According to thenicheng, 

Bori got me everything I needed for the night – jollof and fried rice, moin moin, ewa agoin, custard, salad, fried chicken and plantain, small chops, puff puff, chinchin, assorted fruits in a large bowl, water, and Guinness. More food and more merriment. She looked girly in a light blue buba and dark blue iro. That was the aso ebi for the night. You could see the clash of egos everywhere with the intricate designs on those aso ebis. It was like designer’s retreat. No gawkiness but all gaudiness, glam and opulence.

“You look beautiful,” I complimented. “You know your babe now. Nobody can catch me unaware. I must look chick and be at my uttermost best anytime. Teejay, I don serve my time in the UK now. Shebi, you know my story now,” Bori answered cockily like a confident superwoman. She fiddled with her bag and brought out her phone. “That’s your boy and his sister in the US,” she said proudly. I took the phone. “Wow, Banji and Dami are now grown.” “Yes oo, that’s all I have now after I kicked out their dad five years ago,” Bori confided.

Quickly, I latched on the last sentence. “Haha, kilo sele larin iwo ati Demola?” I asked sceptically. “Do you want to know,” Bori asked sceptically. I nodded. Demola Owolabi is a tall, gangly guy. We all called him Owo Giant. Brilliant, tech genius, sociable, kind, super fit and trendy. There is no gruffiness about this bloke. He is fun to be with and could charm the most hardened pessimist. We used to play Sunday football together under the bridge that runs across Latimer Road, Marylebone Road onward towards Shepherd Bush. I remember we always fought to have him on our side because of his ruggedness. To my mind he is a fine gentleman. Bori could not be serious about Demola. My thought protested.

“Teejay, the Demo you knew then is a shadow of his former self. Hmmm. He became a terrible monster for me and the kids. We moved home from Ladbroke Grove in year 2001 to Romford. It was a lovely three bedroom house with both front and back gardens. Demo bought a dog, and we were living happily as professional couples. He works in the IT department of Wandsworth Borough Council as the system administrator. He was making money and enjoying his job. Then he began to keep late nights. Initially, I trusted his excuses that he worked late. But later I got fed up and set a watch on him. Trust me now… “

The ambient light of the party venue was turned into blue. Everybody suddenly became beautiful. It was an angelic sight to behold. I saw a man in mufti dancing furiously and unashamedly. Two men beating talking drums were sounding out Yoruba panegyrics. The more the words of flattery were rained down, the more the man in mufti dipped his hands into his jacket to spray dollars. I was amused but refused to be carried away.

Bori tapped me on the shoulder and continued. “Eventually, I got to know that he was dating a Nigerian woman who worked next to his office. Guess what, she had a baby for him. Demo did not say anything to me that he was having an affair or has had a baby outside. I noticed that he was always moody and temperamental. Later, he began to harass me and the kids. When challenged, he began to hit me. I could not guess his frustration initially, but I had to study him like a book. That was how I got to know that his dark secret was tormenting him on a daily basis”.

We interrogate pain and disappointment differently in life. I could not understand why a man will be banished from his matrimonial home because of a single indiscretion. But London is a cruel city. Black Londoners live in a time capsule of different code of conduct. We cancel our home culture the very moment we arrived abroad and embraced the icy and emotional detachment of the host nation. We throw away Nigerian culture and mores and welcome the hollow tradition of British life. I was not expecting Bori to have become a hard hearted woman just like that.

“Teejay, o mo nkan. Ko wa tan sibe. Demo also had two kids from another woman in Nigeria. Worse, he secretly brought this woman to the UK.  I later connected all his lies to the woman from Nigeria when he used to tell me that he had IT conferences in Bath, Nottingham, Sunderland, Durham and Pontypool. I later realised that he was always with the other women at the weekends. In all, Demo was managing us together…three of us.” Bori burst into a derisive laughter kissing her teeth in disgust. She clapped her hands in helplessness.

“Demo’s life was in a serious confusion. He stopped making contributions to the home. He will go AWOL for days. My kids were getting fed up. He was in Nigeria when Banji and Dami had their graduation ceremonies. I was the only one with them when they were going to the US for further opportunities for their future. So, I became an emergency superwoman for my kids – feeding, clothing and sheltering them.  Initially, I was ashamed of being classed a single mum. Teejay, remember that our virtue-signalling society does not care to hear your own story. They just make wrong assumptions about you. I used to mock other women with failed marriages believing that I could weather marital storm if it blows my way. I was wrong. When tested, I fell apart like a pack of cards.”

The air conditioner in the hall was chilling me out. I was uncomfortable. I could not figure out why the ACs would be on in winter. I was later informed that it was faulty. Bori realised that I was uncomfortable. We moved away from the faulty AC and continued.

“It was a wintry night. The temperature was freezing. I heard the doorbell. I spied through the window. It was Demola Owolabi. He had his luggage with him. He was returning from Nigeria after a month away. I refused to open the door. I told him to go and shelter with his two other slay queens. He begged profusely as the snow was falling on him helplessly. I had to remain hard and shut down my emotional sympathy. His dog could smell him. The poor dog gave me a sympathetic look and paced about around the door. I ignored it. I told Demo through the door to come for his belongings the next day.”

“Haba, Bori, common, you should have opened for him for the night especially in such atrocious weather,” I said. “No matter what, you should have shown that human milk and allowed him in from the cold now,” I continued.

“Teejay, you don’t know women. We could be as loving as a cat and deadly as a hungry lion. What are you talking about? That kind of morality does not wash with me mate. Two women and three kids outside his matrimonial home. Worse, he brought the last woman to London. Are you kidding me? Let him go and learn a lesson in self-control. Let him go and eat his macho, lady killer body now,” Bori answered furiously.

“Wo, mio gba igbakugba mo o. Demo ti se ara e. No more nonsense. Demo ti di eni atijo. Yes oo, he is now a mirage from the past,” Bori said with a tone of finality.

“Se kin be pe Tokunboh. I will tell her to come and see you now. Bawo ni, se o fe anything? I will be back in a minute…” Bori disappeared into the dancing crowd to the warm embrace of his friends.

To be continued…