WRITTEN BY: LIZZY OYEBOLA YAKUBU
Looking into my wife’s face, all I saw was raw, fiery anger!
She looked like she wanted to see Bode quickly to deposit some slaps in his face.
“Honey” I called out, picking her hand.
“Sir?” She answered, trying really hard to act like she was at peace.
“All will be well.” I assured and she smiled, nodding like she didn’t believe in my ‘wellness’ talk. The day before, she had called me as I was supervising a work at a client’s site, saying that she needed to go to Lagos to quench the fire in Bode’s family. With the way she sounded, I was scared that instead of actually ‘quenching’ the fire, my wife would sentimentally make the fire blow out of proportion.
I told her to go but I was at the airport some hours later on board another plane to Lagos. Therefore, when she called to inform me that she had reached Lagos and was in a holdup at CMS, I told her I had just left Ikeja. She was so shocked.
“Must you always follow me around, honey?” She had joked, chuckling.
“Where the snail goes, the shell follows, my dear.” I had replied her. “Let’s go quench the fire together” I said with a finality and she heaved a sigh of relief, whispering silently but excitedly ‘Thank you, my husband’.
We met at the hospital and seeing the deplorable state of Jemmy, our granddaughter and the fact that she had not come out of coma, my wife was inconsolable!
She was even madder when she learnt that Bode and his aunt had not paid a visit to the hospital since the ‘accident’. Looking at the way my wife had balled out of the hospital, heading for Bode’s house, I knew I had to intervene. We ordered a car and soon it was on the way to Bode’s house- so my wife thought but I had manipulated the address while ordering for the car.
When we arrived in front of a hotel, therefore, she was shocked. When she began to question the driver, I smiled at her and pulled her out of the car and explained to her that it was too late to go and ‘quench’ the fire. She reluctantly followed me to the room, fuming all night.
“Let us pray for them, my darling. That will help a great deal” I had told her and as we prayed, she wept. She told God everything, more like dumping a bag full of complaints on the shoulder of God. I saw everything, so I pulled her into a warm embrace and prayed for her. She needed to be calm and I hoped that by morning, she would have peace all over her spirit.
It seemed my prayers were partly answered because by the next morning, she was wearing a different, brighter glow than the day before. Though what I saw was not a full expression of peace, I knew she was good to go.
We knocked at the door of the Jones’ house.
“Come in” We heard him say from inside, so we turned the door knob and entered. I held my wife’s hand so that my tight grip would be an ‘alert’ whenever she is blown off the cover.
Bode and Alake, his aunt were sitting at the dining table, eating and chatting, smiling at the same time. I turned to look at my shocked wife’s face and smiled, reassuringly. I was shocked to find them ‘feasting’ too but I was determined to suppress my feelings all through my stay at their house- especially for my wife’s sake.
“Dad! Mum!” Bode exclaimed, suddenly standing up and walking briskly to our side.
“Unbelievable!” He exclaimed, hugging me tightly and moving to his coldly stiff mother to do the same. She stifled a laughter.
“We decided to pay a visit, you know” I said and he smiled, rubbing his palms together.
“Wow! This is totally shocking!” He said, chewing the residue of whatever he was eating earlier.
“Is that not Alake?” My wife announced when Alake wouldn’t greet us, a forced smile on her face. Alake stood up and smiled.
“I didn’t know you will still recognize me, cousin” She said, walking towards us. She genuflected and greeted us after which we moved to the sitting room to wait for them while they finished up their meal.
“This boy can still eat?” My wife whispered and I smiled, squeezing her hand softly. She sighed.
“Wow! It is now today that my family is not around that you are here, mummy and daddy” He said as he sat in one of the sofa, picking his teeth with a tiny floss.
“Where are they? You mean Lara, Jenny and Jemmy are not around?” My wife asked, feigning ignorance.
“No they are not o. Jemmy fell down yesterday and had to be rushed to the hospital. They are with her, now” He said and my wife frowned, sitting up straight, ready to talk. I stepped in.
“Fell down? Where? How? Hope it is not serious.” I asked and he waved his hands.
“It’s not serious, dad. She will be fine” He said and my wife’s jaw dropped as mine did too.
“So, you have not gone to visit her?” She asked and he shook his head.
“No, I will go later in the evening or tomorrow morning”
“Ehn ehn! Bode!” My exclaimed. “And what of you, Alake? Have you visited the hospital?”
