She went closer to her and as soon as their lips touched they both moaned in unison. Their kiss deepened as Ophelia unbuttoned her shirt to caress one of her boobs.
An hour later after they had made love, Gloria was still eager to know what the gist she wanted to tell her was.
Gloria: “Babe so what were you talking about earlier? You said there was something you wanted to tell me?” she said trying to recompose herself after the heated lovemaking.
Ophelia: “Guess?”
Gloria: “I cannot guess, its either you tell me now or I carry my bag and go home. I have a husband to attend to remember?”
Ophelia: “You just keep reminding me of how married you are. Can your husband make you feel the way I do? Can he suck you in places I do?” she asked jealously.
Gloria: “He is trying. Okay I am sorry, you know getting married was not something I wanted to do, I was pushed into it by my family”
Ophelia: “Well it’s okay, as long as we can continue doing this then I am okay by it. No one can break our ten years relationship in just a day”
Gloria: “Yeah sure. Now that is what I am talking about. So tell me what you wanna, I am dying of curiosity here”
Ophelia: “I met one of my pupil’s dad today and you won’t imagine how handsome and manly he looked in that suit of his” she said smiling mischievously
Gloria: “Hmmmmmmm…”
Ophelia: “Why are you sighing? Don’t tell me you are getting jealous?”
Gloria: “I am sighing because he is married. You are not heading in the right direction my dear”
Ophelia: “Now she is about to counsel me on what and what nots. Besides I did not say I am in love with him, you know how I feel about love right?”
Gloria: “Just be careful so you don’t end up breaking a home and besides this is the first time you will ever notice a man in this life. What made him so special?
Ophelia: “The way his lips curved seductively when he spoke to me. His composure and most especially the sadness in his eyes made me want to put his head in my bosom and tell him it’s alright. His marriage is crumbling too. I feel sorry for him” she finished sadly.
Gloria: “He must really be going through one hell of an ish. It’s okay then, as long as he will not come in between us, our love just like my husband did not, then I am cool”
Ophelia: “I haven’t said I consider him a potential anything. This one you are sounding like someone is sweeping me off my feet” she eyed her friend, went closer to her and bit her lips mildly. “I love you babez, only you” she said with a voice husky with renewed desire.
Gloria: “Okay I have to go now! My husband must be on his way home” she said springing up to her feet like a person dipped boiling ring in her anus all of a sudden.
Ophelia: “Easy Glo, I understand you don’t want to go another round, I will see you off”
In his office, he kept thinking and fantasizing about his son’s teacher. The way she pouted her lips when she was trying to make him open up to her. The way her skirt skidded to her laps when she crossed her legs, the way she welcomed him and made him feel like he was something special, he just felt like opening his soul to her. He did not know when the door to his office opened and his wife stepped in.
Rebecca: “Richard…Richard” she repeated loudly, thinking he was asleep.
Richard jerked out of his reverie.
Richard: “Yes? Don’t you know how to knock before entering a person’s office?”
Rebecca: “I am sorry but I actually did knock, you did not answer me”
Richard: “What do you want by the way?”
Rebecca: “I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning and he has asked that I come along with you”
Richard: “I have work to do so you can go on your own” he looked down on a pile of paperwork on his desk and pretended to be reading them.
Rebecca: “But this has to do with the baby” she started sulking.
Richard: “I told you I have work to do, what part of that do you not understand?” he snapped.
Rebecca: “I already took permission from the M.D on behalf of the two of us and he understands. But if you don’t want to, who am I to force you? Just know it’s not for me but for the baby” she said holding her midsection with both of her hands. “If not for my sake but for the sake of our children, can you forgive me please? Is there anything you want me to do? Say it and it will be done but please I really can’t do this on my own anymore. I need you” she said as tears filled her eyes
Richard: “I cannot go with you, I don’t even recognize that thing as my baby, so whatever has to do with it, do it on your own and don’t involve me. Do you get it?”
Rebecca: “I really feel sorry for you Richie, you will live to regret this utterance you just made” she cursed under her breath and stormed out of his office. He lifted his head slowly from his paperwork, looked at her retreating figure and shook his head.
