When We Were Young by Adele
I was fucked.
My mind was racing at a million miles per second.
What was I going to say?
This was not one of those situations where saying a bit was enough.
I needed something big.
As I weaved through traffic, I was consumed by trying to figure out this thing and not so much guilt.
The guilt for what happened would eventually come.
But for now, I need these danfos (buses) to get out of my way and I need the Lord to come my way and save me.
As I turned the corner about 16 minutes from the venue, I finally figured out the first step.
I reached for my phone sitting in the cup holder and dialled his number.
He picked up on the first ring.
“Bro, please tell me you are outside”
He asked as I heard him make his way out of the room.
I cursed as I switched lanes and replied,
“Bro, I’m almost there.
I can’t explainnnnnnnnnnn”
Sayid was always the calm influence, he stopped walking, presumably now outside and in a “safe” space.
“Everyone thinks you got cold feet and bailed.”
I cursed again.
“Wura has been crying all morning and some people have been panicking.
How far away are you now?
I glanced at the dashboard clock and said,
“12 minutes max”
Get here as fast as you can. Your clothes are here.
I’ll inform Wura and the rest of the gang.
Hurry up bro”
The phone clicked and I dropped it on the passenger seat.
I heaved a huge sigh.
Part 1 cleared.
A respectable lie.
Oh don’t judge me! You’ve told a lie or two before.
Well isn’t that a lie.
My palms were sweaty as I put the car in park.
I hopped out and Sayid was right there waiting for me.
Some late guests were still arriving and making their way into the church.
I was scared.
Worse than the time I got arrested back in Canada. This one terrified me.
What was supposed to be the biggest day of my life, was now a huge mess and it was all my fault.
I ran into the room earmarked for the groom and his groomsmen.
Flipping my clothes, it was a complete makeover.
I went from looking like a cheating average man to the guy your company would bring in to complete a merger.
I was wrapping up the knot on the tie when I heard a knock on the door.
Without turning around and losing anymore time by walking to the door, I said,
The door opened slowly and Wura walked in.
“Diji, where the hell were you?!
I was worried sick!
Did you get cold feet?”
I walked over to her and placed my hands on her shoulders and said,
“Babe, I was robbed last night at gunpoint.
They took the car and threw me in the back. They took my phone and used my car to rob others.
They eventually drove me all the way to Mowe (a city 30 minutes outside of Lagos)
They kept me there with them all night. I begged them and told them I was getting married today.
It was only God in his mercy that allowed them to let me go.
I rushed here as fast as I could.”
She looked so concerned as she said,
“Oh my God!
Baby are you okay?”
“Im fine love.
I just need to hurry up and wife your beautiful self up!”
She smiled and I said,
“I love you baby.”
“I love you too”
“Now go back out there so I can come and make this official”
She beamed as she hurried away in her elegance.
I was a lucky fool.
I looked at myself in the mirror and whispered to myself,
“God please help me”
What was I to do?
Oh how I wish I knew.
Being married wasn’t as difficult as people have always made it out to be.
Between Wura and I, we began to come up with our own systems of doing things.
Communication was key and I honestly feel like being responsible for another allows us both of us, to do a bit more.
One of the things I loved about Wura as my wife was her effortless ability to drift within her roles.
From Marketing Guru to Home Manager; she was always on top of things.
Trying to make sure I was always happy and I truly appreciated her for it.
But there was something lingering in my chest.
Remember that guilt that I spoke about?
Yeah, it was consuming me. Preventing me from being happy with Wura.
I always wondered, “what if!”
What if she found out?
What if I got tempted again with Bimbo?
To be fair, it had been a month since I spoke to or contacted Bimbo.
We never even processed that night and what might have truly happened.
It was in the past and I wanted to keep it that way.
I was married now, with a new life and new approach. No need going backwards.
But I knew I had to let go of the baggage weighing on my heart.
It was 3:44am.
I lay there looking at Wura as she slept peacefully next to me.
How was she going to take what I was about to say?
Would I still keep my wife, my happiness?
My friend once told me that holding the truth from someone was down to human arrogance, to decide if someone deserved to be in the know.
I was scared and starting to doubt myself again.
I gently tapped Wura.
