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Isio Knows Better: Becoming Her Father’s Wife

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We need the courage to create ourselves daily, to be bodacious enough to create ourselves daily – as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as thinking, caring, laughing, loving human beings. I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honourable.” – Maya Angelou

Of all the deaths she could have died, this is the one she would not have chosen.

Mitaire looked in the mirror and swiped a damp lock of hair off her forehead. Forty-four minutes she had crouched there, in the shower, letting the cold water wash over her as she sobbed a pitiful lamentation to the gods.

Of all the deaths she could have died, this is the one she would not have chosen.

She felt like she was dying. For sure, this kind of heartbreak was a kind of death. She felt like her soul was broken. In two days, her friend would dedicate her new-born son. The son she had had for Mitaire’s husband. It was the most unpalatable pill to swallow. The straw that broke the camel’s back… one she did not see coming. She, Mitaire, the once-favoured… Mitaire the nurturer, the one who had faced many evils. Mitaire the mother of a beautiful 5 year old girl who did not understand why all of a sudden daddy kicked her out of the way when he came from work yesterday. Apparently, her daughter was good, but not good enough.

Her husband’s family wanted an heir. A son. And now he had one. And suddenly she was confronted with the betrayal of her spouse, the wickedness of the people who once called her ‘Our Wife’, and the hatred of the one she had once called ‘Dearest friend.’ This was her, now.

Here she was – with only a suitcase of her belongings flung into the remote guestroom furthest from the luxury and the jubilations of the main house and closest to the servants’ quarters. So, it had come to this… 11 years of marriage and 8 painful miscarriages after.

She chuckled bitterly at the irony and thought to herself: What nobody knows is that I am afraid and ashamed… A lot. I am afraid of failing myself and my child who trusts me. I am ashamed of the abuse I have had to endure.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to face one’s evil, and truth be told, Mitaire had survived many evils in her life. She was thirty-six, the age her mother was when she died in her teenage arms. The grotesque graffiti left on the walls of her psyche by her past left a psychological damage that lingered long after the end of her parents’ twisted love story. She bore within her a damage unseen to the world… invisible scars rendered by tooth and claw, and borne proudly by a beautiful Mitaire in seemingly perfect condition.

Mitaire’s (meaning I have met their match in Urhobo) was a happy child. Her late parents were deeply in love. Her mother was an exotic beauty, while her father was a self-made billionaire who treasured and furnished Mima (Mitaire’s mother) like a treasured queen. Their love lasted many years against many odds while their union produced Mitaire. Their love would have been something to celebrate if her mother wasn’t the long-time mistress of a powerful man thirty years older than her.

And so understandably, her father’s wife and sons despised Mitaire and her mother. The luxurious lifestyle her father kept providing for his mistress and love-child through the years was a bitter insult to the billionaire’s older wife. Yes, the wife hated them, but couldn’t touch them, as her father protected Mima and his last daughter; from her jealousy and wrath.

But the day her father died of a sudden heart-attack was the day Mitaire’s mother fell from all grace, very swiftly. Disgraced and publicly humiliated, she was kicked out of the house her lover had bought for her by his wife and sons. Crying and confused, a young Mitaire looked into the eyes of her father’s wife as she, escorted by armed bodyguards and two of her sons had dragged a semi-clad Mima from her home. Mitaire looked into the eyes of a woman she had never met, and she saw evil.

And then it got worse. Over the next two years she understood the power of saving for rainy days. Mima, as many spoilt, over-indulged mistresses did not actually have anything to her name, nor did she know how to manage her own life as she never had to in the past. And so she tried to survive as best she could… by borrowing, owing, weeping and drinking. In the end, she had died mysteriously of an retching illness in Mitaire’s arms. Mitaire liked to think she died of a broken heart . She was only sixteen.

Yes, Mitaire had faced many evils.
Poverty, fear, violence, hunger, abuse, rape, loneliness, jealousy, blackmail, discrimination, doubt, anger, betrayal, lack, thirst, false witnesses and lust. And somehow, in spite of it all and memories that best forgotten, Mitaire had managed to build for herself a life. A life as a good person. Some people use their negative experiences to become something good and others can’t rise above their past. Mitaire was one of the former. She swore she would not repeat her mother’s mistakes. Never would she submit herself to a committed man. At least that version of history would not repeat itself.

But fate was the king of mischief.

22 years after her mother fell from grace, 11 years into her marriage, 8 painful miscarriages and one beautiful daughter after… it had come to this. Her dearly beloved, formerly-loving now adulterous husband who was once uncommitted had become the type of man she spent her life running away from. History was repeating itself in a fascinating way, she had to grudgingly admit. She had become her father’s wife.

It was only at that moment that she understood the evil she had seen in the eyes of her father’s wife. She staggered as the sudden realization hit her and squeezed her eyes shut.

Mitaire, this dream is real. Now look in the mirror and bless yourself. What else can you do?

“I can live my life for ME. I am not my mother’s shame… I am not my father’s indiscretion… I am not my husband’s rejected. Yesterday I was beloved, today I am unwanted- through it all, I am still worthy. I am deserving… of dignity, respect, of honour. I might be old, but my spirit is still unbroken. I will triumph over this evil.”

