Daisy woke up by 6am, it is a normal routine for her because her body had grown accustomed to it, today was Monday. She went to the kitchen to see what she could fix up as breakfast for Jide before he left for work, much as she would have preferred a honeymoon, she knew it was as close as wishing for the moon so she thought it best to settle herself into her wifely role, even though she knew Jide would neither care nor appreciate the gesture.
At about 7 when Jide came out from his study-for that was where he had moved his clothes to yesterday while Daisy watched with a sunken heart as the hope of them ever consumating their marriage slipped-he hardly paid a glance to the set dining table before he picked his car keys and left the house without a word at her either.
Daisy wasn’t hurt, she had half expected that to happen, it wasn’t even as if she had fix anything spectacular for him to eat, she had improvise with the little food items she could find in his scanty kitchen and fixed him jollof rice cooked with sardine, she however applauded herself mentally for her super effort in bringing something out of nothing, so it was totally Jide’s business if he decided to starve himself!
Her piece said, she rose from the chair in the parlor where she’d been sitting and carefully carried the untouched food back to the kitchen then walked to the room to go arrange her legion of clothes, mama had sent them yesterday evening through the family driver.
Though Daisy would have loved if Mama had came herself for she needed company to cope with the cold silence that pervaded the house after they returned, she consoled herself with the carton of juice mama also sent, it meant her ‘juiceless’ nights were over.
As she hung her clothes in the now empty hanger, she sang along Alicia Keys’ ‘Super human’ playing from her phone, she wondered where her husband would continue sleeping and wished he had rather slept here with her even if he decided to still keep his distance on the bed.
‘As if that was possible’ Daisy said to herself and giggled.
she was through with her clothes ‘chore’ and was now hanging her bags when she heard a noise out in the hallway. Stopping, she tiptoed to the door and listened closely by placing her ears by the door, she heard a noise like someone opening a door. Immediately she opened her door and looked down to see a guy trying to open Jide’s study which was the last room at the left side of the hallway. She guessed him to be in his mid-twenties.
So many thoughts coursed through her mind, was he a burglar? a friend? or at worst Jide’s male part…… She stopped that train of thought, she didn’t believe Jide would stoop that low! The guy, very oblivious to the fact that he was being watched had opened the door and was about to enter when he turned and saw Daisy.
She was in between the half opened door.
Daisy: ‘Don’t come any further’ she spoke now, alarm in her tone. The guy had been walking towards her then. He stopped midway and smiled very unsure.
The Guy: ‘Am sorry ma, Adamu told me you were around but i….’ he had this slight calarbar accent.
Daisy: ‘Who are you?’ Daisy interrupted still not pacified, she also made no move to leave her position.
The Guy (House Keeper): ‘oh, sorry…’ he apologised again ‘i should have… Well my name is Okon Edet, i am the house keeper here, well…sort of’
Daisy: ‘The housekeeper?’ Daisy asked, she was getting a bit relaxed.
Okon (House Keeper): ‘yes, i come to clean every Monday, Wednesday and Friday’
Daisy: That’s plausible enough she thought, her initial alarm gradually evaporating. ‘oh…okay…hello’ she greeted now and wanted to come out fully, but remembering that she was still clad in Jide’s shirt now turned to her night wear since he seemed not to need it anymore, she stopped.
Okon: ‘Hi’ okon replied smiling.
Daisy: ‘but how did you get the key to that room?’ Daisy asked.
Okon: ‘Mr. Jide dropped it with Adamu, he asked me to clean it up and do other things there cos…’
Daisy: ‘its okay’ Daisy said, she couldn’t care more. ‘Let me leave you to your work then’
Okon: ‘ok ma’ Okon said and walked away.
Daisy closed her door and locked it this time, she wouldn’t take any more chances with whatever housekeeper of Jide that came calling again. She chastised herself now for where her stray thoughts would have led her then and resumed her ‘chores’ singing along the song that was now playing in her phone, it was Beyonce’s ‘halo’.
So much for the neat freak jide she had formed, for there goes the secret. She thought again.
Jide was all angry when he drove into the family company building located at Eric Moore part of surulere. He didn’t reply the greeting of people that he passed nor bothered about the look of surprise etched on their face.
