let down, but held in place with a shiny Alice Band. A thin gold chain adorned her long neck. She didn’t care much for hand chains, but had a matching piece as an anklet stylishly showed off by her matching pump sandals. With a matching pair of tiny stud earrings and a casual Aldo wrist watch to compliment, she looked gorgeous indeed.
And why not?
For the very first time in twelve months, she felt very much at peace:
With life and herself.
With God and the rest of creation.
A little child once described forgiveness as that point in time when you stop feeling angry. In that context, she wasn’t angry with herself anymore; nor with anyone else. She had totally forgiven all involved in the drama of her recent past, and that included herself and everyone else; and as at now, she had no iota of resentment or grudges towards anyone.
She had let go of the traumatic pains completely, and had simply moved on. And the best part of it all was the fact that she could now relate to life without any iota of shame, regret or bitterness. She was free at last. Free indeed to give full expression to whom God had made her to be without holding back. Without reservations. No apologies.
This feeling of liberty and tranquility gave her some air of confidence, with springs to her steps and grace to her strides. She could walk head up and shoulders high now.
And to crown it all, SOJ had looked her straight in the eyes and professed his love again just that morning! That had sounded like some sweet melody in her ears and set the butterflies in her tummy a-flying; for sincerely, she hadn’t heard those sweet words once in the past twelve months!
In fact, SOJ had not looked into her eyes since the rather unfortunate ‘wife-battering’ episode!
Really, they’d been through a lot emotionally but thank God, they made it through it all, and their marriage was healing up pretty fast!
She hummed Shirley Caesar’s “Sailing on the sea of Your love”, and the beautiful lyrics of the song flooded her soul as she skipped along literally sailing on the wings of God’s love; and she did not mince her gaits at all as she swayed her curvy frame and hips from side to side in an elegant forward march to the shopping arena.
Obviously, she was in the best mood ever. She was having a very good day!
The Eventful Months…
The past twelve months had been the most dramatic, challenging and emotionally demanding days of her entire twenty nine years on earth.
Talk of verbal abuse, cold war, emotional blackmail and all other related ills of the difficult phase of marriage which very few couples survive: she had seen it all…
Imagine the trauma of her losses, the shame, the pain, the heart break… The broken trust and shattered dreams… When the same powerful hands which were meant to protect her had turned around to attack her in the heat of the moment, causing her to lose her unborn baby…
The confusion, the uncertainties, the fears…
The emotional turmoil and agony… When her husband became aloof and wouldn’t relate with her…
The deception and its repercussion… When she had to lie to friends and family that she had suffered a miscarriage and when her in-laws had kept blaming her for the loss and putting pressures on her to conceive again.
She had never for once envisaged experiencing all she had been through to start with.
SOJ had been the dream of her life: Tall, broad chested and fair. An extremely good looking vibrant Christian. A highly romantic gentleman with a very large heart; and caring to a fault. To crown it all, the guy was from a rich family: he had everything any lady would wish for.
What wonderful pictures of the married life they had envisioned during their courtship days- having ‘fulfilled all righteousness’?
And The Music Faded…
How true that sometimes, in fact most times, life just seems to have a mind of its own… Taking us unawares with sharp twists and turns …
The physical abuse was the beginning of her marital dilemma and her marriage hadn’t been the same since the unfortunate event which had led to the loss of her six week old pregnancy.
SOJ had been too ashamed to take her to the hospital that fateful day, and had left her in the hands of Linda, the lady who occupied the second wing of their twin duplex apartment. Linda, who had secretly admired the couple had rushed in alarmed when she heard Adebimpe screaming.
Linda was in her mid-forties. Though married, she lived alone with her teenage kids while her husband only popped in every now and then. The man apparently kept another home elsewhere.
And in the few weeks following her discharge from the hospital while still at Angela’s home recurperating, Linda had been very much on her case. She would visit and give her all sorts of advice.
“Never never stay on in an abusive marriage.
“How old are you?
“Do you want to die before your time?
“I wouldn’t take that from any man.
“How dare anyone touch a beautiful girl like you?
“And once they start, they never stop. They keep doing it every now and again…
“At least get separated. Go back to your parents’ house! You can rent an apartment and stay alone later… “
And on and on she would go until Bimpe would beg her to stop.
Nonetheless, Bimpe decided to stay on, to Linda’s utmost surprise.
