I married Joseph when he had nothing. We had dated steadily for two years before I became pregnant. In agreement, we decided to keep the baby and we went to the registry to tie the knot. We got a room apartment afterwards and started our life together. For over three years, while Joseph was trying to find his feet, I was doing all kinds of jobs to keep the family going while he kept applying for jobs at different companies. I advised him to think of a business he could do but he said he was not cut out for such; he wanted a white collar job. It was that or nothing else so I had no choice than to keep striving to keep the family together.
I was doing all within my power to keep the home going without letting even my own family members know what’s up. I kept away from some of my friends, especially the socially active ones so that I could avoid all the asoebis we used to buy. In our situation, we had 3 children and I had to add struggling as a mother to my daily responsibilities. Apart from Joseph being a job seeker, he is an African man to the core. He believes everything that pertains to taking care of the home and children is the woman’s responsibility. He wouldn’t help with the children and I would have to do that on my own whenever I returned home from work.
The stress was so intense that I was almost losing my mind until our expected breakthrough arrived. Joseph got a good job in an international organization. Things started looking good for us. We had access to more money and we changed our accommodation. Joseph started to keep friends and hardly had time for church anymore. Every time I complained, he would say I was nagging and threaten to leave me if I did not let him have peace.
Looking back now, I am certain Joseph worked his transfer out of Lagos to get away from us. And though he meant to do it temporarily, he ended up leaving us permanently.
With his new friends, Joseph started to keep late nights. He got transferred to his company branch in Ibadan and he refused to allow us relocate with him. He gave some flimsy excuses as to why it wasn’t ideal. He would leave very early on Mondays and return home late on Fridays. With time, he started skipping some weekends with excuses of work, funds etc.
From coming home every weekend, he graduated to coming home every two weeks, then every month end, to coming once in two months. It became quite challenging for me and so one day, I asked him for his Ibadan home address. I intended to pay him a visit. Reluctantly, my husband gave me his Ibadan home address and told me to let him know whenever I wanted to visit. Every time I informed him I wanted to come over, he would either tell me he was out on official assignment or that he was coming to Lagos so I shouldn’t bother. Some times, he would send me some money and tell me to get some things for myself and the children.
This was how we were living till I received a call from his office to come over to Ibadan.
Before that call, Joseph had been with the company for 4 year plus and he had been in Ibadan for over two years. He had also not been home for three months so I threatened him that I would be in Ibadan that weekend. He asked me to wait in Lagos for him but I insisted I would come down to Ibadan. When I got the call from his office, I quickly called him but he was not reachable. I kept my children with my parents and I left for Ibadan with my brother-in law.
I am in tears as I write. It was Joseph’s corpse we met in the morgue. We found out that he was in a fight with a man who claimed my Joseph was sleeping with his wife. It was reported that they were fighting when Joseph slumped and gave up the ghost. I heard that the man had been arrested but the said wife was no where to be found.
This is over 4 weeks after, I am yet to meet the woman who was responsible for my Joseph’s death. Joseph was buried last week after all medical examinations to support the case by the police had been carried out. We even found out that the said woman was not married to the man who killed my Joseph. They were engaged and about to be married when she and Joseph allegedly started seeing each other.
Looking back now, if God knew this was how I would lose Joseph, maybe He should have left us the way we were. We were poor but we were happy.