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Mercenary Wife – 5

MW EPISODES

 

They had given him privacy to be with his wife, to deal with whatever they figured needed dealing with and now, they wanted to understand him. They were not looking to stick their noses into his private affairs, Simon knew that because he knew them. They were his family. They loved him. They were worried about him. It shamed and hurt him that his marriage would cause them worry instead of bring them joy.

“Tell us what is going on, Simon.” Papa TJ was a man who never prevaricated and who faced all things head on.

Simon stared at him with deep affection and respect. He was his father, in place of the father he had lost in a robbery incident where both his parents had been shot dead before he was even four. Simon had to be told of the tragedy, for he could not remember it though he’d been there. Papa TJ had taken him in, his brother’s only child, and he had raised him along with his own children. He was a fair man, a hard worker and a devout Christian. He had taught him faith, honour and dedication.

He had also taught him truth—to say it and to live it. It was sad that he couldn’t now completely tell him what was the truth.

“Nothing is going on, Papa. Nothing that any of you need worry about.”

“Be quiet there, Simon.” Papa TJ’s eyes flashed with impatience as he reproved. “Do you think us children that we would not recognise when there’s a problem? You and your wife cancelled your honeymoon trip the morning after your wedding and you dare to tell us that we have nothing to worry about? Speak up, young man, and remember that you are among family who care about you.”

Simon sighed. He’d known, of course, that he wouldn’t accept such a response. He glanced over to where his aunt sat. She was his mother. Had been since he was four. Many, beyond their family walls, had never known that she wasn’t his biological mother but his aunt; the wife of his uncle. Her hands were busy with shelling of melon seeds but Simon could see the sheet of worry on her mildly lined face. She would worry more than Papa did because it was her nature, maybe the nature of every mother, to worry and fret over her children. She was such a quiet, unassuming woman that she would not steer into anyone’s private affairs unless invited in.

Of course, the private affairs of her children were altogether a different matter.

“Maybe something’s happened.” Simon quietly owned. “But you both taught me, taught us…” Simon included Paul and Abigail, who were at quiet at their corner with a quick glance, “that when a man becomes a man he would know this by how capable he is to handle his own family.”

She raised her head and her mouth seemed to twitch before she said. “That is so.”

Simon nodded, looked from her to his father. The latter was quiet. But his eyes were steady on him. “Richelle is now my family. I am a man, the head of that family, and mature enough to handle our affairs.”

“That is not in dispute.” As was her nature, his mother spoke in a voice that barely rose above a whisper. “We are aware that you are a man, Simon, and we do not dispute this. We are aware too that Richelle is now your wife, your family and you are, without any contest, the head of that family. But a man is not entirely complete without the backbone of his family. Surely we taught you that too?”

They did. Family stood together as one inseparable force. “I do not wish you people to worry, mama.”

“You’re wishing too late, son, for we are all already worried. And why shouldn’t we be if there is reason to worry?” Now a small frown creased her forehead. “Would it make you content if we turned our eyes to the wall and pretended we cannot see that you have pain in your heart?”

“No.” Simon shook his head.

“Then tell us what has taken the laughter off your face.” Papa TJ demanded.

Simon battled within himself. He’d never hidden anything from them. But then, he’d never had reason to. “I found out that things are not as perfect as I thought they were.”

“And what are these things?”

“Things I, unfortunately, cannot share with you.” Simon kept his eyes steady and candid as he looked at each one of them in turn. “It is simply that I expected some form of perfection but soon found that I was only dealing with a mortal being who possessed our usual frailties.” He smiled a little. “Richelle is not the perfect woman my heart dreamed up. But then, which one of us is? Only God is perfect, not so?”

“It is too soon for such melancholic words.”

“Maybe.” Simon agreed with his mother and wished he could wipe the sad look off her eyes. “But she is my wife, in spite of all, and my wife she would remain. For you both told me, when I shared my intention to marry with you, that marriage is a commitment that requires wholehearted devotion. That is what I am giving mine. What we both are—Richelle and I.”

