Story: Brides at War Season 2

    Episode 1

    Caro had heard from one of her friends who had seen her with Tanko the night of the party that he now worked with a well paying firm; that was when she decided to give him a try. Her conscience had pricked her enough and she needed to take her pregnancy elsewhere.
    Dara seemed like a nice woman and she wasn’t going to play a part in destroying a beautiful marriage as she hoped to get married herself.
    ‘You have a nice place Adams’ she scanned the massive living room. There were expensive looking furniture, a home theater device and elegant paintings on the walls.
    ‘Thanks’ Tanko regarded her steadily. This was the woman he had cheated on Shayera with but that was long time ago. He kept staring at her belly, trying to remember the events of the night clearly.
    ‘I have been looking everywhere for you dear, I just heard from one of my friends that you are now super rich’ her eyes went back to the living room. She couldn’t believe in the magical transformation.
    The Tanko she had met at the night club was totally different from the one that sat before her now; he looked healthy, polished and classy.
    ‘What do you want Caro?’ He decided to hit the nail on the head. He remembered her clearly; how she had flirted with him the whole night but once she discovered that he was broke; she had taken off without a word. Now she showed up with a pregnancy that he wasn’t sure was his.’
    ‘Why do you sound that way? Aren’t you happy to see me?’ Caro was a bit scared. If Tanko turned her away, then her life would be doomed. She had nowhere else to go and her mother would give her a cold shoulder.
    ‘You suddenly show up in my house uninvited, do well to state your purpose’ he replied.
    ‘I am carrying our child Tanko; this is the product of what we had that night’ she caressed her belly.
    ‘What child? We used protection’ he replied in a shaky voice. The memories from that night were vague, nothing much could be recalled.
    ‘How can you say that? We did not use protection, we were drawn to each other and it just happened. You cannot deny this, it belongs to you’ she replied firmly.
    ‘You cannot force me to accept what isn’t mine. Besides, if you claim it’s mine, how do I know that? You aren’t exactly a virtuous woman Caro and we both know what I mean’ he poked a finger at her.
    ‘You cannot do this to me Tanko. You are my last hope, I swear on my life, this baby is yours. You are the rightful father’ her voice shook. This time she was being truthful, Tanko was the real father of her baby. They had actually had unprotected sex that nght.
    ‘Sounds like lots of men have rejected you. I cannot accept this pregnancy because I don’t remember anything from that night’ he pressed on.
    ‘How would you remember? You were drunk’ tears welled up in her eyes.
    ‘I was drunk, huh? I guess that’s another lie you feel you can use to trap me’ he replied.
    ‘No. You kept mentioning a woman’s name while making love to me, it pissed me off at some point. I swear Tanko, I am not trying to trap you. I was so scared of having an abortion and my mother had other mischievous plans for this baby. I just walked away from it; I walked away from doing something evil. Please don’t push me away’ she fell on her knees and cried.
    ‘A woman’s name? What woman?’ He wondered.
    ‘Shayera, that was the name you whispered throughout the night’ she replied. She was sure of it.
    At the mention of her name, his blood raced. That was the woman he loved with all his heart but she was his past now; she was happily married to another man and he wouldn’t interfere. He, however, wondered why she kept calling.
    He didn’t want anything to do with Shayera; being with her, seeing her brought back all the memories he tried to bury; it brought him so much pain.
    ‘Get up, I’ll let you stay with me till your baby comes but there will be a D.N.A test; if the child turns out to be mine, I’ll take full responsibility but that doesn’t mean anything can happen between us. Is that clear?’ He had made up his mind.
    Caro looked different; she was desperate and helpless and he felt the need to help her; she reminded him of the times he had nothing.
    ‘Thank you very much. You’re too kind Tanko’ she wiped her face.
    ‘You are welcome, now let me show you to a room’ he picked her bags and she trailed behind.
    Now Shayera was out of his life, another problem had stepped in. Another reason he opened his house to Caro was the fact that he had been drunk that night; she confirmed it. He had never opened up himself to another person concerning Shayera neither had he spoken her name to another.
    ‘Here we are’ he dropped her bags and ushered her in.
    ‘Thanks, it’s beautiful. Baby is going to like it’ she rubbed her belly and smiled.
    ‘Good for you both’ he replied and walked away.
    Something troubled him; thoughts of Dara filled him. He needed to see her again; he needed to find a way back into her bed. He yearned for her so badly. She couldn’t just use him and toss him aside like a toy; he would make her want him just as much as he wanted her.
    Just then his phone beeped; it was a text from Shayera: ‘Call me. It’s urgent.
    After the couple had renewed their vows to each other; the reception begun. Food was served, glasses were filled with rich red wine and soft music played in the background.
    ‘I am so happy your husband is gone, he kept looking at me weirdly’ Melody sipped from her glass.
    Yahaya and Jerry had gone off to chat while the ladies used the opportunity to gossip.
    ‘That’s because you’re too vulgar’ Jane rolled her eyes.
    ‘He kept looking at me like “Why is she so loud mouthed?” Melody ignored Jane’s annoying comment.
    Shayera laughed at Melody’s facial expression ‘I assure you, my husband is a very cool person to be with. This is the first time he is meeting you, remember?’
    ‘Yes, you are right’ Melody agreed.
    ‘So what’s the actual reason Jerry stayed back because I know the flimsy excuse you gave us was a naked lie?’ Jane inquired.
    ‘Can you just mind your business? What’s with you? Did you see me in your dream last night?’ Melody snapped at her.
    ‘Come on Melody, she is just asking to know’ Shayera came in.
    ‘One day your rude nature would cost you a lot, you just don’t know it yet’ Jane hissed. Melody was such a complicated personality.
    ‘Really? You should focus on getting your eyebrows waxed and your boobs lifted so your man can stop gaping at beautiful women’ Melody pointed at Wale whose eyes were fixed on a very curvy woman who had just walked in.
    ‘Oh my God, I totally love her gown. I think I should invite her over our table, she’s so hot’ Shayera suggested.
    ‘Don’t bring such a woman here else I’d stand up. What business does darkness have with light?’ Jane hissed angrily. She had caught the lustful glint in her husband’s eyes and she would warn him sternly about it.
    ‘You’re out of your mind with this your Christianity’ Melody hissed and rose to her feet.
    ‘Let me do the honors, I have a skill in making friends’ Melody decided to invite the lady over to their table.
    ‘She just insulted me, did you hear that?’ Jane said to Shayera.
    ‘Enough Jane! You two are always trying to outsmart each other. Today is Dara’s day, let’s be supportive and let us try and enjoy it’ Shayera sighed. The pregnancy was starting to get to her; she felt hot and nauseous but she fought for control. Nobody could know about her pregnancy, at least not yet.
    ‘You look sick, are you sure you are okay?’ Jane noticed Shayera looked fatigued.
    ‘Yes. Yes. Just in-law problems’ she decided to share this one. How was she going to live with Yahaya’s kleptomaniac sister and his noisy mother for a week? Why the hell did they choose her house for vacation?
    ‘Wow, that early? Tell me about it’ Jane was curious, she had dealt with in-laws before and maybe she could help.
    ‘My mother and sister in-law want to spend a week at our house. I don’t like them and we don’t get along but I couldn’t say “no”. I didn’t want Yahaya to see me in a bad light’ she replied.
    ‘Really? I know you are trying to paint this image of yourself as a good wife but you need to be honest with your partner at all times, you should have said “no” and stood firmly by it. I have a feeling they are coming to tell him something nasty, something that would trigger a quarrel between you two; you need to be smart’ Jane advised.
    ‘Nothing can cause us to fight; Yahaya loves me very much and wouldn’t listen to them’ Shayera responded.
    ‘Don’t be too sure, a lot of people change after marriage’ Jane added.
    Shayera’s hands went to her belly absentmindedly; Jerry had not shown up for the wedding, so she decided to send him a text. She would visit the hospital first thing Monday morning. Tanko was still not taking her calls; she needed to see him before going to the hospital.
    ‘Hello ladies, so this hottie here goes by the name Beyonce’ Melody appeared with the curvy woman minutes later.
    ‘Hello ladies, pleased to meet you’ she dragged a chair and settled in.
    ‘Is that her real or her fake name?’ Jane snorted.
    ‘Jane, be nice or go over to that table’ Shayera whispered firmly, then pointed at a table occupied by old people.
    ‘Nah, I choose to be nice’ Jane rolled her eyes.
    ‘So, the pretty one is Shayera, she just got married and the not so pretty, thread haired, bland face, baggy clothes is Jane, also married and with a child’ Melody did the introductions.
    ‘Oh, glad to meet you’ Beyonce raised her brows, what an introduction!
    ‘She is really making it hard for me to be nice’ Jane said through clenched teeth.
    ‘Hi Beyonce, I totally adore your gown, where did you get it?’ Shayera offered a compliment.
    ‘Oh, this? I bought it in France, it costs a fortune. I don’t think you can afford it’ she replied.
    ‘Oh?’ Shayera lifted a brow.
    ‘See, it’s five million, in Nigeria currency’ Beyonce offered Shayera her phone.
    ‘Wait, you are serious about the price?’ Jane laughed, how was that possible?
    ‘Of course, clothes cost even more. Don’t you remember Aisha Buhari’s Million dollar gown that got the whole world talking?’ Beyonce answered.
    ‘Don’t mind her, what does she know about fashion? Bland face!’ Melody hissed.
    ‘Okay, enough of the insults. It’s just a total waste of money, spending that much on a dress’ Jane maintained her stand.
    ‘Enough already! So Bey, can I call you that?’ Shayera decided to switch topics. She really did like the gown and her husband could afford it but she didn’t like the way Beyonce had spoken to her.
    ‘Of course, I totally adore that name but I prefer “Bee” you know, I produce a lot of honey down there?’ She winked.
    ‘Okay, now I am going to vomit, this is really vulgar’ Jane exhaled.
    ‘Welcome to the club of dirty mouths! I totally adore you Bee’ Melody raised a glass up.
    ‘Ignore these two, tell us about yourself’ Shayera said to her.
    ‘Well, my husband lives in New York city with our three kids, Benjamin, Jamal and Lucy. I am into blogging and fashion designing’ she replied.
    ‘Blogging and fashion designing, excellent! Now here is what I love, I love it when women can build a career all by themselves’ Melody was proud of her. They had so much in common.
    ‘And here goes the endless talk of feminism’ Jane yawned.
    ‘Thanks Melody’ Bee nodded proudly.
    ‘Good, I officially invite you into our clique’ Melody winked at her.
    ‘Thanks but I need to go now, I have to see someone urgently’ Bee rose to her feet.
    ‘And who is that?’ Melody asked.
    ‘My cousin, I’ll be right back to exchange numbers’ Bee straightened and walked away.
    ‘What do you think guys?’ Melody stared after her.
    ‘I don’t like her’ Jane replied.
    ‘Expected’ Melody scoffed and then faced Shayera.
    ‘I don’t like the way she talked to me’ Shayera aired her opinion.
    ‘You two are so jealous of that young woman; she is my new friend and you have to accept her whether you like it or not’ Melody couldn’t believe her two friends would be uncomfortable around someone as amazing as Bee.
    ‘Um, why do you think we are jealous?’ Shayera wondered.
    ‘Well, she is hotter than you, has a good business and a successful marriage. You should all aim to be like that’ Melody answered.
    ‘And, in this silly explanation of yours, you feel we are underachieved and you are also better than us?’ Jane arched her brow.
    ‘Of course. Darlings, you don’t need to feel bad, not everyone was meant to be a star’ Melody answered.
    ‘Egomaniac’ Shayera  gulped some water. The feeling of nausea was becoming too powerful; she decided to use the bathroom before it was too late.
    ‘Where are you off to?’ Her friends asked.
    ‘I need to use the lady’s’ she replied.
    ‘Shayera has been acting weird lately; I feel she is hiding something’ Melody started.
    ‘I think she is pregnant, once she goes for the test, we’ll know for sure’ Jane returned.
    ‘Jerry is her doctor, I’ll ask him’ Melody poured herself more wine. She was drinking for the fun of it, she would wait patiently for the next quarrel Edward and Dara would have.

    Episode 2

    ‘Shayera has been acting weird lately; I feel she is hiding something’ Melody started.
    ‘I think she is pregnant, once she goes for the test, we’ll know for sure’ Jane returned.
    ‘Jerry is her doctor, I’ll ask him’ Melody poured herself more wine. She was drinking for the fun of it, she would wait patiently for the next quarrel Edward and Dara would have.
    Dara had never felt this happy with herself; she had not been this happy during her first wedding ceremony; their vows then had been written by the priest; Edward had turned them into lies and deceit but she persevered.
    This second time was totally different; they wrote their own vows and promises they would fulfill to each other. Somehow, she had forgotten the affair with Tanko; she didn’t think it was necessary to mention it to Edward.
    However, trouble seemed to loom over her as she stared into the face of the very woman she had tried avoiding for five years. Her face went white as she drew closer, what was she doing here?
    ‘Are you okay, honey?’ Edward noticed the look on her face.
    ‘Yes. Yes I am’ she affirmed.
    Just that she wasn’t, her ex-best friend, the one she had run from many years back, was taking long strides towards them.
    ‘No, you are not, what is it?’ Edward asked. Dara tried to answer but no words came out; he decided to follow her gaze.
    ‘Hello Bestie’ Bee offered Dara her sweetest smile.
    ‘Olubunmi’ Dara murmured.
    ‘I prefer you call me Beyonce or “Bee” as coined by my new friends’ she replied.
    ‘Oh, welcome Bee, it’s been a very long time’ Dara replied. She noticed Edward’s dancing eyes, was he lusting after Bee or was he confused?
    ‘Oh, forgive my manners. I am Beyonce; I was, still am, Dara’s best friend. I heard about your second wedding and decided to come’ she offered Edward her free hand, the other held her purse.
    ‘Edward’ he took her hand and she gave his palm a tickle. He quickly withdrew from her.
    ‘How did you know about the wedding?’ Dara forced a smile.
    ‘Given that you didn’t invite me for the first, you should simply be glad I came for this and not ask me questions’ Bee chuckled. The short laugh was dry and didn’t glow her eyes.
    ‘Oh, sorry about that. So many things came up and we lost contact’ Dara tried to explain.
    ‘Come off it, I am fine, I totally understand’ Bee held her hands gently.
    ‘You do?’ Dara felt relieved.
    ‘Yes’ Bee replied. She totally understood that her friend didn’t want her at the wedding.
    ‘So when did you return to Nigeria?’ Dara asked.
    ‘Just this morning, I actually need to go get some rest now. Here’s my card, I’ll be seeing you’ Bee offered them both her complimentary card, and walked out of the hall.
    ‘Gosh’ Dara released her breathe; she realized she had been holding it.
    ‘Who is that and why did she make you so nervous?’ Edward had watched her face the whole time.
    ‘It’s a long story, I don’t know where to start’ Dara knew Bunmi’s appearance meant trouble.
    ‘Make it short’ he grinned.
    ‘Okay, Bunmi was my friend back then but she was domineering and had a self-centered attitude; she was the kind of friend who felt bad if you got more attention than she did. So, I got pissed off and I told her I was done being friends with her. She went around saying bad things to people about me’ Dara felt horrible as she remembered her experience.
    ‘Bad things like?’ Edward asked.
    ‘That I was a glutton and I masturbated three times a day’ Dara replied.
    She expected Edward to react angrily or showed her a bit of sympathy but he laughed.
    ‘That’s funny because it’s a big lie’ he laughed then paused.
    ‘Wait, did you masturbate back then?’ He noticed her frown.
    ‘No!’ She almost screamed his head off.
    ‘Ok. So what happened next?’ He asked eagerly.
    ‘I told her boyfriend that she was cheating on him with two other guys’ Dara replied.
    ‘Oh my God, was this true?’ Edward asked.
    ‘Yes and he broke up with her. Bunmi had really loved that guy; I felt terrible about it but she hurt me first. Thereafter, I broke off all contact with her and that was the end. I am surprised to see her here, I think she still bears a grudge and may want to revenge by snatching you away from him.’ She rushed for words.
    ‘Hey, stop’ he reached for her hands.
    ‘What?’ She held her breath as she stared into his beautiful dark eyes.
    ‘I meant it when I said “always and forever”’ he pressed a kiss on her forehead.

    Jerry was still angry that Melody would treat him that way; she was arrogant and proud and he was done with her attitude. That would be the last time he would ever ask her for sex. Wasn’t it ridiculous? They were legally married and sex was an integral part of marriage.
    His phone buzzed.
    ‘Who now?’ He hissed angrily.
    ‘Oh’ he rubbed his chin. The text was from Shayera, he remembered he had not given her the test results; he decided he would do that on Monday.
    He left for the kitchen to fix himself lunch; he loved sandwiches and cheese.
    Once he neared the door, he recalled the scene of their maid rubbing herself on the kitchen floor and he suddenly got hard. He was suddenly hungry for a woman’s body; he yearned to touch her; to suck her large nipples and dip his rod into her till she cried out his name.
    ‘Good afternoon sir’ she showed up from behind.
    ‘Afternoon’ he swirled. His eyes took her in; her clothes were baggy as usual but he couldn’t miss the fact that she wasn’t wearing any bra; her nipples firmly shot out in the dress and gave him wild thoughts.
    ‘Sorry I am late sir, I had to go to the market to buy ingredients for the Afang soup’ she explained.
    ‘Oh, it’s okay, I was about fixing myself lunch’ he replied and moved into the kitchen.
    ‘Let me help’ she took the sachet of bread from his hands. Their hands touched slightly and he felt a tiny spark.
    ‘You need to control yourself, you cannot cheat’ he thought.
    ‘How do you like it?’ She began cutting the bread into triangles.
    ‘Uh?’ His eyes were glued to her massive chest.
    ‘Your sandwich I mean’ Nkechi replied.
    ‘Oh, I like it with tomatoes and cabbage, add a little cheese’ he instructed.
    ‘Okay’ she answered.
    He was glued to the spot where he stood; he couldn’t move out of the kitchen; he found himself staring at this very beautiful girl and suddenly wondering why she would be a maid.
    ‘Tell me, why do you choose to be a maid?’
    That question took her by surprise; she stopped cutting the bread and tried to think of a reasonable answer. All the men she had slept with had never cared or bothered about what she did aside sleeping around. What was she to tell him?

