CONFESSIONS OF A CHEATING WIFE (7)

You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.

Present-day

I cried so hard all through the night. I had no idea when morning came. I sat on the floor by the window, lost in my thoughts. The thoughts that flooded my mind were filled with happy memories. Yemi and I had no bad memories. All he did was make me happy, and somewhere along the line, I began to ruin it, slowly.

The devil works overtime.

Or maybe it is just a case of not knowing what you have got until it is gone.

He was gone.

He had been gone for a few days.

He didn’t say anything to me.

He didn’t eat anything I made.

I felt like a stranger in the house with him.

Every single minute felt like a thousand years away from him. This had never happened before, not even when we were dating. Was he just hurt? Or maybe I didn’t know this side of him. The side that shows passive aggression during misunderstandings. It felt terrible.

He packed up a few clothes, put them in a duffel bag, and went out of the house. I saw him pull out of the driveway in his white Tesla.

Normally he would tell me where he was going and when he would be back.

He didn’t. He didn’t owe me that anymore. There were so many questions. He asked me I had no answers to.

I was so ashamed of myself.

Normally people cheat and never get caught. They do it for so many years, but my case was different. I got caught early in the act. Maybe I’ve been doing it for longer and my sins were fast catching up with me.

I didn’t want him to tell my parents. I wanted to tell them myself.

He didn’t care. He didn’t even want to tell anyone that the marriage had crashed. He told me that two nights ago. He was sitting in the living room downstairs on his laptop. For the fifteenth time, I fought the urge to go to him to talk, and the sixteenth time, I gave in.

“Yemi,” I said as I cautiously walked towards him.

He didn’t respond.

“We can’t go on like this, can we at least talk.”

He sighed. “What is there to talk about?”

“This whole thing.”

He laughed in derision at my comment. “I am listening.”

I nervously sat beside him. I looked at him. He gave me a cold look. I deserved it. I felt tears sting my eyes, but this was not the time to be vulnerable. It felt like weakness and that was one thing I never wanted to show. He spoke highly of me to people that were near him or people who would listen and I let him down in so many ways. He was like a savior. When he appeared in my life. I was reeling from the heartbreak from someone who didn’t even deserve to see me.

Took care of everything for me. Married me and made me comfortable. It made my mates envy me. Now all that was like a memory.

“Please don’t tell my family what happened, we can fight this together,” I told him.

“There is nothing left to fight, I can’t get over the graphic image of another man having his way with you in our bed. It is a nightmare that has haunted me ever since,’ he responded.

I nodded.

I could imagine how he felt. Osas was so good in bed that I probably fell into a trance while it all happened and came out of it the moment, I realized I had been caught.

“Would you forgive me?” I asked.

“It’s too early to determine that.” He responded flatly.

I regretted asking.

“This marriage is over,’ he said. He stood up and left me sitting there speechless.

I looked at the time it was 4:07 a.m. I’ve been sitting there on the floor by the window for 24 hours. It started with me kneeling down trying to pray.

How could an adulteress sit there and talk to God and expect him to listen? I knew he would listen. He had been listening to me all my life. I only called him when I was in an emergency or dealing with stuff but never when I was happy or having the time of my life. I felt like a welfare case.

I called my childhood friend a day before and told her what had happened.

She listened. All she did was listen.

I cried.

I screamed. 
 No judgment, nothing.

“Say something,” I screamed angrily.

“You have to pull yourself together, you sunk this boat yourself.

CONFESSIONS OF A CHEATING WIFE (6)

I don’t make poor choices, I am attractive.

“Let’s go to dinner.” my cousin Idara suggested.

We had been shopping for her wedding since I got off work. We were currently at a bridal shop looking at veils. The whole experience was overwhelming for me especially because Idara was very picky.

“Sounds like a great idea, we can hit the bar and have a few drinks afterwards.”

“No drinking, don’t you ever get tired of drinking?”

“Nope, you need to drink once in a while to calm your nerves.”

“My nerves are fine.” Idara said and narrowed her eyes at me. “They sound bad to me especially with this shopping, you have not picked one veil that you like since you got here, I said tired of looking at veils.”

“Yes, you are right, maybe we should leave.” Idara said and looked at the store attendant who was showing us different veils.

“Take you time, I was just kidding.”

“You sound bored, let’s go.” She said and packed up her things, putting her cell phone n her purse. She told the store attendant that she would be back to look at the veils on a different day and we left the store.

