Okon: ‘Madam am through’ Okon said.
He was standing a few steps away from the dining and rubbing his wet hands together which he had just washed in the kitchen after the job of the day.
Daisy rolled over on the settee where she had lay for the past hours and looked at him.
Daisy: ‘so home it is then?’ she asked.
Okon: ‘yes’ okon replied and started walking towards the door.
Daisy: ‘you saw the food i left?’ she called after him.
Okon: ‘yes, thank you ma’ Okon replied, opened the door and stepped out.
Daisy felt so lonely all of a second as she heard the door jam close.
The past five days had felt like hell, her conscience had constantly nagged her while her emotions threatened to engulf her. The parlour had suddenly become her new hideout as she waited in vain to catch even a glimpse of Jide. Because Jide left earlier than usual and came home very late.
She knew that her actions and attitude had pushed him to the wall and caused a return to their previous state of cohabitation. He had suddenly started keeping late nights again, refused to eat her food and hardly said a word to her when their path miraculously met.
Had her attitude finally pushed him into the hands of another woman? To Grace presumably? Was he thinking about resolving their marriage for good this time? Why wasn’t he keen on continuing his bids at winning her back and getting her to talk about resolving their marriage issues?
She was ready to talk, wanted him to return his attention to her, wanted them to go into the silliest of arguments or just sit together in silence, she wanted him to kiss her again, she swear not to push him away like she had, she would hold on to him like her life depended on it, she would gladly receive all of him, she would do so much more, only if…
Daisy sighed and wiped away a tear that had rolled down her eyes.
Daisy: ‘I’ve lost him’ she moaned. You never know what you have until you lose it, she thought.
Five days after the kiss that had ignited her love for her husband and he was drifting away. He wasn’t atall missing, neither was it the fact that he come home late. No, it was simply the fact that that scowl that had characterise his face during the early days of their marriage had returned and was killing her.
More painful, when she realise that she had put it there.
When had she lost her track, to become this vindictive, revenge seeking lady? where was the girl who never allowed herself stay emotionally down no matter the storm life threw at her? hadn’t she weathered the earlier trauma of their marriage pretty well? won the love of her man? But now that she should reap the fruits of her labour, welcome him with wide open arms, she was pushing him away, listening to gossips, hearsay and insinuations from everyone!
It was obvious who became the loser at the end.
Daisy: ‘Enough with the anger and resentment Daisy!’ she said wiping her tear stained face. ‘Its time to get your man back’
With a new resolve, she stood up and headed for the kitchen, for she suddenly felt hungry. All that trauma of the past days had made her not too encouraging appetite diminish completely.
Now that she was determined to sort things out with Jide nomatter when he returned, she needed all the strength she could get.
Daisy: ‘apologies for the way he treated you, I’ve never seen him act like this before’ Daisy said as she led Peter towards the settee
Peter: ‘let it slide, its Nigeria afterall and one needs to be security conscious’ he replied, following behind her.
Daisy had been awakened from the settee where she had dozed off after eating by the insistent knock on the parlour door. She had hurried over to find an angry looking Adamu, who immediately relayed to her the presence of an unfamiliar man asking for her at the gate. Then Daisy, wondering when this new protocol to visitors started, had gone out to meet Peter, relaxing patiently against his car. She had asked the stone faced Adamu to let him in.
Adamu: ‘madam, oga no go like this kain thing’ he had grumbled before opening wide the gate.
Whatever had been his thoughts or reason for acting so, Daisy hadn’t bothered, not after her recent resolve to stop taking people’s opinion seriously.
Daisy: ‘welcome to my humble abode’ Daisy said smiling as she pointed at a seat.
Peter: ‘thank you, not bad atall’ Peter said seating down.
Daisy shrugged in reply and sat on the seat beside his.
Peter: ‘what happened to your phone i’ve…’
Daisy: ‘so sorry, i switched it off’
Peter: ‘is everything fine? You look kinda pale to me?’
Daisy: ‘oh Peter, stop fretting, am good!’
Peter: ‘Its just that you got us all worried, you know Brenda is presently angry with you’
Daisy shrugged. She wasn’t bothered. Brenda wasn’t unconnected to her problems, she needed some time alone. They were friends quite alright, but she presently didn’t need her inputs in her affair, no she wasn’t keeping grudges, she was just building limits.
Daisy: ‘and like i said, i wanted some time off’
Peter: ‘i just hope you’re fine’ Peter said glancing around the parlour. ‘Bree also tells me you’re an indoor freak’
Daisy: ‘always has been a loud mouth, that chick!’
Peter: ‘was she lying then? Have you abandoned your nursing career?’ Peter asked.