“I will go in the evening, jare” She said, yawning. “I am expecting a visitor” She said and I frowned.
“A visitor?” My wife asked and Alake nodded. “Who is this visito…” My wife was asking when Bode raised his hands, yawning loudly. After that, he stretched noisily, as if to distract everyone from the question my wife had asked.
“So, dad, to what do we owe this visit?” Bode asked and I smiled.
“We have to write you a mail, informing you of our visit, right?” My wife asked, her voice containing some real ‘action’. Bode frowned.
“That is not it” He said and paused. “Mum, why are you sounding as if you are here to fight me?” He said like a kid and I gave my wife a knowing look.
“Sorry…Ermmm…it’s just that I am not happy that your family is not around you because of a predicament and you are here sitting down in peace, dining and laughing” She said.
“Chai! Aunty Kemi, you have not changed!” Alake said, stepping into the conversation. “What is the predicament in this case now? Children will always fall down and…”
“Alake, but what are you doing here?” My wife asked suddenly, her face growing really long. Alake looked shocked.
“Erm…You know, my daughter is…” She was saying when Bode stepped in to rescue her.
“Her daughter in the US gave birth and she wants to apply for visa to.,.” He was explaining calmly when my wife cut in again, a little, forced smile on her face.
“Is your daughter Titi no longer living in Lagos?” She asked.
“She is” Alake replied, frowning slightly.
“At Victoria Island, right?”
“I think her place is closer to the embassy, why didn’t you stay with her? Is this place not too far for you? We are almost entering Epe o”
“No it’s not too far. I miss Bode, that is why I am here” She said and I frowned.
“You must really love Bode” I said sarcastically and she smiled, nodding. “When last did you even see him?” I asked and she avoided my face. “Have you seen him since the incidence?” I asked again, intentionally stepping on her conscience.
“No” She replied.
“How can you then miss someone you haven’t seen since he was four years? This guy is now thirty two fa” I asked again.
“What incidence?” Bode asked and my wife eyed him briefly.
“Asake, can you excuse us? We want to discuss with our son” My wife said and Asake shrugged.
“I can’t leave o. I thought I told you I am expecting a visitor” She said firmly and my wife started laughing.
“When your visitor comes, we will let you know. For now, excuse us!” I asked authoritatively on behalf of my sarcastic laughing wife.
“But daddy and mummy, she is also your family member na. Why are you trying to chase her away from…” Bode was saying when my wife removed a slippers from her leg and aimed it at his head. Thank God he dodged it.
“Mum, what is that for?” He asked, obviously bewildered.
“We said we want a personal time with you, don’t we know what we are talking about?” My wife asked angrily.
“Nonetheless honey, this is a family man, not your once, little baby boy, Bode” I said, trying to ease the tension in the room.
“Daddy, please tell her” He said sharply too like a small innocent boy who is trying to be stubborn.
“Sorry, oya, help me throw my slippers. Pele (Sorry)” My wife said, reluctantly. Bode brought the slippers to her leg and she slipped her beautiful foot in it.
“So, Asake…” I was saying when she jumped up suddenly.
“I am leaving already, hmmmm, don’t kill me with your boring family matters” Asake said, sighed and started moving out of the sitting room. My wife looked at her disgustingly as she left. When she was out of view, my wife went to the TV, increased the volume so it was blaring loudly and resumed back at her seat.
“What is that for?” I asked and she smiled.
“The walls have ears. But with this noise, even the walls will have to struggle to hear what we have to say” She said and I shook my head, laughing so loudly.
Bode looked so lost.
“What is the matter?” He asked and my wife cleared her throat.
“Bode, why have you not gone to see your child at the hospital?” She asked.
“Nothing” He said, blankly,
“I am highly disappointed in you Bode. If someone had told me that you will become a wife beater, a bad father and all, I would have argued it out” She started and I sighed, shaking my head. My wife was starting on a wrong note.
“Mum, why are you giving me all these bad qualities? Did that godforsaken girl say anything about me to you?” He asked and I was lost for a while.
“Who is the godforsaken girl, if I may ask?” I said and he stuttered for a while.
“Lara of course!” He said eventually and I shook my head.
“How can you call your…” I was saying when my wife stood up.
“What is the definition of a godforsaken person, Mr. Bode?” She asked, walking close to him, anger on her face. “Your wife and your children, all that you have are in the hospital and you are here playing love with your aunt. The aunt that you know nothing about, Bode. What is your…” She raised her voice when Bode stood up once, looking very fiercely into her face.
