• Muyiwa Afolabi
  • Tue, 12 July, 2016 01:42:58 PM


Dr. Mrs. Thomas looked intently at Andrew sitting on the sofa to the right of her desk in her office that hot Friday evening. She was a bit agitated about this young man and how it's been so difficult to get him to brace up and deal with his issues. But as a professional, her body language or countenance didn't betray her true emotions. She still had that sweet, encouraging smile on her face, “this young man must get a grip and just do the needful’ she thought to herself.

The office was quiet and she could hear him sniffle and snuffle and he intermittently grimaced  out of emotional pain and frustration, he would throw both hands up and sigh heavily; collapse on the comfortable sofa and almost immediately sit up straight again. He was obviously in torment; emotional and psychological distress, he was confused and very exasperated.

 What's biting Andrew this time, Dr. Thomas wondered, but still had her smile in place; using her composure and facial expression to calm him down and make him feel at ease. What a handsome, young man she thought to herself, just 33, tall, fair and very attractive, his curly black hair, brown eyes, pointed nose and very pink and thin lips easily betrayed his mixed racial feature; his mum is Mexican. Andrew's been married for four years, blessed with two lovely daughters; smart, hardworking, very exposed and intelligent; lived in New York the better part of his life, returned to Nigeria just after he married his wife Rebecca, secured employment with a leading manufacturing company as head of Procurement.

His wife Rebecca never knew her Nigerian father and was raised solely by her Jamaican mother with her two step siblings who also had a non-resident father, the three girls were raised by their mother who also wasn't really there as she was given to a life of pleasure; partying and clubbing. They all lived in New York, Andrew met Rebecca through a friend and they immediately became fond of each other and in six months, they got married and relocated to Lagos, Nigeria.

‘I hit her again, doctor’, Andrew muttered under his breath; ‘what did you say ‘Dr. Thomas asked him, recovering quickly from her drift in thoughts, ‘what did you say Andrew?’ She asked again, ‘I said I hit her again last night, I hit her twice, I was frustrated, she pushed it too far, I didn't have a choice, I was angry, she was cursing and shouting, she was scaring the kids, they were afraid, she was hitting and punching I tried calming her down but she wouldn't listen, I had to hit her Doc’.

Dr. Thomas, was upset, ‘I've warned you several times you don't hit a woman no matter what, you should have walked away, you should have left the scene, never hit a woman, you're stronger, you could hurt her badly you know, in fact you could hit her on a dangerous spot and kill her, never hit a woman, never hit a woman Andrew, walk away, walk away, walk away, never hit a woman!’ Her voice was pitching, but she quickly recovered herself and calmed down.

Andrew, I've appealed to you, this trend will not help anyone or the situation on ground, you have to be strong you have to be a real man and face these challenging times with courage, I assure you, it will surely pass.

‘But why doctor, why should she just turn around and become quite terrible and beastly because I lost my job? I am not an indolent man, I'm very hard working, and since we got married, she's never had to work a single day, I pay all the bills and meet all her needs, she lives in a lovely big house and drives a brand new car.

I've given my best and its obvious to everyone I was wrongly accused and lied against in my office; it was a set up, I would never defraud the company, I'm not a thief or a cheat. I am innocent and my lawyer is working hard to ensure I get justice, all I'm asking for is a little patience from her until this problems are resolved; what I expected and need from her now is support, encouragement and understanding, not the insults, criticism and harassment – she's driving me crazy doctor.’

‘But I've told you Andrew, this has nothing to do with you, it's more of a reaction to her personal fears, insecurity and even her upbringing, she's unfortunately just taking it out on you. You told me she's been through a lot, betrayed, abused and hated by her own mother who also took out her frustrations of being abandoned by her father on her’ Andrew, Rebecca your wife has had it really rough and face it, this lady is only 23 and has been in and out of rehab twice back in New York, you need to be patient and tolerant, you need to be more understanding Andrew; Andrew your wife is scared, she's afraid, she doesn't want the good times to end, she's enjoyed you, her two daughters and her stay in Nigeria so far; she can't handle going back to a life of hardship, she can get very desperate Andrew’.

‘Doctor, please listen to me; I can relate with all what you're saying, but in the last couple of weeks, she's been accusing me of infidelity, she says I'm cheating on her and I claim I'm broke and can't pay bills, yet I'm running around town with some lady and even accused me of buying this lady a brand new car! Its crazy doctor, my wife is losing it, I have never cheated and I can never cheat on my wife, I love her so much, but she keeps attacking, accusing and wouldn't just believe me, she claims she's got proof and evidence and in due time she would deal with me!

Doctor, I'm not seeing anyone or cheating, I can't even afford it in my current situation and state of mind; I'm not that kind of a man. Doctor my house is practically on fire, I hate going back to that house, I'm fed up, I want to give up and just run away!’

Andrew you can't, it's your home, she's your wife, they're your kids, giving up my dear man is accepting defeat. You're not that kind of a man, you're the winning type, you're a strong man, not a weakling, you're going to win and overcome, you won't throw in the towel, I know you, you can handle this too, you will overcome, stay strong my friend.’

‘Andrew I think it's time you bring your wife for counselling as well, I've been asking you to but you've been reluctant, I think it's time I speak to her too. Its late Andrew, you need to leave for home now, let's see again tomorrow, please bring Rebecca along, I need to speak to both of you together.’

