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Mercenary Wife – 9

MW EPISODES

 

It has been a good past few days. Simon decided good best qualified it. It was too early, too uncertain for blissful.

They shared the bed every night but he hasn’t fully moved back into the Master bedroom. He hesitated to do so. He still wasn’t sure of her. He had forgiven her. It had happened without his being aware when it did. He loved her. That was incontestable and unchangeable. And he seemed to love her more with each time he took her into his arms and made love with her.

But he still wasn’t sure of her true feelings for him.

She would never again betray him with another man. He knew that and knew it more with each shared stroke of passion every night. But was her heart his yet? That he wasn’t quite certain of and it haunted him because he wanted more than just her willingly-offered body.

He wanted more than her passion and her fidelity. He wanted her love. The one thing he was certain she’d never given to any man. Her love, pure, undiluted, unconditional… only his.

Patience, Simon told himself and relaxed into the swivel leather seat. Patience and faith. And love. His love will win over her own. But God, he wanted everything to be all right; to be perfect; to be as it should have been between them, had he not overheard her.

He wanted normalcy. He wanted pure contentment. He wanted faith with no doubts. Hope with no fears. And love with no questions and conditions.

His table phone rang and Simon exhaled a long sigh before he picked it. “Yes, Rose?”

“Send him in.” He instructed and set back the receiver. He waited for the single knock, then invited. “Come in.”

He came in, dressed nondescriptly as he’d done the first time and walked, in his unhurried pace, to sit, at his gesture of invitation, on the armchair facing his desk. He did not speak. But waited for him to do so first.

Simon decided he was a man of very few words. That suited him, as he supposed it would suit any who hired his services. “Anything new?”

“She is presently at her mother’s. Left the house two hours, forty minutes after you did and arrived her mother’s twenty-five—” he flicked a glance at his wristwatch. A cheap leather strap type. “Twenty-six minutes ago.”

Simon inclined his head. It wasn’t an information he particularly needed as Richelle had told she would be going over to see her mother that day. “I no longer require your services.” He paused.

There was not a flicker of emotion on his face, just a single nod to indicate he accepted the new development.

“I would settle your account now.” Simon held out his hand for the piece of paper that contained his bank details.

He made the transfer via his iPad and looked up at him. “Thank you for your diligence and discretion.”

“Just doing my job.” He handed over a sealed envelope. “All basic information recorded to carry out this assignment. No copies to be found anywhere.” He stood up. “I am always at your service, sir.” There was a pause where the vaguest flicker swept across his eyes. “Should you require it.”

“Thank you.” Simon said simply, waited until the door shut after him before rising to walk to the paper shredder machine.

Sliding the envelope into the machine, he watched it rip into unrecognisable pieces and knew that phase of their life was closed. Another was opening and he could hope… he would hope and learn afresh to trust.

Her mother was done with her late morning breakfast; she’d woken late because she’d gone to bed late, she’d told her. Richelle hadn’t asked what she was doing up late. She could guess, but she didn’t, and simply because she didn’t want to know.

“You’re looking good this morning.” Sated on good food, Noreen had now the kindness of heart to roam her eyes appreciatively over her. “New dress?”

“Yes.” Richelle absently brushed her hand down the Gabby Skype  lace sheath dress. “One of those I’d specially picked for our trip to Paris.” The mention of Paris out, Richelle wished too late that she hadn’t made it.

Her mother of course did not miss the opportunity of a misstep by her tongue.

“And talking Paris,” her eyes watched her like a hawk, “you two ever going to go on the honeymoon you unfortunately cancelled?”

“Maybe. I don’t know. It’s not important.”

“It’s not important?” Noreen’s hawk eyes narrowed. “A trip to Paris, to the great romantic, fashion capital, culinary city of the world is not important? Have you been drinking something of poor taste this morning, Richelle?”

Richelle actually smiled at the question. “No, I have not, mum. You know alcohol is not overly my thing.”

“So, what is, foolishness?”

“Not anymore. I hope.” Richelle frowned as recent events cruised through her mind. She would not be foolish enough to ruin things between her and Simon. Not again, she wouldn’t. “Simon and I are focusing on rebuilding our relationship. Actually, we’re building a new one, a real one.” She amended and offered a smile. “We are getting to know each other anew.”

“Know each other anew?” Noreen sat forward on the vinyl covered loveseat. “What nonsense are you talking about, Richelle? That you made a blunder, a stupid one I admit, but that doesn’t mean he no longer knows you, or you him. Are those the excuses he has been giving you for stopping you two from going forward with your earlier plans?”

