This is the episode 2 of the Avila Online Story Series, The Woman in Between. Read the Episode 1 before you continue reading.
NATURAL beauty, Ekaette, is five months pregnant! It wouldn’t have mattered if she was just an ordinary guest at the Cregg’s party. In fact, it could have seemed that she was just a friend to the celebrant, her hairdresser, fashion designer, make-over artist, one of those warm-hearted Avila natural beauty therapists, or just some neighbour. But it didn’t seem that way. She was all over Mr Jide Clegg and the two of them appeared not to care what was going on in the guests’ mind.
Ireti Cregg suddenly became uneasy, noticing Ekaette for the first time when her husband, Jide, stood up from beside her to join her on the stage. And while her husband was with the mic, she had her eyes glued on her, trying to imagine who she is. She looked familiar, but she just couldn’t pick the pieces from her memory.
Before now, when all hope was lost
Before fortune smiled on the Creggs, living was hell. Jide, her husband, the Director of Finance in an oil company, was laid off as a result of downsizing. Soon they resulted into a one bedroom apartment where they went on owing the landlady for two years. Feeding was hell in doubles and getting by was mission never impossible. And it was at that point Ireti Cregg made the greatest mistake of her life.
Ireti, a natural beauty too in her own right, was working as a receptionist at the time. Her income was poor and never enough to keep the family of four going, but the little she earned came in steadily. It was little, but she had something coming in while her husband had none and had become a burden to her.
Fed up with the situation, she unleashed the dragon in her. She stopped cooking his meals, she began nagging, and she was suddenly unapproachable. Overtime too, she put a stop to sex. The man she loved with her every breath when the going was good had suddenly become disgusting and a problem she can’t cope with. Infact, divorce was on her mind and she had met with one Barrister Mercy Okeke who was readily willing to take up the case. But like God remembered the Israelites in the land of the Egyptians, God remembered Jide later on and the good times were restored. Jide never mentioned his experience to anyone.
The second gift
The party was still in full swing when two Ford jeeps were driven into the nucleus of the party; 2021 model, same colour – black precisely, tear-rubber, and no plate numbers. The automobiles on centre stage for all eyes to see, there was a rain of clapping. The guests knew they were gifts, birthday gifts, but the emerging question was who owns the second one? Even Ireti was confused. Jide couldn’t have bought her the two machines. She remembered telling her she wants one as her birthday gift, not two, alongside a customized one year natural beauty kit from Avila Naturalle. So, who drives the second one? She wondered within.
The music silenced and Jide appeared on stage. It was his moment. “A good wife is a gift every man should have. It’s a desire every man should wish for. If you drink, hangout with friends, visit the bars, stay out late, even if you chase women (a soft laughter from the men), if you have a good wife waiting for you at home, you will always be quick to run home like a school boy wants to be home from the rain”.
“I am a lucky man and I am blessed with a good wife”, he said, as he waved to Ireti to come around. He was standing in between of the two cars.
“My wife”, he called out to Ireti.
“For being my wife, my gift from the heavens, this is for you”. He pointed at one of the cars and handed her the remote. Inside the car was her customized natural beauty kit from Avila Naturalle as she had wanted.
“Thanks, darling. You’re the best”, Ireti said and gave him a hug. Then a French kiss. The crowd roared cheerfully and clapped.
The other woman
Then Jide called on the woman who had not mattered until now; Ekaette. She walked gently towards him, one hand on her ball-tummy and the other stretched out in wait for Jide to hold. She was a beautiful woman most certainly in her mid thirties, Avila natural beauty chocolate skinned, shy looking and extremely gentle-natured. Ireti stood still, watching, confused, and embarrassed. The woman now in the centre of attraction was standing next to her own husband, pregnant. What could be happening? She wondered within.
Ekaette got to Jide and though she was not going to come deep close, Jide drew closer and gave her a dear hug. Inside the second car three pink teddy bears sat like siblings at the back seat. The romantic glamour the other car didn’t have. “This is for you, E-K”, he said to the other woman, pointing to the other car. “It comes with an all-expense paid holiday trip to the United States. Thanks for being there. You remain evergreen in my heart”, Jide said softly to her with a bleeding soul. The crowd didn’t understand it and the utmost silence about was killing. In the midst of the confusion and shock, Ireti dropped on the floor and fainted.