I couldn’t stop the smile that formed in my face as I replayed all that just happened in my mind.
Oh she still cares. My Etomi still loves me. She’s just angry now.
I won’t stop. I will do all I must to make her forgive me. It will be like wooing her since I never did
I opened my eyes and yawned. I looked at the wall clock.
“it’s morning already? ” I asked no one in particular as I stretched.
I jumped off the bed as realisation hit me. It’s past 6am and I was yet to make breakfast. I had to prepare the kids for school too.
” shit! ” the kids are going to be late.
I woke them up
” boys get up. You’re going to be late for school ”
” Good morning mom” they greeted
“Both of you come help me in the kitchen so we’d be fast. We’re running late already.
We rushed out.
Something smelt nice.
We followed the scent and found Niyi arranging the dinning table.
“breakfast is ready ” he said smiling.
Who is this man? Is he possessed? That’s not even the big part.
Niyi could cook?
” Come on. Join me” I heard him say.
“we’re not hungry ” I replied and left there with the boys immediately. Leaving no room for him to talk.
” Boys, go and take your bath. I’ll get you something on your way to school ” I said
They did not move. They sat on the bed sulking.
” what’s wrong? ” I asked
” we don’t want anything else. We want what daddy cooked”
You can imagine my surprise.
Just yesterday, they didn’t want to come back home now they want to eat what he cooked?
I tried to make them change their minds but it wasn’t working. The more I talked the more adamant they became.
“Fine! Go!” I said
See how they ran. Kai!
I felt really bad. All my efforts were in vain. They didn’t even look at the food.
I had to explain everything to my boss. He understood my pains and gave me time off from work.
I don’t blame them though. Maybe they thought I poisoned it.
I sat in the kitchen feeling dejected. I wasn’t expecting such response from them.
I stood up to go clear out the table when I heard the chairs scrapping the ground. I peeped through the door. I saw seth and Shawn taking their seats, rubbing there palms together gleefully.
I almost screamed out of excitement.
I stayed in the kitchen and Watched them eat. They talked and laughed. I longed to join them but I know they won’t stay if they saw me.
When they were done, they stood up to clear out. That was when I stepped out.
“You don’t have to do that. Go prepare for school. You’re late already ”
They stood frozen in that spot looking at me.
I made to go close but they moved back.
” Thank you sir” they said and left.
My heart was lifted. As I cleared out, I sang and moved my body to the beat.
I wanted to carry the one I dished for Etomi but I decided to leave it there. She might just change her mind like the boys did.
I stayed in the kitchen, waiting. Or peeping.
After about 45 minutes, she came out with the boys. They were all dressed up. She looked stunning. I just wanted to hug her.
She walked to the table and opened the food. She looked around and when she was sure no
One was looking at her, she sent the boys to go wait for her outside.
She picked up the spoon ate a little.
I laughed at her expression.
I could tell she was both shocked and surprised.
She took another spoon and another and another till the plate was empty. She drank the bottled water I placed beside it.
Wait for it…. There it is.
She belched loudly. She placed her hand over her mouth and giggled lightly
She placed the plates back in position, like it hasn’t been touched and was about exiting the house when I came out..
“Where to? ” I asked
“None of your business”
“Can I drop you and the boys? ”
” The public transport will do just fine”
“Not now Niyi ” she said and left
Atleast she ate my food.
I came back that evening with the boys very tired. I had to pick them up from school and keep them with me till I closed from work to avoid Niyi being with them.
Immediately we got home, they didn’t even bother about food. They took off their uniforms, had their bath and jumped into bed.
I was tired too but really hungry.
I took my bath and wore my nightie then went into the kitchen. I saw that Niyi had made dinner.
My pride wanted to get in the way but my hunger spoke up. I dished out and ate.
I stood up to get water from the fridge. Just then Niyi walked into the kitchen. I ignored him and went to sit down.
It’s my kitchen too. I eat what I see.
He didn’t say anything to me. He just stood by the counter and watched me eat.
“you look tired and stressed. Need a massage? ” he asked
A massage would be nice.
” no! ” I said
I was about standing up when I felt his hand on my neck.
