The Heart Calls It Home

The Heart Calls It Home

It’s the end of another long day at the office and as usual, Labake was really grateful to see it. She’d been staring so hard at the hands of the clock for over an hour as if by some sheer force of will, staring would make the clock go faster. She slowly shut down her p.c and gave a long sigh of relief as she closed it. Friday! What a relief! She thought.

As she sets her table in order and puts away the document she was working on, she noticed the small picture on her table. She stopped short, picked it up and stared at it. The smiling faces of two children, a boy and a girl, six and nine years looked back at her. Labake smiled sadly as she looked at her two children. This picture was a reminder of the very same reasons why she had to forge ahead and stretch herself to the limits, even when she didn’t feel like doing so, even when all she wanted to do was to get up and walk away without looking back or having second thoughts. She didn’t even realise that she was crying until she saw a tear drop on the frame of the picture leaving a blur on the little boy’s face and distorting his close-to-perfect smile. Quickly, she swiped off the stray tear drop with utmost care, as if she was wiping the real face of the little boy. Putting the framed picture back in its place, she picked up her handbag and stowed away the laptop. On getting to the door, she stopped, turned back to give her office a last once-over to make sure that everything was in its place. That was Labake, always meticulous with everything in her life. Her policy was that there should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. Satisfied with the ‘perfect’ state of the office, she switched off the light and walked towards the parking lot and into her car.

Labake worked in QuickTrix Management Consulting firm as the Information Technology Consultant. Her job was hectic enough giving the fact that she lived in Lagos and two hours away from her workplace – without the traffic of course. She had to get up as early as 3:30am everyday and on the road latest 4:30 am to beat the traffic. She seldom saw her kids except for weekends and on public holidays. When she got the job, she’d been full of enthusiasm and excitement because that was the only thing she’d ever wanted to do in her life. She’d felt like, at long last, she was contributing something in the society. Now, she wasn’t so sure. Instead of enthusiastic, she felt lethargic and all burned out. This whole feeling had started four years when she found out the ugly truth about the whole life she’d fought so hard to build. She shook her head vigorously as if to get rid of the trend her errant memory was about to undertake.

It was 10:00pm when she walked into the sitting room to meet the room bathed in the dim light from the red candles creating a soft, romantic ambiance. A whiff of vanilla fragrance hit her nose as she made her way across the room towards the small package wrapped in silky, red gift paper. As she was about to open the package, she felt his arms encircle her waist from behind as he nuzzled her neck.

“Welcome home dearie”, Kunle whispered softly into her left ear

Labake smiled and leaned back into his warm embrace

“Did I forget my birthday again?” She asked still smiling

“No dearie, I just want to spoil you a little. You work too hard too know.”

“ I know dear…But I…..”, she started to explain as she turned around to face him

“Shhh….don’t say a word” Kunle said kissing her softly. “Now, just go upstairs and take a bath. Let me get dinner warm. You need your strength for the night.”

Labake laughed softly and kissed him back gently. She leaned forward even more to deepen the kiss when she felt the hard nudge of the obstacle between them. The gift.

“Darling, what’s in the box?” She asked him breaking off the kiss

“You’ll see soon enough. Go ahead and take your bath”

Labake got up slowly albeit with reluctance, and walked upstairs towards the bathroom. She stopped on her way at her children’s room. They’d been tucked in bed two hours ago. My little angels, she thought sadly as she gazed at them full of love. I just have to keep you both safe from the ugly truth even if it means suffering in silence. The tears came on again as she remembered.

She had thought she was married to the perfect man who cared for her and her kids more than anything in the world. He’d always told her on so many occasions that she was his centre of existence and that without her, he would die. He showered her with gifts, made her feel whole and special once in a while. Even now, as she looked at Jumoke, her first child, who resembled Kunle in every way, she wondered what she had done wrong. Maybe she hadn’t loved him enough. Maybe, she’d let her work overcome her and maybe she had failed to be the perfect mother to his kids. She tried to make herself take the blame but she knew she was just making excuses for him. That’s what she always did. She sighed as she walked out of the room into her bedroom to get ready for a shower.

She found out about Kunle’s infidelity four years ago. No. Confirmed his infidelity would be a better way of putting it because she’d always sensed it. Call it a woman’s instinct or whatever, but she’d always known somehow that all was not what it seemed even before they got married over ten years ago. She’d noticed the subtle signs, the quick change of topic while talking on the phone the moment she walked in, the need to impress her all the time by always being around and saying nice things, going out of his way to do things for her, as if he had to be extra nice to make up for something he’d done wrong, the shifting of eyes away from her face when she stared at him silently questioning him for arriving late for a date.

Labake knew everything he did behind her back. His numerous girlfriends even his favourite love nest. She’d been smart enough to hire a private investigator who gave a complete update about her husband’s clandestine affairs. Today, she knew exactly where he’d been and whom he’d been with. A young girl of twenty-one. Bola Olaomo was her name. A third-year student of accountancy in the University of Lagos. The affair had been going on for two months now and that was the explanation for the gifts and attention. The candles and the kisses.

Labake wondered yet again, how long she could keep up with this charade. She’d sworn that she would bear it, without confronting him till her children become old enough to understand why she left because, leave him, she would. She’d already made plans for the future, but she had to wait patiently for the right time. She’d sworn never to get pregnant for him again and had gone on the pills without his knowledge. Yes! He’d hurt her real bad but she’ll hurt him the more by leaving him when he’d need her the most. When he becomes old and fragile.

