Monica was waiting for him outside her house by the time he got there. “Seriously?! I thought I told you I have a nine ‘o’ clock? At this rate, when will I get there?” She got into the owner’s corner angrily. He dutifully started the car. He said nothing until she arrived at her destination. He stopped the engine. As she was about to leave the car, he asked her if he should come pick her up. She tossed an angry, “suit yourself” over her shoulder as she walked away. He put on his mobile data and accepted the first request that came in. he did not have time for her nonsense. He was late and he was sorry about it. His eyes drooped and his heart felt very heavy. He was tired and spent. He would head home and get some more sleep. He would tell his wife he was on sick leave.
He headed home and walked in. In the living room, Beyonce and Solange were busy setting up for their Instagram story, He cringed at the whole affair. His living room was looking like a backstage area. “Where is my wife?” At first, they did not answer him. “Please, where is she?” Beyonce nudged Solange. “Antenatal.” “Thank you.” He made his way into their bedroom and fell soundly asleep. He was woken up by the vibrations of his phone. He picked up without confirming the caller id. Continue reading “CAB 12”→
He checked his dashboard. This would be his last trip before he would head home. He caught a glimpse of the couple making out in the back from the rear view. His heart melted a little. He missed her so badly, he felt like crying. She would be fast asleep by the time he got back home. He dropped off his riders and made his way back to town. The streets of Lagos were eerily silent and the purring sound of his engine grated on his nerves. He wound down the car windows. He felt the cool breeze of the night on his forehead while his facial hair was merely tickled by the wind. His jaw was covered with facial hair. He also had a moustache and side burns. He was the poster boy for the beard gang. He tugged at his beard and grimaced. He would be home in a bit.
As he took the bend in front of him, he did not see the figure lying in the middle of the road. The form suddenly straightened, forcing him to apply his brakes. He saw one or two figures emerge from nowhere. With surprising quickness, he reversed out of the bend and went back the way he came. His heart pounding louder than the sound of his engines. He revved the engine, constantly checking to see if he was being pursued. After going round in circles to avoid leading them to his house, he finally decided to find his way home. He parked a bit further from the house, and settled for a jog from the car to their apartment. He let himself in quietly taking more time than was necessary to lock-up.
The house was silent, as always. Even the chatty twins could not defy mother nature. He steadied his shaking hand as he opened the door to their bedroom. His relief at the darkness was turned to alarm as he heard some sobs. He put on the light and saw her lying on her back with her feet touching the floor. Her palms covered her eyes and she was crying. She tried to get up as soon as she noticed him. Her eyes were bloody and her face was swollen. She sat on the edge of the bed and supported her self with her hands. She looked at him expectantly. He said nothing.
She cocked her head to the side. “Are you okay? You are breathing heavily?” He quickly hid his still trembling hands behind his back. “I am fine. Why are you not sleeping?” He looked at her stomach. “You good?” She looked away from hum. “Why do you care? When last did you have a conversation with me? When?” She took a deep breath and plumped her pillow with her fist. “I am fine. I was worried about you. This is later than normal. It is almost 4.00a.m. in the morning.” She lay on her back and was asleep instantly. He heaved a sigh of relief. He would not be so lucky tomorrow. This conversation had merely been postponed. He had to pick Monica up for a 9.00am meeting. He dragged himself into the shower before he turned in for the night. He chuckled at the thought since it was after 4.00a.m. already.
Then he came to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done as you told me. Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that you may bless me.”
It has been two weeks. Beyonce and Solange have not been bad company. As a matter of fact, they have been a bigger blessing to her than she could have imagined. She did not even mind their attempt at having a musical career. It seemed like Deji no longer stayed at home. He came home much later then ever, and was out before she even woke up. She was so round that she could not move freely. It was much easier to sit still and not move a finger.
Beyonce and Solange had recorded a short video of them singing one of their songs for their instagram story. She had watched it again and laughed till her sides hurt. Solange was so silly – she had said, ‘Aunty mi, if this child does not come out with Adele’s voice, problem go dey o’. She scooped the last spoon of the soup in the pot and dumped into plate angrily. This was getting annoying. Deji was hardly ever at home to eat. He would come in at some ungodly hour and leave at a devilish one. No pillow talk. No conversation. No hugs. He was not even joking with the twins. She covered the plate and slid into the fridge. This whole thing just had a way of upsetting her. Was she not a good wife? Did she nag him too much? No, that could not be it. Apart from that night where she suggested they cut down expenses to meet their economic realities, she had said nothing else about his job. She had not touched him in what felt like forever.