*************************************************

I had not been to Food Shack in a while. It was still the same establishment, but I noticed a lot of changes. Idara and I sat in the patio area overlooking the bridge. We watched the cars move slowly in traffic over the bridge. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to eat because I scanned through the menu several times. It also did not help matters because my phone kept ringing and I kept ignoring the calls.

The waiter walked towards us with our food. Idara moved her purse out of the way so the waiter could set the platter in front of her. The meal looked inviting. He placed my food in front of me. He asked if we needed anything else. We declined and thanked him politely. He left.

“Let’s pray.” Idara said as she put her fork in her rice.

“You should pray.” I told her.

“Sure.” She said as she recited the Grace.

We both said “Amen” after she finished reciting the Grace.

“This is nice.” I said after chewing the first fork full of food that I put in my mouth.

“I am so hungry, and the food is delicious, I am about to order a second plate.” Idara informed me.

It won’t be a bad idea, I haven’t eaten out in so long.”

“Doesn’t your friend with benefits take you out to eat?”

“Which one?”

“You have more than one?” Idara asked raising her eyebrows.

“I don’t”

“Okay, have you recently switched to someone else.”

“No, what do you mean by that?”

Idara smiled at me. I did not like the way this conversation was going, and she was really beginning to irk me.

“So, it’s still Osas right?” she asked looking coyly at me.

“Yeah,” I reluctantly replied. I hadn’t told her about Yemi yet.

“So how are things going with him?”

“I beg your pardon?” I retorted.

The fact that I was not engaged and living Idara’s current life did not make me less deserving.

“Chill I was just kidding.” she said and looked at me to weigh my response.

I rolled my eyes and put a forkful of rice into my mouth. She did the same, but her gaze was on me.

“So how is Osas doing?” she asked breaking the silence.

“He is doing great.” I said and nodded.

“Cool” she replied. She kept staring at me as if she expected me to say more.

“I mean the sex is amazing, but lately he runs home to his family.”

“He is married?” Idara asked with her eyes wide open in shock. I chuckled at her reaction.

“No”

“Are you sure?

“Yes, it’s just his siblings.”

“Doesn’t he have his own place?”

“Not yet.”

“That’s crazy.” Idara said and coughed.

“Calm down before you choke on your food.” I told her.

“I will choke on my food before you mess with a married man, what are you thinking?” she asked angrily.

“What’s your problem? He is not married, and we are just having fun, it’s just sex, calm down please.” I did not need preaching at the table. She knew what I had been through with different men and judging me was not going to help.

Idara looked upset.

“Let’s change the subject.” I offered uncomfortably. She shook her head in disagreement.

“No, I am interested in hearing more.”

“More of what? My boring life with Osas.”

“Maybe you should leave him alone.”

“Maybe he should leave me alone.” I huffed. Idara shook her head.

“Why are you shaking your head?” I asked. Idara always felt the need to say something. She was the perfect princess with the charming life.

“Why do you make poor choices when it comes to men?” she asked as she sipped from the glass in front of her.

“Poor choices?” I asked bewildered.

“Yes, you either messing with married or emotionally unavailable men, it’s crazy how you can put up with such nonsense.” Idara said.

“I don’t make poor choices, I guess those men are attracted to me and speaking of poor choices, your fiancé is someone’s ex-husband.” I spoke. Idara looked flushed.

“He is legally divorced,” she replied defensively.

“You were responsible for the end of their marriage Idara.” I told her.

CONFESSIONS OF A PASTOR

The evil that men do lives with them

The camera crew had set up. I sat across from Ruby Regina Hewitt, one of the most popular content creators. She was interviewing me about the recent scandals I had going in my church that were splashed across the front pages of blogs and newspapers.

The church elders advised me to do an interview. It would be a form of public enlightenment and accountability for my actions. After deliberating for two weeks. I agreed. Ruby Hewitt was a tall, chocolate colored skinned thirty year old. She was a multi millionaire and owned a high profile blog. She had sent several requests to be interviewed.

I obliged. She was happy to do the interview. My secretary offered to prep me for the interview. but I declined. I was ready to speak the truth from the beginning. The image of my church was already tarnished. There was nothing left to preserve, except the image of the other innocent pastors and the congregation. My confession had a ton of consequences, which I would rather face. This game had gone on for far too long.

Ruby smiled at me and asked if I was ready.

“I am ready when you are,” I replied.

“Great,” she said and looked at the camera.