Richard: “It’s you who has just started regretting for being so bitchy all these while. We are just starting, in fact I am yet to start” he thought and his mind drifted to Ophelia’s almost perfect body. He remembered how delicate her features were: silky smooth skin that was inviting him for a gentle caress. She had almond shaped eyes with a deep dimple adorning each of her cheeks when she smiled. Thinking of her made him happy and at ease with himself. He knew he wanted to have another chat with her so he brought out the card she had given him the previous day and admired its contents. He saved the number on the card as Miss Supple and smiled at his creativity.
With a heavy heart, she went straight to the doctor’s office on confirming her appointment with the receptionist the next day. Dr. Wilson was in his office waiting since he had a class that noon, he was a resident doctor in his early thirties.
Rebecca: “Good afternoon doctor” she greeted as she took her seat opposite the doctor on the book-filled table.
Dr. Wilson: “Good afternoon to you too, how are you feeling today?” he replied with a broad smile on his handsome chiseled face.
Rebecca: “I am fine thank you”
Dr. Wilson: “But where is your husband? I specifically told you to come along with him, he needs to be here too” he was displeased.
Rebeca: “He got too engaged in his work so was not able to make it down here. But hope there is no problem doctor?”
Dr. Wilson: “Well there is one whinny tinny bit of problem and that is why I need to talk to your husband and not you”
Rebecca: “What is the problem doctor? “She asked sitting up nervously.
Dr. Wilson: “Well it’s your husband I need to talk to, maybe we will have to reschedule this appointment till he is less engaged in his work?”
Rebecca: “No! Tell me whatever it is, I can bear it. Does it have anything to do with my baby?”
Dr. Wilson: “I already told you, except your husband is here I won’t divulge any information to you madam” he said impatiently checking his time over and over again.
Rebecca: “Okay how about this? My husband refused to come not that he is busy”
Dr. Wilson: “But why if I may ask?”
Rebecca: “We are not in good terms. We haven’t been a couple for some time now”
Dr. Wilson: “Oh! I am sorry about that ma’am, I had no idea” he said apologetically.
Rebecca: “It’s okay. So can you tell me now please?”
He thought for some seconds.
Dr. Wilson: “Okay then. How was your last pregnancy? Did you develop any complications like heart disorders?”
Rebecca: “Yes, I was diagnosed with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy but it was neutralized after I gave birth to my son. That is why I stayed off getting pregnant for so many years”
Dr. Wilson: “Yeah! And now, I just found out that the condition has returned only that it’s now worse than before”
Rebecca: “What do you mean by that?”
Dr. Wilson: “You might lose your life in this pregnancy. From now on you have to thread carefully, avoid anything that will give you emotional pain so your heart don’t get weakened more. If you lose your life before you are due for delivery, then it will be difficult to save your baby too”
Rebecca: “Are you insinuating that I’d lose my life?”
Dr. Wilson: “I haven’t said that yet but it’s likely. Just make sure you do as I said and make sure you tell your husband about this. Your survival might be dependent on him. I am already late for my class, come for regular checkup. At least twice a week will do. Book an appointment with the receptionist” He said rose from his seat and fetched his lab coat from where it hung on the wall.
Rebecca: “Okay doctor. I will do as you said. Thank you very much” she replied weakly as she stood up, shook the doctor’s outstretched hands and headed for the door.
Dr. Wilson: “Make sure you tell your husband, this might help restore your marriage” he called after her but she was long gone and out of earshot.
As she drove home that day, she kept debating within her whether to tell him or not. “I don’t want his sympathy, I don’t want him to start loving me again out of sympathy. But what do I do? Should I tell him this or keep it to myself so no one gets bothered unnecessarily? I am really at a loss here…”


As soon as he stepped into the house, the aroma emanating from the kitchen almost knocked him off his feet. His wife seemed to be a little calmer of late yet he was finding it difficult to even say hello to her. He had to put up a front anytime Sammy was within earshot or with them. But he spent most of his time in his library pretending to be engulfed with work. Rebecca took it as a point of duty to get back home from work earlier than usual to prepare his meal and do some other house chores which she always took for granted before their big quarrel. She was in the kitchen preparing Ogbono soup when she heard the door squeal open. She ran to the corridor which was in between the living room and the kitchen and also served as the entrance to the house. He was already heading for the guest room when she stopped him.
Rebecca: “Darling welcome back, how was work today? I noticed how busy you were at work today” she said trying to pretend all was well between them.
Richard: “You did well by noticing. Thank you” He said nonchalantly.
Rebecca: “I am preparing your best meal of pounded yam with ogbono this time. Hope you will eat?”
