It took a whole ministry of defence and silent prayers to get me to finally be with a man. It wasn’t that they weren’t coming. No. In fact, they were en masse. But I wouldn’t let them because I had an acute fear of being cheated on. I had heard stories about how men almost always cheated on their faithful partners. And it wasn’t because they weren’t gorgeous, or good in bed, or caring, or all shades of a close-to-perfect lady… but simply because men were men, and somehow when women weren’t looking, they were gifted the exclusive rights to cheat because they could; because it was okay. It didn’t help that a lot of things- blog posts, advices, and even first-hand chats with guys- pointed towards the need to ban thoughts of there being even a slight possibility that a male partner won’t cheat, because if it didn’t happen,… perhaps it won’t rain no more.
Such was my fear. And it was okay, okay courting that fear because no guy had swooned me the way my job at the Multinational firm I work in swooned me on our first date (the interview!). It was okay that I was waking and sleeping with thoughts of Beijing in mind. Boy, it was the sexiest thing that ever happened to my life! It had always been a dream, and living it felt like a waltz in a ball room in Paris. Thankfully, my family understood me. In fact, my scientist sister was still in the process of coining a name for the fear of being cheated upon (I thought cheatophobia sounded nice) when I met Nifemi. It seemed like his name cast a spell on me because I fell for him the second I set eyes on him.
It was at a client office at Abuja. We had gone to audit the accounts of this large Law firm that day. I was just coming in from Lagos to join the rest of the team, so I happened to be driving alone. He was stepping out of his car the same time I drove mine into the office compound. What caught my eye first was how he waved at the security men and how unpretentious his smile looked. He seemed humble. Then I set to look at him. He was all dazzles of dapper in his White T.M shirt with the first two buttons undone, baring the top of an equally white underwear and a good amount of throat and adam’s apple to turn a lady on for the rest of her life. There was a grey tie hanging carelessly somewhere beneath the collars, and there was his sexy grey suit and pants backed with a black shiny shoe that screamed all designs of Tom Ford. It had to be a crime to look that good, boy I was a goner! But beyond his classy appeal, His eyes… His eyes looked beautiful from my driver’s seat and then, I knew I had to have him, even if for a while. We made acquaintance later that day at the company’s cafeteria. It was a Friday, the last day of audit, so there couldn’t have been a more perfect day to start my own fairytale.
Six months after, I introduced Nifemi as a friend- not because I knew I would marry him, but because I was very fond of him- and the look on the face of my parents that day, almost tore my heart into a million pieces. It looked like they would give their blessings right away, they just couldn’t wait for me to overcome my fear and settle down like every other normal person. Another six months down, and I was sharing the first kiss of my life with Nifemi Brown. While my friends were trading stories of their holiday experience in London, Vegas or the Bahamas; I was telling stories of how my lips just got disvirgined, and how there was a lot more deflowering to be done that day. That was the 19th of April, about a month ago. The day I got BROWNed. The best of all the best days of my life!
I am still yet to get over my insecurity or is it phobia? Nifemi is a gorgeous successful man. He doesn’t have to put out a vacancy or turn on search lights, he is just as a flower that attracts bees without help. But somehow, I am learning to hold myself. While we were dating, I learnt not to think his perfume smelt like it caught a whiff of femininity, or that a black stain on his array of white shirts was a futile attempt at hiding the smear of a lady’s lipstick. It was a battle, but I knew I could quit if the suspicions became too much or uncontrollable. But now, it’s… it’s just different. I am BROWNed for life! I can’t run anymore, I can’t hide. My insecurities are his to know, and manipulate or guard against. It is different now, and I don’t know how to deal with it yet.
I stare at him now, all set for work, and love wells in my heart all over again. His eyes soften as they fall on my face.
‘You are thinking those thoughts again, aren’t you?’
I smile. He reads me so well, I don’t know how. I tiptoe to kiss his full inviting lips, pouring a dose of Red Mary Kay lipstick all over his face on purpose. Desire flutters like new born butterflies in the pit of my belly. I am almost tempted to push him into bed and have another go at his beautiful body. I can’t believe the honeymoon is over so soon!
He is tempted to do same too, I reckon. I am aware of how he seems torn apart beneath my hands. His heart says to stay, his head says to leave. Finally, his head prevails, as he reluctantly breaks off the kiss…
‘That won’t do Mrs Brown.’ he whispers, his breath all hues of raspy, it’s turning me on.
I smile my apology into his love-struck face and get a tissue roll to wipe his face clean.
‘Be good baby.’ I coo.
‘I’ll be. And you too.’
He is almost out the door when I call him back ‘Nifemi?’
He turns to me now, concern etched on his face.
‘Don’t… don’t cheat on me in a way that i’ll get to know.’ it will be our first time apart since we got married, and I am afraid.
‘Oh baby, I won…’
‘Shhh.’ I hush him. ‘Do what you must but don’t let me find out. What happens in Abuja, stays in Abuja.’
I usher him out now, shutting the door after him ‘I love you too baby. Call me when you touch down.’
Once I hear his car pull out of the compound, I get ready for work myself. In 30 minutes, I step out into the world, feeling shades of different, and pregnant with fear. It’s different because ‘m not ecstatic about Beijing this morning, rather, ‘m wondering what my beloved Mr Brown must be getting at already… even though he left home barely an hour ago. This is unhealthy, but I am an addict of these fears.
My name is Mrs Mercy Brown. I am a cheatophobe and I think I need help.
© The Short Black Girl, 2015.