“Simon hasn’t been giving me excuses, mum.” Richelle calmly corrected. “He doesn’t have to. I understand our situation perfectly; and I know myself to be responsible for it.”

“That is without question the truth.” Noreen stated. Then made a gesture with her hand to dismiss the fact. “I thought all of that old business between you two was finished. He bought you a new car, didn’t he? If that wasn’t a show of forgiveness, then what was it for?”

An act of love, Richelle remembered his words. Love… when he first loved her. She hoped she had not lost that love. “He ordered the car before our wedding.” She told her mother. “And being who he is, he still wanted me to have it despite the state of affairs between us.”

And after the horrifying event of Voke turning up at their house. Which was something she didn’t plan on telling her mother about.

“Well, he very well couldn’t have had it sent back or sold, could he?” Noreen dismissed her defense with another flick of the hand.

“Yes, he could have done that, mum. He could have demanded that the car be sold and not tell me anything about it. But he chose to be himself and not allow my betrayals push him into self-centeredness and malice.”

“If he’s so self-effacing and generous then, what’s stopping him from making fresh plans for a honeymoon between you two? Do you know how embarrassing it is for me to keep explaining to busy bodies that my daughter and her husband only had their honeymoon trip deferred and not cancelled?” Noreen pouted as she complained. “It’s not as if he cannot afford to renew your plans. He clearly can. And Paris should not be your sole destination; you two could take a tour of Europe and his account wouldn’t even blink.”

Richelle stared at her mother and realised, with horror, what Simon must have felt hearing her talk with so much flippancy and self-serving greed. Dear God, this was who she was—who she’d been. Lord, she hoped she still wasn’t that person! She didn’t want to be.

“Is that all you know about him, mum? A man with lots of money who’s married your daughter?

Though her mother’s eyes flickered, with annoyance, Richelle thought, but her tone was careless when she replied. “It’s the only important thing to know, isn’t it?”

“No, money might be important but it’s not the only important thing about Simon.” It was sad that she was realising it after her mistake had been made. “You taught me that it was and you are wrong.”

“Looks to me like you’re profitably reaping the benefits of that lesson.” Noreen retorted with a sardonic smile.

“I am.” Richelle owned. “Simon is wealthy and that is a comfort and a pleasure. But I have found that that is the least important factor about him. Money is not the best he has to offer. He is a good man. He is a loving, generous-hearted man. He is god-fearing and a true Christian.”

“Then you won two ways for the price of one way. You should be thanking me not sitting there sounding snooty and self-righteous.”

“It is not my intention to sound self-righteous, mum. But I have little to thank you for in this matter.” Despite her mother’s glare, Richelle smiled, albeit sadly. “Neither you, nor I, made Simon the wealthy man he is. His hard work and God’s blessings made him so. And it is the nature of love and kindness that he possesses that allows us both to benefit from that wealth. Where other men would have tossed me out and turned their back on you, he kept me with him, protected me from scorn even from his family and continued to provide for you.”

“He does all of that because he has the riches to make them happen.” Noreen sounded more than a little irritated. “You want to tell me why you’re complaining and being an ungrateful child?”

“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful and I’m sorry, mum, if you find me so.” Her mother sniffed at her apology. “Do you know that I don’t know what love truly means, mum?”

“So, it’s love you want to whine about now?”

“You never taught me about love. I don’t know what it is to love a man. I don’t know what it is to open one’s heart and leave it free to love… without conditions and boundaries. I don’t know the method of it, or if it just happens.”

She didn’t know it crept slowly on you or if it came like a full blast.

“I wish I did, mum, because I want to love my husband. I want to love Simon.” She’d never loved any man. Never been in love. “He deserves a woman who would love him truly. I want these feelings that I feel, and don’t know what they are, to be love. I want the unsteady beats of my heart when he is near to be love. And I want the slow, steadfast beats when he holds me close to be that love. I want my marriage to be different, mum. I want my life with Simon to be meaningful. I want it rooted on real and lasting feelings.”

“Then make it so, if you believe something as fickle as love really exists.” Noreen threw at her. “You’re all fancy speech now when he is wealthy and spending big on you. I’d like to hear your sanctimonious speech if he’d been the direct opposite.” She let out a scornful laugh. “He’s now willing to forgive your blunder and you want to pretend to be the perfect little wife, hmm, my dear daughter?”

