Tayo Bakare was still in the hospital when her husband was buried. The man slumped in her presence and was carted by the medical team of the hospital where she delivered the baby and that was the last time she saw her husband alive. Each time, she asked after him, they told him he was in the ICU, sustained on oxygen and she kept praying he would come out of it alive. She was eventually discharged with her pre-matured baby and her father came to take her to her parent’s house. It was in her parent’s house that the news was broken to her and she thought her life had ended.

The funeral time-table was brought to our office and selected few among us was chosen to represent the company on the day the husband would be buried of which I was among them. It was a quiet and solemn day in our office that day.

The deceased was to be buried on the land the couple just possessed a few months ago and we got there just as the body was on its way to the final resting place .The picture of the deceased was pasted on the body of the ambulance conveying the body and he looked so fresh and young that I couldn’t help bursting into tears again. My two other female colleagues in the car joined in the tears while our men looked on ,solemn-faced .I kept putting myself in that woman’s shoes ,having married at mid-thirties and losing the husband just over a year after the marriage. This life is indeed a vanity!

We got down from the company car in our black attires and followed the crowd of people at the back of the casket bearer to where the body would be laid to rest. The deceased owned a thriving private company and the staffs were in attendance at the funeral .I was able to recognized most of the staffs because of the company t-shirts they were wearing and two particular ladies caught my attention. They were wailing and crying so loudly that you have to think the deceased was their close relative.

One was dark and the other was fair in complexion, both were tall and quite beautiful with their Brazilian hair covered with black net. They were both in jeans with the company t-shirts, hugging their generous curvy bodies and sneakers. Even though they wore no make-up, the smooth flawless face, long artificial eye-lashes and beautifully painted long-nails portrayed the fact that these babes were very much in town. I thought I was the only one who noticed them until I caught one of my senior colleague, Richard, stealing glances at them with a half-smile on his face and I nudged him in the rib. He jumped and grinned at me. “Those babes are very beautiful, I won’t lie to you.” Richard whispered at me and I glared at him. “For God’s sake, Richard, do you have no conscience? They are about to put a man in the ground forever and you are here leering at women.” I whispered furiously at him. “Well, he paid for his greediness. We all love enjoying life to the fullest but we should do it in moderation. Na wetin he sabi chop kill am at the end.” Richard said with a shrug and turned away. I stared after him in complete shock and surprise. After a while, I let it go and concentrated on the funeral procession.

Tayo Bakare remained in her cocoon of darkness for a long time and only catered to the innocent little baby as a matter of necessity. She contemplated suicide so many times and concluded she was just not meant to be happy in her life. I visited her a few times and each time I went for a visit, I couldn’t help remembering the last time I was in her matrimonial home that was full of so much love and laughter. I couldn’t help envying her good luck then.

Even though someone’s life seemed to be at a standstill, life continued and the whispers began. At first, I thought it was a hearsay and didn’t put too much stock into it until it started circulating round the office. I was mad and angry that such tales could be passed around about one of my favorite person in my workplace but after sometimes I decided to find out the truth.

Richard’s family was actually a family friend to Tayo Bakare and they were quite close in and out of the office as they meet at occasions in town. Richard was a married man but he never hide the fact that he loved women and women loved him because he was a natural flirt. He was always asking me out whenever the opportunity presented itself and I decided to hang out with him to get to the bottom of this. What I learnt shook me to the soul of my feet!

“Joseph was an outgoing guy and Tayo knew it before she got married to him. Linda is Joseph’s personal assistance and she was the fair one between the two ladies who were crying loudly at the funeral ground.  After their wedding, I have met Joseph so many times in town and he was always with Linda. Tayo is a home babe while her husband was a club-goer and the reason they ended up with each other was best known to them. It was probably because Tayo thought she can change her husband into what she wants and the husband let her believe that for whatever reason.” Richard grinned at me through the chain of cigarette smoke he just blew into the air.  Joseph was Tayo Bakare’s deceased husband. “But why didn’t you tell Tayo about seeing her husband with his P.A? You guys are family friends now.” I said angrily and he laughed heartily. “Jummy, you don’t want to tell me you are this naïve. If Tayo cannot see her husband for who he is, it is both their business and not mine.” He said dismissively and drank deep from his glass of red wine. “Does that mean he kept seeing her all the time she was in the hospital?” I asked with a frown and he was silent for a while. “I am not supposed to be telling you all this but I guess it would be worth it in the end” He smiled slowly, running his eyes from the top of my braided hair to my cleavage and down to my thigh. I just started back blandly and he laughed heartily. “Yes, he was seeing Linda and was actually coming from Linda’s place the day he died. Linda is a runs babe and she gave him everything Tayo is too conservative to give him. At the end, she was his death……….” Richard’s voice trailed off and I stared with blank horror on my face. “He slumped in his wife’s hospital ward. “I said in a whisper, full of tears and sorrow at such a waste of life!