Her table was not that occupied. She had hit most of her deadlines and more so, she had a very able assistant assigned to her. She was grateful to God for where she was going career-wise. She was a very dedicated and committed person to any thing she set her mind to and she made sure she always hit bull's eye!
She dismissed her Assistant after he had walked into her small cubicle to clarify some instructions then she got back to her centre of focus. She opened the back page of her memo pad and continued to scribble things down.
Mrs Timilehin Damola-Damisi, wife to Engineer Damola Damisi. Mother of Semilore Damisi and Inumidun Damisi.
She caught herself smiling as she derailed into her thoughts. Thoughts where she alone was privy to. Imaginations begun to run through her mind. Scenes of how she would welcome Damola after a long day's work, how their two children would run to him screaming "daddy" at the top of their little lungs. How she would serve him his best food and how they would say their prayers together, thanking God for finally bringing them together despite all "odds."
She reached for her phone which was connected to a fuse and went to her gallery. She opened a further folder labelled "My man." There were about forty eight photos within...all photos of Ite's husband. She went to an application on her phone that merged photos together. Then she started to work on merging hers and his. She smiled at her result. She only wished it was more real, without the demarcation line.
Her phone started to ring, interrupting her concentration. It was Rotimi. She sighed. He was just not going to give up, was he? It had been quite a while since she had called off the relationship. He had let her be for a little while; about five weeks. But then he came back begging and saying things like he understood she needed time and he was sorry he rushed her into getting married.
It was not as though she hated Rotimi. She liked him. A lot. He was a good man and any girl would jump at being with him. But maybe he was just the wrong kind of good man for her. Without hesitating, she ignored his call.
It was 10.45pm. Ite let out a final sigh of relief as she turned off the engine of her car and climbed out of it. She had a terribly long day at work. She was a lawyer and the earliest time her office hailed close of business was 7.30pm. This week though, her team was working on a public private partnership contract and she had to stay extra hours to get work done and meet deadlines. She saw her husband's Camry in the drive way. He was usually home by Five thirty. She said her silent hallelujahs, praising God for the kind of husband she had. Whenever she got home late (which was always, considering the heavy third mainland bridge traffic on a daily), he usually would have set the table for dinner and run her a bath. Maybe it was part of the perks of the early months in marriage. Maybe it was his nature. Whatever it was, she was getting used to it and counting herself blessed.
He was sprawled out on the couch in the living room, sleeping already. He was a very light sleeper so when the security door creaked open in loud silence, he jolted.
"Baby." She hurried towards him, making a face to show how tired she was.
Damola cleared his throat, opening his arms to receive his wife.
"It's so late. What happened?" He asked, kissing her forehead.
"I'm sorry I didn't inform you. My phone was out of sight. We were in the conference room deliberating and doing presentations and all. My boss is a perfectionist you know." She said. "What did you eat?"
"I bought fried rice from the restaurant down the road. Yours is in the microwave." He replied.
She kissed him.
"You're the best! I love you so much." She said, dropping her hand bag and shoes on the couch. She hurried to the kitchen to heat up her meal.
"So something happened at work today." He said, joining her in the kitchen. She had started to litter the floor with grains of yellow colored rice.
"What?" She said.
"I've been moved to our Lekki office to cover that axis. The guy that worked there before resigned. He moved abroad."
"Wow! That's...well, I'm happy for you but wouldn't that mean longer hours on the road?"
"Well, I get some thousands more than my old position." He laughed.
"Well, thank God. Happy for you boo." She said.
"Thanks. I'm going to bed now. And please clean that floor." He replied, leaving the kitchen.
He sat on the old decaying black stool in the room dark with pitch blindness. Sounds of owls howled and the clap of the wings of flying blind bats surrounded his ears in an awkward symphony. In a little while, a person walked into the room and beckoned on him to rise and follow their lead. He tried to sit, but his ankles were clasped in chains of rusted silver. His ankles on the left, and on the right. Then they started to drag him upon his refusal...tugging and pulling harder and with more effort.
He had a help. But his help rendered none. His help was asleep.
He cried out for the help to stop these masters but he was unheard.
"Jesus!" He bolted from the bed, sweating despite the operating four horse power air conditioner. Ite still snored. She hadn't heard his voice. He looked at the small clock on the bedside table. It was 4.11am. He tapped her back so she would wake up. After series of stretches and yawns, she got up.
"Baby, what is it?" She said, yawning.
Damola's breathing had started to get steady now. He swallowed, then caught his breath.
"Bad dream. Someone trying to pull me into slavery or something. I can't recall all of it." He said, mumbling his words and gesticulating with fear.
Ite hissed, still squinting.
"Slavery? How?" She said.
"I don't know. That's the dream I had."
She sighed this time.
"I don't think it's something to be scared of. Besides, remember you were watching pathos Africa Magic Epic last night. Maybe it's just thoughts. If a man goes to bed hungry he will definitely dream of food." She giggled. Damola wasn't finding her analysis acceptable though.
"Let's pray, please." He said.
She nodded and held his hands.
