Nigeria

Knowing Your Worth- Part III “New Beginnings”

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I am beginning to think that this was all too much for me to take on. He has refused to take the paternity test, as he believes that I could have been with anyone. The nerve of this man! After he knew he was my everything. I thought I knew Philip, the man whom was my lover, best friend, and now the father to my child. I refuse to be a single parent without the support of the father. Tiffany told me that I should leave it alone and move on. But how can I move on when my heart believes that he still loves me. Am I crazy? Was it all a lie? Did he really only view me as a side chick?

All of my friends told me that I should have abort my child. I honestly could not bring myself to do it, my child is a part of me. I fall asleep every night with my hand on my tummy, placed exactly where I can feel the heart beat. It is so tranquil, it makes me so proud to know that within me is a part of Philip and I growing in unison. Does that make me a fool for going forward with this pregnancy? I beg to differ. We were a unit; it will be well between us. After having two early labor scares, I mustered up the courage to call him again. It was the night of Valentines day, he sent my calls to voicemail twice. I dialed him once more and he picked up, sounding like he had smoke coming out of his ear. “What the hell do you want, you stupid idiot?!” Hello Philip, I understand your anger but we need to talk. I would like to speak with you tomorrow after you get out of the office. I know you frequent Buka on Fulton Street in Brooklyn on Wednesday’s to watch soccer. I must meet with you in person, this is very important. “Sheila, I have no interest in meeting you and even if I entertained that idea, I have plans tomorrow.” I would only require an hour of your time. “What time are you talking about? You know that I am a very busy man! Also, how do you know that I frequent Buka on Wednesdays?” Philip, that part is not important, can you meet me at 6 pm? “Ok.”

I arrived a little early, so I could calm my nerves and park in my usual spot. It’s been months since I’ve seen him. Who am I kidding, I mean, it’s been months since we have talked face to face. I see him each week, though he does not see me. I wait in my car and watch him go in and out of Buka. I don’t see anything wrong with watching him, it is not weird, though Tiffany begs to differ. I have even studied his schedule, to a science. He usually arrives at about 5:30 pm but he waits in his car until 6 pm. Once the parking meter rules are suspended at 6 pm, he heads into the restaurant. His dinner normally consists of, Jollof rice, chicken stew, sweet plantains, and a glass of Red Stripe. He has always loved Red Stripe, ever since we went to Jamaica on our one-year anniversary. I am so thankful for the bartender Pete that likes me, he always gives me the scoop. He is a nice guy but I am not attracted to Pete, I just use him for his information. Besides, what do I look like dating someone and I am a week away from giving birth. In any event, I reward him for his information by allowing him to give me foot rubs. He has a foot fetish, so I allow him to rub my feet on Saturdays as he fills me in on all that is going on with Philip.

Pete told me that Philip and his wife have been going through a lot. He said the wife has gone back to Nigeria and refuses to come back until he cleans up his act. Apparently, Philip has sowed his seeds with another woman by the name of Adeola. Adeola, is the woman that I saw in the car with him, the night I told him I was pregnant. She is one of the Senior Vice Presidents at his firm. In addition, it turns out that she is seven months pregnant. She decided to keep it, as per Pete, because Philip said he intends to leave his wife for her. I heard she looks miserable, and they normally end the night in a screaming match. I am furious that he impregnated another woman but who am I to judge.

Philip walked into the restaurant as if he had his own theme music playing in the background. He is so cocky but it is so sexy to me. He walked up to me and smirked, though I wanted a kiss, I was elated to see him. As soon as he sat down, a whiff of his fragrance hit me like a ton of bricks. Immediately, I inhaled Chanel Bleu and wanted his scent all over me. I gathered my thoughts and said, I want you there next week when I give birth, how do you feel about that? Surprisingly, he obliged and the following week, he was by my side as we welcomed our beautiful daughter Abeo Eva Adeoye on February 22nd. He stayed with me every night, though I knew he was uncomfortable, sleeping in that awkward hospital chair, but he never complained.

Abeo has her father’s eyes and lips. She has a beautiful spirit, she does not cry much and loves smiling. Indeed, she has become my version of heaven on earth. I find that I stare at her as she sleeps, as if I fear this is a dream and I could wake from it. Her father has been with her every single day. The only drawback is crazy behind Adeola. She has come by my home twice already and have keyed my Benz and given me two flat tires. Philip said she has a brother that works at the Police Station that can locate his car, via GPS, at any time. Therefore, she has been tormenting me for the past two weeks.