“A lovely evening to my viewers, it is 6pm and time for a brand new interview with the Head Pastor of Green Pastures Church, Pastor Lawrence. This is about the rape scandal happening in the church, and a lot of other atrocities,” she said and looked at me.

Atrocities.

Yes, I had committed a lot of them. I wanted to confess all of them. I could not sleep at night. My mind was not at peace.

The rape scandal first started as a rumor in my church and ended up on the front page of Ruby’s blog.

Muthoni, the girl who accused me of rape, was the center of attention. It should never have gone this far. She was greedy. All she wanted was a share of my money. My wife was considering divorce. Everything I had built in a short time was crumbling into pieces right before my eyes. My marriage and my ministry were my greatest investments. There was nothing I could do to stop it. It was my karma.

“Good evening Pastor Lawrence,” she greeted me. I stared at her. She was so beautiful with even the minimal makeup she had on her face.

“Good evening Ruby, and good evening viewers,” I greeted and faced the camera.

“Greener Pastures church is lit. When I say lit, it is trending on all social media platforms. As the General Overseer and Head Pastor, you have granted this interview. We want you to clear the air,” she said.

“Sure, I am ready to do so. I will tell the truth about everything.” I replied.

“So let’s start from the beginning, how did you get into ministry? If you were called to pastor a church, why are you involved in a rape case and many others that have not been discussed?” she asked.

THE BEGINNING

I never thought I would be a pastor. I cannot say I was called to be one.

I wanted to be a pastor. It was lust for me. I wanted to be a tele evangelical pastor. I wanted the good life. I wanted to fly in private jets, go on expensive trips to exotic locations. Preach in different parts of the world and get honorary. I wanted to be successful. I watched as many pastors lived their true calling, and God took care of their needs.

My parents were piss poor. We were so poor that I dug through trash to find wasted food for dinner. I got new clothing from rich relatives who came back from the Western world. My mom had six children. She was a housewife. My father was a security guard. His paycheck was good enough to feed chickens in a poultry. My mom could not work, because there would be no one to watch us. She was not educated to get a job that would pay better than my father’s security job. Life was a struggle. I attended public school, which was free at the time. All I had to do was buy textbooks and uniforms. I wore hand me downs, and so did my siblings. Some of our uniforms were hand me downs from other kids in the neighborhood.

I was in my final year in high school, when a popular preacher came for a revival.

I was amazed at how much power and authority this preacher had. It was then I decided to go into ministry. Five years later, I found myself dabbling into things just to get a shot at Evangelical fame. The financial gain was what I was after. I sold merchandise in my church. Everything that could be a resource to help a person was sold in my church. I lusted after the gifts given to pastors. Some of these gifts included cash, title deeds to landed property and cars. Brand new cars. Pastor appreciation was a big thing.

My mother was a strong Christian. She prayed a lot. Looking back, I was not sure if she prayed because she was grooming a great relationship with God, or if it was the family adversity that turned her into a prayer warrior. Her prayers didn’t put food on our table, but it kept us safe, it kept us alive. If I had a penny for every time my mother prayed, we would be living in a mansion instead of our two bedroom house that held eight people.

My father died when I was fourteen years old. He died in a bar. He went drinking and collapsed. Some said he was poisoned, others said it was a heart attack. His loss broke my mother’s heart. He had money to buy drinks when we could barely feed. His burial was shameful. We had nothing, he was dumped into the ground like an earthworm. There was no repast. We could not afford it. Debtors flocked our home, my father owed money. My older brother and sister decided to do some petty trading after school to help our mom pay off the debts. I was determined to make sure my family never suffered again. I was ready to do anything to achieve my goal.

I met someone that changed my life.

AMANDA, THE SIDE CHIC.

Charles pulled up into my driveway and put the transmission in park.

He looked at me and gave a smile. It was the kind he had after a long and fun time with me.
I had spent the day with him. He wanted us to have a special Saturday together. It started with brunch at The Tropicana, a nice upscale restaurant downtown. I always dreamed of going to eat there, but my salary made it way above my budget.

A co worker celebrated her birthday there last month. I had to get a rain check, because I wasn’t trying to check my account balance after one or more drinks. I checked the menu online, and there were a few drinks I was dying to try.

My coworkers were excessive when it came to spending. I had plans to buy a house in the next eighteen months. I had to be frugal with my spending. The reviews of the place made it sound like a bucket list for the average mind.
As soon as I suggested The Tropicana for brunch, he agreed.