Richard: “No thanks, I have eaten already. I am tired, can I go in now?”
Rebecca: “Hmmmmmm! Richard please it’s enough already. I think you’ve punished me enough?”
Richard: “I am not out to punish you”
Rebecca: “Then what are you doing? When was the last time you ate in this house? When was the last time you spoke to me like your life partner?”
Richard: “You have no right to ask me any questions right now after what you did to me…Can I go inside now?”
Rebecca: “I have apologized countless times for that day. It’s okay though but you should know I will not give up on us, for my children’s sake, I will keep fighting”
Richard: “What do you mean by for our children’s sake? We only have one child”
Rebecca: “Honey God has answered our prayer at last. I am pregnant, I am carrying your child again” she said moving closer to her dumbfounded husband.
Richard: “How? Why are you pregnant now of all times? Are you sure that baby is mine?”
Rebecca: “What is that supposed to mean?” she retorted angrily
Richard: “Well this is 21st century, we will find out when it’s time.” He said and started walking away from his wife who was rooted to a spot staring into thin air.
Rebecca: “I can’t believe you just said that Richie… I can’t believe it has gotten up to this”
Richard: “Yes it has! Who knows? It might be for one of your soldier boyfriends” he roared from the front of his room.
Rebecca: “Okay! Sammy’s class teacher wants to see us, though I told her we are a busy lot but we can always go during lunch break” she announced.
Richard: “Then you should go alone. I will be busy even during lunch break” he said sitting on the bed and pulling off his socks, then his shirt.
Rebecca: “But it’s Sammy we are talking about. Please for his sake?” she said swallowing hard at the sight of his bare chest as adrenaline rushed into her veins.
Richard: “Good! Good! Can you excuse me now? As you can see I am undressing” he said pulling his trousers remaining only his boxers.
Rebecca: “Uhm! Uhn! Okay! I will leave now” she said without bulging from where she stood ogling at his well-built body frame and the bulge inside his boxers. “Yeah sure I should excuse you right? Are you sure? “She said with a deep desire laden voice.
Richard: “Oh yeah!” he said smiling within himself, knowing the effects he was having on her.
Ophelia Ndukwe was a lady who loved her job more than anything. She was so beautiful that she could bag a modeling contract in Broadway without breaking a tiny drop of sweat. People took her for an half cast or a foreigner because of how fair she was. She had a height, gait and curves that made heads turn wherever she went. She had men at the tip of her fingers and had things easy for her. Her father was a Professor of History and International Studies in the University of Benin and was the only child of her parents. She sat facing Richard that noon in the secluded class during break time.
Ophelia: “Welcome Mr. Rotimi…Thanks for honoring my invitation sir but where is your wife? I thought you were coming together?”
Richard: “Something came up so she couldn’t make it. So why did you ask to see us? Hope there is no problem?”

Ophelia: “There is no problem just that I noticed something about Sammy lately”
Richard: “What happened? Is he doing something wrong?” he asked adjusting nervously on his seat.
Ophelia: “Not at all, just that he seems quite absent minded and withdrawn lately. He hardly plays with his friend any more neither does he pay attention in class. Please sir is something happening in your home that you think might be affecting him adversely?”
Richard: “Nothing I can think of. Maybe he is just in that phase of his life?”
Ophelia: “Are you sure? Just see me as a friend and talk to me okay? I am here to help and nothing more. I only want the welfare of my pupils, stuffs like this happen all the time and its mostly because of a problem the child is witnessing at home. So if there’s anything you feel I should know, please tell me”
Richard wriggled his hands like a little boy facing panel in school. He debated whether to tell the goddess sitting before him the problems he was going through in his marriage or not. He looked into her eyes and what he saw was as harmless as any dove could be so he decided to open up to her.
Richard: “Well…” he went ahead to tell her everything he and his wife were going through in their home. She was taken aback at how things could turn for the worse for two lovers out of the blues.
Ophelia: “Wow! Now I am more convinced in my opinion about marriage” she said more to herself than to Richard. “I will suggest you two work things out and please try to forgive her for your son’s sake. You don’t want to see him grow up a broken man who…” she was interrupted by the wailing of the bell. Break was over. “Okay break is over…we still have a lot to talk about so here’s my card, give me a call anytime you feel like, as a friend” she said extending her card to him, he collected it, dipped his hand in his hip pocket and brought out his wallet, took a card from it and handed it over to her too.