    Episode 3

    That question took her by surprise; she stopped cutting the bread and tried to think of a reasonable answer. All the men she had slept with had never cared or bothered about what she did aside sleeping around. What was she to tell him?
    ‘I just like cleaning houses and mopping floors’ she decided.
    ‘Really?’ Jerry got more curious. She seemed uncomfortable talking about her personal life but she was so bold to act her little “porn” the day before.
    ‘Yes. Sandwich is done’ she dropped a plate before him. She had no business discussing her personal life with this man; it would make her plans to get his money more difficult.
    In her line of business, talking deeply wasn’t ideal; emotions clouded sound judgment. Most sentimental people were not very successful, that was her belief.
    ‘Okay, so how is your mother now?’ Jerry decided to talk about something else.
    ‘Fine’ she replied firmly.
    ‘Are you having a bad day or something?’ He asked. Why did she wear a frown?
    ‘I am good’ she sighed. She was messing up her job which was to seduce him.
    ‘You’re a funny being, why are women always this complicated? Eve was complicated, my mother was and my wife is’ he bit into the sandwich.
    ‘Your wife is complicated? She is the simplest woman I know’ Nkechi loosened up.
    ‘On the surface’ he returned.
    ‘Oh’ she turned and begun to shred the water leaves; she didn’t want to hear anything about his marriage.
    ‘You are complicated too. I walked in on you rubbing yourself yesterday, you were so confident then. Today, you are reserved, you put up this invisible wall around you. What are you afraid of? That I will sack you or tell my wife?’ He fetched another slice.
    She was afraid of that too but why was he speaking to her like a friend? No, this wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted him to sleep with her without getting attached. All she cared about was the money.
    ‘I love sex’ she licked her lips seductively.
    The sight of her wet tongue gliding over her lips was enough to drive him crazy and resurrect all the dirty thoughts of her he harbored earlier.
    ‘I love men like you, hard and handsome’ she dropped the leaves and moved closer to him.
    ‘Nkechi’ he groaned as she placed her hands on his chest. Was he going to fall into temptation just like that?
    ‘Yes? I want you so bad and I know you want me too’ she caressed his face.
    ‘Yes but I am…’ he stuttered.
    ‘Married? Come on, having sex with me doesn’t mean you would divorce her. We could do coded things in the backyard’ she winked as her hands found his rod. He was erect and hard, her slim fingers curled over him.
    ‘Are you sure you can be discreet?’ He asked.
    ‘Yes, that’s the first rule of the game we are about to play’ she replied. Her magic was working and soon, she would get what she needed.
    He knew this was wrong but he couldn’t help it; he took one last look at his conscience and chose to ignore it. He bent and planted a kiss on her mouth.
    She loved his smell and the taste of his mouth; her hands caressed his chest while he cupped her breasts in his palms.
    ‘Jerry! Open the damn door’ Melody pounded on the door.
    ‘I have to go now, we’ll see later’ he pulled away from her.
    ‘Where?’ She asked eagerly.
    ‘The boy’s quarters’ he winked.
    She brought her car to a halt and then stepped out of it; she had heard of the famous perfume factory Edwardarr and that was what led her back to Nigeria; she discovered that her one time best friend was its owner.
    As a fashion lover, she dealt in a whole lot of things; fabrics, make-up and fragrances. One of her numerous business partners had told her about the famous perfume factory owned by a Nigerian lady. Like the entrepreneur she was, she had decided to check this person out hoping to come up with a beneficial business proposal, only to realize the person that had betrayed her long time ago owned it.
    ‘Perfect’ Bee’s lips moved as she stared at the massive building.
    It was made of glass; it stood tall and arrogant, like nothing could bring it down.
    Telling people that Dara was a glutton had only been to teach her a lesson but she had taken it too personal and had exposed her secret affair to the man she loved most back then; the man she had hoped to be with.
    The ringing of her phone broke into her thoughts: her boyfriend had just sent her a text.
    Her heart raced as she read it, she had not expected him to discover what she had done so quickly; her hands shook as she held the phone but she steadied them; she forced the fear out of her system.
    She reminded herself that she was Beyonce and could get away with anything.
    ‘Excuse me Madam’ a female voice broke into her racing thoughts.
    ‘Um, good afternoon young lady’ she got rid of the anxious look and turned round to face the owner of the treble.
    ‘Wow, you look amazing; I couldn’t stop looking at your gown and I wondered what such a beautiful person would be doing in front of my boss’ shop’  Tiwa warmed up to the pretty looking woman.
    Her boss, Dara Edwards was a fashionista; she dressed to kill and knew just the right clothes to wear; but this woman before her had an explosive fashion sense, one that surpassed Dara’s.
    ‘Why, thank you; you mean Dara is your boss?’ Bee asked, she was liking this.
    ‘Yes, I’ve worked with her right from when she started this company. The way you called her name, have you met her in person before?’  Tiwa lifted a brow.
    ‘No, no, I have just heard lots of amazing things about her, one of the reasons I came to check her out’ Bee replied.
    ‘Wow’ Tiwa scanned the woman a second time. She was obviously wealthy and telling her more about Dara was not harmful in any way.
    ‘Yes, my name is Beyonce Martel, I am based in New York; I am a blogger and a fashion designer, I like to do business with serious minded and hardworking women too; your boss fits perfectly in this category’ Bee said.
    ‘Really? You came all the way from New York to check her out?’ Tiwa was excited. If an important woman like this one partnered with Dara, it meant more money for the company and a salary increase for her. That was just perfect and she needed to give this woman all she needed.
    ‘I like what she is doing here, great building; I cannot wait to meet her in person one of these days’ Bee smacked her lips.
    She glanced briefly at the young woman and decided she would be an important instrument in her little game. From the way her tiny lips shot out, she was talkative and that would work rather well for her.

    Episode 4

    Beyonce glanced briefly at the young woman and decided she would be an important instrument in her little game. From the way her tiny lips shot out, she was talkative and that would work rather well for her.
    ‘There was a little problem around here, I just came to check around, to see if the engineers had returned. Then, I noticed your car and wondered what you were doing here’ Tiwa smiled.
    ‘Oh, really? Don’t be scared dear, I just came to see things for myself; I could even publish a feature piece on “Edwardar” on my blog; I have a lot of followers’ she fetched her phone and begun to take snapshots of the building.
    ‘That would be nice, I cannot wait to tell my boss about you tomorrow’ Tiwa couldn’t hold back the excitement.
    ‘Um, that would be too early; I want our conversation to remain a secret; your job is to tell me everything about your boss; I’ll like to know the kind of person she is before I bring my proposal to the table. Can you do that for me?’ Bee asked.
    ‘Of course, I totally understand and I am willing to provide you with all the information you need’ Tiwa nodded in understanding. She knew what the woman wanted and she would play along. Dara deserved to get international recognition for all her hard work and her job was to make that possible.
    ‘You mentioned something about engineers, what was that about?’ Bee faced her once she was done taking pictures.
    ‘Um, I have a feeling my boss and her husband were having problems; so he wanted to bring down the building because he is a partner and has some rights to “Edwardar”; he offered it to the government who planned to restructure it for their use’ Tiwa explained.
    ‘They had problems? What kind of problems?’ Bee asked, this was getting very interesting.
    ‘Um, I don’t really know but something was up’ Tiwa replied curtly, then paused as Bee’s phone rang.
    She turned her phone off quickly; how was the bastard still able to track her?
    ‘Can we exchange numbers? I like you and I feel we need to talk a lot more’ she said to Tiwa.
    ‘I will be glad Ma’ Tiwa replied.
    ‘Call me Beyonce, I have a feeling we would be very good friends’ Beyonce winked and hopped into her car once the exchange of phone numbers was done.
    Wale and Jane had left after the wedding and vow renewal ceremony; it had been a really wonderful day for Wale. Seeing his friend Edward getting back together with Dara was the best thing that could ever happen.
    He hoped it worked out for them both; Dara was a good woman and deserved to be happy.
    He noticed Jane’s face was swollen; like someone had beaten her to pulp; her features twisted into a frown; her eyes glistened red like someone had tapped their fingers into them.
    She was upset about something. He knew her very well; he could read her like a book. He guessed one of the girls had said something to get her upset; she often returned that way after engaging in a heated battle with her friends, especially Melody. Those two seldom got along.
    ‘What’s wrong honey?’ Jerry asked as he brought the car to a halt.
    She ignored him totally; maybe she didn’t hear him, so he repeated his question.
    Hosanna in the highest, the angels are singing, hosanna in the highest
    She hummed the tune and ignored Wale totally; Melody had mocked her earlier as they had all spotted the lustful glint in Wale’s eyes when that Beyonce woman walked into the hall.
    How could he betray her like that? He had just cheated with another woman in his heart and he deserved to be punished for engaging in adultery.
    ‘Jane? I am talking to you’ he grabbed her hands as she made to leave the car.
    ‘Get your hands off me, you sinner!’ The song fled her lips.
    ‘What? Why are you so difficult? I don’t remember doing anything to get you upset’ Wale said, although he was inwardly bothered. Had his wife somehow gotten wind of what had happened between him and Blessing?
    ‘You know what you did, I am so disappointed in you Wale. You lied to me, you caused me to trust you; I believed in you but you broke the faith I had’ she hissed angrily.
    ‘I still don’t understand what you are talking about’ he took a deep breath and prayed she wasn’t talking about his little escapade with Blessing the other day.
    ‘Okay, why did you stare at that lady in such a lustful manner?’ She spat the words out of her mind.
    ‘I don’t understand you, what lady?’ He wondered.
    ‘The lady that wore a tight dress that revealed all her curves; the one that dressed in a very ungodly manner’ Jane replied.
    That did it! He had been caught!
    Wale remembered the lady quite well; she had been breathtaking. The moment he set eyes on her, he imagined how it would feel to make love to such a beautiful woman.
    He didn’t deny in his heart, he lusted after her but he had to deny it in the open; if Jane had already started suspecting him, it spelled doom for their marriage and he didn’t want that.
    All he wanted was a woman that would give him sex; the only spice that was lacking in his marriage.
    ‘I can’t believe you honey, why are you letting the devil use you? He is causing you to see things that aren’t there’ Wale’s countenance changed. He seemed so pious, so innocent.
    ‘What are you talking about?’ Jane asked.
    ‘I told you I was fasting today; I told you that I have entered into a new covenant with the lord; to be more serious with him and have a better relationship with the trinity; how then can you accuse me of lusting after another woman?’ Wale looked hurt.
    ‘What do you expect me to believe? Even the girls noticed the way your eyes danced over her body when she walked in’ Jane replied, feeling unsure. Had she really seen Wale eyes well? What if he had not lusted after her? What if she was being delusional?
    No, she remembered he stared at her. That was adultery.
    ‘Do you know that my spiritual eyes were opened? That while I stared at that lady, the lord had revealed something about her? I don’t deny staring at her but I assure you, my intentions were not lust related’ he explained himself for clarity.
    ‘What did the lord reveal?’ Jane was curious to know.
    ‘She is possessed, a woman from the water; a daughter of Jezebel and her job is to tear down marriages with her unholy adornment. Women who wear heels are not good; women who wear make-up and weaves will all go to hell. That lady is not a daughter of Zion, you should avoid her, warn the girls to do the same’ Wale waved a finger in her face as warning.
    Jane’s mouth fell open once her husband was done talking; she totally believed him.

    Episode 5

    ‘She is possessed, a woman from the water; a daughter of Jezebel and her job is to tear down marriages with her unholy adornment. Women who wear heels are not good; women who wear make-up and weaves will all go to hell. That lady is not a daughter of Zion, you should avoid her, warn the girls to do the same’ Wale waved a finger in her face as warning.
    Jane’s mouth fell open once her husband was done talking; she totally believed him.
    ‘I knew It! From the moment that lady walked into the hall, I knew she was trouble. Honey, I am so sorry for accusing you wrongly; I am so happy that the Lord is using you now. I am so happy that he has filled you with his wonders’ she moved over and hugged him.
    That was God speaking to her through her husband; she would stay away from Beyonce or whatever she was called and she would warn her friends too, if only they would listen.
    ‘You know what? I want us to engage in a powerful midnight prayer session tonight, I want us to be stronger than ever. What do you say?’ Wale suggested.
    ‘Honey, you know my answer already. I am happy I married a God-fearing man like you; you are so wonderful my husband; I am happy that God has pushed earthly things away from your mind and you are now so focused on Him’ she rubbed his head gently.
    ‘God bless you my wife’ he replied and placed a light kiss on her lips; after which, they walked hand in hand into the house.
    ‘Welcome’ Blessing bent her knees in greeting. Her heart skipped as she saw them walk in. Since she moved into the house; she had never seen them hold hands that way or even display any romantic affection; had Wale confessed to Jane what happened in the kitchen earlier?
    ‘Blessing, get us something to eat. We were both waiting on the Lord’ Jane snapped her fingers.
    ‘Alright, I’ll do just that’ Blessing replied. She tried making contact with Wale but he kept avoiding her eyes.
    She hoped he had not changed his mind about her; if he did then she was doomed; Wale was the only way out of her current financial situation.
    ‘So what do you think about my friends? Do you like them?’ Shayera asked. Yahaya was driving; they’d had a swell time at Dara and Edward’s wedding ceremony.
    ‘Your friends are very unique; a healthy mix of crazy and not so crazy’ Yahaya laughed. He had loved interacting with them, especially with the lawyer, the one that introduced herself as “Melody”.
    ‘I know Melody can be a mouthful but I assure you, she is a very nice person’ Shayera knew her friend must have made her husband very uncomfortable.
    ‘Oh, don’t apologize; although I have not met Dara, I think I like Melody most’ Yahaya returned.
    ‘Are you serious? Jane and everyone else seems to have a problem with her. She is self centered; talks carelessly and is very opinionated’ Shayera laughed, she couldn’t believe her husband would favor Melody.
    ‘I don’t know about that but I know this: she is open minded and totally honest with the way she feels. That is the most important thing in this life, being yourself; staying true to the way you feel about things. One might need to be caged in sometimes, but it is important that we stay honest the most part of our lives’ Yahaya replied.
    He was a very honest man and he believed that was the best policy; his greatest turn off was deceit. One of the qualities that had drawn him to his wife Shayera was her humble and honest nature. He knew his family did not like her and had tried to paint her black before him but he threw away the calabash of lies that was being offered by Hawanana because he trusted her. He loved her completely.
    ‘That’s a nice thing to say’ Shayera released her breath once he was done talking. It seemed his words were meant for her, she was dishonest and was living a lie.
    ‘Yea, I like Jane’s husband; he is a cool guy to hang out with’ Yahaya quickly added.
    ‘Yes, Wale is a very nice person, she helped Dara and Edward get back together’ Shayera informed him.
    She quickly fetched a bubble gum from her bag and threw it into her mouth as nausea washed over her; the urge to throw up had come again. She needed to control herself; she needed to see Jerry as quickly as possible.
    ‘Are you okay?’ Yahaya noticed his wife seemed very pale, like blood had been drained from her face.
    ‘Yes, I just felt like chewing gum’ she winked and made a popping sound.
    ‘Oh, that’s nice’ he nodded but he wasn’t sure she was alright.
    Hawanana and her mother had arrived the house hours earlier but they had not met Yahaya and Shayera at home.
    ‘Mother, are you sure these two didn’t scurry off and leave an empty house because we told them of our coming?’ That was Hawanana’s first thought.
    ‘La, La, that would be stupid of my son’ her mother exclaimed.
    ‘I know it doesn’t make sense but that bitch has her fingers curled over Yahaya; he doesn’t have much in his brain these days; she has trapped my brother in between her legs’ Hawanana hissed angrily.
    ‘There’s no need to be bitter child, the fool will be disgraced today’ her mother patted her shoulder; gently reminding her that the absence of the couple would give them ample time to think and work up an effective plan.
    ‘He claimed the whore was a virgin; he swore it to me a hundred times before she got married to her; now she is two months pregnant according to this test; she is a two-faced liar’ the older woman hissed.
    She knew her son quite well; one thing Yahaya was not, was a liar. Her son had never lied to her, Shayera must have deceived him.
    ‘But what if Yahaya had touched her before marriage? It would make us fools before them’ Hawanana realized this could happen.
    ‘You are wise Hawa, that is the reason we would be spending some time here; we do not just wake up and slap Shayera with this’ she raised the envelop that contained the results.
    ‘So what do we do?’ Hawa wondered.
    ‘We take it step by step. We watch her every action and reaction’ her mother explained.
    ‘I think they are back’ Hawa rushed to the window.
    ‘Good. Make sure you play your part well’ the woman reminded her daughter of their plans.
    Few minutes later, Shayera walked in with her husband; they were both laughing but once they sighted the intruders, their smiles faded and was briefly replaced by unwelcoming frowns.
    ‘Welcome Hajia, Welcome Sister-in-law’ Shayera greeted them.
    ‘Mother, Hawanana’ Yahaya acknowledged them.
    ‘Save your greetings children, I know you both don’t want us here but we came here for something other than interfering with your marriage’ the woman faced her son.
    ‘I am very sorry for the things I said about your wife Yahaya; you must forgive me. I met an Iman some days back and he prayed for me; he told me that the only solution to my illness was to apologize to you and pray in your house for one week’ Hawanana went on her knees.

    Episode 6

     ‘I am very sorry for the things I said about your wife Yahaya; you must forgive me. I met an Iman some days back and he prayed for me; he told me that the only solution to my illness was to apologize to you and pray in your house for one week’ Hawanana went on her knees.
    ‘Illness? What are you talking about?’ Yahaya asked. He still didn’t trust his mother and sister completely but he noticed they looked sober.
    ‘Yes, Yahaya, her fibroid is back’ His mother chipped in.
    ‘I am so sorry’ it was Shayera’s turn to take in the façade Hawa and her mother presented.
    She genuinely felt sorry for her at that point; she wished she could do something to help her.
    ‘Have you been to the hospital yet?’ Yahaya asked.
    ‘No, I am done with hospitals. There is no hope for me there’ Hawa replied.
    ‘There could be, I know of a doctor that could help you. He had treated much more complicated cases; he is the best in town’ Shayera suggested.
    ‘Are you talking about Melody’s husband?’ Yahaya asked.
    ‘Yes. I should take her there tomorrow’ Shayera said. This meant that she needed to urgently tell Tanko about her pregnancy; she would know what next to do after that meeting.
    ‘Allah bless you for your kind heart, you are a beautiful soul Shayera and you were meant for my brother’ Hawa’s smile was angelic.
    ‘Thank you too’ Shayera returned the smile.
    ‘Do you think they bought it?’ Hawa asked her mother once Shayera and Yahaya were out of sight.
    ‘I don’t know for sure but our plan holds’ her mother replied and Hawa nodded in agreement.
    Once they reached their bedroom; Yahaya drew his wife close to him and planted a soft kiss on her lips.
    ‘Baby, I don’t trust my sister very much; she and my mother have been putting so much pressure on me to get married to another; how can they suddenly show up and act like they are changed. I still want you to be careful with Hawa, I don’t trust her one bit’ he warned his wife.
    ‘Are you kidding me, darling? Do you think I bought that act they put up?’ Shayera laughed. Jane had already given her tips on how to relate with in-laws: at arm’s length was the best.
    ‘So why did you offer to help her?’ He raised his brows in amazement, he had not seen this side of Shayera before. The side that could pretend.
    ‘I am only offering because I don’t want her to bleed to death and I want her to get away from us as quickly as possible. I feel pity for her but I don’t trust them both. That reminds me, what did she tell you about me?’ Shayera asked, she recalled Hawa had mentioned something disturbing earlier.
    ‘It’s not important, let’s go to bed honey, it had been a long day’ he dismissed her question.
    How would he tell his wife that his sister had claimed she’d seen her with another man? Although he didn’t believe that, he didn’t want to hurt her feelings or plunge her into a bad mood.
    ‘Alright then, I’ll take a shower first’ Shayera slid off her clothes hurriedly and stepped into the bathroom.
    She needed to look fresh and clean when she visited him again; she couldn’t wait to set eyes on the man she loved; the man whose child she carried. She missed Tanko and she decided in her heart that she would see him that night.
    ‘I can’t wait to kiss you again’ her husband yelled across as she stepped into the bathtub.
    ‘Same here’ she whispered and then shut her eyes and welcomed the fantasies that threatened to embrace her. In them, she was making love to Tanko Adams.
    Yahaya sighed and settled on the bed comfortably; he felt really happy being with his wife; getting married to the right person was fun.
    He rose to his feet and begun to work on his belt when his eyes strayed to a red envelop on Shayera’s dressing table; what was it doing there? He had not seen the envelope before.
    Was she flirting with him?
    From the romantic comedies he had watched; some wives usually left their husbands a note, inviting them to make love.
    ‘What could it be?’ He fetched the envelope and opened it, he found a g-string pant.
    ‘Wow, I had not expected that’ he laughed.
    He was about dropping the envelope where he picked it from when he noticed something else; there was a paper in it.
    This must be it! The note she had left him. Without hesitation, he took a deep breath and opened the paper, expecting to read something romantic but what he read was far from that.
    ‘What will you like to have for dinner?’ Shayera asked as she stepped out from the bathroom.
    ‘Nothing, I am not hungry’ Yahaya squeezed the paper and held on to it very tightly.
    He turned round and stared at her, trying to see her nude form so he could ascertain if she was indeed two months pregnant.
    ‘Are you okay?’ Shayera asked, he looked like he had seen a ghost.
    ‘I am fine, I need to use the bathroom’ he rushed in there to have a better glance of what he held.
    ‘Okay’ she replied, waiting for the right opportunity to sneak out of the house.
    They had returned home feeling happy about the new chapter of love that had been rewritten in their name.
    ‘I feel so happy, I doubt that I was this happy on my wedding day’ Dara rolled her eyes.
    ‘Which one?’ Edward winked.
    ‘The first one, silly’ she stuck out her tongue, knowing very well that he was teasing her.
    ‘I am happy you chose to forgive me; not many women would’ve have done that and I promise to stick with you till the end’ he fetched her hands and dropped his lips on them.
    ‘Thank you honey’ she hugged him warmly.
    ‘Now where were we?’ Edward winked as they sauntered into their bedroom.
    ‘I liked how we did it in the car’ Dara winked.
    ‘Yes, but it was rushed; I want to love you long and slowly tonight’ Edward said to her.
    Dara closed her eyes and parted her lips for his; she missed this part of him; the loving and caring part.
    He nibbled her lower lips with his teeth, that sent sweet shivers down her spine. His hands caressed her whole body; touching each curve and spot carefully.
    Edward loved the taste of her mouth; the smell of her hair and the smoothness of her dark skin. He enjoyed this special moment with his wife and vowed nothing would tear them apart.
    ‘I want you darling, I want all of you’ she broke the kiss and begun to undress; she could see it in his eyes; she could feel it in his heated gaze. It was like the rays of the sun, bright and unhidden, Edward was in love with her and she was also in love with him.

