Aleruchi opened the wardrobe and started throwing clothes onto the bed. Then she brought out a vanity case, picked out a few simple pieces of jewellery from the collection she stored there, and laid them on top of the chest of drawers. She quickly emptied the first two drawers of clothes onto the ground, sat down, and divided the heap in two before placing one pile in her suitcase, hoping she’d have enough time to get something warmer when she arrived in Nottingham.
She was sure that the distance between Nigeria and England would do her some good – the need to get away from her husband Princewill was stronger than her addiction for chocolate eclairs. She felt like everyone was beginning to take his side: his relatives and even her friends and cousins were tired of her visits. Her only option was to go to her son, Victor. He was going to be twenty-nine very soon and hadn’t yet mentioned a girlfriend, much less a fiancée. Her time could be better spent getting him a suitable bride.
She started jotting down a list of things she might need and dig around an old tote bag for her MasterCard. She was going to London and wouldn’t make the mistake of informing Victor before paying him a visit this time. She made a mental note to tell Catherine though, just in case her plan backfired.
Princewill walked in after a long day’s work with his briefcase in his hand. His shoulders fell, his brows furrowing for a few seconds when he saw the clothes on the floor and the open suitcase. He held his breath as he walked to his side of the bed before exhaling. He gave her a hopeful look but she quickly looked away.
She grimaced. He should have been used to this by now. For the past eleven years, she had seized every opportunity she could to escape from him. She hadn’t been able to stand being near him for very long after she’d seen what he’d done. He had whined, cried, and even yelled that it had been his fault, demanding to know why she was still making him pay for it. He had said that it had only happened that once. It had been a mistake. How easy for him to say as he wasn’t who had to bear the consequence of his action. How would he have felt if she was the one?
Her one wish as she blew out the candles on her birthday cake last week was to find her son a wife so she could move on with her life. This contraption called marriage was a mirage she no longer wanted to live in. Seeing this adulterous husband of hers every day was fast leading her down the path of depression. It was a miracle she hadn’t fallen into one yet. She was too young to die.
“Ruchi please, let’s talk!”
She rolled her eyes and hastened her packing.
He walked towards her and spun her around to face him.
She shoved his hands off, glared at him contemptuously, and went back to packing.
“Please sweetheart, we can’t continue like this. How long will you keep this up? I have told you I’m sorry countless times, and I honestly meant it. It only happened once. There has been no other woman before and after that and I know you know that. Please -”
“The before or the after,” she forced out through clenched teeth and walked out of the room, fuming.
…………..To be continued.