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Twenty Ways I Thought I Died. Part Two. CHAPTER One

I am a writer, a customer care rep, a business administrator, a lover of life and a successful single lady who sees every child as hers.

Twenty Ways I Thought I Died. Part Two.

twenty-ways-i-thought-i-died-part-two

Prologue

I am Ufoma Ogaga, Efe Ogaga's daughter, and wife to Stanley Ojewe. I am a qualified mass communicator, and the CEO of Ogaga's décor Masters. At the conclusion of part one of my biography; I became a grandmother of three beautiful grandchildren, as my first son just welcomed into the world his first child. I am pleased to announce to you that my second son, just got married to one of my employee’s Vanessa, and the ceremony was a success.
How did I get this far, now at age sixty five? My story as you have read is a tough journey with lots of set backs and unshed tears. My life got worse from twenty two years of age, and I beg of you to hold a handkerchief close by, because you may need it.
Twenty ways I thought I died ends it’s tale here, year after year till I turned thirty five and got married to my wonderful and amazing husband; Stanley Ojewe.

Dedication.
This book is dedicated to my parents, George Okemute, Felicia Ngozi Anibor.

CHAPTER ONE

A lot happened last year, and as I speak with you now; I and Ini are friends again. After aunty Ejiro’s wedding, I decided to reach out to Ini to make amends. I judged her to critically and I had learned my lesson. I should have been grateful she came at the right time to save me from being raped. And I should have understood why she chose to forgive Etoro. After all, he hadn’t slept with me and was very remorseful, so he deserved a second chance.
When I went to visit Ini for the first time in months, I was not surprised with the scene I saw, and I saw myself doing what I had vowed not to do again.
Ini you are soo stupid! I warned you about this lazy man but you refused to listen to me. Look at how horrible you look now! Just how many months of living with this man you have changed so much. Is it by force to live with him? Can’t you just walk away.
Ufoma, I am a married woman. I just can’t leave my marriage.
Which marriage? You call that stupid thing you people did in the village marriage?
Ufoma, Etoro paid my bride price and we registered our marriage when we got back to Lagos. In the eyes of God and the law we are a legally married couple.
Really! Legally married my foot! Look, you are legally dead if you don’t know it yet. Look at your eyes, so pale. And what happened to that fine chocolate skin? All burnt up and looking so lean. Don’t you eat food? You who loves food. My God! What happened to that fine hips and behind I use to admire?
Ufoma please help me. I know you can help me financially.
Help you? So you will use the money to go feed that lazy rapist.
Ufoma please, let’s leave the past in the past. In marriage, a woman must be enduring sometimes. I have chosen the one I can endure, it’s my life and burden, please try understand.
Okay I understand. But what I don’t get is why you want me to help you? You just said you know how to endure it, endure it now! It’s your life, your marriage. Since being single is so pathetic for you, enjoy this hell you in now. You are just so annoying. This is why I don’t like to see rubbish because I just can’t control myself.
Ufoma please am so hungry, I need some money.
Supposing I didn’t come looking for you now, how would you have coped?
Thank God you came. It’s God that sent you to me now.
God sent me to you? When God sent me to you the first time, why didn’t you listen? I begged you not marry this man but you practically refused. If you had listened then, would you be in this condition? Now you remember God. What happened to your job?
After we got married, my husband told me to leave the job, he claimed it was preventing him from seeing me. And I didn’t want him to start going out to look for other women, so I stopped.
My good God! You left your job because of sex? Is sex food! Ini look at you! No wonder you look so dehydrated and starved. To make matters worst, you are pregnant. No wonder you sounded so weak on the phone when I called you. I knew after a whole year and some months of not seeing you, something had to be very wrong. Why not do business?
The small business I started collapsed after a few months. We eat from it and didn’t replace. And my husband lost his job at the university because of the allegations you laid on him.
Are you mad Ini? Allegations? Or facts! That man almost raped me! Look don’t get me angry.
Am sorry please don’t be angry Ufoma.
And this your crocodile tears won’t stop me when I want to leave. And stop calling him "my husband" in my presence please. It’s irritating. Why did you even get pregnant now? Why didn’t you wait until things are stable.
His family have been complaining of me not giving them grandchildren. They didn’t understand that we just wanted things to stabilize first. We just gave in to their demands after some time.
And why can’t you sew from home? You know how to sew well, must you work in a fashion house first.
My dear, I sold all my sewing equipment’s to renew our last rent. It’s that hard Ufoma.


