A day after the parlour confrontation, things were far from being perfect for the Olukoyas, even now as they sat in the parlor, each in his own world, the tension in the room was very palpable.
Jide who had been the worst hit was presently stealing glances at his fuming wife seated few meters away. He couldn’t fully understand why she was unusually angry at his stint with Grace, when he knew he had done worst in time past. It wasn’t as if they’d been best of couples and yet he had gone ahead to cheat on her, if you looked at it from his perspective, he was hardly in the wrong. Why? Daisy wasn’t his hand picked wife, she hadn’t been his lover, neither had he known much about her existence till the marriage issue began. Yet she was this angry!
Grace however had been a part of his life, every close friend of his knew about her, even his dad. Although he had been indifferent about her, not that they had ever sat together to discuss about his personal life, but with the appearance of Daisy and all the force and threat he’d encountered just so he could accept and marry her, it was obvious where his loyalty lies.
Okay! now he was taken, he was willing to be married to their choice, but their docile pet was far from making that happen, she was really acting up, portraying a new side to her he never knew existed. But then did he really know her? All that information she had disclosed in a fit of rage yesterday were jumbled up in his mind, he had tried to piece them together in futility.
If he wanted clear explanations, he’d have to hear it from the horses mouth. An obstinate, angry pretty fair horse at that.
Jide chuckled quietly at that and cast another side glance at Daisy, she seemed concentrated on the program Mnet was airing, her lips was set in an angry twitch, her hands crossed around her chest and legs shaking continuously in anger.
She’d been at that position since he returned an hour ago, she had totally ignored him when he came in, not at all bothered, he had just headed to his study, refreshed himself, came out to his set dinner and now here was he, sitting like a ghost besides her.
No word had transpired between them since. But he couldn’t leave it at that, he needed to talk to her, needed to resolve this issue, desired to gain back her affection, wanted her to stop being angry at him, he simply wanted to make everything alright! And if that was ever going to happen, he had to make the first move.
Jide cleared his throat and braced up for whatever was to come, he was the man in this situation and it was high time he started acting as one.
Jide: ‘Daisy’ he called, but it came out as a croak and he cleared his throat rather noisily this time.
Daisy didn’t turn an inch, her shoulders stiffened, her gaze still fixed at the screen.
Jide: ‘you’ve not said anything since i returned’ Jide pushed further.
Still no response.
Jide: ‘don’t tell me you’re still mad at me? I’ve been restless ever…’
Daisy: ‘then don’t get yourself ‘restless’ any further’ she shot back angrily.
Jide: ‘i wish i could help it but…’
Daisy: ‘for Christ’s sake Jide! Why don’t you ever keep to yourself for once?!’
Jide: ‘and what would that solve? We are supposed to be married remember, why don’t we act it for once?’
Daisy: ‘good question. Am doing my part effectively and foolis.hly well even…’ she faced him defiantly, then added: ‘its your turn to start acting it too!’
Jide: ‘that’s exactly what am trying to do, only if you would let me!’
Daisy: ‘you still don’t get it! You never climb a ladder from the top down, you need to first get to its roots and climb upward!’
Jide: ‘and haven’t you been listening? Am trying hard to get to whatever roots you speak about…’
Daisy: ‘well am not in the mood for root searching and discovery, you can bloody well try another time!’ Daisy cut in angrily and sprang up to her feet.
For some strange reasons, she didn’t want to listen to him, didn’t want them talking or resolving issues, she just wanted to stay mad, mad at him and everybody, wanted him to suffer just as much as she had, she didn’t want no intimacy, no cuddling up, she wanted to get as far as she could from this reality, love could not be trusted, it wasn’t worth her energy just like Kerry Hilson had sang. Loving him was taking all of her energy.
Daisy: ‘I don’t want to talk, ever!’ she shouted at nobody in particular. She had been standing throughout, while those thoughts coursed through her mind. Unaware that Jide had been talking to her.
Jide: ‘okay! Okay!’ He said and sighed, retreating a few steps back. ‘i get it, but atleast sit down, I’ve got something else to request’ Daisy shot him an angry look and he quickly added: ‘its from my dad, he’s the one who put me to it’.
