Diary of a Fusspot-Epilogue

I rolled over on the side of the bed and looked at the time. 6.30 am. I had to be on my way to work if I wanted to beat the morning traffic. Ike had already got up and was bathing Anna. I was grateful. I had no reason to fuss this morning. As his office was nearer, he would drop Anna at school and I would be able to pick her up on my way from work. We were functioning like a well oiled machine.

We had put the Madu  saga behind us and Ike had kept his job but was working towards setting up his company in the future. He wanted to spend more time with the family. I was enjoying my new challenges at work although I still got needled that I had to get up early. And Titi was doing great.  She had recently got a new job as a secretary and though the pay was modest, after the divorce settlement and her family’s support she was quite well off. In fact, we would see how well she was doing tonight as we were inviting her for dinner.

The whole episode had made me learn not to take things for granted. I found more reasons to be thankful these days. Less reasons to worry. And although my dear Chinelo had lost her gist partner; she had been keeping herself busy by getting elected as the chairman of the landlords association which afforded her the opportunity to visit everyone’s home within the estate and suggest improvements. A job which she relished. I had seen her grow in her role and was gratified.

And I had a surprise Ike didn’t know about yet. I planned to buy the test kit on my way home but I was fairly certain Anna may have a little brother or sister soon. And as I got behind the wheel, I was tempted to look ahead and wonder how I was going to cope with the new job and added responsibility and Ike planning to make this major change. then I shook my head as if in an attempt to clear it. Worrying was so yesterday. Fussing was so last year. I had learnt of a more productive way…

Diary of a Fusspot 23

 

When we arrived at the Madu’s residence, I was unsure what to expect.  I wondered if it would be wiser to wait for our lawyer before going in but Ike felt we could go in and find  out what she wanted first,  while we waited for Edison to arrive.  As we got in, we met Mrs. Madu crying softly and then she wordlessly handed us a letter even before we sat down.  She said it had just been delivered to her.

It took me a few minutes before I realized what the letter contained even though Ike and I read it together. It was addressed to his wife. Ike’s face lighted up as he read and I was still puzzled, trying to understand what it said. I was horrified.   Madu had taken his own life!  Then I had to read it three times to understand why.  Apparently he had run away with some young girl to the Bahamas who had then stolen most of his money and deserted him. He was a man at the end of his rope. And he had done  what seemed to him to be the only way out. His letter was filled with regret. He apologized for abandoning his wife and children and for the pain he caused her by asking for the divorce. He apologized to Ike as well for framing him and running away with the company’s money. It was a  full confession albeit from the grave. And he signed it with his own name.

I couldn’t believe it. There in my hands was my husband’s exoneration. It took a few moments for it to register. It was like I had woken up from a bad dream. I put my arm around Mrs. Madu who was still sobbing profusely. Whatever Daniel  Madu had done it was apparent that he was still loved by his wife. Ike called his lawyer and gave him the details and was gesticulating. His voice was low in deference to Mrs. Madu’s distress. Although I couldn’t hear the conversation, I knew we had come to the end of this particular battle.

Diary Of A Fusspot 22

fusspot

There is a form of silent torture that everyone goes through at some point in life. I call it the torture of the unknown. It was a cold and cruel kind of torture that gripped you in the chest and messed with your insides. It was what we faced that morning as we stood outside the chambers waiting for the outcome of the meeting with the judge. Edison had said we didn’t need to come but we couldn’t help ourselves. We wanted to be there. Perhaps we should have spent the time thinking up trial strategy. Mrs. Madu was yet to hear back from her husband.
She had sent a response through post but it would likely be weeks before anyone heard back from him. We had looked for other means of contacting him but all seemed futile. He was no longer answering his emails and she had no phone number. How on earth were we to get to him in time?

As I held Ike’s hands in mine, I sent a silent plea. God, please don’t let them take him away now. Whatever battles we had to fight, we needed to fight it together.  We were both silent, hands clasped, lost in thought. Afraid to ask what if?

Edison came out with a small smile.

“We won,” he said. “You won’t be taken into custody.”

“However we didn’t win on the other case. I pushed my motion for the trial to be delayed again because of our star witness but the judge declined.”

I let out a whoosh of air as Ike hugged me in relief.

“We will take the victories as they come,” I assured Edison.

“Now what?” Ike asked looking up at his lawyer.

“Now we need to go to my office and come up with some very good ideas on how to win this thing,” Edison said with a glint in his eye.

I was pleasantly surprised. He had seemed so composed and unaffected before. Now he seemed to be warming up to the challenge.

“What are we waiting for then?” I asked. “Let’s go.”

 

Three hours later we still had nothing close to a plan. To my surprise, it was Ike who was the strong one. He told us to stop and then he prayed.

“Lord, we’re at our wits end here. The date for the trial has been set and fixed and we don’t know what to do. Lord, you reign in the affairs of men. Please give us your wisdom and show Yourself strong in this situation.”

On the way home, I forced myself to sound cheerful but I still couldn’t help worrying. There were so many things to think about. I missed Anna. Because of my crazy schedule and all the running around, I had taken her to my mother’s house to stay for a while. I was supposed to resume work the week following the trial. I was supposed to be shopping for new clothes and dusting my college material. But here I was, faced with the prospect of my husband going to jail and losing everything we had worked for. And I had been brave. I had tried to be. I had gone through all the emotions anger, denial, bargaining but as the days grew closer I felt it. The cold icy fear. I kept wondering what would happen to me and Anna if the worst happened.

Ike tried to pull me out of my reverie. “It’s ok hon,” he said placing a hand on my shoulder. “Have you heard from Titi?” he asked.

I suddenly remembered that Titi had gone to see her son. She said she wasn’t scared of her husband anymore and she was thinking of getting a house and a job. I dialed her number. At least some things were going in the right direction. But before I could get through to Titi, my call was interrupted. It was Mrs. Madu.

“Hello, please can you come over to my house? I just received some shocking news. I need to speak with you.”

I was flummoxed. What could the news be? I quickly told Ike and called Edison to join us there. Were our prayers already answered? Was Madu back?