“I thought you said you love your Mrs. as fat as she is!” I called out to my husband, as the gap between us widened during yet another early morning run on the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge. His response was simply to look back and beckon at me to run faster.
Even as I panted for breath, I couldn’t help but be grateful for the life I have with my husband. I still get butterflies saying that word. My husband!
The night of Seyi’s birthday dinner had been the most beautiful and surreal experience of my life. As Jimi and I kissed in the rain, it felt like we had come full circle…in many more ways than one. For so many years, all I’d wanted was to know I meant something to him, and I couldn’t have gotten a better confirmation than that. For the first time in 20 years, I knew that he loved me just as much as I loved him.
And it was a beautiful feeling.
But news travels fast, and even before we left the restaurant, one (or more) of Jimi’s cousins had already informed Papa and Mama Jay of our reunion. They, in turn, called my parents in Ibadan almost immediately, so by the time I called Adun to ask if Rire could stay over with her that night, my sister was already shouting and singing songs of praise in my ears. The Fajobi and Ige clans were both in a jubilatory mood, and I can’t say I blame them.
After spending two beautiful and perfect nights together, two nights which saw us bond body, mind, heart and soul, so much more than we’d ever done in the past, on Sunday, Rire had to come home. Jimi and I knew we had to take it slow…for our son’s sake. At almost 16, he was old enough to be aware of what was going on with his parents, but then again, as we’d separated when he was only 4 years old, he really had no memory of us being a couple. We decided it would be best to ease him into things, rather than stampede him with a full-on romance. We agreed that it wouldn’t be proper for me to spend nights in Jimi’s place, nor him at ours. So those first two weeks were rather tricky. Rire, on the contrary, found the whole thing amusing and teased us non-stop.
However, August 22nd soon came around, and it was time for Rire to leave for College in the States. The original plan was for Jimi to take him alone, but in the end, I ended up tagging along, wanting to see first hand my son’s new digs at the University of California, Berkeley, where he’d been admitted to study Architecture…like his father. It was really emotional for me, as all year long, I’d been dreading this moment of having to let go, even going as far as trying to convince Jimi he was too young for University, considering he was only turning 16 the following November. But with his close to perfect SAT scores, which put him in the top 5 percentile, I finally conceded to allow him go.
But getting to Berkeley got me emotional all over again, and as we settled our son in school, I found myself in tears almost half the time, much to Rire’s consternation. But the good thing was I had Jimi there to console me, and when we retired to our hotel room that night, from the mischievous glint in his eyes, I knew exactly what he was thinking. Yes, we were going to miss our son…but we finally had time for us.
The original plan was for us to see Papa and Mama Jay, who were still in New York, before leaving for Nigeria. Even though they were not scheduled to leave before September, Mama Jay and my mother were already on the phone on the daily, talking and planning. There were discussions over whether a Christmas wedding would be ideal, or if it would be best to hold on till early 2017. It was like they’d been warming up for this for years, and now that Jimi and I were finally back together, they were already charging down the race track and headed towards the finish line.
“How about we ditch the parents and just go to Vegas?” Jimi had asked, as we lay in bed that night.
I giggled at first, thinking he was joking. But I soon realized he wasn’t. So the next day, rather than fly out of San Francisco to NYC, we headed to Vegas instead. I didn’t think it was possible to be so happy. I know a woman is supposed to be the one who completes a man, but I’m the one who felt complete. We were the missing pieces of each other’s jigsaw, and it showed in everything we did. We were rediscovering each other all over again, and it felt so much better than whatever we’d had before. In fact, what we had before paled in comparison to the beautiful thing we now had. Not only were we more secure with each other, we were able to enjoy and appreciate each other more.
On our third night in Vegas, we returned from dinner to find rose petals sprinkled all over our room, the floor and bed, with dozens of tea light candles lit all around. I was about to make a joke about us barging into a honeymooning couple’s room, when I saw Jimi on one knee beside me.
“I know I didn’t do this last time. And I know that our families are already running around, acting like I already did. But I want to do it right this time.” and then he opened a box with the most beautiful diamond ring I’d ever seen, one that made my old ring look like costume jewelry. “Folabomi…my life…my love. I promise to love you forever…every single day of forever! Will you give me the gift of forever with you?”
Tearfully, hysterically, I accepted, and I knew that God had indeed restored to me everything I had lost. All the pain, heartbreak, loneliness and sorrow of the last 12 years…scratch that, 16 years…had been replaced with unmistakable and undeniable joy.
And we made the most scandalous decision ever! We decided to get married right there and then, in Vegas.
The next day, I found a dress to rent and we chose a small nearby chapel, not one of the sleazy ones that have ceremonies performed by Elvis impersonators, but one that actually had some semblance of a Church. So on Tuesday, August 31st, 2016, I became Mrs. Fajobi all over again!
As we exchanged our vows, even with no real witnesses, the words meant more than they had 16 years before. This time, we looked into each other’s eyes and meant them. This time, we both knew they were real.
Mama Jay almost had a heart attack when we arrived New York and told her we’d already married. But her shock and disappointment was only short-lived, as she realized that whilst she might have lost out on the wedding of her dreams…she had gained the daughter she’d always loved.
