“Abọ́ládé cheated on me” He started “And it broke me”
“Do you know how I found out? Múyìwá was boasting about it that day at our regular bar. He told everyone how virile he is, so much so that a certain housewife always came back for more.”
He shook his head sadly
“I was curious immediately, I wanted to know who his current flavour was. But everyone suddenly went quiet; some staring into their beer bottles, others focused on eating the well-spiced Mama Akan’s pepper soup, and Múyìwá who was too drunk to stop was the only one talking. He looked at me with his hooded eyes and said ‘You are a lucky man o Múyìwá, you get to wake up to Abọ́ládé every morning. She never stayed the night with me’ the silence that followed told me all I needed to know. Yet, I told myself that my own Abọ́ládé was not capable of it”
Laughing bitterly, he continued
“I was in denial. I left the bar and rushed home, eager to see Abọ́ládé. I wanted her to laugh or even get angry then tell me that my drinking buddies were fools, and as usual, tell me how much she doesn’t like them and why I should avoid them.
But she didn’t say any of those words, ‘I am sorry’ that was all she said. Then she knelt and sobbed, holding on to my leg, calling my name repeatedly and begging for forgiveness. I couldn’t even look at her, I kept seeing her and Múyìwá, and that broke me.
I asked her why. I couldn’t understand what Múyìwá had that I didn’t. She said it was a mistake, that she was sorry. Her words were not enough, her explanation didn’t quench the fire in me. I was already broken. How could she do this to me? How could she choose to betray me like that? Things can never be the same. My image of her was forever tainted. I knew it, she knew it too. So, I walked out and I’ve not returned since."
"Do you think I should go back? Should I take her back? Can I ever forget? " He asked?
“When Ajàgbé slept with our neighbour, Àwẹ̀ró, it broke me” She began.
“It wasn’t because he cheated that broke me, after all, this was not his first. It was because he chose Àwẹ̀ró and choosing her meant taking away the respect and cordiality I had in the compound we lived in.
I lost Ajàgbé a long time ago, you see. The first time I found out about his affairs, he said he was sorry, and I forgave him. Then, he did it again, and I wouldn’t let it go. So, he invited his Uncle and Sister, so they could both beg me. His Sister said I should forgive him, that a man would always be a man. His Uncle pleaded, and said he will never do it again, that it was the women’s fault, that they always tempted him, that it wasn't easy for men to resist daily temptation. I knew I shouldn’t listen to them, but Ajàgbé prostrated and promised me he would change and that his fidelity will never be questioned again. And I forgave him. Again.
I know some of my friends believe I was foolish for staying, but I loved him, and my mother said I should stay and pray for him.
But Ajàgbé didn’t change. Every time I find out, I shout, he begs and I forgive him. Then, he takes a step back and two steps forward. You know I now believe that Ajàgbé does whatever he likes and whenever he begs, he does it expecting my forgiveness.”
She chuckled sadly
“I think he believes he has a right to forgiveness, and I’m the fool who always gave it to him.
But it ended that day I found him with Àwẹ̀ró. He didn’t even leave the house, you know? I found them in Àwẹ̀ró’s room. I only wanted to give her the clothes I had taken off the line for her because it was about to rain. I walked by her window and heard Ajàgbé’s voice, it was low but I heard it, so, I went in.”
Smiling sadly, she said
“I saw the guilt in my husband’s eyes, but I also saw that he expected me to shout, cry, and then forgive him. I saw Àwẹ̀ró’s attempt to cover her guilt with a smirk. I smiled at her, I wanted her to know she wasn’t anything special, and that she had not offended me, for she owes me nothing. I looked at the stranger I married for the last time, then I walked out. I left our house that day, and have not returned since. He came with his uncle and sister again, I told them all was well. He asked when I would return, I told him I will, only when what is broken is mended”
"Do you think I made the right choice? Should I go back and accept that he is just being a man?" She asked.