The moment Daisy knew better to keep her distance and stop annoying him more with the pretence of love, docility and submissiveness, the better for them both. What had she thought would be the outcome of her preparing breakfast for him?
Did she think they were the best of newly weds? Maybe the surprise visit of the furniture persons would jolt her out of her fantasy. Jide thought angrily as he marched through the stairs that led to his office in the second floor of the two storey building they shared with another company.
The olukoya’s company occupied the first and second floor while the other company occupied the ground floor. Their company deals with the importation of household items and other sundry, the second floor housed the offices while the first floor served as the show room.
Jide’s presence startled his secretary who had been making a call that was obviously not concerned with business.
Secretary: ‘goodmorning sir…i didn’t know you would be coming in this morning, i….’ the secretary stammered, she had carelessly dropped the land phone and the phone was now dangling carelessly by her side.
Jide: ‘oh really, did my schedule show that i will be absent today’ jide asked irritated.
Secretary: ‘no but since you got married on Sat…she started defensively
Jide: ‘that, Joyce is not your business, your business is to get me the invoice and documents that come into my section…’
Secretary: ‘your father intercepted them, he said you wont be coming in today…’
Jide: ‘he what! What’s wrong with everyone? just cos i got married doesn’t mean am paralysed or that life wouldn’t go on’ Jide was saying as he marched out to his father’s office.
Minutes later, he was in his office. The way he had barged in startled the oldman who had been perusing a document.
Jide: ‘what the hell is the meaning of this?’ he shouted. ‘what right have you to intercept the document meant for me?’ Jide barked
Jide’s Dad: ‘Is that a new form of goodmorning?
Jide: ‘i didn’t come here for pleasantries’ jide shouted. ‘why did you f.ucking redirect all my invoices to your section?’ he asked again.
Jide’s Dad: ‘come on, you and i know that you were not supposed to be in office today or even this week, you just got married and you ought to be on your honeymoon…’ he was saying with a rather cajoling tone.
Jide: ‘give me a break ‘dad’ you can go honeymoon for all i care, i just need those invoices so i can get to work immediately’ he interrupted still shouting.
Jide’s Dad: ‘its okay, very Okay Jide, i quite understand, your document are still with Alice out there, you can get them on your way out’
Jide: ‘fine!’ Jide barked and stormed out of his office, banging the door after him. ‘foolis.h old people trying to run my life’ he muttered.
Jide’s father was speechless, he regretted listening to his mother about forcing this marriage on Jide, For he wasn’t sure now, if it had been the best thing he had ever done, though it had seemed so then.
As Jide marched angrily to his office, the documents in his hand, he almost ran into Ade who was coming towards him.
Ade: ‘slow down man! why are you all smokes?’ Ade asked smoothing his suit, he was one to care so much about his look for he thought himself handsome and the ladies delight.
Jide: ‘i really don’t have the time to chat’ Jide replied irritation showing on his face, but he didn’t make any move to continue on his way.
Ade: ‘oh yeah, you should have said so man, rather than try to make me look all ruffled and on a Monday too!’ he was still sulky over his suit.
Jide: ‘really Ade grow up, ‘Jide said with an irritated tone ‘its only a suit not your miserable life!’ Jide retorted and started walking away.
Ade: ‘and aren’t you supposed to be cruising the world with that damsel wife of yours for the honey…’
Jide: ‘not you too!’ jide interrupted almost shouting and stopped ‘why don’t you f.ucking stick to your business?’
Ade: ‘its my business you know, i witnessed the marriage, i was the ring bearer, infact i …’
Jide: ‘yeah, you could also go witness the honeymoon in my place’ Jide replied now walking away for real. Ade was really an annoying pest and he could go on forever with this discussion. Jide was clearly not in the mood to banter with this friend of his who made it an habit to pester people. They weren’t even best of friends, but then again Jide hardly kept friends.
Ade: ‘I’d love to!’ Ade shouted to the retreating figure of Jide. Unlike Jide, Ade considered it a blessing for Jide family to have gotten him hooked with a ‘kokolet’ like Daisy, that girl was sooo fine and even though he wasn’t thinking about marriage soon, he wouldn’t have bothered much if Daisy was forced on him and he just might take up Jide’s offer one of this days, he thought merrily as he waltzed with a funny step to his own section of the company.
