A True Story: Jumping From Frying-pan into the fire

"Every time I ponder over the story I'm about to share, the more it reminds me of the famous saying that: Once the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable. 

Or alternatively that you sometimes don't know what you have until it's gone."

Gbenga (not his real name) is an Abuja based middle-aged man. He actually migrated to Abuja in the year 2008. It must be acknowledged that things have not been easy for him since his arrival.

He was huffing and puffing like forever to make meaning out of his life. But things have not really gone his way like he had expected. Away from his specialized field as an Aluminum technician, he has done virtually every odd job thinkable.

*This is not Gbenga. I got this from Shuttlestock

A brief luck, however, smile on him and he was able to raise some money with which he rented his first one-room apartment in a remote part of the FCT. 

He met his wife along the line and they wedded in 2010. It was a low budget wedding. They had two boys together when the going was good. Things took a downturn for him, the moment Nigeria's economy slide into a recession that he couldn't pay his rent, feed, cloth, and the school fees of his children.

At the peak of his misery, he asked his wife to temporarily move in with her parents, who luckily lived in their own home in Abuja so he could figure out things. And she obliges.

Desperate problem calls for desperate solution.

On his part, he desperately scouted around and was chance to meet an old friend who was a security guard at a building site. It has been a long while they last saw each other.

After narrating his ordeals to him, the friend agreed to take him in. He offered him one of the several rooms in the building which is at an advanced stage of completion at least to lay his head until he is able to sort himself.

Meanwhile, he refused to reveal to the wife who by then has become genuinely anxious to know what has become of him since they parted ways that he has found a place to stay.

Yes, the building is one to which finishing touches are been put to, but does that warrants the non-disclosure. Your guess is as good as mine.

In no time, he started getting menial jobs at the construction sites around. But as soon as money began to enter his hands, his orientation changed dramatically.

He started to keep a late night brings ladies to pass the night, his smoking and drinking habits spiked at the same time. Above all, he stopped calling his wife and neither picks her calls.

On top of that, he realized all of a sudden that the family of his wife was the one to blame for his existential ordeals. So, he equally concluded never to have anything to do with any of them and their daughter.  He also wouldn't send money to his children whose education has halted.

The wife also by that time was been pressured by her parents to go and reunite with her husband. It’s been two years of their separation, and long enough a time for him to have gotten something doing, the parents opined.

And for that reason, she actually did successfully trace her husband to his temporary abode with the help of a family friend who had met him during one of their numerous hustling engagements. Afterward, she would come around and even passed the night there on a number of occasions.

This certainly, for obvious reasons of his new lifestyles, did not go down well with him. As such, he picked a fight with her on anything, and a time at the dead of the night and even threatened her with eviction.

Finally, he would tell anybody who cares to listen that he is not going back to the mother of his children because doing so is like returning to Egypt.

Eventually, he was able to save some money enough to get an apartment in one of the many satellite towns in the FCT.  And he immediately relocated.

However, on the eve of his departure the friend who had helped him with accommodation actually counseled him to do everything humanly possible to bring his wife and kids back as that is the wisest thing to do. But it felled on deaf ears.

As soon as he got to his newly rented apartment, he started hunting for another woman to marry. In the process, he met and fell in love with a woman whose marriage looks set for the rocks. She had postured herself as an irresistible utility cougar. But it was all a ploy, a bait to trap him.

Along the line, he was able to convince himself of his preparedness to take a chance and cash in.  Unknown to him, she was a mother of four but has only been seeing her with a baby.

Their love blossomed and everything appears to be going according to plan. Convinced he had gotten his teeth deep enough on the bait, she pulled the liner and that was it.  She became pregnant.

The twist to the whole story, however, came when the woman's husband began to weigh his options. All the while, he had pretended not to know about the unholy affair his wife was into.

He didn't pick a fight with either of the paramours like some men who find themselves in his shoes would have. But he certainly had an ace up his sleeves.

A carefully executed disappearance act.

Sooner than later, tongues started to wag.  Concerned members of the small community started to ask questions. Possibly out of shame or something, he took off when nobody could tell to an unknown destination.

By that time, the wife's pregnancy for her concubinage-half had become conspicuous. That was how he left her with three other kids surprisingly.

With this turn of event, the kids were left with no other option than to seek out their mother and moved in with her.  That is how Gbenga became a stepfather of four kids in addition to the one on the way which, obviously, he wasn't prepared for.

He has been running from the pillar to post, ever since, all in the bid to fend for his new family. Is he not now in a greater Egypt compared to the one he was running away from?

And it is an understatement that it has really got to him. He is now a shadow of his old self because peace of mind had eluded him. Indeed, like the Yoruba would say, the trouser has fallen terribly short of his waistline.

Now, that for me is nothing but ‘jumping from frying-pan into fire’. A situation all sincerely men should never be in. I think poor appraisal was the cause of my character’s predicament. What do you think?     

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