It is now history the days when our mamas stucked it out, battled against the iceberg trying to capsize the rosy ships of their marriages. They gave all they’ve got to see their marriages not go down the drain, the enduring patience by those mothers which I believe is lacking today .I could remember my mom constantly telling us that she was sticking out her necks so we the kids would not suffer the wraths that might be unleashed by the stepmoms and her husband’s proposed mistress. All these kinds of vigorous commitments were just no longer in existence with ladies of my generations as even many of us threaten our husbands with divorce after a heated argument which we think only existed in ours but honestly is going on in that couple neighbor we envy next door.
As I kept on feasting my eyes around this jam-packed hall, the reality of my own marital struggles came rushing at me. If only I had the guts to throw in the towel, run to the parking lot, turn the car around and storm up the drive, find Femi and demand a divorce. It was the only thing that would set either of us free at this point. God …… help me. The silent cry came from the depths of my soul and made the corners of my eyes sting. Daughter … I am with you….I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope and a future and not to harm you….
The scripture came as easily as my next breath the same way it always had. Since the time my parent’s business nosedived due to the Nigerian economic situation and I had to financially help ease my parents, start working and travel abroad at 19, I’d clung to the promise, believing that God truly knew the plans He had for me. Believing they were good. But what place did the words have in my life now? Good plans and a hope?, A future? The loveless routine I shared with Femi was hardly that, and what good could possibly come from the life we sharing together?
Then the answer came, Mide, of course. Mide was the good that had come from the two of us. Back from a time and place when Femi and I had loved each other more than life itself. And Mide was the one who would pay the price if I asked for a divorce as a bail out. For a moment I looked up at the waiting number bar making sure I hadn’t being called while I was in my deep thought. I turned and forced a smile at a lady whose tattoos is like her second skin took the seat where the marriage license lovebirds just vacated and she flashed back her braces teeth while placing a brown envelope with child support bolding written on its back.
No, I couldn’t divorce Femi, not ever. He hadn’t done anything wrong. He had never cheated on me or slapped me or even called me a bad name. He’d rarely ever said unkind words to me. The familiar sting in my eyes grew stronger, though I ‘d been looking forward to the time alone since Femi volunteered to stay home with Mide, spending time with our son for the first time all week only to call me less than an hour later he had an impromptu teleconferencing scheduled in the office and he needed to rush to dropping off our kid at his earlier cancelled basketball training after he promised to make up for not buying him the new Xbox which Mide gladly submitted to since he so much idolized his dad. I am grateful for the time alone but this is no time to cry.
So what was the problem? Why did I feel like my world was falling apart, like a part of my heart would never breathe or function again? As I noticed a tear fell on my short and made a tiny wet circle on my denim pants, I quickly whisked it away. The answer was obvious. It wasn’t what Femi had done that made me this vulnerable; it was what he hadn’t done. What he’d stopped doing somewhere along the trail of years. Whenever it was that he’d stopped keeping promises, when he’d stopped taking me on dates or spending a few moments with Mide.
With Femi, I now shared little more than a business relationship with who I called my own husband. None of the love and passion I’d hoped to find by marrying the man, none of the magic we’d shared in during our courtship dating back to our college days. But those weren’t grounds for divorce not even close to it. God….there’s no way out, Pls give me a reason to believe it’ll get better one day. I am trapped in a prison of pretense and promises and unless Femi had a change of heart ,my sentence would last a lifetime because being the manager of Maxx wouldn’t be enough with Femi, a rare position for a black man and neither would making millions. There would always be one more deal, one more meeting, one more corporate seminar to conquer. And those things would always share him with Mide and I.
I jerked my head up and there blinking in front of me was my ticket number on the bar. As quickly as I could, I grabbed my purse and move towards the open cashier. Sighting my approach, in the usual automated voice ,Hi, am Kristi, how can I be of assistance today, are you here for marriage license, civil ceremony, alimony, legal separation, child support………without waiting for these usual long delivered speech of what her daily job functions entail, I deliberating flashed her my wedding band and handed her the check for my speeding ticket, she hurriedly processed it, gave me my receipt and I left the court telling me myself, “It ain’t an option …….No divorce. It’s workable”.