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Monday, December 09, 2019

A Cord Of Three....(1)

 The next morning, Mina felt her husband nudging her awake and groggily, she rolled over from her stomach to her back.

“We need to talk,” Baridi said, as he got up from the bed. Walking to the light switch beside the bedroom door, he flipped it and the room became bright.
“Can’t it wait?” Mina responded with the beginnings of a frown on her face. Looking at the wall clock in their room, she continued, “I need to sleep for two more hours before I have to get ready for work.”

Coming over to her side of the bed, Baridi sat and looking at his wife, said: “I’m sorry that I’m waking you now but I think that this is the best time for us to talk. I’m sure the week would be very busy for both of us as we have to go to work. I don’t think it’s in our best interests to start the week fighting with each other when we might not have the time to make up till the weekend.”

“Baridi, we could have talked about this last night but you blew me off, remember?”
“I’m sorry about that, okay. I just hate it when I can’t explain how I feel about anything without you jumping at me.”

Mina sat up. “I wasn’t jumping at you. I was angry because I had seen you stare at me like you didn’t like what you were looking at and I wanted to be sure that I had only misunderstood you. Yet, you completely denied ever looking at me in such a manner and insisted that I had been imagining things. The only thing that would make me agree to stay awake for any discussion is if you were to be honest about what that was all about.”

Baridi was silent for a while. He sighed deeply. ‘I’ve been awake for about thirty minutes thinking about the events of last night and I finally admitted to myself that you may have seen such a look on my face.” At the raised eyebrow Mina directed his way, he held up his right hand and said, “Please wait a minute, let me finish. Whatever look there had been on my face then, it hadn’t been intentional. That was probably why I didn’t know what you were on about last night.”

“And what was it about?”
“Babe, this is hard to talk about because you get so defensive anytime I try to discuss it.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Last night, when you walked in front of me, you looked familiar but you didn’t look like my Mina.”

At Mina’s look of confusion, Baridi said: “Babe, since you had Sotonye, you’ve changed so much. You look completely different from the lady I met, fell in love with and married.”

Trying to inject some humour into a discussion he already knew would get tense, Baridi smiled and added: “You’re the lawyer so you have a better understanding about contracts than I do but this feels like a breach of contract to me.”

Not in the least bit amused, Mina asked quietly: “How exactly do you mean?”

You lost all the baby fat less than three months after having Soprinye and you looked amazing. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for you to even try to do that now, especially as there’s a lot more to you than ever before.”

“Quit beating about the bush, abeg. You’re saying that I’m fat now, right?”
Rubbing both hands down his face, Baridi said, “This is exactly the reason I don’t talk about this with you. You get all defensive about it. I’m trying to have a reasonable conversation with you and…”

“What’s so reasonable about a conversation aimed at putting me down, Baridi?” Mina said, cutting him off. “Have you looked at yourself lately in a mirror? That little pouch on your belly certainly wasn’t there when I met you, fell in love with you and agreed to marry you, was it? I may have pregnancy as an excuse for how I look now. What’s your excuse?”

“Now, you’re being ridiculous, Mina,” Baridi said dismissively, self-consciously rubbing his belly. “Who’s talking about me, anyway?”

“I’m talking about you, Baridi. You’ve dished out these overt and subtle insults about my body for too long for me not to take a good look at yours. You had the semblance of a flat tummy way back in the day. Where is it now? When I shopped for you after Sotonye’s birth, I noticed that you’ve gone up a size. Why is that? You talk to me about a breach of contract. 

Didn’t you have a full head of hair on the day we got married? What’s with the receding hairline that you now camouflage by going clean-shaven? Why exactly do you think you can get away with any changes in your appearance and I can’t?”

  To be continued 

  By Olaedo

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Love After Death (2)

I went to the backyard to the heap of red mud; they said they kept my husband in. I came with a planned speech, a declaration of my love for him; if I had done anything he should forgive me and come back so things can be okay. 

 Let everything go back to the way it was. But as always I lost focus and broke down on his grave. My tears and saliva and sweat fell copiously on the red soil just as they same soil clung to my clothes, in-between my toes, and every other open random location on my body.

I would go and visit Jide in his new house and we would talk as usual. The only difference was that he was under the pile of dust that I spoke to and his voice was in my head. Mother saw everything but said nothing. To her, that was my way of coping, her way was burying her head in her bible and hanging crosses and rosaries on every doorway in the house.

My nightmare was now my reality I thought to myself as I headed to Jide’s grave for an evening session. There was a huge load of guilt that lay on my shoulders that day, maybe I let him die? That Friday night; before he left, He stood by the door of our bedroom, briefcase in hand. 

With a torn look on his face as if leaving me would literally kill him. “Are you sure you’ll be fine? It’ll be just you and Mama in the house,” he said for the umpteenth time.
“Yes, I’ll be fine,” I said somewhat irritated.

“Are you sure you’ll cope without me?” his voice forlorn.
“Yes baby, I’ll be fine. Now get going before you miss your flight,” I said shoving him out the door. He held me in place and looked deep into my eyes. Like he could see right through me, I looked away because I felt naked and vulnerable under his gaze but he brought his lips to mine. The kiss ended with an audible smack and a slightly dizzy me.

“I really, really don’t want to go,” he finally said before he left.
“Ego! ahn ahn are you not going to answer my question?!”

“Sorry mum, you were saying?”
She lets out a deep breath and looks at me through squinted eyes, searching for something.
“I heard voices in your room last night.”
“Voices?” I reply a little unsure of where the conversion is going.

“Yes, giggling and laughing, anyway when are you going to start dating?”
“Mummy! Not again… is that why you made me breakfast? Ehn? So you can cajole me to cheat on my husband?”

“Ego, my dear child…Jide is dead!”
“Stop it! Stop It! Stop telling lies. I know you don’t like him… you’ve never liked him. So just stop.”
“Ego I worry about you, it’s been fifteen months now. You have to move on. Let him go. Please.”
She waits for an answer and even though she gives me all the time in the world I say nothing. I know she’s right, I know Jide is gone but I can’t let him go. I won’t let him go.

 I spent all my life searching for Mr. Perfect and here he is, just not the way I planned.


 Thanks for reading!
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