    Episode 7

    ‘I want you darling, I want all of you’ she broke the kiss and begun to undress; she could see it in his eyes; she could feel it in his heated gaze. It was like the rays of the sun, bright and unhidden, Edward was in love with her and she was also in love with him.
    He cupped her fragile mounds into his palms and begun to knead their tips; he was about to taste their sweetness with his tongue, when a phone rang. It wasn’t his.’
    ‘Your phone is ringing’ he announced and paused.
    ‘It is not important, you are more important than a phone call’ she denied the call and resumed kissing him, not bothering who the caller was.
    He kissed her deeply and slowly, while his hands firmly rubbed her twin gourds; he felt blood rush towards his loins; he was going to make love to her till the stars faded, till dawn announced itself, till morning knocked on their door. It was going to be a long night.
    He broke the kiss and took off his clothes, then laid her gently on the bed, ready to dip himself into her river of yearning; ready to explore all that lay within her.
    But the phone rang again, this time more loudly than the first.
    ‘Are you sure that call is not important?’ Edward raised his brow.
    ‘Let me check the caller’ Dara reached out for the phone, her heart skipped as she saw the caller identity. Her breath hung in the air, why would he call her on her wedding night? She had made it quite clear that what had happened between them was a mistake and could never repeat itself again.
    ‘Who is that?’ Edward noticed her reluctance to answer the call.
    ‘Um, it’s Melody, she probably wants to chat on Watsapp, you know how she can be’ she laughed dryly and turned off the phone.
    ‘Okay then, what if you tell her you’re busy?’ Edward noticed she had turned off the phone. She was not looking straight into his eyes and he had a feeling she wasn’t being totally honest with him.
    ‘I’ll call her when we are done’ Dara smiled and pulled him closer to her. She felt bad about lying to her husband but what was she supposed to do?
    He didn’t say a word in return; he simply stared into her beautiful brown eyes and then pushed her gently on the bed; she gasped as the edges of his roughened hands brushed her skin.
    ‘Touch me’ she groaned and parted her legs.
    ‘Gladly’ he smiled wickedly and positioned himself between her legs and begun the ancient dance of all lovers; the drums of love and passion played a fine and sweet rhythm.
    He rocked her, she moaned and screamed as pleasure coursed through her; and then together they found love and fell beside each other.
    ‘How was that?’ Edward winked and kissed her lightly.
    ‘Amazing’ she smiled shyly. At that point, Edward’s face had transformed into Tanko’s and she realized she had imagined Tanko on top of her the whole time.
    ‘Shit’ she swore, what was happening to her?
    ‘What’s that?’ He asked, wondering what he had done to upset her.
    ‘Nothing, I am cool, I need to take a bath’ she jumped to her feet, fetched her phone and left for the bathroom.
    ‘Okay’ Edward nodded.
    Minutes later, his own phone rang; it was his mother.
    ‘What now?’ He rolled his eyes and took it. He hoped she had not called to give him a lecture on how to run his marriage; she had almost destroyed it once by bringing Caro into the picture; he wasn’t going to entertain her this time around.
    ‘Good evening Ma’ he said.
    ‘Omo mi, Baw o ni?’ She switched to Yoruba.
    ‘Mo wa’ he replied curtly.
    ‘Come and open the door for your mother jare, I am standing in front of your door’ she said.
    ‘What! You never told me you were coming.
    ‘Mo gbe! Do I need permission to come to my son’s house? Ah! My enemies have done it again’ she yelled over the phone.
    ‘Okay, just give me five minutes’ he ended the call.
    Edward burrowed into his clothes and made for the door but something stopped him; he could hear the whispers, she was taking a call.
    After making love to Dara, he had felt something strange; it wasn’t magical, it was like her mind was somewhere else. He decided to let it pass and reminded himself that they were both fatigued after a long day.
    ‘Welcome Mother’ he pulled open the door.
    ‘Edward, I know you must hate me for what I did to you; I never knew that Caro girl was such a terrible liar; would you forgive me my son? I am so sorry for the part I played in that deception’ she begged for his forgiveness.
    ‘It’s okay mother, Caro’s lies found her out; this further shows that my union with Dara is divine, one no man or woman should put asunder’ he said to her.
    ‘Hmmn, alright, if you say so. Do you know why I came?’ The woman scoffed. Although Caro had been a bag of lies, she still felt Dara  wasn’t the right woman for her son.
    ‘Why?’ He wondered.
    ‘I saw the pictures of your new wedding to that woman, are you crazy? You should be divorcing her not renewing your vows. I am disappointed in you Edward’ she started.
    ‘Mom, if this is what you came to tell me, you better return home. I wonder though, why do you hate Dara so much? What has she done to you?’  Edward was hurt that his mother would still insist on treating his wife this way.
    ‘I don’t hate her, I just don’t like her for you. Please my son, I know a woman that is fit for you; she is a woman of class, don’t ask me how I got to know her but she is based outside this country and is a hundred percent better than that tramp’ his mother dug her hand in search of the lady’s picture.
    ‘Good evening Madam’ Dara held her breath as she stepped into the living room. She had heard everything her mother-in-law had said about her. Why couldn’t Edward tell her to leave? Why couldn’t he stand to her defense?
    ‘Hold it there, devilish woman! Soon, my son shall get another woman pregnant and I will throw you out of this house myself’ the woman hissed loudly.
    ‘Mother! I will not stand here and watch you speak to my wife that way, I want you to leave’ he opened the door and ushered her out.
    ‘Are you serious?’ The older woman widened her eyes in shock.
    ‘I am. I love my wife and nothing can come between us’ he affirmed.
    ‘You will surely regret this and you, I will show you pepper, Ode!’ She hissed angrily and trotted out of the compound.
    ‘I am so sorry honey, I am sorry about that’ Edward rushed towards her.
    Tears rolled from her eyes down to her cheeks; she realized that Edward had become a man and a husband in reality. A husband’s job was to defend his wife against all odds.
    ‘Thank you for protecting me’ she whispered and kissed him.

    Episode 8

    Caro had busied herself in the kitchen, preparing all kinds of food just to please him. She could tell that Tanko did not truly consider himself the father of her baby; he was just being a good man.
    Once she was done cooking, she set the table and announced to Tanko that food was ready. She went in to take a bath and returned thirty minutes later to find that he had not touched her food.
    ‘You have not eaten’ she observed and sat next to him on the couch.
    ‘I am not in the mood’ Tanko replied flatly. Dara was on his mind; he had been tempted to go over to her house but he couldn’t take that risk. She had taken her call this time but she said the meanest thing anyone could’ve ever said to him.
    ‘You are useless to me, what happened that night was a mistake; stop reading meaning into things and stay away from me Tanko. I am happily married to my husband’ she had said to him. Those words were poison to his system and had ruined his appetite; he was certainly not interested in whatever Caro had cooked.
    ‘You can talk to me, you can confide in me’ Caro was worried about him.
    ‘Tell me Caro, what do you want from me aside taking responsibility for this baby?’ He turned towards her.
    ‘Nothing. I just want my child to have a father who loves and adores him, that is all that I want’ she replied and she was being honest. She had no intentions of having a love affair with Tanko; no, she was done with men. Her mother had exposed her early to the world of men and that world had been cruel to her.
    ‘Good. I am in love with someone’ Tanko decided to release his frustration by talking to Caro about it.
    ‘Wow, but that is a good thing, it shouldn’t make you sad’ she rolled her eyes and then struck her fingers ‘except the person doesn’t feel the same way about you’ she added.
    ‘Yes, that’s what I am dealing with, I don’t know what to do’ he said. He was desperate for her.
    He knew it was wrong to think about her that way but he couldn’t help it.
    ‘Fight for her. She may prove stubborn but persevere. Trust me, a woman cannot resist a man like you for a very long time’ she replied.
    ‘How do I fight for her?’ Tanko asked.
    ‘First, find out what she likes. You could go through her friends or social media page if she has any, you could easily find something’ Caro advised.
    ‘I like that’ Tanko smiled.
    ‘I am glad you’re happy now, now come over and eat’ she felt satisfied that she had brought a smile to his face.
    ‘Thanks Caro’ he matched towards the table.
    Dinner was plain rice with Vegetable sauce; dessert was ice-cream.
    ‘Taste good, where did you learn to cook like this?’  Tanko almost chewed his fingers off.
    ‘I guess my mother taught me well’ Caro shrugged.
    He laughed and dug his teeth into the chicken lap. He was about to dish out more compliments when the doorbell rang.
    ‘Are you expecting someone?’ Caro asked, it was late.
    ‘No’ he shook his head gently.
    ‘Let me get it’ she rushed towards the door. She pulled it open and found a pair of cold looking light brown eyes staring angrily at her. Who was this woman?
    ‘Who’s there?’ Tanko wondered why Caro had grown silent.
    ‘I don’t know’ she stuttered and stepped aside for the Amazon to come in.
    ‘Shayera?’ He was shocked to see her.
    ‘Why haven’t you been returning my calls?’ She dropped her bag gently on the table and faced him, hands akimbo.
    ‘I’ll excuse you guys’ Caro scurried off wondering if that was the same woman he was in love with.
    Tanko observed her keenly; she looked sickly and pale. Wasn’t she happy with Yahaya? Well, even if she wasn’t, he had no business with her; she had made it clear that she had chosen Yahaya.
    ‘Don’t act mute, start talking’ she hissed loudly.
    ‘I thought we agreed not to see each other Shayera, why are you here?’ He asked.
    ‘Why am I here? Who is that pregnant lady and what is she doing here?’ Shayera barked at him.
    He took a deep breath and realized he had not seen this jealous side of her before.
    ‘It doesn’t matter, I don’t think you should be here’ he replied.
    ‘I can’t  believe this! I have been married for only one month and you are already over me; tell me Tanko, did you ever love me?’ Her voice broke. She thought of this man every day of her life and from what she could see, he felt nothing for her.
    ‘I loved you once but I cannot do it again, you are married’ he replied. He knew he wasn’t being entirely truthful but that was what she needed to hear. How could he tell her that he was in love with someone else and that she was a married woman?
    Tears stung her eyes as his cruel words bit her ears. Was he telling the truth?  They had shared so much together; love, passion and tears, how could he forget all of that in a hurry?
    Fear gripped her as she entertained other thoughts, was he in love with the lady in his house?
    ‘You are in love with her’ Shayera said.
    ‘Who?’ He wondered.
    ‘Are you also responsible for her pregnancy?’ Shayera yelled, she needed answers.
    ‘Oh, Caro, is my cousin; her husband is abusive’ he lied.
    ‘Caro?’ Shayera raised her brows, the name was familiar, that same name and its bearer almost crashed Dara’s marriage.
    ‘Well, I came to tell you that I am two months pregnant for you and I don’t know what to do; if Yahaya finds out, I am dead’ she informed him about her pregnancy.
    ‘What!’ He felt weak, what the hell was happening to his life?
    ‘You heard me, what do I do?’ She asked.
    ‘You’ll need to abort it or tell him the truth. If you let him raise another man’s child, then you are a wicked woman’ Tanko said.
    ‘Me, wicked? How dare you! You’re such a weakling Tanko; I am happy I didn’t end up with you’ she was terrified and confused, what would she do?’
    ‘I loved you once but we are no more. Get rid of the child Shayera, forget what happened between us and move on’ he apologized.
    ‘I hate you so much. I hate you!’ Tears flowed freely down her face as she rushed out.
    Melody was too busy with her work to notice her husband’s unusually cheerful behaviour; she decided she had “played” enough; she still had work to do, and work was the most important thing to her.
    ‘Honey…’ Jerry flexed her shoulder muscles.
    ‘What do you want Jerry?’ She immediately pushed his hands away. She wasn’t in the mood for his agro, why couldn’t he just let her be?
    ‘You look tired’ he observed.

    Episode 9

    ‘Of course, I am, I went for the wedding, now I am back to work; I am currently handling a lot of cases; it is not easy being a lawyer’ Melody sighed.
    ‘Yes, how was the wedding anyway?’ Jerry asked. He would stay true to his word and keep away from Edward; but a tiny voice in his head asked him a question: what was the difference between himself and Edward?
    Well, for one, Melody was not as good a wife as Dara and she was clearly starving him.
    ‘It was actually very nice, lots of food and new people; but I know for sure that Edward won’t last with Dara. He will just play cool for a month and then, the infidelity will continue’ Melody said.
    Her voice brought him back to reality, ‘that’s nice’ he replied.
    ‘Can I go back to work now?’ She asked.
    ‘Not yet. I don’t want my lovely wife to be too stressed so I’ve made you some juice; I squeezed it myself, you’ll enjoy it’ Jerry offered her a glass of orange juice.
    ‘Wow, lovely’ she inhaled the alluring scent of the freshly squeezed orange juice, it was just what she needed to complete her day.
    ‘Thanks, you are such a darling’ she smiled and handed the glass back to him once she was done.
    He smiled and pecked her forehead lightly before leaving the room.
    Melody exhaled sharply and turned to the files before her, ‘where was I?’ she murmured.
    She found it hard to concentrate, her head danced in circles and her eyes were blurred; she yawned and decided it was time to sleep as her body couldn’t take the stress anymore.
    ‘Goodnight files’ she fell on the bed and started snoring almost immediately.
    He had taken a long cold shower in preparation for the special moment he was about to share with Nkechi; he longed to undress her and see the wonders of her well-sculpted body.
    ‘Knock, knock’ he rapped on the door.
    ‘You came’ she was surprised to see him.
    Something stirred in her as she stared into his dark eyes; as she inhaled the masculine and fresh scent of him; she yearned to kiss him and infiltrate his world with something more than the cords of lust that bound them.
    ‘What about Madam?’ Nkechi was a bit nervous. She had dated married men before but she was careful not to do it with their wives at close range.
    ‘Don’t worry, I took care of her’ he pushed her into the room and stepped inside.
    There was a small-sized mattress on a red carpet that kissed the floor; faded drapes and a yellow bulb.
    ‘I should change the decoration for you’ he observed the room and decided that she needed something better.
    ‘Thanks but I am okay with this’ she replied.
    ‘Really?’ He lifted a brow, he had thought her to be a Barbie kind of girl, why was she rejecting his offer?
    Nkechi avoided his penetrating gaze, even more surprised at her own self; she rarely rejected gifts from men, especially rich men like Jerry.
    ‘I like your lips, can I taste them?’ His eyes darkened as he stared down at her.
    ‘Yes’ she nodded shyly. Everything seemed different; why was she reacting this way?
    He moved towards her, until they stood face to face, eyeball to eyeball, breath to breath and lips to lips.
    ‘Are you really sure you want this?’ Jerry asked, he didn’t want to take advantage of her.
    ‘Yes’ she affirmed.
    Slowly, he pinned down her lips with his; he licked, he sucked and her moans encouraged him. His hands caressed her whole body till he found the opening of her nightgown, he slipped his hands into it and gave her back a squeeze.
    The night was going to be long so they loved each other slowly; kissing and touching till they were both ready to take the climb to the pinnacle of pleasure.
    He peeled off her nightgown and took off his pyjamas; then he led her to the bed and parted her legs; he found her moist and waiting for him. He bent over and kissed her all over. His fingers found the insides of her thigh, then rested on her pleasure button; he rubbed her wetness, an action that propelled some movement from her.
    She loved the feel of his slender hands on her body; he touched her so gently, releasing pleasure that she had never experienced before. His fingers caressed the knob of her parted legs till she couldn’t take it anymore; she was drowning, drowning in the sea of pleasure.
    He quickly replaced his fingers with his honey rod and ushered her into another world of pleasure; he rocked her steadily and glued his eyes to hers the whole time.
    He had never felt this way while making love to Melody; she was always in a rush and mostly acted like she didn’t enjoy it. This experience with Nkechi was different; he had never made love to any other like this, what they had was explosive.
    ‘How was that?’ He kissed her once they both climaxed.
    ‘Magical’ her face reddened. She felt shy so she shifted her gaze to the yellow bulb.
    He noticed and laughed, she acted like a woman who had just been deflowered.
    ‘Why are you laughing?’ She sat up and quickly covered herself with her bed sheet.
    ‘You are funny. Tell me, why are you shy?’ He asked.
    ‘I am not shy’ she replied stubbornly and quickly slipped on her nightdress.
    ‘Where are you going?’ He chuckled.
    ‘None of your business’ she rushed into the other room.
    He was about to say something to her when his phone rang; it was Shayera.
    ‘Good evening Shayera, is something wrong?’ He was surprised that she would call him that late.
    ‘Yes’ she sniffed as she replied.
    ‘Are you crying?’ He could feel the pain in her voice.
    ‘No. Please I never got my pregnancy test result’ she started before he cut in.
    ‘Is that why you are crying?’ Jerry wondered.
    ‘No, there’s something I want you to do for me please, can we discuss it tomorrow?’ She asked.
    ‘Okay, that wouldn’t be a problem’ Jerry assured her and ended the call.
    What could the problem be and why was she so distraught? Was her husband abusive? He had so many questions, he hoped to find answers once morning came.
    Minutes later, Nkechi resurfaced with a tray of food, Jollof Rice and fried chicken.
    ‘I thought you might be hungry after’ she murmured as she dropped the tray before him.
    ‘That’s thoughtful of you’ he dipped a spoon and ate from it.
    ‘Are you okay?’ Nkechi watched his face the whole time.
    Jerry couldn’t stop staring at her; Nkechi wasn’t just attractive, she was a good cook too, something his wife wasn’t.
    ‘You cook very well, you are a package of surprises’ he smiled and dropped the plate.
    ‘Aren’t you going to eat again?’ She asked.
    ‘I will but after kissing you’ he smiled mischievously and pulled her closer to him.
    After dinner, Jane decided they should start the midnight prayers immediately; she was deeply excited that her husband had finally found his way back to God.
    She couldn’t wait to pray with him after such a long time; carefully she slipped on her turban and carried her bible and devotional to their altar; a special room that had been created just for family prayers.
    ‘Don’t you think Sister Blessing should join us? She is part of the family now’ Jane suggested.