When did he go behind me? How did I not see him move? How… Oh… Waa… Wii… Yeeeaaaa..
My brain could not form any reasonable word. I forgot how good a masseuse Niyi was.
“Go down a bit” I said.
“yes ma’am ” he replied chuckling.
I felt his lips on my neck. He placed gentle kisses on my neck down to my back. My weak spot.
I stood up sharply and turned to rebuke him but he grabbed my waist and pulled me to himself. He kissed me deep and passionately.
When was the last time he touched me? Wait! I shouldn’t be letting him touch me. I don’t want him anymore and… And… And…
And I lost all sense of reasoning. I held onto him tightly and kissed him back.
He squeezed my boobs from my nightie. I moaned lightly.
He carried me and made me sit on the table. He slowly worked his way underneath my night gown.
His hand touched a spot that still hurts me and I came back to my senses.
“Niyi stop. Stop! ” I screamed pushing him.
” Etomi please.. Just…
“stay away from me” I shouted and ran to the room.
” mummy I don’t know what to do again ooh. It’s almost a month now and Etomi is still the same. I’ve bought her flowers, gift, begged but she’s not budging. She still insist that I sign the divorce papers. What do I do? I don’t want to loose her. We’ve missed two sessions with the marriage counsellor because she refused going. I want my wife back ” I lamented
” I feel your pain son but you should understand where she’s coming from. How about the kids? ”
” She keeps them away from me. Though the little time I get with them when I go to their school to see them shows they are warming up to me. If I could only get more time ”
” You know it would not be easy winning her over but let me give you a hint. Hopefully it will help you. Mothers tend to be softer on their children, they don’t mind going an extra mile to please them. ”
” Go on ”
” Go through the kids, focus on getting their forgiveness, love and trust first. It will be easier getting to their mother, with their help of course”
“How do I do that when she keeps them away from me”
“Ahhhhhh! Do I have to say everything? O ko daft. Ronu(you are not daft. Think). Come up with strategies. You know her better than I do. ”
I stayed for a while before leaving.
Driving home, I thought hard of how to get an alone time with the boys. It would be very hard seeing that Etomi drops and picks them up from school.
I can’t do this alone. I need help from someone really close to….
I stood, staring at my phone. I looked at the number again to be sure he was the one who just called me.
Adeniyi just called me? Someone who had warned me severally to stay away from his wife that I was a bad influence on her just called me. And he was on his way to my house. Frigging unbelievable.
I wonder what he wants to say? I just have to wait and find out.
30 minutes later, my door bell rang. I opened it and my mouth fell agape.
Okay! Hold on! He truly came and he looks terrible. Like someone who has not eaten or slept for weeks.
“I look horrible, I know but can I come in? ” he said
I stepped aside for him to enter.
He sat down and remained quiet for about 3 minutes before he spoke.
“Before I say anything, I want to appreciate you for always being there for my wife, for supporting her and caring for her. If you hadn’t, I don’t know what would have happened to her. Thank you”
“It’s what friends do” I said
Wait a minute! Did he just thank me for being a friend to his wife? This is interesting. My ears are just itching to hear what he has to say.
He went quiet again.
“I don’t believe you can all the way to my house to thank me for being a friend to your wife. What do you want?
“I’ll just go straight to the point. I need you to help me win your friend back. ”
He didn’t just say that. Did he? This is really funny. I laughed.
” If you’re trying to be funny, it’s working” I said
“I’m being serious here ”
” Can you imagine? I should help you win her back. So you can finally finish her off abi? What right do you have to come into my house and make such silly request of me. After the horrible things you have done to her? You get mind ooh”i said really angry.
“Funke, I know you’re angry with me. You might probably hate me and you have every right to be. But I’m not that man anymore. I’m changed. I don’t want her to leave me. Help me Funke ”
” And you expect me to believe you? After years of hurting her you just woke up one morning a changed man. I don’t believe you”
“Look at me! Why do you think I look like this? I’ve not slept or eaten well on weeks. All I think about or do is try to win her heart back but she’s so strong willed. I have exhausted all my options. Nothing is working. Help me please. I don’t know what I’ll do if she leaves me”
Is this really Adeniyi or did someone possess him. He looked like he would cry. And he really does look terrible. Could he be serious?