“You would not tell us what she did to you?” Papa TJ asked.

Simon met his father’s eyes. Saw the hurt in them and wished he had not put it there. “I would tell you if I am convinced that that is in the best interest of all of us, and if I thought that I could not handle this. But I can handle this and I believe, with all love and respect for you all, that this is one thing that is better left between Richelle and myself.”

There was silence.

Simon knew that his choice not to confide in them had hurt them all. It hurt him too.

“It is your prerogative whether to share this problem with us or not.” Papa TJ finally said after a short sigh. “You’re a man and we cannot force you to go against your principles. But you know that we are your family and that we are all here for you. We would fight for you if there is need to.”

“I know, Papa.”

It was the very reason for which he could not share this with them. They would fight his battle as if it were their own. They would hurt anyone who hurt him. And if they could not hurt Richelle because she was his wife, they would alienate her. And he could not bear that, for to his eternal folly, he loved her and wanted her loved by them. At least, accepted by them.

“Then knowing this, you will answer this one question as it might be our only consolation.” Papa TJ went on. “Do you still love this woman and is she worthy of that love?”

“That was two, not one question, Papa.” Simon could not help but tease.

“So I asked two, you can still answer them.” Papa TJ’s eyes gleamed with faint amusement.

“I love her very much, Papa.” Though his eyes still smiled, Simon made sure they were steady as they held his father’s. “And yes, I believe that she deserves my love and my respect.” Every human, created in the image and likeness of God, did. His wife, the wife his heart had dreamed of, did. It should not matter that as at now, Richelle did not.

“And do you believe that she loves you?” It was Abigail who asked.

Simon switched his gaze to her. She just turned twenty-one, and still had one more year to go at the university, but she had always been wise beyond her age. Like their mother, she would not butt into other people’s affair except when they were family.

“And why would she not love Simon Tim-Jaja, hmm, Abby?” He allowed his eyes to crinkle with laughter. “Am I not handsome enough? Not rich enough? Not man enough?”

“You are. There’s no question about your being worthy of her love.” Abigail agreed, smiled. “But does she, your wife, love you as you do her?”

“You tell me, what do you think, Abby?” Simon challenged, unsure why he did so. “Did the woman who stood beside me at the altar of God and exchanged vows with me only ten days ago, did she look like a woman who wasn’t besotted with the man she was marrying?”

Abigail stared at him. She was trying to discern why he was throwing the challenge and not giving a direct answer, Simon knew. Finally, she chuckled. “Well, she did have eyes that were wide with dreaminess, same as she’d always done all the time I’ve seen her with you. But you’re her husband, the man who knows her better than all of us. So, I ask that you tell us if you believe that she loves you as much as you love her, Bros Simon?”

“I do.” The lie was swift and smooth on his tongue but Simon still felt a clench as his chest tightened where his heart skipped a beat. “Richelle loves me. Whatever her faults, that is not one of them.”

“Then if there is love as you say, you two can work out your problems.” His mother said quietly, and smiled in her soft manner when he faced her. “Marriage is not always a smooth sail. Only, most times, we expect it to be so, particularly at this tender beginning. But that seems to not be the case for you and Richelle. Yet, where there is true love and hearts willing to forgive, then the high winds can be quietened and the storm smothered. Forgiveness casts off every shadow in any relationship.”

Forgiveness? Could he give it when she was yet unrepentant?

“Thank you, mama.” Simon smiled. “I want to assure you all that we will be fine, Richelle and me. This will pass. Oh, sorry.” He added as the vibration of his phone buzzed against his thigh. “Just a minute, please.” He murmured, kept his smile even as he saw the caller id. “Yes.”

The voice at the other end of the line was without inflection. “She arrived Beryl Lodge at Town fifteen minutes ago. She requested a room and went up to it. A man joined her there five minutes ago. His name is Voke Dabunor.”

“Thank you.” Simon ended the call and sent an apologetic smile to his parents. “I, unfortunately, have to leave now. A little problem at the warehouse.”

