The Reveal

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“Madam your money na three thousand” the unkempt market seller notified Lauren as she rounded up packing her meat and vegetables into two black polythene bags.

“Okay” Lauren began to ransack into her handbag for her wallet.

She couldn’t feel it. She pulled her brows down in a frown and searched more intensely, dipping her head into the brown leather bag.

The market woman planted her fist to her waist and starred at her with a scorn on her black face. She had seen her type before she thought to herself, those who feigned forgetfulness of their purse right after they had priced and had their items packaged. She was not going to sell anything on credit anymore, not even to this flashy fair skinned aunty.

“My God!” exclaimed Lauren out loud, “I must have forgotten my wallet at home” She turned to look at the market woman who had impatiently already started unpacking the items.

“Ah ah madam wait na” she protested but the woman carried on with the offloading, ignoring her.

Perplexed on how she could have misplaced her wallet, she flashed her mind back to yesterday which was when she last used the wallet. As she replayed the events of that day, thinking critically with a deep frown on her face, it hit her!

She left it in the bedside table of her and Chucks bedroom when their son was disturbing to play with it.

She turned briskly at this revelation, walked away from the murmuring woman stall, into the busy noisy market and out to where cars were parked. She got into her vehicle , started her ignition and began to drive to DBS road where she lived.

Her town, Asaba, Nigeria was a small town, issues like traffic where alien to them, unlike other busy cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt. So in less than twenty minutes, she was pulling up at her house gate.

She made to horn but immediately decided against it. She wasn’t going to stay long she reasoned, she would simply retrieve her wallet and head back out.

She alighted from the car, pushed the small gate open as it was a compound of four flats and the small gate was usually left unlocked by the gateman.

As she stepped into the compound, she noticed that the young gate man was not at his stand. Discarding the thoughts as to why the boy would be missing at his duty post this morning, she hurried towards her flat.

Her husband, Chuck’s car was parked in the compound, he had fallen ill the day before so she was not surprised to find his car sitting in the yard, he already informed her before she left for work that he would be calling in sick.

Lauren unlocked the door with her own key, pushed it open and it swung without a squeak, thanks to the well-oiled hinges.

Her maid was supposed to be somewhere in the house cleaning, yet the house downstairs felt unusually quiet. The maid who came in and went everyday was just there that morning, so where could she be? Lauren thought.

She walked to the kitchen and peeped through the open door, but the young woman was not there, only unwashed dishes sitting in the sink. Frowning, Lauren checked the visitors room, but that too was empty.

Deciding to ask Chucks when she goes to the room, she mounted the stairs that led to their shared bedroom.

She made it half way up the stairs when she started to hear soft moaning sounds, so soft they were almost inaudible.

There were three bedrooms upstairs, she wondered which of the rooms the sounds could be emerging from, and who in the world could they belong to.

Chucks was home…

Instinctively, she pushed her bedroom door open and her mouth dropped ajar instantly

Standing tall with his head slightly slung backwards and mouth agape… in a moan was Chucks

Before him, backing the door, on his knees, mouth bobbing back and forth on Chucks organ was his best friend, Bob.

“Blood of Jesus!!” Lauren shrieked.

Both men jerked out of their ecstasy and swung around to see a frozen Lauren shivering by the door way.

“Baby!” Chucks exclaimed, shoving Bob to the side.

Bob dropped to the floor, wiping off saliva from the corner of his lips as Chucks ran after a now racing Lauren, naked.

“Baby wait!!” he pleaded as she out ran him, she hurried down the stairs and wheezed out the front door.

Chucks could not go past the front door, so he stopped with his balls in his hands and watched through the window as his wife of three years ran towards the gate.

“Welcome ma” the gateman who was now at his post greeted a distraught Lauren, she ignored him, pulled the gate open and hurried into her car.

Once she sat in her seat, she burst out wailing, bitterly.

As she wept, a million and one thoughts poured into her mind.

‘Was this why Chucks rarely had sex with me?’

‘Was this why he pestered me about anal sex until this moment which I’ve refused to give in?’

‘Was this why he insisted on celibacy during our courtship and there I was, thinking I was lucky to have a man who was willing to wait?’

‘Am I not beautiful enough?’

Lauren was beautiful; her skin was fair, so fair it glowed. Her body contained fats only where it mattered. She had what many men called a killer shape and to this day, she got uncountable advances.

