By popular demand, here’s the second and concluding part of “Locked”, the short story I started last week
I hope you enjoy it.
Rosie’s words came out in a stammer.
“S-sorry, you must have the wrong number.”
“Are you Rose Adim, wife of Bode Adim who works at Lion Consulting?”
“Yes,” Rosie’s response was almost inaudible.
“Then I am certain I am speaking to the right person.”
The two women went silent.
“Madam, are you there?”
“Speak on, please,” Rosie said
“Look, I know this must have come as a shock to you, but it’s the reality.”
“I need proof,” Rosie said.
Her thoughts were a riot.
She could bet her left breast that Bode was cheating on her but had never imagined it could be with someone of his gender.
This Mrs Abehi or whatever she called herself could as well be a fraudster or a scorned lover.
She needed to tread carefully.
“Of course I have proof. Plenty of them, and I will be sending them to your WhatsApp as soon as I drop this call,” she continued, “the reason I called is to let you know. I think you deserve to know. At first, I wanted us to hatch a plan to catch them redhanded, but on second thoughts, I have seen enough to make my own decision.”
“And what’s that if I may ask?” Rosie’s voice had never hit the octave it had when she picked the call.
“I am leaving Terry. I cannot continue to live a lie.”
“You don’t have kids for him?”
“Oh I do, we have two kids. It’ll be tough but they will be fine. Again, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I’ll send the files I have. Good luck, ma’am.”
After the phone call ended, Rosie wondered if she had imagined it all.
The serial beep of messages shook her out of stunned state.
Her shaky fingers clicked the WhatsApp icon on her phone.
Sure enough, there were love chats that had been exchanged between Bode and some guy. A few pictures and voice calls confirmed her fear.
Her pink fingertips clasped the device closer to see if it was someone she knew.
At first, the face did not seem familiar.
Then, she remembered.
She had only seen him once, but it was hard to miss the face. The scar on his chin gave him away.
“Darling, meet Teriji. He is assisting with the property project I told you about.”
It was a chance encounter at Bams, a restaurant she and Bode frequented on the Island.
According to Bode, Teriji was the real estate consultant his company had contracted to help secure their new office in Ikoyi.
There had been nothing to suggest the two men had a relationship that extended beyond work.
The kids came running into their father arms. He picked them up amid tickles and hugs.
“These kids ehn! One would think I have been gone for a week. I only went to get fuel nitori olorun!”
She hadn’t even noticed when he drove in.
“How far? What’s for dinner? This dude his hungry.”
She served him dinner.
“You’ve been acting strange, what’s up?” Bode asked.
They were settling in for the night.
“I have a slight headache, that’s all.”
“Oh, sorry. You should get an aspirin from the first aid box.”
She had been debating whether to confront him about what she had just heard and now had proof of, but she knew she had to confide in Auntie Mabel first.
Her mum’s younger sister became her foster parent when she lost her parents at the age of 12. She couldn’t take any life decision without letting her know.
After breakfast the following morning, while Bode got busy on his laptop and the kids were glued to their Peppa Pig, Rosie locked herself in the guest room and called Auntie Mabel.
“Auntie, there’s trouble.” She couldn’t be bothered with pleasantries.
She had had palpitations all night and it was a miracle she hadn’t verbally attacked up till now.
Auntie Mabel gasped.
“Oh dear, I hope the children are fine.”
“They are fine.”
“What about Bode, is he okay?”
“He is…he’s the reason I am making this call.”
Rosie did not wait to be prodded before launching into the new information on her husband.
The flurry of words came out in bursts even as struggled to keep her voice even.
She wished this had happened when they weren’t all stuck at home. She would have been able to breathe and spend some time alone when Bode went to work and the children were in school.
“Auntie, are you there?”
“Is that all?”
“Yes, auntie. I never thought I would be saying this but I am considering filing for a divorce, Bode…”
“You will do no such thing.”
“You heard me.”
“Auntie, are you saying I should continue living a lie with a man that is bisexual or gay?”
“That’s exactly what I am saying.”
Rosie’s next words wouldn’t come.
“I have been in the world far longer than you and long enough to know there’s nothing new under the sun,” Auntie Mabel continued, “trust me, I understand how you must feel, but I can tell you for free that at least thirty per cent of married men and women these days have some LGBTQ leanings.”
“I…I don’t know what to say,”
“You don’t have to say anything, you just have to stay in your marriage and forget what you have seen or heard. What you think is a big deal is becoming the new normal. You think all these Lagos big boys and girls you see shining teeth on Instagram don’t know their spouses are cheating with someone of the same gender?”
“My dear, as long as your husband is not a woman beater or murderer, biko, stay in your marriage. Besides, where do you want to go after three kids?”
“Unfortunately, we can’t meet at the moment, but I’ll give a call again later this evening. Now, go spend time with your husband.”