Behind a Mirror

by Joseph Ikhenoba


The story is about a man who was betrayed by his lover whom he so much adored. In the end, he made a decision that would change his life forever.

Wonder woman, my wellspring between both my inside as well as outside flames. My life, my guilt. I-vi-eee: your mouth's base slides the lip, two notches prior, pressing the canines five times. I- viiii-eee. She was just Ivi in the morning, five legs, eleven inches in height and donning only one pouch. In slacks, she calls to mind Ivy, my first lost love.

I met her at a friend’s party on a Saturday evening. It was a get together party and she had accompanied a friend. Call it love at first sight. Her charming looks, resplendent red dress and calm composure caught my attention. I am no adroit at toasting a lady. I must admit my shyness. So I told Eric, my friend to take the move on my behalf.

Eric didn’t hesitate. He approached her while I pretended to be drinking a glass of red wine. Ivie began to smile as Eric spoke. I have known Eric for years. When we were in college he was the heartthrob of many girls. His tall, handsome and athletic figure and smartness sums him. Few minutes later, they both came towards my table.

“Ivie, this is Omokaro, my friend. But, u can call him Caro. He is a Civil Engineer and works for one of the best company in the country. ”

Please to meet you. I am Ivie. ” We shook hands.

Her palms looks tender and succulent, soft as a white cotton.

“So, friends I will be with you shortly. I have to fix something.” Eric said by giving me a brow and tapped my back softly.

I understood the sign. I still felt the shyness in her eyes.

“Do you care for wine?” I asked.

“Never mind. I don’t take wine. ”

“What do you take?”

“Nothing really. I am fine. So, tell me more about yourself. ”

I discussed about my family and life with her and she felt so excited being with me. She told me a bit about hers, how she was raped by her uncle when she was nine and how she overcame depression. We discussed at length and spent most time at the party. Thereafter, we became friends and started dating. We courted for two years before tying the knot. It was an eventful and colourful wedding.

There was no greater joy than me having my family. I had always planned of having three kids. Though, my father had a dozen. I felt a bit jealous, knowing how pretty my wife was, I decided to put her on a monthly salary, aside the family’s upkeep. I ensured everything was being provided as our love continued to grow. But all through when she was pregnant with our children, I was away for work. I hired three servants, a cook, driver and maid to help. When I returned, we spent time together. Sometimes, I would take her for dinner.

We lived happily until few years later, I noticed her sudden change. She began going out occasionally at night, abandoning the children and would only return late. I became exasperated. I have discussed it with her severally. She claimed to have her own freedom or she would file for divorce. That was the last thing I ever dreamt of. I wanted a happy family, a mother my children could be proud about. Nevertheless, she pass worded her phone and acted rudely, an attitude I ignored. Sometimes, we quarrel and raise our voices to the frustration of our children.

On a fateful day, one of my second child took ill. I guess he was suffering from fever. His body was as hot as a furnace with a yellowish skin and loss of appetite. I took him to a hospital. A doctor examined him but said he would need some pints of blood. I decided to donate, only for him to inform me we weren’t compatible. I thought, we had different blood groups. However, the doctor told me to take a paternity test, since he was suspecting some oddities. I told him I would come another time. All nights, I thought what could have happened.

“Could the doctor be wrong?” I asked myself.

I couldn’t discuss it with her. I secretly took the children’s brushes when they were away at school for a DNA test. But, I was shocked with the result. I returned home broken and lost. It appears I should be swallowed by the earth. I wept in my heart and awaited the children. My wife knew all wasn’t well. She tried to ask but I feigned ignorance.

“What have I done to deserve all these? I have done my best. I am not a womanizer, neither do I have a child outside my marriage.” I queried.

I paced severally in my sturdy and thought of suicide. For, what else am I living for? My joy is gone. Only sorrows and wands of depression. “But, if I commit suicide, how about my loved ones. What will they say when I am gone I tried to recuperate? ”

I didn’t talk with the children. I just spent all day in my sturdy ruminating. Finally, I came out at night. I gathered the children and their mother. Then, I showed her the DNA result. She tried denying it but all evidences were clear. After much pretention, she admitted to the crime. The children have different fathers, an act she committed when I was away for business. She begged for forgiveness. I struggled to forgive but told her to pack are belongings from my house and return the children to their fathers.

Certainly, it was a hard decision but life goes on. I love the children so much and had spent much on them. My greatest regrets was not knowing the truth earlier. As they say “no matter how far lies travel, the truth will surface someday.”

I had to gather my life and forge ahead, from a bitter cypress.

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