I woke up two months ago and saw a man sleeping beside me. “Where am I and who could this man be?” I wondered. I looked at him straight in the face for about 30 seconds, I could not place him. So, I gently got up from the bed and looked out through the window. Still the environment looked unfamiliar.
Quietly, I tried to make my way to oth-er parts of the house. When I got to the sitting room, the place was well arranged and beautifully decorated. But what sur-prised me were the pictures hanging on the wall around the big television set. There was a large framed wedding pic-ture of me and a man, I presume to be the fellow on the bed. “Who is this man? Is he my husband? But how come I don’t remember?” I asked myself. In the picture we were both smiling and looked so happy together.
In another picture, we were with three lovely children – all boys. We looked good and happy as a family. As I stood there admiring the pictures, I heard footsteps, it was the same man in the pictures. He walked up to me and said, “Sweetheart good morning. I knew you were going to be up very early today since it’s your sister’s wedding. Don’t worry about the boys; we will take care of ourselves. You better go and start getting dressed. We will meet you at the church.” “Who are you? You say my sister is wedding today? Which of my sisters are you talking about?” I asked. “Is this a joke or what? Franca of course,” he stressed. “Darling, are you alright?” he asked. Quickly, I said yes. “You have been working too hard as of late. Anyway, I thank God Franca’s wedding is finally here so that you can rest. You are so stressed up,” he empha-sised.
He held my hands and took me to the bedroom. I knew something was not right but I had to play along to find out the truth. I took my bath and dressed since it was obvious I had arranged my clothes and accessories on the sofa the previous night but I could not just remember anything. The wedding card was also beside my clutch purse so, somehow, things were made a bit easy for me.
On my way out, a boy of about six years old rushed out and hugged me. “Good morning mum. You’re looking so beautiful. Daddy said we will meet you at aunty Franca’s wedding later,” he said. He asked me how I was feeling since I complained of headache before going to bed the previous night. I told him I felt better. He hugged me and waved goodbye.
I drove straight to the church and, luckily, I saw my siblings and parents waiting outside the church. They were all excited to see me. “Sade, how are you? What about your husband and the boys?” My mother asked. “They are fine. But mummy please when did I get married?” I asked. “What sort of stupid question are you asking me Sade? You have been married to Wale for seven years and you people love each other so much,” she re-vealed. “The truth mummy is that I woke up this morning and realised that I don’t remember anybody in that house,” I explained. My mother told me I was probably sick with fever. She promised that we would talk later in the day when the wedding was over.
I met my best friend, Helen, at the wedding and many other friends as well. At a point, I called Helen and asked her when I got married and if I truly have three children. She affirmed. “Helen, I don’t remember anything about marrying Wale much less having three children with him. What about Sylvester my love?” I enquired. “Sade Sylvester was so devastated that you left him for another man. However, he got married about a year after you were married to Wale,” she revealed. She asked me what the matter was. I told her I was very convinced that Wale used charms on me because I don’t recollect marrying him.
I asked Helen how I met Wale and she said that I did not tell her. All I said was that, “I have met the man of my dreams.”
After the whole event was over, my mother told me she was tired. She, however, promised that we would see before the end of the week. So, I went home with Wale and the boys but I noticed that Wale was a little tensed. When we got home, Junior said to me, “Mummy, why are you behaving strange? You are too quiet today. You don’t talk and play with us like you used to.” “Junior, I am sorry if you feel that way. Mummy is just tired,” I said. I hugged and kissed his cheek. He smiled and said, “We love you mummy. Maybe you should go and rest. I must confess that my boys are all handsome and active. Junior, my first son, is six, Samuel is four and Ola is two. Whenever I watch them play I feel so happy that they are my children.
Anyway, I went to the bedroom and picked our wedding album in the bedroom. I took it and started looking through it. “God, see me smiling all through the ceremony, but why can’t I remember anything?” I murmured. I saw many faces I could not even recognise but they were laughing and chatting with me in the pictures.
When Wale entered the room, he could not look at me straight in the face. I was wondering how we met and why I mar-ried him and dumped my love, Sylvester. “Why will I dump Sylvester for Wale? Something must be wrong somewhere,” I atold myself. “Wale, what happened to me, because everybody and everything in this house look new and strange to me. Please I need answers,” I pleaded. “Sade, I don’t understand what you are talking about. We have lived together as husband and wife for seven years and we love each other dearly,” he emphasised.
