I love my wife. Don’t ever get that confused.
Now that’s out of the way – there are a couple of other things you need to know. They say marriage is like night market – you never actually know what you bought – till it’s the morning after. Or better still; they also say marriage is like a race in which you close one eye before you get in – and close both once you’re in.
I agree. To have a peaceful home, you have to master the art of looking the other way.
But there are some things you cannot just look away for. No sir.
Like this one instance.
Due to the nature of our jobs we leave the house as early five – latest six am. She drives off, I drive after. She works on the island, I work on the mainland. No kids yet – maybe not ever; so it’s pretty much work and us. Sometimes we cook dinner together; sometimes we eat out. It’s been a little over a year; and we’ve pretty much settled in. We still love each other very much – so we’re happy.
One morning however; everything changed.
I was wearing my shirt and waiting for her to come knot my tie as she does when suddenly; “Hey darling! take off your shirt – you’re not going to work yet.”
“I’m not? It’s Thursday o,” I said.
“When then? Take off that shirt and come here jo!”
It didn’t occur to me that she wanted sex; she would have asked me to take off more than my shirt. But I was curious so I did as she asked and walked to where her voice was coming from. When I arrived the living room, there was a spread of breakfast – the likes I haven’t seen in a while. It was eba and efo riro – steaming efo with ponmo, shaki and panla pieces that seemed to be winking at me.
I forgot all my protestations. I forgot about the traffic – forgot everything except the rumbling in my stomach. Kissing her quickly and briefly I washed my hands in the bowl she held out and dug in. Ol’ boy, my tummy worms did a perfect rendition of Handel’s Messiah, segued into Tu Face’s E Be Like Say and finished with Fela’s Basketmouth. I was exultant.
Topped the whole thing with fresh, cold water – and I was on fire.
“Baby,” I began, standing up, the day I married you is the day I made a choice to come alive. I will love you till I die – I will never leave you. Iyawo mi, ah – what do you want? Anything – just say it and it is yours.”
She smiled – and when she smiles the skies acknowledge that indeed; this is a smile. “I am pleased to do for you, my love.”
I swear if she told me to bring her Zuma rock I would have boarded the next flight to Abuja and dug in with both hands rather than tell her I couldn’t. I kissed her and she helped me with my shirt and tie – and was knotting the tie when I realized she was still in her negligee. “Baby, what’s with the outfit? No work?”
She dimpled again. “No honey. Leave begins today.”
“Lucky you,” I said and bolted through the door.
I made it to work in time and the day; of course having started well was looking quite rosy. My world was perfect – until I suddenly started to feel sleepy.
That was unusual.
I actually never fell asleep at work – if you understand my job you’ll understand that it’s a luxury I cannot afford. So it was worrisome. I went to wash my face in the restroom – and that made me feel better. I went to my desk and continued to work.
Next thing I knew, I was woken up by the noise of my own snoring.
You know how you wake up – maybe in church, and you’re awake but you’ll still hide your face away because you’re embarrassed to have fallen asleep in the first place, so you maintain that same posture as though you intentionally sat like that?
Yeah. That was me that day at work. I thought and thought about how I could have fallen asleep – and then it occurred to me that my wife drugged me.
Not ‘drugged’ as in slipped me a mickey – but ‘drugged’ as in gave me eba in the morning intentionally. Right then and there I started plotting my revenge.
“Hello baby,” she said sweetly – a bit too sweetly. “Shey you didn’t sleep at work today?”
“At all,” I answered. “The eba was energizer – I couldn’t stop working. In fact, I’m on fire now sef.” To emphasize my words, I lifted her and raced into the bedroom. She was happy, I was happier.
But I had decided to get my own back.
On the day she was going to resume, I spent half the night pounding yam and cooking efo elegunsi with shaki and obokun fish. I was tired – but when I woke her up to wash that morning, I was happy. Oh, I was the gentleman! I carried her to the bathroom, washed her tenderly from head to toe – never mind what that did to me. Washed her, toweled her and rubbed cream for her. After then, I put her underwear on her and carried her to the table.
“A ‘welcome back to work’ something,” I said.
She ate with gusto – and I was happy watching her eat; despite the mischief behind it. My wife is a beautiful woman and I can watch her for hours.
Sha, we finished and left for work.
It was almost noon when a number I didn’t know called. “Hello?” I said.
“Yes please, is this Mr – ?”
I said it was.
“This is your wife’s boss. Could you please come to the office right away?”
I said I would and hung up.
I was a bit worried but I figured whatever it was, I’d know once I got there. I drove quickly – and when I arrived the place I was shown into one office like that. The man who called me stood from behind the desk, introduced himself and shook my hand.
“Mrs. – is my best staff, I must admit even though I’ve never told her. Therefore you can imagine my consternation when I got to work today and saw her sleeping.”
I wanted to burst into laughter for two reasons. That was the first time I’ve heard that word used in a conversation and I told him so.
Second reason was my revenge was now complete – but I didn’t tell him that.
“Where is she?” I asked, injecting the right balance of worry into my voice.
“Right this way,” he said and preceded me out of the office. “I even though maybe she is…you know…” I know what he meant but I wasn’t going to make it easy for him. “Sick?” I asked.
He shook his head. “Been having sex?”
The man waved his hands in front of him – as though he impregnated his wife by speaking the word. “No…ah…I mean I was wondering maybe she’s expecting…” his voice disappeared even though his mouth was still moving.
“Ah – if she is then God is a wonderful God. You see, I’m like the reverse Caitlyn – I used to be a woman.” I patted his back familiarly – and walked past him into my wife’s office while he stood in the passage trying not to have a heart attack. My wife was wiping sleep from her eyes, looking very sweet and innocent.
“Darling,” she started when she saw me. “What are you doing here?”
I kissed her – and then kissed her again, somewhat firmer the second time. “Well, you’re sick – due to your pregnancy so you’re taking the rest of the day off.” I smiled into her shocked eyes. “Let’s go.”
I half-carried her out of the office while she blinked sleep from her eyes and said goodbyes to her colleagues. The way they all followed us to the car made me marvel – and I told myself again how lucky I am to be married to her. They waited while I let her into the car – waited for me to start the engine and only then did they go back into the office.
“I’m so sleepy,” she mumbling, head against the seat, eyes on me. “I wonder why.”
I couldn’t resist. Laughter tumbled out of my belly – like lightning from heaven. Surprise lightened her features – and then it became a frown – and then the clouds cleared. The frown receded.
“You’re evil!” she yelled, pushing me against the side of the car. “Evil!” she said again, struggling with trying not to laugh.
“I learned from the best,” I said.
Silence from her side of the car made me search her out. Her eyes were still on mine, eyes that had a look in them that made me wish I was home with her. I floored the accelerator.
Shebi marriage no sweet?