Charles was happy.
I was impressed, the ambience, the service, the food was five star. The waitresses were patient and polite. The one who served us had moved from Colombia. She was exotic. I couldn’t help but stare at her. She had a beautiful smile and captivating mannerisms. I was served the best Bottomless mimosas I had ever tasted. I ordered Eggs Benedict. It was perfect. I could not help but gush over how delicious it was at the table.
Charles was happy that I was satisfied.

We ended up at the spa. Saint Stella was a small spa that only catered to a certain clientele. The one percent. Charles booked a three hour pass. It was an experience for me. We got a full body rejuvenation, which lasted an hour. Spa treatment, and the sauna. It was the best part for me.
I took a relaxing nap at the hotel afterwards. Next thing to do was shop. We were at the Plaza and went to high end stores. I had just copped a new Louis Vuitton purse and a matching wallet. We also went to shop for new clothes for me. He ended up spending over a thousand bucks at the dress store.
We had dinner outdoors in a winery. The food was delicious. Brown rice and well done steak. I was ready to call it a night.

“Thanks for such a fun day,” I said as I looked into his eyes.

“I am glad you had fun,” he replied.

“I sure did, so when is the next hang out?’

“Maybe the weekend after this,”

“Why so long, that is in fourteen days?”

“The housewarming is next weekend.”

“Oh yeah,” I said and nodded thoughtfully. He told me he bought a five bedroom home in Park Estate, a gated community for the wealthy folk. “How are the preparations for that coming along?”

“My wife is taking care of it, she hired a renowned planner to take care of the event. My job is to make payments,” he said with a smile.

“I want to attend the event,” I told him.

His eyes popped. Was he going to decline my suggestion?

“It won’t be a good idea Mandy,” he said uncomfortably.

“Why?”

“You know we already have a relationship, I don’t take my private business to my house.”

I gave him the side eye. What did he mean by private business? I almost chuckled.

“So what is wrong with inviting a friend to your house warming?” I asked assertively.

He gave a frown as the lines on his forehead wrinkled.

“Are you my friend?”

I threw my head back and gave a hearty laugh. He chuckled.

“Don’t be like that, of course I am your friend.” I replied.

“Real talk Amanda, it is not a good idea. Give me time to think about it,” he said.

“Never mind, I guess I don’t belong to your class of people to be invited to a house warming. It’s not like your wife knows who I am anyway.” I told him as I rolled my eyes.

“See, that is the problem. She doesn’t know you. I don’t want her asking any questions or snooping around to find out who you are.” He replied.

“I doubt it,” I replied.

Uber dropped me in front of the new home. It was next to a lake. The view was breathtaking. There were cars lined all the way down the street. Four cars were parked in the driveway to make room for other cars. It was a black tie event. I wore a red, halter neck dress. One of the beautiful gowns I bought when I went shopping with Charles. My hair was swept up into a bun. Emilia from Sephora did my make up. My cheekbones were highlighted, my eye shadow, my entire make up was a transformation. I hoped Charles would recognize me when he saw me.

There was a butler at the front door who handed me a glass of champagne as I walked towards him. The door was open, and I slowly waltzed in, assessing my environment. It was a beautiful house, the expensive chandeliers hung from the high ceiling, which seemed about twenty feet. Everything was beautiful. Men and women stood in corners chatting away. There was a buzz of excitement in the room.

Charles stood beside his wife by the huge siding door, talking to a couple. He made eye contact with me. I smiled. He winked at me and kept talking to the couple. I decided to find something to do by blending into the crowd. Three ladies dressed in teal dresses of different styles stood in a corner talking. As soon as one made eye contact with me, they focused their attention on me. I walked away briskly. The guests were wealthy men and women in their fifties. Some seemed to be family members, others were friends and colleagues.

Charles came up to me a few minutes later. I was standing by the huge dining room having a conversation with an attractive British man, Thomas, who was standing by my side. Men and other jealousy. It took me standing with another man to get Charles’s attention. He came scurrying over as if he would lose his job if he didn’t attend to me.

I smiled.

“Hey Amanda, welcome to my home.” he said. He acknowledged the man standing beside me.

“Thank you, beautiful home you have here.” I responded.

“Thank you, you look amazing,” he said, checking me out.

That was the point. I had to look dashing enough to land more phone numbers and also give his wife a run for her money.

“Thank you,” I said with a smile.

“Dinner will start in a bit, it is an outdoor dinner, so please get seated as soon as possible.”

“Sure.” I replied.

