My heart felt like exploding and I was literally boiling within as Chike said those words. The same excuse as last week – “Bidemi dear, please can we do this some other day, I feel tired today”. How can a loved one hurt you so much and in ignorance! As I stood by our family size bed, I fumed with anger searching Chike’s face for any sign of reluctance, lie or even infidelity (umh! the power of the mind)
“why are you always tired?” What has come over you? You have repeated these excuse several times! Another excuse would sound better!! I said, my lips trembled slightly as anger surged through me. I felt so annoyed and disappointed. Yes I was! After all, it was an attempt at a romantic night out!
A part of me was silently wondering and seeking to understand what had changed in our relationship, but a greater part just wanted to nag at Chike. The later prevailed! And so I flipped –
“It’s so annoying that after taking out time to plan an outing for both of us; you trash it with the “I feel tired” excuse. It did not even matter to you that I notified you earlier, unlike the other times you complained of being impromptu”. Chike opened his mouth to say something but no words came forth. He just stared at me as the words poured forth.
“How could you be this inconsiderate, I have been held up in this house, taking care of the kids. Am I asking too much? Just a little time away from the twins and a time for us. I feel my life is all about the children and house work, or is it home making you call it! Remember you stopped me from working and now it’s a struggle to continue with the activities we both enjoyed doing! Chike! ogini??”
Friday outing was special for Chike and I; we watched movies, especially the premieres. We savored new cuisines, visited joints and clubs too (though the club stopped after the kids came). It was fun and it was our ‘we’ time to unwind and away from the daily routines of work/home schedules, plan and also gossip. Yes, gossip! And Chike’s specialty was discovering new joints and I loved springing up surprises too. A particular surprise that Chike would always talk about occurred when I connived with the manager of a beautiful Chinese restaurant in the heart of Ikoyi. On that faithful day, I suggested that we take a drive around town (of course I told him the routes to take for the drive), so as we were driving by the restaurant, I asked him to stop and he did. I told him it’s been a while we ate Chinese food. So we went in; once inside, we were directed to a reserved table for two with fresh flowers and candles in a secluded area. The food was delicious and service unforgettable. After the meal, the manager said in his Chinese intoned voice “your bill is on the house” (I had paid upfront O!). Oh the surprise and smile on Chike’s face! The memory is unforgettable.
Chike! I called, my voice, now a note higher. What has caused this change? I asked, with thoughts of regrets at cutting ties with my girlfriends. When he did not respond, I continued with my sermon. I wish the kids were old enough to communicate intelligently with or even accompany me out unattended, I would also ignore you! My flood gate broke lose, the tears rushed freely. It must have been Chike’s silence or the quiet look in his eyes that brought the tears. My husband of eight(8) years was still staring at me. The guy who always had the right words for every situation was dumbfounded and looked helpless. He was speechless and even baffled as he could not remember giving the same excuse as claimed.
On seeing the tears rolled down my cheek, he moved away from the ward robe where he had paused from undressing to watch my outburst. He pulled out the chair by the dresser and sat with a heave. I knew how much he hurt whenever I shed tears (cried). Yet my anger fueled the words and eventually the tears. You may call me insensitive, I do not care. I got married to a man and wish to be treated like a lady.
“I know you work hard to provide for the kids and I (that’s no fault of ours), but work cannot replace us. There is a life after the office….” I continued. More words came with more tears, till I was drained. Chike stared on like one in a trance, however with pains in his eyes.
After a while I stopped and only the sound of my sniffing altered the eerie silence between us.
“Abidemi”, Chike called my first name in full.
“My pearl of inestimable value, my perfect gift from God, my love, why should such thoughts cross your mind”, he spoke with a frown on his brows.
“I have never been so proud of any other woman as much as I have been of you. I can never take your love and sacrifices, especially the resignation for the children and I for granted”.
Chike got up and walked towards me and took my face (cupped my chin) in his hands and kissed my tears,
“my egg” you are too fragile to be burdened with the many issues from the office that burdens my heart and weighs my spirit. But now that my constant tiredness is taking its toll on our relationship, I think its high time I voice out”.
I could only nod as my voice was muffled from my tears and outburst.
It began three months ago when the company transferred me from the branch to our head office to fill in the vacancy caused by the resignation of our expatriate director – Mr. Patis. Don’t forget we all thanked God for the blessing and promotion. Chike paused and starred gravely into my eyes, I could see the slight hesitation in his eyes which he quickly blinked off….. (to be continued)