Jide knew that his dad had no hand in what he was about to say, but seeing the way the name had calmed her down, he decided to use him as the bait.
Daisy: ‘your…dad?’ Daisy stammered, trying hard to hide her sudden apprehension, she wondered why he had sent a request across, for they’d not seen each other after the wedding affair.
Jide: ‘its nothing serious’ Jide offered seeing the look on her face.’do seat down’ he added and they both sat down.
Jide: ‘Like i said its nothing serious, just a dinner and awards night the company organised, it would be holding this Saturday and my…’ he
Daisy: ‘an award?’ Daisy cut in, irritation etched on her face.
Jide: ‘yeah, yeah! Just some company stuff holding at Eko hotels, am sure you would like it…’ he noticed her shaking her head probably in refusal, then quickly added ‘Dad specifically requests to see you, he told me to plead with you…’
Daisy: ‘that’s okay, Saturday right? I would be available’ she cut in with finality in her tone.
Jide exhaled the breath he didn’t know he had been holding in, maybe an evening out of their house and in another environment would do their marriage some good, his father’s presence might even help, if his name could melt her like this, then who could tell what his presence could do? Feeling conceited, he relaxed unto the settee, and got ready to settle for another evening of companionable silence.
But few seconds later, Daisy’s phone rang. Daisy eyed the phone, reluctant to pick it up, two guesses and She knew who would be calling. Or better yet, make it three guesses, since Jide had miraculously gotten wind of her number. She added drily and reached out for her phone.
Daisy: ‘Hello…Brenda’ she said unexcitedly. Brenda too was at the receiving end of her recent anger.
Jide felt a wind wash over him at the mention of that name, he straightened up and focused his attention on their discussion wishing that he could appear wherever Brenda was now and shut her rude interfering hole of a mouth for once. But then wishes weren’t horses. He sighed resignedly.
Daisy: ‘am sorry I’ve been occupied lately that’s why i couldn’t…’ Daisy said obviously trying to calm her irate friend. She strongly felt like ending the call, but had to force herself to stay on the line.
Bren: ‘when did you start with this ‘am occupied’ nonsense? What is happening Daisy?’ Brenda shot back in anger.
Daisy: ‘and I’ve said am sorry, so cut me the melodrama’ Daisy replied irritated.
Bren: ‘if you are upset, don’t take it out on me silly’ Brenda snapped.
Daisy sighed realising now that she was at fault and had no cogent reason for being angry with Brenda, she was the one who had failed her promise to call since Wednesday, and now that she was calling, she could atleast try to be apologetic.
Bren: ‘are you still there?’ Brenda screamed cutting into her thoughts.
Daisy: ‘yeah, i am. And am deeply sorry for snapping at you’ she said and meant it.
Bren: ‘jeez! I was hoping to be act a peacock and refuse to pick your call but i was held on like forever’ Brenda said in sulky tone now. This made Daisy smile briefly.
Daisy: ‘always the spoilt brat, aren’t you?’ she teased.
Jide who had been listening in on the banter, relaxed at this point, it was obviously a harmless female chatter, no need to feel threatened.
Daisy: ‘that’s why you’re calling?’ Daisy asked, relaxing on the settee.
Bren: ‘oh no no! Guess who’s in town! Brenda said excitedly
Daisy: ‘honestly i…’
Bren: ‘oh just try! the person arrived from our very own Boston!’
Daisy: ‘uhm…no clue’ what other friends did they have in Boston?
Bren: ‘okay! let me put you out of your misery! P.e.t.e.r is in town!’ she screamed, spelling the word Peter.
Bren: ‘P.e.t.e.r?’ a pause then, ‘Peter!’ ‘live and direct!’
Daisy: ‘oh my gosh, why did you keep this from me!’
Bren: ‘i tried to tell you days ago but we were rudely interrupted’
Daisy: ‘how sad. Jeez! I Can’t wait to set my sights on him!’
Bren: ‘So can’t he! Infact he asked to see you like on Saturday!’