Daisy: ‘I didn’t abandon it, just not gotten the time or zeal to push further, it has basically stayed at the thought level but…’
Peter: ‘you didn’t see a reputable hospital or what?’ he cut in.
Daisy: ‘its not that, I’ve not been…decisive, that’s why’
Peter: ‘well i could connect you with…’
Daisy: ‘Pete just let it go! I can get my own job, when i want!’ Daisy cut in with a slightly raised voice.
Just because he presumably had whatever connections didn’t mean she wanted his help or something! She wasn’t a leech, neither was she helpless, if she had been serious, then one word to mama would get her a job. They didn’t have the right to rub in their rich parental background in her face, she had and could manage just fine.
Peter: ‘am sorry, i didn’t mean to offend you, just wanted to help out’ Peter apologised.
Daisy: ‘yeah, that’s also the problem!’ Daisy retorted.
Peter: ‘cool off Dee’ Peter said raising up his arm in surrender. ‘I didn’t know it was a sensitive topic, pardon me’
Daisy: ‘its okay, am sorry too’ Daisy replied calming her already rising anger. Peter had probably meant well, it was just her frayed nerves.
Daisy: ‘my manners, what can i get you’ she said rising up. ‘juice, water…’
Peter: ‘don’t tell me you’re still strung on juice?’ he asked in mock surprise.
Daisy smiled. Could she ever tire of the stuff. ‘how many months and you expect the urge gone?’ she asked still smiling.
Peter: ‘somethings never change then’
Daisy: ‘yeah they don’t, so should i get you the juice or…’
Peter: ‘hell no! Wine or water would be better’
Daisy: ‘coming right away’ Daisy replied and headed for the kitchen, returning minutes later with a wine and a glass cup on a tray.
Setting it down she said:
Daisy: ‘so how’s the practice? last we saw, you were still an interim…’
Peter: ‘no..Was actually rounding off with that’
Daisy: ‘so, why didn’t you start your practice in Boston?’ Daisy asked as she sat down
Peter: ‘would have loved to, but my parents think otherwise. Would be heading to Abuja to join my dad soon enough’
Peter: ‘yeah, Lagos is too wild for me, plus i heard Abuja’s where the money at’
Daisy: ‘whatever happened to working for passion?’ she teased.
Peter: ‘yeah right, i gotta pay my bills darling’ Peter drawled and straightened up, ready to dig into the wine.
Daisy: ‘and there goes the love for motherland’ Daisy mocked and they both laughed.
She clapped also when the wine popped open.
Peter, like Brenda had wealthy parents. He’d Had a degree in psychology from a Nigerian university and had been running his second degree in law at Boston university when he met Daisy and Brenda. Had also been in the same level with Brenda. Was in his late twenties but could pass for a man in his early thirties because of his huge stature and offcourse the fact that he had his parents wealth to ‘maintain’ himself.
Peter: ‘so how are you generally?’ Peter asked as he served himself the wine.
Daisy’s countenance changed then. She didn’t know if it was right for them to pursue her personal life.
Daisy: ‘am fine as you can see’ she said evading his worried stare.
Peter: ‘this marriage, is it working?’
Daisy: ‘why would you think its not?’
Peter: ‘Brenda tells me that he treats you bad and you’ve not…’
Daisy shook her head in disbelief, did Brenda ever shut the fuc.k up!
Daisy: ‘am gonna really shut her up someday! Did you guys discuss me last Sunday or…’
Peter: ‘no! Twas in Boston after your sudden marriage and…well, my apologies for missing it, I couldn’t bring myself to face the…’
Daisy: ‘it don’t matter now, the wedding took place like ages ago, so…’
Peter: ‘the question now is how you’re holding up? Are you truly happy? I mean i hope he isn’t abusive or something?’
Daisy shrugged, still avoiding his gaze.
Daisy: ‘he’s not abusive, but…’
Peter: ‘you know, you don’t need to suffer in silence, am a practicing lawyer and if you need my expertise…’
Daisy scoffed. Suffering in silence? Did that describe her situation? Funny indeed!
Daisy: ‘I don’t want a divorce if that’s what you’re insinuating, i just want…want to be happy’ she said, stood up and crossed her arm.
Peter: ‘You’re not happy here?’
Daisy: ‘its not exactly as you think. Its just that these past days, i find that i miss my life in Boston and i regret ever coming to Nigeria’ Daisy said in an emotion laden voice.
Peter: ‘oh Daisy’ Peter whispered, stood up and walked towards her, then drew her in for a hug, Daisy leaned closer to him ready to let loose her tears. Maybe Peter was the friend that truly understood how she felt. Had always provided a crying shoulder, she could as well tap into his masculine strength if only for this once, she thought and wrapped her hands around him.
Just then, the door of the parlour screeched open and in walked Jide. (WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENS NEXT? …
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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