    Episode 10

    ‘No, this altar is meant for our family and no one else, let us be focused tonight, God will reveal himself to us’ he said to her.
    ‘Thank you lord’ she waved her hands in the air.
    They prayed and worshipped for two hours, till they were both satisfied in their spirits and decided that it was time to sleep.
    ‘How was that prayer session?’ Wale asked his wife as they climbed into bed.
    ‘Perfect and heavenly! I am so proud of you dear, I love you’ she leaned forward and kissed him.
    ‘Thanks honey, now let’s get some sleep’ he began to stroke her face and continued till she fell asleep.
    He kept staring at the clock; he had a midnight appointment he needed to keep. Slowly, he peeled himself off the bed; then peered intently at Jane’s face to be sure that she was sleeping.
    ‘Hello?’ He waved a hand across her face. A smile curled his lips when he was certain she was deeply asleep.
    He tiptoed all the way from his room to Blessing’s room.
    ‘You are late, I thought you wouldn’t come again’ she beckoned him into the room; they both spoke in whispers.
    ‘Sorry darling, I promise to be early next time’ Wale drew her in for a kiss.
    ‘I like when you call me that, instead of “sister Blessing”’ she winked.
    ‘You know I have to call you Sister Blessing so Jane won’t have a clue about what is going on with us’ Wale said.
    ‘Yes, you are right. I actually thought you told her about me sucking you the other day’ she sat on the bed and stared at him.
    ‘Why would you think that? Truth be told, I really enjoyed it. You were amazing, Jane has never socked my honey rod before’ he returned.
    ‘Why?’ Blessing arched her brows in surprise.
    He decided it was time to do what he came for, talking about his wife made things worse
    ‘I got you something. Here’ he offered her a golden box.
    ‘This is beautiful! I can’t believe you bought this for me’ Tears welled up in her eyes.
    ‘Why? You deserve it’ he was surprised she reacted that way.
    She quickly blinked away her tears. No man had ever bought her something so expensive; all the men she had ever dated slept with her and walked away without giving her a thing.
    ‘Thank you, I want to show you my gratitude’ she slipped on the necklace then took off her clothes and stood naked before him.
    ‘Please by all means do’ Wale took off his own clothes ready for action.
    They kissed and fondled; he moulded her breasts with one hand and the other roamed freely on her beautiful body, sometimes squeezing, sometimes kneading with admiration; till she stopped him.
    ‘What?’ Wale asked.
    ‘Make love to me, don’t keep me waiting’ she whispered huskily, then fell on her knees and turned her backside to him.
    He loved her view from behind; he tapped her ass lightly then positioned himself against her and begun to dig into her honeypot; he pummeled her delicate walls with deep thrusts.
    Neither could moan or groan; they simply swallowed the sounds of pleasure. Wale had finally found something that quenched all of his desires.
    He smacked her buttocks lightly and spread their cheeks wider as he plunged himself deeper into her; this was his favourite style but Jane never allowed it, she claimed it was unholy as missionary style was the biblical sex style for married couples.
    ‘You’re killing me’ she whispered in a tiny voice, wriggling her waist as he dug in further.
    ‘I love your ass’ he groaned and increased his pace.
    The two were so engrossed in their act of pleasure and failed to notice the intruder; the opening of the door was lost to them; all that mattered was the passion they explored.
    ‘Faster’ she groaned a bit louder this time.
    He obeyed and pounded her even harder; he knew they would both cum together so he hastened it. He moved deeper and faster till they both arrived together on the hills of climax.
    ‘You’re so good’ she tried to catch her breath.
    ‘You too’ he replied, his wife couldn’t last that long in bed.
    ‘I want to drink water’ little Angela stared at the two adults in shock; she found what they had been doing very confusing.
    ‘Geez!’ Blessing jumped out of bed.
    He had pretended like he was asleep; his heart was greatly troubled when he found the pregnancy test result; was it some kind of error? How could Shayera be two months pregnant when their marriage wasn’t even that old?
    Something else bothered him; she had sneaked out of the house without a word about her whereabouts; something was fishy about the way she had left the house and he was going to find out.
    He was still busy with the result when the door sprung open and his mother and Hawa joined him in the room.
    ‘What do you two want now?’ He hid the result and focused on them.
    ‘Haba Yahaya, must you welcome us with aggressiveness?’ His mother shook her head.
    ‘Sorry mother, I am just not in a good mood’ he replied.
    ‘That is why we are here. I guess you have seen the test results and the way she sneaked out of the house; I told you Yahaya, Shayera is hiding something, it is your job to find out’ Hawa said to him.
    ‘Wait, were you the ones that dropped that envelop in this room?’ He asked.
    ‘Yes, I found it in Dr. Jerry’s office’ Hawa started.
    ‘What? You’re not making sense’ he rose to his feet.
    ‘I accompanied Hawanana to go meet this Gynecologist that came highly recommended; you know your sister has a problem with her fingers’ the woman paused and stared at her daughter who wore a neutral expression.
    ‘Are you saying she stole this result from the office?’ Yahaya stared at her sister in shock.
    ‘I know and I am sorry but you should be thanking me’ Hawa said to him.
    ‘Thanking you? I don’t know what to believe. You two could have forged this document just to spite me; you never did like Shayera and you both can do just about anything to ruin our marriage’ he poured his anger and frustration on them.
    ‘I swear to you Yahaya, I did not forge this. You told us she was a virgin; except you went into her before marriage, this pregnancy is not yours. You have to send her away’ Hawa fell on her knees and begged him.
    Tears welled up in his eyes as he imagined Shayera with another man; could she have lied to him about the rape? No! His Shayera couldn’t lie to him. If she were pregnant, she would have told him; he knew her very well, she was an angel and blameless.
    He believed that his elder sister Hawanana and his mother were bent on destroying his marriage and he wasn’t going to allow that.
    ‘I lied to you both, I didn’t want you to be disappointed in me. I slept with her before the wedding’ he blurted out.
    He was right to doubt their intentions; their faces fell at the shocking revelation he’d just made.
    ‘So you lied to us!’ Hawa poked a finger at him.
    ‘I didn’t raise you to be so irresponsible, getting a woman pregnant before the wedding is abominable’ his mother hissed.
    ‘Now I have told you the truth, I’ll like you two to leave. You only came to show me this result so I could send Shayera out of this house, but you failed. I want you to leave first thing in the morning’ he ushered them out of his room.

    Episode 11

    ‘How dare you speak to us that way because of that whore!’ His mother barked at him.
    ‘My wife is not a whore, you are just pained that you found nothing on her; nothing to pin her down’ Yahaya replied.
    ‘Yahaya, I have seen Shayera with a man once; she is not the woman you think she is. I feel bad that she has lured you in between her legs and imprisoned you with her lies; I hope it won’t be too late for you. Wake up, boy!’ Hawanana scowled at him.
    ‘You should take that advice too and learn to have a grip on your light fingers’ he yelled angrily and shut the door.
    He felt frustrated; he didn’t know who or what to believe.
    There was his Shayera, so pure and angelic; and there was his mother and sister who loved him very much; who was telling the truth and who was lying?
    Shayera had shocked him a number of times, starting with her virginity status; what if she was cheating on him? His heart raced at that thought but he forced it out of his mind.
    Hawanana had mentioned “Dr. Jerry”, he knew very well that Shayera’s doctor was Melody’s husband; what if he confronted him about the results?
    ‘No, that wouldn’t be a good idea’ he shook his head.
    Again, why did Shayera sneak out of the house if she had nothing to hide? Something fishy was going on and he was determined to find out what it was.
    He replaced the test result in the envelope and kept it in his briefcase; he decided it could prove useful in future.
    His eyes were glued to the clock as sleep eluded him; so many thoughts ran through his mind. Where was she? What took her out so late?
    He drew a deep breath, ready to catch some sleep when the door flung open and Shayera walked in looking terribly exhausted.
    ‘What is it darling?’ He jumped to his feet and held her.
    ‘I am sorry I left the house without telling you’ her breathing was rushed.
    ‘What happened Shayera? Are you okay?’ He watched her intently, afraid she might pass out. She looked deathly pale.

    ‘Melody called me for something urgent, Jane wasn’t feeling too strong; that was why I rushed out of the house. On my way back, I was attacked by some gun men but I managed to escape’ she lied.
    ‘Oh my God! I hope they did nothing to hurt you’ he scanned her entire body.
    ‘No, I am fine, I am sorry for running out of the house like that’ she wept against him.
    ‘It’s okay darling; everything is fine; I am happy that you returned home alive’ he placed a swift kiss on her head as she cried.
    ‘I noticed Hawa’s car wasn’t in the driveway, what happened?’ She wiped her face and asked.
    ‘Oh, something urgent came up, my father has taken ill’ he lied, he couldn’t tell her about the test result just yet; he was waiting for the right time.
    ‘Okay, good’ Shayera hugged him, a smile curved her face; she felt happy her nosy in-laws were gone for good. Now she had only one problem to fix, the pregnancy.
    Morning had crept into the sky in a hurry; the early sun shone her golden beams on “Edwardar”; beams bright enough to blind and beams bright enough to illuminate.
    Dara stared at the perfume empire she had built with her hands and with the help of her husband; she recalled the time he had called the government to take possession of the building, she wondered if he had remembered to cancel the proposal.
    “Edwardar” meant so much to her and she was ready to die to keep her perfume empire.
    She was in a very good mood that morning, Edward had brought her breakfast in bed. He was such a romantic man when he was in his elements; he did not require much effort to charm a lady.
    She was even happier that he belonged to her and had sworn loyalty to her alone; Edward was her everything and she loved him with everything in her. She loved him too much to let her little fling with Tanko ruin what they shared.
    She fetched her mirror and stared at her face once again, she was wearing a hot red lipstick and she looked terrific. She drew a deep breath, steadied her legs on her heels and stepped out of the car. It was time to play boss again.
    As usual, “Edwardar” buzzed like a beehive; workers were busy carrying out their duties and everything was in place. Everything looked perfect except for a bouquet that sat at the entrance of the factory. Who owned the flowers?
    She smiled briefly, then turned around to see if Edward was hiding somewhere. He had done something like this before; sending flowers was his signature.
    She steadied her hands and bent to scoop the colourful roses when someone moved close, her shadow loomed over her.
    ‘Hello Dara, this belongs to you. I am sorry I read it’ Bunmi presented her the note that had accompanied the flowers.
    ‘You shouldn’t have read that, my husband wrote the note to me. You still have not learnt how to respect people’s privacy’ Dara dragged the note from her hands, wondering where she had been hiding and how she even got to know about “Edwardar”.
    ‘Oops, you will be greatly disappointed’ Bee rolled her eyes.
    ‘Whatever’ Dara ignored her, wondering briefly what she meant.
    Dara swallowed, her face paled as she realized the note and flowers were not from Edward; they were from Tanko.
    ‘I told you’ Bee laughed. She was curious though, who was Dara’s admirer? She needed to ask Tiwa, it could help in her little game of revenge.
    ‘Can you stop laughing? This is not funny, someone is obviously stalking me’ Dara squeezed the note into her bag and threw the flowers into the trash bin. She felt really angry with herself for getting carried away; she had even fantasized about him while Edward was making love to her.
    That moment he stood up to his mother for her, Edward proved that he would be different and it was at that moment her love for him grew.
    ‘So tell me about his guy, is he hot?’ Bee followed her to her office.
    ‘What do you care? You are married Bunmi’ Dara rolled her eyes, still wondering what her friend really wanted from her?
    ‘I know but I am curious, is Tanko hot?’ Bee repeated, she had read his name on the note and she was curious to know who he was.
    ‘I don’t know Tanko, I have never heard the name before’ Dara avoided Bee’s penetrating gaze.
    Together, they strolled into her office; Dara was not comfortable having Bunmi around; what did she want?
    ‘I am not here to stalk you, like your lover’ Bee laughed.
    ‘He isn’t my lover, I don’t know who he is’ Dara maintained.
    ‘Really?’ Bee mocked her with her brows.
    ‘Well, I came back to Nigeria for two things, to do business with you and to expand my fashion brand here’ Bee said.
    Dara’s face paled, maybe she had not heard well.
    ‘Wait, you want us to work together Bunmi?’ She asked to be sure.
    ‘Can you stop calling me Bunmi? You’re really getting on my nerves; my name is Beyonce, Bee for short’ she snorted.
    ‘Whatever, I am sorry but we cannot do business together’ Dara fetched her buzzing phone.

    Episode 12

    ‘Why? Because of what happened in the past? We never got to talk about it but you can rest assured that I have forgiven you. I lost the man I loved because you were bitter but all that is past now, I am happily married with kids. I have a good man, a fashion line and a blog; what else do I need?’ She shrugged.
    ‘Rejecting your business proposal isn’t because of our past, I already have a business partner. We built this place together and turned it into an empire; I am fine with him’ Dara said.
    ‘Really? I am surprised to hear that. Who is your business partner?’ Bee asked.
    ‘My husband, Edward’ Dara replied. She had just received a text message from Melody, the girls were having a date.
    ‘Are you going somewhere?’ Bee noticed she was packing her things off the table.
    ‘Yes. I have a date with my friends if you’ll excuse me’ Dara walked towards the door. She didn’t  want to spend one more second with Bee. She needed to get rid of her somehow.
    ‘Okay then, I guess I’ll see myself out’ Bee grinned.
    ‘Alright’ Dara shut the door gladly and rushed to her car, still troubled by Tanko’s bold move.
    What if Edward had paid her a visit and found the flowers? Why couldn’t Tanko accept the fact that they only had a fling which meant nothing to her? She couldn’t let Edward find out about her affair with Tanko, she loved the “new” him and nothing could come between them.
    ‘Wow, she has really changed’ Bee scanned the interior of “Edwardar”. Dara was no longer the timid or shy person she used to know; she was now defiant, outspoken and evasive.
    Bee quickly typed a text to Tiwa; she needed to meet up with her.
    Few minutes later, she received a text message, the number was strange but she smiled as she read the name underneath the text.
    ‘Good day Beyonce’ Tiwa rushed to meet her.
    ‘Let’s talk in the car’ Bee snapped her fingers and they both trudged towards it.
    ‘Um, what’s wrong?’ Tiwa rolled her eyes, her newfound role model wore a frown.
    ‘I need you to get some information for me’ Bee said.
    ‘Information on what?’ Tiwa wondered.
    ‘Everything about your boss’ Bee replied.
    ‘Oh’ Tiwa’s  mouth fell open, she had not expected this.
    ‘Yes, Dara is not who you think she is; she is a mean and inconsiderate bitch’ tears welled up in Bee’s eyes as she spoke.
    ‘Oh my God, what did she do?’ Tiwa had never seen her boss do any wrong.
    ‘She was my friend many years back but she betrayed me. She told the man I loved lies and he left me. Can’t you see? Dara isn’t nice, that is why you must help me fight her’ Bee sobbed.
    Tiwa was touched by her tears but she still felt weird about “fighting” her boss.
    ‘If you help me, I promise to pay you one million naira’ Bee changed her tactic. She knew girls like Tiwa; they were ambitious and would do anything for money and fame.
    ‘Of course, what do you want me to do?’ Tiwa smacked her lips greedily.
    ‘Have you ever heard the name Tanko?’ Bee watched her closely.
    At the mention of that name, Tiwa’s face brightened; she had crushed on the sexy looking engineer but Edward had called them off to her own peril.
    ‘Yes, he was one of the engineers sent to demolish “Edwardar”, do you know him?’ Tiwa asked.
    ‘No, that’s why I am asking, tell me more about him’ Bee folded her hands, eagerly waiting for an answer.
    ‘I don’t know much but he is very attractive, I actually crushed on him once. If you need information about him, I could easily look him up; that’s my job anyway’ Tiwa smiled confidently.
    ‘Good. Look him up, get me his address; tell me everything I need to know about him before the day ends. I’ll give you a hundred thousand for a start. Now jump out and get to work’ Bee dug her key in the ignition.
    ‘Aye Aye captain’ Tiwa rushed out of the car and waved.
    ‘Now, let’s get to work, Engineer Tanko Adams’ she muttered and rushed towards her office.
    Jerry had not felt so alive in a long while; his day seemed brighter, the sun was milder, the wind was cooler and although he had many patients, he couldn’t stop smiling.
    He had not had quality sex like what he enjoyed with Nkechi in a long time; she knew how to treat a man and he yearned to spend more time with her.
    He was busy scribbling on his notepad when the door flung wide open; he was about to protest when he realized it was Shayera.
    ‘Oh welcome. Have a seat, let me get your test results’ she smiled briefly and rose to a cabinet where patients’ files were kept.
    ‘Good morning Jerry’ Shayera’s voice was shaky, she felt nervous but she had made up her mind; she was going to have this baby.
    ‘Morning’ Jerry replied.
    He couldn’t find her test result and that was weird. He was sure he had left it in his office; he left the cabinet and moved to his table.
    ‘Is there a problem?’ Shayera asked.
    ‘Um, I can’t seem to find the test results’ he replied. He paused his search and decided to call the Medical Lab scientist for another copy when she stopped him by raising a finger.
    ‘Are you okay Shayera?’ He noticed she was uneasy.
    ‘Jerry, please I need your help. Please’ a tear slipped from her eyes.
    ‘Is the baby alright? What is it?’ He rose to his feet and moved closer to her.
    ‘I cheated on Yahaya’ she blurted out.
    ‘What? How could you?’ He moved back.
    ‘I don’t have time to explain but you are the only one that can save my marriage right now; please help me’ she wept.
    In the past, he would’ve gone all berserk but as he stood there, staring at her weeping face and reminding himself that he was no better, he decided to help her.
    ‘So what do you want me to do?’ He asked, obviously she needed an abortion and he was going to grant her wish.
    ‘I need you to write me another test result, stating that I am one month pregnant’ she explained that the date would match with her marriage term and Yahaya wouldn’t suspect a thing.
    ‘You can’t be serious’ Jerry scoffed. How could he do something like that? It wasn’t only risky to her own health but the baby’s and himself too.
    ‘Do you know what you are asking me to do? What if I agree to this absurd plan of yours and on the day of your delivery, complication sets in and I am not there with you; how will the doctors know the real age of this pregnancy?’ He asked.
    ‘It doesn’t matter, just help me’ she replied.
    ‘I can’t, forging results is against my medical profession and I could go to jail for that’ he replied defiantly.
    ‘You won’t go to jail because it will be just between us; please Jerry, help me. I know you can’ she begged.

