Life's Many Curveballs

Long post alert. There, you’ve been duly warned!
I stood, staring into space in front of the dressing mirror, wondering how & when things got this bad. Where had i gone wrong? Which step in the grand plan for our future did i miss? Where did it go awry? These questions i pondered as i stood there, sad, angry, lonely, hurt. I made to turn away from the apologetic image of myself in the mirror...and caught sight of the tray of food Obim hurled at me in anger as he stormed out of the room some minutes ago! And that was when the dam broke free. I wept!
I wept like i had never in a long time, like i never allowed myself to. I cried for all those nights i hugged myself tight and rocked myself to sleep, praying things would get better between us. I wept mostly because i miss the man i married, the man that was my pillar of support, my partner, my best friend...the man i consider gone forever. Most importantly, i cried because in some twisted way, this was entirely my fault.
Life didn’t use to be this chaotic in my household. Once upon a time, we were the subject of envy amongst our peers. Hubby had a great job as Senior Manager in his Bank. I wasn’t doing poorly myself. We had everything we wanted: well-paying jobs, nice house in a posh estate and the most adorable 6 year old! Life was great. Sigh! The curveball life throws at you when you least expects it…
I came home from school run that fateful day and there was Obim’s car parked at home. Now this is strange because he’s never ever home at that time of the day. Well, almost never except when he’s ill. But he was fine when he left for work this morning, i reminded myself, trying to shake the uneasy feeling that just washed over me. I entered the house and met him sitting on the floor in our bedroom, head hung, with hands on either side of it.
“Honey, are you ok?” I asked. He said nothing. I asked again and he mumbled some gibberish.
“Huh? Are you sick? Did someone die?”
Then i remember my mother-in-law has been feeling poorly...
“Is Mama....?” I started to ask.
“...was fired” He interrupted mid-question.
“Huh?” I went again, this time in confusion. “Fire? Your office caught fire? How? When? Was anyone injur....”
“I WAS FIRED”, he exploded!
I nodded, once, twice, calmly...almost too calmly [Shock will do that to anyone]. Yea, i totally heard him the first time. A burning building just made more sense at the time.

