I didn’t grow up in a household where monogamy was demanded. As a matter of fact, my mother knew all of the woman my father was cheated on her with. Two in particular were closer than expected. One of the women was my aunt and the other her best friend from grade school. My mother never showed raw emotions when it came to my father’s infidelity. She continued to take care of me and my siblings and made sure we did our chores, and kept up with our studies. We had helpers that cooked and cleaned the home but we were responsible for doing dishes and cleaning our rooms. I guess, it was a way to teach us that, though we were fortunate, we still need to learn discipline and responsibility.
There were many nights he would stay away, most times, he’d call to check in and tell her to not wait up. On those nights, she still made sure the house mate left his plate on the table. They were instructed to not remove the plate until morning, fear he show up and his dinner not be waiting for him. She was scared of my father because he was verbally and physically abusive. My father would pinch, punch, kick, slap and push my mother into columns in the house. Surprisingly, she never fought back. It was surreal; she took every beating as if she deserved it.
My father was a heavy Scotch drinker and most would say, he was a functioning alcoholic. To my mother, he was stressed from all the headache that comes with providing for your family and being a successful business man. My mother Adijat, was no slouch. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman with a body of a goddess. She obtained her PhD at age 40, and taught classes at the top University in Nigeria. As smart as she was, it perplexed me that she never mustered up the strength to leave my father. I recall the night I came home to witness my father sitting at the dinner table with my mother, siblings, and my aunt; my fathers mistress. My mother sat there….
Stay tuned for the full story on Friday, October 10th.