Jide pranced about the parlor in apprehension, his eyes darting every now and then at his watch, he knew Daisy would ordinarily not be back yet because he had headed home immediately after he dropped the call.
The journey from his office didn’t exceed thirty minutes, but given the circumstance that the roads were usually free in the afternoon’s because most people were at their work place or at their businesses, there was therefore less traffic on the road.
That had being the reason he’d arrived earlier than the normal thirty minutes he would have.
Yet, that knowledge hadn’t lessen his apprehension one bit, he wished Daisy was home already, and it wasn’t necessarily because he was starving of her presence, or that he was very hungry as he had claimed, he had his secretary to fix him whatever he needed, so that was far from the question.
The real reason why he had acted so unusual, that even Adamu had opened his eyes in surprise when he drove in had one evil name: Brenda.
That woman was trouble impersonified. Infact, he had brought up a working Principle to guide him through if he was ever going to save his marriage, and that was: ‘The fear of Brenda is the beginning of wisdom’. Just her name and things started happening.
Now with this meet up that Daisy had unwavering decided to go on with, he feared to even imagine what the outcome of would be.
And he was done pretending to like her even for a minute. Why? The girl was obviously a home wrecker with a first class degree, it was a real wonder how Daisy had retained her simplicity and sanity with such an influence like that! Infact, if there was something he fervently prayed for, it was for Brenda to simply disappear to wherever she appeared from and leave his wife and him alone. How hard can that be? Jide wondered in resignation. His eyes travelled to the wall clock this time around, the time seemed stagnated to him. Was it still 2:30 since then? He sighed and carried his prancing form to the kitchen, in all his apprehension and wandering, he’d actually forgotten that his throat was parched.
Best to take something and calm down for a minute, he thought on his way, if Daisy said she was coming, then she was. They weren’t at loggers heads these days so he had no cause to doubt her, he’d just have to be patient for He didn’t even know which part of Lagos she’d gone, guess he would have to casually ask her that when she arrived. Jide concluded and poured himself a cold juice from his wife’s stock. Another reason to have juice-crazy wife, Jide thought smiling as he drained the cool and invigorating taste of orange juice, Daisy’s favourite flavour.
Daisy walked into the parlor to be greeted by the sleeping form of Jide, he was resting his head lightly on the arm of the settee while his legs stretched forever towards the television. She stood a while considering the image before her, her expression blank. Then slowly, she made her way forward.
The sight of Jide brought back memories, and her heart constricted in fresh pain as she considered once more what Brenda had said.
‘relax Daisy’ she said to herself, as the rush of emotions threatened to engulf her anew, exhaled sharply and paused. Atleast he’s entitled to some explanation, she thought calming herself then continued forward, her sights set on the kitchen.
Jide eyes open just then, he adjusted himself when he realised the presence of Daisy who standing staring askance at him.
Suddenly, a smile played upon his face and before he could give a second thought to his actions, he had stood and was embracing Daisy.
Daisy eyes shot up in surprise at the impulsive action of her husband, then slowly the surprise caved in to immobility. She felt like she was being held by something cold, the coldness that described her heart and how she felt at that moment. The thought that Jide had cheated on her drowned out every other feeling she would and should have felt.
Daisy: ‘slow down on the emotions dude’ she thought drily as Jide pulled out from the embrace just then, his face a flush of mortification and pleasure. Daisy forced a smile on her face as her brows raised an inch.
Jide returned the smile albeit embarrassed while he adjusted his collar which were perfect in their stead.
Jide: ‘pardon me’ he muttered and flushed the more.
Daisy: ‘k’ Daisy simply replied and walked on.
Jide: ‘so how was today?’ Jide called in an unsure voice
Daisy: ‘nice’ Daisy said curtly and disappeared through the curtains leading to the hallway.
Jide stood now transfixed and wondering what had prompted such impulsive attitude from him. A hug! He exhaled and shook his head. Still feeling very awkward and embarrassed, he glanced at the clock, it showed that he had slept for over thirty minutes now, his glance then trailed the empty glass of juice nestling on a table close by.
‘must be the juice or the nap then’ he defended quietly to himself before settling back on the settee.