It wasn’t pretense, but her mother would never understand that. She would never believe that she was changed. That she was trying to change. She wouldn’t appreciate it even if she did. Richelle realised and sadly accepted the fact.

“Maybe I wouldn’t be his wife today if he wasn’t the wealthy man that he was. But again, I probably wouldn’t have this dilemma to be dealing with if I’d been taught better.”

“It is not me who taught you to keep a worthless man when you had a better man.” Noreen flared. “I couldn’t you to get rid of that no-good idiot, didn’t I?”

“Yes, you did. That was a good lesson. One I should have listened to. But I’m not blaming you for my mistakes, mum.” Richelle clarified. “I could have made different choices as I had a mind of my own. I am now choosing to make those different choices. I want to do better and I am consciously working on doing so.”

“Richelle, if this self-righteous trip you’re on is some sort of drama to deprive me of the good I should be getting from you as my daughter married to a millionaire, you should know that I won’t have it.” Noreen warned.

“It is not, mum.” Richelle couldn’t stop the smile. “I will do my very best for you with whatever I have. In fact, I’ll transfer some money into your account once I get back home. I’m sure you’ll be pleased when you see the sum.” She didn’t need the five million naira. Not all of it.

Richelle came forward and hugged her, ignoring her displeased scowl. “You know, mum, maybe instead of pretending you’re a good Christian, you should try practicing to be really one.”

Her mother smacked her on the cheek. “Don’t insult your mother, you saucy child.” She rebuked. “Now call Ada to bring me a plate of salad and chicken. Your nonsense blabbing has sapped all my strength.”

“I’ll do that, ma.” Since the slap had been more of a tap, Richelle gave her rose tinted cheek a peck before withdrawing. “I’ll see you, mum.”

“Don’t forget that transfer you bragged about.” Her mother called before the door shut after her. “I’m in dire need of some good money.”

Noreen Mekini was always in dire need of money, Richelle thought, smiling as she left her instructions with Ada and walked out to her car.

She drove straight to the church. When it was her turn to see the Pastor, she said as she entered his office.

“I need you to lead me to Christ, Pastor.”

 

Her account was one million naira poorer but Richelle felt richer as she dressed for bed that night, and it was unbelievably ridiculous that she felt so. And that it wasn’t her mother’s gushes of gratitude over the phone that was responsible for it.

The door opened and she turned, and her mouth curved at the sight of him walking towards her. He was the reason for her rich feeling of peace. For the rich feeling of peace she anticipated after her talk with him.

Simon reached for her, as he usually did, when he came to their bedroom at night.

She liked to think it was their bedroom even though he still used the guestroom during the day.

“Simon.” She allowed him a kiss, because she couldn’t resist, before stepping back. “I would like to talk to you.”

“I am in the mood for just more than talk.” He snatched her back into his arms and planted soft kisses on her neck, making her to wriggle and want for more.

Fighting back desire, Richelle held him off. “Please hear me. I really want to speak to you.”

“All right.” He said at length and surprised her hand to lead them to the striped-fabric sofa they hardly used.

“I went to see my mum today.” Richelle began and offered a faint smile. “You would know that because I told you I would this morning, and because I am certain your private eye–or whatever he’s called–must have informed you of my visit to her.”

Since he said nothing but just stared steadily at her, she went on. “I needed to talk to her about some things. Things involving the two of us, and in a way, you. I didn’t think my talk would mean anything to her… I hoped that it would… but it didn’t and I accepted that she would always be her and me–”

She exhaled and linked the fingers of one hand through the other and held them tightly on her laps. “Well, for me, I think that I am trying to find who I am. I am trying to become this woman who I can respect and be proud of. I am trying to be the woman you can respect and love… again.”

His gaze did not waver from hers and his eyes did not lose their quiet concentration. He was listening to her, with everything in him, Richelle knew that.

“I grew up believing that money was the most important factor in life and that it should be my primary goal to pursue it and make sure I have it.” The corners of her mouth turned up on a sad smile. “I didn’t learn though that I should work hard for it myself; which made modelling and makeup artistry something I temporarily did and quickly did away with once I met you and you proposed.

A man was meant to be a meal-ticket and that you were to me for a long time. Well, until recently really.” She confessed and dropped her gaze before flicking it up again to hold his.

She needed him to see the truth, as it was, in her eyes.

“I told myself I’d worked very hard to win you and so deserved you. But now, I realise that it was nothing I did. Instead, it was the good in your heart, the love I took for granted and after today, I’d like to think that maybe it was God too saving me by giving you to me.”

