Ever since his father bequeathed the seat of the CEO to Kunle, he quit being the loving man she had known and married. All he seemed interested in was hanging out with the league of big boys or throwing luxury parties in the house. For the past six months, he had been fixated on taking potential investors on a personal tour on all the company’s branches across the country. She couldn’t even remember the last time he touched her or really saw her. They had become strangers. The only time he seemed to remember she existed was when he need her for a public appearance. She had been reduced to an arm candy. Or trophy wife. Whichever one suited. It’s true that money and power brings out the real character of a man.
Banke crossed one long leg across another as she tried to ignore the loud discussions from the men at the other side of the garden. Kunle was hosting another one of his parties and he had some big names in attendance. He had instructed her to babysit the wives while the men talked. She was fuming with anger as she watched the women give one not-so-genuine compliment after the other. She knew they all thought she was too young to be in their league. The league of women married to billionaires. She didn’t care. She just wanted this party to be over with. She rolled her eyes as she saw Kunle’s PA approach her.
“What is it again?” She asked, irritated. Emmanuel bent towards her and whispered something in her ears. With each word, her grip on the wine glass tightened and eventually shattered.
“Tell Kunle I will do no such thing.” Ignoring the bleeding cuts in her hand, the gasps and questions of are-you-alright from the women, she rose from her chair, gathered her flowing Champagne dress and headed into the mansion. She wasn’t going to let these bunch of gossips see her tears as they rolled down her face.
Staring at her mascara-smeared face in the mirror, she remembered the words that had been whispered to her. “The boss said you should come over for a minute so he can show off your beauty to the men.”
She sniffed and wiped off the tears from her cheek. Kunle had ignored her, abandoned her, relegated her to nothing but a party host and now he was going to disrespect her by showing her off to a crowd of men. Has she been reduced to the same level with his cars and jewelry he loved to show off? Who exactly does he think he his?
She knew how enraged he would be by the time the report got back to him that she declined. Kunle was a man with a pride bigger than the nine planets combined and he hated being turned down. But that was the height of it. She would no longer tolerate him because that’s what she had been doing. Tolerating. Whatever decision he made, she was ready. She had a secret account he didn’t know about, a house she had secretly built stashed with a few vehicles. She had had enough and was ready to walk. This was no longer a marriage. It was slavery and she would emancipate herself come what may.
She, Oluwabanke will not be any man’s plaything.
This story was inspired by Queen Vashti in the book of Esther. I was studying the first chapter and said to myself, what if Vashti wasn’t really a bad person? What if King Xerxes had not been good to her and she was just fed up with the whole thing? I really wish we heard her side of the story. I don’t want to completely accept she was proud. I hope to make this a thing though. Writing stories about the seemingly bad girls of the Bible in what could seem like their own side of the story.
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