A Game for the Playboy by Becky Peleowo

“Your services are no longer needed!” Chima’s words rang in my ears like the bells of Notre Dame.

“My services?” I replied laughing like a drunken fool. “That was meant to be my line, Chima. I am the one who was hurt. I am the Victim, Chima, the Victim! Yet, I am the conqueror! I won this game and the victory is mine.” I replied and smiled like an evil genius.

“Which game?” He replied, raising his nose in scorn. “I can’t be with you, Chioma. I’m done with you just like the others. I know this is hard for you but you have to move on.”

“Which others? So you admit there were others. I’m never like the others! We are married! You were my first man. We wedded in the church, backed up by civil law. You can’t discard me like a filthy rag. I’m your ‘legally wedded wife!'” I must have looked really pathetic as I could see the mirror of my weak self in Chima’s smile.

“Legally wedded wife?” He laughed as if he had the euphoric feeling of inhaling the nitrous oxide. ” You’re right about one thing anyway! You’re the only one who got lucky in being my wife but you’re no different from the others. I can’t fall in love with any woman. I did once fall for a woman but she broke my heart. You all always seem like angels from the start but you all end up the same.”

Almost going on tiptoes to match his height, I looked Chima in the eye and said boldly, “That makes the two of us. I can’t make the same mistake of trusting a man with my whole heart twice.”

Anyone entering would think we were about to be entangled in a kiss.

“I thought I was the first man you ever dated.” He raised a brow in mockery. “I opened up your gateway, Chioma. Though not vividly remembered because I was drunk. I recall how you begged me to take things easy on you because I was your first. You cried that I wasn’t gentle with you and I laughed and slept off. And you became rigid afterwards. You refused to let me have you again giving silly reasons. Now you complain I cheated on you. Why wouldn’t I? I’m done, babe!”

“But you were not my first man. That’s my first move against you on the chessboard!” I relinquished the feeling of his shock.

“You were not a virgin?” He asked, his whole being hoping I would answer in the affirmative that I was.

It was like I was holding a chess piece in my hands about to conquer his queen.

“Checkmate! You can guess if that’s a ‘No’, especially in this age of tightening the vagina and all.”

“I really don’t care!” Chima feigned disinterest. I didn’t satisfy his curiosity either even when I knew he was dying to know the truth.

“See, Chioma, I don’t love you! I was never in love with you. My mum will soon be here to explain things to you. She wasn’t aware of the whole charade of marriage but I have intimated her last week and she also agrees that we should not be in a marriage that’s not based on love.”

“Put a stop to the act and tell me why you are interested in breaking this union! I thought you were in love with me. You begged me to marry you. I told you I had bigger dreams and I wanted to return to France and have my Masters. You promised to be my support and uphold my dreams. What happened between us? What was my crime?”

I appeared to be overwhelmed with the feeling that I once thought I was in love with Chima. The wooden spatula I was holding before Chima came to approach me in the kitchen, seemed to be bleeding from the tight grasp I had on it.

“Well…” the sound of the door bell cut Chima’s speech in half as his mother and two sisters strutted in like crooked models on an archaic runway.

“Chioma…you don’t have to be violent about this…”

“Excuse me? Who’s violent?” I looked at the spatula ease a sigh of relief.

“Don’t raise your voice at me, woman!” Mrs. Adeoye was in a great mood for a fight.

“Mummy…you..Chima just told me he’s ending the marriage!” I remembered the act expected of a good African wife to seem respectful.


Mrs. Adeoye’s bulging eyeballs were not merciful to me either.

“How many times have you visited me in my house? You even stopped my son from coming to visit me often. Even when you come to visit, do you come with groceries or clean up the house for me? Did you ever wash my clothes when you come to visit or do the dishes? The other day you saw your sister-in-law at the salon, did you pay for her hair? You starve my son of sex just because you’re a few months pregnant. Chioma, you have not been a good wife, I must say! A good Yoruba girl would have understood what this meant to her mother-in-law.”

“So what next?”I decided to do away with the act of a pitiable wife and play out my last card to this bigoted self-centered bunch.

“What happens to my baby now?” I touched a belly that refused to grow in size despite the fact that a new life was expected to be growing within.

“That baby is ours. Once you are delivered of the baby, we’ll take it from you so you can live your life freely. You know how much my son adores children.”

“Bunch of guinea worms!” I muttered under my breath and smiled before saying, “Mrs Adeoye, I have divorced your son even before marrying him.”

Watching their mouths agape like a dead fish caught by a hook, I unfolded a well-written script they thought was a marriage.

“Chima, did you forget that we had a private wedding two months ago because I said I was pregnant and that I didn’t want to get married in a grand way? I told you I was feeling guilty about losing my virginity to you. Well, the marriage was staged. The marriage class you attended was just a scene in my script. I informed you that the introduction, traditional marriage and wedding would be done in the East and you were too eager to oblige because of your plan to divorce me after the nuptial ceremony. Everything was staged. I can’t believe you were so gullible.”

I watched Chima’s chest rise and fall in utter indignation and saw his mother hold him in place not to react just yet. That was a sign they were willing to hear it all. I held on to a knife and walked past them as they parted ways like the red sea to watch me sit on the recliner and rest my back.

“Baby, have you forgotten you did the same thing to Kemi, my childhood friend.” I started with a pretentious sweetness.

“Do you know Kemi? He asked, his voice sounding soft for the first time.

“She knows all your passwords and dirty secrets. All your plans are secure with me thanks to the voice recording I enabled on your phone. Don’t bother to check your phone, I did a clean job.” I laughed hysterically.

“My daughter listen…” I heard Mrs Adeoye start to say.

“Hey! Madam! It’s not your turn to talk yet. I’m not finished.”

“I’m calling the police!” Chima said, picking up his phone.

“Please do.” I said frankly.

I would love to see your face when they begin to examine all your past records with innocent and unsuspecting women whom you swindled, tainted and left heartbroken. Shall I start with Laila whom you even followed to the mosque just to prove your love for her? Only for you to get a contract with her dad’s company, get your pay, and walk out on her when she thought she had found her better half.”

Chima fumed!

I cared less.

“Or Ayanti, the Efik girl you made your personalised prostitute and made her commit all sorts of atrocities against womanhood with a promise of marriage and love accompanied with constant blows and slaps? The poor girl is still struggling with life in the hospital after her fiancé got the hospital result that her womb had been damaged. In depression, she swallowed some portions of a brand of toilet cleaner.”

Chima started to realise he was a criminal but the least thing he wanted was to look weak in front of me.

“And Kemi, you impregnated her but since you had other plans, you secretly drugged her drink so she could miscarry the pregnancy not once but three times! Yet, you accuse her of being unable to bear you a child and break off the engagement. The evidence of all your actions has been copied from your laptop. Kemi is being treated at the psychiatric hospital but she’ll be fine.”

When Chima and his loved ones thought it was finished, I threw the last bomb.

“You didn’t sleep with me. You slept with a paid prostitute so I can’t ever be pregnant for you.

Four hefty men walked in at that moment and while two men went in to carry my bags as arranged, two waited for me to finish my last statement.

“The money in your account has been successfully transferred to a safe place. You already know how. And now that I’m done with you and your kin…” I smiled with contentment and said “your services are no longer needed.”


About the Writer

Becky Peleowo is a passionate Francophile and creative writer with a flair for dressmaking and unrequited love for music. She tweets @Beccangels2000

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