Fired….and with no severance pay until his bank was done with the investigation.
“What investigation???” I nearly yelled?
“Honey, what happened?” As reality set in, I began to panic. He can’t be fired, God no! He CANNOT BE OUT OF A JOB! Fraud, he said and blah blah blah….I had zoned out!
Our immediate expenses flashed before my eyes: House rent =N=1.5m due next month; Simdi’s 2nd term school fees due next month [in the millisecond i thought it, i mentally withdrew him from his now-unnecessarily expensive school and enrolled him in that really nice- translated: way cheaper- neighbourhood school i usually go by on my way to work every morning]; my sister’s law school fees...wait, the romantic trip to Maui that we had planned for Valentine. The “work” I did to get him to consent to this trip...
I despaired.
He cannot be fired, He cannot be fired, i chanted, believing deep somehow that if i recite the mantra long enough, this nightmare would undo itself! Swirling in self pity, i managed to claw my way back to reality in time to see tears rolling down his face. This was not about me, I had the good sense to tell myself. This is about Obim. He is the one freshly out of a job for pete’s sake and here i was being positively selfish. Hold on….…tears! My heart broke for him. I had never seen this man cry, not even when we buried his brother. My baby!
I gathered him in my lean arms and just held on. There was no mountain we cannot surmount as long as we are together, I reminded him. He always said this to me and i prayed he would draw strength from these words now.
After the tears, we sat and plotted our immediate future. Everything was going to be okay really. We didn’t immediately have to move as I feared and Simdi would stay on in his school until we can make alternative arrangements, if need be. Of course, the trip to Maui was chucked. Bummest! But we were going to be fine until Obim finds his feet. Until then, i was to take care of things. I wasn’t overjoyed, to be honest, but it is what it is.
Life went back to normal; well, as normal as can be under present circumstances. With me now actively winning bread for my household, a few changes had to be made. For starters, we let go of my driver. Obim would handle school run henceforth. Instead of PS3 game CDs, Simdi now gets hugs and kisses as rewards for being exceptionally good. More age-appropriate, if you asked me. So yea, after the few initial glitches, we adjusted. And it was great to come home after a hard day at work to warm strong arms. We were fine!!! Until that faithful Sunday…
Earlier in the week on Thursday, i had a lunch meeting with a male client. I work as a consultant in a PR firm and so these lunch meetings, especially with this particular client, are pretty much regular occurrences. [Back to Thursday] This client is a handful. One minute he’s all up in his business, wheeling and dealing; the next minute, he’s all up in my business, flirting unabashedly. On occasions, I’d caught him staring at my lips and boobs as i talked and gesticulated. The fool would slowly smile and wink. He cannot lay claims on handsome but he always always gets a second glance from dudes and chics alike. He’s got his impeccable dress sense and an almost arrogant confidence of his net worth going for him. Needless to say, his winks do things to my insides. Unwanted as the attention may be, sometimes it really does feel good to be appreciated.
What I didn’t know was that Lucky, Obim’s right-hand man and a confirmed bachelor, saw me at lunch that day. When he came to visit on Sunday, he jokingly mentioned the “cozy” lunch [it did look cozy in all fairness to him] with this “hot dude” and “advised” Obim to step up his game before his “property” starts lounging in another man’s poolside.
Obim has been depressed moody of late but that was totally understandable given his situation. What he became after Sunday skipped moody-sad and went straight to downright nasty. Not even the news that I was finally pregnant after actively trying for the past 3 years cheered him up. Sigh! If only Lucky woulda thought of the possible damage his utterances might trigger!
Obim snapped if i showed concern, clipped out mono-syllabus if i asked questions; complained if the help cooked and served his meals; condemned if i got in late from work. Suddenly, i could do nothing right by him. I wished he stopped at complaining and snapping at me. That I could handle. The verbal abuse that followed, that I could handle too. What I couldn’t and didn’t know how to handle were the beatings. Obim slapped and beat me at the littlest provocation, real or imagined. He pounded on me if he felt I questioned his authority even so slightly…even in my pregnant state!!! I had taken to wearing heavy make-up to cover the bruises he gifts me every now and then.
As he threw his plate of food at me and flounced out of the room, I got mad angry. What have I done to deserve this kinda treatment? Have I not been a good enough wife? Dutifully catering for the house and his ego alike? How does he get off treating me like this? This is the appreciation I get? Silent treatment, emotional and verbal abuse, beatings? Who in f**k’s name does he think he is?
I got realllly mad, mad enough to dry my tears, march after and confront him.
“What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you the only man that had ever lost his job? How has it become my fault that you lost your flipping job? The least you could do is be man enough to appreci…”
“Who is the father of the baby you are carrying in your tummy?” he quietly queried.
“Huh?!” I froze mid-rant, the only sound in the room being the sound of the corn popping in my head! That question was so left-field I was absolutely speechless. When I couldn’t handle the noise in my head anymore, I exploded!
“What???!” I looked at my 5-month old bulging tummy. This child we have faithed for, for all of three years! How dare this man debase our gift from God so? How dare he???
I tried. God knows I tried but I couldn’t stop the torrent of words that spewed forth, none of which was pleasant. Pleasant was an understatement but I was beyond caring. This man I willing and happily and wholeheartedly gifted love and nearly everything I have except for my life; this man I have sweated for and grudging cried over…
Today was three weeks ago.
He walked out after the exhausting fight that ensued. The look he gave me as he left will curdle fresh milk. I honestly do not know what i did wrong aside of express my disappointment at being accused wrongly and defend myself.
I am tired of crying. I am equally tired of making excuses for him. I am the pregnant one, with an aching heart and equally body from incessant abuse. I guess expecting him to share his fears of me possibly cheating on him was too much to ask. I wish he had. I haven’t seen or heard from Obim. I know he’s ok. Lucky says he is…at least physically and he came back while I was at work to pick up his phone. Simdi thinks his father got a job in a new location. That’s what I told him.
I miss him. But i miss my husband, the one that had a job, more.


Beautiful said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hazel said...

Hey Beautiful, its FICTION honey! But its a huge compliment that you think its real. So thank you. These things do happen but I don't really have any friends it has happened to. Thank you so much for reading. Xoxoxo

LadyNgo said...

Good LORD...i was already set to start praying. You gotta warn a sistah when these things are fictional lol. In any event, this is very awesome writing and i'm very glad its just a story -though i know its some people's reality...

Hazel said...