A soft look dashed through his eyes. But he said nothing. Only lifted his hand and thumbed off her tear.

“Simon, I am not a good person.” The tenderness of his touch wanted to choke her but Richelle held fast. “I did not marry you for the right reasons a woman should marry a man. I was after money and I clung to you because you richly possessed it. I am sorry.”

She was apologising for before, for during and for after.

“You deserved better but you got me instead and God alone knows why. Like I said, maybe it was for my own salvation.” Needing calm, she breathed again and allowed the long-drawn-in breath to spread and to strengthen. “I cannot lie to you and tell you now that I no longer have love for money and for the good things money can buy. That would be a lie and I would never again lie to you.”

He acknowledged the solemn promise with only a blink of his eyes.

“I love money. I truly do and I guess I always will do.” That part of herself, she already accepted. That part of herself, she would never again permit to take the lead. “But as much as I have loved money, it has not brought me joy having it. A measure of satisfaction, yes. An immense pleasure, it brought that too. But joy, peace, true contentment… and love, all of that have eluded me despite having five million naira in my bank account and despite being the wife of a millionaire with access to more. So, I love money but I now know it is not the most important factor.”

She allowed a few seconds of silence—maybe for both of them to take in all she’d so far said.

“I have found too that your being wealthy is not the most important attribute you possess.” She went on. “It is a fascinating attribute but it is not the most important. In fact, I think now, having begun to know you, that it is the least attribute you possess.”

She smiled a little. “You have greater, more charming attributes and qualities, Simon. You have a kindness of heart that I not known in anyone. You possess a self-control that I soon started admire when not even my parading about near-naked could buckle it.”

His mouth twitched.

“And you have a love that is real and steadfast and that possibly has no conditions to it.” She looked into his eyes. “I hope I still have that love. I hope I have not, by my foolishness, lost it. Above all, I hope I can learn to reciprocate it.

Simon, I want to love you. I have all these feelings inside of me. I feel them in my heart, and like… everywhere. They overwhelm me, suffocate me and confuse me.” She pressed a hand against her chest because she felt them now. “I don’t know what they are. Likeness, respect, admiration, pride, attraction, desire—they are all those things and yet, I feel like that is not all they are. But I don’t know what love is. I don’t know if I can recognise it when I feel it. I hope I can, for I so want to love you and love you rightly, Simon.”

She paused, and then blinked back tears at the soft sparkle that has sheathed his eyes.

“I also went to see the Pastor.” At the involuntary arch of his brow, she smiled. “Yeah, I’ve been busy today. But I needed to see him. I needed someone to whom I could lay bare my soul and he would not judge it. At the end, he led me to Christ and I felt such a peace like I’d never felt before.”

When she paused and inhaled this time, it was to gather courage. “On my way home, I saw Voke coming out of an eatery. I stopped and talked to him.”

He said nothing. The look in his eyes did not change. And those incomprehensible feelings inside of her soared.

“He’s no good but I deceived him too. So, I wanted to ask his forgiveness and to offer him mine. He seemed to think I was pretending.” As her mother had thought. “And was very much in a haste to get away from me. I thought, my husband has pounded so hard on him, he now has the fear of God in him.”

Now when his mouth twitched, the corners curved with a smile.

“I am sorry I betrayed you with him, Simon.” Richelle said seriously. “I am sorry I brought him into our lives. I am sorry for all you overheard me say. He is not better than you. He is not even half the man that you are and I regret that I was stupid enough to make that comparison when I didn’t know better.

I am asking for your forgiveness for that, for every betrayal and for marrying you for all the wrong reasons.”

Richelle wished he could see into her heart but she could only give him her words and the look in her eyes.

“Simon, I did not begin with you on an honest note. But from now on and for as long as we have this marriage, I am promising to be true to you. I have nothing much to offer you, so I offer you my body that it will be yours forever. I give you my mind, that you will be it’s one supreme thought. And I offer you my heart, whatever love it feels and learns even more to feel, will forever be yours.

I am also giving you the promise of my loyalty and fidelity. I have betrayed you once, as long as I live, I will not again do so. By my willingness and by the grace of God.” She solemnly added.

There was a long silence where he only looked at her.

Then he tilted her chin and curved his head to kiss her lips.

