Bekee was the most beautiful girl in Agusi village. She was so beautiful that everyone around used her as a reference for anything good. It was not for nothing that she was named ‘Bekee,’ an Igbo name that means ‘white person.’ Her skin shone like early morning sun and even from afar, one could see that her body was as tender as freshly plucked tomatoes. Some people called her ‘tomato Jos.’
Bekee was well-mannered too because she was properly brought up. She was very much aware of her beauty, but never did she allow that to get into her head. She had a lot of respect for elders.
She was therefore a hot cake in the marriage market. Men poured into her father’s compound like tap water seeking her hand in marriage. Every man wanted to speedily pluck the ripped apple before another person eats it. But there was just one man she loved and his name was Chima.
Chima was a businessman and he lived in Asaba. By all standards, Chima was rich. He owned fleets of cars and beautiful houses across the city.
“I love him.” Bekke said to her parents one day when Chima came to see them.
“I want to marry him.” Bekee said with a resolute tone. She was just eighteen and her parents were scared she was too young for marriage or to even understand what love means. At that time, Chima was forty-five and he was previously married only that his wife died from breast cancer three years before. He already had a daughter from his late wife, Adanna.
For all these reasons, Bekee’s parents were convinced Chima would take care of her as if she was his own child, so they allowed the marriage to go on.
That was five years ago. Chima who is now fifty has proved to be a very good husband to Bekee. He is caring, loving and totally faithful to her. Bekee has everything money can buy and she was pampered like an egg. But there was just one problem: She has not been able to conceive since she got married to Chima five years ago.
Bekee has clocked twenty-three, and this means she still has her youthful age by her side, but an unbearable pressure mounted from Chima’s mother who insisted she wanted grand-children. The woman’s pressure and abusive words were silently killing Bekee and even though she still looked beautiful and charming, she was dying from the inside.
“I’m afraid I may collapse and die one day.” Bekee said to her friend Adaku when she went to visit her one Sunday evening. Adaku was a single mother who lived next door.
“Do you know that Chima’s mother is coming to visit us from the village today and I’m afraid of that woman. In fact, she is bringing a new wife for her son. Though Chima has told me he won’t accept or touch the girl, but Adaku, I’m scared. I don’t know what to do. Is this how my marriage will end?” Bekee asked her friend with hot, painful tears in her eyes.
“Why are you always the ‘cry cry’ type?” Adaku asked Bekee with a motherly voice. Adaku was thirty-five and therefore more experienced with matters of the heart.
“I wanted to ask you, Bekee.” Adaku continued after taking a bite from the apple she was eating. The sound of her mouth punctuated what she was saying.
“I want to ask o! Apart from crying, what else have you done about your childlessness? Your mother-in-law is moving ‘pyom pyom pyom’ in search of a new wife for your husband. You, what have you done?” Said Adaku.
“I have gone to countless hospitals and doctors keep telling me everything is Ok with me.” Bekee said. She removed a white handkerchief from her handbag and wiped her tears.
“Have you tried another man?” Adaku asked. The question sounded like a bombshell to Bekee’s ears.
“What?” Bekee wanted to be sure she heard clearly.
“I mean, have you slept with another man apart from Chima. Have you gone out to try another man?” Adaku sounded very clear right now and was very serious with what Bekee thought was a bizarre suggestion.
“Tufiakwa!” Bekee shouted. “I don’t think I’m capable of such treachery.”
“Then, be ready to lose your husband and marriage then.” Adaku said and then stood up and left the room. She knew she had planted a seed in Adaku’s heart and that it would germinate in due time.
That same evening, Chima’s mother arrived from the village with a new wife for her son. The young lady is named Ngozika. By all standards, Ngozika was very charming and she was not a typical village girl. She was seductively dressed and all her curves showed.
Her presence made Bekee feel very intimidated and even threatened. She was deeply hurt.
Matters got worse for Bekee when Ngozika went straight to her matrimonial room and dropped her bag. Chima offered no resistance. In fact, he fell for Ngozika as soon as he set his eyes on her. Only a few men can resist the presence of a beautiful woman offered to them on a platter of gold..
That same night, Bekee moved her things out of the matrimonial room as she wasn’t prepared for the shame. She was the one who hadn’t borne a child after five years, so she felt ashamed and obligated to give way to another woman. She occupied another room downstairs. She was very lonely that night and she cried her eyes out.
And then, she remembered the question Adaku her friend had asked her earlier in the evening.
She decided to do something about it and then she paid The Gateman an emergency visit that night. Bekee did not want Ngozika to get pregnant before her. She wants to prove that she is indeed fertile and a proper woman.
“If The Gateman can make me pregnant, then so be it.” Bekee said as she came out of her room and quietly entered The Gateman’s room.
She was prepared to fight and the battle has begun!