I decided that this night I was going to give her something to remember. I walked out the front door and asked her why she was on my property? Oh how I wish I never went outside. Let’s just say, I asked Philip to leave that night and decided to raise my child without his help. There was a reason why Philip didn’t want me to go outside. Apparently, Adeola is the sister to his wife, yes, his sister in law and they have been having an affair for the past two years. Wait, there is more, she is HIV Positive. She went on to explain that Philip is the man she contracted the disease from. The reason why she has been coming by is because her medical insurance does not fully cover her HIV meds. Philip is suppose to pay for half and he has not been answering her calls and she has grown desperate. That’s the reason why she turned to her brother (the cop) for assistance. As I stood there, I felt as if someone shot me in the heart. I felt a sense of relief for myself, but a tremendous sense of sadness for this woman who Philip has just ruined her life.

Thankfully, he did not give me the disease, as we ALWAYS used protection. I was so grateful that me and my child dodged a bullet. Here I was, lusting after a married man, who was HIV positive. It makes no sense but honestly, if I had not gone outside that night, I could have potentially become his next victim. It has been two years since I’ve seen or heard from Philip. I heard from Pete that he has lost a substantial amount of weight. Sadly, Adeola passed during child birth and her child died the day immediately following. When Pete told me the story, I could not help but cry. Both were victims to a heartless coward, who cared little about either of their lives. I am thankful that I had the courage to move on and allow myself to love again. I am engaged to a wonderful man who loves me as much as he loves my daughter, whom he has adopted. I learned so much from my relationship with Philip. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself, if you are running after this man, then who is running after you? I grew to know my worth and will not be second best to anyone, ever again.

 

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Knowing Your Worth- Part II “A woman scorned”

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“Good Morning Honey! I made your favorite (Exeter) Corned Beef Sauce, Fried boiled plantains, Yam and Omolette”

“Good Morning Sheila! Why are you up so early? Its 6:00 am on a Saturday, are you ok?”

I am doing well my love but I had a hard time sleeping, your phone kept going off. Philip checks his phone that was stashed on the night stand. Sheila watched him scroll through his phone, waiting to see if his facial expressions would change. When he finally looked up he caught her eyes peering at him. When he realized she was expecting a response, he said, “Oh, it was my sistah. She is coming into town from Nigeria in two days with her children; you will finally get to meet her.” Deep down inside, Sheila knew that he could be lying but she ignored her “woman’s” intuition. So, she plated his breakfast she made and brought it to him as he laid in bed sending messages via “BBM.” As the day went on, she asked where his sister would be staying. He informed her that she would be staying at her friend’s home in Harlem. To her it seemed odd; clearly, if he wanted, she could have stayed with them. He convinced her that she had a friend that she went to boarding school with that would be hosting her while she visited. Obviously, he did not want her to stay with them, so she dropped the topic. The next day, Sheila had her yearly gynecology examination scheduled. As the doctor was performing the examination, he noticed something. He stopped in the middle of the exam and said, “I think we should take a pregnancy test.” Sheila agreed and after the test was complete, she was certain the test would reveal exactly what she expected. However, when the doctor told her that she was three months pregnant and that she should start taking prenatal pills, her face grew pale.

Due to her having a very playful relationship with her doctor, she thought it was a joke. She laughed at him and said, “Am I being punked?!” After the initial shock wore off, she headed home to get changed for dinner plans with Philip. On her way home, she called him to confirm that he was going to be on time. Philip obviously had issues with being punctual and tonight was not the night for him to be tardy. When she pulled into the restaurant parking lot, she noticed his car was already there. As she drove pass his car, looking for parking, she noticed that he was in the car with someone. Unaware of whom it might be, she continued in her search for parking. As she reached for her phone to call him, she reminded herself that she should not overreact. He is a friendly person, she reminded herself. He must be talking with an old friend, it must be harmless. He is a good man and he is in love with me. Once she could not find a parking spot, she drove to the parking lot across the street. Sheila decided to wait in the restaurant until the time they agreed to meet (30-minutes later). Before she could finish her second cup of sweet tea, he strolled in with a mischievous grin on his face.

She stood up to embrace him as he approached the table- boy does she love his scent; it’s hypnotic. It was enough to make her knees buckle and her palms sweaty. He knew the affect he had on her and the way she became powerless in his presence. He kissed her forehead gently, before sitting down and before he wet his lips with his drug of choice, a glass of white Hennessey. As he neared his last sip- she paused- then stated, “You are going to be a great father.” His face grew stiff, as if he had been struck by a taser gun. The look he gave her was that of disgust. He mumbled, “What did you say darling?” Sheila began crying and staring at him in despair. He quickly rose to his feet, place two crisp $100 bills on the table and walked out. As she sat at the table, all she could do was rock back and forth in her chair. Immediately, she was alone, left with her fears, tears, and now disappointment. It was more than thirty minutes before she could muster up the courage to leave the restaurant. She paid the bill and headed home. As she pulled into her driveway, she noticed that his car was parked out front.