“Even if I wanted to help you I don’t know how…
“come on na. You’re her best friend. You should know something. Anything at all”
“What guarantee are you giving me? Who is to say after I help you, you won’t go back to hurting her”
“I promise you that I won’t. If I do, you are free to take any action against me. Just help me please ”
I sighed. He does look sincere. I have never seen him look this fragile and vulnerable.
” fine! I’ll get back to you”
After he left I put a call to Ronke.
“Hello babes. I need your help”.
Sitting down in one place is surprisingly tiresome. My butt hurts.
Funke successfully got me a job as a receptionist in a really big hotel. It’s one day in and one day out. How convenient.
My phone rang. I didn’t pick up at first because I thought it was Niyi.
He had made it an habit to call me three times everyday. He got me flowers and gifts, sent me love text messages. I have to admit, it feels good. He never did woe me before we got married.
The phone rang again. I looked at the caller ID, it was Funke.
“hello Funke ”
“Etomi bawo lowa? (how are you?)
” I’m fine and you? ”
” I’m good. Are you working tomorrow? ”
” nah. It’s my off day ”
” Okay good. We’re having a girl’s out day. You, Ronke and i”
“oh lovely. What time? ”
“nope that time won’t work. I have to pick my boys from school. Can’t you adjust it? ”
” your husband can take care of that. We can’t adjust it. Bye”
“hel.. Funke ”
Argh! This girl can be annoying sometimes. I don’t want Niyi getting close to the boys.
I whistled excitedly as I packaged the picnic basket. Thanks to Funke I have the boys to myself today.
I don’t know what or how she did it but I received a text from Etomi that I should pick up the boys from school. I am going to take advantage of this and win my boys heart.
I carried everything into the car and drove to the school.
I met them sitting outside. They didn’t look surprised to see me so I guessed their mother told them already.
I came down and went to them.
“hey guys, how are you doing? ”
” we’re fine sir”
“sir? What happened to daddy? “I asked.
This was not the first time they addressed me as ‘sir’. I don’t like it.
‘You told us to call you sir”
“oh! ” was all I could say.
” Look guys, I am very sorry for all I’ve done to you both and your mom. Please forgive your father. ” I said making a puppy face. They boys but out laughing.
“What are you laughing at?”
“You. Were you trying to make a puppy face? ” set asked
” yeah. Did I get it right? ”
” You looked more like a mooing cow” Shawn said laughing. This time I joined in.
After the laughter died down, I asked
“so I’m I forgiven? ”
” Only if you promise not to hit us and mommy anymore ” seth said
I raised my right hand up.
” I promise. Cross my heart and hope to die. So can i get a hug? ”
They quickly jumped into my waiting arms. My joy knew no bounds.
” but I will need you boys to help me with something very important. Will you? ”
“I need you to help me make mommy love me again.”
They made a thinking pose and clapped their hands gleefully. This they did in unison. Makes me wonder if they communicate with their minds.
“how about we discuss more over picnic ”
If I had known it would be like this,, I wouldn’t have worn heels. My whole legs hurt. But boy! Did I have so much fun.
I had to take off my shoes at some point. It’s was now becoming a stumbling block to my fun.
We rolled in the grass, ran around, fought like kids, ate ice cream and got ourselves dirty. Luckily we brought extra clothes.
We left the park late and couldn’t get transport on time, we had to walk for a long time before getting a cab. Funke and Ronke did not stop making fun of me as I limped with my heels.
From the door, I could hear loud noises. Who could have visited.
I opened the door, lo and behold seated on the couch was Niyi and the boys. They were playing video games and shouting at the top of their voices. Plastic cans and popcorn littered th the ground.
I stood there hoping they’d notice am back and give me attention. For where! Nothing happened. They just kept playing. I got angry and went to the kitchen.
All the pots and plates were clean and empty. Niyi did not keep food for me like he used to. Now I have to cook with this tiredness. I got angrier.
By the time I was done with cooking and bathing, they were already through with their games , cleaned the place up and retired to bed. I ate alone.
