The Award: A Story From Tadese Adejumoke Sharon
“……and the award goes to Atinuke Williams”
Amidst the applause I stood up with so much pride as I made my way to the stage. Three months ago, I was nominated as the entrepreneur of the year but I never for once saw myself winning the award. Looking at the crowd before me, I could feel so much joy and fulfilment. Seven years ago amidst so much fear, I took the decision to set up my business. I resigned as a teacher and went into interior decoration. I had interest in interior decoration while growing up so I study around it for a while before I gave up. At the beginning, I wasn’t getting much and it crossed my mind a thousand times to give up and do something else.That unpromisingbusiness of yesterday has brought me so much fortune today. Now I have 4 branches in different country and I get contract from the wealthiest people. Aside from that, I have branches of supermarket, boutique and eateries across the country. Three years ago, I started a foundation to help the less privileged in the society. I have sponsored the education of so many children and I must say I feel fulfilled. So much has happened in the past seven years but I am forever happy for that single decision.
“I am really speechless but I want to appreciate God for making this possible. Thanks to everyone who stood by me day and night. To my amazing team, thank you for working so hard and putting up with all the stress that comes with our work. To my family and friends, you guys are the best. I dedicate this award to the love of my life. Although you couldn’t make it here today, I know you are watching this wherever you are…thank you so much for being the best husband, for believing in my dream, for your encouragement and support. You must be so proud of your wiffey. Thank you so much guys.
As I walked out of the event hall, I handed the award plaque to my personal assistant “take this to the office”. So what is next on my schedule?” she flipped the pages of the book she was holding “Ma your meeting with the representatives of Tee Group of company was canceled” I stopped walking and turned “Cancelled!! I thought you confirmed it this morning so why did it get cancelled?”“I received a call that they have an emergency so they wouldn’t be able to make it for the meeting” “nonsense, this is the third time they are cancelling the meeting. Do I have nothing better to do with my time? When nextthey call to fix an appointment, let me know. Is that clear?”. “Yes ma”. “So what is next for today?” “that would be all for today. I made sure to free your schedule today so you could have time to celebrate with your family
“And how were you so sure I would win?
“I trust what we do and I know nobody deserves the award other than you”
I smiled “Call the office, let everyone take today off and see if it is possible to have a party tonight”
The journey home was the longest I have ever made. As the driver drove into the compound, I made a silent prayer and I wish the heavens will grant this request of mine. Walking into the sitting room, I had just one thing on my mind. I did not….
“Entrepreneur of the year” what followed was a laughter that can pull down the strongest esteem. It was more of mockery than congratulation
It was the voiceI dreaded the most. That voice has constantly being a torment. Remember I made a request few seconds ago, my request must have been declined. My darling husband….my worst enemy. It wasn’t like this at the beginning, it started the very day I told him I was going to resign as a teacher and start up my own business. He didn’t really buy the idea but I thought he was just scared of the stress that comes with starting up a business. Initially, I did not pay much attention to it but it got out of hand the day I resigned as a teacher. That very day cannot be forgotten. I got in an argument with himand I ended up shattered and battered. That didn’t stop me because I was determined to succeed but my determination only got me on his bad side. Seven years have passed and I can only say it got worse. The more the achievement, the angrier my husband became. I have tried so many times to walk away, but my children are the only reason I am enduring it. My parents got divorced when I was ten, my mother took custody of my brother and I while my father went with my younger sister. I know what it feels to be raised by a single mother and I don’t want my children to experience it.
“I didn’t know you will be home by this time, how was work today?”
“Great…couldn’t have been better and of course my darling wife was awarded the entrepreneur of the year…perfect!”
I smiled as I walked towards him. For the first time, I felt my husband was happy with my achievement. The heavens must have spoken to him while I was away. He stood and looked into my eyes, he pulled me into a warm embrace and held me tight for few seconds. I have never been this happy in a while, my husband is coming back to me and that was the best award.
“Encouragement….support…you really had to say”
I pulled away from his hug “eeem….i just…actually…the thing is….you know you encourage me to want to do more so I thought….” I didn’t see it coming. The gravity of the slap must have lifted me up because I couldn’t feel my legs on the floor. I closed my eyes for a while to allow the pain sink in. I slowly opened them, truly my legs weren’t on the ground because the slap threw me far away. I couldn’t see clearly for a moment, the tears ran down my cheeks. I was used to all this, I must be a fool to believe that he changed overnight
“You must be so proud of your wiffey….of course I am. My wife is a billionaire and I am just a bloody salary earner.
I tried getting back on my feet….I am strong, I have endured it for years so I am not giving up. He must have seen me struggling to get up. He stretched his hand which I reluctantly took and he helped me to my feet
“Is that why you changed, because I want to do something I love, because I wasn’t satisfied with where I was, because I wanted something more”.
“Change? Did you say change…I didn’t change, you did. You changed the moment you decided to start your business
“I just wanted to do something new…I have always had passion for interior decoration and you know it”
“I love my Atinuke as a teacher not as a billionaire. I just feel so angry when I see you going places. Don’t you get…you are better off as a teacher
“Is that why you changed and you even had the guts to bring your concubine and that bastard of a child into my home” I knew the consequence of what I just said. Three months ago when I was nominated as the entrepreneur of the year, I was so excited to bring the news to my husband. I knew my husband wasn’t going to be happy but I still wantedto share the news with him. I got home to meet a woman and a four year old child in the sitting room. I thought she was a friend to my husband so I even entertained her and played with her child. I went to my room to relax only to find the supposed visitor on bed with my husband. I was sure I left her in the sitting room, but there she was on my matrimony bed with my husband. He had moved some of my things to the guest room. I confronted him and he told me to my face that she is his girlfriend. Ever since then, the lady and her child has been staying in my house. I never confronted him after that because I am aware of what he can do and I am scared for my life
That was all my husband wanted to hear, he pounced on me and gave me the beating of my life. I can feel the effect of the punches, it feels like I am going to give up very soon. My whole body ache, I couldn’t even fight back. I heard him raining abuses on me but it didn’t matter. My body was on fire and I silently prayed that somebody will save me from this devil. I felt a bottle break on my head, I knew I was bleeding…this must be the end I thought to myself
“Dad!!” that was the voice of my son. He must have heard my voice from his bedroom. His younger sister followed him and hid at his back. I hate when my children see me like this but I can’t help it. They always advise me to leave their dad but that was far from happening. He ran and pulled his dad away and helped me to my feet. My daughter wiped my tears although she was also crying, she picked up my bag and shoes. My expensive dress was torn, I am sure my face isn’t the same. I stood up and broke down into tears, my life is a mess. Hours ago, the world was celebrating me as the entrepreneur of the year. I was taking pictures, smiling and telling the world about my darling husband. Little did they know that I wasn’t as happy as they thought, I was just so perfect in hiding my pain. There she is…the devil was smiling and playing with her child. My children held my hand and led me to the room.
I stopped and turned to my husband “what can I do to make things better?”
He sipped wine from the glass he was holding “shut down your business and take up a job as a teacher”
❌SAY NO TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Source :Jumoke Tadese