The sound of the alarm makes you stir from sleep. You are surprised it’s dawn. It seem like you had only gone to bed.
“Put the alarm off nah”. Your voice laced with irritation. The generator your neighbour kept on all night provides enough noise. “Ogechi” you call. Your voice slightly raised. The only sound you hear in response is the whirring sound of the generator outside. The alarm had momentarily stopped its wake-up call.
You throw your legs apart. Your right hand rests between your legs, while the other run slowly over the empty space by your side. It rests on a part of the bed you assume her buttocks would have laid. You caress the sheets, desire raging in your loins.
The door squeaks. You hear footsteps. Your fingers have ceased from the caress, but desire still rages in you. You are still. The only motion comes from the occasional jerk in your shorts.
“Olamide, shift” she says. You wonder if she knows you are awake.
“You no go go work” you say, feigning concern. You adjust to make space for her. You adjust again as she settles in. Your body in close contact with hers.
“Five-thirty never knack. I set the alarm early so I fit pray”. She paused, heaved a breath, and then added “I even wake before the alarm ring”
“Wetin happen na” you ask. You edge closer. Your hand finds her waist. Your fingers pull at the hairs below her navel.
“Olamide” she says.
“Yes, my……” she didn’t let you finish.
“You don call that man wey promise you job?”
“Emm……” you hesitate, not sure what to say.
“You don call am?” she asks again.
“I go call am”
“Ah, Olamide” she quipped. “Why na?”
“I go call am” you say. You edge closer. Your movement stems more out of desire than a need to reassure her. Your fingers try to slide under the loose elastic band of her short. She yanks your hand off, as she lifts herself off the bed.
“Na only for woman body man fit show him strength, eh?”
“Ogechi” you call. Your voice truly raised. For a moment, you are grateful for the noise from your neighbour’s generator.
“I dey hear you” she responds.
“Nibo ni oro pe onlo?” you ask in Yoruba. “Where you dey go?”
“You think say everybody dey jobless?” she replies in pidgin, though she speaks Yoruba well. You smile. A wry smile.
You hear her footsteps. She is walking away from the bed. “Ogechi” you call. She stops. She stops to pick something from the table. You feel less a man when she refuses you her duty as a wife, even more, when she ignores you. You leap from the bed, marching towards the open door. You are the man. She dare not disobey you. You have restrained yourself from beating her since you were joined as man and wife three months ago. That record you are about to break.
“Olamide, comot make I pass”. You grab her waist, trying to overpower her. There’s a slight struggle. The tenacity of her strength makes it a difficult task. She pulls from your grip.
Your hand reach for her shoulder, not to struggle, but as a plea. “Come nah” you say. The struggle seems to have drained your strength and anger. She shoves your hand away. Her hand mistakenly hits the space between your legs. It felt more like a caress. Your bulge stretching the expanse of your shorts.
“Olamide, I no wan go late oh”.
“Abeg na” you say. The softness of your voice surprises you.
“Make I pass jare”. She charges towards you. The struggle lasts only for few seconds. You look on as she walks past you. You blink, only to shed a tear. Maami said a good wife never refuses her husband.
You make a dash. A dash for the wardrobe. Your mobile phone is there. You forgot to remove it from the trouser you wore the previous night. You returned home too tired and drunk to care about your phone. You almost trip as you approach the wardrobe. You kick at the pile of dirty clothes that almost made you fall. Ogechi has refused to wash them.
You dial a number. A few rings and a woman’s voice comes alive. You smile. You are Maami’s favourite. She always respond to every cry and need of yours. You must inform her about Ogechi’s misbehaviour. You also long for her presence and comfort. If you are lucky, she might help you wash the dirty clothes too.
“Hello” you say. Your voice breathy and appealing. “Maami……..”