Just in case you never read the first SDC or need to refresh ur memories, Adele is AKT’s wife. She’s years older than him and they met and got married after AKT got heartbroken by Kaycee for the first time after school. He’d just won millions through a lottery but he was hurting and Adele was the rich beautiful woman who came along, gave him a lot of money and married him. She kinda was like a Sugar mummy too. When AKT thought he had another chance with Kaycee, he stopped contacting Adele and never spoke about her. And even though things got pretty messy when Adele once stumbled on AKT and Kaycee with Kaycee’s famous ex Sugar Daddy LJP, AKT didn’t seem to have issues pushing her away like she didn’t exist. She returned last episode even though only Sarah saw her. But the rest of us will today. Cheers.
I leave my things safely hidden somewhere in Oge and I find my way to a Café where I have agreed to meet with Esther.
I am sipping through a cup of fancy latte when Esther finds me where I am hidden away from the noise in the small room.
The look on my face must have told her how angry I am because she immediately begins to say “Sarah, I know you’re pissed but please let’s just put our anger and differences aside for now and discuss like family”
When I say nothing, she continues “We’re siblings and…”
“We are?” I ask
“Of course, we are” she replies “What type of question is that?”
“Because you have never treated me like your Sister”
She pauses, mutters a quick apology and says “Sarah, I know you will not understand but there is a reason”
I lean back, my fingers clutching the cup of coffee in my hand “Try me” I raise the cup to my lips and take a sip as she begins to explain to me why things have always been bad between us.
“You were just that kid who changed everything when she came along. The one who had the extra quality, the one who could do the thing I couldn’t do. The one who made them the happiest…”
I scoff “Oh please, you’re sounding ridiculous. You know our Parents and you know they didn’t and still don’t have a favorite” I say to her. “Whatever you’re trying to say doesn’t make sense to me, I’m just saying”
She laughs, “You really think so”
“I know so” I continue “And if they had a favorite, then that would be you. Clearly, mummy never sees anything wrong in what you do but never sees anything right in what I do”
“Tough love, Sarah. Tough love” she says to me with a sigh. “Remember when we were younger and it was your first role leading the marching team at the Interhouse Sport?”
I remember clearly of course. My mother had taken time to brush the hell out of my hair, parted it into four neat rows and adorned it with the most colorful ribbons, I looked like I fell out of a drawing book.
“See how they fussed over you…”
I cut in, “They fussed over you too, Esther”
“But not as much as you!”
I stare at her confused “Wait, this is about you being jealous… for no reason?”
“No. this is about me always being the one they left to handle herself, the one they always forgot to take care of because, well, I was grown enough. It was like they expected me to handle myself the moment I was born. Like their guidance wasn’t needed”
“But I thought this was because they trusted you to handle things yourself”
“Is that trust or is it neglect?”
I lean back. Here I was thinking Esther was the golden child; the one who they allowed to do everything and anything she liked without chiding her or getting all up in her business.
And that I was the one they always came down on because I couldn’t be trusted to make sense of my own life.
I had thought it was because they trusted Esther to turn out great all by myself but had expected me to make a mess of my own life if I was left alone.
I had seen the whole action of my parents towards her as Trust, she had seen it as neglect.
I had wanted them to treat me like her but she had wanted to be treated like me.
I sigh, swig my coffee.
“I always thought it was because they trusted you. Like ‘oh, that’s my daughter Esther who knows better than to be an idiot so I will just leave her be but my other daughter Sarah is a dimwit, so I will always have to be all up in her business before she brings shame to the family.’ I don’t know it just felt stifling and suffocating and unfair because of the way they went about it”
My parents’ idea of discipline is of course the idea of the average Nigerian parents’ – beat the child like flour for puff puff, isolate her, let her be thoroughly dealt with, then yell on top of your voice that she is the one trying to kill you.
And I got that a lot.
Heck, I still got that, except for some little edits.
“You weren’t a good person to me, Esther” I say gently now that I can see – but not understand – where she is coming from.
“I know and I am sorry”
“The party crashing in ss2, snitching on me, taking sides with Amara with the stupid boyfriend drama…” I could see the contrition in her eyes as I reel out the terrible things she did to me that drove me further as a teenager.
In SS2, I had an older boyfriend whom I still suspect Esther liked. He was in his first year in the University and we had it hot for each other.
He taught me how to have sex, how to drink and how to be wild basically.
And because I didn’t keep friends and I honestly didn’t care much for my family, our bond strengthened.
So when I clocked 15 in SS2 he wanted to throw me a party in his Father’s mansion in Ikoyi.
I had told him how impossible that was.
My parents lived in Egbeda, I was a minor. How was I supposed to leave the house for a party that would end late at night?
But he had devised a plan.
We faked a tutoring class that day and my Parents of course had been impressed that I’d rather go learn instead of “gallivanting around the place” like my mates.
If only they knew.
Well, they eventually did because as the party neared its climax, they showed up, Esther in tow.
Esther had found out, told my Parents but of course ensure she didn’t tell them when they could have stopped me. She told them, brought them to my Party and ensured she humiliated me.
And of course, there was the boyfriend drama that included my classmate Amara and I and her stupid boyfriend who liked me but who I didn’t like and somehow, Amara teamed up with my own sister and had me embarrassed at the school cafeteria on a day it was full.
“I am sorry about everything” Esther says
“Are you?” I try to stop the hurt that wells up. She had been awful to me and never had she seen anything wrong in everything she did.
As we grew older, we barely spoke. Unlike other sisters who were extremely close, we were just people who happened to share DNA.
Esther holds my hands now, “Please Sarah… this whole thing with me ending up in a bad marriage has just opened my eyes to a lot of things. And I feel so bad for never treating you right.”