She didn’t move.
I almost took that as a sign to ignore it and just forget it. One more night to manage living a lie.
But something in me caused me to touch her again, and this time she slowly woke as I said her name,
She said as she woke up and cleaned her eyes with her left hand.
“What’s wrong babe”
I sighed and said,
“Nothing. I need to talk you about something”
She seemed more awake now as she said,
“Okay babe. Talk to me”
I almost chickened out but it was like I heard a voice in my head that told me to go on. So I did, I said
“Wura, I want to start by saying I am sorry.
There is nothing you did to cause this. This is all my responsibility.
I want to ask for your forgiveness more than anything.”
She looked puzzled as she tried to keep calm.
“Babe, talk to me. Whatever it is, we can work through it”
If only she knew, I almost wanted to say that it was impossible to just overlook.
And working through it?
Well that would mean a tremendous amount of work and trust.
I turned to my left and looked at her as I said,
“The night before our wedding.
I lied about bring robbed and lost. I went over to Bimbo’s house to talk.
And we ended up having sex. When I woke up in the morning, I was running late.
I wanted to tell you but I was torn between telling you and ruining your special day or keeping it.
But I am tired of keeping it. I wanted to start the rest of our lives with honesty and this has been eating me up inside.
…whatever you decide to do now, I completely respect.
it was my mistake and even though I can promise it will never happen again, whatever consequences come my way, I am prepared to face.
I just want you to know I am deeply sorry and I love you”
She was crying.
She just stared at me and kept crying. It was extremely scary because I couldn’t tell what she was going to say next if anything.
I just waited.
After a few minutes, I said
“Wura, please say something.”
The crying was replaced with sniffles as the tears dried.
She looked at me and said,
“Diji, it’s okay. We will talk more about it in the morning.
I can’t think right now”
I couldn’t believe it.
It almost felt like a joke, a very expensive one. But true to Wura fashion, she turned over and closed her eyes.
A few minutes later, she was breathing calm and sleeping away.
I couldn’t sleep.
This was a Yoruba woman, a true believer in what is right, sleeping next to me.
The rest of the night till she woke up for work at 6:45am, my eyes stayed wide open.
No sleep whatever.
I couldn’t risk closing my eyes and waking up on the other side.
That morning, as we got up, Wura greeted me and we quickly went about our preparations for work.
At about 7:15am, I was ready to start heading out the door as Wura followed closely behind me.
Normally, I would get in my car in the driveway and back up to either to leave for work or to move so she could leave.
We had a one car lane driveway.
As I reached my car, I didn’t attempt to give her a hug or kiss like I normally would before leaving.
As I opened the door to my car, I turned and said,
“Have a great day love. I’ll see you when I get back”
She smiled and said,
“Have a great day Diji but I won’t be here when you get back… I need some time alone”
There was no use fighting it.
No use trying to change her mind.
Wura was not easily swayed and trying to force her to change her mind would only make her more upset.
I lowered myself into my car and I slowly backed out of the driveway. I waved at her.
She lifted her hand and waved back.
That was the last I would see of her.
Three months went by.
Wura had been living with a friend of hers on the Island.
She had sent her friend to pick up some things when I wasn’t home.
Basically, we were separated.
I didn’t tell anyone about us being separated except Sayid.
He was the only one that truly knew what I was going through.
I had tried repeatedly to reach out to Wura but she blocked all my efforts.
I knew she was clearly sending a message.
She wanted to be left alone.
That evening, I met up with Sayid for drinks at a place near his house in Ikoyi.
Mid way through the conversation, he asked
“Do you think you guys are done?”
I feared the answer to that question as I replied,
“Bro… I don’t know”
He sipped from his drink and said
“…I think you need to know.
You have to earn her trust back if you want to stay married to her.
Leaving her alone won’t work forever. You have to aggressively show her you are sorry and ready to be better.”
He was right.
He was almost always right.
But where would I start from. I feared the vulnerability of begging her and being turned away but I wasn’t considering that I had just violated her vulnerability by my act of cheating.
Something needed to be done. And fast.
In an attempt to lighten the mood, Sayid switched the conversation to soccer.
