“The weather outlook for today is 25⁰ Celsius, with a high chance of late evening showers. Humidity is currently at 67 percent…”
Ademola rubbed his face blearily, wondering whether he had forgotten to turn the television off before going to bed the night before…or rather early this morning. He walked over to the settee and picked up the control, reducing the volume and the meteorologist’s reedy voice to an acceptable low.
“I’m listening to that.”
He turned around as his wife abruptly spoke from the kitchen area and shrugged apologetically. “Sorry Moyore, I didn’t know; it just seemed too loud.”
“Well I did not complain,” she replied before turning back to the bowl in front of her.
Ademola scratched his head uncertainly. “No you didn’t.” He started walking away, absently carrying the remote with him.
“And you still haven’t put the volume back where it was.”
He sighed and raised a hand in capitulation. “Alright, I’ll put it back.” The news bulletin theme song rang along the walls as the volume went even higher than before. “There, are you happy now?”
Moyore did not reply and the tight lines on her face did not soften. He hesitated for a moment and then crossed over to the kitchen area, looking over her shoulder to peer into her bowl. It was oatmeal. “You were supposed to cut back on the oatmeal.”
She reached for the tin of evaporated milk and poured a generous amount on her already full bowl. “You are not my doctor.”
Ademola rolled his eyes behind her head. “I know, but you complained about the acid reflux and your doctor did tell you to cut back.” He knew it was a lost battle of course; Moyore liked oatmeal and her condition only increased her fondness for it. As expected he got no reply and decided to let the matter drop, looking around for any sign of his breakfast. There was none. The gas stove was bare and she had conveniently washed the pot she made hers with.
Her testy tone was his third warning but he pushed on anyway. “Where’s breakfast?”
She half turned around, pinning him with a look that both glacial and fiery at the same time. “Well Ademola, there are three different kinds of cereal on top of the fridge, rice and beans in the cupboard, and I just made stew last night. Kilo’n se owo e?”
What was wrong with this woman? Ademola took a deep breath, counting to ten in the back of his mind. Think about her condition…it’s her condition speaking. “Well you know I don’t like eating a cold breakfast and I have less than an hour before I have to be out. You woke up 45 minutes ago…surely you could have at least boiled an egg for me. Ao kuku ja la le ano.”
Moyore raised an eyebrow and slowly got to her feet. They glanced at the bump at the same time. “I woke up 45 minutes ago because the baby—your baby— wouldn’t stop kicking and buffeting my insides. I couldn’t go to sleep until three o’clock this morning because you decided to play host to your rowdy bunch of friends, forgetting the fact that you have a pregnant wife, who has to be up seven o’ clock and beat rush-hour traffic all the way to the mainland. Mi o r’aye eregbe, se’o gbo? There is no breakfast for you because I’m simply too tired and I have no time.” She huffed and coldly brushed past him, trying to look the affronted wife but the load she carried making her stance a hopelessly comical one.
Ademola watched her go, releasing the breath he didn’t know until then that he’d held. Temper, temper. His mother had warned him that he was marrying a hot-head. His friend warned him to look out for the mood swings bound to come his way with her condition. He thought he’d prepared enough for this…
He shook his head and carried the half full bowl to the sink, opening the water over it. The volcano called Moyore used to leave warning signs before an eruption, but these days she just blew up over the most insignificant of things. His conscience immediately piped up in reply that perhaps hosting seven men in their small apartment, all of them conspicuously bachelors, well into the early hours of the day did not exactly count as insignificant. But they were his friends; the octet had gone through secondary school and university together, and three of them had even finished in the same graduate school. It was hard to turn them away when they all waylaid him on the way home, declaring that they had come to mourn with him the systematic loss of his freedom.
First came the engagement with Moyore, and then they had to quickly get married on account of her unexpected ‘surprise’. Within the span of one year, Ademola had gone from bachelor and libertine to married and now, expectant father. That, in his friends’ opinion, was something worth lamenting over.
He reached under the bowl for a small pot and filled it with water. So perhaps he’d been a little inconsiderate of his wife’s feelings somewhere after their second rounds of beer; in retrospect, he should have sent them all home at that point. But that was not the real issue. The real problem, the one that he diligently tried to avoid touching, was the fact that Moyore could not stand his friends and barely hid her feelings. Ademola thought it a little harsh, seeing as these men were like brothers to him but at the same time, he could see her point. She meant that they could certainly see that his status and priorities had change, and ought to act in deference to his new responsibilities.
Moyore burst out of the bedroom, slinging her tiny purse over her shoulder. It was nothing a housewife and expecting mother should carry, but her stubbornness was a sword with only one edge. “Don’t bother driving me to work- I’ll take a cab.”
He walked over and reached for her hand. “Moyore wait. You are angry because of the noise the boys made here last night and I’m sorry. I apologize on their behalf and I will talk to them. Ma binu, jo o.”
She narrowed her eyes and shook her head, obviously not placated by the apology. “Kini temi n’be? You’re the one who hasn’t cut the strings from the past yet…sometimes I wonder if you are ready for any of this at all.” She shrugged out of his hold and walked away, leaving him standing in the passageway, serenaded by the morning breakfast show.