The front door was left open, and once she stepped into the living room she noticed some of his clothes on the couch. On the counter laid the ring of keys she gave him for the garage, house, and mailbox. She walked pass the kitchen into the bathroom, where she found him gathering his grooming products. Where are you going my love? Philip looked at her and said words she never thought she would hear. “Where do you think I am going Sheila? Do you think we could continue in this manner for much longer? I am a married man; you know this was never meant to get complicated. Besides, my wife and children arrive tomorrow morning from Nigeria.” Sheila blurted out, “What!!! What did you just say?!! Your W-W-W-WIFE?! I thought you said your sistah was coming?!! You dirty, lying, sneaky, pathetic jerk!” Now, now, Sheila! You know I am married and my wife told me ALL about the conversation you two had months back. As she told you, I am not going to leave my family for some woman. Now, I suggest you do what is best and get rid of the child. Sheila picked up the blow dryer from the sink and swung and missed Philip’s head. Then she picked up the garbage pale but this time, she did not miss, as it connect with his head. As she stood there, unaware of what she had just done, crimson ran down his face.

Philip raised his hand and in a split second, he came to his senses. He yelled, “If you did not know it was over before, now you know it is over- You drew blood! Remember this face because this is the last you will EVER see it! If our paths should every cross again, I suggest you call the police. You and your baby are considered dead to me! I will never, and I repeat never, take care of you or your child!” Sheila felt her dinner coming up and she rushed to the bathroom to release the gall in her throat. Apparently she did not realize how long she stayed in the restroom. When she walked back into the living room, the harsh reality hit. Philip was gone and gone for good. The only thing he left was his scent and drops of blood on the countertop.

That night she balled out in emotional agony from her broken heart. The following week, she realized that she had a decision to make. Either have the baby or abort the growing fetus inside her. She opened up to a friend about her ordeal. Her friend told her the truth, which was hard to swallow but it was honest. In other words, her friend said, “That’s what you get for messing around with some other woman’s man!” Ouch! It hurt but that was the intent. Sheila got herself into this mess, and she needed to figure out how to get out of it. Her decision was to keep the baby, although her child may probably never know their father. As sad as that may appear, this is what happens when you put yourself in this type of situation.

Philip never called Sheila again. In fact, he changed all his numbers. He even went as far as to file for an order of protection. He claimed that Sheila had been stalking him and even went as far as bodily threats. He saved some of the text messages she sent him days after the breakup. Her text, “I am going to cut “it” off so your precious wife won’t be able to enjoy it. You will never be able to have pleasure again. I have more than that hit in the head waiting for you- I am going to be your worst nightmare- watch your back!” Well, due to the evidence, Sheila had to appear in court. When he saw her, you would have sworn he saw a ghost. He literally staggered in his tracks, as she walked into the courtroom. To his surprise, she was not charged with harassment. Due to Sheila being an attorney and knowing the judge. She was let go with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Even though, she despised him, seeing him again brought on mixed emotions. A part of her wanted to punch him in the face. The other part yearned to be held in his arms. All those emotions were quickly put to rest once she walked outside of the building. As she walked down the stairs, she saw them in the parking lot. There she was, a stunning caramel complexion woman, with a killer physique, standing outside of his Range Rover. The daughter jumped into her father’s arms, while the sons held their mothers hand. They were the picture-perfect family. The family she envied and almost destroyed. This was the first time Sheila felt any form of guilt for her actions. When she and Philip (played house) lived together, it was wonderful but she knew it was temporary. Whenever you are the second woman, you are always on borrowed time.

 

 

Knowing Your Worth- Part I

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Do you know your worth? Honestly, do you know when to walk away from a situation before you lose yourself?

These are questions everyone should ask themselves. Especially, if you are in a courtship that is going downhill. To be real frank, some people do not know how to walk away from a troublesome situation, in terms of dating. However, some times, when you are in what appears to be a meaningful relationship, you may not want to let go. When you begin dating, the newness is so addictive. You are engrossed in getting to know your potential mate. This is the time to learn their likes, dislikes, and crucial information that will dictate whether or not you continue the courtship. Ideally, it is suggested that you take your time and keep any sexual intimacy at bay. However, sometimes, you incorporate the sexual intimacy before you have commitment. Nowadays, most dating relationships start out with sex, then both parties decide if they want to commit to one another.  This method is completely the wrong approach because as WOMEN, we cannot just have sex with a man and emotionally detach. Men on the other hand, they can have intimacy with multiple partners and keep their emotions in tact. Obviously, men and women are wired differently, no arguing that. Some women would argue that they can do what men do and be emotionally de-attached.  However, Sheila tried this approach and wound up getting emotionally consumed to an unworthy gent.