    Episode 13

    ‘I am sorry Shayera, but truth be told, this is all your fault. You shouldn’t have cheated in the first place and even when you did, you should’ve used a condom. Don’t try to pin this on me, don’t make me look like the bad person. If I were you, I’d return home and ask Yahaya for forgiveness’ he advised.
    She felt numb as Jerry’s harsh words cut through her; how could he say something like that to her?
    ‘So you won’t do this one favour for me?’ She wiped her face and stared at him angrily.
    ‘I can’t’ he replied.
    ‘Okay. Thanks’ she rose to her feet and moved towards the door.
    She decided to go somewhere else to forge the test result.
    Her phone buzzed as she reached her car.
    “Let’s meet. Usual place. Melody”.
    Melody and Jane were already seated at a table in the Blue Mountain Lounge, they were waiting for their friends.
    ‘I wonder how long it would take them to get here’ Jane complained, she had a lot to share with her friends.
    ‘Take it easy Jane, not everyone is a housewife.The rest of us have busy lives’ Melody said to her and called the waitress.
    ‘Get me another bottle of Icey’ she said to the young woman.
    ‘Why are you drinking that? Are you okay?’ Jane stared at her friend. Melody didn’t look good; sleep bags perched angrily on her eyes and she looked pale.
    ‘I don’t know Jane but that drink makes me feel cool. I have this splitting headache and an urge to sleep. I don’t know what it is’ Melody yawned.
    ‘Maybe you have been bitten by a sleeping bug’ Jane winked.
    ‘Hey come on, I think I am pregnant’ Melody toyed with the idea but she knew it wasn’t possible; it had been a long time since she slept with her husband and even when she did, she was always on the pill.
    ‘Congratulations’ Jane believed her.
    ‘I am not pregnant. I’m not ready to have kids yet. My career is top for now’ Melody groaned.
    ‘And here comes Dara’ Jane called her attention to their friend who had just walked into the lounge.
    ‘She looks hot, I guess Edward has decided to be a good boy’ Melody whispered.
    ‘Be nice’ Jane warned her.
    ‘Hello ladies, how have you been? Anyone miss me?’ Dara pecked each of them.
    ‘Of course, we missed you!’ Melody chuckled.
    ‘So what took you so long?’ Jane asked.
    ‘Guys, story o. One of my crazy friends just showed up out of the blue and said she wanted to do business with me. I had to put her in her rightful place, she’s the reason I am this late’ Dara hissed.
    ‘You must really hate this friend of yours’ Melody laughed.
    ‘I don’t hate her, I don’t just like her around me’ Dara exhaled.
    ‘Well, I hope you like my new friend’ Melody waved at the woman that had just walked into the lounge.
    ‘You invited her here?’ Jane was outraged.
    ‘Yea, anything wrong?’ Melody wore a plastic smile.
    ‘Everything is wrong; my husband Wale had a vision about her; she is a marine agent and would ruin our marriages; we need to stay away from her’ Jane said through clenched teeth.
    ‘Really? You’re so dumb; why do I have a feeling you told your husband we caught him staring at her?’ Melody sniggered, why was Jane so naïve?
    ‘Of course I told him’ Jane wondered why her friend was laughing.
    ‘You’re so funny? What else did you expect him to say? He needed to tell you what you’d like to hear’ Melody laughed.
    Dara’s face paled as she watched Bee walk towards them. What was she doing here? Was she stalking her now?
    ‘Why do I have a feeling you don’t like her too?’ Melody didn’t miss the unease etched on Dara’s face.
    ‘Because I don’t’ Dara replied.
    ‘Thank you’ Jane nodded.
    ‘Hello ladies, sorry I came late, I have been quite busy’ Bee waved at them and pulled a chair.
    ‘Are you stalking me, Bunmi?’ Dara rose to her feet.
    ‘Bunmi? Who is Bunmi?’ Melody wondered.
    ‘Excuse me, have we met before?’ Bee turned to Dara.
    ‘Bunmi! I am talking to you, why are you stalking me?’ Dara was surprised she would deny her in the presence of her friends.
    ‘Dara, her name isn’t Bunmi, this is Beyonce, are you sure you’re okay?’ Melody stared at her dazed.
    Even Jane was shocked at her outburst.
    ‘I am sorry ladies, there is some confusion here, I don’t know this lady; I have never met her before’ Bee said to them.
    ‘I am sorry Bee, my friend is just having a bad day and she also suffers Bipolar disorder’ Melody grimaced at Dara who was completely shocked.
    ‘I can’t believe this’ Dara drew a deep breath. What was she to do now?  Obviously Bee was playing a fast one on her and leaving would make her win; so she decided to stay.
    ‘So what’s up ladies?’ Melody turned to her friends, still wondering where Shayera was.
    ‘Where is Shayera?’ Bee asked.
    ‘She isn’t here yet’ Jane replied. She had softened on the woman after Melody’s remark; what if Melody was right? What if Wale had told her what she wanted to hear and not what God had shown to him?
    ‘Guys, something happened this morning and I am still confused’ Jane decided to share what bothered her.
    ‘Go on’ Dara encouraged her.
    ‘My daughter cried for over an hour this morning; I got so scared that someone had molested her, I checked her body but I found nothing. I did everything to stop her from crying; eventually, I dropped her at my mother’s where she then fell asleep’ Jane said.
    ‘Wow, that’s weird. Since you checked her body, it’s obviously not a case of rape’ Bee explained.
    ‘Maybe she just had a bad dream, you know, kids could be very complicated’ Dara suggested.
    ‘A bad dream? I don’t know guys, but something is off. My daughter rarely cries’ Jane exhaled sharply.
    ‘Your husband is cheating’ Melody replied coolly.
    It seemed the lounge had gone quiet; it seemed Melody’s words had drowned the music that played; all eyes turned on her.
    ‘That’s not possible, Wale isn’t a cheat’ Dara was the first to vouch for him.
    ‘You can never be sure, all men are cheats’ Bee rolled her eyes, she had been around men enough to know.
    ‘You know nothing about my husband’ Jane fired at Bee.
    ‘Okay, I am sorry for jumping in’ Bee apologized.
    ‘Why do you think Wale is cheating?’ Dara asked Melody, who had gone completely quiet.
    She gulped her drink slowly before responding ‘One, I am a lawyer, we are trained to be smart; two, I have worked on many divorce cases and a lot of them started out like this. Kids are very sensitive beings, they sense marital issues faster than the parents themselves.
    ‘Your argument is baseless, just like your marriage to Jerry’ Jane spat angrily and rose to her feet.
    ‘How dare you call my marriage baseless!’ Meldoy was annoyed.
    ‘You don’t have any children for him; you don’t cook for him; tell me, do you think Jerry is faithful? You are fast to assume the worst of people’s marriages but you fail to look inwards. Until you find a way around all that, I have no business discussing my marriage with you’ Jane stormed out of the lounge.
    ‘Jane! Come back here’ Dara tried to hold her back but she refused to wait.
    ‘Shit’ Melody drummed her fingers on her table.
    ‘Who does that bitch think she is? She asked for our opinion and I told her the truth. Something is wrong with her marriage and she needs to fix it. Tell me, what wrong did I do?’ Melody turned to the other ladies.

    Episode 14

    ‘You did no wrong, my friend. People hate the truth but they go about asking for it. I need to go now, I’ll call you for a drink’ Bee grinned and jumped to her feet. Tiwa had just sent her directions to Tanko’s house.
    ‘You were wrong Melody, you need to call Jane and apologize’ Dara said to her.
    ‘Apologize? Hell no, I can never apologize’ Melody hissed.
    ‘That’s what I hate about you. You feel you are better than us; you feel your marriage is better than ours but you are so wrong. Jerry is like any other man and could be cheating on you, and you wouldn’t know’ Dara advised her.
    ‘Jerry doesn’t cheat, he is not Edward’ Melody snapped at her.
    In the past, Dara would’ve picked offense but not this time. Edward was a new person now and she could feel it.
    ‘I know Jerry is not like Edward but he could be worse’ Dara returned. She and Shayera had still not told Melody about how they had seen her maid Nkechi flirting with a married man.
    ‘What makes you think that?’ Melody scoffed.
    ‘Because Edward never fucked a girl under our roof’ Dara replied and walked away.
    Melody didn’t stop her; she wondered what Dara meant by her statement. Was Jerry cheating on her? Did they know something?
    She fetched her bag angrily and decided she was done sex starving him, she would be devastated if Jerry slept with another woman.
    Locating Tanko’s house wasn’t difficult; she hurried out of her car and walked towards the large bungalow.
    ‘Seems well to do’ Bee muttered, Dara always had the luck of having well-to-do men.
    She took a deep breath and decided that she was ready to go through with this; it was time to pay Dara back for all she had done.
    ‘Knock knock’ she tapped the door after ringing the doorbell twice and not getting an answer.
    She released a sigh and scanned the compound; two cars were parked in the driveway, which meant that someone was home.
    She stepped aside and fetched her phone to ascertain that it was the same address Tiwa had sent to her.
    ‘The very same’ she confirmed.
    She quickly replaced her phone in her bag and moved closer to the door, she tapped it again. On the fourth count, the door opened.
    ‘Good afternoon, how may I help you?’
    ‘Um, good afternoon, please I would like to speak with Engineer Tanko Adams; my name is Beyonce, a business woman and partner of OluwaDara Edwards. Engineer Tanko was contracted to do some work with us and I’ll like to speak to him about it’ Bee said to the heavily pregnant lady.
    ‘Dara Edwards?’ Caro couldn’t miss the name, she never knew Dara had a business partner and a cute one at that. Although the lady had a pretty smile on her face and looked harmless, Caro decided there was something hideous about her; she sensed that she wore a façade.
    ‘Yes, do you happen to know her? She is quite famous you know’ Bee flashed her a grin.
    ‘No I don’t, I have never heard the name before, you may come in’ Caro widened the door.
    ‘Thanks’ Bee hesitated, was this Tanko’s wife? She quickly reminded herself that his profile had stated that he was a single man.
    ‘I’ll be back in a minute’ Caro said to the strange woman and rushed in to call Tanko.
    ‘Hey, someone’s looking for you’ she tapped him on the shoulder twice. He had been sleeping; Tanko had been depressed lately and she had tried reaching out to him but to no avail.
    ‘Who?’ He groaned.
    ‘One  Beyonce, claims to be Dara Edwards’ business partner; do you know anything about that?’ Caro asked.
    ‘Dara? Is Dara here too?’ Tanko jumped out of bed. He had sent her flowers; he had seen her in his dreams; he wished she would just reciprocate his feelings.
    ‘No, do you know Dara?’ Caro lifted an eyebrow.
    ‘This is not time for questions’ he slipped on a shirt and rushed to the living room.
    ‘Wow’ Caro folded her arms in surprise, Tanko had never spoken to her that way before. She decided to eavesdrop. Something fishy was going on and she would find out what it was
    ‘Oh, you must be Engineer Adams’ Bee held her breath as a handsome looking man trotted into the living room. He was the sexiest man she had ever laid eyes on but that wasn’t why she had come. He would be a pawn in her little revenge game.
    ‘Hello, I am Tanko and you are?’ Tanko’s face fell as he realized Dara had not come along.
    ‘Beyonce, an international business woman; a fashion designer and blogger and I just became Dara’s business partner’ Bee rushed her words.
    ‘Oh really?’ Tanko never knew Dara had any business partner other than her husband.
    ‘Oh, I forgot to add, we have been best friends for a long time, take a look at this’ Bee fetched an old picture of them in the University and offered it to him.
    ‘Wow, ever so pretty’ Tanko held his breath as he stared into the smiling face of the woman that he loved.
    ‘Yes, she is the nicest person on earth’ Bee smiled.
    ‘So? Did she send you here to talk about her company?’ Tanko wondered briefly. He rose to his feet and poured two glasses of grape juice.
    ‘Thanks’ Bee accepted the glass. This was her time, she needed to play this part well: ‘Far from it, Engineer Adams’ she sipped from the glass slowly.
    ‘Call me Tanko, please’ he dropped all formalities.
    ‘Okay then, call me Bee. Before I state my purpose, you must promise me that whatever we discuss will remain between us; Dara can never find out about this conversation. Do you accept?’ She asked.
    ‘Yes. Go ahead’ he wondered what this was about.
    ‘Dara doesn’t know I am here; she has been my friend for a long time and  I always look out for her. She told me about a man she loved; this man is not her husband; she feels hurt that she can never be with him because she is married; when she finally mentioned the man’s name, I had to find him and beg him to fight for my friend’ Bee paused.
    ‘What are you saying?’ Tanko held his breath, his hands shook as he waited to see that ray of hope.
    ‘She is in love with you Tanko. She is trapped in an unhappy marriage and if you don’t do something fast, you’ll lose her forever’ Bee said to him.
    ‘She is in love with me? But she told me that when we made love, it was just a fling and it meant nothing to her; I even sent her flowers and she didn’t acknowledge them’ his voice was husky.
    ‘You made love to her?’ Bee was thrilled by this piece of information.
    ‘Yes, at her old apartment. I love Dara so much. I know it is wrong but we can still work things out. Please talk to her, tell her I am here and waiting’ Tanko pleaded.
    ‘Of course. I can help you get her but you must trust me. My friend may not show it but I know she loves you greatly, if we work together, you’ll win her over. I am on your side, Tanko, I want my friend to be happy’ Bee replied.
    Tanko was ready to do anything to get Dara to love him so he agreed ‘I am willing to trust you, please tell me what to do’ he begged.

    Episode 15

    ‘I’ll be leaving now; I’ll contact you once I speak to her’ Bee rose to her feet. She couldn’t believe her luck; this was all she needed to ruin Dara’s marriage.
    She had recorded their conversation, all she needed was to edit and send to Edward, and she would need Tiwa’s help for that.
    ‘Goodbye Bee’ Tanko gave her a warm hug, excited that he would soon be with the woman he loved.
    ‘So that woman you told me you loved was a married woman? How could you Tanko?’ Caro stepped out of her hiding place.
    ‘How is that your business and who gave you the right to listen to my conversation?’ Tanko scowled.
    ‘I know that woman; I almost ruined her marriage. Please back off, let her marriage be’ Caro advised.
    ‘How dare you interfere in my personal life!’ Tanko raised a hand to slap her.
    ‘I am only doing this because I care about you; if you must live long and enjoy your youth, stay away from married women’ Caro hissed.
    ‘Excuse me? What do you mean by that?’ He dragged her roughly.
    ‘I am not stupid; I know the other woman that came here to see you was your lover from the way her eyes gawked all over you and I saw the ring on her finger’ Caro fired back.
    ‘You’re lucky you are pregnant, sick bitch’ he released her and moved towards his room.
    Dara was meant for him and no one could stop them from being together, not even her husband.
    He had been tempted to drive to the hospital or call her friends but he refrained from doing so.
    His mother and sister’s words cut through him and he decided to reason deeply; the Shayera he knew would’ve told him about the rape when it happened; why then did she keep it from him? And why did she have to lie on their wedding night?
    He fixed his eyes on the pregnancy test result; it stated that she was two months pregnant. That wasn’t possible; it was one of the reasons he believed his sister had forged it.
    It could only be possible if he wasn’t responsible for it.
    ‘Honey! I am back and I have good news’ Shayera rushed into the room. She wore a bright smile, one that would fool her husband; she had forged another test result, she didn’t even bother getting the first from Jerry; to hell with him and his result! This new result would save her marriage.
    ‘Baby’ Yahaya squeezed the result into his pocket and returned her smile.
    ‘Guess what?’ She flung her bag on the bed.
    ‘You won the lottery’ he winked.
    ‘Try harder’ she said.
    ‘You know I am not good at guessing so spit it out’ he snapped his fingers.
    ‘I am pregnant honey, here is the result’ she quickly fetched the envelop from her bag.
    He was shocked to see the test result; it was so different from the first but he masked his features so she wouldn’t suspect a thing.
    ‘I am so happy for us’ he threw his arms around her and embraced her.
    ‘Allah has blessed us’ she replied happily.
    ‘Yes, he has’ he stared at the result again.
    First, Jerry’s name wasn’t on it, the result was signed by another medical doctor and that wasn’t the name of Jerry’s hospital.
    His heart raced as he imagined all sort of things, what if his sister had been right about Shayera? What if she wasn’t an angel like he’d thought.
    ‘I thought Jerry was your doctor’ he called her attention to the discrepancies he noticed.
    ‘Um, he was but he has a lot of patients, you know he is the best in town; I wanted someone who would focus on me.’ she stuttered.
    ‘Okay, that’s cool. I can’t wait to see who she would look like’ Yahaya winked.
    ‘She? What makes you think it’s a girl’ Shayera laughed.
    ‘Well, I want a girl that will be as beautiful as you’ he pressed a kiss on her cheek.
    ‘Thanks honey, let me take a quick bath, it was such a long day; I’ll be right back’ she took off her clothes and moved towards the bathroom.
    ‘We’ll drink to this once you’re out’ he replied and blew her a kiss.
    ‘I love you husband’ she smiled and shut the door behind her.
    Yahaya waited for a few minutes, till he heard the sound of splashing water; he quickly brought out the first result and compared it with the second.
    ‘I need to speak with Jerry’ he muttered to himself. That was the only way to find out what was really happening.
    But what if Jerry didn’t have the answers he needed?
    Shayera was lying to him, he could feel it. Jerry had been her doctor for many years and all of a sudden, he had gotten too busy for her?  It didn’t add up.
    He was totally confused, what was he to do?
    He felt a vibration in her bag; her phone was ringing.
    He carefully unzipped the bag and took it out; it was a Whatsapp Message from Melody.
    “Why didn’t you show up? We waited for you?  There was Drama. Reply ASAP”
    An idea came to his mind; he decided to check her messages.
    ‘Loverboy’ he smiled as he saw the name on her friend list, that was the way she called him most of the time.
    He clicked on the contact but he realized the man in the profile photo wasn’t him.
    He held his breath and prayed he was dreaming or seeing things but his prayers weren’t answered.
    He stared face to face with reality as he scanned the messages that had been exchanged by the two; they were mostly erotic and romantic but the last one broke his back
    Shayera: Tanko, please say something.
    Shayera: I am pregnant for you, please take your calls.
    ‘Honey, what are you doing?’ Shayera froze as she stepped out of the bathroom.
    ‘Um, Melody sent you a message’ Yahaya forced a smile.
    ‘Really? What did she want?’ Shayera grabbed the phone from him. Her heart raced as she remembered her text messages to Tanko. Yahaya hardly went through her phone; this was the first time.
    ‘I don’t know, just check it out’ he replied.
    ‘Okay darling’ she begun to wipe her body.
    ‘Shayera’ Yahaya called her sternly.
    ‘Yes?’ Her voice shook as she stared at him.
    ‘I love you’ he smiled and then walked up to her and planted a kiss on her lips.
    ‘I love you too’ she released the breath she held.
    ‘Go hard, fuck me, yes, yes’ Blessing moaned as Wale rode her from behind.
    He grabbed her succulent hips with his hands while driving her crazy with his shaft.
    This was the seventh round they had gone since Jane had left the house; they had done it in the kitchen; in the bathroom; in the living room and now in his bedroom where he slept with Jane.
    ‘I told you, doing it here would be more fun’ Blessing said and tried to catch her breath.
    ‘Yes, it is, you’re so good baby’ Wale released into her and they both fell on the bed.
    The few days he had sex with her had been the happiest days of his life; sex was very important to men but women like Jane underestimated the power of sex.
    ‘So honey, when will you take me shopping?’ Blessing dragged him closer for a kiss.
    ‘Any day but we have to be careful Blessing’ Wale sat up.