He knew his heart thought otherwise, but Jide quickly pushed the thought away, instead he busied himself with switching on the Television. Few minutes later, Daisy came into the parlour.
Daisy: ‘you said you were hungry or something?’ she asked.
Jide: ‘yeah, something like that’ Jide replied, his attention turning to her.
Daisy: ‘hmmm’ Daisy simply said. ‘so what do i get you’ she added, now walking towards the kitchen ‘your royal majesty’ she completed in her mind.
Jide: ‘i don’t know, i guess anything will do’ Jide replied, his voice not too confident.
Daisy didn’t reply. She just entered the kitchen, then stood briefly wondering what she could fix within short notice. At the end she settled for semovita since there was soup in the freezer.
As she got busy, Daisy wondered what had prompted Jide to call home for a meal, for it happened to be the first time ever since they’d gotten unfortunately married. It probably goes to prove the point, that she was valued more as a cook and nothing more.
And then again what had brought the hug of minutes ago? Not that she was going to give it a second thought, If he wanted to be all emotional and impulsive, he could very well be her guest, afteral, she’d seen a whole lot of it at the wedding then. Talk about impulsiveness, and you were definitely referring to Jide.
The only mystery she wanted to unravel was how he had gotten her number? Did he have that in his possession ever since yet never bothered to call all those while? Only for him to finally utilise it just to ask for food! That man was a big bundle of surprises. Then he’d told her that his heart ached for her, but right now she was finding it extra difficult to believe that bull sh.i.t he’d said. The naive Daisy had been the one who responded to him last Saturday, here was a rebirthed one that could see through his facade, through his recent pleasantries and through his bloody lying cheating tongue.
Nomatter how the situation of their marriage had been, this little dent that included his EX or incumbent girlfriend – whichever was the truth – still needed a lot of explanations to be made before it could finally be resolve. She couldn’t just be treated like a crap all this while and then be expected to forget, forgive and move on like nothing ever happened! No sir! Jide Olukoya can’t eat his cake and still have another waiting patiently for him. No way! Not where she was concerned! Lady in red, her lovely black behind, she knew the truth behind it all!
Daisy hissed and raised the cover of the pot, steams from it revealed that the water was already boiling, she had wanted to place it on the cooking platform, but it bounced unto the floor instead due to the pressure she had exerted on it when its hotness burnt her. It had eluded her due to the distance her mind had travelled.
Recoiling from the pain, she hissed, muttered some angry words before she bent to pick up the cover. Then she proceeded with her cooking, forcing her mind to stay on the task at hand this time around.
Minutes later, Daisy was through and was on to the task of setting the table. Midway in the act, Jide had already risen and was making his way to the dining.
Jide: ‘must be another mouth watering dish’ he said cheerfully before sitting down.
Daisy: ‘hmmm’ Daisy said noncommitantly and walked back to the kitchen, resurfacing with another bowl which she half banged, half kept on the table. Since that was the last of her dining chores, she made to leave.
Jide: ‘you don’t want to eat?’ Jide asked then and she paused.
Daisy: ‘no’ she replied curtly
Jide: ‘I’ve noticed that you don’t eat much’
Daisy shrugged, then said: ‘offcourse i eat’
Jide: ‘but you hardly eat on the dining with…’
Daisy: ‘now stop! You’re the one who asked for food, not me. So its best you eat and stop patronizing me!’ she snapped angrily and headed out.
Jide: ‘touche’ Jide said and sighed. With this new change of attitude, he didn’t need far pointers to the cause, it most definitely was Brenda. What had she said again? Jide thought resignedly. It was foolishness for Daisy to allow her friend influence her every now and then, but he wouldn’t allow them mess up his mood atall, he would simply eat and get back to his job, they were so many other things to life than silly annoying pretty wives and their rude, irritable girlfriends. He was the man in this situation, and as soon as he started exerting that right, the better for him. Jide thought angrily as dug into his meal. Even if it seems that they took one step forward and three long strides backwards, a brother still got to eat and work so as to take care of his family, doesn’t he?
welcome’ Daisy more like perfunctorily whispered as she heard the door to the parlour open. She knew it would be Jide for she had heard his car drive in, but still she hadn’t bothered to raise her head from where she sat crossed legged, staring vaguely at the television.