“You cannot, I repeat, you cannot come to my own house and command things, mum!” He shouted, wrapping his fists into balls. My wife looked really scared at once. The anger in her face metamorphosed into fear. I saw as her jaws dropped and she began to hit Bode’s chest softly.
“I love you my son. I love you” She began to weep. I covered my face with my right hand, confused. I didn’t know what exactly to do next. “I want your family to be even sweeter than my own family but I am not happy that…” She kept saying when Bode pushed her hands off his chest. He sat down and placed his two legs on the table.
“You shouldn’t just hear something from Lara and judge the whole thing by her words. She is simply a foolish girl and I am done with her for good. Period” He said and I blinked hard, not believing my ears.
“You are done with your wife?” I asked.
“I am done, period!” He shouted and I sighed deeply. My wife fell against him suddenly, beating his laps.
“I didn’t raise you this way, Bode?” She wept. “How can you say that you are done with Lara? The Lara that you still surprised with a car last month; the Lara that you still told me about last week, saying she is a wonderful wife to you…”
“That was last week. Things changed this week when she didn’t want to see my family member.” He said firmly and my wife wailed.
“Something is wrong with my son ooo, ehn! Bode, have you even met this woman before? How did you know that she is a family member?”
“I have heard you talk about Asake many times. I met her on Facebook recently and she sent me an old picture where she was carrying me at one year old”
“And you instantly wanted to connect with her without even informing me?” My wife asked, going all emotional.
“She said it should be a surprise” He said and my wife started to beat her thighs. When I realized that Bode was out of context, I knew it was not something that should be handled slightly, so I pulled my wife out of the sitting room, dragging her outside to calm her down. She was sweating profusely, tears pouring out of her eyes.
“Honey, you can see that there are some manipulations somewhere. You can see that Bode is under an influence.”
“I can see oooo” She wailed. I patted her shoulder.
“Honey, that influence is obviously not an influence from God but from the devil. It is like alcohol, but even higher. Therefore, you cannot fight that devilish influence with the tool of the devil. Anger, fear, agitations, sadness and all you are expressing now are tools from your flesh instead of from your spirit. It will only worsen situations.” I said and watched her weep for a while.
“I am sorry. I guess I actually became too emotional”
“You will do me a favor of going to the hospital now. Go and meet Lara and start to pray. The head of their family is sick and of course, when the head is sick, the body will be not be safe. We must not lose Jemimah and we can’t stop life from going out of her but whining and complaining. We have to swing into the action of serious prayers.”
“Hmmmmm. But I can’t leave you alone with them in this house. That is like one over three.” She said, fearfully and I started laughing.
“Honey, they that are with me are more than they that are with them. Moreso, you people will be praying for me from the hospital too, right?” I asked and she sighed.
After much reluctance, she agreed and we started moving to the gate as I looked for an available Uber car online for her.
We stayed in front of the gate, waiting for the car to come when a taxi stopped in front of the house. A lady, indecently dressed with a very small top-like gown and a bum shorts with different colors on her face and a waist-long blonde hair on her head jumped down, chewing gum like a call girl.
As she approached the gate, I stopped her.
“Where are you going to?” I asked.
“Excuse me, who are you?” She asked and my wife faced her.
“Who are you? What are you doing in our son’s house?” She asked and the lady smiled shortly, bowing slightly.
“Wow! Mother and father!” She bowed again. “Forgive me. I am a friend to Bode. I am actually here to see him” She said.
“Like this?” My wife asking, pointing at her from head to toe. The lady smiled.
“Hey Niyi!” She called at the gateman. Niyi came out. “Please tell popcy and momcy that I am being expected by Bode” She said and Niyi replied in the affirmative.
My wife looked into my face as the lady bounced inside, shutting the gate behind her.
“Darling, who is that girl? What is she doing in our son’s house? Where did Bode meet that kind of…” She was asking when the Uber car that was to pick her up stopped in front of the house.
I ushered her into the car, despite all her struggles.
“I can’t leave you alone here with these human beings. I am so scared” She started crying.
“I will be fine, honey. All will be well. Go and pray for us” I said with a finality, waved at the driver and he drove off.
I sighed immediately the car was out of sight and turned to look at my son’s house.
“Oh God! Why am I so scared? Why is the situation this scary, Lord?” I muttered.
“Have mercy and take over!” I said as I entered through the gate.
Take over, Lord!
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