She was so lost in her thoughts she didn’t hear the room door open. She heard Mark ask; “What are you doing, going through my laptop?”
Ify turned her gaze on her husband of eight years, hurt, disillusioned, and she wasn’t surprised she didn’t recognize him. She had known Mark for over ten years, but the Mark she was looking at right now? She didn’t recognize. She couldn’t believe Mark could write such a will, cutting her out, not even acknowledging her. She was even afraid to think of what that meant for them.
She had loved Mark deeply from the moment they met. Now she could see that love was more stupid than deep. All these years, she had tried to be the woman Mark wanted; his every need met. He only needed to insinuate that she jump and she was jumping already and asking him how high from up in the sky. There wasn’t a thing he had ever asked of her she had refused him.
He asked that she turn her back on her friend and she had; a friend who had been closer than a sister. No questions asked. Even when her family and the whole world thought she was crazy for pursuing such a vendetta against Ada, Ify had been resolute in her determination to please her husband. When he recently outlined her role in the new game plan, she had gone along with it, still no questions asked. His infidelities, his shortcomings as a husband and father, she had ignored them all. Yet he could treat her like this!
She got up, her eyes blazing furiously, the dam broke, and she attacked him physically. Crying and hitting him at the same time.
Mark was very surprised at the attack, for Ify hadn’t ever talked back at him in all the years he’d known her, not to talk of hitting him. He tried to fend off her attack and hold her hands down at the same time. What had gotten into her? He’d rushed home immediately he noticed he forgot his laptop at home, Ify wasn’t the snoopy type, and by his calculations she shouldn’t have had much time to go through the laptop. Had she already?
“What is wrong with you? Control yourself woman.” He was having difficulty controlling her; he never knew Ify was such a strong woman. Her nails had done some serious damage to his face and neck.
“How could you?” She accused when he held her hands immobile.
“What has gotten into you, will you control yourself?” He warned.
She stopped fighting, and held his gaze. “I found your will.” She whispered.
Mark could see a mixture of hurt and contempt in Ify’s eyes. Ify had always adored him. She was his number one champion and seeing her look at him which such contempt in her eyes unsettled him.
Damn! She wasn’t meant to see the will. This was just a first draft, besides, wills were meant to be seen and read after the demise of the originator. He shouldn’t have to defend his will while he was still alive.
Seeing that she had calmed and was waiting for him to say something, he released her hands and led her to the bed. They both sat side by side, staring into space.
“You cut me out of your will.” She said after a few seconds.
“No I didn’t.” he replied.
She turned on him. “I read the will, every word of it; my name isn’t even mentioned in the will.”
“But our kids are mentioned. They get everything.”
“Controlled by your brother!” she cried. “I’m your wife, the mother of your children, and I don’t even get a mention in your will, I should be your next of kin.”
“Stop the theatrics Ify, this was a purely business decision. I wanted someone who will take charge of my assets until the kids are of age should the need arise.” He stated in a matter-of-fact manner.
Had Ify been asked, she would have said nothing more could shock her, but this newest revelation did. She got up slowly and faced him. What Mark was insinuating was he didn’t think her smart enough to handle his business in his absence? “You don’t think I’m smart enough to take charge of your assets? You think I’m stupid? Have you forgotten I graduated with a very good degree in Law, and one of the best results in Law school? You think I’m dumb? You think I don’t know what it means that you didn’t name our kids by name; you just left it open that your assets be shared equally amongst your children? You think I don’t know that suggests they are more?”
“Will you stop?” He barked. “You need to calm down and stop working yourself into frenzy for nothing.”
“Really? It’s nothing that you think I’m stupid? You can look me in the eye and ask me to calm down? Is this what you have against Ada? You don’t think her smart enough to represent her children’s interests, or smart enough to run her own business? Is that why you want to ruin her?”
“For goodness sakes Ify, this has nothing to do with Ada.”
“Oh, I bet it does. If you could see your wife that way, how much more a woman whom you believed married your father for money?”
“Ify.” He warned.
“No, I really want to know, and I’m way past caring. I haven’t ever questioned you on your hatred for Ada, today, I want to know.” She dragged her dresser stool and sat facing him, her arms akimbo.
Mark could feel his temper escalating. Ify was questioning him, directly defying his warnings to thread carefully.
“I’m waiting.” She reminded him after a few seconds.
He got up and began pacing. “I wrote that will with the best of intentions; Mark will take care of you.”
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” She quipped. “I do not believe that for a second. However, right now, I need you to answer the Ada question. What did she do to make you hate her?”
Mark exhaled loudly, and stopped at the window. “She was all wrong for my father. She exerted undue influence on him. All through my early years, while my mother was alive, they had a formula that worked she took care of the home, and he took care of business. Then suddenly, at over sixty, he meets this girl, and starts quoting her in business meetings. My father who used to rely on my business advice began taking advice from an inexperienced neophyte. What did Ada know about GO? I was born into GO, I lived, breathed, studied GO, and suddenly, I was extra to requirements to the old man. I suddenly saw that he could easily have replaced me with Ada as his successor and I hated her for it. From the first day he met and spoke with her, he was lost, you see that strong astute businessman people eulogized at his funeral; that was my father when my mother was alive, that was him up until the moment he met Ada. All that changed when he met her, then he became her mouthpiece, her champion, her……….” He broke off, unable to go on.
