LAST NIGHT ON THE ULTIMATE STATE OF MIND – IT’S WHAT YOU CARRY We look at them and what they’ve done to us and we can hardly reconcile the person we thought we knew with the harm they’ve done to us . Been betrayed by a trusted close friend, a sibling, a spouse or even a parent can be emotionally and psychologically traumatic. It can be crazy. What can make it really worse is when these offenders are not remorseful and don’t appear to care about how we feel. Its heart piercing, it could move you to doing certain things you may eventually regret. Taiwo and Kehinde are twins. Though not identical the two of them grew up together and practically did everything together. They attended the same primary school, same secondary school and same higher institution. They were very close and shared almost everything together. Beyond brothers, they were best friends and everyone knew that. It was a strong and enduring relationship originating right from birth. The two were inseparable; this was how they were until they got married. Taiwo married Simi, a very pleasant, kind, considerate and understanding woman. Simi comes from a wealthy background, her parents were very comfortable and she had the best of education, exposure and upbringing, Simi is sophisticated, classy and crème. Simi has been of immense support to her husband a mechanical engineer; she supported in strengthening his fledging engineering outfit by recommending him to mega clients and secured big projects through the influence of her father; a top gun in the state civil service. Taiwo secured one contract after another and subsequently became rich. Kehinde on the other hand married Aduke; Aduke unlike Simi comes from a poor background. Her parents were semi illiterates who were mostly into trading food stuff across Midwestern states of the country. She schooled in a local community school and was not exposed to any form of city life till she went for her NYSC. Aduke’s greatest challenge in her marriage to Kehinde was Simi, her brother-in- law, Taiwo’s wife; whom she perceives as a rival and competition. In her opinion, Simi is proud and snooty, she believes Simi is condescending and likes to boast because her parents are rich. She didn’t like Simi one bit and she expressed her dislike in words and attitude. Simi could never do anything right with Aduke, the frequency of quarrels, misunderstandings, conflicts and insults became outrageous and consequently the two brothers were pulled apart by the crisis. Taiwo was quite matured about it, but his brother Kehinde; probably due to pressure from his troublesome wife struggled to be mature about these things. Kehinde stopped relating with his brother Taiwo. After three years, things had really changed for the two brothers and their families. Taiwo was doing quite well and had just won a contract as the engineer to execute the mechanical and structural aspect of a very big estate. It was a huge project and with it, Taiwo would become a multi-millionaire. With the contract alone, his business would be ranked amongst the top three in the industry. It was a huge one, he was very happy; the mega breakthrough had come at last. With Kehinde, things were really bad, he secured no contracts, no projects and his firm was dying slowly. He couldn’t pay his bills any longer; things had become really tough even feeding was becoming a problem. His wife Aduke wasn’t helping matters at all, she wouldn’t stop nagging and complaining and comparing her husband with his Twin brother whose life she’s made it her duty to track every step of the way. One day, Kehinde couldn’t stand the pressure any longer so he went to his brother Taiwo for help. Taiwo spoke on behalf of his brother to the contractors and architects managing the estate project and at last, Kehinde was asked to handle the electrical aspect of the project which was also a huge part of the deal. It was celebration galore for the two brothers, they were so happy; break through at last for both of them. They were happy and grateful. When Taiwo got home and told Simi his wife what he did to help his brother, Simi wasn’t particularly excited; she was uncomfortable with it, she only said she wished he had mentioned it to her before involving his brother but it was okay. A week after this, Taiwo got a call from the owners of the project that the contract has been cancelled and he wasn’t doing the job anymore. He was shocked and distressed. He made several frantic phone calls and went to meet with the contractors, project owners and architects; they all told him the same story. The contract with his firm had been cancelled. Taiwo then called his brother Kehinde to find out if his own aspect had been cancelled too but Kehinde wouldn’t pick up the phone, he called several times but he wouldn’t pick up. Taiwo then went to Kehinde’s house just to find out what the situation was, Aduke, Kehinde’s wife told Taiwo her husband had travelled out of town and wouldn’t be back for a while. Taiwo was confused; he kept wondering but he went back home, so sad and depressed. Three weeks later, it was around one am, a very loud knock and the continuous ringing of the doorbell jolted Taiwo and Simi out of sleep suddenly. Who could that be they wondered; a bit worried but more scared. They went downstairs, inquired who it was and it was Aduke; Kehinde’s wife. They opened up the door and she practically fell down to the floor as the door opened. She was cladded in her nightie alone; it was all stained in blood, her blood, she was bleeding from her nose and her mouth, her left eye was so swollen she couldn’t see with it any longer, she had bruises on her arms, she also bled from her head where obviously a few strands of her braided hair had been forcefully pulled out. She looked terrible, she was wailing. Taiwo rushed to her picked her up and placed her on a comfortable sofa and Simi went out to pay the cab driver that brought her. About 30 minutes later; the whole truth was out, Kehinde was the one responsible for battering her that bad. When he came home weeks earlier to inform her of the contract Taiwo secured for him, greed set in for both of them and she; Aduke advised him to see how he could manipulate the contractor and take over the ones Taiwo was to handle too. So Kehinde went to meet with the contractors behind and discredited his brother so that he would be given the entire job to execute. They told him they would get back to him and he’s been following up and just that afternoon they informed him even the electrical aspect he was to handle has been taken away from him and he has nothing . It was cancelled on the basis of lack of trust and credibility. Aduke confessed Kehinde was very upset and blamed her for pressuring him into doing such to his brother. An argument ensued and for the first time since they got married, Kehinde battered her and asked her to leave his house. For him the marriage is over. Aduke apologized to Taiwo and Simi and pleaded with them to please come plead with her husband to forgive her. Taiwo understood why she came to them, she couldn’t go to any other family member, she’s so nasty she’s offended everyone even the elders and their parents, no one would listen or plead for her. Taiwo was very pained and angry at his twin brother and the wife. His first inclination was to drive her out of his home and shut the door, as he was contemplating this his wife Simi, stood up walked up to him and placed her hand on his shoulder, ‘darling I know how you feel, but go and speak to your brother; go plead for her, it’s the mature thing to do; he’s still your brother; he’s still family. What makes you successful and great is what you have on the inside my dear husband; they can only try, they can’t stop you, show maturity, go sort out their problems, they’re the ones with the problem not you. Taiwo squeezed his wife’s hand on his shoulder; it was tough for him but he got up, went for his car keys and took Aduke back home to Kehinde. Think it, do it, achieve it and be the ultimate man, it’s all in your mind!