……Ify sighed. “I came here for us to talk.” She said.
“I…… I don’t want anyone else to hear us, may I come closer?”
Ada nodded her affirmation, curious to hear what had brought Ify to her house in this manner. Ify moved to the chair closest to Ada.
“I need your help.”
“How can I possibly be of help to you?” Ada asked suspiciously.
“My husband is having an affair!” Ify blurted out.
Ada examined Ify carefully, Ify avoided her gaze. Was this the ‘disaster’ she came to share with her? How could she possibly help her with this? When did she become the ‘cheating husband police’?
“Ok….” Ada said slowly. “And…..” She encouraged, trying to draw her out. There had to be more, this couldn’t be the only reason Ify was here. To the best of her knowledge, Ada had no control whatsoever on Mark, Ify’s husband. Matter-of-fact, its safe to assume that Mark hated her, and Ada was indifferent to him.
“I heard about the affair from Mark’s PA, former PA.” Ify continued in a near-whisper. “He told me the girl in question worked for another Senator; Senator Joy. So I went to see Senator Joy.” She paused for a while. “To cut the story short, Senator Joy fired her, Mark fired his PA and hired the girl as his PA.”
“You did what?” Ada couldn’t believe Ify. “You had someone fired from her job on a suspicion that she was dating your husband?”
“Its not mere speculation.” Ify protested. “She really is sleeping with my husband. I’ve heard it from different people; she drives his cars about town, she is almost always at our house in Abuja, the domestic staff confirmed it, and I think Mark knows because when I wanted to go to Abuja to see things for myself, he ordered me not to leave Lagos or come to Abuja! This woman has taken over my husband!” Ify lamented bitterly.
Ada was really at a loss for words.
Was this for real or…… Ada thought to herself.
Sounded like the plot of a soap-opera.
In the midst of all these, Ada still couldn’t understand where she could or was supposed to come in.
“I sympathize with you on these, however; I still don’t see where I come in. I have no words of advice to give, no experience with a cheating spouse. I mean, my late husband; of blessed memory never cheated on me, or I don’t think he did. So, I can’t….. I don’t even know what to say. I can’t get past the fact that you had a person fired from her job. I mean; you do know she isn’t your problem, its your cheating husband who is your problem.” Ada said straight up.
“I know. I was desperate. I did the first thing that came to me.”
“And it backfired. Big-time.”
They were both silent, each lost in her thoughts.
Ada really didn’t know what advice she could offer Ify, when what she really wanted to say and do was; stick out her tongue at her in the classic ‘ntorr’. Ify and her husband were always trying to play God, both of them control freaks. She had always wondered how they got along on their own, when they was no one else to make miserable, whose will gave way for the other.
Ada smiled inwardly. One of the benefits of growing up in an orphanage was her ‘poker face’. Want and competition were permanent fixtures in the orphanage, and as such it was important not to wear your heart on your sleeve, and habits formed in childhood lasts us through a lifetime, as such; Ada was confident that her thoughts weren’t showing on her face.
Now back to Ify and Mark. Ify wasn’t really telling her anything she didn’t know already. She’d heard the gist weeks ago about Mark’s latest mistress. Ok, she didn’t know the details because she didn’t care, but, now; she still didn’t care. She’d had years of Ify and her husband constituting themselves into mighty pains in her behind, and she wasn’t about to add to that by taking on their issues.
Ify could sense Ada’s reluctance to get involved or proffer advice. She could tell Ada didn’t want to believe or trust her. She knew Ada; they’d been friends for years before the recent years of strife. Ada trusted reluctantly but totally, and they was very little she couldn’t do for the one she trusted.
“Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost it. Like my life is without purpose.” Ify got up and began to pace the living room. “I don’t have a job, not sure I want one though.” She grimaced. “I’d resigned myself to being wife and mother. Now for the wife bit; Mark and I live virtually separate lives. And for the mother part; my nanny is more of a mother to my kids than I am.” She stopped in front of a framed picture of Abigail and Ada’s children; on their first birthday. “You know I almost fired her last week, in a bid to reclaim my children, but I lost my nerve. I feel superfluous, purposeless.”
Aha! Now we get to the crux of the matter. Ada thought. The issue wasn’t really about Mark’s infidelity, Ify was also feeling unfulfilled in her life. But still, why come to her? And what was with her and firing or getting people fired?
“You’re the only one I could come to. You know our society, and how we can be, there’s no one to trust.” Ify said earnestly returning to her seat, as though she read her thoughts.
Including you! Ada screamed silently. “I still don’t see how I can help you, I think you need to see a counselor.” She said instead. “We read Law, and now I just buy and sell.” Ada joked, trying to lighten the situation.
Ify laughed. “Yea, I think so too. But I don’t know any. Do you?” She jumped on the counseling idea.
“No, but I’ll inquire.” Ada promised.
Ify brightened instantly, she jumped up and hugged a very surprised Ada. “Thank you. I knew I could always count on you. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Ada slowly extricated herself before Ify smothered her.
Ify sat, sniffling, and Ada rolled her eyes. Ify had always been theatrical, and it was difficult to know when she was acting and when she was for real.
“I have to go now, I promised the kids an afternoon out, and I’ve already taken up most of your day.” She picked up her purse. “You will help me, Ada?” She asked in a demanding tone, standing in front of Ada.
“Off course. I should get the name of a reputable counselor soon.”
Ify nodded. “And with the other stuff? I would like to know my options.”
“Your options as in…?”
Ify shrugged. “I’ve got to go.” She quickly left the room leaving a very shocked Ada staring after her.
What did she mean about knowing her options? Could she?
She shook her head in negation, Ify couldn’t mean that, she loved the power and prestige that came with being married into this family. Not to mention the money.
Ify dialed a number on her phone as she walked to her car, it was answered on the other end almost immediately. “She bit and I’m on my way.” Ify said. She ended the call and got into her car and drove off. Waving merrily at the security man at the gate, no trace of the downcast Ify of a few minutes ago.