Daisy: ‘Saturday?’ Daisy paused and glanced at Jide whose angry stare was boring into hers, she smiled smugly and looked away, ‘piece of the iceberg’ she said quietly to herself.
Bren: ‘So what you say?’
Daisy: ‘uhm…Saturday’s not feasible, got a place to be with Jide, Sunday should…’
Bren: ‘whatever’ she cut in drily’ ‘see you Sunday then? Good thing Peter’s now a practicing lawyer and i perceive he’ll be of much help to us’ she added cheerfully.
Daisy: ‘whatever, i just wanna set my eyes on him, its being a while!’
Bren: ‘kk, catch you then’ Brenda said and hung up.
Daisy: ‘k’ Daisy said and slowly brought down the phone, her eyes travelled to Jide who was still staring angrily at her. Guilt immediately washed over her.
Brenda had again hinted another explosive of hers and this time she found herself unruffled by it. Guilty feeling washed over her again, she quickly pushed it away and settled back on her seat, her eyes staring head on.
She knew she was angry with Jide but such thought had never crossed her mind. Divorce? The words sent shivers down her spine. Now that the option was staring boldly at her, she wondered if she could possibly ever divorce Jide, the man of her dreams?
Though he was getting her angry in every way possible these days, but would she ever get pushed to the extent where that dreaded word would become her only option? She mentally shook her head and forced her attention on the program being televised.
Stop getting ahead of herself Daisy! she chastised. Just because Peter was in town didn’t mean he was coming with a ready made divorce papers. She should just look forward to seeing him-her very long ago ex, and presently a good friend hers after Brenda. She should simply concentrate on keeping up her anger for Jide, until he suffered just as much as she had. That was where her energy should be directed, she needed it to counter all his persuasive and cuddling up gimmicks until she was sure he really loved her and had finally let go of Grace his ex. Divorce was definitely out of the question and should remain so. Hopefully that is.
Jide sat impatiently in the parlour, his eyes glanced at the clock for the upteenth time this evening, it was way past seven, the awards dinner was slated for 8pm, he was neither headed there nor had he even left his home and Daisy was taking a lot of time showing up. Was she doing more than just dress? He wondered.
A push from him had roused her from where she had lounged, concentrating at the endless stream of series Mnet had to offer, he hadn’t been sure if she had forgotten about the event or had decided not to attend again. When he had reminded her of it, she had simply replied him with an ‘oh’ and headed for her room muttering incoherent words, now she was yet to surface.
Everyday came with new surprises about her, it was obvious that she had other traits that were gradually unfolding, twas better too that she laid all the cards for him to peruse, it wasn’t possible for a person to be all that charming, they had to be a dent somehow, dents she was finally portraying.
Yesterday had ended with no argument of any sort, whatever had done the magic? He wondered. For she had seem calmer and replied him as civil as possible. Today, he hoped they wouldn’t get back to being enemies, he wouldn’t like that one bit.
He glanced at his watch this time, it was 7:30 prompt. unconsciously, he sprang up to his feet.
Jide: ‘am so running late’ he muttered, prancing about. Was this a common habit with women? Taking so much when it came to dressing up for an occasion? What was so hard in the act anyways? Hadn’t it taken him just few minutes to suit up to perfection as he was now? But then again, this happened to be the first time ever he was waiting up for a lady to dress up, obviously marriage came with so many new experiences. Maybe he should see this from a lighter note, he should be grateful for little things like this that life had to offer. Jide smiled now.
Just then, Daisy surfaced. Her perfume preceding her entrance and turning Jide’s attention her way.
Daisy: ‘so sorry for keeping you waiting, i had some cloth issues’ she apologised and came forward.
Jide: ‘sure…sure’ Jide stammered, his anger dissipating.
He thought he had never seen a female prettier than the one before him, feeling of pride constricted his heart and he felt happy that the lady standing over there was actually HIS wife. Daisy stood now staring askance at Jide, she had thought he would be angry at her for wasting so much time, instead he just stood there staring at her.
