By Yetunde Arebi
A quick recap from last week as reminder and for the benefit of those reading for the first time:
Beautiful, young, starry eyed Kendra met a charming, older guy with all the trappings of a big boy, who swept her off her feet. For Kendra and Duke, it was love at first sight and he had everything that would keep a girl joined to his loins.
So, he wined and dined and cared for her the rest of her two years in the University. He kept a close mark on her all through her NYSC Service years and pronto, proposed marriage to her. For Kendra, it was more than she ever imagined possible and so was hopefully looking forward to the wedding date. Then all hell broke loose. At one of their nights out, clubbing, a guy walked up to Kendra and without warning planted a kiss on her lips.
Before both of them could get out of the shock of the audacious incident, the guy went into a rant, asking why she failed to show up at his place as planned and without mincing words told everyone they were dating and she was cheating on him with Duke. Things went into a spiral after this and while still trying to plead her case, Kendra received an invitation to Duke’s wedding to another woman. Kendra’s story concludes today.
“From the photographs on the invitation card, she was definitely quite older than me. A Yoruba girl, she had bleached her skin so much and I was convinced that she must have charmed him. (Don’t we all think so when we find it difficult to understand the attraction?) She was nothing like the sort of girl Duke would date, not to talk of marry.
I can’t say for how long I held the wedding invitation in my hands but I remember that I kept it under my pillows for a very long time. Long after the wedding in fact. Most of what I recall that I did, are things told to me by members of my family. But I do remember that I was always crying. I was always being administered with drugs to sleep, wake, eat, etc. It was pathetic.
All attempts to call Duke had failed, few of his friends who I really liked appeared to be avoiding me as well. It was as if everyone had agreed that I had done something unforgiveable and had sentenced me to jail or something. The embarrassment was much, but more painful was the hurt because I did not do what I was being accused of. Initially, even my parents did not believe that I did not know the strange guy at the club.
Their difficulty was in getting Duke and his people to understand that something funny was going on and there was a mix up somewhere. Eventually, my parents had to bar me from calling Duke and any of his friends. My siblings too refused to assist me. I was left to wallow in my pain, all alone.
However, I started going out after one full year. Not to the hospital anymore, but to church. Our pastor had come several times during the year to pray with us and so had most of the sisters. They all knew my story and were ready to offer assistance in helping to rehabilitate me. I became a worker in the church, and engaged in other activities.
Perhaps, had Duke not broken up with me, I would never have gone to church, not to mention being a worker and giving my life to God. I used to think it was people with serious problems that become born again. I started going out on my own. Often, I would still come home crying because I’d seen a car that looked like Duke’s or someone that looked like him. But you will not believe that I never set my eyes on him. It was as if one of us had dropped from the face of the earth. And I knew it was me, because I was sure he was still having a good time, going to those places we used to go. I was the one who could not visit those places again. Same for the guy who claimed he was my lover. Even if I see him today, I doubt if I will recognise him.
It took me another two years to accept a date from one of the brothers in my church. To the glory of God, I am now happily married with my own children. My husband is doing fine, even if he is not as rich as Duke. We have lacked nothing. I am now at peace with the world and even Duke. That peace however did not come until I learnt what actually happened that night. My informant was one of his friends who claimed he was not happy with what happened.
He said the whole event had been set up by Duke and some friends. When Duke met the lady, we were already far gone in our relationship and had already proposed to me. They met during my Service year and when he decided it would be her, he did not know how to tell me.
The informant told me that Duke was convinced that the girl being older and more mature would make him a better wife. She was already well connected in town and could help with his real estate business. For him, she was better suited for his profile and budding business. So, they came up with that evil plan.
I couldn’t help wondering how he did not think of the consequences of his actions on me and my family. I used to think he was my knight in shining armour. A saint. Someone flawless who could do no wrong. I worshipped the ground beneath his feet. But it was obvious that he thought very little of me. I am sure it is a sin for a human being to love another human being to that extent. Indeed, I had set myself up for disappointment.
Now, that I think of it, I must have been a pest or rather thorn in his flesh after he met the girl and fell for her. He must have fallen really hard for her indeed, to be able to pull off such a stunt just to be with her. From that point, I was not hurt anymore.
Hearing it all healed my heartache and helped me move on. I knew at that moment that he could not get away with what he did to me. God will sure punish him. I also knew that he would never find the kind of love and peace that I could have given him. Though I couldn’t punish him for what he did to me, I knew someone will, one day, very soon.
And so, I was not surprised when a couple of years after, I ran into Duke’s sister who had come for a contract in my office. She confirmed all I’d heard from his friend but told me that I had been avenged. The marriage was over and it did not produce any child. It never was a peaceful one as they were always fighting, he always accused her of infidelity.
Finally, I could say, “serves him right” even though I asked God to forgive me. Duke is free once again, a big boy on the prowl. As I stated earlier, everything opened my eyes to all those flaws in him I never knew were there in the first place. I realised he is a conniving, double face cheat. That he is not as charming, gentle and confident as I thought he was.
That he does not really measure up in any way to my loving husband. All that Duke knows is how to make his money work for him. Without the money, he is nothing, just an empty shell. And to think that was the man I wanted to marry?”
There is a belief that when one is undecided about who to choose as a life partner, they end up with the wrong person. Same applies to those who have several lovers. Perhaps, Duke was a victim of his excesses, or he was indeed “charmed” by the lady he eventually married. Duke’s actions and circumstances surrounding his marriage seem to point to nothing but disaster right from the beginning.
Never walk through a door without closing the other behind you. Duke failed to properly end his relationship with Kendra before jumping into another. He left her stranded at the threshold of her happiness while hoping to walk into his. Surely, he did wrong to this lady and her family. One important lesson here also is that the law of Karma is very real, you reap what you sow. Again, a house built on sand cannot stand the test of time.
It will be blown away by the storms. Kendra believes that though the plot was carried out by Duke, his wife was part of the hatching, as inferred by Duke’s sister. The big boy Duke met his match in his big girl girlfriend, and one had to go down for the other. Indeed, Kendra eventually had the last laugh, don’t you think?
Do have a wonderful weekend!!
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