Learning to breathe

Archive for the tag “marriage”

Think of Me

“She is such a snob” 




“Because she has money now nobody will hear word again”


“<em>I tire o!</em>”


“But which one is you people’s business now?”


“<em>abeg!</em> Comfort of the afflicted, just shift to one side if you know you are going to support her”


“I’m already going <em>sef</em>.<em>Nawa</em> for you people.” 


“Nawa for you too.” 





Deola is such an amazing colleague. She always has a kind word to say. I wish I could be like her anytime my husband has something silly to say but hurtful words always find their way to my lips and in return they claim a well aimed blow as their prize.


Deola tells me to be patient with him but she has no idea. After all, she has never been married. 


She can’t understand.


Yet as she squeezes my hand in hers, all I feel is understanding. 


Comforting reassurance.


“You’ll be fine.” She tells me.





I can’t understand what Deola is so afraid of. Sometimes, I think if I go on one knee to propose to her she will have a cardiac arrest. Can’t she see that I love her? That I want to spend the rest of my life with her? Isn’t it obvious? 


We will have yet another long argument about us this evening when we meet up for dinner. She has to listen to me. If not, there’s not point carrying on with a relationship that will not lead to having a certain Mrs Kuye. 


I love her but if she doesn’t agree to marry me, she does not love me. 





There’s something about this woman that comes to the pharmacy every now and then. Always during my shift. I think Tunde has an eye for her because he always wants to attend to her when she comes. 


I could honestly say that I am jealous of her. She does look like she has it all together. She wears the nicest weaves, she’s tall, beautiful, has a nice car. What more could she want?


Yet, she buys the oddest things.


Anti-depressants, sleeping pills, painkillers and bath gel. Aren’t those for people with problems? People like me? 


What on earth could she need them for? 





These people don’t know me. They don’t know who I am. They don’t know what I’ve been through. They don’t know what I’m about. 


My Biggest Fear

Everybody is afraid of something, or afraid something will happen, or afraid something wont happen. Most of the time, that ‘something’ isn’t even singular. It’s plural. I won’t call it a phobia because the fear has varying degrees in each and everyone of us. It makes a substantial amount of people neurotic and pulls on the seams of sanity for others (which is pretty much the same thing). For a handful, it bothers them once in awhile.
But no one can deny it’s there. Like a fly that won’t go away.

So, my biggest fear is…becoming a hypocrite.

Nah, it’s not that I will get unceremoniously dumped or that I won’t find anymore Fanta in the fridge or that Jon Foreman will die not knowing I exist. No. That’s no it.
That one word, ‘hypocrite’ has the power to cut through my heart and send it to the pits of depression.
That fear has driven me to wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning to jog and communicate with God. It has driven me to bow my violin even when all I wanted to do was smash it. It has driven me to church every Sunday morning and Thursday evening even and especially when I felt I was sticking out like a sore thumb.

It. Has. Driven. Me.

Not to say that the things it has driven me to do are bad. Quite the opposite. But it has such a hold on me I can’t breathe.

It gave me a headache just thinking about it but I’m determined not to stay in this cage that I’m in.

So when my biggest fear comes to pass and the word “hypocrite” is spat in my face. I can smile knowing that I have kept my mouth in check and practised only what I preached.

What are your biggest fears?


“Orin, you know I’ve never been in support of this from the beginning.”

Amaka and I are at the salon. Ire is toddling close to Amaka’s chair. Amaka is not looking at me but her reflection in the mirror tells me that she is anything but pleased.

“You better thank God he did not beat you. I would’ve beaten you ehn

I would have chuckled.

“What should I do?” I sigh

“Oh? Now you’re asking me. When all this started you didn’t tell me anything. Wetin come concern me now?

“Amaka don’t be like that now.”

“End it, Orin.” She hisses.

The hairdresser mistakenly touches the curling iron to her forehead. Amaka curses in Ibo while the man apologizes.

Abeg do my hair let me leave this place jor!” She turns back to me, “Ehn hen as I was saying, end it before Sunmade finds out. If he does, it’s either he kills you or he almost kills you. Both ways, you’ll lose.”

She pauses to plant Ire on her lap.

“I don’t know what you’re looking for sef. You have a good looking, rich husband and a son. What does Tiwa have to offer?”

That is the question.

Defining moment.

I know now that it is time to end it.

