ONCE UPON A REUNION

reunion

It was a Saturday evening…one of those unfortunate Saturdays when the bank required I put in some hours. I was standing at the kitchen sink. Practically everything hurt: my feet ached; my knees knocked against each other; my waist felt broken; my arms felt like lead weights; and most of all, my shoulders: they felt like someone had used a wrecking ball on them. I was tired…very tired.

I had a rough day at the bank…costumers and their plenty wahala. One of them –caught my attention. The lady in question was pretty in an odd way and petite. She obviously wasn’t very literate. Her English, or lack of it thereof was a sure proof of that.

She had come in that morning, her effort to keep her tears at bay very obvious. One of the ATM machines outside the bank had debited her account severally, and then it proceeded to withhold her card. I had to calm her down…wasn’t an easy task… and then ensure that she withdrew over the counter with a promise that I would personally hand her the card and ensure the failed transactions were reviewed on Monday morning. She had been very grateful…so grateful she kept on thanking me.

Thank you my sister.

You’re welcome.

God go bless you. Make im bless ya husband and ya shidren and ya shidren shidren.

Amen dear.

As you no gree make hungry kill ma shidren –

Huh?! Kids? She could pass for 20.

na so ya shidren go chop belleful. Hungry no go eva catch dem. Dem go chop sotaaay dem go tire. E go beta for you.’

It was when she left it struck me: there was nothing in the freezer for this weekend: no stew for Sunday’s meal, and our store of soup was fast running out. If I didn’t do something fast, the lady’s prayers might as well be in vain. I tried calling Amaka.

Not reachable.

Deborah had lost her phone again, so she was out of reach. My husband…hmmm…that one matter plenty. No be today talk.

And I didn’t know who else to call. There was actually no one I could call. So I did the only thing that made sense: I left the bank before the close of work and I went straight to the market to buy what I needed to cook.

I spent the next few hours haggling prices, inspecting products, carrying bags laden with food stuff- bags so heavy they threatened to dislocate my shoulders.

I got home to an empty house: empty, dirty and all messed up. There were toys everywhere: on the floor, coffee table, sofas, balcony, even in the kitchen sink. There were clothes everywhere too: Ada’s skirt was hanging from the edge of the TV, Chima’s shirts were under the table, Chidiogo’s jeans were on the fridge door, there was a pile of tiny mismatched socks on the ottoman and there was a note on the fridge. From Deborah; she had taken the kids with her to Ibadan for the weekend. My husband had called and asked her to…without my notice or permission.

I checked the note again; no number. I was wondering how to reach her when my phone vibrated softly. Unknown number. I picked. It was Deborah calling to say they arrived safely, she and the kids. I spoke with all of them and ensured they were fine, then I set to work.

First, I set the house in order: Put the toys away, sorted out and paired the stockings and returned the scattered clothes to their hampers.

After that, I started cooking – chicken in tomatoes stew for Sunday. I would later call the cook to make the soups.

So there I was: tired, sweaty, in my work clothes at the kitchen sink. I was done making the stew. I had just set the cooker on low heat to let it simmer when I heard the front door open. My husband. The most annoying creature alive.

Walking into the kitchen, he goes:

‘Something smells nice.’

I hold on to the kitchen counter and say nothing.

‘My love.’ He croons. ‘What have I done this time?’

‘What have you done? Nothing! The real question is: What have you not done?! You abandoned me and the kids – your kids for two whole weeks without notice. No calls, no texts, no Facebook updates, no chats, nothing. You just disappear – poof!! And then you expect me to hug you and kiss your cheeks whenever you deem it fit to come back. As if that’s not enough, you call to send them away without as much as a word to me. Who does that? Eh?! Do you have any idea what that does to the children, to me? You wouldn’t know. You do not care about anything, or anyone but yourself. Just leave me biko. Go. Go and bath. You smell like an incinerator.’

He stands there, head hanging. I hope he feels sorry. I return to my chores, totally ignoring him. I’m so engrossed in cleaning the counter I do not hear him leave, or come back…until he stands behind me and wraps his arms around me.

‘I’m sorry hun.’

I want to push him away, to remain aloof, to ignore him. But I am too tired, too spent. I just let him hold me. The warmth…it’s heavenly. And he smells nice and clean. I’ve missed him. I turn round and face him.

‘I know I should have told you, but there was no time. There was this gig…the company had this multi-million dollar project that ran into some issues: some luxury hotel in the south. I just had to go. I didn’t call because I lost my phone along the way. I didn’t have enough on me to replace it. I forgot my card at home. I’m so sorry.’

I nod and lean fully on him, my head on his chest. He bends slightly and kisses the top of my hair.

‘I’ve so missed you. Don’t do this to me, ever again.’

‘I won’t. Promise.’

He kisses me on the lips. The kiss is soft, just like the touch of a feather. His fingers trace shapes on my back, leaving in their wake a jumble of fiery lines. He kisses me again, softly, slowly and softly. There’s a yearning in my belly. I feel my blouse slowly fall off my shoulders.

He kisses me yet again. The kisses tease me, make me want more. He seems to understand. His hand lifts to cup my breast. There’s more urgency, more need in his kiss. I give in to it. The kiss intensifies. He lifts me onto the kitchen counter and then –

‘Ouch!’

My bare back touches something very hot – the pot of stew. And it burns me.

So here I am now, with my bandaged behind, in bed. The perfect ending to an awful Saturday…and one helluva reunion.

 

Hope Eboh

9 replies added

  1. Uncle Phil November 20, 2015 Reply

    Typical! I shd have known there’d b a mishap! N I’s already developing “shower scenes”… Hope has come again! Really looking forward to the next one, please keep em coming.

    • Chisom November 22, 2015 Reply

      So it is this kain of bad bad things you like, Uncle Phil? Hm … kontinuu!

  2. st cathy November 20, 2015 Reply

    Aww! I thought it would be a happy ending. Poor woman!

    • Chisom November 22, 2015 Reply

      Eh yaa … well, she’s in bed now with ample rest time. Maybe that’s a silver lining …

  3. Walter November 21, 2015 Reply

    The husband no try joor. After going MIA, he returns to give the madam a burned behind? Nne, its time to discuss divorce options. He can’t be good for you.

    • Chisom November 22, 2015 Reply

      Lol. Nwa Ude, why so angry? A rare-cooked behind never hurt any one’s romance nah. Hian!

  4. Yemie November 24, 2015 Reply

    Some reunion this is….hubby gone wild and behaving too badly! Plus, he did get off wayyy too easy and what does she get?! A roasted bum, habatically! So not fair!
    I’d expected she’d launch straightways and pull a hissy feet! One he would not only live to remember in a very long time, but he’d be very lucky to come back from it! Where does he get off disappearing for days without a single word? Then he waltzes back home all chummy, exuding bonhomie and thinks too that he can just make nice; have his way and all would be dandy?! Tah! There will be hell to pay for sure and he’d be the one nursing something, not I! Hehehe

    Nice one Hope, the whole chaos as can be seen in a house filled with kids and all cluttered up with toys and dirty dishes was so beautifully registered! Thumbs up girl, you brought this and thanks for sharing Chisom!

    • Chisom November 24, 2015 Reply

      You would know about that house filled with kids and cluttered with toys and dirty dishes … no wonder you are so vexed. Lol. Thanks dear

  5. Odinenu keren-happuch November 28, 2015 Reply

    I love this piece. The transition from that moment of sizzling lust to unexpected disaster was epic. I so didn’t see it coming. Very interesting piece.

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