Oye spent the next two days in total depression, he called his wife’s line a hundred and one times but she didn’t pick any of his call. He wanted her to answer a lot of questions bothering his mind. And he knew that until he saw her, there was no way his questions could be answered. He called Doctor Festus too, but he was out of the country on a sabbatical. Oye thought about calling his parents, and then her parents, but he didn’t do that because they had once promised each other that there would never be such time when third parties would be invited into their marital matter. Oye didn’t know if this situation was one of such, in which rules were to be broken. But he still felt the greater need to wait for her.
She came finally on Sunday evening.
“Why are you keeping the baby?… I mean, you still have a good chance of -”
“Oye, we have both had an hectic weekend,” She replied brusquely, her eyes had grown swollen and dark too revealing lack of sufficient sleep, “this is the worst time you should bother me with questions.”
He realized it was true, he hadn’t even welcomed her properly. His mind was glad that she came back to his house, but he still needed the audience more than anything else. Oye could not keep calm for long. He tried at first, went to take a warm shower, came into the room, walked restlessly into the sitting room, came back into the room. Went to the kitchen to boil water for tea, came back into the room.
He walked towards the cupboard, to see if he would stir her curiosity by pretending to be going out, but she was unconcerned as she pretended to be sleeping. He threw the shirt away and came back to lie beside her on the bed. She turned in the opposite direction without opening her eyes.
“Tee. Please answer me!” He yelled and kept quiet quickly, realizing that yelling would only add insult to injury. “Tee. You are acting as if this is a situation that I am familiar with, as if there is no danger that could erupt from it. As if I have experienced something like this before and I can handle it. But you are wrong; you know you are very wrong.
How would I explain that my wife who has not been pregnant for me in the past five years of our marriage is now pregnant FOR SOMEBODY ELSE? How would you expect me to live up to this? What would people say?” Oye’s eyes didn’t struggle to shed tears, streams of tears had been lurking beneath his brows – somewhere around his corneas, they had broken loose at intervals during the weekend and now that he needed them most, they flowed ceaselessly.
Tina had thought she would ignore everything he had to say – Just go to bed, wake tomorrow get dressed and leave the house – she had concluded, but the way he sobbed and sniffed, and made her appear like the devil was infuriating. She jerked up from bed and couldn’t believe that so much anger still subsisted inside her as she yelled; “You had better shut your trap!”
Oye was bewildered. Some few nights ago, they had both been shedding tears as a third party tried to break the love they both nursed for each other. Oye had stood in her defense fiercely, almost risking death until he was threatened with a gun. Who would have thought that such Princess who he fought for would now be pointing the gun at him just few weeks after.
“Whatever it is that has turned you to this, please talk to me and explain.”
“I know about Juliet. I know about what has been going on between you two.” She said coldly to her now totally electrified husband, “I’ve always known about her.” She wore a firm look and turned around again so that he would not see her cry anymore.
“What?” Oye whispered inaudibly. Everywhere suddenly became quiet again. None of them would talk until the next day.
Oye heard the boiling kettle hissing furiously in the kitchen some moments after their necessary silence, but it sounded to him no more than the harmless sound of a rat scratching the base of a metal door. He didn’t budge. With her last sentence; Tina had brought the whole picture clearly into his memory. Oye’s big secret has always been the beautiful, babie-shaped brunette Juliet. He loved Tina, he loved everything about her, but Juliet was just that complete version of Tina, from whom he got everything else he didn’t get from his 99 percent Tina. Now that he realized that his own joke was on him and the cat had been let out of the bag, his mind became even heavier with more thoughts.
Tina’s timely intervention saved the house from getting burned by the heated dried kettle on the flaming gas cooker.
To be continued…