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Thursday, July 25, 2024

MEN WHY WE HATE THEM : Episode 22

I just sat in the chair, frozen without saying a word. Was this her way of tricking me into leaving Nonso? And why hadn’t he ever mentioned a son to me all this while? I would’ve loved to convince myself that Obinna wasn’t Nonso’s son, but the resemblance was too striking. How could Nonso have deceived me in such a way? Who knew what else he hadn’t told me? “How old is he?” I managed to ask. “He’ll be four next month,” she replied. “He was born soon after Nonso, and I started dating. Our love story is strange…” she trailed off, staring into space as she reminisced.

Then she went on, “I met Nonso about five years ago when I moved to Lagos from Port Harcourt with my father after his transfer. Lagos was too busy and fast-paced for me. I didn’t have any friends, and making new friends seemed difficult as everyone seemed to be in a hurry or only interested in personal gains. I wasn’t a regular churchgoer, but out of desperation, I joined an elite church a few minutes drive from the estate where we lived, hoping that I would at least make a new friend. But most of them turned out to be cold and unfriendly high-class snobs in disguise. I vowed never to return. But, after the service, first-timers were asked to stay behind for a warm welcome. I contemplated going home but noticed they were handing out yummy-looking cupcakes to first-timers—I couldn’t resist, so I waited to have a bite,” Nancy chuckled, pausing.

I was beginning to see another side to her as she told her story; deep down, she was just like everyone who craved friendship and acceptance. “So,” she continued with a smile, “I walked over to the front of the church to join other first-timers, and standing there in front welcoming each of us with a warm handshake was Nonso. He was one of the ushers in church and warm and friendly. After the first-timers’ welcome, I couldn’t resist talking to him. I stayed back for a chat. “As expected, he was still very friendly. It’s not like he had much choice seeing as I was a first-timer. But when I asked for his number before I left, he was somewhat sceptical about giving it to me. I could tell he was looking for the right words to decline my request politely. I quickly added that I was new in town and just needed someone I could make little enquiries from once in a while. I had already decided that if that excuse didn’t work, I would come up with another because he was too handsome to pass by.

Finally, after batting my eyelashes and smiling a few more seconds seductively, he obliged and typed it into my phone.” I listened intently to every word she said because, at that point, I had given up on any future with Nonso and was struggling to find reasons to stay with him. “I got to find out much later that he was seeing one of the church’s female choristers, and they were getting serious,” she went on. “But that didn’t stop me from trying my luck. I called him every other day to find out how he was doing even though he never once returned the gesture. He seemed too into his current girlfriend to have time for other women.

“I finally convinced him one day to come to my place after church for Sunday lunch. I told him it was my way of saying thank you to him for all his help and that I would feel offended if he didn’t accept. He reluctantly agreed; one thing led to another. Before we knew it, we were tearing off each other’s clothes. To cut a long story short, I slept with Nonso that day, and he never spoke to me again.

Whenever he saw me at church, he intentionally ignored me and avoided me like the plague. All this continued till a few weeks later, when I noticed my period was two weeks late, and I started to panic. I had to crosscheck on the calendar, and then I realised that I had slept with Nonso during my ovulation. You know what that is, right?” She asked, raising an eyebrow. Of course I do, I thought, rolling my eyes. I went to medical school for Pete’s sake; did she think she was talking to a dummy?

Every month, a woman’s ovary releases an egg that travels to the fallopian tubes, awaiting fertilisation from the male sperm cell. It’s called the ovulation phase and lasts about 24 hours. It usually occurs about two weeks before the next expected period. A woman can get pregnant if she has sex during her fertile period— about five days before ovulation up until approximately 24 hours later. After that, she can no longer get pregnant till her next fertile window.

“Yes, I know what that is,” I replied, “you can go on with your story.”

“I had to force Nonso to speak with me after church the following Sunday. I was prepared to cause a scene if that was required to get his attention, but luckily it didn’t get to that stage. When I finally told him that I had missed my period, he told me to go and find it and walked off, leaving me standing alone.

Eventually, I had to introduce myself to his parents, who were also church members. I told them what happened, and they were pretty understanding. But then his girlfriend found out, and things got messy. She broke up with him refusing to listen to any explanations and stopped attending church. Nonso hated me afterward for making him lose his girlfriend, and he didn’t hide it. He acted like I had planned the pregnancy to trap him, but sincerely, I didn’t. It just happened!

He continued to deny that the child I was carrying was his until he was finally born, and everyone could see that he looked exactly like Nonso. It was almost like I had just given birth to another Nonso.

Nonso himself couldn’t deny his son when he eventually set eyes on him. Everything changed from that moment. He was not as hostile anymore. He probably began to respect me as the mother of his child. He was a great dad and took excellent care of Obinna, paying him regular visits at least once a week. I was still very in love with him, but I hated that he only saw me as the mother of his son and nothing more. Occasionally, when he came to visit, I would try to seduce him to bed, sometimes it worked, and other times I had to blackmail him into sleeping with me, saying that if he didn’t, he would never see Obinna. The arrangement worked fine for me; at least I had Nonso all to myself, even if it was for the wrong reasons.

Everything continued successfully until three years later, when he met you. The first few months after he met you, the blackmail worked, and I could still get him to sleep with me. But eventually, he got tired of giving in to my demands and stopped coming to see Obinna. Sometimes I had to beg him to come, but he always assumed I was indirectly begging for sex and never showed up. Obinna was a constant reminder of Nonso, and after he stopped coming to visit, I had to send him to Port Harcourt. I thought if I didn’t see him every day, it would help me stop thinking about Nonso. Besides, I had just gotten a new job and needed to focus.

It worked for a while, but then I craved Nonso badly. So I started to use different ploys to lure him into bed. Sometimes they failed, and other times they were successful. The most recent was what led to the whole rape saga. I had told him I needed him urgently to sign some documents from Obinna’s school. He rushed to my place immediately after returning from Calabar with you, only to discover there were no documents to be signed. When I saw that he was turning to leave, I immediately tore my clothes and started screaming for help till my security guard rushed in. Then, much to Nonso’s surprise and dismay, I accused him of trying to rape me.”

My mouth dropped wide open in shock when I heard all she said. I couldn’t believe my ears, and I wondered why she had chosen to confess everything to me.

She began to explain herself as if reading my thoughts, “I’m only telling you this because you’re my last hope,” she explained. “I felt you’d be a little more understanding if I opened up to you. I’m sorry if I’ve caused you pain. It was not my intention. But please think about Obinna, think about the poor boy that longs for his father,” she said, almost bursting into tears. “I don’t want Nonso to go to jail; I never really did. Everything I did was to get his attention. I thought I could blackmail him into getting back with me, but it failed. He would rather go to jail than have anything to do with me again.” She was sniffing now as tears slowly started rolling down her cheeks. “Please help me,” she begged.

“I wish I could help,” I said, “but there’s not much I can do.”

“There is something you can do,” she said hurriedly, wiping her tears.

“What?” I asked curiously, “you can end your relationship with Nonso,” she suggested, “that’s the only thing keeping him from his son now,” she added. I was dumbfounded. I tried to make sense of everything she said, figuring out if she was making the request for her selfish interests or if it was because of her son.

My mind became a madhouse as different thoughts raced through my mind all at once. I hated to be why Poor Obinna was abandoned by his father. The whole situation was a complete mess. My head was banging as I tried to answer these questions. I had only two options, stay with Nonso and deal with all his baggage or succumb to Nancy’s demands and leave him to face his responsibilities as a father?

Find out what happens next in Episode 23

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