I finished up and went to the room to sleep only to find out that the boys did not keep the usual spot for me like they used to. I tried adjusting them so I can sleep but they did not budge.
“Go and sleep in daddy’s room. We’re getting bigger and the bed is now too small ” Shawn said.
What had gotten into these boys? We slept in the bed together last night. How could they have gotten bigger In just a few hours?
” Come on guys. I really need to sleep ”
But they gave me no attention. I took a pillow and went back to the parlour. I’d rather sleep in the couch.
Everywhere was quiet. Thank God there was light. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep alone.
Almost immediately the power went off. I jumped up.
“Niyiiiiiii” I screamed.
I smiled satisfactorily to myself. The plan with the boys worked. I got her to come sleep in my room.
I knew she was afraid of the dark. So when the boys chased her out of the room and she went to sleep in the parlor as expected, I quietly went and cut off the power supply to the house.
I laughed hard when she screamed my name. I took my torch and ran to her.
“What is it? ” I asked pretentiously
” The light is gone ” she said
” is that why you screamed my name. I thought something bad happened. You woke me from my sleep ” I said turning to go back
” I’m afraid of the dark. I can’t sleep alone here”
“go to the kids room”
“they chased me out”
“Will you sleep in mine? ”
” No way”
“suit yourself then”
I turned and was going back to my room.
“Niyi wait. ” she said holding on to my arm.
As she laid on the bed, she kept turning. I knew what was wrong.
When she came back from her outing, I noticed her legs were swollen. She must have walked a long distance.
I wanted to ignore but I couldn’t. I got up, took a balm and woke her.
“Etomi, sit up ”
She kept quiet and pretended to be sleeping.
” I know you’re awake. ”
She turned and faced me”
” what? ”
” Give me your legs ”
” Why? ”
” Do you see how swollen they are? It might be worse by morning if you don’t let me massage them”
She sat quietly.
“Do you want the massage or not? ”
She removed her legs from underneath the blanket and stretched them.
I applied the balm on her legs and began to massage it lightly.
” Ouch! ”
” Sorry ”
After a while, she stopped squinting. She was already asleep.
I adjusted her on the bed.
” I love you” I said and pecked her forehead
I looked at my phone for the umpteenth time. Still no call or message from him. I can’t explain why but it got me worried. Has he given up?
He behaved really strange this morning.
. I woke up this morning to an empty bed. I stepped out and found him eating and laughing with the boys on the dinning. They were already dressed for school.
I noticed there was no plate reserved for me as usual. When the boys greeted me, he didn’t. He was usually the one who greets me first but he ignored me today.
To make matters worse, he did not even suggest dropping me off at work today. Why was he ignoring me. I don’t like being ignored.
When it was time for them to leave, he told the boys to wait for him outside while he approached me. Inside me I was happy thinking he was going to give me the flowers like he usually does and I had already practiced how I would ignore and throw the flower away but shockingly he only told me we were supposed to see our marriage counsellor today.
“I’m not coming ” I said hoping he would plead but the next thing he said shocked me.
” suit yourself then. I’ll be there by 4pm. if you don’t show up, you can bring the papers, I’ll sign them” he said and left.
I almost cried. How dare he ignore me like that. I was the one who got hurt. He is supposed to be begging me and not giving me attitude.
Why was it getting to me?
Of course it will. I still love him. I just find it difficult to believe that a man who had been a beast for the past seven years of marriage woke up one morning to be a changed man. I can’t let go of the anger. Each time I think of Forgiving him, the memories come rushing back, the pains. I try but I just can’t.
“But if you still love him, give it a try. ” a voice In her head said.
I was so lost in thought I didn’t realize I was crying.
” Are you okay? ” a colleague of mine asked.
” I’m fine. Something got in my eye” I said wiping the tears off.
Looking at my time, it was almost 4pm. Time for the meeting with the counselor.
I struggled deep within me whether to go or not.
These past few weeks, Niyi has been wonderful. The kind of man I would gladly call my husband. But what if I withdraw the divorce and he goes back to beating and hitting me?
I was scared but at the same time still very much in love with him and want him to remain in my life which isn’t going to happen if I don’t show up.
What to do.