That day, I left Ini's house after transferring five hundred thousand into her account. At least that would help her and her unborn child, if she did not stupidly use it on Etoro.
Ever since then, we have been best of friends again. I was happy I didn’t leave my job when it was tough for me. I had save enough, coupled with my allowance from dad; I was a big girl with physical cash. Ini gave birth that year to a set of twins; a boy and a girl. I have helped her many times again after then, and she never ceased annoying me with the way she loves Etoro.


Aunty Ejiro had her weddingg that year, and it was one of the most elegant weddings I have ever attended! I graced the occasion as her maid of honor and it was terrifying to stand by her side as she said yes I do, to Kelvin. He looked like he had never done anything wrong to her, and she smiled at him like she had married the most charming and faithful man in the world. It truly was terrible. I do not have feelings for Kelvin; in fact I would never. But anytime I think of that faithful day in his office, when we were so close to kissing, I seem to feel I was somehow hypnotized, like that wasn’t me. Anyway, aunty Ejiro seem to be living happily with her husband or maybe I was too quick to conclude.


The year I turned twenty two, I had forgotten all about the drama of last year. Work was much more fun now with two additional staffs who replaced Samuel and Rosa and we became best friends.
Imoh was a weird kind of guy, he loves himself to stupor and feels no woman is good enough for him; so he said he decided to remain single and claims his heart is to hard for romance. Apart from his boring love life, Imoh is fun to be with! His sense of humor is appealing. Ella on the other hand, who hails from Benue state, is a direct opposite of Imoh. She is such a romantic who believes so much in love, even though she has been heartbroken many times. She is a single mother of a four year old son, and has a long time ago forgiven the father of her baby who denied impregnating her.
My boss Kelvin, is now an in-law, and doesn’t get in my way. In fact, he treats me respectfully like an in-law. Everyday at work goes like this.


Ufoma am so depressed this morning! Do you believe that guy I have been tripping for is married with five kids?
What! Seriously? Five kids. Imoh exclaimed in his Calabar tongue. You see why I gave up on love.
Imoh please, there is no love in the picture. Ella was just tripping over a man she doesn’t know. Did he propose dating of courtship to you Ella? I asked.
No he didn’t. But at least we got talking and he never gave any hint of him being married of having five rubbish children. Gosh why are men so wicked! The other day it was that stupid Edwards telling me he loves me, only to find out I was some bet they did. Supposing I had given in? It would have been disastrous. Why can’t I get any man like Okey again? Why is it so hard.
Huh? Okey? Please is it the one you got pregnant for and denied it? The same your baby's daddy?
Yes Imoh, the same Okey. Look you both don’t understand him like I do. Okey was under pressure. His oldest brother was to sponsor his masters program in the U.S, if he had owned up to my pregnancy, then he would have lost his chances with him.
For real Ella? You still make yourself believe that trash? And now? Why has he not married you, after all he is long done with school.


Ufoma, you need to understand men. That’s the problem you have. Okey is taking care of our son Jude, and he always has from the day he left for the US. He just made me promise not to let his family know the truth. I have kept it from them for five years now, as long as he keeps sending us money. Okey has done a lot for us and he is willing to do more. Why he hasn’t proposed married yet, I don’t know. But I don’t want to ask him anything! If I find love before he proposes, then I will dump him for good. But as it is, Okey is the only man that has ever loved me.
Wow! This woman has been thoroughly deceived by the serpent himself. Okey is a married man with children in the US, and he has turned you to a rejected baby mama. Instead of you to go reveal the truth to his family, you are here forming lover girl. Okey doesn’t love you and he never did. He just used you for his immoral satisfaction, and made you after one.
I disagree with you Ufoma, Okey isn’t married. He will tell me if he does get married. He is a man of honor.