Richard: “Thanks a lot Miss, now I am convinced my son is in good hands. In case I forget to give you a call, don’t hesitate to remind me through the number there” he said gesturing to the card in her left hand.
Ophelia: “Oh sure!” she smiled as they shook hands. She watched as he hurriedly left the classroom checking his wrist watch over and over again. She could not help but feel sorry for him, the burden he is forced to carry around in the name of marriage made her heart sink with grieve. She was never a strong advocate of marriage, she once told her parents she’d rather have a child out of wedlock than be held captive in an unhappy marriage.
When she got home that evening after lesson periods, she met her mum and best friend Gloria discussing in their well-furnished sitting room. The house itself spoke volumes of its occupants and she loved showing it off to her friends.
Ophelia: “See who is here today, it’s the almighty newly wedded wife of Johnson. What brought you out of you crib today?” she said jovially, dropping her bag on the glass table and slumping down beside her friend, hugging her from behind.
Obiageli: “So it’s only your friend you see here right? I am not human you this ill-mannered girl” her mum feigned annoyance.
Ophelia: “I am sorry mum, I just got carried away seeing this lass here today. Good afternoon ma” she greeted her mum and walked over, placed a light kiss on her cheek and went back to her former position beside her friend.
Gloria: “Don’t mind her mum. She is just looking for a way to look for my trouble”
Ophelia: “let’s go to my room girl, we have a lot to catch up on” she said drawing her along with her.
Obiageli: “Glo please advise your friend to go and get married too o, abi what is all these wahala sef, for how long will I keep housing a fully grown woman?” she called after them.
Ophelia: “Don’t mind her jare, she just wouldn’t let me rest in this house. I am not interested in getting married or has marriage become a do or die affair?” she said to her friend after closing the door to her room to give them better privacy.
Gloria: “Mum is right girlfriend, you need to get married, and you will be twenty-eight years this year remember? Time and tide waits for no one, you are in your prime now but will not remain so forever”
Ophelia: “I have a gist for you jare, forget the issue of marriage, it’s not a topic I like to waste my time on” she said dismissively.
Gloria: “Yes madam? Let me hear this gist that is making you so excited”
Ophelia: “Now you are talking. But before then, I want to feel your lips on mine again, I have missed you so much baby. Abandoning me like that for some man is just uncool” she said moving towards her seductively.
Gloria: “Oh yeah! I have missed you too, you just won’t imagine how much I have missed your soft body” she replied breathing heavily, staring straight into her eyes…


Sammy looked on as his dad was swept off his feet by the two hefty army officers who accompanied his mum and it dawned on him that his dad was actually in big trouble. He stood bravely at a corner watching as his dad was getting bartered by the men while his mum kept heaping accusations at him..
Rebecca: “That is the man who wants to kill me at home. Look at the bruises on my body, he has turned me to his punching bag” she raved accusingly.
1st Officer: “Bastard, you have the guts to lay your hands on a woman while we fight the book boys in Sambisa forest just to protect you. if you had that much power, why don’t you join us in the fight? You bloody coward” he cursed breathlessly as he stomped on Richard over and over again. On-lookers trouped around them and started pleading on behalf of Richard but it all fell on deaf ears. The officers seemed to be punishing him for more than just abusing his wife as she claimed he did.
Richard: “Officer please! Please!” he pleaded while trying to shield his face and ribs from their incessant assaults. His ribs despite his attempts at shielding them seemed to be snapping off under the effects of the officers’ jungle boots.
2nd Officer: “You are going to rot at the guardroom for the rest of your life, you dare abuse your wife, let’s see how many soldiers you can take on when you reach the barracks” he said lifting him up effortlessly from the ground and dragging him along with them as Richard kept pleading weakly for mercy.
Richard: “Rebecca please help me beg them. I have learnt my lessons now, I will never exchange words with you again so please just forgive me for Sammy’s sake”
Rebecca: “I am doing this for his sake, so he won’t have to grow up with regrets. I have to teach you a lesson otherwise you might end up killing me someday in his presence” she said not minding her son who was pulling on her dress to get her attention.
Sammy: “Where are they taking daddy to? Why are they beating daddy? Mummy” he started weeping still tugging at her dress.
Rebecca: “Baby don’t worry, they are helping us set your dad straight” she said looking down at him impatiently.
