“Mummy, buy groundnut?
Mummy, buy from me ma. It’s fresh one”
The little boy hawked his bottled ground nuts to me. I could see the desperation in his eyes.
This was his livelihood. He had to sell.
I so badly wanted to get him out of his reality but was that really my place?
“tiri (three) hundred naira ma”
I handed him a thousand naira note.
He took a quick glance at it and then said
“Mummy, I no get change ma”
I smiled and said
“No worry. Keep am”
His face lit up and he almost jumped in place with shock written all over his face.
He tried to hand me the bottle of ground nut.
“I no want”
He looked even more surprised and said
“But you just pay for am mummy..”
I nodded and said
“I know. But I no dey chop am”
He finally got it
He knelt down on the hot tar in Lagos traffic and thanked me
“God go bless you madam. Anything you day find, God go day bless you”
I smiled as I rolled up the window in the back of my car.
I looked up at the driver and the traffic still ahed of us.
This was the part I hated and loved about Lagos.
Moments like this in traffic, I could think and gather my thoughts but also get consumed by thoughts that I should avoid.
“Hello… aha aha! Can’t you hear me?”
I could hear my sister and best friend Abike speaking, through my headphones.
“Abike, why are you shouting?”
She hissed and said
“It’s your people in your family that are shouting”
We both laughed as I said
“I keep telling you I’m adopted. All of them in your family are not okay.
We are almost there sha”
She replied and said
“Okay. Jide just walked in with the kids sef.”
I was getting to see my babies.
My sister had two adorable little girls and I love them like they are mine.
They just bring me so much joy.
“I think we should be there in 10 minutes, I’ll call you when we are outside”
As I stepped out of the car, Wonuola (6) and Wuraola (4) both rushed towards my outstretched arms.
I gave them big hugs as their smiles lit up my world.
They just seemed so full of love and I needed that.
After long weeks and life draining all of what I had left, I would often stop by and just spend time with two people that saw me as a superhero.
Sitting in the living room, they ran rings around Jide and Abike. I loved every minute of it.
The two hours I spent with them made up for everything I had lost all week.
As I left, I gave Abike a hug and she handed me my gele (African Head Tie) and said
“Next week o!
I’ll come to the Island and we can go”
She was referring to a family friends birthday part that I was going to need the head tie for.
I hooped in the back of the car and my driver backed out of their house.
As we made our way to my next meeting, my mind raced.
Spending time with my nieces always reminded me of my own reality.
I am extremely happy for my sister in motherhood and watching my nieces fills me with so much joy.
But I always leave asking when will it be my turn.
I wanted to be a mother. I want to be a mother.
I’ve been married for 9 years and been waiting on God to bless my home with children.
I run my marriage counseling outfit and my husband is an engineer with one of the top firms in the country.
Money is not the problem but a 5 bedroom house feels empty very quickly when there is no one running through the halls.
I just celebrated my 36th birthday and I was subtly reminded that I didn’t have any children as people had to find sitters or some canceled because of children related obligations.
It’s a difficult reality.
I was very absent from the meeting.
Physically present but my mind was elsewhere. The meeting was just to finalize the budget for my company and get my signature.
30minutes later, I was walking out of the conference room and heading into my office.
My assistant closely followed me behind, she said
“Ma, we need to reschedule the Odufalu’s appointment”
I looked at her and said
“Schedule it and put it on my calendar. Okay?”
She nodded as I picked up some documents and headed out of the office.
Back into the car I went and on to the next stop.
I snatched my purse and rushed out of the car. I was trying to be really quiet as I snuck into the waiting room.
My husband Tobias was sitting on his phone.
I sat next to him placing my purse on my lap as I said
“Sorry I’m late”
He was on a phone call but he smiled and leaned in to give me a kiss.
He ended the call a few seconds later and turned to me
“How are they?”
I beamed and replied
“Beautiful as always”
as I pulled out my phone to show him a video I had taken of my nieces from earlier in the day.
