Dapo’s wife, tall and mesmerizing. She was even more imposing in person, as she was dressed simply in grey shorts and a loose bright red crop top that did nothing to hide the comely shape of her perky breasts. Tola took in the sight of the woman as the woman raised an eyebrow and sized her up.
“You must be Tola”, she said
“You know who I am?”
“Of course, how can I not know the woman my husband is cheating on me with?”
Tola was not sure how to react. An awkward silence ensued. What had she done? She came here without thinking. What was she supposed to say? Had Dapo told his wife he would be divorcing her? Would the woman ask about the check she sent to her? She felt sick, dizzy. If the ground could open up and swallow her at that moment, she would gladly accept her fate.
As if sensing her predicament, the woman cleared her throat.
“You don’t have to be so troubled my dear, you won’t be the first girl he has cheated on me with.”
The wife turned away from the open door.
‘Come on in’ she said over her shoulder as she strode away from the door to what appeared to be the sitting room area. She went on to the mini bar in the corner and began to pour drinks.
“Sit wherever you like” she said when she was done. She came around the mini bar and set the tray down on the marble center table.
”I haven’t introduced myself, my name is Funke”
Recognition dawned on Tola’s face. That name had haunted her for the past few days. She was the one the men in the parking lot mistook her for. She took a sit and waited, not sure what to say. Funke sat opposite her and crossed her long shapely legs.
“So what have you come here for?” she asked. “It’s bad enough you are trying to steal my husband from me, you want to chase me from my house as well?”
Tola winced. How was she was supposed to answer that? She eyed the drink in front of her and thought of her dead best friend.
All of a sudden Funke burst into tears.
“I’ve been a good wife to him, I try to balance my work with my marriage, I do everything for him. I don’t understand why he keeps cheating on me.”
Before Tola could think of what to say, Funke pulled out a stack of photographs from a small box under the table and handed them to her. She continued to sniffle and sob.
In the first photograph, Dapo was leaning on a car, new by the looks of it, an arm around a pretty fair skinned girl. The next was a different place with a different girl.
Glittering on the wrist of each girl was the exact same diamond bangle that Dapo had told her was custom made for her. Disbelief brought tears to her eyes. Distracted Tola did not notice the crying had stopped, did not see the triumphant smile on Funke’s face.
”And that’s not all,” Funke continued, blowing her nose on the edge of her crop top, “I hired an investigator and found out that he uses the girls to smuggle stolen cars without their knowledge. He would sign the cars in the names of the girls, tell them it’s specially for them, then tell them to take the car to his dealer who would give them a different car. They would not realize that they were swapping stolen cars, doing the dirty work for him. If they got caught it could not be traced to him because it was never in his name”
Funke covered her face as if the revelation pained her greatly.
“Oh my God!” Tola grimaced. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her Dapo, a criminal, impossible! But she now knew the reality, the pictures in her hands confirmed it. She was thinking she needed at that moment, more than anything, to regain a sense of control. Thoughts came, jumped and raced through her mind. She hung her head, ashamed that she had trusted Dapo.
“Why don’t you divorce him?” she mumbled. Funke shook her head and wiped a tear with a perfectly manicured finger.
“Divorcing him would cause a scandal. I cannot have the magazines writing stories about how Funke Oni had to divorce her husband because he was cheating. I absolutely cannot have that. It would be better if the world found out that he is a criminal. I would be the victim”
For a second, Funke’s face contorted with fury, then it was gone.
“I know this might seem like a weird remark considering my involvement with Dapo..I mean, your husband, but isn’t there anything we can do?” Tola asked, leaning forward in her chair. There was no way she would endure another beating or bullying.
“There is, we can help each other” It was almost a whisper. “If we leave Dapo like this he would continue to ruin the lives of innocent ladies like you. You are only a victim, I don’t blame you.”
“I will do whatever I can, I was attacked and badly beat up because of him. I will not forgive him for trying to use me”
Funke smiled, picked a picture and held it in front of Tola’s face. She made a small tear at the top above Dapo’s head, then without warning ripped it in half. She let the two pieces fall to the floor. Tola felt like her heart had also been ripped apart.
“Don’t worry, I’m presently working with the police, we will be needing your testimony as well. I will fill you in on the details later. For now, go home and take good care of yourself”
“I will, thank you”
Tola stood and was led to the door. As she stepped outside, she had mixed feelings. It felt strange to be helping the wife of her lover.
Once again she thought of Esther, her dead best friend. How ironic, the way things had now turned out.
Anger gave her courage, he would pay dearly for what he had done.
Funke stood by the window, phone in hand and watched the girl leave. Such a simple minded idiot, she couldn’t help but laugh.
She tapped her phone, it rang once and was picked.
“The girl just left” she said.
“We’ll proceed to the next phase”. The voice on the other end was brief, formal.
Click. The line went dead.