He smiled at me and walked away.

The backyard was set up with elegant looking chairs and tables. There were heated lamps to keep the guests warm, as the evening seemed a little chilly. I immediately found a table and sat in one of the chairs. Thomas, my British friend, joined me shortly. He was handsome. The guests slowly walked to find seats. As soon as Charles and his wife were seated, the servers began to bring the trays with the dinner. It was a three course meal. Charles gave me an occasional glance. I tried not to look in his direction. Thomas was attractive. Two ladies joined our table. They acknowledged us and carried on with their conversation. Thomas told me he worked with Charle’s wife. She was an attorney. I told Thomas that Charles was a client. I prayed my small lie won’t back fire. These little lies had a way of coming back around to bite one in the butt.

It was such a brilliant evening, a live band played while we ate dinner. People gave congratulatory speeches. Then we danced. The dancing competition broke the ice. I had a great time. I went back to sit down, because my feet hurt from doing the ‘running man’ in heels. Charles’s wife walked up to me. My heart skipped a beat. I needed to be as calm as possible. I looked around for Charles to come save me from this situation, but he was nowhere in sight.

Shit.

“Hey honey,” she said as she walked towards me.

“Good evening,” I said as I sat straight in my chair.

“You are such a beautiful woman,” she said, checking me out.

“Thank you,” I nervously responded.

Can I get your number? I think I like you.”

ON THE RUN (2)

You can marry a bad spouse but you can’t cope with bad in-laws.

His mother didn’t like me.

Since the first day, she laid her eyes on me.

I struggled for her acceptance, and each time it seemed like she found more and more things to not like about me.

I had to be myself and that was not enough for her. I should have left the relationship. It is one thing to date and marry a bad man, the choice is up to the individual. Having bad in-laws is a whole different ball game that you should never sign up for. The red flags came up in the dating process, but I ignored them. I believed we both loved each other and we would fight our problems together. That is another mistake-no woman or anyone should make. Once the odds are stacked high against you, you need to fold and walk away. The pain may linger for a bit, but at least you have peace of mind and sleep well at night.

I grew up in a peaceful nuclear family consisting of my parents and my two sisters. My parents were middle class. They were able to afford us what we needed. College was our parent’s goal for us and they made sure it happened for me and my sisters. Whatever life we chose after college was ours. They didn’t want to feel like they failed by not giving us a university education.

I graduated and became an engineer working for a top architectural firm. I met my husband at a conference, Akin Da Silva. He was a tall, handsome, milk chocolate, complexioned man. He came from money. Old money to be precise. His family owned a lot of investment properties and they were set for life. His father died when he was seventeen leaving his mom a massive estate in Beverly Hills. The rest of the property and money was split between him and his younger sister Bewaji. They were not allowed to have access to the money until they turned thirty-five. It was the stipulation in his father’s will so they had to make do with their monthly allowances or get a job. They had a college fund while the average kid applied for financial aid and worked twenty-four hours a week. He gave a talk at the conference. I was completely mesmerized by the way he talked and how he carried himself on stage. I stole the spotlight by directly asking him questions during the question and answer session of the conference.

He asked for my number after his talk on stage and we started dating. When I first met him, there was nothing that denoted wealth about him. He was just a regular guy who drove a 2001 Honda Civic. He lived in a moderate apartment and was going to grad school. We went on a few dates and became a couple afterward. I never met his family for the first three years. We spent the holidays with my family. My parents liked him, he was such a nice and humble man. My sisters hoped we would work out so they could have a brother. I smiled at the thought of being his wife someday if he asked me.

During Christmas, he asked me about my future plans and began to use the word “we” more often. He told me, that if things worked out for us, he wanted us to build a life together. I was happy. We were happy. I started grad school in January and took out loans to go to school. I was working on getting an MBA besides my engineering degree. It would be seen as a plus on my resume and that was what wanted.

A few months later, he proposed. I accepted his proposal. He was thirty-one, I was twenty-eight.

I knew no one is his family. He told me about his mom and sister. I had seen their photos. He told me his father had passed away. Those were the only things I knew about his family.

We had put an offer on a house, he didn’t want a big wedding. I wanted a fairy tale wedding but we had coughed up so much money on this nice house we were looking at. We had planned to get married the following year.

The progression of our relationship in hindsight was a red flag from the beginning.

Nothing prepared me for new revelations that were coming up.