"Father, we thank you for our lives and we thank you for your grace. We adore you and thank you for waking us up to see this bright new day. We commit Damola's life into your hands and we ask for your protection and grace over him in Jesus name." She said.
"Amen." He retorted.
"The grace..." She started.
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the sweet fellowship of the Holyspirit..."
They recited together.
As soon as it was 4.30am, she hurried out of bed to the bathroom.
The dream still lingered on Damola's mind all through his day at work. He had sent a text to Ite to say more prayers about it. She told him it wasn't necessary disturbing God over small issues and he needed to have faith that it was fine so he finally decided to let it go. The only problem was that he rarely had such dreams. He rarely had any kind of dreams...except those of girls he liked.
It was 1.30pm and he was starving already. He was no longer at the head office where they had a canteen for lunch breaks so he had to look for somewhere decent to grab a meal. He finally found one after a five-minute drive within Lekki Phase 1. As he settled to rush his hurriedly made burger and fries, he spotted her from the glass window. He immediately reached for his phone and dialed her number. She was about climbing into her car.
"Timi how are you! Hold on don't drive off yet." He said.
Timi's heart as usual started its relay. She turned around in anxiety, her phone to her ear.
"Are you around here?" She said, high pitched with excitement and anticipation.
"Yeah. I'm having lunch inside the restaurant." He said.
"Oh. I'll come inside." She said.
In a few seconds, she had joined him at his table.
"What are you doing here? You came all the way to Lekki to grab lunch?" She laughed, staring into his eyes.
"I now work here. I got promoted and transferred." He said.
"Awww look at you. The contract staff of yesterday. Now a big oil and gas boy." She laughed some more.
Damola looked at her and memories of how fervently she had prayed for him back in the day concerning his job clouded his mind.
"How are you, Timi?" He asked, some level of concern evident in his voice. Some how, he felt guilty.
"I am great. God has been very faithful. How are you too? And Ite?" Her smile never left her face.
"Going fine. When will you be chanced so we can talk? I really want to know how you are doing. I hear Rotimi is trying to make up with you." He said.
Her smile slowly begun to ease out.
"He is a good man but he's just not who..He isn't who God wants." She said.
Damola sighed. He really wanted to help her get out of this "maze." He felt responsible for everything.
"When can we talk?" He asked again.
"Well, you now work here and I do work here and live close by so it's your call. Whenever you are ready."
"Okay. I will call you to let you know how far." He said.
"That's fine. I close work at 6.30." She replied.
He hugged her and then opened the door of her car and shut it after she had climbed in. After she pulled out of the lot, he got into his car and headed back to the office.
She was naked, save for her brassiere and her panties. She stood under the orange bulb in her bedroom, facing her full length mirror and clutching the gown she had worn earlier to the office. It had her perfume scent still on it, but more importantly was the scent of Damola's Eight & Bob on it. She shut her eyes, breathing it all in. She held on the dress like she was clinging for life. Then she started to touch her body, with imaginations of herself and him. He was hers. He had to be hers.
Suddenly she stopped. What she was doing was not right. It was improper for her to touch herself like that.
"God forgive me." She said three times, finally letting go of the dress.
At the other end of town, Iteoluwa Damisi was still having a meeting with her team of lawyers at work. She looked at the clock. It was 8pm. She knew she had to call her husband. She excused herself and then went to the rest room with her phone.
"Baby." She said as soon as he answered the call.
"Yes? Where are you?" He responded.
"Still at work."
"I'm home. When will you be home."
"I don't know yet. As soon as we are done with this project I promise i will make everything up to you." She said in her baby voice.
"I support your career, Ite. But how long are we going to keep up with this?"
She was silent for a while.
"I don't understand. You want me to be a house wife?"
Damola knew his wife. He knew she had started to get upset.
"I didn't say that. Maybe you can get a job closer to the house. Or something less tasking."
"I'm not going to have this conversation tonight. I am so tired and frustrated right now so let's not complicate things, okay. I'll see you when I'm home." She said and ended the call.
At around 9.40pm, she was done at the office. She hurried into her car and let out some breath of relief. This was one of the many days she wished she had a driver. She felt bad for the row that had ensued between her and her husband. She loved him to bits, yes. But she also loved her job too and it was absurd that he would ever think she would want to quit. First Class Ll.b and Second class upper Law school, and a distinction in her Ll.m together with bagging a professional qualification in Arbitration and Mediation, she had only just begun with her career ladder. She had dreams and he had supported those dreams before the got married.
As she drove home, her phone beeped. It was a text message from her mother.
"How are you, Iteoluwakishi. It's been a while. Your dad and I have missed you. Next time we visit we do hope it won't be just you and Damola but a third member of the family in addition. Take it easy and always be a good girl and a good wife to your husband. Never forget to pray for your family and for him. I love you. Psalm 24 Psalm 56. From Mummy."
She smiled. She had to admit that she missed her mother. She was a deaconess and always had one vision or the other that she wanted Ite to be prayerful about.
"Mummy sha," Ite laughed. "She won't ever change, would she?"
*Rollercoaster Episode 4