“What is that?”
After two days of battling with herself trying to decide whether or not to carry out the old lady’s crazy instructions, she eventually bit the bullet and sold their olympic size, deluxe, mattress with its exotic frame for that.The contraption that now stood at the center of their bedroom.
“I said what is that?” her husband asked again.
Her top ten explanations (which were wholly inadequate anyway) vanished from her head. And she found herself as they say winging it.
“It’s a bed.” She replied.
Her husband exhaled slowly (a sign that he was seriously trying to control himself) before speaking again:
“Where is our bed?” He asked.
“I sold it.” She replied.
“You sold it? Woman, are you out of your mind? Why did you sell it?”
“It was the cause of our marital problems.” She replied weakly in her defence.
“Really? Well I have news for you. You and not the bed are the cause of all the marital issues in this house! Not only am I married to an irrational woman, I am apparently married to a crazy one as well!”
“Are you calling me crazy?”
“Yes, I am. How else can you explain this rubbish? Look, I am going out now, because if I stay here a second longer I may do something stupid. So, if you like yourself, before I come back I want that ‘thing’ out of here and my bed back in there. ”
And he slammed the door behind him.
Dejectedly, she walked up to the ‘thing’ and sat on it. It groaned loudly in protest. What on earth had possessed her? Her husband’s tongue lashing hurt but could she really blame him? This new bed was a joke. For one, it would barely contain the two of them. It was also super uncomfortable (she had already spent two sleepless night on it) and you couldn’t even breathe without it squeaking! What had she done? How on earth was this supposed to have fixed their relationship?
There was only one thing left to do: damage control. She would have to go and buy their old bed back. The old lady probably meant well, but this had only made her situation worse. Unfortunately, the earliest she could get that done was the next day. They were just going to have to manage for the night.
Later on in the evening, she found herself crawling into bed alone. Despite apologising and promising to get their former bed back, her husband had told her that he will be sleeping in the parlour until she had done so. She closed her eyes and began what she knew would be a unsuccessful attempt to fall asleep.
The bedroom door opened:
“What is wrong with the a.c in the parlour?” Her husband demanded.
“What do you mean what is wrong with it?” She asked.
“It is not working!”
“I don’t know anything about it. If I recall correctly you were the last person to use it. Now please, I want to sleep.”
She turned and presented her back to him. He should go and sort himself after all, this particular problem was not her making. She could actually sense him struggling to decide what to do. Finally she heard the door close and his footfalls has he approached the bed. He sat. And the bed squealed like a cat under torture. In spite of the circumstances she found herself smiling…in time past she would have teased him on the spot.
But the smile vanished as soon as he lay down beside her. Despite his and hers best efforts twisting and turning, adjusting and shifting their bodies were… touching.
Finally, they were able to put an inch or so between them, but it came at the price of having to lie stiff like a board. In a matter of minutes her whole body began to ache, but she was determined. The few moments of skin to skin contact had invoked images in her head she didn’t care for. she was mad at him about innumerable things and she wanted to stay mad. She just needed to hold on for a few more hours.
She dozed fitfully a couple of times, each time jerking awake and adjusting herself. But after awhile both her mind and body gave up on her and she fell asleep. She woke up only after her system had gotten the minimum rest it required. And she found to her dismay that not only were their bodies touching, they were spooning, her back against his chest and his arms wrapped loosely around her waist. She lay still for a while trying to control her emotions and tears welled up in her eyes. She didn’t want to move, she wanted them to stay like that… forever. But she knew they couldn’t. So, she tried to move away gently hoping not to wake him. His grip around her waist tighten.
She caught her breath; he was wide awake, they clearly hadn’t ended up in their present position by chance. He pulled her even closer and whispered into her ear:
“You smell wonderful ‘butterfly.'”
It was then she began to cry. The last time he had called her by his pet name for her had been so long ago.
“Please don’t cry.” He said.
” I am angry with you, very angry.” She sobbed.
“Turn around.” He said.
She did and he wiped her eyes and pulled her into his arms.
“I am not exactly happy with you either. But I think we have both allowed the situation to get out of hand. Shall we talk now?”
And they spoke and spoke and spoke. Their talk took them into the early hours of the morning.
“It is almost time for us to get up.” She said.
“Almost abi? I know what we can do with the little time we have left.” He said.
“I am not sure we have that much-” She began to say but never finished because he silenced her with a kiss and they got both got to work late that day.
“Well, well, well someone is looking bright and happy today.” The old woman said.
The young woman smiled from ear to ear.
“Mama, I don’t know how to express my gratitude…” She began, but old woman silenced her with a wave of her hand.
“Here.” The old woman handed her a tiny object.
Surprised, she turned it over in her hand for a while before she realized what it was.
“This is from our air conditioner…” She began.
But she discovered that she was talking to herself. The old woman was already up and on her way out of the park.
”Mama wait! Please, do we still need to keep the bed?” She asked.
“Not unless you enjoy back pain.” The old woman answered.
The young lady laughed.
She will hold on to the bed …as a souvenir.
“Bayo will never agree to sleep on something like this. In fact I can’t even sleep on it.”
“Titi, do you want to fix your marriage or not?”
“I do… but…”
Then trust me on this…it works…”