Seun pulled the zip of the bag shut and took a final glance around the room. It was spotless; nothing out of place just the way Tunde like it. She hadn’t been able to resist tiding up after packing. She sighed. Old habits die hard. She picked the bag and headed towards the door. But it open before she got there.
“Seun?” Tunde said.
She froze, nearly passing out again. He was not supposed to be home for a couple more hours. She was supposed to have been gone, safely at her friend’s place. The children had already been taken there. She took a few steps back holding the bag in front of her like a shield. His eyes roved over her and settled on the travelling bag.
“Are you going somewhere?” He asked.
Seun swallowed hard. The bag was too big to be mistaken for anything else than what it was; lying was out of the question. Panic threatened to overwhelm her, but visions of the doctor trying to revive a lifeless body just a few hours ago galvanized her.
“I am leaving this house…I mean I am leaving you. I can’t go on like this anymore.”
“I see… well before you leave can we sit down and talk first? ” Tunde asked quietly.
To say she was taken aback would be an understatement. She had been expecting all hell to have been let loose by now with Tunde screaming at her or already beating her but it had not happen. Instead he wanted to talk? In fact he looked troubled. This must be some kind of trap…she slipped her free hand into her pocket. Thankfully she had Betty on speed dial.
“I don’t want to talk Tunde. I just want to leave now. Let me pass,” she said.
Betty voice erupted from the phone on speaker. “Seun ? Yes?”
She dropped the bag and slipped the phone out her pocket.
“Betty, Tunde is back and he won’t let me leave,” she said.
“ I’ll call the police right away… ” Betty said.
“Wait Betty, I am not going to do anything to her…I just want to talk.” Tunde called out.
“Just ignore him go ahead and …” Seun voice trailed off in the face of the only action that could have made her stop talking.
Tunde on his knees. “Seun please … I just want us talk I promise I won’t stop you if you still want to leave…”
Am I hallucinating? Seun asked herself.
Gone was the selfish, self important husband she’d come to know in his place was a man she didn’t recognised. He looked broken and defeated. But by what?
“Seun? Seun?” Betty called anxiously.
“I am here Betty… just give me five minutes… let me hear what he has to say…”
“No. Seun no…” Betty voice came through forcefully from over the phone.
“Its ok… you can come and pick me. If you come and I don’t open the door get the police.” Seun said.
“Seun… ok, I am on way.” Betty said and hung up.
“You have until Betty gets here.” Seun said.
“…Father in heaven bless this grave in which we are about to commit the body of your beloved daughter Oluwatoyin Rebecca Adeshina…”
As the attending minister solemnly intoned the last rites, Tunde squeezed Seun arm gently in reassurance has she had began softly crying again and he wondered about second chances and sunglasses. He glanced over at Kunle…Remi, and decided he was gratefully for both gifts. The dark shades the elder man wore hid his eyes well. Hid the story; and as for second chances…he pulled Seun closer.
His eyes made brief contact with Remi’s.
Thank you. He said silently.
“Ashes to ashes and dust to dust…”