One Saturday morning in November, we were snuggled in bed. We were watching TV and planting occasional kisses on our lips The doorbell rang. We looked at each other in surprise wondering who that could be. We were not expecting any guests and it was too early for Amazon delivery.

He got out of bed and threw on a white tee shirt. I got out of bed and followed after him putting on my robe.

He opened the door and a woman walked in. She seemed to be in her fifties, she was well dressed and had on sunglasses.

“You seem to be doing well for yourself Akin,” she said as she admired the house. Akin was silent. I took a closer look at her as she took her sunglasses off.

The woman was his mom. I recognized her from the pictures he had shown me.

“Who is she?” she asked him.

He looked at her and responded. “My fiancee.”

She eyed me up and down. I became uncomfortable. This was not the best way to be introduced to your future mother in law in my own opinion. I barely had any clothes on if not for covering from the bathroom robe I had on.

“So, she is the reason why you have lost touch with your family?” his mom accused.

I was shocked.

CONFESSIONS OF A CHEATING WIFE (5)

He was like a bed bug, hard to get rid of.

I almost screamed on seeing him.

“Why are you following me?” I asked in a whisper.

He gave a smirk. If we weren’t sharing space with other people in the elevator, I would have punched him.

I curse the day I met him. I stood still watching the numbers on the elevator go up as we rose up each floor. It stopped on the eight floor and the doors pulled open, a gentleman who had his ear phones on walked out and two young girls with pig tails got on the elevator with us. One of them punched the elevator button fifteen with her right hand and the elevator doors swung shut.

Osas was watching me. We stood beside each other in silence. I wonder what was running through his mind. When the elevator got to the twelfth floor. I got out, he followed me.

“Osas, what do you want from me? Leave me alone.” I yelled.

“You want to cause a scene.” He said calmly not caring if people watched. No one was watching to be precise.

“Anything to keep you away from me, I will do.” I responded sharply as I strutted off angrily. I hoped he wouldn’t follow, but I was wrong.

Osas loved challenges, when you told him that he couldn’t do something, he was more determined to prove you wrong. This was one challenge I didn’t want him to participate in. Maybe I had to change the rules, tell him the opposite, and kick him out.

Was he obsessed with me or was I just a challenge to him?

He could pretty much get any woman he wanted, why did it have to be me?

“I will leave you alone, if you could agree to have lunch or drinks with me this weekend.” He said looking into my eyes. He had that appeal that I could not resist. He was able to break into my defenses and I hated him for it.

If I had to agree to this to keep him away, sure.

“Okay.” I replied.

“Do you mean it or you are just in agreement so I would leave you alone?” he asked.

Osas was worse than a bed bug. Was he able to read minds too?

“I mean it,” I replied. I didn’t know how I would pull this off. I had an amazing man who I had been dating for a few weeks. Yemi. Why would I blow this? I mean Yemi and I were still in the honeymoon phase of dating and anything could change. Osas was an irregular, he was like a prodigal who always came back when he no longer had options.

“Let’s meet at our usual spot, my Friday night hangout. Same time, about 8ish.” He said confidently.

I nodded in response.

“I have to go, I have an appointment and I am late.” I told him.

He said goodbye and walked away.

**********************************************************

Ginger Williams a sat at a table on the far end of the room. She was my colleague from the office but worked in a different department. She looked chic, her hair was in pin curls and her make up was magnificent.

“Hey girl, I am sorry, I am late.” I greeted her as I pulled a chair and sat in it.

“Its okay, you look great,” she complimented.

I beamed a smile.

“Thank you.” I replied. I noticed a phone and a half full glass of water in front of the chair beside her.

“Is there someone else joining us?” I asked my eyes staring at the chair.

“Oh yes, my cousin Greg, he went to the restroom.” she replied.

“Oh.”

I hated going out with people who invited other people without saying so. What if I didn’t want more company than the solo dinner I wanted to have.

“I should have told you, I am sorry.” She said and smiled.

“You should have, considering that you invited a man over.” I told her.

“And you are single? You can mingle.”

I didn’t know what to say. I had not updated her on my relationship status. Everyone at work knew I was single because a colleague had found me on a dating site and told everyone. It made some creeps at work start sending me direct messages, asking me out on dates. I was bewildered. I didn’t know I had this many admirers at work. Or were they just taking advantage of free information that the whistle blower at work had given them? How was she able to find me?