    Episode 16

    ‘Is this about Angela? Don’t worry, she didn’t understand what happened, she can’t tell Jane about it so don’t be scared’ she patted him on the shoulder.
    ‘I know but still, we need to curtail the way we fuck’ he replied.
    ‘The way we fuck, I like the sound of that. I think we should go again’ she licked her lips seductively and parted her legs.
    He stared at the clock and wondered when Jane would be back; he stared at Blessing’s beautiful round breasts, her smooth skin and the centre of her laps that was calling out to him, how could he resist such a woman?
    He took his rod in one hand and directed it to her opening, they quickly begun another ride to the clouds of passion.
    He groaned as he rocked her; her insides were warm and captured his shaft like tentacles but their amorous moment was interrupted by the bang of the middle door.
    ‘Stop’ Blessing pushed him away.
    ‘What is it?’ Wale wondered.
    ‘I think someone is in the house’ she replied in a shaky voice.
    ‘No, Jane left with the car’ Wale reassured her.
    ‘What if something happened to it?’ Blessing wasn’t sure they should continue.
    ‘Wale! Wale, open this door for heaven’s sake’ Jane pounded on their bedroom door.
    ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do?’ Blessing whispered.
    Wale was shocked, Jane had actually stepped into the house without their knowledge.
    ‘Say something’ Blessing rushed into her clothes as the pounding increased.
    ‘You have to hide’ he slipped on his clothes and led her to the huge wardrobe that stood in the corner of the room.
    ‘Here? Are you sure it’s safe?’ She was claustrophobic.
    ‘Yes. I promise to get you out of here safely’ he kissed her and shut the door.
    ‘Darling! I am coming, I was praying’ he yelled at the top of his voice while rearranging the sheets.
    ‘What took you so long and where is Blessing?’ Jane stepped into the room.
    ‘Wow, slow down, are you okay?’ Wale noticed she was in a bad mood.
    ‘I am fine’ she replied tightly. Melody’s words had cut deep into her and she was starting to see some elements of truth in her friend’s words.
    She took off her clothes and moved towards the wardrobe.
    ‘Darling!’ Wale dragged her roughly towards him.
    She was startled, he had never manhandled her before.
    ‘Please let’s make love, let’s do it before I fall into the sin of adultery’ he said to her.
    ‘Or you have already fallen’ Jane hissed angrily and tried to get away from him but his grip on her arm was firm.
    ‘What do you mean by that? I am a God fearing man; I love you and our child. Are my efforts not enough?’ Wale feigned anger.
    ‘What about Beyonce? You lusted after her in your heart and then fed me with lies’ Jane hissed angrily. Melody had humiliated her greatly.
    ‘I am not lying to you Jane, the lord really showed it to me. She is from the pit of hell’ Wale insisted.
    His tone was serious, his eyes seemed so sincere; she was confused.
    ‘I don’t know what to believe, Wale’ she rested her head on his shoulder.
    ‘Believe in me Jane, I love you so much and I would never cheat on you’ he pressed a kiss on her forehead.
    ‘Are you sure?’ She stared into his eyes.
    ‘Yes’ he replied and then lifted her to the bed.
    He unclasped her bra in one swift motion and devoured her breasts with kisses; she kissed his face and caressed his back, ready for him to make love to her.
    ‘I love you’ Wale whispered and kissed her again.
    Jerry: I miss you honey, are we meeting tonight?
    Nkechi: I miss the feel of your dick. I want you inside of me.
    Jerry: Is that a yes?
    Nkechi: How about your wife? She is around.
    Jerry: Don’t worry about her, I can handle her.
    Nkechi: Alright, come along.
    Jerry: Gladly, I bought you a gift
    Nkechi: Really? What is it?
    Jerry: If I tell you, it would spoil the fun. Till we meet.
    Nkechi: Aii. Kisses.
    ‘Jerry? I am talking to you’ Melody had just returned  from the office and the man she called husband acted like he had not seen her.
    ‘Oh, you’re back, how was work?’ Jerry turned off his phone and faced her.
    ‘I have been in this room for five minutes, are you just noticing me?’ Melody wondered what got her husband’s attention like that.
    ‘You see, that’s the problem I have with you; you are full of yourself. You walk in and expect me to throw my arms around you; are you the only one who has a career? I have a job too Melody, I have patients that mean so much to me and that is why I failed to notice your majesty’s presence’ Jerry hissed loudly.
    ‘How can you say that to me?’ She felt hurt by his statement.
    ‘Look. I don’t have time for this, I need to eat’ he strolled past her towards the door.
    She took a deep breath and stared after him; Dara’s voice kept ringing in her ear; what if Jerry was sleeping with their maid?
    ‘No, she has to leave this house’ Melody quickly undressed and rushed to inform Jerry about her decision.
    ‘Jerry!’ She screamed his name.
    ‘What now? Can’t I eat in peace?’ He turned and stared at her.
    She pulled a chair and poured herself a glass of wine from the bottle that stood on the table.
    ‘I want us to discuss something very important’ she said to him.
    ‘And what could that be?’ He dipped a fork into his meal.
    ‘Um…’ she yawned.
    ‘What do you want us to discuss?’ He stared at her intently.
    ‘Maybe we should talk tomorrow, I feel very tired’ she rose to her feet and staggered towards their bedroom.
    ‘I thought so too’ Jerry chuckled.
    Once he was done with his meal, he rushed towards the boy’s quarters to meet Nkechi who had been waiting patiently for him.
    ‘I thought you wouldn’t come’ she smiled and parted the door.
    ‘You know I can’t say No to this body’ Jerry clasped his hands on her breasts and covered her mouth with his’
    After having a sumptuous meal with her husband and taking a shower together; they both lay in each other’s arms recounting how their day went.
    ‘You needed to be there, Melody really struck a nerve, she is so full of herself’ Dara told her husband about the quarrel between Jane and Melody.
    ‘I am not surprised, she is like her husband Jerry; they feel perfect and superior and everyone else is beneath them’ Edward replied.
    ‘I feel really sorry for Melody because I have a strong feeling Jerry isn’t that perfect and when she finds out, it would devastate her’ Dara replied.
    ‘What about Shayera? I’ll like to get close to her husband, Yahaya’ Edward asked.
    ‘Fine. She didn’t show up’ Dara replied.
    ‘I still feel Shayera doesn’t deserve Yahaya; I know I am in no position to judge but good guys deserve good women’ he paused.
    ‘And good women deserve good guys’ Dara chipped in, she briefly wondered why Edward would make such a statement.
    ‘Is there something you aren’t telling me?’ She asked.
    ‘You know, now I think about it, I am so sure Tanko Adams was the man’ Edward said.
    That did it. At the mention of his name, her heart skipped; had Edward gotten wind of her one night stand?
    ‘Darling, what about Tanko?’ She feigned ignorance.

    Episode 18

    Tanko Adams was his classmate. He quickly scribbled down the address and shut the laptop.
    ‘You’re such a whore’ he cursed under his breath. He wished he had listened to his sister and mother, this wouldn’t have happened to him.
    All his life, he had saved himself for her; he had devoted his time to her; he had given her everything that she ever wanted but it wasn’t enough.
    How could Shayera be so heartless? She was a saintly devil; a demon with the wings of an angel; a chameleon that had appeared as a dove but the scales were fallen off his eyes now.
    How would he explain to people that his marriage of barely two months was about crashing?
    ‘Opinions be damned’ he fetched his car keys and hurried out of the house.
    Driving to Tanko’s house was the most difficult thing he had ever done in his whole life; the drive required a 100% focus and he had to fight his mind off his raging thoughts.
    He was going to beat the crap out of Tanko for touching his wife and for getting her pregnant. What was their plan exactly? To trick him into raising their child?
    ‘Shit’ Yahaya brought the car to a halt and stepped out of it, he needed a breath of fresh air.
    He felt hurt, heartbroken and betrayed; no one had ever hurt him like this; he had trusted her and given her his all and she ruined it.
    He had a rethink. What was the point of beating Tanko up? It wasn’t going to change the fact that he slept with Shayera? It wouldn’t change the fact that she was pregnant with his child?
    ‘What am I doing?’ He released the breath he held. Violence wasn’t the answer, he needed to reason; he needed to talk to someone but he realized he didn’t have anyone to talk to.
    He couldn’t face Hawanana or his mother after chasing them out of his house; an act that would take a thousand years to forgive.
    He stepped into the car and decided he would need a drink or more to clear his head; he parked his car and walked into the nearest bar in that area.
    ‘Welcome sir, what would you like to drink?’ A waiter came for his order.
    ‘Um, just get me something strong, something that could probably knock me out for two days’ he grumbled.
    ‘Okay, we have things like that’ the waiter grinned and disappeared.
    An idea came to him, what if he spoke to Wale, Jane’s husband? The guy had seemed really down to earth. It was late but he quickly sent him a text and hoped he would reply soonest. He needed someone to talk to, he couldn’t bear this alone.
    Something else baffled him; had Jerry known that Shayera’s pregnancy wasn’t his? And if he knew, why did he choose to keep it a secret?
    ‘Here you are sir, this one would knock you out for a week; you could even see God’ the waiter took the money he was given and walked away.
    ‘Seeing God is better than living this miserable life and being married to a cheating wife’ he scoffed.
    He poured the drink into his glass, ready to drown himself in sorrow when his phone buzzed; it was Wale.
    ‘Hello, good evening, sorry to disturb you, I just needed to talk to someone about something important’ Yahaya stuttered.
    ‘It’s late but I can sneak out of the house, what is the problem?’ Wale asked.
    ‘Shayera is cheating on me’ Yahaya paused and gulped from the glass.
    ‘Hold on, don’t do anything stupid. Where are you?’ Wale asked.
    ‘In a bar called “Seductress” he replied.
    ‘Don’t drink or smoke, I’ll be there shortly’ Wale replied in a rush.
    ‘Phew! What a beautiful day’ Jane smiled as the sun caressed her skin through the window. Wale had made love to her the night before and had dissolved all her fears and suspicion of him; he proved himself to be her angel and the righteous husband she had married.
    He had dropped her a note explaining why he had to leave early; he dropped some flowers alongside the note and she found that very romantic.
    ‘Good morning, please what would you like to have for breakfast?’ Blessing asked politely.
    She had narrowly escaped being caught by Jane the other day. Hiding in the wardrobe had been a horrifying experience for her as she was claustrophobic. The wardrobe was dark and clothes were her only company as she listened to Jane’s moans while her husband made love to her.
    She slept off soon after and Wale had managed to sneak Blessing out of the room without waking Jane.
    As she was being sneaked out, Blessing realized that Wale still loved and respected his wife, which would jeopardize her plan to seduce Wale and get pregnant so Jane could leave the house. She quickly opted for plan B; she had already obtained what she needed for her second plan but she needed one more key to finalize it.
    Blessing smiled as she remembered the treasure she had found in the wardrobe; all she needed was patience, once she got the keys, everything would work perfectly for her.
    ‘Um, just a cup of coffee, I need to be alert when meeting with my friends’ Jane replied with a bright smile on her face.
    ‘Okay then’ Blessing bowed slightly and rushed to the kitchen to prepare the coffee.
    Of the four friends, she was the only one that had never called a date before.
    However, she was feeling particularly excited about her marriage; everything was perfect, contrary to Melody’s opinion.
    She sent all her friends a text message asking them to meet up as she had an important announcement to make.
    She couldn’t wait to tell them about the hot sex she had with her husband.
    ‘Here it is’ Blessing returned with a mug.
    ‘Thanks. Please go to my bedroom, check my dressing table for my purse and bring it here’ Jane said.
    ‘Alright’ Blessing scurried off.
    ‘Good  morning darling, where are you off to?’ Shayera yawned and straightened on the bed.
    ‘Morning darling, how was your night?’ Yahaya kissed her face.
    He had told Wale everything and he felt better. Wale had encouraged him to hold himself in, till they were able to meet with Jerry who had the final say.
    ‘What if the pregnancy is actually yours? What if Jerry made a mistake? Even if she is a cheat, that child could be yours, so before you do anything, let us speak with Jerry first’ Wale had advised.
    ‘Fine honey. So tell me, where are you going?’ Shayera drawled and pulled him closer to her.
    ‘I have an appointment with one of my business partners, I’ll be back’ he kissed her face again.
    ‘Okay, I have a date with the girls later, Jane just sent me a text; I don’t know when we’ll be done’ Shayera scanned through her phone.
    ‘No problem, take all the time you need, I have to run now’ Yahaya waved at her and hurried out of the room. He was to meet with Wale so they could go to Jerry’s house together.
    ‘Wow, what a sweet man’ Shayera smiled as she stared after him.
    Had she made a mistake choosing Tanko? The more time she spent with Yahaya, the more she grew to like him. Instantly, her hands went to her belly and she rubbed it.
    A feeling of dread washed over her, what if he discovered this child wasn’t his?

    Episode 19

    A feeling of dread washed over her, what if he discovered this child wasn’t his?
    Tears welled up in her eyes. She had made this mess of her own life, all by herself and she alone could fix it.
    ‘No, I can’t do that, I can’t tell him the truth. I’ll lose everything’ she shook her head.
    The fool she fell in love with had already moved on, she couldn’t lose her husband too.
    She wiped her face and made for the bathroom; she had not seen her friends for a while and she yearned to see them but not without going through her messages one last time.
    ‘Melody, check’ there was no message from Melody.
    ‘Jane, already seen that’ she muttered. She decided to check Dara’s WhatsApp page.
    Her heart raced as she read Dara’s message; if Dara was pregnant for the man she had a fling with, all hell was going to break loose.
    She rushed to her call log and dialed Dara’s number; they needed to confirm if she was truly pregnant or not. Shayera was herself dealing with the trauma of carrying a pregnancy that didn’t belong to her husband; she didn’t want that for her friend. Dara deserved better.
    ‘Pick up, pick up’ she tapped her feet impatiently on the floor.
    ‘Good morning Shayera’ Dara’s voice was weak.
    ‘Where are you, Dara? I just got your text, we need to see ASAP’ Shayera said.
    ‘I am at your door, sorry I didn’t tell you I was coming; I was so confused. Edward and I had a fight last night and when I woke, he was no longer in the house. Please help me, I didn’t know who to turn to’ Dara replied.
    ‘Wait right there’ Shayera ended the call and rushed to the front door.
    ‘Dara, oh my God! You have been crying’ Shayera pulled her into the house.
    ‘What if this pregnancy isn’t Edwards? I am so scared, what should I do?’ Dara cried.
    ‘Okay, tell me everything that happened’ Shayera tried to console her.
    ‘The guy I had a fling with called me last night and Edward took the call; he was really mad. I tried to cover up; I tried to lie but you know Edward, he is a very smart person and he probably knows that I slept with someone else. I love him so much, I don’t want to lose him a second time’ Dara cried.
    ‘I thought you ended things with that guy?’ Shayera asked.
    ‘I did. I thought I blocked his number. Shayera, I am scared’ Dara fetched an early pregnancy test kit from her bag.
    ‘That guy must be really stupid. What’s his name anyway? I probably should call to warn him sternly’ Shayera fetched her phone, ready to blast the fool that had caused her friend so much pain.
    ‘Tanko’ Dara murmured.
    ‘Tanko?’ Shayera swallowed as she heard the name.
    ‘Yes, he’s an engineer, Tanko Adams’ Dara reaffirmed.
    ‘I don’t understand. Wait, have you seen this man before?’ Shayera searched her phone for Tanko’s picture and showed it to Dara.
    ‘Yes, he is the one. I met him at “Edwardar” and I liked him instantly; then he came over to my house and we had sex’ she nodded.
    ‘You know him?’ Dara asked.
    ‘Oh my God, that bastard’ it was Shayera’s turn to be shocked.
    The night had been a long one for her; she woke up with a splitting headache.
    She scanned the room briefly, in search of the man that she called husband; they had quarreled before she slept off but she wasn’t done, she needed to straighten things out with Jerry.
    ‘Jerry?’ She called his name, he was sitting on the other side of the bed, fiddling with his phone.
    ‘Yea?’ He replied dryly.
    ‘Um, Good morning, I think I may be pregnant’ Melody yawned, how else could she explain the headaches?
    ‘Wow, magically I suppose?’ Jerry wore a frown; he was fed up with Melody. He had concluded that their marriage was a huge mistake.
    What kind of woman refused to cook, do chores and make love with her husband?
    Such a woman wasn’t worthy to be called a wife and he had decided they needed a break. He was seriously considering divorce.
    ‘Why would you say that?’ She yawned and decided to seduce her husband. She missed the way they used to be; happy and in love. Now, their marriage only felt like an overdone routine and she wanted more.
    She didn’t want to be alone. She loved Jerry very much, just that her career came first; but that didn’t mean she liked him any less.
    ‘What are you doing?’ Jerry’s voice was stern.
    ‘I miss having you in my bed’ she replied huskily.
    ‘And you think the only way to invite me over is by killing me with your bad breath, abi? You smell, go take a wash’ he hissed and rose to his feet.
    His words stung her like a bee; they flared her flesh into a thousand pieces. She wanted to fire back but she held herself as she remembered she had done the same thing to him a few weeks back.
    ‘I am sorry, I didn’t mean to’ she replied in a tearful voice.
    ‘Whatever’ Jerry replied.
    ‘I have a date with the girls today, I may be home late’ Melody announced.
    ‘Why are you telling me?’ Jerry scoffed.
    ‘Because you are my husband and you have a right to know’ she replied coolly.
    ‘Very funny. Suit yourself Melody’ Jerry laughed. He figured Melody had a hunch he was about to divorce her; hence, her acting nice that morning. Nothing could change his mind though; she was the wrong woman for him and he was done with the marriage.
    ‘Jerry, I know we have been in a bad place for a long time but I am really sorry; I have been a very bad wife but I realize that this marriage is important and we have to work together to keep it’ Melody moved close to him.
    Her quarrel with Jane had opened up her mind to many things; she realized she had been too hard on her friends; too focused on them to take a critical look at her own marriage.
    What if Jerry was cheating? How would she handle that?
    ‘I wouldn’t blame him’ she thought to herself. The man had endured a lot; she hardly cooked or cleaned or even slept with him. Her extreme feminist views had consumed her but Dara’s words had brought her back to reality.
    ‘We?’ Jerry found this funny.
    ‘Yes, we, us’ Melody nodded.
    ‘You know what? I have a game to watch and for the records, there is no we anymore’ he hissed and trotted out of the room. He wasn’t going to work that day so he decided to enjoy himself.
    She thought she had not heard him well; he left her standing in a middle of a whirlwind, feeling very confused. It was her phone that brought her back to reality.
    Jane was calling.
    ‘Hello Jane, first of all I am sorry for the way I spoke to you, I had no right to judge your marriage’ Melody blurted out. Her guilt was killing her.
    ‘Oh? I accept but that is not why I am calling. By God’s grace, I am a forgiving Christian’ she replied.

    Episode 20

    ‘Oh? I accept but that is not why I am calling. By God’s grace, I am a forgiving Christian’ she replied.
    ‘Thanks, it means a lot to me’ Melody replied.
    ‘Are you okay?’ Jane felt a difference; Melody was seldom ever polite, something was wrong.
    ‘I don’t know Jane, I think my marriage is on the line’ she stuttered.
    ‘What do you mean and where are you?’ Jane wondered. She had arrived the meeting venue earlier than her friends.
    ’Home’ Melody replied and wiped the tears that had fallen on her face.
    ‘Hurry and meet me, let us talk’ Jane replied.
    She was hurt by Jerry’s words; she decided she wasn’t going to let that one go so she accosted him in the sitting room.
    ‘I want Nkechi gone, I want her out of our house’ Melody stormed into the room.
    For a minute, she thought Jerry had not heard her; his eyes were glued to the television, he ignored her completely.
    ‘Hey, I am talking to you’ She rushed and turned off the TV.
    ‘Are you fucking kidding me! Are you high on weed? What the hell is wrong with you?’ Jerry jumped to his feet.
    ‘That maid is leaving’ Melody said.
    ‘And how is that my business? I never wanted a maid in the first place; so if you’re done acting all crazy, I want to watch my game’ Jerry replied.
    ‘Is that all you’re going to say?’ Melody felt stupid.
    ‘What was I supposed to say? You think I am in the mood to argue with you huh?  You have lost your relevance in my life, Melody. You know what? I am filing for divorce, I want to give you the freedom that your career deserves’ Jerry stormed out of the house angrily.
    He marched straight to Nkechi’s room; he didn’t care if Melody walked in on them; he didn’t give a crap about her.
    ‘No, please’ Melody’s knees were weak, she fell on the carpet and wept.
    Edward had received a voice recording from a strange number; he played it over and over again.
    ‘How could she do this to me?’ Tears welled up in his eyes as he played the recording the sixth time.
    Dara had betrayed his trust in her; she had an affair with Tanko and she had bluntly denied it; how would he ever trust her again?
    She had acted the angel, yet she was no saint; everything about her was a lie. He had thought himself the only black sheep in their marriage; apparently, they were both not faithful to each other.
    He took a deep breath and fetched a gun from his pocket; he had not been joking when he told Dara that he would kill any man that slept with her; he meant every word. Tanko would see the devil in hell.
    Edward carefully scanned the environment and made sure no one was in sight; he slipped the gun into his pocket, along with a handkerchief. He meant business.
    Anger rose in him as the images of Dara moaning beneath another man coursed through his mind; he imagined Tanko’s lips on hers; he imagined Tanko’s hands on her breast; he imagined Dara parting her legs and letting him in.
    ‘Bastard, I am going to kill you’ He muttered to himself and stepped into the compound.
    Luckily for him, the door was widely open; he could hear what sounded like an argument. He recognized Tanko’s voice and the other – the female voice – was oddly familiar.
    ‘Is somebody home?’ He yelled.
    But the argument was so loud that it drowned his voice. He carefully scanned the living room for any cameras; he was about to commit a crime and he needed to be careful about it.
    ‘Hello?’ He marched deeper into the house and stood face to face with another surprise.
    ‘Caro?’ He was shocked to see her.
    ‘Edward’ she jerked and moved away from Tanko who was about landing her a slap.
    ‘What are you doing here? What business do you have with this brute?’ Edward scanned Tanko angrily.
    ‘I should be asking you that, what the fuck are you doing in my house?’ Tanko hissed loudly.
    ‘Um, he was the man responsible for my pregnancy’ Caro replied.
    ‘Oh? You’re very good at things like this aren’t you?’ Edward scoffed and fingered the revolver in his pocket.
    ‘Edward, you don’t look too happy? Why are you here?’ Caro could see the rage on his handsome features.
    ‘You slept with my wife; you fucked her. You made love to the woman I married and that wasn’t enough for you. You called her again last night and said “darling” ‘Edward started towards him.
    ‘Edward? What is this about?’ Caro shivered not liking the deadly tone of his voice.
    ‘I can’t believe this. I see that rejection doesn’t work well with you. I see Dara has finally told you her mind and you are not happy about it.Let me warn you though, if you as much as lay a finger on her, I will report you to the police’ Tanko threatened.
    ‘Tanko, Shut your mouth! You should be sorry for your sins’ Caro was appalled by his boldness.
    ‘Did you know about their affair Caro?’ Edward turned and faced her.
    ‘Um, yes. Just recently, a lady came here and introduced herself as Beyonce, a friend of your wife’s and her business partner; she claimed that Dara was in love with Tanko but that her marriage was in the way’ Caro explained.
    ‘Beyonce came here?’ Edward was surprised. He had thought the voice in the recording was Melody’s or Shayera’s. He knew Beyonce was not Dara’s friend, Dara had told him what happened between them in the past.
    He knew they were not close, and they certainly were not business partners. What was going on?’
    ‘I didn’t like that lady from the moment I saw her and even though I don’t know your wife well, I felt Bee wasn’t being honest’ Caro aired her view.
    ‘I want you out of my house now, Edward’ Tanko stepped in between them.
    ‘Oh no, you don’t order me around, you bastard. Nobody touches my property and goes scot free; I leave a scar on their body first’ Edward decided he had enough of the insolence. Without hesitation, he lifted the gun from his pocket and struck Tanko’s jaw with it.
    ‘Edward! Please, don’t do this, you’re better than this’ Caro screamed his name.
    ‘You’ll pay for this, you psycho’ Tanko wiped the blood from the side of his mouth where the gun had bruised.
    ‘Oh no, I won’t! You will be a dead man by the time I leave here and in your next life, you’ll know to stay away from other people’s wives’ Edward raised the gun, ready to pull the trigger.
    ‘Edward, you are better than this; if you kill him now, you’ll lose everything. You will lose your freedom and your wife; you will be in jail for murder; everything and everyone would turn against you. Please’ Caro fell on her knees and begged.
    ‘Um, but why should I spare this idiot? Why should I forgive him?’ Edward asked.
    ‘Because Dara forgave you. Do you remember how hurt she was when your mother brought me to the house? How about the other women you slept with? She cheated on you just once and you are acting like the world is over? How do you know she doesn’t regret it? You have to reason like a man Edward and not like an impulsive boy’ Caro advised.

