What would you do if a friend you accommodated in her trying times would be the one to turn around and snatch your spouse?
My name is Edith and I have been married for five years with one daughter but that once beautiful marriage is about to crash because a friend I helped when she had issues with accommodation has turned round to pay me back in the most cruelest of coins: by sleeping with my husband, Ralph.
When I agreed to house Shade, the agreement was that she would stay for just a few weeks before she could sort herself out, not knowing that my good deed would turn out to be my albatross and the harbinger to my unhappiness.
I had known Shade during our youth service year in Kaduna and being a Lagos girl, we became close and maintained our friendship when we finish the service and came back to Lagos. She quickly got a job with a top advertising outfit while I got married the net year to Ralph whom I had dated for over seven years.
When I introduced her to Ralph, she tried to discourage me, telling me he did not look to have a bright future since he was, according to her, a ‘common banker’ who had no ambition whatsoever.
I tried to dissuade her from the opinion she held of my man but being the ever outspoken person, she held on to her views but that did not stop me from going ahead to marry my man.
Sometime last year, she had an issue with her office and was fired. When her house rent was due and she could not renew the rent, she approached me and begged that I accommodate her for a few weeks while she sorted herself out. I knew she and my husband did not quite get along and I did not know how he would take the fact that she was coming to stay with us.
But when I told him about it, emphasising on the few weeks, he reluctantly agreed but made it known that she must not get in his way for whatever reason. That was how she came into my house, a decision I still regret till date.
I knew I was in trouble when the ‘few weeks’ passed and Shade did not make any moves to find an accommodation, rather, she became very comfortable cooking and cleaning the house. Most time, before I came back from work, Shade had cooked dinner and would be helping my child with her homework.
My husband too was not too worried about her continued stay and even seemed to warm up to her, saying she was not a really bad person after all.
What did I know? Then she became more free in the house, wearing bum shorts and revealing dresses even when my husband was at home. When I pointed this out to her, she said she saw Ralph as a brother while my husband also saw nothing in her attitude.
Even when my husband’s niece came to spend a few days with us, she also noticed Shade’s behaviour and warned me but I trusted my husband so much and never thought he would descend so low to have affairs with Shade.
But the wool was lifted off my eyes when another of our friends, Ethel, called me to say she had seen my husband and Shade on more than four occasions driving into a hotel close to her office.
At first, I screamed at her to stop peddling such lies but she promised to invite me the next time she saw them. And true to her words, Ethel called me two days later to say Shade and Ralph had just entered the hotel.
I took permission from my boss and took a taxi to Ethel’s office and true to her words, there was Ralph’s car parked inside the hotel premises.
I was at a boiling point but Ethel managed to calm me down and we waited at the car park for another 45 minutes before the adulterous pair walked out of the hotel, arm in arm, giggling like two teenage lovers.
When I saw them, I charged at them but Ralph surprised me when he pounced on me and gave me a beating right in front of Shade and other onlookers.
The hotel security staff and other guests managed to pull him away from him and while he was driving away, he told me not to return to his house. Shade got into the front seat of the car, smiling victoriously, as they drove off.
When I got back home, Ralph refused to allow me into my home and for three months now, he has refused to listen to our family members as he told them pointedly that he was done with me and that Shade is the woman he loves.
I have not seen my child since then and all my attempts to get back my husband has proved abortive.