Sammy: “But I don’t like that they are beating my daddy” he snapped
Rebecca: “See Sammy leave me alone and just be a good boy by coming with me, we are going home”
Sammy: “No! I am not going anywhere without my dad…I want my dad” he said running towards the officers who were busy bundling Richard into their truck. “Leave my dad alone, my dad did not do anything, we were just eating, please leave my dad alone!” he held on to the arms of the 1at soldier who ignored him and kept on with his task. They finished, got into the truck and zoomed off leaving a wave of dust behind.
Richard was released after a week of detention at Marda Army Barrack’s guardroom without letting anyone see him. He said no word as Rebecca drove him home that day.
Rebecca: “I was able to cover up for you at work by telling the managing director you were suddenly hospitalized. I also did most of your work so you must really be grateful right? Sammy won’t stop crying for you…I think I made a mistake and I am really sorry. I tried getting you out the next day but they wouldn’t even let me see you” she prattled on and on. “And why do you look so lean? Weren’t you getting fed there at all? Baby I am really sorry” she said apologetically trying to concentrate on her driving at the same time. “I prepared your favorite meal of pounded yam and vegetable soup, I hope you will like it? I have warm water ready for you in the bathroom, I even added some mint to it just to calm your muscles” as she maneuvered the Range Rover into the parking lot of their bungalow house. He climbed out of the car and walked in without saying a word to her still. She quickly turned off the ignition and ran after him. “Aren’t you the one I’ve been talking to?” she said blocking him from going any further with her petite body. The hurt she saw in his eyes spoke volumes, her heart melted even more than it already had and she stepped aside for him as Sammy ran into his warm embrace. She stood isolated watching father and son bonding.
Sammy: “Daddy I really missed you”
Richard: “I missed you too buddy. Sorry I was away for too long, sorry you had to witness all that. I feel so ashamed of myself” he said sadly and looked beyond him to where the door of the bedroom stood ajar.
Rebecca: “Come Sam, your dad needs to rest, come now!” she ordered. Richard dropped him slowly and headed for the bedroom. He went straight to the closet and started packing some of his cloths. “Sam can you go to your room for a while? Will call you when your dad has freshened up okay?”
Sammy: “Okay mum” he said and ran off excitedly.
She walked slowly to him and perched on the side of the huge bed they shared.
Rebecca: “Are you going somewhere honey? Why are you packing your clothes?” she asked gently.
Richard: “I am not going anywhere” his voice sounded so hoarse even he could not recognize it.
Rebecca: “But why are you packing?”
Richard: “I will be staying at the guest room from now on. You don’t need to cook for me anymore or whichever things it is you used to do for me before. I am not packing out for the sake of my son. So don’t make it more awkward by asking more questions or nagging about it in your usual manner then later you’d go release your dogs on me. So please, can we live peacefully from now on?”
Rebecca: “How can you say that honey? I made a mistake and I have apologized, please don’t do this” she pleaded standing on her feet to move closer to him but he backed away.
Richard: “Don’t touch me! From now on, we seize being couples. So respect my space while I respect yours. Do you get my point?”
Rebecca: “No I cannot agree to that. I want you back as my husband, I cannot survive without you so please forgive my mistake this once. Please?”
Richard: “You knew you could not live without me and you did that to me? You disgraced me before the whole world, you basically murdered me without even knowing it. How do you expect me to live with you after what you did to me? How can you be so callous?”
Rebecca: “Okay…its fine as long as you will still live under this roof but let’s make sure Sammy did not get wind of what is happening, he might become more broken than he already is”
Richard: “You are really funny madam, so you knew this and you called officers to come beat his dad up in his presence? There’s no need talking to you, the more we talk the more irritated I get. So excuse” he said and walked past her without casting another glance her way. She watched him walk away and resolved within her to do everything in her power to get him back. She wasn’t going to stay passive while he slipped away from her forever.
He noticed the tension between his parents, he knew something was not right somewhere when he saw his dad sleep in the guestroom. He sat in the classroom with a drooping shoulder as his class teacher Miss Ophelia taught them on the subject, English Language. The class was beautifully decorated with paintings of the pupils from their creative art class. The wall was painted in rose pink with individual desks for each of them while Miss Ophelia had her desk with different types of teaching materials and the student’s books right beside the window. She noticed one of her pupils was far from the class and walked up to him.
