She served the Yam porridge into the special fine china in which she always served him. She heard him come down the stair case already. He had just taken a bath. She could smell the luxury of the body wash all the way from the kitchen so she knew he was coming towards that direction.
“My love,” He kissed her neck.
She smiled and hugged him. He began to kiss her deeper but she pulled away. She tried to avoid his eyes but he pulled her face with his hand so she could look into his eyes.
“What’s the problem?” He asked. She could see that he already knew the answer to his own question.
“It’s nothing.” She mumbled.
“Okay.” He said and walked away into the living room. She heard the TV come on.
She put the fine china in a tray with a glass cup and a bottle of water, then carried it into the living room, on the dining table.
“Come have your food.” She said.
“I’m good. Not hungry.”
“I have been in the kitchen for a long time…”
“I don’t give a hoot what you’ve been doing in the kitchen, okay! I am not eating. Period.” He yelled and stormed out of the living room.
That’s what happened last week, and the week before, and the ones before then.
Jadesola was getting really fed up of her husband’s attitude. She was beginning to get frustrated, but was trying her best to keep it all together. He hated when she discussed their private problems to outsiders. But she just couldn’t deal with it anymore.
Teni’s call came through. She picked up her phone.
“Hey sis,” Jade said, trying to sound good.
“Jade, how far now. I got the job at KPMG! They just asked me to resume next week!” She screamed with excitement.
“Oh my God that’s marvelous news.” Jade exclaimed, happy for her sister.
“So I’m coming to your house to get enough office clothes and those loubs and jimmy choos.”
“So how’s Mr. Husband?” Teni asked.
“Jade you know you can talk to me right?”
Jade nodded, but she replied otherwise. She said she was fine, and cut the call after saying goodbye.
Henry looked at the time. It was 7.30pm. Work was over since 5pm but he just didn’t want to go home. The same thing always happened. He decided he would hang out with his friends at a bar. He grabbed his phone to call his friends. He scrolled through his missed calls. Some were from his mother. Some from friends, and then there was a text from his Pastor.
Songs of Solomon 6.3
He was going to ignore the text but then he saw the bible app on his phone needed an update. How coincidental. He decided to check the verse.
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…
He thought about his wife. They had been married for a little over a year, and he still loved her so much, but because of the circumstances, they were beginning to grow apart and he didn’t want that to happen. He decided he would go home to her, and try to try.
She hugged him as he stepped into the house, and took his blazer and iPad. He wanted to carry her and turn her around like he used to, but he restrained himself, and walked behind her as she climbed the stairs into their bedroom. She didn’t say a word. She dropped the iPad on the table and hung the blazer. He grabbed her waist, pulled her closer to him, and kissed her. It had been so long since he kissed her. He looked at her. Her eyes were shut. Then he shut his eyes too, as they moved towards the bed.
“Do you think we should see the doctor this time, and the pastor too?” Jade said, looking at the POP ceiling of their bedroom.
“Jade, please, don’t make me more frustrated. I am not seeing any doctor. It’s just stress.” Henry said.
“Stress?” Jade yelled. “Stress, Henry?!” She sat up and faced him.
“It’s been almost fifteen months we have been married! Not once have you been able to consummate this marriage! I am frustrated! You are not the only one! Your mom keeps giving me the eye…even if she’s not saying anything she’s probably thinking I am barren. And we know I am not barren.”
Henry looked away.
She grabbed his hand.
“Answer me! What are we going to do about this problem?”
“I don’t have a problem. It is stress.”
“It is not. Henry you never slept with Isioma. She complained to me then! I thought it was because you were waiting for marriage. Or did you know you were impotent and still went ahead to make me marry you?”
Henry’s eyes went red. He tried to keep calm.
“Please don’t insult me.” He said.
“Even Femi could still have sex despite his…”
He slapped her face really hard. He was shocked at his action. He saw the shock in her eyes too, as she burst into tears. She dashed for her travelling bag and started packing some clothes.
Henry had never hit a woman, but she had pushed him so hard to the wall this time. He hated being compared to anyone. She always compared him with Femi and he had tried to stomach it but this time he couldn’t take it again.
