THE moment Charles walked through the door, I knew there would be trouble,” said Molade. In her mid-fifties, she’s a typical trophy wife. She’d never done a decent job in her life. After being kicked out of higher school for not passing any decent subject in her school certificate exams, she met Charles.” I was enrolled in secretarial school and was bored stiff”, she said.On my way from lunch this fateful afternoon, Charles stopped to chat me up in his brand new Mazda car. That brand of car was the rage then amongst the young executives and I quickly got into the passenger seat with him.
“He was handsome, tall and fun to be with. We started dating and I was impressed by his two-bedroom flat. Less than a year after we met, I became pregnant and Charles said he was ready to tie the knot. I was 20, he was 29 and assured me he was ready for marriage. He’d never hidden the fact he was a ladies’ man from me and he knew I had a couple of boyfriends when we met.
“And even after we got married, Charles behaved as if his new status had nothing to do with his roving eyes. I knew he loved me and I was in love with him too. Only the love we shared didn’t prevent us from admiring other people. I had four children in quick succession. Charles told me from the get go I shouldn’t breast-feed – that he hated women with floppy boobs and I was quite happy to agree with him. During the course of our marriage, I’d had a few bites of the forbidden fruit myself and I wasn’t ready to stop. Charles had even used it to his advantage. Where he worked, there were highly ambitious colleagues wanting to step on top of him on their hurried climb up the ladder of success. I happened to be friendly with a few of his bosses?’ so when the competition got fierce in his office, Charles would encourage me to go on dates with any boss that might make his next promotion difficult.
“I’d ensured one or two pushes up the ladder for him and Charles was really
grateful and gave me a monthly allowance generous enough for me not to seek paid employment. But after our last child started primary school, I became bored and Charles agreed for me to find a job that wasn’t too demanding. I just laughed. What decent job would I get with my barely finished secretarial course? In the end an old family friend gave me a job in the building society his son ran. I was to be an assistant to his son’s secretary and even with the work-load being minimal, I found it boring. I went off on extended lunch breaks with my boss’ father. and thanks to him, his now frustrated son couldn’t sack me.
“In the end I was the one who left – to the relief of most of the staff. My husband was now a top dog in his office and I was able to do their annual corporate gifts and supply some stationery. It was around this time that I met Bernerd, a foreign partner in Charles firm. He was to see how the business was run from Nigeria and planned to be around for a couple of years. I started flirting with him straight away – one might never know how badly his ‘vote of confidence’ would be needed in Charles’ favour. I virtually seduced him and he was quite happy with how good I made him feel. He was married, but his wife was abroad. So I often ended up in the beautiful house he lived in.
“We were having a cossy snack in the bedroom when his new steward came in. We both did a double take when we saw each other but the steward quickly got himself together. He used to be our steward before he travelled to his home town for good. Five months down the line he was back and the company transferred his services to Bernerd. I was in a right spot now. What would happen when the steward shared his ‘secret’ with his mates? A lot of them were horrible gossips who shared tit-bits with other stewards and drivers.
“I didn’t have long to wait. As soon as Charles walked through the door I knew there would be trouble. His face was like thunder as he yelled at me for sleeping with Bernerd. How did he find out? ‘His wife called me in the office, that’s how!’ roared Charles. But wasn’t the wife abroad? ‘He
was alright and someone who knew her called to let her know what her husband was up to.” I was also portrayed as a man-eater to her and the quicker she warned me off her husband the better for her marriage. “As long as you were discreet, 1 never bothered you about your ‘conquests’ and Bernerd wasn’t that much of a threat. ..”
“That was what he thought. I told Charles how his assistant was bent on rubbishing his reputation to Bernard so he would be promoted above Charles. Bernerd had told me everything and I’d been extra sweet to him lately so Charles would get promoted instead of his back-stabbing assistant. He calmed down instantly as we talked into the night. He emphasised that as long as I was discreet, I could do whatever 1 wanted. He didn’t want any scandal. Humph!
“He got promoted in the end but it was really dicy. His assistant not only ran him down, he got the support of some of the directors to unseat Charles, – but Bernerd had the last say. Of all the bits-on-the side I’d had, he was the most insatiable! I certainly deserve the perks I got from my husband,
and once he landed the job, he needed not fear being threatened by his superior as he was now one of the powers-that-be.
“What Charles and I have is what is termed recreational adultery in today’s parlance. It means your having relationships that will never threaten your marriage. Like having nibbles whilst your regular meals are assured. Charles and I know what we have and we’ll never jeopardise that by having relationships that would threaten it.
“Of course I’ve had a rumour or two of Charles having a couple of love- children. It’s no skin of my nose. We’ve both sat down to write his will and no gold-digger is going to get her teeth into what I’ve worked for my whole life. Whatever crumbs Charles could throw at his ‘take-aways’, they’re welcome to them …”
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