Miss Ophelia: “Samson…” she called but the boy did not answer until she gave him a knock on the head “What on earth are you thinking about?”
Sammy: “Nothing ma…I am listening to you ma” he replied springing to his feet.
Miss Ophelia: “You were listening Uhn? What was the last thing I said?”
Sammy: “Uhn…” he thought scratching his head “You said what ‘was the last thing I said?’” The class burst into laughter.
Miss Ophelia: “Quiet everybody!” she barked. “So you think you are smart right?” she bent down, looked at him menacingly, grabbed his right ear and started twisting it really hard.
Sammy: “Ouch auntyyyy! Please ma, please ma” he pleaded.
Miss Ophelia: “Will you still try acting smart next time?”
Sammy: “No ma! I am sorry ma” he said touching his ear to be sure it wasn’t torn.
Miss Ophelia: “come and see me during break time okay? Something is definitely happening with you and I must find out what it is. You were brighter than this before and it’s getting less amusing by the day” she said and strutted back to the front of the class while he murmured a reply and sat down.

Ophelia went home that day thinking of everything Sammy had told her about his parents. She felt something stir within her for the helpless boy and shivered at the thought of it. She knew she had to do something otherwise her pupil will be the one to live a lonesome life later.


Richard: “You are nothing but a good for nothing wife and mother, how could you just be coming back from Heaven knows where it is you are coming from? Your son has not eaten since morning, are you daft?”
Rebecca: “Let me hear you say it again moron” she said tilting her head to one side pretending to want to hear him better. “Who on earth said a man cannot enter inside the kitchen to prepare food for his starving son? I told you I was going for The Union of Chartered Accountants Meeting and as you well know, I am the Chairlady for the union; shouldn’t your brain have told you I might come back late to prepare lunch?”
Richard: “Chairlady who cannot even take care of her little son, how can you take care of the needs of all those grownup women in your so-called union? Women sure are daft, why elect a lazy thing like you as a chairlady?”
Rebecca: “Moron… What do you know? All you want is to have your stomach filled, since you cared that much about Sammy and you are the hardworking one here, I am asking again, why didn’t you enter the kitchen?”
Richard: “Don’t you dare call me a moron again…Do you understand?” he approached her menacingly.
He watched and listened as they raged on and on. His young mind could not comprehend how or why everything suddenly changed for his parents. He could remember the way they were before, amiable and full of love for each other that even he admired and envied them. They forgave each other easily and thought up excuses for the other’s misgivings. He thought it would last forever, he thought couples were meant to remain like that forever. But there they were, almost always on each other’s necks. Bickering over little things which were not worth bickering over. He bled emotionally for his parents’ fractured link. He just didn’t know how he could fill the void, or the gulf that laid majestically between them which threatened to swallow them all up.
Richard and his wife Rebecca were the envy of whoever came in contact with them as a couple. The love they shared was out of the ordinary, theirs was indeed a love marriage; the type Indians call Rabne bana di Jodi [God made couple]. Their first and only child Sammy was only six years old when things started falling apart for their marriage. Of course they were still successful as chartered accountants but along the way, they seemed to have lost what kept their marriage together. That Saturday evening, without minding that their son watched them from where he sat kept lashing at each other.
Rebecca: “Someone’s feathers are being ruffled at last. Dear man, come and demonstrate how powerful you are in the presence of your son on his mother. Let the tell-tale of your machoism decorate and adorn my beautiful neck and face. Your son will grow up remembering how beautiful they were on me” She wasn’t backing off, she was prepared for the worst. The elegant mound on her chest fell and rose intermittently.
Richard: “I can’t believe this. I just can’t imagine how much you’ve changed over the years, it is so surprising how you’ve decided to shirk your responsibilities as a wife and mother in the home” he said frustrated.
Rebecca: “Responsibility? Did you just say responsibility? Don’t I bear yours in this home? Or whose responsibility do you think it is to put food on the table for the family? Shall I quit my job and become a full house wife then? Or what exactly do you want from me? I really can’t do this anymore” she burst into tears and took some steps back throwing her arms in the air in resignation.
Sammy sat at a far corner of the sitting room, watching as they bartered each other with words, he had witnessed their fights get out of proportion several times and so that day, he prayed silently in his heart that his dad would not lose his cool. That he wouldn’t start throwing blows at his mum. He kept praying until his mum walked over to him with a forced smile.