    Episode 21

    How do you know she doesn’t regret it? You have to reason like a man Edward and not like an impulsive boy’ Caro advised.
    Tears filled his eyes as he remembered how horrible he had been to Dara in the past; he had cheated without remorse; he had hurt her deeply and now he realized he would be a hypocrite if he judged her for just a single action.
    ‘She loves me and not you, get over that!’ Tanko screamed.
    ‘Can you just shut up?’ Caro turned to him.
    ‘Thanks, Caro, your words are golden. I wish you never took in for this idiot’ Edward replaced the gun in his pocket and then kicked Tanko hard in the butt.
    ‘Piece of shit’ Edward cursed and he stormed out of the house.
    ‘I will be seeing you in court’ Tanko groaned.
    ‘Are you that dumb? If you go to court, Edward will ruin you. He is wealthy and powerful; you only just started tasting the good side of life. Don’t ruin your life for a woman who is married, your major concern should be our child’ Caro said to him.
    ‘How do you know Dara doesn’t feel the same about me?’ Tanko spat blood.
    ‘Well, where is she now?’ Caro gestured with her hands.
    His phone buzzed annoyingly as he reached his car. He felt better that he had walked away without having to waste the idiot’s life.
    ‘Hello, Edward on the line’ he answered without checking the caller ID.
    ‘Edward, I need you right now. We have a problem and I don’t know how to handle it’ Wale said to him.
    ‘Oh? What  problem could that be?’
    ‘Just meet us at Logan’s Bar, hurry’ Wale said.
    ‘What do you mean “us”? Last I checked, Jerry wasn’t talking to me’ Edward arched a brow.
    ‘It’s not Jerry, it’s Yahaya’ Wale replied.
    ‘Okay, I’ll be there, I have something to share too’ Edward sighed and ended the call.
    Shayera’s mouth still hung open as she realized that Tanko had not been the faithful lover she had thought him to be; she had risked her marriage for him, she had loved him with her whole heart; loved him enough to carry his child and now the truth was gradually coming to light.
    ‘I can’t believe this. So, you were sleeping with Tanko the whole time you were dating Yahaya? That’s a callous thing to do Shayera’ Dara was shocked to find out Shayera had been dating Tanko for many years now.
    ‘I know what I did was wrong but you won’t understand; I was in love with him’ Shayera replied as a tear rolled down her cheeks.
    ‘What won’t I understand? Come on Shayera, what you did was wrong and there is no excuse for that; you told us that Yahaya was the only man in your life but you lied’ Dara shook her head in disappointment.
    ‘Hey, you don’t have the right to judge me, you also cheated on Edward with him; so we are the same, no need playing the saint’ Shayera cut in amidst tears.
    ‘Seriously? How could you even say that to me? You know the circumstances that led me to sleep with another man. I was unhappy; I was in a dark place and you guys were not helping. After sleeping with Tanko, I was remorseful, I regretted my actions deeply. I never cheated on Edward, I only made one mistake’ Dara replied in a weak voice, her own explanation didn’t even make sense to her. If she didn’t cheat, why had she not told Edward about her affair before he got wind of it?
    ‘This is not the time to judge or dissect each other, it is a time to stick together and decide what to do with the babies we are carrying’ Shayera sobbed.
    ‘Babies? Are you pregnant too?’ Dara gasped for breath.
    ‘Tanko is the father’ she nodded.
    ‘Lord help us! I hope and pray that I am not also pregnant with this son of a bitch’ Dara cursed.
    ‘So what are you going to do about the pregnancy?’ Dara asked.
    ‘I forged some test results and made it look like Yahaya was the father; I told Tanko about the pregnancy, hoping he would be concerned but I found a pregnant lady in his house and from all indications, he too may be responsible for that’ Shayera replied.
    ‘Oh God, Shayera! I don’t know what to say’ Dara prayed inwardly that she was not carrying Tanko’s child, as she remembered they had not used any condom.
    ‘Give me a minute, let me use the pregnancy kit’ Dara rose to her feet and left the bathroom.
    Shayera had been happy that her secrets were safe and that Yahaya would never find out she had been sleeping with Tanko, but for how long was she going to hide the truth from him? For how long was she going to live in fear?
    Dara stepped out of the bathroom; her face white as a paper sheet; her eyeballs lacked color and emotion; she held her breath.
    ‘What did it say?’ Shayera rose to her feet.
    ‘I am not pregnant’ Dara released the breath she held. She was happy the test was negative but her joy wasn’t complete, she needed her husband back.
    ‘We still have to meet the other girls, maybe telling them about our troubles will ease the pain’ Dara said.
    ‘Hell no, they will all judge me for it. Melody would have a swell time; Jane would use me as an example in her Sunday school class, don’t you get it? They won’t understand my situation like you do’ Shayera differed.
    ‘Okay’ Dara nodded and fought to control
    the fresh tears that had welled up.
    ‘I am scared Dara; I never knew my unfaithfulness would lead to this; If Yahaya finds out that I tricked him, then it is all over for me. I would lose a good man because I was greedy. I don’t know what to do’ Shayera cried.
    ‘You can start by telling him the truth’ Dara fetched her phone.
    Telling the truth was the only way out for them both; once she realized she wasn’t pregnant, she decided to tell Edward everything that had transpired between herself and Tanko. She prayed he was able forgive her.
    ‘I can’t.Your case is different, Edward could forgive and take you back because you forgave him severally in the past, but Yahaya? His family never approved of me in the first place, you can imagine what shame shall befall me’ Shayera was defiant. How could her friend even suggest she told Yahaya the truth?
    ‘It’s better to try. If you tell Yahaya the truth and he sends you packing, you’ll know you tried but if you don’t, it shows you are not repentant’ Dara patted her on the back.
    ‘He would send me away and take another wife’ Shayera murmured.
    ‘I don’t know what to say but if it gets to that, you’ll have to move on and make better choices when next you find love’ Dara replied.
    She was being blunt; everyone, especially good friends, deserved to be told the truth.
    ‘Okay’ Shayera fetched her phone, she tried to steady her hands but they wouldn’t stop shaking.
    ‘We can do this’ Dara placed her hands over Shayera’s and gave it a squeeze.
    ‘Let’s do it’ Shayera nodded.

    Episode 22

    ‘We can do this’ Dara placed her hands over Shayera’s and gave it a squeeze.
    ‘Let’s do it’ Shayera 
    ‘I guess it’s just you and me today’ Melody said to Jane. They’d waited patiently for their other friends but they didn’t show up.
    ‘I guess, so tell me what Jerry said’ Jane inquired.
    ‘I don’t know if he’s joking but I have never seen him this way, he wants a divorce and I am not willing to give him that’ Melody was terrified of losing her marriage.
    ‘Did you do anything to piss him off?’ Jane asked.
    Melody was scared of opening up to her friend; everyone would blame her for her crashed marriage.
    ‘Melody? Open up to me, maybe there’s something I can say or do to help you’ Jane pressed. Melody wasn’t her best friend but she still cared for her and wouldn’t wish her evil.
    ‘I am greatly ashamed of myself. I don’t clean the house or cook for my husband; I employed a maid to do all that, and I starved Jerry of sex for over a month’ Melody couldn’t look her friend In the face.
    ‘What?’ Jane was surprised at the cooking part.
    She felt slightly guilty when Melody mentioned starving her husband of sex; the last time she had sex with Wale was the other day he had forced her to do it but thank God for a husband like hers. He wasn’t cheating on her.
    ‘Yes, I saw his eyes, Jane. He doesn’t care about me anymore; he is not interested in me. I don’t know how I would live the rest of my life knowing that I ruined my marriage with my own hands’ Melody prayed Jerry would take back his words.
    ‘Hey, you need to be strong. You’ll need to show him that you are sorry and that you are willing to fight for your marriage’ Jane advised.
    ‘How do I do that Jane? Jerry wouldn’t even look at me and I know I treated him very badly. His love has turned to hate and it is entirely my fault’ She wiped her face with a handkerchief.
    ‘Since our other friends are not here, I guess we should go to your house; I’ll speak to him too and if possible, I’ll involve Wale. He cannot divorce you, divorce is ungodly’ Jane replied.
    ‘Really? You’re such a nice person, Jane’ Melody hugged her tight, she didn’t know her friend had it in her to forgive so easily.
    ‘It’s the Christian thing to do’ Jane replied, then pulled back and checked her buzzing phone.
    ‘What’s that?’ Melody asked as she stared at Jane’s baffled expression.
    ‘I am not sure why Wale would withdraw such a huge amount of money. He never mentioned it’ Jane replied. She and Wale owned a joined account where their lifesavings were kept.
    ‘Maybe something came up’ Melody shrugged.
    ‘Something that would require a withdrawal of one million naira from each of our different bank accounts?’ Jane raised her brow.
    ‘You could ask him after’ Melody added.
    ‘Okay then, let us go’ Jane led the way and she trailed behind.
    Bee waited in the car patiently. Tanko had asked to see her and she wondered what it was about.
    ‘This is taking too long, I think we should go into his house’ Tiwa suggested. Bee had brought her along.
    ‘No, he said I should wait here for him’ Bee replied.
    ‘Do you think Dara called him?’ Tiwa asked, still feeling guilty that she was conniving with some other person against the woman that gave her life.
    ‘There he is, you can ask your questions later’ Bee hushed her and stepped out of the car.
    ‘Is that Tanko? What happened to his face?’ Tiwa jumped down from the car.
    ‘Tanko, are you alright?’ Bee held her breath as she stared at his swollen face.
    ‘Edward did this to me because of you’ Tanko fetched a dagger from his pocket and slammed Bee on the car in one swift move.
    ‘Tanko! What are you doing?’ Caro came running from the house.
    ‘Tanko, please don’t do anything stupid’ Tiwa begged on Beyonce’s behalf.
    ‘Tell me the truth, did Dara ever send you to me? Is she in love with me or you just cooked that up to get me punched in the face and almost killed?’ Tanko pressed the blade against her face, he was set to disfigure her, just like Edward had disfigured him.
    ‘You are not thinking carefully, put that knife away’ Bee felt choked by his fingers.
    ‘Look at this bitch, you think I am joking right? For the last time, did Dara ever send you to me?’ Tanko repeated.
    After Edward had left, Caro had talked some sense into him and he realized that if Dara truly loved him, she would have showed up herself, at least once.
    ‘Bee, please let us tell him the truth; I don’t want anything to happen to you’ Tiwa sobbed.
    ‘Please talk to him’ she turned to Caro.
    ‘Tanko, please don’t hurt her, let’s hear her out’ Caro fell on her knees and begged him.
    He looked at the woman carrying his child, her eyes were pleading and full of tears; they broke his resolve and he released the firm hold he had on Bee.
    ‘Geez, what did I do to deserve that?’ Bee spat at him.
    That enraged him again and he fetched the dagger, ready to plunge it into her arm when a police van pulled up close to them.
    ‘Shit! It’s the police’ Caro rose to her feet, afraid of what might happen to Tanko.
    ‘Thank God you are here, officers, this man tried to rape me. He is a molester and deserves to be hanged’ Bee complained to the policemen
    ‘What? Officers, that was a lie, he did no such thing!’ Caro rushed to his rescue.
    Tanko was speechless as he stared at the lady who had claimed to be Dara’s business partner; obviously he had been blindfolded by her sweet tongue and charm. She was nothing but a liar and schemer.
    ‘Are you Beyonce Micheals?’ One of the officers stared at a picture and back at her.
    ‘Yes…uhmm, no’ Bee lied. Why were the police looking for her?
    ‘Or Olubunmi Anderson?’ The officer added.
    ‘Officers, you are mistaken, no one goes by that name here’ Bee took a deep breath and started to move back but the officers caught her in time.
    ‘So your name isn’t Beyonce?’ Tiwa stared at her in surprise.
    ‘You are under arrest for carrying out fraudulent activities under the identity of late Miss Beyonce Michaels’ the police officer handcuffed her.
    ‘You cannot do this to me. Do you know who I am? A wife, a mother and a renowned blogger? I will sue you all for this!’ Bee screamed as she was being led to her car. The others followed behind.
    ‘Oh my God, so she was a criminal?’ Tiwa was greatly terrified.
    ‘Do you or do you not know this man?’ The police showed Bee another picture.
    Immediately she stared into his face, she knew that the game was over for her; she had stolen five million dollars from her boyfriend who lived in New York. That was why she had relocated to Nigeria, so he wouldn’t trace her.

    Episode 23

    Immediately she stared into his face, she knew that the game was over for her; she had stolen five million dollars from her boyfriend who lived in New York. That was why she had relocated to Nigeria, so he wouldn’t trace her.
    She knew the game was up but she wasn’t ready to go down alone.
    ‘Officers, there is something I want to share with you’ she licked her lips nervously.
    ‘What do you have to share?’ They asked.
    ‘That lady over there is my accomplice, we do business together’ Bee pointed at Tiwa who looked horrified.
    ‘Officers, that’s a lie. Tanko, you know me, I am not a fraudster’ Tiwa tried to redeem herself.
    ‘Uh, uh, I don’t know a thing about you’ Tanko grabbed Caro’s hands and gently prodded her back to the house, he didn’t want them involved in Beyonce’s or Bunmi’s business.
    ‘I have proof officers; she has a voice recording that she used to blackmail one of our victims, a very powerful man in the society. I can show it to you’ Bee said.
    ‘Is this true young lady?’ One of the officers moved towards her.
    ‘Yes, I edited a recording but it wasn’t to blackmail anybody. Please don’t listen to that psycho; please help me, I am innocent’ Tiwa began to cry but it was too late for her, an officer bundled her roughly and slipped handcuffs on her.
    ‘I paid her cash from the money I made back in New York’ Bee continued.
    ‘You are such a terrible liar, God will punish you Beyonce! God will judge you’ Tiwa wept bitterly.
    ‘I don’t see any God now’ Beyonce chuckled but deep down, she was scared of what awaited her; she had duped a lot of people especially business owners. If Dara had agreed to be her business partner, she would have turned her victim too.
    She had undermined the Nigerian Police; how they could have traced her from New York was something she could never fathom.
    A smile lit up her face; even if she got the death penalty or life imprisonment, she had, at least, succeeded in ruining Dara’s marriage. As far as she was concerned, that was the sweetest revenge ever.
    ‘He is not taking his calls, why am I even listening to you? Shayera lied and cheated on me and that is all that matters; I should issue her a divorce now’ Yahaya shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
    He had gone with Wale to Jerry’s office but they were being told that he had no appointments for that day.
    ‘I am sorry, maybe we should go over to his house once Edward arrives’ Wale replied.
    ‘You know the funny thing about my wife? She told me not to associate with you guys, especially Edward. Do you think they had an affair?’ Yahaya asked.
    ‘Edward and Shayera? Hell no, that is gross’ Wale scoffed. He couldn’t imagine the combination.
    ‘But she seemed not to like him’ Yahaya shrugged.
    ‘I know it’s not in my place to tell you this but Edward first served us suspicions about your wife’ Wale drummed his hands nervously.
    ‘Really? So you all knew that she wasn’t a good woman?’ Yahaya was bewildered by this new found realization.
    ‘I knew that woman wasn’t good for you’ Edward sauntered in, he had heard part of their conversation.
    ‘Edward, you don’t have to rub it in, have a seat’ Wale called him sternly.
    ‘Hey, I am only being honest; men cheat and women cheat too, only that they are better cheats than us’ Edward sank into the chair. His whole body ached but he was relieved he had gotten some of the negative energy off of him.
    ‘Are you okay? Why are you speaking this way?’ Wale had never seen Edward like this, except for the day he thought he had lost Dara. He looked completely hopeless. Had something bad happened again?
    ‘Hey, give me five bottles of beer’ Edward snapped his fingers at the waitress.
    ‘That’s a lot, whatever situation you’re in is not as bad as mine’ Yahaya scoffed. He knew it was difficult for men to stay off alcohol whenever they had a problem but he also knew that too much of it could make everything worse.
    ‘That idiot that fucked your wife also fucked mine, bro’ Edward sighed. The images of Dara and Tanko had resurfaced in his brain, only alcohol could wipe them out.
    ‘What are you saying?’ Wale was shocked, he had never seen Dara as someone who could do something like that.
    ‘She cheated on me; I caught her yesterday when lover boy called and I answered. he called her “darling” and when I asked her about it, she couldn’t give me a straight answer. Some minutes later, I got a voice recording from Beyonce about her love affair with her lover boy’ Edward narrated his experience.
    ‘Loverboy? You mean, Tanko Adams?’ Yahaya clenched his fist. He still had the urge to beat up the fool.
    ‘Yes, the very same. I went to his house to send him to hell but someone talked me out of it. I gave him a good punch instead’ Edward added.
    ‘Come on, Eddie, that wasn’t necessary. Honestly, the only person I feel bad for in all these is Yahaya. He is the better one out of all of us’ Wale said.
    ‘Are you kidding me?’ Edward scoffed.
    ‘I cheated on Jane with our maid. I used to blame you for cheating on Dara but now, I don’t blame men who cheat. Women are such complicated creatures. Could you imagine that Jane starved me of sex for more than a month with the excuse that she was praying and fasting? I had no choice but to feed my libido somewhere else’ Wale shared his own experience.
    ‘Baddo! So you finally cheated on that your Christian wife; I told you, it’s not easy to stick to one woman’ Edward poured himself a glass of beer.
    ‘I am starting to think that cheating is the only way out, women could be so ungrateful when you are loyal to them’ Yahaya chipped in. Conversing with the other men eased the burden he felt.
    ‘Seriously guys, I don’t enjoy cheating on my wife but she is too religious for my liking. How can you starve a man for over a month and expect him not to cheat? What are we? Firewood?’ Wale hissed.
    ‘So tell me your story, what did your pretty Shayera do?’ Edward switched topics.
    ‘She cheated, of course, lied to me on our wedding night that she was menstruating at first, then the next day she claimed she was raped. That’s not the part that hurts me the most; she is pregnant now and I suspect it is for Tanko’ Yahaya replied.
    ‘Mehn, that is a lot of baggage. She is a pretty devil. So what are you going to do?’ Edward asked.
    ‘That’s why I called you. I am equally lost’ Wale said.
    ‘Well, if the child turns out to be yours, you can forgive her but it will take you a long time or never to build trust; there’s going to be a crack in that marriage; if the child is not yours, I suggest you divorce her. If she’d confessed to you that she cheated, that would be a different thing; but she didn’t. For all we know, this Tanko guy got her pregnant and you are the preferred father for her child because you are the wealthier man. Now, that is pure evil. You have two difficult choices to make, Forgive and keep her or let her go. Either way, it is hard’ Edward advised.