Beyonce and Solange shuffled into the kitchen but not before she could hide her forlorn look. If they noticed it, they did not say anything. She looked at them pointedly. ‘I am not doing anything for your instagram stories.’ The baby kicked and she gasped. The twins rushed towards her to put their ears on her abdomen. The baby kicked again. They gathered for a group hug. Solange coughs, ‘I feel like an integral part of this baby’s life already’. Then an awkward silence settles over the group.
She cleared her throat. “If you do not mind, please put out the lights when you are done here. I am turning in for the night.” She felt the tears burning behind her closed eyelids. She missed Abby desperately. She understood that things were difficult for them. Would it not have been better if Deji had lost his job instead? Maybe, that would have forced him to take things at a slower pace. She had to remind him that they would be alright.
She sank into the floor. They had to talk today, regardless of the time he came back. It was not hard to see that Deji was avoiding the house, she did not want to say he was avoiding her, but the problem was why? Especially since the twins had come to stay. What was going on? Her head involuntarily fell forward. Wow, she was dozing off. She pulled herself up and began to pace the bedroom. She had to see him today.
She sang as she paced. The she prayed. She prayed for her unborn child. She prayed for her delivery date, the hospital she had been attending her antenatal sessions, the doctors and nurses that will attend to her. She prayed for the twins. She prayed for Abby and Eddy. She prayed for her job. Then she prayed for Deji. The words just came. When she got tired of pacing, she sat. When she got tired of sitting, she lay on her back. When she got tired of lying on her back, she walked to the bathroom and sat on the toilet bowl. She repeated the sequence until she began to sweat. She felt so uneasy praying about Deji. She could feel that something was wrong. She paused to check the time. It was 2.38 a.m. He was still not back. She sat on the bed and began to cry.
She dragged herself away from the TV. She had to put a stop to the binge-watching she has been doing for the past few days. She pouted while talking to her reflection on her phone screen.
‘Deji does not keep me company any more.’
Her phone’s LED blinked. One of her cousins, they were a pair of twins, had sent her a message on Whatsapp.
‘Aunty mi, so we heard you are on maternity leave.’
She heaved a tired sigh. She could feel the heaviness in her heart. Her cousins, Solange and Beyonce (the names made her cringe, she really did not know what her sister-in-law was thinking) were not bad company but she really wanted to spend time with her Deji and nobody else. She replied the chat.
‘Yeah. Gotta let the baby rest and all.’
Beyonce replied instantly.
‘You wouldn’t mind if we stopped by?’
What do they mean ‘stopped by’? It meant they would be there for at least a week!
‘Aunty, we just finished exams o. It would be nice to help you with the heavy lifting. *wink* *wink*’
She flung her phone to the sofa.
‘We have a two week-break.’
She picked up her phone again. She said it already, didn’t she?
She clenched her teeth as she typed.
‘You know you are welcome here anytime.’
She pulled herself up from the chair. Beyonce and Solange – the thought of their names alone could induce a miscarriage. Her ankles hurt badly. She paused to examine her feet. Right, except her belly wasn’t transparent. She sucked in her cheeks. It was time to take a walk. Continue reading “CAB 9”→
The ride back to their house was silent. She was strung up. He could tell. She had applied her hand cream three times already. They had spent roughly twenty minutes on the road. His fingers drummed on the steering wheel. They had less than roughly 120 seconds before the light turned green. He cleared his throat. What could he say? She took a deep breath.
He glanced sharply towards her. Her cheeks were wet with tears. “Hey.” He squeezed her thigh gently. She wiped her tears away. “I feel so bad.” She shook her head as if to staunch the flow of her tears. “Look at us. Abbey and Eddy must be feeling so sad right now with you still going to work and all. You ever feel like we could do better? Maybe we should visit them more often?” She patted her swollen belly lovingly. The light turned green. “This baby has made me a Dracula. I snored at work on Friday. I am still embarrassed. Thank God it was my last day before my maternity leave.” She sighed again. “Abbey and I had the most awkward conversation when you guys left the table. She wouldn’t look at me and when she finally did, she wouldn’t hold my gaze. I can’t place my finger on what is wrong. I mean Eddie is not doing badly. On the brighter side, he is doing the cooking he always loved doing. I wouldn’t mind some of that grilled tilapia of his. Abby and I have not had our weekly lunch meetings in a month. I don’t know how I will survive this maternity leave without her.” Continue reading “CAB 8”→