When Kike's husband died three years ago, it was all she could do to jump for joy. They were childhood sweethearts more than fifty years ago. They eventually got married, had a couple of kids but somewhere down the line, Supo, Kike's husband booted her out of their matrimonial home after 15 years of marriage! Scarcely a story to surprise anyone tracking the matrimonial scene, but Kike nearly died of resentment.
According to Kike, "Then I pulled myself together after my poor mother, God rest her soul, had a heart-to-heart with me. Whatever I did, she warned, I shouldn't sue for divorce. My replacement had already moved into my matrimonial home and was breeding like rabbit. Mum reminded me that not only was the house I left behind in my name - it was in my maiden name! Supo got the piece of land when he was in government but had no ready cash to pay for it. So he approached dad for a loan. My dad, who'd worked in civil service all his life advised we should purchase the land in my maiden name. Change of ownership could wait after Supo left the civil service.
"He left the civil service alright, but not after we'd both built a very impressive house on the plot of land. He went into business, got so successful he dabbled into extra marital affairs. He eventually met this worldly wise 'socialite' who not only refused to have an abortion but was bent on taking over my duties. We had several heated arguments on his philandering but when things started getting physical, I took the kids and left.
"My replacement moved in almost immediately. A few years later, she was replaced by another opportunist and the plot so thickened that by the time he had his first stroke at 63, I's lost count of his other children. He had a bad stroke after the first that our two children pleaded I should visit him at the hospital. I did and was surprised at what I saw. He looked grotesque, not thanks to the multiple strokes he had. He was hardly coherent in his speech. 'Look at where you've ended up', I gloated. 'Why aren't your woman here looking after you?' He said nothing. What could he say? My kids were picking up his hospital bills with more than a little help from me.
"He died shortly after and I was happy I listened to my Mum all those years ago. He was scarcely in his grave when I instructed my lawyer to start the process of evicting the 'tenants' in the house. The clever rogue died intestate, so there was no Will to be read. Even if there were, he had no legal right to dispose of a house which title was in my maiden name! After my lawyer had a meeting with them, it was decided I should give them about a year to relocate. And were they bitter! I was called all the nasty names under the sun and by the time the house was empty, it was vandalised beyond belief. But I got the house back, renovated it and put decent tenants there. Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold ... "
Years after Grace left her husband of just nine years, she learnt he'd re-remarried. "You know the word marriage means different things to different people. I was still legally married to Joe and didn't see any reason to spend my hard earned money on a divorce. We had only one child together and the separation gave me enough time to concentrate on my furniture business. It became quite successful and fleetingly, I prayed Joe wouldn't be as possessive with his new partner as he was with me, cloying her with excessive affection.
"Sadly, he died of prostate cancer. He'd been 'married for over ten years. Apart from seeing both of them a couple of times at social gatherings, I had nothing to do with them. Joe had said unforgivable things about me and his 'wife' was of course on his side. But pay condolence visit I must since my daughter was around to welcome mourners. Eventually, I called at the house I'd lived in all these years. Joe's wife looked past me as soon as I came in. When I approached her to offer my condolences, she grunted as if I were a total stranger. I left immediately.
"When the funeral arrangements were announced, a few of Joe's family members came to my factory with my daughter. The long and short of the story was that the Catholic Church where his remains were to be taken were adamant they would only recognise the legal wife as the authentic one - the number of years of separation notwithstanding. The Catholic Church does not recognise divorce. I went overboard organising everything, down to the sitting arrangement at the church. As Joe's 'wife' sneaked into one of the pews behind me with her 'entourage' , I completely ignored her. As soon as all the funeral rites were done and dusted, I went straight home, leaving my daughter to join in the social leg of the ceremonies.
It's this same marriage certificate that gave Rita the last laugh. Married to her childhood sweetheart for close to three decades , she couldn't believe it when the poor down-trodden man, a top military officer, parked out of the sprawling mansion they lived in and relocated to a new premises with a new partner who gave him the peace of mind he'd prayed for most of his married life. But Rita wouldn't let sleeping dog lie - she harassed the poor man wherever she could, up to calling at his new residence and shouting insults, so the neighbours could know what a pathetic 'woman wrapper' he was.
"When the poor man became very ill, his not so new 'wife' took him abroad where he eventually died. His poor partner was arranging to bring him home when Rita went to her lawyer's chambers for advise on how she could become a relevant part of the funeral. It was one of the female lawyers at the chambers that advised her that since the man's corpse was still abroad, her best bet was to go to the hospital to collect it since she had their wedding certificate. Rita was overjoyed and did as she was advised. The hospital authorities didn't want to listen to her as they were aware of only one 'wife'. But when Rita produced her marriage certificate, they had no choice but to release her husband's corpse to her. What she did with it made quite salacious readings on the newspapers!