“What is it?” Paul was already on his feet. “I’ll go with you.”

“Not necessary. I’m sure it’s only a minor problem.” Simon gave him a quick pat, swept past and hugged his mother and then, Abigail. “I’ll call you guys. Or better still, Richelle and I would come over next weekend to see you all.”

“Simon—”

Simon did not wait at Paul’s call out. His stomach was roiling with the rise of nausea and his head was starting to pound viciously. She was with… with him at a guest house? God, Richelle! Simon blew out a hot breath, blinked to clear his hazing vision and pulled into the highway.

She shouldn’t be there. She wouldn’t have been there if he hadn’t left her with very little choice.

“So, why are you all het up to see me, Voke?” Richelle queried, standing at the middle room, her arms folded over her chest.

“Look at you, wife of millionaire Simon Tim-Jaja. Done well for yourself, haven’t you, sweetheart?” Voke, in one of his over-snug denims and a T-shirt, shot her a lop-sided grin.

Richelle did not like the way he was looking at her with leering scorn. “You knew I was marrying him. I told you so.”

“That you did.” Voke swaggered to her side, stroked a finger up her arm. “You also told me that nothing will change between us. Seems to me like you’re trying to change your tune there.”

His body was all hard muscles and Richelle could see the lewd desire in his dark eyes. That usually charged up her own desire for him. But not today.

“Things change all the damn time, Voke.” She kept her tone brisk and firm. “I am married and I have changed my mind about us. I wouldn’t be here if you weren’t hounding Uma with messages. You shouldn’t have, you know. And you shouldn’t have called me earlier. I asked you not to. I now belong to another man, and like all men, he is possessive.”

“You were mine before you ever became his, Richelle.”

“I was never yours, Voke. Don’t talk such bullshit.” Richelle stepped back from him. She didn’t like the glint in his eyes. Voke liked to get physically persuasive when he wasn’t getting his way. “We used to have sex. I am now married. We will no longer have sex. Simple as ABC.”

“That wasn’t how you said it the last time we saw, Rich.” Voke strode closer, clamped one hand around her waist and tugged her with one yank against him. “We weren’t supposed to break up. You told me I’d always be the one your body hungered for.” He bent his head, brushed his mouth over the side of her face. “Your body seem to be wanting me now. What do you say, Rich? We’ve got a room and an empty bed, want to tango?”

“No! And get off of me.” Richelle shoved him and because she could feel the trickle of fear, backed closer to the door. “I said it is over, Voke. You and I are done.”

“Really? So now good ole rich hubby is doing you, you don’t need Voke anymore?”

Richelle stopped herself from telling him that good ole rich hubby wasn’t yet doing her. That was her personal affair, nobody else’s. And definitely, not Voke’s anymore. “I see you finally get it.” She sent him a sweet smile. “It was fun while it lasted but I’m sure we’ll do just fine on our own from here-on. Do take care, Voks.”

“No!”

Richelle shot him a puzzled glance over her shoulder. “Hmm? No… what?”

“I am not allowing you end things between us.”

Richelle let go off the handle of the door and turned. “You can’t force to be with you, Voke. This was bound to end at some point. That point just happens to be now. Accept it.”

“I don’t accept it.” The glint in his eyes flickered with menace. “Your body was once mine and I still want it to be mine. You want differently, then you will have to make losing your fine ass worthwhile for me.”

“Blackmail, Voke?” Richelle arched her eyebrows.

Voke shrugged. “You have big money now, don’t you? It’s the only reason you married the man.” His mouth turned up in a sneer. “You want me backing off and keeping my mouth shut, then I want some good cheddar for my silence.”

“Aha.” Damn, her mother had been right! Voke was a no-good idiot. “And what proof do you have? A sex tape? Pictures? Recorded conversation?” Richelle snorted out a derisive laugh. “Don’t be stupid, Voke! It’s just going to be your word against mine. And who’s going to believe a disgruntled ex-boyfriend?” And who would tell the fool that he was threatening her with something Simon already knew?

Asshole!