Labake finished her bath, put on her nightie and walked down to the dining room. Towards the lying cheating bastard of a husband. Towards the lie she called home deep down in her heart. Towards the one person she hated with every fibre of her being. And she walked with an award-winning smile to execute, yet another Oscar deserving act of the century.

27 thoughts on “The Heart Calls It Home” by pinkette dawn (@pinkette)

  1. Now that is something i can never do. Put on an act day after day after day? Not in my character.
    Kick his cheating ass to hell and leave it nailed there!
    Nice story, Pinkette. Though the infidelity issue was kind of predictable, the way ynu told it made up for that.
    Way to go.

    1. Thanks Lade. Yes, it was really hard for Labake to put on an act day by day, but she was prepared to do anything for her kids even to the point of sacrificing her happiness.

  2. Lovely story Pinkette
    Felt the writers emotions in every line
    Looks like we should expect more.
    Am i right?

    1. Thanks Paul. More?? hmmm…we’ll see about that.

  3. you are welcome
    was just hoping
    you could definitely add more if you want to.

    1. I will add more hopefully. Let’s just see it goes.

      1. okay,still waiting.

  4. Wow! I didn’t see that coming…Yet “Labake smiled and leaned back into his warm embrace”…when in her heart she knew he was a lying and cheating husband??? How sad…They are both putting on a charade….how very sad… No wonder the sadness and tears when she looked at her kids picture.The kids will eventually get the shorter end of the stick in the sham their parents call a marriage. I wonder though, why she has never confronted her husband. You told this story very well, except for a few pesky typos.. well done!

    1. Mercy, thanks for noticing the typos, that’s what I call constructive criticism. She never confronted her husband because in her heart,she wanted to believe it was not true and she hoped he would change one day.

  5. Sigh.

    And the lies go on…
    Such torture….

    Is the semblance of a life worth the truth?!?!?


  6. Bad she aint using condoms, just pills. Will ditto @lade-a cuz by staying means she’s really not too bothered. Think it’s better to talk things out with the husband. A husband and wife can live in a house and just be parents and not husband and wife in reality. Think that arrangement’s better. A woman lying to herself, her husband and her children for that many years doesn’t seem good at all. Again, maybe that’s what keeps the family sane. Think there’re lot more things to tell. Love the reference to the Oscars. That kinda performance you mentioned, was thinking Kate Winslet in The Reader and most of her Oscar nominated films. or Haley Berry in Monster’s Ball. Love the story. Keep it up girl or lady or woman. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when a work’s so good and matured. It’s a compliment, just in case you don’t quite get it.

  7. Meen, but seriously how can she do that. It’s not easy o.
    i think she should take Lade’s advice, abi? But then again, she’e really thinking about the children.
    Hmmm, nice one Pinkette.
    I love the leisurely pace of the story.
    More please.

  8. Good story, and nicely told too. Labake indeed deserves an Oscar.

    But I wonder, isn’t she scared of catching some disease from him and his women?

  9. I sincerely hope there’s a next episode.. If not it is a wonderful story..
    Why won’t she just confront him?
    Why should she suffer in silence?
    Unless she wasn’t interested in making it work..

  10. Nice story Pinkette. A mother would indeed do anything for her kids even if it meant sacrificing her pride and happiness.I would be more like Lade though and kick him out. Labake is playing a dangerous game though.She could get sick from him but couln’t have him use condoms without saying that she knows everything. The odds are not in her favor and it would be better to leave him because if she would get sick,who would take care of the kids?

  11. emotional piece. the sacrifice of a true mother.
    keep writing.

  12. Hey Pinkette, I didn’t at first realize that Labake now hates her husband; she seemed to still love him.

    Asides from the obvious tense switch in this sentence “As she sets her table in order and puts away the document she was working on,” I think it might have read better like this, ‘As she set her table in order and put away the document she had been working on,’. What do you think?

    Nice work!

    1. Ooops! just saw that now. Thanks!

  13. Nice one…but I dare say she needs to talk over the issue…well…time can change things….me like….

  14. I confess I was a bit distracted by the tense shift at the beginning but the suspense and eventual revelation of the cheating husband made reading worth it. Kudos

  15. Nicely written story! I can imagine there are women out there who can conceal and bear the worst kinds of torment, just with the secret consolation that one day, she will get her own back. I totally understand why she is acting the way she does, tho’ I could never do that, lai lai :D. Once again, nice one, just be careful how you switch the tenses, which were distracting.

  16. This is very well written pinkette, except for the tenses shift as have been pointed out.The sacrifices women make for their family sha…..thank the good Lord I came a man…

    Well done!!!

  17. I like this, i felt Labake’s pain, the story had a good flow and apart from a little tweaking you need to do. This is good, thumbs up!

  18. Wow, nice shift to her actual feelings. And you did it in as few words as possible. And i like the flow. Ok-Ok, the suspense is killing me as well! Lol! More!

  19. I ditto Lade,can’t pretend for so long,whatever,her children will still know so why wait,howz that guy able to cheat on her so effectively?as in still show her love when he’s done outside?
    Nicely done…

  20. I wish there was a natural meter somewhere. cheat detector! I hate it like Dracula!
    Good story.

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