LMAO @LadyNgo. I know, right. I should totally have warned y'all but where's the fun in that? Thanks you so much for the huge compliment and for ready!

QMoney said...

hmm,u write well.
It didn't even appear long by the time i finihed reading.this is certainly someone's reality.....It takes d grace of God for a man to remain the way he is after losing his source of wah!

Again,u have refused to respond to
my mail asking for royal blue bedsheet price!!!!!

@ilola said...

Kai. The experiences some women have.... I don't even know what to say.
How the loss of a job just changed a man like dis

P.E.T. Projects said...

Everyone has a breaking point, she definitely hit hers, hence, the outburst... I guess we never really know what people are capable of... and for those who run careless commentary all in the name of 'being close" I hope Lucky knows what he has done.

Jemima said...

this a great story, i actually thought it was real, i was almost crying..umm no be small curve ball

Ema Leecious said...

I was stumped at first, thinking it was real, then I just knew it was fiction.
You did a really good job with this one.

its so sad, but its reality. Some men resort to physical abuse when they are frustrated, and some women take it all quietly.

Toinlicious said...

Oh lord! *now breathing again*

Anonymous said...

*Adjusts halo*.....I feel like I am such a member of the family that I knew it was fiction.....Chets isnt quite 6 yet, or is he? Even if he is, Zi was definitely born before he was 6...:D

Good story in all sha...I ooohed and ahhed and ahnahned all the way!
Eze nwanyi, na u biko!


Anonymous said...

Good write up.This is what some people go through in Life.Always remember that life is about experiencing,it makes us grow stronger in Spirit. Obim took the easy way out, he left his family, based on a comment passed by a friend who does not understand the power of Silence. We should learn something from this, a woman's role is never to support her Family, that role belongs to a man. Obim should have found a way, no matter how little it was, till he found a better job. It shows strenght in Spirit for a man. In conclusion, most of these happenings are phases. We decided whether we learn n grow from it or give up.

Hazel said...

It really takes the grace of God for a man not to feel emasculated after the loss of his job, esp if his wife is gainfully employed. However, it takes the grace of God, then some, for a wife to fully understand, acknowlegde and accept what her man is going thru. Thank u, QMoney. Shoot me that mail again? Plssssss *wink*

Hazel said...

@ilola yea, the loss of a source of income will affect anybody. How its handled is another matter altogether

Hazel said...

Oh yes @P.E.T. We should really watch our utterances, even those made in jest!

Hazel said...

Lol @Jemima. Thank u..x

Da Injurer said...

You write fiction only?

Your lexicon has the power to make illusion seem real. So it was not real????

Though you just told a story that's old as TIME itself... but in your words, you just made real for every body that have read and will read this post.

Will patiently by His Grace wait for the novel(if u have not published yet).

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Sad truth is that this is someone's reality... by the way, the story goes that that titi girl who got killed by her husband was because of constant fightings that started with him being irresponsible and without a job and her being the breadwinner.

I have heard countless stories of men behaving badly when they are not in a position to be breadwinner, there was also a recent story on blogsville about a woman who got slapped by her husband for spending part of her salary before handing it over to him.

Women please pray that God will always give Grace to our husbands to be the head and in a position to provide IJN

Labby said...

OMG,thank God it is fiction but I must say your writing is astonishing Ogo, u need to think of a book sometime!
That said, I pray this situation does not happen to anyone because a man's job is like everything to him! Kudos,well written

Hazel said...

@EmaLeecious It really is sad this is some people's reality. Thanks for stopping by.

@Toin Lmao

Hazel said...

@HoneyDame Of course you are family, Smartie. You know that! Mwaah!

@Anon 10:03am Your comment hit the nail at the very centre of its head!

@Anon 02.39am "Women please pray that God will always give Grace to our husbands to be the head and in a position to provide IJN" This is one of my foremost prayer points!

@Da Injurer I don't usually do fiction. This would be my second. Thank you so much!

@Labby Kisssesssss!

justsoyouknow said...

It seems that we are in the same shoes. Indeed it is too exhausting working, doing household chores and taking care of the babies. I am in the brink of giving up because i am just too tired but then i guess God is helping me all the time and until now i managed to survive. I have no choice but to accept the reality.

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dayor said...

You are a beautiful felt so real.

*thumbs up sis*

Third World Profashional said...

Oh wow, did you write this yourself? Beautiful.