“Maybe I don’t have any of this.” Voke pulled a careless shrug. “But your husband wouldn’t want his newly wed beautiful wife having bad press on the world wide web, would he? I’ve got a big mouth, Richelle, and I can type real fast too.”

“I just bet you can. Such a pity you lack a big brain to go with your big mouth.” She angled her head and looked him over with pitying eyes. “And there I was arguing with my mother that you were not an errands boy at NTA. Guess I was wrong. Not only do you lack the brain power to be anything other than an errands boy, you just proved yourself completely unscrupulous too. You would stoop to cheap blackmail? Tsk.” Richelle shook her head. “I thought you were a man, Voke. I was wrong.”

“Richelle—”

“Goodbye, Voke.” She cut him off, swept around and marched out the door.

Richelle marched straight into her room on getting home. God, what an idiot! She thought,  dropping onto the bed. He would dare try to blackmail her?

She hissed and kicked off her heels. Bloody idiot! And he would have gotten her too if she’d been stupid enough to have ever done one of those sex tape nonsenses going about online. Or if she’d recorded their shared moments via pictures.

But she hadn’t. Not because she was being cautious. No, caution had been the very least of her thoughts whenever she’d been with Voke. She just hadn’t been interested enough in him to be that sentimental. He’d just been good sex. Better than good sex, Richelle allowed and hissed again. But he was worthless. A man who would stoop to blackmailing the woman he’d been with so as to get his hands on a fellow man’s money was nothing but a lazy-ass worthless pig.

She dug her hand into her handbag, pulled out her phone and logged on to the web. Satisfied at her mission of blocking him off on all her social media accounts and also on her Messaging Apps, Richelle tossed aside the phone and heaved slightly up to un-belt her dress.

She was so witless to not have seen how greedy and shallow he was.

Greed and shallow? Didn’t those terms too describe her?

Richelle eyed the black hardback bible on the nightstand. She wasn’t a good wife. She wasn’t the kind of wife any verse of the bible would be talking about.

Richelle picked the bible. Gave it one long, lips-pursed hard look and then opened it. She found Proverbs 31, and she began to read aloud.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

She stopped reading, raised her head as she shut the bible. Simon didn’t trust her. This he had told her. She didn’t blame him. She had done him evil instead of good in the short space of time they’d been married.

Damn, what a mess you’ve made, Richelle!

Simon accelerated the car, overtaking another at a close range and switching lanes as his horn pumped. He could feel the wild beating of his heart streaming blood through his head at a mad pace and his vision flashing with images that taunted him. She was still choosing another man over him. It did not matter that he had caught her in her game. It did not matter that he had warned her that he had his eyes on her. It did not matter that he had even enticed her with the money she’d so greedily married him for. She wanted this other man and she would risk everything to have him.

But does she, your wife, love you as much as you love her?

Abigail’s question echoed in his head.

“No, she didn’t.” Simon muttered and felt a tear burn his cheek.

She didn’t love him. And she probably never will, no matter how much he wished otherwise.

“Oh my God! Damn you, Richelle!”

Eyes burning and blurry, he failed to see the stop sign of the traffic warden’s hand and the sedan blaring forward through the intersection by the Presidential hotel and even as Simon swerved the steering wheel to evade it, the car rammed into his and sent him sideways against the SUV right in front of him.

***

Had a good read? Let us hear your feedback then. Cheers.

Dedication: For all December Celebrants. Love, Long-Life & Prosperity.

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30 Responses to Mercenary Wife – 5

  1. Tosin says:

    Richelle should not kill Simon with all these her wahala, abeg. I hope nothing bad happens to him.
    Thanks TM for this episode.

  2. Jeffrey Jamez says:

    Oh no!!!

  3. Iyke David says:

    Aw! Richie will not succeed in killing Simon oooooo
    But I am beginning to like her though!

  4. gannie_perrie says:

    God pls kip simeon safe o

  5. datoks says:

    Simon, take it easy o

  6. Patience.Bassey says:

    I hope Simon is OK oooo

  7. l am beginning to like the new Richelle and Simon don’t die for me abeg… Tanx TM

  8. Ella mum says:

    This story is about changing gear to favour Richelle abi? Nothing bad should happen to simon o.