Oh my God! Ella you will not kill me. If that “Okey is a rat” is a man of honor, then I Imoh is a man of everlasting honor!


Imoh I hate to tell you this, but I need to. You are a disgrace to manhood. You are just there claiming man, and you cannot put a woman in the house and take care of her. If all men where like you, I won’t even have “Okey is rat” as you put it; to call my own. Ella concluded jokingly.
And that’s how our day usually went with relationships talks and teasings. It was fun with them everyday at work and I never had a bored moment.

On one faithful day I got back home from work, I got a call from Ella saying she won’t be coming to work the following day and that she had lied to our superior that she would be travelling for her traditional marriage tomorrow, to return three says later.
What’s going on Ella? You never mentioned this today at work. Where are you really going too?
Babe I can’t talk over the phone. But will Skype you tomorrow afternoon okay. Please just cooperate. And with that she hung off.
I would really miss Ella gone for three days. Office will be dry with just Imoh and his dry his jokes. But I was wrong. What happened the next day and afterwards before the return of Ella, was juicy.


The following day I returned to work, I discovered that Mr Adeleke the clerk, also started his leave yesterday. I never questioned the coincidence. Adeleke was not a man to think of twice, he was just ordinary.
Imoh came to my office unusually early that day, with a broad smile that spoke just one word: Women!


You women! You see why I don’t fall in love? You people are too cheap and deceptive for my liking.


Imoh please just hit the nail on the head abeg. I exclaimed. Anytime you smile so broadly like that, I know you want to insult women because you derive so much pleasure in that.


Common keep quiet. Weaker vessels! Even Mr Adeleke can get you people. That man that looks like someone who is about to die from starvation. Dry, thin and tall with protruding eyes and very low taste of fashion! Oh my God! I cannot believe this. Even Adeleke self dey ride?


What’s that suppose to mean Imoh? I asked wide eyed. You know Ella is not here to join arms with me and defend women, so just spite it out.


Speaking of Ella, did she tell you where she was going? He asked for the first time.


Yes she did. Didn’t she tell you? I asked trying to be sure of how to answer his next question.


Yes she did. But Mr Adeleke told me the truth instead. In fact let me read his chats out. Imoh oh Imoh! The babe gree! I no believe say she fit follow my kind persin o! We dey Ibandan now as we speak, dey enjoy for one better hotel. Ella sweet die!


You’ve got to be Kidding me! I lamented. Ella dey sleep with Adeleke?


Keep your voice down! Haba! Women are all the same. You love gossip but can’t handle the information. I just read something out to you and you are shouting as of you don’t understand English anymore.


Ella is with Mr Adeleke in a hotel? I stressed again. She told me she lied that she was going for her traditional marriage, but will give me full details during the day on Skype.


Well don’t tell her anything yet. Let’s she what she gat to say on Skype today first. I just can’t wait to hear her perfect lie. Imoh walked away laughing.


I was so shocked after Imoh left that I could not work anymore. I was tempted to call Ella and demand that Skype chat now. I fell for the temptation and I called.


Ella, where you dey? I asked over the phone.


I dey Ibadan dear.


Ibadan? I pretended not to know. Wetin dey happen there?


Nothing much jor, I just say make I rest small.


Rest? With who?


Which one is; with who? Can’t I rest alone? You have been listening to office gossip abi?


Come on Skype make we talk. I requested.


Not now dear, I am in bed now. Will buzz you later. With that she hung up.


I went to Imoh's office afterwards, to find him munching on a plate of spaghetti and fried plantain; his best food.

Look at this one, it isn’t yet break time and you are already eating?


Why won’t I? I am hungry.


You are always hungry. See you stomach, growing bigger everyday. Better make sure Mr Kelvin does not catch you.


