OCHE & BRUME

So, why can’t you just tell her the truth? I asked Oche. I can’t tell her that I can’t afford to pay for her to have our baby in the U.S. can’t you understand? Her parents can very well pay for the trip. “If I don’t do it, they’ll think their daughter didn’t marry a worthy man”, Oche said. But you are already neck deep in debt! I told him.

Oche had been like this since our school days. It was his life mission to marry the daughter of a “big man”. His wife’s family didn’t think he was the best fit for their daughter. Even though he was from Benue State, they always referred to him as a “Hausa boy”.

Oche’s wife, Brume, was like a peacock. She had her head in the clouds and was always forming posh, even when it wasn’t necessary. Oche had to fight tooth and nail to get his bank job. He knew that without money he would lose his wife. He even paid for a housemaid and cook. He said his wife was a queen and that housework added no value to a wife. Somebody else could do that.

I just didn’t understand why a man couldn’t be honest with his own wife. They had done series of IVF treatments after 4 years of marriage and Brume kept having miscarriages. His thinking was that after all the stress she had gone through it only made sense to agree with her not to have the baby on Nigerian soil.

Brume had left for the America. Oche was neck deep in debt and it was affecting his work. He had maxed his loan limit at work and had borrowed money from friends and loan sharks. I begged him to sell his Range Rover, buy a smaller car and be free from debt. He said he’d rather die. Things may have gotten out of hand for him because he got himself involved in a racket with one of the customers of the bank. It backfired and he was sacked.

I couldn’t say to him “I told you so”. Even with this, he refused to tell his wife. He told her that she didn’t need to hurry back and that he would come to visit her and the baby. His plan was to get to America and not come back. He eventually sold his prized Range Rover, his wife’s car, and their furniture without telling her and then travelled to America.

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I envision Hilda’s Shoulder to be a relationship park-a place you go to learn, vent and share. I have another understanding of the word relationship -I don’t think it is for people dating only. A marriage is a relationship too, and one which needs great rela- tions in the SHIP called home!
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