Written by Bunmi Sofola
~Vanguard, Nigeria. Sunday, May 22, 2016.
Blood is thicker than water, right? This belief was put to the test when Judith met her husband's elder brother for the first time. She'd been married to Bernard for seven years when Kingsley returned to the country after years of studying and working abroad. "Kingsley is a couple of years older than Ben and it was obvious they were very close when he finally called at the house," explained Judith. "They spent time together watching football or going to the clubs – making up for lost time.
"The brothers, in spite of their closeness, were very different. Ben, my husband is the aggressive type whilst Kingsley was what you would call a real man – strong and able to handle himself with no aggression whatsoever – no hint of the bully his brother was. It was Ben who helped him clinch a deal on an empty flat in our neighbourhood and as soon as he moved in, he visited more . frequently. It was thanks to him that I started taking more interest in how I looked as he was always liberal with his compliments. He made an effort to look well too, splashing on exotic after-shaves and wearing sexy clothes. The admiring look in his eyes whenever I let him in made my efforts worthwhile. It was obvious that a sexual tension was simmering between us even though I tried to smother the feelings.
"One evening, I was relaxing at home when Kingsley called unexpectedly. "Ben is not here," I told him as I let him in. "He's at his office's send-off do for a member of staff." "I know," he replied quietly, "he told me when I called him." I felt this crazy excitement as I looked up at him. 'It's you I've come to see,' he continued, 'I need to know if you've realised what you're doing to me ...' I didn't know what to say. But he took me in his arms and all the pent-up emotions of the past month erupted. As we made furious love on the sofa, he confessed he was in love with me. I couldn't help telling him there was no future for us as Ben would kill us both if he found out. My kids would be heartbroken, devastated and confused if we were to end up with their uncle.
"Unfortunately, no amount of sensible thoughts could erase the love (lust more like) that had grown between us. In the months that follows, we contrived any excuse to be together. Ben couldn't care less that Kingsley and I went shopping together or picked up the takeaway for our weekend treats. And because I worked shifts, it was easy to slip round to Kingsley's flat, enjoy a couple of blissful hours in his flat.
"Ben was so complacent it would never have occurred to him that his brother and his wife were both betraying him in the worst possible way. The fact that I took more interest in my clothes and make-up didn't bother him.
"And then the unthinkable happened – I discovered I was pregnant. The problem was that Ben and I hadn't had sex for months – he was usually far too drunk to stay awake at night. When I broke the news to Kingsley, his first reaction shocked me. Pure joy shone in his eyes. 'A baby! That's fantastic!' he squalled, his imagination running away with him.. His only child is with his British wife and she wouldn't even consider Kingsley bringing him. 'At least now we can be a real family,' he gushed, 'make a fresh start and take your two boys to live with us'.
I begged him to stop right there. 'We'd be outcasts,' I told him. 'The worst sort of cheats. And the children would wonder why they were living with their uncle and calling him 'dad'. And do you think Ben would let us live happily together? No way! He'd see us
dead first. On and on we talked and in the end we agreed that our hopes of a new life was ashes before they'd even begun. So I made the heartbreaking decision to terminate the pregnancy before Ben suspected a thing.
"After the termination, it was an excuse for Kingsley and I to put an end to this mad relationship, but strangely, our shared disappointment brought us even closer.
"It's been months since that tragic event but we're still living our double lives. So, here I am playing the role of good mum and wife whilst Kingsley is the kind uncle the kids adore. Only, we remain passionate, cheating lovers whenever opportunity arises. The pregnancy would have been a good reason to pitch my tent with Kingsley, but that kind of taboo doesn't even bear thinking of – it was too scary. Now there is no hope for us to have a happy-ever- after ending. I've urged Kingsley to look for a suitable partner so he could plan a future with a wife and kids. He would make a wonderful husband and father. But my pleas are half-hearted. I genuinely love Kingsley. He is a refreshing break from the brute I'm married to and it will break my heart when the loving feeling eventually ends