Patricia was frozen as her husband’s words registered in her shocked brain.I found the medical reports…Did he mean what she thought she meant? “What are you talking about?” Patricia asked, trying to sound calm, even as her heart started sinking slowly. She tried to break free of Jide’s embrace again.
“What medical reports?” Jide held his wife tighter and sank his nose into her hair, his voice muffled as shestiffened again at his response.
“I found the medical reports from the gynaecologist, love. I know what you’ve been keeping from me.” Patricia felt her shock ebb into grief. Jide knew the truth she had been hiding for months. Unbidden, tears filled her eyes as she stood limp in her husband’s embrace, feeling naked and stripped raw.
She was at a loss for words, unsure how to explain herself. “I’m so sorry you had to bear that alone, love.” Jide whispered, rocking his wife gently. “I’m sorry you felt you could not tellme…” Patricia pushed Jide away gently, baffled. She laughed shakily and wiped the tears from her eyes, watching him warily. “Why are you apologizing, Jide? I’m the one whokept a secret from you. I’m the one who has been acting like a b—h these past weeks. I’m the one who is infertile..”“Stop.” Jide interrupted.
“That’s not true- you’re not infertile. It’s a problem that can be managed, Patricia. I’m no expert, but I checked out the condition on Google. All we have to do is climb this hurdle together.” Patricia shook her head in disbelief, her guilt overridden by surprise. She felt a massive relief that her secret was finally out; it had been a huge burden to bear alone. But the outcome of its exposure was truly unexpected.
Jide was looking at her with no anger in his eyes, and she could not fathom why. “I truly don’t know why you are reacting this way. If I were you, I would be angry.”“I was.” Jide smiled. “I was furious at first but I thought it over. What will anger achieve? I cherish our marriage and what we have built here. The most important thing is us, Pat, not kids or work. Nothing else should come between us.” Patricia finally broke down and allowed her husband to comfort her with a long embrace again. Jide could feel the threadsof their marriage falling back into place ashis wife sobbed her ‘sorrys’ against his shoulder and he felt a peace he had not enjoyed for months. But it was an incomplete peace.As Patricia burrowed deeper into his chest,spent with emotion, he considered confessing his own sin of adultery, but thethought scared him. He tried to rationalize his fear.Patricia was already so scarred byweeks of trying to deal with the secret she had been carrying, why should he make her feel worse?Jide decided to take the easy way out. There was no need to complicate things further. He would let Patricia heal while he dealt with the matter of Anita Bankole on his own.How hard could it be?** **Dealing with Anita Bankole turned out to be more than hard. It was very difficult. “Is this a big joke of some sort?” Anita asked Jide again. A couple of other seateddiners turned curiously to stare when her voice rose a bit higher than the music thanpoured out from hidden speakers in the dimly lighted restaurant.Jide felt a twinge of embarrassment at thestares, wondering if it had been a bad ideato pick a public place to break the news to her. Anita had been pleased when he called her to invite her to dinner at one of Lagos’s upscale restaurants. She had probably seen it as a romantic gesture, butJide had only hoped being in public would control her reaction when he told her he was ending their affair.So far, the presence of other people didn’t seem to have made any difference to Anita. She had informed him she had no underwear on and attempted to grope him beneath the table immediately she had arrived. He had rebuffed her calmly and kept the conversation light till they were almost done with their meals. Then he haddropped the bombshell. As he feared, Anita was not handling the rejection well.
“I don’t think you know exactly who you’re dealing with Jide.” Anita fumed, the m—-s of her impressive cleavage rising and falling as she breathed fast. “You think you can just tell me you want out that easy?” Jide felt anger run through him.
“And why not? I am an adult, a married man. You can’t just push me around forever.” Anita leaned back and laughed, but there was no humour in the sound. “Oh? Now, you remember you’re married. When you were having your fun and m0an!ng and groaning away on top of me, you didn’t remember, right? Now you’re done using me as your plaything…”“Stop trying to play the victim, Anita!” Jide snapped. “If anyone was being toyed with, it was me. You are the one who uses and manipulates people, and I doubt there is anyone on this earth you would let use you. So stop it; you’re wasting the act on me. I’m trying to save my marriage and will not continue this thing we have. I refuse to. ”Anita shook her head, eyes blazing as she hissed. “I see. You’ve grown balls, he? Decided you can take Anita Bankole on, abi? Jide, this isn’t over, don’t kid yourself. If you knew what I could do, you would be apologizing for this rubbish..” Jide felt his patience evaporate. He stood up abruptly and dug some naira notes out of his wallet, flinging them on the table.
“Whatever, Anita. This is over.” Before he turned away, he could see pure fury override the shock on Anita’s face. Jide knew she would never forgive him for walking out on her publicly, but he didn’t slow his steps, ignoring the staring eyes ofthe other diners, until he was in his car andpreparing to return home to his wife.As he drove away from the restaurant, Jidefelt the old fear return. Anita had money and clout. She could damage his reputation, use her influence to affect his job and even ruin his life without breaking a sweat. He did know what she was capable of and it had kept him in check allthis while, but he would not allow himself to be manipulated any further.Something had to be done
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