He laughed as he said,
“You better go and fight for your wife since your team Arsenal can never seem to fight for the title”
A huge smile covered my face as I prepared to reply,
“….Abeg shift, all we need is a few more good players and we are ready to….”
My phone started to ring.
It was an unrecognizable number.
I reached down and Sayid said,
“Who is it?”
I shook my head as I said,
“I don’t even know”
I slid my finger across the screen and said,
The voice on the other side was short and concise.
“Hello Diji, it’s Bimbo.
We need to talk”
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I made Sayid come with me that evening as we drove to Bimbo’s house.
I didn’t tell her he was with me but I wanted him there incase anything funny tried to go down.
I could sit here and lie to you but daughters of jezebel are everywhere and men can be so weak; sometimes.
Sayid was convinced that going to her house was a bad idea.
But I considered the fact that if I allowed her to come to my house and Wura ever found out, I would for sure be dead.
I wanted to get this over with.
We pulled up and I asked her to come and meet me outside.
As she walked outside, she noticed Sayid was in the car with me.
I rolled down the window as she said,
Sayid smiled and replied,
“Bimbo toh baddest!
Na you dey avoid us o!”
She laughed and said,
“you know thats not true o. Hows everything?”
“We thank Allah.”
Their greetings ended and Bimbo asked if she could talk to me in private.
I stepped out of the car and we walked about 15 feet away from it.
Bimbo started by saying,
“Thank you for coming in such short notice.
I really wasn’t planning on calling you.
You made your decision in getting married to Wura and I respect that… so this not an attempt to break you guys up or anything.
….I just wanted you to know that I am pregnant.
Before you ask, you are the only one I have been with since I moved back to Naij.
And I took multiple tests before confirming it at the doctors this morning.
I’m not expecting anything from you but I thought you deserved to know.”
I was in shock as I just stared at her.
She looked at me and said,
“Dj, are you okay?”
I gathered myself and said,
“Yeah..ya. Thanks for telling me.
I just need a moment to think”
Slowly, I turned around as she walked back into her apartment.
When I arrived in the car, Sayid asked me what had happened,
“She’s pregnant bro”
I answered as we turned onto the road.
I nodded as I said,
He said nothing else.
And his silence said it all.
I dropped him off and he told me he would swing by the next day.
The drive home was silent.
I kept thinking to myself.
This was bad.
It was for sure going to break Wura and I.
I cheated once and now that one time produces a child.
A part of me wanted to scream so loud but I would just look like a mad man on the streets of Lagos.
I just wanted to get home and hide under my bed.
And never leave the room.
As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed Wura’s friends car.
Oh maybe she came to pick up some stuff for Wura.
I sat in the car for a few minutes as I gathered myself before heading inside.
As I opened the door, I turned the corner to my right to the living room.
There were suitcases sitting in the middle of the living room.
And Wura was sitting on the couch behind them.
I looked at the boxes and then at her, speechless.
I didn’t even reply. My first reply was,
“Are you leaving for good now?”
She looked down at the ground.
My heart began to race.
How could this be happening today!
“Wura, are you leaving me?”
She looked back up at my scared face and said,
I’m coming home.
We have a lot to talk about and work through.
I’m not leaving my marriage.
I’m coming home”
I heaved a sigh of relief.
Hurriedly, I rushed over and gave her a hug.
She was reluctant to hug me.
She looked at me with a half smile and said,
“Diji, we have a lot to work on and deal with.
I am not giving up on my marriage especially over things that happened before we said our vows.
Does it hurt?
Hell fucking yes.
But God heals and I’m willing to work and let you earn my trust if you are willing too.
I honestly thought of running but what good is that…Trials will always come.
But one thing is for sure, I am not giving up on this union and my vows to you before God and man.
… I am also not giving up on our family”
My eyes grew big,
My ears a bit wider.
I thought I didn’t hear her right.
So I asked,
She smiled and said,
I am pregnant Diji”
My face suddenly dropped and I began to cry.
I just sat there and cried.
My heart was happy but I was terrified.
How could this be happening right now?
Life was dealing me a cruel blow and it was going to hurt even more.
All I could think right then was #WhatTheHeckMan
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
© 2015 #WhatTheHeckMan