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REGRET by Olisaemeka Gerald Njoku

I was a happily married lady. I had the husband every woman prayed for. Mike (my husband) was of average height, dark, rich and so caring. He worked with the biggest telecommunications company in Nigeria, and was actually a regional manager. He was Yoruba and I was Igbo. Our marriage was blessed with two wonderful kids: Mike Jnr. (4 years old) and Anita (3 years old). We were like love birds. Everything seemed perfect. It was the union of my dreams.

Owing to his busy schedule and frequent work itineraries, Mike often travelled, and sometimes stayed outside Enugu for a week or two. This more often than not caused some conflicts in our marriage because he didn’t seem to be there when I intimately needed him. However, for all his failures in this aspect, he duly compensated me with wonderful gifts whenever he returned from his travels. He actually bought me a brand new SUV on the last anniversary of our wedding a few months ago.

One day, during one of Mike’s out-of-state travels, something happened…I made a friend. We bumped into each other, purely by accident at Shoprite cinema. Out of boredom, I had gone to see a movie. We sat near each other, and somehow, naturally, he got me into a short conversation.

He seemed nice, not-too-flirty-but-flirty-enough-to-show-his-interest type of guy. He said he was a civil servant in one of the state ministries. I enjoyed his company and by the end of the film show, we exchanged contacts, and by the time I retired to bed, I and Mark were friends on Facebook.

From then, every time I logged on to chat with my husband or friends, Mark messaged me from out of the blue. But that was okay; he seemed cool, and he began to amuse me. I thought of him as confident, quite assertive, and what a flirt he had become! I never took him seriously. I always cut him short and disappeared online. I still loved my husband, and wanted nobody else but him.

However, we started to have longer, more in-depth conversations. We became good mates. We were both married; both with two children. My husband was away a lot preoccupied with work, and his wife was away a lot with his children. We grew closer. We shared a lot of ourselves with each other. It became more serious. I no longer laughed at him when he flirted, and if I did, he was hurt.

Four months had passed with our random chatting, when he asked me on a “date”. Would I meet him on Skype on Valentine’s Day? My heart skipped. This was a bit serious! But I was excited, and said yes. So while Mike slept, exhausted after making out with me, I sneaked into the guest room and logged on to the chat that night. We chatted all night online, and when we finally said goodbye a little after 4am, we said, “I Love You” to each other…and it felt right.

Unbelievably, I had fallen in love with him! He was funny and cheeky and caring and loving and interesting and everything I could ever wish for in a man…Everything I wished my husband could be if only he stayed home more! I had begun to feel bored and less enthusiastic towards Mike. I felt my husband was only interested in me physically, even though I lacked nothing good from him. I began to make excuses that weren’t there, and even tried justifying my adulterous relationship with Mark.

I and Mark continued texting and sneaking phone calls whenever we could. Things became so intense and I decided to invite him over to the house one day. Mike was on one of his trips, and I had got my mum, who also lived in the same state with me, to come take the kids for the weekend. I had lied to her saying I was going for a church programme. This later became the first of many weekend sex escapades I would have with Mark whenever my husband travelled. And even when my husband was deployed to the state where we lived, enabling him to stay home more often, I just couldn’t stop cheating on him with Mark. We continued our illicit affair from one hotel to another.

One Friday, Mike informed me he would be travelling to the village to visit his aged mother. I only saw that as an opportunity to have Mark over after taking the kids to my mum’s or maybe their auntie’s house. Immediately I heard Mike drive out of the compound in his car, I called Auntie Martha to come pick up the kids, and called Mark soon after.

When Mark came over, it was like electric. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other, and before one could say “Buhari,” we were making love right on the sofa in my husband’s living room! It was quite passionate, as it had been a little long since we had had each other.

However, we got the shock of our lives when after we were spent coupling, we just couldn’t untangle ourselves! Panic engulfed us, and with it came pain and then shame and more panic. What could be happening? Why are we stuck like this? Is it normal to be stuck when having sex? So many thoughts raced through my mind, but suddenly it all dawned on me…Mike was Yoruba, and must have used diabolic powers on me! I think it’s called “magun”.

He must have suspected I have been cheating on him. He might have tapped my phone or tracked my sms correspondence with Mark. God! He was a telecommunication engineer! How didn’t I think of this before?! How did I ever think he would never find out?! I am finished!

At that moment, we heard the sound of Mike’s car driving into the compound! I couldn’t help but think of the drama and attendant shame once he entered the living room to behold us.

God! What have I got myself into? What would I tell people that made me cheat on my loving husband who gave me everything? So many thoughts raced through my mind. I was in pain. Mark was between the point of screaming in agony and trying to detach himself from me.

Slowly the door whined open as Mike entered the room, and with him were my mother, and Auntie Martha. I was beyond shock. I wished I could just die instantly. Their faces were painted with horror as their hands went to their mouths to keep them from shouting.

Mike’s face betrayed almost nothing. His face was devoid of emotion. He seemed to have been expecting the scene before him. He slowly brought out his smart phone and began to snap us and video our naked bodies. He wanted to save the evidence in the presence of witnesses.

After he was through with that, he managed a wan smile and then, in the softest of voice, said, “Why, Pastor Mark Okenta, would you take my wife? I shall release you from your agony but from today, she would become your wife. She is my last seed offering and tithe to you as my General Overseer.”

Author: Olisaemeka Gerald Njoku

Olisaemeka Gerald Njoku is a short story writer, poet, teacher, and board game inventor. He studied linguistics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a spoken word poet and loves playing Scrabble and watching historical documentaries. He lives in/writes from Enugu.

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