BETRAYAL
2nd July, 2015


Folake was sad, angry and devastated. But this time two weeks ago, Folake was happy, fulfilled and extremely in love. Now all she felt was a vacuum where her heart had been, and she had always thought she had her happy ending already, but now she realised one thing, you never really know the people you know. Its been two weeks since her husband disappeared, he just up and left the house without thinking of her or the children's feelings. Her mind went back to how it all began and the thinking started just like it usually does everyday for the past two weeks.

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Folake walked into the house and rushed up the stairs to get ready for the fundraiser, she was already late and she knew Tade would be mad at her, her husband was one of the majority of men who couldn't understand the reason for women's constant lateness for events. She had been really busy at work today, trying to put finishing touches to her report for Monday morning. When she walked into the room and didn't see her husband, she was shocked and happy, "Thank God he's not back yet" she exclaimed and rushed through her bath and beauty routine. An hour and thirty minutes after dressing up she was still waiting for Tade. She was mad and confused, her husband never stays out late not since she had been married to him, so would he begin twenty years later? Folake had called work and it was ascertained that he had left work by 5p.m as usual and it was already 10p.m. She had called everyone she knew would know his whereabouts but to no avail. Her nerves were fraying and the only thing she was thankful for was that the kids were at school. Tired of waiting and getting angrier as the minutes went by, she crawled into bed and hoped against hope that Tade would come back home.

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Tade felt uneasy, he had never stayed away from his family longer than a day, and here he was with plans of never going back to them. He couldn't, even if he wanted to and the reason was simple, his misdeeds would soon be found out and he eventually spend the rest of his life away from them but this time not of his own accord. He preferred this arrangement, driving out of the borders of the country and into Togo, he went to the cottage he had bought under an alias a few months ago. Oh! Of course he planned his disappearance, he was actually smarter and cunnier than people gave him credit for. He had always lived under the shadow of Folake, at the beginning he loved it, enjoyed it even, but then it began to make him feel incompetent and he just had to do what he did, he knew it wasn't right and blaming Folake for it was a low blow, but then she always influenced him, the question is the kind of influence. Teeth chattering from the cold within and without, his mind drifted to the chaos the people back home would be going through because of him.

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Folake turned slightly in bed, trying not to wake Tade up, usually the early bird she wondered why his morning noises had not woken her up, then she remembered, Tade hadn't come home last night. She jumped off the bed and ran down the stairs, she knew he wouldn't be in the living room, but that didn't stop her from checking. Confused and still in a state of shock, she went to her bedroom and got dressed and headed straight for the police station. "Madam how can we help you" the uniformed woman asked after Folake had dropped her complaints, "what do you mean by that" Folake retorted in anger "I need you to find my husband of course, or why else would I be here so early". The young officer looked at the older woman with pity in her eyes, worse things had been reported here so a husband that did not sleep at home did not move her "Unless he has been gone for twenty four hours, there is nothing the police can do about it" she answered. Folake was shocked, "aren't these people supposed to look out for the well-being of the citizens" she thought, with tears in her eyes she tried to explain to the officer whom she considered dumb, that this is not the kind of behaviour her husband would exhibit so she believed there was foul play, but the officer was no longer paying attention. Folake walked out of the police station adding dejection to the myriad of emotions she was already feeling. She waited, and called and waited and called but nothing happened. She was scared and kept imagining the worst scenarios, she felt Tade was in danger out there somewhere and she was in the comfort of their home doing nothing about it.

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Monday morning dawned with the same dejection and total emptiness that she carried all through the weekend, the only difference being that her kids were around now and the height of sadness in the house had increased. Her daughter Tolani walked into the room and said point blank "you know he left us because you never had time for him" Folake's head snapped up and she felt like she had been punched in the belly. "Is that what the kids are thinking? That I pushed their father to run away from home?" Were the thoughts running through her mind but she didn't say it she just got up from bed to go to the bathroom when she heard the doorbell.
Walking gingerly down the stairs and towards the door she saw Fade, her son, at the door and noticed that it was policemen that came visiting. Hurrying towards the door with a surge of hope, she wanted to believe they had found Tade, but she was shell shocked by what she heard. "EFCC what?" She quickly inquired running forward, "what does the EFCC want?" She asked again this time louder than before. The policemen gently explained to her about her husband masterminding a continuous fraud in his office that has summed up to 50million Naira, "we have cause to believe that he skipped town when he realised the EFCC was on his trail" the policeman that had been speaking said. The tension in the room could have been pierced with a needle, no one knew what to say or do, till Tolani busted into tears. Folake walked the policemen out of the house and walked back up the stairs straight to her room. She got under the shower and allowed the water cascade down her body, signifying the tears she couldn't share "May you rot in Hell! Tade Ogunmakinwa" she finally screamed and let the pain consume her.