“He was in love.” She whispered. “I knew your dad before he met Ada, and yes I saw a difference when he met her and I thought it was good; he was happier!”
“What nonsense love? That was weakness, a man isn’t supposed to be weak, he taught me that. He doesn’t get to say one thing and do another. He said; never let a woman come before sound business decisions. I listened, I learnt.”
Mark sounded almost childish, it was as though a door had been unlocked and he was transported back to his childhood. She was aware that this was a window of opportunity for her to reach him and any false step could close this window.
“Were Ada’s business ideas good ideas?” she asked gently.
He shrugged non-comitally, but knowing him, that he didn’t deny it meant there were good ideas.
“There weren’t the way he’d thought me to think, there weren’t in line with the plans he had for the business.” He replied grudgingly.
“Maybe that was the catch; she suggested different, more efficient ways.”
“I could have presented those same ideas and he would ridicule them, but Ada suggested it and they were golden.” He retorted. “She messed up George Okoro’s mind; she affected his relationship with his kids.”
“But you’re the only one who complained?”
“I was the only one with the gall to do so. They thought it, all four of us hate her, I just have the balls to show it.”
“I don’t think so. I don’t think all four of you hate her. And I think there’s a deep-seated belief in you that women aren’t business savvy, and aren’t responsible. Which is why I didn’t even get a mention in your will.” She brought him back to the matter of his will.
“But it is true, women aren’t good at business. Look through history, they always screw-up!”
“Not true.” She protested. “I could give you perfect examples of business savvy women, women who achieved the home-work balance and excelled at both.” She held up her hands to stop him from speaking, she got-up and walked towards him. “I can do it, but I’ve lived all these years trying to be the woman I thought you needed; the stay-at-home home-maker. While I have no complaints, I have a problem with you thinking that’s all I can ever be.” She got to him and held his hands. “I love you Mark, I love you so much, but this vendetta against Ada has to stop. Now. Today. Ada is a very good person, and she has been nothing short of good to us. She is family, the mother of your siblings. Our kids are presently in her care, she took them in no questions asked. You are now the leader of the family, it’s up to you to unite the family, do you want to break it up, and do you want to make future enemies for your kids?”
He turned away from her, lost in thought. She rested her head on his back. She really was scared. She was hanging on a limb here, but she had a feeling it all was intertwined. If she got him to let go of his vendetta towards Ada, then perhaps it would have a spill-over effect on how she regarded him. She wasn’t really bothered about inheriting his wealth, she was well heeled from her parents, and if need be; she could take care of herself and her children.
“If I stop, she’ll stay out of my business?” he asked after long seconds had elapsed.
“She was never in your business.” Ify replied calmly. ‘Yes, she will. I promise.”
He sighed. “Ok.”
She hugged him from behind. “I know you’ve set something in motion, I need you to call it off right now.”
“You don’t trust me?” He turned around.
“I do, it’s just; there’s no time like the present.”
“I will, trust me.” He hugged her, looking into her eyes. He liked this new different Ify, go figure. If anyone had asked him he would have thought he preferred the mousy, agree-with-him type, but this confident Ify, he liked a lot better. “And I will rewrite my will.”
“Thank you.” She hugged him closer.
Ike received a mail from Mark’s business manager with trepidation. What again? He thought to himself, all day he hadn’t been able to come-up with a solution that could work. He hadn’t discussed it with anyone else, asides Ada. Not even any of his colleagues or his financial advisor.
He opened the mail immediately, and couldn’t believe his eyes. He reread the brief message:
‘Please disregard the previous mail instructing you to obtain a bank loan on behalf of Senator Mark’s campaign. It was an error which has been rectified.’
He felt like whooping for joy. He didn’t care who’s error it was, or if it was an error. He was glad that burden had been lifted.
He immediately placed a call to Ada’s cell phone to inform her of the good news……..
Hey you beautiful people, it’s the last day of 2014 and the last episode of Twists and Turns aka Crinkum Crankum. I crammed two episodes in one so it could end today, and we could begin the 2015 with a new story, however, I have to apologize ahead: the new story will most likely not begin in January, probably February. I apologize and will try to make it happen in January. Also, there might be an Ada and Ike love story, but that’s a story for another title.
So, 2014 ends today. It’s been a good year, hasn’t it? I’ve had fun, surpassed some targets, met some, working towards some, discarded some, and picked up some, and all-in-all; God was good.
So I’m walking into 2015 excited, expectant, and very hopeful ‘cos I have a God who always takes care of me.
As the year ends, I urge us all to hold on to and look to God. Let him feature in every of our New Year resolutions and, trust me; He’ll come through for us.
Thank you all, thank you to everyone who has been a part of this blog; by reading, commenting, critiquing, sharing, liking, or in any way at all. It’s been a good year, and I won’t trade any moment of it. Thank you for your time, for your data, thank you so much and God bless you.
See you tomorrow in 2015, Peace, Love, and All Your Heart’s Desires.