I would never date a coworker. What if we didn’t work out? Maybe we had a one-night stand, I would have to do the walk of shame to work the next day and treat the coworker like they had the bubonic plague. I dreaded the thought. I didn’t even like going out for drinks with some of them. I did so once and regretted it. It was some office celebration for completing the most tasking project for the quarter. I ended up having a little too much to drink and i said a lot of things. I don’t remember what I said and I never hung out causally with my coworkers again. It was bad enough that we had to be competent at work and play the role of being diligent. I just didn’t want them to know me after hours. I never wanted them to see the side of me that didn’t sound or act professional.

Maybe if I had dated Richard from Human Resources, I may be eight months pregnant with a child, but I wasn’t interested. He drove a nice car and smelled so good all the time. He wanted to settle down so bad, he was ready to take me to the jeweler and have a ring sized for me. I never gave him a positive response. I ghosted him and he never spoke to me afterward. We avoided each other. It was easy, there was a pandemic, and the physical encounters were at a bare minimum. I just could not mentally unblock myself from dating from the office.

Before I could say anything, a tall attractive man walked towards our table. I must say he took my breath away. He had on a navy blue T shirt, a pair of jeans and comfortable looking loafers. Did he miss the dress code? He was a little too casual for dinner.

“Hello, your friend finally made it.” He said in a deep baritone voice and sat in the chair beside me.

It was a huge turn on for me. He smelled nice too. I inhaled his cologne from where I was sitting.

“Yes, she did, meet my cousin Greg.” she introduced.

He smiled at me. He had a beautiful, complete set of teeth and maybe a little more.

10 Important Lessons I have learned in life.

1. Wisdom is the principal thing. In all things in life, if you want to acquire anything, acquire wisdom first. It would help you make better decisions, relationship wise, health wise and financially. If you have to pray for anything, pray for wisdom.
2. Who you marry is a major decision. It can make you or wreck you. If you marry the right partner, your life will move in a positive direction. If you marry the wrong person, it would be all regrets and wasted time. Get to know a person first, before committing to anything, including sex. Your sense of judgment won’t be clouded, and the love bombing that narcissists easily give would be perceived easily and avoided.
3. Failure doesn’t define you, it just shows you have tried and it didn’t work. Start again and use a different approach. Most importantly, learn from your mistakes and understand why you failed.
4. Do not compare yourself with others. Everyone has their struggles. Your page fifty can be someone else’s page eleven. Instead, live a life that compels others to strive to be like you. Some people have money, but poor health. All the money in the world cannot buy an extra minute in life. If you have good health and laughter in your life, you are doing well, if I must say.
5. Spend time with your parents. We are getting old and they are getting older. Such a beautiful transformation. We don’t need an excellent eulogy at their funeral, when we can appreciate them while they are still here.
6. Nobody will save you. You can only save yourself.
7. Form the weird habit of being yourself. Do t be like anyone else, just you. Someone out there is manifesting you. If certain people don’t like you, that’s not your problem. Not everyone has great taste in people, and also remember that you are not for everyone.
8. Be careful who you trust. You can only vouch for and trust yourself. Take people at face value, and when a person shows you who they are, believe them.
9. The only teacher that gives you the test first and the lesson afterwards is experience. Make sure you learn the lesson if you fail the test.
10. Remove unhealthy connections, family, friends or things. As you evolve, you will outgrow certain people and things. It’s fine

9 Things you can practice in your New Year

You don’t have to wait for a New Year to make changes in your life.

It’s a New Year, and halfway into the month of January. It is also time when that New Year, new me talk is in order. The good news is that you do not have to wait for a new year to practice anything that will change your life. You can start where you are.

  1. Do the impossible: As kids, we had a wild imagination of what we wanted to be and also things we wanted in life. We don’t get past those imaginations if we don’t work on them. Do what you were told as a kid that you would not accomplish. Push the limits you currently have.

2. Do a little more everyday: Keep working on projects. Find creative things to do, just start. If it will make you money, best believe you have to push at it everyday to get results. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you brushing up your resume? Do you need a better prayer life? You have to start from somewhere and work actively at it everyday.

3. Journal: I started a reflection and prayer journal in 2019. Looking back three years later, I can see how much I have grown. I also have a track record of problem solving in my life. I can go into the pages and see how it has helped me, and how it can help someone else. The little areas in your life are important, and every minute you improve will have a tremendous result on your person in the long run.

4. Keep your own company: Spending time with yourself is the best form of self discovery. You can set boundaries, create schedules, read books. Starting hobbies is fulfilling. You can self care. An hour of meditation or prayer will do a lot.

