Learning to breathe

Archive for the tag “men”

Think of Me

“She is such a snob” 

 

“abi”

 

“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. 

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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?

Sunset

The few days after the fight were a flurry of events. Events too painful to narrate. I ended my affair with Tiwa in Sunmade’s presence. Then my son and I flew to London with my husband.

He has not said two words to me since we got here. It has been four days now.

Thursday.

I run my fingers over the healing wound over my left eye and turn to gaze upon my son as he toddles towards me.

“Mama” he coos.

“Hey baby. Come to mommy” I wrap him in my arms and twirl round the living room.

He shrieks and laughs.

The sound of his laughter reminds me of my wedding day and how Sunmade and I danced in endless circles, endless joy, endless happiness. And I could smell the cologne he wore that day all over again.

We were so young. We had no fear. We were wide-eyed.

The door creaks open and the object of my thoughts appears.

We stare at each other.

I put Ire in his chair and fumble with my hands.

“I’m…I’m sorry I beat you.” He says.

“I’m not sorry you did.”

Something in his eyes softens as he comes towards me and holds me.
I cheated on the one man I ever truly loved and guess what he did…

He chose to stay.

Abrasion

After getting my hair done with Amaka, I drop Ire at my mother’s house for the weekend. She mentions that I look healthy and asks if Sunmade and I are planning to make another baby soon.

My face goes hot.

I tell her that we plan to wait till Ire is 2.

She reminds me that I am getting older. I remind her that I am not even 30 yet.

Before she can attempt to lecture me, I hug her quickly and kiss Ire goodbye.

I get home in time to make Sunmade’s dinner before he arrives. I am going to prepare his favorite; Pounded yam and Egusi soup. Then take a long, hot, scented bath in anticipation for tonight…
I will make it up to him tonight.

After preparing the soup, I proceed to pound the yam till all the lumps disappear and it looks like white powder…with some water in it. Then I pound it a little harder till the powder sticks then becomes friendly and obese.
I pack the meal from the mortar into a nylon and into a warmer.

As soon as my kitchen is tidy again, I trot to the bathroom.

7.30pm

I am sitting on the edge of the bed, waiting for him to arrive. The lights are dim. I have on lingerie and a floral scent. As soon as I am sure I cannot sit still anymore, I hear Sunmade’s car horn.

I smile and peek through the curtain.

Then I sit more comfortably on the bed with a coy smile still on my face.

Soon, he enters. He looks at me and cocks his brow.

“Welcome, love.”

He grunts. “Ire’s asleep?”

“No. I took him to my mother for the weekend.”

He raises his brow further then continues undressing.

“I made you some pounded yam and Egusi.”

“Did you now?” He says, sarcastically.

My heart drops a little but I continue. Standing in front of him now.

“Yes, I did.”

“Too bad. I’m not hungry.”

My heart plunges further. The crick in my neck and the dull ache in my arms remind me of how hard and well I pounded his yam.

“Why not?” I block the bathroom door as he tries to escape.

“Because I’m not hungry.”

I manage a weak smile. “Okay.”

I plop down on the bed and on a vibrating phone.

Sunmade’s phone. A new text message.

I do not try to resist the temptation to read it…

    See you tomorrow evening then

From a certain Ann.

It seems my husband is playing games of his own.

“Who is Ann?!” I spit in disgust as soon as he opens the bathroom door.

He looks at me like I am crazy.

“What are you doing with my phone?” He yanks it from my hand and drops it on the table. Farthest from me.

Who is Ann?

“My colleague” He replies. Then continues dressing.

“Why does your colleague want to see you tomorrow evening?”

He ignores me.

Are you seeing that whore?!”

He turns on me slowly. “You get to cheat and I don’t?”

I can feel the anger rising in me. My eyes flash red and without another thought I reach for his phone and smash it against the wall.

He slaps me with the back of his hand instantly and the other side of my face hits the wardrobe.

I fall into a heap like a ragdoll.

“You destroyed my iPhone? Are you crazy?!” He glares down at me.

Why are you seeing that whore?!

Because my wife is a whoring liar herself!

I grab the lamp on the table and throw it at him.

It misses his head by an inch. I throw my wedge at him and it meets his shoulder.

“I am not a whore!”

Before I can throw something else, he pins me under him then pins my hands above my head.

“Say that one more time!”

Before ‘not’ gets out of my mouth, he lands me another slap across the same cheek.

“Who are you cheating on me with? Jamal?!”

I spit at him.

He picks me by my jaw and throws me to the chair with so much force it tips back and I fall.

Before I can gather my wits, he is on top of me again.

Who is it?

Get your bulky self off me!

He lands another slap across my face. I taste blood.

Who?!

It’s Tiwa! I’m cheating on you with Tiwa

I cannot begin to describe the expression on his face.

He slowly lifts himself off me.

Breathing heavily.

“You’re cheating on me with your past…” He whispers in between deep breaths…

What is it you want, woman?!” He kicks the door so hard I jump. “What do you want from me?”

I gather myself into a corner. Mute.

Answer me!

I was going to make it up to you tonight! I’m through with him” my sides hurt from screaming so much

“You’re sick! You know that? You’re crazy!” He kicks the door again.

Get out of here!Get out

I itch to throw something at him again but I fear he will hit me. Again.

He tells me that I disgust him before he leaves. Slamming the door behind him.

I crawl to the bathroom…and break into hot tears when I see my face in the mirror.

The side that hit the wardrobe is bruised above my eye, four harsh lines are on my other cheek and my bottom lip is bleeding. The back of my head aches and my back laments.

When I am sure there are no more tears left in me, I approach the living room.

Sunmade is sitting on the couch staring blankly ahead of him.

Slowly, I move towards him.

Then I sit beside him with my head on his shoulder.

He does not move away and he does not stiffen.

“I am taking the first flight to London on Monday. You and Ire are coming with me. One week. Business.”

Silence.

He continues, “End it.”

Past the lump in my throat I say, “It’s over.”

Reparation

“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.

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