Truthfully, She had had cloth issues as usual, whenever there was a place to go, she never could decide which was the perfect cloth, it was a thing with her. Brenda and mama always teased her about it. Another issue was that Jide hadn’t been exactly specific on the kind of occasion it was. Judging it to be a dinner that required gowns and stuffs like that, she had settled for a Chanel dinner piece – a long fitted pink coloured, turtle neck gown, embroidered with fancy stones at the neckline, it looked ‘harmless’ upfront, but the back proved otherwise, for it had a lacy opening that ran ‘dangerously’ down to stop just a little above the required. Peter had called it the ‘seduction touch’ and they had laughed over it.
This night however, Daisy had not set out to seduce anyone, it was far from her mind, but since this happened to be one of her favourite gown coupled with the fact that she couldn’t decide on something else to wear, she had finally settled for it. But now, with the way Jide was staring at her, she couldn’t help but wonder if she hadn’t gone over board with picking the dress.
Daisy: ‘what? am i under or over dressed for the event?’ Daisy asked confused, her eyes scanning her gown.
Jide: ‘no, no, its fine, its a dinner party afterall’ Jide replied ‘…and we are running late too’ he added, suddenly realising the time.
Daisy: ‘sorry, My fault’ Daisy said and started for the door.
That was when Jide saw the flipside to the gown.
Jide: ‘God have mercy!’ he muttered under his breath before following behind her.
Out in the compound, before they drove off, he commended her looks and a blushing Daisy replied him with a charming ‘thank you’.
Adamu greeted his employers with a mock salute as they drove through the wide open gates, there was no way he could have noticed the thick cloud of anger and unspoken words that hung above them, Daisy sat immobile, nursing the hurt of her recent discovery, while Jide drove, his eyes glancing at her every now and then, wishing he could find the right words to soothe the moment and apologise for whatever wrong he’d done again. Joyce was definitely going to hear from him come Monday, was the recurrent thought in his head.
As soon as the car rode to a halt, the door flew open and out came Daisy hurrying towards the house in a mad haste, her hands raising up her gown to allow easy mobility, while stream of hot tears rolled down her cheeks.
Soon, Jide was out of the car, running and calling after her.
Adamu who was about to retire into his little niche, shook his head at the drama that just played itself, then muttering to himself, he entered into his room.
The once promising night had finally ended on a sad note, compounding issues that had seemed resolved hours ago, Daisy’s suspicion had finally been proven right, Joyce, Jide’s secretary had gone ahead to spill every beans left in the basket. And now, all Daisy wanted to do was crawl to her room and start all her self-pity tantrums over again.
The night had started out lovely, people had dotted and warmed up to Daisy easily, even Jide’s dad. The oldman had been so nice, apologizing for his son’s actions and for other things Daisy didn’t quite understand, yet she’d accepted the apologies nonetheless. Some of Jide’s employees had gone out of their way to make her comfortable, asking her how she was? How she was coping with Nigeria? Why they hadn’t seen much of her after the wedding? If she could come around to the office one day? And so on and so forth.
Daisy on her part had been so charming and jovial all through the evening, enjoying the attention she was getting, and even dared to flirt with Ade who had somehow found his way to their table just to spite Jide, and indeed she had enjoyed the look of anger and jealousy on his face. But she had done so only when she was sure Jide’s father wasn’t in close range. She didn’t want her father in-law seeing her as a flirt or irresponsible daughter inlaw.
A change of environment had really done her good, she had felt good and had walked gracefully to the stage when she had been called upon to present an award to one of the recipient, she had been announced as Jide’s wife then and had felt very proud when the search light beamed on her. Even Jide hadn’t missed an opportunity to introduce her so. But that didn’t mean they were even, and she had put it clearly to him but Jide waved it off and told her to ‘enjoy the evening’ he had even hinted on some ‘after party’ when they returned home. Daisy had tingled with excitement and expectation inspite of herself.
And so for the rest of the evening, she had easily put up an appearance that they were the best of couples, that was offcourse, until she sighted Grace.
Everything had instantly turned bitter. The juice she had opted for tasted sour to her as all the fight of days past played afresh in her memory.
It wouldn’t have bothered her much because she had finally decided not to let Grace bother or spoil her evening, not until Joyce staggered lightly to their table where only she was occupying at that moment because others had gone for a group picture or something. Joyce had greeted her and complemented her looks, wondering why Jide was treating her unfairly.