    • Hahahahahahahahahahahaha… Chai! Ellamum, this your comment cracked me up.

      Story was always meant to favour Richelle o. If “favour” is having her return slowly to her senses.

      She is the heroine of this story. Story is Romantic Fiction. My goal as writer, *wink* *wink, is to bring a happily ever after for my hero (Simon) & heroine (Richelle).

      I read your comment last episode & was just lol @ your vision for Uma.
      Uma Na, in colloquial language, “escort character”.

      Enjoy love story, o jaré, Ellamum. Lol

  9. Ayoola says:

    Oh my God! Simon!

  10. jojodia says:

    TM what kind of rough play is this? How can u allow such to happen to Simon? In short I’m vexing badly.

    • It is not rough play. It is true life… hahahahahahahahahaha.

      No be small accident. I talk sai the car tumble and spiral out of the road? Or was mounted by a heavy-duty truck. Kikikikikikikikiki…

  11. Dhebra says:

    I hope this removes the beam in Richelle’s eyes….. Just pray Simon does not die

  12. Ego says:

    Let Simon not come and die ontop Richelle wahala abeg. And i pray she receives sense fast

  13. Adefunke says:

    Simon, ndo. Richelle, thumbs up

  14. Marnie Jerimiah says:

    Simon is a great principled man, I like that

  15. frances says:

    Some broken ribs to Simon will definitely help Richelle decide what she really wants from the marriage store. If she wants love now is d time to change and be a beta person.
    I no envy this situation sha cos d kin eyes whey in laws go dey luk her for hospital na die. It will be like u want to kill him Abi?
    Hey Happy New month everybody .

  16. VictorA says:

    Chei! e don happen. won to get man yi sha.

  17. Zinnie says:

    Hmm
    Have always known that Richelle is the heroine of the story.
    Simon should not come and die on top of Richelle’s stupidity, at least, not now that it seems she’s getting sense small small.
    But I guess this is TM’s strategy of getting Richelle to have some emotions towards Simon, and not his money.

    Thanks a lot TM

  18. mcsteph says:

    Not that i hate simon or anything but can you make him have amnesia and forget this girl. Suddenly she’s turning into a goody two shoes. Her change is admirable, maybe the accident will let her have more change of mind. Nice cliffhanger TM, suspense ti fe pa mi

    • McSteph, you gave me an idea: What will happen if a partner has amnesia???
      A story twist over told. But I’ve not told mine, have I?
      Not an idea for this story that I’ve plotted to the last sentence though. Uh-uh. But maybe another story. Another Romantic tale? Hmmm.

      Meanwhile, paddy mi, you have a mean streak gan. Kilode? Shey, is just Richelle, abi any other thing? (Girl???)

      Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

      E ma binu o. #just-joking-around

  19. mcsteph says:

    Im sure, like your other stories, it will be a bang if you write on amnesia, but its kind of gory and disturbing, hurt on the side of thebperson that can’t remmeber and the one that is forgotten.

    Lol, no, its only richele, she brings out the meanness in me which i’m trying to curb.

  20. mady says:

    Hmm… C wat hapns wen we assure tins
    Dnt die sha.. Dey didn’t do anytin
    Ur wife seems 2 av her rsn 4 evry guy she goes out wid buh luv aint part of it yet

  21. Doyinsola says:

    TM,I hope Simon would not have to be injured to reset Richille’s brain, the guy has done nothing but to love this babe….weldone ma’am

  22. Nancydearie says:

    Wow! Richelle is turning a new leaf,hmmmm unbelieveable. Let’s see how it goes shaa. TM,PLZ nothing should happen to Simon ooooo.TM, you are the best. Thanks for this wonderful update.GOD’s Grace .

  23. Toyenlon says:

    Oh no Simon, not now that Richelle seems to be having a change of heart.

  24. Paula says:

    What is TM kills him

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