Mitaire muttered those words to herself and felt a sliver of courage. She would not be the bitter woman her father’s wife was – waiting for her husband to die to exact bitter revenge against an innocent child and his deserving mother.

Tomorrow she would leave – take her daughter and flee. She would re-create herself anew. But that is for tomorrow… Today, she is exhausted.

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: http://www.idds.pro to see her professional body of work.

29 Comments

  1. blow

    January 13, 2015 at 9:34 am

    …..beautiful write up; woulda been PERFECT without the last sentence, you know, just keep the readers hanging, and let the deduce the moral of the story by themselves.

  2. honest one

    January 13, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Beautiful write up. We are much stronger than we know, if only we believe and summon courage , we can conquer anything.

  3. chijindu m.j

    January 13, 2015 at 10:13 am

    fantastic words from a lovly beautiful angel, please dear keep it up..

  4. miss max

    January 13, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Isio dearest, this is beautiful. History is for the sole purpose of learning and finding your path. I am glad Mitaire understood that. Beautiful story again, Bravo

  5. [email protected]

    January 13, 2015 at 11:02 am

    These words!!
    “I can live my life for ME. I am not my mother’s shame… I am not my father’s indiscretion… I am not my husband’s rejected. Yesterday I was beloved, today I am unwanted- through it all, I am still worthy. I am deserving… of dignity, respect, of honour. I might be old, but my spirit is still unbroken. I will triumph over this evil.”
    Wooow Isio

  6. Sandy

    January 13, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Nice write up but *an retching? That’s an odd mix of words… Isn’t it a retching…….

  7. Liflblog.wordpress.com

    January 13, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Too true about not judging & not being a stumbling block as well. We’ve only one life to live so we owe it to ourselves to live it well & be happy.

    Liflblog.WordPress.com

  8. TA

    January 13, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Oh dear! The story of the other woman.

    Powerful post Isio. Lots of vital lessons.

    And I have to ask,please was this fiction or not?

    • Isio Wanogho

      January 13, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Thank youuu TA! 🙂 🙂 🙂
      The story is real. All #IKB narratives are inspired/influenced by real life experiences.

    • Nigerian Lady

      January 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Ah Isio, you dey write abeg! Well written.

  9. lovin moi

    January 13, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Recreating ourselves and rising above hate and evil begins the day we consciously say to ourselves “I am still worthy,I can live my life for ME”. Even in the deepest shit,may we be strong enough to love ourselves,pick up and trudge on!!

  10. hmm

    January 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

    THANK YOU!!!

  11. hmm

    January 13, 2015 at 11:56 am

    THANK YOU!!! SO SO sorrry

  12. hmm

    January 13, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Been looking for a good way…

  13. cocozee(bellassimo)

    January 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    beautiful write up.

  14. Ruth

    January 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    This is my first comment on your post eventhough I read it everyweek. This was amazing! I am blown away! Bravo….

  15. nammy

    January 13, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Mima, the spoilt, over- indulgent mistress reminds me of Aunty Uju in Adichie’ s Americanah. Mistress or wife, we should learn to save for the rainy day and not just being content with what a man gives to us. Nice one as always Isio.

  16. dhee

    January 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Isio-de-la-sweetness,I have missed u so much. 3weeks orientation and ppa stress has threatened to pull us apart but I’m back for good. Happy 2015…much love *no homo*

  17. D

    January 13, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you!!! Learning not to be judgmental is a daily struggle. It is trait that comes naturally to ALL Humans…We sometimes call it just giving our own opinion (even when no one as sort said opinion) but if we are to be honest we are passing judgements on others and sometimes on ourselves. This is a life time goal for me, to strive to be less judgmental each and every day. God helping me.

  18. jcsgrl

    January 13, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Wow nne you can tell stories with words….so captivating Isio DeLa V

    • Isio Wanogho

      January 13, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      @jcsgrl thank you, thank you … I haven’t forgotten the promise I made to you o, a special piece, specially dedicated to you, *e-hugs*

  19. NaijaPikin

    January 13, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    The hardest lesson is “not taking it out on the innocent child”.

  20. Endowed

    January 14, 2015 at 2:52 am

    love this, for a while I thought I was watching a Nollywood movie

  21. yet_dup

    January 14, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Always something to learn, whenever am reading your write-ups I feel like am on the 1st chapter of a really captivating novel.
    Isio I think you should write a book!
    Thank you!

  22. babygiwa

    January 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Mima is aunty Uju in Americanah. Lesson to all, mistress or wife, learn to take care of you! Good piece Isio, i see you at events o and iv promised myself that when next i see you i am going to hug you. God bless you.

  23. isios assistant

    January 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Isiooooooo, I cant find words to describe you.i think I’ll start to call you Lil Miss Chinua Achebe.tnks once again for captivating me.

  24. Cate of Nigeria

    January 15, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Very well written Isio de la V.

  25. Favour

    January 19, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    What a lovely write-up isio! I had to bite and chew every words and then I got to the last paragraph but I’m not satisfied, the story ain’t complete. Please bring on more! !!

  26. Favour

    January 19, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    At first when i saw the heading “becoming her father’s wife” i was really interested in finding out what sort of awkward parable this will be but i must say,its truly a lovely write-up isio! I had to bite and chew every words and then I got to the last paragraph but I’m not satisfied, the story ain’t complete. Please bring on more! !!

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