A Friend Indeed
On the other hand, Mrs. Idris, her Branch Manager had covered up well for her at work. She also protected her from prying eyes on health grounds: “domestic accident which led to threatened abortion and the eventual loss of the baby and she was so ill that she needed take a long bed rest on doctor’s advice.”
She had later returned to see her at Angela’s place.
Mrs Idris had gently pointed out her faults and advised her to return home and work things out with her husband, offering to be her counsellor if need be.
SOJ… had been very remorseful initially. He couldn’t understand how it was that his brain seemed not to function whenever his anger took over. He loved Adebimpe very much and wouldn’t do anything to hurt her. But for this anger thing. Surely he needed therapy.
However, the fact that Reverend Tunde had gone about the whole thing the way he did, threatening legal action against him should he refuse therapy, as though he was some delinquent kid or some kind of ‘spiritual robot’ had stirred up some kind of reaction in him: shame to be precise, coupled with anger.
As typical, this only ended up bruising his ego, therby making him even more defensive. That was the only reaction and ‘help’ his fallen human nature could render- defence…
And so he became estranged from his friends Ted and Angela for weeks because he felt threatened by Ted’s maturity. Besides, the health of their marriage beyond face value had made him feel like a failure. Nevertheless, with time, the relationship healed and their friendship was restored.
However, his relationship with his wife had suffered greatly, bearing all the brunt of SOJ’s moral failure and the chain reaction of his bruised ego.
Of course he had no other choice than to apologise to the wife whom he loved, and Adebimpe had eagerly returned home expecting the continuation of her happy-ever after kind of life, after the brief interruption: after all the storm was over now, and Reverend Tunde was playing watch dog or so she had thought…
However, that was not to be, as there was a kind of resentment- a strange aloofness and coldness about SOJ when she returned home: The guy just wasn’t himself anymore!
And though he attended Reverend Tunde’s therapy sessions religiously, to the Reverend’s pride, every therapy session bruised his ego even deeper, comfortably adding a block to the wall building up between Adebimpe and him! Communication became extremely difficult.
Adebimpe’s initial reaction had been confusion, and then fear as SOJ was a brand new man: in fact, he …. stopped been romantic to prove to his Reverend, wife and the world that he was no longer trying to make up for any moral failures with extravagant displays of kindness as accused.
Of course, Adebimpe did not find that funny one bit!
But The Story Changed Last Night…
“Dinner is served handsome”
Adebimpe had called out (the previous night) pulling SOJ’s cheeks playfully as she gave him a quick hug on the head and tried rushing back to the kitchen to quickly clear up. To her surprise, SOJ had pulled her back and balanced her on his laps on the sofa.
Adebimpe was stunned!
Afterwards, SOJ had turned her to face him cupping her supple face in both hands as he used to do in times past. ‘Bimpe blushed and looked down to dodge his gaze as it made her weak in the knees… But SOJ had insisted, raising her head up so her eyes could meet his.
Their eyes locked for a few seconds which felt like eternity, for it was as though time and the whole of heaven and earth stood momentarily still. Bimpe’s heart pounded against her voluptuous chest, which rose and fell like erupting mountains, threatening to burst open… And the lovely sight kind of added some colours to the already highly electrifying atmosphere.
Then carefully and rather deliberately, SOJ had said, “I love you so much baby… I regret everything I’ve put you through…”
Adebimpe couldn’t believe her ears! Her husband’s baritone voice and sweet words had sounded like the entire choir of angels rendering Handel’s Messiah!
She tried jerking herself as though to recover from the trance and ascertain whether this was a dream or reality when SOJ sealed her lips with the juiciest kiss of her entire life time thus sending her into a dizzy spell…
The kiss graduated for they were enraptured and engulfed in a deep and endless passion…
Thank God it was Friday!
That of course was dinner for that night as Adebimpe’s food was left untouched till the following morning!
After a round trip or two to the moon and back again, SOJ got emotional and began pouring out his heart to his wife, seeking earnestly her forgiveness for his coldness and aloofness all these months. And coming to think of it, how time had raced- they’d spent almost a year in that unhealthy state!
Surely, evil beclouds a man’s judgement …
This story was culled from The Sweet Temptation by Funmi Adebayo.
The Sweet Temptation by Funmi Adebayo is FREE this Valentine’s.