How will he catch me? Does he have eyes everywhere? Besides I am friend to his in-law. So I am covered.


I let out a small laugh. Covered indeed. You will answer for your own error.
No o! I am seriously covered o! You better believe me.


What do you mean? I asked getting interested in this conversation, because I felt it was leading somewhere. You see, I have always felt Imoh knew something about me but I couldn’t pin it. That look in his eyes anytime he talks about women also gets to me, like I was part of his findings.


I can help you with something if you promise to cover my back. He finally said.


And what could that something be? I stressed.


It is in a form of a video. In that video, I saw two very top personalities in this company about to kiss, but couldn’t. Because…(he went on) they are kind of related. He smiled wickedly.


Imoh, I called out softly. What do you know please. I slumped on a chair close to him.


What was I expecting? Mr Adeleke knew almost all facts in this company as clerk, and he and Imoh are friends. But what I never expected was for him to know a secret I and Kelvin shared; some secret he plans to use against me wherever I try to reveal his true personality.


Imoh told me that Adeleke was in charge of taking care of the tapes in Mr Kelvin’s office. And he viewed them unaware to Mr Kelvin. In one of those tapes, he saw the drama I and Kelvin acted in his office, when he was trying to prove a point to me that I couldn’t also resist him like Rosa.


Imoh, I need that particular tape. I need to destroy it. I confided in him.


I know, I understand. You women are very terrible! You better destroy it before your aunty gets hold on it somehow.


And that was how Imoh planed to get me the tape without Mr Adeleke knowing. Adeleke had told him where he places them, and he planned getting it for me that night.
When everyone had left the office that day, I and Imoh stayed behind to get busy. I was no longer interested in Ella’s office romance with Adeleke; I had seen something similar and almost got into trouble. The same trouble I was trying to get rid off now. When we were sure everyone had gone, I and Imoh sneaked to the third hall way where a huge cupboard stood. Imoh opened one of the drawers with a key he had gotten from Adeleke’s locker. The key looked like a common one, but it held tight huge information that could damage a lot of things. Adeleke left the key in his drawer so Kelvin could use it in keeping the tape for the day since he Adeleke was on leave. Kelvin trusted no one with that information. And in his tiny little mind, no one knew the key was there.
Imoh had gotten deep into Adeleke, and had received lots of juicy gist from him, which he traded with flirtatious tips he got from the internet. Imoh was in charge of our media advertisements, and he was online looking for ways to improve the company through the media. During his work hours, he also had time to check up dating sites and read all sorts of trend online. And this information, was useful to overly tall Adeleke.


I got the tape that night, and went home feeling humorously relieved. I never knew all would end this way. Thank God I never shared this secret with anyone, and Imoh promised to tell no one. He had helped me steal and his friend Adeleke wasn’t aware the video was gone. I kept that secret and he kept mine. He only made me promise to always have his back, although I never knew what that meant. I slept so peacefully that night. It has been a while I knew what good sleep was. That particular night was different.


I woke up exactly 6am to prepare for work. Had my shower, went down to prepare breakfast and dad met me up at the dinning, and we ate and chatted together before getting up to leave.
Father’s mobile phone rang, and he looked at the caller ID with a smile. It is your aunty, am sure this got to be interesting. He smiled wickedly.
As he answered the call, I had no fear in me anymore, Kelvin's evidence was covered for good.
Okay we will be on our way dear, just hold on and don’t do anything stupid. With that, father ended the call.


Dad, what’s going on. You look so calm, but sound troubled.
No I am not troubled, your aunt is. We are going over to console her. I had to speak in a tone she can relate with now.


Dad, what wrong with aunty?


She found out she is pregnant.


So? I asked disgusted at father. What if she is? How can that be a problem?


Oh yes it is! When you are not the only bitch carrying the dog's baby. He laughed.


What! Dad what do you mean? I asked as tears started flowing down my cheeks.

twenty-ways-i-thought-i-died-part-two
twenty-ways-i-thought-i-died-part-two

© 2020 Jade George Anibor

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