Dr. Mrs. Thomas, A psychologist and Marriage counselor kept thinking and worrying about Andrew as she headed for home that hot evening, she looked at her watch it was 7:55pm, it was late she thought and suddenly sat up on the back seat of her car, as her driver turned the bend from Alausa. In Ikeja and she saw the traffic on the express way leading to her Magodo, Lagos residence, she suddenly remembered it was that first Friday night when religious people went for their night program on their camp grounds along the expressway and she became depressed knowing how much longer she'll have to remain in traffic.

She was so grumpy, it was that time of the month for her and her lower abdomen and back ached seriously; she was so uncomfortable and needed a shower badly, now this traffic.

She relaxed and sank further into the bucket seat of her Brand New Kia Cerato, the car was just a week old and she loves it, her husband Lanre, got it for her as a birthday present, she celebrated her 44th birthday a week ago and as the memories of the event began to flood her mind, she began to smile; remembering what her son and daughter did for her and what her husband also organized for her, how lucky I am, she thought to herself, thank God for my great family.

She was suddenly jolted strongly out of her seat and her forehead rammed against the passenger's seat in front of her as a black, old Nissan Pathfinder rammed into her brand new car from the rear, the boot of the new car disappeared by half and the rear wind shield shattered on the account of the impact. Before she could recover from the shock of this accident, her driver, Hakeem, bolted out of the car and rushed to the old SUV that just ran into his Madam's brand new car from the rear. ‘You dey craze, you no dey see?’, he began to yell as he approached the driver of the SUV, suddenly a woman jumped down from behind the steering wheel of this SUV and began so scream and shout; she rushed Hakeem and began to hit and slap him, Hakeem slapped her hard across the face and she sprawled across the street, dazed on the account of the impact, she could hardly move a limb.

 Dr. Thomas jumped out of her car, and immediately loudly reprimanded Hakeem, ‘You never hit a woman, no matter what, Hakeem, I've warned you never hit a woman, you're stronger and can hurt her, never hit a woman!’

 Dr. Thomas was so enraged she pushed Hakeem out of the way and went for this woman trying to get back on her feet, ‘I'm so sorry madam’, Dr. Thomas apologized, ‘he had no right treating you this way’, and she stretched out her hand and helped this woman up, she saw her wedding band and realized she was married, ‘I'm sorry, I'm terribly sorry, though you were wrong to have hit my car that bad from the rear, but he still had no right to hit you, I am so sorry, I'll definitely punish him’.

This woman just kept starring at the Doctor, she didn't say a word, she was standing now with hands at akimbo, she was wearing a pair of jeans shorts and a black T shirt, ‘I'm Dr. Mrs. Thomas’, the doctor continued to speak, ‘my office is at Ikeja here, are you okay madam? I'm a psychologist and a marriage counselor, I see you're married, don't worry about my car, I'll call the insurance company first thing in the morning and you can call your insurers too, it's not a problem. Here's my card, you can call me if you like”.

This woman looked at Dr. Thomas, she was surprised and a bit confused and tears welled up in her eyes, she took the card, turned without saying a word and walked briskly to her car. She got into the car, turned the ignition and started the engine, she turned on the air conditioner; sat back and let the cool from the vent of the AC caress her face, she looked through the windshield and looked at Dr. Thomas who was now by her damaged car speaking to her husband about the incidence.

The woman picked up her bag from the passenger's seat peered inside and brought out a photograph, it was her husband's picture; she peered at the picture for a long while dropped it and reached for her mobile phone.

“Hello, hello, oh, hi Andrew, this is Rebecca” she said over the phone with a strong American accent, “Where are you? I'm on my way home dear, see you soon, I love you”.

She concluded her conversation over the phone and tightened her lips. She's been wrong all the while, Andrew wasn't having an affair, he was seeing a psychologist and a marriage counselor, he actually wanted their marriage to work, “oh silly me”, she said to herself, feeling really guilty.

As she made to put Andrew's picture and her mobile phone into her handbag, she saw the container of acid she had planned to empty on the face of this strange wicked woman trying to steal her man from her; that was why she ran into her car in the first place - to have the opportunity to bathe her with acid.

She closed her bag and looked up again at Dr. Thomas, she was leaning against her damaged car waiting for her husband, “lucky, very lucky woman”, Rebecca said out loud and she turned her SUV and drove into the dark, hot night towards her home.

Ladies and gentlemen, a mindset guided by strong principles and not strong emotions is what makes you a winner in life. Dr. Thomas, was spared from an acid bath not because she was lucky, but because her mind over ruled her emotions. Her brand new car had been damaged by a total stranger, but her strong principles and superior mindset about how to treat the female gender saved her from a very dangerous attack.

Many times, life can bring our way very unfair and ridiculous situations that can easily and instantly provoke us, make us angry, and make us react.

Uncontrolled and misdirected anger is very destructive. Wisdom is to deal with the issue, not the person; a superior mindset separates an individual from a matter. Moving forward quickly in life would be strongly influenced by your ability to develop a mindset of objectivity.

Attacking, people, suspecting people, judging and criticizing people brings weight over your soul and mind and you cannot think progressively.

Who is that person annoying, irritating and upsetting you? Tonight, release this person, deal with the issues not the person, we all have our fears, weaknesses and shortcomings, you are not perfect as well, dealing with the matter not the individual makes collaboration and collective progress possible. Apply your mind to issues not people; it's the ultimate mindset for collaboration.

Ladies and gentlemen, think it, do it, achieve it and be the ultimate, it's all in your mind!



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