Rebecca: “Baby…” she began, squatting down in front of him. “Were you very hungry today?” she asked fondly Smoothening his thick and dark eyebrows, then the tiny bits of curly hair that lined the sides of his handsome face.
Sammy: “No mummy! I am not hungry at all, please don’t fight daddy” he replied shaking his little head worriedly.
Rebecca: “Don’t you lie to me baby boy, I know you were very hungry and I am very very very sorry my dear, something came up at the meeting” she said apologetically.
Sammy: “it’s okay mum, what matters is you not fighting dad, I hate it when you two fight. Promise me you will not fight him again, forgive daddy please?”
Rebecca: “You are still too young to be talking about stuffs like this Sammy, I cannot promise you that because your daddy is headstrong, he keeps making us fight”
Sammy: “What is the meaning of headstrong mummy? Is his head strong? Don’t you like his head?” he asked gloomily.
Rebecca: “You are so innocent my boy and adorable but promise me something?”
Sammy: “I will promise you anything as long as you will no longer fight daddy. I will even be good, wake up on time to prepare for school, I will do my assignments early and brush my teeth before I sleep everyday” he said livening up.
Rebecca: “My baby is growing so fast” she said raking her fingers through his afro styled hair. “Promise me that no matter what a woman does to you, you will never lay a finger on her?”
Sammy: “That is simple mum, I remember everything you do tell me: any man who lays a hand on his woman is not a real man, women are like eggs and so should be pampered, if not, they might break and get wasted. Life is not a bed of roses and so things might go wrong at some point, despite that I cannot give up, I must keep surviving” he finished happily.
Rebecca: “I said it! How can you be so intelligent? You even remember them exactly the way I said them? Give me five” she said lifting her right palm up for a high five while he reciprocated the gesture.
Sammy: “It’s very simple mum” he said proudly, apparently proud of his achievement forgetting all about the fight.
Rebecca: “Now let’s go and prepare something for our little genius, toast bread will do right? Your favorite?”
She said leading him by the hand to their well-equipped, neat and spacious kitchen which had white floral tiles decorating it from walls to walls.
Richard entered into the kitchen furiously and snatched his sons hand away from her grip.
Rebecca: “What do you think you are doing?” she asked taken-aback by this sudden outburst.
Richard: “Making sure you aren’t poisoning my son’s mind against me” he snapped and dragged Sammy out of the kitchen to the amazement of his mother.
Sammy: “Dad where are we going to? I was just going to help mum make toast bread” he was apparently displeased with his dad’s action.
Richard: “Don’t mind her my son, we are going to get a bite at Mr. Biggs. You love fried rice right? I will get plenty fried rice for you” he said as he stooped down so he could be at eye level with him,
Sammy: “But mum is…”
Richard: “Hey boy! Stop whining and just do whatever I ask you to do. Stop acting like a sissy and be a man, in this life you have to be strong and cunny otherwise you will suffer in the hands of a woman the way I am suffering now” he said cutting him short sharply. Sammy did not respond so he continued “my dear son, there is no place for soft men in this world, you will get cheated and trampled upon while you keep wallowing in the mud. No matter what you have to take the bulls by the horns and push it back. No one born of a woman should cheat you and get away with it, do you understand?”
Sammy: “Yes dad, but mum said I should never hit anyone weaker than I am especially women” he said looking up defiantly at his dad.
Richard: “Forget what your mum said, she is giving you the advice she should be giving a girl. She wants you to be getting disrespected the way she is disrespecting me now. Do you really want that? Will you listen to a man or a woman?” he asked holding his two shoulders
Sammy: “Uhn! No dad” he felt his dad’s gaze tearing his soul violently apart and unraveling all the feelings he had stacked away somewhere he thought was safe from the world’s scrutiny. His dad stood up at last and he felt a wave of relief sweep over him in soothing currents.
His dad drove slowly to the Mr. Biggs down Ibadan Street in Lagos Mainland where they resided at. He was quite relieved to find that the eatery was not as crowded as it used to be. He ordered for a plate of fried rice, chicken and moin moin for each of them. As they devoured their meal silently, the door of the eatery swung violently open, two soldiers led the way while a woman whose face Richard could not see properly trailed behind them, pointing towards where he and Sammy sat at a booth at the far corner of the eatery.
Rebecca: “There is the bastard…” she said appearing fully at the forefront of the whole scenario pointing at her mystified husband.