They sat side by side on the veranda outside the house, the evening wind chasing away the blazing heat of the day.
‘Do you remember the first time that we had an argument Ibe?’ Sandy asked.
‘Of course I do,’ Ibe replied wryly. ‘How could I forget?’
A smile fleeted across sandy’s lips and then her brows furrowed.
‘You had forgotten my birthday and then had the audacity to come back home demanding I draw up a hot bath for you.’
‘I didn’t forget it, Ibe protested. ‘I remembered earlier in the day and was going to get you a wonderful surprise gift before my boss hit me with the news of my salary cut and then demanded that I work overtime that day without pay.’
‘Is that what happened?’ Sandy asked
They sat in relaxed silence for a couple of minutes.
‘I remember throwing a glass plate at you after you asked me to boil hot water for you,’ Sandy reminisced.
‘I remember ducking behind the chair and asking you what I had done wrong,’ Ibe rejoined.
‘I remember telling you that I would keep throwing plates at you till you knew what it was that you had done wrong.’
Ibe chuckled at the memory. ‘And then I screamed, ‘Why are you acting like I crazy person?!
‘And I became insulted, Sandy continued.
‘Is this not how the white women on TV act when they are angry?’ I asked you. ‘They throw glass things around at their husbands. You were lucky that I didn’t choose to welcome you with a knife or a gun. I wanted a son with your beautiful nose and eyes or else it would have been bullets instead of glass plates.’
Ibe let out a hearty laugh, long and full from the pit of his belly.
Sandy blinked at the sound then giggled at him.
‘And do you remember what you said in return? She asked, looking at him intently.
‘Why don’t you handle this the way your mother and father used to when they had their own arguments?’ ‘I shouted at you.
‘And I retorted that my mother died handling it because she kept so many things on her inside that one day it all burst out and she fell down and died.’
‘African women don’t do fights well,’ you pointed out, said Ibe.
‘Yes I did say that didn’t I?’
‘Uh huh,’ Ibe toned.
‘Then I ran out of glass plates, and you stood up with both palms turned up and walked towards me slowly.
‘Eyeh,’ you said in a pleading voice.
‘Don’t call me that! I snapped at you.
Ibe grinned and continued.
‘Sandra, please,’ I rephrased.
‘Sandy…you snapped. ‘My name is Sandy.’
‘Sandy, ‘I had pleaded, ‘I am sorry. Let me take you out to for a birthday dinner.’
‘But, Sandy continued, I told you that I had already made ogbono soup and pounded yam, and then I started looking for more things to throw at you.’
‘Then I told you about a new French restaurant that had just opened in town.
Are you mad!? I had shouted at you. You want to take me out to eat the cold tasteless food of the white man instead of eating my pounded yam and ogbono soup?
‘And then, ‘Ibe finished, ‘you saw the glass cups and resumed throwing at me.
‘How did the fight even end?’ Sandy asked
‘You ran out of cups, sat down and burst into tears.’
They both laughed heartily.
We had the best time of our lives, didn’t we? Ibe asked softly.
He turned to Sandy and found her looking at him strangely.
‘Who are you? She asked, yanking her hand out of his.