This is the 5th installment of my work of fiction. Hope I didn’t keep you waiting too long. Enjoy.
Ikedi was spending too many nights outside their home. Nonye was not happy. His excuse was that the burden of work had increased with the resignation of one of his colleagues. She tried to understand, even taking him dinner when he was on duty, but this only seemed to irritate him. She was getting suspicious of him, checking his texts, going through his pockets, anything to prove to her that she was not mad, but found nothing. Ikedi was a good catch, she couldn’t blame any lady for throwing herself at him. However, he was hers, and she had no intention of sharing him.
They had had one of their arguments the previous night. He came home with a video for her to watch. She was scandalised by its content. He insisted that she not only watch, but learn to do what they were doing. She did not understand why he found her so lacking despite her best efforts. He was always in a hurry, more interested in pleasing himself to her detriment. As a good wife, she bore it all, but this video of threesomes, women on women, women with animals? No! He had crossed the line, and she was having none of it. Unfortunately, she could not think of who to confide in.
The day he slapped her, she cried till he became remorseful. He apologised and used an ice pack to massage her face. Tears stung her eyes at the memory. She called her mother to tell her the next day but, other than expressing her anger on phone, she did not speak to him or suggest any way out. What was her offence? She wondered why he had condoms in the pockets of the shirt she was going to wash, when they were obviously not in need of them. He shouted angrily at her, accusing her of snooping, and left an imprint of his hand on her left cheek.
After that day, she did not ask too many questions. She was afraid things would degenerate. He was civil to her, and they got along well, during the few hours he was home. Nonye was lonely. Ikedi advised her against job hunting because of her pregnancy, though she felt well. They had no close neighbours, and the church they attended had a greater percentage of middle aged folk. She preferred another parish of The Anglican Church but he liked that one because of the networking opportunities.
Nonye was headed to the hospital to deliver her husband’s lunch. He liked it just so. She prided herself on her culinary abilities. At least, that was one thing he could not complain about. She usually called him from the gate and he would come there, collect whatever she brought and rush back. She had never been allowed to see his laboratory. At the gate, she dialled his number severally, without success.
“Good afternoon, madam” the guard greeted.
She responded warmly.
“Are you not Oga Ikedi’s wife? You can go in and see him”
“I don’t want to bother him, let me call him”, she replied.
“Let me direct you, this area has had network issues all day. I don’t think you will reach him, even if you keep trying”.
She acquiesced. Not wanting the meal to get cold, she followed him gingerly. The hospital was a 2 floor structure. The waiting room, emergency room, consulting rooms, and changing rooms for the porters was downstairs. She knew the laboratory was upstairs, so she was not surprised he led her that way. What surprised her, was that he led her to a small room.
“Does Ikedi have an office to himself?” she enquired
“No, this is where they rest sometimes”, the guard left her at the door when she had thanked him.
She knocked and heard Ikedi bark angrily “Who’s that?”
“It’s me, Nonye”, she replied.
“Which of the Nonyes?” he asked
. “How many do you know? Open the door”, she snapped.
After the hours she spent in the hot kitchen, she had taken a bike to bring him his lunch while it was still hot. Certainly, she did not deserve this treatment. Dropping the food at the door, she yelled at him.
“Your food is here! When you finish whatever you are doing, come and get it!” She stormed out.
Back home, she paced the floor of their small sitting room, fuming angrily. So Ikedi was unfaithful. He must have been with a woman, what other reason could he have for not opening the door for her. His selfishness was unbearable! To think that she chose him over Okwudili, who knelt to beg her, who even offered her a car, who still called occasionally to know how she was doing, broke her heart. She wondered if she had made a mistake. Was he really the bone of her bones? Why was he so distant? How come he was so critical of everything she did. She burst into tears, feeling very sorry for herself.
Determined to confront him when he got home, she busied herself washing dishes. Whenever she felt depressed, she used housework to distract herself. 3 of her closest friends were Oma, Stella, and Lucy. Lucy was planning her wedding, and did not have time to listen to her woes. Oma and Stella had become distant since she got married. They seeemed to envy her, so she could not bear to tell them that things were not as rosy as they thought. Whenever she called them, she concocted stories of places they had been, gifts Ikedi had bought her, and how her account was bursting with money. Though this made them envy her the more, she felt it was better than them pitying her, or even worse, mocking her. God forbid! To be continued.