“And why do you suddenly realize this? Why is this apology suddenly occurring to you as the right way to go?”
She sighs, “It is not just occurring to me. I am just getting the courage. I knew you weren’t sleeping with my husband and one day I realized how much family meant even when the man I married was treating me badly. It just made me see how terrible a person I had been… but it is not easy to say sorry when you’ve been so wrong for years… and that dinner just blew everything up… I don’t want to be a bad person anymore Sarah. It is just easier been a good person”
“Okay” I say simply and she hugs me fiercely
“Please come home with me” she begs
Her face falls and I say quickly “I just don’t think it is the right thing to do right now. I need to get myself together first”
I have been putting my own designs together to pitch to Scott and Ade. I need to start my own thing.
“Okay but think about it”
“I will tell Mummy we finally talked”
I smile when I see she is smiling.
My sister asks me again if I don’t want to come back to hers just as she drops me off at Oge and I tell her no.
She says she has kicked her husband out finally and they are getting a divorce.
I tell her I am happy for her. I am genuinely happy for her actually, her husband was a terrible choice.
“I will call you” I say to her and get out of her car. She waves as she drives away and as I turn to walk in to Oge, I see AKT standing at the door.
I try to get past him.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“Walking away from a Liar” I say
“I am not a Liar”
“The Liar tells another lie”
He follows me into the Office, “The marriage hasn’t counted for a year now, in fact, it never counted before we married”
I turn around and face him, anger boiling up in me “Listen to yourself” I say.
Goodness, why am I so mad at this person? Why am I so crazy about him?
Can’t I just walk away? I found out he is married and I should walk away but here I am fighting with him instead. Wanting to talk to him about how I found out and how hurt I am.
I look around the Office and point to the door.
“I will only go if you come with me” he says and I lead him out.
“You think I became your girlfriend to deal with stupid drama? How much drama have you dealt with since we got together, Akin? Have I introduced you to a baby daddy? Have you caught me cuddled or having sex with another woman? Ha…”
“I heard you moaning on the Phone the other night” he says calmly and I fall silent. “See Sarah, I understand why you’re mad and I don’t even know how you found out but the marriage meant nothing that is why I didn’t tell you”
“It is marriage! The woman can claim you anytime… I mean, she walked up to the Office and asked for ‘her husband’” I say
He frowns “Adele is around?”
“Oh yes she is!” I lean against his car, my heart thumping in my chest. Anger has taken over me like heavy storm on a rainy day.
“Sarah, you cannot continue to walk out on us” he says gently
“Oh trust me, there won’t be a continuation. I’m done for real this time. How can someone be married and not say that they are? If it were you, would you find it funny?”
“What is funny?”
“You’re so mad at me and I understand why but please, stop. It’s hurting me”
That thaws my resolve.
I must be mad.
“And I think when you pout like that when you’re angry, I think it’s cute”
“Stop trying to pacify me”
“I am not trying to pacify you”
I gather her in my arms but not without a bit of resistance from her.
“Babe, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Adele but I swear to you, she hasn’t mattered in a long time. I told her we were done, I moved out of her house and we stopped communicating so I assumed she got the message”
I look up at him, “You don’t tell people you’re done when it’s marriage, you divorce them”
I sigh, “Akin please fix this” I say to him, eyes pleading “And please tell me everything! Don’t leave anything out, I hate surprises”
“Does this mean you’re staying?”
I nod slowly. He kisses me.
“Good, ‘cause I’m in love with you”
I want to say I love him too but I hold it back, head on his chest, while I enjoy that declaration.
I have not seen Adele since I thought Kaycee and I would become a couple and that was a long time ago.
My life has changed dramatically since then and I honestly forgot about Adele completely.
She wasn’t exactly someone I cared to be married to so it was easy to forget her and to forget we were married.
Strolling into my Office now, I find her sitting, waiting for me.
She looks sick, pale and spent.
She stands and hugs me tightly, even her grip seems feeble.
Adele is sick.
She pulls away and I hold her hand gently “Adele…”
“I have cancer”
I swallow hard.
And I feel bad for not keeping in touch.
I tell her that, she smiles.
“You had your life ahead of you, why bother with an old woman?”
But she loved me, I know. And that should have made me check in just once in a while but I just wanted that phase of my life blurred so bad that I imagined she didn’t exist.
“They say I have months to live…”
I ask why she didn’t get treatment and she says it is the second time it’s coming back. They don’t think she would survive this one.
“Hey, I didn’t come here to make you sad, I came to let you know I am leaving some things in your name”
“Adele, that isn’t needed”
“Oh nonsense, you’re still my husband by law” she dismisses “My Lawyer and I will have a meeting with you tomorrow”
She goes into a long round of coughing and I have to hold her at some point.
“Why do we need a Lawyer if you left things in my name?” I am curious
“I want to give you a divorce…”
I shake my head, “No” I refuse to be the guy who got what he wanted regardless of how the other person felt.
I am becoming a better person, for me and for Sarah.
“I know you don’t want this marriage tying us together”
“I didn’t. And I don’t. but maybe we shouldn’t worry about that right now, you have your health to worry about”
“And I will die soon anyway” she chuckles when she sees the look on my face, causing her to cough some more “I was just joking” she says lightly
We sit and talk about work, my former boss LJP who is her close friend and her life after she aborted the baby we could have had together.
She laughs when I tell her about some of my escapades and she tells me she’s secretly happy I’m not the one who got Kaycee.
“You deserve someone who can love you fervently the way you loved that girl” she says “You love too deeply to have gotten someone who didn’t feel that way for you”
And my mind goes to Sarah. I had told her I loved her and she hadn’t said anything. Did it mean…
I suddenly notice Adele’s weight on me.
I look beside me and see she has passed out.
“Adele!” I scream.