He had always thought about Isioma. Maybe it was her curse that had come to settle. He knew he had hurt her, and she had said it was fine, but no one needed to explain to him that she had been so hurt, and it was only justifiable that she cursed his union with Jade.
Jade had broken up with Femi and had become a shadow of herself. Tokunbo had tried to be there for her but she knew if she hung around Tokunbo, they would most likely get intimate. She didn’t want Femi or anyone thinking she had left Femi to be with Tokunbo. Tokunbo eventually went back to the U.K and Henry had been the shoulder she had to lean on, to get over everything that had happened.
Isioma had not been skeptical about it at first, but when Henry began spending morning and evening at Jade’s place, she couldn’t take it anymore. Isioma didn’t want to feel like the unsupportive friend or jealous girlfriend so she allowed it to continue but decided she would visit Jade together with Henry.
Then on Isioma’s birthday, Henry had stood her up. They were supposed to have dinner together at a hotel in Lekki, but he had told her he was busy with work and would come by her house afterwards. Perhaps it was intuition. Isioma decided to stop by his office but she was told he had left the office since around 4pm. She decided to hang out with her friends from work who had decided to take her to a restaurant and karaoke bar at Ikoyi. Then she spotted her fiancé and Jadesola, right there, having dinner and laughing to each other. Her friends had seen them too, but she had been so embarassed to say anything. She had to leave the restaurant immediately.
Jade knew she had begun to have feelings for Henry. She just didn’t know how to go about it. Her life was pretty messed up as it was and she didn’t know how she was going to get her life back. Tokunbo had left. She had thought he really loved her but he couldn’t stick around long enough through her situation. But maybe it wasn’t his fault. Maybe it was because she had blamed him for everything that went wrong with Femi because she didn’t want to blame herself. Tokunbo had told her he would not be the sacrificial lamb to bear her own errors with Femi, and then he went back to the U.K.
Perhaps it was because she had been spending a lot of time with Henry. She began to see how great a guy he was and began to regret why she turned him down back in school. Maybe it was a second chance. Maybe fate had brought Henry around this time so she could make right what had gone wrong. But Isioma was her friend. She didn’t want to betray Isioma but she didn’t want to miss out on a good man too. It was rare for people to marry their best friends. And then she thought wisdom before sentiments. Afterall, Henry had wanted her first.
Jade had told Henry how she felt about him. She had told him that she knew it was wrong but she felt she needed to let him know that she was falling in love with him, and that she wanted to apologize for how she had treated him in the past. She had begun to cry and Henry had held her and they had kissed. Then Henry realized what had happened and left. But the thought of kissing Jade never left him. That had always been what he wanted since school days. Jadesola Martins.
Gradually things began to fall apart with Isioma and then, he decided it was only fair he told her about his feelings for Jade. He hadn’t told her it was Jade though. He had said it was another girl from back in university, and that it would not be fair if he married Isioma and still had feelings for the girl.
He had pleaded with Isioma to forgive him, and told her to keep the ring. Isioma had tried to be strong. She told him it was fine, and gave him back his ring, then at about three weeks after when she heard that Henry and Jade where dating, she had sent a text message.
Congrats to you and Jade. I will fast and pray for God to rain upon you the kind of consequences you both deserve.
Jade had been so scared when Henry had shown her the text message but he had told her it meant nothing and that life happened like that. As far as he was concerned, they were meant to be.
Henry had proposed to her, and they had decided to have a quiet and private wedding.
The wedding night was everything she did not wish for.
And that’s when he started giving one excuse or the other, from stress, to being tired, to having a lot on his mind. Then he began to draw away from her and restricted intimacy to kissing her alone. He always claimed he was fasting, or busy.
“I’m sorry Jade. I…I didn’t mean to hit you. I was…” He walked over to her, went on his knees and pleaded with her. She was crying.
“I can’t take it anymore.” She cried.
“Please! I’ll make it up to you. Please don’t leave, Jade.”
She paused, and then looked at him.
“Make it up to me by agreeing to go see a doctor.”
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