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Tade would have preferred burning in hell to the cold in this cottage, he didn't like heat but he would have traded places with lucifer right now if he could, the house had not been lived in for years and it was frigid. Nothing he did could take the cold away and he knew his loneliness was adding to how cold he felt. He has been in this country for over three weeks, basically mulling over his misdeeds and what his family would be going through back home. He didn't want to think about it, but with nothing but french-speaking people around him all he had for company was himself and he wasn't feeling so good about that. He needed to get his mind off his former life, he had a new one to live now, so he got out of the couch, determined to find a friend, one that speaks fluent English, if that was the last thing he did that day.

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Life had never been this hard for the Ogunmakinwas, they had always had all they wanted, all of a sudden their cushy foundation has been snatched away, first thing the EFCC did was to freeze their assets and then give a nationwide announcement of the crime. Wherever the family went now they were scorned and segregated. The kids were bullied in school and Folake was laughed at both amongst those whom she considered friends and co-workers, the only thing that stopped her from getting fired was her dedication to the work and the fact that her bosses aren't Nigerians.
Folake learned to deal with her new status as an outcast, no more parties, fundraisers, award ceremonies, just work and home. She was trying so hard to live a normal life, even though her daughter still doesn't talk to her. Looking back now, she knew Tade wasn't really the talker in the marriage, but she wouldn't dwell on those things. It's been two months since he left, dealing with all the problems was enough for her.

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Tilewa swayed into her sister's house with the energy significant of her presence, she was about to surprise Folake. Tilewa's solution to stress was vacation, as simple as that might seem, Folake never buys into it and not even now when she's been robbed of all her savings by the EFCC, but Tilewa had it all planned out, an all expense paid trip to Togo, they would drink coconut milk and walk barefoot on the beach all day long, best therapy for stress, Tilewa thought with a smirk on her face. She ran up the stairs and busted into the bedroom, opening her mouth to give her well rehearsed speech, Folake said "Forget about it, I'm not leaving the kids for the weekend" Tilewa was shocked but realised what happened immediately "ooooh Mom told you already, well you are going with me because you need it, Tolani and Fade aren't kids anymore you know" she retorted with resolution in her voice " But I'm broke" was Folake's weak response and Tilewa grinned knowing she had won "Well I'm not" and the both started giggling each with relief.

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Tade was used to the city now, and he even had a job, one more tasking than back home, here he felt like a real man and not a shadow of his woman. Driving down to the mall for a quick book reading, something he indulged in every week that made him feel like his former cultured self, he thought about home and all that could be happening, consoling himself with the fact that Folake is a fighter, he relaxed and thought that things wouldn't be that bad. He got into the parking lot and he whistled all the way into the mall, just as he was about to step into the bookshop he heard a familiar voice. "No!!! Folake can't be in Togo" he thought to himself and turned to the direction of the voice. Tade's heart jumped into his mouth as he stood face to face with the woman he abandoned three months ago. Willing himself to disappear, and knowing fully well he couldn't, he did all he could do at that point, stand with his mouth hanging open.

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Folake felt all giddy inside, smiling lovingly at her sister, she was so grateful she came for the weekend vacation, she felt all the stress was out of her system and she had Tilewa to thank for that "Thanks Sis, I really needed this break" she said, and Tilewa smiled and said smugly "I know! I know! I'm far too kind" they hugged each other and Tilewa started chattering away when Folake noticed a bookstore, thinking aloud "it's been a while I curled up with a good book ooh" and Tilewa led the way as usual telling her how she didn't understand people that read too much. Then Folake stopped abruptly, the man standing in front of her looked so much like Tade would if he had beards. Then she realised a nano-second later, it is actually Tade with a beard. She wanted to scream and dig her fingers into his eyeballs but she couldn't. The last thing she remembered before passing out to the ground was how stupid he looked with his mouth hanging open.

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  • Sometimes we fall into the hands of people who care more about themselves than they do us, but we are too blinded by how much we care to really see the writing on the wall till it's too late.

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