We laughed together and then we got called in for our appointment.
As a therapist, I fought the idea for the longest time. I felt like it was a personal smear on my part and a sign of failure.
My husband is a good man.
The thoughtful kind.
The “I intentionally do just because shit for you” kind. A protector and a great listener.
But 9 years of childlessness can begin to take its toll. The pressures from both of our families began to weigh on us.
I went from being really vivacious and expressive to being reclusive.
He became the opposite, needing to step up and show up for me in the face of our families.
There was still a lot of love between us.
But something was missing.
“I just don’t always know how to talk to her anymore.
Like it feels like we recycle the same subjects that frustrate us. We want a child. But we can make one out of salt, can we?…
…I know she feels responsible and holds a lot of that on herself but I just wish she would know that I love her deeply and nothing can take that away.”
He finished as he looked over my way and the therapist turned to me to respond.
I sighed and rubbed my thighs before saying
“Yes, I do feel responsible.
I have sleepless nights and I see he is withdrawn and it scares me.
I know he loves me but we all have needs. I know he is about to be 40 and pictured being a dad years ago.
I daily feel a sense of guilt and I worry that one day, I might not be enough for him anymore.”
The therapist said
“Tobias, what do you have to say about how she feels?”
He turned to me and held my hand,
“Babe, you are one of the best things to ever happen to me.
I thank God for allowing you to say yes to me every day. I really really love you.
And I don’t want you t forget that. I know our communication has not been great lately but I guess that is why we are doing this together.
I can promise you that I will never leave you for any other woman and I will do my best to make sure our communication is much better”
I smiled and I could feel the honesty in his voice.
It was only our third session but I felt good about it as we walked out.
He pulled me in close and gave me a really big kiss.
I felt it in my spine. As I pulled away, I said
“You are lucky I am heading to the airport, otherwise, we would have for sure made a baby tonight”
He laughed and smacked my bum as I walked to my car.
“I love you”
I shouted across the way as I entered the car.
He turned and said
“I love you too…. Let me know when you get to Ghana”
One of my old clients, owned a school in Accra and she invited me to hold a talk for the girls at her school.
The talk was about women empowerment and being able to chase their dreams.
So that Saturday morning, we had a breakfast breakout sessions with the girls.
It was engaging and inspiring.
I felt like I was learning so much from these beautiful young women.
They spoke about their goals and dreams in a way that I hoped my nieces would, some day.
Some spoke about family pressures, the lack of representation in the fields they wanted to explore.
But I felt like I offered my story as an example of powering through and finding your voice.
I was feeling very good and while I was scheduled to stay in Accra till Monday morning, I was missing Tobias.
So on Sunday morning, I headed to the airport and luckily enough, I was able to get on a flight.
As I landed, I headed straight for the church. I was hoping to surprise my husband by joining him at church.
The second service was wrapping up when I got there but he was nowhere in sight.
I called his phone and no answer. I figured he was probably at home watching football and decided not to go to church because I wasn’t there to bother him into going.
As the Uber pulled into the driveway, his car was not there.
Mine was parked under the outdoor garage canopy, so I thought he must have headed out with his boys.
I opened the door and set down my suitcase at the foot of the stairway. I placed my purse next to it and kicked off my shoes.
Turning right, I headed into the kitchen when I poured myself a glass of wine. I could hear noises from our bedroom.
It was the television.
I remember chuckling and just thinking that this man was here ignoring my calls and watching football.
Hitting the landing upstairs, I heard my husband say
And I responded while opening the door
“Yes my King”
His eyes grew big and he said
as he scrambled to get covered.
“Whats wrong babe?”
He couldn’t speak but he didn’t need to.
Seconds later, a butt-ass naked young man walked into the room with his semi hard penis dangling.
I felt my heart hit the bottom of my stomach.
My husband of 9 years with a naked man in my matrimonial bed.
Against Counsel by The Wordsmith @adewus4real
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