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Thursday, 7 April 2016

When Love is not Enough (3)


  ***

We returned from the honeymoon and settled down to our new life as a couple. We moved to a new apartment at Airport Road, leaving my old place for Mandy.

 "I'll miss you," said Mandy, close to tears the day I went over to move my stuff.

 "Ha! You're talking as if I'm leaving Nigeria! We'll still be seeing each other regularly. I dey Naija kampe!" I reassured her, giving her a big hug.

 The plan was for Dani to return to his base abroad at the end of his leave to enable him make arrangements for his final relocation back home.

 "Everything should be settled in the next few months," he said. We had just had dinner and were relaxing watching a Nollywood movie on the cable channel.

 "That'll be nice. I want you here in Nigeria with me, not a 'visiting husband' who will be jetting in and out of the country regularly. I don't want that kind of married life," I told him.

 He assured me that was not going to happen as he would always be there for me.

 "You think I'll leave you alone in Nigeria with all these randy guys around? No way o! I don't want to lose my wife!" he declared.

 "Lose me? The man has not be born who will take me away from you! I'm yours now and forever, Dani," I stated firmly.

 He smiled at me, pinching my nose affectionately.

 The following day, a Saturday, we went to do a bit of shopping at the City Mall on Lagos Island. Actually, I did most of the buying while Dani simply tagged along.

 "You women! Always buying stuff!" he said jocularly. "How many pairs of shoes or clothes does a woman need to be happy?"

 "The more the better! One can never have enough!" I quipped.

 We were in a boutique where I was admiring some dresses and shoes on display. As I picked up a pair of blue sling backs to check the price tag, a voice behind called out:

 "Dani! Is this really you?"

 I turned round to see a fair skinned lady who just entered the boutique, approach Dani. 

 "I didn't know you were in Nigeria! When did you arrive?" I heard her ask.

 "Quite an age, Tokunbo!" Dani said.

 They stood chatting animatedly for a while before I went over to join them.

 "Hi!" I greeted her, taking Dani's hand in mine.

  She glanced at me, giving me a gap-toothed smile.

  "Who's this Dani? Your sister?" she enquired.

  "I'm his wife!" I stated proudly, my hand slipping round his waist possessively.

  "Wife?" she exclaimed, a surprised look on her face. "When did you get married Dani? And what about Sandra and the..." she was saying when Dani butted in:

 "Sorry, Toks, we have to go now as we have another engagement somewhere. Nice meeting you here!"

 With that, he took my hand and we left the shop hurriedly.

 "But Dani, I've not finished shopping! I still need..." I said.

 "Sorry, honey. You can do that some other time. We have to stop at Peter's place, remember?" he stated.

 

 Peter was his cousin who lived at Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja.

 "But he's not expecting us till evening! We still have time. You just want to spoil my day of shopping!" I stated in a petulant tone, wondering what the rush was all about.

 

 Then I remembered something.

 "And who's Sandra, by the way?" I asked. We had left the mall and were driving towards Obalende to link up with the Third Mainland Bridge.

 He changed gear before stating:

 

 "Someone I knew back in London. Tokunbo and I used to live on the same street in London before I moved somewhere else," he said.

 He did not elaborate and I did not bother to probe further.

  Maybe if I had been more curious, I would have been saved some of the surprise that came my way later...

  ***

 Some weeks later, Dani had to return to his base abroad. That morning, I drove him to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport to catch his flight.

 He brought down his bags and we stood by the entrance.

 "I'll miss you so much Dani. Call as soon as you get to London," I said, hugging him tightly. I was reluctant to let him go but he had a flight to catch so...

 "Will miss you, too, Ama. Don't worry. Soon, we shall be together, never to be parted," he stated reassuringly.

 Then he picked up his bags and walked towards the entrance. Before entering, he turned to wave at me and I waved back. Seeing him leave made me tearful and at a point I had the urge to run after him and hold him close to me once more. But I could not go beyond the barrier due to the airport regulations...

 ***

 I missed him terribly after his departure. I prayed that the three months he would be away would roll by fast so we could be together again.

 "Dani, hurry and come home or I might be forced to come over to London!" I said one evening when he called.

 

 He laughed.

 "That, my sweet wife won't be necessary. A few weeks more and we shall be together again. Hold on a little bit ok?" he said.

 "If you say so," I stated quietly. Though I was not happy we were apart so soon after we married, it was just temporary as he often pointed out.

 So, I waited patiently for his return home to me...

 One evening, I got a message from one of his siblings in the village that his mother had fallen ill. She needed an operation which would cause a large sum of money, the brother said.

 His father had died years ago and being the first son, most of the family responsibilities fell on Dani.

 I tried reaching him on his mobile but the line was switched off.

 So I tried the house number which I hardly used as he was not often at home.

   Someone else, not Dani answered the phone.

  "Hello! Who's this?" the voice, sounding like a young girl's voice, demanded.

  I told her I wanted to speak with Dani.

  "My Daddy's not here right now! Would you like to speak with my Mum?" she queried. Then I heard her call:

 "Mummy, there's someone on the phone asking for my Daddy!"

  

  Who's the young girl in Dani's home in London? Watch out for the rest of the story tomorrow!
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