Before Daisy could push further on what she had meant, Joyce was waving sheepishly to Grace and urging her to come over to their table, but the other woman had declined after eyeing Daisy.
Immediately, Daisy felt an urge to know more, to skim out information from the secretary who was obviously drunk, judging with the way she swooned yet drank more wine.
Daisy: ‘do you know that lady?’ Daisy had asked.
Jide’s Secretary (Joyce): ‘who?’ Joyce had slurred.
Daisy: ‘Grace’ Daisy had said, hitting the nail directly.
Joyce: ‘yeah o’course, i know her, who doesn’t?’ the other had replied with a foolish grin
Daisy: ‘i don’t really know, could you tell me please?’ Daisy had pushed further.
Joyce: ‘she’s oga’s girlfriend na, the one he was dating before he married you. You know, i wonder where you appeared from, we all thought he would marry her, not you’
Daisy: ‘you all thought wrong then’ Daisy had shot back.
Joyce: ‘yes! We all did’ Joyce had replied and broke into a laugh.
Daisy: ‘hmm’ Daisy had said and shook her head, it was obvious alcohol wasn’t a good thing, the way it had rendered this lovely lady here was pathetic.
Daisy: ‘so, does Jide…you know, still see her?’ she had asked after the secretary had ended her hysteric laugh.
Joyce: ‘why Offcourse! I personally receive her calls and messages for Mr. Olukoya’ she had replied, then drew closer to whisper: ‘I even know my boss still sees her, and i wonder why. See! He has a lovely American wife like you at home, and yet he’s fooling around with her’ another hysterical laughter then: ‘but that’s what make them men, isnt it? They are hardly ever satisfied’ she completed and continued her fits of humourless mirth.
Daisy hadn’t been amused, the little info from the drunk secretary had spoilt everything. She had simply wanted to head back home.
Nobody would have guessed that little Miss Joyce was suffering from her own fair of heartbreak, a reason why she had indulged herself in more than required wine, even if Daisy had known, it wouldn’t have changed much.
All her suspicion had been confirmed, all the beating around the bush just to skim out this info from Jide had finally been let out open and from a very credible source at that, regardless of her drunken state, a state which meant she wasn’t exaggerating, why? Wasn’t it said that alcohol had a way of drawing truth out of people, and even though she wasn’t one to give in to gossip and silly office rumours, but this was too relevant to be discarded.
When Jide had returned later on, he had immediately noticed the mood swing in Daisy, all she had said was for him to take her home. And after a little research of his own, he had discovered that Joyce had been the last person she’d spoken with. He had instantly felt like hitting the loud-mouthed lady, but since it wasn’t a gentleman behaviour, he had pushed all grievances to Monday when work resumed.
And so he’d taken her home, oblivious of what she had heard or what he should be apologizing for. Daisy hadn’t even wanted him to talk to her, telling him to save his breath and just take her home.
Then, immediately the car had stopped, she had ran out. He had managed to switch off the car before hurrying after her, catching up with her in the hallway as she was about opening her door.
Jide: ‘Daisy, could you stop and let us talk about whatever is the issue that has gotten you this upset’ he pleaded.
Daisy stood then and stared at him with a tear stained face,
Daisy: ‘we have nothing to talk about. All that you have been so scared to admit, Well i found out about it today!’ she retorted with vehemence.
Jide: ‘could you be clear here? Please’ Jide said walking towards her.
Daisy: ‘you’ve been sleeping with Grace all this while and you’ve been lying about it! Telling me she was only an Ex! But now i know better, you have been tripping big time! Hitting on her! Right now i hate you and don’t want to ever see you! Ever!’ she said and entered into her room, banging the door in the process.
Jide ran to the door trying to stop her. What he heard was the clicking sound of her door locking.
Jide: ‘Daisy! Daisy! Lets work this out’ he called out as he pounced desperately at her door.
But he got no response, no sound.
Slowly, he slumped to the floor, his hands on his head as he bemoaned his marriage that never seemed to be rid off turbulence once and for all.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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