From then on, Jide made sure that nobody talked to him about his ‘unfortunate’ wedding or even mentioned something as close to it, if they didn’t want problem with him. Everyone in his office respected his ‘orders’ and acted as it they hadn’t trooped to Queen’s Hotel on a pleasant Saturday to celebrate a wedding, things just went back to normal as if their second in command hadn’t experienced any change. But the grapevine didn’t cease their wagging.
Daisy was all dressed and sitting in the parlour watching a movie in Africa Magic, Okon was scrubbing away at the dining table, he was also whistling a tune as he worked, then out of nowhere he asked:
Okon: ‘Madam, do i also clean the room’
Daisy: ‘what?’ Daisy asked, she had been engrossed in the movie, she was also a sucker for Nollywood movies, they intrigued her.
Okon: ‘I asked if i could clean the room too, you know with you around and…’he was saying
Daisy: ‘No no don’t bother with that’ she said and was returning her attention to the movie again but stopped and added ‘you don’t also need to clean…you know what, just continue’ she completed and turned back to the movie. she had wanted to include the kitchen.
Not long later, they heard a noise outside, it was rather loud and sounded like a big truck just rammed into the compound.
Daisy: ‘what could that be?’ Daisy stood now and was walking towards the door.
Okon: ‘it should be the fur…’ Okon was saying when he zoomed past her, but she didn’t get the last part of his statement, she didn’t need to because as she got to the door, what she saw in front of the compound was a large truck with the name ‘Johnson’s furniture’ written boldly on it, it was also accompanied with pictures of different house furnishing accessories.
Immediately her heart sunk. But she wasn’t sure why. Okon was talking to one of the men now, later two men climbed into the truck and came out with wooden parts of a bed, they were followed by two other men carrying a blue king size mattress. They were marching towards the house.
She clearly knew why her heart missed a bit then, this husband of hers had show the greatest derision and disrespect she could ever imagine or handle, so this was what he had been cooking all along without even a breath of word to her? And to add to the insult, he had intimated his housekeeper with the info while she was left in the dark. She felt so invincible, She didn’t know which was more painful, the fact that he had totally disregarded her in front of the world or the fact that he had openly shown that he couldn’t be bothered by their marriage. She felt so hurt down to the bone marrow, her hope was slipping away gradually and the fear that the future was laced with cold and loveless days loomed in her heart.
She quietly left the door to go sit on the chair so that the men could pass.
Okon: ‘Madam they want to…’ Okon was saying but stopped when he noticed the expression on Daisy’s face, it was gloomy. ‘Just do whatever, its okay by me’ she managed to say, she wasn’t sure of herself or her emotions anymore, she could feel that ancient gland that held her tears starting to rise. Okon left her. This emotions would not be the death of me. She thought angrily and forced herself to concentrate on the movie.
In the movie, Jim Iyke was then kneeling down in proposal to an actress, Daisy wasn’t sure she had seen her before, but right then, that was the least of her problem. Infact it was like compounding the problem, she felt like slapping the two Id.iots who didn’t know that marriage wasn’t that rosy as the st.upid smile on the girls face. Infact, she simply lost interest and switched off the irritating movie, then started for her room.
‘Her room’ she thought painfully, she wasn’t gonna be sharing it with Jide or anyone else for that matter so she had better start getting used to it. Her initial question about his place of rest was now more than answered.
In the hallway, she met the men bearing the mattress trying to fit it through the narrow hallway to Jide’s study now turned his room. Maybe that was what Okon had been telling her earlier in the morning she remembered.
Well, It didn’t matter anymore for now she knew. She quietly shut her door and locked it without a second glance at the struggling men.
Later on her bed, she mechanically went to her phone’s playlist and selected Beyonce’s ‘Broken hearted girl’. Even though she knew it wasn’t the best of song for her nerves right now, she still didn’t care, instead she set the song to replay then slowly drew the blanket over her. Minutes later, she felt those hateful stream of tears roll down uncontrollable.
She spent the whole day locked in, she didn’t know when Okon left or when Jide returned. The only time she left her room was around 2am when she practically sleep-walked to the kitchen to go take her nightly dose of juice.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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