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It was a journey of about six hours but due to the traffic, stops and bad roads, it lasted longer than required.  I was travelling to Lagos from the east, Onitsha to be precise. Without wasting much time many passengers bordered the luxurious bus and the journey began.

A friend had warned me earlier about the ill-occurrences that take place on the roads especially around this time of the year and encouraged me to fly rather than using the roads. He listed many cases of theft, rape and killings happening on the highway lately. Funny enough, a relative said a similar thing to me. I thought about the time and inconvenience regarding getting myself to the nearest airport which is in Owerri and far from my hometown. Meanwhile, I have already made arrangement with a local Driver to travel with him on that day.
So, bearing all these on my mind I decided to pray as long as I can throughout the journey. I said the rosary and kept repeating it till I lost count of how many decades I had actually said. However, I recall a woman sitting beside me kept staring at me and later joined me. Surprisingly to her,  she has completed five decades and am still reciting mine. She glanced at me once more and gently folded her rosary and put it inside her bag.
When we got to Benin, there was a brief stop; time for Lunch, stretching and restroom. Few minutes later, we got back to the bus. I was holding my rosary once more but this time I was interrupted. She asked ‘are you still praying?’  and I answered ‘yes’. She didn’t go further and I then asked her if anything was the problem that I can actually talk.
Huh! That was how I said bye bye to my marathon prayer session, not knowing I have said enough to see me through the journey. Hahaha!
She asked me where am from?
       My family,what I studied, my job…
       My relationship status…
       My plans for the future…
And I answered very well. Yes! Honest answers.
It was during this question time that I really noticed the personality sitting beside me. This woman was so lovely. Her looks, height, stature and the way she talked can be likened to that of one of my favorite aunt( Aunt Dora),and I mentioned that to her too.
I noticed that in between talks her husband calls came in and they kept making jokes about how he was missing her and how he was going to leave before time to make sure he doesn’t keep her waiting after the long journey. If my guess is right, she should be in her mid-fifties or there-about, am not that wonderful in guessing ages right by mere looks. She had been away for a week to look after her mother-in-law.

It was now her turn to do most of the talking. She told me to never underestimate prayers and went on and told me how God has been faithful to her.  I was very lucky to have such a caring man as a husband and from her persistent phone calls, their love remained evergreen. She smiled and said that she deserved it, that marriage is not as easy as it looks.

Back in her teens as a student, she mistakenly fell pregnant for a man that showered her with lots of gifts and promised her marriage. Initially, she was worried that her parents would not be happy and she would like to complete her secondary school education first. It was actually her first time of having sex and she got trapped. It made her see her whole dream of better life crumbling before her. When she broke the news to the man he wasn’t even surprise and told her where she would go for an abortion and made the necessary arrangements. She was shocked but did not allow him know how she felt.

She started praying to God, made all sorts of promises if she happens to come out alive after going under the knife and still be fertile. That day came and pass. At the clinic she got to know that her lover was a regular,  always bringing in different girls. She never contacted him again and that was how their story ended. She told no one about it, not even her mother or close friends. And has not mentioned it to her loving husband, who sees her as the best.

On completion of her studies, she went on holiday and met a man that couldn’t take his eyes off her. He has already met her Uncle and made his intentions clear, so it was not hideous this time, though she was yet to tell her parents. Her parents consented when they heard about it, traditional marriage rites were carried out and she took in for this man. Her parents were not happy as they wanted it to be after the impending white wedding as they were staunch Catholics but she was overjoyed knowing that her womb was not damaged after-all.   The religious perspective meant nothing to her, knowing her ordeal. She then left her family house and joined her husband.

Later, they had a white wedding following her delivery. Her husband trained her in the University and she now owns a Secondary School in Lagos. They are blessed with Three boys.

In regards to her loving husband, she said they have been very supportive of each other. According to her, some years back her marriage was not that lovely as it is now. There was a time her husband kept late nights and talked to her like she meant nothing to him. She was confused but never allowed that affect her work because she needed to be there for her kids no matter what. She sought advice and got different versions but only an Elderly woman encouraged her to be herself and should still care for her husband and not even raise her voice towards him. It was so difficult for her and most times she ended up challenging her husband because she is human and as it was in tune with advice from other numerous sources.

Her situation got worse and close friends were becoming aware of her condition. She got tired of complaining to any one. She ran into the same old woman who wanted to know how she was faring and she told her how her marriage has deteriorated and how she was not able to do exactly as she told her. The woman told her that she never said it was going to be very easy but that was all she needed to do to redeem her marriage. She made her understand that with such attitude and prayer her husband will come back to his senses soon while hostility will drive him further away and make him jump to conclusions.

Amidst these trial period, she loved and missed her husband. She pulled herself together and this time took this woman’s advice wholeheartedly. She welcomes him, be it midnight or 2 am, helps him remove his clothes, if he is willing to eat fine, if he isn’t, she will gently send her food back to the kitchen. She continued this way and was almost getting used to the routine, when her husbands character gradually started changing as though it was magic. He began chatting her up and coming home on time, till one day he was able to narrate to her how another woman almost destroyed their marriage.

She explained to me how her husband would prefer to borrow money from outsiders for business to make her see him as man of the house but those days are gone with the wind as no one knows how they handle their affairs any more. She made her husband understand that he trained her and her money is simply his. With God on her side, school business in Lagos is very lucrative and being the hardworking type she has been able to get sponsorship from Cowbell and the likes.

They started assisting each other financially, spiritually and all the -lly’s you can think of.  Her husband’s business booms and they both live comfortably and very happy. Above all, they turned out to be best friends and are inseparable.

She did not forget to tell me that some of their friends and even few relatives were not happy with their progress. Besides, there is no word in her dictionary like ‘close or best friend.’ Her husband is now her all-in-one. She also mentioned how vital sex is in marriage, owing to the fact that men love sex and how she continually prays for Gods grace upon her family.

Remember, we were still in the bus. She alighted at Berger and I tiredly started looking around through the window  to the lovely views of Lagos. The journey was a very long one but I enjoyed it.

Lastly, I thank God for a smooth and safe journey.

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