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The Wretched, Ghastly Thing

They say, "The marriage fell apart" Like it was a thing of its own A living, breathing thing That chose to pack up and leave An entity separate from the two whole humans Who came together to make it the wretched, ghastly thing that it was

"The marriage fell apart" Him with his numerous girlfriends The chlamydia one month, the pictures that surfaced on Facebook the next Her with listening to friends and her mother "too much" Working too long and too hard, not "giving him attention"

Then there was the miscarriage that nearly took her womb with it And the days filled with medication and tears that followed But soon, a baby latched unto the uterine wall properly and it grew and grew And they both thought Yes, finally This will revive the marriage Bring back passion and deep, true love

And the first few months The baby did bring respite They threw a large naming ceremony Gave rice and Malt to the neighbours Partied into the early morning God has done it! And it is marvellous in our sight!

But then another infection And she "listened" to her friends and burnt his Ralph Lauren shirts in the garage and smashed in the windows of his Honda And he cried like a baby "No! No! My carrrr!"

And there was no going back from that He fought her in the driveway Like he was fighting a man his size With her bruised eye and bloodied nose, she took Tejiri from the nanny and drove to Ughelli

The following months were nasty In-laws insulting each other over phones scattered from Ogun to Delta "Your daughter is mannerless!" "Your son na ashewo!" "Give us back our dowry!" "Which yeye dowry una pay sef?"

Years later, after a trial separation, they tried to make it work By then, he was dating a celebrity with something like a British accent, and she was branch manager, dating a customer who had a mansion in Bauchi Tejiri had just turned 5 and they had sex in their old bedroom. It felt like a bad idea the morning after; lying naked in bed, Tejiri banging on the door, asking, "Mummy, is daddy in there?"

He promised to call She promised to stay in touch They promised to try

They didn't

And she listened to her friends, even though she yearned for him - "He doesn't love you anymore" And you see, the Mallam in Bauchi, he was so good to her And then she heard rumors that he was engaged to the celebrity And she was soon served divorce papers She wanted to call him and give the piece of shit a piece of her mind. But she listened to her friends; she signed the papers

On his wedding day, his best friend asked why he looked so morose. He said he was nervous But, really, he was still in love with her and it ached

They say, "The marriage fell apart" Like it was an entity separate from the two whole humans Who came together to make it the wretched, ghastly thing that it was

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