    Episode 25

     ‘Jerry, she is truly sorry for the way she treated you in the past; please forgive her’ Jane joined Melody on her knees.
    ‘Kneeling down and shedding Crocodile tears won’t change my mind. You treated me like crap; you almost emasculated me. You asked me to cook my meals and wash for myself; you starved me of your body whenever we had arguments that you lost. You humiliated me and now you are begging? I don’t love you anymore Melody, I can never love you again. Just get the hell out of my house’ Jerry lashed her with his tongue and then rushed into the house to fetch his car keys.
    ‘Jerry, please’ Melody wept bitterly but he ignored her.
    ‘What am I going to do Jane? See, he is leaving me’ she sobbed.
    ‘Nothing. You really hurt him, friend, give him time to heal’ Jane advised.
    ‘Excuse me, I need to take this call’Jane fetched her buzzing phone.
    ‘Hello, honey, how are you?’ She called excitedly but his tone was deadly and cold.
    ‘I am sorry Jane, we have lost everything.’
    He rushed into the house in anticipation, what was Dara going to tell him? He had a voice recording, he knew she slept with another man, was she still going to deny it?
    He reminded himself that he had decided to forgive her, no matter what her reply was; he was ready to take her back like she had forgiven him in the past.
    As he neared their bedroom, he could hear the sound of sobbing; was she sorry?
    ‘Edward! Please, forgive me’ Dara fell on her knees as Edward stepped into the bedroom.
    ‘Dara…’ he rushed towards her, he hated seeing her this way. She was hurting and in tears, it pained him to see her cry.
    ‘Don’t say anything, just hear me out, please’ Dara clung to him.
    ‘I was in a really dark place when your mother brought Caro to ruin our marriage. My friends weren’t helping, they made my marriage look hopeless; they just wanted me to walk away. That hurt me very much. I expected comfort and encouragement from them, not more discouragement.
    So, that night, I called Tanko over. I didn’t mean to have sex with him, it just happened and I felt really bad later. I swear to you Edward, it only happened that one time. He tried to get me back but I told him it was a mistake; he even sent me flowers but I didn’t give him any attention. Please forgive me Edward, I know I have wronged you’ she sobbed.
    ‘Why didn’t you tell me about the affair before or after we renewed our vows?’ Edward asked.
    ‘I was greatly ashamed. I was scared to lose you’ she replied.
    ‘Dara, you can never lose me to another, I love you so much. If you had confessed, I would’ve been mad, no doubt, but I cherish and adore you too much to walk away. Take a look at this’ Edward fetched the gun from his pocket.
    ‘What are you doing with a gun?’ Fear gripped Dara and she jumped up immediately. Was Edward going to kill her?
    ‘Don’t be afraid. I meant it when I said I’d kill any man that touched you; I wanted to use this on Tanko but I met Caro in his house’ Edward said.
    ‘You met Caro?’ Dara asked in surprise.
    ‘Yes, he is responsible for the pregnancy she tried to pin on me.
    ‘Oh my God, Shayera is carrying his child too’ Dara placed a hand on her chest trying to breathe. She imagined the mess she would’ve been in if she had actually been pregnant for Tanko.
    ‘I know that too, I was with Yahaya earlier’ Edward said.
    ‘So did you hurt him?’ Dara was scared, what if Edward had killed someone on her account?
    ‘No, I didn’t, I only punched him. Caro talked some sense into me. I realized that you sleeping with Tanko was my fault. I ruined our marriage when I made a habit of cheating on you, that was what pushed you outside’ Edward placed the gun gently at the edge of the bed and went down on his knees.
    ‘But what I did is not excusable’ Dara tried to take part of the blame.
    ‘I know. Please forgive me for everything, let’s start over again’ Edward stared into her eyes as he spoke. Each promise was laced with commitment. He was done hurting his wife.
    ‘I don’t know what to say, Edward, why do you love me so?’ Tears rolled down her face.
    ‘Say you love me, say you would never let me go. Honesty and Loyalty forever’ he pledged.
    ‘I love you so much; Honesty and Loyalty forever’ Dara cried and hugged him.
    ‘It’s okay honey, we are in a good place now’ he scooped her into his arms and led her to the bed.
    He had pledged his love in words, it was time to act. He was going to make passionate love to his wife.
    ‘Kiss me’ he commanded.
    She licked her lips nervously, encircled him with her hands and was ready to seal her vows with a kiss when their doorbell rang.
    ‘Are you expecting anyone?’ Dara asked Edward.
    ‘My phone is ringing, it’s my mother’ Edward’s face fell, what does she want now?
    ‘It’s okay, let’s go and see what she wants’ Dara nodded and they both went to meet his mother.
    He had made up his mind already; even though she had confessed everything, he had lost interest in the marriage; he would file for a divorce immediately.
    Shayera’s lips shook as she cried; her face was badly swollen from weeping; reality had paid her a visit and she felt it deeply as she looked at his face, she knew she had lost him forever.
    ‘How long have you been sleeping with Tanko?’ Yahaya asked.
    ‘Since secondary school’ she replied.
    ‘I can’t believe this! You made a fool out of me and now you’re shedding crocodile tears. You tricked me on our wedding night, Shayera, how could you? I insulted the woman that gave me life because of you. I provided all your needs; I was always there, what did Tanko give to you that I couldn’t?’ Yahaya was deeply hurt as he stared into her lying face.
    ‘Yahaya please, I know it is hard but forgive me, I promise to be true to you going forward’ she cried.
    ‘Look at this’ he fetched the two pregnancy test results and handed them to her.
    ‘How did you get the second test result?’ Yahaya asked.
    ‘I forged it. Please, I was terrified you’d discover my secret. I love you very much Yahaya, please don’t forsake me’ she crouched beneath him.
    ‘You make me feel stupid by asking me to take you back. How do you expect me to raise another man’s child? How Shayera? Haven’t you done enough damage to me?’ He pushed her away from him.
    ‘I don’t have anywhere else to go, you’re everything to me’ she sobbed.
    ‘Shayera, you had enough time to change; to repent and tell me about your past, but you didn’t. Instead, you kept tricking me. Unfortunately for you, Hawanana stole your test result from Dr. Jerry’s office and that was when I realized the devil you are. I read your chat with Tanko, your loverboy. I think you should go back to him, he will be more than happy to take you’ Yahaya pushed her away.

    Episode 26

    I read your chat with Tanko, your loverboy. I think you should go back to him, he will be more than happy to take you’ Yahaya pushed her away.
    ‘Please’ she cried.
    ‘I have forgiven you Shayera but I cannot love you the same. I would never trust you again. Just leave me, leave my world. If you really love me like you claim, you’ll forget me; you have hurt me enough’ Yahaya grabbed his car keys and stormed out of the house, leaving Shayera in a pool of tears
    ‘I’ve lost everything. Where do I go from here?’ She muttered to herself.
    She couldn’t blame Yahaya for divorcing her; this was all her fault, she had caused him great pain. He was right, she needed to let him go.
    Days had passed since Wale reported the matter to the police but there had been no positive response.
    ‘So why do you think Blessing is behind this?’ Jane asked amidst tears. It had been three days since he last set eyes on Blessing but she wasn’t worried. Blessing had dropped a note saying she had to urgently go to the village.
    Jane cried till all her strength failed her; why had God forsaken them? Even the banks didn’t have a solution to their problem. It was too late for them now, all their money was gone and they were back where they started.
    ‘I think she had access somehow to our ATM cards and cheque books, they are missing remember?’ Wale fiddled with his hands.
    He was plagued by guilt; he had a strong reason to believe Blessing was the perpetrator of the crime but how could he tell his wife the truth? How could he look Jane in the eye and confess to her that he had been sleeping with Blessing under the same roof.
    ‘Only someone that has stepped into our bedroom, especially the wardrobe where we keep our bank files, could have had access. Wait…’ Jane trailed.
    ‘What is it?’ Wale asked.
    ‘Oh my God! I had a little dairy in my purse and I remember asking her to fetch it for me; the diary contained all our bank codes’ Jane swallowed.
    ‘What?’ Wale folded his hands in shock.
    Maybe God was trying to save his marriage; now Jane shared part of the blame in their predicament, there was no need for him to confess his adultery.
    He could, however, attempt to absolve Jane of whatever guilt she felt.
    ‘Honey, you don’t need to be too hard on yourself, God will make a way for us and his judgment will fall on Sister Blessing one day’ Wale comforted her.
    ‘This is all my fault; I allowed her into my bedroom, I sent her there to fetch my purse. Will you ever forgive me, Wale?’ Jane asked tearfully.
    Who was he not to forgive? This was God answering his prayers and shielding his fragile marriage.
    ‘Of course, I forgive you. God will bless us again, just that we must agree on something’ Wale said.
    ‘And what’s that?’ She asked and stared at him.
    ‘We will never have another maid’ Wale replied.
    ‘I agree, No maids’ Jane nodded.
    ‘I love you honey, please don’t feel bad about this’ Wale rubbed her face gently.
    ‘I love you too’ Jane managed a smile.
    Why was her husband being so nice? She shrugged and decided that he was the perfect man for her. God was the giver of perfect husbands and Wale was a good example.
    ‘Edward, Dara, I am sorry’ the woman fell on her knees.
    ‘Mama, please get up, what is the meaning of this?’ Dara rushed to pull her up.
    ‘Mother, is everything alright?’ Edward had never seen his mother this sober.
    ‘Remember I told you of a lady I wanted you to marry?’ His mother fetched a newspaper from her bag.
    ‘Yes,’ they chorused.
    ‘First, it was Caro I brought here; and now this woman that I almost introduced to you, but for your firmness and undying love for Dara. I felt terribly guilty that I tried to ruin my son’s life by bringing him women of no consequence. I had to seek the Lord’s face for forgiveness and this is my penance’ she fell on her knees again.
    ‘What are you talking about mother?’ Edward was still confused.
    ‘This lady here is a fraudster; I met her at the airport while going to pick your father. She told me she was a blogger and a fashion designer and single too. I instantly liked her, please forgive me’ she showed them the newspaper she held.
    ‘Honey, isn’t this Beyonce?’ Edward showed the paper to Dara.
    ‘My God, that is Tiwa right beside her, why are they handcuffed?’ Dara was shocked.
    ‘Hmmmn, my dear, she is a senior criminal o. Her real name is Bunmi but she goes by the name Beyonce. She almost fooled me, I thank God I didn’t fall for her sweet mouth’ the woman said.
    ‘I can’t believe Bunmi is a fraudster, she told the girls and I that she was married and based in New York with her three children; she said she only came to Nigeria for business’ Dara said.
    ‘Honey, there’s something that I never told you about Bunmi’ Edward turned to her.
    ‘Hmmmn. Do you know she actually wanted us to be partners? Apparently, she wanted to defraud me too’ Dara pressed a hand on her chest as if recovering from shock.
    ‘Do you know she met Tanko and told him you were still interested in him?’ Edward asked.
    ‘What?’ Dara was shocked again.
    ‘She must have been the one that sent me that recording’ Edward affirmed.
    ‘Why would she do something like that? Why would she want to ruin my marriage?’ Dara felt hurt Bunmi would do something like that to her.
    ‘What are you two talking about?’ Edward’s mum seemed a bit lost.
    ‘Nothing mother, let’s go inside?’ Edward led her in.
    ‘Oshey o, Love discussion eh’ the woman chuckled and went inside the house, away from them.
    ‘Remember you told me about ruining her relationship back in school?’ Edward whispered once his mother was out of sight.
    ‘Yes, you think she carried the grudge that long?’ Dara wondered.
    ‘Don’t be naïve Dara. Some people could go really crazy with bitterness. I am happy her evil plans did not work. As for your P.A Tiwa, I am not sorry for her. She deserves it. Only God knows what information about your company she was selling to Bunmi’ Edward said.
    ‘Abi o’ Dara rolled her eyes.
    ‘Enough of the Beyonce, abi Bunmi, talk. We are in love and we are happy and that is enough’ Edward kissed her face.
    ‘I am surprised your mother apologized to us; does this mean she likes me now?’ Dara raised a brow.
    ‘It doesn’t matter if she likes you, what matters is that I love you’  his hands went to her back and he touched her hips gently.
    ‘Aww, you’re so naughty’ she winked.
    ‘I want to do naughty things with you’ he winked and kissed her.
    ‘Hm, hm, hm’ the older woman cleared her throat as she walked in with a tray of fruits.
    ‘Mama, what is that?’ Dara quickly pulled away from her son.

    Episode 26 (Final)

    ‘Mama, what is that?’ Dara quickly pulled away from her son.
    ‘Peace offering, please forgive me, Dara. I have been too hard on you and I have failed to appreciate your efforts in making my son a better man. Please, I want us to be good friends; you probably still hate me for all the terrible things I did but have mercy’ the woman pleaded.
    Tears welled up in Dara’s eyes as she stared at the older woman; she could never hate her husband’s mother. In fact, her love and acceptance were all she ever prayed for.
    ‘It’s okay Mama, I don’t hate you. I forgive you’ Dara rushed towards her and enveloped her in a hug.
    Edward was greatly pleased; he had what every man prayed for. A happy home with a good wife and a loving mother. His dreams had come true.
    ‘I want hugs too’ he chuckled and encircled both his wife and mother in one big hug.
    ‘Stop it, you will squeeze the breath out of us!’ Dara cautioned him and they laughed; his mother joined in the laughter. Edward loved the sound of it. The family was beautiful and Love wonderful, but Peace was a necessity to keep the two.
    One month had passed since her split with Jerry. She was in the last stage of heartbreak, acceptance.
    Melody believed she deserved what she was served. She couldn’t blame Jerry, not all men had a penchant for forgiveness. She had learnt her lesson and if Love were to ever find her again, she would cherish and hold it close.
    Shayera wasn’t handling her own divorce as well.
    ‘Are you still thinking of Yahaya?’ Melody walked up to her. They had moved in together a few weeks ago.
    Shayera loved to stare down at the streets from the window whenever she was depressed, which was practically every waking moment.
    ‘I am not thinking of Yahaya’ Shayera replied and she wasn’t lying. She was thinking of someone else, the fool she had sacrificed everything for.
    ‘Um, who?’ Melody raised an eyebrow.
    ‘Look at this, look at the man I got pregnant for. I feel so stupid that I chose Tanko over Yahaya’ Shayera blinked away the tears that had settled on her lashes.
    ‘Oh my God, how can he get married to this girl when you carry his child?’ Melody felt bad for her.
    Shayera had been staring at Tanko’s wedding photos; he had gotten married to Caro and left her to rot.
    ‘I wish I could just die and save myself from this shame. I hate myself so much’ Shayera began to cry again.
    ‘Shayera’ Melody called her gently. She knew how it felt to lose your marriage, she had felt it when Jerry left her but she didn’t kill herself.
    ‘You need to move on with your life, with or without Tanko; if not for yourself but for this baby in your womb. Fine, you cheated on your husband; you made a mistake but do not let your mistake define you. Ruining your marriage one thing, but ruining this baby’s life would be unforgivable’ Melody encouraged her.
    ‘It’s not that easy Melody, you’re only saying this because you are stronger than I am. I am not like you, I am so terrified of this world’ Shayera wiped her face.
    ‘Don’t worry, there’s this motivational speaker I want us to listen to over the next few days; people say that she is really good and she knows how to help people get back up on their feet, especially after a break-up or divorce’ Melody suggested.
    ‘Really? What is her name please?’ Shayera was very much interested in bouncing back.
    ‘Dr. Dee, she is really good’ Melody affirmed.
    ‘Okay then, I will listen to her’ Shayera managed a smile.
    ‘Good. Promise me you will also stop crying?’ Melody caressed her long black hair.
    ‘I promise’ Shayera exhaled sharply.
    ‘You’re a good friend Melody, thanks for everything’ she was grateful.
    ‘Yea, speaking of friends; Dara texted me, we are to meet at her house for date night’ Melody informed Shayera.
    ‘Alright, I hope it would be like old times’ Shayera drew another breath knowing how awkward it would be for both of them.
    It was ironic that Dara’s marriage with the most pitfalls was now the perfect one and theirs that had been very promising ended up in shambles.
    Life was indeed a puzzle.
    ‘We will be fine, eventually’ Melody gave her hand a squeeze.
    The table had been set by Dara’s mother-in-law who wouldn’t allow her touch anything. The ceramic plates were filled with assorted dishes; there was something in the air; it had no face, no eyes, and no color; it was love.
    ‘You need to go now, my friends are coming and I don’t want you eavesdropping’ she shooed Edward away.
    ‘Will you tell them the good news?’ Edward winked and tickled her.
    ‘No, not yet. Won’t they feel bad that things aren’t working out for them and my life is the maze of perfection?’ Dara shook her head.
    ‘Okay, suit yourself, I am off’ he kissed her and left for their bedroom.
    ‘I love him so much’ she rubbed her belly slightly. Soon, she would give birth to their first child. A smile warmed her face at the thought.
    ‘Come on in guys’ she smiled as the door bell rang.
    ‘Tah dah’! Her friends rushed in, even Melody and Shayera were excited.
    ‘Wow, I missed you guys’ Dara smiled and offered each of them a hug.
    ‘And we missed you too’ they chorused.
    She noticed something was off; they avoided her eyes, like she was in the dark about something.
    ‘So how are you holding up?’ She turned to Shayera first and then Melody.
    ‘The lord is their strength’ Jane murmured and began dishing food for herself.
    ‘I am fine. Melody really helped me. I realized that my greatest pain came from the fact that I had not forgiven myself’ Shayera replied with a confident smile.
    ‘That’s the spirit, girl! As for me, I have learnt my lessons. I was proud, arrogant and bossy. I apologize to you all, I know I hurt one or two with my words in the past but be rest assured that I am a changed person now’ Melody announced.
    ‘Wait, are you born again?’ Jane dropped her plate of rice and stared at Melody wide eyed
    ‘Jane!’ Her friends chorused.
    ‘No harm in asking’ she grinned and faced her food.
    ‘So how about you Jane? How are you and Wale?’ Melody turned to her.
    ‘God will punish Blessing for her wickedness! Wale is cool, he believes God will favor us again’ Jane shrugged.
    ‘Yes he will’ Dara smiled.
    She felt happy that all her friends had overcome their dark places; everything was going to be alright.
    ‘And how about you? How are you and Edward?’ Jane winked.
    ‘We are fine’ Dara shrugged and avoided looking directly at their friends. She didn’t want to tell them about her pregnancy just yet.
    ‘Sure? What about the fact that there is a baby in your womb?’ Melody winked.
    ‘You were too fast’ Shayera poked Melody.
    ‘Wait, how do you know this?’ Dara wondered.
    Only one person knew she was pregnant and that was Edward.
    ‘That man can’t keep his mouth shut’ Dara laughed.
    ‘Congratulations. We are so happy for you’ they gathered round her.
    ‘This means so much to me’ Dara was excited to have her friends around.
    And so did their stories end…
    Some wives had lost due to their pride and arrogance.
    Others because of infidelity.
    There were still many like Jane, who waddled in naivety and self denial.
     And there were some that won in the end.
    Where do you belong?

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