I needed quick answers, so I called my parents that I was coming over to the house. They insisted that I should come with Wale. When I told him about the visit, he agreed to go with me. When we got to my parents’ house, my mother called everyone and pleaded that I repeat all I told her at my sister’s wedding. I did. “What seems to be the problem Sade? This was the same young man you brought to us seven years ago despite being engaged to Sylvester. You threatened that if you don’t marry him you will kill yourself. Today you are telling us you don’t remember him? How possible could that be?” My father fumed. To convince me that I was excited marrying Wale, they also showed me our engagement and wedding pictures. I also watched our wedding video but all these did not make any meaning to me. They even showed me my pictures and the children in London and Dubai respectively but it just didn’t click. “Sade, are you really serious that you cannot remember any of these?” Asked my mother. “No, mother,” I replied.
While we were there still trying to fig-ure out what could be the problem, I had a flashback. “Yes, yes, I now remember where I saw this face (pointing at Wale) for the first time,” I said. “I remember I had a flat tyre on my way home one eve-ning and a young man offered to help me change the tyre. When he finished, I thanked and gave him N500 for his help and I drove off. Hmm … that was years ago. I also remember that yesterday eve-ning when I was clearing the wardrobe in the bedroom and suddenly a small calabash fell off from a corner. It had some mixture in it that had a foul smell. I just swept and mopped the floor. I also remember going to bed with a terrible headache,” I revealed.
Everyone noticed that at this point Wale was very uncomfortable on his seat. “Wale, what calabash is Sade talk-ing about? What did you do to my daughter?” My father queried. “I don’t know what calabash she is talking about,” he explained. My father then threatened to call in the police if he finds out any foul play. He told us to go home while he consults with some people. “Take Sade home while I consult with some people. Wale, I hope your hands are clean if not you will spend the rest of your life in prison,” he warned.
At this moment, Wale revealed he had a confession. He said: “That fateful day seven years ago, when I met Sade, I was actually going home from a native doctor’s place. I have had a series of heartbreaks and betrayals from women I love, so I decided to visit the baba so that he would give me love portion. The love portion, according to him, is to be used on any woman I see and like. He stressed that once I liked any woman and I touched her, she would automatically fall in love and marry me without realising what she is doing. Fortunately, I saw that she had a flat tyre and needed help, I offered to help her. Although, she gave me N500, because I liked her per-son I made sure my hands touched her when she was giving me the money. Im-mediately, she liked and fell hopelessly in love with me. That day, we also exchanged phone numbers and home ad-dress. I am not surprised she cannot remember what happened in the seven years we were together because baba said the charm would make the woman not to remember people or happenings from the day I touched her with the charm. He said the charm should be renewed every two years but he warned that the day the charm clears off her eyes, she would remember only happen-ings that took place within 8 -12 hours. I was supposed to renew the charm last year, which was the sixth year but I re-fused because I had truly fallen in love with Sade even if she did not realise what was happening around her. But since the calabash fell and got broken, she became free and came back to her senses. I have truly come to love Sade. However, I am sorry,” he pleaded.
Everyone was shocked to their bone marrow while I burst into tears. He pleaded with everyone to forgive him. My father told him to go home while they determine what should be done. I have been at my parents place for some time now but he keeps calling to apologise. My parents insist that they cannot make any decision for me although my marriage to Wale was not with clear eyes. However, they promised to stand by me in whatever my decision is.
I went home recently to pack some of my belongings but when I got there and saw my boys, all I could do was to weep. Junior walked up to me and said, “Mummy, daddy said you are now living in our grandparents’ house. But, why? Why did you leave us? Did daddy do any-thing wrong to you? We have missed you, please come back home to us.” “Junior, my dear you will not understand even if I explain to you until tomorrow. But all I can tell you is that, mummy needs some time alone. Whatever happens, I want you to know mummy loves you and your brothers,” I said, weeping. “But, can we visit you at grandma’s house,” he asked. “Yes, my dear. Tell daddy to bring you anytime you feel like seeing me,” I said. I hugged and told them to be good boys. Wale stood at a corner feeling guilty but I knew I was not ready to see him as he repulsed me.
I will not deny it that I love my children and would not want to stay apart from them but how do I continue to live with such a man as Wale who charmed me into loving and marrying him? How will they understand what their father did to me at this their tender age? I don’t even love him. But do I continue to stay in the marriage because I have children with him? I need time so that I can make the right decision. But, will my own right decision be the best for my children? What do I do?