A day after their little dining scene, and she was yet to bounce back to her cheerful self. Somehow, that part of her had simply died. Now, what she felt was the strong need to avoid him at all cost.
But this was unlike her former disappearing acts where she had been too afraid of his temper. No, this was an act preempted by the desire to keep from seeing the man who had the power to hurt her deeply.
And she simply didn’t feel like seeing or welcoming him home. Infact as it was, she was mad at him, mad at herself, mad at mama, mad at Brenda, mad at Peter who’d cheated on her and ended their wonderful relationship, mad at her mum who couldn’t wait to get married before opening her thighs to some irresponsible hormonal teenager; mad at the coward of a father who couldn’t accept his responsibilities then and even now. Everyone one of them, including herself put her in this situation. Wouldn’t her life had taken a better turn if they hadn’t all messed up? It wasn’t fair that she got all the blame and pain at the end, life was more than unfair to her, it was simply wicked, taking her through pain, love and heartbreak, every step she took, ended with another cold slap. And she was tired of it all, tired of Nigeria, tired! She missed Boston more than ever, missed the hospital, missed her colleagues and patients, why had she taken these decision in the first place? what was it worth at the end? Nothing!
Jide who was now seated on the settee after Daisy’s, stared fixedly at her, not sure if she realised that he was sitting close by or that she was pretending not to notice. He made a throaty noise in bid to catch her attention, but that hadn’t worked, reluctantly he stroked her arm and that the trick because she turned around to face him, her lips set in hardened lines while her brows were raised in a questioning frown.
Jide: ‘I don’t know if you’re realised am back’ he asked pulling his hand from her arm.
Daisy: ‘yeah? I said welcome home too’ she said quietly, her face unsmiling.
Jide: ‘guess i didn’t hear that then’ Jide replied.
Daisy: How’s that my business? Daisy thought angrily and looked away.
Jide sighed then placed a nylon wrapped stuff on the table, but Daisy didn’t act like something or someone had moved.
Jide: ‘i…uhm… bought this on my way back…’ a pause then ‘just like that, saw it, liked it and thought you’d like it also’ he said.
Daisy still didn’t move or reply him.
Jide: ‘oh i forgot, you probably don’t know about this’ Jide said, then busied himself with un-tieing the nylon.
Daisy stole a glance at the stuff Jide felt she didn’t know about.
Jide was now unfolding the silver metallic wrap that further hid his prized possession, ‘its called suya’ he beamed, then took a piece, smiling at Daisy.
Daisy: ‘suya’ Daisy said irritated, then scoffed.
Jide: ‘yeah’ Jide replied as chewed away, ‘i don’t know if they sell it in Boston or…’
Daisy sighed. Jide’s ignorance was very irritating, she thought and drowned out subsequent explanations he was making. Where did he think she was from? The moon? His oblivious knowledge about her, was making this dude feel like he had brought home some prized trophy, who didn’t know what a suya was in Nigeria!
Jide: ‘…you should try it, am sure you’d love it’ Jide completed still smiling.
Daisy: ‘hmmm’ Daisy sighed. ‘am not in the mood for that’ she snapped.
Jide: ‘…am sure you’d love its taste, its chilly and…’
Jide: ‘…and roasted, with onions and its simply meat, a special delicacy of the hausa’s, you can find it in Boston, but it wouldn’t have the original flavour of the home made. And I’ve eaten it countless times, not only in Boston but in Nigeria, Ijebu-ode precisely where i lived for over sixteen years! So that dear husband, is not a goldmine neither is it the least of my problems! Daisy cut in angrily, her tone rising with every sentence.
Jide who had been in the act of eating another slice of suya, stared at Daisy in surprise and disbelief, wondering what he’d said to warrant such outburst from her.
Jide: ‘I didn’t know you knew about it’ he said, his hands frozen in midair.
Daisy: ‘am sure you didn’t, and am sure you don’t know a lot also! Infact…’ she stood up now, ‘…that’s exactly the issue here, you don’t know farthing about me, yet i know everything about you! you have all the liberty to mess around, while am stuck here, playing the fool!’ she shouted angrily.