Returning to Nigeria as husband and wife was mind-blowing, especially for the people who knew us. Only a few weeks before, we hadn’t even been involved, lest of all married. Now, there we were, Mr. & Mrs! I was initially worried how I would feel about losing my independence and slipping back into the role of being someone’s wife, but the transition was as perfect and seamless as it could have ever been. It took me all of a week to pack up and move out of my apartment into Jimi’s nice town house, which, to be honest, wasn’t too much of a tall order, considering.
The only negative was being absorbed into Jimi’s fitfam ways, which included early morning runs, frequent gym visits, and healthy eating. It was a painful adjustment at first, but I soon got a hang of it, and by the time December came along, I had lost 15kg, and was looking more like my old self.
By Christmas, with Rire home for the holidays, we’d succumbed to family pressure and agreed to a belated wedding reception, which ended up being a total carnival! What I’d thought would be a small affair in the Fajobi compound (how I could have been so naïve to think that?!) had ended up a 1,000-person party at Landmark Centre. Seeing how over-the-moon the parents were, his and mine, and even Rire funnily enough, Jimi and I had no choice but to indulge them this last time.
The next day, as we opened our very many wedding gifts (another advantage of having a big party), I was surprised to find an envelope from the Honorable Princewill and his dear wife, Dolly. In it was a cheque with a value that made my eyes pop.
Sending this because I know you won’t accept any gift from me. Buy yourself something nice!
And she was right. Rational or not, my mother and older sister, Adun, would almost surely have made me trash any gift that came from her, right after dousing it with Holy Water, for good effect.
“Woah!” Jimi exclaimed, when he saw the cheque. “That’s a w-h-o-l-e lot of money!”
I toyed with the idea of sending her a thank you note, or maybe even returning the cheque. But I decided against re-opening any lines of communication between us…at least not just now. I have learnt that my sister isn’t to be trusted, under no circumstance, which is unfortunate. I decided not to spend any of it on my home or marriage, but to instead lavish every single kobo of the cheque on me, myself and I! If I ever run into her in the future, then I can tell her thank you.
From what I’ve seen in the papers, she is still with Princewill and he hasn’t thrown her out just yet. She isn’t pregnant either, so I hope her fears won’t become a reality after all. It must be awful for her to live with that dark cloud over her head though, wondering how much longer she has before being shown the door. I hope something happens for her!
Speaking of being preggers…
On February 14th, 2017, Jimi and I found out we’re having a baby. As with Rire, I had no symptoms…none whatsoever. It was while planning what sexy lingerie I’d slay my husband with that night, that I suddenly realized I hadn’t had a period in a minute. By the time Jimi got home that evening, I had taken 7 home pregnancy tests, all with the same result. Positive!
I’d honestly not thought it would happen for us, especially not after Dolly had filled my head with fears over her age and fertility. And at 39, I’m not exactly what you’ll call a young momma. But here I am, 10 weeks away from welcoming our baby girl, and I couldn’t be more blessed!
I got my happy ending.
You can catch up on Fola’s story here:
- Sister, Sister 1: Calling Me Mrs.
- Sister, Sister 2: The Odd Family
- Sister, Sister 3: Floating On Air
- Sister, Sister 4: The Many Wives of Jimi
- Sister, Sister 5: Russian Roulette
- Sister, Sister 6: So Much In Common
- Sister, Sister 7: An Unlikely Pair
- Sister, Sister 8: Longing For Her
- Sister, Sister 9: The Return
- Sister, Sister 10: The Catastrophe
- Sister, Sister 11: Not Working
- Sister, Sister 12: Sham of a Marriage
- Sister, Sister 13: Invisible Strings
- Sister, Sister 14: Rehab
- Sister, Sister 15: Fall From Grace
- Sister, Sister 16: Reset Button
- Sister, Sister 17: Available…Unavailable
- Sister, Sister 18: Paradigm Shift
- Sister, Sister 19: Living a Lie
- Sister, Sister 20: Not That Kind of Girl
- Sister, Sister 21: Name Dropping
- Sister, Sister 22: The Banker
- Sister, Sister 23: One Chip
- Sister, Sister 24: A Mess
- Sister, Sister 25: The Matchmaker
- Sister, Sister 26: Promise of Fidelity
- Sister, Sister 27: Hole In My Heart
- Sister, Sister 28: Charmed
- Sister, Sister 29: Last Minute Snack
- Sister, Sister 30: Disrespectful
- Sister, Sister 31: Force of Gravity
- Sister, Sister 32: Settle For Less
- Sister, Sister 33: Sweet Talk
- Sister, Sister 34: Breathless
- Sister, Sister 35: Consolation Prize
- Sister, Sister 36: Intoxicated
- Sister, Sister 37: Back To Business
- Sister, Sister 38: There’s a Fire
- Sister, Sister 39: Being Enough
- Sister, Sister 40: Closure
- Sister, Sister 41: Friend Zoned
- Sister, Sister 42: Stuck On You
- Sister, Sister 43: You Chose Her