I guess I am looking for intrigue…so that for awhile I can be the heroine in a sloppy romance novel. So that I can be some author’s tool of fantasy. So other women will read my story and shed a few dreamy tears because I have the best of both worlds.

Ire coos “Mama” and stretches his hands towards me. I carry my son tenderly in my arms and hold him close to my chest. The smell of baby cosmetics fills my nostrils as I pat his back. He makes a happy sound.

I love my son. I love his father too.

I am going to make it right again, If not for anything, for these two.



I feel like a robber in my home.

“Welcome ma.” Jamal greets and carries my bag into the house for me.

“Why isn’t the generator on, Jamal?”

Oga say make I never on am

My stomach tightens.

“Put it on.”

Sunmade did not call me all day. I did not call him either…mostly because I was with Tiwa.

He always tells me to leave my family at home when I am with him. I try to.

As I walk into the house, the smells of baby food and burned rice passes me. My eyes quickly adjust to the darkness.


The generator comes on and light floods my living room. I find my husband sitting in his favorite chair, directly opposite me.

“Where have you been?”

“At the agency. Where else would I be?” My bottom lip trembles. I look quickly away from him as I slip my shoes off and shuffle into the kitchen.

“Why didn’t you call me?” He calls.

I scan the refrigerator for orange juice. I cannot think of a lie. I should have thought of one before now.

“Ire cried for you till he fell asleep. Had to go pick him from daycare myself.”

His voice is closer now. He is behind me. I turn slowly to face him.

“I’m sorry love. I was so busy I lost track of time.” I wrap my trembling hands around his waist. His body is stiff and unyielding.

“You’ve been different lately.”

“Different how?”

“I don’t know. You tell me.”

I rest my head on his chest. ” I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Orin are you seeing somebody?”

My heart hammers against my ribs. I pull away quickly, hoping he didn’t feel it. Wide-eyed, I glare at him.

“What sort of accusation is that?”

He shrugs casually. “You’ve been acting funny. I can read you like a book.”

“I don’t believe this.” I push past him into the dining to our bedroom. He follows.

“It’s a yes or no question.”

“I am NOT cheating on you.” I cannot say it to his face so I say it to our bed.

He grunts. “Okay. If you say so.”

I breathe a little easier.

Then he says, “If you’re going to become an irresponsible wife, at least be a responsible mother. Ire has nothing to do with anything. I’m heading out tonight.”

“You never go clubbing.” I look at him as he grabs his keys.

“Same way you never used to lie to me.”

“I’m not lying to you” I reach for him but he pushes my hands away.

“Right now, I want to be as far from you as possible.” He strides to the door.

“Don’t!” I grab his arm. “Please.”

“Let go of my arm.” He says through clenched teeth.

“Sunmade please…”

He flings me almost effortlessly away from him. My head hits the bedpost. Hard.

I am too stunned to speak. My head throbs and without another glance, my husband walks away from me.

I am turning him into a monster. He called me irresponsible but I do not know what I have become. Irresponsible is not the word.

I have become…something…else.

Something else entirely.

My Mommy’s Day

It’ll be seven years this year since I last tasted your pancakes

Since I last gave you the hug you wanted

Since I last prayed with you that God would let you stay

Since daddy cried

Since Seyi emerged from boyhood and I was thrust into womanhood

Since I last saw you, the only woman I could ever love this much.

I hate to say to you that I haven’t always been your shining little angel

I hate to say that I didn’t study Law like you wanted me too

I hate to say that I gave dad an awful hard time

I hate to say that I don’t know how you would have me act towards my step mom.

I hate to say that I don’t think of you as much as I swore I would

I hate to say that I hate saying “My mom is late.”
When you are still alive to me.

If you were here today I would’ve given you a kiss on your lips

I would’ve bought you a dress

I would’ve painted your nails for you

I would’ve told you about the boy that makes my heart flutter and how I almost broke his the other day

You would’ve said “I want you to be better than me.”

“You’re a Queen.”

“You’ll marry a good man.”

You would’ve given me a hug

And I teary-eyed would’ve given you one right back.

With your eyes,

You would’ve told me that there isn’t any need for the extreme mushiness.

And you would’ve smiled.

The smile that I have mastered in the seven years you’ve been gone.

It doesn’t feel the same so all I ask, mommy, is for you to smile down at me today

Smile down at me today

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