She was successful in her own rights, independent, funny, neat, smelled good..

She wiped her cheeks with the back of both hands, sniffed and reversed out of the compound.

_____

Too broken to go back to the market or go to her office, she drove herself to Best Western Hotel, paid for a room, climbed into the bed, curled herself under the sheets and resumed crying.

What would she do? Who would she tell?

She picked up her phone and called her mother, who lived in Asaba as well.

“Nnem” her mother responded at the other end.

“Mummy nwoma”

“Nwoma my dear. Are you crying?”

“No ma,” she lied. “It’s the flu”

“Eiya, doh”

“Mummy please I need you to help me pick Junior to the house for some days”

“Ah ahn, what happened?”

“My office is sending me to Abuja for a few days, it just came up”

“Eh ehn?”

“Yes ma. I will call his teacher and inform him”

“Okay. Are you sure everything is okay?”

“Yes mummy, I’m okay. I will call you again later”

“Okay.”

Lauren dropped the call, sniffed and dialed her son’s teacher granting her the permission to allow her mother to pick up her son.

She noticed that Chucks was yet to call her, there was not even one text from him, not that she would have responded to it but she was a bit taken aback that he hadn’t called at all.

Why hadn’t he called her yet?

She stayed in her position until sleep overtook her.

When she woke up, she called to confirm that her son was with her mother, he was.

That night was the longest night she had ever had. Images of Chucks with Bob filled her memory, she was disgusted, she was shocked, she was broken. Bob of all people, the well-respected calm guy, but her surprise at him didn’t match the shock she felt over her husband.

How in the world had she missed this part of him? She never interpreted the anal enthusiasm as anything but a fetish, neither did she pay heed to the male pornography she sometimes found in his browser history.

What was she going to do now?

Would she leave the union or go home and try to understand why?

Her stomach churned in confusion, pain and hunger, her mouth patched. She remained in her position until day broke.

______

The sound of her phone ringing was what woke her up the next morning, she groped around the bed for the cell phone, when she found it, she squinted her eyes at the screen and on seeing Chucks as the caller, she ignored the call and dropped the phone.

He called for a second time which prompted her to switch off her phone.

In the evening of that day, Lauren moved from the hotel to her mother’s house where she stayed for three days without speaking to Chucks. During these three days, she refused to tell her mother what was eaten her up, she refused to speak about what she witnessed until the fourth day when she made up her mind to confront Chucks.

She woke up that morning, dropped her son at school and drove to Chuck’s office. As she stepped into his rugged office, Chucks who had been working on his laptop rose abruptly at the sight of her.   

“Babe!” he exclaimed, visibly shocked, “What are you doing here?”

“What?” she scoffed. “You don’t want to see me here?”

“N-No, I mean y-y-yes, of course I do, please sit” he gestured to the chair she was already resting her hand on.

Lauren lowered herself unto the chair and Chucks followed suit.

She crossed her legs and locked her fingers in her thighs, staring at him, feeling anger, disgust and confusion, all at the same time.

“Babe” Chucks started, “I am so sor….”

“Are you gay?” Lauren wouldn’t let him finish, “Have you always been gay?”

Chucks sighed.

“No, I really want to understand why you would lie to me all these while, why you kept this secret from me! Why you could do…”

“Babe, I am sorry”

“Are you, really? Or are you sorry only because you got caught?”

Chucks sighed again, spreading his fingers with both elbows resting on his desk. “I am sorry for everything”

“Have you always been gay?…. Chucks you better answer me..”

“Yes, but I didn’t intend to hurt you”

“Well you did. Chucks why did you marry me at all when you knew you preferred to be with a man?”

“I loved you, I still do. I didn’t choose to be this way babe, I was introduced into this at the age of eight by my mother’s brother who lived with us at the time and now, being with a man  is the only way I know, “ He rose to his feet and walked around to Lauren’s chair, he sank his left knee to the ground, “I am so sorry”

He tried to take hold of her hand but an upset Lauren dodged his advance, sniffing as tears ran down her cheeks. She was staring at the wall, too hurt to turn side ways to look at his pleading face.

“What’s going to happen to us now, can you stop?” She forced her head to look down at him. “Can you stop?” she demanded.

Chucks starred into her tearful eyes, and shook his head quietly.

Lauren busted out fresh tears, dropping her face down into her palms.

The End.

WRITTEN BY KYLIE JOY TERUNDU.

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