5. Stop giving the best parts of yourself to the wrong people: You are good enough. You are not good enough for the wrong person/people. Do not take it personal. Not everyone has great taste in people. Treat yourself like a valuable commodity that should not be easily accessible to the public.

6. Forgive: Do not carry the weight of unforgiveness into the New Year. Forgiveness is a burden carried by the one who bears it, not the one who offended you. Forgive yourself for ignorance, for mistakes. Forgive your friends and family for hurting you. Forgive your past, because your future is brighter. If you are hurting in any way, you need forgiveness to help heal from what you are dealing with.

7. Remove Imposter Syndrome: For many years, I suffered from Imposter Syndrome, where I felt that whatever I had accomplished, I was not worthy of. Everything good that comes to you in life is what you deserve. The degree, the great job, the beautiful relationship, the promotion, you deserve it if you worked hard for it. Do not underestimate what you are capable of. Remember that there are people out there who are not as qualified as you are doing things. It is because they believe in themselves, and you should too.

8. Be Happy: Happiness is an inside job. You have the power to make yourself happy. Besides, you glow differently when you are happy.

9. Health and fitness : This should be a priority. In the middle of a pandemic, the worst thing to have is poor health. Eat healthy food, go for outdoor exercise. Drink a lot of water and get enough sleep.

5 lessons I learned from dating a Narcissist.

You may think you are in love until it is too late.

Sooooooooo I dated a narcissist.

I never knew the true definition of a narcissist until a few years later. I wish I knew this earlier, it would have saved me a lot of tears. Narcissists appear normal, just like you and I. A charming personality, oozing with perfection, and then the road becomes dark and painful.

It started with love bombing. He said all sorts of sweet things to pull me in. I fell head over heels in love with him. He acted like a true gentleman, owned and dined me. He bought me roses. It was the typical thing you would expect from someone when you are in a relationship. I felt like I had found the one. He wanted to get married, have kids, build a life. He said the right words tugged on the strings of my heart the way he felt would pull me in. Looking back, I realized I meant nothing. I was discarded like used toilet paper. I was not even sure he was the same person.

He was insecure. It was the first thing I noticed about him. He always needed validation from me. Initially, I thought seeking validation was just to be on the same page with me when it came to making decisions. It was because he didn’t feel like he could make good decisions. He hid behind the shadow of my wisdom. He also became clingy. He always wanted to control who I spent time with and talked to. He would threaten to stop talking to me if I did not adhere to his requests. I found it doubly odd. He was the kind that could end long-term friendships because of his needs. He was selfish.

The discard stage hurt. We had no quarrels or anything. He stopped talking to me. In the attempt to find out why, he said there was nothing wrong, and he wanted to move on.

It was funny that after the first few days of breaking up, he checked on me to see how I was doing. I genuinely thought he felt remorse, but it was not that. He wanted to absolve himself of guilt by acting like he cared, and also making sure I was not angry. We remained friends, but I learned valid lessons along the way.

  1. He was an extremely fragile person. He exuded so much confidence, but behind the confidence was a fragile man whose ego was easily bruised, and it only took one slight to shatter him. He also had a knack for keeping grudges.
  2. He also showed an exaggerated self importance. He was extremely arrogant. He claimed to have high standards, but they only existed in words and not actions. I also realized he had no standards when it came to choosing women. He preyed on the emotions of single women looking to settle down. He also had a lot of sexual escapades and loved dating women who were less likely to look for commitment.
  3. I noticed he had no long-term friends. He had no one he was accountable to for his behavior. This is a red flag, because he never admitted to fault and would always find a way to blame me.
  4. He was always right. He was never wrong about anything. Challenging him on anything was never a good idea.
  5. Gas lighting was something I experienced, and I knew I was done. I was made to feel that anything in the relationship that went wrong was always my fault. I was walking on eggshells literally. We could go from having a cheerful and happy conversation to a full blown argument. I found myself apologizing for things I didn’t do or say just to keep the peace. In this way, I am slowly losing myself.

When you find yourself in a toxic relationship like this, it is not easy to walk away, but please do. It is for your sanity. Physical abuse is bad. Emotional abuse is deadly.

Walk away because you are worth more, you have family and friends that love you. There are beautiful people who want to come into your life and bring out the best in you. Do not deprive yourself of that opportunity by being with a narcissist.

In the long run, it takes a while to dissociate from this bond. Get the support of your friends and family, and definitely a therapist.