Ifechi heard the click of the key to the door of the house, and readjusted herself on the bed. It was 11.25p.m and the crickets were chirping loudly. She lay still, watching Maduka as he made his way into the room and silently undressed in the darkness. He did not tap her tonight demanding for his food. She smiled to herself, “let him go to bed hungry. Did his mother never tell him? You can’t eat your cake and have it.”
Maduka fell into the bed beside her, and was soon snoring peacefully.
Night after night, Maduka strolled in late. They never again fought over late night meals, but other matters began to bother Ifechi. When she needed him to lie close to her, Maduka, in his own words, had simply told her he had more important issues to attend to.
He said when Ifechi demanded an explanation for the late nights, “Do I have to explain my whereabouts to you? Do I not bring you enough money? Do I not take good care of you? But what do I get in return? Disrespect and…”
“What disrespect? What responsible man sends his wife to the kitchen by 11.00p.m? I am no slave of yours.” Ifechi interrupted, raising her voice.
“You were before I married you. But for me, you would still be in that hell-hole of a home with your wretched family. ”
Ifechi burst into tears and Maduka picked up his pillow and left the room.
“He’s seeing someone,” Kemi concluded promptly when Ifechi poured out her heart to her during lunch break at work. “Isn’t it obvious? Do you actually need a soothsayer to confirm it?” She asked incredulously, her eye balls almost popping out of their sockets in mock surprise.
Ifechi began to see signs now- a pack of condoms in his brown jacket, a bank teller dispatching money to her account, and the few times he let his phone lie carelessly, blackberry messages professing undying love. And if she had any doubts left, Tope was at hand to inform her that she had seen her husband checking into Springs Hotel with a dark skinny girl.
Ifechi bit her lips and cried her eyes sore. She already envisioned Maduka’s response following a confrontation- a mere shrug… Did her mother never tell her? It’s a man’s world.
One evening after work, she lazed on the couch watching Desperate Housewives and munching pringles. Her phone beeped. A smug smile spread across her lips as she read Kazeem’s message. On her many lonely nights, he blew her blackberry kisses, and his virtual hugs did little to warm her.
She had known Kazeem from her secondary school days, when he was the most arrogant dude in class. He basked well in the euphoria of female adulation, but Ifechi had never given him the pleasure of adding her name to the list of girls he dated. Not that he ever asked!
A facebook friend request from him a decade after secondary school had set them on new grounds of friendship. His messages to her set her heart aglow, and she punched her blackberry keys furiously in response.
“But I can’t. I’m married, you know,” Ifechi typed.
“Oh puhleease, I’m married too. If we love each other, isn’t that all that matters. We are adults. Or do you kiss and tell?”
I’m travelling for a two-week training at Abuja. Was impromptu. Don’t forget to pay for the DSTV subscription. Maduka’s message came through during a late morning meeting. And for the rest of the day, Ifechi could not concentrate. She was certain he had carried along his skinny whore.
Two days later, she sent Kazeem a message… “I’m lonely. I’m waiting.”
She sat on the edge of the king-sized bed in the cool hotel room, contemplating her actions. No, it wasn’t love that put her in the arms of Kazeem. No, they weren’t true the words he was saying softly as he slowly unbuttoned her chiffon top and unhooked her brassiere setting free her humongous mammary glands. But certainly, she was able to set this man before her on fire, make him take lose of his senses, make him cry like a baby. Kazeem was taking short breaths as he kissed her nape, nibbled her earlobe and his hands explored exotic sites. Ifechi turned to face him squarely, and taking his face in her palms, she matched his passion with equal ferocity.
P.S: You’ll be back for the continuing part, won’t you?