“I know my money was a deciding factor for you before we got married.” He said and smiled when her eyes widened in shock. “Yeah, I knew. When a man makes a lot of money, he does so having the consciousness that that would be an attracting factor for women. He even learns to use it to his advantage. So, that wasn’t what really hurt me overhearing your conversation with Uma.

It was rather hearing that that was all there was. You wanted me for my money, nothing more. It was even more hearing that I was not the only one. I was not even the important one.”

Richelle’s eyes filled. And if the shattering feeling she felt was what it was, then her heart broke too. “You are the only one now, Simon. You are the only important one. After God, you’re the most important one. And you will forever be.”

“Richelle.” He framed her face and kissed her again. There was such unspeakable emotions in his eyes. “I love you.”

“Oh God!” Richelle wanted to cry. Too many emotions choked her. “Simon.”

“And though you might not recognise all that you’re feeling inside, but I think, and not because I am desperate to do so.” He added with a teasing wink, brushing off her tears. “I think that you’re falling in love with me, Richie.”

“I want to. I hope I am. I want the first real love my heart feels to be all for you.”

“It is.” He kissed her. “It will always be.”

“Simon, you’re the best. I’ve never known anyone better than you.” Her heart seemed to want to leap out of her chest and cling to him. “I want to be better, to be the best, for you. Teach me to love you. I want to learn.”

“Oh, my Richie.” His breath wafted against her mouth. “Come, let me love you.”

And Richelle went willingly, and gratefully, into his arms.

***

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

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

***

This is basically the end. Nothing more to tell, right? But tune in Sunday for a “wrap-up”. Cheers

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30 Responses to Mercenary Wife – 9

  1. favour says:

    Awww

    The power of remorse,repentance,forgiveness and second chances

  2. Jeffrey Jamez says:

    I want to love oooooooooooooooooooo lol

    I was right, Rechie is a good girl that had bad ideas.

  3. jojodia says:

    Please TM, if you know a man like Simon, kindly introduce me to him…please.

    Thank you for this wonderful episode.

  4. daintydaisy says:

    Always on point. More grace

  5. daintydaisy says:

    wonderful episode…weldone TM

  6. I want to love, a godly love. I appreciate the lessons packed in this story.

  7. chizoba says:

    oh boy! hope this movie has not finished oo…True love, does it exist?

    • Yes, it does o, Chizoba. I am a living evidence. It’s only “TRUE” love that sent me to hubby, keeps me with him and will will take me to “till death do us part”.

      True love, good men, great women, do exist. We only find and receive what we believe in. A doubting Thomas cannot claim the blessing of a believing John.

      Oya, make I free you… Lol

  8. Abigail says:

    wow!!! my eyes are sulky, jeez!!!!!
    ama long lost comment, but this just swept everything in my eyes.
    you are an angel Simon and I cherish Richie’s humility and repentance.
    TM you rock!!!! ride on great lady!!!!!

  9. Roselyn says:

    Awww!so so touching. All my emotions stood up for Rechie’s pure remorseful heart. Thanks Simon for allowing God to use you work through your wife. So thankful our dearest TM.

  10. Skarlett says:

    This is really beautiful, had lots of ‘awwwn’ moments reading this. You rock TM

  11. Debbie says:

    So lovely, TM do me a favour o, pray for me dis night to find a Simon before this year ends, I know its not too late and ayam tired of dis loneliness jare

  12. Patience Bassey says:

    So many lessons learnt. Thanks TM for this wonderful story

  13. Marnie Jerimiah says:

    Beautiful, exceptional, thanks

  14. mady says:

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! !!!!
    Dis Cnt b d end na..
    Aunty TM wave ur magic want na.. Or in dis case.. Fingers

    It jst Cnt b d end… And I sooo enjoyed dis
    Ese ma.

  15. Ella mum says:

    This is good. Richie and simon did the right thing. Her mum is a ‘Monica’. Lol. TM, you too much biko! Thanks

  16. Toyenlon says:

    Wow! This is wonderful, thanks TM.

  17. Paula says:

    Awwwwww…….I love this

  18. Tanti says:

    Awwwwww
    Am all tears
    Muwwwwaaaa

  19. frances says:

    This is a great wake up call. Love u TM. my heart is full of joy and peace. True love does exists.

  20. Mz Tee says:

    awwwwww….touchin…..thnk u TM

  21. marcela says:

    so loving this TM. I pray I see true love like this. Thanks TM

  22. Doyinsola says:

    Awww, was teary-eyed reading this,i just LOVE love(adds a silent prayer)..weldone TM

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