The TIA fundraising and awards night was a success as usual. It was the 10th year anniversary of the foundation. The foundation was involved in so many humanitarian activities and this year it recorded so many milestones hence the awards night was the biggest ever recorded in the history of the foundation. When Tope and Ireti started the foundation 10yrs ago after the death of their first son they had no idea that they would become a movement or a big name. They were the envy of most couples; rich, powerful and famous. That evening they looked so perfect together to think that it had to be deep sadness: the loss of their son that would bring them great success. If you had not guessed TIA means Tope Ireti Akande.
“Congratulations Ireti you outdid yourself again. You never seize to amaze me each year. Watching you and Tope’s relationship blossom out of a bad situation is inspiring. Anytime I have some issues with my husband I just picture you and Tope and it helps us work out our relationship. In fact it is for that reason my husband donated a very huge amount this year as a show of our appreciation” said Chisom a regular guest at the TIA awards night. Ireti smiled back at Chisom and tightened her grip on Tope’s arms as she said “I am really glad that we get to touch lives in many ways…” “My love I think it’s okay to leave now, I know you would like to wait for all the guests to leave as the perfect host that you are but I am tired and all I just want to do is cuddle in bed with you” Tope said cutting into the conversation between Chisom and Ireti, she smiled sheepishly and said “I guess it’s time for us to leave too, the boss has spoken”.
They walked holding hands to their Rolls Royce already in the driveway of the reception, the rolls Royce was in the midst of the convoy of their security aid. Tope was a powerful man who took his security very seriously. They got into the back seats and as the car began to move Tope said with a smirk “congratulations Ireti you outdid yourself again” and laughed. “It always amazes me too actually how you play the role of the perfect woman, walking about gracefully when it was you who caused the death of our son Richard. You are a shame and disgrace to womanhood but being the nice person I am, I let you live this life full of bliss and wealth… it makes sense for me to be passionate and smile during these fundraisers but it just disgusts me to know that you can smile knowing fully well that you killed our son”.
“What should I have done differently then? I should not play the perfect host you want me to be? I shouldn’t smile? I shouldn’t wear the dress you asked your assistant to instruct me to wear? What should I have done differently” Ireti said amidst tears. He smiled and said “oh my dear nothing there’s nothing you could have done differently just like there was nothing you could have done to save my son…. When we get home you are sleeping in my bedroom tonight. You would do well to not annoy me with your crocodile tears because if you upset me just forget about seeing the rest of your children this summer. On the other hand, we might be blessed again this night and you get pregnant I promise to allow you take care of the baby till the baby is three years old of course with supervision as I do not trust you with my children but then to have a baby you have to carry the pregnancy for nine months and that you have been failing at blaming it on miscarriages… you are just a failure Ireti.”
Ireti couldn’t hold back the tears. Ten years ago her husband blamed her for the death of their son and since then Tope had treated her worse than a rag. He began to build distance between her and her other children painting a bad image of her “Your mum is at a conference you know she’s always busy she can’t see you guys” that was the last excuse he used with her third son Micheal. He had conveniently sent them all out of the country saying “I won’t allow you kill them too”. She was pregnant with Micheal at the time Richard died Micheal would have been her fourth child if Richard didn’t die. Her daughter Mirabel was already rebelling against her whenever she talked to her. Of course why should she talk to a mother that missed almost all her birthdays after Richard’s death? She had thought she would enjoy motherhood again when she had her last child Martin but she was always under watchful eyes of nannies like she wasn’t capable of being around her own child and shortly after he turned two Tope already started separating them. She had tried to leave the marriage but all her efforts were just in vain and Tope got even worse with each effort she made. It was as though he hated her more for trying to abandon the marriage.
She looked out the window of the car as they made the last turn to their street, she already knew what would happen when they got home. She would go to Tope’s bedroom, he will say more hurtful words and remind her how she ruined their love. He will make her cry and then say he was getting upset with her tears when he knew she had no regrets. He would then have sex with her forcefully he always did it to hurt her and not pleasure her after that he would say “you can’t even satisfy me in bed so what is your usefulness Ireti my love?” she would stay still and cry herself to sleep and by the time she wakes up he would be out of the bed and the assistant would be back to give her another outfit so she can meet up with her husband at whatever function she had to be perfect at… and she would dress up walk elegantly by her husband’s side. They would be the perfect couple.
Ireti opened her purse to look at the piece of paper that had been giving her hope since she got it. It was the result of her medical tests, the diagnosis was cancer. She had smiled when the doctor told her and pleaded with him to not tell her husband. She had walked out of the hospital feeling free that day alas her days were numbered she was going to finally leave Tope soon, she would be free of pain and she would meet Richard the only person who would argue that she did all she could to save him… He would say “I love you mummy, I’m sorry I let you go but I had to because you were fighting for me so bad and it was hurting me to see you suffer”. Ireti remembered the last words of her son “Mummy please stop fighting, I am tired and I can’t fight anymore don’t hurt yourself. You have Mark, Mirabel and Micheal to live for I love you so much mummy and I am going to die knowing that I had the best mother, I am going to die with your face as the last image I see… please just smile for me mummy and promise to always smile”.
The car came to a halt and Tope said as he came out “My love I know you are tired do you want me to carry you?” No I am fine Ireti said and smiled, the smile was genuine, she was ready for what was coming… in fact she might not shed a tear tonight she was ready because she knew this was her last Fundraiser night… and she was happy she had this secret that Tope could not steal away from her. “Let’s go my dear I honestly can’t wait to get out of this dress and into your bed she said as she walked towards Tope and held his hands and they both walked into their mansion looking picture perfect…Ireti in her beautiful long red dress and Tope in his handmade suit… The picture of perfection.
- Do you think this situation happens a lot in marriages, I mean fake happiness?
- Ireti has given up on life and was happy to be dying does that even make sense?
- What are your thoughts on Tope’s character?
- Do you think it would have been easier on Ireti if Tope was open about his hatred for her?
- Is it possible for a parent to build distance between the children and a spouse, just as Tope did?
- Ireti was happy to die not caring about her other four children what are your thoughts on this?