Jide: ‘well…I…I realise i don’t know much about you but…’ Jide defended, hoping to calm the angry Daisy.
Daisy: ‘then maybe you should direct your gimmicks there if you really wanted to be all loving and…’
Jide: ‘I want to do just that if only you would let me, everytime i try take a step with you, you get all furious…exactly like this!’ Jide cut in angrily and stood up, he was also fast losing his temper.
Daisy: ‘that’s because you don’t know the right way to do it!’ she shot back.
Jide: ‘then you could teach me, the right ‘spots’ to touch, Daisy’ he drawled
Daisy: ‘okay then, lets start. I go first. Who the hell is Grace to you?’
Jide: ‘what has she got to do with us?’
Daisy: ‘just answer the damn question!’
Jide: ‘and I’ve told you she’s my ex?’
Daisy: ‘pretty clinging ex, don’t you think?’ her hands crossed now.
Jide: ‘I don’t understand you’ Jide said calmly.
Daisy: ‘offcourse you wouldn’t! The Grace who attacked me at the club, didn’t look like an ex of a married man, i know you’ve been tripping Mr. Jide olukoya, I know you’ve been! And you wanna know what else? You guys were probably laughing at the foolis.h American girl Who is so desperately in need of a man, that she flew all the way from Boston to come to cling unto one!
Jide: ‘who the heck is feeding you with all that nonsense’
Daisy: ‘just say i grew wiser and smarter. nolonger the movie-crazed-naive Daisy, or what? didn’t you bloody notice that?’
Jide: ‘you are getting this issue all wrong, i’ve never discussed you with…’ Jide voice trailed now as he suddenly realised that he wasn’t really telling the truth there.
Daisy: ‘…go on, keep at it, keep lying through your teeth! I urge you, please go on!’
Jide: ‘Daisy you have to calm down and lets talk about this like adults’ Jide cajoled.
Daisy: ‘like adults right? Okay. But i just have one question’ Daisy said, her voice lowered now.
Daisy: ‘can you confirm that Grace is truly your ex?’
Daisy: ‘good! was that title very operational after you got married to me?’
Jide: ‘i don’t understand’
Daisy: ‘did you bloody sleep with that chick even when we were supposed to be married’
Jide: ‘there! you said it, ‘supposed’ to be married. You and I very well know that our marriage didn’t kick off on a wonderful conjugal note so…’
Daisy: ‘so, she provided the bed while i provided the food and bear the title, Ain’t it?’
Jide: ‘all this is pointless!’
Daisy: ‘it’s a yes or a no answer’
Jide: ‘Grace don’t matter to me anymore, you do! And now i want to build our marriage together, that’s what matters, and that’s what we should be talking about, the future!’
Daisy: ‘the future my wonderful ars.e! that’s a wrong answer dear husband, its either a yes or a no, and you got didn’t come close to getting it right. and guess what again smart boy! I have forgiveness issues, you can go ask my dad or better still ask Peter, he would explain to you perfectly’ She shouted and marched towards the hallway stopping briefly to add: ‘and you can eat that all you want, because dinner this night is not at all feasible!’ this said, she stormed out, smoke literally fuming behind her.
Jide just carelessly slumped unto the settee. To say he was emotionally drained was an understatement, he was physically, mentally and spiritually drained at the moment. Why couldn’t they ever get it right for once? Why was trouble ever rearing its ugly head at every turn in their relationship. Who was the mastermind behind this outbursts now? Daisy, Brenda or Grace, maybe even Ade! He couldn’t be sure, the only probable thing here is the obvious fact that he was surrounded by enemies at all corners. Mama and his dad had to step into this issue, he was done shifting the call to her, or pretending all was fine with his marriage to his dad, he had to face his dragon head on, and every single member of his family who had gotten him entangled in this marriage was definitely going to be involved in saving it or he would make sure they saw hell the way he was seeing it now.
Jide: ‘oh my God’ he whispered and sighed. It was very obvious, this would be a long and tiring night. He stared with hatred at the suya which had been the bane of contention.
‘you are also gonna get yours!’ he said angrily and stood up, his mind set on disposing the annoying meat like it had indeed caused the heated argument of minutes ago.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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