Sheila met Philip while traveling out of town on business. He was an executive at a finance firm her law office worked with. Philip had key accounts in Africa and therefore had to travel often. He being Nigerian, was happy that some of his new clients were based in Ghana and Nigeria. It afforded him the time to see family back home. Philip is handsome and gainfully employed man with no children, at least that’s what he led her to believe; later you will learn about his double life. He being the oldest of his family was responsible for taking care of his mother after his father passed away five years prior. She admired this about him as she wants a man that is family oriented.

After three months of dating, Sheila decided that she wanted more. She fought the desire to be that kind of woman that demands a man commit to her but she was not keen to letting Philip slip through her fingers. In her mind, she felt it would be foolish to let “Mr. Right” pass her by. As their courtship progressed this awesome man became the torn in her flesh. The trips to Africa seemed to be more frequent than normal. He became unreachable, especially while visiting Nigeria. Sheila is normally a confident woman but began struggling with insecurities whenever he was in Nigeria. Normally when he is traveling, they Skype and speak on the phone at least twice a day. The last trip was different, very different.

At 11pm (Eastern Standard Time), Sheila dialed Philip while he was in Nigeria, which as 4am his time. When she hadn’t heard from him all day, she could not go to sleep without hearing his voice. There was nothing that could prepare her for who answered the phone on the receiving end. Let’s just say, it wasn’t Philip. The woman answered the phone with her voice very groggy. Sheila immediately hung up, believing she had dialed the wrong number by accident. When she called back and the same voice greeted her, she was tongue tied. The woman said, “Hello, who is this?” Sheila said, “I am looking for Philip.” The woman said, “Who might I ask is calling?” Sheila said, “This is his girlfriend calling from the States” The woman hung up the phone after a very long pause. Sheila was fueled with venom and called the number back repetitively but no one answered. She had a sleepless night and called out of work the next day. About midday Philip called her and sounded cheery and clueless as to what transpired the night before. When she confronted him of what happened, he laughed and said you must have dialed the wrong number. Oddly enough, Sheila fell for his excuse and left it alone. Literally, she convinced herself that she called the wrong number and made no mention of it again.

Philip returned from Nigeria the following week and all was well again in their relationship. Three months went by and he informed her that he had to go back home because his mother was ill. She thought nothing of it but requested that he agreed to call her daily. Of course he agreed, but he did not keep up to his end of the deal. He called her the first day he arrived but did not call her for two days straight. On day three, she called him at 1am (Eastern Standard Time), which is 6am his time and guess who answered his phone…yes, non other than the same woman. Sheila was not tongue tied this time around. She asked the woman, “Who is this and why are you answering my man’s phone?” The woman in her very thick Nigerian accent said, “What is this?! What do you mean your man’s phone? Why are you calling my husband’s phone?” Sheila said, “I am sorry Miss, I must have dialed the wrong number because I am trying to reach my boyfriend Philip and he is not married. The voice on the receiving end fell silent. She replied, “No my dear, you have the right number, Philip is my husband and he is the father to our 3 children”. He is sound asleep and I just happen to hear the phone going off as I am preparing breakfast. Sheila was silent for what felt like a decade.

The woman said, “Hello, are you still there”? Well, if you do not want to speak, let me speak to you plainly. I love my husband and he is a good father but I know that he has been stepping outside of our marriage. In our culture, it is (somewhat) condoned that men will have other women. It is not easy to accept but it is what it is. He has been careful to not bring this to my face but I see he has gotten sloppy. I cannot tell you to leave him alone, that is up to you to decide. However, he is not a man that would put a woman before his family. Therefore, I strongly advise you to reconsider your dealings with my husband. Again, the choice is yours but please respect me and not call my husband at these unforgiving hours again! The wife hung up the phone and that was the last time for the duration of Philip’s trip that she called him.

When he returned two weeks later, she picked him up from the airport. When they got to her place, she cooked dinner and made love to him. She literally went on as if nothing had changed. In fact, she never brought up the conversation she had with his wife. Some people would say that Sheila is a fool. Most would say that she is stupid with very low self-esteem. However, though all of those statements may be true, there is more to it. In her case, she does not know her worth or how to teach someone how to value her worth. Therefore, what she is willing to accept, who are we to judge.