Mr and Mrs Bello were members of the church I attended. They had three kids, one boy and two girls. Bintu was Mr Bello’s twenty year old niece. She was an orphan. Her mother died while giving birth to her, while her dad died in an auto crash when she was only four years old. She has since been living with one relative or the other, where most of them treat her as an housemaid before she was eventually taken to Mr Bello before he got married.
The Bellos were fervent Christians, at least from what I could see, but Bintu had a different story to tell about them, especially Mrs Bello. According to her, Mrs Bello was so cruel to her. She was enjoying her uncle until he got married. “She poisoned my uncle’s mind towards me and now he’s also cruel to me”. Said Bintu.
“Sometimes I could go without food for days. My uncle’s wife would not allow me to eat in the house”.
I was usually touched hearing things like these. I remembered how scarce girls were in my family, how come a girl child is being treated this way?.
I would give her money to go and buy something to eat. She would thank me and leave. She usually comes to me after service on Sundays.
One Monday morning, Bintu sent me a text message telling me that she wanted to see me yesterday in church, but she didn’t come because her uncle’s wife had reported her to her uncle that she (Bintu) was always talking with me every Sunday, that her uncle should ask her what we were always discussing. As a result of that, her uncle had stopped her from seeing me after service in church. Therefore, she would come and see me in my house. I gave her an appointment for Wednesday by 4pm.
She came directly from school to my house. She was in SS2. Nobody knew our plan.
When she got there, she started talking about her uncle and his wife again, and that it’s only one of their kids that loved her in the house.
“Now, they have banned me from seeing you or talking to you. Who else do I have?. Who would I be talking to now?. What am I going to do now?. I can’t, but talk to you!. I can’t but see you!!. You are so good to me!!!.” She bursted into tears.
I couldn’t stand seeing such an orphan shedding tears. I moved close to her to console her. She held me tightly. I tried to get myself out of her arms, but she wouldn’t let me go. Before I knew it, I had slept with her.
It eventually became our usual practice as she was always having a stop over in my place whenever she’s coming from school.
I started giving her money. She was changing clothes and looking beautiful. When we see each other in church on Sundays, we would just walk pass without anybody noticing what was going on between us during the week.
Barely two months after we started the romance, Bintu told me she was pregnant.
“Ahh!. What are we going to do now?”. I asked.
” I don’t even know”. Answered Bintu.
I told her to let us abort the pregnancy before anybody knew what happened. As I didn’t want them to know in church.
She said she was afraid, that she didn’t want to die.
When I persuaded her, she promised to give it a thought and get back to me.
When she got home that day, her uncle and his wife called her and told her they suspected she was pregnant.
She denied it. But her uncle’s wife said she was very sure Bintu was pregnant, and that if her husband wouldn’t mind, they should take her to the hospital for a test.
That was how she was taken to a doctor that evening, and it was confirmed that Bintu was eight weeks pregnant.
When they asked her who was responsible for the pregnancy, she mentioned my name.
Soon, the news went round. It became a hot gist among our church members.
When I was invited for interrogation, I confirmed that I was responsible and that I would pay the bride price and married Bintu.
Her uncle arranged with the other family members and a date was fixed for the traditional marriage which was done in a low key.
I provided every item in the long bride list and paid the bride price. I promised them that Bintu would complete her education in my house as I was actually ready to sponsor her.
That was how I became Bintu’s husband, not because I loved her, but because she was carrying my baby and more so, she was an orphan. She moved into my house right away and we were living as husband and wife. She wasn’t that beautiful, as a matter of fact, she wasn’t attractive to me at all, but I was left with no choice.
It wasn’t after Bintu moved into my house that I knew the kind of a woman she really was. She was so lazy and dirty. I started remembering everything she told me about the way her uncle and his wife treated her, and I was convinced that she really deserved it.
She didn’t want to do anything. After having the first child, I told her to go back to school as I have promised her family. She refused. All she knew to do was to sleep, wake up, eat, spend money she never worked for, and have sex.
We were too shy to continue to worship in the church where we met, more so her uncle and his family were there. So we decided to look for another place of worship where nobody knew us.
I discovered I was no longer active as I used to be. I was now struggling to attend services. Bintu was not helping the matter at all, in fact, she was worse. She didn’t want to hear anything about church or prayer. It later dawned on me that her uncle and his wife were the ones forcing her to church in the first instance.
Barely four years into my marriage with Bintu, we already had three kids…..which my wife never knew how to care for. After much complaints, I would do whatever I could and overlook the rest.
She wasn’t working, she never wanted to, yet she was always asking me for money as she wanted to be the most elegantly dressed lady anywhere she was. Whenever she asked for money and I didn’t give her, she would pick quarrel with me and refused to take care of the kids, neither would she prepare food for me to eat. I can’t count how many times I’d gotten home in the evening, only to discover that my wife did not cook anything for me as dinner, and I would pick my car key and go back to town to eat in a restaurant.
I had money but I had no peace. I didn’t enjoy my marriage with Bintu at all. She made life miserable for me.
She knew how well I loved my children, so she was using them as a yardstick to deal with me whenever I didn’t meet her demands.
I can say without any reservation, that Bintu was either not well cultured or she rejected every training she was made to go through.
Then something happened!.
Watch out for it in the next chapter.
Thanks for following.
© Stella Kike Odeniyi